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Sarah Morgan Dawson 







It is perhaps due to a chance conversation, held some 
seventeen years ago in New York, that this Diary of 
the Civil War was saved from destruction. 

A Philadelphian had been talking with my mother 
of North and South, and had alluded to the engage- 
ment between the Essex and the Arkansas, on the 
Mississippi, as a brilliant victory for the Federal 
navy. My mother protested, at once; said that she 
and her sister Miriam, and several friends, had been 
witnesses, from the levee, to the fact that the Con- 
federates had fired and abandoned their own ship 
when the machinery broke down, after two shots 
had been exchanged : the Federals, cautiously turn- 
ing the point, had then captured but a smoking hulk. 
The Philadelphian gravely corrected her; history, it 
appeared, had consecrated, on the strength of an 
official report, the version more agreeable to North- 
ern pride. 

*'But I wrote a description of the whole, just a 
few hours after it occurred!" my mother insisted. 
** Early in the war I began to keep a diary, and 
continued until the very end ; I had to find some vent 
for my feelings, and I would not make an exhibition 
of myself by talking, as so many women did. I have 
written while resting to recover breath in the midst 
of a stampede; I have even written with shells 



bursting over the house in which I sat, ready to flee 
but waiting for my mother and sisters to finish their 

*'If that record still existed, it would be invalu- 
able," said the Philadelphian. '*We Northerners are 
sincerely anxious to know what Southern women 
did and thought at that time, but the difficulty is to 
find authentic contemporaneous evidence. All that 
I, for one, have seen, has been marred by improve- 
ment in the light of subsequent events." 

"You may read my evidence as it was written 
from March 1862 until April 1865," my mother 
declared impulsively. 

At our home in Charleston, on her return, she 
unstitched with trembling hands a linen-bound 
parcel always kept in her tall, cedar-lined wardrobe 
of curled walnut. On it was scratched in ink "To be 
burned unread after my death"; it contained, she 
had once told me, a record of no interest save to her 
who had written it and lacked the courage to re-read 
it; a narrative of days she had lived, of joys she had 
lost; of griefs accepted, of vain hopes cherished. 

From the linen, as the stitches were cut, fell five 
blank books of different sizes. Two, of convenient 
dimensions, might have been intended for diaries; 
the other three, somewhat unwieldy, were partly 
used ledgers from Judge P. H. Morgan's office. 
They were closely written in a clear, firm hand ; the 
ink, of poor quality, had faded in many places to a 
pale brown scarcely darker than the deep yellow to 


which time had burned the paper. The effort to 
read under such conditions, and the tears shed over 
the scenes evoked, might well have cost my mother 
her sight; but she toiled for many weeks, copying 
out the essential portions of the voluminous record 
for the benefit of the Northerner who really wished 
to know. 

Her transcription finished, she sent it to Phila- 
delphia. It was in due course returned, with cold 
regrets that the temptation to rearrange it had not 
been resisted. No Southerner at that time could 
possibly have had opinions so just or foresight so 
clear as those here attributed to a young girl. Ex- 
planation was not asked, nor justification allowed: 
the case, tried by one party alone, with evidence 
seen from one standpoint alone, had been judged 
without appeal. 

Keenly wounded and profoundly discouraged, my 
mother returned the diaries to their linen envelope, 
and never saw them again. But my curiosity had 
been roused by these incidents; in the night, 
thoughts of the records would haunt me, bringing 
ever the ante-bellum scent of the cedar-lined ward- 
robe. I pleaded for the preservation of the volumes, 
and succeeded at last when, beneath the injunction 
that they should be burned, my mother wrote a deed 
of gift to me with permission to make such use of 
them as I might think fitting. 

Reading those pages for myself, of late, as I 
transcribed them in my turn, I confess to having 



blamed the Philadelphian but lightly for his 

Here was a girl who, by her own admission, had 
known but ten months' schooling in her life, and had 
educated herself at home because of her yearning for 
knowledge; and yet she wrote in a style so pure, 
with a command of English so thorough, that rare 
are the pages where she had to stop for the alteration 
of so much as one word. The very haste of noting 
what had just occurred, before more should come, 
had disturbed the pure line of very few among these 
flowing sentences. There are certain uses of words 
to which the twentieth century purist will take ex- 
ception; but if he is familiar with Victorian liter- 
ature he will know that these points have been 
solved within the last few decades — and not all 
solved to the satisfaction of everyone, even now. 

But underlying this remarkable feat of style, are 
a fairness of treatment and a balance of judgment 
incredible at such a period and in an author so 
young. On such a day, we may note an entry de- 
nouncing the Federals before their arrival at Baton 
Rouge; another page, and we see that the Federal 
officers are courteous and considerate, we hear 
regrets that denunciations should have been dic- 
tated by prejudice. Does Farragut bombard a 
town occupied by women and children, or does 
Butler threaten to arm negroes against them? Be 
sure, then, that this Southern girl will not spare 
adjectives to condemn them! But do Southern 

• • 



women exaggerate in applying to all Federals the 
opprobrium deserved by some? Then those women 
will be criticized for forgetting the reserve imposed 
upon ladies. This girl knew then what history has 
since established, and what enlightened men and 
women on both sides of Mason and Dixon's line 
have since acknowledged: that in addition to the 
gentlemen in the Federal ranks who always be- 
haved as gentlemen should, there were others, both 
officers and privates, who had donned the Federal 
uniform because of the opportunity for rapine 
which offered, and who were as unworthy of the 
Stars and Stripes as they would have been of the 
Stars and Bars. 

I can understand, therefore, that this record 
should meet with skepticism at the hands of theor- 
ists committed to an opinion, or of skimmers who 
read guessing the end of a sentence before they 
reach the middle. But the originals exist to-day, 
and have been seen by^ others than myself; and I 
pledge myself here to the assertion that I have 
taken no liberties, have made no alterations, but 
have strictly adhered to my task of transcription, 
merely omitting here and there passages which deal 
with matters too personal to merit the interest of the 

Those who read seriously, and with unbiased 
mind, will need no external guarantees of authentic- 
ity, however; for the style is of that spontaneous 
quality which no imitation could attain, and which 

• • • 



attempted Improvement could only mar. The very 
construction of the whole — for it does appear as a 
whole — is influenced by the circumstances which 
made the life of that tragic period. 

The author begins with an airy appeal to Madame 
Idleness — in order to forget. Then, the war seemed 
a sacred duty, an heroic endeavor, an inevitable 
trial, according as Southerners chose to take it; but 
the prevailing opinion was that the solution would 
come in victory for Southern arms, whether by their 
own unaided might or with the support of English in- 
tervention. The seat of war was far removed, and but 
for the absence of dear ones at the front and anxi- 
ety about them, Southern women would have been 
little disturbed in their routine of household duties. 
But presently the roar of cannon draws near, actual 
danger is experienced in some cases, suffering and 
privation must be accepted in all. Thenceforth, the 
women are part of the war ; there may be interludes 
of plantation life momentarily secure from bullets 
and from oppression, yet the cloud is felt hanging 
ever lower and blacker. Gradually, the writer's gay 
spirit fails; an injury to her spine, for which ade- 
quate medical care cannot be found in the Confed- 
eracy, and the condition of her mother, all but 
starving at Clinton, drive these Southern women to 
the protection of a Union relative in New Orleans. 
The hated Eagle Oath must be taken, the beloved 
Confederacy must be renounced at least in words. 
Entries in the Diary become briefer and briefer, yet 



are sustained unto the bitter end, when the deaths 
of two brothers, and the crash of the Lost Cause, are 
told with the tragic reserve of a broken heart. 

I have alluded to passages omitted because too 
personal. That the clearness of the narrative may 
not suffer, I hope to be pardoned for explaining 
briefly, here, the position of Sarah Morgan's family 
at the outbreak of the Civil War. 

Her father, Judge Thomas Gibbes Morgan, had 
been Collector of the Port of New Orleans, and in 
1 86 1 was Judge of the District Court of the Parish 
of Baton Rouge. In complete sympathy with 
Southern rights, he disapproved of Secession as a 
movement fomented by hotheads on both sides, 
but he declared for it when his State so decided. 
He died at his home in Baton Rouge in November, 
1861, before the arrival of Farragut's fleet. 

Judge Thomas Gibbes Morgan's eldest son, 
Philip Hickey Morgan, was also a Judge, of the 
Second District Court of the Parish of Orleans. 
Judge P. H. Morgan (alluded to as ''Brother" and 
his wife as "Sister" throughout the Diary) disap- 
proved of Secession like his father, but did not stand 
by his State. He declared himself for the Union, and 
remained in New Orleans when the Federals took 
possession, but refused to bear arms against his 
brothers and friends. His position enabled him to 
render signal services to many Confederate prisoners 
suffering under Butler's rule. And it was a conversa- 



tion of his with President Hayes, when he told the 
full, unprejudiced truth about the Dual Govern- 
ment and the popular sentiment of Louisiana, which 
put an end to Reconstruction there by the Washing- 
ton Government's recognition of General Francis T. 
Nicholls, elected Governor by the people, instead of 
Packard, declared Governor by the Republican 
Returning Board of the State. Judge P. H. Morgan 
had proved his disinterestedness in his report to the 
President ; for the new Democratic regime meant his 
own resignation from the post of Associate Justice 
of the Supreme Court of Louisiana which he held 
under the Republicans. He applied then to himself a 
piece of advice which he later was to give a young 
relative mentioned in the pages of this Diary: 
** Always remember that it is best to be in accord 
with the sentiments of the vast majority of the 
people in your State. They are more apt to be right, 
on public questions of the day, than the individual 

If Judge Thomas Gibbes Morgan's eldest son 
stayed within the Union lines because he would not 
sanction Secession, his eldest daughter — Lavinia — 
was on the Federal side also, married to Colonel 
Richard Coulter Drum, then stationed in California, 
and destined to become, in days of peace, Adjutant- 
General under President Cleveland's first adminis- 
tration. Though spared the necessity of fighting 
against his wife's brothers. Colonel Drum was 
largely instrumental in checking the Secession move- 



ment in California which would probably have 
assured the success of the South. 

In the early days of Secession agitation, another 
son of Judge T. G. Morgan, Henry, had died in a 
duel over a futile quarrel which busybodies had 
envenomed. The three remaining sons had gone off 
to the war. Thomas Gibbes Morgan, Jr., married 
to Lydia, daughter of General A. G. Carter and a 
cousin of Mrs. Jefferson Davis, was Captain in the 
Seventh Louisiana Regiment, serving under Stone- 
wall Jackson; George Mather Morgan, unmarried, 
was a Captain in the First Louisiana, also with 
Jackson in Virginia. The youngest, James Morris 
Morgan, had resigned from Annapolis, where he was a 
cadet, and hurried back to enlist in the Confederate 

At the family home in Baton Rouge, only women 
and children remained. There was Judge Morgan's 
widow, Sarah Fowler Morgan; a married daughter, 
Eliza or ''Lilly," with her five children; and two 
unmarried daughters, Miriam and Sarah. ''Lilly's" 
husband, J. Charles La None, came and went; 
unable to abandon his large family without protector 
or resources, he had not joined the regular army, but 
took a part in battles near whatever place of refuge 
he had found for those dependent on him. We note, 
for instance, that he helped in the Confederate attack 
on Baton Rouge, together with General Carter, 
whose age had prevented him from taking regular 



A word more as to the author of this Diary, and 
I have finished. 

The war over, Sarah Morgan knitted together the 
threads of her torn life and faced her present, in 
preparation for whatever the future might hold. In 
South Carolina, under Reconstruction, she met a 
young Englishman, Captain Francis Warrington 
Dawson, who had left his home in London to fight 
for a cause where his chivalrous nature saw right 
threatened by might. In the Confederate navy 
under Commodore Pegram, in the Army of Northern 
Virginia under Longstreet, at the close of the war 
he was Chief Ordnance officer to General Fitzhugh 
Lee. But although the force of arms, of men, of 
money, of mechanical resources, of international 
support, had decided against the Confederacy, he 
refused to acknowledge permanent defeat for 
Southern ideals, and so cast his lot with those beside 
whom he had fought. His ambition was to help his 
adopted country in reconquering through jour- 
nalism and sound politics that which seemed lost 
through war. What he accomplished in South 
Carolina is a matter of public record to-day. The 
part played in this work by Sarah Morgan as his 
wife is known to all who approached them during 
their fifteen years of a married life across which no 
shadow ever fell. 

Sarah Morgan Dawson was destined to outlive 
not only her husband, but all save three of her eight 
brothers and sisters, and most of the relatives and 



friends mentioned in the pages which follow; was 
destined to endure deep affliction once more, and to 
renounce a second home dearer than that first whose 
wreck she recorded during the war. Yet never did 
her faith, her courage, her steadfastness fail her, 
never did the light of an almost childlike trust in 
God and in mankind fade from her clear blue eyes. 
The Sarah Morgan who, as a girl, could stifle her 
sobs as she forced herself to laugh or to sing, was the 
mother I knew in later years. 

I love most to remember her in the broad tree- 
shaded avenues of Versailles where, dreaming of a 
distant tragic past, she found ever new strength to 
meet the present. Death claimed her not far from 
there, in Paris, at a moment when her daughter in 
America, her son in Africa, were powerless to reach 
her. But souls like unto hers leave their mark in 
passing through the world; and, though in a foreign 
land, separated from all who had been dear to her, 
she received from two friends such devotion as few 
women deserve in life, and such as few other women 
are capable of giving. 

She had done more than live and love : — she had 
endured while endurance was demanded; and, 
released from the house of bondage, she had, without 
trace of bitterness in her heart, forgiven those who 
had caused her martyrdom. 

Warrington Dawson. 

Versailles, France, 
July, 1913. 

A Confederate Girl's Diary 


Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 
March 9th, 1862. 

Here I am, at your service, Madame Idleness, 
waiting for any suggestion it may please you to put 
in my weary brain, as a means to pass this dull, 
cloudy Sunday afternoon; for the great Pike clock 
over the way has this instant struck only half-past 
three ; and if a rain is added to the high wind that has 
been blowing ever since the month commenced, and 
prevents my going to Mrs. Bruno t's before dark, I 
fear I shall fall a victim to "the blues" for the first 
time in my life. Indeed it is dull. Miriam went to 
Linewood with Lydia yesterday, and I miss them 
beyond all expression. Miriam is so funny! She says 
she cannot live without me, and yet she can go away, 
and stay for months without missing me in the 
slightest degree. Extremely funny! And I — well, 
it is absurd to fancy myself alive without Miriam. 
She would rather not visit with me, and yet, be it 
for an hour or a month, I never halfway enjoy my- 
self without her, away from home. Miriam is my 
''Rock ahead" in life; I'll founder on her yet. It's 
a grand sight for people out of reach, who will not 
come in contact with the breakers, but it is quite 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

another thing to me, perpetually dancing on those 
sharp points in my little cockleshell that forms so 
ludicrous a contrast to the grand scene around. I am 
sure to founder! 

I hold that every family has at heart one genius, 
in some line, no matter what — except in our family, 
where each is a genius, in his own way. Hem ! And 
Miriam has a genius for the piano. Now I never 
could bear to compete with any one, knowing that 
it is the law of my being to be inferior to others, con- 
sequently to fail, and failure is so humiliating to me. 
So it is, that people may force me to abandon any 
pursuit by competing with me; for knowing that 
failure is inevitable, rather than fight against des- 
tiny I give up de bonne grdce. Originally, I was said 
to have a talent for the piano, as well as Miriam. 
Sister and Miss Isabella said I would make a better 
musician than she, having more patience and per- 
severance. However, I took hardly six months' les- 
sons to her ever so many years; heard how well she 
played, got disgusted with myself, and gave up the 
piano at fourteen, with spasmodic fits of playing 
every year or so. At sixteen, Harry gave me a guitar. 
Here was a new field where I would have no compet- 
itors. I knew no one who played on it; so I set to 
work, and taught myself to manage it, mother only 
teaching me how to tune it. But Miriam took a fancy 
to it, and I taught her all I knew; but as she gained, 
I lost my relish, and if she had not soon abandoned 
it, I would know nothing of it now. She does not 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

know half that I do about it; they tell me I play 
much better than she ; yet they let her play on it in 
company before me, and I cannot pretend to play 
after. Why is it? It is not vanity, or I would play, 
confident of excelling her. It is not jealousy, for I 
love to see her show her talents. It is not selfishness; 
I love her too much to be selfish to her. What is it 
then? "Simply lack of self-esteem" I would say if 
there was no phrenologist near to correct me, and 
point out that well-developed hump at the extreme 
southern and heavenward portion of my Morgan 
head. Self-esteem or not, Mr. Phrenologist, the 
result is, that Miriam is by far the best performer in 
Baton Rouge, and I would rank forty-third even in 
the delectable village of Jackson. 

And yet I must have some ear for music. To 
"know as many songs as Sarah " is a family proverb ; 
not very difficult songs, or very beautiful ones, to 
be sure, besides being very indifferently sung; but 
the tunes will run in my head, and it must take some 
ear to catch them. People say to me, "Of course you 
play?" to which I invariably respond, "Oh, no, but 
Miriam plays beautifully!" "You sing, I believe?" 
"Not at all — except for father" (that is what I 
used to say) — "and the children. But Miriam 
sings." "You are fond of dancing?" "Very; but I 
cannot dance as well as Miriam." "Of course, you 
are fond of society?" "No, indeed! Miriam is, and 
she goes to all the parties and returns all the visits 
for me." The consequence is, that if the person who 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

questions is a stranger, he goes off satisfied that 
*'that Miriam must be a great girl; but that little 
sister of hers — ! Well! a prig, to say the least!" 

So it is Miriam catches all my fish — and so it is, 
too, that it is not raining, and I 'm off. 

April 7th. 

Until that dreary 1861, I had no idea of sorrow or 
grief. . . . How I love to think of myself at that time ! 
Not as myself, but as some happy, careless child 
who danced through life, loving God's whole world 
too much to love any particular one, outside of her 
own family. She was more childish then — yet I like 
her for all her folly; I can say it now, for she is as 
dead as though she was lying underground. 

Now do not imagine that Sarah has become an 
aged lady in the fifteen months that have elapsed 
since, for it is no such thing; her heart does ache 
occasionally, but that is a secret between her and this 
little rosewood furnished room; and when she gets 
over it, there is no one more fond of making wheel- 
barrows of the children, or of catching Charlie or 
mother by the foot and making them play lame 
chicken. . . . Now all this done by a young lady 
who remembers eighteen months ago with so much 
regret that she has lost so much of her high spirits 
— might argue that her spirits were before tremen- 
dous; and yet they were not. That other Sarah was 
ladylike, I am sure, in her wildest moments, but 
there is something hurried and boisterous in this 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

one's tricks that reminds me of some one who is 
making a merit of being jolly under depressing cir- 
cumstances. No! that is not a nice Sarah now, to 
my taste. 

The commencement of '6i promised much pleas- 
ure for the rest of the year, and though Secession 
was talked about, I do not believe any one antici- 
pated the war that has been desolating our country 
ever since, with no prospect of terminating for some 
time to come. True the garrison was taken, but 
then several pleasant officers of the Louisiana army 
were stationed there, and made quite an agreeable 
addition to our small parties, and we did not think 
for a moment that trouble would grow out of it — • 
at least, we girls did not. Next Louisiana seceded, 
but still we did not trouble ourselves with gloomy 
anticipations, for many strangers visited the town, 
and our parties, rides, and walks grew gayer and 
more frequent. 

One little party — shall I ever forget it? — was 
on the 9th of March, I think; such an odd, funny 
little party ! Such queer things happened ! What a 

fool Mr. McG made of himself! Even more so 

than usual. But hush! It's not fair to laugh at a 
lady — under peculiar circumstances. And he tried 
so hard to make himself agreeable, poor fellow, that 
I ought to like him for being so obedient to my com- 
mands. "Say something new; something funny," I 
said, tired of a subject on which he had been expa- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

tiating all the evening ; for I had taken a long ride 
with him before sunset, he had escorted me to Mrs. 
Brunot's, and here he was still at my side, and his 
conversation did not interest me. To hear, with him, 
was to obey. ''Something funny? Well — " here he 
commenced telling something about somebody, the 
fun of which seemed to consist in the somebody's 
having ''knocked his shins ^' against something else. 
I only listened to the latter part; I was bored, and 
showed it. "Shins!" was I to laugh at such a story? 

April 1 2th. 

Day before yesterday, just about this time of 
evening, as I came home from the graveyard, Jimmy 
unexpectedly came in. Ever since the I2th of Feb- 
ruary he has been waiting on the Yankees* pleasure, 
in the Mississippi, at all places below Columbus, 
and having been under fire for thirteen days at 
Tiptonville, Island No. lo having surrendered 
Monday night; and Commodore Hollins thinking it 
high time to take possession of the ironclad ram at 
New Orleans, and give them a small party below the 
forts, he carried off his little aide from the McRae 
Tuesday morning, and left him here Thursday 
evening, to our infinite delight, for we felt as though 
we would never again see our dear little Jimmy. He 
has grown so tall, and stout, that it is really astonish- 
ing, considering the short time he has been away. . . . 
To our great distress, he jumped up from dinner, 
and declared he must go to the city on the very next 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

boat. Commodore Hollins would need him, he must 
be at his post, etc., and in twenty minutes he was 
off, the rascal, before we could believe he had been 
here at all. There is something in his eye that reminds 
me of Harry, and tells me that, like Hal, he will die 

And these days that are going by remind me of 
Hal, too. I am walking in our footsteps of last year. 
The eighth was the day we gave him a party, on 
his return home. I see him so distinctly standing 
near the pier table, talking to Mr. Sparks, whom 
he had met only that morning, and who, three 
weeks after, had Harry's blood upon his hands. He 
is a murderer now, without aim or object in life, as 
before ; with only one desire — to die — and death 
still flees from him, and he Dares not rid himself of 

All those dancing there that night have under- 
gone trial and affliction since. Father is dead, and 
Harry. Mr. Trezevant lies at Corinth with his skull 
fractured by a bullet; every young man there has 
been in at least one battle since, and every woman 
has cried over her son, brother, or sweetheart, going 
away to the wars, or lying sick and wounded. And 
yet we danced that night, and never thought of 
bloodshed! The week before Louisiana seceded, 
Jack Wheat stayed with us, and we all liked him so 
much, and he thought so much of us; — and last 
week — a week ago to-day — he was killed on the 
battle-field of Shiloh. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

April 1 6th. 
Among the many who visited us, in the beginning 
of 1861, there was Mr. Bradford. I took a dislike 
to him the first time I ever saw him, and, being 
accustomed to say just what I pleased to all the 
other gentlemen, tried it with him. It was at din- 
ner, and for a long while I had the advantage, and 
though father would sometimes look grave, Gibbes, 
and all at my end of the table, would scream with 
laughter. At last Mr. Bradford commenced to re- 
taliate, and my dislike changed into respect for a man 
who could make an excellent repartee with perfect 
good-breeding; and after dinner, when the others 
took their leave, and he asked permission to remain, 
— during his visit, which lasted until ten o'clock, he 
had gone over such a variety of subjects, conversing 
so well upon all, that Miriam and I were so inter- 
ested that we forgot to have the gas lit! 

April 17th. 

And another was silly little Mr. B r, my little 

golden calf. What a — don't call names! I owe him 
a grudge for "cold hands," and the other day, when 
I heard of his being wounded at Shiloh, I could not 

help laughing a little at Tom B r's being hurt. 

What was the use of throwing a nice, big cannon 
ball, that might have knocked a man down, away 
on that poor little fellow, when a pea from a popgun 
would have made the same impression? Not but 

what he is brave, but little Mr. B r is so soft. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Then there was that rattle-brain Mr. T 1 who, 

commencing one subject, never ceased speaking until 
he had touched on all. One evening he came in 
talking, and never paused even for a reply until he 
bowed himself out, talking still, when Mr. Bradford, 
who had been forced to silence as well as the rest, 
threw himself back with a sigh of relief and ex- 
claimed, ''This man talks like a woman ! " I thought 

it the best description of Mr. T t's conversation 

I had ever heard. It was all on the surface, no pre- 
tensions to anything except to put the greatest pos- 
sible number of words of no meaning in one sentence, 
while speaking of the most trivial thing. Night or 

day, Mr. T 1 never passed home without crying 

out to me, '' Ces jolts yeux bleusT^ and if the parlor 
were brightly lighted so that all from the street 
might see us, and be invisible to us themselves, I 
always nodded my head to the outer darkness and 
laughed, no matter who was present, though it 
sometimes created remark. You see, I knew the 

joke. Coming from a party escorted by Mr. B r, 

Miriam by Mr. T 1,^ we had to wait a long time 

before Rose opened the door, which interval I em- 
ployed in dancing up and down the gallery — 
followed by my cavalier — singing, — ;; 

" Mes jolis yeux bleus, 
Bleus comme les cieux, 
Mes jolis yeux bleus 
Ont ravi son ^me," etc.; 

* Note added at the time: "O propriety! Gibbes and Lydia were 
with us too," 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

which naive remark Mr. B r, not speaking 

French, lost entirely, and Mr. T 1 endorsed it 

with his approbation and belief in it, and ever after- 
wards called me " Ces jolis yeux bleus^ 

April 19th, 1862. 

Another date in Hal's short history! I see myself 
walking home with Mr. McG just after sun- 
down, meeting Miriam and Dr. Woods at the gate; 
only that was a Friday instead of a Saturday, as 
this. From the other side, Mr. Sparks comes up and 
joins us. We stand talking in the bright moonlight 
which makes Miriam look white and statue-like. I 
am holding roses in my hand, in return for which 
one little pansy has been begged from my garden, 
and is now figuring as a shirt-stud. I turn to speak 
to that man of whom I said to Dr. Woods, before I 
even knew his name, ** Who is this man who passes 
here so constantly? I feel that I shall hate him to 
my dying day." He told me his name was Sparks, 
a good, harmless fellow, etc. And afterwards, when 
I did know him, [Dr. Woods] would ask every time 
we met, "Well! do you hate Sparks yet?" I could 
not really hate any one in my heart, so I always 
answered, "He is a good-natured fool, but I will 
hate him yet." But even now I cannot: my only 
feeling is intense pity for the man who has dealt 
us so severe a blow; who made my dear father bow 
his gray head, and shed such bitter tears. 

The moon is rising still higher now, and people are 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

hurrying to the grand Meeting, where the state 
of the country is to be discussed, and the three young 
men bow and hurry off, too. Later, at eleven o'clock, 
Miriam and I are up at Lydia's waiting (until the 
boat comes) with Miss Comstock who is going away. 
As usual, I am teasing and romping by turns. 
Harry suddenly stands in the parlor door, looking 
very grave, and very quiet. He is holding father's 
stick in his hand, and says he has come to take us 
over home. I was laughing still, so I said, ''Wait,'* 
while I prepared for some last piece of folly, but he 
smiled for the first time, and throwing his arm 
around me, said, ''Come home, you rogue!" and 
laughing still, I followed him. 

He left us in the hall, saying he must go to Charlie's 
a moment, but to leave the door open for him. So 
we went up, and I ran in his room, and lighted his 
gas for him, as I did every night when we went up 
together. In a little while I heard him come in and 
go to his room. I knew nothing then; but next day, 
going into mother's room, I saw him standing before 
the glass door of her armoir, looking at a black coat 
he had on. Involuntarily I cried out, "Oh, don't, 
Hal!" "Don't what? Isn't it a nice coat?" he 
asked. "Yes; but it is buttoned up to the throat, 
and I don't like to see it. It looks — " here I went 
out as abruptly as I came in; that black coat so 
tightly buttoned troubled me. 

He came to our room after a while and said he 
was going ten miles out in the country for a few 


A Confederate Girl*s Diary 

days. I begged him to stay, and reproached him for 
going away so soon after he had come home. But 
he said he must, adding, " Perhaps I am tired of you, 
and want to see something new. I '11 be so glad to 
get back in a few days. ' ' Father said yes, he must go, 
so he went without any further explanation. 

Walking out to Mr. Davidson's that evening, 
Lydia and I sat down on a fallen rail beyond the 
Catholic graveyard, and there she told me what had 
happened. The night before, sitting on Dr. Woods's 
gallery, with six or eight others who had been sing- 
ing, Hal called on Mr. Henderson to sing. He com- 
plied by singing one that was not nice.^ Old Mr. 
Sparks got up to leave, and Hal said, "I hope we 
are not disturbing you?" No, he said he was tired 
and would go home. As soon as he was gone, his 
son, who I have since heard was under the influence 
of opium, — though Hal always maintained that he 
was not, — said it was a shame to disturb his poor 
old father. Hal answered, "You heard what he 
said. We did wo/ disturb him." '* You are a liar!" 
the other cried. That is a name that none of our 
family has either merited or borne with; and quick 
as thought Hal sprang to his feet and struck him 
across the face with the walking-stick he held. The 
blow sent the lower part across the balcony in the 
street, as the spring was loosened by it, while the 
upper part, to which was fastened the sword — for 
it was father's sword-cane — remained in his hand. 

1 Note by Mrs. Dawson in 1896: "Annie Laurie!" ; 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

I doubt that he ever before knew the cane could come 
apart. Certainly he did not perceive it, until the 
other whined piteously he was taking advantage 
over an unarmed man ; when, cursing him, he (Harry) 
threw it after the body of the cane, and said, '' Now 
we are equal." The other's answer was to draw a 
knife, ^ and was about to plunge it into Harry, who 
disdained to flinch, when Mr. Henderson threw 
himself on Mr. Sparks and dragged him off. 

It was a little while after that Harry came for us. 
The consequence of this was a challenge from Mr. 
Sparks in the morning, which was accepted by Harry's 
friends, who appointed Monday, at Green well, to 
meet. Lydia did not tell me that; she said she 
thought it had been settled peaceably, so I was not 
uneasy, and only wanted Harry to come back from 
Seth David's soon. The possibility of his fighting 
never occurred to me. 

Sunday evening I was on the front steps with 
Miriam and Dr. Woods, talking of Harry and wish- 
ing he would come. "You want Harry ! " the doctor 
repeated after me; ''you had better learn to live 
without him." "What an absurdity!" I said and 
wondered when he would come. Still later, Miriam, 
father, and I were in the parlor, when there was a 
tap on the window, just above his head, and I saw 
a hand, for an instant. Father hurried out, and we 
heard several voices; and then steps going away. 
Mother came down and asked who had been there, 

* Note by Mrs. Dawson: Bowie knife. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

but we only knew that, whoever it was, father had 
afterward gone with them. Mother went on: 
"There is something going on, which is to be kept 
from me. Every one seems to know it, and to make 
a secret of it.** I said nothing, for I had promised 
Lydia not to tell ; and even I did not know all. 

When father came back, Harry was with him. I 
saw by his nod, and ''How are you, girls," how he 
wished us to take it, so neither moved from our 
chairs, while he sat down on the sofa and asked what 
kind of a sermon we had had. And we talked of 
anything except what we were thinking of, until we 
went upstairs. 

Hal afterwards told me that he had been arrested 
up there, and father went with him to give bail ; and 
that the sheriff had gone out to Greenwell after Mr. 
Sparks. He told me all about it next morning, say- 
ing he was glad it was all over, but sorry for Mr. 
Sparks ; for he had a blow on his face which nothing 
would wash out. I said, *'Hal, if you had fought, 
much as I love you, I would rather he had killed 
you than that you should have killed him. I love 
you too much to be willing to see blood on your 
hands." First he laughed at me, then said, **If I 
had killed him, I never would have seen you again." 

We thought it was all over; so did he. But Baton 
Rouge was wild about it. Mr. Sparks was the bully 
of the town, having nothing else to do, and when- 
ever he got angry or drunk, would knock down any- 
body he chose. That same night, before Harry met 


A Confederate Girl*s Diary 

him, he had slapped one man, and had dragged 
another over the room by the hair ; but these coolly 
went home, and waited for a voluntary apology. So 
the mothers, sisters, and intimate friends of those 
who had patiently borne the blows, and being 
"woolled," vaunted the example of their heroes, 
and asked why Dr. Morgan had not acted as they 
had done, and waited for an apology? Then there 
was another faction who cried only blood could wash 
out that blow and make a gentleman of Mr. Sparks 
again, — as though he ever had been one! So knots 
assembled at street corners, and discussed it, until 
father said to us that Monday night, "These people 
are so excited, and are trying so hard to make this 
affair worse, that I would not be surprised if they 
shot each other down in the street," speaking of 
Harry and the other. 

Hal seemed to think of it no more, though, and 
Wednesday said he must go to the city and consult 
Brother as to where he should permanently estab- 
lish himself. I was vsorry ; yet glad that he would then 
get away from all this trouble. I don't know that 
I ever saw him in higher spirits than he was that 
day and evening, the 24th. Lilly and Charlie were 
here until late, and he laughed and talked so inces- 
santly that we called him crazy. We might have 
guessed by his extravagant spirits that he was 
trying to conceal something from us. . . . 

He went away before daybreak, and I never saw 
him again. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

April 26th, 1862. 

There is no word in the EngUsh language that can 
express the state in which we are, and have been, 
these last three days. Day before yesterday, news 
came early in the morning of three of the enemy's 
boats passing the Forts, and then the excitement 
began. It increased rapidly on hearing of the sink- 
ing of eight of our gunboats in the engagement, the 
capture of the Forts, and last night, of the burning 
of the wharves and cotton in the city while the 
Yankees were taking possession. To-day, the ex- 
citement has reached the point of delirium. I be- 
lieve I am one of the most self-possessed in my small 
circle; and yet I feel such a craving for news of 
Miriam, and mother, and Jimmy, who are in the 
city, that I suppose I am as wild as the rest. It is 
nonsense to tell me I am cool, with all these patri- 
otic and enthusiastic sentiments. Nothing can be 
positively ascertained, save that our gunboats are 
sunk, and theirs are coming up to the city. Every- 
thing else has been contradicted until we really 
do not know whether the city has been taken or 
not. We only know we had best be prepared for 
anything. So day before yesterday, Lilly and I 
sewed up our jewelry, which may be of use if we 
have to fly. I vow I will not move one step, unless 
carried away. Come what will, here I remain. 

We went this morning to see the cotton burning — 
a sight never before witnessed, and probably never 
again to be seen. Wagons, drays, — everything 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

that can be driven or rolled, — were loaded with 
the bales and taken a few squares back to burn on 
the commons. Negroes were running around, cut- 
ting them open, piling them up, and setting them 
afire. All were as busy as though their salvation 
depended on disappointing the Yankees. Later, 
Charlie sent for us to come to the river and see him 
fire a flatboat loaded with the precious material 
for which the Yankees are risking their bodies and 
souls. Up and down the levee, as far as we could see, 
negroes were rolling it down to the brink of the river 
where they would set them afire and push the bales 
in to float burning down the tide. Each sent up 
its wreath of smoke and looked like a tiny steamer 
puffing away. Only I doubt that from the source 
to the mouth of the river there are as many boats 
afloat on the Mississippi. The flatboat was piled 
with as many bales as it could hold without sinking. 
Most of them were cut open, while negroes staved 
in the heads of barrels of alcohol, whiskey, etc., and 
dashed bucketsful over the cotton. Others built up 
little chimneys of pine every few feet, lined with 
pine knots^and loose cotton, to burn more quickly. 
There, piled the length of the whole levee, or burn- 
ing in the river, lay the work of thousands of negroes 
for more than a year past. It had come from every 
side. Men stood by who owned the cotton that was 
burning or waiting to burn. They either helped, or 
looked on cheerfully. Charlie owned but sixteen 
bales — a matter of some fifteen hundred dollars ; 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

but he was the head man of the whole affair, and 
burned his own, as well as the property of others. 
A single barrel of whiskey that was thrown on the 
cotton, cost the man who gave it one hundred and 
twenty-five dollars. (It shows what a nation in ear- 
nest is capable of doing.) Only two men got on the 
flatboat with Charlie when it was ready. It was 
towed to the middle of the river, set afire in every 
place, and then they jumped into a little skiff 
fastened in front, and rowed to land. The cotton 
floated down the Mississippi one sheet of living 
flame, even in the sunlight. It would have been 
grand at night. But then we will have fun watching 
it this evening anyway ; for they cannot get through 
to-day, though no time is to be lost. Hundreds of 
bales remained untouched. An incredible amount of 
property has been destroyed to-day ; but no one be- 
grudges it. Every grog-shop has been emptied, and 
gutters and pavements are floating with liquors of 
all kinds. So that if the Yankees are fond of strong 
drink, they will fare ill. 

Yesterday, Mr. Hutchinson and a Dr. Moffat 
called to ask for me, with a message about Jimmy. 
I was absent, but they saw Lilly. Jimmy, they said, 
was safe. Though sick in bed, he had sprung up and 
had rushed to the wharf at the first tap of the alarm 
bell in New Orleans. But as nothing could be done, 
he would probably be with us to-day, bringing 
mother and Miriam. I have neither heard nor seen 
more. The McRae, they said, went to the bottom 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

with the others. They did not know whether any 
one aboard had escaped. God be praised that Jimmy 
was not on her then ! The new boat to which he was 
appointed is not yet finished. So he is saved! I am 
distressed about Captain Huger, and could not re- 
frain from crying, he was so good to Jimmy. But 
I remembered Miss Cammack might think it rather 
tender and obtrusive, so I dried my eyes and began to 
hope he had escaped. Oh! how glad I should be to 
know he has suffered no harm. Mr. Hutchinson was 
on his way above, going to join others where the 
final battle is to be fought on the Mississippi. He 
had not even time to sit down ; so I was doubly grate- 
ful to him for his kindness. I wish I could have 
thanked him for being so considerate of me in my 
distress now. In her agitation, Lilly gave him a 
letter I had been writing to George when I was 
called away ; and begged him to address it and mail 
it at Vicksburg, or somewhere ; for no mail will leave 
here for Norfolk for a long while to come. The odd 
part is, that he does not know George. But he said 
he would gladly take charge of it and remember the 
address, which Lilly told him was Richmond. Well! 
if the Yankees get it they will take it for an insane 
scrawl. I wanted to calm his anxiety about us, 
though I was so wildly excited that I could only 
say, ' ' Don't mind us ! We are safe. But fight, George ! 
Fight for us!" The repetition was ludicrous. I 
meant so much, too! I only wanted him to under- 
stand he could best defend us there. Ah ! Mr. Yan- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

kee! if you had but your brothers in this world, and 
their lives hanging by a thread, you too might 
write wild letters ! And if you want to know what an 
excited girl can do, just call and let me show you 
the use of a small seven-shooter and a large carving- 
knife which vibrate between my belt and my pocket, 

always ready for emergencies. 

April 27th. 

What a day! Last night came a dispatch that 
New Orleans was under British protection, and could 
not be bombarded ; consequently, the enemy's gun- 
boats would probably be here this morning, such few 
as had succeeded in passing the Forts; from nine to 
fifteen, it was said. And the Forts, they said, had 
not surrendered. I went to church; but I grew very 
anxious before it was over, feeling that I was needed 
at home. When I returned, I found Lilly wild with 
excitement, picking up hastily whatever came to 
hand, preparing for instant flight, she knew not 
where. The Yankees were in sight ; the town was to 
be burned; we were to run to the woods, etc. If the 
house had to be burned, I had to make up my mind 
to run, too. So my treasure-bag tied around my waist 
as a bustle, a sack with a few necessary articles hang- 
ing on my arm, some few quite unnecessary ones, too, 
as I had not the heart to leave the old and new prayer 
books father had given me, and Miriam's, too; — 
pistol and carving-knife ready, I stood awaiting the 
exodus. I heaped on the bed the treasures I wanted 
to burn, matches lying ready to fire the whole at the 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

last minute. I may here say that, when all was over, 
I found I had omitted many things from the holo- 
caust. This very diary was not included. It would 
have afforded vast amusement to the Yankees. 
There may yet be occasion to burn them, and the 
house also. People fortunately changed their minds 
about the auto-da-fe just then ; and the Yankees have 
not yet arrived, at sundown. So, when the excite- 
ment calmed down, poor Lilly tumbled in bed in a 
high fever in consequence of terror and exertion. 

[A page torn out] 

I was right in that prophecy. For this was not the 
Will Pinckney I saw last. So woebegone ! so subdued, 
careworn, and sad ! No trace of his once merry self. 
He is good-looking, which he never was before. But 
I would rather never have seen him than have found 
him so changed. I was talking to a ghost. His was a 
sad story. He had held one bank of the river until 
forced to retreat with his men, as their cartridges 
were exhausted, and General Lovell omitted sending 
more. They had to pass through swamps, wading 
seven and a half miles, up to their waists in water. 
He gained the edge of the swamp, saw they were over 
the worst, and fell senseless. Two of his men brought 
him milk, and '^ woke him up," he said. His men fell 
from exhaustion, were lost, and died in the swamp; 
so that out of five hundred, but one hundred escaped. 
This he told quietly and sadly, looking so heart- 
broken that it was piteous to see such pain. He 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

showed me his feet, with thick clumsy shoes which an 
old negro had pulled off to give him ; for his were lost 
in the swamp, and he came out bare-footed. They 
reached the Lafourche River, I believe, seized a boat, 
and arrived here last night. His wife and child were 
aboard. Heaven knows how they got there! The 
men he sent on to Port Hudson, while he stopped 
here. I wanted to bring his wife to stay with us; but 
he said she could not bear to be seen, as she had run 
off just as she had happened to be at that moment. 
In half an hour he would be off to take her to his old 
home in a carriage. There he would rejoin his men, 
on the railroad, and march from Clinton to the 
Jackson road, and so on to Corinth. A long journey 
for men so disheartened! But they will conquer in 
the end. Beauregard's army will increase rapidly at 
this rate. The whole country is aroused, and every 
man who owns a gun, and many who do not, are on 
the road to Corinth. We will conquer yet. 

May 5th. 

Vile old Yankee boats, four in number, passed up 
this morning without stopping. After all our excite- 
ment, this ''silent contempt" annihilated me! What 
in the world do they mean? The river was covered 
with burning cotton; perhaps they want to see 

where it came from. 

May 9th. 

Our lawful (?) owners have at last arrived. About 
sunset, day before yesterday, the Iroquois anchored 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

here, and a graceful young Federal stepped ashore, 
carrying a Yankee flag over his shoulder, and asked 
the way to the Mayor's office. I like the style! If 
we girls of Baton Rouge had been at the landing, 
instead of the men, that Yankee would never have 
insulted us by flying his flag in our faces! We would 
have opposed his landing except under a flag of 
truce ; but the men let him alone, and he even found 
a poor Dutchman willing to show him the road ! 

He did not accomplish much; said a formal de- 
mand would be made next day, and asked if it was 
safe for the men to come ashore and buy a few neces- 
saries, when he was assured the air of Baton Rouge 
was very unhealthy for Yankee soldiers at night. 
He promised very magnanimously not to shell us 
out if we did not molest him; but I notice none of 
them dare set their feet on terra firman except the offi- 
cer who has now called three times on the Mayor, 
and who is said to tremble visibly as he walks the 

Last evening came the demand : the town must be 
surrendered immediately; the Federal flag Must be 
raised; they would grant us the same terms they 
granted New Orleans. Jolly terms those were! The 
answer was worthy of a Southerner. It was, "The 
town was defenseless; if we had cannon, there were 
not men enough to resist; but if forty vessels lay at 
the landing, — it was intimated we were in their 
power, and more ships coming up, — we would not 
surrender; if they wanted, they might come and 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Take us ; if they wished the Federal flag hoisted over 
the Arsenal, they might put it up for themselves, the 
town, had no control over Government property/' 
Glorious ! What a pity they did not shell the town ! 
But they are taking us at our word, and this morning 
they are landing at the Garrison. 

"All devices, signs, and flags of the Confederacy 
shall be suppressed." So says Picayune Butler. 
Good. I devote all my red, white, and blue silk to the 
manufacture of Confederate flags. As soon as one is 
confiscated, I make another, until my ribbon is ex- 
hausted, when I will sport a duster emblazoned in 
high colors, "Hurra! for the Bonny blue flag!" 
Henceforth, I wear one pinned to my bosom — not 
a duster, but a little flag ; the man who says take it 
off will have to pull it off for himself ; the man who 
dares attempt it — well ! a pistol in my pocket fills 
up the gap. I am capable, too. 

This is a dreadful war, to make even the hearts of 
women so bitter! I hardly know myself these last 
few weeks. I, who have such a horror of bloodshed, 
consider even killing in self-defense murder, who 
cannot wish them the slightest evil, whose only 
prayer is to have them sent back in peace to their 
own country, — / talk of killing them ! For what 
else do I wear a pistol and carving-knife? I am afraid 
I will try them on the first one who says an insolent 
word to me. Yes, and repent for it ever after in sack- 
cloth and ashes. 0! \il was only a man! Then I 
could don the breeches, and slay them with a will ! 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

If some few Southern women were in the ranks, they 

could set the men an example they would not blush 

to follow. Pshaw ! there are no women here ! We are 

all men ! 

May loth. 

Last night about one o'clock I was wakened and 
told that mother and Miriam had come. Oh, how 
glad I was! I tumbled out of bed half asleep and 
hugged Miriam in a dream, but waked up when I got 
to mother. They came up under a flag of truce, on 
a boat going up for provisions, which, by the way, 
was brought to by half a dozen Yankee ships in suc- 
cession, with a threat to send a broadside into her 
if she did not stop — the wretches knew it must be 
under a flag of truce ; no boats leave, except by special 
order to procure provisions. 

What tales they had to tell! They were on the 
wharf, and saw the ships sail up the river, saw the 
broadside fired into Will Pinckney's regiment, the 
boats we fired, our gunboats, floating down to meet 
them all wrapped in flames; twenty thousand bales 
of cotton blazing in a single pile ; molasses and sugar 
thrown over everything. They stood there opposite 
to where one of the ships landed, expecting a broad- 
side, and resolute not to be shot in the back. I wish 
I had been there ! And Captain Huger is not dead ! 
They had hopes of his life for the first time day be- 
fore yesterday. Miriam saw the ball that had just 
been extracted. He will probably be lame for the 
rest of his life. It will be a glory to him. For even 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

the Federal officers say that never did they see so 
gallant a little ship, or one that fought so desperately 
as the McRae. Men and officers fought like devils. 
Think of all those great leviathans after the poor 
little * ' Widow Mickey ' ' ! One came tearing down on 
her sideways, while the Brooklyn fired on her from 
the other side, when brave Captain Warley put the 
nose of the Manassas under the first, and tilted her 
over so that the whole broadside passed over, in- 
stead of through, the McRae, who spit back its poor 
little fire at both. And after all was lost, she carried 
the wounded and the prisoners to New Orleans, and 
was scuttled by her own men in port. Glorious 
Captain Huger! And think of his sending word to 
Jimmy, suffering as he was, that "his little brass 
cannon was game to the last." Oh! I hope he will 
recover. Brave, dare-devil Captain Warley is pris- 
oner, and on the way to Fort Warren, that home 
of all brave, patriotic men. We'll have him out. 
And my poor little Jimmy! If I have not spoken of 
him, it is not because I have lost sight of him for a 
moment. The day the McRae went down, he arose 
from his bed, ill as he was, and determined to rejoin 
her, as his own boat, the Mississippi, was not ready. 
When he reached the St. Charles, he fell so very ill 
that he had to be carried back to Brother's. Only 
his desperate illness saved him from being among the 
killed or wounded on that gallant little ship. A few 
days after, he learned the fate of the ship, and was 
told that Captain Huger was dead. No wonder he 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

should cry so bitterly! For Captain Huger was as 
tender and as kind to him as his own dear father. 
God bless him for it ! The enemy's ships were sailing 
up; so he threw a few articles in a carpet-bag and 
started off for Richmond, Corinth, anywhere, to 
fight. Sick, weak, hardly able to stand, he went off, 
two weeks ago yesterday. We know not where, and 
we have never heard from him since. Whether he 
succumbed to that jaundice and the rest, and lies 
dead or dying on the road, God only knows. We can 
only wait and pray God to send dear little Jimmy 
home in safety. 

And this is war!* Heaven save me from like 
scenes and experiences again. I was wild with ex- 
citement last night when Miriam described how the 
soldiers, marching to the depot, waved their hats to 
the crowds of women and children, shouting, **God 
bless you, ladies! We will fight for you!" and they, 
waving their handkerchiefs, sobbed with one voice, 
**God bless you, Soldiers! Fight for us!" 

We, too, have been having our fun. Early in the 
evening, four more gunboats sailed up here. We saw 
them from the corner, three squares off, crowded with 
men even up in the riggings. The American flag was 
flying from every peak. It was received in profound 
silence, by the hundreds gathered on the banks. I 
could hardly refrain from a groan. Much as I once 
loved that flag, I hate it now ! I came back and made 
myself a Confederate flag about five inches long, 
slipped the staff in my belt, pinned the flag to my 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

shoulder, and walked downtown, to the consterna- 
tion of women and children, who expected something 
awful to follow. An old negro cried, "My young 
missus got her flag flyin', anyhow!" Nettie made 
one and hid it in the folds of her dress. But we were 
the only two who ventured. We went to the State 
House terrace, and took a good look at the Brooklyn 
which was crowded with people who took a good 
look at us, likewise. The picket stationed at the 
Garrison took alarm at half a dozen men on horse- 
back and ran, saying that the citizens were attack- 
ing. The kind officers aboard the ship sent us word 
that if they were molested, the town would be 
shelled. Let them! Butchers! Does it take thirty 
thousand men and millions of dollars to murder 
defenseless women and children ? O the great nation ! 
Bravo I 

May nth. 

I — I am disgusted with myself. No unusual 
thing, but I am peculiarly disgusted this time. Last 
evening, I went to Mrs. Brunot's, without an idea 
of going beyond, with my flag flying again. They 
were all going to the State House, so I went with 
them; to my great distress, some fifteen or twenty 
Federal officers were standing on the first terrace, 
stared at like wild beasts by the curious crowd. I had 
not expected to meet them, and felt a painful con- 
viction that I was unnecessarily attracting attention, 
by an unladylike display of defiance, from the crowd 
gathered there. But what was I to do? I felt humili- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

ated, conspicuous, everything that is painful and 
disagreeable ; but — strike my colors in the face of 
the enemy? Never! Nettie and Sophie had them, 
too, but that was no consolation for the shame I 
suffered by such a display so totally distasteful to 
me. How I wished myself away, and chafed at my 
folly, and hated myself for being there, and every 
one for seeing me. I hope it will be a lesson to me 
always to remember a lady can gain nothing by 
such display. 

I was not ashamed of the flag of my country, — 
I proved that by never attempting to remove it in 
spite of my mortification, — but I was ashamed of 
my position ; for these are evidently gentlemen, not 
the Billy Wilson's crew we were threatened with. 
Fine, noble-looking men they were, showing refine- 
ment and gentlemanly bearing in every motion. One 
cannot help but admire such foes! They set us an 
example worthy of our imitation, and one we would 
be benefited by following. They come as visitors 
without either pretensions to superiority, or the in- 
solence of conquerors; they walk quietly their way, 
offering no annoyance to the citizens, though they 
themselves are stared at most unmercifully, and pur- 
sued by crowds of ragged little boys, while even 
men gape at them with open mouths. They prove 
themselves gentlemen, while many of our citizens 
have proved themselves boors, and I admire them 
for their conduct. With a conviction that I had al- 
lowed myself to be influenced by bigoted, narrow- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

minded people, in believing them to be unworthy of 
respect or regard, I came home wonderfully changed 
in all my newly acquired sentiments, resolved never 
more to wound their feelings, who were so careful 
of ours, by such unnecessary display. And I hung 
my flag on the parlor mantel, there to wave, if it 
will, in the shades of private life ; but to make a show, 
make me conspicuous and ill at ease, as I was yes- 
terday, — never again ! 

There was a dozen officers in church this morning, 
and the psalms for the nth day seemed so singularly 
appropriate to the feelings of the people, that I felt 
uncomfortable for them. They answered with us, 

May 14th. 

I am beginning to believe that we are even of more 
importance in Baton Rouge than we thought we 
were. It is laughable to hear the things a certain 
set of people, who know they can't visit us, say 
about the whole family. . . . When father was alive, 
they dared not talk about us aloud, beyond calling 
us the "Proud Morgans" and the "Aristocracy of 
Baton Rouge" . . . But now father is gone, the 
people imagine we are public property, to be criti- 
cized, vilified, and abused to their hearts' con- 
tent. . . . 

And now, because they find absurdities don't suc- 
ceed, they try improbabilities. So yesterday the 
town was in a ferment because it was reported the 
Federal officers had called on the Miss Morgans, and 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

all the gentlemen were anxious to hear how they had 
been received. One had the grace to say, **If they 
did, they received the best lesson there that they 
could get in town ; those young ladies would meet 
them with the true Southern spirit." The rest did not 
know; they would like to find out. 

I suppose the story originated from the fact that 
we were unwilling to blackguard — yes, that is the 
word — the Federal ofificers here, and would not 
agree with many of our friends in saying they were 
liars, thieves, murderers, scoundrels, the scum of 
the earth, etc. Such epithets are unworthy of 
ladies, I say, and do harm, rather than advance our 
cause. Let them be what they will, it shall not make 
me less the lady; I say it is unworthy of anything 
except low newspaper war, such abuse, and I will 
not join in. 

I have a brother-in-law in the Federal army whom 
I love and respect as much as any one in the world, 
and shall not readily agree that his being a North- 
erner would give him an irresistible desire to pick 
my pockets, and take from him all power of telling 
the truth. No! There are few men I admire more 
than Major Drum, and I honor him for his inde- 
pendence in doing what he believes right. Let us 
have liberty of speech and action in our land, I say, 
but not gross abuse and calumny. Shall I acknowl- 
edge that the people we so recently called our 
brothers are unworthy of consideration, and are liars, 
cowards, dogs? Not I! If they conquer us, I 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

acknowledge them as a superior race ; I will not say 
that we were conquered by cowards, for where would 
that place us? It will take a brave people to gain us, 
and that the Northerners undoubtedly are. I would 
scorn to have an inferior foe ; I fight only my equals. 
These women may acknowledge that cowards have 
won battles in which their brothers were engaged, 
but I, I will ever say mine fought against brave men, 
and won the day. Which is most honorable? 

I was never a Secessionist, for I quietly adopted 
father's views on political subjects without meddling 
with them. But even father went over with his 
State, and when so many outrages were committed 
by the fanatical leaders of the North, though he 
regretted the Union, said, "Fight to the death for 
our liberty." I say so, too. I want to fight until we 
win the cause so many have died for. I don't believe 
in Secession, but I do in Liberty. I want the South 
to conquer, dictate its own terms, and go back to 
the Union, for I believe that, apart, inevitable ruin 
awaits both. It is a rope of sand, this Confederacy, 
founded on the doctrine of Secession, and will not 
last many years — not five. The North Cannot sub- 
due us. We are too determined to be free. They have 
no right to confiscate our property to pay debts they 
themselves have incurred. Death as a nation, rather 
than Union on such terms. We will have our rights 
secured on so firm a basis that it can never be shaken. 
If by power of overwhelming numbers they conquer 
us, it will be a barren victory over a desolate land. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

We, the natives of this loved soil, will be beggars in 
a foreign land; we will not submit to despotism 
under the garb of Liberty. The North will find 
herself burdened with an unparalleled debt, with 
nothing to show for it except deserted towns, 
burning homes, a standing army which will govern 
with no small caprice, and an impoverished land. 
If that be treason, make the best of it ! 

May 17th. 

One of these days, when peace is restored and we 
are quietly settled in our allotted corners of this 
wide world without any particularly exciting event 
to alarm us ; and with the knowledge of what is now 
the future, and will then be the dead past; seeing 
that all has been for the best for us in the end ; that 
all has come right in spite of us, we will wonder how 
we could ever have been foolish enough to await 
each hour in such breathless anxiety. We will ask 
ourselves if it was really true that nightly, as we lay 
down to sleep, we did not dare plan for the morning, 
feeling that we might be homeless and beggars before 
the dawn. How unreal it will then seem ! We will say 
it was our wild imagination, perhaps. But how 
bitterly, horribly true it is now! 

Four days ago the Yankees left us, to attack 
Vicksburg, leaving their flag flying in the Garrison 
without a man to guard it, and with the understand- 
ing that the town would be held responsible for it. 
It was intended for a trap; and it succeeded. For 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

night before last, it was pulled down and torn to 

Now, unless Will will have the kindness to sink 
a dozen of their ships up there, — I hear he has com- 
mand of the lower batteries, — they will be back in 
a few days, and will execute their threat of shelling 
the town. If they do, what will become of us? All we 
expect in the way of earthly property is as yet mere 
paper, which will be so much trash if the South is 
ruined, as it consists of debts due father by many 
planters for professional services rendered, who, of 
course, will be ruined, too, so all money is gone. 
That is nothing, we will not be ashamed to earn our 
bread, so let it go. 

But this house is at least a shelter from the weather, 
all sentiment apart. And our servants, too; how 
could they manage without us? The Yankees, on 
the river, and a band of guerrillas in the woods, are 
equally anxious to precipitate a fight. Between the 
two fires, what chance for us? It would take only a 
little while to burn the city over our heads. They say 
the women and children must be removed, these 
guerrillas. Where, please? Charlie says we must go 
to Green well. And have this house pillaged? For 
Butler has decreed that no unoccupied house shall 
be respected. If we stay through the battle, if the 
Federals are victorious, we will suffer. For the offi- 
cers here were reported to have said, ''If the people 
here did not treat them decently, they would know 
what it was when Billy Wilson's crew arrived. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

They would give them a lesson!" That select crowd 
is now in New Orleans. Heaven help us when they 
reach here! It is in these small cities that the great- 
est outrages are perpetrated. What are we to do? 

A new proclamation from Butler has just come. It 
seems that the ladies have an ugly way of gathering 
their skirts when the Federals pass, to avoid any 
possible contact. Some even turn up their noses. Un- 
ladylike, to say the least. But it is, maybe, owing to 
the odor they have, which is said to be unbearable 
even at this early season of the year. Butler says, 
whereas the so-called ladies of New Orleans insult 
his men and officers, he gives one and all permission 
to insult any or all who so treat them, then and 
there, with the assurance that the women will not 
receive the slightest protection from the Govern- 
ment, and that the men will all be justified. I did not 
have time to read it, but repeat it as it was told to 
me by mother, who is in utter despair at the brutal- 
ity of the thing. These men our brothers? Not mine ! 
Let us hope for the honor of their nation that Butler 
is not counted among the gentlemen of the land. 
And so, if any man should fancy he cared to kiss me, 
he could do so under the pretext that I had pulled 
my dress from under his feet! That will justify 
them ! And if we decline their visits, they can insult 
us under the plea of a prior affront. Oh! Gibbes! 
George! Jimmy! never did we need your protection 
as sorely as now. And not to know even whether 
you are alive ! When Charlie joins the army, we will 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

be defenseless, indeed. Come to my bosom, O my 
discarded carving-knife, laid aside under the im- 
pression that these men were gentlemen. We will be 
close friends once more. And if you must have a 
sheath, perhaps I may find one for you in the heart 
of the first man who attempts to Butlerize me. I 
never dreamed of kissing any man save my father and 
brothers. And why any one should care to kiss any 
one else, I fail to understand. And I do not propose 
to learn to make exceptions. 

Still no word from the boys. We hear that Nor- 
folk has been evacuated ; but no details. George was 
there. Gibbes is wherever Johnston is, presumably 
on the Rappahannock; but it is more than six weeks 
since we have heard from either of them, and all 

communication is cut off. 

May 2 1 St. 

I have had such a search for shoes this week that 
I am disgusted with shopping. I am triumphant 
now, for after traversing the town in every direction 
and finding nothing, I finally discovered a pair of 
hoots just made for a little negro to go fishing with, 
and only an inch and a half too long for me, besides 
being unbendable; but I seized them with avidity, 
and the little negro would have been outbid if I had 
not soon after discovered a pair more seemly, if not 
more serviceable, which I took without further diffi- 
culty. Behold my tender feet cased in crocodile skin, 
patent-leather tipped, low-quarter boy's shoes, 
No. 2! "What a fall was there, my country," from 


A Confederate Girl^s Diary 

my pretty English glove-kid, to sabots made of some 
animal closely connected with the hippopotamus! 
A dernier ressort, vraiment I for my choice was that, 
or cooling my feet on the burning pavement au 
naturel; I who have such a terror of any one seeing 
my naked foot ! And this is thanks to war and block- 
ade! Not a decent shoe in the whole community! 
N'importe! ''Better days are coming, we'll all" — 
have shoes — after a while — perhaps ! Why did not 
Mark Tapley leave me a song calculated to keep the 
spirits up, under depressing circumstances? I need 
one very much, and have nothing more suggestive 
than the old Methodist hymn, "Better days are 
coming, we'll all go right," which I shout so con- 
stantly, as our prospects darken, that it begins to 
sound stale. 

May 27th. 
The cry is "Ho! for Greenwell!" Very probably 
this day week will see us there. I don't want to go. 
If we were at peace, and were to spend a few months 
of the warmest season out there, none would be more 
eager and delighted than I : but to leave our comfort- 
able home, and all it contains, for a rough pine cot- 
tage seventeen miles away even from this scanty 
civilization, is sad. It must be! We are hourly ex- 
pecting two regiments of Yankees to occupy the Gar- 
rison, and some fifteen hundred of our men are await- 
ing them a little way off, so the fight seems inevitable. 
And we must go, leaving what little has already been 
spared us to the tender mercies of Northern volun- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

teers, who, from the specimen of plundering they 
gave us two weeks ago, will hardly leave us e\en 
the shelter of our roof. O my dear Home! How can 
I help but cry at leaving you forever? For if this 
fight occurs, never again shall I pass the threshold 
of this house, where we have been so happy a,nd 
sad, the scene of joyous meetings and mournful 
partings, the place where we greeted each other with 
glad shouts after even so short a parting, the place 
where Harry and father kissed us good-bye and 
never came back again! 

I know what Lavinia has suffered this long year, 
by what we have suffered these last six weeks. Poor 
Lavinia, so far away ! How easier poverty, if it must 
come, would be if we could bear it together I I won- 
der if the real fate of the boys, if we ever hear, can be 
so dreadful as this suspense? Still no news of them. 
My poor little Jimmy! And think how desperate 
Gibbes and George will be when they read Butler's 
proclamation, and they not able to defend us ! Gibbes 
was in our late victory of Fredericksburg, I know. 

In other days, going to Green well was the signal 
for general noise and confusion. All the boys 
gathered their guns and fishing-tackle, and thousand 
and one amusements ; father sent out provisions ; we 
helped mother pack; Hal and I tumbled over the 
libraries to lay in a supply of reading material ; and 
all was bustle until the carriage drove to the door 
at daylight one morning, and swept us off. It is not 
so gay this time. I wandered around this morning 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

selecting books alone. We can only take what is 
necessary, the rest being left to the care of the 
Northern militia in general. I never knew before how 
many articles were perfectly "indispensable" to me. 
This or that little token or keepsake, piles of letters 
I hate to burn, many dresses, etc., I cannot take 
conveniently, lie around me, and I hardly know 
which to choose among them, yet half must be 
sacrificed ; I can only take one trunk. 

May 30th, Greenwell. 

After all our trials and tribulations, here we are 
at last, and no limbs lost ! How many weeks ago was 
it since I wrote here? It seems very long after all 
these events; let me try to recall them. 

Wednesday the 28th, — a day to be forever re- 
membered, — as luck would have it, we rose very 
early, and had breakfast sooner than usual, it would 
seem for the express design of becoming famished 
before dinner. I picked up some of my letters and 
papers and set them where I could find them when- 
ever we were ready to go to Greenwell, burning a pile 
of trash and leaving a quantity equally worthless, 
which were of no value even to myself except from 
association. I was packing up my traveling-desk 
with all Harry's little articles that were left to me, 
and other things, and I was saying to myself that 
my affairs were in such confusion that if obliged to 
run unexpectedly I would not know what to save, 
when I heardLilly 's voice downstairs, crying as she 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

ran in — she had been out shopping — "Mr. Castle 
has killed a Federal officer on a ship, and they are 
going to shell — " Bang! went a cannon at the word, 
and that was all our warning. 

Mother had just come in, and was lying down, 
but sprang to her feet and added her screams to the 
general confusion. Miriam, who had been searching 
the libraries, ran up to quiet her; Lilly gathered her 
children, crying hysterically all the time, and ran to 
the front door with them as they were ; Lucy saved 
the baby, naked as she took her from her bath, only 
throwing a quilt over her. I bethought me of my 
** running-bag" which I had used on a former case, 
and in a moment my few precious articles were se- 
cured under my hoops, and with a sunbonnet on, I 
stood ready for anything. 

The firing still continued ; they must have fired half 
a dozen times before we could coax mother off. What 
awful screams! I had hoped never to hear them 
again, after Harry died. Charlie had gone to Green- 
well before daybreak, to prepare the house, so we 
four women, with all those children and servants, 
were left to save ourselves. I did not forget my poor 
little Jimmy ; I caught up his cage and ran down. Just 
at this moment mother recovered enough to insist 
on saving father's papers — which was impossible, 
as she had not an idea of where the important ones 
were. I heard Miriam plead, argue, insist, command 
her to run; Lilly shriek, and cry she should go; the 
children screaming within ; women running by with- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

out, crying and moaning; but I could not join in. 
I was going I knew not where; it was impossible to 
take my bird, for even if I could carry him, he would 
starve. So I took him out of his cage, kissed his little 
yellow head, and tossed him up. He gave one feeble 
little chirp as if to ascertain where to go, and then 
for the first and last time I cried, laying my head 
against the gate-post, and with my eyes too dim to 
see him. Oh, how it hurt me to lose my little bird, 
one Jimmy had given me, too! 

But the next minute we were all off, in safety. A 
square from home, I discovered that boy shoes were 
not the most comfortable things to run in, so I ran 
back, in spite of cannonading, entreaties, etc., to get 
another pair. I got home, found an old pair that 
were by no means respectable, which I seized with- 
out hesitation ; and being perfectly at ease, thought it 
would be so nice to save at least Miriam's and my 
tooth-brushes, so slipped them in my corsets. These 
in, of course we must have a comb — that was added 
— then how could we stand the sun without starch 
to cool our faces? This included the powder-bag ; 
then I must save that beautiful lace collar; and my 
hair was tumbling down, so in went the tucking- 
comb and hair-pins with the rest; until, if there 
had been any one to speculate, they would have 
wondered a long while at the singular appearance 
of a girl who is considered as very slight, usually. 
By this time, Miriam, alarmed for me, returned 
to find me, though urged by Dr. Castleton not 


A Confederate Girl*s Diary 

to risk her life by attempting it, and we started off 

We had hardly gone a square when we decided 
to return a second time, and get at least a few articles 
for the children and ourselves, who had nothing 
except what we happened to have on when the shell- 
ing commenced. She picked up any little things and 
threw them to me, while I filled a pillow-case jerked 
from the bed, and placed my powder and brushes in 
it with the rest. Before we could leave, mother, 
alarmed for us both, came to find us, with Tiche.^ 
All this time they had been shelling, but there was 
quite a lull when she got there, and she commenced 
picking up father's papers, vowing all the time she 
would not leave. Every argument we could use was 
of no avail, and we were desperate as to what course 
to pursue, when the shelling recommenced in a few 
minutes. Then mother recommenced her screaming 
and was ready to fly anywhere ; and holding her box 
of papers, with a faint idea of saving something, she 
picked up two dirty underskirts and an old cloak. 

By dint of Miriam's vehement appeals, aided by 
a great deal of pulling, we got her down to the back 
door. We had given our pillow-case to Tiche, who 
added another bundle and all our silver to it, and had 
already departed. 

As we stood in the door, four or five shells sailed 
over our heads at the same time, seeming to make a 
perfect corkscrew of the air, — for it sounded as 

^ Mrs. Morgan's negro maid, Catiche. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

though it went in circles. Miriam cried, ''Never 
mind the door!" mother screamed anew, and I 
stayed behind to lock the door, with this new music 
in my ears. We reached the back gate, that was on 
the street, when another shell passed us, and Miriam 
jumped behind the fence for protection. We had 
only gone half a square when Dr. Castleton begged 
us to take another street, as they were firing up that 
one. We took his advice, but found our new street 
worse than the old, for the shells seemed to whistle 
their strange songs with redoubled vigor. The height 
of my ambition was now attained. I had heard 
Jimmy laugh about the singular sensation produced 
by the rifled balls spinning around one's head ; and 
here I heard the same peculiar sound, ran the same 
risk, and was equal to the rest of the boys, for was 
I not in the midst of flying shells, in the middle of a 
bombardment? I think I was rather proud of it. 

We were alone on the road, — all had run away 
before, — so I thought it was for our especial enter- 
tainment, this little affair. I cannot remember how 
long it lasted; I am positive that the clock struck 
ten before I left home, but I had been up so long, I 
know not what time it began, though I am told it 
was between eight and nine. We passed the grave- 
yard, we did not even stop, and about a mile and a 
half from home, when mother was perfectly ex- 
hausted with fatigue and unable to proceed farther, 
we met a gentleman in a buggy who kindly took 
charge of her and our bundles. We could have 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

walked miles beyond, then, for as soon as she was 
safe we felt as though a load had been removed from 
our shoulders; and after exhorting her not to be 
uneasy about us, and reminding her we had a pistol 
and a dagger, — I had secured a "for true" one the 
day before, fortunately, — she drove off, and we 
trudged on alone, the only people in sight on foot, 
though occasionally carriages and buggies would 
pass, going towards town. One party of gentlemen 
put their heads out and one said, ''There are Judge 
Morgan's daughters sitting by the road!" — but I 
observed he did not offer them the slightest assist- 
ance. However, others were very kind. One I never 
heard of had volunteered to go for us, and bring us 
to mother, when she was uneasy about our staying 
so long, when we went home to get clothes. We heard 
him ring and knock, but, thinking it must be next 
door, paid no attention, so he went back and mother 
came herself. 

We were two miles away when we sat down by the 
road to rest, and have a laugh. Here were two 
women married, and able to take care of themselves, 
flying for their lives and leaving two lorn girls alone 
on the road, to protect each other! To be sure, 
neither could help us, and one was not able to walk, 
and the other had helpless children to save; but it 
was so funny when we talked about it, and thought 
how sorry both would be when they regained their 
reason! While we were yet resting, we saw a cart 
coming, and, giving up all idea of our walking to 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Green well, called the people to stop. To our great 
delight, it proved to be a cart loaded with Mrs. 
Bruno t's affairs, driven by two of her negroes, who 
kindly took us up with them, on the top of their lug- 
gage; and we drove off in state, as much pleased at 
riding in that novel place as though we were accus- 
tomed to ride in wheelbarrows. Miriam was in a 
hollow between a flour barrel and a mattress ; and 
I at the end, astride, I am afraid, of a tremendous 
bundle, for my face was down the road and each 
foot resting very near the sides of the cart. I tried 
to make a better arrangement, though, after a while. 
These servants were good enough to lend us their 
umbrella, without which I am afraid we would have 
suffered severely, for the day was intensely warm. 

Three miles from town we began to overtake the 
fugitives. Hundreds of women and children were 
walking along, some bareheaded, and in all cos- 
tumes. Little girls of twelve and fourteen were 
wandering on alone. I called to one I knew, and 
asked where her mother was ; she did n*t know ; she 
would walk on until she found out. It seems her 
mother lost a nursing baby, too, which was not 
found until ten that night. White and black were all 
mixed together, and were as confidential as though 
related. All called to us and asked where we were 
going, and many we knew laughed at us for riding 
on a cart; but as they had walked only five miles, I 
imagined they would like even these poor accom- 
modations if they were in their reach. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

The negroes deserve the greatest praise for their 
conduct. Hundreds were walking with babies or 
bundles; ask them what they had saved, it was in- 
variably, ** My mistress's clothes, or silver, or baby." 
Ask what they had for themselves, it was, " Bless 
your heart, honey, I was glad to get away with mis- 
tress's things; I did n't think 'bout mine." 

It was a heart-rending scene. Women searching 
for their babies along the road, where they had been 
lost; others sitting in the dust crying and wringing 
their hands ; for by this time we had not an idea but 
what Baton Rouge was either in ashes, or being 
plundered, and we had saved nothing. I had one 
dress, Miriam two, but Tiche had them, and we had 
lost her before we left home. 

Presently we came on a guerrilla camp. Men and 
horses were resting on each side of the road, some sick, 
some moving about carrying water to the women 
and children, and all looking like a monster barbecue, 
for as far as the eye could see through the woods, was 
the same repetition of men and horses. They would 
ask for the news, and one, drunk with excitement or 
whiskey, informed us that it was our own fault if we 

had saved nothing, the people must have been 

fools not to have known trouble would come before 
long, and that it was the fault of the men, who were 
aware of it, that the women were thus forced to fly. 
In vain we pleaded that there was no warning, no 
means of foreseeing this; he cried, " You are ruined; 

so am I; and my brothers, too! And by there 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 


is nothing left but to die now, and I '11 die ! " ''Good ! 

