A Confederate Girl’s Diary

August 19th.

Yesterday, two Colonels, Shields and Breaux, both of whom distinguished themselves in the battle of Baton Rouge, dined here. Their personal appearance was by no means calculated to fill me with awe, or even to give one an idea of their rank; for their dress consisted of merely cottonade pants, flannel shirts, and extremely short jackets (which, however, is rapidly becoming the uniform of the Confederate States).

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Just three lines back, three soldiers came in to ask for molasses. I was alone downstairs, and the nervous trepidation with which I received the dirty, coarsely clad strangers, who, however, looked as though they might be gentlemen, has raised a laugh against me from the others who looked down from a place of safety. I don’t know what I did that was out of the way. I felt odd receiving them as though it was my home, and having to answer their questions about buying, by means of acting as telegraph between them and Mrs. Carter. I confess to that. But I know I talked reasonably about the other subjects. Playing hostess in a strange house! Of course, it was uncomfortable! and to add to my embarrassment, the handsomest one offered to pay for the milk he had just drunk! Fancy my feelings, as I hastened to assure him that General Carter never received money for such things, and from a soldier, besides, it was not to be thought of! He turned to the other, saying, “In Mississippi we don’t meet with such people! Miss, they don’t hesitate to charge four bits a canteen for milk. They take all they can. They are not like you Louisianians.” I was surprised to hear him say it of his own State, but told him we thought here we could not do enough for them.


A Confederate Girl’s Diary by Sarah Morgan Dawson

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