Harvey Bear (1862-1863)
Before the Civil War, Harvey Bear and his wife, Frances Bear, lived in Augusta County, Virginia. Bear farmed his own land near Churchville. Along with his slaves and family members, Bear cultivated his land, practicing mixed agriculture and raising livestock for sale and consumption. Harvey Bear died sometime during the war, leaving his wife Frances and their children. His son took over the management of the farm.
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Harvey Bear lived near Churchville in Augusta County during the war. In his diary from January 1862 to July 1863, Bear chronicled his transactions nearby in his community and surrounding towns and further away in Richmond, sometimes for cash and sometimes for exchange. Shorter entries reveal Bear’s involvement in agricultural organizations, religious activities, and local politics. Though Bear primarily described the work of a wealthy farmer and his laborers during the war, he also provided glimpses into the lives of his own family members and those of his friends and neighbors. Brief references to the war include the movement of troops, interactions with military officers, supplying the Confederate army, and the actions of the local militia.