I said. " But die fighting for us ! " He waved his hand, 

black with powder, and shouted, "That I will!'* 

after us. That was the only swearing guerrilla we 

met; the others seemed to have too much respect 

for us to talk loud. 

Lucy had met us before this; early in the action, 

Lilly had sent her back to get some baby-clothes, 

but a shell exploding within a few feet of her, she 

took alarm, and ran up another road, for three miles, 

when she cut across the plantations and regained 

the Greenwell route. It is fortunate that, without 

consultation, the thought of running here should 

have seized us all. 

May 31st. 

I was interrupted so frequently yesterday that I 
know not how I continued to write so much. First, 
I was sent for, to go to Mrs. Brunot, who had just 
heard of her son's death, and who was alone with 
Dena; and some hours after, I was sent for, to see 
Fanny, now Mrs. Trezevant, who had just come with 
her husband to bring us news of George. A Mrs. 
Montgomery, who saw him every day at Norfolk, said 
Jimmy was with him, and though very sick at first, 
was now in good health. The first news in all that 
long time! When the city was evacuated, George 
went with his regiment seven miles from Richmond, 
Jimmy to the city itself, as aide to Com. Hollins. 
This lady brought George's opal ring and diamond 
pin. Howell andMr. Badger, who had just joined the 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

guerrillas as independents, spent the day with me. 
We were all in such confusion that I felt ashamed : 
every one as dirty as possible ; I had on the same dress 
I had escaped in, which, though then perfectly clean, 
was now rather — dirty. But they knew what a time 
we had had. 

To return to my journal. 

Lucy met mother some long way ahead of us, 
whose conscience was already reproaching her for 
leaving us, and in answer to her "What has become 
of my poor girls?" ran down the road to find us, for 
Lucy thinks the world can't keep on moving with- 
out us. When she met us, she walked by the cart, 
and it was with difficulty we persuaded her to ride 
a mile; she said she felt "used" to walking now. 
About five miles from home, we overtook mother. 
The gentleman had been obliged to go for his wife, so 
Mary gave her her seat on the cart, and walked with 
Lucy three miles beyond, where we heard that Lilly 
and the children had arrived in a cart, early in the 
day. All the talk by the roadside was of burning 
homes, houses knocked to pieces by balls, famine, 
murder, desolation; so I comforted myself singing, 
" Better days are coming" and " I hope to die shout- 
ing, the Lord will provide"; while Lucy toiled 
through the sun and dust, and answered with a 
chorus of "I'm a-runnin', a-runnin' up to glo-ry!'* 

It was three o'clock when we reached Mr. David's 
and found Lilly. How warm and tired we were ! A 
hasty meal, which tasted like a feast after our 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

fatigue, gave us fresh strength, and Lilly and 
Miriam got in an old cart with the children to drive 
out here, leaving me with mother and Dellie to 
follow next day. About sunset, Charlie came flying 
down the road, on his way to town. I decided to go, 
and after an obstinate debate with mother, in which 
I am afraid I showed more determination than ami- 
ability, I wrung a reluctant consent from her, and, 
promising not to enter if it was being fired or plun- 
dered, drove off in triumph. It was a desperate enter- 
prise for a young girl, to enter a town full of soldiers 
on such an expedition at night ; but I knew Charlie 
could take care of me, and if he was killed I could 
take care of myself; so I went. 

It was long after nine when we got there, and my 
first act was to look around the deserted house. 
What a scene of confusion! armoirs spread open, 
with clothes tumbled in every direction, inside and 
out; ribbons, laces on floors; chairs overturned; my 
desk wide open covered with letters, trinkets, etc. ; 
bureau drawers half out, the bed filled with odds 
and ends of everything. I no longer recognized my 
little room.. On the bolster was a little box, at the 
sight of which I burst out laughing. Five minutes 
before the alarm, Miriam had been selecting those 
articles she meant to take to Green well, and, holding 
up her box, said, *'If we were forced to run for our 
lives without a moment's warning, I 'd risk my life 
to save this, rather than leave it ! " Yet here lay the 
box, and she was safe at Green well ! 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

It took me two hours to pack father's papers, then 
I packed Miriam's trunk, then some of mother's and 
mine, listening all the while for a cannon; for men 
were constantly tramping past the house, and only 
on condition our guerrillas did not disturb them had 
they promised not to recommence the shelling. 
Charlie went out to hear the news, and I packed 

It seems the only thing that saved the town was 
two gentlemen who rowed out to the ships, and in- 
formed the illustrious commander that there were no 
men there to be hurt, and he was only killing women 
and children. The answer was, *'He was sorry he 
had hurt them; he thought of course the town had 
been evacuated before the men were fools enough 
to fire on them, and had only shelled the principal 
streets to intimidate the people." These streets were 
the very ones crowded with flying women and child- 
ren, which they must have seen with their own eyes, 
for those lying parallel to the river led to the Garrison 
at one end and the crevasse at the other, which cut 
off all the lower roads, so that the streets he shelled 
were the only ones that the women could follow, un- 
less they wished to be drowned. As for the firing, four 
guerrillas were rash enough to fire on a yawl which 
was about to land without a flag of truce, killing 
one, wounding three, one of whom afterwards died. 

They were the only ones in town, there was not a 
cannon in our hands, even if a dozen men could be 
collected, and this cannonading was kept up in return 


A Confederate Girl^s Diary 

for half a dozen shots from as many rifles, without 
even a show of resistance after! So ended the mo- 
mentous shelHng of Baton Rouge, during which the 
vahant Farragut killed one whole woman, wounded 
three, struck some twenty houses several times 
apiece, and indirectly caused the death of two little 
children who were drowned in their flight, one poor 
little baby that was born in the woods, and several 
cases of the same kind, besides those who will yet die 
from the fatigue, as Mrs. W. D. Phillips who had not 
left her room since January, who was carried out in 
her nightgown, and is now supposed to be in a dying 
condition. The man who took mother told us he had 
taken a dying woman — in the act of expiring — in 
his buggy, from her bed, and had left her a little 
way off, where she had probably breathed her last a 
few moments after. There were many similar cases. 
Hurrah for the illustrious Farragut, the Woman 
Killer! ! 1 

It was three o'clock before I left off packing, and 
took refuge in a tub of cold water, from the dust and 
heat of the morning. What a luxury the water was ! 
and when I changed my underclothes I felt like a new 
being. To be sure I pulled off the skin of my heel 
entirely, where it had been blistered by the walk, 
dust, sun, etc., but that was a trifle, though still 
quite sore now. For three hours I dreamed of rifled 
shells and battles, and at half -past six I was up and 
at work again. Mother came soon after, and after 
hard work we got safely off at three, saving nothing 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

but our clothes and silver. All else is gone. It cost 
me a pang to leave my guitar, and Miriam's piano, 
but it seems there was no help for it, so I had to 

It was dark night when we reached here. A bright 
fire was blazing in front, but the house looked so 
desolate that I wanted to cry. Miriam cried when I 
told her her piano was left behind. Supper was a 
new sensation, after having been without anything 
except a glass of clabber (no saucers) and a piece of 
bread since half-past six. I laid down on the hard 
floor to rest my weary bones, thankful that I was so 
fortunate as to be able to lie down at all. In my 
dozing state, I heard the wagon come, and Miriam 
ordering a mattress to be put in the room for me. I 
could make out, ''Very well! you may take that one 
to Miss Eliza, ^ but the next one shall be brought to 
Miss Sarah!" Poor Miriam! She is always fighting 
my battles. She and the servants are always taking 
my part against the rest of the world. . . . She and 
Lucy made a bed and rolled me in it with no more 
questions, and left me with damp eyes at the thought 
of how good and tender every one is to me. Poor 
Lucy picked me a dish of blackberries to await my 
arrival, and I was just as grateful for it, though they 
were eaten by some one else before I came. 

Early yesterday morning, Miriam, Nettie, and 
Sophie, who did not then know of their brother's 
death, went to town in a cart, determined to save 

» Lilly. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

some things, Miriam to save her piano. As soon as 

they were halfway, news reached us that any one 

was allowed to enter, but none allowed to leave the 

town, and all vehicles confiscated as soon as they 

reached there. Alarmed for their safety, mother 

started off to find them, and we have heard of none of 

them since. What will happen next? I am not uneasy. 

They dare not harm them. It is glorious to shell a 

town full of women, but to kill four lone ones is not 

exciting enough. 

June 1st, Sunday. 

From the news brought by one or two persons who 
managed to reach here yesterday, I am more uneasy 
about mother and the girls. A gentleman tells me 
that no one is permitted to leave without a pass, 
and of these, only such as are separated from their 
families, who may have left before. All families are 
prohibited to leave, and furniture and other valu- 
ables also. Here is an agreeable arrangement! I 
saw the "pass," just such as we give our negroes, 
signed by a Wisconsin colonel. Think of being obliged 
to ask permission from some low plowman to go in or 
out of our own house! Cannon are planted as far 
out as Colonel Davidson's, six of them at our grave- 
yard, and one or more on all the other roads. If the 
guerrillas do not attempt their capture, I shall take 
it upon myself to suggest it to the very next one I 
see. Even if they cannot use them, it will frighten 
the Yankees, who are in a state of constant alarm 
about them. Their reason for keeping people in 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

town is that they hope they will not be attacked so 
long as our own friends remain ; thereby placing us 
above themselves in the scale of humanity, since 
they acknowledge we are not brute enough to kill 
women and children as they did not hesitate to do. 

Farragut pleads that he could not restrain his 
men, they were so enraged when the order was once 
given to fire, and says they would strike a few houses, 
though he ordered them to fire solely at horses, and 
the clouds of dust in the street, where guerrillas were 
supposed to be. The dust was by no means thick 
enough to conceal that these ''guerrillas" were 
women, carrying babies instead of guns, and the 
horses were drawing buggies in which many a sick 
woman was lying. 

A young lady who applied to the Yankee general 
for a pass to come out here, having doubtless spoken 
of the number of women here who had fled, and the 
position of the place, was advised to remain in town 
and write to the ladies to return immediately, and 
assure them that they would be respected and pro- 
tected, etc., but that it was madness to remain at 
Green well, for a terrific battle would be fought there 
in a few days, and they would be exposed to the 
greatest danger. The girl wrote the letter, but, Mr. 
Fox, we are not quite such fools as to return there 
to afford you the protection our petticoats would 
secure to you, thereby preventing you from receiv- 
ing condign punishment for the injuries and loss of 
property already inflicted upon us by you. No! we 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

remain here; and if you are not laid low before you 
pass the Comite Bridge, we can take to the woods 
again, and camp out, as many a poor woman is doing 
now, a few miles from town. Many citizens have 
been arrested, and after being confined a while, and 
closely questioned, have been released, if the in- 
formation is satisfactory. A negro man is informing 
on all cotton burners and violent Secessionists, etc. 

Sunday night. 

The girls have just got back, riding in a mule 
team, on top of baggage, but without either mother 
or any of our affairs. Our condition is perfectly des- 
perate. Miriam had an interview with General 
Williams, which was by no means satisfactory. He 
gave her a pass to leave, and bring us back, for he 
says there is no safety here for us ; he will restrain his 
men in town, and protect the women, but once out- 
side, he will answer neither for his men, nor the 
women and children. As soon as he gets horses 
enough, he passes this road, going to Camp Moore 
with his cavalry, and then we are in greater danger 
than ever. Any house shut up shall be occupied by 
soldiers. Five thousand are there now, five more ex- 
pected. What shall we do? Mother remained, send- 
ing Miriam for me, determined to keep us there, 
rather than sacrifice both our lives and property by 
remaining here. But then — two weeks from now 
the yellow fever will break out; mother has the 
greatest horror of it, and we have never had it ; dying 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

is not much in the present state of our affairs, but 
the survivor will suffer even more than we do now. If 
we stay, how shall we live? I have seventeen hun- 
dred dollars in Confederate notes now in my "run- 
ning-bag," and three or four in silver. The former 
will not be received there, the latter might last two 
days. If we save our house and furniture, it is at the 
price of starving. I am of opinion that we shpuld 
send for mother, and with what money we have, make 
our way somewhere in the interior, to some city 
where we can communicate with the boys, and be 
advised by them. This is not living. Home is lost 
beyond all hope of recovery; if we wait, what we 
have already saved will go, too; so we had better 
leave at once, with what clothing we have, which 
will certainly establish us on the footing of ladies, 
if we chance to fall among vulgar people who never 
look beyond. I fear the guerrillas will attack the 
town to-night; if they do, God help mother! 

General Williams offered Miriam an escort when 
he found she was without a protector, in the most 
fatherly way; he must be a good man. She thanked 
him, but said "she felt perfectly safe on that road." 
He bit his lip, understanding the allusion, and did not 
insist. She was to deliver a message from parties in 
town to the first guerrillas they met, concerning the 
safest roads, and presently six met them, and en- 
tered into conversation. She told them of the prof- 
fered escort, when one sprang forward crying, "Why 
did n't you accept. Miss? The next time, ask for 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

one, and if it is at all disagreeable to you, / am the 
very man to rid you of such an inconvenience ! I 'II 
see that you are not annoyed long." I am glad it was 
not sent ; she would have reproached herself with 
murder forever after. I wonder if the General would 

have risked it? 

Baton Rouge, June 3d. 

Well! Day before yesterday, I almost vowed I 
would not return, and last evening I reached here. 
Verily, consistency, thou art a jewel! I determined 
to get to town to lay both sides of the question be- 
fore mother ; saving home and property, by remain- 
ing, thereby cutting ourselves off forever from the 
boys and dying of yellow fever; or flying to Missis- 
sippi, losing all save our lives. So as Mrs. Brunot was 
panic-stricken and determined to die in town ra- 
ther than be starved at Green well, and was going in 
on the same wagon that came out the night before, 
I got up with her and Nettie, and left Greenwell at 
ten yesterday morning, bringing nothing except this 
old book, which I would rather not lose, as it has 
been an old and kind friend during these days of 
trouble. At first, I avoided all mention of political 
affairs, but now there is nothing else to be thought 
of; if it is not burnt for treason, I will like to look it 
over some day — if I live. I left Greenwell, without 
ever looking around it, beyond one walk to the 
hotel, so I may say I hardly know what it looks 
like. Miriam stayed, much against her will, I fear, 
to bring in our trunks, if I could send a wagon. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

A guerrilla picket stopped us before we had gone 
a mile, and seemed disposed to turn us back. We 
said we must pass; our all was at stake. They then 
entreated us not to enter, saying it was not safe. I 
asked if they meant to burn it; *' We will help try it,*' 
was the answer. I begged them to delay the experi- 
ment until we could get away. One waved his hat 
to me and said he would fight for me. Hope he 
will — at a distance. They asked if we had no pro- 
tectors; ''None," we said. ''Don't go, then"; and 
they all looked so sorry for us. We said we must; 
starvation, and another panic awaited us out there, 
our brothers were fighting, our fathers dead ; we had 
only our own judgment to rely on, and that told us 
home was the best place for us; if the town must 
burn, let us burn in our houses, rather than be mur- 
dered in the woods. They looked still more sorry, 
but still begged us not to remain. We would, though, 
and one young boy called out as we drove off, 
"What's the name of that young lady who refused 
the escort?" I told him, and they too expressed the 
greatest regret that she had not accepted. We met 
many on the road, nearly all of whom talked to us, 
and as they were most respectful in their manner 
(though they saw us in a mule team !), we gave them 
all the information we could, which was all news to 
them, though very little. Such a ride in the hot sun, 
perched up in the air ! One of the servants remarked, 
"Miss Sarah ain't ashamed to ride in a wagon ! " With 
truth I replied, "No, I was never so high before." 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Two miles from home we met the first Federal 
pickets, and then they grew more numerous, until 
we came on a large camp near our graveyard, filled 
with soldiers and cannon. From first to last none 
refrained from laughing at us; not aloud, but they 
would grin and be inwardly convulsed with laughter 
as we passed. One laughed so comically that I 
dropped my veil hastily for fear he would see me 
smile. I could not help it; if any one smiled at me 
while I was dying, I believe I would return it. We 
passed crowds, for it was now five o'clock, and all 
seemed to be promenading. There were several offi- 
cers standing at the corner, near our house, who 
were very much amused at our vehicle. I did not 
feel like smiling then. After reducing us to riding in 
a mule team, they were heartless enough to laugh ! 
I forgot them presently, and gave my whole atten- 
tion to getting out respectably. Now getting in a 
wagon is bad enough; but getting out — ! I hardly 
know how I managed it. I had fully three feet to 
step down before reaching the wheel ; once there, the 
driver picked me up and set me on the paveme-nt. 
The net I had gathered my hair in, fell in my descent, 
and my hair swept down halfway between my knee 
and ankle in one stream. As I turned to get my little 
bundle, the officers had moved their position to one 
directly opposite to me, where they could examine 
me at leisure. Queens used to ride drawn by oxen 
hundreds of years ago, so I played this was old times, 
the mules were oxen, I a queen, and stalked off in a 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

style I am satisfied would have imposed on June ' 
herself. When I saw them as I turned, they were 
perfectly quiet; but Nettie says up to that moment 
they had been in convulsions of laughter, with their 
handkerchiefs to their faces. It was not polite! 

I found mother safe, but the house was in the most 
horrible confusion. Jimmy's empty cage stood by 
the door ; it had the same effect on me that empty 
coffins produce on others. Oh, my birdie! At six, I 
could no longer stand my hunger. I had fasted for 
twelve hours, with the exception of a mouthful of hoe- 
cake at eleven ; I that never fasted in my life ! — ex- 
cept last Ash Wednesday when Lydia and I tried it 
for breakfast, and got so sick we were glad to atone 
for it at dinner. So I got a little piece of bread and 
corn beef from Mrs. Daigre's servant, for there was 
not a morsel here, and I did not know where or what 
to buy. Presently some kind friend sent me a great 
short-cake, a dish of strawberry preserves, and some 
butter, which I was grateful for, for the fact that 
the old negro was giving me part of her supper made 
me rather sparing, though she cried, "Eat it all, 
honey! I get plenty more!" 

Mother went to Cousin Will's, and I went to Mrs. 
Brunot's to sleep, and so ended my first day's ride 
on a mule team. Bah! A lady can make anything 
respectable by the way she does it ! What do I care 
if I had been driving mules? Better that than walk 
seventeen miles. 

I met Dr. DuCh6ne and Dr. Castleton twice each, 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

this morning. They were as kind to me as they 
were to the girls the other day. The latter saved 
them a disagreeable visit, while here. He and those 
three were packing some things in the hall, when 
two officers passed, and prepared to come in, seeing 
three good-looking girls seemingly alone, for Mir- 
iam's dress hid Dr. Castleton as he leaned over the 
box. Just then she moved, the Doctor raised his 
head, and the officers started back with an "Ah!" 
of surprise. The Doctor called them as they turned 
away, and asked for a pass for the young ladies. 
They came back bowing and smiling, said they would 
write one in the house, but they were told very 
dryly that there were no writing accommodations 
there. They tried the fascinating, and were much 
mortified by the coldness they met. Dear me! 
*'Why wasn't I born old and ugly?'* Suppose I 
should unconsciously entrap some magnificent Yan- 
kee ! What an awful thing it would be ! ! 

Sentinels are stationed at every corner; Dr. 
Castleton piloted me safely through one expedition ; 
but on the next, we had to part company, and I 
passed through a crowd of at least fifty, alone. They 
were playing cards in the ditch, and swearing dread- 
fully, these pious Yankees; many were marching 
up and down, some sleeping on the pavement, others 
' — picking odious bugs out of each other's heads ! I 
thought of the guerrillas, yellow fever, and all, and 
wished they were all safe at home with their mo- 
thers and sisters, and we at peace again. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

What a day I have had ! Here mother and I are 
alone, not a servant on the lot. We will sleep here 
to-night, and I know she will be too nervous to let 
me sleep. The dirt and confusion were extraordinary 
in the house. I could not stand it, so I applied my- 
self to making it better. I actually swept two whole 
rooms ! I ruined my hands at gardening, so it made 
no difference. I replaced piles of books, crockery, 
china, that Miriam had left packed for Green well; 
I discovered I could empty a dirty hearth, dust, 
move heavy weights, make myself generally useful 
and dirty, and all this is thanks to the Yankees! 
Poor me! This time last year I thought I would 
never walk again ! If I am not laid up forever after 
the fatigue of this last week, I shall always main- 
tain I have a Constitution. But it all seems nothing 
in this confusion; everything is almost as bad as 
ever. Besides that, I have been flying around to get 
Miriam a wagon. I know she is half distracted at 
being there alone. Mother chose staying with all 
its evils. Charlie's life would pay the penalty of a 
cotton burner if he returned, so Lilly remains at 
Greenwell with him. We three will get on as best 
we can here. I wrote to the country to get a wagon, 
sent a pass from Headquarters, but I will never know 
if it reached her until I see her in town. I hope it will ; 

I would be better satisfied with Miriam. 

June 4th. 

Miriam and Mattie drove in, in the little buggy, 
last evening after sunset, to find out what we 


A Confederate Girl*s Diary 

were to do. Our condition is desperate. Beauregard 
is about attacking these Federals. They say he is 
coming from Corinth, and the fight will be in town. 
If true, we are lost again. Starvation at Green well, 
fever and bullets here, will put an end to us soon 
enough. There is no refuge for us, no one to consult. 
Brother, whose judgment we rely on as implicitly 
as we did on father's, we hear has gone to New York; 
there is no one to advise or direct us, for, if he is gone, 
there is no man in Louisiana whose decision I would 
blindly abide by. Let us stay and die. We can only 
die once ; we can suffer a thousand deaths with sus- 
pense and uncertainty; the shortest is the best. Do 
you think the few words here can give an idea of our 
agony and despair? Nothing can express it. I feel 
a thousand years old to-day. I have shed the bitter- 
est tears to-day that I have shed since father died. 
I can't stand it much longer; I '11 give way presently, 
and I know my heart will break. Shame ! Where is 
God? A fig for your religion, if it only lasts while 
the sun shines! "Better days are coming" — I 

Troops are constantly passing and repassing. 
They have scoured the country for ten miles out, 
in search of guerrillas. We are here without servants, 
clothing, or the bare necessaries of life : suppose they 
should seize them on the way ! I procured a pass for 
the wagon, but it now seems doubtful if I can get 
the latter — a very faint chance. Well I let them go ; 
our home next; then we can die sure enough. With 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

God's help, I can stand anything yet in store for me. 
**I hope to die shouting, the Lord will provide!" 
Poor Lavinia ! if she could only see us ! I am glad she 
does not know our condition. 

5 P.M. 

What a day of agony, doubt, uncertainty, and 
despair ! Heaven save me from another such ! Every 
hour fresh difficulties arose, until I believe we were 
almost crazy, every one of us. 

As Miriam was about stepping in the buggy, to go 
to Greenwell to bring in our trunks, mother's heart 
misgave her, and she decided to sacrifice her property 
rather than remain in this state any longer. After 
a desperate discussion which proved that each argu- 
ment was death, she decided to go back to Green- 
well and give up the keys of the house to General 
Williams, and let him do as he pleased, rather than 
have it broken open during her absence. Mattie and 
Mr. Tunnard were present at the discussion, which 
ended by the latter stepping in the buggy and driv- 
ing Miriam to the Garrison. General Williams called 
her by name, and asked her about Major Drum. It 
seems all these people, native and foreign, know us, 
while we know none. Miriam told him our condi- 
tion, how our brothers were away, father dead, and 
mother afraid to remain, yet unwilling to lose her 
property by going away; how we three were alone 
and unprotected here, but would remain rather than 
have our home confiscated. He assured her the house 
should not be touched, that it would be respected 





tilD'N foundations. 

A Confederate Girl*s Diary 

in our absence as though we were in it, and he would 
place a sentinel at the door to guard it against his 
own men who might be disposed to enter. The latter 
she declined, but he said he would send his aide to 
mark the house, that it might be known. A moment 
after they got back, the aide, Mr. Biddle (I have his 
name to so many passes that I know it now), came 
to the door. Mr. Tunnard left him there, uncertain 
how we would receive a Christian, and I went out 
and asked him in. He looked uncertain of his recep- 
tion, too, when we put an end to his doubt by treat- 
ing him as we invariably treat gentlemen who appear 
such. He behaved remarkably well under the try- 
ing circumstances, and insisted on a sentinel; for, 
he said, though they would respect the. property, 
there were many bad characters among the soldiers 
who might attempt to rob it, and the sentinel would 
protect it. After a visit of ten minutes, devoted ex- 
clusively to the affair, he arose and took his leave, 
leaving me under the impression that he was a gen- 
tleman wherever he came from, even if there were 
a few grammatical errors in the pass he wrote me 
yesterday; but *'thou that judgest another, dost 
thou sin?" 

Well, now we say, fly to Greenwell. Yes! and by 
to-night, a most exaggerated account of the whole 
affair will be spread over the whole country, and we 
will be equally suspected by our own people. Those 
who spread useless falsehoods about us will gladly 
have a foundation for a monstrous one. Did n't 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Camp Moore ring with the story of our entertaining 
the Federal officers? Did n't they spread the report 
that Miriam danced with one to the tune of ''Yan- 
kee Doodle" in the State House garden? What will 
they stop at now? O ! if I was only a man, and knew 

what to do! 


We were so distressed by the false position in 
which we would be placed by a Federal sentinel, 
that we did not know what course to pursue. As all 
our friends shook their heads and said it was danger- 
ous, we knew full well what our enemies would say. 
If we win Baton Rouge, as I pray we will, they will 
say we asked protection from Yankees against our 
own men, are consequently traitors, and our prop- 
erty will be confiscated by our own Government. 
To decline General Williams's kind offer exposes the 
house to being plundered. In our dilemma, we made 
up our minds to stay, so we could say the sentinel 
was unnecessary. 

Presently a file of six soldiers marched to the gate, 
an officer came to the steps and introduced himself as 
Colonel McMillan, of 2ist Indiana Volunteers. He 
asked if this was Mrs. Morgan's; the General had 
ordered a guard placed around the house; he would 
suggest placing them in different parts of the yard. 
*' Madam, the pickets await your orders." Miriam 
in a desperate fright undertook to speak for mother, 
and asked if he thought there was any necessity. 
No, but it was an additional security, he said. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

*'Then, if no actual necessity, we will relieve you of 
the disagreeable duty, as we expect to remain in 
town," she said. He was very kind, and discussed the 
whole affair with us, saying when we made up our 
minds to leave, — we told him after we could not 
decide, — to write him word, and he would place 
a guard around to prevent his men and the negroes 
from breaking in. It was a singular situation: our 
brothers off fighting them, while these Federal officers 
leaned over our fence, and an officer standing on our 
steps offered to protect us. These people are cer- 
tainly very kind to us. General Williams especially 
must be a dear old gentleman; he is so good. 

How many good, and how many mean people 
these troubles have shown us! I am beginning to 
see my true friends, now ; there is a large number of 
them, too. Everybody from whom we least expected 
attention has agreeably surprised us. . . . 

General Williams will believe we are insane from 
our changing so often. 

His guard positively refused. 

June 5th. 

Last night I determined to stay. Miriam went 
after our trunks at daylight. A few hours after, 
Lilly wrote we must go back. McClellan's army 
was cut to pieces and driven back to Maryland, 
by Jackson; the Federals were being driven into 
the swamp from Richmond, too. Beauregard is un- 
doubtedly coming to attack Baton Rouge; his fire 
would bum the town, if the gunboats do not; the 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Yankees will shell, at all events, if forced to retire. 
It cannot stand. We can't go to New Orleans. Butler 
says he will lay it in ashes if he is forced to evacuate 
it, from yellow fever or other causes. Both must be 
burned. Greenwell is not worth the powder it would 
cost, so we must stand the chance of murder and 
starvation there, rather than the certainty of being 
placed between two fires here. Well, I see nothing 
but bloodshed and beggary staring us in the face. 
Let it come. "I hope to die shouting, the Lord 

will provide." 

June 6th. 

We dined at Mrs. Brunot's yesterday, and sitting 
on the gallery later, had the full benefit of a Yankee 
drill. They stopped in front of the house and went 
through some very curious manoeuvres, and then 
marched out to their drill-ground beyond. In re- 
turning, the whole regiment drew up directly before 
us, and we were dreadfully quiet for five minutes, 
the most uncomfortable I have experienced for some 
time. For it was absurd to look at the sky, and I 
looked in vain for one man with downcast eyes 
whereon I might rest mine; but from the officers 
down to the last private, they were all looking at us. 
I believe I would have cried with embarrassment if 
the command had not been given at that moment. 
They drilled splendidly, and knew it, too, so went 
through it as though they had not been at it for an 
hour before. One conceited, red-headed lieutenant 
smiled at us in the most fascinating way ; perhaps he 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

smiled to think how fine he was, and what an impres- 
sion he was making. 

We got back to our solitary house before twilight, 
and were sitting on the balcony, when Mr. Biddle 
entered. He came to ask if the guard had been 
placed here last night. It seems to me it would have 
saved him such a long walk if he had asked Colonel 
McMillan. He sat down, though, and got talking in 
the moonlight, and people passing, some citizens, 
some officers, looked wonderingly at this unheard-of 
occurrence. I won't be rude to any one in my own 
house, Yankee or Southern, say what they will. He 
talked a great deal, and was very entertaining; what 
tempted him, I cannot imagine. It was two hours 
before he thought of leaving. He was certainly very 
kind. He spoke of the scarcity of flour in town; said 
they had quantities at the Garrison, and asked permis- 
sion to send us a barrel, which of course we refused. 
It showed a very good heart, though. He offered to 
take charge of any letters I would write ; said he had 
heard General Williams speak of Harry ; and when he 
at last left, I was still more pleased with him for 
this kindness to us. He says Captain Huger is dead. 
I am very, very much distressed. They are related, 
he says. He talked so reasonably of the war, that it 
was quite a novelty after reading the abusive news- 
papers of both sides. I like him, and was sorry I could 
not ask him to repeat his visit. We are unaccustomed 
to treat gentlemen that way; but it won't do in the 
present state to act as we please. Mob governs. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Mother kept me awake all night to listen to the 
mice in the garret. Every time I would doze she 
would ask, "What's that?" and insist that the mice 
were men. I had to get up and look for an imaginary 
host, so I am tired enough this morning. 

Miriam has just got in with all the servants, our 
baggage is on the way, so we will be obliged to stay 
whether we will or no. I don't care ; it is all the same, 
starve or burn. Oh ! I forgot. Mr. Biddle did not 
write that pass! It was his clerk. He speaks very 
grammatically, so far as I can judge! ! 

June 8th, Sunday. 

These people mean to kill us with kindness. 
There is such a thing as being too kind. Yesterday 
General Williams sent a barrel of flour to mother, 
accompanied by a note begging her to accept it 
*'in consideration of the present condition of the cir- 
culating currency," and the intention was so kind, 
the way it was done so delicate, that there was no 
refusing it. I had to write her thanks, and got in a 
violent fit of the "trembles" at the idea of writing 
to a stranger. One consolation is, that I am not a 
very big fool, for it took only three lines to prove 
myself one. If I had been a thundering big one, I 
would have occupied two pages to show myself fully. 
And to think it is out of our power to prove them 
our appreciation of the kindness we have universally 
met with ! Many officers were in church this morning, 
and as they passed us while we waited for the door 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

to be opened, General Williams bowed profoundly, 
another followed his example; we returned the sa- 
lute, of course. But by to-morrow, those he did not 
bow to will cry treason against us. Let them howl. 
I am tired of lies, scandal, and deceit. All the loudest 
gossips have been frightened into the country, but 
enough remain to keep them well supplied with town 
talk. . . . It is such a consolation to turn to the dear 
good people of the world after coming in contact 
with such cattle. Here, for instance, is Mr. Bonne- 
case on whom we have not the slightest claims. 
Every day since we have been here, he has sent a 
great pitcher of milk, knowing our cow is out; one 
day he sent rice, the next sardines, yesterday two 
bottles of Port and Madeira, which cannot be pur- 
chased in the whole South. What a duck of an old 

man ! That is only one instance. 

June loth. 

This morning while I was attending to my flowers 
. . . several soldiers stopped in front of me, and 
holding on the fence, commenced to talk about some 
brave Colonel, and a shooting affair last night. When 
all had gone except one who was watching me at- 
tentively, as he seemed to wish to tell me, I let him 
go ahead. The story was that Colonel McMillan 
was shot through the shoulder, breast, and liver, 
by three guerrillas while four miles from town last 
night, on a scout. He was a quarter of a mile from his 
own men at the time, killed one who shot him, took 
the other two prisoners, and fell from his horse him- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

self, when he got within the Hnes. The soldier said 
these two guerrillas would probably be hanged, while 
the six we saw pass captives, Sunday, would prob- 
ably be sent to Fort Jackson for life. I think the 
guerrilla affair mere murder, I confess; but what a 
dreadful fate for these young men ! One who passed 
Sunday was Jimmy's schoolmate, a boy of sixteen; 
another, Willie Garig, the pet of a whole family of 
good, honest country people. . . . 

These soldiers will get in the habit of talking to 
me after a while, through my own fault. Yesterday 
I could not resist the temptation to ask the fate of 
the six guerrillas, and stopped two volunteers who 
were going by, to ask them. They discussed the fate 
of the country, told me Fort Pillow and Vicksburg 
were evacuated, the Mississippi opened from source 
to mouth; I told them of Banks's and McClellan's 
defeat; they assured me it would all be over in a 
month, — which I fervently pray may be so; told 
me they were from Michigan (one was Mr. Bee, he 
said, cousin of our General) ; and they would prob- 
ably have talked all day if I had not bowed myself 
away with thanks for their information. 

It made me ashamed to contrast the quiet, gentle- 
manly, liberal way these volunteers spoke of us and 
our cause, with the rabid, fanatical, abusive violence 
of our own female Secession declaimers. Thank 
Heaven, I have never yet made my appearance as a 
Billingsgate orator on these occasions. All my vio- 
lent feelings, which in moments of intense excitement 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

were really violent, I have recorded in this book; I 
am happy to say only the reasonable dislike to seeing 
my country subjugated has been confided to the 
public ear, when necessary; and that even now, I 
confess that nothing but the reign of terror and gross 
prejudice by which I was surrounded at that time 
could justify many expressions I have here applied 
to them. Fact is, these people have disarmed me by 
their kindness. I expected to be in a crowd of ruf- 
fian soldiers, who would think nothing of cutting 
your throat or doing anything they felt like; and I 
find, among all these thousands, not one who offers 
the slightest annoyance or disrespect. The former is 
the thing as it is believed by the whole country, the 
latter the true state of affairs. I admire foes who 
show so much consideration for our feelings. 

Contrast these with our volunteers from New Or- 
leans — all gentlemen — who came to take the Gar- 
rison from Major Haskins. Several of them passing 
our gate where we were standing with the Brunots, 
one exclaimed, ''What pretty girls!" It was a stage 
aside that we were supposed not to hear. *'Yes,*' 
said another; ''beautiful! but they look as though 
they could be fast." Fast! and we were not even 
speaking! not even looking at them! Sophie and I 
were walking presently, and met half a dozen. We 
had to stop to let them pass the crossing; they did 
not think of making way for us; No. i sighed — 
such a sigh! No. 2 followed, and so on, when they 
all sighed in chorus for our edification, while we 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

dared not raise our eyes from the ground. That is 
the time I would have made use of a dagger. Two 
passed in a buggy, and trusting to our not recog- 
nizing them from the rapidity of their vehicle, kissed 
their hands to us until they were out of sight! 'All 
went back to New Orleans vowing Baton Rouge had 
the prettiest girls in the world. These were our own 
people, the 61ite of New Orleans, loyal Southerners 
and gentlemen. These Northerners pass us satisfied 
with a simple glance ; some take off their hats, for all 
these officers know our name, though we may not 
know theirs; how, I can't say. 

When I heard of Colonel McMillan's misfortune, 
mother conspired with me to send over some band- 
ages, and something Tiche manufactured of flour 
under the name of "nourishment," for he is across 
the street at Heroman's. Miriam objected on ac- 
count of what "our people" will say, and what we 
will suffer for it if the guerrillas reach town, but we 
persuaded her we were right. . . . You can imagine 
our condition at present, many years hence, Sarah, 
when you reflect that it is the brave, noble-hearted, 
generous Miriam who is afraid to do that deed on ac- 
count of "public opinion," which indeed is "down" 
on us. At Greenwell they are frantic about our re- 
turning to town, and call us traitors, Yankees, and 
vow vengeance. ... A lady said to me, "The guer- 
rillas have a black list containing the names of those 
remaining in town. All the men are to be hanged, 
their houses burned, and all the women are to be 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

tarred and feathered." I said, '* Madam, if I believed 
them capable of such a vile threat^ even, much less 
the execution, I would see them cut down without a 
feeling of compassion" (which is not true), ''and 
swear I was a Yankee rather than claim being a 
native of the same country with such brutes." She 
has a long tongue ; when I next hear of it, it will be 
that / told the story, and called them brutes and 
hoped they would be shot, etc. And so goes the 
world. No one will think of saying that I did not 
believe them guilty of the thought, even. Our three 
brothers may be sick or wounded at this minute; 
what I do for this man, God will send some one to 
do for them, and with that belief I do it. . . . 

June nth. 

Last evening mother and Miriam went to the 
Arsenal to see if they would be allowed to do any- 
thing for the prisoners. General Williams received 
them, and fascinated Miriam by his manner, as 
usual. Poor Miriam is always being fascinated, ac- 
cording to her own account. He sent for little Nathan 
Castle and Willie Garig, and left them alone in the 
room with them, showing his confidence and delicacy 
by walking away. The poor young men were very 
grateful to be remembered ; one had his eyes too full 
of tears to speak. Mr. Garig told Miriam that when 
the story of her refusing the escort was told in camp, 
the woods rang with shouts of "Three cheers for 
Miss Morgan!" They said they were treated very 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

well, and had no want, except clean clothes, and to 
let their mothers know they were well and content. 
I have been hard at work mending three or four 
suits of the boys' clothing for those poor young men. 
Some needed thread and needle very much, but it 
was the best we could do. So I packed them all up 
— not forgetting a row of pins — and sent Tiche off 
with the bundle, perched real Congo fashion on her 
many-colored head-handkerchief, which was tied in 
the most superb Creole style in honor of the occa- 

June 1 6th, Monday. 

My poor old diary comes to a very abrupt end, to 
my great distress. The hardest thing in the world is 
to break off journalizing when you are once accus- 
tomed to it, and mine has proved such a resource to 
me in these dark days of trouble that I feel as though 
I were saying good-bye to an old and tried friend. 
Thanks to my liberal supply of pens, ink, and paper, 
how many inexpressibly dreary days I have filled 
up to my own satisfaction, if not to that of others! 
How many disagreeable affairs it has caused me to 
pass over without another thought, how many times 
it has proved a relief to me where my tongue was 
forced to remain quiet! Without the blessed mate- 
rials, I would have fallen victim to despair and ''the 
Blues" long since; but they have kept my eyes fixed 
on "Better days a-coming" while slightly alluding 
to present woes ; kept me from making a fool of my- 
self many a day ; acted as lightning rod to my mental 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

thunder, and have made me happy generally. For 
all of which I cry, '' Vivent pen, ink, and paper! " and 
add with regret, ''Adieu, my mental Conductor. I 
fear this unchained lightning will strike somewhere, 
in your absence!" 


"I hope to die shouting, the Lord will provide!" 

Monday, June i6th, 1862. 

There is no use in trying to break off journalizing, 
particularly in ** these trying times." It has become 
a necessity to me. I believe I should go off in a rapid 
decline if Butler took it in his head to prohibit that 
among other things. ... I reserve to myself the 
privilege of writing my opinions, since I trouble no 
one with the expression of them. ... I insist, that if 
the valor and chivalry of our men cannot save our 
country, I would rather have it conquered by a brave 
race than owe its liberty to the Billingsgate oratory 
and demonstrations of some of these ' ' ladies. ' ' I f the 
women have the upper hand then, as they have now, 
I would not like to live in a country governed by 
such tongues. Do I consider the female who could 
spit in a gentleman's face, merely because he wore 
United States buttons, as a fit associate for me? 
Lieutenant Biddle assured me he did not pass a street 
in New Orleans without being most grossly insulted 
by ladies. It was a friend of his into whose face a 
lady spit as he walked quietly by without looking at 
her. (Wonder if she did it to attract his attention?) 
He had the sense to apply to her husband and give 
him two minutes to apologize or die, and of course he 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

chose the former.^ Such things are enough to disgust 
any one. "Loud" women, what a contempt I have 
for you ! How I despise your vulgarity ! 

Some of these Ultra-Secessionists, evidently very 
recently from ''down East," who think themselves 
obliged to "kick up their heels over the Bonny Blue 
Flag," as Brother describes female patriotism, shriek 
out, "What! see those vile Northerners pass pa- 
tiently! No true Southerner could see it without 
rage. I could kill them! I hate them with all my 
soul, the murderers, liars, thieves, rascals! You are 
no Southerner if you do not hate them as much as 
I!" Ah gal a true-blue Yankee tell me that I, born 
and bred here, am no Southerner! I always think, 
"It is well for you, my friend, to save your credit, 
else you might be suspected by some people, though 
your violence is enough for me." I always say, " You 
may do as you please; my brothers are fighting for 
me, and doing their duty, so that excess of patriot- 
ism is unnecessary for me, as my position is too well 
known to make any demonstrations requisite." 

This war has brought out wicked, malignant feel- 
ings that I did not believe could dwell in woman's 
heart. I see some of the holiest eyes, so holy one 
would think the very spirit of charity lived in them, 
and all Christian meekness, go off in a mad tirade 
of abuse and say, with the holy eyes wondrously 

* This passage was later annotated by Mrs. Dawson as follows: 
" Friend {Farragut). Lady (I know her, alas!). Husband (She had 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

changed, " I hope God will send down plague, yellow 
fever, famine, on these vile Yankees, and that not 
one will escape death." O, what unutterable horror 
that remark causes me as often as I hear it ! I think 
of the many mothers, wives, and sisters who wait as 
anxiously, pray as fervently in their faraway homes 
for their dear ones, as we do here ; I fancy them wait- 
ing day after day for the footsteps that will never 
come, growing more sad, lonely, and heart-broken 
as the days wear on ; I think of how awful it would be 
if one would say, "Your brothers are dead"; how 
it would crush all life and happiness out of me; and 
I say, "God forgive these poor women! They know 
not what they say!" O women! into what loath- 
some violence you have abased your holy mission ! 
God will punish us for our hard-heartedness. Not a 
square off, in the new theatre, lie more than a hun- 
dred sick soldiers. What woman has stretched out 
her hand to save them, to give them a cup of cold 
water? Where is the charity which should ignore na- 
tions and creeds, and administer help to the Indian 
and 'Heathen indifferently? Gone! All gone in Union 
versus Secession ! That is what the American War 
has brought us. If I was independent, if I could work 
my own will without causing others to suffer for my 
deeds, I would not be poring over this stupid page; 
I would not be idly reading or sewing. I would put 
aside woman's trash, take up woman's duty, and 
I would stand by some forsaken man and bid him 
Godspeed as he closes his dying eyes. That is 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

woman's mission ! and not Preaching and Politics. I 
say I would, yet here I sit! O for liberty! the liberty 
that dares do what conscience dictates, and scorns 
all smaller rules! If I could help these dying men! 
Yet it is as impossible as though I was a chained 
bear. I can't put out my hand. I am threatened with 
Coventry because I sent a custard to a sick man who 
is in the army, and with the anathema of society 
because I said if I could possibly do anything for 
Mr. Biddle — at a distance — (he is sick) I would 
like to very much. Charlie thinks we have acted 
shockingly in helping Colonel McMillan, and that 
we will suffer for it when the Federals leave. I would 
like to see any man who dared harm my father's 
daughter! But as he seems to think our conduct re- 
flects on him, there is no alternative. Die, poor men, 
without a woman's hand to close your eyes! We 
women are too patriotic to help you ! I look eagerly 
on, cry in my soul, " I wish — " ; you die; God judges 
me. Behold the woman who dares not risk private 
ties for God's glory and her professed religion! 
Coward, helpless woman that I am! If I was free — ! 

June 17th. 

Yesterday, and day before, boats were constantly 
arriving and troops embarking from here, destined 
for Vicksburg. There will be another fight, and of 
course it will fall. I wish Will was out of it; I don't 
want him to die. I got the kindest, sweetest letter 
from Will when Miriam came from Green well. It 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

was given to her by a guerrilla on the road who asked 
if she was not Miss Sarah Morgan. 

June 1 8th. 

How long, O how long, is it since I have lain down 
in peace, thinking, "This night I will rest in safety " ? 
Certainly not since the fall of Fort Jackson. If left 
to myself, I would not anticipate evil, but would 
quietly await the issue of all these dreadful events ; 
but when I hear men, who certainly should know 
better than I, express their belief that in twenty-four 
hours the town will be laid in ashes, I begin to grow 
uneasy, and think it must be so, since they say it. 
These last few days, since the news arrived of the 
intervention of the English and French, I have alter- 
nately risen and fallen from the depth of despair to 
the height of delight and expectation, as the proba- 
bility of another exodus diminishes, and peace ap- 
pears more probable. If these men would not 
prophesy the burning of the city, I would be per- 
fectly satisfied. . . . 

Well ! I packed up a few articles to satisfy my con- 
science, since these men insist that another run is 
inevitable, though against my own conviction. I 
am afraid I was partly influenced by my dream last 
night of being shelled out unexpectedly and flying 
without saving an article. It was the same dream I 
had a night or two before we fled so ingloriously 
from Baton Rouge, when I dreamed of meeting Will 
Pinckney suddenly, who greeted me in the most 
extraordinarily affectionate manner, and told me 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

that Vicksburg had fallen. He said he had been 
chiefly to blame, and the Southerners were so incensed 
at his losing, the Northerners at his defending, that 
both were determined to hang him; he was running 
for his life. He took me to a hill from which I could 
see the Garrison, and the American flag flying over 
it. I looked, and saw we were standing in blood up 
to our knees, while here and there ghastly white 
bones shone above the red surface. Just then, below 
me I saw crowds of people running. "What is it?'* 
I asked. "It means that in another instant they will 
commence to shell the town. Save yourself." "But 
Will — I must save some clothes, too ! How can I go 
among strangers with a single dress ? I will get some ! ' * 
I cried. He smiled and said, "You will run with 
only what articles you happen to have on." Bang! 
went the first shell, the people rushed by with 
screams, and I awakened to tell Miriam what an 
absurd dream I had had. It happened as Will had 
said, either that same day or the day after; for the 
change of clothes we saved apiece were given to 
Tiche, who lost sight of us and quietly came home 
when all was over, and the two dirty skirts and old 
cloak mother saved, after carrying them a mile and 
a half, I put in the buggy that took her up ; so I saved 
nothing except the bag that was tied under my hoops. 
Will was right. I saved not even my powder-bag. 
(Tiche had it in the bundle.) My handkerchief I 
gave mother before we had walked three squares, 
and throughout that long fearfully warm day, riding 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

and walking through the fiery sunshine and stifling 
dust, I had neither to cool or comfort me. 

June 19th. 

Miriam and I have disgraced ourselves! This 
morning I was quietly hearing Dellie's lessons, when 
I was startled by mother's shrieks of "Send for a 
guard — they 've murdered him ! " I saw through the 
window a soldier sitting in the road just opposite, 
with blood streaming from his hand in a great pool 
in the dust. I was downstairs in three bounds, and, 
snatching up some water, ran to where he sat alone, 
not a creature near, though all the inhabitants of our 
side of the street were looking on from the balconies, 
all crying "Murder!" and "Help!" without moving 
themselves. I poured some water on the man's 
bloody hand, as he held it streaming with gore up to 
me, saying, "The man in there did it," meaning the 
one who keeps the little grog-shop, though it puzzled 
me at the time to see that all the doors were closed 
and not a face visible. I had hardly time to speak 
when Tiche called loudly to me to come away, — 
she was safe at the front gate, — and looking up, I 
found myself in a knot of a dozen soldiers, and took 
her advice and retreated home. It proved to be the 
guard Miriam had roused. She ran out as I did, 
and seeing a gentleman, begged him to call the guard 
for that murdered man. The individual — he must 
have been a "patriot" — said he did n't know where 
to find one. She cried out they were at Heroman's; 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

he said he didn't beHeve they were. "Go! I tell 
you!" she screamed at last; but the brave man said 
he did n't like to, so she ran to the corner and called 
the soldiers herself. O most brave man ! Before we 
got back from our several expeditions, we heard 
mother, Lilly, Mrs. Day, all shouting, "Bring in the 
children ! lock the doors ! ' ' etc. All for a poor wounded 
soldier ! 

We after discovered that the man was drunk, and 
had cursed the woman of the grog-shop, whereupon 
her husband had pitched him out in the street, where 
they found him. They say he hurt his hand against 
a post; but wood could never have cut deep enough 
to shed all that gore. I don't care if he was drunk or 
sober, soldier or officer. Federal or Confederate! If 
he had been Satan himself lying helpless and bleed- 
ing in the street, I would have gone to him! I can't 
believe it was as criminal as though I had watched 
quietly from a distance, believing him dying and 
contenting myself with looking on. Yet it seems it 
was dreadfully indecorous; Miriam and I did very 
wrong ; we should have shouted murder with the rest 
of the women and servants. Whereas the man who 
declined committing himself by calling one soldier 
to the rescue of another, supposed to be dying, acted 
most discreetly, and showed his wisdom in the most 
striking manner. 

May I never be discreet, or wise, if this is Chris- 
tian conduct, or a sample of either! I would rather 
be a rash, impetuous fool ! Charlie says he would not 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

open his mouth to save a dozen from being murdered. 
I say I am not Stoic enough for that. Lilly agrees 
with him, Miriam with me; so here we two culprits 
stand alone before the tribunal of "patriotism.'* 
Madame Roland, I take the liberty of altering your 
words and cry, "O Patriotism! How many base 
deeds are sanctioned by your name!" Don't I 
wish I was a heathen! In twenty-four hours the 
whole country will be down on us. 

O for a pen to paint the slaves 

Whose "country" like a deadly blightj 

Closes all hearts when Pity craves 

And turns God's spirit to darkest night! 

May life's patriotic cup for such 

Be filled with glory overmuch ; 
And when their spirits go above in pride, 

Spirit of Patriotism, let these valiant abide 
Full in the sight of grand mass-meeting — I don't 

Want you to cuss them, 
But put them where they can hear politics, 

And yet can't discuss them! 

(I can't say worse than that!) 

June 26th. 

Yesterday morning, just as I stepped out of bed 
I heard the report of four cannon fired in rapid suc- 
cession, and everybody asked everybody else, "Did 
you hear that? " so significantly, that I must say my 
heart beat very rapidly for a few moments, at the 
thought of another stampede. At half-past six this 
morning I was wakened by another report, followed 
by seven others, and heard a^ain the question, " Did 
you hear that?'' on a higher key than yesterda3^ — 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

It did not take me many minutes to get out of bed, 
and to slip on a few articles, I confess. My chief de- 
sire was to wash my face before running, if they were 
actually shelling us again. It appears that they were 
only practicing, however, and no harm was intended. 
But we are living on such a volcano, that, not know- 
ing what to expect, we are rather nervous. 

I am afraid this close confinement will prove too 
much for me ; my long walks are cut off, on account 
of the soldiers. One month to-morrow since my last 
visit to the graveyard! That haunts me always; it 
must be so dreary out there! Here is a sketch of my 
daily life, enough to finish me off forever, if much 
longer persisted in. 

First, get up a little before seven. After breakfast, 
which is generally within a few minutes after I get 
down (it used to be just as I got ready, and some- 
times before, last winter), I attend to my garden, 
which consists of two strips of ground the length 
of the house, in front, where I can find an hour's 
work in examining and admiring my flowers, re- 
planting those that the cows and horses occasionally 
(once a day) pull up for me, and in turning the soil 
over and over again to see which side grows best. 
O my garden! abode of rare delights! how many 
pleasant hours I have passed in you, armed with 
scissors, knife, hoe, or rake, only pausing when Mr. 
This or Mr. That leaned over the fence to have a 
talk! — last spring, that was; ever so many are dead 
now, for all I know, and all off at the war. Now I 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

work for the edification of proper young women, who 
look in astonishment at me, as they would con- 
sider themselves degraded by the pursuit. A deli- 
cate pair of hands my flower mania will leave me! 

Then I hear Dellie's and Morgan's lessons, after 
which I open my desk and am lost in the mysteries 
of Arithmetic, Geography, Blair's Lectures, Noel et 
Chapsal, Ollendorff, and reading aloud in French and 
English, besides writing occasionally in each, and 
sometimes a peep at Lavoisne, until very nearly 
dinner. The day is not half long enough for me. 
Many things I would like to study I am forced to 
give up, for want of leisure to devote to them. But 
one of these days, I will make up for present defi- 
ciencies. I study only what I absolutely love, now; 
but then, if I can, I will study what I am at present 
ignorant of, and cultivate a taste for something new. 

The few moments before dinner, and all the time 
after, I devote to writing, sewing, knitting, etc., 
and if I included darning, repairs, alterations, etc., 
my list would be tremendous, for I get through with 
a great deal of sewing. Somewhere in the day, I find 
half an hour, or more, to spend at the piano. Before 
sunset I dress, and am free to spend the evening at 
home, or else walk to Mrs. Brunot's, for it is not safe 
to go farther than those three squares, away from 
home. From early twilight until supper, Miriam and 
I sing with the guitar, generally, and after, sit com- 
fortably under the chandelier and read until about 
ten. What little reading I do, is almost exclusively 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

done at that time. It sounds woefully little, but my 
list of books grows to quite a respectable size, in 
the course of a year. 

At ten comes my Bible class for the servants. 
Lucy, Rose, Nancy, and Dophy assemble in my 
room, and hear me read the Bible, or stories from the 
Bible for a while. Then one by one say their prayers 
— they cannot be persuaded to say them together ; 
Dophy says "she can't say with Rose, 'cause she 
ain't got no brothers and sisters to pray for," and 
Lucy has no father or mother, and so they go. All 
difficulties and grievances during the day are laid 
before me, and I sit like Moses judging the children 
of Israel, until I can appease the discord. Sometimes 
it is not so easy. For instance, that memorable night 
when I had to work Rose's stubborn heart to a proper 
pitch of repentance for having stabbed a carving- 
fork in Lucy's arm in a fit of temper. I don't know 
that I was ever as much astonished as I was at see- 
ing the dogged, sullen girl throw herself on the 
floor in a burst of tears, and say if God would for- 
give her she would never do it again. I was lashing 
myself internally for not being able to speak as I 
should, furious at myself for talking so weakly, and 
lo! here the girl tumbles over wailing and weeping! 
And Dophy, overcome by her feelings, sobs, "Lucy, 
I scratched you last week! please forgive me this 
once!" And amazed and bewildered I look at the 
touching tableau before me of kissing and reconcilia- 
tion, for Lucy can bear malice toward no one, and 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

is ready to forgive before others repent, and I look 
from one to the other, wondering what it was that 
upset them so completely, for certainly no words 
of mine caused it. Sometimes Lucy sings a wild 
hymn, ''Did you ever hear the heaven bells ring?'* 
**Come, my loving brothers," ''When I put on my 
starry crown," etc.; and after some such scene as 
that just described, it is pleasant to hear them go- 
ing out of the room saying, "Good-night, Miss 
Sarah!" "God bless Miss Sarah!" and all that. 

June 27th. 

A proclamation of Van Dorn has just been smug- 
gled into town, that advises all persons living with- 
in eight miles of the Mississippi to remove into the 
interior, as he is determined to defend his depart- 
ment at all hazards to the last extremity. Does not 
look like the Peace I have been deluding myself 
with, does it? That means another Exodus. How are 
we to leave, when we are not allowed to pass the 
limits of the corporation by the Federals? Where are 
we to go? We are between the two armies, and here 
we must remain patiently awaiting the result. Some 
of these dark nights, bang! we will hear the cannon, 
and then it will be sauve qui pent in a shower of shells. 
Bah ! I don't believe God will suffer that we should 
be murdered in such a dreadful way ! I don't believe 
He will suffer us to be turned homeless and naked on 
the world ! " Something will turn up " before we are 
attacked, and we will be spared, I am certain. We 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

can't look forward more than an hour at a time now, 

sometimes not a minute ahead (witness the shelHng 

frolic), so I must resume my old habit of laying a 

clean dress on my bed before going to sleep, which I 

did every night for six weeks before the shelling of 

Baton Rouge, in order to run respectably, as muslin 

cross-bar nightgowns are not suitable for day 


June 28th. 

I am afraid I shall be nervous when the moment of 
the bombardment actually arrives. This suspense 
is not calculated to soothe one's nerves. A few mo- 
ments since, a salute was fired in honor of General 
Butler's arrival, when women, children, and servants 
rushed to the front of the houses, confident of a rep- 
etition of the shelling which occurred a month ago 
to-day. The children have not forgotten the scene, 
for they all actually howled with fear. Poor little 
Sarah stopped her screams to say, "Mother, don't 
you wish we was dogs 'stead o' white folks? " in such 
piteous accents that we had to laugh. Don't I 
wish I was a dog! Sarah is right. I don't know if I 
showed my uneasiness a while ago, but certainly my 
heart has hardly yet ceased beating rather rapidly. 
If I knew what moment to expect the stampede, I 
would not mind; but this way — to expect it every 
instant — it is too much ! Again, if I knew where we 
could go for refuge from the shells ! 

A window banging unexpectedly just then gave 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

me a curious twinge; not that I thought it was the 
signal, oh, dear, no! I just thought — what, I won- 
der? Pshaw! "Picayune Butler's coming, coming" 
has upset my nervous system. He interrupted me in 
the middle of my arithmetic; and I have not the 
energy to resume my studies. I shall try what effect 
an hour's practice will have on my spirits, and will 
see that I have a pair of clean stockings in my 
stampede sack, and that the fastenings of my ** run- 
ning-bag" are safe. Though if I expect to take either, 
I should keep in harness constantly. How long, O 
Lord! how long? 

June 29th, Sunday. 

"Any more, Mr. Lincoln, any more?" Can't you 
leave our racked homes in repose? We are all wild. 
Last night, five citizens were arrested, on no charge 
at all, and carried down to Picayune Butler's ship. 
What a thrill of terror ran through the whole com- 
munity! We all felt so helpless, so powerless under 
the hand of our tyrant, the man who swore to uphold 
the Constitution and the laws, who is professedly 
only fighting to give us all Liberty, the birthright 
of every American, and who, nevertheless, has ground 
us down to a state where we would not reduce our 
negroes, who tortures and sneers at us, and rules us 
with an iron hand ! Ah ! Liberty ! what a humbug ! I 
would rather belong to England or France, than to 
the North ! Bondage, woman that I am, I can never 
stand! Even now, the Northern papers, distributed 
among us, taunt us with our subjection and tell us 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

"how coolly Butler will grind them down, paying no 
regard to their writhing and torture beyond tighten- 
ing the bonds still more ! " Ah, truly ! this is the bitter- 
ness of slavery, to be insulted and reviled by cowards 
who are safe at home and enjoy the protection of 
the laws, while we, captive and overpowered, dare 
not raise our voices to throw back the insult, and are 
governed by the despotism of one man, whose word 
is our law! And that man, they tell us, "is the right 
man in the right place. He will develop a Union 
sentiment among the people, if the thing can be 
done ! " Come and see if he can ! Hear the curse that 
arises from thousands of hearts at that man's name, 
and say if he will ''speedily bring us to our senses." 
Will he accomplish it by love, tenderness, mercy, 
compassion? He might have done it; but did he 
try? When he came, he assumed his natural r61e as 
tyrant, and bravely has he acted it through, never 
once turning aside for Justice or Mercy. . . . This 
degradation is worse than the bitterness of death! 
I see no salvation on either side. No glory awaits 
the Southern Confederacy, even if it does achieve its 
independence; it will be a mere speck in the world, 
with no weight or authority. The North confesses 
itself lost without us, and has paid an unheard-of 
ransom to regain us. On the other hand, conquered, 
what hope is there in this world for us? Broken in 
health and fortune, reviled, contemned, abused by 
those who claim already to have subdued us, without 
a prospect of future support for those few of our 


A Confederate Girl^s Diary 

brothers who return; outcasts without home or 
honor, would not death or exile be preferable? Oh, 
let us abandon our loved home to these implacable 
enemies, and find refuge elsewhere! Take from us 
property, everything, only grant us liberty! Is this 
rather frantic, considering I abhor politics, and 
women who meddle with them, above all? My 
opinion has not yet changed ; I still feel the same con- 
tempt for a woman who would talk at the top of her 
voice for the edification of Federal officers, as though 
anxious to receive an invitation requesting her pres- 
ence at the Garrison. " I can suffer and be still" as 
far as outward signs are concerned ; but as no word 
of this has passed my lips, I give it vent in writing, 
which is more lasting than words, partly to relieve 
my heart, partly to prove to my own satisfaction 
that I am no coward ; for one line of this, surrounded 
as we are by soldiers, and liable to have our houses 
searched at any instant, would be a sufficient in- 
dictment for high treason. 

Under General Williams's rule, I was perfectly 
satisfied that whatever was done, was done through 
necessity, and under orders from Headquarters, 
beyond his control ; we all liked him. But now, since 
Butler's arrival, I believe I am as frantic in secret 
as the others are openly. I know that war sanctions 
many hard things, and that both sides practice 
them ; but now we are so completely lost in Louisi- 
ana, is it fair to gibe and taunt us with our humilia- 
tion? I could stand anything save the cowardly 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

ridicule and triumph of their papers. Honestly, I 
believe if all vile abusive papers on both sides were 
suppressed, and some of the fire-eating editors who 
make a living by lying were soundly cowhided or had 
their ears clipped, it would do more towards estab- 
lishing peace, than all the bloodshedding either side 
can afford. I hope to live to see it, too. Seems to 
me, more liberty is allowed to the press than would 
be tolerated in speech. Let us speak as freely as any 
paper, and see if to-morrow we do not sleep at Fort 
Jackson ! 

This morning the excitement is rare ; fifteen more 
citizens were arrested and carried off, and all the rest 
grew wild with expectation. So great a martyrdom 
is it considered, that I am sure those who are not ar- 
rested will be woefully disappointed. It is ludicrous 
to see how each man thinks he is the very one they 
are in search of! We asked a twopenny lawyer, of 
no more importance in the community than Dophy 
is, if it was possible he was not arrested. " But I am 
expecting to be every instant ! " So much for his self- 
assurance ! Those arrested have, some, been quietly 
released (those are so smiling and mysterious that I 
suspect them), some been obliged to take the oath, 
some sent to Fort Jackson. Ah, Liberty! What a 
blessing it is to enjoy thy privileges ! If some of these 
poor men are not taken prisoners, they will die of 
mortification at the slight. 

Our valiant Governor, the brave Moore, has by 
order of the real Governor, Moise, made himself 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

visible at some far-distant point, and issued a proc- 
lamation, saying, whereas we of Baton Rouge were 
held forcibly in town, he therefore considered men, 
women, and children prisoners of war, and as such 
the Yankees are bound to supply us with all neces- 
saries, and consequently any one sending us aid or 
comfort or provisions from the country will be se- 
verely punished. Only Moore is fool enough for such 
an order. Held down by the Federals, our paper 
money so much trash, with hardly any other to buy 
food and no way of earning it; threatened with 
starvation and utter ruin, our own friends, by way of 
making our burden lighter, forbid our receiving the 
means of prolonging life, and after generously warn- 
ing us to leave town, which they know is perfectly 
impossible, prepare to bum it over our heads, and 
let the women run the same risk as the men. Penned 
in on one little square mile, here we await our fate 
like sheep in the slaughter-pen. Our hour may be at 
hand now, it may be to-night; we have only to wait; 
the booming of the cannon will announce it to us 
soon enough. 

Of the six sentenced to Fort Jackson, one is the 
Methodist minister, Mr. Craven. The only charge 
is, that he was heard to pray for the Confederate 
States by some officers who passed his house during 
his family prayers. According to that, which of us 
would escape unhung? I do not believe there is 
a woman in the land who closes her eyes before 
praying for God's blessing on the side on which her 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

brothers are engaged. Are we all to cease? Show me 
the dungeon deep enough to keep me from praying 
for them ! The man represented that he had a large 
family totally dependent on him, who must starve. 
**Let them get up a subscription," was General But- 
ler's humane answer. "I will head it myself." It is 
useless to say the generous offer was declined. 

June 30th. 

As a specimen of the humanity of General Butler, 
let me record a threat of his uttered with all the force 
and meaning language can convey, and certainly 
enough to strike terror in the hearts of frail women, 
since all these men believe him fully equal to carry 
it into execution ; some even believe it will be done. 
In speaking to Mr. Solomon Benjamin of foreign 
intervention in our favor, he said, **Let England or 

France try it, and I '11 be if I don't arm every 

negro in the South, and make them cut the throat of 
every man, woman, and child in it! I '11 make them 
lay the whole country waste with fire and sword, 
and leave it desolate!" Draw me a finer picture of 
Coward, Brute, or Bully than that one sentence 
portrays! O men of the North! you do your noble 
hearts wrong in sending such ruffians among us as 
the representatives of a great people! Was ever a 
more brutal thought uttered in a more brutal way? 
Mother, like many another, is crazy to go away from 
here, even to New Orleans; but like the rest, will be 
obliged to stand and await her fate. I don't believe 


A Confederate Girl*s Diary 

Butler would dare execute his threat, for at the first 
attempt, thousands, who are passive now, would cut 
the brutal heart from his inhuman breast. 

Tuesday, July ist. 
I heard such a good joke last night! If I had be- 
longed to the female declaiming club, I fear me I 
would have resigned instantly through mere terror. 
(Thank Heaven, I don't!) These officers say the 
women talk too much, which is undeniable. They 
then said, they meant to get up a sewing society, and 
place in it every woman who makes herself con- 
spicuous by her loud talking about them. Fancy 
what a refinement of torture ! But only a few would 
suffer; the majority would be only too happy to en- 
joy the usual privilege of sewing societies, slander, 
abuse, and insinuations. How some would revel in 
it. The mere threat makes me quake! If I could so 
far forget my dignity, and my father's name, as to 
court the notice of gentlemen by contemptible in- 
sult, etc., and if I should be ordered to take my seat 
at the sewing society — ! 1 ! I would never hold my 
head up again! Member of a select sewing circle! 
Fancy me! (I know "there is never any gossip in 
our society, though the one over the way gets up 
dreadful reports"; I have heard all that, but would 
rather try neither.) Oh, how I would beg and plead ! 
Fifty years at Fort Jackson, good, kind General 
Butler, rather than half an hour in your sewing 
society! Gentle, humane ruler, spare me and I split 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

my throat in shouting " Yankee Doodle " and *' Hur- 
rah for Lincoln!" Any, every thing, so I am not dis- 
graced ! Deliver me from your sewing society, and 
I '11 say and do what you please ! 

Butler told some of these gentlemen that he had a 
detective watching almost every house in town, and 
he knew everything. True or not, it looks suspi- 
cious. We are certainly watched. Every evening two 
men may be seen in the shadow on the other side of 
the street, standing there until ever so late, some- 
times until after we have gone to bed. It may be 
that, far from home, they are attracted by the bright 
light and singing, and watch us for their amusement. 
A few nights ago, so many officers passed and re- 
passed while we were singing on the balcony, that I 
felt as though our habit of long standing had sud- 
denly become improper. Saturday night, having 
secured a paper, we were all crowding around, Lilly 
and I reading every now and then a piece of news 
from opposite ends of the paper, Charlie, walking on 
the balcony, found five officers leaning over the fence 
watching us as we stood under the light, through 
the open window. Hope they won't elect me to the 
sewing society ! 

Thursday night, July 3d. 

Another day of sickening suspense. This evening, 
about three, came the rumor that there was to be 
an attack on the town to-night, or early in the morn- 
ing, and we had best be prepared for anything. I 
can't say I believe it, but in spite of my distrust, I 




A Confederate Girl's Diary 

made my preparations. First of all I made a charm- 
ing improvement in my knapsack, alias pillow-case, 
by sewing a strong black band down each side of the 
centre from the bottom to the top, when it is carried 
back and fastened below again, allowing me to pass my 
arms through, and thus present the appearance of an 
old peddler. Miriam's I secured also, and tied all our 
laces in a handkerchief ready to lay it in the last thing. 
But the interior of my bag ! — what a medley it is ! 
First, I believe, I have secured four underskirts, 
three chemises, as many pairs of stockings, two under- 
bodies, the prayer book father gave me, "Tennyson " 
that Harry gave me when I was fourteen, two unmade 
muslins, a white mull, English grenadine trimmed 
with lilac, and a purple linen, and nightgown. 
Then, I must have Lavinia's daguerreotype, and 
how could I leave Will's, when perhaps he was dead? 
Besides, Howell's and Will Carter's were with him, 
and one single case did not matter. But there was 
Tom Barker's I would like to keep, and oh! let's 
take Mr. Stone's! and I can't slight Mr. Dunnington, 
for these two have been too kind to Jimmy for me 
to forget; and poor Captain Huger is dead, and I will 
keep his, so they all went together. A box of pens, 
too, was indispensable, and a case of French note- 
paper, and a bundle of Harry's letters were added. 
Miriam insisted on the old diary that preceded this, 
and found place for it, though I am afraid if she knew 
what trash she was to carry, she would retract before 
going farther. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

It makes me heartsick to see the utter ruin we will 
be plunged in if forced to run to-night. Not a hun- 
dredth part of what I most value can be saved — if 
I counted my letters and papers, not a thousandth. 
But I cannot believe we will run to-night. The sol- 
diers tell whoever questions them that there will be 
a fight before morning, but I believe it must be to 
alarm them. Though what looks suspicious is, that 
the officers said — to whom is not stated — that the 
ladies must not be uneasy if they heard cannon to- 
night, as they would probably commence to cele- 
brate the Fourth of July about twelve o'clock. What 
does it mean? I repeat, I don't believe a word of it; 
yet I have not yet met the woman or child who is not 
prepared to fly. Rose knocked at the door just now 
to show her preparations. Her only thought seems 
to be mother's silver, so she has quietly taken pos- 
session of our shoe-bag, which is a long sack for odds 
and ends with cases for shoes outside, and has filled 
it with all the contents of the silver- box; this hung 
over her arm, and carrying Louis and Sarah, this 
young Samson says she will be ready to fly. 

I don't believe it, yet here I sit, my knapsack 
serving me for a desk, my seat the chair on which 
I have carefully spread my clothes in order. At my 
elbow lies my running- or treasure-bag, surrounded 
by my cabas filled with hair-pins, starch, and a band 
I was embroidering, etc.; near it lie our combs, etc., 
and the whole is crowned by my dagger ; — by the 
way, I must add Miriam's pistol which she has for- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

gotten, though over there lies her knapsack ready, 

too, with our bonnets and veils. 

It is long past eleven, and no sound of the cannon. 

Bah ! I do not expect it. "I '11 lay me down and sleep 

in peace, for Thou only. Lord, makest me to dwell in 

safety." Good-night ! I wake up to-morrow the same 

as usual, and be disappointed that my trouble was 


July 4th. 

Here I am, and still alive, having wakened but once 
in the night, and that only in consequence of Louis 
and Morgan crying; nothing more alarming than 
that. I ought to feel foolish ; but I do not. I am glad 
I was prepared, even though there was no occasion 
for it. 

While I was taking my early bath, Lilly came to 
the bath-house and told me through the weather- 
boarding of another battle. Stonewall Jackson has 
surrounded McClellan completely, and victory is 
again ours. This is said to be the sixth battle he has 
fought in twenty days, and they say he has won 
them all. And the Seventh Regiment distinguished 
itself, and was presented with four cannon on the 
battlefield in acknowledgment of its gallant conduct ! 
Gibbes belongs to the ''ragged howling regiment 
that rushed on the field yelling like unchained devils 
and spread a panic through the army," as the North- 
ern papers said, describing the battle of Manassas. 
Oh, how I hope he has escaped! 

And they say "Palmerston has urged the re- 


A Confederate Girl*s Diary 

cognition of the Confederacy, and an armed inter- 
vention on our side." Would it not be glorious? Oh, 
for peace, blessed peace, and our brothers once more! 
Palmerston is said to have painted Butler as the 
vilest oppressor, and having added he was ashamed 
to acknowledge him of Anglo-Saxon origin. Perhaps 
knowing the opinion entertained of him by foreign 
nations, caused Butler to turn such a somersault. For 
a few days before his arrival here, we saw a leading 
article in the leading Union paper of New Orleans, 
threatening us with the arming of the slaves for our 
extermination if England interfered, in the same 
language almost as Butler used when here ; three days 
ago the same paper ridiculed the idea, and said such 
a brutal, inhuman thing was never for a moment 
thought of, it was too absurd. And so the world goes ! 
We all turn somersaults occasionally. 

