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DIXIE * * * j* 

From a Portrait in Oil. 


E , as written by 

^HESNUT, JR., United States Senator from South 
Carolina, 1859-1861, and afterward an Aide 
to Jefferson Dams and a Brigadier- 
General in the Confederate Army 

Edited by 

Isabella D. Martin and 

Myrta Lockett 






Published March, 190* 




CHAPTER I. CHARLESTON, S. C., November 8, 
1860 December 27, 1860. 

The news of Lincoln s election Raising the Palmetto 
flag The author s husband resigns as United States 
Senator The Ordinance of Secession Anderson takes 
possession of Fort Sumter 1 

CHAPTER II. MONTGOMERY, Ala., February 19, 
1861 March 11, 1861. 

Making the Confederate Constitution Robert Toombs 
Anecdote of General Scott Lincoln s trip through 
Baltimore Ho well Cobb and Benjamin H. Hill Hoist 
ing the Confederate flag Mrs. Lincoln s economy in 
the White House Hopes for peace Despondent talk 
with anti-secession leaders The South unprepared 
Fort Sumter 6 

CHAPTER III. CHARLESTON, S. C., March 26, 1861 
April 15, 1861. 

A soft-hearted slave-owner Social gaiety in the midst of 
war talk Beauregard a hero and a demigod The first 
shot of the war Anderson refuses to capitulate The 
bombardment of Fort Sumter as seen from the house 
tops War steamers arrive in Charleston harbor " Bull 
Run " Russell Demeanor of the negroes ... 21 




CHAPTER IV. CAMDEN, S. C., April 20, 1861 
April 22, 1861. 

After Sumter was taken The jeunesse doree The 
story of Beaufort Watts Maria Whitaker s twins 
The inconsistencies of life 42 

CHAPTER V. MONTGOMERY, Ala., April 27, 1861 ^ 
May 20, 1861. 

Baltimore in a blaze Anderson s account of the sur 
render of Fort Sumter A talk with Alexander H. 
Stephens Reports from Washington An unexpected 
reception Southern leaders take hopeless views of 
the future Planning war measures Removal of the 
capital 47 

CHAPTER VI. CHARLESTON, S. C., May 25, 1861 
June 24, 1861. 

Waiting for a battle in Virginia Ellsworth at Alex 
andria Big Bethel Moving forward to the battle 
ground Mr. Petigru against secession Mr. Chesnut 
goes to the front Russell s letters to the London 
Times 57 

CHAPTER VII. RICHMOND, Va., June 27, 1861- 
July 4, 1861. 

Arrival at the new capital Criticism of Jefferson Davis 
Soldiers everywhere Mrs. Davis s drawing-room 
A day at the Champ de Mars The armies assembling 
for Bull Run Col. L. Q. C. Lamar . ... 68 

SPRINGS, Va., July 6, 1861 July 11, 1861. 
Cars crowded with soldiers A Yankee spy Anecdotes 
of Lincoln Gaiety in social life Listening for guns 
A horse for Beauregard 77 

CHAPTER IX. RICHMOND, Va., July 13, 1861- 
September 2, 1861. 

General Lee and Joe Johnston The battle of Bull Run 

Colonel Bartow s death Rejoicings and funerals 



Anecdotes of the battle An interview with Robert E. 
Lee Treatment of prisoners Toombs thrown from his 
horse Criticism of the Administration Paying the sol 
diers Suspected women searched Mason and Slidell . 82 

CHAPTER X. CAMDEN, S. C., September 9, 1861 
September 19, 1861. 

The author s sister, Kate Williams Old Colonel Ches- 
nut Roanoke Island surrenders Up Country and 
Low Country Family silver to be taken for war ex 
penses Mary McDuffie Hampton The Merrimac and 
the Monitor . . 127 

CHAPTER XI. COLUMBIA, S. C., February 20, 
1862 July 21, 1862. 

Dissensions among Southern leaders Uncle Tom s 
Cabin Conscription begins Abuse of Jefferson Davis 
The battle of Shiloh Beauregard flanked at Nash 
ville Old Colonel Chesnut again New Orleans lost 
The battle of Williamsburg Dinners, teas, and break 
fasts Wade Hampton at home wounded Battle of 
the Chickahominy Albert Sidney Johnston s death 
Richmond in sore straits A wedding and its tragic 
ending Malvern Hill Recognition of the Confed 
eracy in Europe 131 

CHAPTER XII. FLAT ROCK, N. C., August 1, 1862 
August 8, 1862. 

A mountain summer resort George Cuthbert A dis 
appointed cavalier Antietam and Chancellorsville 
General Chesnut s work for the army . . . .210 

CHAPTER XIII. PORTLAND, Ala., July 8, 1863 
July 30, 1863. 

A journey from Columbia to Southern Alabama The 
surrender of Vicksburg A terrible night in a swamp 
on a riverside A good pair of shoes The author at 
her mother s home Anecdotes of negroes A Federal 

Cynic 216 



CHAPTER XIV. RICHMOND, Va., August 10, 1863 
September 7, 1863. 

General Hood in Richmond A brigade marches 
through the town Rags and tatters Two love affairs 
and a wedding The battle of Brandy Station The 
Robert Barnwell tragedy 229 

CHAPTER XV. CAMDEN, S. C., September 10, 1863 
November 5, 1863. 

A bride s dressing-table Home once more at Mul 
berry Longstreet s army seen going West Constance 
and Hetty Gary At church during Stoneman s raid 
Richmond narrowly escapes capture A battle on the 
Chickahominy A picnic at Mulberry .... 240 

CHAPTER XVI. RICHMOND, Va., November 28, 
1863 April 11, 1864. 

Mr. Davis visits Charleston Adventures by rail A 
winter of mad gaiety Weddings, dinner-parties, and 
private theatricals Battles around Chattanooga 
Bragg in disfavor General Hood and his love affairs 
Some Kentucky generals Burton Harrison and Miss 
Constance Gary George Eliot Thackeray s death 
Mrs. R. E. Lee and her daughters Richmond almost 
lost Colonel Dahlgren s death General Grant De 
preciated currency Fourteen generals at church . . 252 

CHAPTER XVII. CAMDEN, S. C., May 8, 1864 
June 1, 1864. 

A farewell to Richmond "Little Joe s" pathetic death 
and funeral An old silk dress The battle of the 
Wilderness Spottsylvania Court House At Mulberry 
once more Old Colonel Chesnut s grief at his wife s 
death . .304 

CHAPTER XVIII. COLUMBIA, S. C., July 6, 1864- 
January 17, 1865. 

Gen. Joe Johnston superseded and the Alabama sunk 

The author s new home Sherman at Atlanta The 



battle of Mobile Bay At the hospital in Columbia 
Wade Hampton s two sons shot Hood crushed at 
Nashville Farewell to Mulberry Sherman s advance 
eastward The end near 313 

1865 March 15, 1865. 

The flight from Columbia A corps of generals with 
out troops Broken-hearted and an exile Taken for 
millionaires A walk with Gen. Joseph E. Johnston 
The burning of Columbia Confederate money re 
fused in the shops Selling old clothes to obtain food 
Gen. Joe Johnston and President Davis again 
Braving it out Mulberry saved by a faithful negro- 
Ordered to Chester, S. C 344 

CHAPTER XX. CHESTER, S. C., March 21, 1865 
May 1, 1865. 

How to live without money Keeping house once more 
Other refugees tell stories of their flight The Hood 
melodrama over The exodus from Richmond Pas 
sengers in a box car A visit from General Hood The 
fall of Richmond Lee s surrender Yankees hovering 
around In pursuit of President Davis . . . 367 

CHAPTER XXI. CAMDEN, S. C v May 2, 1865 
August 2, 1865. 

Once more at Bloomsbury Surprising fidelity of negroes 
Stories of escape Federal soldiers who plundered old 
estates Mulberry partly in ruins Old Colonel Chesnut 
last of the grand seigniors Two classes of sufferers 
A wedding and a funeral Blood not shed in vain . 384 

INDEX ... 405 



MRS. JAMES CHESNUT, JR Frontispiece 

From a Portrait in Oil. Reproduced by courtesy of the 
owner, Mr. David R. Williams, of Camden, S. C. 


Here First Met the South Carolina Secession Convention. 

From an Old Print. 

From an Old Print. 

Robert E. Lee, Joseph E. Johnston, Albert Sidney John 
ston, "Stonewall" Jackson, John B. Hood, and Pierre 
G. T. Beauregard. 

From a Recent Photograph. 

Mrs. Jefferson Davis, Mrs. Francis W. Pickens, Mrs. Louisa 
S. McCord, Miss S. B. C. Preston, Mrs. David R. Will 
iams (the author s sister Kate), Miss Isabella D. Martin. 

Robert Toombs, John H. Morgan, John C. Preston, Joseph 
B. Kershaw, James Chesnut, Jr., Wade Hampton, 




Now the Confederate Museum. 


From a Portrait in Oil by Gilbert Stuart. Reproduced by 
courtesy of the owner, Mr. David R. Williams, of Cam- 
den, S. C. 



Here Mrs. Chesnut entertained Jefferson Davis. 


From a Recent Photograph. 


Issued in Chester, S. C., and Announcing the Assassination 
of Lincoln. 


From a Portrait in Oil by Gilbert Stuart. Reproduced 
by courtesy of the owner, Mr. David R. Williams, of 
Camden, S. C. 


Built by General Chesnut after the War, and the Home of 
himself and Mrs. Chesnut until they Died. From a Re 
cent Photograph. 



where were able to clear their lands of mortgages and put 
money in the bank besides. Planters in the South, mean 
while, were borrowing money to support the negroes in 
idleness at home, while they themselves were fighting at 
the front. Old Colonel Chesnut, the author s father-in- 
law, in April, 1862, estimated that he had already lost half 
a million in bank stock and railroad bonds. When the 
war closed, he had borrowed such large sums himself and 
had such large sums due to him from others, that he saw no 
likelihood of the obligations on either side ever being dis 

Mrs. Chesnut wrote her Diary from day to day, as the 
mood or an occasion prompted her to do so. The fortunes 
of war changed the place of her abode almost as frequently 
as the seasons changed, but wherever she might be the 
Diary was continued. She began to write in Charleston 
when the Convention was passing the Ordinance of Seces 
sion. Thence she went to Montgomery, Ala., where the 
Confederacy was organized and Jefferson Davis was in 
augurated as its President. She went to receptions where, 
sitting aside on sofas with Davis, Stephens, Toombs, Cobb, 
or Hunter, she talked of the probable outcome of the war, 
should war come, setting down in her Diary what she heard 
from others and all that she thought herself. Returning to 
Charleston, where her husband, in a small boat, conveyed 
to Major Anderson the ultimatum of the Governor of South 
Carolina, she saw from a housetop the first act of war com 
mitted in the bombardment of Fort Sumter. During the 
ensuing four years, Mrs. Chesnut s time was mainly passed 
between Columbia and Richmond. For shorter periods she 
was at the Fauquier White Sulphur Springs in Virginia, 
Flat Rock in North Carolina, Portland in Alabama (the 
home of her mother) , Camden and Chester in South Caro 
lina, and Lmcolnton in North Carolina. 

In all these places Mrs. Chesnut was in close touch 
with men and women who were in the forefront of the 



social, military, and political life of the South. Those 
who live in her pages make up indeed a catalogue of the 
heroes of the Confederacy President Jefferson Davis, 
Vice-President Alexander H. Stephens, General Robert E. 
Lee, General " Stonewall " Jackson, General Joseph E. 
Johnston, General Pierre G. T. Beauregard, General Wade 
Hampton, General Joseph B. Kershaw, General John B. 
Hood, General John S. Preston, General Robert Toombs, 
R. M. T. Hunter, Judge Louis T. Wigfall, and so many 
others that one almost hears the roll-call. That this 
statement is not exaggerated may be judged from a 
glance at the index, which has been prepared with a 
view to the inclusion of all important names mentioned in 
the text. 

As her Diary constantly shows, Mrs. Chesnut was a 
woman of society in the best sense. She had love of com 
panionship, native wit, an acute mind, knowledge of books, 
and a searching insight into the motives of men and women. 
She was also a notable housewife, much given to hospitality ; 
and her heart was of the warmest and tenderest, as those 
who knew her well bore witness. 

Mary Boykin Miller, born March 31, 1823, was the 
daughter of Stephen Decatur Miller, a man of distinction 
in the public affairs of South Carolina. Mr. Miller was 
elected to Congress in 1817, became Governor in 1828, and 
was chosen United States Senator in 1830. He was a 
strong supporter of the Nullification movement. In 1833, 
owing to ill-health, he resigned his seat in the Senate and 
not long afterward removed to Mississippi, where he en 
gaged in cotton planting until his death, in March, 1838. 

His daughter, Mary, was married to James Chesnut, Jr., 
April 23, 1840, when seventeen years of age. Thenceforth 
her home was mainly at Mulberry, near Camden, one of 
several plantations owned by her father-in-law. Of the 
domestic life at Mulberry a pleasing picture has come down 



to us, as preserved in a time-worn scrap-book and written 
some years before the war : 

" In our drive of about three miles to Mul 
berry, we were struck with the wealth of forest 
trees along our way for which the environs of 
Camden are noted. Here is a bridge completely 
canopied with overarching branches ; and, for the 
remainder of our journey, we pass through an 
aromatic avenue of crab-trees with the Yellow Jes 
samine and the Cherokee rose, entwining every 
shrub, post, and pillar within reach and lending 
an almost tropical luxuriance and sweetness to 
the way. 

" But here is the house a brick building, 
capacious and massive, a house that is a home for 
a large family, one of the homesteads of the olden 
times, where home comforts and blessings cluster, 
sacred alike for its joys and its sorrows. Birth 
days, wedding-days, * Merry Christmases, depar 
tures for school and college, and home return- 
ings have enriched this abode with the treasures 
of life. 

" A warm welcome greets us as we enter. 
The furniture within is in keeping with things 
without; nothing is tawdry; there is no ginger 
bread gilding; all is handsome and substantial. 
In the old arm-chair sits the venerable mother. 
The father is on his usual ride about the planta 
tion; but will be back presently. A lovely old 
age is this mother s, calm and serene, as the soft 
mellow days of our own gentle autumn. She 
came from the North to the South many years 
ago, a fair young bride. 

" The Old Colonel enters. He bears himself 
erect, walks at a brisk gait, and needs no specta- 
3 xvii 


cles, yet he is over eighty. He is a typical South 
ern planter. From the beginning he has been one 
of the most intelligent patrons of the Wateree 
Mission to the Negroes, taking a personal interest 
in them, attending the mission church and wor 
shiping with his own people. May his children 
see to it that this holy charity is continued to their 
servants forever! : 

James Chesnut, Jr., was the son and heir of Colonel 
James Chesnut, whose wife was Mary Coxe, of Philadelphia. 
Mary Coxe s sister married Horace Binney, the eminent 
Philadelphia lawyer. James Chesnut, Jr., was born in 1815 
and graduated from Princeton. For fourteen years he 
served in the legislature of South Carolina, and in January, 
1859, was appointed to fill a vacancy in the United States 
Senate. In November, 1860, when South Carolina was 
about to secede, he resigned from the Senate and thence 
forth was active in the Southern cause, first as an aide to 
General Beauregard, then as an aide to President Davis, 
and finally as a brigadier-general of reserves in command 
of the coast of South Carolina. 

General Chesnut was active in public life in South Caro 
lina after the war, in so far as the circumstances of Recon 
struction permitted, and in 1868 was a delegate from that 
State to the National convention which nominated Horatio 
Seymour for President. His death occurred at Sarsfield, 
February 1, 1885. One who knew him well wrote: 

" While papers were teeming with tribute to 
this knightly gentleman, whose services to his 
State were part of her history in her prime trib 
ute that did him no more than justice, in recount 
ing his public virtues I thought there was an 
other phase of his character which the world did 
not know and the press did not chronicle that 


which showed his beautiful kindness and his cour 
tesy to his own household, and especially to his 

" Among all the preachers of the South Caro 
lina Conference, a few remained of those who ever 
counted it as one of the highest honors conferred 
upon them by their Lord that it was permitted to 
them to preach the gospel to the slaves of the 
Southern plantations. Some of these retained 
kind recollections of the cordial hospitality shown 
the plantation missionary at Mulberry and Sandy 
Hill, and of the care taken at these places that the 
plantation chapel should be neat and comfortable, 
and that the slaves should have their spiritual as 
well as their bodily needs supplied. 

To these it was no matter of surprise to learn 
that at his death General Chesnut, statesman and 
soldier, was surrounded by faithful friends, born 
in slavery on his own plantation, and that the last 
prayer he ever heard came from the lips of a negro 
man, old Scipio, his father s body-servant; and 
that he was borne to his grave amid the tears and 
lamentations of those whom no Emancipation 
Proclamation could sever from him, and who cried 
aloud : my master ! my master ! he was so good 
to me ! He was all to us ! We have lost our best 

" Mrs. Chesnut s anguish when her husband 
died, is not to be forgotten ; the bitter cry never 
quite spent itself, though she was brave and 
bright to the end. Her friends were near in that 
supreme moment at Sarsfield, when, on November 
22, 1886, her own heart ceased to beat. Her serv 
ants had been true to her; no blandishments of 
freedom had drawn Ellen or Molly away from 
1 Miss Mary/ Mrs. Chesnut lies buried in the 


family cemetery at Knight s Hill, where also sleep 
her husband and many other members of the 
Chesnut family." 

The Chesnuts settled in South Carolina at the close of 
the war with France, but lived originally on the frontier of 
Virginia. Their Virginia home had been invaded by French 
and Indians, and in an expedition to Fort Duquesne the 
father was killed. John Chesnut removed from Virginia 
to South Carolina soon afterward and served in the Revo 
lution as a captain. His son James, the " Old Colonel," 
was educated at Princeton, took an active part in public 
affairs in South Carolina, and prospered greatly as a 
planter. He survived until after the War, being a nonoge- 
narian when the conflict closed. In a charming sketch of 
him in one of the closing pages of this Diary, occurs the 
following passage: " Colonel Chesnut, now ninety-three, 
blind and deaf, is apparently as strong as ever, and cer 
tainly as resolute of will. Partly patriarch, partly grand 
seigneur, this old man is of a species that we shall see no 
more; the last of a race of lordly planters who ruled this 
Southern world, but now a splendid wreck." 

Three miles from Camden still stands Mulberry. Dur 
ing one of the raids committed in the neighborhood by Sher 
man s men early in 1865, the house escaped destruction 
almost as if by accident. The picture of it in this book 
is from a recent photograph. A change has indeed come 
over it, since the days when the household servants and de 
pendents numbered between sixty and seventy, and its owner 
was lord of a thousand slaves. After the war, Mulberry 
ceased to be the author s home, she and General Chesnut 
building for themselves another to which they gave the 
name of Sarsfield. Sarsfield, of which an illustration is 
given, still stands in the pine lands not far from Mulberry. 
Bloomsbury, another of old Colonel Chesnut s plantation 
dwellings, survived the march of Sherman, and is now the 



home of David R. Williams, Jr., and Ellen Manning, his 
wife, whose children roam its halls, as grandchildren of the 
author s sister Kate. Other Chesnut plantations were Cool 
Spring, Knight s Hill, The Hermitage, and Sandy Hill. 

The Diary, as it now exists in forty-eight thin volumes, 
of the small quarto size, is entirely in Mrs. Chesnut s hand 
writing. She originally wrote it on w r hat was known 
as " Confederate paper," but transcribed it afterward. 
When Richmond was threatened, or when Sherman was 
coming, she buried it or in some other way secreted it from 
the enemy. On occasion it shared its hiding-place with 
family silver, or with a drinking-cup which had been pre 
sented to General Hood by the ladies of Richmond. Mrs. 
Chesnut was fond of inserting on blank pages of the Diary 
current newspaper accounts of campaigns and battles, or 
lists of killed and wounded. One item of this kind, a news 
paper " extra," issued in Chester, S. C., and announcing 
the assassination of Lincoln, is reproduced in this volume. 

Mrs. Chesnut, by oral and written bequest, gave the 
Diary to her friend whose name leads the signatures to this 
Introduction. In the Diary, here and there, Mrs. Ches 
nut s expectation that the work would some day be printed 
is disclosed, but at the time of her death it did not seem 
wise to undertake publication for a considerable period. 
Yellow with age as the pages now are, the only harm that 
has come to them in the passing of many years, is that a 
few corners have been broken and frayed, as shown in one 
of the pages here reproduced in facsimile. 

In the summer of 1904, the woman whose office it 
has been to assist in preparing the Diary for the press, 
went South to collect material for another work to follow 
her A Virginia Girl in the Civil War. Her investiga 
tions led her to Columbia, where, while the guest of Miss 
Martin, she learned of the Diary s existence. Soon after 
ward an arrangement was made with her publishers under 
which the Diary s owner and herself agreed to condense 



and revise the manuscript for publication. The Diary 
was found to be of too great length for reproduction in 
full, parts of it being of personal or local interest rather 
than general. The editing of the book called also for the 
insertion of a considerable number of foot-notes, in order 
that persons named, or events referred to, might be the 
better understood by the present generation. 

Mrs. Chesnut was a conspicuous example of the well 
born and high-bred woman, who, with active sympathy and 
unremitting courage, supported the Southern cause. Born 
and reared when Nullification was in the ascendent, and 
acquiring an education which developed and refined her 
natural literary gifts, she found in the throes of a great 
conflict at arms the impulse which wrought into vital ex 
pression in words her steadfast loyalty to the waning for 
tunes of a political faith, which, in South Carolina, had 
become a religion. 

Many men have produced narratives of the war between 
the States, and a few women have written notable chronicles 
of it ; but none has given to the world a record more radiant 
than hers, or one more passionately sincere. Every line in 
this Diary throbs with the tumult of deep spiritual passion, 
and bespeaks the luminous mind, the unconquered soul, of 
the woman who wrote it. 







November 8, 1860 December 27, 1860 

HARLESTON, S. C., November 8, I860. Yesterday 
on the train, just before we reached Fernandina, a 
woman called out : " That settles the hash. Tanny 
touched me on the shoulder and said: " Lincoln s elected." 
11 How do you know? " " The man over there has a tele 

The excitement was very great. Everybody was talk 
ing at the same time. One, a little more moved than the 
others, stood up and said despondently : The die is cast ; 
no more vain regrets ; sad forebodings are useless ; the 
stake is life or death." " Did you ever! " was the prevail 
ing exclamation, and some one cried out: " Now that the 
black radical Republicans have the power I suppose they 
will Brown * us all. No doubt of it. 

I have always kept a journal after a fashion of my 
own, with dates and a line of poetry or prose, mere quota 
tions, which I understood and no one else, and I have kept 
letters and extracts from the papers. From to-day forward 
I will tell the story in my own way. I now wish I had a 
chronicle of the two delightful and eventful years that have 
just passed. Those delights have fled and one s breath is 
taken away to think what events have since crowded in. 
Like the woman s record in her journal, we have had 
" earthquakes, as usual " daily shocks. 

1 A reference to John Brown of Harper s Ferry. 


. 8^ i860 CHARLESTON, S. C. Dec, 27, 1860 

At Fernandina I saw young men running up a Palmetto 
flag, and shouting a little prematurely, " South Caro 
lina has seceded! " I was overjoyed to find Florida so 
sympathetic, but Tanny told me the young men were Gads- 
dens, Porchers, and Gourdins, 1 names as inevitably South 
Carolinian as Moses and Lazarus are Jewish. 

From my window I can hear a grand and mighty 
flow of eloquence. Bartow and a delegation from Savan 
nah are having a supper given to them in the dining-room 
below. The noise of the speaking and cheering is pretty 
hard on a tired traveler. Suddenly I found myself listen 
ing with pleasure. Voice, tone, temper, sentiment, lan 
guage, all were perfect. I sent Tanny to see who it was 
that spoke. He came back saying, " Mr. Alfred Huger, 
the old postmaster. He may not have been the wisest or 
wittiest man there, but he certainly made the best after- 
supper speech. 

December 10th. We have been up to the Mulberry 
Plantation with Colonel Colcock and Judge Magrath, who 
were sent to Columbia by their fellow-citizens in the low 
country, to hasten the slow movement of the wisdom assem 
bled in the State Capital. Their message was, they said: 
" Go ahead, dissolve the Union, and be done with it, or 
it will be worse for you. The fire in the rear is hottest. * 
And yet people talk of the politicians leading! Every 
where that I have been people have been complaining bit 
terly of slow and lukewarm public leaders. 

Judge Magrath is a local celebrity, who has been 
stretched across the street in effigy, showing him tearing off 
his robes of office. The painting is in vivid colors, the 
canvas huge, and the rope hardly discernible. He is 
depicted with a countenance flaming with contending emo 
tions rage, disgust, and disdain. We agreed that the time 

1 This and other French names to be met with in this Diary are of 
Huguenot origin. 



had now come. We had talked so much heretofore. Let the 
fire-eaters have it out. Massachusetts and South Carolina 
are always coming up before the footlights. 

As a woman, of course, it is easy for me to be brave 
under the skins of other people ; so I said : Fight it out. 
Bluffton 1 has brought on a fever that only bloodletting will 
cure. 7 My companions breathed fire and fury, but I dare 
say they were amusing themselves with my dismay, for, 
talk as I would, that I could not hide. 

At Kingsville we encountered James Chesnut, fresh 
from Columbia, where he had resigned his seat in the 
United States Senate the -day before. Said some one spite 
fully, * Mrs. Chesnut does not look jit all__resigned. For 
once in her life, Mrs. Chesnut held her tongue: she was 
dumb. In the high-flown style which of late seems to have 
gotten into the very air, she was offering up her life to 
the cause. 

We have had a brief pause. The men who are all, like 
Pickens, 2 insensible to fear, are very sensible in case of 
small-pox. There being now an epidemic of small-pox in 
Columbia, they have adjourned to Charleston. In Camden 
we were busy and frantic with excitement, drilling, march 
ing, arming, and wearing high blue cockades. Red sashes, 
guns, and swords were ordinary fireside accompaniments. 
So wild were we, I saw at a grand parade of the home-guard 
a woman, the wife of a man who says he is a secessionist 
per se, driving about to see the drilling of this new com 
pany, although her father was buried the day before. 

Edward J. Pringle writes me from San Francisco 
on November 30th: "I see that Mr. Chesnut has re- 

1 A reference to what was known as " the Bluffton movement " of 
1844, in South Carolina. It aimed at secession, but was voted down. 

2 Francis W. Pickens, Governor of South Carolina, 1860-62. He had 
been elected to Congress in 1834 as a Nullifier, but had voted against 
the " Bluffton movement." From 1858 to 1860, he was Minister to Rus 
sia. He was a wealthy planter and had fame as an orator. 


Nov. 8, 1860 CHARLESTON, S. C. Dec. 27, 1860 

: signed and that South Carolina is hastening into a Con- 
Wention, perhaps to secession. Mr. Chesnut is probably to 
be President of the Convention. T see all of the leaders 
in the State are in favor of secession. But I confess I 
hope the black Republicans will take the alarm and submit 
some treaty of peace that will enable us now and for 
ever to settle the question, and save our generation from 
the prostration of business and the decay of prosperity 
that must come both to the North and South from a disrup 
tion of the Union. However, I won t speculate. Before 
this reaches you, South Carolina may be off on her own 
hook a separate republic. " 

December 21st. Mrs. Charles Lowndes was sitting with 
us to-day, when Mrs. Kirkland brought in a copy of the 
Secession Ordinance. I wonder if my face grew as white 
as hers. She said after a moment : * God help us. As our 
day, so shall our strength be." How grateful we were for 
this pious ejaculation of hers ! They say I had better take 
my last look at this beautiful place, Combahee. It is on the 
coast, open to gunboats. 

We mean business this time, because of this convocation 
of the notables, this convention. 1 In it are all our wisest 
and best. They really have tried to send the ablest men, 
the good men and true. South Carolina was never more 
splendidly represented. Patriotism aside, it makes society 
delightful. One need not regret having left Washington. 

December 27th. Mrs. Gidiere came in quietly from her 
marketing to-day, and in her neat, incisive manner explod 
ed this bombshell : Major Anderson 2 has moved into 

1 The Convention, which on December 20, 1860, passed the famous 

Ordinance of Secession, and had first met in Columbia, the State capital. 

3 Robert Anderson, Major of the First Artillery, United States Army, 

who, on November 20, 1860, was placed in command of the troops in 

Charleston harbor. On the night of December 26th, fearing an attack, 

he had moved his command to Fort Sumter. Anderson was a graduate 

of West Point and a veteran of the Black Hawk, Florida, and Mexican 




Fort Sumter, while Governor Pickens slept serenely." The 
row is fast and furious now. State after State is taking its 
forts and fortresses. They say if we had been left out in 
the cold alone, we might have sulked a while, but back we 
would have had to go, and would merely have fretted and 
fumed and quarreled among ourselves. We needed a little 
wholesome neglect. Anderson has blocked that game, but 
now our sister States have joined us, and we are strong. 
I give the condensed essence of the table-talk : Anderson 
has united the cotton States. Now for Virginia ! " An 
derson has opened the ball." Those who want a row are in 
high glee. Those who dread it are glum and thoughtful 

A letter from Susan Rutledge : Captain Humphrey 
folded the United States Army flag just before dinner 
time. Ours was run up in its place. You know the Arsenal 
is in sight. What is the next move ? I pray God to guide 
us. We stand in need of Avise counsel; something more 
than courage. The talk is : Fort Sumter must be taken ; 
and it is one of the strongest forts. How in the name of 
sense are they to manage? I shudder to think of rash 



February 19, 1861 March 11, 1861 

10NTGOMERY, Ala., February 19, 1861. The brand- 
new Confederacy is making or remodeling its Con 
stitution. Everybody wants Mr. Dayis to be Gen- 
eral-in-Chief_or^President. Keitt and Boyce and a party 
preferred Howell Cobb * for President. And the fire-eaters 
per se wanted Barnwell Rhett. 

My brother Stephen brought the officers of the " Mont 
gomery Blues to dinner. * Very soiled Blues, they said, 
apologizing for their rough condition. Poor fellows! they 
had been a month before Fort Dickens and not allowed to 
attack it. They said Colonel Chase built it, and so were 
sure it was impregnable. Colonel Lomax telegraphed to 
Governor Moore 2 if he might try to take it, " Chase or no 
Chase," and got for his answer, " No." il And now," say 
the Blues, " we have worked like niggers, and when the 
fun and fighting begin, they send us home and put regu- 

1 A native of Georgia, Howell Cobb had long served in Congress, and 
in 1849 was elected Speaker. In 1851 he was elected Governor of Geor 
gia, and in 1857 became Secretary of the Treasury in Buchanan s Ad 
ministration. In 1861 he was a delegate from Georgia to the Provisional 
Congress which adopted the Constitution of the Confederacy, and pre 
sided over each of its four sessions. 

2 Andrew Bary Moore, elected Governor of Alabama in 1859. In 
1861, before Alabama seceded, he directed the seizure of United States 
forts and arsenals and was active afterward in the equipment of State 



lars there." They have an immense amount of powder. 
The wheel of the car in which it was carried took fire. 
There was an escape for yon! We are packing a hamper 
of eatables for them. 

I am despondent once more. If I thought them in ear 
nest because at first they put their best in front, what now ? 
We have to meet tremendous odds by pluck, activity, zeal, 
dash, endurance of the toughest, military instinct. We 
have had to choose born leaders of men who could attract 
love and secure trust. Everywhere political intrigue is as 
rife as in Washington. 

Cecil s saying of Sir Walter Raleigh that he could * toil 
terribly was an electric touch. Above all, let the men who 
are to save South Carolina be young and vigorous. While 
I was reflecting on what kind of men we ought to choose, I 
fell on Clarendon, and it was easy to construct my man 
out of his portraits. What has been may be again, so the 
men need not be purely ideal types. 

Mr. Toombs x told us a story of General Scott and him 
self. He said he was dining in Washington with Scott, 
who seasoned every dish and every glass of wine with the 
eternal refrain, 4 * Save the Union ; the Union must be pre 
served." Toombs remarked that he knew why the Union 
was so dear to the General, and illustrated his point by a 
steamboat anecdote, an explosion, of course. While the 
passengers were struggling in the water a woman ran up 
and down the bank crying, " Oh, save the red-headed 

1 Robert Toombs, a native of Georgia, who early acquired fame as a 
lawyer, served in the Creek War under General Scott, became known in 
1842 as a " State Rights JWhig," being elected to Congress, where he 
was active in tKeCompromise measures of 1850. He served in the 
United States Senate from 1853 to 1861, where he was a pronounced 
advocate of the sovereignty of States, the extension of slavery , and seces 
sion. He was a member of the Confederate Congress at its first session 
and, by a single vote, failed of election as President of the Confederacy. 
After the war, he was conspicuous for his hostility to the Union. 


Feb. 19, 1861 MONTGOMERY, ALA. March 13, 1861 

man ! The red-headed man was saved, and his preserver, 
after landing him noticed with surprise how little interest in 
him the woman who had made such moving appeals seemed 
to feel. He asked her, " Why did you make that pathetic 
outcry? " She answered, Oh, he owes me ten thousand 
dollars." "Now, General," said Toombs, "the Union 
owes you seventeen thousand dollars a year ! : I can imag 
ine the scorn on old Scott s face. 

February 25th. Find every one working very hard 
here. As I dozed on the sofa last night, could hear the 
scratch, scratch of my husband s pen as he wrote at the 
table until midnight. 

After church to-day, Captain Ingraham called. He left 
me so uncomfortable. He dared to express regrets that he 
had to leave the United States Navy. He had been sta 
tioned in the Mediterranean, where he liked to be, and 
expected to be these two years, and to take those lovely 
daughters of his to Florence. Then carne Abraham Lin 
coln, and rampant black Republicanism, and he must lay 
down his life for South Carolina. He, however, does not 
make any moan. He says we lack everything necessary in 
naval gear to retake Fort Sumter. Of course, he only 
expects the navy to take it. He is a fish out of water here. 
He is one of the finest sea-captains ; so I suppose they will 
soon give him a ship and send him back to his own element. 

At dinner Judge - - was loudly abusive of Congress. 
He said: " They have trampled the Constitution under 
foot. They have provided President Davis with a house." 
He was disgusted with the folly of parading the President 
at the inauguration in a coach drawn by four white horses. 
Then some one said Mrs. Fitzpatrick was the only lady 
who sat with the Congress. After the inaugural she poked 
Jeff Davis in the back with her parasol that he might turn 
and speak to her. " I am sure that was democratic 
enough," said some one. 

Governor Moore came in with the latest news a tele- 



gram from Governor Pickens to the President, " that a 
war steamer is lying off the Charleston bar laden with 
reenforcernents for Fort Sumter, and what must we do? " 
Answer : Use your own discretion ! There is faith for 
you, after all is said and done. It is believed there is still 
some discretion left in South Carolina fit for use. 

Everybody who comes here wants an office, and the 
many who, of course, are disappointed raise a cry of cor 
ruption against the few who are successful. I thought we 
had left all that in Washington. Nobody is willing to be 
out of sight, and all will take office. 

" Constitution " Browne says he is going to Washing 
ton for twenty- four hours. I mean to send by him to Mary 
Garnett for a bonnet ribbon. If they take him up as a 
traitor, he may cause a civil war. War is now our dread. 
Mr. Chesnut told him not to make himself a bone of con 

Everybody means to go into the army. If Sumter is 
attacked, then Jeff Davis s troubles will begin. The Judge 
says a military despotism would be best for us anything 
to prevent a triumph of the Yankees. All right, but every 
man objects to any despot but himself. 

Mr. Chesnut, in high spirits, dines to-day with the 
Louisiana delegation. Breakfasted with " Constitution " 
Browne, who is appointed Assistant Secretary of State, 
and so does not go to Washington. There was at table the 
man who advertised for a wife, with the wife so obtained. 
She was not pretty. We dine at Mr. Pollard s and go to 
a ball afterward at Judge Bibb s. The New York Herald 
says Lincoln stood before Washington s picture at his inau 
guration, which was taken by the country as a good sign. 
We are always frantic for a good sign. Let us pray that a 
Caesar or a Napoleon may be sent us. That would be our 
best sign of success. But they still say, No war. Peace 
let it be, kind Heaven ! 

Dr. De Leon called, fresh from Washington, and says 


Feb. 19, 1861 MONTGOMERY, ALA. March 13, 1861 

General Scott is using all his power and influence to pre 
vent officers from the South resigning their commissions, 
among other things promising that they shall never be sent 
against us in case of war. Captain Ingraham, in his short, 
curt way, said: " That will never do. If they take their 
government s pay they must do its fighting." 

A brilliant dinner at the Pollards s. Mr. Barnwell * took 
me down. Came home and found the Judge and Governor 
Moore waiting to go with me to the Bibbs s. And they say it 
is dull in Montgomery ! Clayton, fresh from Washington, 
was at the party and told us * there was to be peace. 

February 28th. In the drawing-room a literary lady 
began a violent attack upon this mischief-making South 
Carolina. She told me she was a successful writer in the 
magazines of the day, but when I found she used " incredi 
ble " for " incredulous," I said not a word in defense of 
my native land. I left her incredible. Another person 
came in, while she was pouring upon me her home troubles, 
and asked if she did not know I was a Carolinian. Then 
she gracefully reversed her engine, and took the other tack, 
sounding our praise, but I left her incredible and I re 
mained incredulous, too. 

Brewster says the war specks are growing in size. No 
body at the North, or in Virginia, believes we are in ear 
nest. They think we are sulking and that Jeff Davis and 
Stephens 2 are getting up a very pretty little comedy. The 

1 Robert Woodward Barnwell, of South Carolina, a graduate of 
Harvard, twice a member of Congress and afterward United States 
Senator. In 1860, after the passage of the Ordinance of Secession, he 
was one of the Commissioners who went to Washington to treat with 
the National Government for its property within the State. He was 
a member of the Convention at Montgomery and gave the casting vote 
which made Jefferson Davis President of the Confederacy. 

2 Alexander H. Stephens, the eminent statesman of Georgia, who 
before the war had been conspicuous in all the political movements of 
his time and in 1861 became Vice-President of the Confederacy. After 



Virginia delegates were insulted at the peace conference; 
Brewster said, " kicked out." 

The Judge thought Jefferson Davis rude to him 
when the latter was Secretary of War. Mr. Chesnut per 
suaded the Judge to forego his private wrong for the pub 
lic good, and so he voted for him, but now his old grudge 
has come back with an increased venomousness. What a 
pity to bring the spites of the old Union into this new one ! 
It seems to me already men are willing to risk an injury to 
our cause, if they may in so doing hurt Jeff Davis. 

March 1st. Dined to-day with Mr. Hill x from Georgia, 
and his wife. After he left us she told me he was the cele 
brated individual who, for Christian scruples, refused to 
fight a duel with Stephens. 2 She seemed very proud of 
him for his conduct in the affair. Ignoramus that I am, I 
had not heard of it. I am having all kinds of experiences. 
Drove to-day with a lady who fervently wished her husband 
would go down to Pensacola and be shot. I was dumb with 
amazement, of course. Telling my story to one who knew 
the parties, was informed, " Don t you know he beats 
her ? : So I have seen a man * who lifts his hand against 
a woman in aught save kindness." 

the war he again became conspicuous in Congress and wrote a history- 
entitled "The War between the States." 

1 Benjamin IL Hill, who had already been active in State and 
National affairs when the Secession movement was carried through. 
He had been an earnest advocate of the Union until in Georgia the reso 
lution was passed declaring that the State ought to secede. He then 
became a prominent supporter of secession. He was a member of the 
Confederate Congress, which met in Montgomery in 1861, and served 
in the Confederate Senate until the end of the war. After the war, he 
was elected to Congress and opposed the Reconstruction policy of that 
body. In 1877 he was elected United States Senator from Georgia. 

2 Governor Herschel V. Johnson also declined, and doubtless for 
similar reasons, to accept a challenge from Alexander H. Stephens, who, 
though endowed with the courage of a gladiator, was very small and 

3 11 

Feb. 19, 1861 MONTGOMERY, ALA. March 13, 1861 

Brewster says Lincoln passed through Baltimore dis 
guised, and at night, and that he did well, for just now Bal 
timore is dangerous ground. He says that he hears from 
all quarters that the vulgarity of Lincoln, his wife, and his 
son is beyond credence, a thing you must see before you 
can believe it. Senator Stephen A. Douglas told Mr. Ches- 
nut that " Lincoln is awfully clever, and that he had 
found him a heavy handful." 

Went to pay my respects to Mrs. Jefferson Davis. She 
met me with open arms. We did not allude to anything 
by which we are surrounded. We eschewed politics and 
our changed relations. 

March 3d. Everybody in fine spirits in my world. 
They have one and all spoken in the Congress * to their 
own perfect satisfaction. To my amazement the Judge 
took me aside, and, after delivering a panegyric upon him 
self (but here, later, comes in the amazement), he praised 
my husband to the skies, and said he was the fittest man of 
all for a foreign mission. Aye ; and the farther away they 
send us from this Congress the better I will like it. 

Saw Jere Clemens and Nick Davis, social curiosities. 
They are Anti -Secession leaders ; then George Sanders and 
George Deas. The Georges are of opinion that it is 
folly to try to take back Fort Sumter from Anderson and 
the United States : that is, before we are ready. They saw 
in Charleston the devoted band prepared for the sacrifice; 
I mean, ready to run their heads against a stone wall. 
Dare devils they are. They have dash and courage enough, 
but science only could take that fort. They shook their 

March 4th. The Washington Congress has passed peace 

1 It was at this Congress that Jefferson Davis, on February 9, 1861, 
was elected President, and Alexander H. Stephens Vice-President of 
the Confederacy. The Congress continued to meet in Montgomery 
until its removal to Richmond, in July, 1861. 



measures. Glory be to God (as my Irish Margaret used to 
preface every remark, both great and small). 

At last, according to his wish, I was able to introduce 
Mr. Hill, of Georgia, to Mr. Mallory, 1 and also Governor 
Moore and Brewster, the latter the only man without a 
title of some sort that I know in this democratic subdivided 

I have seen a negro woman sold on the block at auction. 
She overtopped the crowd. I was walking and felt faint, 
seasick. The creature looked so like my good little Nancy, 
a bright mulatto with a pleasant face. She was magnifi 
cently gotten up in silks and satins. She seemed delighted 
with it all, sometimes ogling the bidders, sometimes looking 
quiet, coy, and modest, but her mouth never relaxed from 
its expanded grin of excitement. I dare say the poor 
thing knew who would buy her. I sat down on a stool in a 
shop and disciplined my wild thoughts. I tried it Sterne 
fashion. You know how women sell themselves and are 
sold in marriage from queens downward, eh? You know 
what the Bible says about slavery and marriage; poor 
women! poor slaves! Sterne, with his starling what did 
he know? He only thought, he did not feel. 

In Evan Harrington I read: " Like a true English 
female, she believed in her own inflexible virtue, but never 
trusted her husband out of sight/ 

The New York Herald says : i Lincoln s carriage is not 
bomb-proof; so he does not drive out." Two flags and a 
bundle of sticks have been sent him as gentle reminders. 
The sticks are to break our heads with. The English are 
gushingly unhappy as to our family quarrel. Magnani 
mous of them, for it is their opportunity. 

1 Stephen R. Mallory was the son of a shipmaster of Connecticut, 
who had settled in Key West in 1820. From 1851 to 1861 Mr. Mallory 
was United States Senator from Florida, and after the formation of the 
Confederacy, became its Secretary of the Navy. 


Feb. 19, 1861 MONTGOMERY, ALA. March 13, 1861 

March 5th. We stood on the balcony to see our Confed 
erate flag go up. Roars of cannqn, etc., etc. Miss Sanders 
complained (so said Captain Ingraham) of the deadness of 
the mob. * It was utterly spiritless, she said ; no cheer 
ing, or so little, and no enthusiasm." Captain Ingraham 
suggested that gentlemen " are apt to be quiet," and this 
was " a thoughtful crowd, the true mob element with us 
just now is hoeing corn." And yet! It is uncomfortable 
that the idea has gone abroad that we have no joy, no 
pride, in this thing. The band was playing * Massa in the 
cold, cold ground. Miss Tyler, daughter of the former 
President of the United States, ran up the flag. 

Captain Ingraham pulled out of his pocket some verses 
sent to him by a Boston girl. They were well rhymed and 
amounted to this: she held a rope ready to hang him, 
though she shed tears when she remembered his heroic res 
cue of Koszta. Koszta, the rebel ! She calls us rebels, too. 
So it depends upon whom one rebels against whether to 
save or not shall be heroic. 

I must read Lincoln s inaugural. Oh, " comes he in 
peace, or comes he in war, or to tread but one measure as 
Young Lochinvar? " Lincoln s aim is to seduce the border 

The people, the natives, I mean, are astounded that I 
calmly affirm, in all truth and candor, that if there were 
awful things in society in Washington, I did not see or 
hear of them. One must have been hard to please who did 
not like the people I knew in Washington. 

Mr. Chesnut has gone with a list of names to the Presi 
dent de Treville, Kershaw, Baker, and Robert Rutledge. 
They are taking a walk, I see. I hope there will be good 
places in the army for our list. 

March 8th. Judge Campbell, 1 of the United States 

1 John Archibald Campbell, who had settled in Montgomery and was 
appointed Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court by 



Supreme Court, has resigned. Lord! how he must have 
hated to do it. How other men who are resigning high posi 
tions must hate to do it. 

Now we may be sure the bridge is broken. And yet 
in the Alabama Convention they say Reconstructionists 
abound and are busy. 

Met a distinguished gentleman that I knew when he 
was in more affluent circumstances. I was willing enough 
to speak to him, but when he saw me advancing for that 
purpose, to avoid me, he suddenly dodged around a corner 
William, Mrs. de Saussure s former coachman. I remem 
ber him on his box, driving a handsome pair of bays, 
dressed sumptuously in blue broadcloth and brass but 
tons; a stout, respectable, fine-looking, middle-aged mulat 
to. He was very high and mighty. 

Night after night we used to meet him as fiddler-in-chief 
of all our parties. He sat in solemn dignity, making faces 
over his bow, and patting his foot with an emphasis that 
shook the floor. We gave him five dollars a night ; that was 
his price. His mistress never refused to let him play for 
any party. He had stable-boys in abundance. He was far 
above any physical fear for his sleek and well-fed person. 
How majestically he scraped his foot as a sign that he was 
tuned up and ready to begin ! 

Now he is a shabby creature indeed. He must have felt 
his fallen fortunes when he met me one who knew him in 
his prosperity. He ran away, this stately yellow gentle 
man, from wife and children, home and comfort. My 
Molly asked him " Why? Miss Liza was good to you, I 
know." I wonder who owns him now; he looked forlorn. 

Governor Moore brought in, to be presented to me, the 
President of the Alabama Convention. It seems I had 

President Pierce in 1853. Before he resigned, he exerted all his influence 
to prevent Civil War and opposed secession, although he believed that 
States had a right to secede. 


Feb. 19, 1861 MONTGOMERY, ALA. March 13, 1861 

known him before; he had danced with me at a dancing- 
school ball when I was in short f Kocks, with sash, flounces, 
and a wreath of roses. He was one of those clever boys of 
our neighborhood, in whom my father saw promise of bet 
ter things, and so helped him in every way to rise, with 
books, counsel, sympathy. I was enjoying his conversation 
immensely, for he was praising my father * without stint, 
when the Judge came in, breathing fire and fury. Congress 
has incurred his displeasure. We are abusing one another 
as fiercely as ever we have abused Yankees. It is disheart 

March 10th. Mrs. Childs was here to-night (Mary An 
derson, from Statesburg), with several children. She is 
lovely. Her hair is piled up on the top of her head oddly. 
Fashions from France still creep into Texas across Mexican 
borders. Mrs. Childs is fresh from Texas. Her husband 
is an artillery officer, or was. They will be glad to promote 
him here. Mrs. Childs had the sweetest Southern voice, 
absolute music. But then, she has all of the high spirit of 
those sweet- voiced Carolina women, too. 

Then Mr. Browne came in with his fine English accent, 
so pleasant to the ear. He tells us that Washington society 
is not reconciled to the Yankee regime. Mrs. Lincoln means 
to economize. She at once informed the major-domo that 
they were poor and hoped to save twelve thousand dollars 
every year from their salary of twenty thousand. Mr. 
Browne said Mr. Buchanan s farewell was far more impos 
ing than Lincoln s inauguration. 

The people were so amusing, so full of Western stories. 

1 Mrs. Chesuut s father was Stephen Decatur Miller, who was born 
in South Carolina in 1787, and died in Mississippi in 1838. He was 
elected to Congress in 1816, as an Anti-Calhoun Democrat, and from 
1828 to 1830 was Governor of South Carolina. He favored Nullifica 
tion, and in 1830 was elected United States Senator from South Carolina, 
but resigned three years afterward in consequence of ill health. In 
1835 he removed to Mississippi and engaged in cotton growing. 



Dr. Boykin behaved strangely. All day he had been gaily 
driving about with us, and never was man in finer spirits. 
To-night, in this brilliant company, he sat dead still as if 
in a trance. Once, he waked somewhat when a high public 
functionary came in with a present for me, a miniature 
gondola, "A perfect Venetian specimen," he assured me 
again and again. In an undertone Dr. Boykin muttered: 
" That fellow has been drinking." " Why do you think 
so? " il Because he has told you exactly the same thing 
four times. Wonderful ! Some of these great statesmen 
always tell me the same thing and have been telling me 
the same thing ever since we came here. 

A man came in and some one said in an undertone, 
" The age of chivalry is not past, O ye Americans! ?; 
* What do you mean ? : That man was once nominated 
by President Buchanan for a foreign mission, but some Sen 
ator stood up and read a paper printed by this man abusive 
of a woman, and signed by his name in full. After that 
the Senate would have none of him; his chance was gone 

March llth. In full conclave to-night, the drawing- 
room crowded with Judges, Governors, Senators, Generals, 
Congressmen. They were exalting John C. Calhoun s hos 
pitality. He allowed everybody to stay all night who chose 
to stop at his house. An ill-mannered person, on one occa 
sion, refused to attend family prayers. Mr. Calhoun said 
to the servant, Saddle that man s horse and let him go. 
From the traveler Calhoun would take no excuse for the 
" Deity offended." I believe in Mr. Calhoun s hospitality, 
but not in his family prayers. Mr. Calhoun s piety was of 
the most philosophical type, from all accounts. 1 

The latest news is counted good news; that is, the last 
man who left Washington tells us that Seward is in the 
ascendency. He is thought to be the friend of peace. 

1 John C. Calhoun had died in March, 1850. 


Feb. 19, 1861 MONTGOMERY, ALA. March 13, 1861 

The man did say, however, that " that serpent Seward is 
in the ascendency just now." 

Harriet Lane has eleven suitors. One is described as 
likely to win, or he would be likely to win, except that he is 
too heavily weighted. He has been married before and 
goes about with children and two mothers. There are limits 
beyond which ! Two mothers-in-law ! 

Mr. Ledyard spoke to Mrs. Lincoln in behalf of a door 
keeper who almost felt he had a vested right, having been 
there since Jackson s time ; but met with the same answer ; 
she had brought her own girl and must economize. Mr. 
Ledyard thought the twenty thousand (and little enough it 
is) was given to the President of these United States to 
enable him to live in proper style, and to maintain an estab 
lishment of such dignity as befits the head of a great na 
tion. It is an infamy to economize with the public money 
and to put it into one s private purse. Mrs. Browne was 
walking with me when we were airing our indignation 
against Mrs. Lincoln and her shabby economy. The Herald 
says three only of the elite Washington families attended 
the Inauguration Ball. 

Th Judge has just come in and said : * Last night, 
after Dr. Boykin left on the cars, there came a telegram 
that his little daughter, Amanda, had died suddenly." In 
some way he must have known it beforehand. He changed 
so suddenly yesterday, and seemed so careworn and un 
happy. He believes in clairvoyance, magnetism, and all 
that. Certainly, there was some terrible foreboding of 
this kind on his part. 

Tuesday. Now this, they say, is positive : Fort Sum- 
er is to be released and we are to have no war." After 
all, far too good to be true. Mr. Browne told us that, at 
one of the peace intervals (I mean intervals in the interest 
of peace) , Lincoln flew through Baltimore, locked up in an 
express car. He wore a Scotch cap. 

We went to the Congress. Governor Cobb, who pre- 


sides over that august body, put James Chesnut in the 
chair, and came down to talk to us. He told us why the 
pay of Congressmen was fixed in secret session, and why the 
amount of it was never divulged to prevent the lodging- 
house and hotel people from making their bills of a size to 
cover it all. " The bill would be sure to correspond with 
the pay," he said. 

In the hotel parlor we had a scene. Mrs. Scott was 
describing Lincoln, who is of the cleverest Yankee type. 
She said : ( Awfully ugly, even grotesque in appearance, 
the kind who are always at the corner stores, sitting on 
boxes, whittling sticks, and telling stories as funny as they 
are vulgar." Here I interposed: " But Stephen A. 
Douglas said one day to Mr. Chesnut, Lincoln is the hard 
est fellow to handle I have ever encountered yet. Mr. 
Scott is from California, and said Lincoln is "an utter 
American specimen, coarse, rough, and strong; a good-na 
tured, kind creature; as pleasant-tempered as he is clev 
er, and if this country can be joked and laughed out of 
its rights he is the kind-hearted fellow to do it. Now if 
there is a war and it pinches the Yankee pocket instead of 
filling it- 
Here a shrill voice came from the next room (which 
opened upon the one we were in by folding doors thrown 
wide open) and said: " Yankees are no more mean and 
stingy than you are. People at the North are just as good 
as people at the South." The speaker advanced upon us 
in great wrath. 

Mrs,. Scott apologized and made some smooth, polite re 
mark, though evidently much embarrassed. But the vine 
gar face and curly pate refused to receive any concessions, 
and replied : * That comes with a very bad grace after what 
you were saying, and she harangued us loudly for several 
minutes. Some one in the other room giggled outright, 
but we were quiet as mice. Nobody wanted to hurt her 
feelings. She was one against so many. If I were at the 


Feb. 19, 1861 MONTGOMERY, ALA. March 13, 1861 

North, I should expect them to belabor us, and should hold 
my tongue. We separated North from South because of in 
compatibility of temper. We are divorced because we 
have hated each other so. If we could only separate, a 
" separation a I agreable," as the French say it, and not 
have a horrid fight for divorce. 

The poor exile had already been insulted, she said. 
She was playing " Yankee Doodle " on the piano before 
breakfast to soothe her wounded spirit, and the Judge came 
in and calmly requested her to " leave out the Yankee 
while she played the Doodle." The Yankee end of it did 
not suit our climate, he said; was totally out of place and 
had got out of its latitude. 

A man said aloud : This war talk is nothing. It will 
soon blow over. Only a fuss gotten up by that Charleston 
clique." Mr. Toombs asked him to show his passports, for 
a man who uses such language is a suspicious character. 



March 26, 1861 Apn7 15, 1861 

HARLESTON, S. C., March 26, 1861. I have just 
come from Mulberry, where the snow was a foot 
deep winter at last after months of apparently 
May or June weather. Even the climate, like everything 
else, is upside down. But after that den of dirt and hor 
ror, Montgomery Hall, how white the sheets looked, luxu 
rious bed linen once more, delicious fresh cream with my 
coffee ! I breakfasted in bed. 

Dueling was rife in Camden. William M. Shannon chal 
lenged Leitner. Rochelle Blair was Shannon s second and 
Artemus Goodwyn was Leitner s. My husband was rid 
ing hard all day to stop the foolish people. Mr. Chesnut 
finally arranged the difficulty. There was a court of honor 
and no duel. Mr. Leitner had struck Mr. Shannon at a 
negro trial. That s the way the row began. Everybody 
knows of it. We suggested that Judge Withers should ar 
rest the belligerents. Dr. Boykin and Joe Kershaw l aided 
Mr. Chesnut to put an end to the useless risk of life. 
- John Chesnut is a pretty soft-hearted slave-owner. He 
had two negroes arrested for selling whisky to his people 
on his plantation, and buying stolen corn from them. The 
culprits in jail sent for him. He found them (this snowy 

1 Joseph B. Kershaw, a native of Camden, S. C., who became fa 
mous in connection with "The Kershaw Brigade" and its brilliant 
record at Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Chickamauga, Spottsylvania, and 
elsewhere throughout the war. 


March 26, 1861 CHARLESTON, S. C. April 15, 1861 

weather) lying in the cold on a bare floor, and he thought 
that punishment enough; they having had weeks of it. 
But they were not satisfied to be allowed to evade justice 
and slip away. They begged of him (and got) five dollars 
to buy shoes to run away in. I said : Why, this is flat 
compounding a felony. And Johnny put his hands in the 
armholes of his waistcoat and stalked majestically before 
me, saying, * Woman, what do you know about law ? : 

Mrs. Reynolds stopped the carriage one day to tell me 
Kitty Boykin was to be married to Savage Heyward. He 
has only ten children already. These people take the old 
Hebrew pride in the number of children they have. This 
is the true colonizing spirit. There is no danger of crowd 
ing here and inhabitants are wanted. Old Colonel Ches- 
nut 1 said one day : * Wife, you must feel that you have 
not been useless in your day and generation. You have 
now twenty-seven great-grandchildren." 

Wednesday. I have been mobbed by my own house ser 
vants. Some of them are at the plantation, some hired out 
at the Camden hotel, some are at Mulberry. They agreed 
to come in a body and beg me to stay at home to keep my 
own house once more, " as I ought not to have them scat- 
- tered and distributed every which way." I had not been 
a month in Camden since 1858. So a house there would be 
for their benefit solely, not mine. I asked my cook if she 
lacked anything on the plantation at the Hermitage. 
" Lack anything? " she said, " I lack everything. What 
are corn-meal, bacon, milk, and molasses? Would that be 

1 Colonel Chesnut, the author s father-in-law, was born about 1760. 
He was a prominent South Carolina planter and a public-spirited man. 
The family had originally settled in Virginia, where the farm had been 
overrun by the French and Indians at the time of Braddock s cam 
paign, the head of the family being killed at Fort Duquesne. Colonel 
Chesnut, of Mulberry, had been educated at Princeton, and his wife was 
a Philadelphia woman. In the final chapter of this Diary, the author 
gives a charming sketch of Colonel Chesnut. 



all you wanted? Ain t I been living and eating exactly 
as you does all these years ? When I cook for you, didn t I 
have some of all ? Dere, now ! Then she doubled herself 
up laughing. They all shouted, " Missis, we is crazy for 
you to stay home." 

Armsted, my butler, said he hated the hotel. Besides, 
he heard a man there abusing Marster, but Mr. Clyburne 
took it up and made him stop short. Armsted said he 
wanted Marster to know Mr. Clyburne was his friend and 
would let nobody say a word behind his back against him, 
etc., etc. Stay in Camden? Not if I can help it. "Festers 
in provincial sloth that s Tennyson s way of putting it. 

" We " came down here by rail, as the English say. 
Such a crowd of Convention men on board. John Man 
ning * flew in to beg me to reserve a seat by me for a young 
lady under his charge. " Place aux dames," said my hus 
band politely, and went off to seek a seat somewhere else. 
As soon as we were fairly under way, Governor Manning 
came back and threw himself cheerily down into the vacant 
place. After arranging his umbrella and overcoat to his 
satisfaction, he coolly remarked : * I am the young lady. 
He is always the handsomest man alive (now that poor 
William Taber has been killed in a duel), and he can be 
very agreeable ; that is, when he pleases to be so. He does 
not always please. He seemed to have made his little 
maneuver principally to warn me of impending danger to 
my husband s political career. " Every election now will 
be a surprise. New cliques are not formed yet. The old 
ones are principally bent upon displacing one another." 
"But the Yankees those dreadful Yankees!" "Oh, 

1 John Lawrence Manning was a son of Richard I. Manning, a for 
mer Governor of South Carolina. He was himself elected Governor of 
that State in 1852, was a delegate to the convention that nominated 
Buchanan, and during the War of Secession served on the staff of General 
Beauregard. In 1805 he was chosen United States Senator from South 
Carolina, but was not allowed to take his seat. 


March tt>, 1861 CHARLESTON, S. C. April 15, 1861 

How will you like to rusticate! go back and mind your 
own business? " " If I only knew 

never mind, we are going to take care of home folks first! 

jticate! go back and mind your 
only knew what that was what 
was my own business." 

Our round table consists of the Judge, Langdon 
Cheves, 1 Trescott, 2 and ourselves. Here are four of the 
cleverest men that we have, but such very different people, 
as opposite in every characteristic as the four points of 
the compass. Langdon Cheves and my husband have feel 
ings and ideas in common. Mr. Petigru 3 said of the brill 
iant Trescott: " He is a man without indignation." Tres 
cott and I laugh at everything. 

The Judge, from his life as solicitor, and then on the 
bench, has learned to look for the darkest motives for every 
action. His judgment on men and things is always so 
harsh, it shocks and repels even his best friends. To-day 
he said: " Your conversation reminds me of a flashy sec 
ond-rate novel." " How? " " By the quantity of French 
you sprinkle over it. Do you wish to prevent us from un 
derstanding you? " No," said Trescott, " we are using 
French against Africa. We know the black waiters are all 
ears now, and we want to keep what we have to say dark. 

1 Son of Langdon Cheves, an eminent lawyer of South Carolina, who 
served in Congress from 1810 to 1814; he was elected Speaker of the 
House of Representatives, and from 1819 to 1823 was President of the 
United States Bank; he favored Secession, but died before it was ac 
complished in 1857. 

2 William Henry Trescott, a native of Charleston, was Assistant 
Secretary of State of the United States in 1860, but resigned after South 
Carolina seceded. After the war he had a successful career as a lawyer 
and diplomatist. 

3 James Louis Petigru before the war had reached great distinction 
as a lawyer and stood almost alone in his State as an opponent of the 
Nullification movement of 1830-1832. In 1860 he strongly opposed 
disunion, although he was then an old man of 71. His reputation has 
survived among lawyers because of the fine work he did in codifying 
the laws of South Carolina. 



We can t afford to take them into our confidence, you 

This explanation Trescott gave with great rapidity and 
many gestures toward the men standing behind us. Still 
speaking the French language, his apology was exasperat 
ing, so the Judge glared at him, and, in unabated rage, 
turned to talk with Mr. Cheves, who found it hard to keep 
a calm countenance. 

On the Battery with the Rutledges, Captain Hartstein 
was introduced to me. He has done some heroic things 
brought home some ships and is a man of mark. After 
ward he sent me a beautiful bouquet, not half so beautiful, 
however, as Mr. Robert Gourdin s, which already occupied 
the place of honor on my center table. What a dear, de 
lightful place is Charleston ! 

A lady (who shall be nameless because of her story) 
came to see me to-day. Her husband has been on the Island 
with the troops for months. She has just been down to see 
him. She meant only to call on him, but he persuaded her 
to stay two days. She carried him some clothes made from 
his old measure. Now they are a mile too wide. ** So 
much for a hard life! " I said. 

" No, no," said she, " they are all jolly down there. 
He has trained down ; says it is good for him, and he likes 
the life." Then she became confidential, although it was 
her first visit to me, a perfect stranger. She had taken 
no clothes down there pushed, as she was, in that manner 
under Achilles s tent. But she managed things; she tied 
her petticoat around her neck for a nightgown. 

April 2d. Governor Manning came to breakfast at 
our table. The others had breakfasted hours before. I 
looked at him in amazement, as he was in full dress, ready 
for a ball, swallow-tail and all, and at that hour. " What 
is the matter with you? " " Nothing, I am not mad, most 
noble madam. I am only going to the photographer. My 
wife wants me taken tluis. He insisted on my going, too, 


March 26, 1861 CHARLESTON, S. C. April 15, 1861 

and we captured Mr. Chesnut and Governor Means. 1 The 
latter presented me with a book, a photo-book, in which I 
am to pillory all the celebrities. 

Doctor Gibbes says the Convention is in a snarl. It was 
called as a Secession Convention. A secession of places 
seems to be what it calls for first of all. It has not stretched 
its eyes out to the Yankees yet ; it has them turned inward ; 
introspection is its occupation still. 

Last night, as I turned down the gas, I said to myself: 
"Certainly this has been one of the pleasantest days of my 
life. I can only give the skeleton of it, so many pleasant 
people, so much good talk, for, after all, it was talk, talk, 
talk a la Caroline du Sud. And yet the day began rather 
dismally. Mrs. Capers and Mrs. Tom Middleton came for 
me and we drove to Magnolia Cemetery. I saw William 
Taber s broken column. It was hard to shake off the 
blues after this graveyard business. 

The others were off at a dinner party. I dined tete-a- 
tete with Langdon Cheves, so quiet, so intelligent, so very 
sensible withal. There never was a pleasanter person, or a 
better man than he. While we were at table, Judge Whit- 
ner, Tom Frost, and Isaac Hayne came. They broke up 
our deeply interesting conversation, for I was hearing 
what an honest and brave man feared for his country, and 
then the Rutledges dislodged the newcomers and bore me 
off to drive on the Battery. On the staircase met Mrs. 
Izard, who came for the same purpose. On the Battery 
Governor Adams 2 stopped us. He had heard of my say 
ing he looked like Marshal Pelissier, and he came to say 

1 John Hugh Means was elected Governor of South Carolina in 1850, 
and had long been an advocate of secession. He was a delegate to the 
Convention of 1860 and affixed his name to the Ordinance of Secession. 
He was killed at the second battle of Bull Run in August, 1862. 

2 James H. Adams was a graduate of Yale, who in 1832 strongly 
opposed Nullification, and in 1855 was elected Governor of South Caro 



that at last I had made a personal remark which pleased 
him, for once in my life. When we came home Mrs. Isaac 
Hayne and Chancellor Carroll called to ask us to join 
their excursion to the Island Forts to-morrow. With them 
was William Haskell. Last summer at the White Sulphur 
he was a pale, slim student from the university. To-day 
he is a soldier, stout and robust. A few months in camp, 
with soldiering in the open air, has worked this wonder. 
Camping out proves a wholesome life after all. Then came 
those nice, sweet, fresh, pure-looking Pringle girls. We 
had a charming topic in common their clever brother 

A letter from Eliza B., who is in Montgomery: " Mrs. 
Mallory got a letter from a lady in Washington a few days 
ago, who said that there had recently been several attempts 
to be gay in Washington, but they proved dismal failures. 
The Black Kepublicans were invited and came, and stared 
at their entertainers and their new Republican companions, 
looked unhappy while they said they were enchanted, 
showed no ill-temper at the hardly stifled grumbling and 
growling of our friends, who thus found themselves con 
demned to meet their despised enemy. 

I had a letter from the Gwinns to-day. They say Wash 
ington offers a perfect realization of Goldsmith s Deserted 

Celebrated my 38th birthday, but I am too old now to 
dwell in public on that unimportant anniversary. A long, 
dusty day ahead on those windy islands; never for me, so 
I was up early to write a note of excuse to Chancellor Car 
roll. My husband went. I hope Anderson will not pay 
them the compliment of a salute with shotted guns, as they 
pass Fort Sumter, as pass they must. 

Here I am interrupted by an exquisite bouquet from the 

Rutledges. Are there such roses anywhere else in the 

world? Now a loud banging at my door. I get up in a 

pet and throw it wide open. " Oh ! " said John Manning, 

4 27 

March 26, 1861 CHARLESTON, S. C. April 15, 1861 

standing there, smiling radiantly; " pray excuse the noise 
I made. I mistook the number;.! thought it was Rice s 
room ; that is my excuse. Now that I am here, come, go 
with us to Quinby s. Everybody will be there who are 
not at the Island. To be photographed is the rage just 

We had a nice open carriage, and we made a number 
of calls, Mrs. Izard, the Pringles, and the Tradd Street Rut- 
ledges, the handsome ex-Governor doing the honors gal 
lantly. He had ordered dinner at six, and we dined tete-a- 
tete. If he should prove as great a captain in ordering his 
line of battle as he is in ordering a dinner, it will be as well 
for the country as it was for me to-day. 

Fortunately for the men, the beautiful Mrs. Joe Hey- 
ward sits at the next table, so they take her beauty as one 
of the goods the gods provide. And it helps to make life 
pleasant with English grouse and venison from the West. 
Not to speak of the salmon from the lakes which began 
the feast. They have me to listen, an appreciative audience, 
while they talk, and Mrs. Joe Heyward to look at. 

Beauregard * called. He is the hero of the hour. That 
is, he is believed to be capable of great things. A hero 
worshiper was struck dumb because I said: " So far, he 
has only been a captain of artillery, or engineers, or some 
thing." I did not see him. Mrs. Wigfall did and re 
proached my laziness in not coming out. 

Last Sunday at church beheld one of the peculiar local 
sights, old negro maumas going up to the communion, in 
their white turbans and kneeling devoutly around the 
chancel rail. 

1 Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard was born in New Orleans in 
1818, and graduated from West Point in the class of 1838. He served 
in the war with Mexico; had been superintendent of the Military Acad 
emy at West Point a few days only, when in February, 1861, he resigned 
his commission in the Army of the United States and offered his services 
to the Confederacy. 



The morning papers say Mr. Chesnut made the best 
shot on the Island at target practice. No war yet, thank 
God. Likewise they tell me Mr. Chesnut has made a capital 
speech in the Convention. 

