War Diary of a Union Woman in the South

March 18, 1862.—There has been unusual gayety in this little village the past few days. The ladies from the surrounding plantations went to work to get up a festival to equip the new company. As Annie and myself are both brides recently from the city, requisition was made upon us for engravings, costumes, music, garlands, [...]

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March 11, 1862.—The serpent has entered our Eden. The rancor and excitement of New Orleans have invaded this place. If an incautious word betrays any want of sympathy with popular plans, one is “traitorous,” “ungrateful,” “crazy.” If one remains silent, and controlled, then one is “phlegmatic,” “cool-blooded,” “unpatriotic.” Cool-blooded! Heavens! if they only knew. It [...]

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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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