And yet, I would rather we would achieve our 
independence alone, if possible. It would be so much 
more glorious. And then I would hate to see Eng- 
land conquer the North, even if for our sake ; my love 
for the old Union is still too great to be willing to see 
it so humiliated. If England would just make Lin- 
coln come to his senses, and put an end to all this 
confiscation which is sweeping over everything, 
make him agree to let us alone and behave himself, 
that will be quite enough. But what a task! If it 
were put to the vote to-morrow to return free and 
unmolested to the Union, or stay out, I am sure 
Union would have the majority; but this way, to 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

think we are to be sent to Fort Jackson and all the 
other prisons for expressing our ideas, however harm- 
less, to have our houses burned over our heads, and 
all the prominent men hanged, who would be eager 
for it? — unless, indeed, it was to escape even the 
greater horrors of a war of extermination. 

July 5th. 

Think, that since the 28th of May, I have not 
walked three squares at a time, for my only walks 
are to Mrs. Brunot's! 

It is enough to kill any one; I might as well be at 
Ship Island, where Butler has sentenced Mrs. Phillips 
for laughing while the corpse of a Federal officer ^ 
was passing — at least, that is to be the principal 
charge, though I hope, for the sake of Butler's soul, 
that he had better reasons. Shocking as her conduct 
was, she hardly deserved two years' close confine- 
ment in such a dreadful place as that, because she 
happened to have no sense of delicacy, and no feel- 

"The darkest hour is just before the day"; we 
have had the blackest night for almost three months, 
and I don't see the light yet. " Better days are com- 
ing — " I am getting skeptical, I fear me. 

I look forward to my future life with a shudder. 
This one cannot last long; I will be ''up arid doing" 
before many months are past. Doing what? Why, if 

* Note by Mrs. Dawson in 1906: DeKay, our relative. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

all father left us is lost forever, if we are to be penni- 
less as well as homeless, I '11 work for my living. 
How, I wonder? I will teach. I know I am not capa- 
ble, but I can do my best. I would rather die than 
be dependent; I would rather die than teach. There 
now, you know how I feel ! Teaching before depend- 
ence, death before teaching. My soul revolts from 
the drudgery. I never see a governess that my heart 
does not ache for her. I think of the nameless, num- 
berless insults and trials she is forced to submit to; 
of the hopeless, thankless task that is imposed on 
her, to which she is expected to submit without a 
murmur; of all her griefs and agony shut up in her 
heart, and I cry Heaven help a governess. My heart 
bleeds for them and — 

I o'clock P.M. 

Thus far had I reached when news came that our 
forces were attacking the town, and had already 
driven the pickets in ! I am well now. 

We all rushed to make preparations instantly. I 
had just finished washing my hair, before I com- 
menced writing, and had it all streaming around me ; 
but it did not take a minute to thrust it into a loose 
net. Then we each put on a fresh dress, except myself, 
as I preferred to have a linen cambric worn several 
times before, to a clean one not quite so nice, for 
that can do good service when washed. The excite- 
ment is intense ; mother is securing a few of father's 
most valuable papers; Lilly running around after 
the children, and waiting for Charlie who cannot be 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

found; Miriam, after securing all things needful, 
has gone downstairs to wait the issue; and I, dressed 
for instant flight, with my running-bag tied to my 
waist, and knapsack, bonnet, veil, etc., on the bed, 
occupy my last few moments at home in this profit- 
able way. 

Nobody knows what it is. A regiment has been 
marched out to meet our troops, some say com- 
manded by Van Dorn, which I doubt. The gunboats 
are preparing to second them ; we hear the Garrison 
drum and see people running, that is all. We don't 
know what is coming. I believe it will prove nothing, 
after all. But — ! The gunboat is drawn up so as to 
command our street here; the guns aimed up the 
street just below, and if a house falls, ours will be 
about the first. Well! this time next year, we will 
know all of which we are now ignorant. That is one 
consolation! The house will either be down or 
standing, then. 

6 P.M. 

We have once more subsided ; how foolish all this 
seems! Miriam and I laughed while preparing, and 
laughed while unpacking; it is the only way to 
take such things, and we agree on that, as on most 
other subjects. "They say" the affair originated 
from half a dozen shots fired by some Federal sol- 
diers through idleness, whereupon the pickets rushed 
in screaming Van Dorn was after them at the head 
of six thousand men. I have my reasons for doubt- 
ing the story ; it must have been something more than 

1 06 

A Confederate Girl's Diary 

that, to spread such a panic ; for they certainly had 
time to ascertain the truth of the attack before they 
beat the long roll and sent out their troops, for if it 
had been Van Dorn, he would have been on them 
before that. Whatever it was, I am glad of the ex- 
citement, for it gave me new life for several hours ; I 
was really sick before. Oh, this life! When will it 
end? Evermore and forevermore shall we live in 
this suspense? I wish we were in the Sandwich 


July 7th. 

As we have no longer a minister — Mr. Gierlow 
having gone to Europe — and no papers, I am in 
danger of forgetting the days of the week, as well as 
those of the month ; but I am positive that yesterday 
was Sunday because I heard the Sunday-School 
bells, and Friday I am sure was the Fourth, because 
I heard the national salute fired. I must remember 
that to find my dates by. 

Well, last night being Sunday, a son of Captain 
Hooper, who died in the Fort Jackson fight, having 
just come from New Orleans, stopped here on his 
way to Jackson, to tell us the news, or rather to see 
Charlie, and told us afterwards. He says a boat 
from Mobile reached the city Saturday evening, and 
the captain told Mr. La Noue that he brought 
an extra from the former place, containing news of 
McClellan's surrender with his entire army, his 
being mortally wounded, and the instant depar- 
ture of a French, and English, man-of-war, from 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Hampton Roads, with the news. That revived my 
spirits considerably — all except McClellan's being 
wounded ; I could dispense with that. But if it were 
true, and if peace would follow, and the boys come 
home — ! Oh, what bliss! I would die of joy as 
rapidly as I am pining away with suspense now, I 
am afraid I 

About ten o'clock, as we came up, mother went to 
the window in the entry to tell the news to Mrs. 
Day, and while speaking, saw a man creeping by 
under the window, in the narrow little alley on the 
side of the house, evidently listening, for he had 
previously been standing in the shadow of a tree, 
and left the street to be nearer. When mother ran 
to give the alarm to Charlie, I looked down, and 
there the man was, looking up, as I could dimly see, 
for he crouched down in the shadow of the fence. 
Presently, stooping still, he ran fast towards the 
front of the house, making quite a noise in the long 
tangled grass. When he got near the pepper-bush, 
he drew himself up to his full height, paused a mo- 
ment as though listening, and then walked quietly 
towards the front gate. By that time Charlie reached 
the front gallery above, and called to him, asking 
what he wanted. Without answering the man walked 
steadily out, closed the gate deliberately; then, sud- 
denly remembering drunkenness would be the best 
excuse, gave a lurch towards the house, walked off 
perfectly straight in the moonlight, until seeing Dr. 
Day fastening his gate, he reeled again. 


A Confederate Girl*s Diary 

That man was not drunk! Drunken men cannot 
run crouching, do not shut gates carefully after them, 
would have no inclination to creep in a dim little 
alley merely to creep out again. It may have been 
one of our detectives. Standing in the full moon- 
light, which was very bright, he certainly looked 
like a gentleman, for he was dressed in a handsome 
suit of black. He was no citizen. Form your own 
conclusions! Well! after all, he heard no treason. 
Let him play eavesdropper if he finds it consistent 
with his character as a gentleman. 

The captain who brought the extra from Mobile 
wished to have it reprinted, but it was instantly 
seized by a Federal officer, who carried it to Butler, 
who monopolized it; so that will never be heard of 
again; we must wait for other means of information. 
The young boy who told us, reminds me very much 
of Jimmy; he is by no means so handsome, but yet 
there is something that recalls him; and his voice, 
though more childish, sounds like Jimmy's, too. I 
had an opportunity of writing to Lydia by him, of 
which I gladly availed myself, and have just finished 
a really tremendous epistle. 

Wednesday, 9th July. 

Poor Miriam! Poor Sarah! they are disgraced 
again ! Last night we were all sitting on the balcony 
in the moonlight, singing as usual with our guitar. 
I have been so accustomed to hear father say in the 
evening, *' Come, girls! where is my concert?" and he 
took so much pleasure in listening, that I could not 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

think singing in the balcony was so very dreadful, 
since he encouraged us in it. But last night changed 
all my ideas. We noticed Federals, both officers and 
soldiers, pass singly, or by twos or threes at different 
times, but as we were not singing for their benefit, 
and they were evidently attending to their own af- 
fairs, there was no necessity of noticing them at all. 
But about half-past nine, after we had sung two 
or three dozen others, we commenced "Mary of 
Argyle." As the last word died away, while the chords 
were still vibrating, came a sound of — clapping 
hands, in short ! Down went every string of the guitar ; 
Charlie cried, "I told you so!" and ordered an im- 
mediate retreat; Miriam objected, as undignified, 
but renounced the guitar; mother sprang to her 
feet, and closed the front windows in an instant, 
whereupon, dignified or not, we all evacuated the 
gallery and fell back into the house. All this was done 
in a few minutes, and as quietly as possible ; and while 
the gas was being turned off downstairs, Miriam and 
I flew upstairs, — I confess I was mortified to death, 
very, very much ashamed, — but we wanted to 
see the guilty party, for from below they were in- 
visible. We stole out on the front balcony above, 
and in front of the house that used to be Gibbes's, 
we beheld one of the culprits. At the sight of the 
creature, my mortification vanished in intense com- 
passion for his. He was standing under the tree, 
half in the moonlight, his hands in his pockets, look- 
ing at the extinction of light below, with the true 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

state of affairs dawning on his astonished mind, and 
looking by no means satisfied with himself ! Such an 
abashed creature! He looked just as though he had 
received a kick, that, conscious of deserving, he 
dared not return ! While he yet gazed on the house 
in silent amazement and consternation, hands still 
forlornly searching his pockets, as though for a rea- 
son for our behavior, from under the dark shadow 
of the tree emother slowly picked himself up from the 
ground — hope he was not knocked down by surprise 
— and joined the first. His hands sought his pockets, 
too, and, if possible, he looked more mortified than 
the other. After looking for some time at the house, 
satisfied that they had put an end to future singing 
from the gallery, they walked slowly away, turning 
back every now and then to be certain that it was 
a fact. If ever I saw two mortified, hangdog-looking 
men, they were these two as they took their way 
home. Was it not shocking? 

But they could not have meant it merely to be 
insulting or they would have placed themselves in 
full view of us, rather than out of sight, under the 
trees. Perhaps they were thinking of their own 

homes, instead of us. 

July loth. 

A proclamation is out announcing that any one 
talking about the war, or present state of affairs, 
will be "summarily" dealt with. Now, seems to me 
"summarily" is not exactly the word they mean, 
but still it has an imposing effect. What a sad state 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

their affairs must be in, if they can't bear comment. 
An officer arrived day before yesterday, bringing the 
surprising intelligence that McClellan had captured 
Richmond and fifty thousand prisoners; that is the 
time they talked. But when we received yesterday con- 
firmation of his being finally defeated by our troops, 
and the capture of his railroad train twelve miles in 
length, they forbid further mention of the subject. 
I wonder if they expect to be obeyed? What a stretch 
of tyranny ! O free America ! You who uphold free 
people, free speech, free everything, what a foul blot 
of despotism rests on a once spotless name ! A nation 
of brave men, who wage war on women and lock 
them up in prisons for using their woman weapon/ 
the tongue; a nation of free people who advocate 
despotism ; a nation of Brothers who bind the weaker 
ones hand and foot, and scourge them with military 
tyrants and other Free, Brotherly institutions; what 
a picture! Who would not be an American? One 
consolation is, that this proclamation, and the ex- 
traordinary care they take to suppress all news ex- 
cept what they themselves manufacture, proves me 
our cause is prospering more than they like us to 
know. I do believe day is about to break! 

If our troops are determined to burn our houses 
over our heads to spite the Yankees, I wish they 
would hurry and have it over at once. Ten regiments 
of infantry are stationed at Camp Moore, and Scott's 
cavalry was expected at Greenwell yesterday, both 
preparing for an attack on Baton Rouge. If we must 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

be beggars, let it come at once; I can't endure this 


July nth. 

A letter from George this morning! It was writ- 
ten on the 20th of June, and he speaks of being on 
crutches in consequence of his horse having fallen 
with him, and injured his knee. Perhaps, then, he 
was not in the first battle of the 25th? But bah! I 
know George too well to imagine he would keep 
quiet at such a moment, if he could possibly stand ! 
I am sure he was there with the rest of the Louisi- 
ana regiment. The papers say ''the conduct of the 
First Louisiana is beyond all praise"; of course, 
George was there! 

And Jimmy is with him at Richmond ; but whether 
in the army, or navy, or what rank if in the first, 
he does not say ; he only says he is looking remark- 
ably well. Gibbes he had heard from in a letter dated 
the 1 6th, and up to then he was in perfect health. 
His last letter here was dated loth of March, so we 
are thankful enough now. I was so delighted to read 
the accounts of the "gallant Seventh " in some paper 
we fortunately procured. At Jackson's address, and 
presentation of the battery they had so bravely won, 
I was beside myself with delight; I was thinking 
that Gibbes, of course, was ''the" regiment, had 
taken the battery with his single sword, and I know 
not what besides. Strange to say, I have not an 
idea of the names of the half-dozen battles he was in, 
in June, but believe that one to be Port Republic. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

June 1 2th [sic]. 

Brother writes that rumors of the capture of Baton 
Rouge by our troops have made him very uneasy 
about us; and he wishes us to go down to New Or- 
leans if possible. I wish we could. The impression 
here, is that an attack is inevitable, and the city 
papers found it necessary to contradict the rumor 
of Ruggles having occupied it already. I wish mother 
would go. I can see no difference there or here, 
except that there, we will be safe, for a while at 
leasu. ... 

I grow desperate when I read these Northern 

papers reviling and abusing us, reproaching us for 

bjcing broken and dispersed, taunting us with their 

victories, sparing no humiliating name in speaking of 

us, and laughing as to what ''we'll see" when we vile 

rebels are "driven out of Virginia, and the glorious 

Union firmly established." I can't bear these taunts! 

I grow sick to read these vile, insulting papers that 

seem written expressly to goad us into madness! . . . 

There must be many humane, reasonable men in 

the North ; can they not teach their editors decency 

in this their hour of triumph? 

July 13th, Sunday. 

A profitable way to spend such a day! Being 
forced to dispense with church-going, I have occu- 
pied myself in reading a great deal, and writing a 
little, which latter duty is a favorite task of mine 
after church on Sundays. But this evening, the 
mosquitoes are so savage that writing became im- 




AST Qi--, L nOX AN'O 
TILD ^' F':-; -f^A ■ IONS. 

A Confederate Girl's Diary 

possible, until Miriam and I instituted a grand ex- 
termination process, which we partly accomplished 
by extraordinary efforts. She lay on the bed with 
the bar half-drawn over her, and half-looped up, 
while I was commissioned to fan the wretches from 
all corners into the pen. It was rather fatiguing, and 
in spite of the numbers slain, hardly recompensed 
me for the trouble of hunting them around the room ; 
but still, Miriam says exercise is good for me, and 
she ought to know. 

I have been reading that old disguster, Boswell. 
Bah ! I have no patience with the toady ! I suppose 
"my mind is not yet thoroughly impregnated with 
the Johnsonian ether," and that is the reason w^hy 
I cannot appreciate him, or his work. I admire him 
for his patience and minuteness in compiling such 
trivial details. He must have been an amiable man, 
to bear Johnson's brutal, ill-humored remarks; but 
seems to me if I had not spirit enough to resent the 
indignity, I would at least not publish it to the world ! 
Briefly, my opinion, which this book has only tended 
to confirm, is that Boswell was a vain, conceited 
prig, a fool of a jackanape, an insupportable syco- 
phant, a — whatever mean thing you please; there 
is no word small enough to suit him. As to Johnson, 
he is a surly old bear; in short, an old brute of a 
tyrant. All his knowledge and attainments could 
not have made me tolerate him, I am sure. I could 
have no respect for a man who was so coarse in 
speech and manners, and who eat like an animal. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Fact is, I am not a Boswellian, or a Johnsonian, 
either. I do not think him such an extraordinary 
man. I have heard many conversations as worthy 
of being recorded as nineteen-twentieths of his. In 
spite of his learning, he was narrow-minded and 
bigoted, which I despise above all earthly failings. 
Witness his tirades against Americans, calling us 
Rascals, Robbers, Pirates, and saying he would like 
to burn us ! Now I have railed at many of these ordi- 
nary women here, for using like epithets for the 
Yankees, and have felt the greatest contempt for 
their absurd abuse. These poor women do not as- 
pire to Johnsonian wisdom, and their ignorance 
may serve as an excuse for their narrow-mindedness ; 
but the wondrous Johnson to rave and bellow like 
any Billingsgate nymph! Bah! He is an old dis- 
guster I 

July 14th, 3 P.M. 

Another pleasant excitement. News has just 
arrived that Scott's cavalry was having a hard fight 
with the Yankees eight miles from town. Everybody 
immediately commenced to pick up stray articles, 
and get ready to fly, in spite of the intense heat. I 
am resigned, as I hardly expect a shelling. Another 
report places the fight fourteen miles from here. A 
man on horseback came in for reinforcements. Heaven 
help poor Howell, if it is true. I am beginning to 
doubt half I hear. People tell me the most extrava- 
gant things, and if I am fool enough to believe them 
and repeat them, I suddenly discover that it is not 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

half so true as it might be, and as they themselves 
frequently deny having told it, all the odium of 
*' manufacturing" rests on my shoulders, which have 
not been accustomed to bear lies of any kind. I mean 
to cease believing anything, unless it rests on the 
word of some responsible person. By the way — 
the order I so confidently believed, concerning the 
proclamation, turns out not quite so bad. I was told 
women were included, and it extended to private 
houses as well as public ones, though I fortunately 
omitted that when I recorded it. When I read it, it 
said, ''All discussions concerning the war are pro- 
hibited in bar-rooms, public assemblies, and street 
corners." As women do not frequent such places, and 
private houses are not mentioned, I cannot imagine 
how my informant made the mistake, unless, like 
me, it was through hearing it repeated. Odious as 
I thought it then, I think it wise now; for more than 
one man has lost his life through discussions of the 


July 17th, Thursday. 

It is decided that I am to go to New Orleans next 
week. I hardly know which I dislike most, going or 
staying. I know I shall be dreadfully homesick; 
but — 

Remember — and keep quiet, Sarah, I beg of 
you. Everything points to an early attack here. 
Some say this week. The Federals are cutting down 
all our beautiful woods near the Penitentiary, to 


A Confederate Girl*s Diary 

throw up breastworks, some say. Cannon are to be 
planted on the foundation of Mr. Pike's new house; 
everybody is in a state of expectation. Honestly, if 
Baton Rouge has to be shelled, I shall hate to miss 
the fun. It will be worth seeing, and I would like to 
be present, even at the risk of losing my big toe by 
a shell. But then, by going, I can save many of my 
clothes, and then Miriam and I can divide when every- 
thing is burned — that is one advantage, besides 
being beneficial by the change of air. They say the 
town is to be attacked to-night. I don't believe a 
word of it. 

Oh, I was so distressed this evening! They tell 
me Mr. Biddle was killed at Vicksburg. I hope it is 
not true. Suppose it was a shot from Will's battery? 

July 20th, Sunday. 
Last night the town was in a dreadful state of 
excitement. Before sunset a regiment, that had been 
camped out of town, came in, and pitched their tents 
around the new theatre, in front of our church. All 
was commotion and bustle; and as the pickets had 
been drawn in, and the soldiers talked freely of ex- 
pecting an attack, everybody believed it, and was 
consequently in rather an unpleasant state of antici- 
pation. Their cannon were on the commons back of 
the church, the artillery horses tied to the wheels; 
while some dozen tents were placed around, filled 
with men who were ready to harness them at the 
first alarm. With all these preparations in full view, 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

we went to bed as usual. I did not even take the 
trouble of gathering my things which I had re- 
moved from my ''peddler sack"; and slept, satis- 
fied that, if forced to fly, I would lose almost every- 
thing in spite of my precaution in making a bag. 

Well! night passed, and here is morning, and noth- 
ing is heard yet. The attack is delayed until this 
evening, or to-morrow, they say. Woman though 
I am, I am by no means as frightened as some of 
these men are. I can't get excited about it. Perhaps 
it is because they know the danger, and I do not. 
But I hate to see men uneasy! I have been so accus- 
tomed to brave, fearless ones, who would beard the 
Devil himself, that it gives me a great disgust to see 
any one less daring than father and the boys. 

I have been so busy preparing to go to the city 
that I think if the frolic should intervene and pre- 
vent my departure, I would be disappointed, though 
I do not want to go. It would be unpleasant, for 
instance, to pack all I own in my trunk, and just as 
I place the key in my pocket to hear the shriek of 
"Van Dorn!" raised again. This time it is to be 
Ruggles, though. I would not mind if he came before 
I was packed. Besides, even if I miss the fun here, 
they say the boats are fired into from Plaquemine; 
and then I have the pleasure of being in a fight 
anyhow. Mother is alarmed about that part of my 
voyage, but Miriam and I persuaded her it is noth- 

If I was a man — oh, would n't I be in Richmond 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

with the boys! . . . What is the use of all these 
worthless women, in war times? If they attack, I 
shall don the breeches, and join the assailants, and 
fight, though I think they would be hopeless fools 
to attempt to capture a town they could not hold for 
ten minutes under the gunboats. How do breeches 
and coats feel, I wonder? I am actually afraid of 
them. I kept a suit of Jimmy's hanging in the 
armoir for six weeks waiting for the Yankees to 
come, thinking fright would give me courage to try it 
(what a seeming paradox!), but I never succeeded. 
Lilly one day insisted on my trying it, and I advanced 
so far as to lay it on the bed, and then carried my 
bird out — I was ashamed to let even my canary 
see me; — but when I took a second look, my cour- 
age deserted me, and there ended my first and last 
attempt at disguise. I have heard so many girls 
boast of having worn men's clothes; I wonder where 
they get the courage. 

To think half the men in town sat up all night in 
expectation of a stampede, while we poor women 
slept serenely ! Everybody is digging pits to hide in 
when the ball opens. The Days have dug a tremen- 
dous one ; the Wolffs, Sheppers, and some fifty others 
have taken the same precaution. They may as well 
dig their graves at once ; what if a tremendous shell 
should burst over them, and bury in the dirt those 
who were not killed? Oh, no ! let me see all the danger, 
and the way it is coming, at once. To-morrow, — or 
day after, — in case no unexpected little incident 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

occurs in the interval, I purpose going to New Or- 
leans, taking father's papers and part of Miriam's 
and mother's valuables for safe-keeping. I hate to 
go, but they all think I should, as it will be one less 
to look after if we are shelled — which I doubt. I 
don't know that I require much protection, but I 
might as well be agreeable and go. Ouf ! how I will 
grow homesick, before I am out of sight! 


Here we go, sure enough. At precisely eleven 
o'clock, while we were enjoying our first dreams, we 
were startled by the long roll which was beat half a 
square below us. At first I only repeated "The roll 
of the drum," without an idea connected with it; but 
hearing the soldiers running, in another instant I 
was up, and was putting on my stockings when 
Miriam ran in, in her nightgown. The children were 
roused and dressed quickly, and it did not take us 
many instants to prepare, — the report of two shots, 
and the tramp of soldiers, cries of "Double-quick,'* 
and sound as of cannon moving, rather hastening 
our movements. Armoirs, bureaus, and everything 
else were thrown open, and Miriam and I hastily 
packed our sacks with any articles that came to 
hand, having previously taken the precaution to put 
on everything fresh from the armoir. We have saved 
what we can ; but I find myself obliged to leave one 
of my new muslins I had just finished, as it occupied 
more room than I can afford, the body of my lovely 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

lilac, and my beauteous white mull. But then, I have 
saved eight half-made linen chemises! that will be 
better than the outward show. 

Here comes an alarm of fire — at least a dreadful 
odor of burning cotton which has set everybody 
wild with fear that conflagration is to be added to 
these horrors. The cavalry swept past on their way 
to the river ten minutes ago, and here comes the 
news that the gunboats are drawing up their an- 
chors and making ready. Well! here an hour has 
passed ; suppose they do not come after all ? I have 
been watching two sentinels at the corner, who are 
singing and dancing in the gayest way. One reminds 
me of Gibbes ; I have seen him dance that way often. 
I was glad to see a good-humored man again. I wish 
I was in bed. I am only sitting up to satisfy my con- 
science, for I have long since ceased to expect a real 
bombardment. If it must come, let it be now; I 
am tired of waiting. A crowd of women have sought 
the protection of the gunboats. I am distressed 
about the Brunots; suppose they did not hear the 
noise? O girls ! if I was a man, I wonder what would 
induce me to leave you four lone, unprotected women 
sleeping in that house, unconscious of all this? Is 
manhood a dream that is past? Is humanity an idle 
name? Fatherless, brotherless girls, if I was honored 
with the title of Man, I do believe I would be fool 
enough to run around and wake you, at least! Not 
another word, though. I shall go mad with rage and 
disgust. I am going to bed. This must be a humbug. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Morgan came running in, once more in his night- 
gear, begging Lilly to hear his prayers. In answer to 
her "Why? You have said them to-night!" he says, 
"Yes! but I've been getting up so often!" Poor 
child ! no wonder he is perplexed ! 

One hour and a half of this nonsense, and no result 
known. We are told the firing commenced, and the 
pickets were driven in, twenty minutes before the 

long roll beat. 

July 2 1 St 

It is impossible to discover the true story of last 
night's alarm. Some say it was a gang of negroes who 
attacked the pickets in revenge for having been 
turned out of the Garrison ; others say it was a number 
of our soldiers who fired from the bushes ; and the most 
amusing story is that they took alarm at an old white 
horse, which they killed, mistaking him for the Con- 
federates. One regiment has refused to do picket 
duty; and the story runs among these poor soldiers 
that our army, which is within a mile, is perfectly 
overwhelming. The excitement still continues. 

I have been writing to the Brunots the news con- 
firming the death of McClellan, the surrender of his 
army, and the good tidings of our Ram's recent ex- 
ploits above Vicksburg, and her arriving safely 
under the guns there. If we could keep all the dis- 
patches that have passed between us since the battle 
of the forts, what a collection of absurdity and con- 
tradiction it would be! "Forts have been taken.'* 
"Their ships have passed ; forts safe; Yankees at our 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

mercy." "Ships at New Orleans. City to be bom- 
barded in twelve hours." "Forts surrendered." "City 
under British protection." "No, it is n't." "City 
surrendered." "Mistake." "Baton Rouge to be 
burned when Yankee ships come." And soon, some- 
times three times a day, each dispatch contradicting 
the other, and all equally ridiculous. 

The crowd here seems to increase. The streets are 
thronged with the military, and it will soon be im- 
possible to go even to Mrs. Brunot's, which will be 
a great privation to me. . . . Five thousand are to 
come next week, and then it will really be impossible 

to go in the streets. 

July 22d, Tuesday. 

Another such day, and there is the end of me! 
Charlie decided to send Lilly and the children into 
the country early to-morrow morning, and get them 
safely out of this doomed town. Mother, Miriam, 
and I were to remain here alone. Take the children 
away, and I can stand whatever is to come; but this 
constant alarm, with five babies in the house, is too 
much for any of us. So we gladly packed their trunks 
and got them ready, and then news came pouring in. 
> First a negro man just from the country told Lilly 
that our soldiers were swarming out there, that he 
had never seen so many men. Then Dena wrote us 
that a Mrs. Bryan had received a letter from her 
son, praying her not to be in Baton Rouge after Wed- 
nesday morning, as they were to attack to-morrow. 
Then a man came to Charlie, and told him that 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

though he was on parole, yet as a Mason he must beg 
him not to let his wife sleep in town to-night ; to get 
her away before sunset. But it is impossible for her 
to start before morning. Hearing so many rumors, all 
pointing to the same time, we began to believe there 
might be some danger; so I packed all necessary 
clothing that could be dispensed with now in a large 
trunk for mother, Miriam, and me, and got it ready 
to send out in the country to Mrs. Williams. All told, 
I have but eight dresses left ; so I '11 have to be partic- 
ular. I am wealthy, compared to what I would have 
been Sunday night, for then I had but two in my 
sack, and now I have my best in the trunk. If the 
attack comes before the trunk gets off, or if the trunk 
is lost, we will verily be beggars; for I pack well, and 
it contains everything of any value in clothing. 

The excitement is on the increase, I think. Every- 
body is crazy to leave town. 

Thursday, July 24th. 

Yes; that must be the date, for one day and two 
nights have passed since I was writing here. Where 
shall I begin the story of my wanderings? I don't 
know that it has a beginning, it is all so hurried and 

But it was Tuesday evening that the Federals 
were seized with a panic which threw the whole town 
in alarm. They said our troops were within eight 
miles, ten thousand in number. The report was even 
started that the advance guard was skirmishing with 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

the Federals ; the shots were heard distinctly, a dozen 
people were ready to swear. The Yankees struck 
their tents, galloped with their cannon through the 
streets with the most terrific din, troops passed at 
double-quick on their way to the Garrison, every- 
thing was confusion. Mr. Tunnard told us yester- 
day he was present when part of them reached the 
gate of the Garrison, and saw one of the officers spring 
forward, waving his sword, and heard him cry, 
"Trot, men! Gallop, I say! Damn you! run in!" — 
with a perfect yell at the close ; whereupon all lookers- 
on raised a shout of laughter, for the man was 
frightened out of his wits. A Federal officer told him 
that their fright was really a disgrace; and if one 
thousand of our men had come in town, the whole 
thirty-five hundred would have been at their 
mercy. Even the naval officers denounce it as a most 
arrant piece of cowardice; for instead of marching 
their troops out to meet ours, they all rushed into 
the Garrison, where, if attacked, their only retreat 
would have been into the river. The gunboats were 
ordered into the middle of the stream, in front of the 
Garrison; and cooped up there, these valiant men 
awaited the assault in such trepidation that yester- 
day they freely said the force could be purchased for 
fifty cents, they are so ashamed of their panic. 

Imagine what effect this had on the inhabitants ! 
Soon, an exodus took place, in the direction of the 
Asylum, and we needs must follow the general 
example and run, too. In haste we packed a trunk 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

with our remaining clothes, — what we could get 
in, — and the greatest confusion prevailed for an 
hour. Beatrice had commenced to cry early in the 
evening, and redoubled her screams when she saw 
the preparations; and Louis joining in, they cried in 
concert until eight o'clock, when we finally got off. 
What a din ! Lilly looked perfectly exhausted ; that 
look on her face made me heartsick. Miriam flew 
around everywhere; mother always had one more 
article to find, and the noise was dreadful, when 
white and black assembled in the hall ready at last. 
Charlie placed half of the trunks on the dray, leav- 
ing the rest for another trip; and we at last started 
off. Besides the inevitable running-bag, tied to my 
waist, on this stifling night I had my sunbonnet, veil, 
comb, toothbrush, cabas filled with dozens of small 
articles, and dagger to carry; and then my heart 
failed me when I thought of my guitar, so I caught 
it up in the case; and remembering father's heavy 
inkstand, I seized that, too, with two fans. If I was 
asked what I did with all these things, I could not 
answer. Certain it is I had every one in my hands, 
and was not very ridiculous to behold. 

Seventeen in number, counting white and black, 
our procession started off, each loaded in their own 
way. The soldiers did not scruple to laugh at us. 
Those who were still waiting in front of the churches 
to be removed laughed heartily, and cried, "Hello! 
Where are you going? Running? Good-bye!'* 
Fortunately they could not see our faces, for it was 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

very dark. One stopped us under a lamp-post and 
wanted us to go back. He said he knew we were to 
be attacked, for the Confederates were within five 
miles ; but we were as safe at home as at the Asylum. 
He was a very handsome, respectable-looking man, 
though dirty, as Yankee soldiers always are, and in 
his shirt-sleeves besides. We thanked him for his 
kindness, and went on. All stopped at the Brunots', 
to see that they were ready to fly ; but the two parties 
were so tremendous that we gladly divided, and 
Miriam and I remained with them until they could 
get ready, while our detachment went on. 

Wagons, carts, every vehicle imaginable, passed 
on to places of safety, loaded with valuables, while 
women and children hurried on, on foot. It took 
the Brunots as long to prepare as it did us. I had to 
drag Sophie out of her bed, where she threw herself, 
vowing she would not run ; and after an interminable 
length of time, we were at last ready and started, 
with the addition of Mrs. Loucks and her sons in our 
train. The volunteer, whose sole duty seems to be to 
watch the Brunots, met us as we got out. He stopped 
as he met the first, looked in silence until Sophie and 
I passed, and then burst out laughing. No wonder! 
What a walk it was! Nobody hesitated to laugh, 
even though they meant to run themselves, and we 
made fun of each other, too, so our walk was merry 

When we reached there, the Asylum was already 
crowded — at least, it would have been a crowd in 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

any other place, though a mere handful in such a 
building. The whole house was illuminated, up to 
the fifth story, and we were most graciously received 
by the director, who had thrown the whole house 
open to whoever chose to come, and exerted himself 
to be accommodating. It looked like a tremendous 
hotel where every one is at home; not a servant or 
one of the deaf and dumb children was to be seen; 
we had all the lower story to ourselves. Was n't it 
pleasant to unload, and deposit all things in a place 
of safety! It was a great relief. Then we five girls 
walked on the splendid balcony which goes around 
the house until we could no longer walk, when I 
amused myself by keeping poor Sophie standing, 
since she would not sit down like a Christian, but 
insisted on going to bed like a lazy girl, as she is. 
When I finally let her go, it did not take her many 
minutes to undress, and soon we were all ready for 
bed. The Bruno ts had beds on the parlor floor; across 
the wide hall, we had a room opposite; and next to 
ours, Lilly and the children were all sleeping soundly. 
I ran the blockade of the hall in my nightgown, and 
had a splendid romp with the girls after rolling 
Sophie out of bed, and jerking Nettie up. Mother 
and Mrs. Brunot cried, ''Order," laughing, but they 
came in for their share of the sport, until an admiring 
crowd of females at the door told us by their amused 
faces they were enjoying it, too; so I ran the gaunt- 
let again, and got safely through the hall, and after 
a few more inroads, in one of which Miriam accom- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

panied me, and on which occasion I am sure we were 
seen in our nightgowns, we finally went to bed. I 
won't say went to sleep, for I did not pretend to doze. 
All our side of the house had bars, except me ; and the 
mosquitoes were unendurable; so I watched mother 
and Miriam in their downy slumbers and lay on my 
hard bed for hours, fighting the torments with bare 

Every now and then I heard a stir among the fe- 
males above, indicating that some few were antici- 
pating a panic. Once they took a rush from the fourth 
story, and cried they heard the cannon ; twenty guns 
had been fired, etc. I lay still, determined not to 
believe it; and presently all subsided. I lay there for 
hours longer, it seemed, when Nettie at last wandered 
in disconsolate to find if we were asleep ; for with the 
exception of Sophie, they, too, had been awake all 
night. I went to the parlor with her, when she, 
Dena, and I, decided to dress at once and sit on the 
balcony, since sleep was hopeless. Behold me in a 
blue muslin flounced to the waist, with a cape, too ! 
What a running costume! Miriam only had time to 
take oflt her white dress before starting. All dressed, 
we went to the northwest corner, as far as possible 
from the rest of the household, and sat in a splendid 
breeze for hours. It was better than fighting in- 
satiable mosquitoes ; so there we sat talking through 
the greater part of a night which seemed to have 
borrowed a few additional hours for] our benefit. 
We'll have no Leap Year in '64; the twenty-four 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

extra hours were crowded in on [that occasion, I 

We discussed our favorite books, characters, au- 
thors, repeated scraps here and there of the mock 
sentimental, talked of how we would one day like to 
travel, and where we would go; discussed love and 
marriage, and came to the conclusion neither was 
the jest it was thought to be. (O wise young women !) 
Poor Nettie retired in despair, and we two watched 
alone for hours longer. The sun must have been ar- 
rested by some Joshua on the road ; could n't make me 
believe it was doing its duty as usual. We wandered 
around the balconies, through the grounds in the 
dim starlight (for it was cloudy), and finally, be- 
holding a faint promise of morning, sat still and 
waited for the coming of the lazy sun. What was 
still more aggravating was that every time we looked 
in at the others showed them sleeping peacefully. 
Miriam lay her full length with outstretched arms, 
the picture of repose, looking so comfortable! When 
the sun finally made his appearance (he was out on a 
spree, I found, for his eyes were not half opened, 
and he looked dull and heavy as he peeped from be- 
hind his bed curtains), others began to stir, and in 
an hour more, we were ready to leave. Those who 
had slept, came out with swelled eyes and drowsy 
looks; while we three, who had been up all night, 
were perfectly calm, though rather pale; but I am 
seldom otherwise. 

Were we not thankful to see home still standing ! 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

I did not feel tired much, but somehow, when it 
struck half-past six, and I found myself alone here 
(Miriam having stopped at Mrs. Day's), I suddenly 
found myself divested of my flounces, and most other 
articles, and involuntarily going towards the bed. I 
could not sleep, wasn't thinking of such a thing; 
meant to — there was an end of my soliloquy ! 
Where I went, I don't know. As the clock struck 
eight, I got up as unaccountably, and discovered I 
had lost all idea of time in sleep. If it had not been 
for the clock, I should have said I had slept a day 
and a night, and it was now Thursday morning. A 
giant refreshed, I rose from my slumbers, took a hasty 
cup of coffee, and set to work packing Lilly's trunk, for 
I was crazy to see the children off as soon as possible. 
It was no short work, but we all hurried, said good- 
bye, and saw them go with a feeling of relief. By 
the experience of the night before, we knew that 
when the real moment came it would be impossible 
to get them off in time to escape danger. Poor Lilly ! 
we miss her sadly ; but are thankful to know that she 
is out of danger with her poor little children. She 
looked heartbroken at the idea of leaving us alone; 
but then, when one weak woman has five small 
babies to take care of, is it fair to impose three big 
ones on her? I'd never stay here, if she sacrificed 
her children to take care of us who need no protection. 
I was very lazy after they left ; and sat reading until 
a note was brought from Charlie saying they were 
safe beyond the lines. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Last night came another alarm. Some fifty can- 
non were fired somewhere above, reports came that 
a body of our troops were a few miles out, so a thou- 
sand of these men took courage and went out to 
reconnoitre. Mrs. Brunot and mother insisted on 
going again to the Asylum for protection against 
the coming attack, though we at first begged and 
pleaded to stay at home. But we had to follow, and 
I don't think any of us were in the best of humors, 
as we were all conscious of doing a foolish thing. 

We were cordially received again, and got quite 
gay. Sleeping accommodations no better than be- 
fore, as far as I was concerned. Sophie, Miriam, and 
I had but one bar between us, so we placed two 
mattresses side by side, and by dint of chairs and 
strings, stretched the net as far as possible over 
them. Those two were well enough ; but to my share 
fell a baby's mattress two feet by four, placed be- 
tween the wall and the other great bed, with the end 
of the bar a foot above my face, and one sheet to 
do the duty of two — however, they had only one, 
also. Well! I believe I am tall, so my bed did not 
fit me. As it was two inches higher than theirs, there 
was no sharing. In spite of a heavy rain that was 
now pouring, my warm place was intolerable, and 
the perspiration streamed from my face so as to be 
disagreeable, to say the least. It drove me to walk 
in my sleep, I am afraid, for I have an indistinct 
recollection of finding myself standing at the window 
trying to breathe. It was a very, very little piece of 



A Confederate Girl's Diary 

sleep I got after all, and that little by no means 

Up at sunrise again, but it took some time to get 
ready, for I had to get some clothes out of the trunk, 
to send home. Well, ever since I reached here I have 
been writing, and I am ashamed to say how long it is. 
As the time grows more exciting, my book grows 
shorter, to my great distress. What will I do? 

We all vowed that would be the last time we would 
run until we heard the cannon, or had some better 
reason than a Yankee panic to believe the Confed- 
erates were coming ; though if we listened to mother, 
she would go there every night if this lasted for a 
whole year. Kind Phillie Nolan wrote insisting on 
our staying with "them on the plantation until it 
was over, but we cannot do it ; the time is too uncer- 
tain ; if we knew it was to come this week, we might 
stay that long with her; but to go for an indefinite 
period, Miriam and I would not hear of. 

I have kept for the last a piece of news I received 

with thankfulness, when I finally heard it ; for, though 

known to the whole family and all the town on 

Tuesday night, no one thought it worth while to 

tell me until I heard it by accident last evening. It 

was that a Mr. Bell, writing to his wife, says Gibbes 

asked him to send word to mother that he, George, 

and Jimmy were in the fight of the loth and nth, 

and all safe. God be praised! 

July 25th. 

An old gentleman stopped here just now in a 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

carriage and asked to see me. Such a sad, sick old 
man ! He said his name was Caldwell, and that pass- 
ing through East Feliciana, Mrs. Flynn had asked 
him to deliver a message to us. Had we heard from 
our brothers? I told him the message from Mr. Bell. 
He commenced crying. There was one of them, he 
said, who got hurt. I held my breath and looked at 
him. He cried more still, and said yes, it was Gibbes 
— in the hand — not dangerous — but — Here I 
thought he meant to tell me worse; perhaps he was 
dead; but I could not speak, so he went on saying 
Lydia and the General had gone on to Richmond in- 
stantly, and had probably reached there before to- 
day. He took so long to tell it, and he cried so, that 
I was alarmed, until I thought perhaps he had lost 
one of his own sons; but I dared not ask him. Just 
then one of the horses fell down with sunstroke, and 
I begged the old gentleman to come in and rest until 
they could raise the horse; but he said no, he must 
go on to the river. He looked so sick that I could 
not help saying he looked too unwell to go beyond, 
and I wished he would come in. But he burst into 
tears, saying, "Yes, my child, I am very, very sick, 
but I must go on." Poor old man, with his snow- 
white beard! 

July 27th. 

I have my bird back! As I waked this morning, 
I heard a well-known chirp in the streets, and called 
to mother I knew it was Jimmy. Sure enough it is 
my bird. Lucy Daigre has had him ever since the 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

shelling, as a negro caught it that day and gave it 
to her. 

July 29th. 

This town, with its ten thousand soldiers, is more 
quiet than it was with the old population of seven 
thousand citizens. With this tremendous addition, 
it is like a graveyard in its quiet, at times. These 
poor soldiers are dying awfully. Thirteen went yes- 
terday. On Sunday the boats discharged hundreds 
of sick at our landing. Some lay there all the after- 
noon in the hot sun, waiting for the wagon to carry 
them to the hospital, which task occupied the whole 
evening. In the mean time these poor wretches lay 
uncovered on the ground, in every stage of sickness. 
Cousin Will saw one lying dead without a creature 
by to notice when he died. Another was dying, and 
muttering to himself as he lay too far gone to brush 
the flies out of his eyes and mouth, while no one was 
able to do it for him. Cousin Will helped him, 
though. Another, a mere skeleton, lay in the agonies 
of death, too; but he evidently had kind friends, for 
several were gathered around holding him up, and 
fanning him, while his son leaned over him crying 
aloud. Tiche says it was dreadful to hear the poor 
boy's sobs. All day our vis-cL-vis, Baumstark, with 
his several aids, plies his hammer; all day Sunday 
he made coffins, and says he can't make them fast 
enough. Think, too, he is by no means the only 
undertaker here! Oh, I wish these poor men were 
safe in their own land ! It is heartbreaking to see them 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

die here like dogs, with no one to say Godspeed. 
The Catholic priest went to see some, sometime ago, 
and going near one who lay in bed, said some kind 
thing, when the man burst into tears and cried, 
*' Thank God, I have heard one kind word before I 
die!" In a few minutes the poor wretch was dead. 

July 31st. 

I believe I forgot to mention one little circumstance 
in my account of that first night at the Deaf and 
Dumb Asylum, which at the time struck me with 
extreme disgust. That was seeing more than one 
man who had no females or babies to look after, who 
sought there a refuge from the coming attack. At 
daylight, one dapper young man, in fashionable 
array, came stepping lightly on the gallery, carrying 
a neat carpet-bag in his hand. I hardly think he ex- 
pected to meet two young ladies at that hour; I 
shall always believe he meant to creep away before 
any one was up ; for he certainly looked embarrassed 
when we looked up, though he assumed an air of 
indifference, and passed by bravely swinging his 
sack — but I think he wanted us to believe he was 
not ashamed. I dare say it was some little clerk in 
his holiday attire; but I can't say what contempt I 
felt for the creature. 

Honestly, I believe the women of the South are as 
brave as the men who are fighting, and certainly 
braver than the ''Home Guard." I have not yet been 
able to coax myself into being as alarmed as many 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

I could name are. They say it is because I do not 
know the danger. Soit. I prefer being brave through 
ignorance, to being afraid in consequence of my 
knowledge of coming events. Thank Heaven, my 
brothers are the bravest of the brave! I would 
despise them if they shrunk back, though Lucifer 
should dispute the path with them. Well! All men 
are not Morgan boys! They tell me cowards actu- 
ally exist, though I hope I never met one. The poor 
men that went to the Asylum for safety might not 
have what Lavinia calls '*a moral backbone." No 
wonder, then, they tumbled in there! Besides, I am 
told half the town spent the night on the banks of the 
river, on that occasion; and perhaps these unfortu- 
nates were subject to colds, and preferred the shelter 
of a good roof. Poor little fellows ! How I longed to 
give them my hoops, corsets, and pretty blue 
organdie in exchange for their boots and breeches ! 
Only I thought it was dangerous; for suppose the 
boots had been so used to running that they should 
prance off with me, too? Why, it would ruin my rep- 
utation! Miss Morgan in petticoats is thought to be 
**as brave as any other man"; but these borrowed 
articles might make her fly as fast '*as any other 
man," too, if panic is contagious, as the Yankees 
here have proved. One consolation is, that all who 
could go with any propriety, and all who were worthy 
of fighting, among those who believed in the South, 
are off at the seat of war; it is only trash, and those 
who are obliged to remain for private reasons, who 


A Confederate Girl's Diary ' 

still remain. Let us count those young individuals 

as trash, and step over them. Only ask Heaven why 

you were made with a man's heart, and a female 

form, and those creatures with beards were made as 

bewitchingly nervous? 

August 2d, Saturday. 

I had thought my running days were over; so 
little did I anticipate another stampede that I did 
not notice the report of the attack that was prophe- 
sied for night before last, and went to bed without 
gathering my clothes. But to-day comes a hasty 
note from Charlie, telling us to leave instantly as 
General Breckinridge is advancing with ten thou- 
sand men to attack us, and at 12 m. yesterday was 
within thirty-four miles. He begged us to leave to- 
day; there would be trouble before to-morrow night. 
It was so earnest, and he asserted all so positively, 
that we are going to Phillie's this evening to stay a 
week, as they say eight days will decide. Ah, me! 
our beautiful town! Still I am skeptical. If it must 
he, pray Heaven that the blow comes now ! Nothing 
can be equal to suspense. These poor men ! Are they 
not dying fast enough ? Will Baumstark have orders 
for an unlimited supply of coffins next week? Only 
Charlie's family, ours, and the Brunots know it. 
He enjoined the strictest secrecy, though the Brunots 
sent to swear Mrs. Loucks in, as she, like ourselves, 
has no protector. I would like to tell everybody; 
but it will warn the Federals. I almost wish we, too, 
had been left in ignorance; it is cruel to keep it to 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

ourselves. I believe the Yankees expect something ; 
" they say " they have armed fifteen hundred negroes. 
Foes and insurrection in town, assailing friends out- 
side. — Nice time ! 

Our cavalry has passed the Amite. Poor Charlie 
has come all the way to the ferry landing on the other 
side to warn us. If we do not take advantage, it 
will not be for want of knowing what is to come. 
How considerate it was in him to come such a long 
way! I am charmingly excited ! If I only had a pair 
of breeches, my happiness would be complete. Let 
it come! I lose all, but in Heaven's name let us have 
it over at once ! My heart fails when I look around, 
but "Spit fire!" and have an end to this at once! 
Liberty forever, though death be the penalty. 

Treason ! Here lies my pass at my elbow, in which 
has been gratuitously inserted that '' Parties holding 
it are considered to give their parole not to give in- 
formation, countenance, aid, or support to the so- 
called Confed. S. " As I did not apply for it, agree 
to the stipulation, or think it by any means proper, 
I don't consider it binding. I could not give my word 
for doing what my conscience tells me is Right. I 
cross with this book full of treason. It "counte- 
nances" the C. S.; shall I bum it? That is a stupid 
ruse ; they are too wise to ask you to subscribe to it, 

they just append it. 

August 3d, Westover. 

Enfin nous sommes arrivees! And after what a 
trip! As we reached the ferry, I discovered I had lost 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

the pass, and had to walk back and search for it, 
aided by Mr. Tunnard, who met me in my distress, 
as it has always been his luck to do. But somebody 
had already adopted the valuable trifle, so I had to 
rejoin mother and Miriam without it. The guard 
resolutely refused to let us pass until we got another, 
so off flew Mr. Tunnard to procure a second — which 
was vastly agreeable, as I knew he would have to 
pay twenty-five cents for it, Yankees having come 
down as low as that, to procure money. But he had 
gone before we could say anything, and soon returned 
with the two-bits' worth of leave of absence. Then 
we crossed the river in a little skiff after sundown, in 
a most unpleasant state of uncertainty as to whether 
the carriage was waiting at the landing for us, for I 
did not know if Phillie had received my note, and 
there was no place to go if she had not sent for us. 
However, we found it waiting, and leaving mother 
and Miriam to pay the ferry, I walked on to put our 
bundles in the carriage. A man stepped forward, 
calling me by name and giving me a note from 
Charlie before I reached it ; and as I placed my foot 
on the step, another came up and told me he had left 
a letter at home for me at one o'clock. I bowed Yes 
(it was from Howell; must answer to-morrow). He 
asked me not to mention it was ''him " ; a little serv- 
ant had asked his name, but he told her it was none 
of her business. I laughed at the refined remark, and 
said I had not known who it was — he would hardly 
have been flattered to hear I had not even inquired. 


A Confederate Girl^s Diary ' 

He modestly said that he was afraid I had seen him 
through the window. Oh, no ! I assured him. "Well, 
please, anyhow , don't say it's me!" he pleaded most 
grammatically. I answered, smiling, " I did not know 
who it was then, I know no more now, and if you 
choose, I shall always remain in ignorance of your 
identity. "He burst out laughing, and went off with, 
"Oh, do. Miss Morgan, forget all about me!" as 
though it was a difficult matter! Who can he be? 

We had a delightful drive in the moonlight, 
though it was rather long ; and it was quite late when 
we drove up to the house, and were most cordially 
welcomed by the family. We sat up late on the bal- 
cony listening for the report of cannon, which, how- 
ever, did not come. Baton Rouge is to be attacked 
to-morrow, "they say." Pray Heaven it will all be 
over by that time ! Nobody seems to doubt it, over 
here. A while ago a long procession of guerrillas 
passed a short distance from the house, looking for a 
party of Yankees they heard of in the neighborhood, 
and waved their hats, for lack of handkerchiefs, to 
us as we stood on the balcony. 

I call this writing under difficulties ! Here I am em- 
ploying my knee as a desk, a position that is not very 
natural to me, and by no means comfortable. I feel 
so stupid, from want of sleep last night, that no won- 
der I am not even respectably bright. I think I shall 
lay aside this diary with my pen. I have procured 
a nicer one, so I no longer regret its close. What a 
stupid thing it is! As I look back, how faintly have 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

I expressed things that produced the greatest im- 
pression on me at the time, and how completely have 
I omitted the very things I should have recorded! 
Bah ! it is all the same trash ! And here is an end of 
it — for this volume, whose stupidity can only be 
equaled by the one that precedes, and the one that 
is to follow it. But who expects to be interesting in 
war times? If I kept a diary of events, it would be 
one tissue of lies. Think! There was no battle on 
the loth or nth, McClellan is not dead, and Gibbes 
was never wounded! After that, who believes in 
reliable information? Not I! 


Monday, August 4th, 1862. 

Here we are at Dr. Nolan's plantation, with Baton 
Rouge lying just seven miles from us to the east. We 
can surely hear the cannon from here. They are all 
so kind to us that I ought to be contented ; but still 
I wish I was once more at home. I suppose it is very 
unreasonable in me, but I cannot help it. I miss my 
old desk very much ; it is so awkward to write on my 
knee that I cannot get used to it. Mine is a nice 
little room upstairs, detached from all the rest, for 
it is formed by a large dormer window looking to 
the north, from which I have seen a large number of 
guerrillas passing and repassing in their rough cos- 
tumes, constantly. I enjoy the fresh air, and all 
that, but pleasant as it is, I wish I was at home and 
all the fuss was over. Virginia Nolan and Miriam 
are already equipped in their riding costumes, so I 
must lay this down and get ready to join them in a 
scamper across the fields. How delighted I will be 

to get on a horse again. 

August 5th. 

About half-past nine, as we got up from the break- 
fast table, a guerrilla told us the ram Arkansas was 
lying a few miles below, on her way to cooperate 
with Breckinridge, whose advance guard had already 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

driven the pickets into Baton Rouge. Then we all 
grew wild with excitement. 

Such exclamations ! such delight that the dread- 
ful moment had at last arrived ! And yet you could 
see each stop as we rejoiced, to offer up a prayer for 
the preservation of those who were risking their 
lives at that moment. Reason, and all else, was 
thrown aside, and we determined to participate in 
the danger, if there was any to be incurred. Mother 
threatened us with shot and shell and bloody murder, 
but the loud report of half a dozen cannon in slow 
succession only made us more determined to see the 
fun, so Lilly Nolan and Miss Walters got on horse- 
back, and Phillie, Ginnie, Miriam, and I started off 
in the broiling sun, leaving word for the carriage to 
overtake us. When we once got in, the driver, being 
as crazy as we, fairly made his horses run along the 
road to catch a glimpse of our Ram. When, miles 
below, she came in sight, we could no longer remain 
in the carriage, but mounted the levee, and ran along 
on foot until we reached her, when we crossed to 
the outer levee, and there she lay at our feet. 

And nothing in her after all ! There lay a heavy, 
clumsy, rusty, ugly flatboat with a great square box 
in the centre, while great cannon put their noses out 
at the sides, and in front. The decks were crowded 
with men, rough and dirty, jabbering and hastily 
eating their breakfast. That was the great Arkansas ! 
God bless and protect her, and the brave men she 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

While there, a young man came up, and in answer 
to PhilHe's inquiries about her father — who, hav- 
ing gone to town yesterday to report, being paroled, 
had written last night to say no passes were granted 
to leave town — the young fellow informed her so 
pleasantly that her father was a prisoner, held as 
hostage for Mr. Castle. Poor Phillie had to cry; so, 
to be still more agreeable, he told her. Yes, he had 
been sent to a boat lying at the landing, and ran the 
greatest risk, as the ram would probably sink the said 
boat in a few hours. How I hated the fool for his 
relish of evil tidings ! 

But never mind our wild expedition, or what came 
of it. Am I not patient ! Ever since I commenced to 
write, the sound of a furious bombardment has been 
ringing in my ears ; and beyond an occasional run to 
see the shells fly through the air (their white smoke, 
rather) I have not said a word of it. The girls have 
all crowded on the little balcony up here, towards 
town, and their shrieks of "There it goes!" ''Lis- 
ten!" "Look at them!" rise above the sound of the 
cannon, and occasionally draw me out, too. But I sit 
here listening, and wonder which report precedes the 
knocking down of our home; which shell is killing 
some one I know and love. Poor Tiche and Dophy ! 
— where are they .-^ And oh, I hope they did not leave 
my birdie Jimmy to die in his cage. I charged them 
to let him loose if they could not carry him. Dophy 
will be so frightened. I hope they are out of danger. 
Oh, my dear home! shall I ever see you again? And 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

the Brunots! Oh, how I hope they are safe. These 
loud cannon make me heartsick, and yet I am so 
excited ! How rapidly they answer each other ! I am 
told the attack commenced at five this morning, 
and lasted three hours. Those girls are shouting that 
Baton Rouge must be on fire, from the volume of 
smoke in that direction. How they scream as the 
balls go up, to show it to each other. I think I'll 
take a look, too. 

We are all going four or five miles through this 
warm sun to be nearer the scene of action. Any one 
might know there was no white man on the premises. 
There is the carriage ! Oh, I am so seasick! What will 

I be before we get back? 

August 6th. 

We six madcaps got in the carriage and buggy, and 
rode off in search of news. We took a quantity of old 
linen rags along, and during the whole drive, our 
fingers were busy making lint. Once we stopped at a 
neighbor's to gather the news, but that did not 
interfere with our labors at all. Four miles from here 
we met a crowd of women flying, and among them 
recognized Mrs. La Noue and No6mie. A good deal 
of loud shouting brought them to the carriage in 
great surprise to see us there. They were running 
from the plantation where they had taken refuge, as 
it was not safe from the shells, as the gunboats had 
proved to them. The reports we had heard in the 
morning were from shots fired on this side of the river 


A Confederate Girl*s Diary 

by them, in hopes of hurting a guerrilla or two. 
No6mie told us that two Western regiments had laid 
down their arms, and General Williams had been 
killed by his own men. She looked so delighted, and 
yet it made me sick to think of his having been 
butchered so. Phillie leaned out, and asked her, as 
she asked everybody, if she knew anything about her 
father. No6mie, in her rapture over that poor man's 
death, exclaimed, "Don't know a word about him! 
know Williams was cut to pieces, though!" — and 
that is all we could learn from her. 

We went on until we came in sight of Baton Rouge. 
There it stood, looking so beautiful against the black, 
lowering sky that I could not but regret its fate. We 
could see the Garrison, State House, Asylum, and all 
that ; but the object of the greatest interest to me was 
the steeple of the Methodist church, for to the right 
of it lay home. While looking at it, a negro passed 
who was riding up and down the coast collecting lint, 
so I gave him all we had made, and commenced some 
more. Presently, we met Mr. Phillips, to whom 
Phillie put the same question. " He is on the Laurel 
Hill a prisoner — Confound that negro ! where did 
he go?" And so on, each answer as far as concerned 
her, seeming a labor, but the part relating to the 
servant very hearty. Poor Phillie complained that 
everybody was selfish — thought only of their own 
affairs, and did not sympathize with her. "Yes, 
my dear," I silently assented; for it was very true; 
every one seemed to think of their own interests 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

alone. It was late before we got home, and then 
we had great fun in watching shells which we could 
dimly trace against the clouds, falling in what must 
have been the Garrison. Then came a tremendous 
fire, above, which may have been a boat — I don't 

I hear a tremendous firing again, and from the 
two volumes of smoke, should judge it was the 
Arkansas and the Essex trying their strength at a dis- 
tance. We are going down to see what's the fun. It 
would be absurd to record all the rumors that have 
reached us, since we can rely on none. They say we 
fought up to nine last night, and occupied the Garri- 
son for five minutes, when the shells forced us to 
abandon it. Also that four regiments laid down their 
arms, that the Federals were pursued by our men 
to the river, driven to the gunboats, and pushed off 
to prevent the Western men from coming aboard. 
An eye-witness, from this side, reports that General 
Williams, " they say," was forcibly held before a 
cannon and blown to pieces. For the sake of human- 
ity, I hope this is false. 

Oh, what a sad day this is for our country ! Mother 
disapproved so of our going to the levee to see the 
fight, that we consented to remain, though Miriam 
and Ginnie jumped into the buggy and went off 
alone. Presently came tidings that all the planters 
near Baton Rouge were removing their families 
and negroes, and that the Yankees were to shell the 
whole coast, from there up to here. Then Phillie, 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Lilly (Nolan), and I jumped in — the carriage that 
was still waiting, and ran after the others to bring 
them back before they got in danger ; but when we 
reached the end of the long lane, we saw them stand- 
ing on the high levee, wringing their hands and crying. 
We sprang out and joined them, and there, way at 
the bend, lay the Arkansas on fire! All except myself 
burst into tears and lamentations, and prayed aloud 
between their sobs. I had no words or tears ; I could 
only look at our sole hope burning, going, and pray 
silently. Oh, it was so sad! Think, it was our sole 
dependence ! And we five girls looked at her as the 
smoke rolled over her, watched the flames burst 
from her decks, and the shells as they exploded one 
by one beneath the water, coming up in jets of 
steam. And we watched until down the road we saw 
crowds of men toiling along toward us. Then we knew 
they were those who had escaped, and the girls sent 
up a shriek of pity. 

On they came, dirty, half-dressed, some with only 
their guns, others, a few, with bundles and knap- 
sacks on their backs, grimy and tired, but still 
laughing. We called to the first, and asked if the boat 
were really afire; they shouted, "Yes,*' and went on, 
talking still. Presently one ran up and told us the 
story. How yesterday their engine had broken, and 
how they had labored all day to repair it ; how they 
had succeeded, and had sat by their guns all night; 
and this morning, as they started to meet the Essex, 
the other engine had broken ; how each ofBcer wrote 




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A Confederate Girl's Diary 

his opinion that it was impossible to fight her with any 
hope of success under such circumstances, and ad- 
vised the Captain to abandon her; how they had 
resolved to do so, had exchanged shots with the Essex 
across the point, and the first of the latter (only one, 
also) had set ours afire, when the men were ordered 
to take their side arms. They thought it was to board 
the Essex, assembled together, when the order was 
given to fire the Arkansas and go ashore, which was 
done in a few minutes. Several of the crew were 
around us then, and up and down the road they were 
scattered still in crowds. 

Miriam must have asked the name of some of the 
officers; for just then she called to me, "He says that 
is Mr. Read ! " I looked at the foot of the levee, and 
saw two walking together. I .hardly recognized the 
gentleman I was introduced to on the McRae in the 
one that now stood below me in rough sailor pants, a 
pair of boots, and a very thin and slazy lisle under- 
shirt. That is all he had on, except an old straw hat, 
and — yes ! he held a primer ! I did not think it 
would be embarrassing to him to meet me under 
such circumstances; I only thought of Jimmy's 
friend as escaping from a sad fate ; so I rushed down 
a levee twenty feet high, saying, "O Mr. Read! 
You won't recognize me, but I am Jimmy's sister!" 
He blushed modestly, shook my hand as though we 
were old friends, and assured me he remembered 
me, was glad to meet me, etc. Then Miriam came 
down and talked to him, and then we went to the 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

top of the levee where the rest were, and watched 
the poor Arkansas burn. 

By that time the crowd that had gone up the road 
came back, and we found ourselves in the centre of 
two hundred men, just we five girls, talking with the 
officers around us as though they were old friends. 
You could only guess they were officers, for a dirtier, 
more forlorn set I never saw. Not dirty either ; they 
looked clean, considering the work they had been 
doing. Nobody introduced anybody else; we all 
felt like brothers and sisters in our common calamity. 
There was one handsome Kentuckian, whose name I 
soon found to be Talbot, who looked charmingly pic- 
turesque in his coarse cottonade pants, white shirt, 
straw hat, black hair, beard, and eyes, with rosy 
cheeks. He was a graduate of the Naval Academy 
some years ago. Then another jolly-faced young 
man from the same Academy, pleased me, too. He, 
the doctor, and the Captain, were the only ones who 
possessed a coat in the whole crowd, the few who 
saved theirs carrying them over their arms. Mr. Read 
more than once blushingly remarked that they were 
prepared to fight, and hardly expected to meet us; 
but we pretended to think there was nothing un- 
usual in his dress. I can understand, though, that he 
should feel rather awkward; I would not like to 
meet him, if I was in the same costume. 

They all talked over their loss cheerfully, as far 
as the loss of money, watches, clothes, were con- 
cerned ; but they were disheartened about their boat. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

One threw himself down near my feet, saying, ''Me 
voild. I have saved my gun, et puis the clothes that 
I stand in!" and laughed as though it were an excel- 
lent joke. One who had been on the Merrimac 
chiefly regretted the loss of the commission appoint- 
ing him there, though he had not saved a single 
article. The one with the jolly face told me Will 
Pinckney was among those attacking Baton Rouge, 
and assured him he expected to take supper there last 
night. He thought it would be with us, I know! I 
hope he is safe! 

After a while the men were ordered to march up 
the lane, to some resting spot it is best not to men- 
tion here, and straggled off; but there were many 
sick among them, one wounded at Vicksburg, and 
we instantly voted to walk the mile and three quar- 
ters home, and give them the carriage and buggy. But 
long after they left, we stood with our new friends 
on the levee watching the last of the Arkansas, and 
saw the Essex, and two gunboats crowded with men, 
cautiously turn the point, and watch her bum. What 
made me furious was the thought of the glowing 
accounts they would give of their ** capture of 
the Arkansas! ! !" Capture, and they fired a shot 
apiece ! — for all the firing we heard was the dis- 
charge of her guns by the flames. We saw them go 
back as cautiously, and I was furious, knowing the 
accounts they would publish of what we ourselves 
had destroyed. We had seen many shells explode, 
and one magazine, and would have waited for the 


A Confederate Girl^s Diary 

other, if the clouds had not threatened rain speedily. 
But we had to leave her a mere wreck, still burning, 
and started off on our long walk. 

In our hurry, I had brought neither handkerchief 
nor gloves, but hardly missed either, I was so excited. 
Mr. Talbot walked home with me, and each of the 
others with some one else. He had a small bundle 
and a sword, and the latter I insisted on carrying. 
It was something, to shoulder a sword made for use 
rather than for ornament ! So I would carry it. He 
said "he would remember who had carried it, and 
the recollection would give it a new value in his eyes, 
and I might rest assured it should never be disgraced 
after that,'' and all that sort of thing, of course, as 
it is usual to say it on such occasions. But I shoul- 
dered the sword bravely, determined to show my 
appreciation of the sacrifice they had made for us, 
in coming to our rescue on a boat they had every 
reason to believe was unsafe. I liked Mr. Talbot! 
He made himself very agreeable in that long walk. 
He asked permission to send me a trophy from the 
first action in which he used ''that" sword, and 
didn't I say yes! He thought Southern men had 
every encouragement in the world, from the fact 
that the ladies welcomed them with great kindness 
in victory or defeat, insinuating he thought they 
hardly deserved our compassion after their failure 
on the Arkansas. But I stoutly denied that it was 
a failure. Had they not done their best? Was it their 
fault the machinery broke? And in defeat or vic- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

tory, were they not still fighting for us? Were we the 
less grateful when they met with reverse? Oh, 
did n't I laud the Southern men with my whole 
heart! — and I think he felt better for it, too! Yes! 
I like him! 

We all met at the steps, and water was given to 
our cavaliers, who certainly enjoyed it. We could 
not ask them in, as Dr. Nolan is on his parole; but 
Phillie intimated that if they chose to order, they 
might do as they pleased, as women could not resist 
armed men! So they took possession of the sugar- 
house, and helped themselves to something to eat, 
and were welcome to do it, since no one could pre- 
vent! But they first stood talking on the balcony, 
gayly, and we parted with many warm wishes on both 
sides, insisting that, if they assisted at a second at- 
tack on Baton Rouge, they must remember our house 
was at their service, wounded or in health. And they 
all shook hands with us, and looked pleased, and 
said "God bless you," and ** Good-bye." 

I heard a while ago, the doctor of the Ram, who 
brought back the buggy, say the Arkansas's crew 
were about leaving; so remembering poor Mr. Read 
had lost everything, mother, suggesting he might 
need money, gave me twenty dollars to put in his 
hands, as some slight help towards reaching his des- 
tination. Besides, coming from Jimmy's mother, 
he could not have been hurt. But when I got down, 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

he was far up the lane, walking too fast for me to 
overtake him ; then I tried to catch Mr. Stephenson, 
to give it to him for me, but failed. Presently, we 
saw I am afraid to say how many wagons loaded with 
them, coming from the sugar-house; so Phillie, 
Lilly, and I snatched up some five bottles of gin, 
between us, and ran out to give it to them. A rough 
old sailor received mine with a flood of thanks, and 
the others gave theirs to those behind. An officer 
rode up saying, ''Ladies, there is no help for it! 
The Yankee cavalry are after us, and we must fight 
them in the corn. Take care of yourselves!" We 
shouted ''Yes!" told them to bring in the wounded 
and we would nurse them. Then the men cried, 
*'God bless you," and we cried, "Hurrah for the 
Arkansas's crew," and "Fight for us!" Altogether 
it was a most affecting scene. Phillie, seeing how 
poorly armed they were, suggested a gun, which I 
flew after and delivered to a rough old tar. When I 
got out, the cart then passing held Mr. Talbot, 
who smiled benignly and waved his hat like the rest. 
He looked still better in his black coat, but the carts 
reminded me of what the guillotine days must have 
been in France. He shouted " Good-bye," we shouted 
*'Come to us, if you are wounded"; he smiled and 
bowed, and I cried, '^Use that sword!" — where- 
upon he sprang to his feet and grasped the hilt as 
though about to commence. Then came other offi- 
cers; Mr. Scales, Mr. Barblaud, etc., who smiled re- 
cognition, stopped the wagon as Phillie handed up 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

a plate of bread and meat, and talked gayly as they 
divided it, until the Captain rode up. *'0n, gentle- 
men ! not a moment to lose ! " Then the cart started 
off, the empty plate was flung overboard, and they 
rode off waving hats and crying, '*God bless you, 
ladies!" in answer to our repeated offers of taking 
care of them if they were hurt. And they have gone 
to meet the Yankees, and I hope they won't, for they 
have worked enough to-day, and from my heart I 
pray God prosper those brave men! 

August 7th. 
Last night, shortly after we got in bed, we were 
roused by loud cannonading towards Baton Rouge, 
and running out on the small balcony up here, saw 
the light of a great fire in that direction. From the 
constant reports, and the explosion of what seemed 
to be several powder magazines, we imagined it to 
be either the Garrison or a gunboat. Whatever it 
was, it was certainly a great fire. We all ran out in 
our nightgowns, and watched for an hour in the 
damp air, I without even shoes. We listened to the 
fight a long while, until the sound ceased, and we 
went back to bed. 


I am so disheartened ! I have been listening with 
the others to a man who was telling us about Baton 
Rouge, until I am heartsick. He says the Yankees 
have been largely reinforced, and are prepared for 
another attack which will probably take place to- 
morrow ; that the fight was a dreadful one, we driv- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

ing them in, and losing twelve hundred, to their 
fifteen hundred. It must have been awful ! And that 
our troops have resolved to burn the town down, 
since they cannot hold it under the fire of the gun- 

August 8th, Friday. 

Again last night, about nine, we heard cannon in 
BatonRouge, and watched the flashes, which preceded 
the reports by a minute, at least, for a long time. We 
must have seen our own firing; perhaps we wanted 
to find out the batteries of the enemy. It was not 
the most delightful thing imaginable to watch what 
might be the downfall of our only home ! And then 
to think each ball might bring death to some one we 
love! Ah, no! it was not pleasant! 

Miriam and I have many friends in Breckinridge's 
division, I expect, if we could only hear the names 
of the regiments. The Fourth is certainly there. 
And poor Will! I wonder if he has had his supper 
yet? I have been thinking of him ever since Mr. 
Scales told me he was there, and praying myself sick 
for his safety and that of the rest. I shut my eyes 
at every report and say, ''Oh, please! poor Will! — 
and the others, too!" And when I donH hear the 
cannon, I pray, to be in advance of the next. 

It is now midday, and again we hear firing; but 
have yet to learn the true story of the first day's 
fight. Preserve me from the country in such stirring 
days! We might as well be in Europe as to have 
the Mississippi between us and town. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

By unanimous consent, the little lane in front of 
the house has been christened ''Guerrilla Lane," and 
the long one leading to the river, ''Arkansas." What 
an episode that was, in our lives ! The officers go by 
the name of Miriam's, Ginnie's, Sarah's, as though 
they belonged to each! 

Those girls did me the meanest thing imaginable. 
Mr. Talbot and I were planning a grand combined 
attack on Baton Rouge, in which he was to command 
a fleet and attack the town by the river, while I 
promised to get up a battalion of girls and attack 
them in the rear. We had settled it all, except the 
time, when just then all the others stopped talking. 
I went on: "And now, it is only necessary for you 
to name the day — " Here the girls commenced to 
giggle, and the young men tried to suppress a smile ; 
I felt annoyed, but it did not strike me until after 
they had left, that I had said anything absurd. What 
evil imaginations they must have, if they could have 
fancied I meant anything except the battle! 

August 9th. 