Not one word of what is going on now. " Out of the 
fulness of the heart the mouth speaketh," says the Psalm 
ist. Not so here. Our hearts are in doleful dumps, but we 
are as gay, as madly jolly, as sailors who break into the 
strong-room when the ship is going down. At first in our * 
great agony we were out alone. We longed for some of 
our big brothers to come out and help us. Well, they are 
out, too, and now it is Fort Sumter and that ill-advised 
Anderson. There stands Fort Sumter, en evidence, and 
thereby hangs peace or war. 

Wigfall x says before he left Washington, Pickens, our 
Governor, and Trescott were openly against secession; 
Trescott does not pretend to like it now. He grumbles all 
the time, but Governor Pickens is fire-eater down to the 
ground. " At the White House Mrs. Davis wore a badge. 
Jeff Davis is no seceder, " says Mrs. Wigfall. 

Captain Ingraham comments in his rapid way, words 
tumbling over each other out of his mouth: " Now, Char 
lotte Wigfall meant that as a fling at those people. I think 
better of men who stop to think; it is too rash to rush on 
as some do." " And so," adds Mrs. Wigfall, " the elev 
enth-hour men are rewarded; the half-hearted are traitors 
in this row. 

April 3d. Met the lovely Lucy Holcombe, now Mrs. 
Governor Pickens, last night at Isaac Hayne s. I saw Miles 
now begging in dumb show for three violets she had in her 

1 Louis Trezevant Wigfall was a native of South Carolina, but 
removed to Texas after being admitted to the bar, and from that State 
was elected United States Senator, becoming an uncompromising de 
fender of the South on the slave question. After the war he lived in 
England, but in 1873 settled in Baltimore. He had a wide Southern 
reputation as a forcible and impassioned speaker. 


March 26, 1861 CHARLESTON, S. C. April 15, 1861 

breastpin. She is a consummate actress and he well up in 
the part of male flirt. So it was well done. 

" And you, who are laughing in your sleeves at the 
scene, where did you get that huge bunch? : " Oh, there 
is no sentiment when there is a pile like that of any 
thing! " " Oh, oh! " 

To-day at the breakfast table there was a tragic be 
stowal of heartsease on the well-known inquirer who, once 
more says in austere tones : Who is the flirt now ? 
And so we fool on into the black cloud ahead of us. And 
after heartsease cometh rue. 

April 4th. Mr. Hayne said his wife moaned over the 
hardness of the chaperon es* seats at St. Andrew s Hall at 
a Cecilia Ball. 1 She was hopelessly deposited on one for 
hours. * And the walls are harder, my dear. What are your 
feelings to those of the poor old fellows leaning there, with 
their beautiful young wives waltzing as if they could never 
tire and in the arms of every man in the room. Watch 
their haggard, weary faces, the old boys, you know. At 
church I had to move my pew. The lovely Laura was too 
much for my boys. They all made eyes at her, and nudged 
each other and quarreled so, for she gave them glance for 
glance. Wink, blink, and snicker as they would, she liked 
it. I say, my dear, the old husbands have not exactly a 
bed of roses; their wives twirling in the arms of young 
men, they hugging the wall. 

While we were at supper at the Haynes s, Wigfall was 
sent for to address a crowd before the Mills House piazza. 
Like James Fitz James when he visits Glen Alpin again, 
it is to be in the saddle, etc. So let Washington beware. 
We were sad that we could not hear the speaking. But the 

1 The annual balls of the St. Cecilia Society in Charleston are still 
the social events of the season. To become a member of the St. Cecilia 
Society is a sort of presentation at court in the sense of giving social 
recognition to one who was without the pale. 



supper was a consolation pate de foie gras salad, biscuit 
glace and champagne frappe. 

A ship was fired into yesterday, and went back to sea. 
Is that the first shot? How can one settle down to any 
thing ; one s heart is in one s mouth all the time. Any mo 
ment the cannon may open on us, the fleet come in. 

April 6th. The plot thickens, the air is red hot with 
rumors; the mystery is to find out where these utterly 
groundless tales originate. In spite of all, Tom Huger 
came for us and we went on the Planter to take a look 
at Morris Island and its present inhabitants Mrs. Wigf all 
and the Cheves girls, Maxcy Gregg and Colonel Whiting, 
also John Rutledge, of the Navy, Dan Hamilton, and Will 
iam Haskell. John Rutledge was a figurehead to be proud 
of. He did not speak to us. But he stood with a Scotch 
shawl draped about him, as handsome and stately a crea 
ture as ever Queen Elizabeth loved to look upon. 

There came up such a wind we could not land. I was 
not too sorry, though it blew so hard (I am never seasick). 
Colonel Whiting explained everything about the forts, what 
they lacked, etc., in the most interesting way, and Maxcy 
Gregg supplemented his report by stating all the deficien 
cies and shortcomings by land. 

Beauregard is a demigod here to most of the natives, 
but there are always seers who see and say. They give 
you to understand that Whiting has all the brains now in 
use for our defense. He does the work and Beauregard 
reaps the glory. Things seem to draw near a crisis. And 
one must think. Colonel Whiting is clever enough for 
anything, so we made up our minds to-day, Maxcy Gregg 
and I, as judges. Mr. Gregg told me that my husband was 
in a minority in the Convention; so much for cool sense 
when the atmosphere is phosphorescent. Mrs. Wigfall says 
we are mismatched. She should pair with my cool, quiet, 
self-poised Colonel. And her stormy petrel is but a male 
reflection of me. 


March 26, 1861 CHARLESTON, S. C. April 15, 1861 

April 8th. Yesterday Mrs. Wigfall and I made a few 
visits. At the first house they wanted Mrs. Wigfall to set 
tle a dispute. " Was she, indeed, fifty-five? " Fancy her 
face, more than ten years bestowed upon her so freely. 
Then Mrs. Gibbes asked me if I had ever been in Charles 
ton before. Says Charlotte Wigfall (to pay me for my 
snigger when that false fifty was flung in her teeth), " and 
she thinks this is her native heath and her name is Mc 
Gregor." She said it all came upon us for breaking the 
Sabbath, for indeed it was Sunday. 

Allen Green came up to speak to me at dinner, in all his 
soldier s toggery. It sent a shiver through me. Tried to 
read Margaret Fuller Ossoli, but could not. The air is 

full of war news, and we are all so restless. 

Went to see Miss Pinckney, one of the last of the old- 
world Pinckneys. She inquired particularly about a por 
trait of her father, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, 1 which 
she said had been sent by him to my husband s grand 
father. I gave a good account of it. It hangs in the place 
of honor in the drawing-room at Mulberry. She wanted 
to see my husband, for " his grandfather, my father s 
friend, was one of the handsomest men of his day." We 
came home, and soon Mr. Robert Gourdin and Mr. Miles 
called. Governor Manning walked in, bowed gravely, and 
seated himself by me. Again he bowed low in mock heroic 
style, and with a grand wave of his hand, said: " Madame, 
your country is invaded." When I had breath to speak, 
I asked, " What does he mean? " He meant this: there 

1 Charles Cotesworth Pinckney was a brigadier-general in the Revo 
lution and a member of the Convention that framed the Constitution 
of the United States. He was an ardent Federalist and twice declined 
to enter a National Cabinet, but in 1796 accepted the office of United 
States Minister to France. He was the Federalist candidate for Vice- 
President in 1800 and for President in 1804 and 1808. Other distin 
guished men in this family were Thomas, Charles, Henry Laurens, and 
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, the second. 



are six men-of-war outside the bar. Talbot and Chew have 
come to say that hostilities are to begin. Governor Pickens 
and Beauregard are holding a council of war. Mr. Chesnut 
then came in and confirmed the story. Wigfall next en 
tered in boisterous spirits, and said: " There was a sound 
of revelry by night." In any stir or confusion my heart 
is apt to beat so painfully. Now the agony was so stifling 
I could hardly see or hear. The men went off almost imme 
diately. And I crept silently to my room, where I sat 
down to a good cry. 

Mrs. Wigfall came in and we had it out on the subject 
of civil war. We solaced ourselves with dwelling on all its 
known horrors, and then we added what we had a right 
to expect with Yankees in front and negroes in the rear. 
" The slave-owners must expect a servile insurrection, of 
course," said Mrs. Wigfall, to make sure that we were un 
happy enough. 

Suddenly loud shouting was heard. We ran out. Can 
non after cannon roared. We met Mrs. Allen Green in 
the passageway with blanched cheeks and streaming eyes. 
Governor Means rushed out of his room in his dressing- 
gown and begged us to be calm. " Governor Pickens," 
said he, " has ordered in the plenitude of his wisdom, . 
seven cannon to be fired as a signal to the Seventh Regi 
ment. Anderson will hear as well as the Seventh Regi 
ment. Now you go back and be quiet; fighting in the 
streets has not begun yet. 

So we retired. Dr. Gibbes calls Mrs. Allen Green Dame 
Placid. There was no placidity to-day, with cannon burst 
ing and Allen on the Island. No sleep for anybody last 
night. The streets were alive with soldiers, men shouting, 
marching, singing. Wigfall, the " stormy petrel," is in 
his glory, the only thoroughly happy person I see. To-day 
things seem to have settled down a little. One can but 
hope still. Lincoln, or Seward, has made such silly ad 
vances and then far sillier drawings back. There may be a 


March 26, 1861 CHARLESTON, S. C. April 15, 1861 

chance for peace after all. Things are happening so fast. 
My husband has been made an aide-de-camp to General 

Three hours ago we were quickly packing to go home. 
The Convention has adjourned. Now he tells me the attack 
on Fort Sumter may begin to-night ; depends upon Ander 
son and the fleet outside. The Herald says that this show 
of war outside of the bar is intended for Texas. John Man 
ning came in with his sword and red sash, pleased as a boy 
to be on Beauregard s staff, while the row goes on. He 
has gone with Wigfall to Captain Hartstein with instruc 
tions. Mr. Chesnut is finishing a report he had to make 
to the Convention. 

Mrs. Hayne called. She had, she said, but one feeling; 
pity for those who are not here. Jack Preston, Willie 
Alston, * the take-lif e-easys, as they are called, with John 
Green, " the big brave," have gone down to the islands 
volunteered as privates. Seven hundred men were sent 
over. Ammunition wagons were rumbling along the streets 
all night. Anderson is burning blue lights, signs, and sig 
nals for the fleet outside, I suppose. 

To-day at dinner there was no allusion to things as they 
stand in Charleston Harbor. There was an undercurrent 
of intense excitement. There could not have been a more 
brilliant circle. In addition to our usual quartette (Judge 
Withers, Langdon Cheves, and Trescott), our two ex-Gov 
ernors dined with us, Means and Manning. These men all 
talked so delightfully. For once in my life I listened. 
That over, business began in earnest. Governor Means had 
rummaged a sword and red sash from somewhere and 
brought it for Colonel Chesnut, who had gone to demand 
the surrender of Fort Sumter. And now patience we 
must wait. 

Why did that green goose Anderson go into Fort Sum 
ter? Then everything began to go wrong. Now they have 
intercepted a letter from him urging them to let him sur- 



render. He paints the horrors likely to ensue if they will 
not. He ought to have thought of all that before he put 
his head in the hole. 

April 12th. Anderson will not capitulate. Yesterday s 
was the merriest, maddest dinner we have had yet. Men 
were audaciously wise and witty. We had an unspoken 
foreboding that it was to be our last pleasant meeting. 
Mr. Miles dined with us to-day. Mrs. Henry King rushed 
in saying, * * The news, I come for the latest news. All the 
men of the King family are on the Island, of which fact 
she seemed proud. 

While she was here our peace negotiator, or envoy, 
came in that is, Mr. Chesnut returned. His interview 
with Colonel Anderson had been deeply interesting, but 
Mr. Chesnut was not inclined to be communicative. He 
wanted his dinner. He felt for Anderson and had tele 
graphed to President Davis for instructions what answer 
to give Anderson, etc. He has now gone back to Fort Sum- 
ter with additional instructions. When they were about to 
leave the wharf A. H. Boykin sprang into the boat in great 
excitement. He thought himself ill-used, with a likelihood 
of fighting and he to be left behind ! 

I do not pretend to go to sleep. How can 1 1 If Ander 
son does not accept terms at four, the orders are, he shall be 
fired upon. I count four, St. Michael s bells chime out and 
I begin to hope. At half -past four the heavy booming of a 
cannon. I sprang out of bed, and on my knees prostrate I 
prayed as I never prayed before. 

There was a sound of stir all over the house, pattering 
of feet in the corridors. All seemed hurrying one way. 
I put on my double-gown and a shawl and went, too. It 
was to the housetop. The shells were bursting. In the 
dark I heard a man say, Waste of ammunition. I knew 
my husband was rowing about in a boat somewhere in that 
dark bay, and that the shells were roofing it over, burst 
ing toward the fort. If Anderson was obstinate, Colonel 


March 26, 1861 CHARLESTON, S. C. April 15, 1861 

Chesnut was to order the fort on one side to open fire. 
Certainly fire had begun. The regular roar of the cannon, 
there it was. And who could tell what each volley accom 
plished of death and destruction ? 

^ The women were wild there on the housetop. Prayers 
came from the women and imprecations from the men. 
And then a shell would light up the scene. To-night they 
say the forces are to attempt to land. We watched up 
there, and everybody wondered that Fort Sumter did not 
fire a shot. 

To-day Miles and Manning, colonels now, aides to 
Beauregard, dined with us. The latter hoped I would keep 
the peace. I gave him only good words, for he was to be 
under fire all day and night, down in the bay carrying 
orders, etc. 

Last night, or this morning truly, up on the housetop 
I was so weak and weary I sat down on something that 
looked like a black stool. " Get up, you foolish woman. 
Your dress is on fire," cried a man. And he put me out. 
I was on a chimney and the sparks had caught my clothes. 
Susan Preston and Mr. Venable then came up. But my 
fire had been extinguished before it burst out into a regular 

Do you know, after all that noise and our tears and 
prayers, nobody has been hurt ; sound and fury signifying 
nothing a delusion and a snare. 

Louisa Hamilton came here now. This is a sort of news 
center. Jack Hamilton, her handsome young husband, has 
all the credit of a famous battery, which is made of rail 
road iron. Mr. Petigru calls it the boomerang, because it 
throws the balls back the way they came ; so Lou Hamilton 
tells us. During her first marriage, she had no children; 
hence the value of this lately achieved baby. To divert 
Louisa from the glories of " the Battery," of which she 
raves, we asked if the baby could talk yet. " No, not 
exactly, but he imitates the big gun when he hears that. 



He claps his hands and cries Boom, boom. Her mind 
is distinctly occupied by three things: Lieutenant Hamil 
ton, whom she calls " Randolph," the baby, and the big 
gun, and it refuses to hold more. 

Pryor, of Virginia, spoke from the piazza of the Charles 
ton hotel. I asked what he said. An irreverent woman re 
plied: " Oh, they all say the same thing, but he made 
great play with that long hair of his, which he is always 
tossing aside ! : 

Somebody came in just now and reported Colonel Ches- 
nut asleep on the sofa in General Beauregard s room. 
After two such nights he must be so tired as to be able 
to sleep anywhere. 

Just bade farewell to Langdon Cheves. He is forced to 
go home and leave this interesting place. Says he feels 
like the man that was not killed at Thermopylae. I think 
he said that unfortunate had to hang himself when he got 
home for very shame. Maybe he fell on his sword, which 
was the strictly classic way of ending matters. 

I do not wonder at Louisa Hamilton s baby; we hear 
nothing, can listen to nothing; boom, boom goes the can 
non all the time. The nervous strain is awful, alonS in this 
darkened room. " Richmond and Washington ablaze," 
say the papers blazing with excitement. Why not? To 
us these last days events seem frightfully great. We 
were all women on that iron balcony. Men are only seen 
at a distance now. Stark Means, marching under the piazza 
at the head of his regiment, held his cap in his hand all 
the time he was in sight. Mrs. Means was leaning over and 
looking with tearful eyes, when an unknown creature 
asked, " Why did he take his hat off ? " Mrs. Means stood 
straight up and said : " He did that in honor of his mother ; 
he saw me. She is a proud mother, and at the same time 
most unhappy. Her lovely daughter Emma is dying in 
there, before her eyes, of consumption. At that moment 
I am sure Mrs. Means had a spasm of the heart; at least, 


March 26, 1861 CHARLESTON, S. C. April 15, 1861 

she looked as I feel sometimes. She took my arm and we 
came in. 

April 13th. Nobody has been hurt after all. How gay 
we were last night. Eeaction after the dread of all the 
slaughter we thought those dreadful cannon were making. 
Not even a battery the worse for wear. Fort Sumter has 
been on fire. Anderson has not yet silenced any of our 
guns. So the aides, still with swords and red sashes by 
way of uniform, tell us. But the sound of those guns 
makes regular meals impossible. None of us go to table. 
Tea-trays pervade the corridors going everywhere. Some 
of the anxious hearts lie on their beds and moan in solitary 
misery. Mrs. Wigfall and I solace ourselves with tea in 
my room. These women have all a satisfying faith. God 
is on our side," they say. When we are shut in Mrs. Wig- 
fall and I ask " Why? " " Of course, He hates the Yan 
kees, we are told. You ll think that well of Him." 

Not by one word or look can we detect any change in 
the demeanor of these negro servants. Lawrence sits at 
our door, sleepy and respectful, and profoundly indiffer 
ent. So are they all, but they carry it too far. You could 
not tell that they even heard the awful roar going on in 
the bay, though it has been dinning in their ears night and 
day. People talk before them as if they were chairs and 
tables. They make no sign. Are they stolidly stupid ? or . 
wiser than we are ; silent and strong, biding their time ? 

So tea and toast came; also came Colonel Manning, red 
sash and sword, to announce that he had been under fire, 
and didn t mind it. He said gaily: " It is one of those 
things a fellow never knows how he will come out until he 
has been tried. Now I know I am a worthy descendant of 
my old Irish hero of an ancestor, who held the British offi 
cer before him as a shield in the Revolution, and backed 
out of danger gracefully." We talked of St. Valentine s 
eve, or the maid of Perth, and the drop of the white doe s 
blood that sometimes spoiled all. 



The war-steamers are still there, outside the bar. And 
there are people who thought the Charleston bar " no 
good " to Charleston. The bar is the silent partner, or 
sleeping partner, and in this fray it is doing us yeoman 

April 15th. I did not know that one could live such 
days of excitement. Some one called : * Come out ! There 
is a crowd coming." A mob it was, indeed, but it was 
headed by Colonels Chesnut and Manning. The crowd was 
shouting and showing these two as messengers of good 
news. They were escorted to Beauregard s headquarters. 
Sort SumtfT had nnrrrmrJorod Those upon the housetops 
shouted to us " The fort is on fire." That had been the 
story once or twice before. 

When we had calmed down, Colonel Chesout. who had 
taken it all quietly enough, if anything more unruffled 
than usual in his serenity, tolcLusJlQJg -the suriwi rj p r ra p_ 
about. Wigfall was with them on Morris Island when they 
saw the fire in the fort; he jumped in a little boat, and 
with his handkerchief as a white flag, rowed over. Wig- 
fall went in through a porthole. When Colonel Chesnut 
arrived shortly after, and was received at the regular en 
trance, Colonel Anderson told him he had need to pick his 
way warily, for the place was all mined. As far as I can 
make out the fort surrendered to Wigfall. But it is all con 
fusion. Our flag is flying there. Fire-engines have been 
sent for to put out the fire. Everybody tells you half of 
something and then rushes off to tell something else or to 
hear the last news. 

In the afternoon, Mrs.^Pjeston/ Mrs*.... Joe- Heyward, 
and I drove around the Battery. We were in an open car- 

1 Caroline Hampton, a daughter of General Wade Hampton, of the 
Revolution, was the wife of John S. Preston, an ardent advocate of 
secession, who served on the staff of Beauregard at Bull Run and 
subsequently reached the rank of brigadier-general. 


March 26, 18G1 CHARLESTON, S. C. April 15, 1861 

riage. ^What a changed scene the very liveliest crowd I 
think I ever saw, everybody talking at once. All glasses 
were still turned on the grim old fort. 

Russell, 1 the correspondent of the London Times, was 
there. They took him everywhere. One man got out 
Thackeray to converse with him on equal terms. Poor 
Russell was awfully bored, they say. He only wanted 
to see the fort and to get news suitable to make up into 
an interesting article. Thackeray had become stale over 
the water. 

Mrs. Frank Hampton 2 and I went to see the camp of the 
Richland troops. South Carolina College had volunteered 
to a boy. Professor Venable (the mathematical) , intends to 
raise a company from among them for the war, a perma 
nent company. This is a grand frolic no more for the stu 
dents, at least. Even the staid and severe of aspect, C ling- 
man, is here. He says Virginia and North Carolina are 
arming to come to our rescue, for now the North will 
swoop down on us. Of that we may be sure. We have 
burned our ships. We are obliged to go on now. He calls 
us a poor, little, hot-blooded, headlong, rash, and trouble 
some sister State. General McQueen is in a rage because 
we are to send troops to Virginia. 

Preston Hampton is in all the flush of his youth and 
beauty, six feet in stature ; and after all only in his teens ; 
he appeared in fine clothes and lemon-colored kid gloves to 
grace the scene. The camp in a fit of horse-play seized him 
and rubbed him in the mud. He fought manfully, but took 
it all naturally as a good joke. 

1 William Howard Russell, a native of Dublin, who served as a cor 
respondent of the London Times during the Crimean War, the Indian 
Mutiny, the War of Secession and the Franco-German War. He has 
been familiarly known as "Bull Run Russell." In 1875 he was hon 
orary Secretary to the Prince of Wales during the Prince s visit to India. 

2 The " Sally Baxter" of the recently published " Thackeray Letters 
to an American Family." 



Mrs. Prank Hampton knows already what civil war 
means. Her brother was in the New York Seventh Regi 
ment, so roughly received in Baltimore. Frank will be in 
the opposite camp. 

Good stories there may be and to spare for Russell, the 
man of the London Times, who has come over here to find 
out our weakness and our strength and to tell all the rest 
of the world about us. 




April 20, 1861 April 23, 1861 

AMDEN, S. C., April 20, 1861. Home .again at Mul 
berry. In those last days of my stay in Charleston 
I did not find time to write a word. 

And so wo took Fort Sumter, nous autres ; we Mrs. 
Frank Hampton, and others in the passageway of the 
Mills House between the reception-room and the drawing- 
room, for there we held a sofa against all comers. All the 
agreeable people South seemed to have flocked to Charles 
ton at the first gun. That was after we had found out that 
bombarding did not kill anybody. Before that, we wept 
and prayed and took our tea in groups in our rooms, away 
from the haunts of men. 

Captain Ingraham and his kind also took Fort Sumter 
from the Battery with field-glasses and figures made with 
their sticks in the sand to show what ought to be done. 

Wigfall, Chesnut, Miles, Manning, took it rowing about 
the harbor in small boats from fort to fort under the 
enemy s guns, with bombs bursting in air. 

And then the boys and men who worked those guns so 
faithfully at the forts they took it, too, in their own way. 

Old Colonel Beaufort Watts told me this story and 
many more of the jeunesse doree under fire. They took the 
fire easily, as they do most things. They had cotton bag 
bomb-proofs at Fort Moultrie, and when Anderson s shot 
knocked them about some one called out " Cotton is fall 
ing." Then down went the kitchen chimney, loaves of 



bread flew out, and they cheered gaily, shouting, " Bread- 
stuffs are rising." 

Willie Preston fired the shot which broke Anderson s 
flag-staff. Mrs. Hampton from Columbia telegraphed him, 
Well done, Willie ! ! She is his grandmother, the wife, 
or widow, of General Hampton, of the Revolution, and the 
mildest, sweetest, gentlest of old ladies. This shows how 
the war spirit is waking us all up. 

Colonel Miles (who won his spurs in a boat, so William 
Gilmore Simms J said) gave us this characteristic anecdote. 
They met a negro out in the bay rowing toward the city 
with some plantation supplies, etc. " Are you not afraid 
of Colonel Anderson s cannon? " he was asked. No, 
sar, Mars Anderson ain t daresn t hit me ; he know Marster 
wouldn t low it." 

I have been sitting idly to-day looking out upon this 
beautiful lawn, wondering if this can be the same world 
I was in a few days ago. After the smoke and the din of 
the battle, a calm. 

April 22d. Arranging my photograph book. On the 
first page, Colonel Watts. Here goes a sketch of his life; 
romantic enough, surely: Beaufort Watts; bluest blood; 
gentleman to the tips of his fingers; chivalry incarnate. 
He was placed in charge of a large amount of money, in 
bank bills. The money belonged to the State and he was 
to deposit it in the bank. On the way he was obliged to 
stay over one night. He put the roll on a table at his bed 
side, locked himself in, and slept the sleep of the righteous. 
Lo, next day when he awaked, the money was gone. Well ! 
all who knew him believed him innocent, of course. He 
searched and they searched, high and low, but to no pur 
pose. The money had vanished. It was a damaging story, 

1 William Gilmore Simms, the Southern novelist, was born in 
Charleston in 1806. He was the author of a great many volumes deal 
ing with Southern life, and at one time they were widely read. 
5 43 

April 20, 1861 CAMDEN, S. C. April 23, 1861 

in spite of his previous character, and a cloud rested on 

Years afterward the house* in which he had taken 
that disastrous sleep was pulled down. In the wall, behind 
the wainscot, was found his pile of money. How the rats 
got it through so narrow a crack it seemed hard to realize. 
Like the hole mentioned by Mercutio, it was not as deep as 
a well nor as wide as a church door, but it did for Beaufort 
Watts until the money was found. Suppose that house had 
been burned, or the rats had gnawed up the bills past 
recognition ? 

People in power understood how this proud man suf 
fered those many years in silence. Many men looked 
askance at him. The country tried to repair the work of 
blasting the man s character. He was made Secretary of 
Legation to Russia, and was afterward our Consul at 
Santa Fe de Bogota. When he was too old to wander far 
afield, they made him Secretary to all the Governors of 
South Carolina in regular succession. 

I knew him more than twenty years ago as Secretary 
to the Governor. He was a made-up old battered dandy, 
the soul of honor. His eccentricities were all humored. 
Misfortune had made him sacred. He stood hat in hand 
before ladies and bowed as I suppose Sir Charles Grandi- 
son might have done. It was hard not to laugh at the pur 
ple and green shades of his overblack hair. He came at 
one time to show me the sword presented to Colonel Shel- 
ton for killing the only Indian who was killed in the Semi- 
nole war. We bagged Osceola and Micanopy under a flag 
of truce that is, they were snared, not shot on the wing. 

To go back to my knight-errant : he knelt, handed me the 
sword, and then kissed my hand. I was barely sixteen and 
did not know how to behave under the circumstances. He 
said, leaning on the sword, " My dear child, learn that it is 
a much greater liberty to shake hands with a lady than to 
kiss her hand. I have kissed the Empress of Russia s hand 



and she did not make faces at me." He looks now just as 
he did then. He is in uniform, covered with epaulettes, 
aigulettes, etc., shining in the sun, and with his plumed hat 
reins up his war-steed and bows low as ever. 

Now I will bid farewell for a while as Othello did to all 
the pomp, pride, and circumstance of glorious war, and 
come down to my domestic strifes and troubles. I have a 
sort of volunteer maid, the daughter of my husband s 
nurse, dear old Betsy. She waits on me because she so 
pleases. Besides, I pay her. She belongs to my father-in- 
law, who has too many slaves to care very much about their 
way of life. So Maria Whitaker came, all in tears. She 
brushes hair delightfully, and as she stood at my back I 
could see her face in the glass. " Maria, are you crying 
because all this war talk scares you? " said I. * No, 
ma am." " What is the matter with you? " " Nothing 
more than common." " Now listen. Let the war end 
either way and you will be free. We will have to free you 
before we get out of this thing. Won t you be glad? " 
" Everybody knows Mars Jeems wants us free, and it is 
only old Marster holds hard. He ain t going to free any 
body any way, you see. 

And then came the story of her troubles. " Now, 
Miss Mary, you see me married to Jeems Whitaker yourself. 
I was a good and faithful wife to him, and we were com 
fortable every way good house, everything. He had no 
cause of complaint, but he has left me." " For heaven s 
sake ! Why ? : " Because I had twins. He says they are 
not his because nobody named Whitaker ever had twins." 

Maria is proud in her way, and the behavior of this bad 
husband has nearly mortified her to death. She has had 
three children in two years. No wonder the man was 
frightened. But then Maria does not depend on him for 
anything. She was inconsolable, and I could find nothing 
better to say than, " Come, now, Maria ! Never mind, your 
old Missis and Marster are so good to you. Now let us 


April 20, 1861 CAMDEN, S. C. April 23, 1861 

look up something for the twins." The twins are named 
" John and Jeems," the latter for her false loon of a hus 
band. Maria is one of the good colored women. She de 
served a better fate in her honest matrimonial attempt. 
But they do say she has a trying temper. Jeems was tried, 
and he failed to stand the trial. 

April 23d. Note the glaring inconsistencies of life. 
Our chatelaine locked up Eugene Sue, and returned even 
Washington Allston s novel with thanks and a decided 
hint that it should be burned ; at least it should not remain 
in her house. Bad books are not allowed house room, except 
in the library under lock and key, the key in the Master s 
pocket ; but bad women, if they are not white, or serve in a 
menial capacity, may swarm the house unmolested; the 
ostrich game is thought a Christian act. Such women are 
no more regarded as a dangerous contingent than canary 
birds would be. 

If you show by a chance remark that you see some par 
ticular creature, more shameless than the rest, has no end 
of children, and no beginning of a husband, you are 
frowned down; you are talking on improper subjects. 
There are certain subjects pure-minded ladies never touch 
upon, even in their thoughts. It does not do to be so hard 
and cruel. It is best to let the sinners alone, poor things. 
If they are good servants otherwise, do not dismiss them; 
all that will come straight as they grow older, and it does ! 
They are frantic, one and all, to be members of the church. 
The Methodist Church is not so pure-minded as to shut its 
eyes ; it takes them up and turns them out with a high hand 
if they are found going astray as to any of the ten com 


April 27, 1861 May 20, 1861 

ONTGOMERY, Ala., April 27, 1861. Here we are 
once more. Hon. Robert Barnwell came with us. His 
benevolent spectacles give him a most Pickwickian 
expression. We Carolinians revere his goodness above all 
things. Everywhere, when the car stopped, the people 
wanted a speech, and we had one stream of fervid oratory. 
We came along with a man whose wife lived in Washing 
ton. He was bringing her to Georgia as the safest place. 

The Alabama crowd are not as confident of taking 
Fort Pickens as we were of taking Fort Sumter. 

Baltimore is in a blaze. They say Colonel Ben Huger 
is in command there son of the Olmutz Huger. Gen 
eral Robert E. Lee, son of Light Horse Harry Lee, has been 
made General-in-Chief of Virginia. With such men to the 
fore, we have hope. The New York Herald says, Slavery 
must be extinguished, if in blood. It thinks we are shak 
ing in our shoes at their great mass meetings. We are jolly 
as larks, all the same. 

Mr. Chesnut has gone with Wade Hampton * to see 
President Davis about the legion Wade wants to get up. 

1 Wade Hampton was a son of another Wade Hampton, who was 
an aide to General Jackson at the battle of New Orleans, and a grandson 
of still another Wade Hampton, who was a general in the Revolution. 
He was not in favor of secession, but when the war began he enlisted as 
a private and then raised a command of infantry, cavalry, and artillery, 
which as "Hampton s Legion" won distinction in the war. After the 
war, he was elected Governor of South Carolina and was then elected 
to the United States Senate. 


April 27, 1861 MONTGOMERY, ALA. May 20, 1861 

The President came across the aisle to speak to me at 
church to-day. He was very cordial, and I appreciated the 

Wigfall is black with rage at Colonel Anderson s ac 
count of the fall of Sumter. Wigfall did behave magnani 
mously, but Anderson does not seem to see it in that light. 
" Catch me risking my life to save him again/ says Wig- 
fall. " He might have been man enough to tell the truth 
to those New Yorkers, however unpalatable to them a good 
word for us might have been. We did behave well to him. 
The only men of his killed, he killed himself, or they killed 
themselves firing a salute to their old striped rag. 

Mr. Chesnut was delighted with the way Anderson spoke 
to him when he went to demand the surrender. They 
parted quite tenderly. Anderson said: " If we do not 
meet again on earth, I hope we may meet in Heaven." 
How Wigfall laughed at Anderson " giving Chesnut a 
howdy in the other world ! : 

What a kind welcome the old gentlemen gave me ! One, 
more affectionate and homely than the others, slapped me 
on the back. Several bouquets were brought me, and I put 
them in water around my plate. Then General Owens 
gave me some violets, which I put in my breastpin. 

11 Oh," said my " Gutta Percha " Hemphill, 1 " if I 
had known how those bouquets were to be honored I would 
have been up by daylight seeking the sweetest flowers! " 
Governor Moore came in, and of course seats were offered 
him. " This is a most comfortable chair/ cried an 
overly polite person. " The most comfortable chair is be 
side Mrs. Chesnut," said the Governor, facing the music 
gallantly, as he sank into it gracefully. Well done, old 
fogies ! 

1 John Hemphill was a native of South Carolina, who had removed 
to Texas, where he became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the 
State, and in 1858 was elected United States Senator. 



Browne said: " These Southern men have an awfully 
flattering way with women. " " Oh, so many are descend 
ants of Irishmen, and so the blarney remains yet, even, and 
in spite of their gray hairs ! :l For it was a group of silver- 
gray flatterers. Yes, blarney as well as bravery came in 
with the Irish. 

At Mrs. Davis s reception dismal news, for civil war 
seems certain. At Mrs. Toombs s reception Mr. Stephens 
came by me. Twice before we have had it out on the sub 
ject of ,this Confederacy, once on the cars, coming from 
Georgia here, once at a supper, where he sat next to me. 
To-day he was not cheerful in his views. I called him 
half-hearted, and accused him of looking back. Man after 
man came and interrupted the conversation with some 
frivle-fravle, but we held on. He was deeply interesting, 
and he gave me some new ideas as to our dangerous situa 
tion. Fears for the future and not exultation at our suc 
cesses pervade his discourse. 

Dined at the President s and never had a pleasanter 
day. He is as witty as he is wise. He was very agreeable ; 
he took me in to dinner. The talk was of Washington ; noth 
ing of our present difficulties. 

A General Anderson from Alexandria, D. C., was in 
doleful dumps. He says the North are so much better pre 
pared than we are. They are organized, or will be, by 
General Scott. We are in wild confusion. Their army is 
the best in the world. We are wretchedly armed, etc., etc. 
They have ships and arms that were ours and theirs. 

Mrs. Walker, resplendently dressed, one of those gor 
geously arrayed persons who fairly shine in the sun, tells 
me she mistook the inevitable Morrow for Mr. Chesnut, and 
added, Pass over the affront to my powers of selection. 
I told her it was * an insult to the Palmetto flag. Think 
of a South Carolina Senator like that ! 

Men come rushing in from Washington with white lips, 
crying, " Danger, danger! " It is very tiresome to have 


April Vt, 1861 MONTGOMERY, ALA. MayW, 1861 

these people always harping on this: " The enemy s 
troops are the finest body of men we ever saw." " Why 
did you ,not make friends of them, I feel disposed to say. 
We would have war, and now w seem to be letting our 
golden opportunity pass; we are not preparing for war. 
There is talk, .talk, talk in that Congress lazy legislators, 
and rash, reckless, headlong, devil-may-care, proud, passion 
ate, unruly, raw material for soldiers. They say we have 
among us a regiment of spies, men and women, sent here 
by the wily Seward. Why? Our newspapers tell every 
word there is to be told, by friend or foe. 

A two-hours call from Hon. Robert Barnwell. His 
theory is, all would have been right if we had taken Fort 
Sumter six months ago. He made this very plain to me. 
He is clever, if erratic. I forget why it ought to have been 
attacked before. At another reception, Mrs. Davis was in 
fine spirits. Captain Dacier was here. Came over .in his 
own yacht. Russell, of The London Times, wondered how 
we had the heart to enjoy life so .thoroughly when all the 
Northern papers said we were to be exterminated in such a 
short time. 

May 9th. Virginia Commissioners here. Mr. Staples 
and Mr. Edmonston came to see me. They say Virginia 
" has no grievance; she comes out on a point of honor; 
could she stand by and see her sovereign sister States in 

Sumter ,Anderson has been offered a Kentucky regi 
ment. Can they raise a regiment in Kentucky against us ? 
In Kentucky, our sister State? 

Suddenly General Beauregard and his aide (the last 
left him of the galaxy who surrounded him in Charleston), 
John Manning, have gone Heaven knows where, but out 
on a war-path certainly. Governor Manning called himself 
" the last .rose of summer left blooming alone " of that 
fancy staff. A new fight will gather them again. 

Ben McCulloch, the Texas Ranger, is here, and Mr. 



Ward, 1 my " Gutta Percha " friend s colleague from 
Texas. Senator Ward in appearance is the exact opposite 
of Senator HemphiJl. The latter, with the face of an old 
man, has the hair of a boy of twenty. Mr. Ward is fresh 
and fair, with blue eyes and a boyish face, but his head is 
white as snow. Whether he turned it white in a single 
night or by slower process I do not know, but it is strangely 
out of keeping with his clear young eye. He is thin, and 
has a queer stooping figure. 

This story he told me of his own experience. On a 
Western steamer there was a great crowd and no unoccu 
pied berth, or sleeping place of any sort whatsoever in 
the gentlemen s cabin saloon, I think they called it. He 
had taken a stateroom, 110, .but he could not eject the peo 
ple who had already seized it and were asleep in it. Neither 
could the Captain. It would have been a .case of revolver 
or * leven inch Bowie-knife. 

Near the ladies saloon the steward took pity on him. 
" This man," said he, " is 110, and I can find no place for 
him, poor fellow." There was a peep out of bright eyes: 
1 I say, steward, have you a man 110 years old out there ? 
Let us see him. He must be a natural curiosity." " We 
are overcrowded," was the answer, " and we can t find a 
place for him to sleep." " Poor old soul; bring .him in 
here. We will take care of him. 

" Stoop and totter," sniggered .the steward to No. 110, 
* and go in. 

" Ah," said Mr. Ward, " how those houris patted ,and 
pitied me and hustled me about and gave me the best berth ! 
I tried not to look ; I knew it was wrong, but I looked. I saw 
them undoing their back hair and was lost in amazement 

1 Matthias Ward was a native of Georgia, but had removed to Texas 
in 1836. He was twice a delegate to National Democratic Conventions, 
and in 1858 was appointed to fill a vacancy from Texas in the United 
States Senate, holding that office until 1860. 


April 27, 1861 MONTGOMERY, ALA. May 20, 1861 

at the collapse when the huge hoop-skirts fell off, unheeded 
on the cabin floor. 

One beauty who was disporting herself near his cur 
tain suddenly caught his eye. She stooped and gathered 
up her belongings as she said: " I say, stewardess, your 
old hundred and ten is a humbug. His eyes are too blue 
for anything," and she fled as he shut himself in, nearly 
frightened to death. I forget how it ended. There was so 
much laughing at his story I did not .hear it all. So much 
for hoary locks and their reverence-inspiring power ! 

Russell, the wandering English newspaper correspond 
ent, was telling how very odd some of our plantation habits 
were. He was staying at the house of an ex-Cabinet Min 
ister, and Madame would stand on the back piazza and 
send her voice three fields off, calling a servant. Now that 
is not a Southern peculiarity. Our women are soft, and 
sweet, low-toned, indolent, graceful, quiescent. I dare say 
there are bawling, squalling, vulgar people everywhere. 

May }3th. We have been down from Montgomery on 
the boat to that God-forsaken landing, Portland, Ala. 
Found everybody drunk that is, the three men who were 
there. At last secured a carriage to carry us to my broth 
er-in-law s house. Mr. Chesnut had to drive seven miles, 
pitch dark, over an unknown road. My heart was in my 
mouth, which last I did not open. 

Next day a patriotic person informed us that, so great 
was the war fever only six men could be found in Dallas 
County. I whispered to Mr. Chesnut: " We found three 
of the lone ones hors de combat at Portland." So much 
for the corps of reserves alcoholized patriots. 

Saw for the first time the demoralization produced by 
hopes of freedom. My mother s butler (whom I taught 
to read, sitting on his knife-board) contrived to keep from 
speaking to us. He was as .efficient as ever in his proper 
place, but he did not come behind the scenes as usual and 
have a friendly chat. Held himself aloof so grand and 



stately we had to send him a * tip " through his wife 
Hetty, mother s maid, who, however, showed no signs of 
disaffection. She came to my bedside next morning with 
everything that was nice for breakfast. She had let me 
sleep till midday, and embraced me over and over again. 
I remarked : What a capital cook they have here ! : She 
curtsied to the ground. * I cooked every mouthful on that 
tray as if I did not know what you liked to eat since you 
was a baby. 

May 19th. Mrs. Fitzpatrick says Mr. Davis is too 
gloomy for her. He says we must prepare for a long war 
and unmerciful reverses at first, because they are readier 
for war and so much stronger numerically. Men and 
money count so in war. " As they do everywhere else," 
said I, doubting her accurate account of Mr. Davis s 
spoken words, though she tried to give them faithfully. 
We need patience and persistence. There is enough and to 
spare of pluck and dash among us, the do-and-dare style. 

I drove out with Mrs. Davis. She finds playing Mrs. 
President of this small confederacy slow work, after leav 
ing friends such as Mrs. Emory and Mrs. Joe Johnston * 
in Washington. I do not blame her. The wrench has been 
awful with us all, but we don t mean to be turned into 
pillars of salt. 

Mr. Mallory came for us to go to Mrs. Toombs s recep 
tion. Mr. Chesnut would not go, and I decided to remain 
with him. This proved a wise decision. First Mr. Hunter 2 

1 Mrs. Johnston was Lydia McLane, a daughter of Louis McLane, 
United States Senator from Delaware from 1827 to 1829, and afterward 
Minister to England. In 1831 he became Secretary of the Treasury 
and in 1833 Secretary of State. General Joseph E. Johnston was grad 
uated from West Point in 1829 and had served in the Black Hawk, 
Seminole, and Mexican Wars. He resigned his commission in the 
United States Army on April 22, 1861. 

2 Mr. Hunter was a Virginian. He had long served in Congress* 
was twice speaker of the House, and in 1844 was elected a United States 


April 27, 1861 MONTGOMERY, ALA. May 20, 1861 

came. In college they called him from his initials, R. 
M. T., " Run Mad Tom " Hunter. Just now I think he is 
the sanest, if not the wisest, man in our new-born Confed 
eracy. I remember when I first met him. He sat next to 
me at some state dinner in Washington. Mr. Clay had 
taken me in to dinner, but seemed quite satisfied that my 
1 other side should take me off his hands. 

Mr. Hunter did not know me, nor I him. I suppose he 
inquired, or looked at my card, lying on the table, as I 
looked at his. At any rate, we began a conversation which 
lasted steadily through the whole thing from soup to 
dessert. Mr. Hunter, though in evening dress, presented a 
rather tumbled-up appearance. His waistcoat wanted pull 
ing down, and his hair wanted brushing. He delivered un 
consciously that day a lecture on English literature which, 
if printed, I still think would be a valuable addition to 
that literature. Since then, I have always looked forward 
to a talk with the Senator from Virginia with undisguised 
pleasure. Next came Mr. Miles and Mr. Jameson, of 
South Carolina. The latter was President of our Secession 
Convention; also has written a life of Du Guesclin that is 
not so bad. So my unexpected reception was of the most 
charming. Judge Frost came a little later. They all re 
mained until the return of the crowd from Mrs. Toombs s. 

These men are not sanguine I can t say, without hope, 
exactly. They are agreed in one thing: it is worth while 
to try a while, if only to get away from New England. 
Captain Ingraham was here, too. He is South Carolina to 
the tips of his fingers ; yet he has it dyed in the wool it is 
part of his nature to believe the United States Navy can 
whip anything in the world. All of these little inconsisten 
cies and contrarieties make the times very exciting. One 

Senator, serving until 1861. He supported slavery and became active 
in the secession movement. At the Charleston Convention in I860, he 
received the next highest vote to Stephen A. Douglas for President. 



iiever knows what tack any one of them will take at the 
next word. 

May 20th. LunchecLajJMrs. Davis ? s; everything nice 
to eat, and I was ravenous. For a fortnight I have not 
even gone to the dinner table. Yesterday I was forced to 
dine on cold asparagus and blackberries, so repulsive in 
aspect was the other food they sent me. Mrs. Davis was 
as nice as the luncheon. When she is in the mood, I do not 
know so pleasant a person. She is awfully clever, always. 

We talked of this move from Montgomery. Mr. Ches- 
nut opposes it violently, because this is so central a posi 
tion for our government. He wants our troops sent into 
Maryland in order to make our fight on the border, and so 
to encompass Washington. I see that the uncomfortable 
hotels here will at last move the Congress. Our statesmen 
love their ease, and it will be hot here in summer. " I do 
hope they will go," Mrs. Davis said. " The Yankees will 
make it hot for us, go where we will, and truly so if war 
comes." " And it has come," said I. " Yes, I fancy 
these dainty folks may live to regret losing even the fare 
of the Montgomery hotels. " " Never. 

Mr. Chesnut has three distinct manias. The Maryland 
scheme is one, and he rushes off to Jeff Davis, who, I dare 
say, has fifty men every day come to him with infallible 
plans to save the country. If only he can keep his temper. 
Mrs. Davis says he answers all advisers in softly modu 
lated, dulcet accents. 

What a rough menagerie we have here. And if nice 
people come to see you, up walks an irate Judge, who en 
grosses the conversation and abuses the friends of the com 
pany generally; that is, abuses everybody and prophesies 
every possible evil to the country, provided he finds that 
denouncing your friends does not sufficiently depress you. 
Everybody has manias up North, too, by the papers. 

But of Mr. Chesnut s three crazes : Maryland is to be 
made the seat of war, old Morrow s idea of buying up 


April 27, 1861 MONTGOMERY, ALA. May 20, 1861 

steamers abroad for our coast defenses should be adopted, 
and, last of all, but far from the least, we must make much 
cotton and send it to England as a bank to draw on. The 
very cotton we have now, if sent across the water, would 
be a gold mine to us. 




May 25, 1861 June 24, 1861 

HARLESTON, S. C., May 25, 1861. We have come 
back to South Carolina from the Montgomery Con 
gress, stopping over at Mulberry. We came with 
R. M. T. Hunter and Mr. Barnwell. Mr. Barnwell has ex 
cellent reasons for keeping cotton at home, but I forget 
what they are. Generally, people take what he says, also 
Mr. Hunter s wisdom, as unanswerable. Not so Mr. Ches- 
nut, who growls at both, much as he likes them. We also 
had Tom Lang and his wife, and Doctor Boykin. Surely 
there never was a more congenial party. The younger men 
had been in the South Carolina College while Mr. Barnwell 
was President. Their love and respect for him were im 
measurable and he benignly received it, smiling behind 
those spectacles. 

Met John Darby at Atlanta and told him he was Sur 
geon of the Hampton Legion, which delighted him. He 
had had adventures. With only a few moments on the 
platform to interchange confidences, he said he had re 
mained a little too long in the Medical College in Philadel 
phia, where he was some kind of a professor, and they had 
been within an ace of hanging him as a Southern spy. 
" Rope was ready," he sniggered. At Atlanta when he 
unguardedly said he was fresh from Philadelphia, he barely 
escaped lynching, being taken for a Northern spy. Lively 
life I am having among you, on both sides, he said, hurry 
ing away. And I moaned, " Here was John Darby like 


May 25, 1861 CHARLESTON, S. C. June 24, 1861 

to have been killed by both sides, and no time to tell me 
the curious coincidences." What marvelous experiences a 
little war begins to produce. 

May 27th. They look for a fight at Norfolk. Beaure- 
gard is there. I think if I were a man I d be there, too. 
Also Harper s Ferry is to be attacked. The Confederate 
flag has been cut down at Alexandria by a man named Ells 
worth, 1 who was in command of Zouaves. Jackson was the 
name of the person who shot Ellsworth in the act. Sixty 
of our cavalry have been taken by Sherman s brigade. 
Deeper and deeper we go in. 

Thirty of Tom Boykin s company have come home from 
Richmond. They went as a rifle company, armed with mus 
kets. They were sandhill tackeys those fastidious ones, 
not very anxious to fight with anything, or in any way, 
I fancy. Richmond ladies had come for them in carriages, 
feted them, waved handkerchiefs to them, brought them 
dainties with their own hands, in the faith that every Car 
olinian was a gentleman, and every man south of Mason 
and Dixon s line a hero. But these are not exactly descend 
ants of the Scotch Hay, who fought the Danes with his 
plowshare, or the oxen s yoke, or something that could 
hit hard and that came handy. 

Johnny has gone as a private in Gregg s regiment. He 
could not stand it at home any longer. Mr. Chesnut was 
willing for him to go, because those sandhill men said 
" this was a rich man s war," and the rich men would be 
the officers and have an easy time and the poor ones would 

1 Ephraim Elmer Ellsworth was a native of Saratoga County, New 
York. In 1860 he organized a regiment of Zouaves and became its 
Colonel. He accompanied Lincoln to Washington in 1861 and was soon 
sent with his regiment to Alexandria, where, on seeing a Confederate 
flag floating from a hotel, he personally rushed to the roof and tore it 
down. The owner of the hotel, a man named Jackson, met him as he 
was descending and shot him dead. Frank E. Brownell, one of Ells 
worth s men, then killed Jackson. 



be privates. So he said: " Let the gentlemen set the ex 
ample; let them go in the ranks." So John Chesnut is a 
gentleman private. He took his servant with him all the 

Johnny reproved me for saying, " If I were a man, I 
would not sit here and dole and drink and drivel and for 
get the fight going on in Virginia." He said it was my 
duty not to talk so rashly and make enemies. He had the 
money in his pocket to raise a company last fall, but it has 
slipped through his fingers, and now he is a common sol 
dier." " You wasted it or spent it foolishly," said I. 
1 I do not know where it has gone, said he. There was 
too much consulting over me, too much good counsel was 
given to me, and everybody gave me different advice." 
" Don t you ever know your own mind? " " We will do 
very well in the ranks ; men and officers all alike ; we know 

So I repeated Mrs. Lowndes s solemn words when she 
heard that South Carolina, had seceded alone: " As thy 
days so shall thy strength be." Don t know exactly what 
I meant, but thought I must be impressive as he was going 
away. Saw him off at the train. Forgot to say anj^thing 
there, but cried my eyes out. 

Sent Mrs. Wigfall a telegram " Where shrieks the 
wild sea-mew? : She answered: " Sea-mew at the Spots- 
wood Hotel. Will shriek soon. I will remain here. 

June 6th. Davin! Have had a talk concerning him 
to-day with two opposite extremes of people. 

Mrs. Chesnut, my mother-in-law, praises everybody, 
good and bad. " Judge not," she says. She is a philoso 
pher; she would not give herself the pain to find fault. 
The Judge abuses everybody, and he does it so well 
short, sharp, and incisive are his sentences, and he revels 
in condemning the world en Hoc, as the French say. So 
nobody is the better for her good word, or the worse for 
his bad one. 

6 59 

May 2.5, 1861 CHARLESTON, S. C. June 24, 1861 

In Camden I found myself in a flurry of women. 
" Traitors," they cried. " Spies; they ought to be 
hanged ; Davin is taken up, Deaij and Davis are his accom 
plices." " What has Davin done? " "He ll be hanged, 
never you mind." " For what? " " They caught him 
walking on the trestle work in the swamp, after no good, 
you may be sure." " They won t hang him for that! " 
Hanging is too good for him ! : " You wait till Colonel 
Chesiiut comes." " He is a lawyer," I said, gravely. 
" Ladies, he will disappoint you. There will be no lynch 
ing if he goes to that meeting to-day. He will not move a 
step except by habeas corpus and trial by jury, and a 
quantity of bench and bar to speak long speeches." 

Mr. Chesnut did come, and gave a more definite ac 
count of poor Davin s precarious situation. They had 
intercepted treasonable letters of his at the Post Office. I 
believe it was not a very black treason after all. At any 
rate, Mr. Chesnut spoke for him with might and main at 
the meeting. It was composed (the meeting) of intelligent 
men with cool heads. And they banished Davin to Fort 
Sumter. The poor Music Master can t do much harm in 
the casemates there. He may thank his stars that Mr. Ches 
nut gave him a helping hand. In the red hot state our 
public mind now is in there will be a short shrift for spies. 
Judge Withers said that Mr. Chesnut never made a more 
telling speech in his life than he did to save this poor 
Frenchman for whom Judge Lynch was ready. I had 
never heard of Davin in my life until I heard he was to 
be hanged. 

Judge Stephen A. Douglas, the * little giant, is dead ; 
one of those killed by the war, no doubt ; trouble of mind. 

Charleston people are thin-skinned. They shrink from 
Russell s touches. I find his criticisms mild. He has a 
light touch. I expected so much worse. Those Englishmen 
come, somebody says, with three P s pen, paper, preju 
dices. I dread some of those after-dinner stories. As to 



that day in the harbor, he let us off easily. He says our 
men are so fine looking. Who denies it? Not one of us. 
Also that it is a silly impression which has gone abroad 
that men can not work in this climate. We live in the open 
air, and work like Trojans at all manly sports, riding hard, 
hunting, playing at being soldiers. These fine, manly spec 
imens have been in the habit of leaving the coast when it 
became too hot there, and also of fighting a duel or two, 
if kept long sweltering under a Charleston sun. Hand 
some youths, whose size and muscle he admired so much 
as they prowled around the Mills House, would not relish 
hard work in the fields between May and December. Ne 
groes stand a tropical or semitropical sun at noon-day bet 
ter than white men. In fighting it is different. Men will 
not then mind sun, or rain, or wind. 

Major Emory, 1 when he was ordered West, placed his 
resignation in the hands of his Maryland brothers. After 
the Baltimore row the brothers sent it in, but Maryland 
declined to secede. Mrs. Emory, who at least is two-thirds 
of that copartnership, being old Franklin s granddaugh 
ter, and true to her blood, tried to get it back. The Presi 
dent refused point blank, though she went on her knees. 
That I do not believe. The Franklin race are stiff-necked 
and stiff-kneed ; not much given to kneeling to God or man 
from all accounts. 

If Major Emory comes to us won t he have a good time? 
Mrs. Davis adores Mrs. Emory. No wonder I fell in 
love with her myself.. I heard of her before I saw her in 

1 William H. Emory had served in Charleston harbor during the 
Nullification troubles of 1831-1836. In 1846 he went to California, 
afterward served in the Mexican War, and later assisted in running the 
boundary line between Mexico and the United States under the Gadsden 
Treaty of 1853. In 1854 he was in Kansas and in 1858 in Utah. After 
resigning his commission, as related by the author, he was reappointed 
a Lieutenant-Colonel in the United States Army and took an active part 
in the war on the side of the North. 


May 25, 1861 CHARLESTON, S. C. June 24, 1861 

this wise. Little Banks told me the story. She was danc 
ing at a ball when some bad accident maker for the Even 
ing News rushed up and informe^ her that Major Emory 
had been massacred by ten Indians somewhere out West. 
She coolly answered him that she had later intelligence; 
it was not so. Turning a deaf ear then, she went on 
dancing. Next night the same officious fool met her with 
this congratulation : * Oh, Mrs. Emory, it was all a hoax ! 
The Major is alive." She cried: " You are always run 
ning about with your bad news," and turned her back on 
him; or, I think it was, " You delight in spiteful stories," 
or, * You are a harbinger of evil. Banks is a newspaper 
man and knows how to arrange an anecdote for effect. 

June 12th. Have been looking at Mrs. O Dowd as she 
burnished the " Meejor s arrms " before Waterloo. And 
I have been busy, too. My husband has gone to join Beau- 
regard, somewhere beyond Richmond. I feel blue-black 
with melancholy. But I hope to be in Richmond before 
..long myself. That is some comfort. 

The war is making us all tenderly sentimental. No 
casualties yet, no real mourning, nobody hurt. So it is all 
parade, fife, and fine feathers. Posing we are en grande 
tenue. There is no imagination here to forestall woe, and 
only the excitement and wild awakening from every-day 
stagnant life are felt. That is, when one gets away from 
the two or three sensible men who are still left in the world. 

When Beauregard s report of the capture of Fort Sum- 
ter was printed, Willie Ancrum said: " How is this? Tom 
Ancrum and Ham Boykin s names are not here. We 
thought from what they told us that they did most of the 

Colonel Magruder 1 has done something splendid on the 

1 John Bankhead Magruder was a graduate of West Point, who had 
served in the Mexican War, and afterward while stationed at Newport, 
R. I., had become famous for his entertainments. When Virginia 



peninsula. Bethel is the name of the battle. Three hun 
dred of the enemy killed, they say. 

Our people, Southerners, I mean, continue to drop in 
from the outside world. And what a contempt those who 
seceded a few days sooner feel for those who have just 
come out! A Camden notable, called Jim Velipigue, said 
in the street to-day: " At heart Robert E. Lee is against 
us ; that I know. What will not people say in war times ! 
Also, he said that Colonel Kershaw wanted General Beau- 
regard to change the name of the stream near Manassas 
Station. Bull s Run is so unrefined. Beauregard an 
swered : ( Let us try and make it as great a name as your 
South Carolina Cowpens. * 

Mrs. Chesnut, born in Philadelphia, can not see what 
right we have to take Mt. Vernon from our Northern sis 
ters. She thinks that ought to be common to both parties. 
We think they will get their share of this world s goods, 
do what we may, and we will keep Mt. Vernon if we can. 
No comfort in Mr. Chesnut s letter from Richmond. Un 
utterable confusion prevails, and discord already. 

In Charleston a butcher has been clandestinely supply 
ing the Yankee fleet outside the bar with beef. They say 
he gave the information which led to the capture of the 
Savannah. They will hang him. 

Mr. Petigru alone in South Carolina has not seceded. 
When they pray for our President, he gets up from his 
knees. He might risk a prayer for Mr. Davis. I doubt if 

seceded, he resigned his commission in the United States Army. After 
the war he settled in Houston, Texas. 

The battle of Big Bethel was fought on June 10, 1861. The Feder 
als lost in killed and wounded about 100, among them Theodore Win- 
throp, of New York, author of Cecil Dreeme. The Confederate losses 
were very slight. 

1 The battle of the Cowpens in South Carolina was fought on Jan 
uary 17, 1781; the British, under Colonel Tarleton, being defeated by 
General Morgan, with a loss to the British of 300 killed and wounded and 
500 prisoners. 


May 25, 1861 CHARLESTON, S. C. June 24, 1861 

it would seriously do Mr. Davis any good. Mr. Petigru is 
too clever to think himself one of the righteous whose 
prayers avail so overly much. Mr. Petigru s disciple, 
Mr. Bryan, followed his example. Mr. Petigru has such 
a keen sense of the ridiculous he must be laughing in his 
sleeve at the hubbub this untimely trait of independence 
has raised. 

Looking out for a battle at Manassas Station. I am al 
ways ill. The name of my disease is a longing to get away 
from here and to go to Richmond. 

June 19th. In England Mr. Gregory and Mr. Lyndsey 
rise to say a good word for us. Heaven reward them; 
shower down its choicest blessings on their devoted heads, 
as the fiction folks say. 

Barnwell Heyward telegraphed me to meet him at 
Kingsville, but I was at Cool Spring, Johnny s plantation, 
and all my clothes were at Sandy Hill, our home in the 
Sand Hills; so I lost that good opportunity of the very 
nicest escort to Richmond. Tried to rise above the ago 
nies of every-day life. Read Emerson; too restless Ma 
nassas on the brain. 

Russell s letters are filled with rubbish about our want 
ing an English prince to reign over us. He actually inti 
mates that the noisy arming, drumming, marching, pro 
claiming at the North, scares us. Yes, as the making of 
faces and turning of somersaults by the Chinese scared the 

Mr. Binney * has written a letter. It is in the Intelli 
gencer of Philadelphia. He offers Lincoln his life and 
fortune; all that he has put at Lincoln s disposal to con 
quer us. Queer ; we only want to separate from them, and 

1 Horace Binney, one of the foremost lawyers of Philadelphia, who 
was closely associated with the literary, scientific, and philanthropic 
interests of his time. His wife was a sister of Mrs. Chesnut, the author s 



they put such an inordinate value on us. They are willing 
to risk all, life and limb, and all their money to keep us, 
they love us so. 

.^Mr. Chesnut is accused of firing the first shot, and his 
cousin, an ex- West Pointer, writes in a martial fury. They 
confounded the best shot made on the Island the day of the 
picnic with the first shot at Fort Sumter. This last is 
claimed by Captain James. Others say it was one of the 
Gibbeses who first fired. But it was Anderson who fired the 
train which blew up the Union. He slipped into Fort Sum 
ter that night, when we expected to talk it all over. A let 
ter from my husband dated, " Headquarters, Manassas 
Junction, June 16, 1861 ": 

MY DEAR MARY: I wrote you a short letter from Richmond 
last Wednesday, and came here next day. Found the camp all 
busy and preparing for a vigorous defense. We have here at this 
camp seven regiments, and in the same command, at posts in the 
neighborhood, six others say, ten thousand good men. The Gen 
eral and the men feel confident that they can whip twice that 
number of the enemy, at least. 

I have been in the saddle for two days, all day, with the Gen 
eral, to become familiar with the topography of the country, arid 
the posts he intends to assume, and the communications between 

We learned General Johnston has evacuated Harper s Ferry, 
and taken up his position at Winchester, to meet the advancing 
column of McClellan, and to avoid being cut off by the three col 
umns which were advancing upon him. Neither Johnston nor 
Beauregard considers Harper s Ferry as very important in a stra 
tegic point of view. 

I think it most probable that the next battle you will hear of 
will be between the forces of Johnston and McClellan. 

I think what we particularly need is a head in the field a 
Major-General to combine and conduct all the forces as well as 
plan a general and energetic campaign. Still, we have all confi 
dence that we will defeat the enemy whenever and wherever we 
meet in general engagement. Although the majority of the peo- 


1861 CHARLESTON, S. C. June 24, 1861 

pie just around here are with us, still there are many who are 
against us. 

God bless you. Yours, 


Mary Hammy and myself are off for Richmond. Rev. 
Mr. Meynardie, of the Methodist persuasion, goes with us. 
We are to be under his care. War-cloud lowering. 

Isaac Hayne, the man who fought a duel with Ben 
Alston across the dinner-table and yet lives, is the bravest 
of the brave. He attacks Russell in the Mercury in the 
public prints for saying we wanted an English prince to 
the fore. Not we, indeed ! Every man wants to be at the 
head of affairs himself. If he can not be king himself, 
then a republic, of course. It was hardly necessary to do 
more than laugh at Russell s absurd idea. There was a 
great deal of the wildest kind of talk at the Mills House. 
Russell writes candidly enough of the British in India. We 
can hardly expect him to suppress what is to our detriment. 

June 24th. Last night I was awakened by loud talking 
and candles flashing, tramping of feet, growls dying away 
in the distance, loud calls from point to point in the yard. 
Up I started, my heart in my mouth. Some dreadful thing 
had happened, a battle, a death, a horrible accident. Some 
one was screaming aloft that is, from the top of the stair 
way, hoarsely like a boatswain in a storm. Old Colonel 
Chesnut was storming at the sleepy negroes looking for fire, 
with lighted candles, in closets and everywhere else. I 
dressed and came upon the scene of action. 

" What is it? Any news? " " No, no, only mamma 
smells a smell; she thinks something is burning some 
where." The whole yard was alive, literally swarming. 
There are sixty or seventy people kept here to wait upon 
this household, two-thirds of them too old or too young 
to be of any use, but families remain intact. The old 
Colonel has a magnificent voice. I am sure it can be heard 
for miles. Literally, he was roaring from the piazza, giv- 



ing orders to the busy crowd who were hunting the smell 
of fire. 

Old Mrs. Chesnut is deaf; so she did not know what a 
commotion she was creating. She is very sensitive to bad 
odors. Candles have to be taken out of the room to be 
snuffed. Lamps are extinguished only in the porticoes, or 
farther afield. She finds violets oppressive ; can only toler 
ate a single kind of sweet rose. A tea-rose she will not 
have in her room. She was totally innocent of the storm 
she had raised, and in a mild, sweet voice was suggesting 
places to be searched. I was weak enough to laugh hys 
terically. The bombardment of Fort Suniter was nothing 
to this. 

After this alarm, enough to wake the dead, the smell was 
found. A family had been boiling soap. Around the soap- 
pot they had swept up some woolen rags. Raking up the 
fire to make all safe before going to bed, this was heaped 
up with the ashes, and its faint smoldering tainted the air, 
at least to Mrs. Chesnut s nose, two hundred yards or more 

Yesterday some of the negro men on the plantation 
Vwere found with pistols. I have never before seen aught 
about any negro to show that they knew we had a war on 
hand in which they have any interest. 

Mrs. John de Saussure bade me good-by and God bless 
you. I was touched. Camdeu people never show any more 
feeling or sympathy than red Indians, except at a funeral. 
It is expected of all to howl then, and if you don t " show 
feeling," indignation awaits the delinquent. 




June 27, 1861 July 4, 1861 

EICHMOND, Va., June 27, 1861. Mr. Meynardie was 
perfect in the part of traveling companion. He had 
his pleasures, too. The most pious and eloquent 
of parsons is human, and he enjoyed the converse of the 
" eminent persons " who turned up on every hand and 
gave their views freely on all matters of state. 

Mr. Lawrence Keitt joined us en route. With him came 
his wife and baby. We don t think alike, but Mr. Keitt 
is always original and entertaining. Already he pro 
nounces Jeff Davis a failure and his Cabinet a farce. 
" Prophetic, " I suggested, as he gave his opinion before 
the administration had fairly got under way. He was 
fierce in his fault-finding as to Mr. Chesnut s vote for Jeff 
Davis. He says Mr. Chesnut overpersuaded the Judge, 
and those two turned the tide, at least with the South Car 
olina delegation. We wrangled, as we always do. He says 
Howell Cobb s common sense might have saved us. 

Two quiet, unobtrusive Yankee school-teachers were on 
the train. I had spoken to them, and they had told me all 
about themselves. So I wrote on a scrap of paper, " Do 
not abuse our home and house so before these Yankee 
strangers, going North. Those girls are schoolmistresses 
returning from whence they came. 

Soldiers everywhere. They seem to be in the air, and 
certainly to fill all space. Keitt quoted a funny Georgia 
man who says we try our soldiers to see if they are hot 



enough before we enlist them. If, when water is thrown 
on them they do not sizz, they won t do ; their patriotism is 
too cool. 

To show they were wide awake and sympathizing en 
thusiastically, every woman from every window of every 
house we passed waved a handkerchief, if she had one. This 
fluttering of white flags from every side never ceased from 
Camden to Richmond. Another new symptom parties of 
girls came to every station simply to look at the troops 
passing. They always stood (the girls, I mean) in solid 
phalanx, and as the sun was generally in their eyes, they 
made faces. Mary Hammy never tired of laughing at this 
peculiarity of her sister patriots. 

At the depot in Richmond, Mr. Mallory, with Wigfall 
and Garnett, met us. We had no cause to complain of the 
warmth of our reception. They had a carriage for us, and 
our rooms were taken at the Spotswood. But then the peo 
ple who were in the rooms engaged for us had not departed 
at the time they said they were going. They lingered among 
the delights of Richmond, and we knew of no law to make 
them keep their words and go. Mrs. Preston had gone for 
a few days to Manassas. So we took her room. Mrs. Davis 
is as kind as ever. She met us in one of the corridors acci 
dentally, and asked us to join her party and to take our 
meals at her table. Mr. Preston came, and we moved into 
a room so small there was only space for a bed, wash-stand, 
and glass over it. My things were hung up out of the way 
on nails behind the door. 

As soon as my husband heard we had arrived, he came, 
too. After dinner he sat smoking, the solitary chair of the 
apartment tilted against the door as he smoked, and my 
poor dresses were fumigated. I remonstrated feebly. 
" War times, " said he; " nobody is fussy now. When I 
go back to Manassas to-morrow you will be awfully sorry 
you snubbed me about those trumpery things up there." 
So he smoked the pipe of peac"e, for I knew that his re- 


June 27, 1861 RICHMOND, VA. July 4, 1861 

marks were painfully true. As soon as he was once 
more under the enemy s guns, I would repent in sackcloth 
and ashes. 

Captain Ingraham came with Colonel Lamar. 1 The lat 
ter said he could only stay five minutes; he was obliged 
to go back at once to his camp. That was a little before 
eight. However, at twelve he was still talking to us on 
that sofa. We taunted him with his fine words to the 
the F. F. V. crowd before the Spotswood : Virginia has 
no grievance. She raises her strong arm to catch the blow 
aimed at her weaker sisters." He liked it well, how 
ever, that we knew his speech by heart. 

This Spotswood is a miniature world. The war topic 
is not so much avoided, as that everybody has some per 
sonal dignity to take care of and everybody else is indiffer 
ent to it. I mean the " personal dignity of " autrui. In 
this wild confusion everything likely and unlikely is told 
you, and then everything is as flatly contradicted. At any 
rate, it is safest not to talk of the war. 

Trescott was telling us how they laughed at little South 
Carolina in Washington. People said it was almost as 
large as Long Island, which is Hardly more than a tail-, 
feather of New York. Always there is a child who sulks 
and won t play; that was our role. And we were posing 
as San Marino and all model-spirited, though small, re 
publics, pose. 

