Marjory MacFarlane McQueen
"The Thieving Yanks"


Grandma Marjory MacFarland MacQueen and Aunt Penny

The title is not meant to give offence. It comes from a album I once had (and internd to buy again) called "White Mansions" it was a musical about the Civil War as seen from the South. I thought it appropriate for this page. Although the lady did not fight in the War her husband did.

The story is related by Alexia Marlowe regarding her Grandparents Lt Alexander MacQueen and Marjory MacFarland MacQueen.

Granpa's home was a beautiful old house about five miles from Cheraw South Carolina on the Cabin Branch. The house had immense pillars, dormer windows, high ceilings and a wide hall extending from front to back door. The kitchen was set apart from the house and meals were cooked in the kitchen and brought into the house on large silver trays. Grandpa was not yet home from the War, so Grandma gave the orders. Meat was placed in a lined box and secreted in a hole nearby with generous cover of pinestraw. Valuables were hidden between the box-lined hedges and under the high back porch, the children's playhouse, then the chickens were turned in to leave tracks in the sand. The overseer went with two horses and a cow to the swamp. And then the yankees came.

Grandma was told to get out of the house with the children because the house was to be burned. Grandma was from Scotland, and she replied, "I am still a sovereign subject of Great Britain and you would have to answer to them." They didn't burn the house, but for mean-ness one soldier stuck a lighted candle under my Uncle Johnny's nose, he was just a little boy. Grandpa and Grandma were good to their servants, Grandma taught all the children to read and most of the servants stayed loyal. But some just went crazy and told of the hidden meat. The yankees found the meat and took it all, they also took everything out of Grandma's pantry, flour and sugar and all. Then they went out in the yard and poked their sabres in the ground, looking for the other valuables. On their tour of the house they slashed a large painting of Grandma's father hanging in the parlour. They cut places in the velvet drapes and slashed places on the Brussels carpet

While the yankees were chasing and killing the chickens and turkeys, Mama's nursemaid, dear old black Aunt Penny, went out and raided the yankee's collection of stolen things. The family loved Aunt Penny. She had looked after all the children, and she was so loyal. She always wore a big white apron and she came back with an apron full of things the yankees had taken from the pantry. It's a wonder they didn't catch her, but they were busy with the fowls. They shot all the chickens and turkeys and took them when they left. They took everything that had not been taken to the swamp. The only livestock saved were the two horses and the cow that the overseer had taken to the swamp. Later on a hen which had a nest in the swamp arrived with her little biddies in the rear. That furnished the family with chicken. The old hen was the only on the yankees didn't get. Besides that, all that was left was what Aunt Penny had gotten back from the Yanks.

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