Caroline Bevis





Project 1885-1

FOLKLORE

Spartanburg, Dist. 4

July 26, 1937

Edited by:

Elmer Turnage



SLAVERY REMINISCENCES





"I was raised in the wood across the road about 200 yards from here. I

was very mischievous. My parents were honest and were Christians. I

loved them very much. My father was William Bevis, who died at the age

of eighty. Miss Zelia Hames of Pea Ridge was my mother. My parents are

buried at Bethlehem Methodist Church. I was brought up in Methodism and

I do not know anything else. I had two brothers and four sisters. My

twin sister died last April 1937. She was Fannie Holcombe. I was in bed

with pneumonia at the time of her death and of course I could not go to

the funeral. For a month, I was unconscious.



"When I was a little girl I played 'Andy-over' with a ball, in the

moonlight. Later I went to parties and dances. Calico, chambric and

gingham were the materials which our party dresses were made of.



"My grandmother, Mrs. Phoebe Bevis used to tell Revolutionary stories

and sing songs that were sung during that period. Grandmother knew some

Tories. She always told me that old Nat Gist was a Tory ... that is the

way he got rich.



"Hampton was elected governor the morning my mother died. Father went in

his carriage to Jonesville to vote for Hampton. We all thought that

Hampton was fine.



"When I was a school girl I used the blue back speller. My sweetheart's

name was Ben Harris. We went to Bethlehem to school. Jeff and Bill

Harris were our teachers. I was thirteen. We went together for six

years. The Confederate War commenced. He was very handsome. He had black

eyes and black hair. I had seven curls on one side of my head and seven

on the other. He was twenty-four when he joined the 'Boys of Sixteen'.



"He wanted to marry me then, but father would not let us marry. He

kissed me good bye and went off to Virginia. He was a picket and was

killed while on duty at Mars Hill. Bill Harris was in a tent nearby and

heard the shot. He brought Ben home. I went to the funeral. I have never

been much in-love since then.



"I hardly ever feel sad. I did not feel especially sad during the war. I

made socks, gloves and sweaters for the Confederate soldiers and also

knitted for the World War soldiers. During the war, there were three

looms and three shuttles in our house.



"I went often to the muster grounds at Kelton to see the soldiers drill

and to flirt my curls at them. Pa always went with me to the muster

field. Once he invited four recruits to dine with us. We had a delicious

supper. That was before the Confederacy was paralyzed. Two darkies

waited on our table that night, Dorcas and Charlotte. A fire burned in

our big fireplace and a lamp hung over the table. After supper was over,

we all sat around the fire in its flickering light.



"My next lover was Jess Holt and he was drowned in the Mississippi

River. He was a carpenter and was building a warf on the river. He fell

in and was drowned in a whirlpool."



Source: Miss Caroline Bevis (W. 96), County Home, Union, S. C.

Interviewer: Caldwell Sims, Union, S. C. (7/13/37)





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