1 Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar, a native of Georgia and of 
Huguenot descent, who got his classical names from his father: his 
father got them from an uncle who claimed the privilege of bestowing 
upon his nephew the full name of his favorite hero. When the war 
began, Mr. Lamar had lived for some years in Mississippi, where he 
had become successful as a lawyer and had been elected to Congress. 
He entered the Confederate Army as the Colonel of a Mississippi regi 
ment. He served in Congress after the war and was elected to the 
United States Senate in 1877. In 1885 he became Secretary of the In 
terior, and in 1888, a justice of the United States Supreme Court. 



He tells us that Lincoln is a humorist. Lincoln sees 
the fun of things ; he thinks if they had left us in a corner 
or out in the cold a while pouting-, with our fingers in our 
mouth, by hook or by crook he could have got us back, but 
Anderson spoiled all. 

In Mrs. Davis s drawing-room last- night, the President 
took a seat by me orLjthe sofa where I sat. He talked for 
nearly an hour. He laughed at our faith in our own pow 
ers. We are like the British. We think every Southerner 
equal to three Yankees at least. We will have to be equiva 
lent to a dozen now. After his experience of the fighting 
qualities of Southerners in Mexico, he believes that w r e will 
do all that can foe- done,. by pluck and muscle, endurance, 
and dogged courage, dash, and red-hot patriotism. And 
yet his tone was not sanguine. There was a sad refrain 
running through it all. For one thing, either way, he 
thinks it will be a long war. That floored me at once. It 
has been too long for me already. Then he said, before the 
end came we would have many a bitter experience. He said 
only fools doubted the courage of the Yankees, or their 
willingness to fight when they saw fit. And now that we 
have stung their pride, we have roused them till they will 
fight like devils. 

Mrs. Bradley Johnson is here, a regular heroine. She 
outgeneraled the Governor of North Carolina in some way 
and has got arms and clothes and ammunition for her hus 
band s regiment. 1 There was some joke. The regimental 
breeches were all wrong, but a tailor righted that hind 
part before, or something odd. 

Captain Hartstein came to-day with Mrs. Bartow. 
Colonel Bartow is Colonel of a Georgia regiment now in 

1 Bradley Tyler Johnson, a native of Maryland, and graduate of 
Princeton, who had studied law at Harvard. At the beginning of the 
war he organized a company at his own expense in defense of the South. 
He was the author of a Life of General Joseph E. Johnston. 


June 27, 1861 RICHMOND, VA. July 4, 1861 

Virginia. He was the Mayor of Savannah who helped to 
wake the patriotic echoes the livelong night under my 
sleepless head into the small hours in Charleston in No 
vember last. His wife is a charming person, witty and wise, 
daughter of Judge Berrieh. She had on a white muslin 
apron with pink bows on the pockets. It gave her a gay 
and girlish air, and yet she must be as old as I am. 

Mr. Lamar, who does not love slavery more than Sumner 
does, nor than I do, laughs at the compliment New England 
pays us. We want to separate from them ; to be rid of the 
Yankees forever at any price. And they hate us so, and 
would clasp us, or grapple us, as Polonius has it, to their 
bosoms with hooks of steel. We are an unwilling bride. 
I think incompatibility of temper began when it was made 
plain to us that we got all the opprobrium of slavery and 
they all the money there was in it with their tariff. 

Mr. Lamar says, the young men are light-hearted be 
cause there is a fight on hand, but those few who look 
ahead, the clear heads, they see all the risk, the loss of land, 
limb, and life, home, wife, and children. As in the brave 
days of old," they take to it for their country s sake. 
They are ready and willing, come what may. But not so 
light-hearted as the jeunesse doree. 

June 29th. Mrs. Preston, Mrs. Wigfall, Mary Hammy 
and I drove in a fine open carriage to see the Champ de 
Mars. It was a grand tableau out there. Mr. Davis rode 
a beautiful gray horse, the Arab Edwin de Leon brought 
him from Egypt. His worst enemy will allow that he is a 
consummate rider, graceful and easy in the saddle, and Mr. 
Chesnut, who has talked horse with his father ever since he 
was born, owns that Mr. Davis knows more about horses 
than any man he has met yet. General Lee was there with 
him; also Joe Davis and Wigfall acting as his aides. 

Poor Mr. Lamar has been brought from his camp 
paralysis or some sort of shock. Every woman in the house 
is ready to rush into the Florence Nightingale business. I 



think I will wait for a wounded man, to make my first effort 
as Sister of Charity. Mr. Lamar sent for me. As every 
body went, Mr. Davis setting the example, so did I. Lamar 
will not die this time. Will men flatter and make -eyes, 
until their eyes close in death, at the ministering angels? 
He was the same old Lamar of the drawing-room. 

It is pleasant at the President s table. My seat is next 
to Joe Davis, with Mr. Browne on the other side, and Mr. 
Mallory opposite. There is great constraint, however. As 
soon as I came I repeated what the North Carolina man 
said on the cars, that North Carolina had 20,000 men ready 
and they were kept back by Mr. Walker, etc. The Presi 
dent caught something of what I was saying, and asked me 
to repeat it, which I did, although I was scared to death. 
1 * Madame, when you see that person tell him his statement 
is false. We are too anxious here for troops to refuse a 
man who offers himself, not to speak of 20,000 men." Si 
lence ensued of the most profound. 

Uncle H. gave me three hundred dollars for his daugh 
ter Mary s expenses, making four in all that I have of hers. 
He would pay me one hundred, which he said he owed my 
husband for a horse. I thought it an excuse to lend me 
money. I told him I had enough and to spare for all my 
needs until my Colonel came home from the wars. 

Ben Allston, the Governor s son, is here came to see 
me ; does not show much of the wit of the Petigrus ; pleas 
ant person, however. Mr. Brewster and Wigfall came at 
the same time. The former, chafing at Wigf all s anoma 
lous position here, gave him fiery advice. Mr. Wigfall was 
calm and full of common sense. A brave man, and with 
out a thought of any necessity for displaying his temper, 
he said: " Brewster, at this time, before the country is 
strong and settled in her new career, it would be disastrous 
for us, the head men, to engage in a row among ourselves. 

As I was brushing flies away and fanning the prostrate 
Lamar, I reported Mr. Davis s conversation of the night 


June 27, 1861 RICHMOND, VA. July 4, 1361 

before. " He is all right," said Mr. Lamar, " the fight had 
to come. We are men, not women. The quarrel had lasted 
long enough. We hate each other sjo, the fight had to come. 
Even Homer s heroes, after they had stormed and scolded 
enough, fought like brave men, long and well. If the ath 
lete, Sumner, had stood on his manhood and training and 
struck back when Preston Brooks assailed him, Preston 
Brooks s blow need not have been the opening skirmish of 
the war. Sumner s country took up the fight because he 
did not. Sumner chose his own battle-field, and it was the 
worse for us. What an awful blunder that Preston 
Brooks business was ! : Lamar said Yankees did not fight 
for the fun of it ; they always made it pay or let it alone. 

Met Mr. Lyon with news, indeed a man here in the 
midst of us, taken with Lincoln s passports, etc., in his 
pocket a palpable spy. Mr. Lyon said he would be hanged 
in all human probability, that is. 

A letter from my husband written at Camp Pickens, 
and saying : * If you and Mrs. Preston can make up your 
minds to leave Richmond, and can come up to a nice little 
country house near Orange Court House, we could come to 
see you frequently while the army is stationed here. It 
would be a safe place for the present, near the scene of 
action, and directly in the line of news from all sides. So 
we go to Orange Court House. 

Read the story of Soulouque, 1 the Haytian man : he has 
wonderful interest just now. Slavery has to go, of course, 
and joy go with it. These Yankees may kill us and lay 
waste our land for a while, but conquer us never ! 

July 4th. Russell abuses us in his letters. People here 
care a great deal for what Russell says, because he repre- 

1 Faustin Elie Soulouque, a negro slave of Hayti, who, having been 
freed, took part in the insurrection against the French in 1803, and rose 
by successive steps until in August, 1849, by the unanimous action of 
the parliament, he was proclaimed emperor. 



sents the London Times, and the Times reflects the 
sentiment of the English people. How~^w_e_ do cling to 
the idea of an alliance with England or France ! Without 
France even Washington could not have done it. 

We drove to the camp to see the President present a 
flag to a Maryland regiment. Having lived on the battle 
field (Kirkwood), near Camden, 1 we have an immense re 
spect for the Maryland line. When our militia in that 
fight ran away, Colonel Howard and the Marylanders held 
their own against Rawdon, Cornwallis, and the rest, and 
everywhere around are places named for a doughty cap 
tain killed in our defense Kirkwood, De Kalb, etc. The 
last, however, was a Prussian count. A letter from my 
husband, written June 22d, has just reached me. He 

" We are very strongly posted, entrenched, and have 
now at our command about 15,000 of the best troops in the 
world. We have besides, two batteries of artillery, a regi 
ment of cavalry, and daily expect a battalion of flying 
artillery from Richmond. We have sent forward seven regi 
ments of infantry and rifles toward Alexandria. Our out 
posts have felt the enemy several times, and in every 
instance the enemy recoils. General Johnston has had sev 
eral encounters the advancing columns of the two armies 
and with him, too, the enemy, although always superior 
in numbers, are invariably driven back. 

" There is great deficiency in the matter of ammuni 
tion. General Johnston s command, in the very face of 
overwhelming numbers, have only thirty rounds each. If 
they had been well provided in this respect, they could and 
would have defeated Cadwallader and Paterson with great 
ease. I find the opinion prevails throughout the army that 

1 At Camden in August, 1780, was fought a battle between General 
Gates and Lord Cornwallis. in which Gates was defeated. In April of 
the following year near Camden, Lord Rawdon defeated General Greene. 
7 75 

June 27, 1861 RICHMOND, VA. July 4, 1861 

there is great imbecility and shameful neglect in the War 

te Unless the Republicans fall back, we must soon come 
together on both lines, and have a decided engagement. 
But the opinion prevails here that Lincoln s army will not 
meet us if they can avoid it. They have already fallen 
back before a slight check from 400 of Johnston s men. 
They had 700 and were badly beaten. You have no idea 
how dirty and irksome the camp life is. You would hardly 
know your best friend in camp guise. 

Noise of drums, tramp of marching regiments all day 
long; rattling of artillery wagons, bands of music, friends 
from every quarter coming in. We ought to be miserable 
and anxious, and yet these are pleasant days. Perhaps we 
are unnaturally exhilarated and excited. 

Heard some people in the drawing-room say: Mrs. 
Davis s ladies are not young, are not pretty, and I am one 
of them. The truthfulness of the remark did not tend to 
alleviate its bitterness. We must put Maggie Howell and 
Mary Hammy in the foreground, as youth and beauty are 
in request. At least they are young things bright spots 
in a somber-tinted picture. The President does not forbid 
our going, but he is very much averse to it. We are con 
sequently frightened by our own audacity, but we are 
wilful women, and so -we go. 




July 6, 1861 July 11, 1861 

July 6, 1861. Mr. Brewster came here with us. The 
cars were jammed with soldiers to the muzzle. They 
were very polite and considerate, and we had an agreeable 
journey, in spite of heat, dust, and crowd. Rev. Robert 
Baruwell was with us. He means to organize a hospital for 
sick and wounded. There was not an inch of standing- 
room even; so dusty, so close, but everybody in tip-top 

Mr. Preston and Mr. Chesnut met us at Warrenton. 
Saw across the lawn, but did not speak to them, some of 
Judge Campbell s family. There they wander disconso 
late, just outside the gates of their Paradise: a resigned 
Judge of the Supreme Court of the United States : resigned, 
and for a cause that he is hardly more than half in sympa 
thy with, Judge Campbell ? s is one of the hardest cases. 

July 7th. This water is making us young again. How 
these men enjoy the baths. They say Beauregard can stop 
the way with sixty thousand: that many are coming. 

An antique female, with every hair curled and frizzed, 
said to be a Yankee spy, sits opposite us. Brewster sol 
emnly wondered " with eternity and the judgment to come 
so near at hand., how she could waste her few remaining 
minutes curling her hair." He bade me be very polite, for 
she would ask me questions. When we were walking away 


July 6, 1861 FAUQUIER, VA. July 11, 1861 

from table, I demanded his approval of my self-control 
under such trying circumstances. It seems I was not as 
calm and forbearing as I thought myself. Brewster an 
swered with emphasis: " Do you always carry brickbats 
like that in your pocket ready for the first word that of 
fends you ? You must not do so, when you are with spies 
from the other side." I do not feel at all afraid of spies 
hearing anything through me, for I do not know anything. 

But our men could not tarry with us in these cool 
shades and comfortable quarters, with water unlimited, ex 
cellent table, etc. They have gone back to Manassas, and 
the faithful Brewster with them to bring us the latest news. 
They left us in excellent spirits, which we shared until they 
were out of sight. We went with them to Warrenton, and 
then heard that General Johnston was in full retreat, and 
that a column was advancing upon Beauregard. So we 
came back, all forlorn. If our husbands are taken prison 
ers, what will they do with them? Are they soldiers or 
traitors ? 

Mrs. Ould read us a letter from Richmond. How hor 
rified they are there at Joe Johnston s retreating. And the 
enemies of the War Department accuse Walker of not send 
ing General Johnston ammunition in sufficient quantities; 
say that is the real cause of his retreat. Now will they 
not make the ears of that slow-coach, the Secretary of War, 

Mrs. Preston s maid Maria has a way of rushing in 
" Don t you hear the cannon? " We fly to the windows, 
lean out to our waists, pull all the hair away from our ears, 
but can not hear it. Lincoln wants four hundred millions 
of money and men in proportion. Can he get them? He 
will find us a heavy handful. Midnight. I hear Maria s 

We are always picking up some good thing of the rough 
Illinoisan s saying. Lincoln objects to some man " Oh, 
he is too interruptions "; that is a horrid style of man or 



woman, the inter ruptious. I know the thing, but had no 
name for it before. 

July 9th. Our battle summer. May it be our first and 
our last, so called. After all we have not had any of the 
horrors of war. Could there have been a gayer, or pleas- 
anter, life than we led in Charleston. And Montgomery, 
how exciting it all was there! So many clever men and 
women congregated from every part of the South. Mos 
quitoes, and a want of neatness, and a want of good things 
to eat, drove us away. In Richmond the girls say it is per 
fectly delightful. We found it so, too, but the bickering 
and quarreling have begun there. 

At table to-day we heard Mrs. Davis s ladies described. 
They were said to wear red frocks and flats on their heads. 
We sat mute as mice. One woman said she found the 
drawing-room of the Spotswood was warm, stuffy, and 
stifling. Poor soul, murmured the inevitable Brewster, 
" and no man came to air her in the moonlight stroll, you 
know. Why didn t somebody ask her out on the piazza to 
see the comet? : Heavens above, what philandering was 
done in the name of the comet ! When you stumbled on a, 
couple on the piazza they lifted their eyes, and " comet " 
was the only word you heard. Brewster came back with 
a paper from Washington with terrific threats of what 
they will do to us. Threatened men live long. 

There was a soft, sweet, low, and slow young lady oppo 
site to us. She seemed so gentle and refined, and so un 
certain of everything. Mr. Brewster called her Miss Albina 
McClush, who always asked her maid when a new book was 
mentioned, " Seraphina, have I perused that volume? " 

Mary Hammy, having a fiance in the wars, is inclined 
at times to be sad and tearful. Mrs. Preston quoted her 
negro nurse to her: " Never take any more trouble in 
your heart than you can kick off at the end of your toes." 

July llth. We did hear cannon to-day. The woman 
who slandered Mrs. Davis s republican court, of which we 


July 6, 1861 FAUQUIER, VA. July 11, 1861 

are honorable members, by saying they well, were not 
young ; that they wore gaudy colors, and dressed badly I 
took an inventory to-day as to her, charms. She is darkly, 
deeply, beautifully freckled; she wears a wig which is 
kept in place by a tiara of mock jewels ; she has the fattest 
of arms and wears black bead bracelets. 

The one who is under a cloud,, shadowed as a Yankee 
spy, has confirmed our worst suspicions. She exhibited un 
holy joy, as she reported seven hundred sick soldiers in the 
hospital at Culpeper, and that Beauregard had sent a 
flag of truce to Washington. 

What a night we had ! Maria had seen suspicious per 
sons hovering about all day, and Mrs. Preston a ladder 
which could easily be placed so as to reach our rooms. 
Mary Hammy saw lights glancing about among the trees, 
and we all heard guns. So we sat up. Consequently, I am 
writing in bed to-day. A letter from my husband saying, 
in particular : * Our orders are to move on, the date, July 
10th. " Here we are still and no more prospect of move 
ment now than when I last wrote to you. It is true, how 
ever, that the enemy is advancing slowly in our front, and 
we are preparing to receive him. He comes in great force, 
being more than three times our number." 

The spy, so-called, gave us a parting shot : said Beaure 
gard had arrested her brother in order that he might take a 
fine horse which the aforesaid brother was riding. Why? 
Beauregard, at a moment s notice, could have any horse in 
South Carolina, or Louisiana, for that matter. This man 
was arrested and sent to Richmond, and will be acquitted 
as they always are," said Brewster. " They send them 
first to Richmond to see and hear everything there; then 
they acquit them, and send them out of the country by way 
of Norfolk to see everything there. But, after all, what 
does it matter 1 They have no need for spies : our newspa 
pers keep no secrets hid. The thoughts of our hearts are all 
revealed. Everything with us is open and aboveboard. 



" At Bethel the Yankees fired too high. Every daily 
paper is jeering them about it yet. They ll fire low enough 
next time, but no newspaper man will be there to get the 
benefit of their improved practise, alas! " 




July 13, 1861 September 2, 1861 

ICHMOND, Va., July 13, 1861. Now we feel safe 
and comfortable. We can not be flanked. Mr. Pres 
ton met us at Warrenton. Mr. Chesnut doubtless 
had too many spies to receive from Washington, galloping 
in with the exact numbers of the enemy done up in their 
back hair. 

Wade Hampton is here; Doctor Nott also Nott and 
Glyddon known to fame. Everybody is here, en route for 
the army, or staying for the meeting of Congress. 

Lamar is out on crutches. His father-in-law, once 
known only as the humorist Longstreet, 1 author of Geor 
gia Scenes, now a staid Methodist, who has outgrown the 
follies of his youth, bore him off to-day. They say Judge 
Longstreet has lost the keen sense of fun that illuminated 
his life in days of yore. Mrs. Lamar and her daughter 
were here. 

The President met us cordially, but he laughed at our 
sudden retreat, with baggage lost, etc. He tried to keep us 
from going ; said it was a dangerous experiment. Dare say 
he knows more about the situation of things than he 
chooses to tell us. 

To-day in the drawing-room, saw a vivandiere in the 

1 Augustus Baldwin Longstreet had great distinction in the South 
as a lawyer, clergyman, teacher, journalist, and author, and was suc 
cessively president of five different colleges. His Georgia Scenes, a 
series of humorous papers, enjoyed great popularity for many years. 



flesh. She was in the uniform of her regiment, but wore 
Turkish pantaloons. She frisked about in her hat and 
feathers; did not uncover her head as a man would have 
done; played the piano; and sang war-songs. She had no 
drum, but she gave us rataplan. She was followed at 
every step by a mob of admiring soldiers and boys. 

Yesterday, as we left the cars, we had a glimpse of war. 
It was the saddest sight : the memory of it is hard to shake 
off sick soldiers, not wounded ones. There were quite two 
hundred (they said) lying about as best they might on the 
platform. Robert Barnwell J was there doing all he could. 
Their pale, ghastly faces ! So here is one of the horrors of 
war we had not reckoned on. There were many good men 
and women with Robert Barnwell, rendering all the service 
possible in the circumstances. 

Just now I happened to look up and saw Mr. Chesnut 
with a smile on his face watching me from the passageway. 
I flew across the room, and as I got half-way saw Mrs. Davis 
touch him on the shoulder. She said he was to go at once 
into Mr. Davis s room, where General Lee and General 
Cooper were. After he left us, Mrs. Davis told me General 
Beauregard had sent Mr. Chesnut here on some army 

July 14th. Mr. Chesnut remained closeted with the 
President and General Lee all the afternoon. The news 
does not seem pleasant. At least, he is not inclined to tell 
me any of it. He satisfied himself with telling me how sen 
sible and soldierly this handsome General Lee is. General 
Lee s military sagacity was also his theme. Of course the 
President dominated the party, as well by his weight of 
brain as by his position. I did not care a fig for a descrip 
tion of the war council. I wanted to know what is in 
the wind now ? 

1 Rev. Robert Barnwell, nephew of Hon. Robert BaraweHy-estab- 
lished in Richmond a "hospital for South Carolinians. 


July 13, 1861 RICHMOND, VA. Sept. 2, 1861 

July 16th. Dined to-day at the President s table. Joe 
Davis, the nephew, asked me if I liked white port wine. I 
said I did not know ; l all that I ha,d ever known had been 
dark red. " So he poured me out a glass. I drank it, and 
it nearly burned up my mouth and throat. It was horrid, 
but I did not let him see how it annoyed me. I pretended to 
be glad that any one found me still young enough to play 
off a practical joke upon me. It was thirty years since I 
had thought of such a thing. 

Met Colonel Baldwin in the drawing-room. He pointed 
significantly to his Confederate colonel s buttons and gray 
coat. At the White Sulphur last summer he was a Union 
man " to the last point. " How much have you changed 
besides your coat ? " "I was always true to our country, 
he said. " She leaves me no choice now." 

As far as I can make out, Beauregard sent Mr. Chesnut 
to the President to gain permission for the forces of Joe 
Johnston and Beauregard to join, and, united, to push the 
enemy, if possible, over the Potomac. Now every day we 
grow weaker and they stronger; so we had better give a 
telling blow at once. Already, we begin to cry out for 
more ammunition, and already the blockade is beginning to 
shut it,.all out. 

A young Emory is here. His mother writes him to go 
back. Her Franklin blood certainly calls him with no un 
certain sound to the Northern side, while his fatherland is 
wavering and undecided, split in half by factions. Mrs. 
Wigf all says he is half inclined to go. She wondered that 
he did not. With a father in the enemy s army, he will 
always be " suspect " here, let the President and Mrs. Da 
vis do for him what they will. 

I did not know there was such a " bitter cry " left in 
me, but I wept my heart away to-day when my husband 
went off. Things do look so black. When he comes up 
here he rarely brings his body-servant, a negro man. Law 
rence has charge of all Mr. Chesnut s things watch, 



clothes, and two or three hundred gold pieces that lie in the 
tray of his trunk. All these, papers, etc., he tells Lawrence 
to bring to me if anything happens to him. But I said: 
" Maybe he will pack off to the Yankees and freedom 
with all that." " Fiddlesticks! He is not going to leave 
me for anybody else. After all, what can he eveij be, bet 
ter than he is now a gentleman s gentleman? " " He is 
within sound of the enemy s guns, and when he gets to the 
other army he is free." Maria said of Mr. Preston s man: 
11 What he want with anything more, ef he was free? 
Don t he live just as well as Mars John do now? : 

Mrs. McLane, Mrs. Joe Johnston, Mrs. Wigf all, all came. 
I am sure so many clever women could divert a soul in 
extremis. The Hampton Legion all in a snarl about, I 
forget what; standing on their dignity, I suppose. I have 
come to detest a man who says, * My own personal dignity 
and self-respect require." I long to cry, " No need to re 
spect yourself until you can make other people do it." 

July 19th. Beauregard telegraphed yesterday (they 
say, to General Johnston), " Come down and help us, or we 
shall be crushed by numbers. The President telegraphed 
General Johnston to move down to Beauregard s aid. At 
Bull Run, Bonham s Brigade, Ewell s, and Longstreet s 
encountered the foe and repulsed him. Six hundred pris 
oners have been sent here. 

I arose, as the Scriptures say, and washed my face 
and anointed my head and went down-stairs. At the 
foot of them stood General Cooper, radiant, one finger ner 
vously arranging his shirt collar, or adjusting his neck to 
it after his fashion. He called out : * Your South Carolina 
man, Bonham, has done a capital thing at Bull Run driv 
en back the enemy, if not defeated him; with killed and 
prisoners/ etc., etc. Clingman came to tell the particulars, 
and Colonel Smith (one of the trio with Garnett, McClel- 
lan, who were sent to Europe to inspect and report on mil 
itary matters). Poor Garnett is killed. There was cow- 


July 13, 1861 RICHMOND, VA. Sept. 2, 1861 

ardice or treachery on the part of natives up there, or 
some of Governor Letcher s appointments to military posts. 
I hear all these things said. I dp not understand, but it 
was a fatal business. 

Mrs. McLane says she finds we do not believe a word of 
any news unless it comes in this guise: " A great battle 
fought. Not one Confederate killed. Enemy s loss in 
killed, wounded, and prisoners taken by us, immense." I 
was in hopes there would be no battle until Mr. Chesnut 
was forced to give up his amateur aideship to come and at 
tend to his regular duties in the Congress. 

Keitt has come in. He says Bonham s battle was a skir 
mish of outposts. Joe Davis, Jr., said: " Would Heaven 
only send us a Napoleon! " Not one bit of use. If 
Heaven did, Walker would not give him a commission. 
Mrs. Davis and Mrs. Joe Johnston, " her dear Lydia," were 
in fine spirits. The effect upon nous autres was evident; 
we rallied visibly. South Carolina troops pass every day. 
They go by with a gay step. Tom Taylor and John Rhett 
bowed to us from their horses as we leaned out of the win 
dows. Such shaking of handkerchiefs. We are forever at 
the windows. 

It was not such a mere skirmish. We took three rifled 
cannon and six hundred stands of arms. Mr. Davis has 
gone to Manassas. He did not let Wigfall know he was 
going. That ends the delusion of Wigf all s aideship. No 
mistake to-day. I was too ill to move out of my bed. So 
they all sat in my room. 

July 2 3d. Mrs. Davis came in so softly that I did not 
know she was here until she leaned over me and said : A 
great battle has been fought. 1 Joe Johnston led the right 

1 The first battle of Bull Run, or Manassas, fought on July 21, 1861, 
the Confederates being commanded by General Beauregard, and the 
Federals by General McDowell. Bull Run is a small stream tributary 
to the Potomac. 


wing, and Beauregard the left wing of the army. Your 
husband is all right. Wade Hampton is wounded. 
Colonel Johnston of the Legion killed; so are Colonel Bee 
and Colonel Bartow. Kirby Smith 1 is wounded or killed." 

I had no breath to speak ; she went on in that desperate, 
calm way, to which people betake themselves under the 
greatest excitement: " Bartow, rallying his men, leading 
them into the hottest of the fight, died gallantly at the head 
of his regiment. The President telegraphs me only that it 
is a great victory. General Cooper has all the other tele 

Still I said nothing ; I was stunned ; then I was so grate 
ful. Those nearest and dearest to me were safe still. She 
then began, in the same concentrated voice, to read from a 
paper she held in her hand : Dead and dying cover the 
field. Sherman s battery taken. Lynchburg regiment cut 
to pieces. Three hundred of the Legion wounded." 

That got me up. Times were too wild with excitement 
to stay in bed. We went into Mrs. Preston s room, and she 
made me lie down on her bed. Men, women, and children 
streamed in. Every living soul had a story to tell. Com 
plete victory," you heard everywhere. We had been such 
anxious wretches. The revulsion of feeling was almost too 
much to bear. 

To-day I met my friend, Mr. Hunter. I was on my 
way to Mrs. Bartow s room and begged him to call at some 
other time. I was too tearful just then for a morning visit 
from even the most sympathetic person. 

A woman from Mrs. Bartow s country was in a fury 
because they had stopped her as she rushed to be the first 
to tell Mrs. Bartow her husband was killed, it having been 

1 Edmund Kirby Smith, a native of Florida, who had graduated 
from West Point, served in the Mexican War, and been Professor of 
Mathematics at West Point. He resigned his commission in the United 
States Army after the secession of Florida. 


July 13, 1861 RICHMOND, VA. Sept. 2, 1861 

decided that Mrs. Davis should tell her. Poor thing ! She 
was found lying on her bed when Mrs. Davis knocked. 
* * Come in, she said. When she saw it was Mrs. Davis, she 
sat up, ready to spring to her feet, but then there was some 
thing in Mrs. Davis s pale face that took the life out of her. 
She stared at Mrs. Davis, then sank back, and covered her 
face as she asked: " Is it bad news for me? " Mrs. Davis 
did not speak. " Is he killed? " Afterward Mrs. Bartow 
said to me : " As soon as I saw Mrs. Davis s face I could not 
say one word. I knew it all in an instant. I knew it be 
fore I wrapped the shawl about my head. 

Maria, Mrs. Preston s maid, furiously patriotic, came 
into my room. " These colored people say it is printed in 
the papers here that the Virginia people done it all. Now 
Mars Wade had so many of his men killed and he 
wounded, it stands to reason that South Carolina was no 
ways backward. If there was ever anything plain, that s 

Tuesday. Witnessed for the first time a military 
funeral. As that march came wailing up, they say Mrs. 
Partow fainted. The empty saddle and the led war-horse 
we saw and heard it all, and now it seems we are never out 
of the sound of the Dead March in Saul. It comes and it 
comes, until I feel inclined to close my ears and scream. 

Yesterday, Mrs. Singleton and ourselves sat on a bed 
side and mingled our tears for those noble spirits John 
Darby, Theodore Barker, and James Lowndes. To-day we 
find we wasted our grief ; they are not so much as wounded. 
I dare say all the rest is true about them in the face of the 
enemy, with flags in their hands, leading their men. But 
Dr. Darby is a surgeon. " He is as likely to forget that as I 
am. He is grandson of Colonel Thomson of the Revolution, 
called, by way of pet name, by his soldiers, " Old Danger/ 
Thank Heaven they are all quite alive. And we will not 
cry next time until officially notified. 

July 24th. Here Mr. Chesnut opened my door and 



walked in. Out of the fulness of the heart the mouth 
speaketh. I had to ask no questions. He gave me an ac 
count of the battle as he saw it (walking up and down my 
room, occasionally seating himself on a window sill, but 
too restless to remain still many moments) ; and told what 
regiments he was sent to bring up. He took the orders to 
Colonel Jackson, whose regiment stood so stock still under 
fire that they were called a " stone wall." Also, they call 
Beauregard, Eugene, and Johnston, Marlboro. Mr. Ches- 
nut rode with Lay s cavalry after the retreating enemy in 
the pursuit, they following them until midnight. Then 
there came such a fall of rain rain such as is only known 
in semitropical lands. 

In the drawing-room, Colonel Chesnut was the lt belle 
of the ball ; they crowded him so for news. He was the 
first arrival that they could get at from the field of 
battle. But the women had to give way to the dignitaries 
of the land, who were as filled with curiosity as them 
selves Mr. Barnwell, Mr. Hunter, Mr. Cobb, Captain In- 
graham, etc. 

Wilmot de Saussure says Wilson of Massachusetts, a 
Senator of the United States, 1 came to Manassas, en route 
to Richmond, with his dancing shoes ready for a festive 
scene which was to celebrate a triumph. The New York 
Tribune said: " In a few days we shall have Richmond, 
Memphis, and New Orleans. They must be taken and at 
once. For a few days maybe now they will modestly 
substitute l in a few years. 

They brought me a Yankee soldier s portfolio from the 
battle-field. The letters had been franked bv Senator Har- 

1 Henry Wilson, son of a farm laborer and self-educated, who rose 
to much prominence in the Anti-Slavery contests before the war. He 
was elected United States Senator from Massachusetts in 1855, holding 
the office until 1873, when he resigned, having been elected Vice-Presi- 
dent of the United States on the ticket with Ulysses S. Grant. 


July 13, 1861 RICHMOND, VA. Sept. 2, 1861 

Ian. 1 One might shed tears over some of the letters. 
Women, wives and mothers, are the same everywhere. 
What a comfort the spelling was ! We had been willing to 
admit that their universal free-School education had put 
them, rank and file, ahead of us literarily, but these letters 
do not attest that fact. The spelling is comically bad. 

July 27th. Mrs. Davis s drawing-room last night was 
brilliant, and she was in great force. Outside a mob called 
for the President. He did speak an old war-horse, who 
scents the battle-fields from afar. His enthusiasm was con 
tagious. They called for Colonel Chesnut, and he gave 
them a capital speech, too. As public speakers say some 
times, " It was the proudest moment of my life." I did 
not hear a great deal of it, for always, when anything hap 
pens of any moment, my heart beats up in my ears, but the 
distinguished Carolinians who crowded round told me 
how good a speech he made. I was dazed. There goes the 
Dead March for some poor soul. 

To-day, the President told us at dinner that Mr. Ches 
nut s eulogy of Bartow in the Congress was highly praised. 
Men liked it. Two eminently satisfactory speeches in twen 
ty-four hours is doing pretty well. And now I could be 
happy, but this Cabinet of ours are in such bitter quarrels 
among themselves everybody abusing everybody. 

Last night, while those splendid descriptions of the bat 
tle were being given to the crowd below from our windows, 
I said: " Then, why do we not go on to Washington? " 
* You mean why did they not; the opportunity is lost." 
Mr. Barnwell said to me: " Silence, we want to listen to 
the speaker," and Mr. Hunter smiled compassionately, 
" Don t ask awkward questions." 

Kirby Smith came down on the turnpike in the very 
nick of time. Still, the heroes who fought all day and 

1 James Harlan, United States Senator from Iowa from 1855 to 
1865. In 1865 he was appointed Secretary of the Interior. 



held the Yankees in check deserve credit beyond words, or 
it would all have been over before the Joe Johnston contin 
gent came. It is another case of the eleventh-hour scrape ; 
the eleventh-hour men claim all the credit, and they who 
bore the heat and brunt and burden of the day do not 
like that. 

Everybody said at first, " Pshaw! There will be no 
war. Those who foresaw evil were called ravens, ill-f ore- 
boders. Now the same sanguine people all cry, " The war 
is over " the very same who were packing to leave Rich 
mond a few days ago. Many were ready to move on at a 
moment s warning, when the good news came. There are 
such owls everywhere. 

But, to revert to the other kind, the sage and circum 
spect, those who say very little, but that little shows they 
think the war barely begun. Mr. Rives and Mr. Seddon 
have just called. Arnoldus Van der Horst came to see me 
at the same time. He said there was no great show of vic 
tory on our side until two o clock, but when we began to 
win, we did it in double-quick time. I mean, of course, the 
battle last Sunday. 

Arnold Harris told Mr. Wigfall the news from Wash 
ington last Sunday. For hours the telegrams reported at 
rapid intervals, " Great victory," " Defeating them at all 
points." The couriers began to come in on horseback, and 
at last, after two or three o clock, there was a sudden cessa 
tion of all news. About nine messengers with bulletins 
came on foot or on horseback wounded, weary, draggled, 
footsore, panic-stricken spreading in their path on every 
hand terror and dismay. That was our opportunity. Wig- 
fall can see nothing that could have stopped us, and when 
they explain why we did not go to Washington I under 
stand it all less than ever. Yet here we will dilly-dally, 
and Congress orate, and generals parade, until they in the 
North get up an army three times as large as McDowell s, 
which we have just defeated. 
8 91 

July 13, 1861 RICHMOND, VA. Sept. 2, 1861 

Trescott says this victory will be our ruin. It lulls us 
into a fool s paradise of conceit at our superior valor, and 
e shameful farce of their flight will wake every inch of 
their manhood. It was the very fillip they needed. There 
are a quieter sort here who know their Yankees well. They 
say if the thing begins to pay government contracts, and 
all that we will never hear the end of it, at least, until 
they get their pay in some way out of us. They will not 
lose money by us. Of that we may be sure. Trust Yankee 
shrewdness and vim for that. 

There seems to be a battle raging at Bethel, but no mor 
tal here can be got to think of anything but Manassas. 
Mrs. McLean says she does not see that it was such a great 
victory, and if it be so great, how can one defeat hurt a 
nation like the North. 

John Waties fought the whole battle over for me. Now 
I understand it. Before this nobody would take the time 
to tell the thing consecutively, rationally, and in order. 
Mr. Venable said he did not see a braver thing done than 
the cool performance of a Columbia negro. He carried his 
master a bucket of ham and rice, which he had cooked for 
him, and he cried : You must be so tired and hungry, 
marster ; make haste and eat. This was in the thickest of 
the fight, under the heaviest of the enemy s guns. 

The Federal Congressmen had been making a picnic of 
it: their luggage was all ticketed to Richmond. Cameron 
has issued a proclamation. They are making ready to come 
after us on a magnificent scale. They acknowledge us at 
last foemen worthy of their steel. The Lord help us, since 
England and France won t, or don t. If we could only 
get a friend outside and open a port. 

One of these men told me he had seen a Yankee prisoner, 
who asked him what sort of a diggins Richmond was for 
trade." He was tired of the old concern, and would like 
to take the oath and settle here. They brought us hand 
cuffs found in the debacle of the Yankee army. For whom 



were they? Jeff Davis, no doubt, and the ringleaders. 
* Tell that to the marines. We have outgrown the hand 
cuff business on this side of the water. 

Dr. Gibbes says he was at a country house near Manas- 
sas, when a Federal soldier, who had lost his way, came in 
exhausted. He asked for brandy, which the lady of the 
house gave him. Upon second thought, he declined it. She 
brought it to him so promptly he said he thought it might 
be poisoned; his mind was; she was enraged, and said: 
Sir, I am a Virginia woman. Do you think I could be as 
base as that ? Here, Bill, Tom, disarm this man. He is our 
prisoner. " The negroes came running, and the man sur 
rendered without more ado. 

Another Federal was drinking at the well. A negro 
girl said : You go in and see Missis. The man went in 
and she followed, crying triumphantly : Look here, Mis 
sis, I got a prisoner, too ! This lady sent in her two pris 
oners, and Beauregard complimented her on her pluck and 
patriotism, and her presence of mind. These negroes were 
rewarded by their owners. 

Now if slavery --4s- as disagreeable to negroes as we think 
it, why don t they all march over the border where they 
would be received with open arms? It all amazes me. I 
am always studying these creatures. They are to me in 
scrutable in their way and past finding out. Our negroes 
were not ripe for John Brown. 

This is how I saw Robert E. Lee for the first time: 
though his family, then living at Arlington, called to see 
me while I was in Washington (I thought because of old 
Colonel Chesnut s intimacy with Nellie Custis in the old 
Philadelphia days, Mrs. Lee being Nelly Custis s niece), I 
had not known the head of the Lee family. He was some 
where with the army then. 

Last summer at the White Sulphur were Roony Lee and 
his wife, that sweet little Chailotte Wickam, and I spoke of 
Roony with great praise. Mrs. Izard said: " Don t waste 


July 13, 1861 RICHMOND, VA. Sept. 2, 1861 

your admiration on him ; wait till you see his father. He 
is the nearest to a perfect man I ever saw." "How? " 
" In every way handsome, clever, agreeable, high-bred." 

Now, Mrs. Stanard came for Mrs. Preston and me to 
drive to the camp in an open carriage. A man riding a 
beautiful horse joined us. He wore a hat with something 
of a military look to it, sat his horse gracefully, and was 
so distinguished at all points that I very much regretted 
not catching his name as Mrs. Stanard gave it to us. He, 
however, heard ours, and bowed as gracefully as he rode, 
and the few remarks he made to each of us showed he knew 
all about us. 

But Mrs. Stanard was in ecstasies of pleasurable excite 
ment. I felt that she had bagged a big fish, for just then 
they abounded in Richmond. Mrs. Stanard accused him 
of being ambitious, etc. He remonstrated and said his 
tastes were " of the simplest." He only wanted " a Vir 
ginia farm, no end of cream and fresh butter and fried 
chicken not one fried chicken, or two, but unlimited fried 

To all this light chat did we seriously incline, be 
cause the man and horse and everything about him were 
so fine-looking; perfection, in fact; no fault to be found if 
you hunted for it. As he left us, I said eagerly, " Who is 
he? " " You did not know! Why, it was Robert E. Lee, 
son of Light Horse Harry Lee, the first man in Virginia," 
raising her voice as she enumerated his glories. All the 
same, I like Smith Lee better, and I like his looks, too. I 
know Smith Lee well. Can anybody say they know his 
brother ? I doubt it. He looks so cold, quiet, and grand. 

Kirby Smith is our Bliicher ; he came on the field in the 
nick of time, as Bliicher at Waterloo, and now we are as the 
British, who do not remember Bliicher. It is all Welling 
ton. So every individual man I see fought and won the 
battle. From Kershaw up and down, all the eleventh-hour 
men won the battle; turned the tide. The Marylanders 







Elzey & Co. one never hears of as little as one hears of 
Bliicher in the English stories of Waterloo. 

Mr. Venable was praising Hugh Garden and Kershaw s 
regiment generally. This was delightful. They are my 
friends and neighbors at home. I showed him Mary Stark s 
letter, and we agreed with her. At the bottom of our hearts 
we believe every Confederate soldier to be a hero, sans peur 
et sans reproche. 

Hope for the best to-day. Things must be on a pleas- ( 
anter footing all over the world. Met the President in the 1 
corridor. He took me by both hands. "Have you break 
fasted? " said he. " Come in and breakfast with me? " 
Alas ! I had had my breakfast. 

At the public dining-room, where I had taken my break 
fast with Mr. Chesnut, Mrs. Davis came to him, while we 
were at table. She said she had been to our rooms. She 
wanted Wigfall hunted up. Mr. Davis thought Chesnut 
would be apt to know his whereabouts. I ran to Mrs. Wig- 
fairs room, who told me she was sure he could be found 
with his regiment in camp, but Mr. Chesnut had not to go to 
the camp, for Wigfall came to his wife s room while I was 
there. Mr. Davis and Wigfall would be friends, if if 

The Northern papers say we hung and quartered a 
Zouave ; cut him into four pieces ; and that we tie prisoners 
to a tree and bayonet them. In other words, we are sav 
ages. It ought to teach us not to credit what our papers 
say of them. It is so absurd an imagination of evil. We are 
absolutely treating their prisoners as well as our own men : 
we are complained of for it here. I am going to the hos 
pitals for the enemy s sick and wounded in order to see for 

Why did we not follow the flying foe across the Poto 
mac? That is the question of the hour in the drawing- 
room with those of us who are not contending as to " who 
took Rickett s Battery? " Allen Green, for one, took it. 
Allen told us that, finding a portmanteau with nice clean 


July 13, 1861 RICHMOND, VA. Sept. 2, 1861 

shirts, he was so hot and dusty he stepped behind a tree 
and put on a clean Yankee shirt, and was more comfortable. 

The New York Tribune soothes the Yankee self-conceit, 
which has received a shock, by saying we had 100,000 men 
on the field at Manassas ; we had a^out 15,000 effective men 
in all. And then, the Tribune tries to inflame and envenom 
them against us by telling lies as to our treatment of pris 
oners. They say when they come against us next it will be 
in overwhelming force. I long to see Russell s letter to the 
London Times about Bull Run and Manassas. It will be 
rich and rare. In Washington, it is crimination and re 
crimination. Well, let them abuse one another to their 
hearts content. 

August 1st. Mrs. Wigfall, with the " Lone Star " flag 
in her carriage, called for me. We drove to the fair 
grounds. Mrs. Davis s landau, with her spanking bays, 
rolled along in front of us. The fair grounds are as cov 
ered with tents, soldiers, etc., as ever. As one regiment 
moves off to the army, a fresh one from home comes to be 
mustered in and take its place. 

The President, with his aides, dashed by. My husband 
was riding with him. The President presented the flag to 
the Texans. Mr. Chesnut carne to us for the flag, and bore 
it aloft to the President. We seemed to come in for part of 
the glory. We were too far off to hear the speech, but Jeff 
Davis is very good at that sort of thing, and we were sat 
isfied that it was well done. 

Heavens! how that redoubtable Wigfall did rush those 
poor Texans about! He maneuvered and marched them 
until I was weary for their sakes. Poor fellows; it was a 
hot afternoon in August and the thermometer in the nine 
ties. Mr. Davis uncovered to speak. Wigfall replied with 
his hat on. Is that military ? 

At the fair grounds to-day, such music, mustering, and 
marching, such cheering and flying of flags, such firing of 
guns and all that sort of thing. A gala day it wavS, with 



double-distilled Fourth-of-July feeling. In the midst of 
it all, a messenger came to tell Mrs. Wigfall that a telegram 
had been received, saying her children were safe across the 
lines in Gordonsville. That was something to thank God 
for, without any doubt. 

These two little girls came from somewhere in Connecti 
cut, with Mrs. Wigf all s sister the one who gave me my 
Bogotsky, the only person in the world, except Susan Rut- 
ledge who ever seemed to think I had a soul to save. Now 
suppose Seward had held Louisa and Fanny as hostages 
for Louis Wigfall s good behavior ; eh ? 

Excitement number two : that bold brigadier, the Geor 
gia General Toombs, charging about too recklessly, got 
thrown. His horse dragged him up to the wheels of our 
carriage. For a moment it was frightful. Down there 
among the horses hoofs was a face turned up toward us, 
purple with rage. His foot was still in the stirrup, and he 
had not let go the bridle. The horse was prancing over him, 
tearing and plunging ; everybody was hemming him in, and 
they seemed so slow and awkward about it. We felt it an 
eternity, looking down at him, and expecting him to be 
killed before our very faces. However, he soon got it all 
straight, and, though awfully tousled and tumbled, dusty, 
rumpled, and flushed, with redder face and wilder hair 
than ever, he rode oft gallantly, having to our admiration 
bravely remounted the recalcitrant charger. 

Now if I were to pick out the best abused one, where all 
catch it so bountifully, I should say Mr. Commissary-Gen 
eral Northrop was the most * cussed and villified man in 
the Confederacy. He is held accountable for everything 
that goes wrong in the army. He may not be efficient, but 
having been a classmate and crony of Jeff Davis at West 
Point, points the moral and adorns the tale. I hear that 
alluded to oftenest of his many crimes. They say Beaure- 
gard writes that his army is upon the verge of starvation. 
Here every man, woman, and child is ready to hang to the 


July 13, 1861 RICHMOND, VA. Sept. 2, 1*61 

first lamp-post anybody of whom that army complains. 
Every Manassas soldier is a hero dear to our patriotic 
hearts. Put up with any neglect of the heroes of the 21st 
July never ! 

And now they say we did not move on right after the 
flying foe because we had no provisions, no wagons, no 
ammunition, etc. Rain, mud, and Northrop. Where were 
the enemy s supplies that we bragged so of bagging? Echo 
answers where ? Where there is a will there is a way. We 
stopped to plunder that rich convoy, and somehow, for a 
day or so, everybody thought the war was over and stopped 
to rejoice: so it appeared here. All this was our dinner- 
table talk to-day. Mr. Mason dined with us and Mr. Barn- 
well sits by me always. The latter reproved me sharply, 
but Mr. Mason laughed at " this headlong, unreasonable 
woman s harangue and female tactics and their war- ways. 
A freshet in the autumn does not compensate for a drought 
in the spring. Time and tide wait for no man, and there 
was a tide in our affairs which might have led to Washing 
ton, and we did not take it and lost our fortune this 
round. Things which nobody could deny. 

McClellan virtually supersedes the Titan Scott. 
Physically General Scott is the largest man I ever saw. 
Mrs. Scott said, " nobody but his wife could ever know 
how little he was." And yet they say, old Winneld Scott 
could have organized an army for them if they had had 
patience. They would not give him time. 

August 3d. Prince Jerome 1 has gone to Washington. 
Now the Yankees so far are as little trained as we are ; raw 
troops are they as yet. Suppose France takes the other side 

1 Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte, a grandson of Napoleon Bonaparte s 
brother Jerome and of Elizabeth Patterson of Baltimore. He was a 
graduate of West Point, but had entered the French Army, where he 
saw service in the Crimea, Algiers, and Italy, taking part in the battle 
of Balaklava, the siege of Sebastopol, and the battle of Solferino. He 
died in Massachusetts in 1893. 



and we have to meet disciplined and armed men, soldiers 
who understand war, Frenchmen, with all the elan we 
boast of. 

Ransom Calhoun, Willie Preston, and Doctor Nott s 
boys are here. These foolish, rash, hare-brained Southern 
lads have been within an ace of a fight with a Maryland 
company for their camping grounds. It is much too Irish 
to be so ready to fight anybody, friend or foe. Men are 
thrilling with fiery ardor. The red-hot Southern martial 
spirit is in the air. These young men, however, were all 
educated abroad. And it is French or German ideas that 
they are filled with. The Marylanders were as rash and 
reckless as the others, and had their coat-tails ready for 
anybody to tread on, Donny brook Fair fashion. One would 
think there were Yankees enough and to spare for any kill 
ing to be done. It began about picketing their horses. But 
these quarrelsome young soldiers have lovely manners. 
They are so sweet-tempered when seen here among us at 
the Arlington. 

August 5th. A heavy, heavy heart. Another missive 
from Jordan, querulous and fault-finding; things are all 
wrong Beauregard s Jordan had been crossed, not the 
stream " in Canaan s fair and happy land, where our pos 
sessions lie. They seem to feel that the war is over here, 
except the President and Mr. Barnwell ; above all that fore 
boding friend of mine, Captain Ingraham. He thinks it 
hardly begun. 

Another outburst from Jordan. Beauregard is not sec 
onded properly. Helas! To think that any mortal gen 
eral (even though he had sprung up in a month or so from 
captain of artillery to general) could be so puffed up with 
vanity, so blinded by any false idea of his own consequence 
as to write, to intimate that man, or men, would sacrifice 
their country, injure themselves, ruin their families, to 
spite the aforesaid general ! Conceit and self-assertion can 
never reach a higher point than that. And yet they give 


RICHMOND, VA. Sept. 2, 

you to understand I\Ir. Davis does riot like Beauregard. In 
point of fact they fancy he is jealous of him, and rather 
than Beauregard shall have a showing the President (who 
would be hanged at least if things go wrong) will cripple 
the army to spite Beauregard. Mr. Mallory says, 4 How 
we could laugh, but you see it is no laughing matter to have 
our fate in the hands of such self-sufficient, vain, army 
idiots." So the amenities of life are spreading. 

In the meantime we seem to be resting on our oars, de 
bating in Congress, while the enterprising Yankees are 
quadrupling their army at their leisure. Every day some 
of our regiments march away from here. The town is 
crowded with soldiers. These new ones are fairly running 
in ; fearing the war will be over before they get a sight of 
the fun. Every man from every little precinct wants a 
place in the picture. 

Tuesday. The North requires 600,000 men to invade us. 
Truly we are a formidable power! The Herald says it is 
useless to move with a man less than that. England has made 
it all up with them, or rather, she will not break with them. 
Jerome Napoleon is in Washington and not our friend. 

Doctor Gibbes is a bird of ill omen. To-day he tells me 
eight of our men have died at the Charlottesville Hospital. 
It seems sickness is more redoubtable in an army than the 
enemy s guns. There are 1,100 there liors de combat, and 
typhoid fever is with them. They want money, clothes, 
and nurses. So, as I am writing, right and left the letters 
fly, calling for help from the sister societies at home. Good 
and patriotic women at home are easily stirred to their work. 

Mary Hammy has many strings to her bow a fiance in 
the army, and Doctor Berrien in town. To-day she drove 
out with Major Smith and Colonel Hood. Yesterday, Cus- 
tis Lee was here. She is a prudent little puss and needs no 
good advice, if I were one to give it. 

Lawrence does all our shopping. All his master s money 
has been in his hands until now. I thought it injudicious 



when gold is at such a premium to leave it lying loose in 
the tray of a trunk. So I have sewed it up in a belt, which 
I can wear upon an emergency. The cloth is wadded and 
my diamonds are there, too. It has strong strings, and can 
be tied under my hoops about my waist if the worst comes 
to the worst, as the saying is. Lawrence wears the same 
bronze mask. No sign of anything he may feel or think of 
my latest fancy. Only, I know he asks for twice as much 
money now when he goes to buy things. 

August 8th. To-day I saw a sword captured at Manas- 
sas. The man who brought the sword, in the early part 
of the fray, was taken prisoner by the Yankees. They 
stripped him, possessed themselves of his sleeve-buttons, 
and were in the act of depriving him of his boots when the 
rout began and the play was reversed; proceedings then 
took the opposite tack. 

From a small rill in the mountain has flowed the mighty 
stream which has made at last Louis Wigfall the worst 
enemy the President has in the Congress, a fact which com 
plicates our affairs no little. Mr. Davis s hands ought to 
be strengthened ; he ought to be upheld. A divided house 
must fall, we all say. 

Mrs. Sam Jones, who is called Becky by her friends and 
cronies, male and female, said that Mrs. Pickens had con 
fided to the aforesaid Jones (nee Taylor, and so of the 
President Taylor family and cousin of Mr. Davis s first 
wife), that Mrs. Wigfall " described Mrs. Davis to Mrs. 
Pickens as a coarse Western woman. Now the fair Lucy 
Holcombe and Mrs. Wigfall had a quarrel of their own out 
in Texas, and, though reconciled, there was bitterness un 
derneath. At first, Mrs. Joe Johnston called Mrs. Davis 
" a Western belle/ 1 but when the quarrel between Gen- 

1 Mrs. Davis was born in Natchez, Mississippi, and educated in 
Philadelphia. She was married to Mr. Davis in 1845. In recent years 
her home has been in New York City, where she still resides (Dec. 1904). 


; fiiCHMOND, VA. Sept. 2, 1861 

eral Johnston and the President broke out, Mrs. Johnston 
took back the belle and substituted * l woman in the 
narrative derived from Mrs. Jones. 

Commodore Barron * came with glad tidings. We had 
taken three prizes at sea, and brought them in safely, one 
laden with molasses. General Toombs told us the President 
complimented Mr. Chesnut when he described the battle 
scene to his Cabinet, etc. General Toombs is certain Colonel 
Chesnut will be made one of the new batch of brigadiers. 
Next came Mr. Clayton, who calmly informed us Jeff Davis 
would not get the vote of this Congress for President, so 
we might count him out. 

Mr. Meynardie first told us how pious a Christian sol 
dier was Kershaw, how he prayed, got up, dusted his knees 
and led his men on to victory with a dash and courage 
equal to any Old Testament mighty man of war. 

Governor Manning s account of Prince Jerome Napo 
leon: " He is stout and he is not handsome. Neither 
is he young, and as he reviewed our troops he was ter 
ribly overheated. He heard him say " en avant," of 
that he could testify of his own knowledge, and he was 
told he had been heard to say with unction " Allons " 
more than once. The sight of the battle-field had made 
the Prince seasick, and he received gratefully a draft of 
fiery whisky. 

Arrago seemed deeply interested in Confederate statis 
tics, and praised our doughty deeds to the skies. It was 
but soldier fare our guests received, though we did our 
best. It was hard sleeping and worse eating in camp. 
Beauregard is half Frenchman and speaks French like a 
native. So one awkward mess was done away with, and it 
was a comfort to see Beauregard speak without the agony 

1 Samuel Barren was a native of Virginia, who had risen to be 
a captain in the United States Navy. At the time of Secession he 
received a commission as Commodore in the Confederate Navy. 



of finding words in the foreign language and forming them, 
with damp brow, into sentences. A different fate befell 
others who spoke " a little French." 

General and Mrs. Cooper came to see us. She is Mrs. 
Smith Lee s sister. They were talking of old George Ma 
son in Virginia a name to conjure with. George Mason 
violently opposed the extension of slavery. He was a thor 
ough aristocrat, and gave as his reason for refusing the 
blessing of slaves to the new States, Southwest and North 
west, that vulgar new people were unworthy of so sacred a 
right as that of holding slaves. It was not an institution 
intended for such people as they were. Mrs. Lee said : 
" After all, what good does it do my sons that they are 
Light Horse Harry Lee s grandsons and George Mason s? 
I do not see that it helps them at all." 

A friend in Washington writes me that we might have- 
walked into Washington any day for a week after Manassas, 
such were the consternation and confusion there. But the 
god Pan was still blowing his horn in the woods. Now she 
says Northern troops are literally pouring in from all quar 
ters. The horses cover acres of ground. And she thinks 
we have lost our chance forever. 

A man named Grey (the same gentleman whom Sec 
retary of War Walker so astonished by greeting him with, 
" Well, sir, and what is your business? ") described the 
battle of the 21st as one succession of blunders, redeemed by 
the indomitable courage of the two-thirds who did not run 
away on our side. Doctor Mason said a fugitive on the 
other side informed him that " a million of men with the 
devil at their back could not have whipped the rebels at 
Bull Run." That s nice. 

There must be opposition in a free country. But it is 
very uncomfortable. " United we stand, divided we fall." 
Mrs. Davis showed us in The New York Tribune an extract 
from an Augusta (Georgia) paper saying, " Cobb is our 
man. Davis is at heart a reconstructionist. " We may be 


July 13, 1861 RICHMOND, VA. Sept. 2, 1861 

flies on the wheel, we know our insignificance ; but Mrs. 
Preston and myself have entered into an agreement; our 
oath is recorded on high. We mean to stand by our Presi 
dent and to stop all fault-finding with the powers that be, 
if we can and where we can, be the fault-finders generals 
or Cabinet Ministers. 

August 13lh. Hon. Robert Barnwell says, " The Mer 
cury s influence began this opposition to Jeff Davis before 
he had time to do wrong. They were offended, not with him 
so much as with the man who was put into what they con 
sidered Barnwell Rhett s rightful place. The latter had 
howled nullification and secession so long that when he 
found his ideas taken up by all the Confederate world, he 
felt he had a vested right to leadership/ 

Jordan, Beauregard s aide, still writes to Mr. Chesnut 
that the mortality among the raw troops in that camp is 
fearful. Everybody seems to be doing all they can. Think 
of the British sick and wounded away off in the Crimea. 
Our people are only a half -day s journey by rail from 
Richmond. With a grateful heart I record the fact of rec 
onciliation with the Wigfalls. They dined at the Presi 
dent s yesterday and the little Wigfall girls stayed all 

Seward is feting the outsiders, the cousin of the Em 
peror, Napoleon III., and Russell, of the omnipotent Lon 
don Times. 

August 14th. Last night there was a crowd of men to 
see us and they were so markedly critical. I made a futile 
effort to record their sayings, but sleep and heat overcame 
me. To-day I can not remember a word. One of Mr. Ma 
son s stories relates to our sources of trustworthy informa 
tion. A man of very respectable appearance standing on 
the platform at the depot, announced, * I am just from the 
seat of war." Out came pencil and paper from the news 
paper men on the qui vive. il Is Fairfax Court House 
burned? " they asked. " Yes, burned yesterday." " But 



I am just from there," said another; " left it standing 
there all right an hour or so ago. " " Oh ! But I must do 
them justice to say they burned only the tavern, for they 
did not want to tear up and burn anything else after the 
railroad." " There is no railroad at Fairfax Court 
House," objected the man just from Fairfax. "Oh! In 
deed! " said the seat-of-war man, " I did not know that; 
is that so ? : And he coolly seated himself and began talk 
ing of something else. 

Our people are lashing themselves into a fury against 
the prisoners. Only the mob in any country would do that. 
But I am told to be quiet. Decency and propriety will not 
be forgotten, and the prisoners will be treated as prisoners 
of war ought to be in a civilized country. 

August 15th. Mrs. Randolph came. With her were the 
Freelands, Rose and Maria. The men rave over Mrs. 
Randolph s beauty; called her a magnificent specimen of 
the finest type of dark-eyed, rich, and glowing Southern 
woman-kind. Clear brunette she is, with the reddest lips, 
the whitest teeth, and glorious eyes ; there is no other word 
for them. Having given Mrs. Randolph the prize among 
Southern beauties, Mr. Clayton said Prentiss was the finest 
Southern orator. Mr. Marshall and Mr. Barnwell dissent 
ed; they preferred William C. Preston. Mr. Chesnut had 
found Colquitt the best or most effective stump orator. 

Saw Henry Deas Nott. He is just from Paris, via New 
York. Says New York is ablaze with martial fire. At no 
time during the Crimean war was there ever in Paris the 
show of soldiers preparing for the war such as he saw at 
New York. The face of the earth seemed covered with 
marching regiments. 

Not more than 500 effective men are in Hampton s Le 
gion, but they kept the whole Yankee army at bay until 
half -past two. Then just as Hampton was wounded and 
half his colonels shot, Cash and Kershaw (from Mrs. Smith 
Lee audibly, " How about Kirby Smith? ") dashed in and 


July 13, 1861 RICHMOND, VA. Sept. 2, 1861 

not only turned the tide, but would have driven the fugi 
tives into Washington, but Beauregard recalled them. Mr. 
Chesnut finds all this very amusing, as he posted many of 
the regiments and all the time was carrying orders over the 
field. The discrepancies in all these private memories amuse 
him, but he smiles pleasantly and lets every man tell the 
tale in his own way. 

August 16th. Mr. Barnwell says, Fame is an article 
usually home made ; you must create your own puffs or su 
perintend their manufacture. And you must see that the 
newspapers print your own military reports. No one else 
will give you half the credit you take to yourself. No one 
will look after your fine name before the world with the 
loving interest and faith you have yourself. 

August 17th. Captain Shannon, of the Kirkwood Rang 
ers, called and stayed three hours. Has not been under fire 
yet, but is keen to see or to hear the flashing of the guns; 
proud of himself, proud of his company, but proudest of all 
that he has no end of the bluest blood of the low country in 
his troop. He seemed to find my knitting a pair of socks a 
day for the soldiers droll in some way. The yarn is coarse. 
He has been so short a time from home he does not know how 
the poor soldiers need them. He was so overpoweringly 
flattering to my husband that I found him very pleasant 

August 18th. Found it quite exciting to have a spy 
drinking his tea with us perhaps because I knew his pro 
fession. I did not like his face. He is said to have a 
scheme by which Washington will fall into our hands like 
an overripe peach. 

Mr. Barnwell urges Mr. Chesnut to remain in the Sen 
ate. There are so many generals, or men anxious to be. He 
says Mr. Chesnut can do his country most good by wise 
counsels where they are most needed. I do not say to the 
contrary ; I dare not throw my influence on the army side, 
for if anything happened ! 



Mr. Miles told us last night that he had another letter 
from General Beauregard. The General wants to know 
if Mr. Miles has delivered his message to Colonel Kershaw. 
Mr. Miles says he has not done so ; neither does he mean to 
do it. They must settle these matters of veracity according 
to their own military etiquette. He is a civilian once more. 
It is a foolish wrangle. Colonel Kershaw ought to have re 
ported to his commander-in-chief, and not made an inde 
pendent report and published it. He meant no harm. He 
is not yet used to the fine ways of war. 

The New York Tribune, is so unfair. It began by howl 
ing to get rid of us : we were so wicked. Now that we are 
so willing to leave them to their overrighteous self-con 
sciousness, they cry : Crush our enemy, or they will sub 
jugate us." The idea that we want to invade or subjugate 
anybody; we would be only too grateful to be left alone. 
We ask no more of gods or men. 

Went to the hospital with a carriage load of peaches and 
grapes. Made glad the hearts of some men thereby. When 
my supplies gave out, those who had none looked so wist 
fully as I passed out that I made a second raid on the mar 
ket. Those eyes sunk in cavernous depths and following me 
from bed to bed haunt me. 

Wilmot de Saussure, harrowed my soul by an account 
of a recent death by drowning on the beach at Sullivan s 
Island. Mr. Porcher, who was trying to save his sister s 
life, lost his own and his child s. People seem to die out 
of the army quite as much as in it. 

Mrs. Randolph presided in all her beautiful majesty at 
an aid association. The ladies were old, and all wanted 
their own way. They were cross-grained and contradictory, 
and the blood mounted rebelliously into Mrs. Randolph s 
clear-cut cheeks, but she held her own with dignity and 
grace. One of the causes of disturbance was that Mrs. Ran 
dolph proposed to divide everything sent on equally with 
the Yankee wounded and sick prisoners. Some were enthu 
se 107 

July 13, 1861 RICHMOND, VA. Sept. 2, 1861 

siastic from a Christian point of View ; some shrieked in 
wrath at the bare idea of putting our noble soldiers on a par 
with Yankees, living, dying, or dead. Fierce dames were 
some of them, august, severe matrons, who evidently had not 
been accustomed to hear the other side of any question from 
anybody, and just old enough to find the last pleasure in 
life to reside in power the power to make their claws felt. 

August 23d. A brother of Doctor Garnett has come 
fresh and straight from Cambridge, Mass., and says (or is 
said to have said, with all the difference there is between the 
two), that " recruiting up there is dead." He came by 
Cincinnati and Pittsburg and says all the way through it 
was so sad, mournful, and quiet it looked like Sunday. 

I asked Mr. Brewster if it were true Senator Toombs 
had turned brigadier. " Yes, soldiering is in the air. 
Every one will have a touch of it. Toombs could not stay 
in the Cabinet." " Why? " " Incompatibility of tem 
per. He rides too high a horse; that is, for so despotic a 
person as Jeff Davis. I have tried to find out the sore, but 
I can t. Mr. Toombs has been out with them all for 
months." Dissension will break out. Everything does, 
but it takes a little time. There is a perfect magazine of 
discord and discontent in that Cabinet; only wants a hand 
to apply the torch, and up they go. Toombs says old Mem- 
minger has his back up as high as any. 

Oh, such a day! Since I wrote this morning, I have 
been with Mrs. Randolph to all the hospitals. I can never 
again shut out of view the sights I saw there of human 
misery. I sit thinking, shut my eyes, and see it all ; think 
ing, yes, and there is enough to think about now, God 
knows. Gilland s was the worst, with long rows of ill men 
on cots, ill of typhoid fever, of every human ailment; on 
dinner-tables for eating and drinking, wounds being 
dressed ; all the horrors to be taken in at one glance. 

Then we went to the St. Charles. Horrors upon hor 
rors again; want of organization, long rows of dead and 



dy ing. ;_8JEf ill sights. A boy from home had sent for me. 
He was dying in a cot, ill of fever. Next him a man died 
in convulsions as we stood there. I was making arrange 
ments with a nurse, hiring him to take care of this lad ; but 
I do not remember any more, for I fainted. Next that I 
knew of, the doctor and Mrs. Randolph were having me, a 
limp rag, put into a carriage at the door of the hospital. 
Fresh air, I dare say, brought me to. As we drove home 
the doctor came along with us, I was so upset. He said: 
1 Look at that Georgia regiment marching there ; look at 
their servants on the sidewalk. I have been counting them, 
making an ertimate. There is $16,000 sixteen thousand 
dollars worth of negro property which can go off on its 
own legs to the Yankees whenever it pleases." 

August 24th. Daniel, of The Examiner, was at the 
President s. Wilmot de Saussure wondered if a fellow did 
not feel a little queer, paying his respects in person at the 
house of a man whom he abused daily in his newspaper. 

A fiasco: an aide engaged to two young ladies in the 
same house. The ladies had been quarreling, but became 
friends unexpectedly when his treachery, among many 
other secrets, was revealed under that august roof. Fancy 
the row when it all came out. 

Mr. Lowndes said we have already reaped one good re 
sult from the war. The orators, the spouters, the furious 
patriots, that could hardly be held down, and who were so 
wordily anxious to do or die for their country they had 
been the pest of our lives. Now they either have not tried 
the battle-field at all, or have precipitately left it at their 
earliest convenience : for very shame we are rid of them for 
a while. I doubt it. Bright s speech 1 is dead against us. 
Reading this does not brighten one. 

1 The reference is to John Bright, whose advocacy of the cause of 
the Union in the British Parliament attracted a great deal of attention 
at the time. 


July 13, 1861 RICHMOND, VA. Sept. 2, 1861 

August 25th. Mr. Barnwell says democracies lead to 
untruthfulness. To be always electioneering is to be al 
ways false; so both we and the Yankees are unreliable as 
regards our own exploits. " How about empires? Were 
there ever more stupendous lies than the Emperor Napo 
leon s? " Mr. Barnwell went on: " People dare not tell 
the truth in a canvass ; they must conciliate their constit 
uents. Now everybody in a democracy always wants an 
office; at least, everybody in Richmond just now seems to 
want one." Never heeding interruptions, he went on: 
" As a nation, the English are the most truthful in the 
world. " " And so are our country gentlemen : they own 
their constituents at least, in some of the parishes, where 
there are few whites; only immense estates peopled by 
negroes/ Thackeray speaks of the lies that were told 
on both sides in the British wars with France; England 
kept quite alongside of her rival in that fine art. England 
lied then as fluently as Russell lies about us now. 

Went to see Agnes De Leon, my Columbia school friend. 
She is fresh from Egypt, and I wished to hear of the Nile, 
the crocodiles, the mummies, the Sphinx, and the Pyramids. 
But her head ran upon Washington life, such as we knew 
it, and her soul was here. No theme was possible but a dis 
cussion of the latest war news. 

Mr. Clayton, Assistant Secretary of State, says we 
spend two millions a week. Where is all that money to 
come from? They don t .want us to plant cotton, but to 
make provisions. Now, cotton always means money, or did 
when there was an outlet for it and anybody to buy it. 
Where is money to come from now ? 

Mr. Barnwell s new joke, I dare say, is a Joe Miller, 
but Mr. Barnwell laughed in telling it till he cried. A man 
was fined for contempt of court and then, his case coming 
on, the Judge talked such arrant nonsense and was so 
warped in his mind against the poor man, that the " fined 
one " walked up and handed the august Judge a five-dollar 



bill. " Why? What is that for? " said the Judge. " Oh, 
I feel such a contempt of this court coming on again ! 