To our great surprise, Charlie came in this morn- 
ing from the other side. He was in the battle, and 
General Carter, and dozens of others that we did not 
think of. See the mountain reduced to a mole-hill! 
He says, though the fight was desperate, we lost 
only eighty-five killed, and less than a hundred and 
fifty wounded! And we had only twenty-five hun- 
dred against the Yankees' four thousand five hun- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

dred. There is no truth in our having held the Garri- 
son even for a moment, though we drove them down 
to the river in a panic. The majority ran like fine 
fellows, but a Maine regiment fought like devils. 
He says Will and Thompson Bird set fire to the 
Yankee camp with the greatest alacrity, as though 
it were rare fun. General Williams was killed as he 
passed Piper's, by a shot from a window, supposed to 
have been fired by a citizen. Some one from town told 
him that the Federals were breaking in the houses, 
destroying the furniture, and tearing the clothes 
of the women and children in shreds, like maniacs. 
O my home! I wonder if they have entered ours? 
What a jolly time they would have over all the 
letters I left in my desk ! Butler has ordered them 
to burn Baton Rouge if forced to evacuate it. Looks 
as though he was not so sure of holding it. 

Miss Turner told Miriam that her mother at- 
tempted to enter town after the fight to save some 
things, when the gallant Colonel Dudley put a pistol 
to her head, called her an old she-devil, and told her 

he would blow her d brains out if she moved a 

step ; that anyhow, none but we d women had 

put the men up to fighting, and we were the ones 
who were to blame for the fuss. There is no name 

he did not call us. 

August loth, Sunday. 

Is this really Sunday? Never felt less pious, or 
less seriously disposed! Listen to my story, and 
though I will, of course, fall far short of the actual 

1 60 

A Confederate Girl's Diary' 

terror that reigned, yet it will show it in a lukewarm 
light, that can at least recall the excitement to me. 

To begin, then, last evening, about six o'clock, as 
we sat reading, sewing, and making lint in the par- 
lor, we heard a tremendous shell whizzing past, 
which those who watched, said passed not five feet 
above the house. Of course, there was a slight stir 
among the unsophisticated; though we, who had 
passed through bombardments, sieges, and alarms 
of all kinds, coolly remarked, "a shell," and kept 
quiet. (The latter class was not very numerous.) 
It was from one of the three Yankee boats that lay 
in the river close by (the Essex and two gunboats) , 
which were sweeping teams, provisions, and negroes 
from all the plantations they stopped at from 
Baton Rouge up. The negroes, it is stated, are to 
be armed against us as in town, where all those who 
manned the cannon on Tuesday were, for the most 
part, killed; and served them right! Another shell 
was fired at a carriage containing Mrs. Durald and 
several children, under pretense of discovering if she 
was a guerrilla, doubtless. Fortunately, she was 
not hurt, however. 

By the time the little emeute had subsided, deter- 
mined to have a frolic. Miss Walters, Ginnie, and I 
got on our horses, and rode off down the Arkansas 
Lane, to have a gallop and a peep at the gunboats 
from the levee. But mother's entreaties prevented 
us from going that near, as she cried that it was 
well known they fired at every horse or vehicle they 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

saw in the road, seeing a thousand guerrillas in every 
puff of dust, and we were sure to be killed, murdered, 
and all sorts of bloody deaths awaited us ; so to sat- 
isfy her, we took the road about a mile from the 
river, in full view, however. We had not gone very 
far before we met a Mr. Watson, a plain farmer of 
the neighborhood, who begged us to go back. 
"You'll be fired on, ladies, sure! You don't know 
the danger ! Take my advice and go home as quick 
as possible before they shell you ! They shot buggies 
and carriages, and of course they won't mind horses 
with women! Please go home!" But Ginnie, who 
had taken a fancy to go on, acted as spokeswoman, 
and determined to go on in spite of his advice, so, no- 
thing loath to follow her example, we thanked him, 
and rode on. Another met us; looked doubtful, said 
it was not so dangerous if the Yankees did not see the 
dust; but if they did, we would be pretty apt to see 
a shell soon after. Here was frolic! So we rode on 
some mile or two beyond, but failing to see anything 
startling, turned back again. 

About two miles from here, we met Mr. Watson 
coming at full speed. The ladies, he said, had sent 
him after us in all haste ; there was a report that the 
whole coast was to be shelled; a lady had passed, 
flying with her children; the carriage was ordered 
out; they were only waiting for us, to run, too. We 
did not believe a word of it, and were indignant at 
their credulity, as well as determined to persuade 
them to remain where they were, if possible. When 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

told their plan was to run to the house formerly used 
as a guerrilla camp, we laughed heartily. Suppose 
the Yankees fired a shell into it to discover its in- 
habitants? The idea of choosing a spot so well 
known! And what fun in running to a miserable 
hole, when we might sleep comfortably here? I am 
afraid rebellion was in the air. Indeed, an impudent 
little negro, who threw open the gate for us, inter- 
rupted Ginnie in the midst of a tirade with a sly 
** Here's the beginning of a little fuss!" 

We found them all crazy with fear. I did not say 
much; I was too provoked to trust myself to argue 
with so many frightened women. I only said I saw 
no necessity. Ginnie resisted ; but finally succumbed. 
Mr. Watson, whom we had enlisted on our side also, 
said it was by no means necessary, but if we were 
determined, we might go to his house, about four 
miles away, and stay there. It was very small, but we 
were welcome. We had in the mean time thrown off 
our riding-skirts, and stood just in our plain dresses, 
though the others were freshly dressed for an exodus. 
Before the man left, the carriage came, though by 
that time we had drawn half the party on our side ; we 
said we would take supper, and decide after, so he 
went off. 

In a few moments a rocket went up from one of the 
boats, which attracted our attention. Five minutes 
after, we saw a flash directly before us. ''See it? 
Lightning, I expect," said Phillie. 'The others all 
agreed; but I kept quiet, knowing that some, at 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

least, knew what it was as well as I, and deter- 
mined not to give the alarm — for I was beginning 
to feel foolish. Before half a minute more came a 
tearing, hissing sound, a sky-rocket whose music 
I had heard before. Instantly I remembered my run- 
ning-bag, and flew upstairs to get it, escaping just 
in time from the scene which followed on the gallery 
which was afterwards most humorously described 
to me. But I was out of hearing of the screams of 
each (and yet I must have heard them); neither 
saw Miss Walters tumble against the wall, nor 
mother turn over her chair, nor the general mtUe 
that followed, in which Mrs. Walters, trying to scale 
the carriage, was pulled out by Uncle Will, who 
shouted to his plunging horses first, then to the other 
unreasoning creatures, ''Woa, there! 'T ain't safe! 
Take to the fields ! Take to the woods ! Run to the 
sugar-house! Take to your heels!" in a frenzy of 

I escaped all that, and was putting on my hoops 
and hastily catching up any article that presented 
itself to me in my speed, when the shell burst over 
the roof, and went rolling down on the gallery, ac- 
cording to the account of those then below. Two 
went far over the house, out of sight. All three were 
seen by Mr. Watson, who came galloping up in a 
few moments, crying, "Ladies, for God's sake, leave 
the house!" Then I heard mother calling, ''Sarah! 
You will be killed! Leave your clothes and run!" — 
and a hundred ejaculations that came too fast for 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

me to answer except by an occasional "Coming, if 
you will send me a candle ! " Candle was the same as 
though I had demanded a hand-grenade, in mother's 
opinion, for she was sure it would be the signal for a 
bombardment of my exposed room ; so I tossed down 
my bundles, swept combs and hairpins into my bosom 
(all points up) , and ravished a candle from some one. 
How quickly I got on, then ! I saved the most use- 
less of articles with the greatest zeal, and probably 
left the most serviceable ones. One single dress did 
my running-bag contain — a white linen cambric 
with a tiny pink flower — the one I wore when I told 
Hal good-bye for the last time. The others I left. 

When I got down with my knapsack, mother, 
Phillie, and Mrs. Walters were — 

At Randallson's Landing, August nth. 
I don't mean those ladies were, but that I am at 
present. I '11 account for it after I have disposed of 
the stampede. Imagine no inteiTUption, and con- 
tinue — in the carriage urging Uncle Will to hurry 
on, and I had hardly time to thrust my sack under 
their feet before they were off. Lilly and Miss Wal- 
ters were already in the buggy, leaving Ginnie and 
me to follow on horseback. I ran up after my riding- 
skirt, which I was surprised to find behind a trunk, 
and rolled up in it was my running-bag, with all my 
treasures! I was very much provoked at my care- 
lessness; indeed, I cannot imagine how it got there, 
for it was the first thing I thought of. When I got 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

back, there was no one to be seen except Ginnie and 
.two negroes who held our horses, and who disap- 
peared the instant we were mounted; with the ex- 
ception of two women who were running to the woods, 
we were the only ones on the lot, until Mr. Watson 
galloped up to urge us on. Again I had to notice this 
peculiarity about women — that the married ones 
are invariably the first to fly, in time of danger, and 
always leave the young ones to take care of them- 
selves. Here were our three matrons, prophesying 
that the house would be burnt, the Yankees upon 
us, and all murdered in ten minutes, flying down 
the Guerrilla Lane, and leaving us to encounter the 
horrors they foretold, alone. 

It was a splendid gallop in the bright moonlight, 
over the fields, only it was made uncomfortable by the 
jerking of my running-bag, until I happily thought 
of turning it before. A hard ride of four miles in 
about twenty minutes brought us to the house of the 
man who so kindly offered his hospitality. It was a 
little hut, about as large as our parlor, and already 
crowded to overflowing, as he was entertaining 
three families from Baton Rouge. Can't imagine 
where he put them, either. But it seems to me the 
poorer the man, and the smaller the house, the greater 
the hospitality you meet with. There were so many 
of us that there was not room on the balcony to turn. 
The man wanted to prepare supper, but we declined, 
as Phillie had sent back for ours which we had missed. 

I saw another instance of the pleasure the vulgar 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

take in the horrible. A Mr. Hill, speaking of Dr. 
Nolan, told Phillie *'he had no doubt he had been 
sent to New Orleans on the Whiteman, that carried 
General Williams's body; and that every soul had 
gone down on her." Fortunately, just then the 
overseer brought a letter from him saying he had 
gone on another boat, or the man's relish of the dis- 
tressing might have been gratified. 

It was so crowded there that we soon suggested 
going a short distance beyond, to Mr. Lobdell's, 
and staying there for the night, as all strenuously 
objected to our returning home, as there was danger 
from prowling Yankees. So we mounted again, and 
after a short ride we reached the house, where all 
were evidently asleep. But necessity knows no rules ; 
and the driver soon aroused an old gentleman who 
came out and invited us in. A middle-aged lady met 
us, and made us perfectly at home by leaving us to 
take care of ourselves; most people would have 
thought it indifference ; but I knew it was manque de 
savoir faire, merely, and preferred doing as I pleased. 
If she had been officious, I would have been em- 
barrassed. So we walked in the moonlight, Ginnie 
and I, while the rest sat in the shade, and all discussed 
the fun of the evening, those who had been most 
alarmed laughing loudest. The old gentleman in- 
sisted that we girls had been the cause of it all ; that 
our white bodies (I wore a Russian shirt) and black 
skirts could easily have caused us to be mistaken for 
men. That, at all events, three or four people on 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

horseback would be a sufficient pretext for firing 
a shell or two. "In short, young ladies," he said, 
** there is no doubt in my mind that you were mis- 
taken for guerrillas, and that they only wanted to 
give you time to reach the woods where they heard 
they have a camp, before shooting at you. In short, 
take my advice and never mount a horse again when 
there is a Yankee in sight." We were highly grati- 
fied at being mistaken for them, and pretended to 
believe it was true. I hardly think he was right, 
though ; it is too preposterous. 

Pourtant, Sunday morning the Yankees told a ne- 
gro they did not mean to touch the house, but were 
shooting at some guerrillas at a camp just beyond. 
We know the last guerrilla left the parish five days ago. 

Our host insisted on giving us supper, though 
Phillie represented that ours was on the road ; and by 
eleven o'clock, tired alike of moonlight and fasting, 
we gladly accepted, and rapidly made the preserves 
and batter-cakes fly. Ours was a garret room, well 
finished, abounding in odd closets and corners, with 
curious dormer windows that were reached by long 
little corridors. I should have slept well; but I lay 
awake all night. Mother and I occupied a narrow 
single bed, with a bar of the thickest, heaviest ma- 
terial imaginable. Suffocation awaited me inside, 
gnats and mosquitoes outside. In order to be 
strictly impartial, I lay awake to divide my time 
equally between the two attractions, and think I 
succeeded pretty well. So I spent the night on the 

1 68 

A Confederate Girl's Diary 

extreme edge of the bed, never turning over, but 
fanning mother constantly. I was not sorry when 
daybreak appeared, but dressed and ascended the 
observatory to get a breath of air. 

Below me, I beheld four wagons loaded with the 
young Mrs. Lobdell's baggage. The Yankees had 
visited them in the evening, swept off everything 
they could lay their hands on, and with a sick child 
she was obliged to leave her house in the night and 
fly to her father-in-law. I wondered at their allowing 
her four wagons of trunks and bundles ; it was very 
kind. If I were a Federal, I think it would kill me 
to hear the whisper of ''Hide the silver" wherever 
I came. Their having frequently relieved families 
of such trifles, along with negroes, teams, etc., has 
put others on their guard now. As I sat in the parlor 
in the early morning, Mrs. Walters en blouse volante 
and all echevelee, came in to tell me of Mr. Lobdell's 
misfortunes. "They took his negroes [right hand 
up]; his teams [left hand up]; his preserves [both 
hands clutching her hair] ; they swept off everything, 
except four old women who could not walk! they 
told him if he did n't come report himself, they'd 
come fetch him in three days ! They beggared him ! " 
[Both eyes rolling like a ship in a storm.] I could not 
help laughing. Mr. Bird sat on the gallery, and had 
been served in the same way, with the addition of 
a pair of handcuffs for a little while. It was not a 
laughing matter; but the old lady made it comical 
by her gestures. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

When we suggested returning, there was another 
difficulty. All said it was madness ; that the Yankees 
would sack the house and burn it over our heads; 
we would be insulted, etc. I said no one yet had ever 
said an impudent thing to me, and Yankees certainly 
would not attempt it ; but the old gentleman told me 
I did not know what I was talking about ; so I hushed, 
but determined to return. Ginnie and I sat an hour 
on horseback waiting for the others to settle what 
they would do; and after having half-roasted our- 
selves in the sun, they finally agreed to go, too, and 
we set off in a gallop which we never broke until we 
reached the house, which to our great delight we 
found standing, and not infested with Yankees. 

LiNWOOD, August 1 2th. 

Another resting-place! Out of reach of shells for 
the first time since last April ! For how long, I won- 
der? For wherever we go, we bring shells and Yan- 
kees. Would not be surprised at a visit from them 
out here, now! 

Let me take up the thread of that never-ending 
story, and account for my present position. It all 
seems tame now; but it was very exciting at the 

As soon as I threw down bonnet and gloves, I 
commenced writing; but before I had halfway fin- 
ished, mother, who had been holding a consultation 
downstairs, ran up to say the overseer had advised 
us all to leave, as the place was not safe; and that 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

I must pack up instantly, as, unless we got off before 
the Essex came up, it would be impossible to leave 
at all. All was commotion; every one flew to pack up. 
Phillie determined to go to her friends at Grosse 
T8te, and insisted on carrying us off with her. But 
I determined to reach Miriam and Lilly if possible, 
rather than put the Federal army between us. All 
en deshabille, I commenced to pack our trunk, but 
had scarcely put an article in when they cried the 
Essex was rounding the point, and our last oppor- 
tunity passing away. Then I flew; and by the time 
the boat got opposite to us, the trunk was locked, 
and I sat on it, completely dressed, waiting for the 
wagon. ^We had then to wait for the boat to get out 
of sight, to avoid a broadside; so it was half- past 
ten before we set off, fortified by several glasses of 
buttermilk apiece. 

All went in the carriage except Ginnie, Lilly (No- 
lan), and me, and we perched on the baggage in 
the wagon. Such stifling heat! The wagon jarred 
dreadfully, and seated at the extreme end, on a 
wooden trunk traversed by narrow slats, Ginnie and 
I were jolted until we lost our ^breath, all down 
Arkansas Lane, when we changed for the front 
part. I shall never forget the heat of that day. 

Four miles beyond, the carriage stopped at some 
house, and, still determined to get over the river, 
I stepped into the little cart that held our trunks, 
drove up to the side of it, and insisted on mother's 
getting in, rather than going the other way with 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Phillie. I had a slight discussion, and overcame 
mother's reluctance to Phillie's objections with some 
difficulty; but finally prevailed on the former to get 
into the cart, and jolted off amid a shower of re- 
proaches, regrets, and good-byes. I knew I was right, 
though ; and the idea reconciled me to the heat, dust, 
jarring, and gunboat that was coming up behind us. 

Six miles more brought us to Mr. Cain's, where 
we arrived at two o'clock, tired, dirty, and almost 
unrecognizable. We were received with the greatest 
cordiality in spite of that. Mother knew both him 
and his wife, but though I had never seen either, the 
latter kissed me as affectionately as though we had 
known each other. It was impossible to cross when 
the gunboat was in sight, so they made us stay with 
them until the next morning. A bath and clean 
clothes soon made me quite presentable, and I really 
enjoyed the kindness we met with, in spite of a 
"tearing" headache, and a distended feeling about 
the eyes as though I never meant to close them again 
— the consequence of my vigil, I presume. O those 
dear, kind people ! I shall not soon forget them. Mr. 
Cain told mother he believed he would keep me; at 
all events, he would make an exchange, and give her 
his only son in my place. I told him I was willing, 
as mother thought much more of her sons than of 
her daughters. 

I forgot to say that we met General Allen's partner 
a mile or two from Dr. Nolan's, who told us it was a 
wise move ; that he had intended recommending it. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

All he owned had been carried off, his plantation 
stripped. He said he had no doubt that all the coast 
would be ravaged, and they had promised to burn 
his and manyother houses; and Dr. Nolan's — though 
it might possibly be spared in consideration of his 
being a prisoner, and his daughter being unpro- 
tected — would most probably suffer with the rest, 
but even if spared, it was no place for women. He 
offered to take charge of us all, and send the furni- 
ture into the interior before the Yankees should land, 
which Phillie gladly accepted. 

What a splendid rest I had at Mrs. Cain's! I was 
not conscious of being alive until I awaked abruptly 
in the early morning, with a confused sense of having 
dreamed something very pleasant. 

Mr. Cain accompanied us to the ferry some miles 
above, riding by the buggy; and leaving us under 
care of Mr. Randallson, after seeing us in the large 
flat, took his leave. After an hour spent at the 
hotel after landing on this side, we procured a con- 
veyance and came on to Mr. Elder's, where we as- 
tonished Lilly by our unexpected appearance very 
much. Miriam had gone over to spend the day with 
her, so we were all together, and talked over our ad- 
ventures with the greatest glee. After dinner Miriam 
and I came over here to see them all, leaving the 
others to follow later. I was very glad to see Helen 
Carter once more. If I was not, I hope I may live in 
Yankee-land ! — and I can't invoke a more dreadful 
punishment than that. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Well! here we are, and Heaven only knows our 
next move. But we must settle on some spot, which 
seems impossible in the present state of affairs, when 
no lodgings are to be found. I feel like a homeless 
beggar. Will Pinckney told them here that he 
doubted if our house were still standing, as the fight 
occurred just back of it, and every volley directed 
towards it. He says he thought of it every time the 
cannon was fired, knowing where the shot would go. 

August 13th. 

I am in despair. Miss Jones, who has just made 
her escape from town, brings a most dreadful account. 
She, with seventy-five others, took refuge at Dr. 
Enders's, more than a mile and a half below town, 
at Hall's. It was there we sent the two trunks con- 
taining father's papers and our clothing and silver. 
Hearing that guerrillas had been there, the Yankees 
went down, shelled the house in the night, turning 
all those women and children out, who barely es- 
caped with their clothing, and let the soldiers loose 
on it. They destroyed everything they could lay 
their hands on, if it could not be carried off; broke 
open armoirs, trunks, sacked the house, and left it 
one scene of devastation and ruin. They even stole 
Miss Jones's braid ! She got here with nothing but 
the clothes she wore. 

This is a dreadful blow to me. Yesterday, I 
thought myself beggared when I heard that our house 
was probably burnt, remembering all the clothing, 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

books, furniture, etc., that it contained; but I con- 
soled myself with the recollection of a large trunk 
packed in the most scientific style, containing quan- 
tities of nightgowns, skirts, chemises, dresses, 
cloaks, — in short, our very best, — which was in 
safety. Winter had no terrors when I thought of the 
nice warm clothes ; I only wished I had a few of the 
organdie dresses I had packed up before wearing. 
And now? It is all gone, silver, father's law papers, 
without which we are beggars, and clothing ! Noth- 
ing left! 

I could stand that. But as each little article of 
Harry's came up before me (I had put many in the 
trunk), I lost heart. . . . They may clothe their 
negro women with my clothes, since they only steal 
for them ; but to take things so sacred to me ! O my 
God, teach me to forgive them! 

Poor Miss Jones! They went into her clothes-bag 
and took out articles which were certainly of no serv- 
ice to them, for mere deviltry. There are so many 
sufferers in this case that it makes it still worse. 
The plantation just below was served in the same 
way; whole families fired into before they knew of 
the intention of the Yankees; was it not fine sport? 
I have always been an advocate of peace — if we 
could name the conditions ourselves — but I say, 
War to the death ! I would give my life to be able to 
take arms against the vandals who are laying waste 
our fair land! I suppose it is because I have no 
longer anything to lose that I am desperate. Before, 


A Confederate Girl*s Diary 

I always opposed the burning of Baton Rouge, as a 
useless piece of barbarism in turning out five thou- 
sand women and children on the charity of the world. 
But I noticed that those who had no interest there 
warmly advocated it. Lilly Nolan cried loudly for 
it; thought it only just; but the first shell that whistled 
over her father's house made her crazy with rage. 
The brutes! the beasts! how cruel! wicked! etc. It 
was too near home for her, then. There is the great- 
est difference between my property and yours. I 
notice that the further I get from town, the more 
ardent are the people to have it burned. It recalls 
very forcibly Thackeray's cut in "The Virginians," 
when speaking of the determination of the Rebels to 
burn the cities: he says he observed that all those 
who were most eager to burn New York were in- 
habitants of Boston; while those who were most 
zealous to burn Boston had all their property in 
New York. It is true all the world over. And I am 
afraid I am becoming indifferent about the fate of 
our town. Anything, so it is speedily settled! Tell 
me it would be of service to the Confederacy, and 
I would set fire to my home — if still standing — 

willingly! But would it? 

August 17th. 

Another Sunday. Strange that the time, which 
should seem so endless, flies so rapidly! Miriam 
complains that Sunday comes every day ; but though 
that seems a little too much, I insist that it comes 
twice a week. Let time fly, though; for each day 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

brings us so much nearer our destiny, which I long 
to know. 

Thursday, we heard from a lady just from town 
that our house was standing the day before, which 
somewhat consoled us for the loss of our silver and 
clothing; but yesterday came the tidings of new 
afflictions. I declare we have acted out the first 
chapter of Job, all except that verse about the death 
of his sons and daughters. God shield us from that! 
I do not mind the rest. ** While he was yet speaking, 
another came in and said, 'Thy brethren and kins- 
men gathered together to wrest thine abode from the 
hand of the Philistines which pressed sore upon thee ; 
when lo! the Philistines sallied forth with fire and 
sword, and laid thine habitation waste and desolate, 
and I only am escaped to tell thee.'" Yes! the 
Yankees, fearing the Confederates might slip in un- 
seen, resolved to have full view of their movements, 
so put the torch to all eastward, from Colonel 
Matta's to the Advocate. That would lay open a 
fine tract of country, alone ; but unfortunately, it is 
said that once started, it was not so easy to control 
the flames, which spread considerably beyond their 
appointed limits. Some say it went as far as Flor- 
ida Street; if so, we are lost, as that is a half-square 
below us. For several days the fire has been burn- 
ing, but very little can be learned of the particulars. 
I am sorry for Colonel Matta. Such a fine brown 
stone front, the finest in town. Poor Minna! poverty 
will hardly agree with her. As for our home, I hope 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

against hope. I will not believe it is burnt, until some- 
body declares having been present on that occasion. 
Yet so many frame houses on that square must have 
readily caught fire from the sparks. 

Wicked as it may seem, I would rather have all I 
own burned, than in the possession of the negroes. 
Fancy my magenta organdie on a dark beauty ! Bah ! 
I think the sight would enrage me ! Miss Jones's trials 
are enough to drive her crazy. She had the pleasure 
of having four officers in her house, men who sported 
epaulets and red sashes, accompanied by a negro 
woman, at whose disposal all articles were placed. 
The worthy companion of these "gentlemen" 
walked around selecting things with the most natural 
airs and graces. ^'This'' she would say, **we must 
have. And some of these books, you know; and all 
the preserves, and these chairs and tables, and all 
the clothes, of course; and yes! the rest of these 
things." So she would go on, the "gentlemen" as- 
suring her she had only to choose what she wanted, 
and that they would have them removed immedi- 
ately. Madame thought they really must have the 
wine, and those handsome cut-glass goblets. I hardly 
think I could have endured such a scene; to see all 
I owned given to negroes, without even an accusa- 
tion being brought against me of disloyalty.^ One 
officer departed with a fine velvet cloak on his arm ; 
another took such a bundle of Miss Jones's clothes, 

1 The Act of July i6th, 1862, authorized the confiscation of property 
only in the cases of rebels whose disloyalty was established. — W. D. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

that he had to have it lifted by some one else on his 
horse, and rode off holding it with difficulty. This 
I heard from herself, yesterday, as I spent the day 
with Lilly and mother at Mr. Elder's, where she is 
now staying. Can anything more disgraceful be 
imagined? They all console me by saying there is 
no one in Baton Rouge who could possibly wear my 
dresses without adding a considerable piece to the 
belt. But that is nonsense. Another pull at the 
corset strings would bring them easily to the size 
I have been reduced by nature and bones. Besides, 

horror! Suppose, instead, they should let in a piece 
of another color? That would annihilate me ! Pshaw ! 

1 do not care for the dresses, if they had only left me 

those little articles of father's and Harry's. But that 

is hard to forgive. 

August 19th. 

Yesterday, two Colonels, Shields and Breaux, 
both of whom distinguished themselves in the battle 
of Baton Rouge, dined here. Their personal appear- 
ance 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 

Just three lines back, three soldiers came in to ask 
for molasses. I was alone downstairs, and the nerv- 
ous trepidation with which I received the dirty, 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

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 ques- 
tions 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 em- 
barrassment, 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 


August 20th. 

Last evening, after hard labor at pulling molasses 
candy, needing some relaxation after our severe 
exertions, we determined to have some fun, though 
the sun was just setting in clouds as watery as New 
Orleans milk, and promised an early twilight. All 
day it had been drizzling, but that was nothing; so 

1 80 

A Confederate Qirl's Diary 

Anna Badger, Miriam, and I setoff, through the mud, 
to get up the little cart to ride in, followed by cries 
from the elder ladies of ''Girls! Soap is a dollar and 
a half a bar ! Starch a dollar a pound ! Take up those 
skirts ! " We had all started stiff and clean, and it did 
seem a pity to let them drag ; so up they went — 
you can imagine how high when I tell you my answer 
to Anna's question as to whether hers were in danger 
of touching the mud, was, '' Not unless you sit down.'* 
The only animal we could discover that was not 
employed was a poor old pony, most appropriately 
called "Tom Thumb," and him we seized instantly, 
together with a man to harness him. We accom- 
panied him from the stable to the quarter where the 
cart was, through mud and water, urging him on 
with shouts and cries, and laughing until we could 
laugh no longer, at the appearance of each. The cart 
had been hauling wood, but that was nothing to us. 
In we tumbled, and with a driver as diminutive as 
the horse, started off for Mr. Elder's, where we 
picked up all the children to be found, and went on. 
All told, we were twelve, drawn by that poor horse, 
who seemed at each step about to undergo the ham 
process, and leave us his hind quarters, while he 
escaped with the fore ones and harness. I dare say 
we never enjoyed a carriage as much, though each 
was holding a muddy child. Riding was very fine; 
but soon came the question, "How shall we turn?" 
— which was not so easily solved, for neither horse 
nor boy understood it in the least. Every effort to 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

describe a circle brought us the length of the cart 
farther up the road, and we promised fair to reach 
Bayou Sara before morning, at that rate. At last, 
after fruitless efforts to dodge under the harness 
and escape, pony came to a standstill, and could 
not be induced to move. The children took advan- 
tage of the pause to tumble out, but we sat still. 
Bogged, and it was very dark already! Would n't 
we get it when we got home ! Anna groaned, "Uncle 
Albert!" Miriam laughed, "the General!" I sighed, 
"Mrs. Carter!" We knew what we deserved; and 
darker and darker it grew, and pony still inflexible! 
At last we beheld a buggy on a road near by and in 
answer to Morgan's shouts of "Uncle! Uncle! come 
turn our cart!" a gentleman jumped out and in an 
instant performed the Herculean task. Pony found 
motion so agreeable that it was with the greatest 
difficulty we prevailed on him to stop while we fished 
seven children out of the mud, as they pursued his 
flying hoofs. Once more at Mr. Elder's, we pitched 
them out without ceremony, and drove home as 
fast as possible, trying to fancy what punishment 
we would receive for being out so late. 

Miriam suggested, as the most horrible one, being 
sent to bed supperless; Anna's terror was the Gen- 
eral's displeasure; I suggested being deprived of 
rides in future; when all agreed that mine was the 
most severe yet. So as we drove around the circle, 
those two set up what was meant for a hearty laugh 
to show "they were not afraid," which, however, 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

sounded rather shaky to me. I don't think any of us 
felt like facing the elders; Miriam suggested antici- 
pating our fate by retiring voluntarily to bed ; Anna 
thought we had best run up and change our shoes, 
anyway; but at last, with her dare-devil laugh, 
Miriam sauntered into the room, where they all 
were, followed by us, and thrusting her wet feet into 
the fire that was kindled to drive away the damp 
(followed also by us), commenced a laughable ac- 
count of our fun — in which we, of course, followed, 
too. If I had fancied we were to escape scot free, we 
would most surely have got a scolding. It is almost 
an inducement to hope always for the — worst ! The 
General did not mention the hour! did not prohibit 
future rides! 

While we were yet toasting, a negro came in with 
what seemed a bank-note, and asked his master to 
see how much it was, as one of the women had sold 
some of her watermelons to the three soldiers of 
the morning, who had given that to her for a dollar. 
The General opened it. It was a pass! So vanish all 
faith in human nature! They looked so honest! I 
could never have believed it of them ! But it looked 
so much like the *' shinplasters " we are forced to use, 
that no wonder they made the mistake. To discover 
who had played so mean a trick on the poor old 
woman, the General asked me if I could decipher the 
name. I threw myself on my knees by the hearth, 
and by the flickering light read " S. Kimes. By order 
of C ! H ! ! Luzenberg ! ! ! Provost Marshal ! ! ! ! Ono- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

lona, Miss.," with a gasp of astonishment that raised 
a burst of laughter against me. Thought he was 
taken prisoner long ago! At all events, I didn't 
know he had turned banker, or that his valuable 
autograph was worth a dollar! 

August 2 1 St. 

Miriam and mother are going to Baton Rouge in 
a few hours, to see if anything can be saved from the 
general wreck. From the reports of the removal of 
the Penitentiary machinery. State Library, Washing- 
ton Statue, etc., we presume that that part of the 
town yet standing is to be burnt like the rest. I 
think, though, that mother has delayed too long. 
However, I dreamed last night that we had saved a 
great deal, in trunks; and my dreams sometimes 
come true. Waking with that impression, I was sur- 
prised, a few hours after, to hear mother's sudden 
determination. But I also dreamed I was about to 
marry a Federal officer ! That was in consequence of 
having answered the question, whether I would do 
so, with an emphatic "Yes! if I loved him," which 
will probably ruin my reputation as a patriot in this 
parish. Bah! I am no bigot! — or fool either. . . . 

August 23d. 

Yesterday Anna and I spent the day with Lilly, 
and the rain in the evening obliged us to stay all 
night. Dr. Perkins stopped there, and repeated the 
same old stories we have been hearing, about the 
powder placed under the State House and Garrison, 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

to blow them up, if forced to evacuate the town. 
He confirms the story about all the convicts being set 
free, and the town being pillaged by the negroes and 
the rest of the Yankees. He says his own slaves told 
him they were allowed to enter the houses and help 
themselves, and what they did not want the Yankees 
either destroyed on the spot, or had it carried to the 
Garrison and burned. They also bragged of having 
stopped ladies on the street, cut their necklaces 
from their necks, and stripped the rings from their 
fingers, without hesitation. It may be that they 
were just bragging to look great in the eyes of their 
masters; I hope so, for Heaven help them if they fall 
into the hands of the Confederates, if it is true. 

I could not record all the stories of wanton de- 
struction that reached us. I would rather not be- 
lieve that the Federal Government could be so dis- 
graced by its own soldiers. Dr. Day says they left 
nothing at all in his house, and carried everything 
off from Dr. Enders's. He does not believe we have 
a single article left in ours. I hope they spared Mir- 
iam's piano. But they say the soldiers had so many 
that they offered them for sale at five dollars apiece ! 
We heard that the town had been completely evacu- 
ated, and all had gone to New Orleans except three 
gunboats that were preparing to shell, before leav- 

This morning Withers's battery passed Mr. Elder's 
on their way to Port Hudson, and stopped to get 
water. There were several buckets served by several 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

servants ; but I took possession of one, to their great 
amusement. What a profusion of thanks over a can 
of water! It made me smile, and they smiled to see 
my work, so it was all very funny. It was astonish- 
ing to see the number of Yankee canteens in the pos- 
session of our men. Almost all those who fought at 
Baton Rouge are provided with them. In their can- 
vas and wire cases, with neat stoppers, they are 
easily distinguished from our rough, flat, tin ones. 
I declare I felt ever so important in my new situa- 
tion as waiting-maid ! 

There is very little we would not do for our soldiers, 
though. There is mother, for instance, who got on 
her knees to bathe the face and hands of a fever- 
struck soldier of the Arkansas, while the girls held 
the plates of those who were too weak to hold them 
and eat at the same time. Blessed is the Confederate 
soldier who has even toothache, when there are 
women near! What sympathies and remedies are 
volunteered! I always laugh, as I did then, when I 
think of the supposed wounded man those girls dis- 
covered on that memorable Arkansas day. I must 
first acknowledge that it was my fault; for seized 
with compassion for a man supported by two others 
who headed the procession, I cried, *'0h, look! he 
is wounded!" "Oh, poor fellow!" screamed the 
others, while tears and exclamations flowed abun- 
dantly, until one of the men, smiling humorously, 
cried out, "Nothing the matter with him!" and on 
nearer view, I perceived it was laziness, or perhaps 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

something else, and was forced to laugh at the 
streaming eyes of those tender-hearted girls. 

August 24th, Sunday. 

Soon after dinner yesterday two soldiers stopped 
here, and requested permission to remain all night. 
The word ''soldier" was enough for us; and without 
even seeing them, Anna and I gladly surrendered 
our room, and said we would sleep in Mrs. Badger's, 
instead. However, I had no curiosity to see the 
heroes, and remained up here reading until the bell 
summoned me to supper, when I took my seat with- 
out looking at them, as no introduction was possible, 
from their having refrained from giving their names. 

Presently I heard the words, "That retreat from 
Norfolk was badly conducted." I looked up, and 
saw before me a rather good-looking man covered 
with the greatest profusion of gold cloth and buttons, 
for which I intuitively despised him. The impulse 
seized me, so I spoke. "Were you there?" "No; but 
near by. I was there with the First Louisiana for 
'most a year." "Do you know George Morgan?" 
"Know George? Yes, indeed! You are his sister." 
This was an assertion; but I bowed assent, and he 
went on, "Thought so, from the resemblance. I 
remember seeing you ten years ago, when you were 
a very little girl. I used to be at your house with the 
boys; we were schoolmates." I remarked that I had 
no recollection of him. "Of course not," he said, 
but did not inform me of his name. He talked very 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

familiarly of the boys, and said he had met them all 
at Richmond. Next he astounded me by saying he 
was a citizen of Baton Rouge, though he had been 
almost four years in New York before the war broke 
out. He was going to town to look after the " prop- 
erty," hearing his father had gone to France. An 
inhabitant of that city, who was so familiar with my 
brothers and me, and with whom I was not ac- 
quainted ! Here was a riddle to solve. Let us see who 
among our acquaintances had gone to France. I 
could think of none. I made up my mind to find out 
his name if I had to ask it. 

All through supper he talked, and when, in coun- 
try style, the gentlemen left us at table, I found the 
curiosity of the others was even more excited than 
mine. I was determined to know who he was, then. 

In the parlor, he made some remark about never 
having been in ladies' society the whole time he 
was in Virginia. I expressed my surprise, as George 
often wrote of the pleasant young ladies he met every- 
where. "Oh, yes!" said monsieur, "but it is impos- 
sible to do your duty as an officer, and be a lady's 
man; so I devoted myself to my military profession 
exclusively." "Insufferable puppy!" I said to my- 
self. Then he told me of how his father thought he 
was dead, and asked if I had heard of his rallying 
twenty men at Manassas, and charging a Federal 
regiment, which instantly broke? I honestly told 
him, "No." "lagoo, the great boaster," I decided. 
Abruptly he said there were very few nice young 

1 88 

A Confederate Girl's Diary 

ladies in Baton Rouge. "Probably so, in his circle," 
I thought, while I dryly remarked, '* Indeed?" "Oh, 
yes!" and still more abruptly he said, "Ain't you the 
youngest? — Yes! I thought so! I remember you 
when you were a wee thing, so high," placing his 
hand at a most insultingly short distance from the 
floor. "Really I must ask your name," I said. He 
hesitated a moment and then said in a low tone, "De 
J ." " De What? " I absurdly asked, think- 
ing I was mistaken. "A de J " he repeated. 

I bowed slightly to express my satisfaction, said, 
**Anna, we must retire," and with a good-night to 
my newly discovered gentleman, went upstairs. 

He is the one I heard George speak of last De- 
cember when he was here, as having been court- 
martialed, and shot, according to the universal belief 
in the army ; that was the only time I had ever heard 
his name, though I was quite familiar with the cart of 

De J pere, as it perambulated the streets. My 

first impressions are seldom erroneous. From the 
first, I knew that man's respectability was derived 
from his buttons. That is why he took such pride in 
them, and contemplated them with such satisfac- 
tion. They lent him social backbone enough to con- 
verse so familiarly with me; without the effulgence 
of that splendid gold, which he hoped would dazzle 
my eye to his real position, he would have hardly 
dared to "remember me when I was a wee thing, so 
high." Is he the only man whose coat alone entitles 
him to respectability? He may be colonel, for all I 


A Confederate Girl's Diary ' 

know; but still, he is A de J to me. He 

talked brave enough to be general. 

This morning I met him with a cordial "Good- 
morning, Mr. de J ," anxious to atone for 

several "snubs" I had given him, long before I 
knew his name, last night ; you see I could afford to be 
patronizing now. But the name probably, and the 
fluency with which I pronounced it, proved too 
much for him, and after "Good-morning, Miss Mor- 
gan," he did not venture a word. We knew each 
other then ; his name was no longer a secret. 

August 25th. About 12 at night. 

Sleep is impossible after all that I have heard, so, 
after vainly endeavoring to follow the example of 
the rest, and sleep like a Stoic, I have lighted my 
candle and take to this to induce drowsiness. 

Just after supper, when Anna and I were sitting 
with Mrs. Carter in her room, I talking as usual of 
home, and saying I would be perfectly happy if 
mother would decide to remain in Baton Rouge and 
brave the occasional shellings, I heard a well-known 
voice take up some sentence of mine from a dark 
part of the room, and with a cry of surprise, I was 
hugging Miriam until she was breathless. Such a 
forlorn creature! — so dirty, tired, and fatigued, as 
to be hardly recognizable. We thrust her into a 
chair, and made her speak. She had just come with 
Charlie, who went after them yesterday; and had 
left mother and the servants at a kind friend's, on 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

the road. I never heard such a story as she told. I 
was heartsick; but I laughed until Mrs. Badger grew 
furious with me and the Yankees, and abused me 
for not abusing them. 

She says when she entered the house, she burst 
into tears at the desolation. It was one scene of 
ruin. Libraries emptied, china smashed, sideboards 
split open with axes, three cedar chests cut open, 
plundered, and set up on end; all parlor ornaments 
carried off — even the alabaster Apollo and Diana 
that Hal valued so much. Her piano, dragged to the 
centre of the parlor, had been abandoned as too heavy 
to carry off; her desk lay open with all letters and 
notes well thumbed and scattered around, while 
Will's last letter to her was open on the floor, with 
the Yankee stamp of dirty fingers. Mother's por- 
trait half-cut from its frame stood on the floor. 
Margret, who was present at the sacking, told how 
she had saved father's. It seems that those who 
wrought destruction in our house were all officers. 
One jumped on the sofa to cut the picture down 
(Miriam saw the prints of his muddy feet) when 
Margret cried, " For God's sake, gentlemen, let it be ! 
I'll help you to anything here. He's dead, and the 
young ladies would rather see the house burn than 
lose it ! " ** I '11 blow your damned brains out," was the 
** gentleman's " answer as he put a pistol to her head, 
which a brother officer dashed away, and the picture 
was abandoned for finer sport. All the others were 
cut up in shreds. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Upstairs was the finest fun. Mother's beautiful 
mahogany armoir, whose single door was an ex- 
tremely fine mirror, was entered by crashing through 
the glass, when it was emptied of every article, and 
the shelves half -split, and half -thrust back crooked. 
Letters, labeled by the boys " Private," were strewn 
over the floor; they opened every armoir and 
drawer, collected every rag to be found and littered 
the whole house with them, until the wonder was, 
where so many rags had been found. Father's 
armoir was relieved of everything; Gibbes's hand- 
some Damascus sword with the silver scabbard 
included. All his clothes, George's, Hal's, Jimmy's, 
were appropriated. They entered my room, broke 
that fine mirror for sport, pulled down the rods 
from the bed, and with them pulverized my toilet 
set, taking also all Lydia's china ornaments I had 
packed in the wash-stand. The ddbris filled my 
basin, and ornamented my bed. My desk was broken 
open. Over it was spread all my letters, and private 
papers, a diary I kept when twelve years old, and 
sundry tokens of dried roses, etc., which must have 
been very funny, they all being labeled with the 
donor's name, and the occasion. Fool ! how I writhe 
when I think of all they saw ; the invitations to buggy 
rides, concerts, "Compliments of," etc. — ! Lilly's 
sewing-machine had disappeared; but as mother's 
was too heavy to move, they merely smashed the 

In the pillaging of the armoirs, they seized a pink 


Sully's portrait of Mrs. Morgan 



A Confederate Girl's Diary 

flounced muslin of Miriam's, which one officer placed 
on the end of a bayonet, and paraded round with, 
followed by the others who slashed it with their 
swords crying, '*I have stuck the damned Secesh! 
that's the time I cut her ! " and continued their sport 
until the rags could no longer be pierced. One seized 
my bonnet, with which he decked himself, and ran 
in the streets. Indeed, all who found such, rushed 
frantically around town, by way of frolicking, with 
the things on their heads. They say no frenzy could 
surpass it. Another snatched one of my calico dresses, 
and a pair of vases that mother had when she was 
married, and was about to decamp when a Mrs. 
Jones jerked them away, and carried them to her 
boarding-house, and returned them to mother the 
other day. Blessed be Heaven ! I have a calico dress ! 
Our clothes were used for the vilest purposes, and 
spread in every comer — at least those few that were 
not stolen. 

Aunt Barker's Charles tried his best to defend 
the property. "Ain't you 'shamed to destroy all 
dis here, that belongs to a poor widow lady who's 
got two daughters to support?" he asked of an offi- 
cer who was foremost in the destruction. "Poor? 
Damn them ! I don't know when I have seen a house 
furnished like this! Look at that furniture! They 
poor!" was the retort, and thereupon the work went 
bravely on, of making us poor, indeed. 

It would have fared badly with us had we been 
there. The servants say they broke into the house 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

crying, ** Where are those damned Secesh women? 
We know they are hid in here, and we'll make them 
dance for hiding from Federal officers!" And they 
could not be convinced that we were not there, until 
they had searched the very garret. Wonder what 
they would have done? Charles caught a Captain 
Clark in the streets, when the work was almost over, 
and begged him to put an end to it. The gentleman 
went readily, but though the devastation was quite 
evident, no one was to be seen, and he was about 
to leave, when, insisting that there was some one 
there, Charles drew him into my room, dived under 
the bed, and drew from thence a Yankee captain, 
by one leg, followed by a lieutenant, each with a 
bundle of the boys' clothes, which they instantly 
dropped, protesting they were only looking around 
the house. The gentleman captain carried them off 
to their superior. 

Ours was the most shockingly treated house in the 
whole town. We have the misfortune to be equally 
feared by both sides, because we will blackguard 
neither. So the Yankees selected the only house in 
town that sheltered three forlorn women, to wreak 
their vengeance on. From far and near, strangers 
and friends flocked in to see the ravages committed. 
Crowds rushed in before, crowds came in after, 
Miriam and mother arrived, all apologizing for the 
intrusion, but saying they had heard it was a sight 
never before seen. So they let them examine to their 
hearts' content ; and Miriam says the sympathy of 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

all was extraordinary. A strange gentleman picked 
up a piece of mother's mirror, which was as thick as 
his finger, saying, "Madame, I should like to keep 
this as a memento. I am about to travel through 
Mississippi, and having seen what a splendid piece 
of furniture this was, and the state your house is 
left in, should like to show this as a specimen of 
Yankee vandalism." 

William Waller flew to our home to try to save 
it ; but was too late. They say he burst into tears as 
he looked around. While on his kind errand, another 
band of Yankees burst into his house and left not 
one article of clothing to him, except the suit he had 
on. The whole talk is about our dreadful treatment 
at the Yankees' hands. Dr. Day, and Dr. Enders, 
in spite of the assertions of the former, lost nothing. 

Well ! I am beggared ! Strange to say, I don't feel 
it. Perhaps it is the satisfaction of knowing my fate 
that makes me so cheerful that Mrs. Carter envied 
my stoicism, while Mrs. Badger felt like beating me 
because I did not agree that there was no such thing 
as a gentleman in the Yankee army. I know Major 
Drum for one, and that Captain Clark must be two, 
and Mr. Biddle is three, and General Williams — 
God bless him, wherever he is! for he certainly acted 
like a Christian. The Yankees boasted loudly that 
if it had not been for him, the work would have been 
done long ago. 

And now, I am determined to see my home, be- 
fore Yankee shells complete the work that Yankee 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

axes spared. So by sunrise, I shall post over to Mr. 
Elder's, and insist on Charlie taking me to town with 
him. I hardly think it is many hours off. I feel so 
settled, so calm! Just as though I never meant to 
sleep again. If I only had a desk, — a luxury I have 
not enjoyed since I left home, — I could write for 
hours still, without being sleepy; but this curved 
attitude is hard on my stiff back, so good-night, while 
I lie down to gain strength for a sight they say will 
make me faint with distress. Nous verrons! If I 
say I Won't, I know I '11 not cry. The Bruno ts lost 
nothing at all from their house, thank Heaven for 
the mercy ! Only they lost all their money in their 
flight. On the door, on their return, they found 
written, ''Ladies, I have done my best for you," 
signed by a Yankee soldier, who they suppose to be 
the one who has made it a habit of continually pass- 
ing their house. 

Forgot to say Miriam recovered my guitar from 
the Asylum, our large trunk and father's papers 
(untouched) from Dr. Enders's, and with her piano, 
the two portraits, a few mattresses (all that is left 
of housekeeping affairs), and father's law books, 
carried them out of town. For which I say in all 
humility. Blessed be God who has spared us so much. 

Thursday, August 28th. 

I am satisfied. I have seen my home again. Tues- 
day I was up at sunrise, and my few preparations 
were soon completed, and before any one was awake, 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

I walked over to Mr. Elder's, through mud and dew, 
to meet Charlie. Fortunate was it for me that I 
started so early; for I found him hastily eating his 
breakfast, and ready to leave. He was very much op- 
posed to my going; and for some time I was afraid 
he would force me to remain; but at last he con- 
sented, — perhaps because I did not insist, — and 
with wet feet and without a particle of breakfast, 
I at length found myself in the buggy on the road 
home. The ride afforded me a series of surprises. 
Half the time I found myself halfway out of the little 
low-necked buggy when I thought I was safely in ; 
and the other half, I was surprised to find myself 
really in when I thought I was wholly out. And so 
on, for mile after mile, over muddy roads, until we 
came to a most terrific cross-road, where we were 
obliged to pass, and which is best undescribed. Four 
miles from town we stopped at Mrs. Brown's to see 
mother, and after a few moments' talk, went on our 

I saw the first Yankee camp that Will Pinckney 
and Colonel Bird had set fire to the day of the battle. 
Such a shocking sight of charred wood, burnt clothes, 
tents, and all imaginable articles strewn around, I 
had never before seen. I should have been very 
much excited, entering the town by the route our 
soldiers took; but I was not. It all seemed tame and 
familiar. I could hardly fancy I stood on the very 
spot where the severest struggle had taken place. 
The next turn of the road brought us to two graves, 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

one on each side of the road, the resting-place of two 
who fell that day. They were merely left in the 
ditch where they fell, and earth from the side was 
pulled over them. When Miriam passed, parts of 
their coats were sticking out of the grave ; but some 
kind hand had scattered fresh earth over them when 
I saw them. Beyond, the sight became more common. 
I was told that their hands and feet were visible from 
many. And one poor fellow lay unburied, just as he 
had fallen, with his horse across him, and both skele- 
tons. That sight I was spared, as the road near which 
he was lying was blocked up by trees, so we were 
forced to go through the woods, to enter, instead of 
passing by, the Catholic graveyard. In the woods, we 
passed another camp our men destroyed, while the 
torn branches above testified to the number of shells 
our men had braved to do the work. Next to Mr, 
Barbee's were the remains of a third camp that was 
burned; and a few more steps made me suddenly 
hold my breath, for just before us lay a dead horse 
with the flesh still hanging, which was hardly en- 
durable. Close by lay a skeleton, — whether of 
man or horse, I did not wait to see. Not a human 
being appeared until we reached the Penitentiary, 
which was occupied by our men. After that, I saw 
crowds of wagons moving furniture out, but not a 
creature that I knew. Just back of our house was 
all that remained of a nice brick cottage — namely, 
four crumbling walls. The offense was that the hus- 
band was fighting for the Confederates; so the wife 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

was made to suffer, and is now homeless, like many 
thousands besides. It really seems as though God 
wanted to spare our homes. The frame dwellings 
adjoining were not touched, even. The town was 
hardly recognizable ; and required some skill to avoid 
the corners blocked up by trees, so as to get in at all. 

Our house could not be reached by the front, so 
we left the buggy in the back yard, and running 
through the lot without stopping to examine the 
storeroom and servants' rooms that opened wide, I 
went through the alley and entered by the front 

Fortunate was it for this record that I under- 
took to describe the sacking only from Miriam's 
account. If I had waited until now, it would never 
have been mentioned; for as I looked around, to at- 
tempt such a thing seemed absurd. I stood in the 
parlor in silent amazement; and in answer to Char- 
lie's "Well?" I could only laugh. It was so hard to 
realize. As I looked for each well-known article, 
I could hardly believe that Abraham Lincoln's offi- 
cers had really come so low down as to steal in such 
a wholesale manner. The papier-mache workbox 
Miriam had given me was gone. The baby sacque I 
was crocheting, with all knitting needles and wools, 
gone also. Of all the beautiful engravings of Annap- 
olis that Will Pinckney had sent me, there remained 
a single one. Gentlemen, my name is written on 
each! Not a book remained in the parlor, except 
** Idyls of the King," that contained my name also, 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

and which, together with the door-plate, was the 
only case in which the name of Morgan was spared. 
They must have thought we were related to John 
Morgan, and wreaked their vengeance on us for 
that reason. Thanks for the honor, but there is not 
the slightest connection ! Where they did not carry 
off articles bearing our name, they cut it off, as in 
the visiting-cards, and left only the first name. 
Every book of any value or interest, except Hume 
and Gibbon, was ''borrowed'* permanently. I re- 
gretted Macaulay more than all the rest. Brother's 
splendid French histories went, too; all except 
"L'Histoire de la Bastille." However, as they 
spared father's law libraries (all except one volume 
they used to support a flour barrel with, while they 
emptied it near the parlor door), we ought to be 

The dining-room was very funny. I looked around 
for the cut-glass celery and preserve dishes that were 
to be part of my "dot," as mother always said, to- 
gether with the champagne glasses that had figured 
on the table the day that I was born; but there re- 
mained nothing. There was plenty of split-up fur- 
niture, though. I stood in mother's room before the 
shattered armoir, which I could hardly believe the 
same that I had smoothed my hair before, as I left 
home three weeks previously. Father's was split 
across, and the lock torn off, and in the place of the 
hundreds of articles it contained, I saw two bonnets 
at the sight of which I actually sat down to laugh. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

One was mother's velvet, which looked very much 
like a football in its present condition. Mine was not 
to be found, as the officers forgot to return it. Won- 
der who has my imperial? I know they never saw 
a handsomer one, with its black velvet, purple silk, 
and ostrich feathers. 

I went to my room. Gone was my small paradise ! 
Had this shocking place ever been habitable? The 
tall mirror squinted at me from a thousand broken 
angles. It looked so knowing! I tried to fancy the 
Yankee officers being dragged from under my bed 
by the leg, thanks to Charles ; but it seemed too ab- 
surd; so I let them alone. My desk! What a sight! 
The central part I had kept as a little curiosity shop 
with all my little trinkets and keepsakes of which a 
large proportion were from my gentlemen friends; 
I looked for all I had left, found only a piece of the 
McRae, which, as it was labeled in full, I was sur- 
prised they had spared. Precious letters I found 
under heaps of broken china and rags ; all my notes 
were gone, with many letters. I looked for a letter 

of poor , in cipher, with the key attached, and 

name signed in plain hand. I knew it would hardly 
be agreeable to him to have it read, and it certainly 
would be unpleasant to me to have it published ; but 
I could not find it. Miriam thinks she saw something 
answering the description, somewhere, though. 

Bah ! What Is the use of describing such a scene ?^ 

^ In her book, From Flag to Flag, Mrs. Eliza McHatton Ripley 
gives a vivid description of Judge Morgan's house as she herself saw 
it after the sacking. — W. D. 

20 1 

A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Many suffered along with us, though none so se- 
verely. Indeed, the Yankees cursed loudly at those 
who did not leave anything worth stealing. They 
cannot complain of us, on that score. All our hand- 
some Brussels carpets, together with Lydia's fur, 
were taken, too. What did they not take? In the 
garret, in its darkest corner, a whole gilt-edged china 
set of Lydia's had been overlooked ; so I set to work 
and packed it up, while Charlie packed her furniture 
in a wagon, to send to her father. 

It was now three o'clock; and with my light linen 
dress thrown off, I was standing over a barrel putting 
in cups and saucers as fast as I could wrap them in 
the rags that covered the floor, v/hen Mr. Larguier 
sent me a nice little dinner. I had been so many 
hours without eating — nineteen, I think, during 
three of which I had slept — that I had lost all 
appetite; but nevertheless I ate it, to show my ap- 
preciation. If I should hereafter think that the 
quantity of rags was exaggerated, let me here state 
that, after I had packed the barrel and china with 
them, it made no perceptible diminution of the pile. 

As soon as I had finished my task, Charlie was 
ready to leave again; so I left town without seeing, 
or hearing, any one, or any thing, except what lay 
in my path. As we drove out of the gate, I begged 
Charlie to let me get my bird, as I heard Charles 
Barker had him. A man was dispatched, and in a 
few minutes returned with my Jimmy. I have since 
heard that Tiche deserted him the day of the battle, 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

as I so much feared she would; and that Charles 
found him late in the evening and took charge of 
him. With my pet once more with me, we drove off 
again. I cast many a longing look at the grave- 
yard; but knowing Charlie did not want to stop, I 
said nothing, though I had been there but once in 
three months, and that once, six weeks ago. I could 
see where the fence had been thrown down by our 
soldiers as they charged the Federals, but it was 
now replaced, though many a picket was gone. Once 
more I stopped at Mrs. Brown's, while Charlie went 
on to Clinton, leaving me to drive mother here in the 
morning. Early yesterday, after seeing Miriam's 
piano and the mattresses packed up and on the road, 
we started off in the buggy, and after a tedious ride 
through a melting sun, arrived here about three 
o'clock, having again missed my dinner, which I 
kept a profound secret until supper- time. 

By next Ash Wednesday, I will have learned how 
to fast without getting sick! Though very tired, I 
sat sewing until after sunset, dictating a page and a 
half to Anna, who was writing to Howell. 

August 29, Clinton, La. 
Noah's duck has found another resting-place! 
Yesterday I was interrupted while writing, to pack 
up for another move, it being impossible to find a 
boarding-house in the neighborhood. We heard of 
some about here, and Charlie had engaged a house 
for his family, where the servants were already set- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

tied, so I hurried off to my task. No easy one, either, 
considering the heat and length of time allowed. 
This time I ate dinner as I packed, again. About 
four, finding Miriam did not come to Mr. Elder's as 
she promised, I started over to General Carter's 
with her clothes, and found her just getting into the 
buggy to ride over, as I arrived warm, tired, hardly 
able to stand. After taking her over, the General 
sent the buggy back for Mrs. Carter and myself, 
and soon we were all assembled waiting for the cars. 
At last, determining to wait for them near the track, 
we started off again. General Carter driving me in 
his buggy. I love General Carter. Again, after so 
many kind invitations, he told me he was sorry we 
would not remain with him; if we were content, he 
would be only too happy to have us with him; and 
spoke so kindly that I felt as though I had a Yankee 
ball in my throat. I was disposed to be melancholy 
anyway ; I could not say many words without chok- 
ing. I was going from the kindest of friends to a 
country where I had none at all; so could not feel 
very gay. As we reached the track, the cars came 
shrieking along. There was a pause, a scuffle, during 
which the General placed me and my bird in a seat, 
while Lilly, Charlie, Miriam, mother, five children, 
and two servants, with all the baggage, were thrown 
aboard some way, when with a shriek and a jerk we 
were off again, without a chance of saying good- 
bye, even. 

I enjoyed that ride. It had but one fault; and that 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

was, that it came to an end. I would have wished it 
to spin along until the war was over, or we in a set- 
tled home. But it ended at last, to Jimmy's great 
relief, for he was too frightened to move even, and 
only ventured a timid chirp if the car stopped, as if 
to ask, ** Is it over? " Nothing occurred of any inter- 
est except once a little boy sent us slightly off the 
track, by meddling with the brakes. 

Landed at sunset, it is hard to fancy a more for- 
lorn crew, while waiting at the depot to get the bag- 
gage off before coming to the house. We burst out 
laughing as we looked at each lengthened face. Such 
a procession through the straggling village has hardly 
been seen before. How we laughed at our forlorn 
plight as we trudged through the hilly streets, — 
they have no pavements here, — looking like emi- 
grants from the Ould Counthry, as we have watched 
them in New Orleans ! 

At the house we found Tiche laid up. The loaded 
wagon, with its baggage, four mules, three grown 
servants, and four children, was precipitated from a 
bridge twenty-five feet high, by the breaking of the 
before-mentioned causeway, and landed with the 
whole concern in deep water below. Wonderful to 
relate, not a life was lost ! The mattress on which the 
negroes remained seated floated them off into shal- 
low water. The only one hurt was Tiche, who had 
her leg severely sprained. The baggage was after- 
wards fished out, rather wet. In the mud next 
morning (it happened late at night), Dophy found 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

a tiny fancy bottle that she had secreted from the 
Yankees; a present from Clemmy Luzenberg, it was, 
and one of two things left in my curiosity shop by 
the Yankees. 

After seeing everything in, we started off for the 
hotel, where we arrived after dark, rather tired, I 
think. Not a comfortable house, either, unless you 
call a bare, unfurnished, dirty room without shutter 
or anything else, comfortable ; particularly when you 
are to sleep on the floor with four children and three 
grown people, and a servant. After breakfast we 
came here until we can find a place to settle in, 
which Mr. Marsden has promised to attend to for 
us. It is rather rough housekeeping yet, but Lilly 
has not yet got settled. Our dinner was rather 
primitive. There was a knife and fork to carve the 
meat, and then it was finished with spoons. I sat on 
the floor with my plate, and a piece of cornbread 
(flour not to be bought at any price) and ate with 
my fingers — a new experience. I found that water 
can be drunk out of a cup ! 

Ouf! I am tired! 

August 30th. 

Still no prospect of a lodging; so here we remain. 
I never before lived in a house without a balcony, 
and have only now found out how inconvenient it is. 
The whole establishment consists of two rooms on 
each side of a passage as wide as the front door; and 
as it has a very low ceiling, with no opening, and no 
shade near, it is decidedly the warmest spot I ever 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

inhabited. We all sleep on the floor and keep our 
clothes in our trunks — except Lilly, who has an 
armoir without doors. Knives and forks for dinner 
to-day, though the table still consists of a single 
plank. The house really has a suffocating effect on 
me, there is such a close look about it. The front is 
fully a foot below the level of the street, while quite 
a flight of steps leads from the back door to the yard. 
In fact, the whole town consists of abrupt little 
mounds. It is rather a pretty place; but Heaven 
save me from the miser^^ of living in it! Miriam is 
crazy to remain — even advocates that dirty, bare, 
shutterless boarding-house where we passed the 
first night, from what attraction I cannot imagine. I 
am just as anxious to get into the country. I would 
hate the dull round of this little place ; I prefer soli- 
tude where I can do as I please without being 
observed. Here we are as well known by people we 
never before heard of as though we were fellow- 

September 1st, Monday. 

I woke up this morning and, to my great surprise, 
find that summer has already passed away, and that 
we have already entered the first month of fall. 
Where has the summer gone to? Since the taking of 
Fort Jackson, the days have gone by like a dream. 
I had hardly realized spring, when now I find it is 
autumn. I am content to let the time fly, though, as 
every day brings us nearer Peace — or something 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

How shockingly I write ! Will I ever again have a 
desk or a table to write on? At present, my seat is a 
mattress, and my knee my desk; and that is about 
the only one I have had since the 2d of August. This 
is the dreariest day I have seen for some time. Out- 
side, it has been raining since daybreak, and inside, 
no one feels especially bright or cheerful. I some- 
times wish mother would carry out her threat and 
brave the occasional shellings at Baton Rouge. I 
would dare anything, to be at home again. I know 
that the Yankees have left us little besides the bare 
house; but I would be grateful for the mere shelter 
of the roof. I often fancy how we will miss little 
articles that we thought necessary to our comfort 
before, when we return. . . . And the shoes I paid five 
dollars for, and wore a single time? I am wishing I 
had them now that I am almost barefooted, and can- 
not find a pair in the whole country. . . . Would it not 
be curious, if one of these days while traveling in the 
North (if I ever travel again), I should find some 
well-loved object figuring in a strange house as a 
"trophy of the battle of Baton Rouge"? I should 
have to seek for them in some very low house, per- 
haps; respectable people had very little to do with 
such disgraceful work, I fancy. Suppose I should 
see father's cigar-stand, for instance, or Miriam's 
little statues? I wonder if the people would have 
the conscience to offer to return them? A young 
lady, passing by one of the pillaged houses, expressed 
her surprise at seeing an armoir full of women's and 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

children's clothes being emptied, and the contents 
tied up in sheets. "What can you do with such 
things?" she asked a soldier who seemed more 
zealous than the rest. '/Ain't I got a wife and four 
children in the North?" was the answer. So we, who 
have hardly clothes enough for our own use, are 
stripped to supply Northerners! 

One would think that I had no theme save the 
wreck of our house, if they read this. But I take it 
all out in here. I believe I must be made of wood, or 
some other tough material, not to feel it more. I 
sometimes ask myself if it is because I did not care 
for home, that I take it so quietly now. But I know 
that is not it. I was wild about it before I knew what 
had happened; since I learned all, few are the words 
that have escaped my lips concerning it. Perhaps 
it is because I have the satisfaction of knowing what 
all women crave for — the Worst. Indeed it is a con- 
solation in such days as these when truth concerning 
either side is difficult to discover. The certainty of 
anything, fortune or misfortune, is comfort to me. 
I really feel sorry for the others who suffered ; but it 
does not strike me that sympathy is necessary in 
our case. 

Mrs. Flynn came to Lilly's room, when she heard 
of it, well prepared for sympathy, with a large 
handkerchief and a profusion of tears, when she was 
horrified to find both her and Miriam laughing over 
the latter 's description of some comical scene that 
met her sight in one of the rooms. Seems to me that 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

tears on all occasions come in as the fortieth article, 
to the articles of belief of some people. 

September 3d. 

Political news it would be absurd to record; for 
our information is more than limited, being fre- 
quently represented by a blank. Of the thirteen 
battles that Gibbes has fought in, I know the names 
of four only: Bull Run, Stonebridge, Port Republic, 
and Cedar Run. Think of all I have yet to hear! 
To-day comes the news of another grand affair, the 
defeat of McClellan, Pope, and Burnside combined. 
If I dared believe it! But accounts are too meagre 
as yet. Both Gibbes and George were in it, if there 
was a fight, and perhaps Jimmy, too. Well! I must 
wait in patience. We have lost so much already that 
God will surely spare those three to us. Oh ! if they 
come again, if we can meet once more, what will the 
troubles of the last six months signify? If I dared 
hope that next summer would bring us Peace! I 
always prophesy it just six months off; but do I 
believe it? 

Indeed, I don't know what will become of us if it is 
delayed much longer. If we could only get home, it 
would be another thing; but boarding, how long will 
mother's two hundred and fifty last? And that is all 
the money she has. As to the claims, amounting to 
a small fortune, she might as well burn them. They 
will never be paid. But if we get home, what will we 
do for bedding? The Yankees did not leave us a 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

single comfort, and only two old bars and a pair of 
ragged sheets, which articles are not to be replaced 
at any price in the Confederacy, so we must go 
without. How glad I am that we gave all our blan- 
kets to our soldiers last summer! So much saved 
from the Yankees! 

Poor Lavinia ! She fancies us comfortably settled 
at home; I dare say she spends all her time in pic- 
turing to herself what we may be doing, and recall- 
ing each piece of furniture the rooms contained. 
Wonder if she would not be shocked if the real scene 
were suddenly revealed to her, and she should see 
the desolated house and see us fugitives in a strange 
town. Wonder how the cry of "Where are those 
three damned Secesh women?" would have struck 
her, had she heard the strange oaths and seen the 
eager search which followed ? I dare say it would 
have frightened her more than it did me when I was 
told of it. William Waller says it is God's mercy 
that we had escaped already, for we certainly would 
have suffered. I hardly think we could have been 
harmed, though, and shall always regret that we did 
not return immediately after the battle. It took 
them from that day to the evacuation to finish the 
work; and I rather think that our presence would 
have protected the house. 

Our servants they kindly made free, and told 
them they must follow them (the officers) . Margret 
was boasting the other day of her answer, ''I don't 
want to be any free-er than I is now — I '11 stay with 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

my mistress,'* when Tiche shrewdly remarked, 
*' Pshaw! Don't you know that if I had gone, you 'd 
have followed me?" The conduct of all our servants 
is beyond praise. Five thousand negroes followed 
their Yankee brothers from the town and neighbor- 
hood ; but ours remained. During the fight, or flight, 
rather, a fleeing officer stopped to throw a musket 
in Charles Barker's hands, and bade him fight for his 
liberty. Charles drew himself up, saying, "I am 
only a slave, but I am a Secesh nigger, and won't 
fight in such a d crew!" Exit Yankee, continu- 
ing his flight down to the riverside. 

September 4th. 

I hear to-day that the Brunots have returned to 
Baton Rouge, determined to await the grand finale 
there. They, and two other families, alone remain. 
With these exceptions, and a few Dutch and Irish 
who cannot leave, the town is perfectly deserted by 
all except the Confederate soldiers. I wish I was 
with them ! If all chance of finding lodgings here is 
lost, and mother remains with Lilly, as she some- 
times seems more than half inclined, and Miriam 
goes to Linwood, as she frequently threatens, I 
believe I will take a notion, too, and go to Mrs. 
Brunot! I would rather be there, in all the uncer- 
tainty, expecting to be shelled or burnt out every 
hour, than here. Ouf ! what a country! Next time 
I go shopping, I mean to ask some clerk, out of 
curiosity, what they do sell in Clinton. The follow- 
ing is a list of a few of the articles that shopkeepers 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

actually laugh at you if you ask for: Glasses, flour, 
soap, starch, coffee, candles, matches, shoes, combs, 
guitar-strings, bird-seed, — in short, everything that 
I have heretofore considered as necessary to exis- 
tence. If any one had told me I could have lived 
off of cornbread, a few months ago, I would have 
been incredulous ; now I believe it, and return an in- 
ward grace for the blessing at every mouthful. I have 
not tasted a piece of wheatbread since I left home, 
and shall hardly taste it again until the war is over. 

I do not like this small burg. It is very straggling 
and pretty, but I would rather not inhabit it. We 
are as well known here as though we carried our 
cards on our faces, and it is peculiarly disagreeable 
to me to overhear myself spoken about, by people I 
don't know, as ''There goes Miss Morgan," as that 
young man, for instance, remarked this morning to a 
crowd, just as I passed. It is not polite, to say the 

Will Carter was here this morning and told me he 
saw Theodore Pinckney in the streets. I suppose he 
is on his way home, and think he will be a little dis- 
appointed in not finding us at Linwood as hf 
expects, and still more so to hear he passed through 
the very town where we were staying, without 
knowing it. 

Beech Grove, 
September 6th, Saturday. 

Another perch for Noah's duck! Where will I be 
in a week or two from this? I shall make a mark, 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

twenty pages from here, and see where I shall be 
when I reach it. Here, most probably; but oh, if I 
could then be at home ! General Carter, who spent 
the evening with us day before yesterday, remarked 
that the first thing he heard as he reached town was 
that all the gentlemen and ladies of Clinton were 
hunting for country lodgings for us. It was pretty 
much the case. The General was as kind as ever, 
bless his gray head ! and made us promise to go back 
to Linwood with him when he passes back next 
week. This is the way we keep the promise — com- 
ing out here. 

Early yesterday morning we received a note from 
Eliza Haynes, one of our indefatigable agents, saying 
her grandmother, Mrs. McCay, had consented to 
receive us, and would come for us in the evening. 
Immediately my packing task was begun. But im- 
agine my disappointment, just as I had finished one 
trunk, to hear mother announce her determination 
to let us go alone, while she remained with Lilly! 
Prayers, entreaties, tears, arguments, all failed; and 
we were forced to submit. So with a heart fuller 
than I can express, I repacked the trunk with 
Miriam's and my clothing, and got ready to depart. 
In the evening the carriage drove up to the door 
with Eliza and her grandmother, and with a hasty 
and rather choky good-bye to Lilly and mother, we 
were hurried in, and in another moment were off. 

I fancied the house would be north of Clinton, so 
of course the horses took the road south. Then I 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

decided on a white cottage to the left of the road, 
and about two miles out, found that it was to the 
right, not painted, and no cottage at all, but a non- 
descript building, besides. '"Twas ever thus from 
childhood's hour!" When did I ever fancy any- 
thing exactly as it was? But the appearance does 
not affect the house, which is really very comfort- 
able, though apparently unfinished. The same ob- 
jection might be made to it that I made to Mrs. 
Moore's, for there is not a shutter on the place. But 
fine shade trees take their place, and here I do not 
feel the want of them so much, as our room is in the 
back of the house, to the west, where the rising sun 
cannot salute my nose as it did at Mrs. Moore's. As 
to what effect the setting sun has, I must wait for 
the evening to decide, though I always enjoy that. 
At Greenwell, we used to walk a mile away from 
home to see the sun set in an open field. 

I find Mrs. McCay an excellent, plain old lady, 
with neither airs nor pretentions, and very kind- 
hearted. Here she lives alone, with the exception of 
an orphan girl called Jane, whose position, half- 
menial, half -equal, it would be hard to define. Poor 
girl ! the name of orphan alone was enough to make 
me sorry for her. She must be ''Friday's child"! 
she is so ''ready and willing." Eliza, who it seems 
stays a great deal with her grandmother, is one of 
the brightest little girls I have seen for a long while. 
She sings and plays on the piano with a style and 
assurance that I can only mutely covet. Why can- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

not I have the confidence I see all others possess? 
She took me to the gin-house last evening, though I 
could not see much, as it was almost sunset when we 
arrived. An early tea, and singing, and music after, 
completed our evening, and then we were shown to 
our room. 

