Little is known about the life of Mr. Gregory, a Southern planter on Greenwood Plantation along the Combahee River in Prince William Parrish, Beaufort County, South Carolina. In his journal Gregory records cultivation of vegetables and 200 acres of cotton, as well as management of a sizable number of sheep and cattle. He notes the rapidly rising cost of staple goods as a result of the Civil War, and the deaths, illnesses, and unrest among the more than 100 men, women, and children enslaved on his plantation. He also reports that some of the slaves “have gone to the Yankey’s.” Mr. Gregory’s ruminations about wartime events and the fate of slavery were noted by U.S. naval commander George Henry Preble writing to Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren on December 22, 1864: “I forward a diary from 1858 to June 1864 by Mr. Gregory the proprietor of Greenwood,. . . . It contains many interesting incidents of the war, and shows the opinion of at least one Southern planter honestly expressed, is, that the result of the war however it ends, is the downfall of slavery.”
Stampp, Kenneth, ed. Records of the Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series C. Frederick: University Publications of America, 1986.
- "God alone can tell"November 22, 1861Mr. Gregory (?), Beaufort County, Prince William Parrish, South Carolina. Diary entry, November 22, 1861. Greenwood Plantation Records, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (033.00.00)