I came up tired to death; took down my hair; had it 
hanging over me in a Crazy Jane fashion; and sat still, 
hands over my head (half undressed, but too lazy and 
sleepy to move). I was sitting in a rocking-chair by an 
open window taking my ease and the cool night air, when 

suddenly the door opened and Captain walked in. 

He was in the middle of the room before he saw his mistake ; 
he stared and was transfixed, as the novels say. I dare say 
I looked an ancient Gorgon. Then, with a more frantic 
glare, he turned and fled without a word. I got up and 
bolted the door after him, and then looked in the glass and 
laughed myself into hysterics. I shall never forget to lock 
the door again. But it does not matter in this case. I 
looked totally unlike the person bearing my name, who, 
covered with lace cap, etc., frequents the drawing-room. I 
doubt if he would know me again. 

August 26th. The Terror has full swing at the North 
now. All the papers favorable to us have been suppressed. 
How long would our mob stand a Yankee paper here? 
But newspapers against our government, such as the Ex 
aminer and the Mercury flourish like green bay-trees. A 
man up to the elbows in finance said to-day: " Clayton s 
story is all nonsense. They do sometimes pay out two mil 
lions a week ; they paid the soldiers this week, but they don t 
pay the soldiers every week. " * .Not by a long shot, cried 
a soldier laddie with a grin. 

Why do you write in your diary at all, some one said 
to me, " if, as you say, you have to contradict every day 
what you wrote yesterday? " " Because I tell the tale as 
it is told to me. I write current rumor. I do not vouch for 

We went to Pizzini s, that very best of Italian confec 
tioners. From there we went to Miss Sally Tornpkins s 
hospital, loaded with good things for the wounded. The 


July 13, 1861 RICHMOND, VA. Sept. 2, 1861 

men under Miss Sally s kind care Tboked so clean and com 
fortable cheerful, one might say. They were pleasant and 
nice to see. One, however, was dismal in tone and aspect, 
and he repeated at intervals with no change of words, in a 
forlorn monotone : * What a hard time we have had since 
we left home/ But nobody seemed to heed his wailing, 
and it did not impair his appetite. 

At Mrs. Toombs s, who was raging; so anti-Davis she 
will not even admit that the President is ill. " All hum 
bug." * But what good could pretending to be ill do 
him? " * That reception now, was not that a humbug? 
Such a failure. Mrs. Reagan could have done better than 

Mrs. Walker is a Montgomery beauty, with such mag 
nificent dresses. She was an heiress, and is so dissatisfied 
with Richmond, accustomed as she is to being a belle under 
different conditions. As she is as handsome and well 
dressed as ever, it must be the men who are all wrong. 

1 Did you give Lawrence that fifty-dollar bill to go out 
and change it? " I was asked. " Suppose he takes himself 
off to the Yankees. He would leave us with not too many 
fifty-dollar bills." He is not going anywhere, however. I 
think his situation suits him. That wadded belt of mine, 
with the gold pieces quilted in, has made me ashamed more 
than once. I leave it under my pillow and my maid finds 
it there and hangs it over the back of a chair, in evidence 
as I reenter the room after breakfast. When I forget and 
leave my trunk open, Lawrence brings me the keys and tells 
me, " You oughten to do so, Miss Mary." Mr. Chesnut 
leaves all his little money in his pockets, and Lawrence says 
that s why he can t let any one but himself brush Mars 
Jeems s clothes. 

August 27th. Theodore Barker and James Lowndes 
came ; the latter has been wretchedly treated. A man said, 
" All that I wish on earth is to be at peace and on my own 
plantation," to which Mr. Lowndes replied quietly, " I 



wish I had a plantation to be on, but just now I can t see 
how any one would feel justified in leaving the army. " Mr. 
Barker was bitter against the spirit of braggadocio so ram 
pant among us. The gentleman who had been answered so 
completely by James Lowndes said, with spitefulness : 
" Those women who are so frantic for their husbands to 
join the army would like them killed, no doubt. " 

Things were growing rather uncomfortable, but an in 
terruption came in the shape of a card. An old classmate 
of Mr. Chesnut s Captain Archer, just now fresh from 
California followed his card so quickly that Mr. Chesnut 
had hardly time to tell us that in Princeton College they 
called him " Sally " Archer he was so pretty when he en 
tered. He is good-looking still, but the service and conse 
quent rough life have destroyed all softness and girlish- 
ness. He will never be so pretty again. 

The North is consolidated ; they move as one man, with 
no States, but an army organized by the central power. 
Eussell in the Northern camp is cursed of Yankees for that 
Bull Run letter. Russell, in his capacity of Englishman, 
despises both sides. He divides us equally into North and 
South. He prefers to attribute our victory at Bull Run to 
Yankee cowardice rather than to Southern courage. He 
gives no credit to either side; for good qualities, we are 
after all mere Americans ! Everything not * national is 
arrested. It looks like the business of Seward. 

I do not know when I have seen a woman without knit 
ting in her hand. Socks for the soldiers is the cry. One 
poor man said he had dozens of socks and but one shirt. 
He preferred more shirts and fewer stockings. We make 
a quaint appearance with this twinkling of needles and the 
everlasting sock dangling below. 

They have arrested Wm. B. Reed and Miss Winder, she 
boldly proclaiming herself a secessionist. Why should she 
seek a martyr s crown? Writing people love notoriety. It 
is so delightful to be of enough consequence to be arrested. 


July 13, 1861 RICHMOND, VA. Sept. 2, 1861 

I have often wondered if such incense was ever offered as 
Napoleon s so-called persecution and alleged jealousy of 
Madame de Stael. 

Russell once more, to whom London, Paris, and India 
have been an every-day sight, and every-night, too, streets 
and all. How absurd for him to go on in indignation be 
cause there have been women on negro plantations who 
were not vestal virgins. Negro women get married, and 
after marriage behave as well as other people. Marrying is 
the amusement of their lives. They take life easily ; so do 
their class everywhere. Bad men are hated here as else 

" I hate slavery. I hate a man who You say there 
are no more fallen women on a plantation than in London 
in proportion to numbers. But what do you say to this 
to a magnate who runs a hideous black harem, with its 
consequences, under the same roof with his lovely white 
wife and his beautiful and accomplished daughters? He 
holds his head high and poses as the model of all human vir 
tues to these poor women whom God and the laws have 
given him. From the height of his awful majesty he scolds 
and thunders at them as if he never did wrong in his life. 
Fancy such a man finding his daughter reading Don 
Juan. You with that immoral book! he would say, 
and then he would order her out of his sight. You see Mrs. 
Stowe did not hit the sorest spot. She makes Legree a 
bachelor." " Remember George II. and his likes." 

* Oh, I know half a Legree a man said to be as cruel as 
Legree, but the other half of him did not correspond. He 
was a man of polished manners, and the best husband and 
father and member of the church in the world." " Can 
that be so? " 

1 Yes, I know it. Exceptional case, that sort of thing, 
always. And I knew the dissolute half of Legree well. He 



was high and mighty, but the kindest creature to his slaves. 
And the unfortunate results of his bad ways were not sold, 
had not to jump over ice-blocks. They were kept in full 
view, and provided for handsomely in his will." 

" The wife and daughters in the might of their purity 
and innocence are supposed never to dream of what is as 
plain before their eyes as the sunlight, and they play their 
parts of unsuspecting angels to the letter. They profess to 
adore the father as the model of all saintly goodness." 
1 Well, yes ; if he is rich he is the fountain from whence all 
blessings flow." 

" The one I have in my eye my half of Legree, the dis 
solute half was so furious in temper and thundered his 
wrath so at the poor women, they were glad to let him 
do as he pleased in peace if they could only escape his 
everlasting fault-finding, and noisy bluster, making every 
body so uncomfortable." " Now now, do you know any 
woman of this generation who would stand that sort of 
thing? No, never, not for one moment. The make-believe 
angels were of the last century. We know, and we won t 
have it." 

" The condition of women is improving, it seems." 
" Women are brought up not to judge their fathers or 
their husbands. They take them as the Lord provides and 
are thankful." 

* If they should not go to heaven after all ; think what 
lives most women lead. " No heaven, no purgatory, no 
the other thing? Never. I believe in future rewards and 

How about the wives of drunkards ? I heard a woman 
say once to a friend of her husband, tell it as a cruel matter 
of fact, without bitterness, without comment, Oh, you 
have not seen him ! He has changed. He has not gone to 
bed sober in thirty years. She has had her purgatory, if 
not the other thing, here in this world. We all know 
what a drunken man is. To think, for no crime, a person 


July 13, 1861 RICHMOND, VA. Sept. 2, 1861 

may be condemned to live with one thirty years. " You 
wander from the question I asked. Are Southern men 
worse because of the slave system and the facile black 
women? " " Not a bit. They see too much of them. The 
barroom people don t drink, the confectionery people loathe 
candy. They are sick of the black sight of them. " 

" You think a nice man from the South is the nicest 
thing in the world ? " * I know it. Put him by any other 
man and see! " 

Have seen Yankee letters taken at Manassas. The spell 
ing is often atrocious, and we thought they had all gone 
through a course of blue-covered Noah Webster spelling- 
books. Our soldiers do spell astonishingly. There is Horace 
Greeley: they say he can t read his own handwriting. But 
he is candid enough and disregards all time-serving. He 
says in his paper that in our army the North has a hard 
nut to crack, and that the rank and file of our army is 
superior in education and general intelligence to theirs. 

My wildest imagination will not picture Mr. Mason * as 
a diplomat. He will say chaw for chew, and he will call 
himself Jeems, and he will wear a dress coat to breakfast. 
Over here, whatever a Mason does is right in his own eyes. 
He is above law. Somebody asked him how he pronounced 
his wife s maiden name: she was a Miss Chew from Phila 

1 James Murray Mason was a grandson of George Mason, and had 
been elected United States Senator from Virginia in 1847. In 1851 
he drafted the Fugitive Slave Law. His mission to England in 1861 
was shared by John Slidell. On November 8, 1861, while on board the 
British steamer Trent, in the Bahamas, they were captured by an 
American named Wilkes, and imprisoned in Boston until January 2, 
1862. A famous diplomatic difficulty arose with England over this 
affair. John Slidell was a native of New York, who had settled in Loui 
siana and became a Member of Congress from that State in 1843. In 
1853 he was elected to the United States Senate. 



They say the English will like Mr. Mason; he is so 
manly, so straightforward, so truthful and bold. " A fine 
old English gentleman," so said Russell to me, " but for 
tobacco." " I like Mr. Mason and Mr. Hunter better than 
anybody else." " And yet they are wonderfully unlike." 
11 Now you just listen to me," said I. "Is Mrs. Davis in 
hearing no? Well, this sending Mr. Mason to London is 
the maddest thing yet. Worse in some points of view than 
Yancey, and that was a catastrophe." 

August 29th. No more feminine gossip, but the li 
censed slanderer, the mighty Russell, of the Times. He 
says the battle of the 21st was fought at long range : 500 
yards apart were the combatants. The Confederates were 
steadily retreating when some commotion in the wagon 
train frightened the " Yanks," and they made tracks. In 
good English, they fled amain. And on our side we were 
too frightened to follow them in high-flown English, to 
pursue the flying foe. 

In spite of all this, there are glimpses of the truth 
sometimes, and the story leads to our credit with all the 
sneers and jeers. When he speaks of the Yankees coward 
ice, falsehood, dishonesty, and braggadocio, the best words 
are in his mouth. He repeats the thrice-told tale, so often 
refuted and denied, that we were harsh to wounded pris 
oners. Dr. Gibson told me that their surgeon-general has 
written to thank our surgeons: Yankee officers write very 
differently from Russell. I know that in that hospital with 
the Sisters of Charity they were better off than our men 
were at the other hospitals : that I saw with my own eyes. 
These poor souls are jealously guarded night and day. 
It is a hideous tale what they tell of their sufferings. 

Women who come before the public are in a bad box 
now. False hair is taken off and searched for papers. 
Bustles are " suspect." All manner of things, they say, 
come over the border under the huge hoops now worn; so 
they are ruthlessly torn off. Not legs but arms are looked 


July 13, 1861 RICHMOND, VA. Sept. 2, 1861 

for under hoops, and, sad to say, found. Then women are 
used as detectives and searchers, to see that no men slip 
over in petticoats. So the poor creatures coming this way 
are humiliated to the deepest degree. To men, glory, 
honor, praise, and power, if they are patriots. To women, 
daughters of Eve, punishment comes still in some shape, do 
what they will. 

Mary Hammy s eyes were starting from her head with 
amazement, while a very large and handsome South Caro 
linian talked rapidly. " What is it? " asked I after he had 
gone. : Oh, what a year can bring forth one year ! Last 
summer you remember how he swore he was in love with 
me ? He told you, he told me, he told everybody, and if I 
did refuse to marry him I believed him. Now he says he 
has seen, fallen in love with, courted, and married another 
person, and he raves of his little daughter s beauty. And 
they say time goes slowly ; thus spoke Mary Hammy , 
with a sigh of wonder at his wonderful cure. 

Time works wonders," said the explainer-general. 
" What conclusion did you come to as to Southern men at 
the grand pow-wow, you know? " " They are nicer than 
the nicest the gentlemen, you know. There are not too 
many of that kind anywhere. Ours are generous, truthful, 
brave, and and devoted to us, you know. A Southern 
husband is not a bad thing to have about the house. 

Mrs. Frank Hampton said : For one thing, you could 
not flirt with these South Carolinians. They would not 
stay at the tepid degree of flirtation. They grow so hor 
ridly in earnest before you know where you are." " Do 
you think two married people ever lived together without 
finding each other out? I mean, knowing exactly how 
good or how shabby, how weak or how strong, above all, 
how selfish each was? " " Yes; unless they are dolts, they 
know to a tittle; but you see if they have common sense 
they make believe and get on, so so." Like the Marchion 
ess s orange-peel wine in Old Curiosity Shop. 



A violent attack upon the North to-day in the Albion. 
They mean to let freedom slide a while until they subjugate 
us. The Albion says they use lettres de cachet, passports, 
and all the despotic apparatus of regal governments. Rus 
sell hears the tramp of the coming man the king and 
kaiser tyrant that is to rule them. Is it McClellan? 
" Little Mac "? We may tremble when he comes. We 
down here have only " the many-headed monster thing, " 
armed democracy. Our chiefs quarrel among themselves. 

McClellan is of a forgiving spirit. He does not resent 
Russell s slurs upon Yankees, but with good policy has Rus 
sell with him as a guest. 

The Adonis of an aide avers, as one who knows, that 
Sumter Anderson s heart is with us ; that he will not 
fight the South. After all is said and done that sounds like 
nonsense. " Sumter " Anderson s wife was a daughter of 
Governor Clinch, of Georgia. Does that explain it? He 
also told me something of Garnett (who was killed at Rich 
Mountain). 1 He had been an unlucky man clear through. 
In the army before the war, the aide had found him proud, 
reserved, and morose, cold as an icicle to all. But for his 
wife and child he was a different creature. He adored 
them and cared for nothing else. 

One day he went off on an expedition and was gone six 
weeks. He was out in the Northwest, and the Indians were 
troublesome. When he came back, his wife and child were 
underground. He said not one word, but they found him 
more frozen, stern, and isolated than ever; that was all. 
The night before he left Richmond he said in his quiet way : 
1 They have not given me an adequate force. I can do 
nothing. They have sent me to my death." It is acknowl- 

1 The battle of Rich Mountain, in Western Virginia, was fought July 
11, 1861, and General Garnett, Commander of the Confederate forces, 
pursued by General McClellan, was killed at Carrick s Ford, July 13th, 
while trying to rally his rear-guard. 


July 13, 1861 RICHMOND, VA. Sept. 2, 1861 

edged that he threw away his* life " a dreary-hearted 
man/ said the aide, li and the unluckiest." 

On the front steps every evening we take our seats and 
discourse at our pleasure. A nicer or more agreeable set of 
people were never assembled than our present Arlington 
crowd. To-night it was Yancey 1 who occupied our tongues. 
Send a man to England who had killed his father-in-law 
in a street brawl! That was not knowing England or 
Englishmen, surely. Who wants eloquence? We want 
somebody who can hold his tongue. People avoid great 
talkers, men who orate, men given to monologue, as they 
would avoid fire, famine, or pestilence. Yancey will have 
no mobs to harangue. No stump speeches will be possible, 
superb as are his of their kind, but little quiet conversation 
is best with slow, solid, common-sense people, who begin to 
suspect as soon as any flourish of trumpets meets their ear. 
If Yancey should use his fine words, who would care for 
them over there ? 

Commodore Barron, when he was a middy, accompanied 
Phil Augustus Stockton to claim his bride. He, the said 
Stockton, had secretly wedded a fair heiress (Sally Cantey). 
She was married by a magistrate and returned to Mrs. 
Grillaud s boarding-school until it was time to go home 
that is, to Camden. 

Lieutenant Stockton (a descendant of the Signer) was 
the handsomest man in the navy, and irresistible. The 
bride was barely sixteen. When he was to go down South 
among those fire-eaters and claim her, Commodore Barron, 
then his intimate friend, went as his backer. They were to 
announce the marriage and defy the guardians. Commo- 

1 William Lowndes Yancey was a native of Virginia, who settled in 
Alabama, and in 1844 was elected to Congress, where he became a leader 
among the supporters of slavery and an advocate of secession. He was 
famous in his day as an effective public speaker. 



dore Barren said he anticipated a rough job of it all, but 
they were prepared for all risks. " You expected to find 
us a horde of savages, no doubt/ said I. " We did not 
expect to get off under a half-dozen duels." They looked 
for insults from every quarter and they found a polished 
and refined people who lived en prince, to say the least of it. 
They were received with a cold, stately, and faultless po 
liteness, which made them feel as if they had been sheep- 

The young lady had confessed to her guardians and 
they were for making the best of it; above all, for saving 
her name from all gossip or publicity. Colonel John Boy- 
kin, one of them, took Young Lochinvar to stay with him. 
His friend, Barren, was also a guest. Colonel Deas sent for 
a parson, and made assurance doubly sure by marrying 
them over again. Their wish was to keep things quiet and 
not to make a nine-days wonder of the young lady. 

Then came balls, parties, and festivities without end. 
He was enchanted with the easy-going life of these people, 
with dinners the finest in the world, deer-hunting, and fox 
hunting, dancing, and pretty girls, in fact everything that 
heart could wish. But then, said Commodore Barron, " the 
better it was, and the kinder the treatment, the more 
ashamed I grew of my business down there. After all, it 
was stealing an heiress, you know." 

I told him how the same fate still haunted that estate in 
Camden. Mr. Stockton sold it to a gentleman, who later sold 
it to an old man who had married when near eighty, and 
who left it to the daughter born of that marriage. This 
pretty child of his old age was left an orphan quite young. 
At the age of fifteen, she ran away and married a boy of 
seventeen, a canny Scotchman. The young couple lived to 
grow up, and it proved after all a happy marriage. This 
last heiress left six children; so the estate will now be 
divided, and no longer tempt the fortune-hunters. 

The Commodore said: " To think how we two young- 


July 13, 1861 RICHMOND, VA. Sept. 2, 1861 

sters in our blue uniforms went down there to bully those 
people." He was much at olonel Chesnut s. Mrs. Ches- 
nut being a Philadelphian, he was somewhat at ease with 
them. It was the most thoroughly appointed establishment 
he had then ever visited. 

Went with our leviathan of loveliness to a ladies meet 
ing. No scandal to-day, no wrangling, all harmonious, 
everybody knitting. Dare say that soothing occupation 

helped our perturbed spirits to be calm. Mrs. C is 

lovely, a perfect beauty. Said Brewster: " In Circassia, 
think what a price would be set upon her, for there beauty 
sells by the pound! " 

Coming home the following conversation: " So Mrs. 
Blank thinks purgatory will hold its own never be abol 
ished while women and children have to live with drunken 
fathers and brothers. " " She knows." " She is too bitter. 
She says worse than that. She says we have an institution 
worse than the Spanish Inquisition, worse than Torque- 
mada, and all that sort of thing." " What does she 
mean ? 5 You ask her. Her words are sharp arrows. I 
am a dull creature, and I should spoil all by repeating what 
she says." 

"It is your own family that she calls the familiars of 
the Inquisition. She declares that they set upon you, fall 
foul of you, watch and harass you from morn till dewy 
eve. They have a perfect right to your life, night and day, 
unto the fourth and fifth generation. They drop in at 
breakfast and say, Are you not imprudent to eat that? 
Take care now, don t overdo it. I think you eat too 
much so early in the day. And they help themselves to the 
only thing you care for on the table. They abuse your 
friends and tell you it is your duty to praise your enemies. 
They tell you of all your faults candidly, because they love 
you so ; that gives them a right to speak. What family in- 



terest they take in you. You ought to do this; you ought 
to do that, and then the everlasting you ought to have 
done/ which comes near making you a murderer, at least 
in heart, Blood s thicker than water/ they say, and 
there is where the longing to spill it comes in. No locks 
or bolts or bars can keep them out. Are they not your 
nearest family? They dine with you, dropping in after 
you are at soup. They come after you have gone to bed, 
when all the servants have gone away, and the man of the 
house, in his nightshirt, standing sternly at the door with 
the huge wooden bar in his hand, nearly scares them to 
death, and you are glad of it." 

" Private life, indeed! " She says her husband entered 
public life and they went off to live in a far-away city. 
Then for the first time in her life she knew privacy. She 
never will forget how she jumped for joy as she told her 
servant not to admit a soul until after two o clock in the 
day. Afterward, she took a fixed day at home. Then she 
was free indeed. She could read and write, stay at home, 
go out at her own sweet will, no longer sitting for hours 
with her fingers between the leaves of a frantically inter 
esting book, while her kin slowly driveled nonsense by the 
yard waiting, waiting, yawning. Would they never go? 
Then for hurting you, who is like a relative? They do it 
from a sense of duty. For stinging you, for cutting you 
to the quick, who like one of your own household ? In point 
of fact, they alone can do it. They know the sore, and how 
to hit it every time. You are in their power. She says, did 
you ever see a really respectable, responsible, revered and 
beloved head of a family who ever opened his mouth at 
home except to find fault? He really thinks that is his 
business in life and that all enjoyment is sinful. He is 
there to prevent the women from such frivolous things as 
pleasure, etc., etc. 

I sat placidly rocking in my chair by the window, try 
ing to hope all was for the best. Mary Hammy rushed in 
10 123 

July 13, 1861 RICHMOND, VA. Sept. 2, 1861 

literally drowned in tears. I never saw so drenched a face 
in my life. My heart stopped still. " Commodore Barren 
is taken prisoner," said she. " The Yankees have cap 
tured him and all his lieutenants. Poor Imogen and 
there is my father scouting about, the Lord knows where. 
I only know he is in the advance guard. The Barren s 
time has come. Mine may come any minute. Oh, Cousin 
Mary, when Mrs. Lee told Imogen, she fainted! Those 
poor girls ; they are nearly dead with trouble and fright. 

" Go straight back to those children," I said. " No 
body will touch a hair of their father s head. Tell them I 
say so. They dare not. They are not savages quite. This 
is a civilized war, you know. 

Mrs. Lee said to Mrs. Eustis (Mr. Corcoran s daughter) 
yesterday: " Have you seen those accounts of arrests in 
Washington ? : Mrs. Eustis answered calmly : Yes, I 
know all about it. I suppose you allude to the fact that my 
father has been imprisoned." " No, no," interrupted the 
explainer, " she means the incarceration of those mature 
Washington belles suspected as spies." But Mrs. Eustis 
continued, I have no fears for my father s safety. 

August 31st. Congress adjourns to-day. Jeff Davis 
\ ill. We go home on Monday if I am able to travel. Al 
ready I feel the dread stillness and torpor of our Sahara 
of a Sand Hill creeping into my veins. It chills the marrow 
of my bones. I am reveling in the noise of city life. I 
know what is before me. Nothing more cheering than the 
cry of the lone whippoorwill will break the silence at Sandy 
Hill, except as night draws near, when the screech-owl will 
add his mournful note. 

September 1st. North Carolina writes for arms for her 
soldiers. Have we any to send ? No. Brewster, the plain- 
spoken, says, " The President is ill, and our affairs are in 
the hands of noodles. All the generals away with the 
army; nobody here; General Lee in Western Virginia. 
Reading the third Psalm. The devil is sick, the devil a 



saint would be. Lord, how are they increased that trouble 
me ? Many are they that rise up against me ! " 

September 2d. Mr. Miles says he is not going anywhere 
at all, not even home. He is to sit here permanently chair 
man of a committee to overhaul camps, commissariats, etc., 

We exchanged our ideas of Jtr. Mason, in which we 
agreed perfectly. In the first place, he has a noble pres 
ence really a handsome man; is a manly old Virginian, 
straightforward, brave, truthful, clever, the very beau-ideal 
of an independent, high-spirited F. F. V. If the English 
value a genuine man they will have one here. In every par 
ticular he is the exact opposite of Talleyrand. He has 
some peculiarities. He had never an ache or a pain him 
self ; his physique is perfect, and he loudly declares that he 
hates to see persons ill ; seems to him an unpardonable weak 

It began to grow late. Many people had come to say 
good-by to me. I had fever as usual to-day, but in the ex 
citement of this crowd of friends the invalid forgot fever. 
Mr. Chesnut held up his watch to me warningly and inti 
mated " it was late, indeed, for one who has to travel to 
morrow. " So, as the Yankees say after every defeat, I 
1 1 retired in good order. 

Not quite, for I forgot handkerchief and fan. Gon- 
zales rushed after and met me at the foot of the stairs. In 
his foreign, pathetic, polite, high-bred way, he bowed low 
and said he had made an excuse for the fan, for he had a 
present to make me, and then, though " startled and 
amazed, I paused and on the stranger gazed. Alas ! I am 
a woman approaching forty, and the offering proved to be 
a bottle of cherry bounce. Nothing could have been more 
opportune, and with a little ice, etc., will help, I am sure, 
to save my life on that dreadful journey home. 

No discouragement now felt at the North. They take 
our forts and are satisfied for a while. Then the English 


July 13, 1861 RICHMOND, VA. Sept. 2, 1861 

are strictly neutral. Like the woman who saw her husband 
fight the bear, * It was the first fight she ever saw when she 
did not care who whipped. 

Mr. Davis was very kind about it all. He told Mr. Ches- 
nut to go home and have an eye to all the State defenses, 
etc., and that he would give him any position he asked for 
if he still wished to continue in the army. Now, this would 
be all that heart could wish, but Mr. Chesnut will never ask 
for anything. What will he ask for? That s the rub. I 
am certain of very few things in life now, but this is one 
I am certain of: Mr. Chesnut will never ask mortal man 
for any promotion for himself or for one of his own family. 



September 9, 1861 September 19, 1861 

AMDEN, S. C., September 9, 1861. Home again at 
Mulberry, the fever in full possession of me. My 
sister, Kate, is my ideal woman, the most agreeable 
person I know in the world, with her soft, low, and sweet 
voice, her graceful, gracious ways, and her glorious gray 
eyes, that I looked into so often as we confided our very 
souls to each other. 

God bless old Betsey s yellow face ! She is a nurse in a 
thousand, and would do anything for Mars Jeems wife. 
My small ailments in all this comfort set me mourning over 
the dead and dying soldiers I saw in Virginia. How feeble 
my compassion proves, after all. 

I handed the old Colonel a letter from his son in the 
army. He said, as he folded up the missive from the seat 
of war, " With this war we may die out. Your husband is 
the last of my family." He means that my husband is 
his only living son ; his grandsons are in the army, and 
they, too, may be killed even Johnny, the gallant and gay, 
may not be bullet-proof. No child have I. 

Now this old man of ninety years was born when it was 
not the fashion for a gentleman to be a saint, and being 
lord of all he surveyed for so many years, irresponsible, in 
the center of his huge domain, it is wonderful he was not a 
greater tyrant the softening influence of that angel wife, 
no doubt. Saint or sinner, he understands the world about 
him au fond. 


Sept. 9, 1861 CAMDEN, S. C. Sept. 19, 1861 


Have had a violent attack of something wrong about my 
heart. It stopped beating, then it took to trembling, creak 
ing and thumping like a Mississippi high-pressure steam 
boat, and the noise in my ears was more like an ammunition 
wagon rattling over the stones in Richmond. That was 
yesterday, and yet I am alive. That kind of thing makes 
one feel very mortal. 

Russell writes how disappointed Prince Jerome Napo 
leon was with the appearance of our troops, and " he did 
not like Beauregard at all." Well ! I give Bogar up to him. 
But how a man can find fault with our soldiers, as I have 
seen them individually and collectively in Charleston, 
Richmond, and everywhere that beats me. 

The British are the most conceited nation in the world, 
the most self-sufficient, self-satisfied, and arrogant. But 
each individual man does not blow his own penny whistle ; 
they brag wholesale. Wellington he certainly left it for 
others to sound his praises though Mr. Binney thought the 
statue of Napoleon at the entrance of Apsley House was a 
little like " Who killed Cock Robin? I, said the spar 
row, with my bow and arrow. : But then it is so pleasant 
to hear them when it is a lump sum of praise, with no pri 
vate crowing praise of Trafalgar, Waterloo, the Scots 

Fighting this and fighting that, with their crack corps 
stirs the blood and every heart responds three times three ! 

But our people feel that they must send forth their own 
reported prowess : with an, * I did this and I did that. I 
know they did it ; but I hang my head. 

In those Tarleton Memoirs, in Lee s Memoirs, in Moul- 
trie s, and in Lord Rawdon s letters, self is never brought 
to the front. I have been reading them over and admire 
their modesty and good taste as much as their courage and 
cleverness. That kind of British eloquence takes me. It 
is not, " Soldats! marclions, gloire! " Not a bit of it; but, 



" Now, my lads, stand firm ! " and, " Now up, and let them 
have it! " 

Our name has not gone out of print. To-day, the Ex 
aminer, as usual, pitches into the President. It thinks 
Toombs, Cobb, Slidell, Lamar, or Chesnut would have been 
far better in the office. There is considerable choice in that 
lot. Five men more utterly dissimilar were never named 
in the same paragraph. 

September 19th. A painful piece of news came to us 
yesterday our cousin, Mrs. Witherspoon, of Society Hill, 
was found dead in her bed. She was quite well the night 
before. Killed, people say, by family sorrows. She was a 
proud and high-strung woman. Nothing shabby in word, 
thought, or deed ever came nigh her. She was of a warm 
and tender heart, too; truth and uprightness itself. Few 
persons have ever been more loved and looked up to. She 
was a very handsome old lady, of fine presence, dignified 
and commanding. 

" Killed by family sorrows," so they said when Mrs. 
John N. Williams died. So Uncle John said yesterday of 
his brother, Burwell. * Death deserts the army, said that 
quaint old soul, " and takes fancy shots of the most eccen 
tric kind nearer home." 

The high and disinterested conduct our enemies seem to 
expect of us is involuntary and unconscious praise. They 
pay us the compliment to look for from us (and execrate 
us for the want of it) a degree of virtue they were never 
able to practise themselves. It is a crowning misdemeanor 
for us to hold still in slavery those Africans whom they 
brought here from Africa, or sold to us when they found it 
did not pay to own them themselves. Gradually, they slid 
or sold them off down here; or freed them prospectively, 
giving themselves years in which to get rid of them in a 
remunerative way. We want to spread them over other 
lands, too West and South, or Northwest, where the cli 
mate would free them or kill them, or improve them out 


Sept. 0, 1861 CAMDEN, S. C. Sept. 19, 1861 


of the world, as our friends up North do the Indians. If 
they had been forced to keep the negroes in New England, 
I dare say the negroes might have shared the Indians fate, 
for they are wise in their generation, these Yankee children 
of light. Those pernicious Africans ! So have just spoken 
Mr. Chesnut and Uncle John, both ci-devant Union men, 
now utterly for State rights. 

It is queer how different the same man may appear 
viewed from different standpoints. * * What a perfect gen 
tleman," said one person of another; " so fine-looking, 
high-bred, distinguished, easy, free, and above all graceful 
in his bearing; so high-toned! He is always indignant at 
any symptom of wrong-doing. He is charming the man 
of all others I like to have strangers see a noble represen 
tative of our country. " " Yes, every word of that is true, 
was the reply. " He is all that. And then the other side 
of the picture is true, too. You can always find him. You 
know where to find him! Wherever there is a looking- 
glass, a bottle, or a woman, there will he be also." " My 
God! and you call yourself his friend." " Yes, I know 
him down to the ground. 

This conversation I overheard from an upper window 
when looking down on the piazza below a complicated 
character truly beyond La Bruyere with what Mrs. Pres 
ton calls refinement spread thin until it is skin-deep only. 

An iron steamer has run the blockade at Savannah. We 
now raise our wilted heads like flowers after a shower. 
This drop of good news revives us. 1 

1 By reason of illness, preoccupation in other affairs, and various 
deterrent causes besides, Mrs. Chesnut allowed a considerable period 
to elapse before making another entry in her diary. 




February 20, 1862 July 21, 1862 

OLUMBIA, S. C., February 20, 1862. Had an appe 
tite for my dainty breakfast. Always breakfast in 
bed now. But then, my Mercury contained such 
bad news. That is an appetizing style of matutinal news 
paper. Fort Donelson x has fallen, but no men fell with 
it. It is prisoners for them that we can not spare, or pris 
oners for us that we may not be able to feed : that is so much 
to be " foref ended," as Keitt says. They lost six thousand, 
we two thousand ; I grudge that proportion. In vain, alas ! 
ye gallant few few, but undismayed. Again, they make a 
stand. We have Buckner, Beauregard, and Albert Sidney 
Johnston. With such leaders and God s help we may be 
saved from the hated Yankees ; who knows ? 

February 21st. A crowd collected here last night and 
there was a serenade. I am like Mrs. Nickleby, who never 
saw a horse coming full speed but she thought the Cheery- 
bles had sent post-haste to take Nicholas into co-partner 
ship. So I got up and dressed, late as it was. I felt sure 
England had sought our alliance at last, and we would 

1 Fort Donelson stood on the Cumberland River about 60 miles 
northwest of Nashville. The Confederate garrison numbered about 
18,000 men. General Grant invested the Fort on February 13, 1862, 
and General Buckner, who commanded it, surrendered on February 
16th. The Federal force at the time of the surrender numbered 27,000 
men; their loss in killed and wounded being 2,660 men and the Confed 
erate loss about 2,000. 


Feb. 20, 1862 COLUMBIA, S. C. July 21, 1862 

make a Yorktown of it before long. Who was it? Will 
you ever guess? Artemus Goodwyn and General Owens, 
of Florida. 

Just then, Mr. Chesnut rushed in, put out the light, 
locked the door and sat still as a mouse. Rap, rap, came 
at the door. " I say, Chesnut, they are calling for you." 
At last we heard Janney (hotel-keeper) loudly proclaiming 
from the piazza that * Colonel Chesnut was not here at all, 
at all." After a while, when they had all gone from the 
street, and the very house itself had subsided into perfect 
quiet, the door again was roughly shaken. " I say, Ches 
nut, old fellow, come out I know you are there. Nobody 
here now wants to hear you make a speech. That crowd has 
all gone. We want a little quiet talk with you. I am just 
from Richmond. That was the open sesame, and to-day I 
hear none of the Richmond news is encouraging. Colonel 
Shaw is blamed for the shameful Roanoke surrender. 1 

Toombs is out on a rampage and swears he will not ac 
cept a seat in the Confederate Senate given in the insulting 
way his was by the Georgia Legislature: calls it shabby 
treatment, and adds that Georgia is not the only place 
where good men have been so ill used. 

The Governor and Council have fluttered the dove-cotes, 
or, at least, the tea-tables. They talk of making a call for 
all silver, etc. I doubt if we have enough to make the sac 
rifice worth while, but we propose to set the example. 

February 22d. What a beautiful day for our Confed 
erate President to be inaugurated! God speed him; God 
keep him; God save him! 

John Chesnut s letter was quite what we needed. In 
spirit it is all that one could ask. He says, " Our late 
reverses are acting finely with the army of the Potomac. 
A few more thrashings and every man will enlist for the 

1 General Burnside captured the Confederate garrison at Roanoke 
Island on February 8, 1862. 



war. Victories made us too sanguine and easy, not to say 
vainglorious. Now for the rub, and let them have it ! 

A lady wrote to Mrs. Bunch: " Dear Emma: When 
shall I call for you to go and see Madame de St. Andre ? 
She was answered : * Dear Lou : I can not go with you to 
see Madame de St. Andre, but will always retain the kind 
est feeling toward you on account of our past relations," 
etc. The astounded friend wrote to ask what all this meant. 
No answer came, and then she sent her husband to ask and 
demand an explanation. He was answered thus: " My 
dear fellow, there can be no explanation possible. Here 
after there will be no intercourse between my wife and 
yours; simply that, nothing more." So the men meet at 
the club as before, and there is no further trouble between 
them. The lady upon whom the slur is cast says, " and I 
am a woman and can t fight ! 

February 23d. While Mr. Chesnut was in town I was at 
the Prestons. John Cochran and some other prisoners had 
asked to walk over the grounds, visit the Hampton Gar 
dens, and some friends in Columbia. After the dreadful 
state of the public mind at the escape of one of the prison 
ers, General Preston was obliged to refuse his request. Mrs. 
Preston and the rest of us wanted him to say " Yes," and 
so find out who in Columbia were his treacherous friends. 
Pretty bold people they must be, to receive Yankee invaders 
in the midst of the row over one enemy already turned 
loose amid us. 

General Preston said: " We are about to sacrifice life 
and fortune for a fickle multitude who will not stand up 
to us at last. The harsh comments made as to his lenient 
conduct to prisoners have embittered him. I told him 
what I had heard Captain Trenholm say in his speech. He 
said he would listen to no criticism except from a man with 
a musket on his shoulder, and who had beside enlisted for 
the war, had given up all, and had no choice but to succeed 
or die. 


Feb. 20, 1862 COLUMBIA, S. C. July 21, 1862 

February 24th. Congress and the newspapers render 
one desperate, ready to cut one s own throat. They repre 
sent everything in our country as deplorable. Then comes 
some one back from our gay and gallant army at the front. 
The spirit of our army keeps us up after all. Letters from 
the army revive one. They come as welcome as the flowers 
in May. Hopeful and bright, utterly unconscious of our 
weak despondency. 

February 25th. They have taken at Nashville * more 
men than we had at Manassas; there was bad handling of 
troops, we poor women think, or this would not be. Mr. 
Venable added bitterly, Giving up our soldiers to the ene 
my means giving up the cause. We can not replace them. * 
The up-country men were Union men generally, and the 
low-country seceders. The former growl ; they never liked 
those aristocratic boroughs and parishes, they had them 
selves a good and prosperous country, a good constitution, 
and were satisfied. But they had to go to leave all and 
fight for the others who brought on all the trouble, and who 
do not show too much disposition to fight for themselves. 

That is the extreme up-country view. The extreme low- 
country says Jeff Davis is not enough out of the Union yet. 
His inaugural address reads as one of his speeches did four 
years ago in the United States Senate. 

A letter in a morning paper accused Mr. Chesnut of 
staying too long in Charleston. The editor was asked for 
the writer s name. He gave it as Little Moses, the Gover 
nor s secretary. When Little Moses was spoken to, in a 
great trepidation he said that Mrs. Pickens wrote it, and 
got him to publish it ; so it was dropped, for Little Moses is 
such an arrant liar no one can believe him. Besides, if that 
sort of thing amuses Mrs. Pickens, let her amuse herself. 

March 5th. Mary Preston went back to Mulberry with 

1 Nashville was evacuated by the Confederates under Albert Sidney 
Johnston, in February, 1862. 



me from Columbia. She found a man there tall enough 
to take her in to dinner Tom Boykin, who is six feet four, 
the same height as her father. Tom was very handsome in 
his uniform, and Mary prepared for a nice time, but he 
looked as if he would so much rather she did not talk to 
him, and he set her such a good example, saying never 
a word. 

Old Colonel Chesnut came for us. When the train 
stopped, Quashie, shiny black, was seen on his box, as 
glossy and perfect in his way as his blooded bays, but the 
old Colonel would stop and pick up the dirtiest little negro 
I ever saw who was crying by the roadside. This ragged 
little black urchin was made to climb up and sit beside 
Quash. It spoilt the symmetry of the turn-out, but it was 
a character touch, and the old gentleman knows no law but 
his own will. He had a biscuit in his pocket which he gave 
this sniffling little negro, who proved to be his man Scip s 

I was ill at Mulberry and never left my room. Doctor 
Boykin came, more military than medical. Colonel Ches 
nut brought him up, also Teams, who said he was down in 
the mouth. Our men were not fighting as they should. 
We had only pluck and luck, and a dogged spirit of fight 
ing, to offset their weight in men and munitions of war. I 
wish I could remember Teams s words ; this is only his idea. 
His language was quaint and striking no grammar, but 
no end of sense and good feeling. Old Colonel Chesnut, 
catching a word, began his litany, saying, " Numbers will 
tell," :< Napoleon, you know," etc., etc. 

At Mulberry the war has been ever afar off, but threats 
to take the silver came very near indeed silver that we had 
before the Kevolution, silver that Mrs. Chesnut brought 
from Philadelphia. Jack Cantey and Doctor Boykin came 
back on the train with us. Wade Hampton is the hero. 

Sweet May Dacre. Lord Byron and Disraeli make their 
rosebuds Catholic; May Dacre is another Aurora Kaby. I 


Feb. 20, 1862 COLUMBIA, S. C. July 21, 1862 

like Disraeli because I find so many clever things in him. 
I like the sparkle and the glitter. Carlyle does not hold up 
his hands in holy horror of us because of African slavery. 
Lord Lyons l has gone against us. Lord Derby and Louis 
Napoleon are silent in our hour of direst need. People call 
me Cassandra, for I cry that outside hope is quenched. 
From the outside no help indeed cometh to this beleaguered 

March 7th. Mrs. Middleton was dolorous indeed. Gen 
eral Lee had warned the planters about Combahee, etc., that 
they must take care of themselves now ; he could not do it. 
Confederate soldiers had committed some outrages on the 
plantations and officers had punished them promptly. She 
poured contempt upon Yancey s letter to Lord Russell. 2 
It was the letter of a shopkeeper, not in the style of a states 
man at all. 

We called to see Mary McDuffie. 3 She asked Mary Pres 
ton what Doctor Boykin had said of her husband as we came 
along in the train. She heard it was something very com 
plimentary. Mary P. tried to remember, and to repeat it 
all, to the joy of the other Mary, who liked to hear nice 
things about her husband. 

Mary was amazed to hear of the list of applicants for 
promotion. One delicate-minded person accompanied his 
demand for advancement by a request for a written descrip 
tion of the Manassas battle ; he had heard Colonel Chesnut 
give such a brilliant account of it in Governor Cobb s 

The Merrimac 4 business has come like a gleam of light- 

1 Richard, Lord Lyons, British minister to the United States from 
1858 to 1865. 

2 Lord Russell was Foreign Secretary under the Palmerston admin 
istration of 1859 to 1865. 

3 Mary McDuffie was the second wife of Wade Hampton. 

4 The Merrimac was formerly a 40-gun screw frigate of tho United 
States Navy. In April, 1861, when the Norfolk Navy-yard was aban- 



ning illumining a dark scene. Our sky is black and low 

The Judge saw his little daughter at my window and 
he came up. He was very smooth and kind. It was really 
a delightful visit ; not a disagreeable word was spoken. He 
abused no one whatever, for he never once spoke of any one 
but himself, and himself he praised without stint. He did 
not look at me once, though he spoke very kindly to me. 

March 10th. Second year of Confederate independ 
ence. I write daily for my own diversion. These memoires 
pour servir may at some future day afford facts about 
these times and prove useful to more important people than 
I am. I do not wish to do any harm or to hurt any one. If 
any scandalous stories creep in they can easily be burned. 
It is hard, in such a hurry as things are now, to separate 
the wheat from the chaff. Now that I have made my pro 
test and written down my wishes, I can scribble on with a 
free will and free conscience. 

Congress at the North is down on us. They talk largely 
of hanging slave-owners. They say they hold Port Royal, 
as we did when we took it originally from the aborigines, 
who fled before us; so we are to be exterminated and im 
proved, a I Indienne, from the face of the earth. 

Medea, when asked: " Country, wealth, husband, chil 
dren, all are gone; and now what remains? " answered: 
: Medea remains." " There is a time in most men s lives 
when they resemble Job, sitting among the ashes and drink 
ing in the full bitterness of complicated misfortune." 

doned by the United States she was sunk. Her hull was afterward 
raised by the Confederates and she was reconstructed on new plans, 
and renamed the Virginia. On March 2, 1862, she destroyed the 
Congress, a sailing-ship of 50 guns, and the Cumberland, a sailing-ship 
of 30 guns, at Newport News. On March 7th she attacked the Minne 
sota, but was met by the Monitor and defeated in a memorable engage 
ment. Many features of modern battle-ships have been derived from 
the Merrimac and Monitor. 


Feb. 20, 1862 COLUMBIA, S. C. July 21, 1862 

March llth. A freshman came quite eager to be in 
structed in all the wiles of society. He wanted to try his 
hand at a flirtation, and requested minute instructions, as 
he knew nothing whatever : he was so very fresh. * * Dance 
with her, he was told, and talk with her ; walk with her 
and flatter her; dance until she is warm and tired; then 
propose to walk in a cool, shady piazza. It must be a some 
what dark piazza. Begin your promenade slowly; warm 
up to your work; draw her arm closer and closer; then, 
break her wing." 

11 Heavens, what is that break her wing? " " Why, 
you do not know even that 1 Put your arm round her waist 
and kiss her. After that, it is all plain sailing. She comes 
down when you call like the coon to Captain Scott: You 
need not fire, Captain/ etc." 

The aspirant for fame as a flirt followed these lucid di 
rections literally, but when he seized the poor girl and 
kissed her, she uplifted her voice in terror, and screamed 
as if the house was on fire. So quick, sharp, and shrill 
were her yells for help that the bold flirt sprang over the 
banister, upon which grew a strong climbing rose. This he 
struggled through, and ran toward the college, taking a bee 
line. He was so mangled by the thorns that he had to go 
home and have them picked out by his family. The girl s 
brother challenged him. There was no mortal combat, how 
ever, for the gay young fellow who had led the freshman s 
ignorance astray stepped forward and put things straight. 
An explanation and an apology at every turn hushed it 
all up. 

Now, we all laughed at this foolish story most heartily. 
But Mr. Venable remained grave and preoccupied, and was 
asked : Why are you so unmoved ? It is funny. 
" I like more probable fun; I have been in college 
and I have kissed many a girl, but never a one scrome 

Last Saturday was the bloodiest we have had in 



proportion to numbers. 1 The enemy lost 1,500. The hand 
ful left at home are rushing to arms at last. Bragg has 
gone to join Beauregard at Columbus, Miss. Old Abe truly 
took the field in that Scotch cap of his. 

Mrs. McCord, 2 the eldest daughter of Langdon Cheves, 
got up a company for her son, raising it at her own ex 
pense. She has the brains and energy of a man. To-day 
she repeated a remark of a low-country gentleman, who is 
dissatisfied: " This Government (Confederate) protects 
neither person nor property. Fancy the scornful turn of 
her lip ! Some one asked for Langdon Cheves, her brother. 
" Oh, Langdon ! " she replied coolly, " he is a pure patriot; 
he has no ambition. While I was there, he was letting Con 
federate soldiers ditch through his garden and ruin him at 
their leisure." 

Cotton is five cents a pound and labor of no value at all ; 
it commands no price whatever. People gladly hire out 
their negroes to have them fed and clothed, which latter 
can not be done. Cotton osnaburg at 37% cents a yard, 
leaves no chance to clothe them. Langdon was for martial 
law and making the bloodsuckers disgorge their ill-gotten 
gains. We, poor fools, who are patriotically ruining our 
selves will see our children in the gutter while treacherous 
dogs of millionaires go rolling by in their coaches coaches 
that were acquired by taking advantage of our necessities. 

This terrible battle of the ships Monitor, Merrimac, 
etc. All hands on board the Cumberland went down. She 
fought gallantly and fired a round as she sank. The Con- 

1 On March 7 and 8, 1862, occurred the battle of Pea Ridge in 
Western Arkansas, where the Confederates were defeated, and on March 
8th and 9th, occurred the conflict in Hampton Roads between the war 
ships Merrimac, Cumberland, Congress, and Monitor. 

2 Louisa Susanna McCord, whose husband was David J. McCord, a 
lawyer of Columbia, who died in 1855. She was educated in Philadel 
phia, and was the author of several books of verse, including Caius 
Gracchus, a tragedy; she was also a brilliant pamphleteer. 

11 139 

Feb. 20, 1862 COLUMBIA, S. C. Jtdy 21, 1862 

gress ran up a white flag. She fired on our boats as they 
went up to take off her wounded. She was burned. The 
worst of it is that all this will arouse them to more furious 
exertions to destroy us. They hated us so before, but how 

In Columbia I do not know a half-dozen men who would 
not gaily step into Jeff Davis s shoes with a firm conviction 
that they would do better in every respect than he does. 
The monstrous conceit, the fatuous ignorance of these crit 
ics! It is pleasant to hear Mrs. McCord on this subject, 
when they begin to shake their heads and tell us what Jeff 
Davis ought to do. 

March 12th. In the naval battle the other day we had 
twenty-five guns in all. The enemy had fifty-four in the 
Cumberland, forty- four in the St. Lawrence, besides a fleet 
of gunboats, filled with rifled cannon. Why not? They 
can have as many as they please. No pent-up Utica con 
tracts their powers "; the whole boundless world being 
theirs to recruit in. Ours is only this one little spot of 
ground the blockade, or stockade, which hems us in with 
only the sky open to us, and for all that, how tender-footed 
and cautious they are as they draw near. 

An anonymous letter purports to answer Colonel Ches- 
nut s address to South Carolinians now in the army of the 
Potomac. The man says, All that bosh is no good. He 
knows lots of people whose fathers were notorious Tories 
in our war for independence and made fortunes by selling 
their country. Their sons have the best places, and they 
are cowards and traitors still. Names are given, of course. 

Floyd and Pillow J are suspended from their commands 

1 John D. Floyd, who had been Governor of Virginia from 1850 to 
1853, became Secretary of War in 1857 He was first in command 
at Fort Donelson. Gideon J. Pillow had been a Major-General of volun 
teers in the Mexican War and was second in command at Fort Donelson. 
He and Floyd escaped from the Fort when it was invested by Grant, 
leaving General Buckner to make the surrender. 



because of Fort Donelson. The people of Tennessee de 
mand a like fate for Albert Sidney Johnston. They say he 
is stupid. Can human folly go further than this Tennessee 
madness ? 

I did Mrs. Blank a kindness. I told the women when 
her name came up that she was childless now, but that she 
had lost three children. I hated to leave her all alone. 
Women have such a contempt for a childless wife. Now, 
they will be all sympathy and goodness. I took away her 
* reproach among women. 

March 13th. Mr. Chesnut fretting and fuming. From 
the poor old blind bishop downward everybody is besetting 
him to let off students, theological and other, from going 
into the army. One comfort is that the boys will go. Mr. 
Chesnut answers : * * Wait until you have saved your coun 
try before you make preachers and scholars. When you 
have a country, there will be no lack of divines, students, 
scholars to adorn and purify it. He says he is a one-idea 
man. That idea is to get every possible man into the ranks. 

Professor Le Conte l is an able auxiliary. He has un 
dertaken to supervise and carry on the powder-making en 
terprise the very first attempted in the Confederacy, and 
Mr. Chesnut is proud of it. It is a brilliant success, thanks 
to Le Conte. 

Mr. Chesnut receives anonymous letters urging him to 
arrest the Judge as seditious. They say he is a dangerous 
and disaffected person. His abuse of Jeff Davis and the 
Council is rabid. Mr. Chesnut laughs and throws the let 
ters into the fire. " Disaffected to Jeff Davis," says he; 

1 Joseph Le Conte, who afterward arose to much distinction as a 
geologist and writer of text-books on geology. He died in 1901, while he 
was connected with the University of California. His work at Columbia 
was to manufacture, on a large scale, medicines for the Confederate 
Army, his laboratory being the main source of supply. In Professor 
Le Conte s autobiography published in 1903, are several chapters de 
voted to his life in the South. 


Feb. 20, 1862 COLUMBIA, S. C. July 21, 1862 

" disaffected to the Council, that don t count. He knows 
what he is about; he would not injure his country for the 

Read Uncle Tom s Cabin again. These negro women 
have a chance here that women have nowhere else. They 
can redeem themselves the " impropers " can. They can 
marry decently, and nothing is remembered against these 
colored ladies. It is not a nice topic, but Mrs. Stowe revels 
in it. How delightfully Pharisaic a feeling it must be to 
rise superior and fancy we are so degraded as to defend 
and like to live with such degraded creatures around us 
such men as Legree and his women. 

The best way to take negroes to your heart is to get as 
far away from them as possible. As far as I can see, 
Southern women do all that missionaries could do to pre 
vent and alleviate evils. The social evil has not been sup 
pressed in old England or in New England, in London or in 
Boston. People in those places expect more virtue from a 
plantation African than they can insure in practise among 
themselves with all their own high moral surroundings 
light, education, training, and support. Lady Mary Mon 
tagu says, " Only men and women at last." " Male and 
female, created he them, says the Bible. There are cruel, 
graceful, beautiful mothers of angelic Evas North as well 
as South, I dare say. The Northern men and women who 
came here were always hardest, for they expected an Afri 
can to work and behave as a white man. We do not. 

I have often thought from observation truly that per 
fect beauty hardens the heart, and as to grace, what so 
graceful as a cat, a tigress, or a panther. Much love, ad 
miration, worship hardens an idol s heart. It becomes ut 
terly callous and selfish. It expects to receive all and to 
give nothing. It even likes the excitement of seeing people 
suffer. I speak now of what I have watched with horror 
and amazement. 

Topsys I have known, but none that were beaten or ill- 



used. Evas are mostly in the heaven of Mrs. Stowe s im 
agination. People can t love things dirty, ugly, and repul 
sive, simply because they ought to do so, but they can be 
good to them at a distance ; that s easy. You see, I can not 
rise very high ; I can only judge by what I see. 

March 14th. Thank God for a ship! It has run the 
blockade with arms and ammunition. 

There are no negro sexual relations half so shocking as 
Mormonism. And yet the United States Government makes 
no bones of receiving Mormons into its sacred heart. Mr. 
Venable said England held her hand over " the malignant 
and the turbaned Turk " to save and protect him, slaves, 
seraglio, and all. But she rolls up the whites of her eyes 
at us when slavery, bad as it is, is stepping out into freedom 
every moment through Christian civilization. They do not 
grudge the Turk even his bag and Bosphorus privileges. 
To a recalcitrant wife it is, " Here yawns the sack; there 
rolls the sea," etc. And France, the bold, the brave, the 
ever free, she has not been so tender- footed in Algiers. But 
then the ll you are another " argument is a shabby one. 
" You see," says Mary Preston sagaciously, " we are white 
Christian descendants of Huguenots and Cavaliers, and 
they expect of us different conduct." 

Went in Mrs. Preston s landau to bring my boarding- 
school girls here to dine. At my door met J. F., who wanted 
me then and there to promise to help him with his commis 
sion or put him in the way of one. At the carriage steps I 
was handed in by Gus Smith, who wants his brother made 
commissary. The beauty of it all is they think I have some 
influence, and I have not a particle. The subject of Mr. 
Chesnut s military affairs, promotions, etc., is never men 
tioned by me. 

March 15th. When we came home from Richmond, 
there stood Warren Nelson, propped up against my door, 
lazily waiting for me, the handsome creature. He said he 
meant to be heard, so I walked back with him to the draw- 


Fd>. 20, 1862 COLUMBIA, S. C. July 21, 1862 

ing-room. They are wasting their time dancing attendance 
on me. I can not help them. Let them shoulder their 
musket and go to the wars like men. 

After tea came " Mars Kit "he said for a talk, but 
that Mr. Preston would riot let him have, for Mr. Preston 
had arrived some time before him. Mr. Preston said 
" Mars Kit " thought it " bad form " to laugh. After that 
you may be sure a laugh from " Mars Kit " was secured. 
Again and again, he was forced to laugh with a will. I re 
versed Oliver Wendell Holmes s good resolution never 
to be as funny as he could. I did my very utmost. 

Mr. Venable interrupted the fun, which was fast and 
furious, with the very best of bad news ! Newbern shelled 
and burned, cotton, turpentine everything. There were 
5,000 North Carolinians in the fray, 12,000 Yankees. Now 
there stands Goldsboro. One more step and we are cut in 
two. The railroad is our backbone, like the Blue Ridge and 
the Alleghanies, with which it runs parallel. So many dis 
comforts, no wonder we are down-hearted. 

Mr. Venable thinks as we do Garnett is our most thor 
ough scholar ; Lamar the most original, and the cleverest of 
our men L. Q. C. Lamar time fails me to write all his 
name. Then, there is R. M. T. Hunter. Muscoe Russell 
Garnett and his Northern wife : that match was made at my 
house in Washington when Garnett was a member of the 
United States Congress. 

March 17th. Back to the Congaree House to await my 
husband, who has made a rapid visit to the Wateree region. 
As we drove up Mr. Chesnut said : * Did you see the stare 
of respectful admiration E. R. bestowed upon you, so cu 
riously prolonged ? I could hardly keep my countenance. 
" Yes, my dear child, I feel the honor of it, though my in 
dividual self goes for nothing in it. I am the wife of the 
man who has the appointing power just now, with so many 
commissions to be filled. I am nearly forty, and they do my 
understanding the credit to suppose I can be made to be- 



lieve they admire my mature charms. They think they fool 
me into thinking that they believe me charming. There is 
hardly any farce in the world more laughable. 

Last night a house was set on fire ; last week two houses. 
4 The red cock crows in the barn ! Our troubles thicken, 
indeed, when treachery comes from that dark quarter. 

When the President first offered Johnston Petti grew a 
brigadier-generalship, his answer was : Not yet. Too 
many men are ahead of me who have earned their promo 
tion in the field. I will come after them, not before. So 
far I have done nothing to merit reward, etc. He would 
not take rank when he could get it. I fancy he may cool his 
heels now waiting for it. He was too high and mighty. 
There was another conscientious man Burnet, of Ken 
tucky. He gave up his regiment to his lieutenant-colonel 
when he found the lieutenant-colonel could command the 
regiment and Burnet could not maneuver it in the field. He 
went into the fight simply as an aide to Floyd. Modest 
merit just now is at a premium. 

William Gilmore Simms is here ; read us his last poetry ; 
have forgotten already what it was about. It was not tire 
some, however, and that is a great thing when people will 
persist in reading their own rhymes. 

I did not hear what Mr. Preston was saying. " The 
last piece of Richmond news, Mr. Chesnut said as he went 
away, and he looked so fagged out I asked no questions. I 
knew it was bad. 

At daylight there was a loud knocking at my door. I 
hurried on a dressing-gown and flew to open the door. 
;< Mrs. Chesnut, Mrs. M. says please don t forget her son. 
Mr. Chesnut, she hears, has come back. Please get her son a 
commission. He must have an office." I shut the door in 
the servant s face. If I had the influence these foolish 
people attribute to me why should I not help my own? I 
have a brother, two brothers-in-law, and no end of kin, all 
gentlemen privates, and privates they would stay to the 

Feb. 20, 1862 COLUMBIA, S. C. July 21, 1862 

end of time before they said a word to me about commis 
sions. After a long talk we were finally disgusted and the 
men went off to the bulletin-board. Whatever else it shows, 
good or bad, there is always woe for some house in the killed 
and wounded. We have need of stout hearts. I feel a 
sinking of mine as we drive near the board. 

March 18th. My war archon is beset for commissions, 
and somebody says for every one given, you make one in- 
grate and a thousand enemies. 

As I entered Miss Mary Stark s I whispered: " He 
has promised to vote for Louis. What radiant faces. To 
my friend, Miss Mary said, " Your son-in-law, what is he 
doing for his country? " " He is a tax collector." Then 
spoke up the stout old girl : Look at my cheek ; it is red 
with blushing for you. A great, hale, hearty young man ! 
Fie on him ! fie on him ! for shame ! Tell his wife ; run him 
out of the house with a broomstick; send him down to the 
coast at least." Fancy my cheeks. I could not raise my 
eyes to the poor lady, so mercilessly assaulted. My face 
was as hot with compassion as the outspoken Miss Mary 
pretended hers to be with vicarious mortification. 

Went to see sweet and saintly Mrs. Bartow. She read 
us a letter from Mississippi not so bad: " More men 
there than the enemy suspected, and torpedoes to blow up 
the wretches when they came." Next to see Mrs. Izard. 
She had with her a relative just from the North. This lady 
had asked Seward for passports, and he told her to " hold 
on a while ; the road to South Carolina will soon be open to 
all, open and safe." To-day Mrs. Arthur Hayne heard 
from her daughter that Richmond is to be given up. Mrs. 
Buell is her daughter. 

Met Mr. Chesnut, who said : New Madrid l has been 
given up. I do not know any more than the dead where 
New Madrid is. It is bad, all the same, this giving up. I 

1 New Madrid, Missouri, had been under siege since March 3, 1862. 



can t stand it. The hemming-in process is nearly complete. 
The ring of fire is almost unbroken." 

Mr. Chesnut s negroes offered to fight for him if he 
would arm them. He pretended to believe them. He says 
one man can not do it. The whole country must agree to it. 
He would trust such as he would select, and he would give 
so many acres of land and his freedom to each one as he en 

Mrs. Albert Rhett came for an office for her son John. 
I told her Mr. Chesnut would never propose a kinsman for 
office, but if any one else would bring him forward he would 
vote for him certainly, as he is so eminently fit for position. 
Now he is a private. 

March 19th. He who runs may read. Conscription 
means that we are in a tight place. This war was a volun 
teer business. To-morrow conscription begins the dernier 
ressort. The President has remodeled his Cabinet, leaving 
Bragg for North Carolina. His War Minister is Randolph, 
of Virginia. A Union man par excellence, Watts, of Ala 
bama, is Attorney-General. And now, too late by one year, 
when all the mechanics are in the army, Mallory begins to 
telegraph Captain Ingraham to build ships at any expense. 
We are locked in and can not get the requisites for naval 
architecture/ says a magniloquent person. 

Henry Frost says all hands wink at cotton going out. 
Why not send it out and buy ships ? Every now and then 
there is a holocaust of cotton burning," says the magnilo 
quent. Conscription has waked the Rip Van Winkles. The 
streets of Columbia were never so crowded with men. To 
fight and to be made to fight are different things. 

To my small wits, whenever people were persistent, 
united, and rose in their might, no general, however great, 
succeeded in subjugating them. Have we not swamps, for 
ests, rivers, mountains every natural barrier? The Car 
thaginians begged for peace because they were a luxurious 
people and could not endure the hardship of war, though 


Feb. 20, 1862 COLUMBIA, S. C. July 21, 1862 


the enemy suffered as sharply as they did! " Factions 
among themselves is the rock on which we split. Now for 
the great soul who is to rise up and lead us. Why tarry his 
footsteps ? 

March 20th. The Merrimac is now called the Virginia. 
I think these changes of names so confusing and so sense 
less. Like the French " Royal Bengal Tiger," " National 
Tiger," etc. Rue this, and next day Rue that, the very 
days and months a symbol, and nothing signified. 

I was lying on the sofa in my room, and two men slowly 
walking up and down the corridor talked aloud as if neces 
sarily all rooms were unoccupied at this midday hour. I 
asked Maum Mary who they were. " Yeadon and Barn- 
well Rhett, Jr." They abused the Council roundly, and 
my husband s name arrested my attention. Afterward, 
when Yeadon attacked Mr. Chesnut, Mr. Chesnut sur 
prised him by knowing beforehand all he had to say. Nat 
urally I had repeated the loud interchange of views I had 
overheard in the corridor. 

First, Nathan Davis called. Then Gonzales, who pre 
sented a fine, soldierly appearance in his soldier clothes, 
and the likeness to Beauregard was greater than ever. 
Nathan, all the world knows, is by profession a handsome 

General Gonzales told us what in the bitterness of his 
soul he had written to Jeff Davis. He regretted that he had 
not been his classmate; then he might have been as well 
treated as Northrop. In any case he would not have been 
refused a brigadiership, citing General Trapier and Tom 
Drayton. He had worked for it, had earned it; they had 
not. To his surprise, Mr. Davis answered him, and in a 
sharp note of four pages. Mr. Davis demanded from whom 
he quoted, " not his classmate." General Gonzales re 
sponded, from the public voice only. Now he will fight 
for us all the same, but go on demanding justice from Jeff 
Davis until he get his clues at least, until one of them gets 








(The author s sister, Kate.) 



his dues, for he means to go on hitting Jeff Davis over the 
head whenever he has a chance. 

" I am afraid," said I, " you will find it a hard head 
to crack. He replied in his flowery Spanish way : * Jeff 
Davis will be the sun, radiating all light, heat, and patron 
age ; he will not be a moon reflecting public opinion, for he 
has the soul of a despot; he delights to spite public opinion. 
See, people abused him for making Crittenden brigadier. 
Straightway he made him major-general, and just after a 
blundering, besotted defeat, too." Also, he told the Presi 
dent in that letter: " Napoleon made his generals after 
great deeds on their part, and not for having been educated 
at St. Cyr, or Brie, or the Polytechnique, etc., etc. Nathan 
Davis sat as still as a Sioux warrior, not an eyelash moved. 
And yet he said afterward that he was amused while the 
Spaniard railed at his great namesake. 

Gonzales said : * Mrs. Slidell would proudly say that she 
was a Creole. They were such fools, they thought Creole 
meant Here Nathan interrupted pleasantly : " At the 
St. Charles, in New Orleans, on the bill of fare were 
Creole eggs. When they were brought to a man who had 
ordered them, with perfect simplicity, he held them up, 
Why, they are only hens eggs, after all. What in Heav 
en s name he expected them to be, who can say? " smiled 
Nathan the elegant. 

One lady says (as I sit reading in the drawing-room 
window while Maum Mary puts my room to rights) : "I 
clothe my negroes well. I could not bear to see them in 
dirt and rags; it would be unpleasant to me." Another 
lady : Yes. Well, so do I. But not fine clothes, you 
know. I feel now it was one of our sins as a nation, the 
way we indulged them in sinful finery. We will be pun 
ished for it." 

Last night, Mrs. Pickens met General Cooper. Madam 
knew General Cooper only as our adjutant-general, and 
Mr. Mason ? s brother-in-law. In her slow, graceful, impress- 


Feb. 20, 1862 COLUMBIA, S. C. July 21, 1862 

ive way, her beautiful eyes eloquent with feeling, she in 
veighed against Mr. Davis s wickedness in always sending 
men born at the North to command at Charleston. General 
Cooper is on his way to make a tour of inspection there now. 
The dear general settled his head on his cravat with the aid 
of his forefinger ; he tugged rather more nervously with the 
something that is always wrong inside of his collar, and 
looked straight up through his spectacles. Some one 
crossed the room, stood back of Mrs. Pickens, and mur 
mured in her ear,, " General Cooper was born in New 
York." Sudden silence. 

Dined with General Cooper at the Prestons. General 
Hampton and Blanton Duncan were there also; the latter 
a thoroughly free-and-easy Western man, handsome and 
clever; more audacious than either, perhaps. He pointed 
to Buck Sally Buchanan Campbell Preston. " What s 
that girl laughing at? " Poor child, how amazed she 
looked. He bade them * not despair ; all the nice young men 
would not be killed in the war ; there would be a few left. 
For himself, he could give them no hope ; Mrs. Duncan was 
uncommonly healthy." Mrs. Duncan is also lovely. We 
have seen her. 

March 24th. I was asked to the Tognos tea, so refused 
a drive with Mary Preston. As I sat at my solitary case 
mate, waiting for the time to come for the Tognos, saw 
Mrs. Preston s landau pass, and Mr. Venable making Mary 
laugh at some of his army stories, as only Mr. Venable can. 
Already I felt that I had paid too much for my whistle 
that is, the Togno tea. The Gibbeses, Trenholms, Edmund 
Rhett, there. Edmund Rhett has very fine eyes and makes 
fearful play with them. He sits silent and motionless, with 
his hands on his knees, his head bent forward, and his eyes 
fixed upon you. I could think of nothing like it but a set 
ter and a covey of partridges. 

As to President Davis, he sank to profounder deeps of 
abuse of him than even Gonzales. I quoted Yancey: " A 



crew may not like their captain, but if they are mad enough 
to mutiny while a storm is raging, all hands are bound 
to go to the bottom. After that I contented myself with a 
mild shake of the head when I disagreed with him, and at 
last I began to shake so persistently it amounted to in 
cipient palsy. " Jeff Davis," he said, " is conceited, 
wrong-headed, wranglesome, obstinate a traitor." " Now 
I have borne much in silence, said I at last, * but that is 
pernicious nonsense. Do not let us waste any more time 
listening to your quotations from the Mercury." 