Mrs. McCay has only room for us two, so it is 
fortunate that mother would not come. She says 
she wants us to spend a few days with her, to see if 
we like it, or if we will be willing to be separated 
from mother. In the mean time, we can look around 
for lodgings in a larger and more comfortable place 
where we can be together. She tells such stories 
about the house Lilly lives in, of its age, and un- 
healthiness, that I am frightened about mother. 
She says she will die if she stays there this month, 
Miriam and Eliza have gone to town to see them, 
and are then going to Mrs. George's to see if she can 
accommodate us. 

I wanted to have a splendid dream last night, but 
failed. It was pleasant, though, to dream of welcom- 
ing George and Gibbes back. Jimmy I could not 
see; and George was in deep mourning. I dreamed 
of fainting when I saw him (a novel sensation, since 
I never experienced it awake), but I speedily came 
to, and insisted on his "pulling Henry Walsh's red 
hair for his insolence," which he promised to do 
instantly. How absurd! Dreams! dreams! That 
pathetic **Miss Sarah, do you ever dream?" comes 
vividly back to me sometimes. Dream? Don't I! 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

not the dreams that he meant; but royal, purple 
dreams, that De Quincey could not purchase with 
his opium ; dreams that I would not forego for all the 
inducements that could be offered. I go to sleep, 
and pay a visit to heaven or fairyland. I have white 
wings, and with another, float in rosy clouds, and 
look down on the moving world ; or I have the power 
to raise myself in the air without wings, and 
silently float wherever I will, loving all things and 
feeling that God loves me. I have heard Paul 
preach to the people, while I stood on a fearful rock 
above. I have been to strange lands and great 
cities; I have talked with people I have never 
beheld. Charlotte Bronte has spent a week with me 
— in my dreams — and together we have talked of 
her sad life. Shakespeare and I have discussed his 
works, seated tete-^-t6te over a small table. He 
pointed out the character of each of his heroines, 
explaining what I could not understand when awake ; 
and closed the lecture with "You have the tenderest 
heart I have ever read, or sung of" — which compli- 
ment, considering it as original with him, rather 
than myself, waked me up with surprise. 

Clinton, September 9th, Tuesday. 

Back again ! For how long, I know not. At sunset 
Saturday, Eliza and Miriam returned to Mrs. 
McCay's with Nannie Davidson. Mother had 
proved obdurate and refused to leave Clinton; so 
they had all gone on, and spent the day with Mrs. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Haynes instead of going to Mrs. George's. After 
my quiet, solitary day, I was glad to see them again, 
particularly as they brought confirmation of the 
great victory in Virginia. It is said the enemy were 
cut off from Washington, and that we were pursuing 
them. O my brothers! If God will only spare them ! 
I envy Lydia who is so near them, and knows all, 
and can take care of them if they are hurt. It will be 
several days at least, before we can hear from them, 
if we hear at all; for Jimmy has never yet written a 
line, and George has written but once since the tak- 
ing of the forts, and that was before the battle of 
Chickahominy. We can only wait patiently. Per- 
haps General Carter will bring us news. 

Mrs. Haynes sent a very pressing invitation for us 
to spend the next day with her, so, although it was 
Sunday, we went. I am becoming dreadfully irre- 
ligious. I have not been to church since Mr. 
Gierlow went to Europe last July. It is perfectly 
shocking; but the Yankees have kept me running 
until all pious dispositions have been shaken out of 
me; so they are to blame. Like heathens, we called 
on Miss Comstock as we passed through town, and 
spent an hour with her. Landed at Mr. Haynes's, 
we had ample time to look around before he and his 
wife got back from church. Here again I found what 
seems to be the prevailing style of the country, wide- 
spread doors and windows, with neither blinds nor 
shade trees to keep off the glare of the sun. The 
dining-room was a wide hall, where the rising sun 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

shone in your face at breakfast, and at dinner, being 

directly overhead, seemed to shine in at both ends at 

once. A splendid arrangement for a Fire Worshiper; 

but I happened to be born in America, instead of 

Persia, so fail to appreciate it. 

September loth. 

Yesterday I was interrupted to undertake a very 
important task. The evening before, mother and 
Lilly happened to be in a store where two officers 
were buying materials for making shirts, and volun- 
teered to make them for them, which offer they 
gladly accepted, though neither party knew the 
other. They saw that they were friends of Charlie, 
so had no scruples about offering their services ; the 
gentlemen saw that they were ladies, and very kind 
ones, besides, so made no difficulty about accepting. 
Lilly undertook one of purple merino, and I took a 
dark blue one. Miriam nominally helped her; but 
her very sore finger did not allow her to do much. 
Mother slightly assisted me ; but I think Lilly and I 
had the best of the task. All day we worked, and 
when evening came, continued sewing by the light 
of these miserable home-made candles. Even then 
we could not finish, but had to get up early this 
morning, as the gentlemen were to leave for Port 
Hudson at nine o'clock. We finished in good time, 
and their appearance recompensed us for our 
trouble. Lilly's was trimmed with folds of blue 
from mine, around collar, cuffs, pockets, and down 
the front band; while mine was pronounced a 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

chej d'cBuvre, trimmed with bias folds of tiny red and 
black plaid. With their fresh colors and shining 
pearl buttons, they were really very pretty. We 
sent word that we would be happy to make as many 
as they chose for themselves or their friends, and the 
eldest, with many fears that it was an "imposition" 
and we were " too good," and much more of the same 
kind, left another one with Charlie for us. We cannot 
do too much, or even enough, for our soldiers. I 
believe that is the universal sentiment of the women 
of the South. 

Well, but how did we get back here? I hardly 
know. It seems to me we are being swayed by some 
kind of destiny which impels us here or there, with 
neither rhyme nor reason, and whether we will or no. 
Such homeless, aimless, purposeless, wandering 
individuals are rarely seen.- From one hour to an- 
other, we do not know what is to become of us. We 
talk vaguely of going home "when the Yankees go 
away." When will that be? One day there is not a 
boat in sight; the next, two or three stand off from 
shore to see what is being done, ready, at the first 
sight of warlike preparation, to burn the town down. 
It is particularly unsafe since the news from Vir- 
ginia, when the gunboats started from Bayou Goula, 
shelling the coast at random, and destroying every- 
thing that was within reach, report says. Of course, 
we cannot return to our homes when commissioned 
officers are playing the part of pirates, burning, 
plundering, and destroying at will, with neither law 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

nor reason. Donaldson ville they burned before I 
left Baton Rouge, because some fool fired a shotgun 
at a gunboat some miles above; Bayou Sara they 
burned while we were at General Carter's, for some 
equally reasonable excuse. The fate of Baton Rouge 
hangs on a still more slender thread. I would give 
worlds if it were all over. 

At Mrs. Haynes's we remained all night, as she 
sent the carriage back without consulting us. Mon- 
day we came to town and spent the day with Lilly. 
How it was, I can't say; but we came to the conclu- 
sion that it was best to quit our then residence, and 
either go back to Linwood or to a Mrs. Somebody 
who offered to take us as boarders. We went back 
to Mrs. McCay's, to tell her of our determination, 
and in the morning took leave of her and came back 

We hear so much news, piece by piece, that one 
would imagine some definite result would follow, 
and bring us Peace before long. The Virginia news, 
after being so great and cheering, has suddenly 
ceased to come. No one knows the final result. The 
last report was that we held Arlington Heights. 
Why not Washington, consequently? Cincinnati 
(at last accounts) lay at our mercy. From Coving- 
ton, Kirby Smith had sent over a demand for its 
surrender in two hours. Would it not be glorious to 
avenge New Orleans by such a blow? But since last 
night the telegraph is silent. 

News has just come of some nice little affair 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

between our militia in Opelousas and the Yankees 
from New Orleans, in which we gave them a good 
thrashing, besides capturing arms, prisoners, and 
ammunition. "It never rains but it pours" is 
George's favorite proverb. With it comes the 
"rumor" that the Yankees are preparing to evacu- 
ate the city. If it could be! Oh, if God would only 
send them back to their own country, and leave 
ours in peace ! I wish them no greater punishment 
than that they may be returned to their own homes, 
with the disgrace of their outrages here ever before 
their eyes. That would kill an honest man, I am 

Sunday, September 14th, 1862. 

I have been so busy making Lieutenant Bourge's 
shirt that I have not had time to write, besides hav- 
ing very little to write about. So my industry saved 
my paper and spared these pages a vast amount of 
trash. I would not let any one touch Lieutenant 
Bourge's shirt except myself ; and last evening, 
when I held it up completed, the loud praises it 
received satisfied me it would answer. Miriam and 
Miss Ripley declared it the prettiest ever made. It 
is dark purple merino. The bosom I tucked with 
pleats a quarter of an inch deep, all the way up to 
the collar, and stitched a narrow crimson silk braid 
up the centre to hold it in its place. Around the 
collar, cuffs, pockets, and band down the front, the 
red cord runs, forming a charming contrast to the 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

dark foundation. Indeed, I devoted the sole article 
the Yankees let fall from my two workboxes — a 
bunch of soutache — to the work. Large white 
pearl buttons completed the description, and my 
shirt is really as quiet, subdued, and pretty a one as 
I ever saw. I should first hear the opinion of the 
owner, though. If he does not agree with all the 
others, I shall say he has no taste. 

I got a long sweet letter from Sophie on Friday 
that made me happy for the whole day. They were 
about leaving for Alexandria. I was glad to hear 
they would be out of danger, but still I was sorry 
they were going so far away. I have been laying a 
hundred wild schemes to reach Baton Rouge and 
spend a day or two with them, which is impossible 
now. Sophie writes just as she talks — and that 
means remarkably well, so I can at least have the 
pleasure of corresponding. At Dr. Camal's they 
will be out of the reach of all harm and danger ; so I 
ought to rejoice. There is one thing in which Sophie 
and I agree, and that is in making Stonewall Jack- 
son our hero. Talk of Beauregard! he never had 
my adoration; but Stonewall is the greatest man 
of the age, decidedly. 

Still no authentic reports of the late battles in 
Virginia. I say late, referring to those fought two 
weeks ago. From the Federal accounts, glowing as 
they usually are, I should gather the idea that their 
rout was complete. I cannot imagine why we can 
hear nothing more from our own side. . . . 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

I think my first act on my return home will be to 
take a cup of coffee and a piece of bread, two luxuries 
of which I have been deprived for a long while. 
Miriam vows to devour an unheard-of number of 
biscuits, too. How many articles we considered as 
absolutely necessary, before, have we now been 
obliged to dispense with! Nine months of the year 
I reveled in ice, thought it impossible to drink water 
without it. Since last November, I have tasted it 
but once, and that once by accident. And oh, yes! 
I caught some hail-stones one day at Linwood ! Ice- 
cream, lemonade, and sponge cake was my chief 
diet; it was a year last July since I tasted the two 
first, and one since I have seen the last. Bread I 
believed necessary to life; vegetables, senseless. The 
former I never see, and I have been forced into culti- 
vating at least a toleration of the latter. Snap beans 
I can actually swallow, sweet potatoes I really like, 
and one day at Dr. Nolan's I "bolted" a mouthful 
of tomatoes, and afterwards kept my seat with the 
heroism of a martyr. These are the minor trials of 
war. If that were all — if coarse, distasteful food 
were the only inconvenience! 

When I think of what Lavinia must suffer so far 
from us, and in such ignorance of our condition, our 
trials seem nothing in comparison to hers. And 
think how uneasy Brother must be, hearing of the 
battle, and not knowing where we fled to! For he 
has not heard of us for almost two months. In return 
we are uneasy about him and Sister. If New Orleans 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

is attacked, what will become of them with all those 


Tuesday, September i6th. 

Yesterday Miriam determined to go to Lin wood, 
and consequently I had a severe task of trunk- 
packing, one of my greatest delights, however. I 
hate to see any one pack loosely or in a slovenly 
manner. Perhaps that is the reason I never let any 
one do it if I am able to stand. This morning was 
appointed as our day for leaving, but I persuaded 
her to wait until to-morrow, in hope that either the 
General, or news from Virginia, would arrive this 
evening. Bless this village! It is the meanest place 
for news that I ever was in. Not a word can be 
gathered, except what is false or unfounded; and 
they are even tired of that, in the last few days. 

Talk of Baton Rouge turning Yankee, as the 
report went here! Of the three or four there who 
took the oath, not one can be compared to some loyal 
citizens of this small burg. Why, I talked to two 
gentlemen yesterday who, if it were not for the dis- 
grace and danger incurred by bearing the name, I 
should style Union men, and talked or rather listened 
to them, until my spirits were reduced to the lowest 
ebb. People were shocked at our daring to believe 
there lived gentlemen and Christians in the North — 
I mean those wild fanatics, who could only take in 
one idea at a time, and rarely divested their brains 
of that one to make room for a newer one, were 
shocked at our belief; but if they could converse 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

with a few here, that I could point out, our gnat of 
common sense would be swallowed by this be- 
hemoth of heterodoxy. 

This morning Mrs. Bar, Miss Bernard, and a Miss 
Mud came to town and surprised us by a most unex- 
pected visit. They spent the day with us, and have 
just now driven off on their return home, through 
this drizzly, misting evening. A while ago a large 
cavalry company passed, at the corner, on their way 
from Port Hudson to Camp Moore, the report is. 
They raised their hats to us, seeing us at the gate, 
and we waved our handkerchiefs in return, each 
with a silent "God^bless you," I am sure. 

As though to prove my charge unjust, news comes 
pouring in. Note we a few items, to see how many 
will prove false. First, we have taken Baltimore 
without firing a gun ; Maryland has risen en masse to 
join our troops ; Longstreet and Lee are marching on 
Washington from the rear; the Louisiana troops are 
ordered home to defend their own State — thank 
God! if it will only bring the boys back! Then 
comes tidings of nine gunboats at Baton Rouge; 
Ponchatoula on the railroad taken by Yankees ; Camp 
Moore and three batteries, ditto. Not so cheering! 
If that is so, Clinton lies within reach, being thirty- 
five miles off. 

Leaving much the most valuable portion of our 
clothing here, the Yankees will probably appropri- 
ate what little they spared us and leave us fairly 

destitute; for we take only summer clothes to Lin- 

226 ' 

A Confederate Girl's Diary 

wood. I have plenty of underclothes, but the other 
day, when I unpacked the large trunk from Dr. 
Enders's, I found I had just two dresses for winter; 
a handsome blue silk I bought just two years ago 
last spring, and one heavy blue merino that does not 
fit me. What an outfit for winter ! Miriam has two 
poplins and a black silk, and mother a wine-colored 
merino, only. But each of us is blessed with a warm 
cloak, and are correspondingly grateful. I was con- 
fident I had saved my green, dark blue, and brown 
silk dresses, but the Yankees saved them instead, 
for me, or their suffering sweethearts, rather. On 
the other hand, taking so many necessary articles 
to Linwood, the risk of losing them is the same. An 
attack on Port Hudson is apprehended, and if it 
falls. General Carter's house will be decidedly unsafe 
from Yankee vengeance. The probability is that 
it will burn, as they have been daily expecting ever 
since the Yankees occupied Baton Rouge. The risk 
seems equal, either way. Go or stay, the danger 
seems the same. Shall we go, then, for variety, or die 
here of stagnation while waiting for the Yankees to 
make up their minds? I would rather be at neither 
place, just now; in fact I could hardly name the 
place I should like to be in now, unless it were Europe 
or the Sandwich Islands; but I love Linwood and 
its dear inhabitants, and under other circumstances 
should be only too happy to be there. I was regret- 
ting the other day that our life was now so monoto- 
nous ; almost longed for the daily alarms we had when 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

under Yankee rule in Baton Rouge. Stirring times 
are probably ahead. 


September 17th, Wednesday. 

Still floating about! This morning after break- 
fast, General Carter made his appearance, and in 
answer to his question as to whether we were ready 
to leave with him, Miriam replied, "Yes, indeed!'* 
heartily, glad to get away from Clinton, where I 
have detained her ever since the day Theodore 
returned home, to her great disgust. As our trunk 
was already packed, it did not take many minutes 
to get ready ; and in a little while, with a protracted 
good-bye, we were on our way to the depot, which 
we reached some time before the cars started. 
Though glad to leave Clinton, I was sorry to part 
with mother. For ten days she has been unable to 
walk, with a sore on her leg below the knee; and I 
want to believe she will miss me while I am away. I 
could not leave my bird in that close, ill-ventilated 
house. He has never sung since I recovered him ; and 
I attribute his ill health or low spirits to that 
unhealthy place, and thought Linwood might be 
beneficial to him, too; so brought him with me, to 
see what effect a breath of pure air might have. 

We were the only ladies on the cars, except Mrs. 
Brown, who got off halfway; but in spite of that, 
had a very pleasant ride, as we had very agreeable 
company. The train only stopped thirteen times in 
the twenty miles. Five times to clear the brushwood 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

from the telegraph Hnes, once running back a mile 
to pick up a passenger, and so on, to the great indig- 
nation of many of the passengers aboard, who would 
occasionally cry out, '* Hello! if this is the 'clearing- 
up' train, we had better send for a hand-car!" 
"What the devil's the matter now?" until the 
General gravely assured them that it was an old 
habit of this very accommodating train, which in 
summer-time stopped whenever the passengers 
wished to pick blackberries on the road. 

Many soldiers were aboard on their way to Port 
Hudson, to rejoin their companies. One gallant one 
offered me a drink of water from his canteen, which 
I accepted out of mere curiosity to see what water 
from such a source tasted of. To my great surprise, 
I found it tasted just like any other. The General 
introduced a Mr. Crawford to us, who took the seat 
next to me, as the one next to Miriam was already 
occupied, and proved a very pleasant and talkative 
compagnon de voyage. General Carter's query as to 
my industry since he had seen me, brought my 
acknowledgment of having made two shirts, one of 
which I sent yesterday. Who to? was the next 
question. I gave, the name, adding that I did not 
know the gentleman, and he was under the impres- 
sion that it was made by mother. " I '11 see that he is 
undeceived!" cried the General. "Hanged if I don't 
tell him ! " "Thirtieth Louisiana, you say ? " queried 
Mr. Crawford. "That is the very one I am going 
to! I will tell him myself!" So my two zealous 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

champions went on, the General ending with "See 
to it, Crawford; Mrs. Morgan shall not have the 
credit!" as though there was any great merit in 
sewing for one's countrymen ! Our new acquaintance 
handed me from the cars as we reached Linwood, 
and stood talking while the accommodating train 
slowly rolled out its freight. He told me he was 
going to send me a tiny sack of coffee, which propo- 
sition, as it did not meet with the slightest encour- 
agement, will of course never be thought of again. 
I noticed, too, on the train, one of the Arkansas's 
crew. The same who, though scarcely able to stand 
on a severely wounded foot, made such a fuss about 
riding in a carriage while "real ladies" had to walk. 
Of course he did not recognize us, any more than we 
would have known him if Dr. Brown had not pointed 
him out. I hear all of them are at Port Hudson. 
Anna told me, as we got here, that Dr. Addison (the 
one I disliked because he was so scrupulously neat 
while the others were dressed, or rather undressed, 
for working) was here yesterday, and inquired for 
the Miss Morgans, saying they were the most charm- 
ing young ladies he had ever met. On what he 
founded his opinion, or how he happened to inquire 
for us in this part of the country, I cannot imagine. 
The General brings news of the boys from Jack- 
son. He there met an officer who left Stonewall 
Jackson's command on the 2d inst., and says Gibbes 
was unhurt, God be praised ! Another saw George a 
week ago in Richmond, still lame, as the cap of his 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

knee had slipped in that fall last spring. Of Jimmy 
we hear not a word, not even as to where he is. It 
seems as though we are destined never to hear again. 

September 20th, Saturday. 

General Carter has just received a letter from 
Lydia, which contains what to me is the most mel- 
ancholy intelligence — the news of the death of 
Eugene Fowler, ^ who was killed on the 22d of 
August, in some battle or skirmish in Virginia. 
Poor Eugene! . . . Does it not seem that this war 
will sweep off all who are nearest and dearest, as well 
as most worthy of life, leaving only those you least 
care for, unharmed? 

September 21st. 

After supper last night, by way of variety, Anna, 
Miriam, and I came up to our room, and after un- 
dressing, commenced popping com and making 
candy in the fireplace. We had scarcely commenced 
when three officers were announced, who found 
their way to the house to get some supper, they 
having very little chance of reaching Clinton before 
morning, as the cars had run off the track. Of 
course, we could not appear; and they brought bad 
luck with them, for our corn would not pop, and our 
candy burned, while to add to our distress the odor 
of broiled chicken and hot biscuit was wafted up- 
stairs, after a while, in the most provoking way. In 
vain we sent the most pathetic appeals by each serv- 

1 A cousin. 

A Confederate Girl's Diary 

ant, for a biscuit apiece, after our hard work. Mrs. 
Carter was obdurate until, tired out with our mes- 
sages, she at last sent us an empty jelly-cup, a shred 
of chip beef, two polished drumsticks, and half a 
biscuit divided in three. With that bountiful repast 
we were forced to be content and go to bed. 

At sunrise this morning, Mrs. Carter left to go 
down to her father in Iberville, to see her step- 
mother who is expected to die. Scarcely had she 
gone when six more officers and soldiers came in 
from the still stationary cars to get their breakfast. 
We heard that Mr. Marsden, too, was down there, 
so the General sent him a nice breakfast, and I sent 
my love with it; but he had already breakfasted at 
Mr. Elder's. As soon as they left, we prepared for 
church, and just as we were ready, Captain Brown 
and Mr. Addison were announced. The Doctor 
greeted us with an elegant bow, but they did not 
remain long, as we were about going out. 

Many officers were in church, and as I passed out. 
Colonel Breaux joined me, and escorted Miriam and 
me to the carriage, where we stood talking some 
time under the trees before getting in. He gave us a 
most pressing invitation to name a day to visit the 
camp that he might ''have the pleasure of showing 
us the fortifications," and we said we would beg the 
General's permission to do so. Charming Colonel 
Breaux! Like all nice men, he is married, of course. 
He and another officer drove just behind our car- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

riage in coming home, until we came to the fork of 
the road. Then, leaning from their buggy, both 
gentlemen bowed profoundly, which we as cordially 
returned. Two more behind followed their example, 
and to our great surprise, ten, who were seated in a 
small wagon drawn by two diminutive mules, bowed 
also, and, not content with that, rose to their feet as 
the distance between the two roads increased, and 
raised their caps, though in the most respectful 
silence. Rather queer; and I would have said im- 
pertinent had they been any others than Confeder- 
ates fighting for us, who, of course, are privileged 

September 24th. 

Yesterday the General saluted us with ''Young 
ladies, if you will ride in a Confederate carriage, you 
may go to dress parade this evening. '* Now, in 
present phraseology, " Confederate " means anything 
that is rough, unfinished, unfashionable, or poor. 
You hear of Confederate dresses, which means last 
year's. Confederate bridle means a rope halter. 
Confederate silver, a tin cup or spoon. Confederate 
flour is com meal, etc. In this case the Confederate 
carriage is a Jersey wagon with four seats, a top of 
hickory slats covered with leather, and the whole 
drawn by mules. We accepted gladly, partly for 
the ride and sight, partly to show we were not 
ashamed of a very comfortable conveyance ; so with 
Mrs. Badger as chaperon, we went off in grand 
style. I must say I felt rather abashed and wished 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

myself at home as we drove into town, and had the 
gaze of a whole regiment riveted on us. But soon 
the men fell in line, and I did not feel so painfully 
conspicuous. I was amused at a contrast near by, 
too. There was but one carriage present, besides 
ours, though there were half a dozen ladies on horse- 
back. This carriage was a very fine one, and in it sat 
three of the ugliest, dowdiest, worst dressed females 
I ever saw. We three girls sat in our rough carriage 
as comfortable as could be, dressed — well, we 
could not have been dressed better — and looking 
our very best. Sans mentir, I think the Confeder- 
ates were much the most respectable. 

And what a sad sight the Fourth Louisiana was, 
that was then parading! Men that had fought at 
Shiloh and Baton Rouge were barefooted. Rags 
was their only uniform, for very few possessed a 
complete suit, and those few wore all varieties of 
colors and cuts. Hats could be seen of every style 
and shape, from the first ever invented down to the 
last one purchased evidently some time since. Yet 
he who had no shoes looked as happy as he who had, 
and he who had a cap had something to toss up, 
that's all. 

Four or five that we knew gathered around our 
vehicle and talked to us. Mr. Heuston told me he 
heard I had been thrown, severely injured, had a 
narrow escape, etc. Was not thrown! Saddle 
turned. A few steps off we recognized Mr. Scales. 
He would stare very hard at us, and if we turned 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

towards him, would look quickly the other way as 
though afraid to meet our gaze. Presently he gave us 
an opportunity, and we bowed. He came forward 
eagerly, blushing deeply, and looking very much 
pleased, and shook hands with us, and remained 
some time talking. He said he had not heard of our 
arrival, but would call as soon as possible. Mr. 
Talbot had joined Breckinridge. 

Having seen the last of that parade, he invited us 
to see that of his sailors, which was next ; but it was 
too far; so we turned off to see Colonel Breaux's, a 
mile away. His, the Thirtieth Louisiana, is a beau- 
tiful encampment on a large open common. Parade 
was almost over as we reached there, and soon the 
Colonel came to meet us. I did not look at the drill. 
I was watching the hundreds of tents — it looked 
like a great many — and was wondering how men 
could live in such places, and was trying to fancy 
what George's or Gibbes's looked like. It was 
pleasant to watch the barefoot soldiers race around 
like boys let loose from school, tossing caps and 
chips at two old gray geese that flew in circles 
around the encampment, just as though they had 
never had more earnest work. One gray-headed 
man stood in the door of his tent, while a black- 
headed young one danced before him, to his own 
whistle, with his arms akimbo. Altogether it was a 
very pretty picture ; but poor men ! how can they be 
happy in these tents? 


I A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Sarah Morgan. X. 

September 26th, Friday. 

My mark finds me at Linwood, though I had not 
the sHghtest idea that it would. Wonder where 
twenty pages beyond will find me? At home, I hope 
and pray, though I am as happy here as I could 
possibly be in any place on earth. 

Stirring news from our armies comes pouring in. 
Sunday, Colonel Breaux told me of Wool's defeat, 
and the great number of prisoners, cannon, and the 
large supplies of stores and ammunition that we had 
captured. Then Tuesday we heard of three great 
battles in Maryland, the third one still continuing; 
but no particulars of any of them. Yesterday came 
tidings of our having recrossed the Potomac, and 
to-day we hear that McClellan's army has been cut 
to pieces; but whether it is the same old fight or a 
new one, I cannot as yet learn ; for reliable informa- 
tion is not easily obtained in America at this period. 

Did I ever record how little truth there was in any 
of that last Clinton news? It speaks for itself, 
though. Not a boat lay at Baton Rouge; Camp 
Moore was not even threatened; Ponchatoula Sta- 
tion was burned, but the one battery was retaken by 
our men the same night. 

But still these false reports cannot equal the 
Yankees'. Take, for instance, the report of the 
Captain of the Essex. I give General Carter as my 
authority. The Captain reports having been fired 
on by a battery of thirty-six large guns, at Port 







A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Hudson, some weeks ago, when he opened fire and 
silenced them, one after the other, from the first to 
the last. Not a shot from the "rebel" batteries 
reached them, and not a casualty on their side 
occurred. But the loss of the Confederates must 
have been awful. He came within — I forget how 
many — yards from the shore, and there was not a 
live man to be seen. He did not mention if there 
were any dead ones ! Now for the other side. There 
were but four guns mounted there at the time. Shot 
and shell from those four certainly reached some- 
thing, for one was seen to enter a porthole, from 
whence issued frightful shrieks soon after, and it is 
well known that the Essex is so badly injured by 
"something" as to be in a sinking condition, and 
only kept afloat by a gunboat lashed on either side. 
If she is uninjured, why did she not return and bum 
Natchez as she announced? In leaving Port Hudson, 
where "not a live man was to be seen" (nor a dead 
one to be found), she stopped at Mr. Babin's, just 
below Dr. Nolan's, where she remained the rest of 
the day. After she left, being curious to discover the 
reason of her short stay, Mr. Babin walked to the 
place where she had been, and discovered sixteen 
fresh graves on the bank. If they buried them as 
they did at Baton Rouge and Vicksburg, four in a 
grave, how many would they be? But granting 
there were but sixteen, would that prove the verac- 
ity of the Captain? Poor man! Perhaps he is 
related to Pope, and cannot help himself. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

September 27th. 

I often wonder how lies first came into the world, 
and whether those who originate them do not 
believe them as firmly as any one else would believe 
truth. Lying seems to be the common creed of chil- 
dren and servants. 

Anna told me of having heard Lennice telling the 
other servants that she knew there were spirits, 
because I often talked to them. Every morning and 
evening I walked to the graveyard with a basket of 
flowers, and would sit by father's and Harry's 
graves and call their spirits to me; and they would 
all fly to me, and talk and sing with me for hours 
until I would tell them good-bye and go home, 
when they would go away too. I suppose the igno- 
rant girl, having foundation enough from my fre- 
quent visits there, which were most often alone, 
made up the rest to account for my never seeming 
to like company out there. The fervent "Good 
Lord" with which the tale was received by the 
other servants, and the full credence they gave it, 
might have proved unpleasant if further circulated ; 
and I believe some members of the family found it 
necessary to put an end to it at once. 

And speaking of the graveyard recalls something 
I heard for the first time last night. Miriam was 
telling me that Tiche had asked if we knew that Mr. 
Sparks had visited Harry's grave? That he had got 
a basket of flowers from the Davidsons, and had 
made their driver carry it for him. And the man had 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

told her that, after filling the vases with roses, and 
spreading them over the grave, he had thrown him- 
self on it with a shriek of despair, calling on Harry 
to forgive him; that it was only because forced by 
his father that he had killed him ; and calling on God 
to prove that he would give his life gladly to recall 
Harry's. The man thought him a raving maniac and 
fled in terror. Miriam asked Fanny if it was true, 
and she said yes; she had gathered the flowers for 
him herself. 

I saw them there, but little knew whose hand had 
brought them. I perceived at once that they were 
not mine, and touched even to tears by so silent an 
offering from an unknown person, I said, " It is some 
woman's work; God bless the hand that laid them 
there." I cannot say how much that little tribute 
affected me. And, Mr. Sparks, I do not retract the 
blessing now. No! "God have mercy on him!" has 
been my prayer ever since I knew what an awful loss 
you had caused us. God knows that I never even 
desired this revenge — remorse standing over his 
grave. It has ever been, "God pity and forgive ! " — 
never yet for an instant, " God pursue and avenge ! " 

September 28th. 
We were roused up at four o'clock last night by 
the arrival of Lydia and Eugene Carter,^ the first 
from Virginia and the second from Tennessee; and, 

1 Lydia, daughter of General Carter and wife of Captain Thomas 
Gibbes Morgan; Eugene, eldest son of General Carter, and husband 
of Helen mentioned in the Diary. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

of course, there was very little sleep for any of us, so 
anxious were we to hear the news they brought. 
First I learned that Gibbes was safe up to the 17th; 
that George, in spite of the advice of his surgeon, 
had rejoined Stonewall Jackson in Maryland; and 
Jimmy was midshipman on the ironclad Palmetto 
State at Charleston. How thankful I was to hear 
that much, I need not say. Lydia said they all three 
looked remarkably well; Jimmy handsomer than 
ever. After that, news of all kinds came indiscrimi- 
nately. The boys were very anxious about us, but 
had no idea of our misfortunes or whereabouts. 
They believed us still in Baton Rouge, and feared 
we had been there during the battle. Lydia only 
heard of our house having been plundered when she 
reached Alabama, so of course they are still ignorant 
of it. They were all very homesick, but said that we 
were their only trouble. 

A few of the C s' stories had reached them 

through brother officers ; and George swore to make 
himself understood by those ladies if he ever saw 
them again. A gentleman from Cooper's Wells told 
Lydia that they never tired of repeating their stories 
to every new arrival; and no man was suffered to 
depart without having heard a few. If a gentleman 
friend of ours or the boys inquired if they knew the 
Miss Morgans of Baton Rouge, ''Oh, yes! "would be 
the answer, "intimately! But you know they have 
turned Yankee. Received Federal officers every day, 
and placed all their property under Yankee protec- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

tion. I" (or "my sister," as it happened who was 

retailing the He, meaning Mrs. S ) ''slept in their 

house when it was surrounded by a Yankee guard. 
Oh, they are perfectly in favor of the Yankees," and 
so on. Think of a common, low soldier who stopped 
for buttermilk somewhere where Anna was, intro- 
ducing the subject. "It is all false!" Anna inter- 
rupted. The man answered, "Oh, Miss! you don't 
suppose we believe it? We would not believe such 
stories of any young ladies, much less these; for if 
they are true, their conduct must have been per- 
. fectly disgraceful. But though we know these 
stories to be lies, it does not prevent their being 
discussed in camp." . . . 

Lydia saw Mr. McG , too, at Lynchburg, who 

sent me his "regards." Poor fellow! He says he still 
has "dreams " ! He told her a few, but she says they 
were chiefly about meeting me at a ball, when I 
always treated him with the most freezing coldness. 
The same old nightmare. How often he has told 
me of that same dream, that tormented him eight- 
een months ago. He says he often thinks of me now 
— and he still "dreams " of me ! " Dreams are base- 
less fabrics whose timbers are mere moonbeams." 
Apply your own proverb! . . . 

A clatter of hoofs down the road ! And bent over 
the window-sill which is my desk, my fingers are not 
presentable with the splattering of this vile pen in 
consequence of my position. Two hours yet before 
sundown, so of course I am not dressed. They come 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

nearer still. Now I see them! Dr. Addison and Mr. 

M ! I shall not hurry my toilet for them. It will 

take some time to comb my hair, too. Wish I could 

remain up here! 

Tuesday, September 30th. 

It required very little persuasion to induce those 
gentlemen to stay to supper, the other evening, and 
it was quite late before they took their leave. Dr. 
Addison I was very much pleased with, and so were 

all the rest. Mr. M , none of us fell desperately 

in love with. He is too nonchalant and indifferent, 
besides having a most peculiar pronunciation which 
grated harshly on my ears, and that no orthography 
could fully express. *'Garb," for instance, was dis- 
torted into ''gairb," "yard" into "yaird," "Airkan- 
sas," and all such words that I can only imitate by a 
violent dislocation of my lower jaw that puts Anna 
into convulsions of laughter — only she would laugh 
the same if it was not funny. This Kentuckian pro- 
nunciation grates ''hairshly" on my Southern ears. 
Miriam addressed herself exclusively to the Doctor, 
so I was obliged to confine my attention entirely to 

neglected Mr. M , in which pious duty I was 

ably and charitably seconded by the General. 
Speaking of the bravery and daring displayed by the 
Southern soldiers during this war, Mr. M men- 
tioned the dangerous spot he had seen us in the first 
day we went down to the **Airkansas" and said 
that, lying directly across the point from the Essex, 
they expected every instant to see one of her shells 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

explode among us, and were very uneasy about our 
position, as we did not seem to know the danger. I 
asked him if he had observed anything pecuHar 
among the dozen planters and overseers standing a 
short distance from us, when the Captain sent us 
word that our position was a very dangerous one, as 
they expected the Essex to open fire every instant, 
and we had best stand below the levee, higher up, 
where we would be safe from shells. " I noticed that 
before any of you understood your position, every 
man had disappeared as though by magic." Now 
I had noticed that myself. When I turned, under 
shelter of the levee, our gallant planters were gallop- 
ing off in the distance. While Ginnie and I looked 
and laughed, we suddenly found ourselves the sole 
objects on the horizon ; the other girls were in the road 
below, going carelessly toward the carriage; so we 
followed, having lost sight of the brave representa- 
tives of Southern chivalry, being the last to leave 
the supposed field of danger. To my former remark, 
let me add that there is only one set who take better 
care for their safety than married women ; and that 
set is composed exclusively of the "Home Guard." 
Timid girls, either through ignorance or fun, com- 
pose the majority of the brave "men" that the vol- 
unteer service has not absorbed. 

October ist, Wednesday. 
Just after sunset yesterday, Anna and I were 
walking down the road towards the sugar-house, she 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

reading occasionally from Abbott's "Napoleon," 
and then pausing for me to explain the very difficult 
passages she could not understand, when we sud- 
denly became aware of the approach of a horse, and 
raising our bowed heads, beheld Colonel Breaux and 
another before us, to our infinite surprise and aston- 
ishment. The Colonel sprang from his horse and 
advanced on foot ; his companion slowly followed his 
example, and was introduced as Captain Morrison. 
We adjourned our historical fit for some future 
period, and walked home with the gentlemen. 
Miriam did not get back from her excursion to the 
cane-patch until it was quite late ; when after sitting 
down a few moments, she ran upstairs to change her 
dress. She had just put it on an hour before, but 
nothing would do but she must dress up fine ; so she 
put on her handsomest organdie. In vain I pointed 
to my simple pink muslin with a white body that I 
had worn all day, and begged she would not make 
the contrast between us more striking than ever, as 
I felt I could not change it without exciting remark. 
She was obdurate ; dressed herself in gorgeous array, 
and, as usual, I looked like her lady's maid. 

Colonel Breaux paid my hair the most extrava- 
gant compliments. He said he could not say his 
prayers for looking at it in church, Sunday before 
last. Perhaps that is the reason St. Paul said a 
woman should not worship in church with her head 
uncovered ! But as the Yankees stole my bonnet, I 
am reduced to wearing my black straw walking-hat 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

with its curled brim, trimmed in black ribbon with 
golden sheaves of wheat. Two years ago this fall, 
father threw me a banknote at table, and I pur- 
chased this with it. Now it is my only headgear, 
except a sunbonnet. Before leaving, which was not 
until quite late, this evening was named for our 
ride to the fortifications, to our infinite delight, as 
we have dreamed and talked of nothing else for a 
week. . . . 

A dispatch just received from Gibbes, from 
Mobile, on his w^ay home. I am so happy ! But what 
can bring him? I fear 

Lydia has gone to Clinton to meet him at Lilly's. 

October 2d, Thursday. 

With what extraordinary care we prepared for 
our ride yesterday! One would have thought that 
some great event was about to take place. But in 
spite of our long toilet, we stood ready equipped 
almost an hour before Colonel Breaux arrived. I 
was standing in a novel place — upon the bannisters 
looking over the fields to see if he was coming — 
and, not seeing him, made some impatient exclama- 
tion, when lo! he appeared before me, having only 
been concealed by the wood-pile, and O my pro- 
phetic soul ! Captain Morrison was by his side ! 

There was quite a cavalcade of us : Mr. Carter and 
his wife, Mrs. Badger and Mrs. Worley, in two 
buggies; the three boys, who, of course, followed on 
horseback, and the two gentlemen, Miriam, Anna, 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

and I, riding also. It was really a very pretty sight, 
when Captain Morrison and I, who took the lead 
going, would reach the top of one of the steep hills 
and look down on the procession in the hollow below. 
Fortunately it was a very cloudy evening ; for, start- 
ing at four, it would have been very unpleasant to 
ride that distance with the sun in our faces. 

As we reached the town we heard the loud report 
of two cannon which caused the elder ladies to halt 
and suggest the propriety of a return. But if it was 
a gunboat, that was the very thing I was anxious to 
see ; so we hurried on to the batteries. It proved to 
be only practicing, however. At the first one we 
stopped at, the crew of the Arkansas were drilling. 
After stopping a while there, we followed the river 
to see the batteries below. It was delightful to ride 
on the edge of a high bluff with the muddy Missis- 
sippi below, until you fancied what would be the 
probable sensation if the horse should plunge down 
into the waters; then it ceased to be so pleasant. 
The great, strong animal I rode could have carried 
me over without a protest on my part ; for the ridicu- 
lous bit in his mouth was by no means suited to his 
strength ; and it would require a more powerful arm 
than mine to supply the deficiency. Miriam had 
generously sacrificed her own comfort to give him to 
me; and rode fiery Joe instead of her favorite. But 
it was by no means a comfort to me. Then Anna 
was not reconciled to her pony while I was on such a 
fine horse, until I proposed an exchange, and gladly 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

dismounted near an old mill two miles and a half 
below Port Hudson, as we returned home. 

In leaving the town, we lost sight of the buggies, 
as there was no carriage road that might follow the 
bluff; and though there was one just back, we never 
saw our buggies again. Once, following a crescent, 
far below us lay the water battery concealed by the 
trees that grew by the water's edge, looking, from 
where; we stood, like quite a formidable precipice. 
Then still beyond, after leaving the river, we passed 
through a camp where the soldiers divided their 
attention equally between eating their supper and 
staring at us in the most profound silence. Then, 
through an old gate, down a steep hill, past a long 
line of rifle-pits, a winding road, and another camp 
where more men stared and cooked their supper, we 
came to the last battery but one, which lay so far 
below that it was too late to visit it. We returned 
highly delighted with what we had seen and our 
pleasant ride. It was late when we got back, as 
altogether our ride had been some fifteen miles in 
length. As soon as we could exchange our habits 
for our evening dresses, we rejoined our guests at 
the supper-table, where none of us wanted for an 
appetite except poor Captain Morrison, who could 
not be tempted by the dishes we so much relished. 
After supper. Colonel Breaux and I got into a dis- 
cussion, rather, he talked, while I listened with eyes 
and ears, with all my soul. . . . What would I not 
give for such knowledge ! He knows everything, and 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

can express it all in the clearest, purest language, 
though he says he could not speak a word of Eng- 
lish at fourteen ! 

The discussion commenced by some remark I 
made about physiognomy ; he took it up, and passed 
on to phrenology — in which he is no great believer. 
From there he touched on the mind, and I listened, 
entranced, to him. Presently he asserted that I 
possessed reasoning faculties, which I fear me I very 
rudely denied. You see, every moment the painful 
conviction of my ignorance grew more painful still, 
until it was most humiliating; and I repelled it rather 
as a mockery. He described for my benefit the proc- 
ess of reasoning, the art of thinking. I listened more 
attentively still, resolving to profit by his words. . . . 
Then he turned the conversation on quite another 
theme. Health was the subject. He delicately 
alluded to my fragile appearance, and spoke of the 
necessity of a strong constitution to sustain a vigor- 
ous mind. If the mind prevailed over the weak body, 
in its turn it became affected by decay, and would 
eventually lose its powers. It was applicable to all 
cases; he did not mean that I was sickly, but that 
my appearance bespoke one who had not been used 
to the exercise that was most necessary for me. 
Horseback rides, walks, fresh air were necessary to 
preserve health. No man had greater disgust for a 
freckled face than he; but a fair face could be pre- 
served by the most ordinary precautions and even 
improved by such exercise. He illustrated my case 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

by showing the difference between the flower growing 
in the sunshine and that growing in a cellar. Fa- 
ther's own illustration and very words, when he so 
often tried to impress on me the necessity of gaining 
a more robust frame than nature had bestowed! 
And a letter he had made Hal write me, showing 
the danger of such neglect, rose before me. I forgot 
Colonel Breaux; I remembered only the ardent 
desire of those two, who seemed to speak to me 
through his lips. It produced its effect. I felt the 
guilt I had incurred by not making greater efforts to 
gain a more robust frame ; and putting on my sun- 
bonnet as I arose from the breakfast-table this 
morning, I took my seat here on the wide balcony 
where I have remained seated on the floor ever 
since, with a chair for a desk, trying to drink an 
extra amount of fresh air. 

I was sorry when Colonel Breaux arose to take his 
leave. As he took my hand, I said earnestly, 
** Thank you for giving me something to think 
about." He looked gratified, made some pleasant 
remark, and after talking a while longer, said good- 
night again and rode off. While undressing, Miriam 
and I spoke of nothing else. And when I lay down, 
and looked in my own heart and saw my shocking 
ignorance and pitiful inferiority so painfully evident 
even to my own eyes, I actually cried. Why was I 
denied the education that would enable me to be the 
equal of such a man as Colonel Breaux and the 
others? He says the woman's mind is the same as 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

the man's, originally; it is only education that 
creates the difference. Why was I denied that edu- 
cation? Who is to blame? Have I exerted fully the 
natural desire To Know that is implanted in all 
hearts? Have I done myself injustice in my self- 
taught ignorance, or has injustice been done to me? 
Where is the fault, I cried. Have I labored to im- 
prove the few opportunities thrown in my path, to 
the best of my ability? "Answer for yourself. With 
the exception of ten short months at school, where 
you learned nothing except arithmetic, you have 
been your own teacher, your own scholar, all your 
life, after you were taught by mother the elements 
of reading and writing. Give an account of your 
charge. What do you know?" Nothing! except that 
I am a fool ! and I buried my face in the sheet ; I did 
not like even the darkness to see me in my humilia- 

October 4th, Saturday. 

While Anna and Miriam went out riding last 
evening, just as I put down my pen, I went out for a 
solitary walk down the road that Gibbes would have 
to pass ; but saw nothing of the carriage. When I got 
back, they told me he was wounded. My fears were 
well founded, then. With what anxiety we waited 
for his coming it would be impossible to describe. 
Every wagon rattling through the fields made us 
stop and listen; every canestalk waving in the 
moonlight brought us to our feet. 

At last, after supper, far off in the clear light we 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

saw the carriage. I could not sit still. I walked 
down the steps and stood under the tree in front, 
followed by Anna. I did not like her to stand nearer 
the spot where it would stop than I, even. All the 
rest remained on the balcony. We did not know 
how serious the wound might be; we must be care- 
ful. Eugene Carter advised caution for more rea- 
sons than one. "Look out!" he cried; "suppose it 
should be Colonel Breaux?" "Then I am afraid the 
Colonel will get a kiss," I answered nervously, shuf- 
fling from one foot to the other. "But suppose it is 

Mr. M ?" he persisted. "Oh, thank you for the 

caution! I will look carefully before I greet him!" I 
returned, moving to the other side, for nearer around 
the circle moved the carriage. I heard his voice. 
"O Gibbes, where is it?" "Left shoulder; mere 
scratch," he answered. The carriage stopped, 
"Gibbes! Gibbes!" I cried. " My darling !" and he 
had his g;|:^at strong arm around me; the left was 
hanging in^a sling. Slowly the others moved down the 
steps towards him. What a meeting! My heart was 
in my throat, I was so happy. Every one caught the 
well hand and kissed him again and again, and every 
one shrunk from that left side. I had almost for- 
gotten my "gear Lygia" in my excitement. We fol- 
lowed him on the balcony and put him in a chair 
near the steps. I pulled off his hat and coat, and 
knelt in front of him with my arm across his lap, to 
get near enough. Miriam stood on the steps with his 
arm around her shoulder, and Lydia near. The others 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

stood around ; altogether, it was a happy group that 
performed in the tableau of ''The Soldier's Return.'* 
Presently the negroes gathered too. "How is you, 
Mass' Gibbes?" in all imaginable keys and accents 
was heard, while the Captain shook hands with each 
and inquired into their own state of health. 

But even wounded soldiers can eat; so supper was 
again prepared. I am afraid it gave me too much 
pleasure to cut up his food. It was very agreeable to 
butter his cornbread, carve his mutton, and spread 
his preserves; but I doubt whether it could be so 
pleasant to a strong man, accustomed to do such 
small services for himself. We listened to him talk, 
but though it was evident from his slow, deliberate 
speech, so different from his ordinary habit, that he 
was suffering, yet I felt impatient when he was in- 
terrupted by any commonplace observation by one 
of us. I wanted to learn something of his exploits. 
Much knowledge I obtained! He was wounded at 
Sharpsburg on the 17th September, at nine in the 
morning. That is all the information I got concern- 
ing himself. One would imagine that the seventeen 
months that have elapsed since we last met had been 
passed in a prolonged picnic. Concerning others, he 
was quite communicative. Father Hubert told him 
he had seen George in the battle, and he had come 
out safe. Gibbes did not even know that he was in 
it, until then. Our army, having accomplished its 
object, recrossed the Potomac, after what was de- 
cidedly a drawn battle. Both sides suffered severely. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Hardly an officer on either side escaped unhurt. Mr. 
McGimsey is wounded, and^ Major Herron reported 
killed. I expect the list will contain the names of 
many friends when it comes. 

I have just come from seeing Gibbes's wound 
dressed. If that is a scratch, Heaven defend me 
from wounds! A minie ball struck his left shoulder 
strap, which caused it to glance, thereby saving the 
bone. Just above, in the fleshy part, it tore the flesh 
off in a strip three inches and a half by two. Such a 
great raw, green, pulpy wound, bound around by a 
heavy red ridge of flesh ! Mrs. Badger, who dressed 
it, turned sick; Miriam turned away groaning; serv- 
ants exclaimed with horror; it was the first experi- 
ence of any, except Mrs. Badger, in wounds. I 
wanted to try my nerves ; so I held the towel around 
his body and kept the flies off while it was being 
washed. He talked all the time, ridiculing the 
groans of sympathy over a "scratch," and oh, how 
I loved him for his fortitude! It is so offensive that 
the water trickling on my dress has obliged me to 
change it. 

October 6th. 

Last night, I actually drew from Gibbes the out- 
lines of Jackson's campaign. He told me of some 
heroic deeds of his fellow soldiers; but of his own, 
not a word. I have seen his name too often in the 
papers, to believe that he has no deeds of his own 
to relate, if he only would. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

October 9th, Thursday. 

It is astonishing what a quantity of fresh air has 
been consumed by me since I formed that wise resolu- 
tion. The supply must be largely increased, to keep 
up with the demand ; perhaps that is the cause of all 
these clouds and showers ; I must be making a severe 
drain on the economy of heaven. From breakfast to 
dinner I remain on the balcony, and read aloud 
several chapters of the **M6moires" of Dumas, by 
way of practice. A dictionary lies by me, and I suffer 
no word to pass without a perfect definition. Then 
comes my French grammar, which I study while 
knitting or sewing, which takes very nearly until 
dinner-time. After that, I do as I please, either 
reading or talking, until sunset when we can ride or 
walk ; the walk being always sweetened with sugar- 
cane. The evening we always spend on the balcony. 
Is that grand air enough? mon teint! je serai joli- 
ment brunel 

We three girls occupy the same room, since 
Gibbes's arrival, and have ever so much fun and not 
half enough sleep. I believe the other two complain 
of me as the cause; but I plead not guilty. I never 
was known to laugh aloud, no matter how intense 
might have been my mirth; ''it won't come," as 
Gibbes murmured last night while reading aloud 
Artemus Ward's last letter, when we discovered it 
was suppressed laughter, rather than suppressed 
pain, that caused him to writhe so. On the other 
hand, Anna and Miriam laugh as loud and lustily as 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

daughters of the Titans — if the respectable gentle- 
men had daughters. I confess to doing more than 
half the talking, but as to the laugh that follows, not 
a bit. Last night I thought they would go wild, and 
I too laughed myself into silent convulsions, when I 
recited an early effusion of my poetic muse for their 
edification. Miriam made the bedstead prance, 
fairly, while Anna's laugh sounded like a bull of 
Bashan with his head in a bolster case. 

Saturday, October nth. 

Miriam went off to Clinton before daylight yester- 
day, with Mr. Carter and Mrs. Worley. She would 
not let me go for fear mother should keep us. At 
midnight they got back last night, tired, sleepy, and 
half -frozen, for our first touch of cool weather came 
in a strong north wind in the evening which grew 
stronger and stronger through the night, and they 
had worn only muslin dresses. I shall never cease 
to regret that I did not go too. Miriam says mother 
is looking very sad. Sad, and I am trying to forget 
all our troubles, and am so happy here] O mother, 
how selfish it was to leave you ! I ask myself whether 
it were best to stay there where we would only be 
miserable without adding anything to your comfort 
or pleasure, or to be here, careless and happy while 
you are in that horrid hole so sad and lonesome. 
According to my theory, Miriam would remind me 
that I say it is better to have three miserable persons 
than two happy ones whose happiness occasions the 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

misery of the third. That is my doctrine only in 
peculiar cases; it cannot be applied to this one. 
I say that if, for example, Miriam and I should love 
the same person, while that person loved only me, 
rather than make her unhappy by seeing me marry 
him, I would prefer making both him and myself 
miserable, by remaining single. She says "Fudge!" 
which means, I suppose, nonsense. But our happi- 
ness here does not occasion mother's unhappiness. 
She would rather see us enjoying ourselves here than 
moping there. One proof is, that she did not suggest 
our return. She longs to get home, but cannot leave 
poor Lilly alone, for Charlie is in Granada. Oh, how 
willingly I would return to the old wreck of our home ! 
All its desolation could not be half so unendurable 
as Clinton. But Lilly cannot be left. Poor Lilly! 
When I look at her sad young face, my heart bleeds 
for her. With five helpless little children to care 
for, is she not to be pitied? I think that such a 
charge, in such dreadful days, would kill me. How 
patiently she bears it! 

Thursday, October i6th. 

It seems an age since I have opened this book. 
How the time has passed since, I have but a vague 
idea, beyond that it has passed very pleasantly. . . . 
Once since, I have been with Mrs. Badger to a Mr. 
Powell, who has started quite an extensive shoe- 
making establishment, in the vain attempt to get 
something to cover my naked feet. I am so much 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

in need that I have been obliged to borrow Lydia's 
shoes every time I have been out since she returned. 
This was my second visit there, and I have no 
greater satisfaction than I had at first. He got my 
measure, I got his promise, and that is the end of it, 
thus far. His son, a young man of about twenty-four, 
had the cap of his knee shot off at Baton Rouge. 
Ever since he has been lying on his couch, unable 
to stand; and the probability is that he will never 
stand again. Instead of going out to the manu- 
factory, Mrs. Badger has each time stopped at the 
house to see his mother (who, by the way, kissed 
me and called me *'Sissie," to my great amusement) 
and there I have seen this poor young man. He 
seems so patient and resigned that it is really edi- 
fying to be with him. He is very communicative, 
too, and seems to enjoy company, no matter if he 
does say ''her'n" and "his'n." Wonder why he 
doesn't say '' shisen'' too? The girls are highly 
amused at the description I give of my new acquaint- 
ance, but still more so at Mrs. Badger's account of 
the friendship of this poor young cripple, and his 
enjoyment of my visits. Of course it is only her own 
version, as she is very fond of jokes of all kinds. 

Night before last Lydia got playing the piano for 
me in the darkened parlor, and the old tunes from 
her dear little fingers sent me off in a sea of dreams. 
She too caught the vision, and launched off in a 
well-remembered quadrille. The same scene flashed 
on us, and at each note, almost, we would recall a 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

little circumstance, charming to us, but unintelli- 
gible to Anna, who occupied the other side. To- 
gether we talked over the dramatis personce. Mrs. 
Morgan, Jr., in dark blue silk with black flounces, 
a crimson chenille net on her black hair, sits at the 
piano in her own parlor. On the Brussels carpet 
stands, among others. Her Majesty, Queen Miriam, 
in a lilac silk, with bare neck and arms save for the 
protection afforded by a bertha of applique lace 
trimmed with pink ribbon, with hair d la madonna, 
and fastened low on her neck. Is she not handsome 
as she stands fronting the folding doors, her hand 
in tall Mr. Trezevant's, just as she commences to 
dance, with the tip of her black bottine just show- 
ing? Vis-^-vis stands pretty Sophie, with her large, 
graceful mouth smiling and showing her pretty 
teeth to the best advantage. A low neck and short- 
sleeved green and white poplin is her dress, while 
her black hair, combed off from her forehead care- 
lessly, is caught by a comb at the back and falls in 
curls on her shoulders. A prettier picture could not 
be wished for, as she looks around with sparkling 
eyes, eager for the dance to begin. There stands 
calm Dena in snuff-colored silk, looking so immeas- 
urably the superior of her partner, who, I fancy, 
rather feels that she is the better man of the two, 
from his nervous way of shifting from one foot to the 
other, without saying a word to her. Nettie, in lilac 
and white, stands by the mantel laughing undis- 
guisedly at her partner, rather than with him, yet 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

so good-humoredly that he cannot take offense, 
but rather laughs with her. Lackadaisical Gertrude, 
whose face is so perfect in the daytime, looks pale 
and insipid by gaslight, and timidly walks through 
the dance. Stout, good-natured Minna smiles and 
laughs, never quite completing a sentence, partly 
from embarrassment, partly because she hardly 
knows how ; but still so sweet and amiable that one 
cannot find fault with her for so trifling a misfor- 
tune. At this point, Lydia suggests, "And Sarah, 
do you forget her?" I laugh; how could I forget? 
There she stands in a light blue silk checked in tiny 
squares, with little flounces up to her knee. Her 
dress fits well, and she wears very pretty sleeves and 
collar of applique. Lydia asks if that is all, and how 
she looks. The same old song, I answer. She is 
looking at Miriam just now; you would hardly notice 
her, but certainly her hair is well combed. That 
is all you can say for her. Who is she dancing with? 
A youth fond of ''dreams"; futile ones, at that, I 
laughingly reply. He must be relating one just now, 
for there is a very perceptible curl on her upper lip, 
and she is looking at him as though she thought 
she was the tallest. Lydia dashes off into a lively 
jig. "Ladies to the right!" I cried. She laughed 
too, well knowing that that part of the dance was 
invariably repeated a dozen times at least. She 
looked slyly up: " I am thinking of how many hands 
I saw squeezed," she said. I am afraid it did happen, 
once or twice. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Eighteen months ago ! What a change ! One who 
was prominent on such occasions — Mr. Sparks — 
they tell me is dead. May God have mercy on his 
soul, in the name of Jesus Christ! I did not ask 
even this revenge. 

October i8th, Saturday. 

Last night mother arrived from Clinton with 
Gibbes and Lydia, who had gone there the day 
before to get her to go to Baton Rouge. 

October 19th, Sunday. 

What an unexpected change! I am surprised 
myself! Yesterday as the Baton Rouge party were 
about leaving, Miriam thought Lilly would be lone- 
some alone here with her sick baby, and decided 
that we should leave by the cars, and stay with her 
until mother returned. There was no time to lose; 
so dressing in haste, we persuaded Anna to accom- 
pany us, and in a few moments stood ready. We 
walked down to the overseer's house to wait for the 
cars, and passed the time most agreeably in eating 
sugar-cane, having brought a little negro expressly 
to cut it for us and carry our carpet-bag. Three 
young ladies, who expected to be gone from Satur- 
day until Wednesday, having but one carpet-bag 
between them! Can it be credited? But, then, we 
knew we had clothes here, and depended upon them 
for supplies, when we now find they are in the trunk 
and mother has the key. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

We walked aboard alone, in the crowded train, 
and found ourselves in the only car reserved for 
ladies, which was already filled with a large party 
returning from Port Hudson, consisting of the fast- 
est set of girls that I have seen for some time. Anna 
and I had to content ourselves with a seat on a small 
box between the benches, while Miriam was estab- 
lished on the only vacant one, with a sick soldier 
lying at her feet. The fast girls talked as loud as 
possible and laughed in a corresponding style in 
spite of the sick man. They must have been on a 
picnic, from the way they talked. One in a short 
dress complained that she had not seen her sweet- 
heart. A pert little miss of thirteen cried, "You can 
bet your head I never went to any place where I did 
not see one of my sweethearts." One of about 
seventeen, a perfect beauty, declared she would 
die of thirst. ''So will I! and I don't want to die 
before I get a husband!" exclaimed her vis-^-vis. 
They evidently expected to produce an impression 
on us. At every "brilliant" remark ("stupid" 
understood), they looked at us to see what we 
thought. All of them sat with bare heads in the 
strong light, an unfailing proof of la basse classe on 
steamers and cars. Every time my veil blew aside, 
they made no difficulty about scanning my features 
as though they thought it might be agreeable. I 
must confess I was equally impolite in regard to 
the Beauty; but then her loveliness was an excuse, 
and my veil sheltered me, besides. While this young 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Psyche was fascinating me, with her perfect face and 
innocent expression, one of her companions made a 
remark — one that I dare say is made every day, 
and that I never imagined could be turned into 
harm. My Beauty uttered a prolonged "Oh!" of 
horror, and burst out laughing, followed by all the 
others. My disgust was unspeakable. Mock mod- 
esty is always evident. A modest girl could not have 
noticed the "catch"; the immodest, on the lookout 
for such an opportunity, was the only one who could 
have perceived it. Well! after all, no one can be 
perfect ; this may be the single stain on my Beauty, 
though I confess I would rather have any other fail- 
ing than this, almost. 

Putting this aside, I hardly know which I was 
most amused by : the giddy, lively girls to my right, 
or the two ladies to my left who were as cross and 
ill-natured as two old cats and railed unmercifully 
at the silly creatures behind them, and carried their 
spite so far as to refuse to drink because the conduc- 
tor (the husband of one of them) gave the young 
ladies water before passing it to their two elders. 
Did n't the poor man get it! She would n't taste 
a drop of that nasty dirty drippings, that she 
would n't! Might have had the decency to attend 
to his kinsfolks, before them creatures! And why 
did n't he wait on those two young ladies behind 
her? He did ask them? Well, ask them again! 
they must want some! Poor Henpecked meekly 
passed the can again, to be again civilly declined. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

I confess the "drippings" were too much for me 
also, though I did not give it as my excuse. Mrs. 
Hen recommenced her pecking; poor Mr. Hen at 
last surlily rejoined, ''For Heaven's sake, don't 
make a fuss in the cars," with an emphasis on the 
last word that showed he was accustomed to it at 
home, at least. With my veil down, I leaned against 
the window, and remembering Colonel Breaux's 
remarks two nights before concerning cross people, 
I played his "little philosopher" for the remainder 
of the journey. 

At sunset we walked in at Lilly's gate, and aston- 
ished her by standing before her as she sat alone 
with her poor sick little Beatrice in her arms. . . . 

Wednesday, 22d October, Linwcx)D. 

We left Clinton this morning, and have just now 
arrived by the cars. Charlie came in last evening, 
to our great surprise, so we did not scruple to leave 
Lilly. . . . 

The Baton Rouge party returned late this eve- 
ning. In spite of all preparation, Gibbes was horrified 
at the appearance of home. 

Friday, October 24th. 

A letter from Jimmy, the first we have received 
since New Orleans fell. It was dated the loth inst., 
and he spoke of being on the eve of running the 
blockade, and going to Liverpool "to represent our 
unfortunate navy," as he says, though I am at loss 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

to imagine what he can mean. He speaks of a kind 
friend, a Mr. George Trenholm,^ whose kindness has 
been perfectly extraordinary. He has befriended 
him in every way. 

Charlie has just come by the railroad, bringing 
other letters from him, to mother and Lilly. In 
mother's is his last good-bye on the I2th. Again 
Mr. Trenholm is the theme. I could not help crying 
over my dear little brother's manly, affectionate 
letter. He says he is sure God will still care for him. 
He has raised him up friends wherever he has been. 
He says he lost all his clothing in going to Charles- 
ton. There, among other kind people, he met this 
gentleman, who carried him to his house, where he 
has kept him ever since, treating him like his son, 
and forced him to accept a magnificent outfit as a 
present from him. He procured the appointment 
which sends Jimmy abroad (I wish Jimmy had been 
more explicit concerning it ; we hardly know what it 
is, or how long it will keep him). The money he 
received to pay Jimmy's passage (received from the 
Government) he in turn obliged Jimmy to accept, 
as he sails in one of Mr. Trenholm's steamers; and 
not satisfied with that, gives him carte blanche on his 
house in England, to be filled up with any amount 
he chooses to name. 

Mother went back to Clinton with Charlie that 

^ Secretary of the Treasury of the Confederate States. Later, 
Colonel James Morris Morgan (" Jimmy " in the Diary), married 
Mr. Trenholm's daughter Helen, whose portrait appears on an issue 
of Confederate bank notes. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

evening, to my great distress; for she hates that 
odious place as much as I. 

I know the life will kill her if it lasts six months 
longer. How happy I would be, if it were not for the 
thought of her uncomfortable position there! Lilly 
agrees with me that, once out of it, she never wishes 
to see the vile place again. Margret says that when 
the Lord had finished all the world and all the people, 
he had some scraps left, and just thought he'd 
"batch up" Clinton with them. Perhaps she is 


Sunday, 26th October. 

This place is completely overrun by soldiers pass- 
ing and repassing. Friday night five stayed here, 
last night two more, and another has just gone. One, 
last night, a bashful Tennesseean, had never tasted 
sugar-cane. We were sitting around a blazing fire, 
enjoying it hugely, when in answer to our repeated 
invitations to help himself, he confessed he had never 
eaten it. Once instructed, though, he got on remark- 
ably well, and ate it in a civilized manner, consider- 
ing it was a first attempt. 

Everything points to a speedy attack on Port 
Hudson. Rumors reach us from New Orleans of 
extensive preparations by land and water, and of 
the determination to bum Clinton as soon as they 
reach it, in revenge for the looms that were carried 
from Baton Rouge there, and which can soon be put 
in working order to supply our soldiers, negroes, and 
ourselves with necessary clothing. Of two evils, if 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Baton Rouge is to be overrun by Yankees, and 
Clinton burned, I would rather await them at 

Sunday, November 2d. 

Yesterday was a day of novel sensations to me. 
First came a letter from mother announcing her 
determination to return home, and telling us to be 
ready next week. Poor mother! she wrote drearily 
enough of the hardships we would be obliged to 
undergo in the dismantled house, and of the new 
experience that lay before us; but n'importe! I am 
ready to follow her to Yankeeland, or any other 
place she chooses to go. It is selfish for me to be 
so happy here while she leads such a distasteful life 
in Clinton. In her postscript, though, she said she 
would wait a few days longer to see about the grand 
battle which is supposed to be impending; so our 
stay will be indefinitely prolonged. How thankful 
I am that we will really get back, though ! I hardly 
believe it possible, however; it is too good to be 

The nightmare of a probable stay in Clinton being 
removed, I got in what the boys call a "perfect 
gale,** and sang all my old songs with a greater relish 
than I have experienced for many a long month. 
My heart was open to every one. So forgiving and 
amiable did I feel that I went downstairs to see Will 
Carter! I made him so angry last Tuesday that he 
went home in a fit of sullen rage. It seems that some 
time ago, some one, he said, told him such a joke 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

on me that he had laughed all night at it. Mortified 
beyond all expression at the thought of having had 
my name mentioned between two men, I, who have 
thus far fancied myself secure from all remarks 
good, bad, or indifferent (of men), I refused to have 
anything to say to him until he should either explain 
me the joke, or, in case it was not fit to be repeated 
to me, until he apologized for the insult. He took 
two minutes to make up a lie. This was the joke, 
he said. Our milkman had said that that Sarah 
Morgan was the proudest girl he ever saw ; that she 
walked the streets as though the earth was not good 
enough for her. My milkman making his remarks! 
I confess I was perfectly aghast with surprise, and 
did not conceal my contempt for the remark, or his 
authority either. But one can't fight one's milkman ! 
I did not care for what he or any of that class could 
say ; I was surprised to find that they thought at all ! 
But I resented it as an insult as coming from Mr. 
Carter, until with tears in his eyes fairly, and in all 
humility, he swore that, if it had been anything that 
could reflect on me in the slightest degree, he would 
thrash the next man who mentioned my name. 
I was not uneasy about a milkman's remarks, so I 
let it pass, after making him acknowledge that he 
had told me a falsehood concerning the remark 
which had been made. But I kept my revenge. 
I had but to cry " Milk! " in his hearing to make him 
turn crimson with rage. At last he told me that 
the less I said on the subject, the better it would be 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

for me. I could not agree. "Milk" I insisted was 
a delightful beverage. I had always been under the 
impression that we owned a cow, until he had 
informed me it was a milkman, but was perfectly 
indifferent to the animal so I got the milk. With 
some such allusion, I could make him mad in an 
instant. Either a guilty conscience, or the real joke, 
grated harshly on him, and I possessed the power of 
making it still worse. Tuesday I pressed it too far. 
He was furious, and all the family warned me that 
I was making a dangerous enemy. 

Yesterday he came back in a good humor, and 
found me in unimpaired spirits. I had not talked 
even of "curds," though I had given him several 
hard cuts on other subjects, when an accident hap- 
pened which frightened all malicious fun out of me. 
We were about going out after cane, and Miriam 
had already pulled on one of her buckskin gloves, 
dubbed "old sweety" from the quantity of cane- 
juice they contain, when Mr. Carter slipped on its 
mate, and held it tauntingly out to her. She tapped 
it with a case-knife she held, when a stream of blood 
shot up through the glove. A vein was cut and was 
bleeding profusely. 

He laughed, but panic seized the women. Some 
brought a basin, some stood around. I ran after 
cobwebs, while Helen Carter held the vein and 
Miriam stood in silent horror, too frightened to 
move. It was, indeed, alarming, for no one seemed 
to know what to do, and the blood flowed rapidly. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Presently he turned a dreadful color, and stopped 
laughing. I brought a chair, while the others thrust 
him into it. His face grew more deathlike, his mouth 
trembled, his eyes rolled, his head dropped. I com- 
prehended that these must be symptoms of fainting, 
a phenomenon I had never beheld. I rushed after 
water, and Lydia after cologne. Between us, it 
passed away ; but for those few moments I thought 
it was all over with him, and trembled for Miriam. 
Presently he laughed again and said, "Helen, if I 
die, take all my negroes and money and prosecute 
those two girls! Don't let them escape!" Then, 
seeing my long face, he commenced teasing me. 
"Don't ever pretend you don't care for me again! 
Here you have been unmerciful to me for months, 
hurting more than this cut, never sparing me once, 
and the moment I get scratched, it 's ' O Mr. Carter! ' 
and you fly around like wild and wait on me!" In 
vain I represented that I would have done the same 
for his old lame dog, and that I did not like him a 
bit better; he would not believe it, but persisted that 
I was a humbug and that I liked him in spite of my 
protestations. As long as he was in danger of bleed- 
ing to death, I let him have his way; and, frightened 
out of teasing, spared him for the rest of the eve- 

Just at what would have been twilight but for the 
moonshine, when he went home after the blood was 
stanched and the hand tightly bound, a carriage 
drove up to the house, and Colonel Allen was 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

announced. I can't say I was ever more disap- 
pointed. I had fancied him tall, handsome, and 
elegant; I had heard of him as a perfect fascinator, 
a woman-killer. Lo! a wee little man is carried in, 
in the arms of two others, — wounded in both legs 
at Baton Rouge, he has never yet been able to stand. 
... He was accompanied by a Mr. Bradford, whose 
assiduous attentions and boundless admiration for 
the Colonel struck me as unusual. ... I had not 
observed him otherwise, until the General whis- 
pered, "Do you know that that is the brother of 
your old sweetheart?" Though the appellation was 
by no means merited, I recognized the one he meant. 
Brother to our Mr. Bradford of eighteen months 
ago! My astonishment was unbounded, and I 
alluded to it immediately. He said it was so; that 
his brother had often spoken to him of us, and the 
pleasant evenings he had spent at home. 

November 4th, 1862. 

O what a glorious time we had yesterday ! First, 
there were those two gentlemen to be entertained 
all day, which was rather a stretch, I confess, so I 
stole away for a while. Then I got the sweetest let- 
ter from Miss Trenholm, enclosing Jimmy's photo- 
graph, and she praised him so that I was in a damp 
state of happiness and flew around showing my pic- 
ture to everybody, Mr. Bradford included, who 
pronounced him a noble boy, and admired him to 
my satisfaction. Then came a letter from Lilly, 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

saying mother had decided to remain in Clinton, and 
wanted us to join her there. O my prophetic soul ! 
My heart went below zero! Then Colonel Allen 
sent to Port Hudson for the band to serenade us, 
and raised my spirits in anticipation of the treat. 
While performing my toilet in the evening, Waller 
Fowler arrived, on his way to Vicksburg, bringing 
a letter to Miriam from Major Drum! Heaven only 
knows how it got here! Such a dear, kind letter, 
dated 6th of August, only ! Affairs were very differ- 
ent then, and he said that Lavinia's distress about 
us was such that he must try to send her nearer 
to us. And such an unexpected piece of news! 
Oh, my heart fails me! I cannot fancy Lavinia a 

Slowly I dressed myself, and still more slowly I 
combed Anna. I could think of nothing else until 
I heard Miriam and Mr. Bradford call us to take a 
walk, when we hurried down to them. A race down 
to the railroad, a merry talk standing on the track 
mingled with shouts of laughter in which I tried 
to drown fears for Lavinia, made the early sunset 
clouds pass away sooner than usual, to us, and 
moonlight warned us to return. Mrs. Worley passed 
us in her buggy, coming to stay all night ; and half- 
way a servant met us, saying two soldiers had come 
to call on us. Once there, I was surprised to find 
that one was Frank Enders, the one I least expected 
to see. The other was a Mr. Harold. I need not 
describe him, beyond this slight indication of his 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

style. Before half an hour was over, he remarked 
to Anna that I was a very handsome girl, and 
addressed me as — Miss Sally! That is sufficient. 

