War Diary of a Union Woman in the South

Friday, Jan. 24, 1862. (On steamboat W., Mississippi River.)—With a changed name I open you once more, my journal. It was a sad time to wed, when one knew not how long the expected conscription would spare the bridegroom. The women-folk knew how to sympathize with a girl expected to prepare for her wedding in [...]

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Jan. 2, 1862.—I am glad enough to bid ‘61 goodbye. Most miserable year of my life! What ages of thought and experience have I not lived in it. Last Sunday I walked home from church with a young lady teacher in the public schools. The teachers have been paid recently in “shin-plasters.” I don’t understand [...]

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Sept. 25, 1861. (Home again from “The Pines.”)—When I opened the door of Mrs. F.’s room on my return, the rattle of two sewing-machines and a blaze of color met me. “Ah! G., you are just in time to help us; these are coats for Jeff Thompson’s men. All the cloth in the city is [...]

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July 22.—What a day! I feel like one who has been out in a high wind, and cannot get my breath. The news-boys are still shouting with their extras, “Battle of Bull’s Run! List of the killed! Battle of Manassas! List of the wounded!” Tender-hearted Mrs. F. was sobbing so she could not serve the [...]

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July 15, 1861.—The quiet of midsummer reigns, but ripples of excitement break around us as the papers tell of skirmishes and attacks here and there in Virginia. “Rich Mountain” and “Carrick’s Ford” were the last. “You see,” said Mrs. D. at breakfast to-day, “my prophecy is coming true that Virginia will be the seat of [...]

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May 10, 1861.—I am tired and ashamed of myself. Last week I attended a meeting of the lint society to hand in the small contribution of linen I had been able to gather. We scraped lint till it was dark. A paper was shown, entitled the “Volunteer’s Friend,” started by the girls of the high [...]

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April 25, 1861.—Yesterday I went with Cousin E. to have her picture taken. The picture-galleries are doing a thriving business. Many companies are ordered off to take possession of Fort Pickens (Florida), and all seem to be leaving sweethearts behind them. The crowd was in high spirits; they don’t dream that any destinies will be [...]

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April 20.—The last few days have glided away in a halo of beauty. I can’t remember such a lovely spring ever before. But nobody has time or will to enjoy it. War, war! is the one idea. The children play only with toy cannons and soldiers; the oldest inhabitant goes by every day with his [...]

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