He very good-naturedly changed the subject, which was 
easy just then, for a delicious supper was on the table 
ready for us. But Doctor Gibbes began anew the fighting. 
He helped me to some pate " Not foie gras," said 
Madame Togno, " pate perdreaux." Doctor Gibbes, how 
ever, gave it a flavor of his own. " Eat it," said he, " it 
is good for you; rich and wholesome; healthy as cod-liver 

A queer thing happened. At the post-office a man saw a 
small boy open with a key the box of the Governor and the 
Council, take the contents of the box and run for his life. 
Of course, this man called to the urchin to stop. The urchin 
did not heed, but seeing himself pursued, began tearing up 
the letters and papers. He was caught and the fragments 
were picked up. Finding himself a prisoner, he pointed 
out the negro who gave him the key. The negro was ar 

Governor J^ickens called tojsee me to-day. We began 
with Fort Sumter. For an hour did we hammer at that 
fortress. We took it, gun by gun. He was very pleasant 
and friendly in his manner. 

James Chesnut has been so nice this winter; so reason 
able and considerate that is, for a man. The night I 
came from Madame Togno s, instead of making a row about 
the lateness of the hour, he said he was so wide awake and 
so hungry." I put on my dressing-gown and scrambled 


Feb. 20, 1862 COLUMBIA, S. C. July 81, 1862 

some eggs, etc., there on our own fire. And with our feet on 
the fender and the small supper-table between us, we en 
joyed the supper and glorious gossip. Rather a pleasant 
state of things when one s own husband is in good humor 
and cleverer than all the men outside. 

This afternoon, the entente cordiale still subsisting, 
Maum Mary beckoned me out mysteriously, but Mr. Ches- 
nut said : Speak out, old woman ; nobody here but my 
self. " * * Mars Nathum Davis wants to speak to her, said 
she. So I hurried off to the drawing-room, Maum Mary 
flapping her down-at-the-heels shoes in my wake. " He s 
gwine bekase somebody done stole his boots. How could he 
stay bedout boots? " So Nathan said good-by. Then 
we met General Gist, Maum Mary still hovering near, and I 
congratulated him on being promoted. He is now a brig 
adier. This he received with modest complaisance. " I 
knowed he was a general," said Maum Mary as he passed 
on, he told me as soon as he got in his room bef o his boy 
put down his trunks. 

As Nathan, the unlucky, said good-by, he informed me 
that a Mr. Reed from Montgomery was in the drawing- 
room and wanted to see me. Mr. Reed had traveled with 
our foreign envoy, Yancey. I was keen for news from 
abroad. Mr. Reed settled that summarily. " Mr. Yancey 
says we need not have one jot of hope. He could bowstring 
Mallory for not buying arms in time. The very best citi 
zens wanted to depose the State government and take 
things into their own hands, the powers that be being in 
efficient. Western men are hurrying to the front, bestirring 
themselves. In two more months we shall be ready." 
What could I do but laugh? I do hope the enemy will be 
considerate and charitable enough to wait for us. 

Mr. Reed s calm faith in the power of Mr. Yancey s 
eloquence was beautiful to see. He asked for Mr. Chesnut. 
I went back to our rooms, swelling with news like a pouter 
pigeon. Mr. Chesnut said : Well ! four hours a call 



from Nathan Davis of four hours ! : Men are too absurd ! 
So I bear the honors of my forty years gallantly. I can 
but laugh. * Mr. Nathan Davis went by the five-o clock 
train, I said ; * it is now about six or seven, maybe eight. 
I have had so many visitors. Mr. Reed, of Alabama, is ask 
ing for you out there." He went without a word, but I 
doubt if he went to see Mr. Reed, my laughing had made 
him so angry. 

At last Lincoln threatens us with a proclamation abolish 
ing slavery 7 ^ here in the free SouthernConf ederacy ; and 
they say McClellan is deposed. They_want more fighting 
I mean the government, whose"skiiis are safe, they want 
more fighting, and trust to luck for the skill of the new 

March 28th. I did leave with regret Maum Mary. She 
was such a good, well-informed old thing. My Molly, 
though perfection otherwise, does not receive the confiden 
tial communications of new-made generals at the earliest 
moment. She is of very limited military information. 
Maum Mary was the comfort of my life. She saved me 
from all trouble as far as she could. Seventy, if she is a 
day, she is spry and active as a cat, of a curiosity that 
knows no bounds, black and clean; also, she knows a joke 
at first sight, and she is honest. I fancy the negroes are 
ashamed to rob people as careless as James Chesnut and 

One night, just before we left the Congaree House, Mr. 
Chesnut had forgotten to tell some all-important thing to 

1 The Emancipation Proclamation was not actually issued until 
September 22, 1862, when it was a notice to the Confederates to return 
to the Union, emancipation being proclaimed as a result of their failure 
to do so. The real proclamation, freeing the slaves, was delayed until 
January 1, 1863, when it was put forth as a war measure. Mrs. Chesnut s 
reference is doubtless to President Lincoln s Message to Congress, 
March 6, 1862, in which he made recommendations regarding the abo 
lition of slavery. 


Feb. 20, 1862 COLUMBIA, S. C. July 21, 1862 

Governor Gist, who was to leave on a public mission next 
day. So at the dawn of day he put on his dressing-gown and 
went to the Governor s room. He found the door unlocked 
and the Governor fast asleep. He shook him. Half-asleep, 
the Governor sprang up and threw his arms around Mr. 
Chesnut s neck and said : * * Honey, is it you ? The mis 
take was rapidly set right, and the bewildered plenipoten 
tiary was given his instructions. Mr. Chesnut came into 
my room, threw himself on the sofa, and nearly laughed 
himself to extinction, imitating again and again the pa 
thetic tone of the Governor s greeting. 

Mr. Chesnut calls Lawrence * Adolphe, but says he is 
simply perfect as a servant. Mary Stevens said: " I 
thought Cousin James the laziest man alive until I knew his 
man, Lawrence." Lawrence will not move an inch or lift 
a finger for any one but his master. Mrs. Middleton po 
litely sent him on an errand; Lawrence, too, was very po 
lite; hours after, she saw him sitting on the fence of the 
front yard. Didn t you go ? " she asked. * No, ma am. 
I am waiting for Mars Jeems." Mrs. Middleton calls him 
now, " Mr. Take-it-Easy." 

My very last day s experience at the Congaree. I was 
waiting for Mars Jeems in the drawing-room when a lady 
there declared herself to be the wife of an officer in Cling- 
man s regiment. A gentleman who seemed quite friendly 
with her, told her all Mr. Chesnut said, thought, intended 
to do, wrote, and felt. I asked: " Are you certain of all 
these things you say of Colonel Chesnut? " The man 
hardly deigned to notice this impertinent interruption from 
a stranger presuming to speak but who had not been intro 
duced! After he went out, the wife of Clingman s officer 
was seized with an intuitive curiosity. Madam, will you 
tell me your name? " I gave it, adding, " I dare say I 
showed myself an intelligent listener when my husband s 
affairs were under discussion. At first, I refused to give 
my name because it would have embarrassed her friend if 



she had told him who I was. The man was Mr. Chesnut s 
secretary, but I had never seen him before. 

A letter from Kate says she had been up all night pre 
paring David s things. Little Serena sat up and helped 
her mother. They did not know that they would ever see 
him again. Upon reading it, I wept and James Chesnut 
cursed the Yankees. 

Gave the girls a quantity of flannel for soldiers shirts ; 
also a string of pearls to be raffled for at the Gunboat Fair. 
Mary Witherspoon has sent a silver tea-pot. We do not 
spare our precious things now. Our silver and gold, what 
are they? when we give up to war our beloved. 

April 2d. Dr. Trezevant, attending Mr. Chesnut, who 
was ill, came and found his patient gone ; he could not stand 
the news of that last battle. He got up and dressed, weak 
as he was, and went forth to hear what he could for him 
self. The doctor was angry with me for permitting this, 
and more angry with him for such folly. I made him listen 
to the distinction between feminine folly and virulent va 
garies and nonsense. He said : He will certainly be sali 
vated after all that calomel out in this damp weather. 

To-day, the ladies in their landaus were bitterly attacked 
by the morning paper for lolling back in their silks and 
satins, with tall footmen in livery, driving up and down 
the streets while the poor soldiers wives were on the side 
walks. It is the old story of rich and poor ! My little ba 
rouche is not here, nor has James Chesnut any of his horses 
here, but then I drive every day with Mrs. McCord and 
Mrs. Preston, either of whose turnouts fills the bill. The 
Governor s carriage, horses, servants, etc., are splendid 
just what they should be. Why not 1 

April 14th. Our Fair is in full blast. We keep a 
restaurant. Our waitresses are Mary and Buck Preston, 
Isabella Martin, and Grace Elmore. 

April 15th. Trescott is too clever ever to be a bore; 
that was proved to-day, for he stayed two hours ; as usual, 
12 155 

Feb. 20, 1862 COLUMBIA, S. C. July 21, 1862 

i i. i^i^ii.a ! i uj^mJL rjT.a.-Lj . ~m ^^^^rriMMmM 

Mr. Chesnut said " four." Trescott was very surly; calls 
himself ex-Secretary of State of the United States; now, 
nothing in particular of South Carolina or the Confederate 
States. Then he yawned, " What a bore this war is. I 
wish it was ended, one way or another." He speaks of 
going across the border and taking service in Mexico. 
" Rubbish, not much Mexico for you," I answered. An 
other patriot came then and averred, * * I will take my fam 
ily back to town, that we may all surrender together. I 
gave it up early in the spring." Trescott made a face be 
hind backs, and said: " Lache! f> 

The enemy have flanked Beauregard at Nashville. 
There is grief enough for Albert Sidney Johnston now; we 
begin to see what we have lost. We were pushing them into 
the river when General Johnston was wounded. Beaure 
gard was lying in his tent, at the rear, in a green sickness 
melancholy but no matter what the name of the malady. 
He was too slow to move, and lost all the advantage gained 
by our dead hero. 1 Without him there is no head to our 
Western army. Pulaski has fallen. What more is there 
to fall? 

April 15th. Mrs. Middleton : * How did you settle 
Molly s little difficulty with Mrs. McMahan, that l piece of 
her mind that Molly gave our landlady ? ll Oh, paid our 
way out of it, of course, and I apologized for Molly ! 

Gladden, the hero of the Palmettos in Mexico, is killed. 
Shiloh has been a dreadful blow to us. Last winter Stephen, 
my brother, had it in his power to do such a nice thing for 
Colonel Gladden. In the dark he heard his name, also that 
he had to walk twenty-five miles in Alabama mud or go on 

1 The battle of Shiloh, or Pittsburg Landing, in Tennessee, eighty- 
eight miles east of Memphis, had been fought on April 6 and 7, 
1862. The Federals were commanded by General Grant who, on the 
second day, was reenforced by General Buell. The Confederates were 
commanded by Albert Sidney Johnston on the first day, when Johnston 
was killed, and on the second day by General Beauregard. 



an ammunition wagon. So he introduced himself as a 
South Carolinian to Colonel Gladden, whom he knew only 
by reputation as colonel of the Palmetto regiment in the 
Mexican war. And they drove him in his carriage comfort 
ably to where he wanted to go a night drive of fifty miles 
for Stephen, for he had the return trip, too. I would 
rather live in Siberia, worse still, in Sahara, than live in a 
country surrendered to Yankees. 

The Carolinian says the conscription bill passed by Con 
gress is fatal to our liberties as a people. Let us be a people 
" certain and sure," as poor Tom B. said, and then talk of 
rebelling against our home government. 

Sat up all night. Read Eothen straight through, our 
old Wiley and Putnam edition that we bought in London in 
1845. How could I sleep? The power they are bringing 
to bear against our country is tremendous. Its weight may 
be irresistible I dare not think of that, however. 

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

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

To-day, the waters of this stagnant pool were wildly 
stirred. The President telegraphed for my husband to 
come on to Richmond, and offered him a place on his staff. 
I was a joyful woman. It was a way opened by Providence 


Feb. 20, 1862 COLUMBIA, S. C. July 21, 1862 

from this Slough of Despond, this Council whose counsel no 
one takes. I wrote to Mr. Davis, "With thanks, and beg 
ging your pardon, how I would like to go." Mrs. Preston 
agrees with me, Mr. Chesnut ought to go. Through Mr. 
Chesnut the President might hear many things to the ad 
vantage of our State, etc. 

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

April 23d. On April 23, 1840, I was married, aged 
seventeen ; consequently on the 31st of March, 1862, I was 
thirty-nine. I saw a wedding to-day from my window, 
which opens on Trinity Church. Nanna Shand married a 
Doctor Wilson. Then, a beautiful bevy of girls rushed into 
my room. Such a flutter and a chatter. Well, thank 
Heaven for a wedding. It is a charming relief from the 
dismal litany tff-trnr~tlaily songT" 

A letter to^Hay from our octogenarian at Mulberry. 
His nephew, Jack Deas, had two horses shot under him ; the 
old Colonel has his growl, " That s enough for glory, and 
no hurt after all." He ends, however, with his never-fail 
ing refrain : We can t fight all the world ; two and two only 
make four; it can t make a thousand; numbers will not lie. 
He says he has lost half a million already in railroad bonds, 
bank stock, Western notes of hand, not to speak of negroes 
to be freed, and lands to be confiscated, for he takes the 
gloomiest views of all things. 

April 26th. Doleful dumps, alarm-bells ringing. Tele 
grams say the mortar fleet has passed the forts at New 
Orleans. Down into the very depths of despair are we. 

April 27th. New Orleans gone * and with it the Con- 

1 New Orleans had been seized by the Confederates at the outbreak 
of the war. Steps to capture it were soon taken by the Federals and 
on April 18, 1862, the mortar flotilla, under Farragut, opened fire 



federacy. That Mississippi rniT\3jTg if lost. The Confed 
eracy has been done to death by the politicians. What 
wonder we are lost. 

The soldiefgrhave clonp their duty. All honor to the 
army. Statesmen as busy as bees about their own places, 
or their personal honor, too busy to see the enemy at a dis 
tance. With a microscope they were examining their own 
interests, or their own wrongs, forgetting the interests of the 
people they represented. They were concocting newspaper 
paragraphs to injure the government. No matter how 
vital it may be, nothing can be kept from the enemy. They 
must publish themselves, night and day, what they are do 
ing, or the omniscient Buncombe will forget them. 

This fall of New Orleans means utter ruin to the pri 
vate fortunes of the Prestons. Mr. Preston came from New 
Orleans so satisfied w r ith Mansfield Lovell and the tremen 
dous steam-rams he saw there. While in New Orleans 
Burnside offered Mr. Preston five hundred thousand dol 
lars, a debt due to him from Burnside, and he refused to 
take it. He said the money was safer in Burnside s hands 
than his. And so it may prove, so ugly is the outlook now. 
Burnside is wide awake ; he is not a man to be caught nap 

Mary Preston was saying she had asked the Hamptons 
how they relished the idea of being paupers. If the country 
is saved none of us will care for that sort of thing. Philo 
sophical and patriotic, Mr. Chesnut came in, saying: 
Conrad has been telegraphed from New Orleans that the 
great iron-clad Louisiana went down at the first shot." 
Mr. Chesnut and Mary Preston walked off, first to the bul 
letin-board and then to the Prestons . 

on its protecting forts. Making little impression on them, Farragut 
ran boldly past the forts and destroyed the Confederate fleet, compris 
ing 13 gunboats and two ironclads. On April 27th he took formal 
possession of the city. 


Feb. 20, 1862 COLUMBIA, S. C. July 21, 1862 

April 29th. A grand smash, the news from New Or 
leans fatal to us. Met Mr. Weston. He wanted to know 
where he could find a place of safety for two hundred ne 
groes. I looked into his face to see if he were in earnest; 
then to see if he were sane. There was a certain set of 
two hundred negroes that had grown to be a nuisance. Ap 
parently all the white men of the family had felt bound 
to stay at home to take care of them. There are people 
who still believe negroes property like Noah s neighbors, 
who insisted that the Deluge would only be a little shower 
after all. 

These negroes, however^ were Plowden Weston s, a to 
tally different part of speech. He gave field-rifles to one 
company and forty thousand dollars to another. He is 
away with our army at Corinth. So I said: " You may 
rely upon Mr. Chesnut, who will assist you to his uttermost 
in finding a home for these people. Nothing belonging to 
that patriotic gentleman shall come to grief if we have to 
take charge of them on our own place. Mr. Chesnut did 
get a place for them, as I said he would. 

Had to go to the Governor s or they would think we 
had hoisted the black flag. Heard there we are going to 
be beaten as Cortez beat the Mexicans by superior arms. 
Mexican bows and arrows made a poor showing in the face 
of Spanish accoutrements. Our enemies have such superior 
weapons of war, we hardly any but what we capture from 
them in the fray. The Saxons and the Normans were in 
the same plight. 

War seems a game of chess, but we have an unequal 
f number of pawns to begin with. We have knights, kings, 
queens, bishops, and castles enough. But our skilful gen 
erals, whenever they can not arrange the board to suit them 
exactly, burn up everything and march away. We want 
them to save the country. They seem to think their whole 
duty is to destroy ships and save the army. 

Mr. Robert Barnwell wrote that he had to hang his 



head for South Carolina. We had not furnished our quota 
of the new levy, five thousand men. To-day Colonel Ches- 
nut published his statement to show that we have sent thir 
teen thousand, instead of the mere number required of us ; 
so Mr. Barnwell can hold up his head again. 

April 30lh. The last day of this month of calamities. 
Lovell left the women and children to be shelled, and took 
the army to a safe place. I do not understand why we do 
not send the women and children to the safe place and let 
the army stay where the fighting is to be. Armies are to 
save, not to be saved. At least, to be saved is not their 
raison d etre exactly. If this goes on the spirit of our peo 
ple will be broken. One ray of comfort comes from Henry 
Marshall. Our Army of the Peninsula is fine ; so good I 
do not think McClellan will venture to attack it. So mote 
it be. 

May 6th. Mine is a painful, self-imposed task : but why 
write when I have nothing to chronicle but disaster ? x So 
I read instead : First, Consuelo, then Columba, two ends of 
the pole certainly, and then a translated edition of Elective 
Affinities. Food enough for thought in every one of this 
odd assortment of books. 

At the Prestons , where I am staying (because Mr. 
Chesnut has gone to see his crabbed old father, whom he 
loves, and who is reported ill), I met Christopher Hamp 
ton. He tells us Wigf all is out on a warpath ; wants them 
to strike for Maryland. The President s opinion of the * 
move is not given. Also Mr. Hampton met the first lieuten 
ant of the Kirkwoods, E. M. Boykin. Says he is just the 
same man he was in the South Carolina College. In what-* 
ever company you may meet him, he is the pleasantest man 

A telegram reads: " We have repulsed the enemy at 

1 The Siege of Yorktown^was begun on April 5, 1862, the place 
being evacuated by the Confederates on May 4th. 


Feb. 20, 1862 COLUMBIA, S. C. July 91, 1869 

Williamsburg. 1 Oh, if we could drive them back * * to 
their ain countree ! Richmond was hard pressed this day. 
The Mercury of to-day says, " Jeff Davis now treats all 
men as if they were idiotic insects. 

Mary Preston said all sisters quarreled. No, we never 
quarrel, I and mine. We keep all our bitter words for our 
enemies. We are frank heathens ; we hate our enemies and 
love our friends. Some people (our kind) can never make 
up after a quarrel ; hard words once only and all is over. To 
us forgiveness is impossible. Forgiveness means calm in 
difference; philosophy, while love lasts. Forgiveness of 
love s wrongs is impossible. Those dutiful wives who 
piously overlook well, everything do not care one fig for 
their husbands. I settled that in my own mind years ago. 
Some people think it magnanimous to praise their enemies 
and to show their impartiality and justice by acknowledg 
ing the faults of their friends. I am for the simple rule, 
the good old plan. I praise whom I love and abuse whom 
I hate. 

Mary Preston has been translating Schiller aloud. We 
are provided with Bulwer s translation, Mrs. Austin s, 
Coleridge s, and Carlyle s, and we show how each renders 
the passage Mary is to convert into English. In Wallen- 
stein at one point of the Max and Thekla scene, I like Car- 
lyle better than Coleridge, though they say Coleridge s Wal- 
4 lenstein is the only translation in the world half so good as 
* the original. Mrs. Barstow repeated some beautiful scraps 
by Uhland, which I had never heard before. She is to 
write them for us. Peace, and a literary leisure for my 
old age, unbroken by care and anxiety! 

General Preston accused me of degenerating into a 
boarding-house gossip, and is answered triumphantly by 

1 The battle of Williamsburg was fought on May 5, 1862, by a part 
of McClellan s army, under General Hooker and others, the Confederates 
being commanded by General Johnston. 



his daughters: " But, papa, one you love to gossip with 
full well." 

Hampton estate has fifteen hundred negroes on Lake 
Washington, Mississippi. Hampton girls talking in the 
language of James s novels : Neither Wade nor Preston 
that splendid boy ! would lay a lance in rest or couch 
it, which is the right phrase for fighting, to preserve slav 
ery. They hate it as we do." " What are they fighting 
for? ! " Southern rights whatever that is. And they 
do not want to be understrappers forever to the Yankees. 
They talk well enough about it, but I forget what they 
say. Johnny Chesnut says : No use to give a reason 
a fellow could not stay away from the fight not well. It 
takes four negroes to w r ait on Johnny satisfactorily. 

It is this giving up that kills me. Norfolk they talk of 
now ; why not Charleston next ? I read in a Western letter, 
" Not Beauregard, but the soldiers who stopped to drink 
the whisky they had captured from the enemy, lost us Shi- 
loh. Cock Robin is as dead as he ever will be now ; what 
matters it who killed him? 

May 12th. Mr. Chesnut says he is very glad he went to 
town. Everything in Charleston is so much more satisfac 
tory than it is reported. Troops are in good spirits. It will 
take a lot of iron-clads to take that city. 

Isaac Hayne said at dinner yesterday that both Beaure 
gard and the President had a great opinion of Mr. Ches 
nut s natural ability for strategy and military evolution. 
Hon. Mr. Barnwell concurred; that is, Mr. Barnwell had 
been told so by the President. Then why did not the Pres 
ident offer me something better than an aideship? " "I 
heard he offered to make you a general last year, and you 
said you could not go over other men s shoulders until you 
had earned promotion. You are too hard to please. " ll No, 
not exactly that, I was only offered a colonelcy, and Mr. 
Barnwell persuaded me to stick to the Senate; then he 


Feb. 20, 1862 COLUMBIA, S. C. July 21, 1862 

_ ^ -.,-_ 

wanted my place, and between the two stools I fell to the 

My Molly will forget Lige and her babies, too. I asked 
her who sent me that beautiful bouquet I found on my cen 
ter-table. * I give it to you. Twas give to me. And Molly 
was all wriggle, giggle, blush. 

May 18th. Norfolk has been burned and the Merrimac 
sunk without striking a blow since her coup d etat in Hamp 
ton Roads. Read Milton. See the speech of Adam to Eve 
in a new light. Women will not stay at home ; will go out 
to see and be seen, even if it be by the devil himself. 

Very encouraging letters from Hon. Mr. Memminger 
and from L. Q. Washington. They tell the same story in 
very different words. It amounts to this: " Not one foot 
of Virginia soil is to be given up without a bitter fight for 
it. We have one hundred and five thousand men in all, 
McClellan one hundred and ninety thousand. We can 
stand that disparity. 

What things I have been said to have said! Mr. 

heard me make scoffing remarks about the Governor and the 
Council or he thinks he heard me. James Chesnut wrote 
him a note that my name was to be kept out of it indeed, 
that he was never to mention my name again under any pos 
sible circumstances. It was all preposterous nonsense, but it 
annoyed my husband amazingly. He said it was a scheme 
to use my chatter to his injury. He was very kind about it. 
He knows my real style so well that he can always tell my 
real impudence from what is fabricated for me. 

There is said to be an order from Butler * turning over 

1 General Benjamin F. Butler took command of New Orleans on 
May 2, 1862. The author s reference is to his famous "Order No. 28," 
which reads: "As the officers and soldiers of the United States have 
been subject to repeated insults from the women (calling themselves 
ladies) of New Orleans, in return for the most scrupulous non-interfer 
ence and courtesy on our part, it is ordered that hereafter when an} 
female shall by word, gesture, or movement, insult or show contempt 



the women of New Orleans to his soldiers. Thus is the 
measure of his iniquities filled. We thought that generals 
always restrained, by shot or sword if need be, the brutal 
ity of soldiers. This hideous, cross-eyed beast orders his 
men to treat the ladies of New Orleans as women of the 
town to punish them, he says, for their insolence. 

Footprints on the boundaries of another world once 
more. Willie Taylor, before he left home for the army, 
fancied one day day, remember that he saw Albert 
Rhett standing by his side. He recoiled from the ghostly 
presence. " You need not do that, Willie. You will soon 
be as I am. Willie rushed into the next room to tell them 
what had happened, and fainted. It had a very depressing 
effect upon him. And now the other day he died in Vir 

May 24th. The enemy are landing at Georgetown. 
With a little more audacity where could they not land? 
But we have given them such a scare, they are cautious. If 
it be true, I hope some cool-headed white men will make 
the negroes save the rice for us. It is so much needed. 
They say it might have been done at Port Royal with a lit 
tle more energy. South Carolinians have pluck enough, but 
they only work by fits and starts; there is no continuous 
effort; they can t be counted on for steady work. They 
will stop to play or enjoy life in some shape. 

Without let or hindrance Halleck is being reenforced. 
Beauregard, unmolested, was making some fine speeches 
and issuing proclamations, while we were fatuously looking 
for him to make a tiger s spring on Huntsville. Why not? 
Hope springs eternal in the Southern breast. 

for any officer or soldier of the United States she shall be regarded and 
held liable to be treated as a woman of the town plying her vocation." 
This and other acts of Butler in New Orleans led Jefferson Davis to 
issue a proclamation, declaring Butler to be a felon and an outlaw, and 
if captured that he should be instantly hanged. In December Butler 
was superseded at New Orleans by General Banks. 


Feb. 20, 1862 COLUMBIA, S. C. July 21, 1862 

My Hebrew friend, Mem Cohen, has a son in the war. 
He is in John Chesnut s company. Cohen is a high name 
among the Jews: it means Aaron. She has long fits of 
silence, and is absent-minded. If she is suddenly roused, 
she is apt to say, with overflowing eyes and clasped hands, 
* * If it please God to spare his life. Her daughter is the 
sweetest little thing. The son is the mother s idol. Mrs. 
Cohen was Miriam de Leon. I have known her intimately 
ail my life. 

Mrs. Bartow, the widow of Colonel Bartow, who was 
killed at Manassas, was Miss Berrien, daughter of Judge 
Berrien, of Georgia. She is now in one of the departments 
here, cutting bonds Confederate bonds for five hundred 
Confederate dollars a year, a penniless woman. Judge 
Carroll, her brother-in-law, has been urgent with her to 
come and live in his home. He has a large family and she 
will not be an added burden to him. In spite of all he can 
say, she will not forego her resolution. She will be inde 
pendent. She is a resolute little woman, with the softest, 
silkiest voice and ways, and clever to the last point. 

Columbia is the place for good living, pleasant people, 
pleasant dinners, pleasant drives. I feel that I have put 
the dinners irithe wrong place. They are the climax of the 
good things here. This is the most hospitable place in the 
world, and the dinners are worthy of it. 

In Washington, there was an endless succession of state 
dinners. I was kindly used. I do not remember ever be 
ing condemned to two dull neighbors: on one side or the 
other was a clever man ; so I liked Washington dinners. 

In Montgomery, there were a few dinners Mrs. Pol 
lard s, for instance, but the society was not smoothed down 
or in shape. Such as it was it was given over to balls and 
suppers. In Charleston, Mr. Chesnut went to gentlemen s 
dinners all the time ; no ladies present. Flowers were sent 
to me, and I was taken to drive and asked to tea. There 
could not have been nicer suppers, more perfect of their 



kind than were to be found at the winding up of those fes 

In Richmond, there were balls, which I did not attend 
very few to which I was asked: the MacFarlands and 
Lyons s, all I can remember. James Chesnut dined out 
nearly every day. But then the breakfasts the Virginia 
breakfasts where were always pleasant people. Indeed, I 
have had a good time everywhere always clever people, 
and people I liked, and everybody so good to me. 

Here in Columbia, family dinners are the specialty. 
You call, or they pick you up and drive home with you. 
* Oh, stay to dinner ! and you stay gladly. They send for 
your husband, and he comes willingly. Then comes a per 
fect dinner. You do not see how it could be improved; 
and yet they have not had time to alter things or add be 
cause of the unexpected guests. They have everything of 
the best silver, glass, china, table linen, and damask, etc. 
And then the planters live " within themselves," as they 
call it. From the plantations come mutton, beef, poultry, 
cream, butter, eggs, fruits, and vegetables. 

It is easy to live here, with a cook who has been sent for 
training to the best eating-house in Charleston. Old Mrs. 
Chesnut s Romeo was apprenticed at Jones s. I do not 
know where Mrs. Preston s got his degree, but he deserves 
a medal. 

At the Prestons , James Chesnut induced Buck to de 
claim something about Joan of Arc, which she does in a 
manner to touch all hearts. While she was speaking, my 
husband turned to a young gentleman who was listening 
to the chatter of several girls, and said : " Ecoutez! The 
youth stared at him a moment in bewilderment; then, 
gravely rose and began turning down the gas. Isabella 
said : Ecoutez, then, means put out the lights. 

I recall a scene which took place during a ball given by 
Mrs. Preston while her husband was in Louisiana. Mrs. 
Preston was resplendent in diamonds, point lace, and vel- 


Feb. 20, 1862 COLUMBIA, % S. C. July 21, 1862 

vet. There is a gentle dignity about her which is very at 
tractive; her voice is low and sweet, and her will is iron. 
She is exceedingly well informed, but very quiet, retiring, 
and reserved. Indeed, her apparent gentleness almost 
amounts to timidity. She has chiseled regularity of fea 
tures, a majestic figure, perfectly molded. 

Governor Manning said to me: " Look at Sister Caro 
line. Does she look as if she had the pluck of a heroine? " 
Then he related how a little while ago William, the butler, 
came to tell her that John, the footman, was drunk in the 
cellar mad with drink ; that he had a carving-knife which 
he was brandishing in drunken fury, and he was keeping 
everybody from their business, threatening to kill any one 
who dared to go into the basement. They were like a 
flock of frightened sheep down there. She did not speak 
to one of us, but followed William down to the basement, 
holding up her skirts. She found the servants scurrying 
everywhere, screaming and shouting that John was 
crazy and going to kill them. John was bellowing like 
a bull of Bashan, knife in hand, chasing them at his 

Mrs. Preston walked up to him. " Give me that knife/ 
she demanded. He handed it to her. She laid it on the 
table. " Now come with me," she said, putting her hand 
on his collar. She led him away to the empty smoke-house, 
and there she locked him in and put the key in her pocket. 
Then she returned to her guests, without a ripple on her 
placid face. * She told me of it, smiling and serene as you 
see her now, the Governor concluded. 

Before the war shut him in, General Preston sent to the 
lakes for his salmon, to Mississippi for his venison, to the 
mountains for his mutton and grouse. It is good enough, 
the best dish at all these houses, what the Spanish call * the 
hearty welcome. Thackeray says at every American table 
he was first served with " grilled hostess." At the head 
of the table sat a person, fiery-faced, anxious, nervous, in- 



wardly murmuring, like Falstaff, " Would it were night, 
Hal, and all were well. 

At Mulberry the house is always filled to overflowing, 
and one day is curiously like another. People are coming 
and going, carriages driving up or driving off. It has the 
air of a watering-place, where one does not pay, and where 
there are no strangers. At Christmas the china closet gives 
up its treasures. The glass, china, silver, fine linen reserved 
for grand occasions come forth. As for the dinner itself, 
it is only a matter of greater quantity more turkey, more 
mutton, more partridges, more fish, etc., and more solemn 
stiffness. Usually a half-dozen persons unexpectedly drop 
ping in make no difference. The family let the housekeeper 
know; that is all. 

People are beginning to come here from Richmond. 
One swallow does not make a summer, but it shows how the 
wind blows, these straws do Mrs. " Constitution " Browne 
and Mrs. Wise. The Gibsons are at Doctor Gibbes s. It 
does look squally. We are drifting on the breakers. 

May 29th. Betsey, recalcitrant maid of the W. s, has 
been sold to a telegraph man. She is as handsome as a mu 
latto ever gets to be, and clever in every kind of work. My 
Molly thinks her mistress li very lucky in getting rid of 
her." She was " a dangerous inmate," but she will be a 
good cook, a good chambermaid, a good dairymaid, a beauti 
ful clear-starcher, and the most thoroughly good-for-noth 
ing woman I know to her new owners, if she chooses. 
Molly evidently hates her, but thinks it her duty to stand 
by her color." 

Mrs. Gibson is a Philadelphia woman. She is true to 
her husband and children, but she does not believe in us 
the Confederacy, I mean. She is despondent and hopeless ; 
as wanting in faith of our ultimate success as is Sally Bax 
ter Hampton. I make allowances for those people. If I 
had married North, they would have a heavy handful in me 
just now up there. 


Feb. 20, 1862 COLUMBIA, .S. C. July 21, 1862 

Mrs. Chesnut, my mother-in-law, has been sixty years 
in the South, and she has not changed in feeling or in taste 
one iota. She can not like hominy for breakfast, or rice for 
dinner, without a relish to give it some flavor. She can not 
eat watermelons and sweet potatoes sans discretion, as we 
do. She will not eat hot corn bread a discretion, and hot 
buttered biscuit without any. 

" Richmond is obliged to fall," sighed Mrs. Gibson. 
You would say so, too, if you had seen our poor soldiers. 
" Poor soldiers? " said I. " Are you talking of Stonewall 
Jackson s men? Poor soldiers, indeed! " She said her 
mind was fixed on one point, and had ever been, though she 
married and came South : she never would own slaves. 
" Who would that was not born to it? " I cried, more ex 
cited than ever. She is very handsome, very clever, and 
has very agreeable manners. 

" Dear madam," she says, with tears in her beautiful 
eyes, " they have three armies." " But Stonewall has 
routed one of them already. Heath another." She only 
answered by an unbelieving moan. " Nothing seemed to 
suit her," I said, as we went away. " You did not cer 
tainly, said some one to me ; " you contradicted every 
word she said, with a sort of indignant protest." 

We met Mrs. Hampton Gibbes at the door another 
Virginia woman as good as gold. They told us Mrs. Davis 
was delightfully situated at Raleigh ; North Carolinians so 
loyal, so hospitable ; she had not been allowed to eat a meal 
at the hotel. " How different from Columbia," said Doc 
tor Gibbes, looking at Mrs. Gibson, who has no doubt been 
left to take all of her meals at his house. Oh, no ! " cried 
Mary, * you do Columbia injustice. Mrs. Chesnut used to 
tell us that she was never once turned over to the tender 
mercies of the Congaree cuisine, and at McMahan s it is 
fruit, flowers, invitations to dinner every day." 

After we came away, * Why did you not back me up V " 
I was asked. * Why did you let them slander Columbia ? 



" It was awfully awkward," I said, " but you see it would 
have been worse to let Doctor Gibbes and Mrs. Gibson see 
how different it was with other people." 

Took a moonlight walk after tea at the Halcott Greens . 
All the company did honor to the beautiful night by walk 
ing home with me. 

Uncle Hamilton Boykin is here, staying at the de 
Saussures . He says, " Manassas was play to Williams- 
burg," and he was at both battles. He lead a part of 
Stuart s cavalry in the charge at Williamsburg, riding a 
hundred yards ahead of his company. 

Toombs is ready for another revolution, and curses 
freely everything Confederate from the President down to 
a horse boy. He thinks there is a conspiracy against him 
in the army. Why ? Heavens and earth why ? 

June 2d. A battle 1 is said to be raging round Rich 
mond. I am at the Prestons . James Chesnut has gone to 
Richmond suddenly on business of the Military Depart 
ment. It is always his luck to arrive in the nick of time 
and be present at a great battle. 

Wade Hampton shot in the foot, and Johnston Petti- 
grew killed. A telegram says Lee and Davis were both on 
the field: the enemy being repulsed. Telegraph operator 
said: " Madam, our men are fighting." " Of course they 
are. What else is there for them to do now but fight? " 
" But, madam, the news is encouraging." Each army is 
burying its dead : that looks like a drawn battle. We haunt 
the bulletin-board. 

Back to McMahan -s. Mem Cohen is ill. Her daughter, 
Isabel, warns me not to mention the battle raging around 
Richmond. Young Cohen is in it. Mrs. Preston, anxious 

1 The Battle of Fair Oaks or Seven Pines, took place a few miles 
east of Richmond, on May 31 and June 1, 1862, the Federals being 
commanded by McClellan and the Confederates by General Joseph E. 

13 171 

Feb. 20, 1862 COLUMBIA, S. C. July 21, 1862 

and unhappy about her sons. John is with General Huger 
at Richmond; Willie in the swamps on the coast with his 
company. Mem tells me her cousin, Edwin de Leon, is sent 
by Mr. Davis on a mission to England. 

Rev. Robert Barnwell has returned to the hospital. Oh, 
that we had given our thousand dollars to the hospital and 
not to the gunboat! " Stonewall Jackson s movements, " 
the Herald says, " do us no harm ; it is bringing out volun 
teers in great numbers." And a Philadelphia paper abused 
us so fervently I felt all the blood in me rush to my head 
with rage. 

June 3d. Doctor John Cheves is making infernal ma 
chines in Charleston to blow the Yankees up ; pretty name 
they have, those machines. My horses, the overseer says, 
are too poor to send over. There was corn enough on the 
place for two years, they said, in January; now, in June, 
they write that it will not last until the new crop comes in. 
Somebody is having a good time on the plantation, if it be 
not my poor horses. 

Molly will tell me all when she comes back, and more. 
Mr. Venable has been made an aide to General Robert E. 
Lee. He is at Vicksburg, and writes, " When the fight is 
over here, I shall be glad to go to Virginia. " He is in cap 
ital spirits. I notice army men all are when they write. 

Apropos of calling Major Venable " Mr." Let it be 
noted that in social intercourse we are not prone to give 
handles to the names of those we know well and of our 
nearest and dearest. A general s wife thinks it bad form 
to call her husband anything but " Mr." When she gives 
him his title, she simply " drops " into it by accident. If 
I am mixed on titles in this diary, let no one blame me. 

Telegrams come from Richmond ordering troops from 
Charleston. Can not be sent, for the Yankees are attacking 
Charleston, doubtless with the purpose to prevent Lee s re 
ceiving reenforcements from there. 

Sat down at my window in the beautiful moonlight, and 



tried hard for pleasant thoughts. A man began to play on 
the flute, with piano accompaniment, first, " Ever of thee 
I am fondly dreaming, and then, 1 1 The long, long, weary 
day. At first, I found this but a complement to the beau 
tiful scene, and it was soothing to my wrought-up nerves. 
But Von Weber s "Last Waltz" was too much; I broke 
down. Heavens, what a bitter cry came forth, with such 
floods of tears ! the wonder is there was any of me left. 

I learn that Richmond women go in their carriages for 
the wounded, carry them home and nurse them. One saw 
a man too weak to hold his musket. She took it from him, 
put it on her shoulder, and helped the poor fellow along. 

If ever there was a man who could control every expres 
sion of emotion, who could play stoic, or an Indian chief, 
it is James Chesnut. But one day when he came in from 
the Council he had to own to a break-down. He was awful 
ly ashamed of his weakness. There was a letter from Mrs. 
Gaillard asking him to help her, and he tried to read it to 
the Council. She wanted a permit to go on to her son, who 
lies wounded in Virginia. Colonel Chesnut could not con 
trol his voice. There was not a dry eye there, when sud 
denly one man called out, 1 1 God bless the woman. 

Johnston Pettigrew s aide says he left his chief mortally 
wounded on the battle-field. Just before Johnston Petti- 
grew went to Italy to take a hand in the war there for 
freedom, I met him one day at Mrs. Frank Hampton s. A 
number of people were present. Some one spoke of the 

engagement of the beautiful Miss to Hugh Rose. Some 

one else asked: " How do you know they are engaged? " 
* Well, I never heard it, but I saw it. In London, a month 

or so ago, I entered Mrs. s drawing-room, and I saw 

these two young people seated on a sofa opposite the door. 
" Well, that amounted to nothing." " No, not in itself. 
But they looked so foolish and so happy. I have noticed 
newly engaged people always look that way." And so on. 
Johnston Pettigrew was white and red in quick succession 


Feb. 20, 1862 COLUMBIA, S. C. July 21, 1862 

during this turn of the conversation ; he was in a rage of 
indignation and disgust. i I think this kind of talk is tak 
ing a liberty with the young lady s name," he exclaimed 
finally, " and that it is an impertinence in us." I fancy 
him left dying alone ! I wonder what they feel those who 
are left to die of their wounds alone on the battle-field. 

Free schools are not everything, as witness this spelling. 
Yankee epistles found in camp show how illiterate they can 
be, with all their boasted schools. Fredericksburg is spelled 
" Fredrexbirg, " medicine, " metison," and we read, " To 
my sweat brother," etc. For the first time in my life no 
books can interest me. Life is so real, so utterly earnest, 
that fiction is flat. Nothing but what is going on in this 
distracted world of ours can arrest my attention for ten 
minutes at a time. 

June 4th. Battles occur near Richmond, with bom 
bardment of Charleston. Beauregard is said to be fighting 
his way out or in. 

Mrs. Gibson is here, at Doctor Gibbes s. Tears are al 
ways in her eyes. Her eldest son is Willie Preston s lieu 
tenant. They are down on the coast. She owns that she 
has no hope at all. She was a Miss Ayer, of Philadelphia, 
and says, " We may look for Burnside now, our troops 
which held him down to his iron flotilla have been with 
drawn. They are three to one against us now, and they 
have hardly begun to put out their strength in numbers, 
I mean. We have come to the end of our tether, except we 
wait for the yearly crop of boys as they grow up to the 
requisite age." She would make despondent the most san 
guine person alive. " As a general rule," says Mrs. Gib 
son, " government people are sanguine, but the son of one 
high functionary whispered to Mary G., as he handed her 
into the car, Richmond is bound to go. The idea now is 
that we are to be starved out. If they shut us in, prolong the 
agony, it can then have but one end. 

Mrs. Preston and I speak in whispers, but Mrs. McCord 


scorns whispers, and speaks out. She says : * There are our 
soldiers. Since the world began there never were better, 
but God does not deign to send us a general worthy of 
them. I do not mean drill-sergeants or military old maids, 
who will not fight until everything is just so. The real am 
munition of our war is faith in ourselves and enthusiasm in 
our cause. West Point sits down on enthusiasm, laughs it 
to scorn. It wants discipline. And now comes a new dan 
ger, these blockade-runners. They are filling their pockets 
and they gibe and sneer at the fools who fight. Don t you 
see this Stonewall, how he fires the soldiers hearts he will 
be our leader, maybe after all. They say he does not care 
how many are killed. His business is to save the country, 
not the army. He fights to win, God bless him, and he wins. 
If they do not want to be killed, they can stay at home. 
They say he leaves the sick and wounded to be cared for by 
those whose business it is to do so. His business is war. 
They say he wants to hoist the black flag, have a short, 
sharp, decisive war and end it. He is a Christian soldier." 

June 5th. Beauregard retreating and his rear-guard 
cut off. If Beauregard s veterans will not stand, why 
should we expect our newly levied reserves to do it? The 
Yankee general who is besieging Savannah announces his 
orders are " to take Savannah in two weeks time, and then 
proceed to erase Charleston from the face of the earth. 

Albert Luryea was killed in the battle of June 1st. Last 
summer when a bomb fell in the very thick of his company 
he picked it up and threw it into the water. Think of that, 
those of ye who love life ! The company sent the bomb to 
his father. Inscribed on it were the words, Albert Luryea, 
bravest where all are brave. * Isaac Hayne did the same 
thing at Fort Moultrie. This race has brains enough, but 
they are not active-minded like those old Revolutionary 
characters, the Middletons^ Lowndeses, Rutledges, Marions, 
Sumters. They have come direct from active-minded fore 
fathers, or they would not have been here; but, with two 


Feb. 20, 1862 COLUMBIA, S. C. July 21, 1862 

or three generations of gentlemen planters, how changed 
has the blood become ! Of late, all the active-minded men 
who have sprung to the front in our government were im 
mediate descendants of Scotch, or Scotch-Irish Calhoun, 
McDuffie, Cheves, and Petigru, who Huguenotted his name, 
but could not tie up his Irish. Our planters are nice fel 
lows, but slow to move ; impulsive but hard to keep moving. 
They are wonderful for a spurt, but with all their strength, 
they like to rest. 

June 6th. Paul Hayne, the poet, has taken rooms here. 
My husband came and offered to buy me a pair of horses. 
He says I need more exercise in the open air. * Come, now, 
are you providing me with the means of a rapid retreat? " 
said I. "I am pretty badly equipped for marching. " 

Mrs. Rose Greenhow is in Richmond. One-half of the 
ungrateful Confederates say Seward sent her. My hus 
band says the Confederacy owes her a debt it can never pay. 
She warned them at Manassas, and so they got Joe Johnston 
and his Paladins to appear upon the stage in the very nick 
of time. In Washington they said Lord Napier left her a 
legacy to the British Legation, which accepted the gift, un 
like the British nation, who would not accept Emma Hamil 
ton and her daughter, Horatia, though they were willed to 
the nation by Lord Nelson. 

Mem Cohen, fresh from the hospital where she went 
with a beautiful Jewish friend. Rachel, as we will call her 
(be it her name or no) , was put to feed a very weak patient. 
Mem noticed what a handsome fellow he was and how quiet 
and clean. She fancied by those tokens that he was a gen 
tleman. In performance of her duties, the lovely young 
nurse leaned kindly over him and held the cup to his lips. 
When that ceremony was over and she had wiped his 
mouth, to her horror she felt a pair of by no means weak 
arms around her neck and a kiss upon her lips, which she 
thought strong, indeed. She did not say a word ; she made 
no complaint. She slipped away from the hospital, and 



hereafter in her hospital work will minister at long range, 
no matter how weak and weary, sick and sore, the patient 
may be. And, said Mem, * I thought he was a gentle 
man." " Well, a gentleman is a man, after all, and she 
ought not to have put those red lips of hers so near. 
\/ June 7th. Cheves McCord s battery on the coast has 
three guns and one hundred men. If this battery should be 
captured John s Island and James Island would be open 
to the enemy, and so Charleston exposed utterly. 

Wade Hampton writes to his wife that Chickahominy 
was not as decided a victory as he could have wished. 
Fort Pillow and Memphis * have been given up. Next ! and 

June 9th. When we read of the battles in India, in 
Italy, in the Crimea, what did we care ? Only an interest 
ing topic, like any other, to look for in the paper. Now 
you hear of a battle with a thrill and a shudder. It has 
come home to us ; half the people that we know in the world 
are under the enemy s guns. A telegram reaches you, and 
you leave it on your lap. You are pale with fright. You 
handle it, or you dread to touch it, as you would a rattle 
snake; worse, worse, a snake could only strike you. How 
many, many will this scrap of paper tell you have gone to 
their death? 

When you meet people, sad and sorrowful is the greet 
ing ; they press your hand ; tears stand in their eyes or roll 
down their cheeks, as they happen to possess more or less 
self-control. They have brother, father, or sons as the 
case may be, in battle. And now this thing seems never to 
stop. We have no breathing time given us. It can not be 

1 Fort Pillow was on the Mississippi above Memphis. It had been 
erected by the Confederates, but was occupied by the Federals on June 
5, 1862, the Confederates having evacuated and partially destroyed 
it the day before. On June 6, 1862, the Federal fleet defeated the 
Confederates near Memphis. The city soon afterward was occupied 
by the Federals. 


Feb. 20, 1862 COLUMBIA, S. C. July 21, 1862 

so at the North, for the papers say gentlemen do not go into 
the ranks there, but are officers, or clerks of departments. 
Then we see so many members of foreign regiments among 
our prisoners Germans, Irish, Scotch. The proportion of 
trouble is awfully against us. Every company on the field, 
rank and file, is filled with our nearest and dearest, who are 
common soldiers. 

Mem Cohen s story to-day. A woman she knew heard 
her son was killed, and had hardly taken in the horror of it 
when they came to say it was all a mistake in the name. 
She fell on her knees with a shout of joy. " Praise the 
Lord, my soul! " she cried, in her wild delight. The 
household was totally upset, the swing-back of the pendu 
lum from the scene of weeping and wailing of a few mo 
ments before was very exciting. In the midst of this hub 
bub the hearse drove up with the poor boy in his metallic 
coffin. Does anybody wonder so many women die? Grief 
and constant anxiety kill nearly as many women at home 
as men are killed on the battle-field. Mem s friend is at the 
point of death with brain fever; the sudden changes from 
grief to joy and joy to grief were more than she could bear. 

A story from New Orleans. As some Yankees passed 
two boys playing in the street, one of the boys threw a hand 
ful of burned cotton at them, saying, " I keep this for you/* 
The other, not to be outdone, spit at the Yankees, and said, 
" I keep this for you." The Yankees marked the house. 
Afterward, a corporal s guard came. Madam was affably 
conversing with a friend, and in vain, the friend, who was 
a mere morning caller, protested he was not the master of 
the house ; he was marched off to prison. 

Mr. Moise got his money out of New Orleans. He went 
to a station with his two sons, who were quite small boys. 
When he got there, the carriage that he expected was not to 
be seen. He had brought no money with him, knowing he 
might be searched. Some friend called out, "I will lend 
you my horse, but then you will be obliged to leave the 



children/ This offer was accepted, and, as he rode off, 
one of the boys called out, " Papa, here is your tobacco, 
which you have forgotten. Mr. Moise turned back and the 
boy handed up a roll of tobacco, which he had held openly 
in his hand all the time. Mr. Moise took it, and galloped 
off, waving his hat to them. In that roll of tobacco was 
encased twenty-five thousand dollars. 

Now, the Mississippi is virtually open to the Yankees. 
Beauregard has evacuated Corinth. 1 

Henry Nott was killed at Shiloh ; Mrs. Auze wrote to tell 
us. She had no hope. To be conquered and ruined had 
always been her fate, strive as she might, and now she knew 
it would be through her country that she would be made 
to feel. She had had more than most women to endure, 
and the battle of life she had tried to fight with courage, 
patience, faith. Long years ago, when she was young, her 
lover died. Afterward, she married another. Then her 
husband died, and next her only son. When New Orleans 
fell, her only daughter was there and Mrs. Auze went to 
her. Well may she say that she has bravely borne her bur 
den till now. 2 

Stonewall said, in his quaint way : " I like strong drink, 
so I never touch it. May heaven, who sent him to help us, 
save him from all harm! 

My husband traced Stonewall s triumphal career on 
the map. He has defeated Fremont and taken all his 
cannon; now he is after Shields. The language of 
the telegram is vague : Stonewall has taken plenty of 
prisoners " plenty, no doubt, and enough and to spare. 
We can t feed our own soldiers, and how are we to feed 
prisoners ? 

They denounce Toombs in some Georgia paper, which I 

1 Corinth was besieged by the Federals, under General Halleck, in 
May, 1862, and was evacuated by the Confederates under Beauregard 
on May 29th. 

2 She lost her life in the Windsor Hotel fire in New York. 


Feb. 20, 1862 COLUMBIA, S. C. July 21, 1862 

saw to-day, for planting a full crop of cotton. They say he 
ought to plant provisions for soldiers. 

And now every man in Virginia, and the eastern part of 
South Carolina is in revolt, because old men and boys are 
ordered out as a reserve corps, and worst of all, sacred 
property, that is, negroes, have been seized and sent out to 
work on the fortifications along the coast line. "We are in 
a fine condition to fortify Columbia ! 

June 10th. General Gregg writes that Chickahominy * 
was a victory manque, because Joe Johnston received a dis 
abling wound and G. W. Smith was ill. The subordinates 
in command had not been made acquainted with the plan 
of battle. 

A letter from John Chesnut, who says it must be all a 
mistake about Wade Hampton s wound, for he saw him in 
the field to the very last; that is, until late that night. 
Hampton writes to Mary McDuffie that the ball was ex 
tracted from his foot on the field, and that he was in the 
saddle all day, but that, when he tried to take his boot off 
at night his foot was so inflamed and swollen, the boot had 
to be cut away, and the wound became more troublesome 
than he had expected. 

Mrs. Preston sent her carriage to take us to see Mrs. 
Herbemont, whom Mary Gibson calls her " Mrs. Burga- 
mot." Miss Bay came down, ever-blooming, in a cap so 
formidable, I could but laugh. It was covered with a 
bristling row of white satin spikes. She coyly refused to 
enter Mrs. Preston s carriage * to put foot into it, to use 
her own words ; but she allowed herself to be overpersuaded. 

I am so ill. Mrs. Ben Taylor said to Doctor Trezevant, 
Surely, she is too ill to be going about ; she ought to be in 
bed. il She is very feeble, very nervous, as you say, but 
then she is living on nervous excitement. If you shut her 

1 This must be a reference to the Battle of Seven Pines or to the 
Campaign of the Chickahominy, up to and inclusive of that battle. 



up she would die at once. A queer weakness of the heart, 
I have. Sometimes it beats so feebly I am sure it has 
stopped altogether. Then they say I have fainted, but I 
never lose consciousness. 

Mrs. Preston and I were talking of negroes and cows. 
A negro, no matter how sensible he is on any other subject, 
can never be convinced that there is any necessity to feed a 
cow. Turn em out, and let em grass. Grass good nuff 
for cow." 

Famous news comes from Richmond, but not so good 
from the coast. Mrs. Izard said, quoting I forget whom: 
" If West Point could give brains as well as training! " 
Smith is under arrest for disobedience of orders Pember- 
ton s orders. This is the third general whom Pemberton 
has displaced within a few weeks Ripley, Mercer, and now 

When I told my husband that Molly was full of airs 
since her late trip home, he made answer : Tell her to go 
to the devil she or anybody else on the plantation who is 
dissatisfied; let them go. It is bother enough to feed and 
clothe them now." When he went over to the plantation 
he returned charmed with their loyalty to him, their affec 
tion and their faithfulness. 

Sixteen more Yankee regiments have landed on James 
Island. Eason writes, " They have twice the energy and 
enterprise of our people." I answered, " Wait a while. 
Let them alone until climate and mosquitoes and sand-flies 
and dealing with negroes takes it all out of them. Stone 
wall is a regular brick, going all the time, winning his 
way wherever he goes. Governor Pickens called to see me. 
His wife is in great trouble, anxiety, uncertainty. Her 
brother and her brother-in-law are either killed or taken 

Tom Taylor says Wade Hampton did not leave the field 
on account of his wound. " What heroism! " said some 
one. No, what luck! He is the luckiest man alive. He ll 


Feb. 20, 1862 COLUMBIA, JS. C. July 21, 1862 

never be killed. He was shot in the temple, but that did 
not kill him. His soldiers believe in his luck. 

General Scott, on Southern soldiers, says, we have elan, 
courage, woodcraft, consummate horsemanship, endurance 
of pain equal to the Indians, but that we will not submit to 
discipline. "We will not take care of things, or husband our 
resources. Where we are there is waste and destruction. 
If it could all be done by one wild, desperate dash, we would 
do it. But he does not think we can stand the long, blank 
months between the acts the waiting! We can bear pain 
without a murmur, but we will not submit to be bored, etc. 

Now, for the other side. Men of the North can wait; 
they can bear discipline; they can endure forever. Losses 
in battle are nothing to them. Their resources in men and 
materials of war are inexhaustible, and if they see fit they 
will fight to the bitter end. Here is a nice prospect for us 
as comfortable as the old man s croak at Mulberry, * Bad 
times, worse coming." 

Mrs. McCord says, " In the hospital the better born, 
that is, those born in the purple, the gentry, those who are 
accustomed to a life of luxury, are the better patients. 
They endure in silence. They are hardier, stronger, 
tougher, less liable to break down than the sons of the soil." 
" Why is that? " I asked, and she answered, " Something 
in man that is more than the body." 

I know how it feels to die. I have felt it again and again. 
For instance, some one calls out, Albert Sidney Johnston 
is killed." My heart stands still. I feel no more. I am, 
for so many seconds, so many minutes, I know not how 
long, utterly without sensation of any kind dead ; and 
then, there is that great throb, that keen agony of physical 
pain, and the works are wound up again. The ticking of 
the clock begins, and I take up the burden of life once 
more. Some day it will stop too long, or my feeble heart 
will be too worn out to make that awakening jar, and 
all will be over. I do not think when the end comes that 



there will be any difference, except the miracle of the new 
wind-up throb. And now good news is just as exciting as 
bad. * t Hurrah, Stonewall has saved us ! ! The pleasure 
is almost pain because of my way of feeling it. 

Miriam s Luryea and the coincidences of his life. He 
was born Moses, and is the hero of the bombshell. His 
mother was at a hotel in Charleston when kind-hearted 
Anna De Leon Moses went for her sister-in-law, and gave 
up her own chamber, that the child might be born in the 
comfort and privacy of a home. Only our people are 
given to such excessive hospitality. So little Luryea was 
born in Anna De Leon s chamber. After Chickahominy 
when he, now a man, lay mortally wounded, Anna Moses, 
who was living in Richmond, found him, and she brought 
him home, though her house was crowded to the door-steps. 
She gave up her chamber to him, and so, as he had been 
born in her room, in her room he died. 

June 12th. New England s Butler, best known to us as 
" Beast" Butler, is famous or infamous now. His amazing 
order to his soldiers at New Orleans and comments on it 
are in everybody s mouth. We hardly expected from Mas 
sachusetts behavior to shame a Comanche. 

One happy moment has come into Mrs. Preston s life. 
I watched her face to-day as she read the morning papers. 
Willie s battery is lauded to the skies. Every paper gave 
him a paragraph of praise. 

South Carolina was at Beauregard s feet after Fort 
Sumter. Since Shiloh, she has gotten up, and looks askance 
rather when his name is mentioned. And without Price or 
Beauregard who takes charge of the Western forces? 
" Can we hold out if England and France hold off? " cries 
Mem. No, our time has come. 

* For shame, faint heart ! Our people are brave, our 
cause is just ; our spirit and our patient endurance beyond 
reproach." Here came in Mary Cantey s voice: " I may 
not have any logic, any sense. I give it up. My woman s 


Feb. 20, 1862 COLUMBIA, S. C. July *1, 1862 

instinct tells me, all the same, that slavery s time has come. 
If we don t end it, they will." 

After all this, tried to read Uncle Tom, but could not ; 
too sickening ; think of a man sending his little son to beat 
a human being tied to a tree. It is as bad as Squeers beat 
ing Smike. Flesh and blood revolt ; you must skip that ; it 
is too bad. 

Mr. Preston told a story of Joe Johnston as a boy. A 
party of boys at Abingdon were out on a spree, more boys 
than horses; so Joe Johnston rode behind John Preston, 
who is his cousin. While going over the mountains they 
tried to change horses and got behind a servant who was in 
charge of them all. The servant s horse kicked up, threw 
Joe Johnston, and broke his leg; a bone showed itself. 
* * Hello, boys ! come here and look : the confounded bone 
has come clear through, called out Joe, coolly. 

They had to carry him on their shoulders, relieving 
guard. As one party grew tired, another took him up. 
They knew he must suffer fearfully, but he never said so. 
He was as cool and quiet after his hurt as before. He was 
pretty roughly handled, but they could not help it. His 
father was in a towering rage because his son s leg was to 
be set by a country doctor, and it might be crooked in the 
process. At Chickahominy, brave but unlucky Joe had 
already eleven wounds. 

June 13th. Decca s wedding. It took place last year. 
We were all lying on the bed or sofas taking it coolly as to 
undress. Mrs. Singleton had the floor. They were engaged 
before they went up to Charlottesville ; Alexander was on 
Gregg s staff, and Gregg was not hard on him; Decca was 
the worst in love girl she ever saw. " Letters came while 
we were at the hospital, from Alex, urging her to let him 
marry her at once. In war times human events, life es 
pecially, are very uncertain. 

* For several days consecutively she cried without ceas 
ing, and then she consented. The rooms at the hospital 



were all crowded. Decca and I slept together in the same 
room. It was arranged by letter that the marriage should 
take place; a luncheon at her grandfather Minor s, and 
then she was to depart with Alex for a few days at Rich 
mond. That was to be their brief slice of honeymoon. 

" The day came. The wedding-breakfast was ready, so 
was the bride in all her bridal array; but no Alex, no 
bridegroom. Alas! such is the uncertainty of a soldier s 
life. The bride said nothing, but she wept like a water- 
nymph. At dinner she plucked up heart, and at my ear 
nest request was about to join us. And then the cry, The 
bridegroom cometh. He brought his best man and other 
friends. We had a jolly dinner. * Circumstances over 
which he had no control had kept him away. 

" His father sat next to Decca and talked to her all the 
time as if she had been already married. It was a piece of 
absent-mindedness on his part, pure and simple, but it was 
very trying, and the girl had had much to stand that morn 
ing, you can well understand. Immediately after dinner 
the belated bridegroom proposed a walk; so they went for 
a brief stroll up the mountain. Decca, upon her return, 
said to me : Send for Robert Barnwell. I mean to be 
married to-day. 

Impossible. No spare room in the house. No getting 
away from here ; the trains all gone. Don t you know this 
hospital place is crammed to the ceiling? Alex says I 
promised to marry him to-day. It is not his fault ; he could 
not come before. I shook my head. I don t care, said 
the positive little thing, * I promised Alex to marry him 
to-day and I will. Send for the Rev. Robert Barnwell/ 
We found Robert after a world of trouble, and the bride, 
lovely in Swiss muslin, was married. 

* Then I proposed they should take another walk, and I 
went to one of my sister nurses and begged her to take me 
in for the night, as I wished to resign my room to the young 
couple. At daylight next day they took the train for 


Feb. 20, 1862 COLUMBIA, S. C. July 21, 1862 

Richmond." Such is the small allowance of honeymoon 
permitted in war time. 

Beauregard s telegram: he can not leave the army of 
the West. His health is bad. No doubt the sea breezes 
would restore him, but he can not come now. Such a 
lovely name Gustave Tautant Beauregard. But Jackson 
and Johnston and Smith and Jones will do and Lee, how 
short and sweet. 

Every day, says Mem, they come here in shoals 
men to say we can not hold Richmond, and we can not hold 
Charleston much longer. "Wretches, beasts! Why do you 
come here? Why don t you stay there and fight? Don t 
you see that you own yourselves cowards by coming away 
in the very face of a battle ? If you are not liars as to the 
danger, you are cowards to run away from it. Thus roars 
the practical Mem, growing more furious at each word. 
These Jeremiahs laugh. They think she means others, not 
the present company. 

Tom Huger resigned his place in the United States 
Navy and came to us. The Iroquois was his ship in the old 
navy. They say, as he stood in the rigging, after he was 
shot in the leg, when his ship was leading the attack upon 
the Iroquois, his old crew in the Iroquois cheered him, and 
when his body was borne in, the Federals took off their caps 
in respect for his gallant conduct. When he was dying, 
Meta Huger said to him : * An officer wants to see you : he 
is one of the enemy." " Let him come in; I have no ene 
mies now." But when he heard the man s name : 

11 No, no. I do not want to see a Southern man who is 
now in Lincoln s navy." The officers of the United States 
Navy attended his funeral. 

June 14th. All things are against us. Memphis gone. 
Mississippi fleet annihilated, and we hear it all as stolidly 
apathetic as if it were a story of the English war against 
China which happened a year or so ago. 

The sons of Mrs. John Julius Pringle have come. They 



were left at school in the North. A young Huger is with 
them. They seem to have had adventures enough. Walked, 
waded, rowed in boats, if boats they could find ; swam riv 
ers when boats there were none ; brave lads are they. One 
can but admire their pluck and energy. Mrs. Fisher, of 
Philadelphia, nee Middleton, gave them money to make the 
attempt to get home., 

Stuart s cavalry have rushed through McClellan s lines 
and burned five of his transports. Jackson has been reen- 
forced by 16,000 men, and they hope the enemy will be 
drawn from around Richmond, and the valley be the seat 
of war. 

John Chesnut is in "Whiting s brigade, which has been 
sent to Stonewall. Mem s son is with the Boykin Rangers; 
Company A, No. 1, we call it. And she has persistently 
wept ever since she heard the news. It is no child s play, 
she says, when you are with Stonewall. He doesn t play 
at soldiering. He doesn t take care of his men at all. He 
only goes to kill the Yankees. 

Wade Hampton is here, shot in the foot, but he knows 
no more about France than he does of the man in the moon. 
Wet blanket he is just now. Johnston badly wounded. 
Lee is King of Spades. They are all once more digging for 
dear life. Unless we can reenforce Stonewall, the game is 
up. Our chiefs contrive to dampen and destroy the enthu 
siasm of all who go near them. So much entrenching and 
falling back destroys the morale of any army. This ever 
lasting retreating, it kills the hearts of the men. Then we 
are scant of powder. 

James Chesnut is awfully proud of Le Conte s powder 
manufactory here. Le Conte knows how to do it. James 
Chesnut provides him the means to carry out his plans. 

Colonel Venable doesn t mince matters: " If we do not 
deal a blow, a blow that will be felt, it will be soon all up 
with us. The Southwest will be lost to us. We can not af 
ford to shilly-shally much longer." 
14 187 

Feb. 20, 1862 COLUMBIA, S. C. July 21, 1862 

Thousands are enlisting on the other side in New Or 
leans. Butler holds out inducements. To be sure, they are 
principally foreigners who want to escape starvation. Ten 
nessee we may count on as gone, since we abandoned her at 
Corinth, Fort Pillow, and Memphis. A man must be sent 
there, or it is all gone now. 

You call a spade by that name, it seems, and not an 
agricultural implement? " " They call Mars Robert Old 
Spade Lee. He keeps them digging so." " General Lee 
is a noble Virginian. Respect something in this world. 
Caesar call him Old Spade Caesar? As a soldier, he was 
as much above suspicion, as he required his wife to be, as 
Caesar s wife, you know. If I remember Caesar s Commen 
taries, he owns up to a lot of entrenching. You let Mars 
Robert alone. He knows what he is about. 

" Tell us of the women folk at New Orleans; how did 
they take the fall of the city? " " They are an excitable 
race," the man from that city said. As my inform 
ant was standing on the levee a daintily dressed lady 
picked her way, parasol in hand, toward him. She 
accosted him with great politeness, and her face was 
as placid and unmoved as in antebellum days. Her 
first question was : Will you be so kind as to tell me 
what is the last general order ? "No order that I know 
of, madam; General Disorder prevails now." " Ah! I 
see ; and why are those persons flying and yelling so noisily 
and racing in the streets in that unseemly way ? " " They 
are looking for a shell to burst over their heads at any mo 
ment." " Ah! " Then, with a courtesy of dignity and 
grace, she waved her parasol and departed, but stopped to 
arrange that parasol at a proper angle to protect her face 
from the sun. There was no vulgar haste in her move 
ments. She tripped away as gracefully as she came. My 
informant had failed to discompose her by his fearful reve 
lations. That was the one self-possessed soul then in New 



Another woman drew near, so overheated and out of 
breath, she had barely time to say she had run miles 
of squares in her crazy terror and bewilderment, when a 
sudden shower came up. In a second she was cool and calm. 
She forgot all the questions she came to ask. My bonnet, 
I must save it at any sacrifice, she said, and so turned her 
dress over her head, and went off, forgetting her country s 
trouble and screaming for a cab. 

Went to see Mrs. Burroughs at the old de Saussure 
house. She has such a sweet face, such soft, kind, beauti 
ful, dark-gray eyes. Such eyes are a poem. No wonder she 
had a long love-story. We sat in the piazza at twelve 
o clock of a June day, the glorious Southern sun shining 
its very hottest. But we were in a dense shade magnolias 
in full bloom, ivy, vines of I know not what, and roses in 
profusion closed us in. It was a living wall of every 
thing beautiful and sweet. In all this flower-garden of 
a Columbia, that is the most delicious corner I have been 
in yet. 

Got from the Prestons French library, Fanny, with a 
brilliant preface by Jules Janier. Now, then, I have come 
to the worst. There can be no worse book than Fanny. 
The lover is jealous of the husband. The woman is for the 
polyandry rule of life. She cheats both and refuses to 
break with either. But to criticize it one must be as shame 
less as the book itself. Of course, it is clever to the last de 
gree, or it would be kicked into the gutter. It is not nastier 
or coarser than Mrs. Stowe, but then it is not written in 
the interests of philanthropy. 

We had an unexpected dinner-party to-day. First, 
Wade Hampton came and his wife. Then Mr. and Mrs. 
Rose. I remember that the late Colonel Hampton once 
said to me, a thing I thought odd at the time, " Mrs. 
James Rose " (and I forget now who was the other) " are 
the only two people on this side of the water who know how 
to give a state dinner. Mr. and Mrs. James Rose : if any- 


Feb. 20, 1862 COLUMBIA, . S. C. July 21, 1862 

body wishes to describe old Carolina at its best, let them 
try their hands at painting these two people. 

Wade Hampton still limps a little, but he is rapidly 
recovering. Here is what he said, and he has fought so 
well that he is listened to : * * If we mean to play at war, 
as we play a game of chess, West Point tactics prevailing, 
we are sure to lose the game. They have every advantage. 
They can lose pawns ad infinitum, to the end of time and 
never feel it. We will be throwing away all that we had 
hoped so much from Southern hot-headed dash, reckless 
gallantry, spirit of adventure, readiness to lead forlorn 

Mrs. Rose is Miss Sarah Parker s aunt. Somehow it 
came out when I was not in the room, but those girls tell 
me everything. It seems Miss Sarah said : * The reason I 
can not bear Mrs. Chesnut is that she laughs at everything 
and at everybody. If she saw me now she would give me 
credit for some pretty hearty crying as well as laughing. 
It was a mortifying thing to hear about one s self, all the 

General Preston came in and announced that Mr. Ches 
nut was in town. He had just seen Mr. Alfred Huger, who 
came up on the Charleston train with him. Then Mrs. Mc- 
Cord came and offered to take me back to Mrs. McMahan s 
to look him up. I found my room locked up. Lawrence 
said his master had gone to look for me at the Prestons . 