Then Will Carter came in, and joined our circle. 
His first aside was, "If you only knew how much 
I liked you last night, you would never be cruel to 
me again. Why, I thought you the greatest girl 
in the world! Please let's part friends to-night 
again!'* I would not promise, for I knew I would 
tease him yet ; and at supper, when I insisted on his 
taking a glass of milk, his face turned so red that 
Mrs. Carter pinched my arm blue, and refused to 
help me to preserves because I was making Will 
mad 1 But Waller helped me, and I drank my own 
milk to Mr. Carter's health with my sweetest smile. 
** Confound that milkman! I wish he had cut his 
throat before I stumbled over him," he exclaimed 
after tea. But I had more amusing game than to 
make him angry then; I wanted to laugh to get rid 
of the phantom that pursued me, Lavinia. 

The evening passed off very pleasantly; I think 
there were some eighteen of us in the parlor. About 
ten the General went to the sugar-house (he com- 
menced grinding yesterday) and whispered to me to 
bring the young people down presently. Mr. Brad- 
ford and I succeeded in moving them, and we three 
girls retired to change our pretty dresses for plain 
ones, and get shawls and nuages, for our warm week 
had suddenly passed away, and it was quite cold 
out. Some of the gentlemen remarked that very few 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

young ladies would have the courage to change 
pretty evening dresses for calico, after appearing 
to such advantage. Many would prefer wearing 
such dresses, however inappropriate, to the sugar- 
mill. With his droll gravity, Gibbes answered, "Oh, 
our girls don't want to be stuck up!'* 

There was quite a string of us as we straggled out 
in the beautiful moonlight, with only Mrs. Badger 
as an escort. Mr. Enders and I had a gay walk of it, 
and when we all met at the furnace, we stopped and 
warmed ourselves, and had a laugh before going in. 
Inside, it was lighted up with Confederate gas, in 
other words, pine torches, which shed a delightful 
light, neither too much nor too little, over the differ- 
ent rooms. We tried each by turns. The row of 
bubbling kettles with the dusky negroes bending 
over in the steam, and lightly turning their paddles 
in the foamy syrup, the whole under the influence 
of torchlight, was very interesting; but then, Mr. 
Enders and I found a place more pleasant still. 
It was in the first purgery, standing at the mouth of 
the shoot through which the liquid sugar runs into 
the car ; and taking the place of the car as soon as it 
was run off to the coolers, each armed with a paddle, 
scraped the colon up and had our own fun while 
eating. Then running along the little railroad to 
where the others stood in the second room over the 
vats, and racing back again all together to eat sugar- 
cane and cut up generally around our first pine 
torch, we had really a gay time. 


'^A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Presently "Puss wants a corner" was suggested, 
and all flew up to the second staging, under the cane- 
carrier and by the engine. Such racing for corners ! 
Such scuffles among the gentlemen ! Such confusion 
among the girls when, springing forward for a place, 
we would find it already occupied ! All dignity was 
discarded. We laughed and ran as loud and fast 
as any children, and the General enjoyed our fun 
as much as we, and encouraged us in our pranks. 
Waller surpassed himself, Mr. Bradford carried all 
by storm, Mr. Enders looked like a schoolboy on a 
frolic, Mr. Carter looked sullen and tried lazily not 
to mar the sport completely, while Mr. Harold 
looked timidly foolish and half afraid of our wild 
sport. Mrs. Badger laughed, the General roared, 
Anna flew around like a balloon, Miriam fairly 
danced around with fun and frolic, while I laughed 
so that it was an exertion to change corners. Then 
forfeits followed, with the usual absurd formalities in 
which Mr. Bradford sentenced himself unconsciously 
to ride a barrel, Miriam to make him a love speech 
going home, Mr. Enders to kiss my hand, and I to 
make him (Mr. Enders) a declaration, which I 
instantly did, in French, whereby I suffered no 
inconvenience, as Miriam alone comprehended. 
Then came more sugar-cane and talk in the purgery, 
and we were horrified when Mrs. Badger announced 
that it was twelve o'clock, and gave orders to re- 

O the pleasant walk home! Then, of course, fol- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

lowed a last good-night on the balcony, while the 
two young men mounted their horses and Frank 
Enders vowed to slip off every time he had a chance 
and come out to see us. Then there was a grand 
proposition for a ride to Port Hudson on horseback, 
and in order to secure a pledge that we would pass 
by General Beale's headquarters, Mr. Enders 
wrapped my nuage around his throat, declaring that 
I would be obliged to stop there for it, though, if 
prevented, he would certainly be obliged to bring 
it back himself. This morning, however, the mar- 
ried ladies made so much difficulty about who should 
go, and how, that we were forced to abandon it, 
much as we would have enjoyed it. 

I am afraid to say how late it was when we got 
to bed. I know it was almost ten when we left the 
breakfast-table this morning, so I suppose it must 
have been quite late before we retired. To Colonel 
Allen's, as well as to our own great disappointment, 
the band could not come on account of sickness. 

November 6th. 

We three girls fancied a walk last evening, and 
immediately after dinner prepared to walk to Mrs. 
Breaux's, only a mile, and get her to come to the 
sugar-house. But as we put on our bonnets, Captain 
Bradford, brother of the one who left in the morning, 
was announced, and our expedition had to be aban- 
doned. This is the third of the five brothers that 
I have met, and if it were not for the peculiarity in 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

their voices, I should say that there was not the 
most distant relationship existing between them. 
This one is very handsome, quiet, and what Dickens 
calls *'in a high-shouldered state of deportment." 
He looks like a moss-covered stone wall, a slumber- 
ing volcano, a — what you please, so it suggests 
anything unexpected and dangerous to stumble 
over. A man of indomitable will and intense feeling, 
I am sure. I should not like to rouse his temper, 
or give him cause to hate me. A trip to the sugar- 
house followed, as a matter of course, and we showed 
him around, and told him of the fun we had those 
two nights, and taught him how to use a paddle like 
a Christian. We remained there until supper-time, 
when we adjourned to the house, where we spent 
the remainder of the evening very pleasantly. At 
least I suppose he found it so, for it was ten o'clock 
before he left. 

Just now I was startled by a pistol shot. Threat- 
ening to shoot her, Mr. Carter playfully aimed 
Miriam's pistol at her, and before he could take fair 
aim, one barrel went off, the shot grazing her arm 
and passing through the armoir just behind. Of 
course, there was great consternation. Those two 
seem doomed to kill each other. She had played 
him the same trick before. He swore that he would 
have killed himself with the other shot if she had 
been hurt; but what good would that do her? 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Sunday, November 9th. 

I hardly know how these last days have passed. 
I have an indistinct recollection of rides in cane- 
wagons to the most distant field, coming back 
perched on the top of the cane singing, "Dye my 
petticoats," to the great amusement of the General 
who followed on horseback. Anna and Miriam, 
comfortably reposing in corners, were too busy to 
join in, as their whole time and attention were en- 
tirely devoted to the consumption of cane. It was 
only by singing rough impromptus on Mr. Harold 
and Captain Bradford that I roused them from their 
task long enough to join in a chorus of ** Forty 
Thousand Chinese." I would not have changed my 
perch, four mules, and black driver, for Queen Vic- 
toria's coach and six. 

And to think old Abe wants to deprive us of all 
that fun! No more cotton, sugar-cane, or rice! No 
more old black aunties or uncles ! No more rides 
in mule teams, no more songs in the cane-field, no 
more steaming kettles, no more black faces and 
shining teeth around the furnace fires! If Lincoln 
could spend the grinding season on a plantation, he 
would recall his proclamation. As it is, he has only 
proved himself a fool, without injuring us. Why, 
last evening I took old Wilson's place at the bagasse 
shoot, and kept the rollers free from cane until I had 
thrown down enough to fill several carts, and had 
my hands as black as his. What cruelty to slaves! 
And black Frank thinks me cruel, too, when he meets 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

me with a patronizing grin, and shows me the nicest 
vats of candy, and peels cane for me. Oh! very 
cruel ! And so does Jules, when he wipes the handle 
of his paddle on his apron, to give "Mamselle" 
a chance to skim the kettles and learn how to work ! 
Yes! and so do all the rest who meet us with a 
courtesy and " Howd'y^ young Missus ! " Last night 
we girls sat on the wood just in front of the furnace 
— rather Miriam and Anna did, while I sat in their 
laps — and with some twenty of all ages crowded 
around, we sang away to their great amusement. 
Poor oppressed devils! Why did you not chunk us 
with the burning logs instead of looking happy, and 
laughing like fools? Really, some good old Aboli- 
tionist is needed here, to tell them how miserable 
they are. Can't Mass' Abe spare a few to enlighten 

his brethren? 

November loth, Monday. 

In spite of its being Sunday, no sooner was dinner 
concluded yesterday than we adjourned, as usual, 
to the sugar-house to see how much damage we could 
do. Each took from a negro his long paddle, and for 
more than half an hour skimmed the kettles indus- 
triously, to the amazement of half a dozen strange 
soldiers who came to see the extraordinary process 
of sugar-making. At one time the two boys taking 
possession of the two other paddles, not a negro was 
at the kettles, but stood inspecting our work. The 
hardest part we found to be discharging the batteries, 
which none of us could do without their assistance. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

We had no sooner relinquished our paddles than 
some one announced two gentlemen at the house. 
While we were discussing the possibility of changing 
our dresses before being seen, enter Mr. Enders and 
Gibbes Morgan^ of Fenner's battery. No retreat 
being possible, we looked charmed and self-possessed 
in spite of plain calicoes and sticky hands. . . . Mr. 
Enders very conveniently forgot to bring my 
nuage. He says he started expressly to do so, but 
reflecting that I might then have no inducement to 
pay that visit to Port Hudson, he left it for another 
time. . . . We arranged a visit to Gibbes, and Mr. 
Enders made me promise to call at General Beale's 
headquarters for a pass. "They will want you to 
go to the Provost Marshal's for it, but you just 
come to General Beale's, and send a courier for 
me, and I will bring it myself!" — and half in fun, 
half in earnest, I promised. 

November 12th, Wednesday. 

Once more a cripple and consigned to my bed, for 
how long. Heaven only knows. This is written while 
in a horizontal position, reposing on my right arm, 
which is almost numb from having supported me for 
some sixteen hours without turning over. Let me 
see if I can remember how it happened. 

Last evening we started out to see Gibbes, just 
Miriam and Anna in one buggy, and Mrs. Badger 
and I in the other. Gibbes proper, that is, the Cap- 

^ H. Gibbes Morgan, a cousin. 

A Confederate Girl's Diary 

tain, and the General both approved, but neither 
could accompany us. It is useless to say how much 
I objected to going without a gentleman. Indeed, 
when we reached the road which formed the fourth 
side of the square formed by Colonel Breaux's, 
Captain Bradford's, and Captain Fenner's camps, 
I thought I should die of terror on finding myself 
in such a crowd of soldiers on parade. My thick 
veil alone consoled me, but I made a vow that I 
would not go through it again, not if I never saw 
Gibbes, Jr., again on earth. 

His camp lay far off from the road, so that we had 
to drive out to it between the other two, and asked a 
soldier to tell him that we were there. Presently he 
came up, looking so pleased that I was almost glad 
that we had come; and then Captain Fenner ap- 
peared, looking charmed, and Lieutenant Harris, 
who looked more alarmed and timid than I. Cap- 
tain Fenner exerted himself to entertain us, and 
seeing how frightened I was, assured me that it was 
an everyday occurrence for young ladies to visit 
them in parties without gentlemen, and that it was 
done all through the Confederacy; which, however, 
did not comfort me for the hundreds of eyes that 
were looking at us as our small party stood out in 
front of the encampment around a cannon. I think 
he can throw more expression into his eyes than any 
one I ever saw. Miriam suggested sending Gibbes 
to the Provost to get our pass in order to avoid the 
crowd that might be there. Eager to leave the pres- 


'A Confederate Girl's Diary 

ent one for a more retired spot, I exclaimed, "Oh, 
no! let us go ourselves! We can't get in a worse 
crowd!" I meant a greater; but Captain Fenner 
looked so comically at me that I could scarcely 
laugh out an apology, while he laughed so that I am 
sure he did not listen to me. What a comical 
mouth ! I liked him very much, this time. He prom- 
ised to come out to-day or to-morrow, and have a 
game of "Puss wants a comer" in the sugar-house. 
But now I can't join in, though it was to me the 
promise was made. 

But to the catastrophe at once. 

As we left, we insisted on taking Gibbes to get 
our pass, and made him get into Miriam's buggy, 
where there was space for him to kneel and drive. 
I was to carry out my promise to Mr. Enders. We 
had to pass just by the camp of the First Alabama, 
Colonel Steadman's, where the whole regiment was 
on parade. We had not gone thirty yards beyond 
them when a gun was discharged. The horse 
instantly ran off. I don't believe there could be two 
cooler individuals than Mrs. Badger and I were. 
I had every confidence in her being able to hold him 
so long as the bridle lasted. I had heard that there 
was more danger in jumping at such moments than 
in remaining quiet, so I sat still. There was nothing 
to hold to, as it was a no-top, or what I call a " low- 
neck," buggy; so my hands rested quietly in my lap. 
Presently I saw the left rein snap close to the horse's 
mouth. I knew all was over then, but did not utter 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

a word. Death seemed inevitable, and I thought it 
was as well to take it coolly. The horse turned 
abruptly; I felt that something impelled me out, 
followed the impulse, saw Mrs. Badger's white cape 
fluttering above me, received a blow on the extrem- 
ity of my spine that I thought would kill me before 
I reached the ground, landing, however, on my left 
hip, and quietly reclining on my left elbow, with my 
face to an upset buggy whose wheels spun around 
in empty air. I heard a rush as of horses ; I saw men 
galloping up; I would have given worlds to spring 
to my feet, or even to see if they were exposed ; but 
found I could not move. I had no more power over 
my limbs than if they were iron; only the intense 
pain told me I was still alive. I was perfectly con- 
scious, but unable to move. My only wonder was 
why Miriam, who was in front, did not come to me. 
My arm was giving away. Dimly, as through a 
haze, or dream, I saw a soldier bending over me, 
trying to raise me. The horse he had sprung from 
rushed up to his master, and reared up over me. 
I saw the iron hoofs shining above my body; death 
was certain this time, but I could not move. He 
raised his arm and struck him, and obedient to the 
blow the animal turned aside and let his feet fall 
without crushing me. Mrs. Carter, when she heard 
it described, offered a fabulous sum for a correct 
drawing of that most interesting tableau, the gal- 
lant Alabamian supporting a helpless form on one 
arm, while he reined in a fiery charger with the 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

other. I was not aware of the romance ; I was con- 
scious only of the unpleasant situation. 

Dozens crowded around, and if I had been a girl 
for display, here was an opportunity, for thirty pair 
of soldier arms were stretched out to hold me. ** No ! 
Gibbes! Gibbes!" I whispered, and had the satisfac- 
tion of being transferred from a stranger's to my 
cousin's arms. Gibbes trembled more than I, but 
with both arms clasped around me, held me up. 
But for that I would have returned to my original 
horizontal position. "Send for the doctor!" cried 
one. **A surgeon, quick!" cried another. "Tell 
them no!" I motioned. I was conscious of a clatter 
of hoofs and cloud of dust. One performed a feat 
never heard of before. He brought a glass of water 
at full gallop which I instantly drained by way of 
acknowledgment. I think I felt the unpleasant 
situation more than the pain. Not being accustomed 
to being the centre of attraction, I was by no means 
pleased with the novel experience. Miriam held my 
hand, and questioned me with a voice tremulous 
with fear and laughter. Anna convulsively sobbed 
or giggled some question. I felt the ridiculous posi- 
tion as much as they. Laughing was agony, but I 
had to do it to give them an excuse, which they read- 
ily seized to give vent to their feelings, and encour- 
aged by seeing it, several gold-band officers joined 
in, constantly endeavoring to apologize or check 
themselves with a "Really, Miss, it may seem 
unfeeling, but it is impossible" — the rest was lost 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

in a gasp, and a wrestle between politeness and the 
desire to laugh. 

I don't know what I was thinking of, but I cer- 
tainly paid very little attention to what was going 
on. I only wanted to get home, away from all those 
eyes; and my most earnest wish made me forget 
them. The first remark I heard was my young 
Alabamian crying, **It is the most beautiful somer- 
set I ever saw! Indeed, it could not be more grace- 
fully done! Your feet did not show!" Naif, but 
it was just what I wanted to know, and dared not 
ask. Some one ran up, and asked who was hurt, 
and I heard another reply, "I am afraid the young 
lady is seriously injured, only she won't acknowledge 
it. It is worth while looking at her. She is the cool- 
est, most dignified girl you ever saw"; and another 
was added to the already too numerous audience. 
Poor Mrs. Badger, having suffered only from torn 
clothing, received very little sympathy, while I got 
more than my share. I really believe that the blow 
I received was from her two hundred and forty 
pound body, though the Alabamian declares he saw 
the overturning buggy strike me as I fell. 

To her and others I am indebted for the repeti- 
tion of many a remark that escaped me. One bold 
soldier boy exclaimed, "Madame, we are all warri- 
ors, but we can't equal that! It is braver than any 
man!" I had to laugh occasionally to keep my 
spirits up, but Miriam ordered me to quit, saying 
that I would go off in hysterics. I had previously 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

repeatedly declared to the Doctor that I was not 
hurt, and seeing him idle, and hearing Miriam's 
remark, the Alabamian — I am told — cried, '*0 
Doctor! Doctor! can't you do something? Is she 
going to have hysterics?" ''Really," said the Doc- 
tor, "the young lady objects to being examined; 
but as far as I can judge, she has no limbs broken." 
Everybody ordered me to confess at once my in- 
jury; but how was I to inform a whole crowd that 
I had probably broken the tip of my backbone, and 
could not possibly sit down? So I adhered to my 
first affirmation, and made no objection when they 
piled the cushions up and made Gibbes put me down ; 
for I knew he must be tired. 

I am told I remained there an hour. I know they 
talked to me, and that I answered; but have not 
an idea of the subject. A gentleman brought a 
buggy, and offered to drive me home; but a Captain 
Lenair insisted on running after the ambulance. 
Arrived there, Mr. Enders says he rushed in, crying, 
*'For God's sake. General Beale, lend me the ambu- 
lance ! There is a dreadful accident, and I am afraid 
the young lady will die ! " Coming back he exclaimed, 
*'By Jove! boys, if you want to see a sight, run 
down and see her hair! The prettiest auburn (?) 
you ever looked at, and sweeps the ground! I 
would n't mind such a fall if I had such hair to show. 
Come look at it, do ! " Mr. Enders says he was sure 
that it was I, as soon as hair was mentioned, and 
started out as soon as he had finished a duty he had 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

to perform. My garter, a purple silk ribbon, lay 
in the centre of the ring. By the respectful silence 
observed, I saw they recognized its use, so, unwill- 
ing to leave such a relic behind, I asked aloud for 
my "ribbon," whereupon Anna says the officers 
pinched each other and smiled. Up came the am- 
bulance, and I was in imminent danger of being 
carried to it, when with a desperate effort I regained 
my feet with Gibbes's help, and reached it without 
other assistance. Beyond, I could do no more. 

Captain Lenair got inside, and several others 
lifted me up to him, and I sank motionless on the 
floor. All bade me good-bye, and my little Alaba- 
mian assured me that he was proud of having been 
the first to assist me. President Miller whispered 
to Mrs. Badger for permission to accompany us, 
which she readily granted, and raising me on the 
seat, he insisted on putting his arm around me to 
hold me up. It was useless to decline. **Now, Miss 
Morgan, I assure you I am an old married man! 
I know you are suffering! Let me have my way!'* 
and the kind old gentleman held me so comfortably, 
and broke the force of so many jolts, that I was 
forced to submit and acknowledge that had it not 
been for him I could not have endured the rough 
road. At the gate that leads to General Beale's 
headquarters, I saw half a dozen figures standing. 
One was Frank Enders, who hailed the driver. 
"Hush!" said one I recognized as Captain Lenair. 
"The young lady is in there, and the Provost, too! " 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

" I don't care if it is Jeff Davis, I 'II find out if she is 
hurt!" he answered. Miriam and Anna recognized 
him, as they followed behind us, and called to him. 
Without more ado, he jumped into their buggy, find- 
ing them alone, and drove them home. He asked 
me something as he passed, but I could not answer. 

The road was dreadful. Once the driver mistook 
it and drove us within two steps of an embankment 
six feet high, but discovered the mistake before the 
horses went over. 

What I most dreaded was explanations when we 
should arrive. Miriam stepped out an instant 
before, and I heard her telling the accident. Then 
everybody, big and little, white and black, gathered 
around the ambulance. The Provost thought him- 
self privileged to carry me, Gibbes insisted on try- 
ing it with his one arm, when the General picked me 
up and landed me on the gallery. He wanted me 
to lie down in old Mrs. Carter's room, but confident 
that once there I could not get up, and feeling that 
perhaps the gentlemen would take advantage of its 
being on the ground floor to suggest calling on me, 
I struggled upstairs with Helen's assistance. A 
dozen hands undressed me, and laid me on my face 
in bed, which position I have occupied up to the 
present, 3 p.m. . . . Unable to turn, all night I lay 
awake, lying on my face, the least comfortable of 
positions; but though the slightest motion tortured 
me, I had to laugh as we talked it over. 

Of course, this has been written in scratches, and 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

in my same position, which will account for many 
blots. This morning I was interrupted by mother's 
unexpected arrival, she having come with Dellie 
and Morgan to spend the day. Of course, she is 
horrified at the accident of that "unfortunate 

Saturday, November 15th. 

I think I grow no better rapidly. Fortunately on 
Wednesday night they succeeded in turning me 
over; for my poor elbows, having lost all their skin, 
were completely used up. Now, if I go slowly and 
carefully, I can turn myself at the cost of some little 
suffering. . . . 

Yesterday Colonel Steadman, of the First Ala- 
bama, called with his father. He sent me many 
messages of condolence, and the rather unpleasant 
advice to be cupped and scarified. His profession 
was that of a physician before he became colonel. 
His surgeon, whose name is Madding, told him he 
was satisfied that I was seriously injured, though 
I had not complained. The Colonel is the same 
who called when we were in Clinton. They readily 
accepted our invitation to dinner, and remained 
until late in the afternoon, when Captain Bradford 
came in. More messages of condolence and sym- 
pathy upstairs, which produced no visible effect on 
my spine, though very comforting to the spirit. 

November i6th. 

I was interrupted yesterday morning by Mrs. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Badger, who wished to apply a few dry cups to my 
back, to which I quietly submitted, and was unable 
to move afterwards without pain, as a reward for 
my patience. But towards sunset came two dear let- 
ters that made me forget what I had suffered, one 
from George, and one from Jimmy, dated Bermudas. 
For the first time I know what my dear little brother 
suffered during those long months when we could 
not hear if he were dead or alive. He kept the secret 
until he no longer needed either friends or money; 
and now he tells it with a simplicity that made me 
cry fit to break my heart when I was left alone in the 
twilight with no one to see. . . . George comforts me 
with hopes of Peace, and a speedy return. If it 
could only be! . . . 

This morning the boom of Yankee guns reached 
my ears ; a sound I had hoped never to hear again. 
It is only those poor devils (I can afford to pity 
them in their fallen state) banging away at some 
treasonable sugar- houses that are disobedient 
enough to grind cane on the other side of the 
river. I hear that one is at Mrs. Cain's. The 
sound made my heart throb. What if the fight 
should come off before I can walk? It takes three 
people to raise me whenever it is necessary for me 
to move; I am worse than helpless. 

Tuesday, November i8th. 

A note just came from mother, telling me that the 
most awful Yankees were coming to bum Linwood 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

and take Port Hudson, and so this evening I must 
walk down to the cars with a chair to rest in until 
they came, and must certainly be in Clinton to-night. 
Delightful arrangement ! I wrote to ask if she knew 
that my legs were of no more service to me than to 
her? Dr. Dortch has again been murdering me . . . 
says perhaps I can stand by Sunday. If the Yankees 
come before — 

Friday night, November 2 1st. 
Lying on my face, as it were, with my poor elbows 
for a support, I try to pass away these lonely hours. 
For with the exception of old Mrs. Carter, who is 
downstairs, and the General, who is elsewhere, Anna 
and I are the only white people on the place. The 
cause of this heartless desertion is a grand display 
of tableaux vivants at Jackson, for the benefit of the 
Soldiers' Hospital, and of course it would be sinful 
to stay away, particularly as Anna is a great deal 
better, and I need no care. . . . 

Thursday, December 4th.* 

It would be only the absurd tableaux I agreed to, 
with plenty of fun, and nothing more. So I tried to 
be merry and content, and so I should have been, 
for there was plenty to talk about, and every one 

* A page is here torn from the Diary. It evidently related the be- 
ginning of an incident of which my sister and I have often heard our 
mother tell: how, after the Jackson tableaux, our aunt Miriam laugh- 
ingly staked herself in a game of cards with Will Carter — and lost. 
The sequel follows, the scene at the house of his uncle. General Carter, 
beginning in the middle of a sentence. — W. D. 


A Confederate Girl*s Diary 

was so solicitous for my comfort ; and there was Mr. 
Enders who would wheel my chair for me wherever 
I wished it, and was as kind and attentive as a 
brother. Surely my first trip should have been a gay 
one! Miriam sat down by the piano, Mr. Enders 
drew me by her, and we three sang until dark 
together. A Mr. Morse, his wife, and mother, who 
are spending a week here, were our audience. The 
first two retired at candle-light, while the latter, 
present at the play the night before, remained to the 
last. But while we sang, every noise at the parlor 
door caused us to turn with the apprehension of 
we hardly knew what. A dozen times Mr. Enders 
consulted his watch, and telegraphed his fears to me, 
though I persisted in thinking it only the fun that 
had been intended. 

Half-past six came, and with it, Mrs. Worley. 
Now, she knew better. For Dr. Dortch had come to 
see me, and was guiding me in my game of euchre 
in which I was not even as wise as my partner, Mr. 
Enders, when her note came. Instantly we put 
down our cards, while Miriam begged him to write 
and tell her the true story. He wrote and we all 
read it. Not only that, but Miriam added a post- 
script which I think was this, word for word: "Mrs. 
Worley, it is only a bet at cards, intended as the 
merest joke. There is not a word of truth in it, and 
I will consider it the greatest favor if you will 
contradict the report whenever you may hear it!" 
Explicit enough, one would think; but still she came, 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

and sent word into the parlor that one of the lad es 
present when Will made the announcement had sei t 
her contribution to the evening's fun. It turnec' 
out to be a complete bridal suit, worn by the lady 
a year ago! That was too serious a jest. Miriam 
went into the other room to speak to Mrs. Worley, 
who, cold as an icicle, refused to receive or make 
explanation, beyond '*I won't kiss you; this is too 
cruel." There was nothing to do; she returned 
laughing, but certainly feeling herself the injured 
one, and so she was. 
I , In fifteen minutes, another stir. I held my breath 

with expectation. Lydia introduced — Mr. G . 

Ten miles he had ridden through mud and water 
that freezing evening, at Will Carter's request, to 
perform the ceremony between him and Miriam. 
Lydia laughed until she could hardly introduce him. 
He, hat in hand, bowed around the convulsed circle 
with a countenance shining with the most sublimely 
vacant expression. O that man's idiotic face, and 
solemn, portentous look, brought a writhe even to 
my trembling lips! Mr. Enders would have given 
one an excellent idea of the effect produced by 
a real old piney-woods chill ; he shook as with 
suppressed laughter. But when the tremendous 
preacher (tremendous because composed of gigantic 
Nothing) turned his lugubrious face towards Mrs. 
Morse, and addressed her as Mrs. Morgan under 
the impression that she had come down to see her 
daughter married, Miriam's risibles could no longer 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

stand it, and she flew from the room in time to avoid 
a disgraceful explosion. 

I was growing frightened. Mr. Enders was lean- 
ing over my chair, and involuntarily it burst from 
me with a groan, "For God's sake, help me save 
her!" ''Hush! Lie back in your chair! I will!" 
he whispered. '* But for the love of Heaven, save my 
sister ! " " I '11 do what you will, if you will only keep 
still and not hurt yourself. I '11 do my best." It was 
all whispered, that the minister and Mrs. Morse 
might not hear. ** If it were your sister, what would 
you do?" "My God! I'd meet him on the front 
gallery and kick him out ! Then I 'd know one of us 
must die to-morrow!" "But under the circum- 
stances it is impossible for Gibbes to act!" I urged, 
while we agreed that it was the most unwarrantable 
piece of insolence ever perpetrated. While we talked, 
Gibbes had seized Miriam and, without interfering 
or advising further, advised her to keep her room 
and not meet Will. 

But I skipped the most important part. She came 
back when she had recovered her composure, and 
sat by me. Mr. Enders, when I asked what was best 
to do, whispered that to spare Will's feelings, and 
avoid a most painful scene, as well as to show that 
she had no serious intentions whatever, she should 
see that the minister was put in full possession of 
the facts before it went any farther. He felt keenly 
his unpleasant situation, and it was only our earnest 
request that induced him to remain, or give his ad- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

vice. Who should explain? Certainly not the Gene- 
ral. He thought the joke carried too far, and retired 

to his room before Mr. G came. How take 

part against his own nephew? Not Gibbes either, 
for he had gone upstairs too worried and annoyed 
to talk to any one; besides, it was his wife's cousin. 
Who then? Miriam is one woman in a thousand. 
Rising, she crossed the room slowly and as dignified 
as though she only meant to warm herself. I think 
I see her before me now, as she stood before the fire, 

facing Mr. G , looking so handsome and stylish 

in her black grenadine with the pale-green trimming, 
telling her story. Plainly, earnestly, distinctly, with- 
out hurry or embarrassment, in the neatest, pretti- 
est, most admirable speech I ever heard, she told 
everything just as it was. Bravo for Miriam ! There 
lives not the woman in this State who could do so 
painful a thing in such a beautiful way. I felt like 
hugging her. Oh, it was magnificent ! He heard her 
in surprise, but when once satisfied of its truth, he 
said, **Well, Miss Morgan, when you stand on the 
floor, when I ask if you will, it is your privilege to 
answer, *No."' Miriam is not one to do so cruel 
a thing; she is too noble to deceive him so far and 
wound him so cruelly before all, when he believed 
himself so near happiness. She said that it was 
mockery, she would not suffer him to believe for an 
instant that she meant to marry him ; if he believed 
it, he was deceiving himself wilfully, for he already 
knew that she had told him it could never be. He 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

agreed to take it only as a jest, promised that he 
would not feel hurt; and with the most admirable 
tact, Miriam, the trump (I have been playing euchre, 
excuse me), settled the minister, and the wedding, 
by her splendid behavior, with no trouble. 

A rapid step was heard in the hall; the bride- 
groom had come! I know he must have killed his 
horse. He certainly did not leave his house before 
one o'clock; it is twenty miles by the road to Clin- 
ton; he went there, procured his license, and was 
here at seven, in full costume. He bounded up- 
stairs to meet the bride-elect. 

I can fancy him going to Clinton, doubting, fear- 
ing, believing against all evidence, yet trembling; 
securing the license at last, persuading himself that 
she would not dare refuse when the deeds were 
recorded in court, and he held them in his hand ; — 
and very few women would have been brave enough, 
too; he did not know My Miriam! I can fancy the 
poor horse lashed through the heavy mire, tired, 
foaming, panting, while his strong arm urged it on, 
with whip and spur; I can hear the exulting beating 
of his heart, that wild refrain that was raging as his 
death-knell — "Mine! Mine at last!" I could hear 
it, I say. It rung in my ears all night. He held her 
in his power; she must be his; hastily, yet carefully 
he performs his toilet ; I dare say he stopped to think 
which cravat she liked best. "Mine! Mine!" the 
song is ringing in every stroke of his throbbing 
breast. Mount! Mount! Two miles fly past. He 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

sweeps through the moonlight like Death riding 
on a pale horse; yonder shine lights in the parlor; 
and that above; is it hers? He throws himself from 
his horse; his hour has come, hers too; with the 
license and minister, his own adoration — and she 
must love him too ! — he will win ! Show him the 
way to her! She is his forever now! His? My God! 
had I not reason to cry, "In God's name, save her, 
Frank!" He reaches Mrs. Carter's room, and tri- 
umphantly throws the license on her table. He is 
ready now; where is his bride? 

Some one meets him. "Will!" 

The story is told ; she is not to be won by force ; 
she has appealed to the minister; he has carried the 
jest too far. The strong man reels; he falls on the 
bed in his bridal array in agony too great for tears. 
I dare not ask what followed; they tell me it was 
awful. What madness and folly, to dream of forc- 
ing her to marry him! Why, if she had loved him, 
the high-handed proceeding would have roused the 
lion of her spirit ! He is no mate for her. He has but 
one thought, and at last words come. "Miriam! 
Miriam ! Call her, for the love of God ! " One word ! 
one look ! Oh, she will take pity on him in his misery. 
Let her come for one instant ! she cannot be so cruel ! 
she will marry him if only to save him from death, 
or worse! And fortunate it was that he was not 
armed, one of the two would have died; perhaps 
both. The heartbroken prayer goes on. The exult- 
ing "Mine! Mine!" has changed to the groan of 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

despair, "Miriam! for the love of God! come to 

And where is the bride? Gibbes has her caged in 
the next room, this one where I am now lying. He 
has advised her not to appear ; to go to bed and say 
no more. Sent to bed like a baby on her wedding 
night ! She says that she laughed aloud when the door 
closed on her. She laughing in here, he groaning in 
there, it is to be hoped they each drowned the voice 
of the other. . . . The minister said good-night. He 
disclaimed all feeling of pique ; he felt chiefly for the 
young lady — and the disappointed groom. (Ouf !) 
I sent to ask Will to come to me alone for a moment ; 
no, he could not see me; write to him. 

Slowly, as though an aged, infirm, tottering man, 
we heard him descending the steps. How different 
from the step that carried him up ! We, conscience- 
stricken, sat within, with doors closed. He was off. 
He has again mounted his horse, and the broken- 
hearted man, hardly less cruel than the expectant 
bridegroom, dashes the rowel in his side and disap- 
pears like a whirlwind. 

I can fancy mother's and Lilly's agony, when they 
hear of the wedding. All Clinton knew it last night, 
and if they did, too, I know there was as little sleep 
for them as for us. I know mother shrieked, **My 
child! My child!" while Lilly cried. How could he 
believe she meant to marry him, without even send- 
ing word to mother when he was going to the very 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

town? Bah ! What a jolly go if those two got hyster- 
ics about the supposed Moral Suicide! Glad I was 
not at the tea-party ! Well, fearing the effect of such 
a shock in mother's nervous state, Gibbes advised 
Miriam to go on the cars this evening, and convince 
her that it had not occurred, court records and 
licenses and minister to the contrary notwithstand- 
ing; so my duck, my angel, she whom I call my Peri 
with the singed wings (children who play in the fire 
must expect to be burned), set off on her pious 
errand, without the protecting arm of her bride- 

Sunday, 7th December. 

I have had a shock! While writing alone here 
(almost all have gone to church), I heard a step 
ascending the stair. What, I asked, if it should be 
Will? Then I blamed myself for supposing such a 
thing possible. Slowly it came nearer and nearer, 
I raised my head, and was greeted with a ghastly 
smile. I held out my hand. *'Will!" ''Sarah!" 
(Misery discards ceremony.) He stood before me 
the most woebegone, heartbroken man I ever saw. 

With a forced laugh he said, ''Where is my bride? 
Pshaw! I know she has gone to Clinton! I have 
come to talk to you. Was n't it a merry wedding?" 
The hollow laugh rang again. I tried to jest, but 
failed. "Sit down and let me talk to you," I said. 
He was in a wayward humor ; cut to the heart, ready 
to submit to a touch of silk, or to resist a grasp of 
iron. This was the man I had to deal with, and get 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

from him something he clung to as to — not his life, 
but — Miriam. And I know so little how to act in 
such a case, know so little about dealing gently with 
wild natures! 

He alarmed me at first. His forced laugh ceased ; 
he said that he meant to keep that license always. 
It was a joke on him yesterday, but with that in his 
possession, the tables would be turned on her. He 
would show it to her occasionally. It should keep 
her from marrying any one else. I said that it would 
be demanded, though; he must deliver it. The very 
devil shot in his eye as he exclaimed fiercely, "If 
any one dares demand it, I'll die before giving it 
up! If God Almighty came, I'd say no! I'll die 
with it first!" O merciful Father, I thought; what 
misery is to come of this jest. He must relinquish 
it. Gibbes will force him into it, or die in the 
attempt; George would come from Virginia. . . . 
Jimmy would cross the seas. . . . And I was alone 
in here to deal with such a spirit! 

I commenced gently. Would he do Miriam such a 
wrong? It was no wrong, he said ; let him follow his 
own will. " You profess to love her? " I asked. '* Pro- 
fess? Great God! how can you? I adore her! I tell 
you that, in spite of all this, I love her not more — 
that is impossible, — but as much as ever ! Look at 
my face and ask that ! " burst from him with the wild- 
est impulse. ''Very well. This girl you love, then, you 
mean to make miserable. You stand forever between 
her and her happiness, because you love her! Is 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

this love ? " He was sullenly silent. I went on : " Not 
only her happiness, but her honor is concerned. 
You who love her so, do her this foul injury." 
*' Would it affect her reputation?" he asked. "Ask 
yourself! Is it quite right that you should hold in 
your hands the evidence that she is Mrs. Carter, 
when you know she is not, and never will be? Is it 
quite honorable? " " In God's name, would it injure 
Miriam? I 'd rather die than grieve her." 

My iron was melted, but too hot to handle; I put 
it on one side, satisfied that I and I only had saved 
Miriam from injury and three brothers from blood- 
shed, by using his insane love as a lever. It does 
not look as hard here as it was in reality ; but it was 
of the hardest struggles I ever had — indeed, it was 
desperate. I had touched the right key, and satisfied 
of success, turned the subject to let him believe he 
was following his own suggestions. When I told him 
he must free Miriam from all blame, that I had 
encouraged the jest against her repeated remon- 
strances, and was alone to blame, he generously took 
it on himself. "I was so crazy about her," he said, 
"that I would have done it anyhow. I would have 
run any risk for the faintest chance of obtaining 
her"; and much more to the same purpose that, 
though very generous in him, did not satisfy my 
conscience. But he surprised me by saying that 
he was satisfied that if I had been in my room, and 
he had walked into the parlor with the license, she 
would have married him. What infatuation! He 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

says, though, that I only prevented it; that my influ- 
ence, by my mere presence, is stronger than his 
words. I don't say that is so; but if I helped save 
her, thank Heaven! 

It is impossible to say one half that passed, but 
he showed me his determination to act just as he has 
heretofore, and take it all as a joke, that no blame 
might be attached to her. "Besides, I'd rather die 
than not see her; I laugh, but you don't know what 
I suffer!" Poor fellow! I saw it in his swimming 

At last he got up to go before they returned from 
church. "Beg her to meet me as she always has. 
I told Mrs. Worley that she must treat her just the 
same, because I love her so. And — say I go to 
Clinton to-morrow to have that record effaced, and 
deliver up the license. I would not grieve her; in- 
deed, I love her too well." His voice trembled as 
well as his lips. He took my hand, saying, "You 
are hard on me. I could make her happy, I know, 
because I worship her so. I have been crazy about 
her for three years; you can't call It a mere fancy. 
Why are you against me? But God bless you! 
Good-bye!" And he was gone. 

Why? O Will, because I love my sister too much 
to see her miserable merely to make you happy ! 

Friday, 12th December. 
My cripple friend that I mentioned so far back 
continues to send me the most affecting messages. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

**He is really wretched about me; never was more 
distressed ; thinks of nothing else " ; and so on through 
the whole list. To cap the climax, he sends me word 
that he can now walk on crutches, and the first time 
he can venture in a buggy, means to call on me. 
Que le del ni'en preserve ! What could we talk about? 
"His'n" and ''her'n" several misfortunes? That's 
too bad! Every one teases me unmercifully about 
my new conquest. I can't help but be amused; and 
yet, beware, young girls, of expressing sympathy, 
even for soldiers! There is no knowing what effect 
it may produce. 

Sunday, December 14th. 
Yesterday evening, some time before sunset, Mr. 
Enders was announced, to our great surprise, as we 
knew he had been in Clinton all the week, having 
been transferred there instead of to Jackson, as he 
threatened. He was the most miserable, unhappy 
creature one could possibly imagine; even too mel- 
ancholy for me to laugh at him, which expresses 
the last degree of wretchedness. To all our questions, 
he had but one answer, that he had had the most 
dreadful attack of ''blues" ever since he was here 
Sunday; that he had waited every evening at the 
cars, expecting us, and at last, seeing that we had 
no intention of coming, he could no longer stand 
the temptation, so got permission to come down for 
a day to Port Hudson so he could come out to see 
us. . . . Before we could fairly get him cheerful, Will 
Carter and Ned Badger, who returned only this 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

week from Kentucky, entered. Will was in a bad 
humor, and wanted to vent it on us ; so after waiting 
some time, he proposed that the two young men 
should go with him, pocketing at the same moment 
the cards which had won Miriam and saying they 
would have a nice game together, and just the rarest 
old whiskey! He looked around to see the effect 
produced. We girls did not move, but Mr. Enders 
said he must really return immediately to Port 
Hudson, and start for Clinton from there in the 
night. Will thought it would be such a triumph over 
us to carry him off, that he insisted. They'd have 
a fine time! cure the blues! etc. Ned was more 
than willing; and at last Mr. Enders said, Well! he 
felt just so desperate that he did not care what 
he^did ; he believed he would go. I saw he was in 
a reckless humor, and that Will knew it, too, and 
I promised to make at least an effort to save him. 

Miriam spoke to him apart, but he said he had 
promised now; he must go. Will ran down trium- 
phant to mount his horse, calling him to follow. 
All ran out to see him off, when Frank came back 
to tell me good-bye. I seized the opportunity, and 
did n't I plead! I told him I would not ask him to 
stay here, though he knew we would be happy to 
have him stay ; and begged him to go back to the 
camp, and leave Will alone. ... I suggested other 
resources; talked of his mother whom he idolizes, 
pleaded like a grandmother ; and just as I wound up, 
came Will's voice from below, "Why the devil don't 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

you come, Enders? Hurry!" He moved a step, 
looked at me; I dropped my head without a word. 
Here I must confess to the most consummate piece 
of acting; I am sorry, but as long as it saved him 
from doing what I knew he would have cause to 
regret, I am not ashamed of having tried it. Will 
called impatiently again, as he stood hesitating 
before me; I did not say, "Stay," I just gave the 
faintest sigh imaginable. . . . He went down and told 
Will he would not go! Of course. Will went off in 
a rage with us. 

Friday, December 26th, 1862. 

Monday Dr. Woods and Mr. Van Ingen stopped, 
just from their regiment in Kentucky and on their 
way home, and I begged so hard to see the Doctor, 
and promised so faithfully to retire if I suffered too 
much, that Mrs. Badger yielded, like an angel, and 
I carried my point. The Doctor! We looked in vain 
at each other; I for my dandy friend in irreproach- 
able broadcloth, immaculate shirt bosoms and per- 
fect boots; he for the brusque, impulsive girl who 
in ordinary circumstances would have run dancing 
into the parlor, would have given him half -glad, half- 
indifferent greeting, and then found either occasion 
to laugh at him or would have turned elsewhere for 
amusement. We looked, I say, in vain. Before me 
stood my pattern of neatness in a rough uniform of 
brown homespun. A dark flannel shirt replaced the 
snowy cambric one, and there was neither cravat nor 
collar to mark the boundary line between his dark 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

face and the still darker material. And the dear 
little boots! O ye gods and little fishes! they were 
clumsy, and mud-spattered! If my mouth twitched 
with laughter as I silently commented, the Doctor's 
did not! I, who always danced on my way, came in 
lying back on my pillows, and wheeled in by a serv- 
ant. The Doctor's sympathy was really touching, 
and poor consolation he gave when he heard the 
story. "You will recover, to a certain extent; but 
will feel it more or less all your life." 

I am the ruin of all these puns ; the gentlemen will 
hate me; I must learn to ignore their conundrums 
until they answer them themselves, and to wait 
patiently for the pun instead of catching it and 
laughing before it is half -spoken. Why can't I do 
as the others do? There was Mr. Van Ingen with 
his constant stream of them, that I anticipated 
several times. He said to me, '' If I were asked what 
town in Louisiana I would rather be in this evening, 
what would my answer be?" I should have looked 
perfectly innocent, and politely inquisitive; but I 
did neither. I saw the answer instantly, and 
laughed. "Ah, you have guessed! I can see it in 
your eyes!" he said. Of course I had, but I told him 
I was afraid to say it, for fear he might think I was 
flattering myself. Then we both laughed. The 
place he referred to was Bayou, Sarah, . . . 

Yesterday, being a beautiful day, I was carried 
down in honor of Christmas, to meet Captain Fenner 


'A Confederate Girl's Diary 

and Mr. Duggan who were to dine with us. The cars 
had brought Miriam a beautiful little set of collars 
and cuffs from Dellie, and the oddest, sweetest little 
set for me, from Morgan, for our Christmas gift. 
It is all Lilly. . . . 

We had an exquisite Christmas gift the night 
before, a magnificent serenade, a compliment from 
Colonel Breaux. It very singularly happened that 
Miriam, Anna, and Ned Badger were sitting up in 
the parlor, watching alone for Christmas, when the 
band burst forth at the steps, and startled them into 
a stampede upstairs. But Gibbes, who came with 
the serenaders, caught them and brought them 
back into the parlor, where there were only eight 
gentlemen ; and in this novel, unheard-of style, only^ 
these two girls, with Gibbes to play propriety, enter- 
tained all these people at midnight while the band 
played without. . . . 

I commenced writing to-day expressly to speak 
of our pleasant Christmas; yet it seems as though 
I would write about anything except that, since I 
have not come to it yet. Perhaps it is because I feel 
I could not do it justice. At least, I can say who 
was there. At sunset came Captain Bradford and 
Mr. Conn, the first stalking in with all the assurance 
which a handsome face and fine person can lend, the 
second following with all the timidity of a first 
appearance. . . . Again, after a long pause, the door 
swung open, and enter Mr. Halsey, who bows and 
takes the seat on the other side of me, and Mr. Brad- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

ford, of Colonel Allen memory, once more returned 
to his regiment, who laughs, shakes hands all around, 
and looks as happy as a schoolboy just come home 
for the holidays, who has never-ending visions of 
plumcakes, puddings, and other sweet things. While 
all goes on merrily, another rap comes, and enter 
Santa Claus, dressed in the old uniform of the Mexi- 
can War, with a tremendous cocked hat, and pre- 
posterous beard of false hair, which effectually con- 
ceal the face, and but for the mass of tangled short 
curls no one could guess that the individual was 
Bud. It was a device of the General's, which took 
us all by surprise. Santa Claus passes slowly around 
the circle, and pausing before each lady, draws from 
his basket a cake which he presents with a bow, 
while to each gentleman he presents a wineglass 
replenished from a most suspicious-looking black 
bottle which also reposes there. Leaving us all 
wonder and laughter, Santa Claus retires with a 
basket much lighter than it had been at his en- 
trance. . . . Then follow refreshments, and more and 
more talk and laughter, until the clock strikes 
twelve, when all these ghosts bid a hearty good- 
night and retire. 

January ist, Thursday, 1863. 

1863! Why I have hardly become accustomed to 
writing '62 yet! Where has this year gone? With 
all its troubles and anxieties, it is the shortest I ever 
spent! '61 and '62 together would hardly seem three 
hundred and sixty-five days to me. Well, let time 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

fly. Every hour brings us nearer our freedom, and we 
are two years nearer peace now than we were when 
South CaroHna seceded. That is one consolation. . . . 
I learn, to my unspeakable grief, that the State 
House is burned down. 

Sunday, January 4th. 
One just from Baton Rouge tells us that my pre- 
sentiment about our house is verified; Yailkees do 
inhabit it, a Yankee colonel and his wife. They say 
they look strangely at home on our front gallery, 
pacing up and down. . . . And a stranger and a 
Yankee occupies our father's place at the table where 
he presided for thirty-one years. . . . And the old 
lamp that lighted up so many eager, laughing faces 
around the dear old table night after night; that 
with its great beaming eye watched us one by one 
as we grew up and left our home; that witnessed 
every parting and every meeting ; by which we sang, 
read, talked, danced, and made merry; the lamp 
that Hal asked for as soon as he beheld the glitter- 
ing chandeliers of the new innovation, gas; the lamp 
that all agreed should go to me among other treas- 
ures, and be cased in glass to commemorate the 
old days, — our old lamp has passed into the hands 
of strangers who neither know nor care for its his- 
tory. And mother's bed (which, with the table and 
father's little ebony stand, alone remained unin- 
jured) belongs now to a Yankee woman! Father 
prized his ebony table. He said he meant to have a 
gold plate placed in its centre, with an inscription, 





A Confederate Girl's Diary 

and I meant to have it done myself when he died so 
soon after. A Yankee now sips his tea over it, just 
where some beau or beauty of the days of Charles II 
may have rested a laced sleeve or dimpled arm. . . .^ 
Give the devil his due. Bless Yankees for one 
thing; they say they tried hard to save our State 

1 This "little ebony table" — which happened to be mahogany so 
darkened with age as to be recognized only by an expert many years 
after the war — and a mahogany rocking-chair are the two pieces of 
furniture which survived the sacking of Judge Morgan's house and 
remain to his descendants to-day. Such other furniture as could 
be utilized was appropriated by negroes. — W. D. 


From my sick bed, this 15th day of January, 1863. 
LiNWOOD, Thursday. 

Am I not glad to get another blank book ! On Sun- 
day my old one gave out, to my unspeakable distress, 
and I would have been dSsolSe if I had not had three 
or four letters to answer, as writing is my chief occu- 
pation during my tedious illness. O that unfortunate 
trip to Port Hudson! Have I not cause to remember 
and regret it? Two months last Sunday since I have 
been lying here a cripple, and I am not yet able to 
take a step. However, on Monday mother sent Dr. 
Woods as my fourth physician, and I have made up 
my mind that either he or Nature will effect a cure 
before long. Wonder how it feels to walk? It makes 
me weary to see others try it; I always fear that the 
exertion must be very painful — an absurd idea 
which I endeavor to keep to myself. . . . 

Monday, January 19th. 

That blessed Mr. Halsey like an angel of mercy 
sent me "Kate Coventry" yesterday, just when I 
was pining for a bonne bouche of some kind, I did not 
care what, whether a stick of candy or an equally 
palatable book. It is delightful to have one's wishes 
realized as soon as they are made. I think it rather 
caused me to relent towards Mr. Halsey; I did not 


A Confederate Girl's Diary | 

feel half so belligerent as I did just the Sunday 
before. At all events, I felt well enough to go down in 
the evening when he called again, though I had been 
too indisposed to do so on a previous occasion. (O 
Sarah !) 

Wheeled into the parlor, there I beheld not my 
friend alone, but several other individuals whose pres- 
ence rather startled me. I found myself undergoing 
the terrors of an introduction to a Colonel Locke, 
and to my unspeakable surprise, Major Buckner was 
claiming the privilege of shaking hands with me, and 
Colonel Steadman was on the other side, and — was 
that Mr. Halsey? O never! The Mr. Halsey I knew 
was shockingly careless of his dress, never had his 
hair smooth ; let his beard grow as it would, and wore 
a most ferocious slouched hat. This one had taken 
more than one look at the glass, a thing I should have 
imagined the other incapable of doing. He had be- 
stowed the greatest care and attention on his dress, 
had brought his beard within reasonable limits, had 
combed his hair with the greatest precision, and held 
lightly in one hand an elegant little cap that I am 
sure must be provokingly becoming. Why, he was 
handsome! Ah qa! some mistake, surely, I cried to 
myself. My Mr. Halsey was not, certainly ! " If it be 
I, as I hope it may be, I 've a little dog at home who 
will surely know me," I kept repeating. I resolved to 
test the little dog's sagacity, so I pretended to know 
this apparition, and thanked him for the pleasure he 
had afforded me by sending me "Kate Coventry." 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

He looked conscious and pleased! The "little dog" 
had found out his identity ! I was more puzzled than 
ever. How account for this wondrous change? . . . 
But metaphorphosed "John" talked! He was ex- 
patiating at a most extraordinary rate, and had 
been doing so for an hour after supper, when Gibbes 
drew his chair near me (Gibbes likes to hear what 
visitors say to his little sister) ; whereupon timid Mr. 
Halsey drew his slightly back, and very soon after 
asked for his horse. O Gibbes ! you wretch ! what an 
amusing t^te-a-t^te you spoiled, you innocent! And 
the General, of course, only waited for his exit before 
beginning to tease me unmercifully. I must put an 
end to this; they shall not bring such unjust charges 
against him. Yet how am I to make them see reason ? 


I am more pleased to-night than I could well ex- 
press. I have been talking to an old and dear friend, 
no other than Will Pinckney! His arrival was as 
unexpected as it was agreeable. The cry of "Here 
comes Will Pinckney" sent me back to August, '60, 
when the words were always the forerunner of fun 
and frolic. . . . He told me what he called his secrets; 
of how he had been treated by the War Department 
(which has, indeed, behaved shockingly towards the 


Thursday, 226. January. 

What a rush of visitors last night! One would 
imagine they had all come by appointment, ex- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

pressly to have an impromptu dance, which they 
certainly enjoyed, by the way. There was little Cap- 
tain C , the Susceptible and Simple, who so in- 
nocently says ''I seen" and "I done it," without 
the faintest suspicion of the peculiarity, and looks 
so sweet, and guileless, and amiable, and soft, that I 
can't help wondering if he would be sticky if I touch 
him. Indeed, I think his hands stick, at least; for 
when he told me good-bye, it was with the greatest 
difficulty that I extracted mine from his grasp (he 
having forgotten to return it during a long farewell 
address), and even when I succeeded in recovering 
it, by being almost rude, it was not released without 
a very sensible pressure from the putty, or whatever 
it is that is so tenacious. I am afraid it is rather a 
habit of his, which has lost all force or meaning by 
being too frequently repeated. Then there was a 
horrid little wretch, vulgar and underbred (to my 

idea), to whom I was introduced as Mr. G . . . . 

But here is Lieutenant Dupr6, whom I have not yet 
introduced, though we have met before. Tall, good- 
looking, a fine form, and not a sparkling face, I am 
inclined to believe that his chief merit lies in his legs. 
Certainly when he dances he puts his best foot for- 
ward, and knows it, too. Miriam, who adores danc- 
ing, is flirting openly with this divinity of the 
"Deux Temps" and polka, and skims around with 
his arm about her (position sanctified by the lively 
air Lydia is dashing off on the piano) with a grace 
and lightness only equaled by his own. And Lieu- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

tenant Duggan, with his good, honest, clever face 
which so unmistakably proclaims him "Tom," we 
know already, so no further description is needed. 
Captain Fenner, too, is well known, with his short, 
though graceful figure, his good-humored, intelligent 
face, irresistible imperial, and that roguish expres- 
sion about that large mouth which displays such 
handsome teeth, and seems to say, "Don't trust 
me too far." 

Little Captain C tells me a long story about 

how Colonel Steadman had come to him and asked 
if he believed it possible that Miss Morgan had put 
her life and happiness in the hands of a homoeopathic 
physician; how he considered her fate sealed; and 
what a shame it was to trifle with such a sad affair, 
at my age, too, ruined for life ! It was dreadful ! Too 
sad! Hereupon, as continuing the story, he remarks 
that being asked his opinion by the Colonel, he 
agreed perfectly and thought with him it was an 
appalling sacrifice, and oh, all sorts of things! Any- 
thing, just to make me miserable and unhappy! 

Well, what is written will come to pass. First 
comes a doctor with a butchering apparatus who 
cups and bleeds me unmercifully, says I '11 walk ten 
days after, and exit. Enter another. Croton oil and 
strychnine pills, that '11 set me up in two weeks. And 
exit. Enter a third. Sounds my bones and pinches 
them from my head to my heels. Tells of the prob- 
ability of a splinter of bone knocked off my left hip, 
the possibility of paralysis in the leg, the certainty 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

of a seriously injured spine, and the necessity for 
the most violent counter-irritants. Follow blisters 
which sicken even disinterested people to look at, 
and a trifle of suffering which I come very near ac- 
knowledging to myself. Enter the fourth. Inhuman 
butchery ! wonder they did not kill you ! Take three 
drops a day out of this tiny bottle, and presto! in 
two weeks you are walking! A fifth, in the character 
of a friend, says, "My dear young lady, if you do, 
your case is hopeless.'* What wonder that I am 
puzzled? A wiser head would be confused. I want 
to believe all, but how is it possible? "What will be, 
will be." 

Bon ! here comes a note from Mr. Halsey ! Ahqa I 
Lend him " Zaidee " ? Certainly ! Here is a postscript 
three times the length of the note; voyons. Will Miss 
Sarah make the annotations he requested, in " Kate 
Coventry"? He is anxious to have the lady's opin- 
ion on the questions of taste and propriety which so 
frequently occur in the book. ... I '11 not attempt 
such a display; yet there are several passages I am 
dying to mark. One in particular, speaking of the 
peculiarities of men, of how they are always more at 
ease when they have their hands employed, drawing 
confidence and conversation from a paper-knife and 
book to tumble, a pair of scissors and a thread to 
snip, or even from imbibing the head of a cane, I am 
anxious to call his attention to. If I dared add to 
the list, "or a cord and tassel to play with"! This 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

nervous Mr. Halsey is wearing out my pretty blue 
tassel that Frank admires so much; he says he can 
talk better when he dangles it. Think the hint might 
save it in the future! 

Friday night, January 23d. 

I am particularly happy to-day, for we have just 
heard from Brother for the first time since last July. 
And he is well, and happy, and wants us to come to 
him in New Orleans so he can take care of us, and no 
longer be so anxious for our safety. If we only could ! 
— To be sure the letter is from a gentleman who is 
just out of the city, who says he writes at Brother's 
earnest request; still it is something to hear, even 
indirectly. One hundred and fifty dollars he encloses 
with the request that mother will draw for any 
amount she wishes. Dear Brother, money is the 
least thing we need ; first of all, we are dying for want 
of a home. If we could only see ours once more! 

During this time we have heard incidentally of 
Brother ; of his having taken the oath of allegiance — 
which I am confident he did not do until Butler's 
October decree — of his being a prominent Union 
man, of his being a candidate for the Federal Con- 
gress, and of his withdrawal ; and finally of his hav- 
ing gone to New York and Washington, from which 
places he only returned a few weeks since. That is 
all we ever heard. A very few people have been inso- 
lent enough to say to me, "Your brother is as good 
a Yankee as any.'* My blood boils as I answer, " Let 
him be President Lincoln if he will, and I would 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

love him the same." And so I would. PoHtics can- 
not come between me and my father's son. What he 
thinks right, is right, for him, though not for me. If 
he is for the Union, it is because he beHeves it to be 
in the right, and I honor him for acting from convic- 
tion, rather than from dread of pubHc opinion. If he 
were to take up the sword against us to-morrow, 
Miriam and I, at least, would say, "If he thinks it 
his duty, he is right; we will not forget he is our 
father's child." And we will not. From that sad 
day when the sun was setting for the first time on our 
father's grave, when the great, strong man sobbed 
in agony at the thought of what we had lost, and 
taking us both on his lap put his arms around us and 
said, "Dear little sisters, don't cry; I will be father 
and brother, too, now," he has been both. He re- 
spects our opinions, we shall respect his. I confess 
myself a rebel, body and soul. Confess? I glory in it! 
Am proud of being one; would not forego the title 
for any other earthly one! 

Though none could regret the dismemberment of 
our old Union more than I did at the time, though I 
acknowledge that there never was a more unneces- 
sary war than this in the beginning, yet once in 
earnest, from the secession of Louisiana I date my 
change of sentiment. I have never since then looked 
back; forward, forward! is the cry; and as the 
Federal States sink each day in more appalling folly 
and disgrace, I grow prouder still of my own country 
and rejoice that we can no longer be confounded 


A Confederate Girl*s Diary 

with a nation which shows so little fortitude in 
calamity, so little magnanimity in its hour of tri- 
umph. Yes! I am glad we are two distinct tribes ! I 
am proud of my country; only wish I could fight in 
the ranks with our brave soldiers, to prove my en- 
thusiasm; would think death, mutilation, glorious 
in such a cause; cry, "War to all eternity before we 
submit." But if I can't fight, being unfortunately a 
woman, which I now regret for the first time in my 
life, at least I can help in other ways. What fingers 
can do" in knitting and sewing for them, I have done 
with the most intense delight; what words of en- 
couragement and praise could accomplish, I have 
tried on more than one bold soldier boy, and not 
altogether in vain; I have lost my home and all its 
dear contents for our Southern Rights, have stood 
on its deserted hearthstone and looked at the ruin of 
all I loved — without a murmur, almost glad of the 
sacrifice if it would contribute its mite towards the 
salvation of the Confederacy. And so it did, indi- 
rectly; for the battle of Baton Rouge which made 
the Yankees, drunk with rage, commit outrages in 
our homes that civilized Indians would blush to 
perpetrate, forced them to abandon the town as 
untenable, whereby we were enabled to fortify Port 
Hudson here, which now defies their strength. True 
they have reoccupied our town ; that Yankees live in 
our house; but if our generals said burn the whole 
concern, would I not put the torch to our home 
readily, though I love its bare skeleton still? In- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

deed I would, though I know what it is to be with- 
out one. Don't Lilly and mother live in a wretched 
cabin in vile Clinton while strangers rest under our 
father's roof? Yankees, I owe you one for that! 

Well! I boast myself Rebel, sing "Dixie," shout 
Southern Rights, pray for God's blessing on our 
cause, without ceasing, and would not live in this 
country if by any possible calamity we should be 
conquered; I am only a woman, and that is the way 
I feel. Brother may differ. What then? Shall I re- 
spect, love him less? No! God bless him! Union or 
Secession, he is always my dear, dear Brother, and 
tortures could not make me change my opinion. 

Friday, January 30th. 

A whole week has passed since I opened this book, 
a week certainly not spent in idleness, if not a very 
interesting one. For I have kept my room almost 
all the time, leaving Miriam and Anna to entertain 
their guests alone. Even when Mr. Halsey called on 
Sunday, I declined going down. Why, I wonder? I 
felt better than usual, was in a splendid humor for 
talking, yet — my excuses took my place, and I lay 
quietly in bed, dreaming by the firelight, and singing 
hymns to myself. Once in a while the thought would 
occur to me, "Why don't I go down?" But it was 
always answered with a wry face, and the hymn 
went on. Yet I knew he had come expecting to see me. 

On the table near me stood a bunch of snowdrops 
that Miriam had culled for her beloved Captain Brad- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

ford. An idea struck me so suddenly that my voice 
died instantly. The spirit of mischief had taken pos- 
session of me. Laughing to myself, I caught them up, 
drew three long bright hairs from my head — they 
looked right gold-y in the firelight — and tied them 
around the flowers — I thought I should never get 
to the end while wrapping them. Thus secured, a 
servant carried them into the parlor with ''Miss 
Sarah's compliments to Mr. Halsey.'* Poor Miriam's 
cry of surprise at finding her flowers thus appropri- 
ated, reached my ears and caused me to laugh again. 
It was rather cool! But then it was better fun than 
going down. And then did n't it flatter his vanity! 

men ! you vain creatures ! A woman would receive 
a whole bunch of hair and forty thousand bouquets, 
without having her head turned ; while you — Well ! 

1 heard enough from Miriam to amuse me, at all 

And a day or two after, Captain Bradford had a 
long story to tell her — what he called a good joke 
on Mr. Halsey. Of how he had found him kissing 
three long bright hairs in rapture, and on asking 
where he got them, received as an answer — "From 
the God-hies sedest little angel that ever wore long 
hair!" This hlessedest little angel did not intend it 
as a souvenir, and is consequently annoyed about 
stories of three hairs, intended as a string and nothing 
more, being wrapped in tissue paper and treasured 
up — so goes the tale — instead of being thrown 
into the fire as I certainly expected. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 
• •<••>•••« 

Last night Anna and Miriam sat on my bed at 
twilight, playing cards while I tried my guitar, when 

Captain C , Major Spratley, and Lieutenant 

Dupr6 were announced. Quick, down went the 
cards as they sprang to their feet to throw off their 
neat calicoes. Where was Miriam's comb, and grena- 
dine, and collar, and belt? Good gracious! where 
was her buckle? On the bureau, mantel, washstand, 
or under them? "Please move a moment, Anna!" 
In such a hurry, do! There was Anna, "Wait! I'm 
in a hurry, too! Where is that pomatum? You Mal- 
vina! if you don't help me, I '11 — There! take that, 
Miss! Now fly around!" Malvina, with a faint, 
dingy pink suddenly brought out on her pale sea- 
green face, did fly around, while I, hushing my guitar 
in the tumult, watch each running over the other, in 
silent amazement, wondering if order can come out 
of such confusion, and if the people downstairs were 
worth all that trouble. 

When I finally made my appearance in the parlor, 
it was with the conviction that I would have a dread- 
fully stupid time, and Captain C too. However, 

though at first I had both, soon only the last was 
left me. Some one suggested calling the Spirits, 
which game I had imagined "played out" long ago; 
and we derived a great deal of amusement from it. 
Six of us around a small table invoked them with 
the usual ceremony. There was certainly no trick 
played; every finger was above the board, and all 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

feet sufficiently far from the single leg to insure fair 
play. Every rap seemed to come exactly from the 
centre of the table, and was painfully distinct 
though not loud. When asked if there was a writing 

medium present, it indicated Captain C . I 

observed that he seemed averse to trying it, but 
yielded at length and took the pencil in his hand. 

Our first question, of course, was. How long before 
Peace? Nine months was written. Which foreign 
nation would recognize us first? France, then Eng- 
land, in eight months. Who was Miriam to marry? 
Captain of a battery. "Who?" we all shouted. 
" Captain C. E. Fenner " ^ was written again. When? 

In ten months. I believe Captain C to be 

honest about it. He seemed to have no control over 
his hand, and his arm trembled until it became 
exceedingly painful. Of course, I do not actually 
believe in Spiritualism; but there is certainly some- 
thing in it one cannot understand; and Mrs. Bad- 
ger's experience is enough to convert one, alone. 
Each was startled in turn by extraordinary reve- 
lations concerning themselves. Gibbes was to be 
transferred to the Trans-Mississippi Department, * 
George would come home, and all the gentlemen had 
the name and address of future sweethearts written 
in full. The question was asked, "Who will Sarah 
Morgan fall in love with?" Every eye was on the 

* Note by Mrs. Dawson in 1896: wrong — she married Lieuten- 
ant Dupre. 

^ Note by Mrs. Dawson: he was transferred in his coffin. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

pencil as a capital "H" was traced. As the "a" fol- 
lowed, I confess to a decided disgust at the Spirits, 
and was about to beg it might be discontinued when 
the rest followed rapidly until in three separate lines 
appeared, ''Has not seen him yet" (here came an 
exclamation of surprise from Lydia and Miriam, 
who knew how true it was, and even Gibbes looked 
astonished) . "Captain, in Virginia. Captain Charles 
Lewis." ^ A perfect buzz of comments followed; 
every one asked every one else if they knew any one 
by that name, and every one said no. Gibbes was 
decidedly more interested than I. That odd ''Has 
not seen him yet," expressing so exactly the fact that 
I pride myself upon, carried conviction in the truth 
of Spirits, almost. "Who will she marry?" asked 
Gibbes. (He has a pet belief, in which I encourage 
him, that I will never marry.) Again came the name 
as distinctly as before, of Captain Charles Lewis. 
"When will she marry him?" "In June, 1864," was 
the answer. I was to meet him in New Orleans. 
November followed, after a period. 

Of course, the Spirits produced some slight com- 
motion which made the time pass pleasantly until 
Miriam began to waltz with her Monsieur Deux 

Temps. Then Captain C told me why he had 

been unwilling to try it; of how his father believed 
so strongly in it that he had very nearly been made 

* Captain F. W. Dawson, whom Sarah Morgan eventually mar- 
ried, was at that time a captain in Virginia, and she had not yet seen 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

crazy by it, and how he had sworn to abandon the 
practice of consulting them, seeing the effect pro- 
duced. He did not beHeve in Spirits himself; but 
could not account for the influence he was under, 
when he saw his hand involuntarily write things he 
was totally unconscious of, himself. However, he 
proposed that we two should have a private con- 
sultation with them, which I opened by asking when 
I should again see my home. I know he did not know 
anything about it; but on the paper appeared — 
**Five months have gone — five months more." It 
is just five months since I did see home. I think it 
was the 26th of August that Charlie took me there. 
He asked if he should ever marry. "Never. You 
will be jilted by the lady you love in Missouri, Miss 
Christina P ." I pointed it out to him, as he hap- 
pened to be looking at me when it was written. It 
surprised him into saying, **Why, I'm engaged to 
her!" I asked whose spirit was communicating 
with us. He was watching the dance when his hand 

wrote, ** John C ." I laughed and asked if there 

was such a person, pointing to the name. He looked 
actually sick as he said, '*Yes, my brother; he is 
dead." I had not the heart to talk of Spirits again; 
so we took to writing poetry together, every alter- 
nate line falling to my lot. It made an odd jingle, the 
sentimental first line being turned to broad farce by 
my absurd second one. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

February 5th, Thursday night. 

A letter from Lavinia has come to me all the way 
from California. How happy it made me, though 
written so long ago! Only the 30th of June! Lavinia 
has changed, changed. There is a sad, worn-out 
tone in every line; it sounds old, as though she had 
lived years and years ago and was writing as though 
she were dead and buried long since. Lavinia, whose 
letters used to keep me in sunshine for weeks at a 
time! Well! no wonder she is sad. All these dreary 
years from home, with so faint a hope of ever again 
seeing it, and all these sorrows and troubles that 
have befallen us, combined, are not calculated to 
make her happy. But I wish she had kept her cheer- 
ful heart. Well, perhaps it is easier for us to be 
cheerful and happy, knowing the full extent of our 
calamities, than it is for her, knowing so little and 
having just cause to fear so much. Courage! Better 
days are coming! And then I '11 have many a funny 
tale to tell her of the days when the Yankees kept us 
on the qui vive, or made us run for our lives. It will 
"tell" merrily; be almost as lively as those running 
days were. One of my chief regrets over my helpless- 
ness is that I will not be able to run in the next stam- 
pede. I used to enjoy it. Oh, the days gone by, the 
dreary days, when, cut off from our own people, and 
surrounded by Yankees, we used to catch up any 
crumb of news favorable to our side that was 
smuggled into town, and the Brunots and I would 
write each other little dispatches of consolation 


A Confederate Girl's Diary ' 

and send them by little negroes! Those were dismal 
days. Yet how my spirits would rise when the long 
roll would beat, and we would prepare for flight! 

Monday, February 9th, 1863. Night. 

A letter from my dear little Jimmy ! How glad I 
am, words could not express. This is the first since 
he arrived in England, and now we know what 
has become of him at last. While awaiting the 
completion of the ironclad gunboat to which he 
has been appointed, like a trump he has put him- 
self to school, and studies hard, which is evident 
from the great improvement he already exhibits in 
his letter. . . . 

My delight at hearing from Jimmy is overcast by 
the bad news Lilly sends of mother's health. I have 
been unhappy about her for a long while; her health 
has been wretched for three months; so bad, that 
during all my long illness she has never been with 
me after the third day. I was never separated from 
mother for so long before; and I am homesick, and 
heartsick about her. Only twenty miles apart, and 
she with a shocking bone felon in her hand and that 
dreadful cough, unable to come to me, whilst I am 
lying helpless here, as unable to get to her. I feel 
right desperate about it. This evening Lilly writes 
of her having chills and fevers, and looking very, very 
badly. So Miriam started off instantly to see her. 
My poor mother ! She will die if she stays in Clinton, 
I know she will ! 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Wednesday, February i8th. 

Gibbes has gone back to his regiment. I can't say 
how dreary I felt when he came to tell me good-bye. 
I did not mean to cry ; but how could I help it when 
he put his arms around me? . . . 

Sunday, February 22d, 1863. * 

Mother has come to me ! O how glad I was to see 
her this morning ! And the Georgia project, which I 
dared not speak of for fear it should be mere talk and 
nothing more, is a reality. — Yes ! we are actually 
going! I can hardly believe that such good fortune 
as getting out of that wretched Clinton really awaits 
us. Perhaps I shall not like Augusta either ; a stran- 
ger in a strange city is not usually enchanted with 
everything one beholds; but still — a change of 
scene — a new country — new people — it is worth 
while! Shall we really go? Will some page in this 
book actually record "Augusta, Georgia"? No! I 
dare not believe it I Yet the mere thought has given 
me strength within the last two weeks to attempt 
to walk. Learning to walk at my age ! Is it not amus- 
ing? But the smallest baby knows more about it 
than I did at first. Of course, I knew one foot was to 
be put before the other ; but the question was how it 
was to be done when they would not go? I have con- 
quered that difficulty, however, and can now walk 
almost two yards, if some one holds me fast. 

