A Diary From Dixie

April 21st.—Have been ill. One day I dined at Mrs. Preston’s, pâté de foie gras and partridge prepared for me as I like them. I had been awfully depressed for days and could not sleep at night for anxiety, but I did not know that I was bodily ill. Mrs. Preston came home with me. She said emphatically: “Molly, if your mistress is worse in the night send for me instantly.” I thought it very odd. I could not breathe if I attempted to lie down, and very soon I lost my voice. Molly raced out and sent Lawrence for Doctor Trezevant. She said I had the croup. The doctor said, “congestion of the lungs.”

So here I am, stranded, laid by the heels. Battle after battle has occurred, disaster after disaster. Every morning’s paper is enough to kill a well woman and age a strong and hearty one.

To-day, the waters of this stagnant pool were wildly stirred. The President telegraphed for my husband to come on to Richmond, and offered him a place on his staff. I was a joyful woman. It was a way opened by Providence from this Slough of Despond, this Council whose counsel no one takes. I wrote to Mr. Davis, “With thanks, and begging your pardon, how I would like to go.” Mrs. Preston agrees with me, Mr. Chesnut ought to go. Through Mr. Chesnut the President might hear many things to the advantage of our State, etc.

Letter from Quinton Washington. That was the best tonic yet. He writes so cheerfully. We have fifty thousand men on the Peninsula and McClellan eighty thousand. We expect that much disparity of numbers. We can stand that.

A Diary From Dixie by Mary Boykin Miller Chesnut.

Comments on this entry are closed.