Mrs. McCord proposed we should further seek for my 
errant husband. At the door, we met Governor Pickens, 
who showed us telegrams from the President of the most 
important nature. The Governor added, "And I have one 
from Jeems Chesnut, but I hear he has followed it so close 
ly, coming on its heels, as it were, that I need not show you 
that one/ 

" You don t look interested at the sound of your hus 
band s name? " said he. " Is that his name? " asked I. 
" I supposed it was James." " My advice to you is to find 



him, for Mrs. Pickens says he was last seen in the company 
of two very handsome women, and now you may call him 
any name you please. 

We soon met. The two beautiful dames Governor 
Pickens threw in my teeth were some ladies from Rafton 
Creek, almost neighbors, who live near Camden. 

By way of pleasant remark to Wade Hampton : Oh, 
General! The next battle will give you a chance to be 
major-general." " I was very foolish to give up my Le 
gion," he answered gloomily. " Promotion don t really 
annoy many people. Mary Gibson says her father writes 
to them, that they may go back. He thinks now that the 
Confederates can hold Richmond. Gloria in excelsis! 

Another personal defeat. Little Kate said: " Oh, Cous 
in Mary, why don t you cultivate heart ? They say at Kirk- 
wood that you had better let your brains alone a while and 
cultivate heart." She had evidently caught up a phrase 
and repeated it again and again for my benefit. So that is 
the way they talk of me ! The only good of loving any one 
with your whole heart is to give that person the power 
to hurt you. 

June 24th. Mr. Chesnut, having missed the Secession- 
ville * fight by half a day, was determined to see the one 
around Richmond. He went off with General Cooper and 
Wade Hampton. Blanton Duncan sent them for a lunch 
eon on board the cars, ice, wine, and every manner of good 

In all this death and destruction, the women are the 
same chatter, patter, clatter. " Oh, the Charleston refu 
gees are so full of airs; there is no sympathy for them 
here!" " Oh, indeed! That is queer. They are not half 
as exclusive as these Hamptons and Prestons. The airs 
these people do give themselves." " Airs, airs," laughed 

1 The battle of Secessionville occurred on James Island, in the 
harbor of Charleston, June 16, 1862. 


Feb. 20, 1862 COLUMBIA, . S. C. July 21, 1862 

Mrs. Bartow, parodying Tennyson s Charge of the Light 
Brigade. " Airs to the right of them, Airs to the left of 
them, some one had blundered." " Volleyed and thun 
dered rhymes but is out of place. 

The worst of all airs came from a democratic landlady, 
who was asked by Mrs. President Davis to have a carpet 
shaken, and shook herself with rage as she answered, * You 
know, madam, you need not stay here if my carpet or any 
thing else does not suit you. 

John Chesnut gives us a spirited account of their ride 
around McQlellan. I sent the letter to his grandfather. 
The women ran out screaming with joyful welcome as soon 
as they caught sight of our soldiers gray uniforms ; ran to 
them bringing handfuls and armfuls of food. One gray- 
headed man, after preparing a hasty meal for them, knelt 
and prayed as the}^ snatched it, as you may say. They were 
in the saddle from Friday until Sunday. They were used 
up; so were their horses. Johnny writes for clothes and 
more horses. Miss S. C. says: " No need to send any more 
of his fine* horses to be killed or captured by the Yankees ; 
wait and see how the siege of Richmond ends. The horses 
will go all the same, as Johnny wants them. 

June 25th. I forgot to tell of Mrs. Pickens s reception 
for General Hampton. My Mem dear, described it all. 
1 1 The Governess " ( " Tut, Mem ! that is not the right name 
for her she is not a teacher." " Never mind, it is the 
easier to say than the Governor s wife." " Madame la 
Gouvernante " was suggested. * * Why ? That is worse than 
the other! ") " met him at the door, took his crutch away, 
putting his hand upon her shoulder instead. " That is the 
way to greet heroes, she said. Her blue eyes were aflame, 
and in response poor Wade smiled, and smiled until his 
face hardened into a fixed grin of embarrassment and an 
noyance. He is a simple-mannered man, you know, and 
does not want to be made much of by women. 

The butler was not in plain clothes, but wore, as the 



other servants did, magnificent livery brought from the 
Court of St. Petersburg, one mass of gold embroidery, etc. 
They had champagne and Russian tea, the latter from a 
samovar made in Russia. Little Moses was there. Now 
for us they have never put their servants into Russian 
livery, nor paraded Little Moses under our noses, but I 
must confess the Russian tea and champagne set before us 
left nothing to be desired. " How did General Hampton 
bear his honors? " " Well, to the last he looked as if he 
wished they would let him alone. " 

Met Mr. Ashmore fresh from Richmond. He says 
Stonewall is coming up behind McClellan. And here comes 
the tug of war. He thinks we have so many spies in Rich 
mond, they may have found out our strategic movements 
and so may circumvent them. 

Mrs. Bartow s story of a clever Miss Toombs. So many 
men were in love with her, and the courtship, while it lasted, 
of each one was as exciting and bewildering as a fox-chase. 
She liked the fun of the run, but she wanted something 
more than to know a man was in mad pursuit of her; that 
he should love her, she agreed, but she must love him, too. 
How was she to tell? Yet she must be certain of it before 
she said " Yes." So, as they sat by the lamp she would 
look at him and inwardly ask herself, " Would I be willing 
to spend the long winter evenings forever after sitting here 
darning your old stockings ? : Never, echo answered. No, 
no, a thousand times no. So, each had to make way for 

June 27th. We went in a body (half a dozen ladies, 
with no man on escort duty, for they are all in the army) tou. 
a concert. Mrs. Pickens came in. She was joined soon by 
Secretary Moses and Mr. Follen. Doctor Berrien came to 
our relief. Nothing could be more execrable than the sing 
ing. Financially the thing was a great success, for though 
the audience was altogether feminine, it was a very large 


Feb. 20, 1862 COLUMBIA,. S. C. July 21, 1862 

Telegram from Mr. Chesnut, Safe in Richmond ; 
that is, if Richmond be safe, with all the power of the 
United States of America battering at her gates. Strange 
not a word from Stonewall Jackson, after all! Doctor 
Gibson telegraphs his wife, * Stay where you are ; terrible 
battle * looked for here. 

Decca is dead. That poor little darling ! Immediately 
after her baby was born, she took it into her head that Alex 
was killed. He was w r ounded, but those around had not 
told her of it. She surprised them by asking, " Does any 
one know how the battle has gone since Alex was killed ? : 
She could not read for a day or so before she died. Her 
head was bewildered, but she would not let any one else 
touch her letters ; so she died with several unopened ones in 
her bosom. Mrs. Singleton, Decca s mother, fainted dead 
away, but she shed no tears. We went to the house and saw 
Alex s mother, a daughter of Langdon Cheves. Annie was 
with us. She said : This is the saddest thing for Alex. 
No, said his mother, * death is never the saddest thing. 
If he were not a good man, that would be a far worse 
thing/ 7 Annie, in utter amazement, whimpered, " But 
Alex is so good already. " Yes, seven years ago the death 
of one of his sisters that he dearly loved made him a Chris 
tian. That death in our family was worth a thousand 

One needs a hard heart now. Even old Mr. Shand shed 
tears. Mary Barnwell sat as still as a statue, as white and 
stony. Grief which can relieve itself by tears is a thing to 
pray for, said the Rev. Mr. Shand. Then came a telegram 
from Hampton, " All well; so far we are successful." 
Robert Barnwell had been telegraphed for. His answer 
came, " Can t leave here; Gregg is fighting across the 

1 Malvern Hill, the last of the Seven Days Battles, was fought near 
Richmond on the James River, July 1, 1862. The Federals were com 
manded by McClellan and the Confederates by Lee. 



Chickahominy. Said Alex s mother : My son, Alex, may 
never hear this sad news," and her lip settled rigidly. 
" Go on ; what else does Hampton say? " asked she. " Lee 
has one wing of the army, Stonewall the other. 

Annie Hampton came to tell us the latest news that 
we have abandoned James Island and are fortifying 
Morris Island. And now, she says, i if the enemy will 
be so kind as to wait, we will be ready for them in two 

Rev. Mr. Shand and that pious Christian woman, Alex s 
mother (who looks into your very soul with those large 
and lustrous blue eyes of hers) agreed that the Yankees, 
even if they took Charleston, would not destroy it. I think 
they will, sinner that I am. Mr. Shand remarked to her, 
" Madam, you have two sons in the army." Alex s mother 
replied, " I have had six sons in the army; I now have 

There are people here too small to conceive of any 
larger business than quarreling in the newspapers. One 
laughs at squibs in the papers now, in such times as these, 
with the wolf at our doors. Men safe in their closets writing 
fiery articles, denouncing those who are at work, are be 
neath contempt. Only critics with muskets on their shoul 
ders have the right to speak now, as Trenholm said the other 

In a pouring rain we went to that poor child s funeral 
to Decca s. They buried her in the little white frock 
she wore when she engaged herself to Alex, and which 
she again put on for her bridal about a year ago. She 
lies now in the churchyard, in sight of my window. Is 
she to be pitied ? She said she had had months of perfect 
happiness. How many people can say that ? So many of 
us live their long, dreary lives and then happiness never 
comes to meet them at all. It seems so near, and yet it 
eludes them forever. 

June 28th. Victory! Victory heads every telegram 


Feb. 20, 1862 COLUMBIA, . S. C. July 21, 1862 

now ;* one reads it on the bulletin-board. It is the anni 
versary of the battle of Fort Moultrie. The enemy went off 
so quickly, I wonder if it was not a trap laid for us, to lead 
us away from Richmond, to some place where they can 
manage to do us more harm. And now comes the list of 
killed and wounded. Victory does not seem to soothe sore 
hearts. Mrs. Haskell has five sons before the enemy s illim 
itable cannon. Mrs. Preston two. McClellan is routed and 
we have twelve thousand prisoners. Prisoners ! My God ! 
and what are we to do with them "I We can t feed our own 

For the first time since Joe Johnston was wounded at 
Seven Pines, we may breathe freely ; we were so afraid of 
another general, or a new one. Stonewall can not be 
everywhere, though he comes near it. 

Magruder did splendidly at Big Bethel. It was a won 
derful thing how he played his ten thousand before Mc 
Clellan like fireflies and utterly deluded him. It was part 
ly due to the Manassas scare that we gave them; they will 
never be foolhardy again. Now we are throwing up our 
caps for R. E. Lee. We hope from the Lees what the first 
sprightly running (at Manassas) could not give. We do 
hope there will be no * if s. " " If s " have ruined us. Shi- 
loh was a victory if Albert Sidney Johnston had not been 
killed ; Seven Pines if Joe Johnston had not been wounded. 
The " ifs " bristle like porcupines. That victory at Manas 
sas did nothing but send us off in a fool s paradise of con 
ceit, and it roused the manhood of the Northern people. 
For very shame they had to move up. 

A French man-of-war lies at the wharf at Charleston to 
take off French subjects when the bombardment begins. 
William Mazyck writes that the enemy s gunboats are 

1 The first battle of the Chickahominy, fought on June 27, 1862. 
It is better known as the battle of Gaines s Mill, or Cold Harbor. It 
was participated in by a part of Lee s army and a part of McClellan s, 
and its scene was about eight miles from Richmond. 



shelling and burning property up and down the Santee 
River. They raise the white flag and the negroes rush 
down on them. Planters might as well have let these 
negroes be taken by the Council to work on the fortifica 
tions. A letter from my husband : 

RICHMOND, June 29, 1862. 

For the last three days I have been a witness of the 
most stirring events of modern times. On my arrival here, 
I found the government so absorbed in the great battle 
pending, that I found it useless to talk of the special busi 
ness that brought me to this place. As soon as it is over, 
which will probably be to-morrow, I think that I can easily 
accomplish all that I was sent for. I have no doubt that we 
can procure another general and more forces, etc. 

The President and General Lee are inclined to listen to 
me, and to do all they can for us. General Lee is vindicat 
ing the high opinion I have ever expressed of him, and his 
plans and executions of the last great fight will place him 
high in the roll of really great commanders. 

The fight on Friday was the largest and fiercest of the 
whole war. Some 60,000 or 70,000, with great prepon 
derance on the side of the enemy. Ground, numbers, arma 
ment, etc., were all in favor of the enemy. But our men and 
generals were superior. The higher officers and men be 
haved with a resolution and dashing heroism that have 
never been surpassed in any country or in any age. 

Our line was three times repulsed by superior numbers 
and superior artillery impregnably posted. Then Lee, as 
sembling all his generals to the front, told them that victory 
depended on carrying the batteries and defeating the army 
before them, ere night should fall. Should night come 
without victory all was lost, and the work must be done by 
the bayonet. Our men then made a rapid and irresistible 
charge, without powder, and carried everything. The ene- 


Feb. 20, 186? COLUMBIA, .S. C. July 21, 1862 

my melted before them, and ran with the utmost speed, 
though of the regulars of the Federal army. The fight be 
tween the artillery of the opposing forces was terrific and 
sublime. The field became one dense cloud of smoke, so 
that nothing could be seen, but the incessant flash of fire. 
They were within sixteen hundred yards of each other and 
it rained storms of grape and canister. We took twenty- 
three pieces of their artillery, many small arms, and small 
ammunition. They burned most of their stores, wagons, etc. 
The victory of the second day was full and complete. 
Yesterday there was little or no fighting, but some splendid 
maneuvering, which has placed us completely around them. 
I think the end must be decisive in our favor. We have 
lost many men and many officers ; I hear Alex Haskell and 
young McMahan are among them, as well as a son of Dr. 
Trezevant. Very sad, indeed. We are fighting again to 
day ; will let you know the result as soon as possible. Will 
be at home some time next week. No letter from you yet. 
With devotion, yours, 


A telegram from my husband of June 29th from Rich 
mond: " Was on the field, saw it all. Things satisfying 
so far. Can hear nothing of John Chesnut. He is in 
Stuart s command. Saw Jack Preston; safe so far. No 
reason why we should not bag McClellan s army or cut it to 
pieces. From four to six thousand prisoners already." 
Doctor Gibbes rushed in like a whirlwind to say we were 
driving McClellan into the river. 

June 30th. First came Dr. Trezevant, who announced 
Burnet Rhett s death. " No, no ; I have just seen the bulle 
tin-board. It was Grimke Rhett s. When the doctor went 
out it was added : Howell Trezevant s death is there, too. 
The doctor will see it as soon as he goes down to the board. 
The girls went to see Lucy Trezevant. The doctor was lying 
still as death on a sofa with his face covered. 



July 1st. No more news. It has settled down into 
this. The general battle, the decisive battle, has to be 
fought yet. Edward Cheves, only son of John Cheves, 
killed. His sister kept crying, " Oh, mother, what shall 
we do; Edward is killed," but the mother sat dead still, 
white as a sheet, never uttering a word or shedding a tear. 
Are our women losing the capacity to weepl The father 
came to-daypMfT John Cheves. "He Has been making infer 
nal machines in Charleston to blow up Yankee ships. 

While Mrs. McCord was telling me of this terrible 
trouble in her brother s family, some one said: " Decca s 
husband died of grief." Stuff and nonsense; silly senti 
ment, folly! If he is not wounded, he is alive. His 
brother, John, may die of that shattered arm in this hot 
weather. Alex will never die of a broken heart. Take my 
word for it. 

July 3d. Mem says she feels like sitting down, as an 
Irishwoman does at a wake, and howling night and day. 
Why did Huger let McClellan slip through his fingers? 
Arrived at Mrs. McMahan s at the wrong moment. Mrs. 
Bartow was reading to the stricken mother an account of 
the death of her son. The letter was written by a man who 
was standing by him when he was shot through the head. 
"My God! " he said; that was all, and he fell dead. 
James Taylor was color-bearer. He was shot three times 
before he gave in. Then he said, as he handed the colors 
to the man next him, " You see I can t stand it any 
longer," and dropped stone dead. He was only seven 
teen years old. 

If anything can reconcile me to the idea of a horrid fail- , 
ure after all efforts to make good our independence of Yan- \ 
kees, it is Lincoln s proclamation freeing the negroes. Es-J 
pecially yours, Messieurs, who write insults to your Gov 
ernor and Council, dated from Clarendon. Three hundred 
of Mr. Walter Blake s negroes have gone to the Yankees. 
Remember, that recalcitrant patriot s property on two legs 


Feb. 20, 1863 COLUMBIA, . S. C. July 21, 1862 

may walk off without an order from the Council to work on 

Have been reading The Potiphar Papers by Curtis. 
Can this be a picture of New York socially ? If it were not 
for this horrid war, how nice it would be here. We might 
lead such a pleasant life. This is the most perfectly ap 
pointed establishment such beautiful grounds, flowers, 
and fruits ; indeed, all that heart could wish ; such delight 
ful dinners, such pleasant drives, such jolly talks, such 
charming people; but this horrid war poisons everything. 

July 5th. Drove out with Mrs. " Constitution " 
Browne, who told us the story of Ben McCulloch s devotion 
to Lucy Gwynn. Poor Ben McCulloch another dead hero. 
Called at the Tognos and saw no one; no wonder. They 
say Ascelie Togno was to have been married to Grimke 
Ehett in August, and he is dead on the battle-field. I had 
not heard of the engagement before I went there. 

July 8th. Gunboat captured on the Santee. So much 
the worse for us. We do not want any more prisoners, and 
next time they will send a fleet of boats, if one will not do. 
The Governor sent me Mr. Chesnut s telegram with a note 
saying, " I regret the telegram does not come up to what 
we had hoped might be as to the entire destruction of Mc- 
Clellan s army. I think, however, the strength of the war 
with its ferocity may now be considered as broken." 

Table-talk to-day: This war was undertaken by us to 

shake off the yoke of foreign invaders. So we consider our 

cause righteous. The Yankees, since the war has begun, 

have discovered it is to free the slaves that they are fighting. 

So their cause is noble. They also expect to make the war 

pay. Yankees do not undertake anything that does not pay. 

They think we belong to them. We have been good milk 

cows milked by the tariff, or skimmed. We let them have 

1 all of our hard earnings. We bear the ban of slavery; 

1 they get the money. Cotton pays everybody who handles 

1 it, sells it, manufactures it, but rarely pays the man who 



grows it. Second hand the Yankees received the wages o^ 
slavery. They grew rich. We grew poor. The receiver isj 
as bad as the thief. That applies to us, too, for we received 1 
the savages they stole from Africa and brought to us in; 
their slave-ships. As with the Egyptians, so it shall bej 
with us : if they let us go, it must be across a Red Sea but 
one made red by blood. 

July 10th. My husband has come. He believes from 
what he heard in Richmond that we are to be recognized as 
a nation by the crowned heads across the water, at last. Mr. 
Davis was very kind; he asked him to stay at his house, 
which he did, and went every day with General Lee and Mr. 
Davis to the battle-field as a sort of amateur aide to the 
President. Likewise they admitted him to the informal 
Cabinet meetings at the President s house. He is so hopeful 
now that it is pleasant to hear him, and I had not the heart 
to stick the small pins of Yeadon and Pickens in him yet 
a while. 

Public opinion is hot against Huger and Magruder for 
McClellan s escape. Doctor Gibbes gave me some letters 
picked up on the battle-field. One signed " Laura," tells 
her lover to fight in such a manner that no Southerner can 
ever taunt Yankees again with cowardice. She speaks of a 
man at home whom she knows, " who is still talking of his 
intention to seek the bubble reputation at the cannon s 
mouth. " * Miserable coward ! "she writes, I will never 
speak to him again. It was a relief to find one silly young 
person filling three pages with a description of her new 
bonnet and the bonnet still worn by her rival. Those fiery 
Joan of Arc damsels who goad on their sweethearts bode us 
no good. 

Rachel Lyons was in Richmond, hand in glove with Mrs. 
Greenhow. Why not ? "So handsome, so clever, so angel 
ically kind," says Rachel of the Greenhow, " and she offers 
to matronize me." 

Mrs. Philips, another beautiful and clever Jewess, has 


Feb. 20, 1862 COLUMBIA, S. C. July 21, 1862 

been put into prison again by Beast Butler because she 
happened to be laughing as a Yankee funeral procession 
went by. 

Captain B. told of John Chesnut s pranks. Johnny was 
riding a powerful horse, captured from the Yankees. The 
horse dashed with him right into the Yankee ranks. A 
dozen Confederates galloped after him, shouting, Stuart ! 
Stuart! " The Yankees, mistaking this mad charge for 
Stuart s cavalry, broke ranks and fled. Daredevil Camden 
boys ride like Arabs ! 

Mr. Chesnut says he was riding with the President when 
Colonel Browne, his aide, was along. The General com 
manding rode up and, bowing politely, said : * Mr. Presi 
dent, am I in command here? " " Yes." " Then I for 
bid you to stand here under the enemy s guns. Any expo 
sure of a life like yours is wrong, and this is useless 
exposure. You must go back." Mr. Davis answered: 
" Certainly, I will set an example of obedience to orders. 
Discipline must be maintained." But he did not go back. 

Mr. Chesnut met the Haynes, who had gone on to nurse 
their wounded son and found him dead. They were stand 
ing in the corridor of the Spotswood. Although Mr. Ches 
nut was staying at the President s, he retained his room at 
the hotel. So he gave his room to them. Next day, when 
he went back to his room he found that Mrs. Hayne had 
thrown herself across the foot of the bed and never moved. 
No other part of the bed had been touched. She got up and 
went back to the cars, or was led back. He says these heart 
broken mothers are hard to face. 

July 12th. At McMahan s our small colonel, Paul 
Hayne s son, came into my room. To amuse the child I 
gave him a photograph album to look over. You have 
Lincoln in your book ! said he. "I am astonished at you. 
I hate him! " And he placed the book on the floor and 
struck Old Abe in the face with his fist. 

An Englishman told me Lincoln has said that had he 



known such a war would follow his election he never would 
have set foot in Washington, nor have been inaugurated. 
He had never dreamed of this awful fratricidal bloodshed. 
That does not seem like the true John Brown spirit. I was 
very glad to hear it to hear something from the President 
of the United States which was not merely a vulgar joke, 
and usually a joke so vulgar that you were ashamed to 
laugh, funny though it was. They say Seward has gone to 
England and his wily tongue will turn all hearts against us. 

Browne told us there was a son of the Duke of Somer 
set in Richmond. He laughed his fill at our ragged, dirty 
soldiers, but he stopped his laughing when he saw them un 
der fire. Our men strip the Yankee dead of their shoes, 
but will not touch the shoes of a comrade. Poor fellows, 
they are nearly barefoot. 

Alex has come. I saw him ride up about dusk and go 
into the graveyard. I shut up my windows on that side. 
Poor fellow! 

July 13th. Halcott Green came to see us. Bragg is a 
stern disciplinarian, according to Halcott. He did not in 
the least understand citizen soldiers. In the retreat from 
Shiloh he ordered that not a gun should be fired. A soldier 
shot a chicken, and then the soldier was shot. " For a 
chicken ! said Halcott. A Confederate soldier for a 
chicken! " 

Mrs. McCord says a nurse, who is also a beauty, had 
better leave her beauty with her cloak and hat at the door. 
One lovely lady nurse said to a rough old soldier, whose 
wound could not have been dangerous, " Well, my good 
soul, what can I do for you? " " Kiss me ! " said he. Mrs. 
McCord s fury was " at the woman s telling it," for it 
brought her hospital into disrepute, and very properly. 
She knew there were women who would boast of an insult 
if it ministered to their vanity. She wanted nurses to come 
dressed as nurses, as Sisters of Charity, and not as fine la 
dies. Then there would be no trouble. When she saw them 
15 203 

Feb. 20, 1862 COLUMBIA, * S. C. July 21, 1863 

coming in angel sleeves, displaying all their white arms and 
in their muslin, showing all their beautiful white shoulders 
and throats, she felt disposed to order them off the premises. 
That was no proper costume for a nurse. Mrs. Bartow goes 
in her widow s weeds, which is after Mrs. McCord s own 
heart. But Mrs. Bartow has her stories, too. A surgeon 
said to her, I give you no detailed instructions : a mother 
necessarily is a nurse." She then passed on quietly, " as 
smilingly acquiescent, my dear, as if I had ever been a 

Mrs. Greenhow has enlightened Rachel Lyons as to Mr. 
Chesnut s character in Washington. He was " one of the 
very few men of whom there was not a word of scandal 
spoken. I do not believe, my dear, that he ever spoke to a 
woman there." He did know Mrs. John R. Thompson, 

Walked up and down the college campus with Mrs. Mc- 
Cord. The buildings all lit up with gas, the soldiers seated 
under the elms in every direction, and in every stage of 
convalescence. Through the open windows, could see the 
nurses flitting about. It was a strange, weird scene. Walked 
home with Mrs. Bartow. We stopped at Judge Carroll s. 
Mrs. Carroll gave us a cup of tea. When we got home, 
found the Prestons had called for me to dine at their house 
to meet General Magruder. 

Last night the Edgefield Band serenaded Governor 
Pickens. Mrs. Harris stepped on the porch and sang the 
Marseillaise for them. It has been more than twenty years 
since I first heard her voice ; it was a very fine one then, but 
there is nothing which the tooth of time lacerates more 
cruelly than the singing voice of women. There is an incon 
gruous metaphor for you. 

The negroes on the coast received the Rutledge s Mount 
ed Rifles apparently with great rejoicings. The troops were 
gratified to find the negroes in such a friendly state of mind. 
One servant whispered to his master, " Don t you mind 



em, don t trust em meaning the negroes. The master 
then dressed himself as a Federal officer and went down to 
a negro quarter. The very first greeting was, * Ki ! massa, 
you come fuh ketch rebels? We kin show you way you 
kin ketch thirty to-night. They took him to the Confed 
erate camp, or pointed it out, and then added for his edifi 
cation, " We kin ketch officer fuh you whenever you want 

Bad news. Gunboats have passed Vicksburg. The 
Yankees are spreading themselves over our fair Southern 
land like red ants. 

July 21st. Jackson has gone into the enemy s country. 
Joe Johnston and Wade Hampton are to follow. 

Think of Rice, Mr. Senator Rice, 1 who sent us the buf 
falo-robes. I see from his place in the Senate that he 
speaks of us as savages, who put powder and whisky into 
soldiers canteens to make them mad with ferocity in the 
fight. No, never. We admire coolness here, because we 
lack it; we do not need to be fired by drink to be brave. 
My classical lore is small, indeed, but I faintly remember 
something of the Spartans who marched to the music of 
lutes. No drum and fife were needed to revive their faint 
ing spirits. In that one thing we are Spartans. 

The Wayside Hospital 2 is duly established at the Co- 

1 Henry M. Rice, United States Senator from Minnesota, who had 
emigrated to that State from Vermont in 1835. 

2 Of ameliorations in modern warfare, Dr. John T. Darby said in 
addressing the South Carolina Medical Association, Charleston, in 
1873: "On the route from the army to the general hospital, wounds 
are dressed and soldiers refreshed at wayside homes; and here be it 
said with justice and pride that the credit of originating this system 
is due to the women of South Carolina. In a small room in the capital 
of this State, the first Wayside Home was founded; and during the 
war, some seventy-five thousand soldiers were relieved by having their 
wounds dressed, their ailments attended, and very frequently by being 
clothed through the patriotic services and good offices of a few untiring 


Feb. 20, 1869 COLUMBIA, & C. July 21, 1862 

lumbia Station, where all the railroads meet. All honor to 
Mrs. Fisher and the other women who work there so faith 
fully ! The young girls of Columbia started this hospital. 
In the first winter of the war, moneyless soldiers, sick and 
wounded, suffered greatly when they had to lie over here 
because of faulty connections between trains. Rev. Mr. 
Martin, whose habit it was to meet trains and offer his aid 
to these unfortunates, suggested to the Young Ladies Hos 
pital Association their opportunity ; straightway the blessed 
maidens provided a room where our poor fellows might 
have their wounds bound up and be refreshed. And now, 
the " Soldiers Rest " has grown into the Wayside Hospi 
tal, and older heads and hands relieve younger ones of the 
grimmer work and graver responsibilities. I am ready to 
help in every way, by subscription and otherwise, but too 
feeble in health to go there much. 

Mrs. Browne heard a man say at the Congaree House, 

* We are breaking our heads against a stone wall. We are 

jbound to be conquered. We can not keep it up much longer 

jagainst so powerful a nation as the United States. Crowds 

.of Irish, Dutch, and Scotch are pouring in to swell their 

armies. They are promised our lands, and they believe 

they will get them. Even if we are successful we can not 

live without Yankees." " Now," says Mrs. Browne, " I 

jcall that man a Yankee spy." To which I reply, " If he 

I were a spy, he would not dare show his hand so plainly." 

" To think," says Mrs. Browne, " that he is not taken 
up. Seward s little bell would tinkle, a guard would come, 
and the Grand Inquisition of America would order that 
man put under arrest in the twinkling of an eye, if he had 
ventured to speak against Yankees in Yankee land." 

General Preston said he had " the right to take up any 

ladies in Columbia. From this little nucleus, spread that grand system 
of wayside hospitals which was established during our own and the 
late European wars." 



one who was not in his right place and send him where he 
belonged/* " Then do take up my husband instantly. He 
is sadly out of his right place in this little Governor s Coun 
cil." The general stared at me and slowly uttered in his 
most tragic tones, " If I could put him where I think he 
ought to be ! " This I immediately hailed as a high compli 
ment and was duly ready with my thanks. Upon reflection, 
it is borne in upon me, that he might have been more ex 
plicit. He left too much to the imagination. 

Then Mrs. Browne described the Prince of Wales, whose 
manners, it seems, differ from those of Mrs. , who ar 
raigned us from morn to dewy eve, and upbraided us with 
our ill-bred manners and customs. The Prince, when he 
was here, conformed at once to whatever he saw was the 
way of those who entertained him. He closely imitated 
President Buchanan s way of doing things. He took off 
his gloves at once when he saw that the President wore 
none. He began by bowing to the people who were pre 
sented to him, but when he saw Mr. Buchanan shaking 
hands, he shook hands, too. When smoking affably with 
Browne on the White House piazza, he expressed his con 
tent with the fine cigars Browne had given him. The Presi 
dent said : I was keeping some excellent ones for you, but 
Browne has got ahead of me." Long after Mr. Buchanan 
had gone to bed, the Prince ran into his room in a jolly, 
boyish way, and said : Mr. Buchanan, I have come for the 
fine cigars you have for me. 

As I walked up to the Prestons , along a beautiful 
shaded back street, a carriage passed with Governor Means 
in it. As soon as he saw me he threw himself half out and 
kissed both hands to me again and again. It was a whole- 
souled greeting, as the saying is, and I returned it with my 
whole heart, too. " Good-by," he cried, and I responded 
Good-by." I may never see him again. I am not sure 
that I did not shed a few tears. 

General Preston and Mr. Chesnut were seated on the 


Feb. 20, 1862 COLUMBIA, . C. July 21, 1862 

piazza of the Hampton house as I walked in. I opened my 
batteries upon them in this scornful style : * * You cold, for 
mal, solemn, overly-polite creatures, weighed down by your 
own dignity. You will never know the rapture of such a 
sad farewell as John Means and I have just interchanged. 
He was in a hack, I proceeded to relate, and I was on the 
sidewalk. He was on his way to the Avar, poor fellow. The 
hackman drove steadily along in the middle of the street; 
but for our gray hairs I do not know what he might have 
thought of us. John Means did not suppress his feelings 
at an unexpected meeting with an old friend, and a good 
cry did me good. It is a life of terror and foreboding we 
lead. My heart is in my mouth half the time. But you 
two, under no possible circumstances could you forget your 

Read Russell s India all day. Saintly folks those Eng 
lish when their blood is up. Sepoys and blacks we do not 
expect anything better from, but what an example of Chris 
tian patience and humanity the white " angels " from the 
West set them. 

The beautiful Jewess, Rachel Lyons, was here to-day. 
She flattered Paul Hayne audaciously, and he threw back 
the ball. 

To-day I saw the Rowena to this Rebecca, when Mrs. 
Edward Barnwell called. She is the purest type of Anglo- 
Saxon exquisitely beautiful, cold, quiet, calm, lady-like, 
fair as a lily, with the blackest and longest eyelashes, and 
her eyes so light in color some one said " they were the 
hue of cologne and water." At any rate, she has a patent 
right to them; there are no more like them to be had. The 
effect is startling, but lovely beyond words. 

Blanton Duncan told us a story of Morgan in Kentucky. 
Morgan walked into a court where they were trying some 
Secessionists. The Judge was about to pronounce sentence, 
but Morgan rose, and begged that he might be allowed to 
call some witnesses. The Judge asked who were his wit- 



nesses. " My name is John Morgan, and my witnesses are 
1,400 Confederate soldiers. 7 

Mrs. Izard witnessed two instances of patriotism in the 
caste called " Sandhill tackeys." One forlorn, chill, and 
fever-freckled creature, yellow, dirty, and dry as a nut, 
was selling peaches at ten cents a dozen. Soldiers collected 
around her cart. She took the cover off and cried, " Eat 
away. Eat your fill. I never charge our soldiers any 
thing." They tried to make her take pay, but when she 
steadily refused it, they cheered her madly and said: 
" Sleep in peace. Now we will fight for you and keep ofl 5 
the Yankees. Another poor Sandhill man refused to sell 
his cows, and gave them to the hospital. 



August I, 1862 August 8, 1862 

LAT ROCK, N. C., August 1, 1862. Being ill I left 
Mrs. McMahan s for Flat Rock. 1 It was very hot 
and disagreeable for an invalid in a boarding-house 
in that climate. The La Bordes and the McCord girls came 
part of the way with me. 

The cars were crowded and a lame soldier had to stand, 
leaning on his crutches in the thoroughfare that runs be 
tween the seats. One of us gave him our seat. You may 
depend upon it there was no trouble in finding a seat for 
our party after that. Dr. La Borde quoted a classic anec 
dote. In some Greek assembly an old man was left stand 
ing. A Spartan gave him his seat. The Athenians cheered 
madly, though they had kept their seats. The comment was, 
Lacedemonians practise virtue; Athenians know how to 
admire it." 

Nathan Davis happened accidentally to be at the sta 
tion at Greenville. He took immediate charge of Molly and 
myself, for my party had dwindled to us two. He went 
with us to the hotel, sent for the landlord, told him who I 
was, secured good rooms for us, and saw that we were made 

1 Flat Rock was the summer resort of many cultured families from 
the low countries of the South before the war. Many attractive houses 
had been built there. It lies in the region which has since become fa 
mous as the Asheville region, and in which stands Biltmore. 



comfortable in every way. At dinner I entered that im 
mense dining-room alone, but I saw friends and acquaint 
ances on every side. My first exploit was to repeat to Mrs. 
Ives Mrs. Pickeus s blunder in taking a suspicious attitude 
toward men born at the North, and calling upon General 
Cooper to agree with her. Martha Levy explained the 
grave faces of my auditors by saying that Colonel Ives was 
a New Yorker. My distress was dire. 

Louisa Hamilton was there. She told me that Captain 
George Cuthbert, with his arm in a sling from a wound by 
no means healed, was going to risk the shaking of a stage 
coach; he was on his way to his cousin, William Cuthbert s, 
at Flat Rock. Now George Cuthbert is a type of the finest 
kind of Southern soldier. We can not make them any bet 
ter than he is. Before the war I knew him ; he traveled in 
Europe with my sister, Kate, and Mary Withers. At once I 
offered him a seat in the comfortable hack Nathan Davis 
had engaged for me. 

Molly sat opposite to me, and often when I was tired 
held my feet in her lap. Captain Cuthbert s man sat with 
the driver. We had ample room. We were a dilapidated 
company. I was so ill I could barely sit up, and Captain 
Cuthbert could not use his right hand or arm at all. I had 
to draw his match, light his cigar, etc. He was very quiet, 
grateful, gentle, and, I was going to say, docile. He is a 
fiery soldier, one of those whose whole face becomes trans 
figured in battle, so one of his men told me, describing his 
way with his company. He does not blow his own trumpet, 
but I made him tell me the story of his duel with the Mer 
cury s reporter. He seemed awfully ashamed of wasting 
time in such a scrape. 

That night we stopped at a country house half-way to 
ward our journey s end. There we met Mr. Charles 
Lowndes. Rawlins Lowndes, his son, is with Wade Hamp 

First we drove, by mistake, into Judge King s yard, our 


Aug. 1, 1862 FLAT ROCK, N. C. Aug. 8, 1862 

hackman mistaking the place for the hotel. Then we made 
Farmer s Hotel (as the seafaring men say). 

Burnet Rhett, with his steed, was at the door ; horse and 
man were caparisoned with as much red and gold artillery 
uniform as they could bear. He held his horse. The stir 
rups were Mexican, I believe; they looked like little side 
saddles. Seeing his friend and crony, George Cuthbert, 
alight and leave a veiled lady in the carriage, this hand 
some and undismayed young artillerist walked round and 
round the carriage, talked with the driver, looked in at the 
doors, and at the front. Suddenly I bethought me to raise 
my veil and satisfy his curiosity. Our eyes met, and I 
smiled. It was impossible to resist the comic disappoint 
ment on his face w r hen a woman old enough to be George 
Cuthbert s mother, with the ravages of a year of gastric 
fever, almost fainting with fatigue, greeted his vision. He 
instantly mounted his gallant steed and pranced away to 
his fiancee. He is to marry the greatest heiress in the 
State, Miss Aiken. Then Captain Cuthbert told me his 

At Kate s, I found Sally Rutledge, and then for weeks 
life was a blank; I remember nothing. The illness which 
had been creeping on for so long a time took me by the 
throat. At Greenville I had met many friends. I wit 
nessed the wooing of Barny Heyward, once the husband of 
the lovely Lucy Izard, now a widower and a bon parti. 
He was there nursing Joe, his brother. So was the beauti 
ful Henrietta Magruder Heyward, now a widow, for poor 
Joe died. There is something magnetic in Tatty Clinch s 
large and lustrous black eyes. No man has ever resisted 
their influence. She says her virgin heart has never beat 
one throb the faster for any mortal here below until now, 
when it surrenders to Barny. Well, as I said, Joseph Hey 
ward died, and rapidly did the bereaved beauty shake the 
dust of this poor Confederacy from her feet and plume her 
wings for flight across the water. 



[Let me insert here now, much later, all I know of that 
brave spirit, George Cuthbert. While I was living in the 
winter of 1863 at the corner of Clay and Twelfth Streets in 
Richmond, he came to see me. Never did man enjoy life 
more. The Preston girls were staying at my house then, 
and it was very gay for the young soldiers who ran down 
from the army for a day or so. We had heard of him, as 
usual, gallantly facing odds at Sharpsburg. 1 And he asked 
if he should chance to be wounded would I have him 
brought to Clay Street. 

He was shot at Chancellorsville, 2 leading his men. The 
surgeon did not think him mortally wounded. He sent me 
a message that he was coming at once to our house. He 
knew he would soon get well there. Also that * I need not 
be alarmed; those Yankees could not kill me." He asked 
one of his friends to write a letter to his mother. After 
ward he said he had another letter to write, but that he 
wished to sleep first, he felt so exhausted. At his request 
they then turned his face away from the light and left him. 
When they came again to look at him, they found him dead. 
He had been dead for a long time. It was bitter cold; 
wounded men lost much blood and were weakened in that 
way; they lacked warm blankets and all comforts. Many 
died who might have been saved by one good hot drink or a 
few mouthfuls of nourishing food. 

One of the generals said to me : Fire and reckless cour 
age like Captain Cuthbert s are contagious; such men in an 

1 The battle of Sharpsburg, or Antietam, one of the bloodiest of 
the war, was fought in western Maryland, a few miles north of Har 
per s Ferry, on September 16 and 17, 1862, the Federals being under 
McClellan, and the Confederates under Lee. 

2 The battle of Chancellorsville, where the losses on each side were 
more than ten thousand men, was fought about fifty miles northwest 
of Richmond on May 2, 3, and 4, 1863. The Confederates were under 
Lee and the Federals under Hooker. In this battle Stonewall Jackson 
was killed. 


Aug. 1, 1862 FLAT ROCK, N. C. Aug. 8, 1862 

army are invaluable; Josses like this weakened us, indeed. " 
But I must not linger longer around the memory of the 
bravest of the brave a true exemplar of our old regime, 
gallant, gay, unfortunate. M. B. C.] 

August 8th. Mr. Daniel Blake drove down to my sis 
ter s in his heavy, substantial English phaeton, with stout 
and strong horses to match. I went back with him and 
spent two delightful days at his hospitable mansion. I met 
there, as a sort of chaplain, the Rev. Mr. . He dealt un 
fairly by me. We had a long argument, and when we knelt 
down for evening prayers, he introduced an extempora 
neous prayer and prayed for me most palpably. There was 
I down on my knees, red-hot with rage and fury. David 
W. said it was a clear case of hitting a fellow when he was 
down. Afterward the fun of it all struck me, and I found 
it difficult to keep from shaking with laughter. It was not 
an edifying religious exercise, to say the least, as far as I 
was concerned. 

Before Chancellorsville, was fatal Sharpsburg. 1 My 
friend, Colonel Means, killed on the battle-field; his only 
son, Stark, wounded and a prisoner. His wife had not re 
covered from the death of her other child, Emma, who had 
died of consumption early in the war. She was lying on a 
bed when they told her of her husband s death, and then 
they tried to keep Stark s condition from her. They think 
now that she misunderstood and believed him dead, too. 
She threw something over her face. She did not utter one 
word. She remained quiet so long, some one removed the 
light shawl which she had thrown over her head and found 

1 During the summer of 1862, after the battle of Malvern Hill and 
before Sharpsburg, or Antietam, the following important battles had 
taken place: Harrison s Landing, July 3d and 4th; Harrison s Land 
ing again, July 31st; Cedar Mountain, August 9th; Bull Run (second 
battle), August 29th and 30th, and South Mountain, September 14th. 



she was dead. Miss Mary Stark, her sister, said afterward, 
" No wonder! How was she to face life without her hus 
band and children? That was all she had ever lived for. " 
These are sad, unfortunate memories. Let us run away 
from them. 

What has not my husband been doing this year, 1862, 
when all our South Carolina troops are in Virginia ? Here 
we were without soldiers or arms. He raised an army, so to 
speak, and imported arms, through the Trenholm firm. He 
had arms to sell to the Confederacy. He laid the founda 
tion of a niter-bed ; and the Confederacy sent to Columbia to 
learn of Professor Le Conte how to begin theirs. He bought 
up all the old arms and had them altered and repaired. 
He built ships. He imported clothes and shoes for our soj- 
diers, for which things they had long stood sorely in need. 
He imported cotton cards and set all idle hands carding 
and weaving. All the world was set to spinning cotton. H& 
tried to stop the sale of whisky, and alas, he called for re 
serves that is, men over age, arid he committed the unfor 
givable offense of sending the sacred negro property to 
work on fortifications away from their owners planta 




July 8, 1863 July 30, 1863 

HORTLAND, Ala., Juhj 8, 1863. My mother ill at 
her home on the plantation near here where I have 
come to see her. But to go back first to my trip 
home from Flat Rock to Camden. At the station, I saw 
men sitting 011 a row of coffins smoking, talking, and laugh 
ing, with their feet drawn up tailor-fashion to keep them 
out of the wet. Thus does war harden people s hearts. 

Met James Chesnut at Wilmington. He only crossed 
the river with me and then went back to Richmond. He 
was violently opposed to sending our troops into Pennsyl 
vania : wanted all we could spare sent West to make an 
end there of our enemies. He kept dark about Vallandig- 
ham. 1 I am sure we could not trust him to do us any good, 
or to do the Yankees any harm. The Coriolanus business 
is played out. 

As we came to Camden, Molly sat by me in the cars. 
She touched me, and, with her nose in the air, said : " Look, 
Missis." There was the inevitable bride and groom at 
least so I thought and the irrepressible kissing and lolling 
against each other which I had seen so often before. I was 
rather astonished at Molly s prudery, but there was a touch 

1 Clement Baird Vallandigham was an Ohio Democrat who repre 
sented the extreme wing of Northern sympathizers with the South. He 
was arrested by United States troops in May, 1863, court-martialed 
and banished to the Confederacy. Not being well received in the 
South, he went to Canada, but after the war returned to Ohio. 



in this scene which was new. The man required for his 
peace of mind that the girl should brush his cheek with 
those beautiful long eyelashes of hers. Molly became so 
outraged in her blue-black modesty that she kept her head 
out of the window not to see ! When we were detained at a 
little wayside station, this woman made an awful row about 
her room. She seemed to know me and appealed to me ; said 
her brother-in-law was adjutant to Colonel K , etc. 

Molly observed, " You had better go yonder, ma am, 
where your husband is calling you." The woman drew 
herself up proudly, and, with a toss, exclaimed: " Hus 
band, indeed ! I m a widow. That is my cousin. I loved 
my dear husband too well to marry again, ever, ever! " 
Absolutely tears came into her eyes. Molly, loaded as she 
was with shawls and bundles, stood motionless, and said: 
* After all that gwine-on in the kyars ! 0, Lord, I should 
a let it go twas my husband and me ! nigger as I am. 

Here I was at home, on a soft bed, with every physical 
comfort; but life is one long catechism there, due to the 
curiosity of stay-at-home people in a narrow world. 

In Richmond, Molly and Lawrence quarreled. He de 
clared he could not put up with her tantrums. Unfortu 
nately I asked him, in the interests of peace and a quiet 
house, to bear with her temper ; I did, said I, but she was 
so good and useful. He was shabby enough to tell her what 
I had said at their next quarrel. The awful reproaches she 
overwhelmed me with then ! She said she was mortified 
that I had humbled her before Lawrence. 

But the day of her revenge came. At negro balls in 
Richmond, guests were required to carry " passes," and, 
in changing his coat Lawrence forgot his pass. Next day 
Lawrence was missing, and Molly came to me laughing to 
tears. * Come and look, said she. * Here is the fine gen 
tleman tied between two black niggers and marched off to 
jail." She laughed and jeered so she could not stand with 
out holding on to the window. Lawrence disregarded her 


July 8, 1863 PORTLAND, ALA. July 30, 1863 

and called to me at the top of his voice: " Please, ma am, 
ask Mars Jeems to come take me out of this. I ain t done 
nothin ." 

As soon as Mr. Chesnut came home I told him of Law 
rence s sad fall, and he went at once to his rescue. There 
had been a fight and a disturbance at the ball. The police 
had been called in, and when every negro was required to 
show his " pass," Lawrence had been taken up as having 
none. He was terribly chopfallen when he came home 
walking behind Mr. Chesnut. He is always so respectable 
and well-behaved and stands on his dignity. 

I went over to Mrs. Preston s at Columbia. Camden 
had become simply intolerable to me. There the telegram 
found me, saying I must go to my mother, who was ill at her 
home here in Alabama. Colonel Goodwyn, his wife, and 
two daughters were going, and so I joined the party. I tele 
graphed Mr. Chesnut for Lawrence, and he replied, for 
bidding me to go at all ; it was so hot, the cars so disagreea 
ble, fever would be the inevitable result. Miss Kate Hamp 
ton, in her soft voice, said: " The only trouble in life is 
when one can t decide in which way duty leads. Once know 
your duty, then all is easy. 

I do not know whether she thought it my duty to obey 
my husband. But I thought it my duty to go to my mother, 
as I risked nothing but myself. 

We had two days of an exciting drama under our very 
noses, before our eyes. A party had come to Columbia who 
said they had run the blockade, had come in by flag of 
truce, etc. Colonel Goodwyn asked me to look around and 
see if I could pick out the suspected crew. It was easily 
done. We were all in a sadly molting condition. We had 
come to the end of our good clothes in three years, and 
now our only resource was to turn them upside down, or 
inside out, and in mending, darning, patching, etc. 

Near me on the train to Alabama sat a young woman 
in a traveling dress of bright yellow ; she wore a profusion 



of curls, had pink cheeks, was delightfully airy and easy in 
her manner, and was absorbed in a flirtation with a Confed 
erate major, who, in spite of his nice, new gray uniform and 
two stars, had a very Yankee face, fresh, clean-cut, sharp, 
utterly unsunburned, florid, wholesome, handsome. What 
more in compliment can one say of one s enemies? Two 
other women faced this man and woman, and we knew 
them to be newcomers by their good clothes. One of these 
women was a German. She it was who had betrayed them. 
I found that out afterward. 

The handsomest of the three women had a hard, North 
ern face, but all were in splendid array as to feathers, flow 
ers, lace, and jewelry. If they were spies why were they 
so foolish as to brag of New York, and compare us unfavor 
ably with the other side all the time, and in loud, shrill 
accents ? Surely that was not the way to pass unnoticed in 
the Confederacy. 

A man came in, stood up, and read from a paper, The 
surrender of Vicksburg. " 1 I felt as if I had been struck a 
hard blow on the top of my head, and my heart took one of 
its queer turns. I was utterly unconscious : not long, I dare 
say. The first thing I heard was exclamations of joy and 
exultation from the overdressed party. My rage and 
humiliation were great. A man within earshot of this 
party had slept through everything. He had a greyhound 
face, eager and inquisitive when awake, but now he was as 
one of the seven sleepers. 

Colonel Goodwyn wrote on a blank page of my book 
(one of De Quincey s the note is there now), that the 
sleeper was a Richmond detective. 

1 Vicksburg surrendered on July 4, 1863. Since the close of 1862, it 
had again and again been assaulted by Grant and Sherman. It was com 
manded by Johnston and Pemberton, Pemberton being in command at 
the time of the surrender. John C. Pemberton was a native of Philadel 
phia, a graduate of West Point, and had served in the Mexican War. 
16 219 

July 8, 1863 PORTLAND, ALA. July 30, 1863 

Finally, hot and tired out, we arrived at West 
Point, on the Chattahoochee River. The dusty cars were 
quite still, except for the giggling flirtation of the yellow 
gown and her major. Two Confederate officers walked 
in. I felt mischief in the air. One touched the smart ma 
jor, who was whispering to Yellow Gown. The major 
turned quickly. Instantly, every drop of blood left his 
face ; a spasm seized his throat ; it was a piteous sight. And 
at once I was awfully sorry for him. He was marched out 
of the car. Poor Yellow Gown s color was fast, but the 
whites of her eyes were lurid. Of the three women spies 
we never heard again. They never do anything worse to 
women, the high-minded Confederates, than send them out 
of the country. But when we read soon afterward of the 
execution of a male spy, we thought of the " major/ 

At Montgomery the boat waited for us, and in my haste 
I tumbled out of the omnibus with Dr. Robert Johnson s 
assistance, but nearly broke my neck. The thermometer 
was high up in the nineties, and they gave me a stateroom 
over the boiler. I paid out my Confederate rags of money 
freely to the maid in order to get out of that oven. Surely, 
go where we may hereafter, an Alabama steamer in August 
lying under the bluff with the sun looking down, will give 
one a foretaste, almost an adequate idea, of what s to come, 
as far as heat goes. The planks of the floor burned one s 
feet under the bluff at Selma, where we stayed nearly all 
day I do not know why. 

Met James Boy kin, who had lost 1,200 bales of cotton at 
Vicksburg, and charged it all to Jeff Davis in his wrath, 
which did not seem exactly reasonable to me. At Portland 
there was a horse for James Boykin, and he rode away, 
promising to have a carriage sent for me at once. But he 
had to go seven miles on horseback before he reached my 
sister Sally s, and then Sally was to send back. On that 
lonely riverside Molly and I remained with dismal swamps 
on every side, and immense plantations, the white people 



few or none. In my heart I knew my husband was right 
when he -forbade me to undertake this journey. 

There was one living thing at this little riverside inn 
a white man who had a store opposite, and oh, how drunk 
he was ! Hot as it was, Molly kept up a fire of pine knots. 
There was neither lamp nor candle in that deserted house. 
The drunken man reeled over now and then, lantern in 
hand ; he would stand with his idiotic, drunken glare, or go 
solemnly staggering round us, but always bowing in his 
politeness. He nearly fell over us, but I sprang out of his 
way as he asked, * * Well, madam, what can I do for you ? ; 

Shall I ever forget the headache of that night and the 
fright? My temples throbbed with dumb misery. I sat 
upon a chair, Molly on the floor, with her head resting 
against my chair. She was as near as she could get to me, 
and I kept my hand on her. " Missis," said she, " now I 
do believe you are scared, scared of that poor, drunken 
thing. If he was sober I could whip him in a fair fight, 
and drunk as he is I kin throw him over the banister, ef 
he so much as teches you. I don t value him a button ! : 

Taking heart from such brave words I laughed. It 
seemed an eternity, but the carriage came by ten o clock, 
and then, with the coachman as our sole protector, we poor 
women drove eight miles or more over a carriage road, 
through long lanes, swamps of pitchy darkness, with plan 
tations on every side. 

The house, as we drew near, looked like a graveyard in 
a nightmare, so vague and phantom-like were its outlines. 

I found my mother ill in bed, feeble still, but better 
than I hoped to see her. " I knew you would come," was 
her greeting, with outstretched hands. Then I went to bed 
in that silent house, a house of the dead it seemed. I sup 
posed I was not to see my sister until the next day. But 
she came in some time after I had gone to bed. She kissed 
me quietly, without a tear. She was thin and pale, but her 
voice was calm and kind. 


JulyS, 1863 PORTLAND, ALA July-SO, 1863 

As she lifted the candle over her head, to show me some 
thing on the wall, I saw that her pretty brown hair was 
white. It was awfully hard not to burst out into violent 
weeping. She looked so sweet, and yet so utterly broken 
hearted. But as she was without emotion, apparently, it 
would not become me to upset her by my tears. 

Next day, at noon, Hetty, mother s old maid, brought 
my breakfast to my bedside. Such a breakfast it was! 
Delmonico could do no better. " It is ever so late, I 
know," to which Hetty replied: " Yes, we would not let 
Molly wake you. " " What a splendid cook you have here. 
" My daughter, Tenah, is Miss Sally s cook. She s well 
enough as times go, but when our Miss Mary comes to see 
us I does it myself, and she courtesied down to the floor. 
" Bless your old soul," I cried, and she rushed over and 
gave me a good hug. 

She is my mother s factotum; has been her maid since 
she was six years old, when she was bought from a Virginia 
speculator along with her own mother and all her brothers 
and sisters. She has been pampered until she is a rare old 
tyrant at times. She can do everything better than any 
one else, and my mother leans on her heavily. Hetty is 
Dick s wife; Dick is the butler. They have over a dozen 
children and take life very easily. 

Sally came in before I was out of bed, and began at 
once in the same stony way, pale and cold as ice, to tell me 
of the death of her children. It had happened not two weeks 
before. Her eyes were utterly without life ; no expression 
whatever, and in a composed and sad sort of manner she 
told the tale as if it were something she had read and 
wanted me to hear : 

My eldest daughter, Mary, had grown up to be a love 
ly girl. She was between thirteen and fourteen, you know. 
Baby Kate had my sister s gray eyes; she was evidently to 
be the beauty of the family. Strange it is that here was 
one of my children who has lived and has gone and you 



have never seen her at all. She died first, and I would not 
go to the funeral. I thought it would kill me to see her put 
under the ground. I was lying down, stupid with grief 
when Aunt Charlotte came to me after the funeral with this 
news : Mary has that awful disease, too. There was 
nothing to say. I got up and dressed instantly and went to 
Mary. I did not leave her side again in that long struggle 
between life and death. I did everything for her with my 
own hands. I even prepared my darling for the grave. I 
went to her funeral, and I came home and walked straight 
to my mother and I begged her to be comforted; I would 
bear it all without one word if God would only spare me the 
one child left me now. 

Sally has never shed a tear, but has grown twenty 
years older, cold, hard, careworn. With the same rigidity 
of manner, she began to go over all the details of Mary s ill 
ness. I had not given up hope, no, not at all. As I sat by 
her side, she said: Mamma, put your hand on my knees; 
they are so cold. I put my hand on her knee; the cold 
struck to my heart. I knew it was the coldness of death. 
Sally put out her hand on me, and it seemed to recall the 
feeling. She fell forward in an agony of weeping that 
lasted for hours. The doctor said this reaction was a bless 
ing ; without it she must have died or gone mad. 

While the mother was so bitterly weeping, the little 
girl, the last of them, a bright child of three or four, 
crawled into my bed. * Now, Auntie, she whispered, * I 
want to tell you all about Mamie and Katie, but they watch 
me so. They say I must never talk about them. Katie 
died because she ate blackberries, I know that, and then 
Aunt Charlotte read Mamie a letter and that made her die, 
too. Maum Hetty says they have gone to God, but I know 
the people saved a place between them in the ground for 

Uncle William was in despair at the low ebb of patriot 
ism out here. " West of the Savannah River," said he, 


July 8, 1863 PORTLAND, "ALA. July 30, 1863 

" it is property first, life next, honor last." He gave me 
an excellent pair of shoes. What a gift ! For more than a 
year I have had none but some dreadful things Armstead 
makes for me, and they hurt my feet so. These do not fit, 
but that is nothing ; they are large enough and do not pinch 
anywhere. I have absolutely a respectable pair of shoes ! ! 

Uncle William says the men who went into the war to 
save their negroes are abjectly wretched. Neither side now 
cares a fig for these beloved negroes, and would send them 
all to heaven in a hand-basket, as Custis Lee says, to win 
in the fight. 

General Lee and Mr. Davis want the negroes put into 
the army. Mr. Chesnut and Major Venable discussed the 
subject one night, but would they fight on our side or de 
sert to the enemy? They don t go to the enemy, because 
they are comfortable as they are, and expect to be free 

When we were children our nurses used to give us tea 
out in the open air on little pine tables scrubbed as clean as 
milk-pails. Sometimes, as Dick would pass us, with his slow 
and consequential step, we would call out, " Do, Dick, 
come and wait on us." " No, little missies, I never wait 
on pine tables. Wait till you get big enough to put your 
legs under your pa s mahogany. 

I taught him to read as soon as I could read myself, 
perched on his knife-board. He won t look at me now; 
but looks over my head, scenting freedom in the air. He 
was always very ambitious. I do not think he ever troubled 
himself much about books. But then, as my father said, 
Dick, standing in front of his sideboard, has heard all sub 
jects in earth or heaven discussed, and by the best heads 
in our world. He is proud, too, in his way. Hetty, his 
wife, complained that the other men servants looked finer 
in their livery. Nonsense, old woman, a butler never 
demeans himself to wear livery. He is always in plain 
clothes. Somewhere he had picked that up. 



He is the first negro in whom I have felt a change. Oth 
ers go about in their black masks, not a ripple or an emo 
tion showing, and yet on all other subjects except the war 
they are the most excitable of all races. Now Dick might 
make a very respectable Egyptian Sphinx, so inscrutably 
silent is he. He did deign to inquire about General Rich 
ard Anderson. " He was my young master once," said he. 
I always will like him better than anybody else. 

When Dick married Hetty, the Anderson house was 
next door. The two families agreed to sell either Dick or 
Hetty, whichever consented to be sold. Hetty refused out 
right, and the Andersons sold Dick that he might be with 
his wife. This was magnanimous on the Andersons part, 
for Hetty was only a lady s-maid and Dick was a trained 
butler, on whom Mrs. Anderson had spent no end of pains 
in his dining-room education, and, of course, if they had 
refused to sell Dick, Hetty would have had to go to them, 
Mrs. Anderson was very much disgusted with Dick s in 
gratitude when she found he was willing to leave them. 
As a butler he is a treasure ; he is overwhelmed with dignity, 
but that does not interfere with his work at all. 

My father had a body-servant, Simon, who could imi 
tate his master s voice perfectly. He would sometimes call 
out from the yard after my father had mounted his horse : 
" Dick, bring me my overcoat. I see you there, sir, hurry 
up. When Dick hastened out, overcoat in hand, and only 
Simon was visible, after several obsequious " Yes, mars- 
ter; just as marster pleases," my mother had always to 
step out and prevent a fight. Dick never forgave her 

Once in Sumter, when my father was very busy pre 
paring a law case, the mob in the street annoyed him, and 
he grumbled about it as Simon was making up his fire. 
Suddenly he heard, as it were, himself speaking, the Hon. 
S. D. Miller Lawyer Miller," as the colored gentleman 
announced himself in the dark appeal to the gentlemen 


July 8, 1863 PORTLAND, ALA. July 30, 1863 

outside to go away and leave a lawyer in peace to prepare 
his case for the next day. My father said he could have 
sworn the sound was that of his own voice. The crowd dis 
persed, but some noisy negroes came along, and upon them 
Simon rushed with the sulky whip, slashing around in the 
dark, calling himself " Lawyer Miller," who was deter 
mined to have peace. 

Simon returned, complaining that " them niggers run 
so he never got in a hundred yards of one of them. 

At Portland, we met a man who said: " Is it not 
strange that in this poor, devoted land of ours, there are 
some men who are making money by blockade-running, 
cheating our embarrassed government, and skulking the 
fight? " 

Montgomery, July 30th. Coming on here from Port 
land there was no stateroom for me. My mother alone had 
one. My aunt and I sat nodding in armchairs, for the 
floors and sofas were covered with sleepers, too. On the 
floor that night, so hot that even a little covering of clothes 
could not be borne, lay a motley crew. Black, white, and 
yellow disported themselves in promiscuous array. Chil 
dren and their nurses, bared to the view, were wrapped 
in the profoundest slumber. No caste prejudices were here. 
Neither Garrison, John Brown, nor Gerrit Smith ever 
dreamed of equality more untrammeled. A crow-black, 
enormously fat negro man waddled in every now and then 
to look after the lamps. The atmosphere of that cabin was 
stifling, and the sight of those figures on the floor did not 
make it more tolerable. So we soon escaped and sat out 
near the guards. 

The next day was the very hottest I have ever known. 
One supreme consolation was the watermelons, the very fin 
est, and the ice. A very handsome woman, whom T did not 
know, rehearsed all our disasters in the field. And then, as 
if she held me responsible, she faced me furiously, " And 
where are our big men? " " Whom do you mean? " I 



mean our leaders, the men we have a right to look to to save 
us. They got us into this scrape. Let them get us out of 
it. Where are our big men ? : I sympathized with her and 
understood her, but I answered lightly, " I do not know 
the exact size you want them." 

Here in Montgomery, we have been so hospitably re 
ceived. Ye gods ! how those women talked ! and all at the 
same time ! They put me under the care of General Dick 
Taylor s brother-in-law, a Mr. Gordon, who married one 
of the Beranges. A very pleasant arrangement it was for 
me. He was kind and attentive and vastly agreeable with 
his New Orleans anecdotes. On the first of last January all 
his servants left him but four. To these faithful few he 
gave free papers at once, that they might lose naught by 
loyalty should the Confederates come into authority once 
more. He paid high wages and things worked smoothly for 
some weeks. One day his wife saw some Yankee officers 7 
cards on a table, and said to her maid, " I did not know 
any of these people had called ? : 

Oh, Missis ! the maid replied, * they come to see me, 
and I have been waiting to tell you. It is too hard ! I can 
not do it! I can not dance with those nice gentlemen at 
night at our Union Balls and then come here and be your 
servant the next day. I can t ! ; " So, " said Mr. Gordon, 
" freedom must be followed by fraternity and equality." 
One by one the faithful few slipped away and- the family 
were left to their own devices. Why not ? 

When General Dick Taylor s place was sacked his ne 
groes moved down to Algiers, a village near New Orleans. 
An old woman came to Mr. Gordon to say that these ne 
groes wanted him to get word to " Mars Dick " that they 
were dying of disease and starvation ; thirty had died that 
day. Dick Taylor s help being out of the question, Mr. 
Gordon applied to a Federal officer. He found this one not 
a philanthropist, but a cynic, who said : All right ; it is 
working out as I expected. Improve negroes and Indians 


July 8, 1863 PORTLAND, -ALA. July 30, 1863 

off the continent. Their strong men we put in the army. 
The rest will disappear/* 

Joe Johnston can sulk. As he is sent West, he says, 
11 They may give Lee the army Joe Johnston trained." 
Lee is reaping where he sowed, he thinks, but then he was 
backing straight through Richmond when they stopped his 




August 10, 1863 September 7, 1863 

0ICHMOND, Va., August 10, 1863. To-day I had a 
letter from my sister, who wrote to inquire about 
her old playmate, friend, and lover, Boy kin McCaa. 
It is nearly twenty years since each was married ; each now 
has children nearly grown. To tell the truth, she writes, 
in these last dreadful years, with David in Florida, where 
I can not often hear from him, and everything dismal, anx 
ious, and disquieting, I had almost forgotten Boykin s ex 
istence, but he came here last night ; he stood by my bedside 
and spoke to me kindly and affectionately, as if we had just 
parted. I said, holding out my hand, Boykin, you are 
very pale. He answered, I have come to tell you good- 
by, and then seized both my hands. His own hands were 
as cold and hard as ice ; they froze the marrow of my bones. 
I screamed again and again until my whole household came 
rushing in, and then came the negroes from the yard, all 
wakened by my piercing shrieks. This may have been a 
dream, but it haunts me. 

Some one sent me an old paper with an account of his 
wounds and his recovery, but I know he is dead." 
" Stop ! " said my husband at this point, and then he read 
from that day s Examiner these words: " Captain Bur- 
well Boykin McCaa found dead upon the battle-field lead 
ing a cavalry charge at the head of his company. He was 
shot through the head." 

The famous colonel of the Fourth Texas, by name John 


Aug. 10, 1863 RICHMOND, VA. Sept. 7, 1863 

Bell Hood, 1 is here him we call Sam, because his class 
mates at West Point did so for what cause is not known. 
John Darby asked if he might bring his hero to us ; bragged 
of him extensively; said he had won his three stars, etc., 
under Stonewall s eye, and that he was promoted by Stone 
wall s request. When Hood came with his sad Quixote 
face, the face of an old Crusader, who believed in his cause, 
his cross, and his crown, we were not prepared for such a 
man as a beau-ideal of the wild Texans. He is tall, thin, 
and shy ; has blue eyes and light hair ; a tawny beard, and 
a vast amount of it, covering the lower part of his face, the 
whole appearance that of awkward strength. Some one 
said that his great reserve of manner he carried only into 
the society of ladies. Major Venable added that he had 
often heard of the light of battle shining in a man s eyes. 
He had seen it once when he carried to Hood orders from 
Lee, and found in the hottest of the fight that the man was 
transfigured. The fierce light of Hood s eyes I can never 

Hood came to ask us to a picnic next day at Drury s 
Bluff. 2 The naval heroes were to receive us and then we 
were to drive out to the Texan camp. We accused John 
Darby of having instigated this unlooked-for festivity. We 
were to have bands of music and dances, with turkeys, 
chickens, and buffalo tongues to eat. Next morning, just 
as my foot was on the carriage-step, the girls standing be 
hind ready to follow me with Johnny and the Infant 
Samuel (Captain Shannon by proper name), up rode John 
Darby in red-hot haste, threw his bridle to one of the men 
who was holding the horses, and came toward us rapidly, 
clanking his cavalry spurs with a despairing sound as he 

1 Hood was a native of Kentucky and a graduate of West Point. 

2 Drury s Bluff lies eight miles south of Richmond on the James 
River. Here, on May 16, 1864, the Confederates under Beauregard 
repulsed the Federals under Butler. 










cried : Stop ! it s all up. We are ordered back to the 
Rappahannoek. The brigade is marching through Rich 
mond now. So we unpacked and unloaded, dismissed the 
hacks and sat down with a sigh. 

* Suppose we go and see them pass the turnpike, some 
one said. The suggestion was hailed with delight, and off 
we marched. Johnny and the Infant were in citizens 
clothes, and the Straggler as Hood calls John Darby, since 
the Prestons have been in Richmond was all plaided and 
plumed in his surgeon s array. He never bated an inch of 
bullion or a feather ; he was courting and he stalked ahead 
with Mary Preston, Buck, and Johnny. The Infant and 
myself, both stout and scant of breath, lagged last. They 
called back to us, as the Infant came toddling along, 
* * Hurry up or we will leave you. 

At the turnpike we stood on the sidewalk and saw ten 
thousand men march by. We had seen nothing like this be 
fore. Hitherto we had seen only regiments inarching spick 
and span in their fresh, smart clothes, just from home and 
on their way to the army. Such rags and tags as we saw 
now. Nothing was like anything else. Most garments and 
arms were such as had been taken from the enemy. Such 
shoes as they had on. " Oh, our brave boys! " moaned 
Buck. Such tin pans and pots as were tied to their waists, 
with bread or bacon stuck on the ends of their bayonets. 
Anything that could be spiked was bayoneted and held 

They did not seem to mind their shabby condition ; they 
laughed, shouted, and cheered as they marched by. Not a 
disrespectful or light word was spoken, but they went for 
the men who were huddled behind us, and who seemed to be 
trying to make themselves as small as possible in order to 
escape observation. 