Sunset. Will [Pinckney] has this instant left. 
Ever since dinner he has been vehemently opposing 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

the Georgia move, insisting that it will cost me my 
life, by rendering me a confirmed cripple. He says he 
could take care of me, but no one else can, so I must 
not be moved. I am afraid his arguments have 
about shaken mother's resolution. Pshaw ! it will do 
me good! I must go. It will not do to remain here. 
Twenty-seven thousand Yankees are preparing to 
march on Port Hudson, and this place will certainly 
be either occupied by them, or burned. To go to 
Clinton is to throw myself in their hands, so why not 
one grand move to Augusta? 

Monday, February 23d. 

Here goes! News has been received that the 
Yankees are already packed, ready to march against 
us at any hour. If I was up and well, how my heart 
would swell with exultation. As it is, it throbs so 
with excitement that I can scarcely lie still. Hope 
amounts almost to presumption at Port Hudson. 
They are confident that our fifteen thousand can 
repulse twice the number. Great God ! — I say it 
with all reverence — if we could defeat them ! If we 
could scatter, capture, annihilate them! My heart 
beats but one prayer — Victory ! I shall grow wild 
repeating it. In the mean time, though, Lin wood is 
in danger. This dear place, my second home; its 
loved inhabitants ; think of their being in such peril ! 
Oh, I shall cry heartily if harm comes to them ! But 
I must leave before. No use of leaving my bones for 
the Yankees to pick; better sing ** Dixie " in Georgia. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

To-morrow, consequently, I go to that earthly para- 
dise, Clinton, thence to be re-shipped (so goes the 
present programme) to Augusta in three days. And 
no time for adieux! Wonder who will be surprised, 
who vexed, and who will cry over the unforeseen 
separation? Not a single ** good-bye"! Nothing — 
except an old brass button that Mr. Halsey gave me 
as a souvenir in case he should be killed in the com- 
ing assault. It is too bad. Ah! Destiny! Destiny! 
Where do you take us? During these two trying 
years, I have learned to feel myself a mere puppet 
in the hands of a Something that takes me here 
to-day, to-morrow there, always unexpectedly, and 
generally very unwillingly, but at last leads me 
somewhere or other, right side up with care, after 
a thousand troubles and distresses. The hand of 
Destiny is on me now; where will it lead me? 

Tuesday [February] 24th. 

Meeting Miriam by mere accident on the road 
last evening and hearing of our surprising journey to 
Georgia, Mr. Halsey came to spend a last evening 
with us, and say good-bye. What a deluge of regrets, 
hopes, fears, etc. Perfectly overwhelming. Why had 
I not told him of it the night before? All our friends 
would be so disappointed at not having an opportu- 
nity of saying good-bye. If the Yankees would only 
postpone their attack so he might accompany us! 
But no matter; he would come on in two months, 
and meet us there. And would we not write to him? 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Thank you! Miriam may, but I shall hardly do so! 
We had such a pleasant evening together, talking 
over our trip. Then we had a dozen songs on the 
guitar, gay, sad, and sentimental; then he gave me a 
sprig of jessamine as a keepsake, and I ripped open 
my celebrated "running-bag" to get a real for true 
silver five cents — a perfect curiosity in these days 
— which I gave him in exchange, and which he 
promised to wear on his watch-chain. He and Miriam 
amused themselves examining the contents of my 
sack and laughing at my treasures, the wretches! 
Then came — good-bye. I think he was sorry to see 
us go. Well! he ought to miss us! Ah! these fare- 
wells! To-day I bid adieu to Linwood. "It may be 
for years, and it may be forever!" This good-bye 

will cost me a sigh. 

Wednesday, February 25th. 

Here we are still, in spite of our expectations. 
Difficulty on difficulty arose, and an hour before the 
cars came, it was settled that mother should go to 
Clinton and make the necessary arrangements, and 
leave us to follow in a day or two. Two days more! 
Miriam no more objected than I did, so mother went 
alone. Poor Miriam went to bed soon after, very ill. 
So ill that she lay groaning in bed at dusk, when a 
stir was heard in the hall below, and Colonel Stead- 
man, Major Sprat ley, and Mr. Dupr6 were an- 
nounced. Presto ! up she sprang, and flew about in 
the most frantic style, emptying the trunk on the 
floor to get her prettiest dress, and acting as though 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

she had never heard of pains and groans. When we 
leave, how much I shall miss the fun of seeing her 
and Anna running over each other in their excite- 
ment of dressing for their favorites. Anna's first 
exclamation was, ''Ain't you glad you did n't go!" 
and certainly we were not sorry, from mere compas- 
sion; for what would she have done with all three? 
If I laughed at their extra touches to their dresses, 
it did not prevent me from bestowing unusual atten- 
tion on my own. And by way of bravado, when I 
was carried down, I insisted on Mrs. Badger lending 
me her arm, to let me walk into the parlor and prove 
to Colonel Steadman that in spite of his prophecies 
I was able to take a few steps at least. 

His last words, ''You won't go, will you? Think 
once more!" sent me upstairs wondering, thinking, 
undecided, and unsatisfied, hardly knowing what to 
do, or what to say. Every time I tried to sleep, 
those calm, deep, honest gray eyes started up before 
my closed ones, and that earnest "You won't go, will 
you? Think once more!" rang in my ears like a sol- 
emn warning. Hopes of seeing Georgia grew rather 
faint, that night. Is it lawful to risk my life? But 
is it not better to lose it while believing that I have 
still a chance of saving it by going, than to await cer- 
tain death calmly and unresisting in Clinton? I'd 
rather die struggling for this life, this beautiful, 
loved, blessed life that God has given me! 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

March loth, Tuesday. 

I had so many nice things to say — which now, 
alas, are knocked forever from my head — when 
news came that the Yankees were advancing on us, 
and were already within fifteen miles. The panic 
which followed reminded me forcibly of our running 
days in Baton Rouge. Each one rapidly threw into 
trunks all clothing worth saving, with silver and 
valuables, to send to the upper plantation. I sprang 
up, determined to leave instantly for Clinton so 
mother would not be alarmed for our safety; but 
before I got halfway dressed, Helen Carter came in, 
and insisted on my remaining, declaring that my 
sickness and inability to move would prove a pro- 
tection to the house, and save it from being burned 
over their heads. Put on that plea, though I have no 
faith in melting the bowels of compassion of a Yan- 
kee, myself, I consented to remain, as Miriam ur- 
gently represented the dangers awaiting Clinton. 
So she tossed all we owned into our trunk to send to 
mother as hostage of our return, and it is now await- 
ing the cars. My earthly possessions are all reposing 
by me on the bed at this instant, consisting of my 
guitar, a change of clothes, running-bag, cabas, and 
this book. For in spite of their entreaties, I would 
not send it to Clinton, expecting those already there 
to meet with a fiery death — though I would like 
to preserve those of the most exciting year of my 
life. They tell me that this will be read aloud to me 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

to torment me, but I am determined to burn it if 
there is any danger of that. Why, I would die with- 
out some means of expressing my feelings in the 
stirring hours so rapidly approaching. I shall keep 
it by me. 

Such bustle and confusion! Every one hurried, 
anxious, excited, whispering, packing trunks, send- 
ing them off; wondering negroes looking on in 
amazement until ordered to mount the carts waiting 
at the door, which are to carry them too away. How 
disappointed the Yankees will be at finding only 
white girls instead of their dear sisters and brothers 
whom they love so tenderly! Sorry for their dis- 
appointment ! 

''They say " they are advancing in overwhelming 
numbers. That is nothing, so long as God helps us, 
and from our very souls we pray His blessing on us in 
this our hour of need. For myself, I cannot yet fully 
believe they are coming. It would be a relief to have 
it over. I have taken the responsibility of Lydia's 
jewelry on my shoulders, and hope to be able to 
save it in the rush which will take place. Down at 
the cars Miriam met Frank Enders, going to Clinton 
in charge of a car full of Yankees, — deserters, who 
came into our lines. He thinks, just as I do, that our 
trunks are safer here than there. Now that they are 
all off, we all agree that it was the most foolish thing 
we could have done. These Yankees interfere with 
all our arrangements. 

I am almost ashamed to confess what an absurdly 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

selfish thought occurred to me a while ago. I was 
lamenting to myself all the troubles that surround 
us, the dangers and difficulties that perplex us, think- 
ing of the probable fate that might befall some of our 
brave friends and defenders in Port Hudson, when 
I thought, too, of the fun we would miss. Horrid, 
was it not? But worse than that, I was longing for 
something to read, when I remembered Frank told 
me he had sent to Alexandria for Bulwer's ''Strange 
Story" for me, and then I unconsciously said, "How 
I wish it would get here before the Yankees!" I am 
very anxious to read it, but confess I am ashamed of 
having thought of it at such a crisis. So I toss up the 
farthing Frank gave me for a keepsake the other day, 
and say I '11 try in future to think less of my own 
comfort and pleasure. 

Poor Mr. Halsey! What a sad fate the pets he 
procures for me meet! He stopped here just now on 
his way somewhere, and sent me a curious bundle 
with a strange story, by Miriam. It seems he got a 
little flying-squirrel for me to play with (must know 
my partiality for pets), and last night, while attempt- 
ing to tame him, the little creature bit his finger, 
whereupon he naturally let him fall on the ground, 
(Temper!) which put a period to his existence. He 
had the nerve to skin him after the foul murder, and 
sent all that remains of him out to me to prove his 
original intention. The softest, longest, prettiest 
fur, and such a duck of a tail! Poor little animal 
could n't have been larger than my fist. Wonder if 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

its spirit will meet with that of the little bird which 
flew heavenward with all that pink ribbon and my 
letter from Mr. Halsey? 

Saturday, March I4th.^ 
5 o'clock, P.M. 

They are coming! The Yankees are coming at 
last ! For four or five hours the sound of their cannon 
has assailed our ears. There! — that one shook my 
bed ! Oh, they are coming ! God grant us the victory ! 
They are now within four miles of us, on the big 
road to Baton Rouge. On the road from town to 
Clinton, we have been fighting since daylight at 
Read bridge, and have been repulsed. Fifteen gun- 
boats have passed Vicksburg, they say. It will be an 
awful fight. No matter! With God's help we'll con- 
quer yet! Again! — the report comes nearer. Oh, 
they are coming! Coming to defeat, I pray God. 

Only we seven women remain in the house. The 
General left this morning, to our unspeakable relief. 
They would hang him, we fear, if they should find 
him here. Mass' Gene has gone to his company ; we 
are left alone here to meet them. If they will burn 
the house, they will have to burn me in it. For I 
cannot walk, and I know they shall not carry me. 
I 'm resigned. If I should bum, I have friends and 
brothers enough to avenge me. Create such a con- 
sternation ! Better than being thrown from a buggy 
— only I 'd not survive to hear of it ! 

Letter from Lilly to-day has distressed me beyond 
measure. Starvation which threatened them seems 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

actually at their door. With more money than they 
could use in ordinary times, they can find nothing to 
purchase. Not a scrap of meat in the house for a 
week. No pork, no potatoes, fresh meat obtained 
once as a favor, and poultry and flour articles un- 
heard of. Besides that, Tiche crippled, and Mar- 
gret very ill, while Liddy has run off to the Yan- 
kees. Heaven only knows what will become of them. 
The other day we were getting ready to go to them 
(Thursday) when the General disapproved of my 

running such a risk, saying he 'd call it a d piece 

of nonsense, if I asked what he thought; so we re- 
mained. They will certainly starve soon enough 
without our help ; and yet — I feel we should all be 
together still. That last superfluous word is the re- 
frain of Gibbes's song that is ringing in my ears, and 
that I am chanting in a kind of ecstasy of excite- 
ment : — 

"Then let the cannon boom as it will, 
We '11 be gay and happy still! " 

And we will be happy in spite of Yankee guns! 
Only — my dear This, That, and the Other, at 
Port Hudson, how I pray for your safety! God 
spare our brave soldiers, and lead them to victory! 
I write, touch my guitar, talk, pick lint, and pray so 
rapidly that it is hard to say which is my occupation. 
I sent Frank some lint the other day, and a bundle of 
it for Mr. Halsey is by me. Hope neither will need 
it ! But to my work again ! 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Half-past One o'clock, a.m. 

It has come at last! What an awful sound! I 
thought I had heard a bombardment before; but 
Baton Rouge was child's play compared to this. At 
half-past eleven came the first gun — at least the 
first / heard, and I hardly think it could have com- 
menced many moments before. Instantly I had my 
hand on Miriam, and at my first exclamation, Mrs. 
Badger and Anna answered. All three sprang to 
their feet to dress, while all four of us prayed aloud. 
Such an incessant roar! And at every report the 
house shaking so, and we thinking of our dear sol- 
diers, the dead and dying, and crying aloud for 
God's blessing on them, and defeat and overthrow to 
their enemies. That dreadful roar! I can't think 
fast enough. They are too quick to be counted. We 
have all been in Mrs. Carter's room, from the last 
window of which we can see the incessant flash of the 
guns and the great shooting stars of flame, which 
must be the hot shot of the enemy. There is a burn- 
ing house in the distance, the second one we have seen 
to-night. For Yankees can't prosper unless they are 
pillaging honest people. Already they have stripped 
all on their road of cattle, mules, and negroes. 

Gathered in a knot within and without the win- 
dow, we six women up here watched in the faint 
starlight the flashes from the guns, and silently won- 
dered which of our friends were lying stiff and dead, 
and then, shuddering at the thought, betook our- 
selves to silent prayer. I think we know what it is to 



** wrestle with God in prayer"; we had but one 
thought. Yet for women, we took it almost too 
coolly. No tears, no cries, no fear, though for the 
first five minutes everybody's teeth chattered vio- 
lently. Mrs. Carter had her husband in Fenner's 
battery, the hottest place if they are attacked by 
the land force, and yet to my unspeakable relief she 
betrayed no more emotion than we who had only 
friends there. We know absolutely nothing; when 
does one ever know anything in the country? But 
we presume that this is an engagement between 
our batteries and the gunboats attempting to 
run the blockade. 

Firing has slackened considerably. All are to lie 
down already dressed; but being in my nightgown 
from necessity, I shall go to sleep, though we may 
expect at any instant to hear the tramp of Yankee 
cavalry in the yard. 

Sunday, March 15th. 

To my unspeakable surprise, I waked up this 
morning and found myself alive. Once satisfied of 
that, and assuring myself of intense silence in the 
place of the great guns which rocked me to sleep 
about half-past two this morning, I began to doubt 
that I had heard any disturbance in the night, and 
to believe I had written a dream within a dream, 
and that no bombardment had occurred; but all 
corroborate my statement, so it must be true, and 
this portentous silence is only the calm before the 
storm. I am half afraid the land force won't attack. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

We can beat them if they do ; but suppose they lay 
siege to Port Hudson and starve us out? That is the 
only way they can conquer. 

We hear nothing still that is reliable. 

Just before daylight there was a terrific explo- 
sion which electrified every one save myself. I was 
sleeping so soundly that I did not hear anything of 
it, though Mrs. Badger says that when she sprang 
up and called me, I talked very rationally about it, 
and asked what it could possibly be. Thought that I 
had ceased talking in my sleep. Miriam was quite 
eloquent in her dreams before the attack, crying 
aloud, "See! See! What do I behold?" as though she 
were witnessing a rehearsal of the scene to follow. 

Later. Dr. Kennedy has just passed through, and 
was within the fortifications last night; brings news 
which is perhaps reliable, as it was obtained from 
Gardiner. It was, as we presumed, the batteries and 
gunboats. One we sunk; another, the Mississippi, we 
disabled so that the Yankees had to abandon and 
set fire to her, thirty-nine prisoners falling into our 
hands. It was her magazine that exploded this 
morning. Two other boats succeeded in passing, 
though badly crippled. Our batteries fired gallantly. 
Hurrah! for Colonel Steadman! I know his was by 
no means the least efficient! 

Clinton, they say, will inevitably be sacked. Alas, 
for mother and Lilly! What can we do? The whole 
country is at the mercy of the Yankees as long as 
Gardiner keeps within the fortifications. Six miles 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

below here they entered Mr. Newport's, pulled the 
pillow-cases from the beds, stuffed them with his 
clothes, and helped themselves generally. What can 
we expect here? To tell the truth, I should be disap- 
pointed if they did not even look in at us, on their 

marauding expedition. 

March 17th. 

On dit the Yankees have gone back to Baton 
Rouge, hearing we had sixty thousand men coming 
down after them. I believe I am positively disap- 
pointed! I did want to see them soundly thrashed! 
The light we thought was another burning house 
was that of the Mississippi. They say the shrieks of 
the men when our hot shells fell among them, and 
after they were left by their companions to burn, 
were perfectly appalling. 

Another letter from Lilly has distressed me beyond 
measure. She says the one chicken and two dozen 
eggs Miriam and I succeeded in buying from the 
negroes by prayers and entreaties, saved them from 
actual hunger; and for two days they had been living 
on one egg apiece and some cornbread and syrup. 
Great heavens! has it come to this? Nothing to be 
bought in that abominable place for love or money. 
Where the next meal comes from, nobody knows. 

Wednesday, March 25th. 

Early last evening the tremendous clatter of a 
sword that made such unnecessary noise that one 
might imagine the owner thereof had betaken him- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

self to the favorite pastime of his childhood, and 
was prancing in on his murderous weapon, having 
mistaken it for his war steed, announced the arrival 
of Captain Bradford, who with two friends came to 
say adieu. Those vile Yankees have been threaten- 
ing Ponchatoula, and his battery, with a regiment of 
infantry, was on its way there to drive them back. 
The Captain sent me word of the distressing de- 
parture, with many assurances that he would take 
care of "my" John. 

Scarcely had he departed, when lo! John arrives, 
and speaks for himself. Yes! he is going! Only a 
moment to say good-bye . . . sunset approaches. 
Well ! he must say good-bye now ! Chorus of young 
ladies: '*0h, will you not spend the evening with us? 
You can easily overtake the battery later." Chorus 
of married ladies: "You must not think of going. 
Here is a comfortable room at your service, and 
after an early breakfast you can be on the road as 
soon as the others." No necessity for prayers; he 
readily consents. And yet, as the evening wore on, 
when we laughed loudest I could not help but think 
of poor little Mrs. McPhaul sitting alone and cry- 
ing over her brother's departure, fancying his pre- 
cious bones lying on the damp ground with only the 
soldier's roof — the blue vault of heaven — above, 
while two miles away he sat in a comfortable parlor 
amusing himself. 

About sunrise, while the most delightful dreams 
floated through my brain, a little voice roused me 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

exclaiming, "Sady! Sady! John Hawsey say so! 
Say give Sady!" I opened my eyes to see little 
Gibbes standing by me, trying to lay some flowers 
on my cheek, his little face sparkling with delight at 
his own importance. A half-opened rosebud with the 
faintest blush of pink on its creamy leaves — a 
pink, and a piece of arbor vitae, all sprinkled with 
dew, this was my bouquet. The servant explained 
that Mr. Halsey had just left, and sent me that with 
his last good-bye. And he has gone! "And now 
there's nothing left but weeping! His face I ne'er 
shall see, and naught is left to me, save" — putting 
away my book and all recollections of nonsense. So 
here goes ! 

Tuesday, March 31st. 

"To be, or not to be; that's the question." 
Whether 't is nobler in the Confederacy to sufl^er the 
pangs of unappeasable hunger and never-ending 
trouble, or to take passage to a Yankee port, and 
there remaining, end them. Which is best? I am so 
near daft that I cannot pretend to say ; I only know 
that I shudder at the thought of going to New Or- 
leans, and that my heart fails me when I think of the 
probable consequence to mother if I allow a mere 
outward sign of patriotism to overbalance what 
should be my first consideration — her health. For 
Clinton is growing no better rapidly. To be hungry 
is there an everyday occurrence. For ten days, 
mother writes, they have lived off just hominy 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

enough to keep their bodies and souls from parting, 
without being able to procure another article — not 
even a potato. Mother is not in a condition to stand 
such privation ; day by day she grows weaker on her 
new regimen ; I am satisfied that two months more of 
danger, difficulties, perplexities, and starvation will 
lay her in her grave. The latter alone is enough to 
put a speedy end to her days. Lilly has been obliged 
to put her children to bed to make them forget they 
were supperless, and when she followed their exam- 
ple, could not sleep herself, for very hunger. 

We have tried in vain to find another home in the 
Confederacy. After three days spent in searching 
Augusta, Gibbes wrote that it was impossible to find 
a vacant room for us, as the city was already crowded 
with refugees. A kind Providence must have des- 
tined that disappointment in order to save my life, 
if there is any reason for Colonel Steadman's fears. 
We next wrote to Mobile, Brandon, and even that 
horrid little Liberty, besides making inquiries of 
every one we met, while Charlie, too, was endeavor- 
ing to find a place, and everywhere received the 
same answer — not a vacant room, and provisions 
hardly to be obtained at all. 

The question has now resolved itself to whether 
we shall see mother die for want of food in Clinton, 
or, by sacrificing an outward show of patriotism (the 
inward sentiment cannot be changed), go with her to 
New Orleans, as Brother begs in the few letters 
he contrives to smuggle through. It looks simple 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

enough. Ought not mother's life to be our first con- 
sideration? Undoubtedly! But suppose we could 
preserve her life and our free sentiments at the same 
time? If we could only find a resting-place in the 
Confederacy ! This, though, is impossible. But to go 
to New Orleans; to cease singing "Dixie"; to be 
obliged to keep your sentiments to yourself — for I 
would not wound Brother by any Ultra-Secession 
speech, and such could do me no good and only 
injure him — if he is as friendly with the Federals 
as they say he is; to listen to the scurrilous abuse 
heaped on those fighting for our homes and liberties, 
among them my three brothers — could I endure it? 
I fear not. Even if I did not go crazy, I would grow 
so restless, homesick, and miserable, that I would 
pray for even Clinton again. Oh, I don't, don't want 
to go ! If mother would only go alone, and leave us 
with Lilly ! But she is as anxious to obtain Dr. 
Stone's advice for me as we are to secure her a com- 
fortable home; and I won't go anywhere without 
Miriam, so we must all go together. Yet there is no 
disguising the fact that such a move will place us 
in a very doubtful position to both friends and ene- 
mies. However, all our friends here warmly advo- 
cate the move, and Will Pinckney and Frank both 
promised to knock down any one who shrugged 
their shoulders and said anything about it. But 
what would the boys say? The fear of displeasing 
them is my chief distress. George writes in the 
greatest distress about my prolonged illness, and his 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

alarm about my condition. " Of one thing I am sure," 
he writes, **and that is that she deserves to recover; 
for a better little sister never lived." God bless him ! 
My eyes grew right moist over those few words. 
Loving words bring tears to them sooner than angry 
ones. Would he object to such a step when he knows 
that the very medicines necessary for my recovery 
are not to be procured in the whole country? Would 
he rather have mother dead and me a cripple, in the 
Confederacy, than both well, out of it? I feel that if 
we go we are wrong; but I am satisfied that it is 
worse to stay. It is a distressing dilemma to be 
placed in, as we are certain to be blamed whichever 
course we pursue. But I don't want to go to New 
Orleans ! 

Before I had time to lay down my pen this eve- 
ning, General Gardiner and Major Wilson were an- 
nounced ; and I had to perform a hasty toilette before 
being presentable. The first remark of the General 
was that my face recalled many pleasant recollec- 
tions; that he had known my family very well, but 
that time was probably beyond my recollection ; and 
he went on talking about father and Lavinia, until I 
felt quite comfortable, with this utter stranger. . . . 
I would prefer his speaking of "our" recent success 
at Port Hudson to " my " ; for we each, man, woman, 
and child, feel that we share the glory of sinking the 
gunboats and sending Banks back to Baton Rouge 
without venturing on an attack; and it seemed odd 
to hear any one assume the responsibility of the 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

whole affair and say "my success" so unconsciously. 
But this may be the privilege of generals. I am no 
judge, as this is the first Confederate general I have 
had the pleasure of seeing. Wish it had been old 
Stonewall! I grow enthusiastic every time I think 
of the dear old fellow ! 

I am indebted to General Gardiner for a great 
piece of kindness, though. I was telling him of how 
many enemies he had made among the ladies by his 
strict regulations that now rendered it almost im- 
possible for the gentlemen to obtain permission to 
call on them, when he told me if I would signify to 
my friends to mention when they applied that their 
visit was to be here, and not elsewhere, that he 
would answer for their having a pass whenever they 
called for one. Merci du compliment; mats c'est 

trop tardy Monsieur ! 

Tuesday, April 7th. 

I believe that it \sfor true that we are to leave for 
New Orleans, via Clinton and Ponchatoula, this 
evening. Clinton, at least, I am sure of. Lilly came 
down for me yesterday, and according to the present 
programme, though I will not answer for it in an 
hour from now, we leave Linwood this evening, and 
Clinton on Thursday. I am almost indifferent about 
our destination; my chief anxiety is to have some 
definite plans decided on, which seems perfectly 
impossible from the number of times they are 
changed a day. The uncertainty is really affecting 

my spine, and causing me to grow alarmingly thin 





A Confederate Girl*s Diary 

Wednesday, Clinton, April 8th, 1863. 

Our last adieux are said, and Lin wood is left be- 
hind, ''it may be for years, and it may be forever.'* 
My last hours were spent lying on the sofa on the 
gallery, with Lydia at my feet, Helen Carter sitting 
on the floor at my side, while all the rest were gath- 
ered around me as I played for the last time ''the 
centre of attraction." I grew almost lachrymose as I 
bid a last adieu to the bed where I have spent so 
many months, as they carried me downstairs. 
Wonder if it will not miss me? It must have been 
at least five before the cars returned. Mrs. Carter 
grew quite pathetic as they approached, while poor 
little Lydia, with streaming eyes and choking sobs, 
clung first to Miriam and then tp me, as though we 
parted to meet only in eternity. All except her 
mother started in a run for the big gate, while I was 
carried to the buggy through the group of servants 
gathered to say good-bye, when the General drove 
me off rapidly. 

What a delightful sensation is motion, after five 
months' inaction! The last time I was in a vehicle 
was the night General Beale's ambulance brought 
me to Linwood a helpless bundle, last November. 
It seemed to me yesterday that I could again feel 
the kind gentleman's arm supporting me, and his 
wondering, sympathetic tone as he repeated every 
half-mile, "Really, Miss Morgan, you are very pa- 
tient and uncomplaining!" Good, kind President 
Miller! As though all the trouble was not his, just 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

then ! But stopping at the gate roused me from my 
short reverie, and I opened my eyes to find myself 
stationary, and in full view of a train of cars loaded 
with soldiers, literally covered with them; for they 
covered the roof, as well as filled the interior, while 
half a dozen open cars held them, seated one above 
the other in miniature pyramids, and even the en- 
gine was graced by their presence. Abashed with 
finding myself confronted with so many people, my 
sensation became decidedly alarming as a dozen rude 
voices cried, "Go on! we won't stop!" and a cho- 
rus of the opposition cried, "Yes, we will ! " " No ! *' 
"Yes!" they cried in turn, and as the General stood 
me on the ground (I would have walked if it had 
been my last attempt in life), I paused irresolute, not 
knowing whether to advance or retreat before the 
storm. I must say they are the only rude soldiers 
I have yet seen in Confederate uniforms. But as I 
walked slowly, clinging to the General's arm, half 
from fear, and half from weakness, they ceased the un- 
necessary dispute, and remained so quiet that I was 
more frightened still, and actually forgot to say good- 
bye to Mrs. Carter and Mrs. Worley as they stood 
by the road. How both the General and I escaped 
being hurt as he raised me on the platform, every 
one is at a loss to account for. I experienced only 
what may be called slight pain, in comparison to 
what I have felt; but really fear that the exertion has 
disabled him for to-day. It must have been very se- 
vere. Some officers led me to my seat, Lilly, Miriam, 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

and Anna got in, the General kissed us heartily, 
with damp eyes and kind wishes; the cars gave a 
whistle, and I put my head out of the window to see 
Mrs. Carter industriously applying white cambric to 
her face, which occupation she relinquished to call 
out last good-byes; another whistle and a jerk, and 
we were off, leaving her and Mrs. Worley, sur- 
rounded by children and servants, using their hand- 
kerchiefs to wipe tears and wave farewell, while the 
General waved his hat for good-bye. Then green 
hedges rapidly changing took their place, and Lin- 
wood was out of sight before we had ceased saying 
and thinking, God bless the kind hearts we had left 
behind. Can I ever forget the kindness we have met 
among them? 

To see green trees and wild flowers once more, 
after such an illness, is a pleasure that only those 
long deprived of such beauties by a similar misfor- 
tune can fully appreciate. 

It was a relief to discover that what I had thought 
shocking rudeness in the soldiers had not been re- 
served for me alone. For every time we stopped, the 
same cry of *'No waiting for slow people" was 
raised, varied by constant expostulations with the 
engine for drinking ponds dry, and mild suggestions 
as to taking the road the other side of the fence, 
which would no doubt prove smoother than the 
track. These Arkansas troops have acquired a repu- 
tation for roughness and ignorance which they seem 
to cultivate as assiduously as most people would 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

their virtues. But rudeness does not affect their 
fighting qualities. 

Madisonville, Sunday, April 12th, 1863. 

We arrived here about five last evening, and, 
strange to say, the journey, fatiguing as it was, has 
not altogether disabled me. But I must go back to 
Clinton to account for this new change. It would 
never do to take more than a hundred miles at a 
single jump without speaking of the incidents by the 
way. Numerous and pleasant as they were, some 
way they have unaccountably paled; and things 
that seemed so extremely amusing, and afforded me 
so much pleasure during these four days, now seem 
to be absurd trifles half forgotten. 

I now remember lying in state on Lilly's bed 
Wednesday, talking to Mrs. Badger (who had been 
several days in town), Anna, Sarah Ripley, and the 
others, when Frank suddenly bolted in, just from 
Port Hudson, to say another good-bye, though I told 
him good-bye at Linwood Sunday. Presently the 
General entered, just from Linwood, to see us off; 
then Mr. Marston and his daughter, and Mr. 
Neafus, all as kind as possible, until a perfect levee 
was assembled, which I, lying all dressed with a 
shawl thrown over me, enjoyed all the more as I 
could take my ease, and have my fun at the same 
time. Frank, sitting by my pillow, talked dolorously 
of how much he would miss us, and threatened to be 
taken prisoner before long in order to see us again. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

When we were finally left alone, I fancy there was 
very little sleep in the house. As to me, I lay by Lilly 
wide awake, thinking how lonely she would be with- 
out us, and perfectly desolee at the idea of leaving the 
Confederacy (the dear gray coats included) ; so when 
it was almost sunrise there was no necessity of rous- 
ing me to dress, as I was only too glad to leave my 
sleepless bed. Before I got dressed, Anna, her mother, 
and Sarah Ripley came in again; then Miss Com- 
stock; and just as I had put the last touch to my 
dress, the gentlemen of the night before entered, and 
we had almost an hour and a half's respite before 
the carriage, less punctual than we, drove to the 

The General picked me up in his arms and carried 
me once more to the carriage. Then the servants 
had to say good-bye; then Lilly, very quiet, very 
red, and dissolved in tears, clung to me almost with- 
out a word, hardly able to speak, whilst I, distressed 
and grieved as I was, had not a tear in my eyes — 
nothing but a great lump in my throat that I tried 
to choke down in order to talk to Frank, who stood 
at the window by me, after she left. . . . How the 
distance lengthens between us! I raise up from my 
pillows and find myself at Camp Moore at four 
o'clock. Forty miles are passed over; good-bye, 
Frank ! 

From Camp Moore we had to go three miles back, 
to find Captain Gilman's house where we were ex- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

pected. The gentleman is a friend of Gibbes, though 
I had never seen any of them before. Such a deHght- 
ful place, with everything looking so new, and cool, 
and such a hospitable hostess that I thought every- 
thing charming in spite of my fatigue. I had hardly 
a moment to look around ; for immediately we were 
shown to our rooms, and in a very few minutes 
Miriam had me undressed and in bed, the most 
delightful spot in the world to me just then. While 
congratulating myself on having escaped death on 
the roadside, I opened my eyes to behold a tray 
brought to my bedside with a variety of refresh- 
ments. Coffee! Bread! Loaf-sugar! Preserves! I 
opened my mouth to make an exclamation at the 
singular optical illusion, but wisely forbore speaking, 
and shut it with some of the unheard-of delicacies 
instead. ... 

Early next morning the same routine was gone 
through as Thursday morning. Again the carriage 
drove to the door, and we were whisked off to Camp 
Moore, where the engine stood snorting with impa- 
tience to hurry us off to Ponchatoula. . . . Soon we 
were steaming down the track, I reclining on my 
pillows in an interesting state of invalidism, sadly 
abashed now and then at the courteous, wondering 
gaze of the soldiers who were aboard. Having very 
little idea of the geography of that part of the coun- 
try, and knowing we were to take a carriage from 
some point this side of Ponchatoula, fancying how 
surprised Mr. Halsey would be to hear we had 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

passed him on the way, I took a card from my travel- 
ing-case, and wrote a few words for ''good-bye,*' 
as we could not see him again. I sealed it up, and 
put it in my pocket to send to the first post-office we 

About twelve o'clock we stopped at Hammond, 
which was our place to disembark. Mother sent out 
to hire a negro to carry me off the platform ; and while 
waiting in great perplexity, a young officer who had 
just seated himself before me, got up and asked if he 
could assist her, seizing an arm full of cloaks as he 
spoke. I got up and walked to the door to appear 
independent and make believe I was not the one, 
when mother begged him not to trouble himself; she 
wanted a man to assist her daughter who was sick. 
Calling a friend, the gentleman kindly loaded him 
with the cloaks, etc., while he hurried out after me. 
I was looking ruefully at the impracticable st^p 
which separated me from the platform. The ques- 
tion of how I was to carry out my independent no- 
tions began to perplex me. "Allow me to assist you,'* 
said a voice at my elbow. I turned and beheld the 
handsome officer. ''Thank you; I think I can get 
down alone." "Pray allow me to lift you over this 
place." "Much obliged, but your arm will suffice." 
"Sarah, let the gentleman carry you ! You know you 
cannot walk!" said my very improper mother. I 
respectfully declined the renewed offer. " Don't pay 
any attention to her. Pick her up, just as you would 
a child," said my incorrigible mother. The gentle- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

man turned very red, while Miriam asserts I turned 
extremely white. The next thing I knew, by passing 
his arm around my waist, or taking me by my arms 
— I was so frightened that I have but a confused 
idea of it — I was lifted over the intervening gulf 
and landed on the platform ! 

Hammond boasts of four houses. One, a shoe 
manufactory, stood about twenty or thirty yards off, 
and there the gentleman proposed to conduct me. 
Again he insisted on carrying me; and resolutely 
refusing, I pronounced myself fully equal to the 
walk, and accepting his proffered arm, walked off 
with dignity and self-possession. He must have 
fancied that the injury was in my hand ; for holding 
my arm so that my entire weight must have been 
thrown on him, not satisfied with that support, with 
his other hand he held mine so respectfully and so 
carefully that I could not but smile as it struck 
me, which, by the way, was not until I reached the 
house I 

Discovering that he belonged to Colonel Simon- 
ton's command, I asked him to take Mr. Halsey the 
note I had written an hour before. He pronounced 
himself delighted to be of the slightest service, and 
seeing that we were strangers, traveling unpro- 
tected, asked if we had secured a conveyance to 
take us beyond. We told him no. He modestly sug- 
gested that some gentleman might attend to it for 
us. He would be happy to do anything in his power. 
I thought again of Mr. Halsey, and said if he would 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

mention we were in Hammond, he would be kind 
enough to see to it for us. '' May I ask your name? " 
he asked, evidently surprised to find himself asking a 
question he was dying to know. I gave him my card, 
whereupon mother asked his name, which he told 
us was Howard. We had been talking for some ten 
minutes, when feeling rather uncomfortable at being 
obliged to look up at such a tall man from my low 
seat, to relieve my neck as well as to shade my face 
from any further scrutiny, I put down my head while 
I was still speaking. Instantly, so quietly, naturally, 
and unobtrusively did he stoop down by me, on one 
knee so that his face was in full view of mine, that 
the action did not seem to me either singular or im- 
pertinent ^n fact, I did not think of it until mother 
spoke of it after he left. After a few moments it 
must have struck him ; for he got up and made his 
parting bow, departing, as I afterwards heard, to 
question Tiche as to how I had been hurt, and de- 
claring that it was a dreadful calamity to happen to 

so ''lovely " a young lady. 

Monday, April 13th. 

Having nothing to do, I may as well go on with the 
history of our wanderings. When the cars were mov- 
ing off with the handsome Mr. Howard, mother 
turned to a gentleman who seemed to own the place, 
and asked to be shown the hotel. He went out, and 
presently returning with a chair and two negroes, 
quietly said he would take us to his own house; the 
hotel was not comfortable. And, without listening 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

to remonstrances, led the way to a beautiful little 
cottage, where he introduced his wife, Mrs. Gate, 
who received us most charmingly, and had me in bed 
before five minutes had elapsed. I don't know how 
any one can believe the whole world so wicked ; for 
my part I have met none but the kindest people 
imaginable; I don't know any wicked ones. 

Before half an hour had passed, a visitor was an- 
nounced ; so I gathered up my weary bones, and with 
scarcely a peep at the glass, walked to the parlor. I 
commenced laughing before I got there, and the visi- 
tor smiled most absurdly, too ; for it was — Mr. Hal- 
sey! It seemed so queer to meet in this part of the 
world that we laughed again after shaking hands. 
It was odd. I was thinking how much amused the 
General would be to hear of it ; for he had made a bet 
that we would meet when I asserted that we would 

After the first few remarks, he told me of how he 
had heard of our arrival. A gentleman had walked 
into camp, asking if a Mr. Halsey was there. He 
signified that he was the gentleman, whereupon the 
other drew out my note, saying a young lady on the 
cars had requested him to deliver it. Instantly 
recognizing the chirography, he asked where I was. 
"Hammond. This is her name," replied the other, 
extending to him my card. Thinking, as he modestly 
confessed, that I had intended it only for him, Mr. 
Halsey coolly put it into his pocket, and called for 
his horse. Mr. Howard lingered still, apparently 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

having something to say, which he found difficult to 
put in words. At last, as the other prepared to 
ride off, with a tremendous effort he managed to say, 
"The young lady's card is mine. If it is all the same 
to you, I should like to have it returned." Apologiz- 
ing for the mistake, Mr. Halsey returned it, feeling 
rather foolish, I should imagine, and rode on to the 
village, leaving, as he avers, Mr. Howard looking 
enviously after the lucky dog who was going to see 
such a young lady. 

He told me something that slightly disgusted me 
with Captain Bradford. It was that when he reached 
the bivouac the next morning after leaving Lin wood, 
the Captain had put him under arrest for having 
stayed there all night. It was too mean, considering 
that it is more than probable that he himself re- 
mained at Mrs. Fluker's. We discovered, too, that 
we had missed two letters Mr. Halsey had written 
us, which, of course, is a great disappointment. One, 
written to both, the other, a short note of ten pages, 
for me, which I am sure was worth reading. 

It was not until after sunset that we exhausted all 
topics of conversation, and Mr. Halsey took his 
leave, promising to see us in the morning. 

And, to be sure, as soon as I was dressed on Satur- 
day, he again made his appearance, followed soon 
after by the carriage. Taking a cordial leave of Mrs. 
Cate, with many thanks for her hospitality, we 
entered our conveyance, and with Mr. Halsey riding 
by the side of the carriage, went on our way. He was 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

to accompany us only as far as Ponchatoula — some 
six miles ; but the turning-point in his journey seemed 
to be an undetermined spot ; for mile after mile rolled 
away — rather the wheels rolled over them — and 
still he rode by us, talking through the window, and 
the sprays of wild flowers he would pick for me from 
time to time were growing to quite a bouquet, when 
he proposed an exchange with the farmer who was 
driving us, and, giving him his horse, took the reins 

I think Miriam and I will always remember that 
ride. The laughter, the conversation, the songs with 
the murmuring accompaniment of the wheels, and a 
thousand incidents pleasant to remember though 
foolish to speak of, will always form a delightful 
tableau in our recollections. I have but one disagree- 
able impression to remember in connection with the 
trip, and that occurred at a farmhouse two miles from 
here, where we stopped to get strawberries. I pre- 
ferred remaining in the carriage, to the trouble of 
getting out; so all went in, Mr. Halsey dividing his 
time equally between Miriam in the house and me in 
the carriage, supplying me with violets and pensees 
one moment, and the next showing me the most 
tempting strawberries at the most provoking dis- 
tance, assuring me they were exquisite. The individ- 
ual to whom the carriage belonged, who had given 
up the reins to Mr. Halsey, and who, no doubt, was 
respectable enough for his class in his part of the 
country, would allow no one to bring me my straw- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

berries, reserving the honor for himself. Presently he 
appeared with a large saucer of them covered with 
cream. I was naturally thankful, but would have pre- 
ferred his returning to the house after he had fulfilled 
his mission. Instead, he had the audacity to express 
his admiration of my personal appearance; with- 
out a pause gave me a short sketch of his history, 
informed me he was a widower, and very anxious to 
marry again, and finally, — Lares and Penates of the 
house of Morgan ap Kerrig, veil your affronted 
brows ! You will scarcely credit that the creature had 
the insolence to say that — he would marry me to- 
morrow, if he could, and think himself blessed; for 
the jewel of the soul must be equal to the casket that 
contained it! Yes! this brute of a man had the 
unparalleled audacity to speak to me in such a way ! 
Just then, mother, remembering her invalid, came 
to the gallery and asked how I was enjoying my 
lunch. " I 'm courting her ! " cried the wretch. ''Glad 
she did not go in ! Swear she 's the prettiest girl I ever 
saw! " At that moment Mr. Halsey came sauntering 
out with a handful of violets for me, and, turning my 
shoulder to the creature, I entered into a lively dis- 
cussion with him, and at last had the satisfaction of 
seeing the wretch enter the house. 

A drive through the straggling, half-deserted town 
brought us here to Mrs. Greyson's, a large, old-fash- 
ioned-looking house so close to the Tchefuncta (I 
think that is the name of the river) that I could throw 
a stone in it from my bed, almost. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Mrs. Greyson herself would require two or three 
pages to do her justice. Fancy the daughter of Sir 
Francis Searle, the widow of General Greyson, the 
belle of New Orleans in her young days, settled 
down into a hotel-keeper on a small scale, with stately 
ladies and gentlemen looking down in solemn sur- 
prise at her boarders from their rich portrait frames 
on the parlor wall! Fallen greatness always gives 
me an uncomfortable thrill. Yet here was the heiress 
of these shadows on the wall, gay, talkative, bus- 
tling, active; with a word of caution, or a word of 
advice to all; polite, attentive, agreeable to her 
guests, quarreling and exacting with her servants, 
grasping and avaricious with all; singing a piece 
from " Norma " in a voice, about the size of a thread 
No. 150, that showed traces of former excellence; or 
cheapening a bushel of corn meal with equal volu- 
bility. What a character! Full of little secrets and 
mysteries. ** Now, my dear, I don't ask you to tell a 
story J you know; but if the others ask you if you 
knew it, just look surprised and say, ' Oh, dear me, 
when did it happen?' 'Cause I promised not to tell; 
only you are such favorites that I could not help it, 
and it would not do to acknowledge it. And if any one 
asks you if I put these candles in here, just say you 
brought them with you, that's a love, because they 
will be jealous, as I only allow them lamps." Eccen- 
tric Mrs. Greyson ! Many an hour's amusement did 
she afford me.^ 

^ This paragraph, which occurs retrospectively in the Diary under 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

A ride of twenty-six miles bolt upright in the car- 
riage, over such bad roads, had almost used me up ; 
I retired to bed in a state of collapse, leaving Miriam 
to entertain Mr. Halsey alone. After supper, though, 
I managed to put on my prettiest dress, and be car- 
ried down to the parlor where I rejoined the rest. 
Several strange ladies were present, one of whom has 
since afforded me a hearty laugh. She was a horrid- 
looking woman, and ten minutes after I entered, 
crossing the room with a most laughable look of vul- 
garity attempting to ape righteous scorn, jerked 
some articles of personal property from the table and 
retired with the sweep of a small hurricane. I thought 
her an eccentric female; but what was my amaze- 
ment yesterday to hear that she sought Mrs. Grey- 
son, told her it was impossible for her to stay among 
so many elegantly dressed ladies, and that she pre- 
ferred keeping her room. Next day, she told her that 
she was entirely too attentive to us, and rather than 
be neglected in that way for other people, would 
leave the house, which she did instantly. 

There was a singular assembly of odd characters 
in the parlor Saturday night, six of whom looked as 
though they were but so many reflections of the same 
individual in different glasses, and the seventh dif- 
fered from the rest only in playing exquisitely on the 
banjo — "Too well to be a gentleman," I fear. 
These were soldiers, come to "call" on us. Half an 

date of New Orleans, Sunday, May 24th, 1863, is inserted here for the 
sake of clearness. — W. D. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

hour after we arrived, a dozen of them took posses- 
sion of the bench on the bank of the river, one with 
his banjo who played and sang delightfully. Old Mrs. 
Greyson, who is rather eccentric, called, ''Ah, Mr. 

J ! Have you heard already of the arrival of the 

young ladies ? You never serenaded me!'' The young 
man naturally looked foolish; so she went out and 
asked him to come around after dark and play for 
the young ladies. So after a while he came, "bring- 
ing six devils yet worse than himself," as the old 
Scriptural phrase has it, all of whom sat on the same 
side of the room, and looked at us steadily when they 
thought we were not looking. All had the same voice, 
the same bow, the same manner — that is to say 
none at all of the latter ; one introduced an agreeable 
variety, saying as he bowed to each separately, 
"Happy to make your acquaintance, ma'am." Mr. 
Halsey just managed to keep his face straight, while 
I longed for a Dickens to put them all together and 
make one amusing picture out of the seven. I 
troubled myself very little about them, preferring 
Mr. Halsey's company, not knowing when we would 
meet again. It would not have been quite fair to 
leave him to himself after he had ridden such a dis- 
tance for us ; so I generously left the seven to Miriam, 
content with one, and rather think I had the best 
of the bargain. The one with the banjo suggested 
that we should sing for them before he played for us, 
so Miriam played on the piano, and sang with me on 
the guitar half a dozen songs, and then the other 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

commenced. I don't know when I have been more 
amused. There was an odd, piney- woods dash about 
him that was exceedingly diverting, and he went 
through comic, sentimental, and original songs with 
an air that showed his whole heart was in it. Judg- 
ing from the number of youth too timid to venture 
in, who peeped at us from the windows, I should say 
that young ladies are curiosities just now in Madi- 


Tuesday, April 14th. 

Ah ! another delightful glimpse of society has been 
offered to our charmed view. Such a treat has not 
often fallen to our lot. Good Mrs. Greyson, in her 
anxiety to make all around her happy, determined 
we should have a dance. I should say "Miriam"; 
for Mrs. Bull and Mrs. Ivy never indulge in such 
amusements, and I can't; so it must have been for 
Miriam alone. Such a crew! The two ladies above 
mentioned and I almost laughed ourselves into hys- 
terics. Poor Miriam, with a tall, slender Texan who 
looked as though he had chopped wood all his life, 
moved through the dance like the lady in " Comus " ; 
only, now and then a burst of laughter at the odd 
mistakes threatened to overcome her dignity. We 
who were fortunately exempt from the ordeal, 
laughed unrestrainedly at the m^lee. One danced 
entirely with his arms ; his feet had very little to do 
with the time. One hopped through with a most 
dolorous expression of intense absorption in the ar- 
duous task. Another never changed a benign smile 


A Confederate Girl's Diary ' 

that had appeared on entering, but preserved it 
unimpaired through every accident. One female, 
apparently of the tender age of thirty, wore a yellow 
muslin, with her hair combed rigidly ci la chinoise, 
and tightly fastened at the back of her head in a knot 
whose circumference must have been fully equal to 
that of a dollar. In addition to other charms, she 
bore her neck and chin in a very peculiar manner, as 
though she were looking over the fence, Mr. Christ- 
mas remarked. Mr. Christmas had ridden all the way 
from Ponchatoula to see us, and if it had not been for 
him, Mr. Worthington, and Dr. Capdevielle, who 
came in after a while, I think I should have expired, 
and even Miriam would have given up in despair. 
The Doctor was an old friend of Harry's, though we 

never met him before. 

Thursday, April i6th. 

Mr. Halsey brought us each a little tortoise-shell 
ring he had made for us by his camp-fire, as a keep- 
sake, and of course we promised to wear them for 
him, particularly as they make our hands look as 
white as possible. Towards sunset, in spite of prayers 
and entreaties from Miriam, who insisted that I was 
too feeble to attempt it, I insisted on walking out to 
the bench by the river to enjoy the cool breeze ; and 
was rather glad I had come, when soon after Dr. 
Capdevielle made his appearance, with two beauti- 
ful bouquets which he presented with his French 
bow to us; and introducing his friend, Mr. Milton- 
berger, entered into one of those lively discussions 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

about nothing which Frenchmen know how to make 
so interesting. . . . 

No sooner had they left than, to our infinite sur- 
prise, the immortal seven of Saturday night walked 
in. Wonder what fun they find in coming? I see 
none. For we rarely trouble ourselves about their 
presence ; there are but two I have addressed as yet ; 
one because I am forced to say yes or no to his re- 
marks, and the other because I like his banjo, which 
he brought again, and feel obliged to talk occasion- 
ally since he is so accommodating, and affords me the 
greatest amusement with his comic songs. I was 
about retiring unceremoniously about twelve o'clock, 
completely worn out, when they finally bethought 
themselves of saying good-night, and saved me the 
necessity of being rude. Wonder if that is all the fun 
they have? I should say it was rather dry. It is 
mean to laugh at them, though ; their obliging dispo- 
sitions should save them from our ridicule. Last 
evening Mr. Halsey succeeded in procuring a large 
skiff, whereupon four or five of them offered to row, 
and took us 'way down the Tchefuncta through the 
most charming scenery to a spot where Echo an- 
swered us in the most remarkable way ; her distinct 
utterance was really charming. Not being aware of 
the secret, I thought the first answer to the halloo 
was from pickets. Mr. Halsey has a magnificent 
voice ; and the echoes came back so full and rich that 
soon we appointed him speaker by mutual consent, 
and were more than repaid by the delightful sounds 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

that came from the woods. The last ray of the sun 
on the smooth waters; the soldiers resting on their 
oars while we tuned the guitar and sang in the still 
evening, until twilight, slowly closing over, warned 
us to return, forms another of those pictures inde- 
scribable though never to be forgotten. 

BoNFOUCA, Saturday, April i8th. 

When I paused on Thursday to rest a few mo- 
ments, how little idea I had that the rest I was 
taking would soon be required for another journey! 

It was agreed among us, with our fellow travel- 
ers, Mrs. Bull and Mrs. Ivy, whom we met at Mrs. 
Greyson's, endeavoring to reach the city like our- 
selves, that we would wait there until we could re- 
ceive our passports from General Pemberton. When 
this journey was first seriously contemplated, Miriam 
wrote to Colonel Szymanski representing mother's 
state of health and my unfortunate condition, the 
necessity of medical advice for both, and the impos- 
sibility of remaining in famishing Clinton, and asked 
him to apply to the General for a pass to go to 
Brother. The Colonel sent word through Eugene La 
Noue that we should obtain it in a few days, and 
advised us to go by way of Ponchatoula. Tired of 
delay, and hearing that we could pass as readily on 
General Gardiner's order, we obtained one and 
started off without waiting for the other. The first 
news on arriving at Madison ville was that no one 
should pass except on General Pemberton's order. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Pleasant intelligence for those who had come that 
far without! The other two ladies were in the same 
dilemma. They were told that they should have a 
pass if they would wait. Waiting at the expense of 
four dollars a day for each, — Mrs. Ivy with two 
very sick babies, Mrs. Bull with all her property in 
New Orleans at stake, Tiche with her broken foot, 
mother with a powerless hand, and I with an injured 
spine, — was anything but agreeable under the cir- 
cumstances ; though nothing could be more pleasant, 
apart from this sense of restriction, than our stay at 
Madisonville. General Pemberton took his leisure 
about the affair, which is not surprising, as our Gen- 
erals have more weighty matters than women's pass- 
ports to attend to. Still, pleased as we were with our 
residence there, it was necessary to get on as soon as 
possible. So as I rested from labors about one o'clock 
on Thursday, Mrs. Bull came in to suggest a new 
plan to mother. It was to leave immediately for a 
plantation called Bonfouca, thirty miles off, where 
schooners came twice a week, and where we would 
be allowed to embark without a pass. Carriages that 
had just brought a party of ladies from Mandeville 
were waiting on the other side of the river, which 
could take us off immediately, for there was not a 
moment to lose. 

Instantly we resolved to hazard the undertaking. 

About three we got into the large scow to cross the 
Tchefuncta, in a party numbering five ladies, four 
children, and four servants. One of the devoted 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

pickets, after setting me carefully in the most com- 
fortable place, asked permission to accompany me 
as far as the carriage ; he was sure he could assist me 
more carefully than the drivers. And without further 
parley, he followed. Before we turned the point, Mr. 
Worthington ^ . . . the dim distance, rowing up the 
stream in the direction of Madisonville. What if he 
had perceived us, and was hastening after us, deeming 
it his duty to arrest us for trying to get away with- 
out General Pember ton's order? As the idea was 
suggested, there was rather a nervous set of ladies on 
board. The half-mile that we had to go before reach- 
ing our landing-place was passed over in nervous 
apprehension. At last the spot was reached. Mr. 
Worthington had not appeared, and we reached terra 
firma without being ''nabbed," as we confidently 
expected. The obliging picket put me into the car- 
riage, bade me a most friendly adieu, and returned 
to the village, leaving us with every prospect of 
getting off without serious difficulty, in spite of our 
serious apprehensions. 

With two little children and Tiche with me, our 
carriage started off some time before the others. Two 
or three miles from our starting-point, I perceived 
three gentlemen riding towards us, one of whom I 
instantly recognized as Dr. Capdevielle. Instantly I 
stopped the carriage to speak to him. His look of 
astonishment when satisfied of my identity rather 

^ The torn edge of a page has obliterated several words, which 
might, to judge by the context, have been " was seen in." 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

amused me; but my amusement was changed to a 
slight feeling of disappointment when he commenced 
talking. Was it possible I was leaving Madison? 
Oh, how distressed he was! He was promising him- 
self so much pleasure ! And to leave so unexpectedly ! 
He had just come with his friends from — some- 
where. They had planned a surprise party at Mrs. 
Greyson's for us that evening, and had been after 
the supper they had procured — somewhere, as I 
before observed, and were just now returning. And 
now we were deserting them ! He had invited Mon- 
sieur Berger, Monsieur Pollock, Monsieur 

Mais enfin des Messieurs I he exclaimed with a comi- 
cal emphasis and smile that brought vivid recollec- 
tions of the other party before my eyes, by force of 
contrast, I suppose. And was n't I sorry we had left! 
We fairly condoled with each other. Twenty min- 
utes had elapsed before I had so far recovered from 
the disappointment as to bethink myself of the pro- 
priety of continuing my journey. And then with the 
assurance of being mutually desole, we parted with a 
hearty good-bye, and he rode on to rejoin his com- 
panions, while I went the way he had come. 

Two miles beyond, I met three others of the six 
gentlemen he had mentioned, riding in a little dog- 
cart which contained champagne baskets in which 
the supper was evidently packed, each gentleman 
elegantly dressed, holding between them a little 
basket of bouquets that my prophetic soul told me 
was intended for Miriam and me. I was not per- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

sonally acquainted with the gentlemen, or I should 
have told them of the disappointment that awaited 
them. It must have been a disappointment! 

In the midst of profound reflections about fate, 
vanity of human wishes and calculations, friendships 
formed on the roadside in the journey through life 
(or from Clinton), I raised my eyes to behold Lake 
Ponchartrain, and to find myself in Mandeville, just 
seven miles from the Tchefuncta. Looking at the 
dreary expanse of water, which suggested loneliness 
and desolation, first recalled my own situation to me. 
Here I was in this straggling place, with Tiche, a 
cripple like myself, and two little children under 
my care, without an idea of where we were to go. 
Any one as timid and dependent as I to be placed in 
such a position as pioneer to such a tremendous 
company would feel rather forlorn. But some step 
had to be taken, so I consulted the driver as to where 
we could obtain board, and followed his suggestion. 
One house after the other we stopped at, and with 
my veil down and my heart beating as though I were 
soliciting charity, or some other unpleasant favor, I 
tried to engage rooms for the company, without suc- 
cess. At last we were directed to a Frenchman, who, 
after the usual assurance of "nothing to eat" (which 
we afterwards found to be only too true), consented 
to receive us. "Taking possession" seemed to me 
such a dreadful responsibility that for some time I 
remained in the carriage, afraid to get out before the 
others arrived. But there was still no sign of them; 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

so I gathered my children and Tiche, and prepared to 
dismount with the Frenchman's assistance. 

I have read descriptions of such houses and people, 
but I have not often seen them. The man and his 
wife were perfect specimens of the low Canadian, 
speaking only French. No sooner had they discov- 
ered that I was ''bless6e," as they supposed, than 
each seized an arm and with overwhelming exclama- 
tions of sympathy, halfway dragged me into the 
room, where they thrust me into a chair. Their 
family seemed to consist only of cats and dogs who 
seemed to agree most harmoniously, and each of 
whom conceived the liveliest affection for us. As we 
were leaving Mrs. Greyson's, a stranger just from the 
city, brought to our room a paper of ham, tongue, and 
biscuits for "the sick young lady" (Heaven only 
knows how she heard of her), saying she had just 
traveled the road herself, and knew I would find 
nothing to eat; so she would insist on putting this in 
our basket. It was done in a manner that put all 
refusal out of the question; so it had to be accepted. 
I was feeding little Jenny Ivy and Minna Bull on 
this lunch for want of something else to do, when the 
affection of the cats and dogs became overpowering. 
Six of them jumped at us, licked Jenny's face, eat 
Minna's ham, and what with sundry kicks and slaps 
I had exercise enough to last a week, and was rapidly 
losing all my strength, when the woman came to my 
rescue and called her pets off just as the rest of the 
party drove up to find me almost exhausted. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Such a bedroom ! There was a narrow single bed in 
which mother, Jenny, and I slept, a decrepit table on 
which stood a diseased mirror, a broken lounge with- 
out a bottom, and a pine armoir filled with — com ! In 
the centre stood the chief ornament, a huge pile of dirt, 
near which Miriam's mattress was placed, while the 
sail of a boat flanked it in on the other side, arranged 
as a bed for Tiche. The accommodations in the 
other bedroom were far inferior to ours. Then the 
mosquitoes swarmed like pandemonium on a spree, 
and there was but one bar in the house, which the 
man declared should be only for me. I would rather 
have been devoured by the insects than enjoy com- 
forts denied to the others ; so I made up my mind it 
should be the last time. 

Our supper was rare. "Nothing like it was ever 
seen in Paris," as McClellan would say. It consisted 
of one egg apiece, with a small spoonful of rice. A 
feast, you see! Price, one dollar each, besides the 
dollar paid for the privilege of sleeping among dirt, 
dogs, and fleas. 

Sunday, April 19th. 

Friday morning we arose and prepared to resume 
our journey for Bonfouca, twenty-three miles away. 
The man walked in very unceremoniously to get 
corn from the armoir as we got up, throwing open the 
windows and performing sundry little offices usually 
reserved for femmes-de-chambre; but with that excep- 
tion everything went on very well. Breakfast being a 
luxury not to be procured, we got into the carriages 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

before sunrise, and left this romantic abode of dogs 
and contentment. Again our road lay through piney 
woods, so much like that from Hammond to Pon- 
chatoula that involuntarily I found myself looking 
through the window to see if Mr. Halsey was there. 
It lacked only his presence to make the scene all in 
all the same. But alas ! this time the driver picked me 
wild flowers, and brought us haws. Mr. Halsey, in 
blissful ignorance of our departure, was many and 
many a mile away. The drive was not half as amus- 
ing. The horse would not suffer any one except 
Miriam to drive, and at last refused to move until 
the driver got down and ran along by the carriage. 
Every time the poor boy attempted to occupy his 
seat, the obstinate animal would come to a dead stop 
and refuse to go until he dismounted again. I am 
sure that he walked nineteen miles out of the twenty- 
three, out of complaisance to the ungrateful brute. 
All equally fatigued and warm, we reached this 
place about twelve o'clock. Mrs. Bull had arrived 
before us; and as the carriage stopped, her girl Delia 
came to the gate the personification of despair, cry- 
ing, "You can't get out, ladies. They say we can't 
stop here; we must go right back." The panic which 
ensued is indescribable. Go back when we were al- 
most at our journey's end, after all the money we 
had spent, the fatigue we had undergone, to be 
turned back all the way to Clinton, perhaps! "With 
my sick babies!" cried Mrs. Ivy. "With my sick 
child!" cried mother. "Never! You may turn me 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

out of your house, but we will die in the woods first! 
To go back is to kill my daughter and these babies ! " 
This was to the overseer who came to the carriage. 
"Madam, I have orders to allow no one to pass who 
has not written permission. Lieutenant Worthing- 
ton sent the order two days ago; and I am liable to 
imprisonment if I harbor those who have no pass- 
port," the man explained. "But we have General 
Gardiner's order," I expostulated. "Then you shall 
certainly pass; but these ladies cannot. I can't turn 
you away, though; you shall all come in and stay 
until something can be determined on." 

This much granted was an unlooked-for blessing. 
He showed us the way to a large unfurnished house, 
one room of which contained a bed with one naked 
mattress, which was to be our apartment. Mrs. Bull 
sat down in a calm, dignified state of despair; little 
Mrs. Ivy dissolved in tears; we all felt equally dis- 
consolate; the prospect of getting off was not so 
pleasant when we thought we should be obliged to 
leave them behind. Our common misfortunes had 
endeared us to each other, strangers as we were a 
week ago. So we all lamented together, a perfect 
Jeremiade of despair. The overseer is very tender- 
hearted; he condoled, comforted, and finally deter- 
mined that if there was any way of getting them off, 
they should go. A glimpse of sunshine returned to 
our lowering sky, and cheerfulness reigned once 
more, to be violently dethroned some hours later. 
Three of the Madisonville pickets were announced 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

approaching the house. Of course, they were coming 
after us ! Oh, that vile Mr. Worthington ! We always 
did hate him! There was such a sneaky look about 
him. Hypocrite ! we always felt we should hate him ! 
Oh, the wretch! *'I won't go back!" cried mother. 
*'I shall not," said quiet Mrs. Bull. ''He shall pay 
my expenses if he insists on taking me back!" ex- 
claimed Mrs. Ivy. "Spent all my money! Mrs. Bull, 
you have none to lend me, remember, and Mrs. 
Morgan shan't ! Oh, that Worthington! Let's make 
him pay for all ! " We smothered our laughter to sit 
trembling within as the pickets stepped on the gal- 
lery. I believe we commenced praying. Just think! 
Thus far, our journey has cost mother two hundred 
and twenty dollars. It would cost the same to get 
back to blessed Clinton, and fancy our spending that 
sum to settle there again ! Besides, we gave away all 
our clothes to our suffering friends ; and what would 
we do there now.f^ 

After half an hour of painful suspense, we discov- 
ered that it would have been as well to spare poor 
Mr. Worthington ; for the pickets were not after us, 

but had come to escort Mrs. R , a woman who 

was taking the body of her son, who was killed at 
Murfreesboro, to the city for interment. Poor 
woman ! she rode all this distance sitting on her child's 
coffin. Her husband was one of those who with 

B stole that large sum of money from father 

which came so near ruining him. She speaks of her 
husband as of a departed saint. I dare say she be- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

lieves him innocent of the theft in spite of his public 
confession. The grave has wiped out even the dis- 
grace of the penitentiary where he expiated his 
offense. . . . When I told Tiche who the woman was, 
she clasped her hands, saying, "The Lord is good! 
Years and years master suffered while she grew rich, 
and now her time comes! The Lord don't forget! " I 
can't feel that way. It is well for the narrow-minded 
to look for God's judgment on us for our sins; but 
mine is a more liberal faith. God afflicted her for 
some wise purpose; but if I thought it was to avenge 
father, I should be afraid of her. As it is, I can be 
sorry, oh, so sorry for her! 

As usual I find myself taken care of at the expense 
of the others. There are but two bars on the place; 
one, the overseer said, should be for me, the other for 
the children. Sheets were scarce, covers scarcer 
still. Tired of being spoiled in this way, I insisted on 
being allowed to sleep on a mattress on the floor, 
after a vigorous skirmish with mother and Miriam, 
in which I came off victorious. For a bar, I impressed 
Miriam's grenadine dress, which she fastened to the 
doorknob and let fall over me a la Victoria tester 
arrangement. To my share fell a double blanket, 
which, as Tiche had no cover, I unfolded, and as she 
used the foot of my bed for a pillow, gave her the 
other end of it, thus (tell it not in Yankeeland, for 
it will never be credited) actually sleeping under the 
same bedclothes with our black, shiny negro nurse! 
We are grateful, though, even for these discomforts; 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

it might have been so much worse! Indeed, I fear 
that our fellow travelers do not fare as well. Those 
who have sheets have no bars ; those who have blan- 
kets have no sheets ; and one woman who has recently 
joined us has nothing except a mattress which is to 
do the duty of all three. But then, we got bread! 
Real, pure, wheat bread! And coffee! None of your 
potato, burnt sugar, and parched corn abomination, 
but the unadulterated berry! I can't enjoy it fully, 
though; every mouthful is cloyed with the recollec- 
tion that Lilly and her children have none. 

As usual, as Mrs. Greyson says, the flowers follow 
us; yesterday I received three bouquets, and Miriam 
got one too. In this out-of-the-way place such offer- 
ings are unexpected ; and these were doubly gratify- 
ing coming from people one is not accustomed to 
receiving them from. For instance, the first was 
from the overseer, the second from a servant, and 
the third from a poor boy for whom we have sub- 
scribed to pay his passage to the city. 

Wednesday, April 22d, 
New Orleans. 

Yesterday we arrived ; I thought we should never 
get here. Monday we had almost given up in de- 
spair, believing the schooner would never return. 
But in the evening, when all were gathered in our 
room discussing our hopes and fears, a sail was per- 
ceived at the mouth of the bayou, whereupon every 
one rushed out to see the boat land. I believe that I 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

have not mentioned that this Bonfouca is on a bayou 
of the same name that runs within a few yards of this 
house. It is an Indian name signifying Winding 
River, which struck us as very appropriate when we 
watched the schooner sailing now to the left, now to 
the right, apparently through the green fields; for 
the high grass hid the course of the stream so that 
the faintest line was not perceptible, except just in 
front of the house. All was now bustle and confu- 
sion, packing, dressing, and writing last words to our 
friends at home, until half -past eleven, when we 

This is my first experience of schooners, and I 
don't care if I never behold another. The cabin where 
Mr. Kennedy immediately carried me, was just the 
size of my bed at home (in the days I had a home) and 
just high enough to stand in. On each side of the 
short ladder, there was a mattress two feet wide. 

One of them Mrs. R had possession of already, 

the other was reserved for me. I gave the lower part 
of mine to Minna and Jennie, who spent the rest of 
the night fighting each other and kicking me. 

Just before twelve we "weighed anchor" and I 
went on deck to take a last look at Dixie with the 
rest of the party. Every heart was full. Each left 
brothers, sisters, husband, children, or dear friends 
behind. We sang, ''Farewell dear land," with a slight 
quaver in our voices, looked at the beautiful starlight 
shining on the last boundary of our glorious land, and, 
fervently and silently praying, passed out of sight. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

God bless you, all you dear ones we have left in 
our beloved country! God bless and prosper you, 
and grant you the victory in the name of Jesus 

I returned to my mattress, and this is the way 
we spent the night. 

Mrs. R , rocking and moaning as she sat up in 

bed, whined out her various ills with a minute de- 
scription of each, ceasing the recital only to talk of 
her son's body which lay on deck. (Yesterday morn- 
ing she was sitting crying on his coffin while a strange 
woman sat on its head eating her bread and cheese.) 
Mrs. Bull, one of the most intelligent and refined 
ladies I have yet met, who is perfectly devoted to 
me, sat by me, laughing and talking, trying her best 
to make every one comfortable and happy in her 

unobtrusive way. Mother talked to Mrs. R and 

cried at the thought of leaving her children fighting 
and suffering. The space between the two beds was 
occupied by three Irishwomen and Mrs. Ivy's two 
babies. The babies had commenced screaming as 
they were brought into the pen, at which I was not 
surprised. Having pitched their voices on the proper 
key, they never ceased shrieking, kicking, crying, 
throwing up, and going through the whole list of 
baby performances. The nurses scolded with shrill 
voices above the bedlam that had hushed even Mrs. 

R 's complaints; Jennie and Minna quarreled, 

kicked, and cried; and as an aggravation to the pre- 
vious discomforts, a broad-shouldered, perspiring 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Irishwoman sat just by my head, bracing herself 
against my pillow in the most unpleasant style. I 
endured it without flinching until about half-past 
three, when the condensed odor of a dozen different 
people and children became unendurable, and I stag- 
gered up on deck where Miriam and Mrs. Ivy had 
been wise enough to remain without venturing be- 
low. They laid me on a bench in the stern, rolled me 
up in shawls to keep off the heavy dew, and there I 
remained until daylight with them, as wide awake 
as ever. 

At daylight there was a universal smoothing of 
heads, and straightening of dresses, besides arrange- 
ments made for the inspection of baggage. Being 
unwilling for any Christian to see such a book as 
this, I passed a piece of tape through the centre 
leaves, and made Miriam tie it under her hoops. At 
sunrise we were in sight of the houses at the lake 
end. It seemed as though we would never reach 

I forgot to speak of our alarm as we got in the lake. 
No sooner had we fairly left the bayou than the 
sky suddenly became threatening. The captain 
shook his head and spoke of a very ugly night for the 
lake, which sent everybody's heart to their throats, 
and alarmed us immeasurably. We got talking of 
the sailor's superstition of crossing the water with a 
corpse, until we persuaded ourselves that it was 
more than probable we would founder in the coming 
storm. But the severest storm we met was the one 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

in the cabin ; and all night the only wind was a head 
breeze, and the spicy gale from below. 

When we at last entered the canal, I beheld the 
animal now so long unseen, the Yankee. In their 
dark blue uniforms, they stood around, but I thought 
of the dear gray coats, and even the pickets of 
Madisonville seemed nobler and greater men than 
these. Immediately a guard was placed on board, 
we whispering before he came, *'Our dear Confeder- 
ates, God bless them." 

We had agreed among ourselves that come what 
would, we would preserve our dignity and self- 
respect, and do anything rather than create a scene 
among such people. It is well that we agreed. So 
we whispered quietly among ourselves, exhorting 
each other to pay no attention to the remarks the 
Yankees made about us as we passed, and acting the 
martyr to perfection, until we came to Hickock's 
Landing. Here there was a group of twenty Yan- 
kees. Two officers came up and asked us for papers ; 
we said we had none. In five minutes one came back, 
and asked if we had taken the oath. No; we had 
never taken any. He then took down our names. 
Mother was alone in the coop. He asked if there was 
not another. The schooner had fifteen passengers, 
and we had given only fourteen names. Mother then 
came up and gave her name, going back soon 

While one went after our passes, others came to 
examine our baggage. I could not but smile as an 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

unfortunate young man got on his knees before our 
trunk and respectfully handled our dirty petticoats 
and stockings. "You have gone through it before,'* 
he said. "Of course, the Confederates searched it." 
— "Indeed, they did not touch it!" I exclaimed. 
"They never think of doing such work." — "Miss, 
it is more mortifying to me than it can be to you," he 
answered. And I saw he was actually blushing. He 
did his work as delicately as possible, and when he 
returned the keys, asked if we had letters. I opened 
my box and put them into his hand. One came near 
getting me into serious trouble. It was sent by some 
one I never saw, with the assurance that it contained 
nothing objectionable. I gave it sealed to the man, 
who opened it, when it proved to be rather disagree^ 
able, I judged from his language. He told me his 
captain must see it before he could let me have it, 
and carried it off. Presently he came back and told 
me it could not be returned. I told him to bum it 
then, as I neither knew the writer, the contents, nor 
those it was written to. "I may save you some diffi- 
culty if I destroy it," he remarked, whereupon he 
tore it up and flung it into the canal. I have since 
found I had cause to be grateful; for just after came 
an officer to see the young lady who brought that 
letter. I showed the pieces in the water, saying the 
young man had torn it up, which seemed to annoy 
him ; it was to be sent to headquarters, he said. 