Hood and his staff finally came galloping up, dismount 
ed, and joined us. Mary Preston gave him a bouquet. 
Thereupon he unwrapped a Bible, which he carried in his 


Aug. 10, 1863 RICHMOND, VA. Sept. 7, 1863 

pocket. He said his mother had given it to him. He 
pressed a flower in it. Mary Preston suggested that he had 
not worn or used it at all, being fresh, new, and beautifully 
kept. Every word of this the Texans heard as they 
marched by, almost touching us. They laughed and joked 
and made their own rough comments. 

September 7th. Major Edward Johnston did not get 
into the Confederacy until after the first battle of Manas- 
sas. For some cause, before he could evade that potentate, 
Seward rang his little bell and sent him to a prison in the 
harbor of New York. I forget whether he was exchanged 
or escaped of his own motion. The next thing I heard of 
my antebellum friend he had defeated Milroy in Western 
Virginia. There were so many Johnstons that for this vic 
tory they named him Alleghany Johnston. 

He had an odd habit of falling into a state of incessant 
winking as soon as he became the least startled or agitated. 
In such times he seemed persistently to be winking one eye 
at you. He meant nothing by it, and in point of fact did 
not know himself that he was doing it. In Mexico he had 
been wounded in the eye, and the nerve vibrates independ 
ently of his will. During the winter of 1862 and 1863 he 
was on crutches. After a while he hobbled down Franklin 
Street with us, we proud to accommodate our pace to that 
of the wounded general. His ankle continued stiff ; so when 
he sat down another chair had to be put before him. On 
this he stretched out his stiff leg, straight as a ramrod. At 
that time he was our only wounded knight, and the girls 
waited on him and made life pleasant for him. 

One night I listened to two love-tales at once, in a dis 
tracted state of mind between the two. William Porcher 
Miles, in a perfectly modulated voice, in cadenced accents 
and low tones, was narrating the happy end of his affair. 
He had been engaged to sweet little Bettie Bierne, and I 
gave him my congratulations with all my heart. It was a 
capital match, suitable in every way, good for her, and 



good for him. I was deeply interested in Mr. Miles s story, 
but there was din and discord on the other hand ; old Ed 
ward, our pet general, sat diagonally across the room with 
one leg straight out like a poker, wrapped in red carpet 
leggings, as red as a turkey-cock in the face. His head is 
strangely shaped, like a cone or an old-fashioned beehive; 
or, as Buck said, there are three tiers of it ; it is like a pope s 

There he sat, with a loud voice and a thousand winks, 
making love to Mary P. I make no excuse for listening. 
It was impossible not to hear him. I tried not to lose a 
word of Mr. Miles s idyl as the despair of the veteran was 
thundered into my other ear. I lent an ear to each conver 
sationalist. Mary can not altogether control her voice, and 
her shrill screams of negation, "No, no, never," etc., ut 
terly failed to suppress her wounded lover s obstreperous 
asseverations of his undying affection for her. 

Buck said afterward : We heard every word of it on 
our side of the room, even when Mamie shrieked to him that 
he was talking too loud. Now, Mamie, said we afterward, 
" do you think it was kind to tell him he was forty if he 
was a day? " 

Strange to say, the pet general, Edward, rehabilitated 
his love in a day; at least two days after he was heard to 
say that he was " paying attentions now to his cousin, 
John Preston s second daughter ; her name, Sally, but they 
called her Buck Sally Buchanan Campbell Preston, a 
lovely girl/ And with her he now drove, rode, and hob 
bled on his crutches, sent her his photograph, and in due 
time cannonaded her, from the same spot where he had 
courted Mary, with proposals to marry him. 

Buck was never so decided in her " Nos " as Mary. 
(" Not so loud, at least " thus in amendment, says Buck, 
who always reads what I have written, and makes comments 
of assent or dissent.) So again he began to thunder in 
a woman s ears his tender passion. As they rode down 


Aug. 10, 1863 RICHMOND, VA. Sept. 7, 1863 

Franklin Street, Buck says she knows the people on the 
sidewalk heard snatches of the conversation, though she 
rode as rapidly as she could, and she begged him not to talk 
so loud. Finally, they dashed up to our door as if they 
had been running a race. Unfortunate in love, but fortu 
nate in war, our general is now winning new laurels with 
Ewell in the Valley or with the Army of the Potomac. 

I think I have told how Miles, still " so gently o er me 
leaning," told of his successful love while General Ed 
ward Johnston roared unto anguish and disappointment 
over his failures. Mr. Miles spoke of sweet little Bettie 
Bierne as if she had been a French girl, just from a con 
vent, kept far from the haunts of men wholly for him. 
One would think to hear him that Bettie had never cast 
those innocent blue eyes of hers on a man until he came 

Now, since I first knew Miss Bierne in 1857, when Pat 
Calhoun was to the fore, she has been followed by a tale of 
men as long as a Highland chief s. Every summer at the 
Springs, their father appeared in the ballroom a little 
before twelve and chased the three beautiful Biernes 
home before him in spite of all entreaties, and he was said 
to frown away their too numerous admirers at all hours of 
the day. 

This new engagement was confided to me as a profound 
secret. Of course, I did not mention it, even to my own 
household. Next day little Alston, Morgan s adjutant, and 
George Deas called. As Colonel Deas removed his gloves, 
he said: "Oh! the Miles and Bierne sensation have you 
heard of it? " "No, what is the row about? " " They 
are engaged to be married; that s all." " Who told 
you? " " Miles himself, as we walked down Franklin 
Street, this afternoon." " And did he not beg you not to 
mention it, as Bettie did not wish it spoken of ? " " God 
bless my soul, so he did. And I forgot that part entirely." 

Colonel Alston begged the stout Carolinian not to take 



his inadvertent breach of faith too much to heart. Miss 
Bettie s engagement had caused him a dreadful night. A 
young man, who was his intimate friend, came to his room 
in the depths of despair and handed him a letter from Miss 
Bierne, which was the cause of all his woe. Not knowing 
that she was already betrothed to Miles, he had proposed 
to her in an eloquent letter. In her reply, she positively 
stated that she was engaged to Mr. Miles, and instead of 
thanking her for putting him at once out of his misery, he 
considered the reason she gave as trebly aggravating the 
agony of the love-letter and the refusal. Too late ! " he 
yelled, * by Jingo ! : So much for a secret. 

Miss Bierne and I became fast friends. Our friendship 
was based on a mutual admiration for the honorable mem 
ber from South Carolina. Colonel and Mrs. Myers and 
Colonel and Mrs. Chesnut were the only friends of Mr. 
Miles who were invited to the wedding. At the church 
door the sexton demanded our credentials. No one but 
those whose names he held in his hand were allowed to en 
ter. Not twenty people were present a mere handful 
grouped about the altar in that large church. 

We were among the first to arrive. Then came a faint 
nutter and Mrs. Parkman (the bride s sister, swathed in 
weeds for her young husband, who had been killed within a 
year of her marriage) came rapidly up the aisle alone. She 
dropped upon her knees in the front pew, and there re 
mained, motionless, during the whole ceremony, a mass of 
black crape, and a dead weight on my heart. She has had 
experience of war. A cannonade around Richmond inter 
rupted her marriage service a sinister omen and in a 
year thereafter her bridegroom was stiff and stark dead 
upon the field of battle. 

While the wedding-march turned our thoughts from her 

and thrilled us with sympathy, the bride advanced in white 

satin and point d Alencon. Mrs. Myers whispered that it 

was Mrs. Parkman s wedding-dress that the bride had on. 

17 235 

Aug. 10, 1863 RICHMOND*, VA. Sept. 7, 1863 

She remembered the exquisite lace, and she shuddered with 
superstitious forebodings. 

All had been going on delightfully in-doors, but a sharp 
shower cleared the church porch of the curious ; and, as the 
water splashed, we wondered how we were to assemble our 
selves at Mrs. McFarland s. All the horses in Richmond 
had been impressed for some sudden cavalry necessity a 
few days before. I ran between Mr. McFarland and Sena 
tor Semmes with my pretty Paris rose-colored silk turned 
over my head to save it, and when we arrived at the hospi 
table mansion of the McFarlands, Mr. McFarland took me 
straight into the drawing-room, man-like, forgetting that 
my ruffled plumes needed a good smoothing and preening. 

Mrs. Lee sent for me. She was staying at Mrs. Caskie s. 
I was taken directly to her room, where she was lying on the 
bed. She said, before I had taken my seat: " You know 
there is a fight going on now at Brandy Station 1 " x * * Yes, 
we are anxious. John Chesnut s company is there, too." 
She spoke sadly, but quietly. " My son, Roony, is wound 
ed; his brother has gone for him. They will soon be here 
and we shall know all about it unless Roony s wife takes 
him to her grandfather. Poor lame mother, I am useless 
to my children." Mrs. Caskie said: " You need not be 
alarmed. The General said in his telegram that it was not 
a severe wound. You know even Yankees believe General 

That day, Mrs. Lee gave me a likeness of the General in 
a photograph taken soon after the Mexican War. She likes 
it so much better than the later ones. He certainly was a 
handsome man then, handsomer even than now. I shall 
prize it for Mrs. Lee s sake, too. She said old Mrs. Chesnut 
and her aunt, Nellie Custis (Mrs. Lewis) were very inti 
mate during Washington s Administration in Philadelphia. 
I told her Mrs. Chesnut, senior, was the historical member 

1 The battle of Brandy Station, Va., occurred June 9, 1863. 


of our family; she had so much to tell of Revolutionary 
times. She was one of the " white-robed choir " of little 
maidens who scattered flowers before Washington at Tren 
ton Bridge, which everybody who writes a life of Washing 
ton asks her to give an account of. 

Mrs. Ould and Mrs. Davis came home with me. Law 
rence had a basket of delicious cherries. " If there were 
only some ice," said I. Respectfully Lawrence answered, 
and also firmly : l Give me money and you shall have ice. 
By the underground telegraph he had heard of an ice-house 
over the river, though its fame was suppressed by certain 
Sybarites, as they wanted it all. In a wonderfully short 
time we had mint-juleps and sherry-cobblers. 

Altogether it has been a pleasant day, and as I sat alone 
I was laughing lightly now and then at the memory of 
some funny story. Suddenly, a violent ring ; and a regular 
sheaf of telegrams were handed me. I could not have 
drawn away in more consternation if the sheets had been a 
nest of rattlesnakes. First, Frank Hampton was killed at 
Brandy Station. Wade Hampton telegraphed Mr. Chesnut 
to. see Robert Barnwell, and make the necessary arrange 
ments to recover the body. Mr. Chesnut is still at Wilming 
ton. I sent for Preston Johnston, and my neighbor, Colonel 
Patton, offered to see that everything proper was done. 
That afternoon I walked out alone. Willie Mountford had 
shown me where the body, all that was left of Frank Hamp 
ton, was to be laid in the Capitol. Mrs. Petticola joined me 
after a while, and then Mrs. Singleton. 

Preston Hampton and Peter Trezevant, with myself and 
Mrs. Singleton, formed the sad procession which followed 
the coffin. There was a company of soldiers drawn up in 
front of the State House porch. Mrs. Singleton said we had 
better go in and look at him before the coffin was finally 
closed. How I wish I had not looked. I remember him so 
well in all the pride of his magnificent manhood. He died 
of a saber-cut across the face and head, and was utterly dis- 


Aug. 10, 1863 RICHMOND*, VA. Sept. 7, 1863 

figured. Mrs. Singleton seemed convulsed with grief. In 
all my life I had never seen such bitter weeping. She had 
her own troubles, but I did not know of them. We sat for 
a long time on the great steps of the State House. Every 
body had gone and we were alone. 

We talked of it all how we had gone to Charleston to 
see Rachel in Adrienne Lecouvreur, and how, as I stood 
waiting in the passage near the drawing-room, I had met 
Frank Hampton bringing his beautiful bride from the 
steamer. They had just landed. Afterward at Mrs. Sin 
gleton s place in the country we had all spent a delightful 
week together. And now, only a few years have passed, 
but nearly all that pleasant company are dead, and our 
world, the only world we cared for, literally kicked to 
pieces. And she cried, * * We are two lone women, stranded 
here." Rev. Robert Barnwell was in a desperate condition, 
and Mary Barnwell, her daughter, was expecting her con 
finement every day. 

Here now, later, let me add that it was not until I got 
back to Carolina that I heard of Robert Barnwell s death, 
with scarcely a day s interval between it and that of Mary 
and her new-born baby. Husband, wife, and child were 
buried at the same time in the same grave in Columbia. 
And now, Mrs. Singleton has three orphan grandchildren. 
What a woful year it has been to her. 

Robert Barnwell had insisted upon being sent to the hos 
pital at Staunton. On account of his wife s situation the 
doctor also had advised it. He was carried off on a mattress. 
His brave wife tried to prevent it, and said : " It is only fe 
ver." And she nursed him to the last. She tried to say good- 
by cheerfully, and called after him : " As soon as my trouble 
is over I will come to you at Staunton." At the hospital 
they said it was typhoid fever. He died the second day 
after he got there. Poor Mary fainted when she heard the 
ambulance drive away with him. Then she crept into a 
low trundle-bed kept for the children in her mother s room. 



She never left that bed again. When the message came 
from Staunton that fever was the matter with Robert and 
nothing more, Mrs. Singleton says she will never forget the 
expression in Mary s eyes as she turned and looked at her. 
" Robert will get well," she said, " it is all right." Her 
face was radiant, blazing with light. That night the baby 
was born, and Mrs. Singleton got a telegram that Robert 
was dead. She did not tell Mary, standing, as she did, at 
the window while she read it. She was at the same time 
looking for Robert s body, which might come any mo 
ment. As for Mary s life being in danger, she had never 
thought of such a thing. She was thinking only of Robert. 
Then a servant touched her and said : * Look at Mrs. Barn- 
well. She ran to the bedside, and the doctor, who had come 
in, said, " It is all over ; she is dead. Not in anger, not in 
wrath, came the angel of death that day. He came to set 
Mary free from a world grown too hard to bear. 

During Stoneman s raid 1 I burned some personal pa 
pers. Molly constantly said to me, " Missis, listen to de 
guns. Burn up everything. Mrs. Lyons says they are sure 
to come, and they ll put in their newspapers whatever you 
write here, every day. The guns did sound very near, and 
when Mrs. Davis rode up and told me that if Mr. Davis 
left Richmond I must go with her, I confess I lost my head. 
So I burned a part of my journal but rewrote it afterward 
from memory my implacable enemy that lets me forget 
none of the things I would. I am weak with dates. I do 
not always worry to look at the calendar and write them 
down. Besides I have not always a calendar at hand. 

1 George S. Stoneman, a graduate of West Point, was now a Major- 
General, and Chief of Artillery in the Army of the Potomac. His raid 
toward Richmond in 1863 was a memorable incident of the war. 
After the war, he became Governor of California. 




September 10, 1863 November 5, 1863 

AMDEN, S. C., September 10, 1863. It is a comfort 
to turn from small political jealousies to our grand 
battles to Lee and Kirby Smith after Council and 
Convention squabbles. Lee has proved to be all that my 
husband prophesied of him when he was so unpopular and 
when Joe Johnston was the great god of war. The very 
sound of the word convention or council is wearisome. Not 
that I am quite ready for Richmond yet. We must look 
after home and plantation affairs, which we have sadly 
neglected. Heaven help my husband through the deep 

The wedding of Miss Aiken, daughter of Governor Ai- 
ken, the largest slave-owner in South Carolina; Julia Rut- 
ledge, one of the bridesmaids; the place Flat Rock. We 
could not for a while imagine what Julia would do for a 
dress. My sister Kate remembered some muslin she had in 
the house for curtains, bought before the war, and laid 
aside as not needed now. The stuff was white and thin, a 
little coarse, but then we covered it with no end of beauti 
ful lace. It made a charming dress, and how altogether 
lovely Julia looked in it! The night of the wedding it 
stormed as if the world were coming to an end wind, rain, 
thunder, and lightning in an unlimited supply around the 
mountain cottage. 

The bride had a duchesse dressing-table, muslin and 
lace; not one of the shifts of honest, war-driven poverty, 



but a millionaire s attempt at appearing economical, in the 
idea that that style was in better taste as placing the family 
more on the same plane with their less comfortable compa 
triots. A candle was left too near this light drapery and 
it took fire. Outside was lightning enough to fire the 
world ; inside, the bridal chamber was ablaze, and there was 
wind enough to blow the house down the mountainside. 

The English maid behaved heroically, and, with the aid 
of Mrs. Aiken s and Mrs. Mat Singleton s servants, put the 
fire out without disturbing the marriage ceremony, then be 
ing performed below. Everything in the bridal chamber 
was burned up except the bed, and that was a mass of cin 
ders, soot, and flakes of charred and blackened wood. 

At Kingsville I caught a glimpse of our army. Long- 
street s corps was going West. God bless the gallant fel 
lows ! Not one man was intoxicated ; not one rude word did 
I hear. It was a strange sight one part of it. There were 
miles, apparently, of platform cars, soldiers rolled in their 
blankets, lying in rows, heads all covered, fast asleep. In 
their gray blankets, packed in regular order, they looked 
like swathed mummies. One man near where I sat was 
writing on his knee. He used his cap for a desk and he was 
seated on a rail. I watched him, wondering to whom that 
letter was to go home, no doubt. Sore hearts for him 

A feeling of awful depression laid hold of me. All these 
fine fellows were going to kill or be killed. Why? And a 
phrase got to beating about my head like an old song, The 
Unreturning Brave." When a knot of boyish, laughing, 
young creatures passed me, a queer thrill of sympathy 
shook me. Ah, I know how your home-folks feel, poor chil 
dren! Once, last winter, persons came to us in Camden 
with such strange stories of Captain - , Morgan s man; 
stories of his father, too ; turf tales and murder, or, at least, 
how he killed people. He had been a tremendous favorite 
with my husband, who brought him in once, leading him 


Sept. 10, 1863 CAMDEN, S. C. Nov. 5, 1863 

by the hand. Afterward he said to me, " With these girls 
in the house we must be more cautious." I agreed to 

be coldly polite to . " After all," I said, " I barely 

know him." 

When he called afterward in Richmond I was very glad 
to see him, utterly forgetting that he was under a ban. We 
had a long, confidential talk. He told me of his wife and 
children ; of his army career, and told Morgan stories. He 
grew more and more cordial and so did I. He thanked me 
for the kind reception given him in that house; told me I 
was a true friend of his, and related to me a scrape he was 
in which, if divulged, would ruin him, although he was in 
nocent ; but time would clear all things. He begged me not 
to repeat anything he had told me of his affairs, not even 
to Colonel Chesnut ; which I promised promptly, and then 
he went away. I sat poking the fire thinking what a cu 
riously interesting creature he was, this famous Captain 

, when the folding-doors slowly opened and Colonel 
Chesnut appeared. He had come home two hours ago from 
the War Office with a headache, and had been lying on the 
sofa behind that folding-door listening for mortal hours. 

" So, this is your style of being * coldly polite/ " he 
said. Fancy my feelings. " Indeed, I had forgotten all 
about what they had said of him. The lies they told of 
him never once crossed my mind. He is a great deal clev 
erer, and, I dare say, just as good as those who malign 

Mattie Reedy (I knew her as a handsome girl in Wash 
ington several years ago) got tired of hearing Federals 
abusing John Morgan. One day they were worse than ever 
in their abuse and she grew restive. By way of putting a 
mark against the name of so rude a girl, the Yankee officer 
said, " What is your name? " " Write * Mattie Reedy 
now, but by the grace of God one day I hope to call myself 
the wife of John Morgan." She did not know Morgan, 
but Morgan eventually heard the story ; a good joke it was 



said to be. But he made it a point to find her out ; and, as 
she was as pretty as she was patriotic, by the grace of God, 
she is now Mrs. Morgan ! These timid Southern women un 
der the guns can be brave enough. 

Aunt Charlotte has told a story of my dear mother. 
They were up at Shelby, Ala., a white man s country, 
where negroes are not wanted. The ladies had with them 
several negroes belonging to my uncle at whose house they 
were staying in the owner s absence. One negro man who 
had married and dwelt in a cabin was for some cause partic 
ularly obnoxious to the neighborhood. My aunt and my 
mother, old-fashioned ladies, shrinking from everything 
outside their own door, knew nothing of all this. They oc 
cupied rooms on opposite sides of an open passage-way. 
Underneath, the house was open and unfinished. Suddenly, 
one night, my aunt heard a terrible noise apparently as 
of a man running for his life, pursued by men and dogs, 
shouting, hallooing, barking. She had only time to lock her 
self in. Utterly cut off from her sister, she sat down, dumb 
with terror, when there began loud knocking at the door, 
with men swearing, dogs tearing round, sniffing, racing in 
and out of the passage and barking underneath the house 
like mad. Aunt Charlotte was sure she heard the panting 
of a negro as he ran into the house a few minutes before. 
What could have become of him? Where could he have 
hidden? The men shook the doors and windows, loudly 
threatening vengeance. My aunt pitied her feeble sister, 
cut off in the room across the passage. This fright might 
kill her ! 

The cursing and shouting continued unabated. A man s 
voice, in harshest accents, made itself heard above all: 
:t Leave my house, you rascals! " said the voice. " If 
you are not gone in two seconds, I 11 shoot ! There was a 
dead silence except for the noise of the dogs. Quickly the 
men slipped away. Once out of gunshot, they began to call 
their dogs. After it was all over my aunt crept across the 


Sept. 10, 1863 CAMDEN, S. C. Nov. 5, 1863 

passage. " Sister, what man was it scared them away? " 
My mother laughed aloud in her triumph. " I am the 
man," she said. 

* But where is John ? Out crept John from a corner 
of the room, where my mother had thrown some rubbish 
over him. Lawd bless you, Miss Mary opened de do for 
me and dey was right behind runnin me Aunt says 
mother was awfully proud of her prowess. And she 
showed some moral courage, too ! 

At the President s in Richmond once, General Lee was 
there, and Constance and Hetty Gary came in; also Miss 
Sanders and others. Constance Gary * was telling some war 
anecdotes, among them one of an attempt to get up a sup 
per the night before at some high and mighty F. F. V. s 
house, and of how several gentlefolks went into the kitchen 
to prepare something to eat by the light of one forlorn can 
dle. One of the men in the party, not being of a useful 
temperament, turned up a tub and sat down upon it. 
Custis Lee, wishing also to rest, found nothing upon which 
to sit but a gridiron. 

One remembrance I kept of the evening at the Presi 
dent s: General Lee bowing over the beautiful Miss Gary s 
hands in the passage outside. Miss - - rose to have her 
part in the picture, and asked Mr. Davis to walk with her 
into the adjoining drawing-room. He seemed surprised, 
but rose stiffly, and, with a scowling brow, was led off. As 
they passed where Mrs. Davis sat, Miss - , with all sail 
set, looked back and said: " Don t be jealous, Mrs. Davis; 
I have an important communication to make to the Presi 
dent." Mrs. Davis s amusement resulted in a significant 
* Now ! Did you ever ? 

During Stoneman s raid, on a Sunday I was in Mrs. 

1 Miss Constance Gary afterward married Burton Harrison and set 
tled in New York where she became prominent socially and achieved 
reputation as a novelist. 



Randolph s pew. The battle at -Chancellorsyille was also 
raging. The rattling of^ammunition wagons, the tramp of 
soldiers, the everlasting slamming of those iron gates of the 
Capitol Square just opposite the church, made it hard to 
attend to the service. 

Then began a scene calculated to make the stoutest heart 
quail. The sexton would walk quietly up the aisle to de 
liver messages to worshipers whose relatives had been 
brought in wounded, dying, or dead. Pale-faced people 
would then follow him out. Finally, the Rev. Mr. Minne- 
gerode bent across the chancel-rail to the sexton for a few 
minutes, whispered with the sexton, and then disappeared. 
The assistant clergyman resumed the communion which 
Mr. Minnegerode had been administering. At the church 
door stood Mrs. Minnegerode, as tragically wretched and as 
wild-looking as ever Mrs. Siddons was. She managed to 
say to her husband, " Your son is at the station, dead! " 
When these agonized parents reached the station, however, 
it proved to be some one else s son who was dead but a son 
all the same. Pale and wan came Mr. Minnegerode back to 
his place within the altar rails. After the sacred commu 
nion was over, some one asked him what it all meant, and 
he said: " Oh, it was not my son who was killed, but it 
came so near it aches me yet ! : 

At home I found L. Q. Washington, who stayed to 
dinner. I saw that he and my husband were intently pre 
occupied by some event which they did not see fit to com 
municate to me. Immediately after dinner my husband 
lent Mr. Washington one of his horses and they rode off to 
gether. I betook myself to my kind neighbors, the Pattons, 
for information. There I found Colonel Patton had gone, 
too. Mrs. Patton, however, knew all about the trouble. 
She said there was a raiding party within forty miles of us 
and no troops were in Richmond ! They asked me to stay 
to tea those kind ladies and in some way we might learn 
what was going on. After tea we went out to the Capitol 


Sept. 10, 1863 CAMDEN, 9. C. Nov. 5, 1863 

Square, Lawrence and three men-servants going along to 
protect us. They seemed to be mustering in citizens by the 
thousands. Company after company was being formed; 
then battalions, and then regiments. It was a wonderful 
sight to us, peering through the iron railing, watching them 
fall into ranks. 

Then we went to the President s, finding the family at 
supper. We sat on the white marble steps, and General 
Elzey told me exactly how things stood and of our imme 
diate danger. Pickets were coming in. Men were spurring 
to and from the door as fast as they could ride, bringing 
and carrying messages and orders. Calmly General Elzey 
discoursed upon our present weakness and our chances for 
aid. After a while Mrs. Davis came out and embraced me 

" It is dreadful," I said. " The enemy is within forty 
miles of us only forty! " " Who told you that tale? " 
said she. " They are within three miles of Richmond! " 
I went down on my knees like a stone. * You had better be 
quiet," she said. " The President is ill. Women and chil 
dren must not add to the trouble." She asked me to stay 
all night, which I was thankful to do. 

We sat up. Officers were coming and going; and we 
gave them what refreshment we could from a side table, 
kept constantly replenished. Finally, in the excitement, 
the constant state of activity and change of persons, we for 
got the danger. Officers told us jolly stories and seemed in 
fine spirits, so we gradually took heart. There was not a 
moment s rest for any one. Mrs. Davis said something more 
amusing than ever : * We look like frightened women and 
children, don t we? " 

Early next morning the President came down. He was 
still feeble and pale from illness. Custis Lee and my hus 
band loaded their pistols, and the President drove off in 
Dr. Garnett s carriage, my husband and Custis Lee on 
horseback alongside him. By eight o clock the troops from 



Petersburg came in, and the danger was over. The author 
ities will never strip Richmond of troops again. We had a 
narrow squeeze for it, but we escaped. It was a terrible 
night, although we made the best of it. 

I was walking on Franklin Street when I met my hus 
band. " Come with me to the War Office for a few min 
utes," said he, " and then I will go home with you." 
What could I do but go ? He took me up a dark stairway, 
and then down a long, dark corridor, and he left me sitting 
in a window, saying he " would not be gone a second " ; 
he was obliged to go into the Secretary of War s room. 
There I sat mortal hours. Men came to light the gas. 
From the first I put down my veil so that nobody might 
know me. Numbers of persons passed that I knew, but I 
scarcely felt respectable seated up there in that odd way, 
so I said not a word but looked out of the window. Judge 
Campbell slowly walked up and down with his hands be 
hind his back the saddest face I ever saw. He had jumped 
down in his patriotism from Judge of the Supreme Court, 
U. S. A., to be under-secretary of something or other I do 
not know what C. S. A. No wonder he was out of spirits 
that night ! 

Finally Judge Ould came ; him I called, and he joined 
me at once, in no little amazement to find me there, and 
stayed with me until James Chesnut appeared. In point 
of fact, I sent him to look up that stray member of my 

When my husband came he said : Oh, Mr. Seddon and 
I got into an argument, and time slipped away ! The truth 
is, I utterly forgot you were here." When we were once 
more out in the street, he began : Now, don t scold me, 
for there is bad news. Pemberton has been fighting the 
Yankees by brigades, and he has been beaten every time; 
and now Vicksburg must go! " I suppose that was his 
side of the argument with Seddon. 

Once again I visited the War Office. I went with Mrs. 


Sept. 10, 1863 CAMDEN, "S. C. N<. 5, 1863 

Quid to see her husband at his office. We wanted to ar 
range a party on the river on the flag-of -truce boat, and to 
visit those beautiful places, Claremont and Brandon. My 
husband got into one of his " too careful "fits; said there 
was risk in it ; and so he upset all our plans. Then I was 
to go up to John Rutherford s by the canal-boat. That, too, 
he vetoed " too risky," as if anybody was going to trouble 

October 24th. James Chesnut is at home on his way 
back to Richmond; had been sent by the President to 
make the rounds of the Western armies; says Polk is a 
splendid old fellow. They accuse him of having been 
asleep in his tent at seven o clock when he was ordered to 
attack at daylight, but he has too good a conscience to sleep 
so soundly. 

The battle did not begin until eleven at Chickamauga 1 
when Bragg had ordered the advance at daylight. Bragg 
and his generals do not agree. I think a general worthless 
whose subalterns quarrel with him. Something is wrong 
about the man. Good generals are adored by their soldiers. 
See Napoleon, Ca?sar, Stonewall, Lee. 

Old Sam (Hood) received his orders to hold a certain 
bridge against the enemy, and he had already driven the 
enemy several miles beyond it, when the slow generals were 
still asleep. Hood has won a victory, though he has only 
one leg to stand on. 

Mr. Chesnut was with the President when he reviewed 
our army under the enemy s guns before Chattanooga. He 
told Mr. Davis that every honest man he saw out West 
thought well of Joe Johnston. He knows that the President 
detests Joe Johnston for all the trouble he has given him, 

1 The battle of Chickamauga was fought on the river of the same 
name, near Chattanooga, September 19 and 20, 1863. The Confederates 
were commanded by Bragg and the Federals by Rosecrans. It was 
one of the bloodiest battles of the war ; the loss on each side, including 
killed, wounded, and prisoners, was over 15,000. 



and General Joe returns the compliment with compound 
interest. His hatred of Jeff Davis amounts to a religion. 
With him it colors all things. 

Joe Johnston advancing, or retreating, I may say with 
more truth, is magnetic. He does draw the good-will of 
those by whom he is surrounded. Being such a good hater, 
it is a pity he had not elected to hate somebody else than 
the President of our country. He hates not wisely but too 
well. Our friend Breckinridge 1 received Mr. Chesnut with 
open arms. There is nothing narrow, nothing self-seeking, 
about Breckinridge. He has not mounted a pair of green 
spectacles made of prejudices so that he sees no good ex 
cept in his own red-hot partizans. 

October 27tli. Young Wade Hampton has been here 
for a few days, a guest of our nearest neighbor and cousin, 
Phil Stockton. Wade, without being the beauty or the ath 
lete that his brother Preston is, is such a nice boy. We lent 
him horses, and ended by giving him a small party. What 
was lacking in company was made up for by the excellence 
of old Colonel Chesnut s ancient Madeira and champagne. 
If everything in the Confederacy were only as truly good 
as the old Colonel s wine-cellars ! Then we had a salad and 
a jelly cake. 

General Joe Johnston is so careful of his aides that 
Wade has never yet seen a battle. Says he has always hap 
pened to be sent afar off when the fighting came. He does 
not seem too grateful for this, and means to be transferred 
to his father s command. He says, * No man exposes him 
self more recklessly to danger than General Johnston, and 
no one strives harder to keep others out of it." But the 
business of this war is to save the country, and a commander 
must risk his men s lives to do it. There is a French saying 

1 John C. Breckinridge had been Vice-President of the United States 
under Buchanan and was the candidate of the Southern Democrats for 
President in 1860. He joined the Confederate Army in 1861. 


Sept. 10, 1863 CAMDEN, S. C. Nov. 5, 1863 

that you can t make an omelet unless you are willing to 
break eggs. 

November 5th. For a week we have had such a tran 
quil, happy time here. Both my husband and Johnny are 
here still. James Chesnut spent his time sauntering around 
with his father, or stretched on the rug before my fire read 
ing Vanity Fair and Pendennis. By good luck he had not 
read them before. We have kept Esmond for the last. He 
owns that he is having a good time. Johnny is happy, too. 
He does not care for books. He will read a novel now and 
then, if the girls continue to talk of it before him. Nothing 
else whatever in the way of literature does he touch. He 
comes pulling his long blond mustache irresolutely as if 
he hoped to be advised not to read it " Aunt Mary, shall 
I like this thing ? : I do not think he has an idea what we 
are fighting about, and he does not want to know. He says, 
* My company, " My men, with a pride, a faith, and an 
affection which are sublime. He came into his inheritance 
at twenty-one (just as the war began), and it was a goodly 
one, fine old houses and an estate to match. 

Yesterday, Johnny went to his plantation for the first 
time since the war began. John Witherspoon went with 
him, and reports in this way : l How do you do, Mars- 
ter ! How you come on ? ; thus from every side rang the 
noisiest welcome from the darkies. Johnny was silently 
shaking black hands right and left as he rode into the 

As the noise subsided, to the overseer he said : Send 
down more corn and fodder for my horses." And to the 
driver, " Have you any peas? " Plenty, sir." " Send 
a wagon-load down for the cows at Bloomsbury while I 
stay there. They have not milk and butter enough there 
for me. Any eggs? Send down all you can collect. How 
about my turkeys and ducks? Send them down two at a 
time. How about the mutton? Fat? That s good; send 
down two a week." 



As they rode home, John Witherspoon remarked, " I 
was surprised that you did not go into the fields to see your 
crops." " What was the use? " " And the negroes; you 
had so little talk with them." 

No use to talk to them before the overseer. They are 
coming down to Bloomsbury, day and night, by platoons 
and they talk me dead. Besides, William and Parish go up 
there every night, and God knows they tell me enough plan 
tation scandal overseer feathering his nest ; negroes ditto 
at my expense. Between the two fires I mean to get some 
thing to eat while I am here. 

For him we got up a charming picnic at Mulberry. 
Everything was propitious the most perfect of days and 
the old place in great beauty. Those large rooms were de 
lightful for dancing; we had as good a dinner as mortal 
appetite could crave; the best fish, fowl, and game; wine 
from a cellar that can not be excelled. In spite of blockade 
Mulberry does the honors nobly yet. Mrs. Edward Stock 
ton drove down with me. She helped me with her taste and 
tact in arranging things. We had no trouble, however. 
All of the old servants who have not been moved to Blooms- 
bury scented the prey from afar, and they literally flocked 
in and made themselves useful. 

18 251 



November 28, 1863 April 11, 1864 

ICHMOND, Va., November 28, 1863. Our pleasant 
home sojourn was soon broken up. Johnny had to 
go back to Company A, and my husband was or 
dered by the President to make a second visit to Bragg s 
Army. 1 

So we came on here where the Prestons had taken apart 
ments for me. Molly was with me. Adam Team, the over 
seer, with Isaac McLaughlin s help, came with us to take 
charge of the eight huge boxes of provisions I brought from 
home. Isaac, Molly s husband, is a servant of ours, the only 
one my husband ever bought in his life. Isaac s wife be 
longed to Rev. Thomas Davis, and Isaac to somebody else. 
The owner of Isaac was about to go West, and Isaac was 
distracted. They asked one thousand dollars for him. He 
is a huge creature, really a magnificent specimen of a col 
ored gentleman. His occupation had been that of a stage- 
driver. Now, he is a carpenter, or will be some day. He is 
awfully grateful to us for buying him ; is really devoted to 
his wife and children, though he has a strange way of show 
ing it, for he has a mistress, en titre, as the French say, 
which fact Molly never failed to grumble about as soon as 
his back was turned. u Great big good-for-nothing thing 
come a-whimpering to marster to buy him for his wife s 

1 Braxton Bragg was a native of North Carolina and had won dis- 
r_ tinction in the war with Mexico. 



sake, and all the time he an" " Oh, Molly, stop that! " 
said I. 

Mr. Davis visited Charleston and had an enthusiastic 
reception. He described it all to General Preston. Gov 
ernor Aiken s perfect old Carolina style of living delighted 
him. Those old gray-haired darkies and their noiseless, au 
tomatic service, the result of finished training one does 
miss that sort of thing when away from home, where your 
own servants think for you ; they know your ways and your 
wants; they save you all responsibility even in matters of 
your own ease and well doing. The butler at Mulberry 
would be miserable and feel himself a ridiculous failure 
were I ever forced to ask him for anything. 

November 30th. I must describe an adventure I had in 
Kingsville. Of course, I know nothing of children : in point 
of fact, am awfully afraid of them. 

Mrs. Edward Barnwell came with us from Camden. 
She had a magnificent boy two years old. Now don t ex 
pect me to reduce that adjective, for this little creature is 
a wonder of childlike beauty, health, and strength. Why 
not ? If like produces like, and with such a handsome pair 
to claim as father and mother ! The boy s eyes alone would 
make any girl s fortune. 

At first he made himself very agreeable, repeating nur 
sery rhymes and singing. Then something went wrong. 
Suddenly he changed to a little fiend, fought and kicked 
and scratched like a tiger. He did everything that was 
naughty, and he did it with a will as if he liked it, while his 
lovely mamma, with flushed cheeks and streaming eyes, 
was imploring him to be a good boy. 

When we stopped at Kingsville, I got out first, then 
Mrs. Barnwell s nurse, who put the little man down by me. 
* Look after him a moment, please, ma am, she said. * * I 
must help Mrs. Barnwell with the bundles, etc. She 
stepped hastily back and the cars moved off. They ran 
down a half mile to turn. I trembled in my shoes. This 


Nov. 28, 1863 RICHMOND, VA. April 11, 1864 

child! No man could ever frighten me so. If he should 
choose to be bad again! It seemed an eternity while I 
waited for that train to turn and come back again. My lit 
tle charge took things quietly. For me he had a perfect con 
tempt, no fear whatever. And I was his abject slave for 
the nonce. 

He stretched himself out lazily at full length. Then he 
pointed downward. " Those are great legs," said he sol 
emnly, looking at his own. I immediately joined him in ad 
miring them enthusiastically. Near him he spied a bundle. 
Pussy cat tied up in that bundle. He was up in a sec 
ond and pounced upon it. If we were to be taken up as 
thieves, no matter, I dared not meddle with that child. I 
had seen what he could do. There were several cooked 
sweet potatoes tied up in an old handkerchief belonging 
to some negro probably. He squared himself off comfort 
ably, broke one in half and began to eat. Evidently he had 
found what he was fond of. In this posture Mrs. Barnwell 
discovered us. She came with comic dismay in every fea 
ture, not knowing what our relations might be, and whether 
or not we had undertaken to fight it out alone as best we 
might. The old nurse cried, " Lawsy me! " with both 
hands uplifted. Without a word I fled. In another mo 
ment the Wilmington train would have left me. She was 
going to Columbia. 

We broke down only once between Kingsville and Wil 
mington, but between Wilmington and Weldon we con 
trived to do the thing so effectually as to have to remain 
twelve hours at that forlorn station. 

The one room that I saw was crowded with soldiers. 
Adam Team succeeded in securing two chairs for me, 
upon one of which I sat and put my feet on the other. 
Molly sat flat on the floor, resting her head against my chair. 
I woke cold and cramped. An officer, who did not give his 
name; but said he was from Louisiana, came up and urg^d 
me to go near the fire. He gave me his seat by the fire, 



where I found an old lady and two young ones, with two 
men in the uniform of common soldiers. 

We talked as easily to each other all night as if we had 
known one another all our lives. We discussed the war, the 
army, the news of the day. No questions were asked, no 
names given, no personal discourse whatever, and yet if 
these men and women were not gentry, and of the best sort, 
I do not know ladies and gentlemen when I see them. 

Being a little surprised at the want of interest Mr. 
Team and Isaac showed in my well-doing, I walked out to 
see, and I found them working like beavers. They had been 
at it all night. In the break-down my boxes were smashed. 
They had first gathered up the contents and were trying 
to hammer up the boxes so as to make them once more avail 

At Petersburg a smartly dressed woman came in, looked 
around in the crowd, then asked for the seat by me. Now 
Molly s seat was paid for the same as mine, but she got up 
at once, gave the lady her seat and stood behind me. I am 
sure Molly believes herself my body-guard as well as my 

The lady then having arranged herself comfortably in 
Molly s seat began in plaintive accents to tell her melan 
choly tale. She was a widow. She lost her husband in the 
battles around Richmond. Soon some one went out and a 
man offered her the vacant seat. Straight as an arrow she 
went in for a flirtation with the polite gentleman. Another 
person, a perfect stranger, said to me, Well, look yonder. 
As soon as she began whining about her dead beau I knew 
she was after another one." " Beau, indeed! " cried an 
other listener, she said it was her husband. " " Husband 
or lover, all the same. She won t lose any time. It won t 
be her fault if she doesn t have another one soon." 

But the grand scene was the night before: the cars 
crowded with soldiers, of course ; not a human being that I 
knew. An Irish woman, so announced by her brogue, came 


Nov. 28, 1863 RICHMOND, VA. April 11, 1864 

in. She marched up and down the car, loudly lamenting 
the want of gallantry in the men who would not make way 
for her. Two men got up and gave her their seats, saying 
it did not matter, they were going to get out at the next 

She was gifted with the most pronounced brogue I ever 
heard, and she gave us a taste of it. She continued to say 
that the men ought all to get out of that; that car was 
" shuteable " only for ladies. She placed on the vacant 
seat next to her a large looking-glass. She continued to ha 
rangue until she fell asleep. 

A tired soldier coming in, seeing what he supposed to 
be an empty seat, quietly slipped into it. Crash went the 
glass. The soldier groaned, the Irish woman shrieked. The 
man was badly cut by the broken glass. She was simply a 
mad woman. She shook her fist in his face ; said she was a 
lone woman and he had got into that seat for no good pur 
pose. How did he dare to? etc. I do not think the man 
uttered a word. The conductor took him into another car 
to have the pieces of glass picked out of his clothes, and she 
continued to rave. Mr. Team shouted aloud, and laughed 
as if he were in the Hermitage Swamp. The woman s un 
reasonable wrath and absurd accusations were comic, no 

Soon the car was silent and I fell into a comfortable 
doze. I felt Molly give me a gentle shake. Listen, Mis 
sis, how loud Mars Adam Team is talking, and all about ole 
marster and our business, and to strangers. It s a shame. 
" Is he saying any harm of us? " " No, ma am, not that. 
He is bragging for dear life bout how ole ole marster is 
and how rich he is, an all that. I gwine tell him stop." Up 
started Molly. " Mars Adam, Missis say please don t talk 
so loud. When people travel they don t do that a way." 

Mr. Preston s man, Hal, was waiting at the depot with a 
carriage to take me to my Richmond house. Mary Preston 
had rented these apartments for me. 



I found my dear girls there with a nice fire. Everything 
looked so pleasant and inviting to the weary traveler. Mrs. 
Grundy, who occupies the lower floor, sent me such a real 
Virginia tea, hot cakes, and rolls. Think of living in the 
house with Mrs. Grundy, and having no fear of * what Mrs. 
Grundy will say. 

My husband has come ; he likes the house, Grundy s, and 
everything. Already he has bought Grundy s horses for 
sixteen hundred Confederate dollars cash. He is nearer to 
being contented and happy than I ever saw him. He has 
not established a grievance yet, but I am on the lookout 
daily. He will soon find out whatever there is wrong about 
Gary Street. 

I gave a party; Mrs. Davis very witty; Preston girls 
very handsome ; Isabella s fun fast and furious. No party 
could have gone off more successfully, but my husband de 
cides we are to have no more festivities. This is not the 
time or the place for such gaieties. 

Maria Freeland is perfectly delightful on the subject 
of her wedding. She is ready to the last piece of lace, but 
her hard-hearted father says " No." She adores John 
Lewis. That goes without saying. She does not pretend, 
however, to be as much in love as Mary Preston. In point 
of fact, she never saw any one before who was. But she is 
as much in love as she can be with a man who, though he is 
not very handsome, is as eligible a match as a girl could 
make. He is all that heart could wish, and he comes of 
such a handsome family. His mother, Esther Maria Coxe, 
was the beauty of a century, and his father was a nephew 
of General Washington. For all that, he is far better look 
ing than John Darby or Mr. Miles. She always intended to 
marry better than Mary Preston or Bettie Bierne. 

Lucy Haxall is positively engaged to Captain Coffey, 
an Englishman. She is convinced that she will marry him. 
He is her first fancy. 

Mr. Venable, of Lee s staff, was at our party, so out of 


Nov. 28, 1863 RICHMONET, VA. April 11, 1864 

spirits. He knows everything that is going on. His de 
pression bodes us no good. To-day, General Hampton sent 
James Chesnut a fine saddle that he had captured from the 
Yankees in battle array. 

Mrs. Scotch Allan (Edgar Allan Poe s patron s wife) 
sent me ice-cream and lady-cheek apples from her farm. 
John R. Thompson, 1 the sole literary fellow I know in 
Richmond, sent me Leisure Hours in Town, by A Country 

My husband says he hopes I will be contented because 
he came here this winter to please me. If I could have been 
satisfied at home he would have resigned his aide-de-camp- 
ship and gone into some service in South Carolina. I am a 
good excuse, if good for nothing else. 

Old tempestuous Keitt breakfasted with us yesterday. 
I wish I could remember half the brilliant things he said. 
My husband has now gone with him to the War Office. 
Colonel Keitt thinks it is time he was promoted. He wants 
to be a brigadier. 

Now, Charleston is bombarded night and day. It fairly 

makes me dizzy to think of that everlasting racket they are 

beating about people s ears down there. Bragg defeated, 

and separated from Longstreet. It is a long street that 

:nows no turning, and Rosecrans is not taken after all. 

November 30th. Anxiety pervades. Lee is fighting 
[eade. Misery is everywhere. Bragg is falling back be 
fore Grant. 2 Longstreet, the soldiers call him Peter the 
Slow, is settling down before Knoxville. 

1 John R. Thompson was a native of Richmond and in 1847 became 
editor of the Southern Literary Messenger. Under his direction, that 
periodical acquired commanding influence. Mr. Thompson s health 
failed afterward. During the war he spent a part of his time in Rich 
mond and a part in Europe. He afterward settled in New York and 
became literary editor of the Evening Post. 

2 The siege of Chattanooga, which had been begun on September 
21st, closed late in November, 1863, the final engagements beginning 



General Lee requires us to answer every letter, said Mr. 
Venable, and to do our best to console the poor creatures 
whose husbands and sons are fighting the battles of the 

December 2d. Bragg begs to be relieved of his com 
mand. The army will be relieved to get rid of him. He 
has a winning way of earning everybody s detestation. 
Heavens, how they hate him ! The rapid flight of his army 
terminated at Ringgold. Hardie declines even a temporary 
command of the Western army. Preston Johnston has been 
sent out post-haste at a moment s warning. He was not 
even allowed time to go home and tell his wife good-by or, 
as Browne, the Englishman, said, * to put a clean shirt into 
his traveling bag." Lee and Meade are facing each other 
gallantly. 1 

The first of December we went with a party of Mrs. 
Quid s getting up, to see a French frigate which lay at 
anchor down the river. The French officers came on board 
our boat. The Lees were aboard. The French officers were 
not in the least attractive either in manners or appearance, 
but our ladies were most attentive and some showered bad 
French upon them with a lavish hand, always accompanied 
by queer grimaces to eke out the scanty supply of French 
words, the sentences ending usually in a nervous shriek. 
" Are they deaf? " asked Mrs. Randolph. 

on November 23d, and ending on November 25th. Lookout Moun 
tain and Missionary Ridge were the closing incidents of the siege. 
Grant, Sherman, and Hooker were conspicuous on the Federal side and 
Bragg and Longstreet on the Confederate. 

1 Following the battle of Gettysburg on July 1st, 2d, and 3d, ofj 
this year, there had occurred in Virginia between Lee and Meade/ 
engagements at Bristoe s Station, Kelly s Ford, and Rappahannockj 
Station, the latter engagement taking place on November 7th. The 
author doubtless refers here to the positions of Lee and Meade at Mine 
Run, December 1st. December 2d Meade abandoned his, because (as 
he is reported to have said) it would have cost him 30,000 men to carry 
Lee s breastworks, and he shrank from ordering such slaughter. 


Nw. 28, 1863 RICHMOND, VA. April 11, 1864 

The French frigate was a dirty little thing. Doctor 
Garnett was so buoyed up with hope that the French were 
coming to our rescue, that he would not let me say " an 
English man-of-war is the cleanest thing known in the 

world. " Captain said to Mary Lee, with a foreign 

contortion of countenance, that went for a smile, " I s 
bashlor. " Judge Ould said, as we went to dinner on our 
own steamer, " They will not drink our President s health. 
They do not acknowledge us to be a nation. Mind, none 
of you say * Emperor, not once." Doctor Garnett inter 
preted the laws of politeness otherwise, and stepped for 
ward, his mouth fairly distended with so much French, and 
said: " Vieff 1 Emperor." Young Gibson seconded him 
quietly, "A la sante de I Empereur." But silence pre 
vailed. Preston Hampton was the handsomest man on 
board the figure of Hercules, the face of Apollo, cried 
an enthusiastic girl. Preston was as lazy and as sleepy as 
ever. He said of the Frenchmen : * They can t help not 
being good-looking, but with all the world open to them, to 
wear such shabby clothes ! : 

The lieutenant s name was Rousseau. On the French 
frigate, lying on one of the tables was a volume of Jean 
Jacques Rousseau s works, side by side, strange to say, with 
a map of South Carolina. This lieutenant was courteously 
asked by Mary Lee to select some lady to whom she might 
introduce him. He answered: " I shuse you," with a bow 
that was a benediction and a prayer. 

And now I am in a fine condition for Hetty Gary s star 
vation party, where they will give thirty dollars for the 
music and not a cent for a morsel to eat. Preston said con 
tentedly, I hate dancing, and I hate cold water ; so I will 
eschew the festivity to-night." 

Found John R. Thompson at our house when I got home 
so tired to-night. He brought me the last number of the 
Cornhill. He knew how much I was interested in Trol- 
lope s story, Framley Parsonage. 



December 4th. My husband bought yesterday at the 
Commissary s one barrel of flour, one bushel of potatoes, 
one peck of rice, five pounds of salt beef, and one peck of 
salt all for sixty dollars. In the street a barrel of flour 
sells for one hundred and fifteen dollars. 

December 5th. Wigfall was here last night. He began 
by wanting to hang Jeff Davis. My husband managed him 
beautifully. He soon ceased to talk virulent nonsense, and 
calmed down to his usual strong common sense. I knew it 
was quite late, but I had no idea of the hour. My husband 
beckoned me out. "It is all your fault," said he. 
* What ? " Why will you persist in looking so interested 
in all Wigfall is saying? Don t let him catch your eye. 
Look into the fire. Did you not hear it strike two ? 

This attack was so sudden, so violent, so unlocked for, 
I could only laugh hysterically. However, as an obedient 
wife, I went back, gravely took my seat and looked into the 
fire. I did not even dare raise my eyes to see what my hus 
band was doing if he, too, looked into the fire. Wigfall 
soon tired of so tame an audience and took his departure. 

General Lawton was here. He was one of Stonewall s 
generals. So I listened with all my ears when he said: 
Stonewall could not sleep. So, every two or three nights 
you were waked up by orders to have your brigade in 
marching order before daylight and report in person to the 
Commander. Then you were marched a few miles out and 
then a few miles in again. All this was to make us ready, 
ever on the alert. And the end of it was this: Jackson s 
men would go half a day s march before Peter Longstreet 
waked and breakfasted. I think there is a popular delusion 
about the amount of praying he did. He certainly pre 
ferred a fight on Sunday to a sermon. Failing to manage 
a fight, he loved best a long Presbyterian sermon, Calvin- 
istic to the core. 

He had shown small sympathy with human infirmity. 
He was a one-idea-ed man. He looked upon broken-down 


. 28, 1863 RICHMOND", VA. A^U n, 1864 

men and stragglers as the same thing. He classed all who 
were weak and weary, who fainted by the wayside, as men 
wanting in patriotism. If a man s face was as white as 
cotton and his pulse so low you scarce could feel it, he 
looked upon him merely as an inefficient soldier and rode 
off impatiently. He was the true type of all great soldiers. 
Like the successful warriors of the world, he did not value 
human life where he had an object to accomplish. He 
could order men to their death as a matter of course. His 
soldiers obeyed him to the death. Faith they had in him 
stronger than death. Their respect he commanded. I 
doubt if he had so much of their love as is talked about 
while he was alive. Now, that they see a few more years 
of Stonewall would have freed them from the Yankees, 
they deify him. Any man is proud to have been one of the 
famous Stonewall brigade. But, be sure, it was bitter hard 
work to keep up with him as all know who ever served un 
der him. He gave his orders rapidly and distinctly and 
rode away, never allowing answer or remonstrance. It 
was, Look there see that place take it ! When you 
failed you were apt to be put under arrest. When you re 
ported the place taken, he only said, Good ! : 

Spent seventy-five dollars to-day for a little tea and 
sugar, and have five hundred left. My husband s pay never 
has paid for the rent of our lodgings. He came in with 
dreadful news just now. I have wept so often for things 
that never happened, I will withhold my tears now for a 
certainty. To-day, a poor woman threw herself on her dead 
husband s coffin and kissed it. She was weeping bitterly. 
So did I in sympathy. 

My husband, as I told him to-day, could see me and 
everything that he loved hanged, drawn, and quartered 
without moving a muscle, if a crowd were looking on; he 
could have the same gentle operation performed on himself 
and make no sign. To all of which violent insinuation he 
answered in unmoved tones: " So would any civilized man. 



Savages, however Indians, at least are more dignified in 
that particular than we are. Noisy, fidgety grief never 
moves me at all ; it annoys me. Self-control is what we all 
need. You are a miracle of sensibility; self-control is what 
you need. " "So you are civilized ! " I said. Some day I 
mean to be." 

December 9th. Come here, Mrs. Chesnut, said Mary 
Preston to-day, " they are lifting General Hood out of his 
carriage, here, at your door." Mrs. Grundy promptly had 
him borne into her drawing-room, which was on the first 
floor. Mary Preston and I ran down and greeted him as 
cheerfully and as cordially as if nothing had happened 
since we saw him standing before us a year ago. How he 
was waited upon ! Some cut-up oranges were brought him. 
" How kind people are," said he. " Not once since I was 
wounded have I ever been left without fruit, hard as it is 
to get now." " The money value of friendship is easily 
counted now," said some one, " oranges are five dollars 

December 10th. Mrs. Davis and Mrs. Lyons came. We 
had luncheon brought in for them, and then a lucid ex 
planation of the chronique scandaleuse, of which Beck J. 
is the heroine. We walked home with Mrs. Davis and met 
the President riding alone. Surely that is wrong. It must 
be unsafe for him when there are so many traitors, not to 
speak of bribed negroes. Burton Harrison * says Mr. Davis 
prefers to go alone, and there is none to gainsay him. 

My husband laid the law down last night. I felt it to 
be the last drop in my full cup. * i No more feasting in this 
house," said he. " This is no time for junketing and mer 
rymaking. " " And you said you brought me here to enjoy 
the winter before you took me home and turned my face to 

1 Burton Harrison, then secretary to Jefferson Davis, who married 
Miss Constance Gary and became well known as a New York lawyer. 
He died in Washington in 1904. 


Nov. 28, 1863 RICHMOND,* VA. April 11, 1864 

a dead wall." He is the master of the house; to hear is 
to obey. 

December 14th. Drove out with Mrs. Davis. She had 
a watch in her hand which some poor dead soldier wanted 
to have sent to his family. First, we went to her mantua- 
maker, then we drove to the Fair Grounds where the band 
was playing. Suddenly, she missed the watch. She remem 
bered having it when we came out of the mantua-maker s. 
We drove back instantly, and there the watch was lying 
near the steps of the little porch in front of the house. No 
one had passed in, apparently ; in any case, no one had 
seen it. 

Preston Hampton went with me to see Conny Gary. The 
talk was frantically literary, which Preston thought hard 
on him. I had just brought the St. Denis number of Les 

Sunday, Christopher Hampton walked to church with 
me. Coming out, General Lee was seen slowly making his 
way down the aisle, bowing royally to right and left. I 
pointed him out to Christopher Hampton when General Lee 
happened to look our way. He bowed low, giving me a 
charming smile of recognition. I was ashamed of being so 
pleased. I blushed like a schoolgirl. 

We went to the White House. They gave us tea. The 
President said he had been on the way to our house, coming 
with all the Davis family, to see me, but the children be 
came so troublesome they turned back. Just then, little Joe 
rushed in and insisted on saying his prayers at his father s 
knee, then and there. He was in his night-clothes. 

December 19th. A box has come from home for me. 
Taking advantage of this good fortune and a full larder, 
have asked Mrs. Davis to dine with me. Wade Hampton 
sent me a basket of game. We had Mrs. Davis and Mr. and 
Mrs. Preston. After dinner we walked to the church to see 
the Freeland-Lewis wedding. Mr. Preston had Mrs. Davis 
on his arm. My husband and Mrs. Preston, and Burton 



December 24th. As we walked, Brewster reported a 
row he had had with General Hood. Brewster had told 
those six young ladies at the Prestons that " old Sam " 
was in the habit of saying he would not marry if he could 
any silly, sentimental girl, who would throw herself away 
upon a maimed creature such as he was. When Brewster 
went home he took pleasure in telling Sam how the ladies 
had complimented his good sense, whereupon the General 
rose in his wrath and threatened to break his crutch over 
Brewster s head. To think he could be such a fool to go 
about repeating to everybody his whimperings. 

I was taking my seat at the head of the table when the 
door opened and Brewster walked in unannounced. He 
took his stand in front of the open door, with his hands in 
his pockets and his small hat pushed back as far as it could 
get from his forehead. 

" What! " said he, "you are not ready yet? The gen 
erals are below. Did you get my note? " I begged my 
husband to excuse me and rushed off to put on my bonnet 
and furs. I met the girls coming up with a strange man. 
The flurry of two major-generals had been too much for me 
and I forgot to ask the new one s name. They went up to 
dine in my place with my husband, who sat eating his din 
ner, with Lawrence s undivided attention given to him, 
amid this whirling and eddying in and out of the world mil 
itant. Mary Preston and I then went to drive with the 
generals. The new one proved to be Buckner, 1 who is also 
a Kentuckian. The two men told us they had slept together 
the night before Chickamauga. It is useless to try: legs 
can t any longer be kept out of the conversation. So Gen 
eral Buckner said : Once before I slept with a man and he 
lost his leg next day. He had made a vow never to do so 

1 Simon B. Buckner was a graduate of West Point and had served in 
the Mexican War. In 1887 he was elected Governor of Kentucky and, 
at the funeral of General Grant, acted as one of the pall-bearers. 
19 267 

Nov. 28, 1863 RICHMOND, * VA. April 11, 1864 

again. When Sam and I parted that morning, we said : 
You or I may be killed, but the cause will be safe all the 

After the drive everybody came in to tea, my husband 
in famous good humor, we had an unusually gay evening. 
It was very nice of my husband to take no notice of my con 
duct at dinner, which had been open to criticism. All the 
comfort of my life depends upon his being in good humor. 

Christmas Day, 1863. Yesterday dined with the Pres- 
tons. Wore one of my handsomest Paris dresses (from 
Paris before the war). Three magnificent Kentucky gen 
erals were present, with Senator Orr from South Carolina, 
and Mr. Miles. General Buckner repeated a speech of 
Hood s to him to show how friendly they were. I prefer a 
ride with you to the company of any woman in the world," 
Buckner had answered. I prefer your company to that of. 
any man, certainly," was Hood s reply. This became the 
standing joke of the dinner; it flashed up in every form. 
Poor Sam got out of it so badly, if he got out of it at all. 
General Buckner said patronizingly, " Lame excuses, all. 
Hood never gets out of any scrape that is, unless he can 
fight out." Others dropped in after dinner; some without 
arms, some without legs ; von Borcke, who can not speak be 
cause of a wound in his throat. Isabella said: " We have 
all kinds now, but a blind one." Poor fellows, they laugh 
at wounds. " And they yet can show many a scar." 

We had for dinner oyster soup, besides roast mut 
ton, ham, boned turkey, wild duck, partridge, plum pud 
ding, sauterne, burgundy, sherry, and Madeira, There is 
life in the old land yet! 

At my house to-day after dinner, and while Alex 
Haskell and my husband sat over the wine, Hood gave 
me an account of his discomfiture last night. He said 
he could not sleep after it; it was the hardest battle he 
had ever fought in his life, * and I was routed, as it were ; 
she told me there was no hope ; that ends it. You know at 



Petersburg on my way to the Western army she half -prom 
ised me to think of it. She would not say Yes, but she did 
not say No that is, not exactly. At any rate, I went off 
saying, I am engaged to you, and she said, * I am not en 
gaged to you. After I was so fearfully wounded I gave it 
up. But, then, since I came, etc. 

* Do you mean to say, said I, i that you had proposed 
to her before that conversation in the carriage, when you 
asked Brewster the symptoms of love? I like your audac 
ity. " " Oh, she understood, but it is all up now, for she 
says, No! " 

My husband says I am extravagant. " No, my friend, 
not that/ said I. " I had fifteen hundred dollars and I 
have spent every cent of it in my housekeeping. Not one 
cent for myself, not one cent for dress nor any personal 
want whatever. He calls me * hospitality run mad. 

January 1, 1864. General Hood s an awful flatterer 
I mean an awkward flatterer. I told him to praise my hus 
band to some one else, not to me. He ought to praise me 
to somebody who would tell my husband, and then praise 
my husband to another person who would tell me. Man 
and wife are too much one person to wave a compliment 
straight in the face of one about the other is not graceful. 

One more year of Stonewall would have saved us. 
Chickamauga is the only battle we have gained since Stone 
wall died, and no results follow as usual. Stonewall was 
not so much as killed by a Yankee : he was shot by his own 
men ; that is hard. General Lee can do no more than keep 
back Meade. " One of Meade s armies, you mean," said I, 
" for they have only to double on him when Lee whips one 
of them." 

General Edward Johnston says he got Grant a place 
esprit de corps, you know. He could not bear to see an old 
army man driving a wagon; that was when he found him 
out West, put out of the army for habitual drunkenness. 
He is their right man, a bull-headed Suwarrow. He don t 


Nov. 28, 1863 RICHMONEf, VA. April 11, 1864 

care a snap if men fall like the leaves fall ; he fights to win, 
that chap does. He is not distracted by a thousand side 
issues ; he does not see them. He is narrow and sure sees 
only in a straight line. Like Louis Napoleon, from a battle 
in the gutter, he goes straight up. Yes, as with Lincoln, 
they have ceased to carp at him as a rough clown, no gentle 
man, etc. You never hear now of Lincoln s nasty fun ; only 
of his wisdom. Doesn t take much soap arid water to wash 
the hands that the rod of empire sway. They talked of Lin 
coln s drunkenness, too. Now, since Vicksburg they have 
not a word to say against Grant s habits. He has the dis 
agreeable habit of not retreating before irresistible veterans. 
General Lee and Albert Sidney Johnston show blood and 
breeding. They are of the Bayard and Philip Sidney order 
of soldiers. Listen: if General Lee had had Grant s re 
sources he would have bagged the last Yankee, or have had 
them all safe back in Massachusetts. " You mean if he 
had not the weight of the negro question upon him? 
11 No, I mean if he had Grant s unlimited allowance of the 
powers of war men, money, ammunition, arms." 

Mrs. Ould says Mrs. Lincoln found the gardener of the 
White House so nice, she would make him a major-general. 
Lincoln remarked to the secretary: " Well, the little 
woman must have her way sometimes. 

A word of the last night of the old year. l Gloria Mun- 
di sent me a cup of strong, good coffee. I drank two cups 
and so I did not sleep a wink. Like a fool I passed my 
whole life in review, and bitter memories maddened me 
quite. Then came a happy thought. I mapped out a story 
of the war. The plot came to hand, for it was true. Johnny 
is the hero, a light dragoon and heavy swell. I will call it 
F. F. s, for it is the F. F. s both of South Carolina and 
Virginia. It is to be a war story, and the filling out of the 
skeleton was the best way to put myself to sleep. 

January 4th. Mrs. Ives wants us to translate a French 
play. A genuine French captain came in from his ship on 



the James River and gave us good advice as to how to make 
the selection. General Hampton sent another basket of 
partridges, and all goes merry as a marriage bell. 

My husband came in and nearly killed us. He brought 
this piece of news: " North Carolina wants to offer terms 
of peace ! ! We needed only a break of that kind to finish 
us. I really shivered nervously, as one does when the first 
handful of earth comes rattling down on the coffin in the 
grave of one we cared for more than all who are left. 

January 5th. At Mrs. Preston s, met the Light Bri 
gade in battle array, ready to sally forth, conquering and to 
conquer. They would stand no nonsense from, me about 
staying at home to translate a French play. Indeed, the 
plays that have been sent us are so indecent I scarcely know 
where a play is to be found that would do at all. 

While at dinner the President s carriage drove up with 
only General Hood. He sent up to ask in Maggie Howell s 
name would I go with them 1 I tied up two partridges be 
tween plates with a serviette, for Buck, who is ill, and then 
went down. We picked up Mary Preston. It was Mag 
gie s drive; as the soldiers say, I was only on " escort 
duty." At the Prestons , Major Venable met us at the door 
and took in the partridges to Buck. As we drove off Mag 
gie said: " Major Venable is a Carolinian, I see." " No; 
Virginian to the core. * But, then, he was a professor in 
the South Carolina College before the war." Mary Preston 
said : i She is taking a fling at your weakness for all South 

Came home and found my husband in a bitter mood. It 
has all gone wrong with our world. The loss of our private 
fortune the smallest part. He intimates, " with so much 
human misery filling the air, we might stay at home and 
think." " And go mad? " said I. " Catch me at it! A 
yawning grave, with piles of red earth thrown on one side ; 
that is the only future I ever see. You remember Emma 
Stockton? She and I were as blithe as birds that day at 


Nov. 28, 1863 RICHMOND), VA. April 11, 1864 

Mulberry. I came here the next day, and when I arrived 
a telegram said : Emma Stockton found dead in her bed. 
It is awfully near, that thought. No, no. I will not stop 
and think of death always." 

January 8th. Snow of the deepest. Nobody can come 
to-day, I thought. But they did! My girls, first; then 
Constance Gary tripped in the clever Conny. Hetty is 
the beauty, so called, though she is clever enough, too; but 
Constance is actually clever and has a classically perfect 
outline. Next came the four Kentuckians and Preston 
Hampton. He is as tall as the Kentuckians and ever so 
much better looking. Then we had egg-nog. 

I was to take Miss Gary to the Semmes s. My husband 
inquired the price of a carriage. It was twenty-five dollars 
an hour! He cursed by all his gods at such extravagance. 
The play was not worth the candle, or carriage, in this in 
stance. In Confederate money it sounds so much worse 
than it is. I did not dream of asking him to go with me 
after that lively overture. I did intend to go with you, 
he said, " but you do not ask me." " And I have been 
asking you for twenty years to go with me, in vain. Think 
of that ! " I said, tragically. We could not wait for him to 
dress, so I sent the twenty-five-dollar-an-hour carriage back 
for him. We were behind time, as it was. When he 
came, the beautiful Hetty Gary and her friend, Captain 
Tucker, were with him. Major von Borcke and Preston 
Hampton were at the Gary s, in the drawing-room when 
we called for Constance, who was dressing. I challenge 
the world to produce finer specimens of humanity than these 
three : the Prussian von Borcke, Preston Hampton, and 
Hetty Gary. 

We spoke to the Prussian about the vote of thanks 
passed by Congress yesterday " thanks of the country to 
Major von Borcke." The poor man was as modest as a 
girl in spite of his huge proportions. " That is a compli 
ment, indeed! " said Hetty. " Yes. I saw it. And the 



happiest, the proudest day of my life as I read it. It was 
at the hotel breakfast-table. I try to hide my face with 
the newspaper, I feel it grow so red. But my friend he has 
his newspaper, too, and he sees the same thing. So he looks 
my way he says, pointing to me Why does he grow so 
red ? He has got something there ! and he laughs. Then 
I try to read aloud the so kind compliments of the Congress 
but he you I can not He puts his hand to his 
throat. His broken English and the difficulty of his enun 
ciation with that wound in his windpipe makes it all very 
touching and very hard to understand. 

The Semmes charade party was a perfect success. The 
play was charming. Sweet little Mrs. Lawson Clay had a 
seat for me banked up among women. The female part of 
the congregation, strictly segregated from the male, were 
placed all together in rows. They formed a gay parterre, 
edged by the men in their black coats and gray uniforms. 
Toward the back part of the room, the mass of black and 
gray was solid. Captain Tucker bewailed his fate. He was 
stranded out there with those forlorn men, but could see us 
laughing, and fancied what we were saying was worth a 
thousand charades. He preferred talking to a clever wom 
an to any known way of passing a pleasant hour. So do 
I, somebody said. 

On a sofa of state in front of all sat the President and 
Mrs. Davis. Little Maggie Davis was one of the child ac 
tresses. Her parents had a right to be proud of her ; with 
her flashing black eyes, she was a marked figure on the 
stage. She is a handsome creature and she acted her part 
admirably. The shrine was beautiful beyond w r ords. The 
Semmes and Ives families are Roman Catholics, and under 
stand getting up that sort of thing. First came the Palm 
ers Gray, then Mrs. Ives, a solitary figure, the loveliest of 
penitent women. The Eastern pilgrims were delightfully 
costumed ; we could not understand how so much Christian 
piety could come clothed in such odalisque robes. Mrs. 