Then came a bundle of papers on board carried 
by another, who standing in front of us, cried in a 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

startling way, "Sarah Morgan!" — "Here" (very 
quietly). — "Stand up!" — "I cannot" (firmly). — 
"Why not?" — "Unable" (decisively). After this 
brief dialogue, he went on with the others until all 
were standing except myself, when he delivered to 
each a strip of paper that informed the people that 
Miss, or Mrs. So-and-So had taken and subscribed 
the oath as Citizen of the United States. I thought 
that was all, and rejoiced at our escape. But after 
another pause he uncovered his head and told us to 
hold up our right hands. Half-crying, I covered my 
face with mine and prayed breathlessly for the boys 
and the Confederacy, so that I heard not a word he 
was saying until the question, "So help you God?" 
struck my ear. I shuddered and prayed harder. 
There came an awful pause in which not a lip was 
moved. Each felt as though in a nightmare, until, 
throwing down his blank book, the officer pro- 
nounced it "All right!" Strange to say, I experi- 
enced no change. I prayed as hard as ever for the 
boys and our country, and felt no nasty or disagree- 
able feeling which would have announced the process 
of turning Yankee. 

Then it was that mother commenced. He turned 
to the mouth of the diminutive cave, and asked if 
she was ready to take the oath. "I suppose I have 
to, since I belong to you," she replied. " No, madam, 
you are not obliged ; we force no one. Can you state 
your objections?" "Yes, I have three sons fighting 
against you, and you have robbed me, beggared me ! " 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

she exclaimed, launching into a speech in which 
Heaven knows what she did not say ; there was little 
she left out, from her despoiled house to her sore 
hand, both of which she attributed to the at first 
amiable man, who was rapidly losing all patience. 
Faint with hunger, dizzy with sleeplessness, she had 
wrought on her own feelings until her nerves were 
beyond control. She was determined to carry it out, 
and crying and sobbing went through with it. 

I neither spoke nor moved. . . . The officer walked 
off angrily and sent for a guard to have mother taken 
before General Bowens. Once through her speech, 
mother yielded to the entreaties of the ladies and pro- 
fessed herself ready to take the oath, since she was 
obliged to. *' Madam, I did not invite you to come," 
said the polite officer, who refused to administer the 
oath ; and putting several soldiers on board, ordered 
them to keep all on board until one could report to 
General Bowens. Mother retired to the cabin, while 
we still kept our seats above. 

Oh, that monotonous, never-ending canal! We 
thought it would go on forever. At last we came to 
the basin in the centre of the city. Here was a posi- 
tion for ladies! Sitting like Irish emigrants on their 
earthly possessions, and coming in a schooner to 
New Orleans, which a year ago would have filled 
us with horror. Again the landing was reached, 
and again we were boarded by officers. I don't 
know how they knew of the difficulty mother had 
made, but they certainly did, and ordered that 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

none should leave until the General's will was made 

Mrs. Bull and Mrs. Ivy, after a long delay and 
many representations, at last prepared to leave. I 
was sitting in the spot I had occupied ever since be- 
fore daylight, with nothing to support me above my 
hips. All of us had fasted since an early and light 
supper the night before; none had slept. I was grow- 
ing so weak from these three causes, and the burning 
sun (for it was now twelve), that I could hardly 
speak when they came to tell me good-bye. Alarmed 
at my appearance, Mrs. Bull entreated the officer to 
allow me to leave the boat. No, he said ; it was im- 
possible; we should remain on board until General 
Bowens could come. We may get an answer in half 
an hour, or we may not get it for some time; and 
there we must stay until it came. ''But this young 
lady has been ill for months; she is perfectly ex- 
hausted, and will faint if she is not removed imme- 
diately," pleaded Mrs. Bull. She did not know my 
powers of control. Faint! I would have expired 
silently first! The officer said those were his orders; 
I could not leave. *'Do you think you are perform- 
ing your duty as a gentleman and a Christian? This 
young lady has obtained her pass already, without 
the slightest difficulty," she persisted. Still he said 
he was acting according to orders. Not to be baffled, 
she begged that she might be allowed to take me to 
Brother, telling him who he was, while our trunk, 
Miriam, Tiche, and mother would remain as hos- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

tages. Then he gave a reluctant consent on condi- 
tion I left my number, so he could go after me when 
I was wanted. 

I don't know what good came of the consent, for 
there I was to remain until something, I don't know 
what, happened. I only know I was growing deathly 
sick and faint, and could hardly hold myself up, 
when some time after Mrs. Bull and Mrs. Ivy left 
(under the impression that I was to go immediately), 
a gentleman in citizen's clothes came to me and said 
he had obtained permission for me to wait General 
Bowens's orders in his office, a few steps from the 
schooner. Thankful for so much, I accepted his arm 
and slowly dragged myself along to the first shelter 
I had seen that day. By some wonderful condescen- 
sion Miriam and mother were allowed to follow; and 
with the guard at the door, we waited there for half 
an hour more until our sentence could be received. 

Miriam had written a line to Brother as soon as 
possible, telling him of the situation, and while we 
were waiting in this office, I half dead with fatigue, 
a carriage dashed up to the door, and out of it stepped 
Brother. I felt that all our troubles were over then. 
He looked so glad to see us that it seemed a pity to 
tell the disagreeable story that yet remained to be 
told. But once heard, he made all go right in a few 
moments. He got into the carriage with mother, to 
take her to General Bowens, while we got into an- 
other to come to the house. I saw no more of the 
guard or officer. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

When we arrived, Sister was too astonished to 
speak. She did not beHeve we would come when it was 
ordered that all should take the oath on entering. If 
we had only realized it I don't think we would, either. 

In half an hour mother got back. Supported by 
Brother's presence, she had managed to hold up her 
right hand and say " Yes " to the oath — which was 
more than any of us had done. 

Brother found an officer at the door who had been 
ordered (before he took mother to the General) to 
arrest her and confine her in the Custom-House. I 
suppose Miriam and I would have shared the im- 
prisonment with her. But Brother has a way of mak- 
ing all these things right ; and the man was sent back 
without accomplishing his mission. 

Sunday, April 26th. 

I am getting well! Bless the Lord, O my soul! 
Life, health, and happiness dawn on my trembling 
view again! . . . Dr. Stone came to see me a few 
hours after I arrived ; two days after, he called again ; 
this morning I walked out to meet him when he was 
announced, and he asked me how my sister was. 
When I told him I was myself, "God bless my soul! 
You don't say so!" he exclaimed, evidently aston- 
ished at the resurrection. 

Thursday, April 30th. 

Was not the recollection of this day bitter enough 
to me already? I did not think it could be more so. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Yet behold me crying as I have not cried for many 
and many a day. Not for Harry ; I dare not cry for 
him. I feel a deathlike quiet when I think of him; 
a fear that even a deep-drawn breath would wake 
him in his grave. And as dearly as I love you, O Hal, 
I don't want you in this dreary world again. . . . 

Talk of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes! 
Talk of Louis XI V ! Of — pshaw ! my head is in such 
a whirl that history gets all mixed up, and all paral- 
lels seem weak and moderate in comparison to this 
infamous outrage. To-day, thousands of families, 
from the most respectable down to the least, all who 
have had the firmness to register themselves enemies 
to the United States, are ordered to leave the city 
before the fifteenth of May. Think of the thousands, 
perfectly destitute, who can hardly afford to buy 
their daily bread even here, sent to the Confederacy, 
where it is neither to be earned nor bought, without 
money, friends, or a home. Hundreds have comfort- 
able homes here, which will be confiscated to enrich 
those who drive them out. "It is an ill wind that 
blows no one good." Such dismal faces as one meets 
everywhere! Each looks heartbroken. Homeless, 
friendless, beggars, is written in every eye. Brother's 
face is too unhappy to make it pleasant to look at 
him. True, he is safe ; but hundreds of his friends are 
going forth destitute, leaving happy homes behind, 
not knowing where the crust of bread for famishing 
children is to come from to-morrow. He went to 
General Bowens and asked if it were possible that 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

women and children were included in the order. Yes, 
he said ; they should all go, and go in the Confed- 
eracy. They should not be allowed to go elsewhere. 
Penned up like sheep to starve! That's the idea! 
With the addition of forty thousand mouths to feed, 
they think they can invoke famine to their aid, see- 
ing that their negro brothers don't help them much 
in the task of subjugating us. 

Don't care who knows I smuggled in a dozen let- 
ters! Wish I had had more! 

June 9th, Tuesday. 

My dear Brother, who is always seeking to make 
somebody happy, arranged a dinner-party at the 
lake for us Saturday. There was quite a number of 
us, as, besides ourselves and the five children, we 
had Mrs. Price and her children, Mrs. Bull, and three 
nurses. . . . There are no Southern young men left in 
town, and those who remain would hardly be received 
with civility by Miriam and myself. Of the Yankees, 
Brother has so much consideration for us that he 
has never invited one to his house since we have been 
here, though he has many friends among them who 
visited here before our arrival. Such delicacy of feel- 
ing we fully appreciate, knowing how very few men 
of such a hospitable nature would be capable of such 
a sacrifice. Thinking we need company. Brother fre- 
quently invites what he calls "a safe old Secession- 
ist" (an old bachelor of fifty- three who was wounded 
at Shiloh) to dine with us; thinking it a fair compro- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

mise between the stay-at-home youth and Yankees, 

neither of whom this extremely young man could be 

confounded with. 

Sunday, June 14th. 

The excitement about Port Hudson and Vicks- 
burg is intense. When I heard on Friday that the 
last attack was being made on the former place, I 
took to my prayers with a delirium of fervor. If I was 
a man, if I had the blessed privilege of fighting, I would 
be on the breastworks, or perchance on the water 
batteries under Colonel Steadman's command. But 
as I was unfortunately born a woman, I stay home 
and pray with heart and soul. That is all I can do; 
but I do it with a will. In my excitement, I was wish- 
ing that I was a Catholic, that I might make a vow 
for the preservation of Port Hudson, when a brilliant 
idea struck me. It was this: though vows are pe- 
culiar to Catholics, mosquitoes are common to all 
sects. From that arose this heroic scheme: I said, 
"Hear me, Miriam, thou who knowest I have slept 
undisturbed but three nights out of seventeen, four 
hours out of each of the other fourteen having been 
spent in destroying my insatiable foe. Thou seest 
that nightly vigils are torturing me pale and weak, 
thou knowest what unspeakable affection I have for 
the youth yclept by the ancients Morpheus. Yet 
listen to my vow: If Port Hudson holds out, if our 
dear people are victorious, I offer up myself on the 
altar of my country to mosquitoes, and never again 
will I murmur at their depredations and voracity." 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Talk of pilgrimages, and the ordinary vow of wearing 
only the Virgin's colors (the most becoming in the 
world); there never was one of greater heroism or more 
sublime self-sacrifice than this. And as if to prove my 
sincerity, they have been worse than ever these last 
two nights. But as yet I have not murmured; for 
the Yankees, who swore to enter Port Hudson before 
last Monday night, have not yet fulfilled their prom- 
ise, and we hold it still. Vivent vows and mosquitoes, 
and forever may our flag wave over the entrench- 
ments! We will conquer yet, with God's blessing! 

A week or ten days ago came a letter from Lydia, 
who is placed within the lines by this recent raid. 
She writes that the sugar-house and quarters have 
been seized for Yankee hospitals, that they have 
been robbed of their clothing, and that they are in 
pursuit of the General, who I pray Heaven may 
escape them. She wrote for clothing, provisions, and 
a servant, and after we had procured them all, and 
were ready to send them, we discovered that they 
would not be allowed to pass ; so I hardly know what 
the poor child will do unless she accepts Brother's 
invitation to come down to him immediately, if she 

thinks it right. 

June 17th. 

I must write something somewhere, I don't care if 

dinner is ready, and Brother's "safe old Secesh" 

downstairs! Lydia has another boy! Letter has just 

come, and I am demented about my new godchild ! 

There now! feel better! 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

One more word — it shall be called "Howell." 
Dear, blessed little baby! how I shall love it! 

Sunday, June 21st. 

How about that oath of allegiance? is what I fre- 
quently ask myself, and always an uneasy qualm of 
conscience troubles me. Guilty or not guilty of per- 
jury? According to the law of God in the abstract, 
and of nations. Yes ; according to my conscience, Jeff 
Davis, and the peculiar position I was placed in, No. 
Which is it? Had I had any idea that such a pledge 
would be exacted, would I have been willing to come? 
Never! The thought would have horrified me. The 
reality was never placed before me until we reached 
Bonfouca. There I was terrified at the prospect; but 
seeing how impossible it would be to go back, I 
placed all my hopes in some miracle that was to 
intervene to prevent such a crime, and confidently 
believed my ill health or something else would save 
me, while all the rest of the party declared they would 
think it nothing, and take forty oaths a day, if neces- 
sary. A forced oath, all men agree, is not binding. 
The Yankees lay particular stress on this being vol- 
untary, and insist that no one is solicited to take it 
except of their own free will. Yet look at the scene 
that followed, when mother showed herself unwilling ! 
Think of being ordered to the Custom-House as a 
prisoner for saying she supposed she would have to ! 
That 's liberty! that is free will! It is entirely op- 
tional ; you have only to take it quietly or go to jail. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

That is freedom enough, certainly! There was not 
even that choice left to me. I told the officer who 
took down my name that I was unwilling to take 
the oath, and asked if there was no escaping it. 
" None whatever " was his reply. "You have it to do, 
and there is no getting out of it." His rude tone 
frightened me into half-crying; but for all that, as he 
said, I had it to do. If perjury it is, which will God 
punish : me, who was unwilling to commit the crime, 
or the man who forced me to it? 

Friday, June 26th. 

O praise the Lord, O my soul! Here is good news 
enough to make me happy for a month ! Brother is 
so good about that! Every time he hears good news 
on our side, he tells it just as though it was on his 
side, instead of on ours ; while all bad news for us he 
carefully avoids mentioning, unless we question him. 
So to-day he brought in a budget for us. 

Lee has crossed the Potomac on his way to Wash- 
ington with one hundred and sixty thousand men. 
Gibbes and George are with him. Magruder is 
marching on Fort Jackson, to attack it in the rear. 
One or two of our English ironclads are reported at 
the mouth of the river, and Farragut has gone down 
to capture them. O Jimmy! Jimmy! suppose he 
should be on one of them? We don't know the name 
of his ship, and it makes us so anxious for him, dur- 
ing these months that we have heard nothing of his 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

It is so delightful to see these frightened Yankees! 
One has only to walk downtown to be satisfied of the 
alarm that reigns. Yesterday came the tidings of the 
capture of Brashere City by our troops, and that a 
brigade was fifteen miles above here, coming down 
to the city. Men congregated at corners whispering 
cautiously. These were evidently Confederates who 
had taken the oath. Solitary Yankees straggled 
along with the most lugubrious faces, troubling no 
one. We walked down to Blineau's with Mrs. Price, 
and over our ice-cream she introduced her husband, 
who is a true blue Union man, though she, like our- 
selves, is a rank Rebel. Mr. Price, on the eve of mak- 
ing an immense fortune, was perfectly disconsolate 
at the news. Every one was to be ruined ; starvation 
would follow if the Confederates entered ; there was 
never a more dismal, unhappy creature. Enchanted 
at the news, I naturally asked if it were reliable. 
" Perfectly ! Why, to prove how true, standing at the 
door of this salon five minutes ago, I saw two young 
ladies pass with Confederate flags, which they 
flirted in the face of some Federal officers, unre- 
buked!" Verily, thought I, something is about to 
happen! Two days ago the girls who were *'unre- 
buked" this evening would have found themselves 

in jail instead. 

July loth. 

Shall I cry, faint, scream, or go off in hysterics? 

Tell me which, quickly ; for to doubt this news is fine 

and imprisonment, and if I really believe it I would 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

certainly give way to my feelings and commit some 
vagaries of the kind. My resolution is formed ! I will 
do neither; I won't gratify the Yankees so much. I 
have been banging at the piano until my fingers are 
weary, and singing ''The Secret through Life to be 
Happy" until my voice is cracked; I '11 stand on my 
head if necessary, to prove my indifference ; but I '11 
never believe this is true until it is confirmed by 
stronger authority. 

Day before yesterday came tidings that Vicks- 
burg had fallen on the 4th inst. The ''Era" poured 
out extras, and sundry little popguns fizzled out 
salutes. All who doubted the truth of the report and 
were brave enough to say so were fined or impris- 
oned; it has become a penal offense to doubt what 
the "Era" says; so quite a number of arrests were 
made. This morning it was followed up by the an- 
nouncement of the capture of Port Hudson. The 
guns are pealing for true, and the Yankees at head- 
quarters may be seen skipping like lambs, for very 
joy. And I still disbelieve ! Skeptic! The first thing 
I know that " Era" man will be coming here to con- 
vert me! But I don't, can't, won't believe it! // it is 
true, — but I find consolation in this faith: it is 
either true, or not true, — if it is true, it is all for the 
best, and if it is not true, it is better still. Whichever 
it is, is for some wise purpose ; so it does not matter, 
so we wait, pray, and believe. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

5 o'clock, P.M. 

I don't believe it? What am I crying about then? 
It seems so hard! How the mighty are fallen! Port 
Hudson gone! Brother believes it. That is enough 
for me. God bless him! I cry hourly. He is so good 
and considerate. He told me, ''Name your friends, 
and what can be done for them shall be attended to. 
The prisoners will be sent here. Maybe I cannot do 
much ; but food and clothing you shall have in abun- 
dance for them when they arrive." God bless him for 
his kindness! 

dear, noble men! I am afraid to meet them; I 
should do something foolish ; best take my cry out in 
private now. May the Lord look down in pity on us ! 
Port Hudson does not matter so much; but these 
brave, noble creatures! The ''Era" says they had 
devoured their last mule before they surrendered. 

Saturday, July loth, lo o'clock p.m. 

1 preach patience; but how about practice? I am 
exasperated ! there is the simple fact. And is it not 
enough? What a scene I have just witnessed! A 
motley crew of thousands of low people of all colors 
parading the streets with flags, torches, music, and 
all other accompaniments, shouting, screaming, ex- 
ulting over the fall of Port Hudson and Vicksburg. 
The " Era" will call it an enthusiastic demonstration 
of the loyal citizens of the city ; we who saw it from 
upper balconies know of what rank these "citizens" 
were. We saw crowds of soldiers mixed up with the 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

lowest rabble in the town, workingmen in dirty 
clothes, newsboys, ragged children, negroes, and even 
women walking in the procession, while swarms of 
negroes and low white women elbowed each other in 
a dense mass on the pavement. To see such crea- 
tures exulting over our misfortune was enough to 
make one scream with rage. One of their dozen trans- 
parencies was inscribed with **A dead Confederacy." 
Fools ! The flames are smouldering ! They will burst 
out presently and consume you! More than half, 
much more, were negroes. As they passed here they 
raised a yell of "Down with the rebels!" that made 
us gnash our teeth in silence. The Devil possessed 
me. "O Miriam, help me pray the dear Lord that 
their flag may burn!" I whispered as the torches 
danced around it. And we did pray earnestly — so 
earnestly that Miriam's eyes were tightly screwed 
up; but it must have been a wicked prayer, for it 
was not answered. 

Dr. S has out a magnificent display of black 

cotton grammatically inscribed with "Port Hudson 
and Vicksburg is ours," garnished with a luminous 
row of tapers, and, drunk on two bits' worth of lager 
beer, he has been shrieking out all Union songs he 
can think of with his horrid children until my tym- 
panum is perfectly cracked. Miriam wants to offer 
him an extra bottle of lager for the two places of 
which he claims the monopoly. He would sell his 
creed for less. Miriam is dying to ask him what he 
has done with the Confederate uniform he sported 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

before the Yankees came. His son says they are all 
Union men over there, and will ''lemonate" (illu- 
minate) to-night. A starving seamstress opposite has 
stuck six tallow candles in her window; better put 
them in her stomach! 

And I won't believe Vicksburg has surrendered! 
Port Hudson I am sure has fallen. Alas, for all hopes 
of serving the brave creatures I the rumor is that they 
have been released on parole. Happily for them ; but 
if it must go, what a blessed privilege it would have 
been to aid or comfort them ! 

Wednesday, July 15th. 

It is but too true; both have fallen. All Port Hud- 
son privates have been paroled, and the officers sent 
here for exchange. Aye! Aye! I know some pri- 
vates I would rather see than the officers! As yet, 
only ten that we know have arrived. All are con- 
fined in the Custom-House. Last evening crowds 
surrounded the place. We did something dreadful, 
Ada Peirce, Miriam, and I. We went down to the 
confectionery; and unable to resist the temptation, 
made a detour by the Custom-House in hope of 
seeing one of our poor dear half-starved mule and rat 
fed defenders. The crowd had passed away then; but 
what was our horror when we emerged from the river 
side of the building and turned into Canal, to find the 
whole front of the pavement lined with Yankees! 
Our folly struck us so forcibly that we were almost 
paralyzed with fear. However, that did not prevent 


A Confederate Girl^s Diary 

us from endeavoring to hurry past, though I felt as 
though walking in a nightmare. Ada was brave 
enough to look up at a window where several of our 
prisoners were standing, and kept urging us to do 
likewise. ''Look! He knows you, Sarah! He has 
called another to see you ! They both recognize you ! 
Oh, look, please, and tell me who they are! They are 
watching you still!" she would exclaim. But if my 
own dear brother stood there, I could not have 
raised my eyes; we only hurried on faster, with a 
hundred Yankees eyes fixed on our flying steps. 

My friend Colonel Steadman was one of the com- 
missioners for arranging the terms of the capitula- 
tion, I see. He has not yet arrived. 

Dreadful news has come of the defeat of Lee at 
Gettysburg. Think I believe it all? He may have 
been defeated ; but not one of these reports of total 
overthrow and rout do I credit. Yankees jubilant. 
Southerners dismal. Brother, with principles on one 
side and brothers on the other, is correspondingly 


Saturday, July i8th. 

It may be wrong; I feel very contrite; but still I 
cannot help thinking it is an error on the right side. 
It began by Miriam sending Mr. Conn a box of 
cigars when she was on Canal the other day, with a 
note saying we would be delighted to assist him in 
any way. Poor creature ! He wrote an answer which 
breathed desolation and humility, under his present 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

situation, in every line. The cigars, an unexpected 
kindness, had touched a tender cord evidently. He 
said he had no friends, and would be grateful for our 

But before his answer arrived, yesterday morning 
I took it into my head that Colonel Steadman was 
also at the Custom-House, though his arrival had not 
been announced, the Yankees declining to publish 
any more names to avoid the excitement that fol- 
lows. So Miriam and I prepared a lunch of chicken, 
soup, wine, preserves, sardines, and cakes, to send 
to him. And, fool-like, I sent a note with it. It only 
contained the same offer of assistance ; and I would 
not object to the town crier's reading it ; but it upset 
Brother's ideas of decorum completely. He said 
nothing to Miriam's, because that was first offense; 
but yesterday he met Edmond, who was carrying 
the basket, and he could not stand the sight of 
another note. I wish he had read it! But he said he 
would not assume such a right. So he came home 
very much annoyed, and spoke to Miriam about it. 
Fortunately for my peace of mind, I was swimming 
in the bathtub in blissful unconsciousness, else I 
should have drowned myself. He said, " I want you 
both to understand that you shall have everything 
you want for the prisoners. Subscribe any sum of 
money, purchase any quantity of clothing, send all 
the food you please, but, for God's sake, don't write 
to them ! In such a place every man knows the other 
has received a letter, and none know what it con- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

tains. I cannot have my sisters' names in every- 
body's mouth. Never do it again ! " All as kind and 
as considerate for us as ever, and a necessary cau- 
tion ; I love him the better for it; but I was dismayed 
for having rendered the reproof necessary. For three 
hours I made the most hideous faces at myself and 
groaned aloud over Brother's displeasure. He is so 
good that I would rather bite my tongue off than 
give him a moment's pain. Just now I went to him, 
unable to keep silence any longer, and told him how 
distressed I was to have displeased him about that 
note. ''Don't think any more about it, only don't 
do it again, dear," was his answer. I was so grateful 
to him for his gentleness that I was almost hurried 
into a story. I began, '* It is the first time — " when 
I caught myself and said boldly, *'No, it is not. 
Colonel Steadman has written to me before, and I 
have replied. But I promise to you it shall not occur 
again if I can avoid it." He was satisfied with the 
acknowledgment, and I was more than gratified 
with his kindness. Yet the error must have been on 
the right side ! 

Colonel Steadman wrote back his thanks by 
Edmond, with heartfelt gratitude for finding such 
friends in his adversity, and touching acknowledg- 
ments of the acceptable nature of the lunch. His 
brother and Colonel Lock were wounded, though 
recovering, and he was anxious to know if I had yet 
recovered. And that was all, except that he hoped 
we would come to see him, and his thanks to Brother 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

for his kind message. Brother had sent him word by 
one of the prisoners that though he was not ac- 
quainted with him, yet as his sisters* friend he would 
be happy to assist him if he needed money or cloth- 
ing. There was no harm in either note, and though 
I would not do it again, I am almost glad I let him 
know he still had friends before Brother asked me 
not to write. 

And as yet we can't see them. A man was bayon- 
eted yesterday for waving to them, even. It only 
makes us the more eager to see them. We did see 
some. Walking on Rampart Street with the Peirces 
yesterday, in front of a splendid private house, we 
saw sentinels stationed. Upon inquiry we learned 
that General Gardiner and a dozen others were con- 
fined there. Ada and Miriam went wild. If it had 
not been for dignified Marie, and that model of pro- 
priety, Sarah, there is no knowing but what they 
would have carried the house by storm. We got 
them by without seeing a gray coat, when they 
vowed to pass back, declaring that the street was not 
respectable on the block above. We had to follow. 
So! there they all stood on the balcony above. We 
thought we recognized General Gardiner, Major 
Wilson, Major Spratley, and Mr. Dupr6. Miriam 
was sure she did ; but even when I put on a bold face, 
and tried to look, something kept me from seeing; 
so I had all the appearance of staring, without 
deriving the slightest benefit from it. Wonder what 
makes me such a fool? 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Mr. Conn writes that Captain Bradford is 
wounded, but does not say whether he is here. 


Thursday, July 23d. 

It is bad policy to keep us from seeing the prison- 
ers; it just sets us wild about them. Put a creature 
you don't care for in the least, in a situation that 
commands sympathy, and nine out of ten girls will 
fall desperately in love. Here are brave, self-sacri- 
ficing, noble men who have fought heroically for us, 
and have been forced to surrender by unpropitious 
fate, confined in a city peopled by their friends and 
kindred, and as totally isolated from them as though 
they inhabited the Dry Tortugas ! Ladies are natu- 
rally hero-worshipers. We are dying to show these 
unfortunates that we are as proud of their bravery 
as though it had led to victory instead of defeat. 
Banks wills that they remain in privacy. Conse- 
quently our vivid imaginations are constantly occu- 
pied in depicting their sufferings, privations, hero- 
ism, and manifold virtues, until they have almost 
become as demigods to us. Even horrid little Cap- 
tain C has a share of my sympathy in his 

misfortune ! Fancy what must be my feelings where 
those I consider as gentlemen are concerned! It is 
all I can do to avoid a most tender compassion for a 
very few select ones. Miriam and I are looked on 
with envy by other young ladies because some 
twenty or thirty of our acquaintance have already 
arrived. To know a Port Hudson defender is con- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary' 

sidered as the greatest distinction one need desire. 
If they would only let us see the prisoners once to 
sympathize with, and offer to assist them, we would 
never care to call on them again until they are liber- 
ated. But this is aggravating. Of what benefit is it 
to send them lunch after lunch, when they seldom 
receive it? Colonel Steadman and six others, I am 
sure, did not receive theirs on Sunday. We sent with 
the baskets a number of cravats and some handker- 
chiefs I had embroidered for the Colonel. 

Brother should forbid those gentlemen writing, 
too. Already a dozen notes have been received from 
them, and what can we do ? We can't tell them not to. 
Miriam received a letter from Major Spratley this 
morning, raving about the kindness of the ladies of 
New Orleans, full of hope of future successes, and 
vows to help deliver the noble ladies from the hands 
of their oppressors, etc. It is a wonder that such a 
patriotic effusion could be smuggled out. He kindly 
assures us that not only those of our acquaintance 
there, but all their brother officers, would be more 
than happy to see us in their prison. Position of 
affairs rather reversed since we last met ! 


New Orleans, August, 1863. 
Friday, 14th. 

Doomed to be bored! To-night Miriam drags me 
to a soiree musicale, and in the midst of my toilet, I 
sit down with bare shoulders to scratch a dozen lines 
in my new treasure which has been by me for three 
days, untouched. I don't know what tempts me to 
do it except perversity ; for I have nothing to say. 

I was in hopes that I would never have occasion to 
refer to the disagreeable subject that occupied the 
last pages of my old journal, but the hope proves 
fallacious, and wherever I turn, the same subject is 
renewed. So there is no longer any reason in waiting 
until all mention can be avoided. Yesterday a little, 
sly, snaky creature asked me if I knew *' the Hero of 
Port Hudson." ''Yes," I said briefly. "Unmistak- 
able! I see it in your face!" she remarked. "See 
what?" "That you betray yourself. Do you know 
that every one believes that you are engaged to 
him?" In surprise I said no; such a thing had never 
been mentioned before me until then. "Well! they 
say so, and add, too, that you are to be married as 
soon as the war is over." " ' They ' are paying me an 
undeserved compliment," I returned. Where could 
such a report have originated? Not certainly from 
him, and not, most assuredly, from me. Where does 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Dame rumor spring from? He is a stranger here, and 
I have never mentioned his name except to the Peirces, 
who would no more report such a thing than I would 
myself. I won't mind it if it does not reach his ears; 
but what assurance have I that it will not? That 
would be unpleasant! Why can't ''they say" let 
everybody settle their own affairs? 

Here comes Miriam after me! What a bore! 
What a bore! And she looks as though it was a 
pleasure to go out! How I hate it! 

Glancing up the page, the date strikes my eye. 
What tempted me to begin it Friday? My dear Ada 
would shiver and declare the blank pages were 
reserved for some very painful, awful, uncomfort- 
able record, or that "something" would happen 
before the end of it. Nothing very exciting can 
happen, except the restoration of peace; and to 
bring that about, I would make a vow to write only 

on Fridays. 

Sunday, i6th. 

Coming out of church this morning with Miriam, 
a young lady ran up with an important air, as 
though about to create a sensation. " I have a mes- 
sage for you both," she said, fixing her eyes on mine 
as though she sought something in them. "I visit 
the prisoners frequently, you know, and day before 
yesterday Captain Steadman requested me to beg 
you to call, that he will not take a refusal, but en- 
treated you to come, if it were only once." The fates 
must be against me ; I had almost forgotten his exist- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

ence, and having received the same message fre- 
quently from another, I thoughtlessly said, ''You 
mean Colonel, do you not?" Fortunately Miriam 
asked the same question at the instant that I was 
beginning to believe I had done something very 
foolish. The lady looked at me with her calm, scru- 
tinizing, disagreeable smile — a smile that had all 
the unpleasant insinuations eyes and lips can con- 
vey, a smile that looked like "I have your secret — 
you can't deceive we " — and said with her piercing 
gaze, '' No, not the Colonel. He was very ill that day 
(did you know it?) and could not see us. This was 
really the Captain." *'He is very kind," I stam- 
mered, and suggested to Miriam that we had better 
pass on. The lady was still eyeing me inquisitively. 
Decidedly, this is unpleasant to have the reputation 
of being engaged to a man that every girl is crazy 
to win ! If one only cared for him, it would not be so 
unpleasant; but under the circumstances, — ah gaf 
why don't they make him over to the young lady 
whose father openly avows he would be charmed to 
have him for a son-in-law? This report has cost me 
more than one impertinent stare. The young ladies 
think it a very enviable position. Let some of them 
usurp it, then! 

So the young lady, not having finished her exam- 
ination, proposed to accompany us part of the way. 
As a recompense, we were regaled with charming 
little anecdotes about herself, and her visits. How 
she had sent a delightful little custard to the Colonel 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

(here was a side glance at my demure face) and had 
carried an autographic album in her last visit, and 
had insisted on their inscribing their names, and 
writing a verse or so. "How interesting!" was my 
mental comment. "Can a man respect a woman 
who thrusts him her album, begging for a compli- 
ment the first time they meet? What fools they must 
think us, if they take such as these for specimens of 
the genus!'* 

Did we know Captain Lanier? Know him, no! 
but how vividly his face comes before me when I 
look back to that grand smash-up at Port Hudson, 
when his face was the last I saw before being thrown, 
and the first I recognized when I roused myself from 
my stupor and found myself in the arms of the 
young Alabamian. At the sound of his name, I fairly 
saw the last ray of sunset flashing over his handsome 
face, as I saw it then. No, I did not know him. He 
had spoken to me, begging to be allowed to hold me, 
and I had answered, entreating him not to touch 
me, and that was all I knew of him ; but she did not 
wait for the reply. She hurried on to say that she 
had sent him a bouquet, with a piece of poetry, and 
that he had been heard to exclaim, "How beauti- 
ful!" on reading it. "And do you know," she con- 
tinued, with an air that was meant to be charmingly 
naif, but which was not very successful, as naive t6 
at twenty-nine is rather flat, "I am so much afraid 
he thinks it original! I forgot to put quotation 
marks, and it would be so funny in him to make the 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

mistake ! For you know I have not much of the — 
of that sort of thing about me — I am not a poet — 
poetess, author, you know." Said Miriam in her 
blandest tone, without a touch of sarcasm in her 
voice, '*0h, if he has ever seen you, the mistake is 
natural!" If I had spoken, my voice would have 
carried a sting in it. So I waited until I could calmly 
say, "You know him well, of course." **No, I never 
saw him before!" she answered with a new outburst 
of naivete. 

Monday, August 24th. 

A letter from Captain Bradford to Miriam. My 
poor Adonis, that I used to ridicule so unmercifully, 
what misfortunes have befallen him ! He writes that 
during the siege at Port Hudson he had the top of 
his ear shot off (wonder if he lost any of that beauti- 
ful golden fleece yclept his hair?), and had the cap 
of his knee removed by a shell, besides a third wound 
he does not specify. Fortunately he is with kind 
friends. And he gives news of Lydia, most accept- 
able since such a time has elapsed since we heard 
from her. . . . He says, "Tell Miss Sarah that the 
last I saw of John, he was crossing the Mississippi in 
a skiff, his parole in his pocket, his sweet little sister 
by his side," (O you wretch! at it again!) "and 
Somebody else in his heart." How considerate to 
volunteer the last statement ! Then followed half a 
page of commendation for his bravery, daring, and 
skill during the siege (the only kind word he ever 
spoke of him, I dare say), all looking as though I 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

was to take it as an especial compliment to myself, 
and was expected to look foolish, blush, and say 
"Thanky" for it. As though I care! 

Monday night. 

I consider myself outrageously imposed upon! I 
am so indignant that I have spent a whole evening 
making faces at myself. "Please, Miss Sarah, look 
natural ! " William petitions. " I never saw you look 
cross before." Good reason! I never had more 
cause! However, I stop in the midst of a hideous 
grimace, and join in a game of hide the switch with 
the children to forget my annoyance. 

Of course a woman is at the bottom of it. Last 
night while Ada and Marie were here, a young lady 
whose name I decline to reveal for the sake of the 
sex, stopped at the door with an English officer, and 
asked to see me in the entry. I had met her once 
before. Remember this, for that is the chief cause 
of my anger. Of course they were invited in ; but she 
declined, saying she had but a moment, and had a 
message to deliver to me alone, so led me apart. 
"Of course you know who it is from? " she began. I 
told a deliberate falsehood, and said no, though I 
guessed instantly. She told me the name then. She 
had visited the prison the day before, and there had 
met the individual whose name, joined to mine, has 
given me more trouble and annoyance during the 
last few months than it would be possible to men- 
tion. "And our entire conversation was about you," 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

she said, as though to flatter my vanity immensely. 
He told her then that he had written repeatedly 
to me, without receiving an answer, and at last had 
written again, in which he had used some expressions 
which he feared had offended my reserved disposi- 
tion. Something had made me angry, for without 
returning letter or message to say I was not dis- 
pleased, I had maintained a resolute silence, which 
had given him more pain and uneasiness than he 
could say. That during all this time he had had no 
opportunity of explaining it to me, and that now he 
begged her to tell me that he would not offend me 
for worlds — that he admired me more than any one 
he had ever met, that he could not help saying what 
he did, but was distressed at offending me, etc. The 
longest explanation! And she was directed to beg 
me to explain my silence, and let him know if I was 
really offended, and also leave no entreaty or argu- 
ment untried to induce me to visit the prison; he 
must see me. 

As to visiting the prison, I told her that was im- 
possible. (O how glad I am that I never did !) But 
as to the letters, told her **to assure him that I had 
not thought of them in that light, and had passed 
over the expressions he referred to as idle words it 
would be ridiculous to take offense at ; and that my 
only reason for persevering in this silence had been 
that Brother disapproved of my writing to gentle- 
men, and I had promised that I would not write to 
him. That I had feared he would misconstrue my 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

silence, and had wished to explain it to him, but I 
had no means of doing so except by breaking my 
promise; and so had preferred leaving all explana- 
tion to time, and some future opportunity." 

"But you did not mean to pain him, did you?" 
the dear little creature coaxingly lisped, standing 
on tiptoe to kiss me as she spoke. I assured her that 
I had not. **He has been dangerously ill," she con- 
tinued, apologizingly, "and sickness has made him 
more morbid and more unhappy about it than he 
would otherwise have been. It has distressed him a 
great deal." 

I felt awkwardly. How was it that this girl, meet- 
ing him for the first and only time in her life, had 
contrived to learn so much that she had no right to 
know, and appeared here as mediator between two 
who were strangers to her, so far usurping a place 
she was not entitled to, as to apologize to me for his 
sensitiveness, and to entreat me to tell him he had 
not forfeited my esteem, as though she was his most 
intimate friend, and I a passing acquaintance? Fail- 
ing to comprehend it, I deferred it to a leisure mo- 
ment to think over, and in the mean time exerted 
myself to be affable. 

I can't say half she spoke of, but as she was going 
she said, "Then will you give me permission to say 
as many sweet things for you as I can think of? I 'm 
going there to-morrow." I told her I would be afraid 
to give her carte blanche on such a subject; but that 
she would really oblige me by explaining about the 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

letters. She promised, and after another kiss, and a 
few whispered words, left me. 

Maybe she exaggerated, though! Uncharitable 
as the supposition was, it was a consolation. I was 
unwilling to believe that any one who professed to 
esteem me would make me the subject of conversa- 
tion with a stranger — and such a conversation! 
So my comfort was only in hoping that she had re- 
lated a combination of truth and fiction, and that 
he had not been guilty of such folly. 

Presently it grew clearer to me. I must be grow- 
ing in wickedness, to fathom that of others, I who so 
short a time ago disbelieved in the very existence of 
such a thing. I remembered having heard that the 
young lady and her family were extremely anxious 
to form his acquaintance, and that her cousin had 
coolly informed Ada that she had selected him 
among all others, and meant to have him for a' ' beau * * 
as soon as she could be introduced to him ; I remem- 
bered that the young lady herself had been very 
anxious to discover whether the reputation common 
report had given me had any foundation. 

As soon as we were alone, I told mother of our 
conversation in the entry, and said, "And now I am 
certain that this girl has made use of my name to 
become acquainted with him." 

Thursday, loth September. 
O my prophetic soul ! part of your forebodings are 
already verified ! And in what an unpleasant way ! 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Day before yesterday an English officer, not the 
one who came here, but one totally unknown to me, 
said at Mrs. Peirce's he was going to visit the Con- 
federate prisoners. He was asked if he knew any. 
Slightly, he said ; but he was going this time by re- 
quest ; he had any quantity of messages to deliver to 

Colonel from Miss Sarah Morgan. ''How can 

that be possible, since you are not acquainted with 
her? " Ada demanded. He had the impudence to say 
that the young lady I have already mentioned had 
requested him to deliver them for her, since she 
found it impossible. Fortunately for me, I have two 
friends left. Feeling the indelicacy of the thing, and 
knowing that there must be some mistake that might 
lead to unpleasant consequences, Ada and Marie, 
my good angels, insisted on hearing the messages. 
At first he refused, saying that they were entrusted 
to him confidentially; but being assured that they 
were really intimate with me, whereas the other was 
a perfect stranger, and that I would certainly not 
object to their hearing what I could tell a gentle- 
man, he yielded, fortunately for my peace of mind, 
and told all. 

I can't repeat it. I was too horrified to hear all, 
when they told me. What struck me as being most 
shocking was my distorted explanation about the 
letters. It now set forth that I was not allowed to 
write myself, but would be happy to have him write 
to me ; then there was an earnest assurance that my 
feelings toward him had not changed in the least — 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Here I sprang from my chair and rushed to the 
window for a breath of air, wringing my hands in 
speechless distress. How a word more or less, an 
idea omitted or added, a syllable misplaced, can 
transform a whole sentence, and make what was 
before harmless, really shocking ! 

And if it had not been for Ada and Marie — ! 
Blessed angels! they entreated him not to deliver any 
of his messages, insisting that there must be a mis- 
take, that if he knew me he would understand that 
it was impossible for me to have sent such a message 
by a stranger. And although at first he declared he 
felt obliged to discharge the task imposed on him, 
they finally succeeded in persuading him to relin- 
quish the errand, promising to be rCvSponsible for the 

"Ah me!" I gasped last night, making frantic 
grimaces in the dark, and pinching myself in dis- 
gust, "why can't they let me alone? . . . O women — 
women! I wish he could marry all of you, so you 
would let me alone! Take him, please; but en grdce 
don't disgrace me in the excitement of the race!'* 

Friday, 25th. 

Write me down a witch, a prophetess, or what 
you will. I am certainly something! All has come 
to pass on that very disagreeable subject very much 
as I feared. Perhaps no one in my position would 
speak freely on the subject; for that very reason I 
shall not hesitate to discuss it. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Know, then, that this morning, He went North 
along with many other Confederate prisoners, to be 
exchanged. And he left — he who has written so 
incessantly and so imploringly for me to visit his 
prison — he left without seeing me. Bon! Wonder 
what happened? 


I have learned more. He has not yet left ; part of 
the mystery is unraveled, only I have neither pa- 
tience nor desire to seek for more. These women — ! 
Hush! to slander is too much like them; be 

My sweet little lisper informed a select circle of 
friends the other night, when questioned, that the 
individual had not called on me, and, what was more, 
would not do so. ''Pray, how do you happen to be 
so intimately acquainted with the affairs of two who 
are strangers to you?" asked a lady present. She 
declined saying how she had obtained her informa- 
tion, only asserting that it was so. "In fact, you 
cannot expect any Confederate gentleman to call at 
the house of Judge Morgan, a professed Unionist,'* 
she continued. So that is the story she told to keep 
him from seeing me. She has told him that we had 
turned Yankees! All her arts would not grieve me 
as much as one word against Brother. My wrongs 
I can forget ; but one word of contempt for Brother I 
never forgive ! White with passion I said to my in- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

formant, "Will you inform the young lady that her 
visit will never be returned, that she is requested not 
to repeat hers, and that I decline knowing any one 
who dares cast the slightest reflection on the name of 
one who has been both father and brother to me!" 
This evening I was at a house where she was an- 
nounced. Miriam and I bade our hostess good- 
evening and left without speaking to her. Anybody 
but Brother ! No one shall utter his name before me 
save with respect and regard. 

This young woman's father is a Captain in the 
Yankee navy, and her brother is a Captain in the 
Yankee army, while three other brothers are in the 
Confederate. Like herself, I have three brothers 
fighting for the South ; unlike her, the only brother 
who avows himself a Unionist has too much regard 
for his family to take up arms against his own flesh 
and blood. 

Tuesday, October 6th. 

I hope this will be the last occasion on which I 
shall refer to the topic to which this unfortunate 
book seems to have been devoted. But it gives me a 
grim pleasure to add a link to the broken chain of the 
curious story, now and then. Maybe some day the 
missing links will be supplied me, and then I can 
read the little humdrum romance of What might 
have been, or What I 'm glad never was, as easily as 
Marie tells her rosary. 

Well! the prisoners have gone at last, to my 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

unspeakable satisfaction. Day before yesterday they 
left. Now I can go out as I please, without fear of 
meeting him face to face. How odd that I should feel 
like a culprit! But that is in accordance with my 
usual judgment and consistency. Friday, I had a 
severe fright. Coming up Camp Street with Ada, 
after a ramble on Canal, we met two Confederates. 
Everywhere that morning we had met gray coats, 
but none that I recognized. Still, without looking, 
I saw through my eyelids, as it were, two hands 
timidly touch two gray caps, as though the question 
*'May I?" had not yet been answered. In vain I 
endeavored to meet their eyes, or give the faintest 
token of greeting. I was too frightened and embar- 
rassed to speak, and only by a desperate effort suc- 
ceeded in bending my head in a doubtful bow, that 
would have disgraced a dairy maid, after we had 
passed. Then, disgusted with myself, I endeavored 
to be comforted with the idea that they had perhaps 
mistaken me for some one else ; that having known 
me at a time when I was unable to walk, they could 
have no idea of my height and figure, or walk. So I 
reasoned, turning down a side street. Lo! at a re- 
spectable distance they were following! We had 
occasion to go into a daguerreau salon. While 
standing in the light, two gray uniforms, watching 
us from the dark recess at the door, attracted my 
attention. Pointing them out to Ada, I hurried her 
past them downstairs to the street. Faster and faster 
we walked, until at the corner I turned to look. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

There they were again, sauntering leisurely along. 
We turned into another street, mingled in the 
crowd, and finally lost sight of them. That fright 
lasted me an hour or two. Whose purse have I 
stolen, that I am afraid to look these men in the 

But what has this to do with what I meant to tell? 
How loosely and disconnectedly my ideas run out 
with the ink from my pen ! I meant to say how sorry 
I am for my dear little lisper that she failed in her 
efforts to conquer the "Hero"; and here I have 
drifted off in a page of trash that does not concern 
her in the least. Well ! she did not succeed, and what- 
ever she told him was told in vain, as far as she was 
concerned. He was not to be caught! What an 
extraordinary man! Dozens fighting for the prefer- 
ence, and he in real, or pretended ignorance. 

I must do him the justice to say he is the most 
guileless, as well as the most honest of mortals. He 
told the mother of a rich and pretty daughter what 
he thought of me ; that my superior did not exist on 
earth, and my equal he had never met. Ha! ha! this 
pathetic story makes me laugh in spite of myself. Is 
it excess of innocence, or just a r6Ie he adopted? 
Stop! His idle word is as good as an oath. He could 
not pretend to what he did not believe. He told her 
of his earnest and sincere admiration — words ! 
words! hurry on! She asked how it was then — ? 
Here he confessed, with a mixture of pride and peni- 
tence, that he had written me letters which abso- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

lutely required answers, and to which I had never 
deigned to reply by even a word. That, mortified 
beyond measure at my silent contempt, he had 
tried every means of ascertaining the cause of my 
coldness, but I had never vouchsafed an answer, 
but had left him to feel the full force of my harsh 
treatment without one word of explanation. That 
when he was paroled, he had hoped that I would see 
him to tell him wherein he had forfeited my esteem ; 
but I had not invited him to call, and mortified and 
repulsed as he had been, it was impossible for him to 
call without my permission. . . . Did my little lisper 
change the message when the little midshipman told 
her it had been intercepted because too friendly? I 
know she met this martyred Lion frequently after 
that and had many opportunities of telling him the 
simple truth, but she evidently did not. 

He has gone away with sorely wounded feelings, 
to say nothing more; for that I am sincerely sorry; 
but I trust to his newly acquired freedom, and his 
life of danger and excitement, to make him forget 
the wrongs he believes himself to have suffered at 
my hands. If it was all to be gone through again 
(which thank Heaven, I will never be called upon to 
endure again), I would follow Brother's advice as 
implicitly then as I did before. He is right, and 
without seeing, I believe. They tell me of his altered 
looks, and of his forced, reckless gaiety which, so 
strangely out of keeping with his natural character, 
but makes his assumed part more conspicuous. No 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

matter ! He will recover ! Nothing like a sea voyage 
for disorders of all kinds. And we will never meet 
again; that is another consolation. 

** Notice: The public are hereby informed through 

Mrs. , Chief Manager of the Theatre of High 

Tragedy, that Miss Sarah M., having been proved 
unworthy and incompetent to play the r61e of 
Ariadne, said part will hereafter be filled by Miss 
Blank, of Blank Street, who plays it with a fidelity 
so true to nature that she could hardly be surpassed 
by the original.*' 

Monday, November 9th. 

Another odd link of the old, stale story has come 
to me, all the way from, New York. A friend of mine, 
who went on the same boat with the prisoners, wrote 
to her mother to tell her that she had formed the 
acquaintance of the most charming, fascinating 
gentleman among them, no other than my once 
friend. Of course, she would have been less than a 
woman if she had not gossiped when she discovered 
who he was. So she sends me word that he told her 
he had been made to believe, as long as he was on 
parole in New Orleans, that we were all Unionists 
now, and that Brother would not allow a Confeder- 
ate to enter the house. (O my little lisper, was I 
unjust to you?) He told her that I had been very 
kind to him when he was in prison, and he would 
have forgotten the rest and gladly have called to 
thank me in person for the kindness he so gratefully 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

remembered, if I alone had been concerned; but he 
felt he could not force himself unasked into my 
brother's house. . . . 

She told him how false it was. 

Sunday, November 22d. 

A report has just reached us that my poor dear 
Gibbes has been taken prisoner along with the rest 
of Hayes's brigade. 

November 26th. 

Yes! It is so, if his own handwriting is any proof. 
Mr. Appleton has just sent Brother a letter he had 
received from Gibbes, asking him to let Brother 
know he was a prisoner, and we have heard, through 
some one else, that he had been sent to Sandusky. 
Brother has applied to have him paroled and sent 
here, or even imprisoned here, if he cannot be 

Monday, November 30th. 
Our distress about Gibbes has been somewhat 
relieved by good news from Jimmy. The jolliest 
sailor letter from him came this morning, dated 
only the 4th instant from Cherbourg, detailing his 
cruise on the Georgia from leaving England, to 
Bahia, Trinidad, Cape of Good Hope, to France 
again. Such a bright, dashing letter! We laughed 
extravagantly over it when he told how they readily 
evaded the Vanderbilt, knowing she would knock 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

them into "pie"; how he and the French Captain 
quarreled when he ordered him to show his papers, 
and how he did not know French abuse enough to 
enter into competition with him, so went back a 
first and second time to Maury when the man would 
not let him come aboard, whereupon Maury brought 
the ship to with two or three shots and Jimmy made 
a third attempt, and forced the Frenchman to show 
his papers. He tells it in such a matter-of-fact way ! 
No extravagance, no idea of having been in a danger- 
ous situation, he a boy of eighteen, on a French ship 
in spite of the Captain's rage. What a jolly life it 
must be! Now dashing in storms and danger, now 
floating in sunshine and fun ! Wish I was a midship- 
man ! Then how he changes, in describing the prize 
with an assorted cargo that they took, which con- 
tained all things from a needle to pianos, from the 
reckless spurt in which he speaks of the plundering, 
to where he tells of how the Captain, having died 
several days before, was brought on the Georgia 
while Maury read the service over the body and con- 
signed it to the deep by the flames of the dead man's 
own vessel. What noble, tender, manly hearts it 
shows, those rough seamen stopping in their work of 
destruction to perform the last rites over their dead 
enemy. One can fancy their bare heads and sun- 
burned faces standing in solemn silence around the 
poor dead man when he dropped into his immense 
grave. God bless the "pirates"! 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Thursday night, December 31st, 1863. 
The last of eighteen sixty-three is passing away as 
I write. . . . Every New Year since I was in my 
teens, I have sought a quiet spot where I could whis- 
per to myself Tennyson's "Death of the Old Year," 
and even this bitter cold night I steal into my freez- 
ing, fireless little room, en robe de nuit, to keep up my 
old habit while the others sleep. . . . 

" Old year, you shall not die; 
We did so laugh and cry with you, 
I 've half a mind to die with you, 
Old year, if you must die." 

No ! Go and welcome ! Bring Peace and brighter 
days, O dawning New Year. Die, faster and faster, 
Old One ; I count your remaining moments with al- 
most savage glee. 

Wednesday, February 3d. 

Last night we were thrown into the most violent 
state of commotion by the unexpected entrance of 
Captain Bradford. He has been brought here a 
prisoner, from Asphodel, where he has been ever 
since the surrender of Port Hudson, and taking 
advantage of his tri-weekly parole, his first visit was 
naturally here, as he has no other friends. 

Poor creature, how he must have suffered! The 
first glance at his altered face where suffering and 
passion have both left their traces unmistakably 
since we last met, and the mere sight of his poor lame 
leg, filled my heart with compassion. 


A Confederate Girl^s Diary 

How he hates Mr. Halsey ! I could not forego the 
pleasure of provoking him into a discussion about 
him, knowing how they hated each other. He would 
not say anything against him ; understand, that as a 
gentleman and a companion, Mr. Halsey was his 
warmest and best friend; there was no one he ad- 
mired more; but he must say that as a soldier, he 
was the worst he had ever seen — not that he was 
not as brave and gallant a man as ever lived, but he 
neglected his duties most shamefully while visiting 
Linwood so constantly, eluding the sentinels daily as 
he asked for neither pass nor permission, and con- 
sulting only his inclinations instead of his superior 
officers or his business. And that last night at Lin- 
wood, when he absented himself without leave, why 
could he not have signified to him, his Captain, that 
he wished to say good-bye, instead of quietly doing 
as he pleased ? When the Colonel sent for a report of 
the number of men, quantity of forage and ammuni- 
tion, etc., and it was discovered that John Halsey 
was absent without leave, with the books locked up 
and the keys in his pocket — even after this lapse of 
time, the fire flashed through the ice as the Captain 
spoke. Sergeant Halsey, I am sorry for you when 
you reported yourself next day! All the fun that 
could have been crowded into an evening at Linwood 
could not have repaid you for the morning's scene. 
And after all, what was it beyond very empty pleas- 
ure, with a great deal of laughter? He could have 
dispensed with it just as well. Looking back, I con- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

gratulate myself on being the only one who did not 
ask him to stay. 


Not dead! not dead! O my God! Gibbes is not 
dead! Where — O dear God! Another? 

Only a few days ago came a letter so cheerful and 
hopeful — we have waited and prayed so patiently 
— at my feet lies one from Colonel Steadman saying 
he is dead. Dead! Suddenly and without a moment's 
warning summoned to God ! No ! it cannot be ! I am 
mad! O God, have mercy on us! My poor mother! 
And Lydia! Lydia! God comfort you! My brain 
seems afire. Am I mad? Not yet! God would not 
take him yet! He will come again! Hush, God is 
good! Not dead ! not dead ! 

O Gibbes, come back to us! 


O God, O God, have mercy on us! George is 
dead ! Both in a week. George, our sole hope — our 
sole dependence. 


Dead ! Dead ! Both dead ! O my brothers ! What 
have we lived for except you? We, who would have 
so gladly laid down our lives for yours, are left 
desolate to mourn over all we loved and hoped for, 
weak and helpless; while you, so strong, noble, 
and brave, have gone before us without a murmur. 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

God knows best. But it is hard — O so hard ! to give 
them up. . . . 

If we had had any warning or preparation, this 
would not have been so unspeakably awful. But to 
shut one's eyes to all dangers and risks, and drown 
every rising fear with ''God will send them back; I 
will not doubt His mercy," and then suddenly to 
learn that your faith has been presumption — and 
God wills that you shall undergo bitter affliction — it 
is a fearful awakening! What glory have we ever 
rendered to God that we should expect him to be 
so merciful to us? Are not all things His, and is not 
He infinitely more tender and compassionate than 
we deserve? 

We have deceived ourselves wilfully about both. 
After the first dismay on hearing of Gibbes's cap- 
ture, we readily listened to the assertions of our 
friends that Johnson's Island was the healthiest place 
in the world ; that he would be better off, comfort- 
ably clothed and under shelter, than exposed to shot 
and shell, half fed, and lying on the bare ground 
during Ewell's winter campaign. We were thankful 
for his safety, knowing Brother would leave nothing 
undone that could add to his comfort. And besides 
that, there was the sure hope of his having him 
paroled. On that hope we lived all winter — now 
confident that in a little while he would be with us, 
then again doubting for a while, only to have the 
hope grow surer afterwards. And so we waited and 
prayed, never doubting he would come at last. He 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

himself believed it, though striving not to be too 
hopeful lest he should disappoint us, as well as him- 
self. Yet he wrote cheerfully and bravely to the last. 
Towards the middle of January, Brother was sure 
of succeeding, as all the prisoners had been placed 
under Butler's control. Ah me! How could we be 
so blind? We were sure he would be with us in a 
few weeks! I wrote to him that I had prepared 
his room. 

On the 30th of January came his last letter, ad- 
dressed to me, though meant for Lavinia. It was 
dated the 12th — the day George died. All his let- 
ters pleaded that I would write more frequently — 
he loved to hear from me; so I had been writing to 
him every ten days. On the 3d of February I sent 
my last. Friday the 5th, as I was running through 
Miriam's room, I saw Brother pass the door, and 
heard him ask Miriam for mother. The voice, the 
bowed head, the look of utter despair on his face, 
struck through me like a knife. "Gibbes! Gibbes!" 
was my sole thought; but Miriam and I stood mo- 
tionless looking at each other without a word. 
"Gibbes is dead," said mother as he stood before her. 
He did not speak; and then we went in. 

We did not ask how, or when. That he was dead 
was enough for us. But after a while he told us Uncle 
James had written that he had died at two o'clock 
on Thursday the 21st. Still we did not know how he 
had died. Several letters that had been brought re- 
mained unopened on the floor. One, Brother opened, 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

hoping to learn something more. It was from Colonel 
Steadman to Miriam and me, written a few hours 
after his death, and contained the sad story of our 
dear brother's last hours. 

He had been in Colonel Steadman's ward of the 
hospital for more than a week, with headache and 
sore throat, but it was thought nothing ; he seemed 
to improve, and expected to be discharged in a few 
days. On the 2 1st he complained that his throat 
pained him again. After prescribing for him, and 
talking cheerfully with him for some time, Colonel 
Steadman left him surrounded by his friends, to 
attend to his other patients. He had hardly reached 
his room when some one ran to him saying Captain 
Morgan was dying. He hurried to his bedside, and 
found him dead. Captain Steadman, sick in the next 
bed, and those around him, said he had been talking 
pleasantly with them, when he sat up to reach his 
cup of water on the table. As soon as he drank it he 
seemed to suffocate; and after tossing his arms 
wildly in the air, and making several fearful efforts 
to breathe, he died. 

''Hush, mother, hush," I said when I heard her 
cries. ''We have Brother and George and Jimmy 
left, and Ly dia has lost all ! " Heaven pity us ! George 
had gone before — only He in mercy kept the knowl- 
edge of it from us for a while longer. 

On Thursday the nth, as we sat talking to 
mother, striving to make her forget the weary days 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

we had cried through with that fearful sound of 
"Dead! Dead!" ringing ever in our ears, some one 
asked for Miriam. She went down, and presently I 
heard her thanking somebody for a letter. ' ' You could 
not have brought me anything more acceptable! It 
is from my sister, though she can hardly have heard 
from us yet!" I ran back, and sitting at mother's 
feet, told her Miriam was coming with a letter from 
Lydia. Mother cried at the mention of her name. O 
my little sister ! You know how dear you are to us ! 
"Mother! Mother!" a horrible voice cried, and be- 
fore I could think who it was, Miriam rushed in, 
holding an open letter in her hand, and perfectly 
wild . " George is dead ! ' ' she shrieked , and fell heavily 
to the ground. 

O my God! I could have prayed Thee to take 
mother, too, when I looked at her. I thought — I 
almost hoped she was dead, and that pang spared ! 
But I was wild myself. I could have screamed ! — 
laughed! "It is false!' Do you hear me, mother? 
God would not take both! George is not dead!" I 
cried, trying in vain to arouse her from her horrible 
state or bring one ray of reason to her eye. I spoke to 
a body alive only to pain ; not a sound of my voice 
seemed to reach her; only fearful moans showed she 
was yet alive. 

Miriam lay raving on the ground. Poor Miriam! 
her heart's idol torn away. God help my darling! I 
did not understand that George could die until I 
looked at her. In vain I strove to raise her from the 


A Confederate Girl*s Diary 

ground, or check her wild shrieks for death. ' ' George ! 
only George!" she would cry; until at last, with the 
horror of seeing both die before me, I mastered 
strength enough to go for the servant and bid her run 
quickly for Brother. 

How long I stood there alone, I never knew. I 
remember Ada coming in hurriedly and asking 
what it was. I told her George was dead. It was a 
relief to see her cry. I could not; but I felt the pain 
afresh, as though it were her brother she was cry- 
ing over, not mine. And the sight of her tears 
brought mine, too. We could only cry over mother 
and Miriam; we could not rouse them; we did not 
know what to do. 

Some one called me in the entry. I went, not 
understanding what I was doing. A lady came to me, 
told me her name, and said something about George; 
but I could not follow what she said. It was as though 
she was talking in a dream. I believe she repeated 
the words several times, for at last she shook me and 
said, "Listen! Rouse yourself! the letter is about 
George!" Yes, I said; he is dead. She said I must 
read the letter; but I could not see, so she rfead it 
aloud. It was from Dr. Mitchell, his friend who was 
with him when he died, telling of his sickness and 
death. He died on Tuesday the I2th of January, 
after an illness of six days, conscious to"the last and 
awaiting the end as only a Christian, and one who 
has led so beautiful a life, could, with the Grace of 
God, look for it. He sent messages to his brothers 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

and sisters, and bade them tell his mother his last 
thoughts were of her, and that he died trusting in 
the mercy of the Saviour. George! our pride! our 
beautiful, angel brother! Could he die? Surely God 
has sent all these afflictions within these three years 
to teach us that our hopes must be placed Above, 
and that it is blasphemy to have earthly idols! 

The letter said that the physicians had mistaken 
his malady, which was inflammation of the bowels, 
and he had died from being treated for something 
else. It seemed horrible cruelty to read me that 
part ; I knew that if mother or Miriam ever heard of 
it, it would kill them. So I begged Mrs. Mitchell 
never to let them hear of it. She seemed to think 
nothing of the pain it would inflict; how could she 
help telling if they asked? she said. I told her I must 
insist on her not mentioning it; it would only add 
suffering to what was already insupportable ; if they 
asked for the letter, offer to read it aloud, but say 
positively that she would not allow any one to touch 
it except herself, and then she might pass it over in 
silence. I roused Miriam then and sent her to hear it 
read. She insisted on reading it herself, and half 
dead with grief held out her hands, begging piteously 
to be suffered to read it alone. I watched then until 
I was sure Mrs. Mitchell would keep her promise. 
Horrible as I knew it to be from strange lips, I knew 
by what I experienced that I had saved her from a 
shock that might cost her her life; and then I went 
back to mother. 


A Confederate Girl^s Diary 

No need to conceal what I felt there! She neither 
spoke nor saw. If I had shrieked that he died of ill 
treatment, she would not have understood. But I 
sat there silently with that horrible secret, wondering 
if God would help me bear it, or if despair would 
deprive me of self-control and force me presently to 
cry it aloud, though it should kill them both. 

At last Brother came. I had to meet him down- 
stairs and tell him. God spare me the sight of a 
strong man's grief! Then Sister came in, knowing 
as little as he. Poor Sister! I could have blessed her 
for every tear she shed. It was a comfort to see some 
one who had life or feeling left. I felt as though the 
whole world was dead. Nothing was real, nothing 
existed except horrible speechless pain. Life was a 
fearful dream through which but one thought ran — 
"Dead — Dead!" 

Miriam had been taken to her room more dead 
than alive — Mother lay speechless in hers. The 
shock of this second blow had obliterated, with them, 
all recollection of the first. It was a mercy I envied 
them; for I remembered both, until loss of con- 
sciousness would have seemed a blessing. I shall 
never forget mother's shriek of horror when towards 
evening she recalled it. O those dreadful days of 
misery and wretchedness! It seems almost sacrilege 
to refer to them now. They are buried in our hearts 
with our boys — thought of with prayers and tears. 

How will the world seem to us now? What will life 
be without the boys? When this terrible strife is 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

over, and so many thousands return to their homes, 
what will peace bring us of all we hoped? Jimmy! 
Dear Lord, spare us that one! 

November 2d, 1864. 

This morning we heard Jimmy is engaged to Helen 
Trenholm, daughter of the Secretary of the Confed- 
erate States. He wrote asking Brother's consent, 
saying they had been engaged since August, though 
he had had no opportunity of writing until that day 
— the middle of September. I cried myself blind. It 
seems that our last one is gone. But this is the first 
selfish burst of feeling. Later I shall come to my 
senses and love my sister that is to be. But my dar- 
ling! my darling! O Jimmy! How can I give you 
up? You have been so close to me since Harry died 1 

Alone now ; best so. 

No. 19 Dauphine St., 
Saturday night, December 31st, 1864. 

One year ago, in my little room in the Camp Street 
house, I sat shivering over Tennyson and my desk, 
selfishly rejoicing over the departure of a year that 
had brought pain and discomfort only to me, and 
eagerly welcoming the dawning of the New One 
whose first days were to bring death to George and 
Gibbes, and whose latter part was to separate me 
from Miriam, and brings me news of Jimmy's 
approaching marriage. O sad, dreary, fearful Old 
Year! I see you go with pain! Bitter as you have 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

been, how do we know what the coming one has in 
store for us? What new changes will it bring? Which 
of us will it take? I am afraid of eighteen sixty-five, 
and have felt a vague dread of it for several years past. 
Nothing remains as it was a few months ago. 
Miriam went to Lilly, in the Confederacy, on the 
19th of October (ah! Miriam!), and mother and I 
have been boarding with Mrs. Postlethwaite ever 
since. I miss her sadly. Not as much, though, as I 
would were I less engaged. For since the first week 
in August, I have been teaching the children for 
Sister; and since we have been here, I go to them 
every morning instead of their coming to me. Start- 
ing out at half-past eight daily, and returning a little 
before three, does not leave me much time for melan- 
choly reflections. And there is no necessity for 
indulging in them at present; they only give pain. 

No. 211 Camp St., 
April 19th, 1865. 

''All things are taken from us, and become por- 
tions and parcels of the dreadful pasts." . . . 

Thursday the 13th came the dreadful tidings of the 
surrender of Lee and his army on the 9th. Every- 
body cried, but I would not, satisfied that God will 
still save us, even though all should apparently be 
lost. Followed at intervals of two or three hours 
by the announcement of the capture of Richmond, 
Selma, Mobile, and Johnston's army, even the stanch- 
est Southerners were hopeless. Every one proclaimed 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

Peace, and the only matter under consideration was 
whether Jeff Davis, all politicians, every man above 
the rank of Captain in the army and above that of 
Lieutenant in the navy, should be hanged imme- 
diately, or some graciously pardoned. Henry Ward 
Beecher humanely pleaded mercy for us, supported 
by a small minority. Davis and all leading men must 
be executed ; the blood of the others would serve to 
irrigate the country. Under this lively prospect, 
Peace, blessed Peace! was the cry. I whispered, 
*' Never! Let a great earthquake swallow us up first! 
Let us leave our land and emigrate to any desert 
spot of the earth, rather than return to the Union, 
even as it Was!" 

Six days this has lasted. Blessed with the 
silently obstinate disposition, I would not dispute, 
but felt my heart swell, repeating, ** God is our refuge 
and our strength, a very present help in time of 
trouble," and could not for an instant believe this 
could end in an overthrow. 

This morning, when I went down to breakfast at 
seven, Brother read the announcement of the assas- 
sination of Lincoln and Secretary Seward. 

"Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." 
This is murder! God have mercy on those who 
did it! 

Charlotte Corday killed Marat in his bath, and is 
held up in history as one of Liberty's martyrs, and 
one of the heroines of her country. To me, it is all 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

murder. Let historians extol blood-shedding; it is 
woman's place to abhor it. And because I know that 
they would have apotheosized any man who had 
crucified Jeff Davis, I abhor this, and call it foul mur- 
der, unworthy of our cause — and God grant it was 
only the temporary insanity of a desperate man that 
committed this crime! Let not his blood be visited 
on our nation, Lord! 

Across the way, a large building, undoubtedly 
inhabited by officers, is being draped in black. Im- 
mense streamers of black and white hang from the 
balcony. Downtown, I understand, all shops are 
closed, and all wrapped in mourning. And I hardly 
dare pray God to bless us, with the crape hanging 
over the way. It would have been banners, if our 
President had been killed, though! 

Saturday, 22d April. 
To see a whole city draped in mourning is certainly 
an imposing spectacle, and becomes almost grand 
when it is considered as an expression of universal 
affliction. So it is, in one sense. For the more vio- 
lently "Secesh " the inmates, the more thankful they 
are for Lincoln *s death, the more profusely the houses 
are decked with the emblems of woe. They all look 
to me like "not sorry for him, but dreadfully grieved 
to be forced to this demonstration." So all things 
have indeed assumed a funereal aspect. Men who 
have hated Lincoln with all their souls, under terror 
of confiscation and imprisonment which they under- 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

stand is the alternative, tie black crape from every 
practicable knob and point to save their homes. Last 

evening the B s were all in tears, preparing their 

mourning. What sensibility! What patriotism! a 
stranger would have exclaimed. But Bella's first 
remark was: "Is it not horrible? This vile, vile old 
crape! Think of hanging it out when — " Tears of 
rage finished the sentence. One would have thought 
pity for the murdered man had very little to do with 

Coming back in the cars, I had a rencontre that 
makes me gnash my teeth yet. It was after dark, 
and I was the only lady in a car crowded with gentle- 
men. I placed little Miriam on my lap to make room 
for some of them, when a great, dark man, all in 
black, entered, and took the seat and my left hand 
at the same instant, saying, "Good-evening, Miss 
Sarah." Frightened beyond measure to recognize 
Captain Todd^ of the Yankee army in my interlocu- 
tor, I, however, preserved a quiet exterior, and with- 
out the slightest demonstration answered, as though 
replying to an internal question. " Mr. Todd." "It 
is a long while since we met," he ventured. "Four 
years," I returned mechanically. "You have been 
well?" "My health has been bad." "I have been 
ill myself"; and determined to break the ice he 
diverged with "Baton Rouge has changed sadly." 
"I hope I shall never see it again. We have suffered 
too much to recall home with any pleasure." "I 

1 A cousin of Mrs. Lincoln. 

A Confederate Girl's Diary 

understand you have suffered severely," he said, 
glancing at my black dress. "We have yet one left 
in the army, though," I could not help saying. He, 
too, had a brother there, he said. 

He pulled the check-string as we reached the 
house, adding, ''This is it," and absurdly correcting 
himself wi th ' ' Where do you live ? " — "211. I thank 
you. Good-evening"; the last with emphasis as he 
prepared to follow. He returned the salutation, and I 
hurriedly regained the house. Monsieur stood over 
the way. A look through the blinds showed him 
returning to his domicile, several doors below. 

I returned to my own painful reflections. The Mr. 
Todd who was my ''sweetheart" when I was twelve 
and he twenty-four, who was my brother's friend, 
and daily at our home, was put away from among our 
acquaintance at the beginning of the war. This one, 
I should not know. Cords of candy and mountains 
of bouquets bestowed in childish days will not make 
my country's enemy my friend now that I am a 

Tuesday, May 2d, 1865. 
While praying for the return of those who have 
fought so nobly for us, how I have dreaded their 
first days at home ! Since the boys died, I have con- 
stantly thought of what pain it would bring to see 
their comrades return without them — to see families 
reunited, and know that ours never could be again, 
save in heaven. Last Saturday, the 29th of April, 


A Confederate Girl's Diary 

seven hundred and fifty paroled Louisianians from 
Lee's army were brought here — the sole survivors 
of ten regiments who left four years ago so full of 
hope and determination. On the 29th of April, 1861, 
George left New Orleans with his regiment. On the 
fourth anniversary of that day, they came back; but 
George and Gibbes have long been lying in their 
graves. . . . 

June 15th. 

Our Confederacy has gone with one crash — the 
report of the pistol fired at Lincoln. 


Reading this for the first time, in all these many 
years, I wish to bear record that God never failed me, 
through stranger vicissitudes than I ever dared re- 
cord. Whatever the anguish, whatever the extrem- 
ity, in His own good time He ever delivered me. So 
that I bless Him to-day for all of life's joys and sor- 
rows — for all He gave — for all He has taken — 
and I bear witness that it was all Very Good. 

Sarah. Morgan Dawson. 

July 23d, 1896. 
South Carolina. 

U . S . A 

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