Nov. 28, 1863 RICHMOND; VA. April 11, 1864 

Ould, as a queen, was as handsome and regal as heart could 
wish for. She was accompanied by a very satisfactory 
king, whose name, if I ever knew, I have forgotten. There 
was a resplendent knight of St. John, and then an Amer 
ican Indian. After their orisons they all knelt and laid 
something on the altar as a votive gift. 

Burton Harrison, the President s handsome young sec 
retary, was gotten up as a big brave in a dress presented to 
Mr. Davis by Indians for some kindness he showed them 
years ago. It was a complete warrior s outfit, scant as that 
is. The feathers stuck in the back of Mr. Harrison s head 
had a charmingly comic effect. He had to shave himself as 
clean as a baby or he could not act the beardless chief, 
Spotted Tail, Billy Bowlegs, Big Thunder, or whatever his 
character was. So he folded up his loved and lost mus 
tache, the Christianized red Indian, and laid it on the altar, 
the most sacred treasure of his life, the witness of his most 
heroic sacrifice, on the shrine. 

Senator Hill, of Georgia, took me in to supper, where 
were ices, chicken salad, oysters, and champagne. The 
President came in alone, I suppose, for while we were talk 
ing after supper and your humble servant was standing be 
tween Mrs. Randolph and Mrs. Stanard, he approached, 
offered me his arm and we walked off, oblivious of Mr. Sen 
ator Hill. Remember this, ladies, and forgive me for re 
cording it, but Mrs. Stanard and Mrs. Randolph are the 
handsomest women in Richmond; I am no older than they 
are, or younger, either, sad to say. Now, the President 
walked with me slowly up and down that long room, and 
our conversation was of the saddest. Nobody knows so well 
as he the difficulties which beset this hard-driven Confed 
eracy. He has a voice which is perfectly modulated, a com 
fort in this loud and rough soldier world. I think there is 
a melancholy cadence in his voice at times, of which he is 
unconscious when he talks of things as they are now. 

My husband was so intensely charmed with Hetty Cary 



that he declined at the first call to accompany his wife home 
in the twenty-five-dollar-an-hour carriage. He ordered it 
to return. When it came, his wife (a good manager) 
packed the Carys and him in with herself, leaving the other 
two men who came with the party, when it was divided into 
* trips, to make their way home in the cold. At our door, 
near daylight of that bitter cold morning, I had the pleas 
ure to see my husband, like a man, stand and pay for that 
carriage ! To-day he is pleased with himself, with me, and 
with all the world ; says if there was no such word as fas 
cinating " you would have to invent one to describe Hetty 

January 9th. Met Mrs. Wigfall. She wants me to take 
Halsey to Mrs. Randolph s theatricals. I am to get him up 
as Sir Walter Raleigh. Now, General Breckinridge has 
come. I like him better than any of them. Morgan also is 
here. 1 These huge Kentuckians fill the town. Isabella says, 
" They hold Morgan accountable for the loss of Chatta 
nooga. " The follies of the wise, the weaknesses of the 
great ! She shakes her head significantly when I begin to 
tell why I like him so well. Last night General Buckner 
came for her to go with him and rehearse at the Carys for 
Mrs. Randolph s charades. 

The President s man, Jim, that he believed in as we all 
believe in our own servants, " our own people," as we call 
them, and Betsy, Mrs. Davis s maid, decamped last night. 
It is miraculous that they had the fortitude to resist the 
temptation so long. At Mrs. Davis s the hired servants all 
have been birds of passage. First they were seen with gold 
galore, and then they would fly to the Yankees, and I am 
sure they had nothing to tell. It is Yankee money wasted. 

1 John H. Morgan, a native of Alabama, entered the Confederate 
army in 1861 as a Captain and in 1862 was made a Major-General. He 
was captured by the Federals in 1863 and confined in an Ohio peni 
tentiary, but he escaped and once more joined the Confederate army. 
In September, 1864, he was killed in battle near Greenville, Tenn. 


Nov. 28, 1863 RICHMOND, VA. April 11, 1864 

I do not think it had ever crossed Mrs. Davis s brain that 
these two could leave her. She knew, however, that Betsy 
had eighty dollars in gold and two thousand four hundred 
dollars in Confederate notes. 

Everybody who comes in brings a little bad news not 
much, in itself, but by cumulative process the effect is de 
pressing, indeed. 

January 12th. To-night there will be & great gathering 
of Kentuckians. Morgan gives them a dinner. The city of 
Richmond entertains John Morgan. He is at free quarters. 
The girls dined here. Conny Gary came back for more 
white feathers. Isabella had appropriated two sets and 
obstinately refused Constance Gary a single feather from 
her pile. She said, sternly : * * I have never been on the stage 
before, and I have a presentiment when my father hears of 
this, I will never go again. I am to appear before the foot 
lights as an English dowager duchess, and I mean to rustle 
in every feather, to wear all the lace and diamonds these 
two houses can compass " (mine and Mrs. Preston s). 
She was jolly but firm, and Constance departed without any 
additional plumage for her Lady Teazle. 

January 14th. Gave Mrs. White twenty-three dollars 
for a turkey. Came home wondering all the way why she 
did not ask twenty-five; two more dollars could not have 
made me balk at the bargain, and twenty-three sounds odd. 

January 15th. What a day the Kentuckians have had ! 
Mrs. Webb gave them a breakfast; from there they pro 
ceeded en masse to General Lawton s dinner, and then came 
straight hero, all of which seems equal to one of Stonewall s 
forced marches. General Lawton took me in to supper. In 
spite of his dinner he had misgivings. " My heart is 
heavy/ said he, " even here. All seems too light, too care 
less, for such terrible times. It seems out of place here in 
battle-scarred Richmond." " I have heard something of 
that kind at home," I replied. " Hope and fear are both 
gone, and it is distraction or death with us. I do not see 



how sadness and despondency would help us. If it would 
do any good, we would be sad enough. 

We laughed at General Hood. General Lawton thought 
him better fitted for gallantry on the battle-field than play 
ing a lute in my lady s chamber. When Miss Giles was elec 
trifying the audience as the Fair Penitent, some one said : 
" Oh, that is so pretty! " Hood cried out with stern re- 
proachf ulness : * That is not pretty ; it is elegant. 

Not only had my house been rifled for theatrical proper 
ties, but as the play went on they came for my black velvet 
cloak. When it was over, I thought I should never get 
away, my cloak was so hard to find. But it gave me an 
opportunity to witness many things behind the scenes that 
cloak hunt did. Behind the scenes! I know a little what 
that means now. 

General Jeb Stuart was at Mrs. Randolph s in his cav 
alry jacket and high boots. He was devoted to Hetty Gary. 
Constance Gary said to me, pointing to his stars, " Hetty 
likes them that way, you know gilt-edged and with stars. 

January 16th. A visit from the President s handsome 
and accomplished secretary, Burton Harrison. I lent him 
Gountry Clergyman in Town and Elective Affinities. He 
is to bring me Mrs. Norton s Lost and Saved. 

At Mrs. Randolph s, my husband complimented one of 
the ladies, who had amply earned his praise by her splendid 
acting. She pointed to a young man, saying, " You see 
that wretch ; he has not said one word to me ! : My hus 
band asked innocently, * Why should he ? And why is he 
a wretch? ; " Oh, you know! : Going home I explained 
this riddle to him; he is always a year behindhand in 
gossip. " They said those two were engaged last winter, 
and now there seems to be a screw loose; but that sort of 
thing always comes right." The Carys prefer James Ches- 
nut to his wife. I don t mind. Indeed, I like it. I do, too. 

Every Sunday Mr. Minnegerode cried aloud in anguish 
his litany, "from pestilence and famine, battle, murder, 


Nov. 28, 1863 RICHMOND, V*A. April 11, 1864 

and sudden death," and we wailed on our knees, "Good 
Lord deliver us/ and on Monday, and all the week long, 
we go on as before, hearing of nothing but battle, murder, 
and sudden death, which are daily events. Now I have a 
new book; that is the unlooked-for thing, a pleasing inci 
dent in this life of monotonous misery. We. live in a huge 
barrack. We are shut in, guarded from light without. 

At breakfast to-day came a card, and without an in 
stant s interlude, perhaps the neatest, most fastidious man 
in South Carolina walked in. I was uncombed, unkempt, 
tattered, and torn, in my most comfortable, worst worn, 
wadded green silk dressing-gown, with a white woolen 
shawl over my head to keep off draughts. He has not been 
in the war yet, and now he wants to be captain of an engi 
neer corps. I wish he may get it ! He has always been my 
friend; so he shall lack no aid that I can give. If he can 
stand the shock of my appearance to-day, we may reason 
ably expect to continue friends until death. Of all men, 
the fastidious Barny Heywood to come in. He faced the 
situation gallantly. 

January 18th. Invited to Dr. Haxall s last night to 
meet the Lawtons. Mr. Benjamin * dropped in. He is a 
friend of the house. Mrs. Haxall is a Richmond leader of 
society, a ci-devant beauty and belle, a charming person 
still, and her hospitality is of the genuine Virginia type. 
Everything Mr. Benjamin said we listened to, bore in mind, 
and gave heed to it diligently. He is a Delphic oracle, of 
the innermost shrine, and is supposed to enjoy the honor of 
Mr. Davis s unreserved confidence. 

1 Judah P. Benjamin, was born, of Jewish parentage, at St. Croix 
in the West Indies, and was elected in 1852 to represent Louisiana 
in the United States Senate, where he served until 1861. In the Con 
federate administration he served successively from 1861 to 1865 as 
Attorney-General, Secretary of War, and Secretary of State. At the 
close of the war he went to England where he achieved remarkable 
success at the bar. 



Lamar was asked to dinner here yesterday; so he came 
to-day. We had our wild turkey cooked for him yesterday, 
and I dressed myself within an inch of my life with the best 
of my four-year-old finery. Two of us, my husband and I, 
did not damage the wild turkey seriously. So Lamar en 
joyed the rechauffe, and commended the art with which 
Molly had hid the slight loss we had inflicted upon its 
mighty breast. She had piled fried oysters over the turkey 
so skilfully, that unless we had told about it, no one would 
ever have known that the huge bird was making his second 
appearance on the board. 

Lamar was more absent-minded and distrait than ever. 
My husband behaved like a trump a well-bred man, with 
all his wits about him ; so things went off smoothly enough. 
Lamar had just read Romola. Across the water he said it 
was the rage. I am sure it is not as good as Adam Bede or 
Silas Marner. It is not worthy of the woman who was to 
" rival all but Shakespeare s name below." " What is the 
matter with Romola? " he asked. " Tito is so mean, and 
he is mean in such a very mean way, and the end is so re 
pulsive. Petting the husband s illegitimate children and 
left-handed wives may be magnanimity, but human nature 
revolts at it. Woman s nature, you mean ! : * * Yes, 
and now another test. Two weeks ago I read this thing 
with intense interest, and already her Savonarola has faded 
from my mind. I have forgotten her way of showing Sa 
vonarola as completely as I always do forget Bulwer s 

" Oh, I understand you now! It is like Milton s 
devil he has obliterated all other devils. You can t fix 
your mind upon any other. The devil always must be of 
Miltonic proportions or you do not believe in him ; Goethe s 
Mephistopheles disputes the crown of the causeway with 
Lucifer. But soon you begin to feel that Mephistopheles 
to be a lesser devil, an emissary of the devil only. Is 
there any Cardinal Wolsey but Shakespeare s? any Mira- 


Nov. 28, 1863 RICHMOND, VA. April 11, 1864 

beau but Carlyle s Mirabeau? But the list is too long of 
those who have been stamped into your brain by genius. 
The saintly preacher, the woman who stands by Hetty and 
saves her soul; those heavenly minded sermons preached 
by the author of Adam Bede, bear them well in mind while 
I tell you how this writer, who so well imagines and depicts 
female purity and piety, was a governess, or something of 
that sort, and perhaps wrote for a living ; at any rate, she 
had an elective affinity, which was responded to, by George 
Lewes, and so she lives with Lewes. I do not know that she 
caused the separation between Lewes and his legal wife. 
They are living in a villa on some Swiss lake, and Mrs. 
Lewes, of the hour, is a charitable, estimable, agreeable, 
sympathetic woman of genius. 

Lamar seemed without prejudices on the subject; at 
least, he expressed neither surprise nor disapprobation. He 
said something of " genius being above law," but I was not 
very clear as to what he said on that point. As for me I 
said nothing for fear of saying too much. " You know 
that Lewes is a writer," said he. " Some people say the 
man she lives with is a noble man. " " They say she is kind 
and good if a fallen woman." Here the conversation 

January 20th. And now comes a grand announcement 
made by the Yankee Congress. They vote one million of 
men to be sent down here to free the prisoners whom they 
will not take in exchange. I actually thought they left all 
these Yankees here on our hands as part of their plan to 
starve us out. All Congressmen under fifty years of age 
are to leave politics and report for military duty or be con 
scripted. What enthusiasm there is in their councils! 
Confusion, rather, it seems to me ! Mrs. Ould says * the 
men who frequent her house are more despondent now than 
ever since this thing began." 

Our Congress is so demoralized, so confused, so de 
pressed. They have asked the President, whom they have 



so hated, so insulted, so crossed and opposed and thwarted 
in every way, to speak to them, and advise them what to do. 

January 21st. Both of us were too ill to attend Mrs. 
Davis s reception. It proved a very sensational one. First, 
a fire in the house, then a robbery said to be an arranged 
plan of the usual bribed servants there and some escaped 
Yankee prisoners. To-day the Examiner is lost in wonder 
at the stupidity of the fire and arson contingent. If they 
had only waited a few hours until everybody was asleep; 
after a reception the household would be so tired and so 
sound asleep. Thanks to the editor s kind counsel maybe 
the arson contingent will wait and do better next time. 

Letters from home carried Mr. Chesnut off to-day. 
Thackeray is dead. I stumbled upon Vanity Fair for my 
self. I had never heard of Thackeray before. I think it 
was in 1850. I know I had been ill at the New York Hotel, 1 
and when left alone, I slipped down-stairs and into a book 
store that I had noticed under the hotel, for something to 
read. They gave me the first half of Pendennis. I can re 
call now the very kind of paper it was printed on, and the 
illustrations, as they took effect upon me. And yet when 
I raved over it, and was wild for the other half, there were 
people who said it was slow ; that Thackeray was evidently 
a coarse, dull, sneering writer ; that he stripped human na 
ture bare, and made it repulsive, etc. 

January 22d. At Mrs. Lyons s met another beautiful 
woman, Mrs. Penn, the wife of Colonel Penn, who is mak 
ing shoes in a Yankee prison. She had a little son with her, 
barely two years old, a mere infant. She said to him, 
" Faites comme Butler. " The child crossed his eyes and 
made himself hideous, then laughed and rioted around as 
if he enjoyed the joke hugely. 

1 The New York Hotel, covering a block front on Broadway at 
Waverley Place, was a favorite stopping place for Southerners for 
many years before the war and after it. In comparatively recent times 
it was torn down and supplanted by a business block. 


Nov. 28, 1863 RICHMOND,. VA. April 11, 1864 

Went to Mrs. Davis s. It was sad enough. Fancy hav 
ing to be always ready to have your servants set your, house 
on fire, being bribed to do it. Such constant robberies, such 
servants coming and going daily to the Yankees, carrying 
one s silver, one s other possessions, does not conduce to 
home happiness. 

Saw Hood on his legs once more. He rode off on a fine 
horse, and managed it well, though he is disabled in one 
hand, too. After all, as the woman said, " He has body 
enough left to hold his soul. " * * How plucky of him to ride 
a gay horse like that. " " Oh, a Kentuckian prides himself 
upon being half horse and half man ! il And the girl who 
rode beside him. Did you ever see a more brilliant beauty ? 
Three cheers for South Carolina ! ! " 

I imparted a plan of mine to Brewster. I would have a 
breakfast, a luncheon, a matinee, call it what you please, 
but I would try and return some of the hospitalities of this 
most hospitable people. Just think of the dinners, suppers, 
breakfasts we have been to. People have no variety in war 
times, but they make up for that lack in exquisite cooking. 

" Variety? " said he. " You are hard to please, with 
terrapin stew, gumbo, fish, oysters in every shape, game, 
and wine as good as wine ever is. I do not mention juleps, 
claret cup, apple toddy, whisky punches and all that. I 
tell you it is good enough for me. Variety would spoil it. 
Such hams as these Virginia people cure ; such home-made 
bread there is no such bread in the world. Call yours a 
* cold collation. ! " Yes, I have eggs, butter, hams, game, 
everything from home; no stint just now; even fruit." 

* You ought to do your best. They are so generous and 
hospitable and so unconscious of any merit, or exceptional 
credit, in the matter of hospitality. " * They are no better 
than the Columbia people always were to us." So I fired 
up for my own country. 

January 23d. My luncheon was a female affair exclu 
sively. Mrs. Davis came early and found Annie and Tudie 



making the chocolate. Lawrence had gone South with my 
husband; so we had only Molly for cook and parlor-maid. 
After the company assembled we waited and waited. Those 
girls were making the final arrangements. I made my way 
to the door, and as I leaned against it ready to turn the 
knob, Mrs. Stanard held me like Coleridge s Ancient Mari 
ner, and told how she had been prevented by a violent at 
tack of cramps from running the blockade, and how provi 
dential it all was. All this floated by my ear, for I heard 
Mary Preston s voice raised in high protest on the other 
side of the door. * Stop ! said she. Do you mean to 
take away the whole dish? " "If you eat many more of 
those fried oysters they will be missed. Heavens! She is 
running away with a plug, a palpable plug, out of that 
jelly cake! : 

Later in the afternoon, when it was over and I was safe, 
for all had gone well and Molly had not disgraced herself 
before the mistresses of those wonderful Virginia cooks, 
Mrs. Davis and I went out for a walk. Barny Heyward and 
Dr. Garnett joined us, the latter bringing the welcome 
news that " Muscoe Russell s wife had come." 

January 25th. The President walked home with me 
from church (I was to dine with Mrs. Davis). He walked 
so fast I had no breath to talk ; so I was a good listener for 
once. The truth is I am too much afraid of him to say very 
much in his presence. We had such a nice dinner. After 
dinner Hood came for a ride with the President. 

Mr. Hunter, of Virginia, walked home with me. He 
made himself utterly agreeable by dwelling on his friend 
ship and admiration of my husband. He said it was high 
time Mr. Davis should promote him, and that he had told 
Mr. Davis his opinion on that subject to-day. 

Tuesday, Barny Heyward went with me to the Presi 
dent s reception, and from there to a ball at the McFar- 
lands . Breckinridge alone of the generals went with us. 
The others went to a supper given by Mr. Clay, of Ala- 
20 283 

Nov. 28, 1863 RICHMOND, VA. April 11, 1864 

bama. I had a long talk with Mr. Ould, Mr. Benjamin, and 
Mr. Hunter. These men speak out their thoughts plainly 
enough. What they said, means " We are rattling down 
hill, and nobody to put on the brakes." I wore my black 
velvet, diamonds, and point lace. They are borrowed for 
all " theatricals," but I wear them whenever they are 
at home. 

February 1st. Mrs. Davis gave her " Luncheon to La 
dies Only " on Saturday. Many more persons there than 
at any of these luncheons which we have gone to before. 
Gumbo, ducks and olives, chickens in jelly, oysters, lettuce 
salad, chocolate cream, jelly cake, claret, champagne, etc., 
were the good things set before us. 

To-day, for a pair of forlorn shoes I have paid $85. 
Colonel Ives drew my husband s pay for me. I sent Law 
rence for it (Mr. Chesnut ordered him back to us; we need 
ed a man servant here). Colonel Ives wrote that he was 
amazed I should be willing to trust a darky with that great 
bundle of money, but it came safely. Mr. Petigru says you 
take your money to market in the market basket, and bring 
home what you buy in your pocket-book. 

February 5th. When Lawrence handed me my hus 
band s money (six hundred dollars it was) I said: " Now I 
am pretty sure you do not mean to go to the Yankees, for 
with that pile of money in your hands you must have known 
there was your chance. He grinned, but said nothing. 

At the President s reception Hood had a perfect ovation. 
General Preston navigated him through the crowd, hand 
ling him as tenderly, on his crutches, as if he were the 
Princess of Wales s new-born baby that I read of to-day. 
It is bad for the head of an army to be so helpless. But old 
Bliicher went to Waterloo in a carriage, wearing a bonnet 
on his head to shade his inflamed eyes a heroic figure, 
truly; an old, red-eyed, bonneted woman, apparently, back 
in a landau. And yet, " Bliicher to the rescue! " 

Afterward at the Prestons , for we left the President s 



at an early hour. Major von B or eke was trying to teach 
them his way of pronouncing his own name, and reciting 
numerous travesties of it in this country, when Charles 
threw open the door, saying, " A gentleman has called for 
Major Bandbox." The Prussian major acknowledged this 
to be the worst he had heard yet. 

Off to the Ives s theatricals. I walked with General 
Breckinridge. Mrs. Clay s Mrs. Malaprop was beyond our 
wildest hopes. And she was in such bitter earnest when she 
pinched Conny Gary s (Lydia Languish s) shoulder and 
called her " an antricate little huzzy," that Lydia showed 
she felt it, and next day the shoulder was black and blue. 
It was not that the actress had a grudge against Conny, but 
that she was intense. 

Even the back of Mrs. Clay s head was eloquent as 
she walked away. " But," said General Breckinridge, 
!< watch Hood; he has not seen the play before and Bob 
Acres amazes him." W^en he caught my eye, General 
Hood nodded to me and said, " I believe that fellow Acres 
is a coward." " That s better than the play," whispered 
Breckinridge, " but it is all good from Sir Anthony down 
to Fag." 

Between the acts Mrs. Clay sent us word to applaud. 
She wanted encouragement; the audience was too cold. 
General Breckinridge responded like a man. After that 
she was fired by thunders of applause, following his lead. 
Those mighty Kentuckians turned claqueurs, were a host in 
themselves. Constance Gary not only acted well, but 
looked perfectly beautiful. 

During the farce Mrs. Clay came in with all her feath 
ers, diamonds, and fallals, and took her seat by me. Said 
General Breckinridge, * What a splendid head of hair you 
have." " And all my own," said she. Afterward she said, 
they could not get false hair enough, so they put a pair of 
black satin boots on top of her head and piled hair over 


Nov. 28, 1863 RICHMOND, VA. April 11, 1864 

We adjourned from Mrs. Ives s to Mrs. Quid s, where 
we had the usual excellent Richmond supper. We did not 
get home until three. It was a clear moonlight night al 
most as light as day. As we walked along I said to General 
Breckinridge, " You have spent a jolly evening." * I do 
not know, he answered. * I have asked myself more than 
once to-night, Are you the same man who stood gazing 
down on the faces of the dead on that awful battle-field? 
The soldiers lying there stare at you with their eyes wide 
open. Is this the same world ? Here and there ? 

Last night, the great Kentucky contingent came in a 
body. Hood brought Buck in his carriage. She said she 
1 did not like General Hood, and spoke with a wild excite 
ment in those soft blue eyes of hers or, are they gray or 
brown ? She then gave her reasons in the lowest voice, but 
loud and distinct enough for him to hear: Why? 
He spoke so harshly to Cy, his body-servant, as we got out 
of the carriage. I saw how he hurt Cy s feelings, and I 
tried to soothe Cy s mortification. 

You see, Cy nearly caused me to fall by his awkward 
ness, and I stormed at him," said the General, vastly 
amused. " I hate a man who speaks roughly to those who 
dare not resent it," said she. The General did own himself 
charmed with her sentiments, but seemed to think his 
wrong-doing all a good joke. He and Cy understand each 

February 9th. This party for Johnny was the very 
nicest I have ever had, and I mean it to be my last. I sent 
word to the Carys to bring their own men. They came 
alone, saying, * they did not care for men. " " That means 
a raid on ours, growled Isabella. Mr. Lamar was devoted 
to Constance Gary. He is a free lance; so that created no 

Afterward, when the whole thing was over, and a suc 
cess, the lights put out, etc., here trooped in the four girls, 
who stayed all night with me. In dressing-gowns they 



stirred up a hot fire, relit the gas, and went in for their sup 
per; rechauffe was the word, oysters, hot coffee, etc. They 
kept it up till daylight. 

Of course, we slept very late. As they came in to 
breakfast, I remarked, " The church-bells have been going 
011 like mad. I take it as a rebuke to our breaking the Sab 
bath. You know Sunday began at twelve o clock last 
night." " It sounds to me like fire-bells," somebody said. 

Soon the Infant dashed in, done up in soldier s clothes: 
* The Yankees are upon us ! " said he. * Don t you hear 
the alarm-bells 1 They have been ringing day and night ! 
Alex Haskell came; he and Johnny went off to report to 
Custis Lee and to be enrolled among his " locals," who are 
always detailed for the defense of the city. But this time 
the attack on Richmond has proved a false alarm. 

A new trouble at the President s house: their trusty 
man, Robert, broken out with the smallpox. 

We went to the Webb ball, and such a pleasant time we 
had. After a while the P. M. G. (Pet Major-General) took 
his seat in the comfortable chair next to mine, and declared 
his determination to hold that position. Mr. Hunter and 
Mr. Benjamin essayed to dislodge him. Mrs. Stanard said : 
4 Take him in the flirtation room ; there he will soon be cap 
tured and led away, but I did not know where that room 
was situated. Besides, my bold Texan made a most unex 
pected sally : * I will not go, and I will prevent her from 
going with any of you. Supper was near at hand, and Mr. 
Mallory said: " Ask him if the varioloid is not at his 
house. I know it is. " I started as if I were shot, and I took 
Mr. Clay s arm and went in to supper, leaving the P. M. G. 
to the girls. Venison and everything nice. 

February 12th. John Chesnut had a basket of cham 
pagne carried to my house, oysters, partridges, and other 
good things, for a supper after the reception. He is going 
back to the army to-morrow. 

James Chesnut arrived on Wednesday. He has been 


Nov. 28, 1863 RICHMOND, VA. April 11, 1864 

giving Buck his opinion of one of her performances last 
night. She was here, and the General s carriage drove up, 
bringing some of our girls, They told her he could not 
come up and he begged she would go down there for a mo 
ment. She flew down, and stood ten minutes in that snow, 
Cy holding the carriage-door open. " But, Colonel Ches- 
nut, there was no harm. I was not there ten minutes. I 
could not get in the carriage because I did not mean to 
stay one minute. He did not hold my hands that is, not 
half the time Oh, you saw ! well, he did kiss my hands. 
Where is the harm of that? " All men worship Buck. 
How can they help it, she is so lovely. 

Lawrence has gone back ignominiously to South Caro 
lina. At breakfast already in some inscrutable way he 
had become intoxicated; he was told to move a chair, and 
he raised it high over his head, smashing Mrs. Grundy s 
chandelier. My husband said : " Mary, do tell Lawrence to 
go home; I am too angry to speak to him." So Lawrence 
went without another word. He will soon be back, and 
when he comes will say, Shoo ! I knew Mars Jeems could 
not do without me. And indeed he can not. 

Buck, reading my journal, opened her beautiful eyes in 
amazement and said: " So little do people know them 
selves! See what you say of me! " I replied: " The girls 
heard him say to you, Oh, you are so childish and so 
sweet ! Now, Buck, you know you are not childish. You 
have an abundance of strong common sense. Don t let men 
adore you so if you can help it. You are so unhappy 
about men who care for you, when they are killed. 

Isabella says that war leads to love-making. She says 
these soldiers do more courting here in a day than they 
would do at home, without a war, in ten years. 

In the pauses of conversation, we hear, She is the no 
blest woman God ever made! " " Goodness! " exclaims 
Isabella. * Which one ? The amount of courting we hear 
in these small rooms. Men have to go to the front, and they 



say their say desperately. I am beginning to know all 
about it. The girls tell me. And I overhear I can not 
help it. But this style is unique, is it not ? Since I saw 
you last year standing by the turnpike gate, you know 
my battle-cry has been: God, my country, and you! 
So many are lame. Major Venable says : " It is not the 
devil on two sticks/ now; the farce is Cupid on 
Crutches." 7 . 

General Breckinridge s voice broke in: " They are my 
cousins. So I determined to kiss them good-by. Good-by 
nowadays is the very devil ; it means forever, in all proba 
bility, you know; all the odds against us. So I advanced 
to the charge soberly, discreetly, and in the fear of the 
Lord. The girls stood in a row four of the very prettiest 
I ever saw. Sam, with his eyes glued to the floor, cried : 
" You were afraid you backed out." " But I did noth 
ing of the kind. I kissed every one of them honestly, heart 

February 13th. My husband is writing out some res 
olutions for the Congress. He is very busy, too, trying 
to get some poor fellows reprieved. He says they are good 
soldiers but got into a scrape. Buck came in. She had on 
her last winter s English hat, with the pheasant s wing. 
Just then Hood entered most unexpectedly. Said the blunt 
soldier to the girl : You look mighty pretty in that hat ; 
you wore it at the turnpike gate, where I surrendered at 
first sight." She nodded and smiled, and flew down the 
steps after Mr. Chesnut, looking back to say that she meant 
to walk with him as far as the Executive Office. 

The General walked to the window and watched until 
the last flutter of her garment was gone. He said: " The 
President was finding fault with some of his officers in 
command, and I said : Mr. President, why don t you come 
and lead us yourself ; I would follow you to the death. 
1 f Actually, if you stay here in Richmond much longer you 
will grow to be a courtier. And you came a rough Texan." 


Nov. 28, 1863 RICHMOND, VA. April 11, 1864 

Mrs. Davis and General McQueen came. He tells me 
Muscoe Garnett is dead. Then the best and the cleverest 
Virginian I know is gone. He was the most scholarly man 
they had, and his character was higher than his require 

To-day a terrible onslaught was made upon the Presi 
dent for nepotism. Burton Harrison s and John Taylor 
Wood s letters denying the charge that the President s cot 
ton was unburned, or that he left it to be bought by the Yan 
kees, have enraged the opposition. How much these people 
in the President s family have to bear! I have never felt 
so indignant. 

February 16th. Saw in Mrs. Howell s room the little 
negro Mrs. Davis rescued yesterday from his brutal negro 
guardian. The child is an orphan. He was dressed up in 
little Joe s clothes and happy as a lord. He was very anx 
ious to show me his wounds and bruises, but I fled. There 
are some things in life too sickening, and cruelty is one of 

Somebody said : People who knew General Hood be 
fore the war said there was nothing in him. As for losing 
his property by the war, some say he never had any, and 
that West Point is a pauper s school, after all. He has 
only military glory, and that he has gained since the war 

" Now," said Burton Harrison, " only military glory! 
I like that ! The glory and the fame he has gained during 
the war that is Hood. What was Napoleon before Toulon 1 
Hood has the impassive dignity of an Indian chief. He has 
always a little court around him of devoted friends. Wig- 
fall, himself, has said he could not get within Hood s lines. 

February 17th. Found everything in Main Street 
twenty per cent dearer. They say it is due to the new cur 
rency bill. 

I asked my husband : Is General Johnston ordered to 
reenforce Polk? They said he did not understand the or- 



der." "After five days delay," he replied. They 
say Sherman is marching to Mobile. 1 When they once get 
inside of our armies what is to molest them, unless it be 
women with broomsticks ? : General Johnston writes that 
" the Governor of Georgia refuses him provisions and the 
use of his roads. The Governor of Georgia writes : * The 
roads are open to him and in capital condition. I have fur 
nished him abundantly with provisions from time to time, 
as he desired them." I suppose both of these letters are 
placed away side by side in our archives. 

February 20th. Mrs. Preston was offended by the story 
of Buck s performance at the Ive s. General Breckinridge 
told her " it was the most beautifully unconscious act he 
ever saw. The General was leaning against the wall, Buck 
standing guard by him " on her two feet." The crowd 
surged that way, and she held out her arm to protect him 
from the rush. After they had all passed she handed him 
his crutches, and they, too, moved slowly away. Mrs. Davis 
said: " Any woman in Richmond would have done the 
same joyfully, but few could do it so gracefully. Buck is 
made so conspicuous by her beauty, whatever she does can 
not fail to attract attention. 

Johnny stayed at home only one day; then went to his 
plantation, got several thousand Confederate dollars, and 

in the afternoon drove out with Mrs. K . At the Bee 

Store he spent a thousand of his money; bought us gloves 
and linen. Well, one can do without gloves, but linen is 
next to life itself. 

Yesterday the President walked home from church with 
me. He said he was so glad to see my husband at church ; 
had never seen him there before ; remarked on how well he 

1 General Polk, commanding about 24,000 men scattered throughout 
Mississippi and Alabama, found it impossible to check the advance of 
Sherman at the head of some 40,000, and moved from Meridian south 
to protect Mobile. February 16, 1864, Sherman took possession of 


Nov. 28, 1863 RICHMOND, VA. April 11, 1864 

looked, etc. I replied that he looked so well " because you 
have never before seen him in the part of the right man in 
the right place/ ! My husband has no fancy for being 
planted in pews, but he is utterly Christian in his creed. 

February 23d. At the President s, where General Lee 
breakfasted, a man named Phelan told General Lee all he 
ought to do; planned a campaign for him. General Lee 
smiled blandly the while, though he did permit himself a 
inild sneer at the wise civilians in Congress who refrained 
from trying the battle-field in person, but from afar dic 
tated the movements of armies. My husband said that, to 
his amazement, General Lee came into his room at the Exec 
utive Office to * pay his respects and have a talk. " " Dear 
me! Goodness gracious!" said I. " That was a compli 
ment from the head of the army, the very first man in the 
world, we Confederates think." 

February 24th. Friends came to make taffy and stayed 
the livelong day. They played cards. One man, a soldier, 
had only two teeth left in front and they lapped across each 
other. On account of the condition of his mouth, he had 
maintained a dignified sobriety of aspect, though he told 
some funny stories. Finally a story was too much for him, 
and he grinned from ear to ear. Maggie gazed, and then 
called out as the negro fiddlers call out dancing figures, 
* Forward two and cross over ! Fancy pur faces. The 
hero of the two teeth, relapsing into a decorous arrange 
ment of mouth, said: " Cavalry are the eyes of an army; 
they bring the news ; the artillery are the boys to make a 
noise ; but the infantry do the fighting, and a general or so 
gets all the glory. 

February 26th. We went to see Mrs. Breckinridge, 
who is here with her husband. Then we paid our respects 
to Mrs. Lee. Her room was like an industrial school : every 
body so busy. Her daughters were all there plying their 
needles, with several other ladies. Mrs. Lee showed us a 
beautiful sword, recently sent to the General by some Mary- 



landers, now in Paris. On the blade was engraved, Aide 
ioi et Dieu t aidera." When we came out someone said, 
* Did you see how the Lees spend their time ? What a re 
buke to the taffy parties! " 

Another maimed hero is engaged to be married. Sally 
Hampton has accepted John Haskell. There is a story that 
he reported for duty after his arm was shot off ; suppose in 
the fury of the battle he did not feel the pain. 

General Breckinridge once asked, * What s the name of 
the fellow who has gone to Europe for Hood s leg ? : Dr. 
Darby." " Suppose it is shipwrecked? " "No matter; 
half a dozen are ordered. Mrs. Preston raised her hands : 
* No wonder the General says they talk of him as if he were 
a centipede ; his leg is in everybody s mouth. 

March 3d. Hetty, the handsome, and Constance, the 
witty, came ; the former too prudish to read Lost and Saved, 
by Mrs. Norton, after she had heard the plot. Conny was 
making a bonnet for me. Just as she was leaving the house, 
her friendly labors over, my husband entered, and quickly 
ordered his horse. * It is so near dinner, I began. But 
I am going with the President. I am on duty. He goes to 
inspect the fortifications. The enemy, once more, are with 
in a few miles of Richmond." Then we prepared a lunch 
eon for him. Constance Gary remained with me. 

After she left I sat down to Romola, and I was absorbed 
in it. How hardened we grow to war and war s alarms ! 
The enemy s cannon or our own are thundering in my ears, 
and I was dreadfully afraid some infatuated and fright 
ened friend would come in to cheer, to comfort, and inter 
rupt me. Am I the same poor soul who fell on her knees 
and prayed, and wept, and fainted, as the first gun boomed 
from Fort Sumter ? Once more we have repulsed the en 
emy. But it is humiliating, indeed, that he can come 
and threaten us at our very gates whenever he so pleases. 
If a forlorn negro had not led them astray (and they 
hanged him for it) on Tuesday night, unmolested, they 


Nov. 28, 1863 RICHMOND, VA. April 11, 1864 

would have walked into Richmond. Surely there is horrid 
neglect or mismanagement somewhere. 

March 4th. The enemy has been reenforced and is 
on us again. Met Wade Hampton, who told me my hus 
band was to join him with some volunteer troops ; so I hur 
ried home. Such a cavalcade rode up to luncheon! Cap 
tain Smith Lee and Preston Hampton, the handsomest, the 
oldest and the youngest of the party. This was at the Pres- 
tons . Smith Lee walked home with me; alarm-bells ring 
ing; horsemen galloping; wagons rattling. Dr. H. stopped 
us to say * Beast Butler was on us with sixteen thousand 
men. How scared the Doctor looked ! And, after all, it was 
only a notice to the militia to turn out and drill. 

March 5th. Tom Fergurson walked home with me. He 
told me of Colonel Dahlgren s 1 death and the horrid memo 
randa found in his pocket. He came with secret orders to 
destroy this devoted city, hang the President and his Cab 
inet, and burn the town ! Fitzhugh Lee was proud that the 
Ninth Virginia captured him. 

Found Mrs. Semmes covering her lettuces and radishes 
as calmly as if Yankee raiders were a myth. While 
" Beast " Butler holds Fortress Monroe he will make 
things lively for us. On the alert must we be now. 

March 7th. Shopping, and paid $30 for a pair of 
gloves; $50 for a pair of slippers; $24 for six spools of 
thread; $32 for five miserable, shabby little pocket hand 
kerchiefs. When I came home found Mrs. Webb. At her 
hospital there was a man who had been taken prisoner by 
Dahlgren s party. He saw the negro hanged who had mis- 

1 Colonel Ulric Dahlgren was a son of the noted Admiral, John H. 
Dahlgren, who, in July, 1863, had been placed in command of the South 
Atlantic Blockading Squadron and conducted the naval operations 
against Charleston, between July 10 and September 7, 1863. Colonel 
Dahlgren distinguished himself at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, 
and Gettysburg. The raid in which he lost his life on March 4, 1864, 
was planned by himself and General Kilpatrick. 



led them, unintentionally, in all probability. He saw Dahl- 
gren give a part of his bridle to hang him. Details are mel 
ancholy, as Emerson says. This Dahlgren had also lost a 

Constance Gary, in words too fine for the occasion, de 
scribed the homely scene at my house ; how I prepared sand 
wiches for my husband; and broke, with trembling hand, 
the last bottle of anything to drink in the house, a bottle I 
destined to go with the sandwiches. She called it a Hector 
and Andromache performance. 

March 8th. Mrs. Preston s story. As we walked home, 
she told me she had just been to see a lady she had known 
more than twenty years before. She had met her in this 
wise: One of the chambermaids of the St. Charles Hotel 
(New Orleans) told Mrs. Preston s nurse it was when 
Mary Preston was a baby that up among the servants in 
the garret there was a sick lady and her children. The maid 
was sure she was a lady, and thought she was hiding from 
somebody. Mrs. Preston went up, knew the lady, had 
her brought down into comfortable rooms, and nursed her 
until she recovered from her delirium and fever. She had 
run away, indeed, and was hiding herself and her children 
from a worthless husband. Now, she has one son in a Yan 
kee prison, one mortally wounded, and the last of them 
dying there under her eyes of consumption. This last had 
married here in Richmond, not wisely, and too soon, for he 
was a mere boy; his pay as a private was eleven dollars a 
month, and his wife s family charged him three hundred 
dollars a month for her board; so he had to work double 
tides, do odd jobs by night and by day, and it killed him by 
exposure to cold in this bitter climate to which his constitu 
tion was unadapted. 

They had been in Vicksburg during the siege, and dur 
ing the bombardment sought refuge in a cave. The roar of 
the cannon ceasing, they came out gladly for a breath of 
fresh air. At the moment when they emerged, a bomb burst 


Nov. 28, 1863 RICHMOND, VA. April 11, 1864 

there, among them, so to speak, struck the son already 
wounded, and smashed off the afm of a beautiful little 
grandchild not three years old. There was this poor little 
girl with her touchingly lovely face, and her arm gone. This 
mutilated little martyr, Mrs. Preston said, was really to her 
the crowning touch of the woman s affliction. Mrs. Preston 
put up her hand, * l Her baby face haunts me. 

March llth. Letters from home, including one from 
my husband s father, now over ninety, written with his own 
hand, and certainly his own mind still. I quote: " Bad 
times; worse coming. Starvation stares me in the face. 
Neither John s nor James s overseer will sell me any corn." 
Now, what has the government to do with the fact that on 
all his plantations he made corn enough to last for the 
whole year, and by the end of January his negroes had 
stolen it all? Poor old man, he has fallen on evil days, 
after a long life of ease and prosperity. 

To-day, I read The Blithedale Romance. Blithedale 
leaves such an unpleasant impression. I like pleasant, 
kindly stories, now that we are so harrowed by real life. 
Tragedy is for our hours of ease. 

March 12th. An active campaign has begun every 
where. Kilpatrick still threatens us. Bragg has organized 
his fifteen hundred of cavalry to protect Richmond. Why 
can t my husband be made colonel of that? It is a new 
regiment. No ; he must be made a general ! 

" Now," says Mary Preston, " Doctor Darby is at the 
mercy of both Yankees and the rolling sea, and I am anx 
ious enough; but, instead of taking my bed and worrying 
mamma, I am taking stock of our worldly goods and try 
ing to arrange the wedding paraphernalia for two girls. 

There is love-making and love-making in this world. 
What a time the sweethearts of that wretch, young Shake 
speare, must have had. What experiences of life s delights 
must have been his before he evolved the Romeo and Juliet 
business from his own internal consciousness; also that de- 



licious Beatrice and Rosalind. The poor creature that he 
left his second best bedstead to came in second best all the 
time, no doubt ; and she hardly deserved more. Fancy peo 
ple wondering that Shakespeare and his kind leave no prog 
eny like themselves! Shakespeare s children would have 
been half his only ; the other half only the second best bed 
stead s. What would you expect of that commingling of 
materials? Goethe used his lady-loves as school-books are 
used: he studied them from cover to cover, got all that 
could be got of self-culture and knowledge of human nature 
from the study of them, and then threw them aside as if of 
no further account in his life. 

Byron never could forget Lord Byron, poet and peer, 
and mauvais sujet, and he must have been a trying lover; 
like talking to a man looking in the glass at himself. Lady 
Byron was just as much taken up with herself. So, they 
struck each other, and bounded apart. 

[Since I wrote this, Mrs. Stowe has taken Byron in hand. 
But I know a story which might have annoyed my lord 
more than her and Lady Byron s imagination of wicked 
ness for he posed a fiend, but was tender and kind. A 
clerk in a country store asked my sister to lend him a 
book, he " wanted something to read; the days were so 
long. " " What style of book would you prefer ? she said. 
11 Poetry." " Any particular poet? " " Brown. I hear 
him much spoken of." " Browm wgr? " " No; Brown 
short that is what they call him. " " Byron, you mean. 
" No, I mean the poet, Brown."] 

Oh, you wish you had lived in the time of the Shake 
speare creature ! : He knew all the forms and phases of 
true love. Straight to one s heart he goes in tragedy or 
comedy. He never misses fire. He has been there, in slang 
phrase. No doubt the man s bare presence gave pleasure to 
the female world ; he saw women at their best, and he ef 
faced himself. He told no tales of his own life. Compare 
with him old, sad, solemn, sublime, sneering, snarling, fault- 


Nov. 28, 1863 RICHMOND, VA. April 11, 18Gi 

finding Milton, a man whose family doubtless found " les 
absences delicieuses." That phrase describes a type of man 
at a touch ; it took a Frenchwoman to do it. 

But there is an Italian picture of Milton, taken in his 
youth, and he was as beautiful as an angel." " No doubt. 
But love flies before everlasting posing and preaching the 
deadly requirement of a man always to be looked up to 
a domestic tyrant, grim, formal, and awfully learned. 
Milton was only a mere man, for he could not do without 
women. When he tired out the first poor thing, who did 
not fall down, worship, and obey him, and see God in him, 
and she ran away, he immediately arranged his creed so 
that he could take another wife ; for wife he must have, a 
la Mohammedan creed. The deer-stealer never once 
thought of justifying theft simply because he loved venison 
and could not come by it lawfully. Shakespeare was a bet 
ter man, or, may I say, a purer soul, than self -upholding, 
Calvinistic, Puritanic, king-killing Milton. There is no 
muddling of right and wrong in Shakespeare, and no phari- 
saical stuff of any sort. 

Then George Deas joined us, fresh from Mobile, where 
he left peace and plenty. He went to sixteen weddings and 
twenty-seven tea-parties. For breakfast he had everything 
nice. Lily told of what she had seen the day before at the 
Spottswood. She was in the small parlor, waiting for some 
one, and in the large drawing-room sat Hood, solitary, sad, 
with crutches by his chair. He could not see them. Mrs. 
Buckner came in and her little girl who, when she spied 
Hood, bounded into the next room, and sprang into his lap. 
Hood smoothed her little dress down and held her close to 
him. She clung around his neck for a while, and then, 
seizing him by the beard, kissed him to an illimitable extent. 
" Prettiest picture I ever saw," said Lily. " The soldier 
and the child." 

John R. Thompson sent me a New York Herald only 
three days old. It is down on Kilpatrick for his miserable 



failure before Richmond. Also it acknowledges a defeat 
before Charleston and a victory for us in Florida. 

General Grant is charmed with Sherman s successful 
movements ; says he has destroyed millions upon millions of 
our property in Mississippi. I hope that may not be true, 
and that Sherman may fail as Kilpatrick did. Now, if we 
still had Stonewall or Albert Sidney Johnston where Joe 
Johnston and Polk are, I would not give a fig for Sherman s 
chances. The Yankees say that at last they have scared up 
a man who succeeds, and they expect him to remedy all that 
has gone wrong. So they have made their brutal Suwarrow, 
Grant, lieutenant-general. 

Doctor at the Prestons proposed to show me a man 

who was not an F. F. V. Until we came here, we had never 
heard of our social position. We do not know how to be 
rude to people who call. To talk of social position seems 
vulgar. Down our way, that sort of thing was settled one 
way or another beyond a peradventure, like the earth and 
the sky. We never gave it a thought. We talked to whom 
we pleased, and if they were not comme il faut, we were 
ever so much more polite to the poor things. No reflection 
on Virginia. Everybody comes to Richmond. 

Somebody counted fourteen generals in church to-day, 
and suggested that less piety and more drilling of com 
mands would suit the times better. There were Lee, Long- 
street, Morgan, Hoke, Clingman, Whiting, Pegram, Elzey, 
Gordon, and Bragg. Now, since Dahlgren failed to 
carry out his orders, the Yankees disown them, disavow 
ing all. He was not sent here to murder us all, to hang 
the President, and burn the town. There is the note-book, 
however, at the Executive Office, with orders to hang and 

March 15th. Old Mrs. Chesnut is dead. A saint is gone 
and James Chesnut is broken-hearted. He adored his moth 
er. I gave $375 for my mourning, which consists of a black 
alpaca dress and a crape veil. With bonnet, gloves, and all 
21 299 

Nov. 28, 1863 RICHMOND, VA. April 11, 1864 

it eame to $500. Before the blockade such things as I 
have would not have been thought "fit for a chamber-maid. 

Everybody is in trouble. Mrs. Davis says paper money 
has depreciated so much in value that they can not live 
within their income ; so they are going to dispense with their 
carriage and horses. 

March 18th. Went out to sell some of my colored 
dresses. What a scene it was such piles of rubbish, and 
mixed up with it, such splendid Parisian silks and satins. 
A mulatto woman kept the shop under a roof in an out-of- 
the-way old house. The ci-devant rich white women sell 
to, and the negroes buy of, this woman. 

After some whispering among us Buck said : Sally is 
going to marry a man who has lost an arm, and she is proud 
of it. The cause glorifies such wounds. Annie said meekly, 
" I fear it will be my fate to marry one who has lost his 
head/ " Tudy has her eyes on one who has lost an eye. 
What a glorious assortment of noble rnartj^rs and heroes ! 
" The bitterness of this kind of talk is appalling." 

General Lee had tears in his eyes when he spoke of his 
daughter-in-law just dead that lovely little Charlotte 
Wickham, Mrs. Roony Lee. Roony Lee says " Beast " But 
ler was very kind to him while he was a prisoner. The 
" Beast " has sent him back his war-horse. The Lees are 
men enough to speak the truth of friend or enemy, fearing 
not the consequences. 

March 19th. A new experience: Molly and Lawrence 
have both gone home, and I am to be left for the first time 
in my life wholly at the mercy of hired servants. Mr. Ches- 
nut, being in such deep mourning for his mother, we see no 
company. I have a maid of all work. 

Tudy came with an account of yesterday s trip to Pe 
tersburg. Constance Gary raved of the golden ripples in 
Tudy s hair. Tudy vanished in a halo of glory, and Con 
stance Gary gave me an account of a wedding, as it was 
given to her by Major von Borcke. The bridesmaids were 



dressed in black, the bride in Confederate gray, homespun. 
She had worn the dress all winter, but it had been washed 
and turned for the wedding. The female critics pronounced 
it " flabby-dabby." They also said her collar was only 
" net," and she wore a cameo breastpin. Her bonnet was 

March 24th. Yesterday, we went to the Capitol grounds 
to see our returned prisoners. We walked slowly up and 
down until Jeff Davis was called upon to speak. There I 
stood, almost touching the bayonets when he left me. I 
looked straight into the prisoners faces, poor fellows. They 
cheered with all their might, and I wept for sympathy, and 
enthusiasm. I was very deeply moved. These men were 
so forlorn, so dried up, and shrunken, vrith such a strange 
look in some of their eyes ; others so restless and wild-look 
ing ; others again placidly vacant, as if they had been dead 
to the world for years. A poor woman was too much for 
me. She was searching for her son. He had been expected 
back. She said he was taken prisoner at Gettysburg. She 
kept going in and out among them with a basket of provi 
sions she had brought for him to eat. It was too pitiful. 
She was utterly unconscious of the crowd. The anxious 
dread, expectation, hurry, and hope which led her on 
showed in her face. 

A sister of Mrs. Lincoln is here. She brings the fresh 
est scandals from Yankeeland. She says she rode with 
Lovejoy. A friend of hers commands a black regiment. 
Two Southern horrors a black regiment and Lovejoy. 

March 31st. Met Preston Hampton. Constance Cary 
was with me. She showed her regard for him by taking his 
overcoat and leaving him in a drenching rain. What boy 
ish nonsense he talked ; said he was in love with Miss Dab- 
ney now, that his love was so hot within him that he was 
waterproof, the rain sizzed and smoked off. It did not so 
much as dampen his ardor or his clothes. 

April 1st. Mrs. Davis is utterly depressed. She said 


Nov. 28, 1863 RICHMOND, VA. April 11, 1864 

the fall of Richmond must come ; she would send her chil 
dren to me and Mrs. Preston. We begged her to come to us 
also. My husband is as depressed as I ever knew him to be. 
He has felt the death of that angel mother of his keenly, 
and now he takes his country s woes to heart. 

April llth. Drove with Mrs. Davis and all her infant 
family; wonderfully clever and precocious children, with 
unbroken wills. At one time there was a sudden uprising 
of the nursery contingent. They laughed, fought, and 
screamed. Bedlam broke loose. Mrs. Davis scolded, 
laughed, and cried. She asked me if my husband would 
speak to the President about the plan in South Carolina, 
which everybody said suited him. No, Mrs. Davis, said 
I. " That is what I told Mr. Davis," said she. " Colonel 
Chesnut rides so high a horse. Now Browne is so much 
more practical. He goes forth to be general of conscripts 
in Georgia. His wife will stay at the Cobbs s. 

Mrs. Ould gave me a luncheon on Saturday. I felt that 
this was my last sad farewell to Richmond and the people 
there I love so well. Mrs. Davis sent her carriage for me, 
and we went to the Quids together. Such good things were 
served oranges, guava jelly, etc. The Examiner says Mr. 
Ould, when he goes to Fortress Monroe, replenishes his 
larder; why not? The Examiner has taken another fling 
at the President, as, " haughty and austere with his 
friends, affable, kind, subservient to his enemies." I won 
der if the Yankees would indorse that certificate. Both 
sides abuse him. He can not please anybody, it seems. No 
doubt he is right. 

My husband is now brigadier-general and is sent to 
South Carolina to organize and take command of the re 
serve troops. C. C. Clay and L. Q. C. Lamar are both 
spoken of to fill the vacancy made among Mr. Davis s aides 
by this promotion. 

To-day, Captain Smith Lee spent the morning here and 
gave a review of past Washington gossip. I am having 



such a busy, happy life, with so many friends, and my 
friends are so clever, so charming. But the change to that 
weary, dreary Camden! Mary Preston said: " I do think 
Mrs. Chesnut deserves to be canonized; she agrees to go 
back to Camden." The Prestons gave me a farewell din 
ner; my twenty-fourth wedding day, and the very pleas- 
antest day I have spent in Richmond. 

Maria Lewis was sitting with us on Mrs. Huger s steps, 
and Smith Lee was lauding Virginia people as usual. As 
Lee would say, there * * hove in sight Frank Parker, rid 
ing one of the finest of General Bragg s horses ; by his side 
Buck on Fairfax, the most beautiful horse in Richmond, 
his brown coat looking like satin, his proud neck arched, 
moving slowly, gracefully, calmly, no fidgets, aristocratic 
in his bearing to the tips of his bridle-reins. There sat 
Buck tall and fair, managing her horse with infinite ease, 
her English riding-habit showing plainly the exquisite pro 
portions of her figure. " Supremely lovely," said Smith 
Lee. " Look at them both," said I proudly; " can you 
match those two in Virginia? " " Three cheers for South 
Carolina! " was the answer of Lee, the gallant Virginia 



May 8, 1864 June I, 1864 

AMDEN, S. C., May 8, 1864. My -friends crowded 
around me so in those last days in Richmond, I for 
got the affairs of this nation utterly ; though I did 
show faith in my Confederate country by buying poor 
Bones s (my English maid s) Confederate bonds. I gave 
her gold thimbles, bracelets ; whatever was gold and would 
sell in New York or London, I gave. 

My friends in Richmond grieved that I had to leave 
them not half so much, however, as I did that I must 
come away. Those last weeks were so pleasant. No battle, 
no murder, no sudden death, all went merry as a marriage 
bell. Clever, cordial, kind, brave friends rallied around 

Maggie Howell and I went down the river to see an 
exchange of prisoners. Our party were the Lees, Mallorys, 
Mrs. Buck Allan, Mrs. Ould. We picked up Judge Ould 
and Buck Allan at Curl s Neck. I had seen no genuine 
Yankees before ; prisoners, well or wounded, had been Ger 
man, Scotch, or Irish. Among our men coming ashore was 
an officer, who had charge of some letters for a friend of 
mine whose fiance had died ; I gave him her address. One 
other man showed me some wonderfully ingenious things 
he had made while a prisoner. One said they gave him ra 
tions for a week ; he always devoured them in three days, he 
could not help it; and then he had to bear the inevitable 
agony of those four remaining days ! Many were wounded, 



some were maimed for life. They were very cheerful. We 
had supper or some nondescript meal with ice-cream 
on board. The band played Home, Sweet Home. 

One man tapped another on the shoulder : Well, how 
do you feel, old fellow? " " Never was so near crying in 
my life for very comfort." 

Governor Cummings, a Georgian, late Governor of Utah, 
was among the returned prisoners. He had been in prison 
two years. His wife was with him. He was a striking- 
looking person, huge in size, and with snow-white hair, fat 
as a prize ox, with no sign of Yankee barbarity or starva 
tion about him. 

That evening, as we walked up to Mrs. Davis s carriage, 
which was waiting for us at the landing, Dr. Garnett 
with Maggie Howell, Major Hall with me, suddenly I heard 
her scream, and some one stepped back in the dark and 
said in a whisper. " Little Joe! he has killed him 
self! : I felt reeling, faint, bewildered. A chattering 
woman clutched my arm: " Mrs. Davis s son? Impossible. 
Whom did you say? Was he an interesting child? How 
old was he? : The shock was terrible, and unnerved as 
I was I cried, * For God s sake take her away ! : 

Then Maggie and I drove two long miles in silence ex 
cept for Maggie s hysterical sobs. She was wild with ter 
ror. The news was broken to her in that abrupt way at the 
carriage door so that at first she thought it had all hap 
pened there, and that poor little Joe was in the carriage. 

Mr. Burton Harrison met us at the door of the Execu 
tive Mansion. Mrs. Semmes and Mrs. Barksdale were there, 
too. Every window and door of the house seemed wide 
open, and the wind was blowing the curtains. It was light 
ed, even in the third story. As I sat in the drawing-room, I 
could hear the tramp of Mr. Davis s step as he walked up 
and down the room above. Not another sound. The whole 
house as silent as death. It was then twelve o clock; so I 
went home and waked General Chesnut, who had gone 


May 8, 1864 CAMDEN, S. C. June 1, 1864 

to bed. We went immediately back to the President s, 
found Mrs. Semmes still tkere, but saw no one but her. 
We thought some friends of the family ought to be in the 

Mrs. Semmes said when she got there that little Jeff 
was kneeling down by his brother, and he called out to her 
in great distress : * * Mrs. Semmes, I have said all the pray 
ers I know how, but God will not wake Joe. 

Poor little Joe, the good child of the family, was so gen 
tle and affectionate. He used to run in to say his prayers at 
his father s knee. Now he was laid out somewhere above us, 
crushed and killed. Mrs. Semmes, describing the accident, 
said he fell from the high north piazza upon a brick pave 
ment. Before I left the house I saw him lying there, white 
and beautiful as an angel, covered with flowers ; Catherine, 
his nurse, flat on the floor by his side, was weeping and wail 
ing as only an Irishwoman can. 

Immense crowds came to the funeral, everybody sympa 
thetic, but some shoving and pushing rudely. There were 
thousands of children, and each child had a green bough or 
a bunch of flowers to throw on little Joe s grave, which was 
already a mass of white flowers, crosses, and evergreens. 
The morning I came away from Mrs. Davis s, early as it 
was, I met a little child with a handful of snow drops. 
Put these on little Joe, she said ; * I knew him so well, 
and then she turned and fled without another word. I did 
not know who she was then or now. 

As I walked home I met Mr. Reagan, then Wade Hamp 
ton. But I could see nothing but little Joe and his broken 
hearted mother. And Mr. Davis s step still sounded in rny 
ears as he walked that floor the livelong night. 

General Lee was to have a grand review the very day we 
left Richmond. Great numbers of people were to go up by 
rail to see it. Miss Turner McFarland writes : * They did 
go, but they came back faster than they went. They found 
the army drawn up in battle array." Many of the brave 



and gay spirits that we saw so lately have taken flight, the 
only flight they know, and their bodies are left dead upon 
the battle-field. Poor old Edward Johnston is wounded 
again, and a prisoner. Jones s brigade broke first ; he was 
wounded the day before. 

At Wilmington we met General Whiting. He sent us to 
the station in his carriage, and bestowed upon us a bottle of 
brandy, which had run the blockade. They say Beauregard 
has taken his sword from Whiting. Never ! I will not be 
lieve it. At the capture of Fort Sumter they said Whiting 
was the brains, Beauregard only the hand. Lucifer, son of 
the morning! How art thou fallen! That they should 
even say such a thing! 

My husband and Mr. Covey got out at Florence to pro 
cure for Mrs. Miles a cup of coffee. They were slow about 
it and they got left. I did not mind this so very much, for 
I remembered that we were to remain all day at Kingsville, 
and that my husband could overtake me there by the next 
train. My maid belonged to the Prestons. She w T as only 
traveling home with me, and would go straight on to Colum 
bia. So without fear I stepped off at Kingsville. My old 
Confederate silk, like most Confederate dresses, had seen 
better days, and I noticed that, like Oliver Wendell 
Holmes s famous " one-hoss shay," it had gone to pieces 
suddenly, and all over. It was literally in strips. I became 
painfully aware of my forlorn aspect when I asked the tele 
graph man the way to the hotel, and he was by no means re 
spectful to me. I was, indeed, alone an old and not too re 
spectable-looking woman. It was my first appearance in 
the character, and I laughed aloud. 

A very haughty and highly painted dame greeted me 
at the hotel. " No room," said she. " Who are you? " 
I gave my name. Try something else, said she. Mrs. 
Chesnut don t travel round by herself with no servants and 
no nothing. I looked down. There I was, dirty, tired, tat 
tered, and torn. " Where do you come from? " said she. 


May 8, 1864 CAMDEN, S. C. June 1, 1864 

" My home is in Camden." " Come, now, I know every 
body in Camden." I sat down meekly on a bench in the 
piazza, that was free to all wayfarers. 

11 Which Mrs. ChesnuU " said she (sharply). "I 
know both. " "I am now the only one. And now what is 
the matter with you ? Do you take me for a spy ? I know 
you perfectly well. I went to school with you at Miss Hen 
rietta de Leon s, and my name was Mary Miller." * The 
Lord sakes alive! and to think you are her! Now I see. 
Dear! dear me! Heaven sakes, woman, but you are 
broke! : " And tore," I added, holding up my dress. 
But I had had no idea it was so difficult to effect an entry 
into a railroad wayside hotel. I picked up a long strip of 
my old black dress, torn off by a man s spur as I passed him 
getting off the train. 

It is sad enough at Mulberry without old Mrs. Chesnut, 
who was the good genius of the place. It is so lovely here 
in spring. The giants of the forest the primeval oaks, 
water-oaks, live-oaks, willow-oaks, such as I ha,ve not seen 
since I left here with opopanax, violets, roses, and yellow 
jessamine, the air is laden with perfume. Araby the Blest 
was never sweeter. 

Inside, are creature comforts of all kinds green peas, 
strawberries, asparagus, spring lamb, spring chicken, fresh 
eggs, rich, yellow butter, clean white linen for one s beds, 
dazzling white damask for one s table. It is such a contrast 
to Richmond, where I wish I were. 

Fighting is going on. Hampton is frantic, for his lag 
gard new regiments fall in slowly ; no fault of the soldiers ; 
they are as disgusted as he is. Bragg, Bragg, the head of 
the War Office, can not organize in time. 

John Boykin has died in a Yankee prison. He had on a 
heavy flannel shirt when lying in an open platform car on 
the way to a cold prison on the lakes. A Federal soldier 
wanted John s shirt. Prisoners have no rights ; so John 
had to strip off and hand his shirt to him. That caused 



his death. In two days he was dead of pneumonia may be 
frozen to death. One man said : They are taking us there 
to freeze. But then their men will find our hot sun in Au 
gust and July as deadly as our men find their cold Decem 
bers. Their snow and ice finish our prisoners at a rapid 
rate, they say. Napoleon s soldiers found out all that in 
the Russian campaign. 

Have brought my houseless, homeless friends, refugees 
here, to luxuriate in Mulberry s plenty. I can but remem 
ber the lavish kindness of the Virginia people when I was 
there and in a similar condition. The Virginia people do 
the rarest acts of hospitality and never seem to know it is 
not in the ordinary course of events. 

The President s man, Stephen, bringing his master s 
Arabian to Mulberry for safe-keeping, said : Why, Missis, 
your niggers down here are well off. I call this Mul 
berry place heaven, with plenty to eat, little to do, warm 
house to sleep in, a good church." 

John L. Miller, my cousin, has been killed at the head 
of his regiment. The blows now fall so fast on our heads 
they are bewildering. The Secretary of War authorizes 
General Chesnut to reorganize the men who have been hith 
erto detailed for special duty, and also those who have been 
exempt. He says General Chesnut originated the plan and 
organized the corps of clerks which saved Richmond in the 
Dahlgren raid. 

May 27th. In all this beautiful sunshine, in the still 
ness and shade of these long hours on this piazza, all comes 
back to me about little Joe; it haunts me that scene in 
Richmond where all seemed confusion, madness, a bad 
dream! Here I see that funeral procession as it wound 
among those tall white monuments, up that hillside, the 
James River tumbling about below over rocks and around 
islands; the dominant figure, that poor, old, gray-haired 
man, standing bareheaded, straight as an arrow, clear 
against the sky by the open grave of his son. She, the be- 


May 8, 1864 CAMDEN, S. C. June 1, 1864 

reft mother, stood back, in her heavy black wrappings, and 
her tall figure drooped. The flowers, the children, the pro 
cession as it moved, comes and goes, but those two dark, 
sorrow-stricken figures stand ; they are before me now ! 

That night, with no sound but the heavy tramp of his 
feet overhead, the curtains flapping in the wind, the gas 
flaring, I was numb, stupid, half -dead with grief and ter 
ror. Then came Catherine s Irish howl. Cheap, was that. 
Where was she when it all happened? Her place was to 
have been with the child. Who saw him fall ? Whom will 
they kill next of that devoted household ? 

Read to-day the list of killed and wounded. 1 One long 
column was not enough for South Carolina s dead. I see 
Mr. Federal Secretary Stanton says he can reenforce Su- 
warrow Grant at his leisure whenever he calls for more. He 
has just sent him 25,000 veterans. Old Lincoln says, in his 
quaint backwoods way, " Keep a-peggin ." Now we can 
only peg out. What have we left of men, etc., to meet these 
" reenforcements as often as reenforcements are called 
for? " Our fighting men have all gone to the front; only 
old men and little boys are at home now. 

It is impossible to sleep here, because it is so solemn 
and still. The moonlight shines in my window sad and 
white, and the soft south wind, literally comes over a bank 
of violets, lilacs, roses, with orange-blossoms and magnolia 

Mrs. Chesnut was only a year younger than her hus 
band. He is ninety-two or three. She was deaf ; but he re 
tains his senses wonderfully for his great age. I have al 
ways been an early riser. Formerly I often saw him saun 
tering slowly down the broad passage from his room to hers, 
in a flowing flannel dressing-gown when it was winter. In 

1 During the month of May, 1864, important battles had been fought 
in Virginia, including that of the Wilderness on May 6th-7th, and the 
series later in that month around Spottsylvania Court House. 


From a Portrait in Oil by Gilbert Stuart. 


the spring he was apt to be in shirt-sleeves, with suspenders 
hanging down his back. He had always a large hair-brush 
in his hand. 

He would take his stand on the rug before the fire in her 
room, brushing scant locks which were fleecy white. Her 
maid would be doing hers, which were dead-leaf brown, not 
a white hair in her head. He had the voice of a stentor, and 
there he stood roaring his morning compliments. The peo 
ple who occupied the room above said he fairly shook the 
window glasses. This pleasant morning greeting ceremony 
was never omitted. 

Her voice was " soft and low " (the oft-quoted). Phil 
adelphia seems to have lost the art of sending forth such 
voices now. Mrs. Binney, old Mrs. Chesnut s sister, came 
among us with the same softly modulated, womanly, musi 
cal voice. Her clever and beautiful daughters were criarcl. 
Judge Han said : * Philadelphia women scream like ma 
caws. This morning as I passed Mrs. Chesnut s room, the 
door stood wide open, and I heard a pitiful sound. The 
old man was kneeling by her empty bedside sobbing bit 
terly. I fled down the middle walk, anywhere out of reach 
of what was never meant for me to hear. 

June 1st. We have been to Bloomsbury again and hear 
that William Kirkland has been wounded. A scene oc 
curred then, Mary weeping bitterly and Aunt B. frantic as 
to Tanny s danger. I proposed to make arrangements for 
Mary to go on at once. The Judge took me aside, frowning 
angrily. " You are unwise to talk in that way. She can 
neither take her infant nor leave it. The cars are closed by 
order of the government to all but soldiers." 

I told him of the woman who, when the conductor 
said she could not go, cried at the top of her voice, " Sol 
diers, I want to go to Richmond to nurse my wounded hus 
band." In a moment twenty men made themselves her 
body-guard, and she went on unmolested. The Judge said 
I talked nonsense. I said I would go on in my carriage if 


May 8, 1864 CAMDEN, S. C. June 1, 1864 

need be. Besides, there would be no difficulty in getting 
Mary a " permit. " 

He answered hotly that in no case would he let her go, 
and that I had better not go back into the house. We were 
on the piazza and my carriage at the door. I took it and 
crossed over to see Mary Boykin. She was weeping, too, so 
washed away with tears one would hardly know her. " So 
many killed. My son and my husband I do not hear a 
word from them." 

Gave to-day for two pounds of tea, forty pounds of cof 
fee, and sixty pounds of sugar, $800. 

Beauregard is a gentleman and was a genius as long as 
Whiting did his engineering for him. Our Creole general 
is not quite so clever as he thinks himself. 

Mary Ford writes for school-books for her boys. She is 
in great distress on the subject. When Long-street s corps 
passed through Greenville there was great enthusiasm; 
handkerchiefs were waved, bouquets and flowers were 
thrown the troops ; her boys, having nothing else to throw, 
threw their school-books. 




July 6, 1864 January 17, 1865 

, S. C., July 6, 1864.At the Prestons 
Mary was laughing at Mrs. Lyons s complaint the 
person from whom we rented rooms in Richmond. 
She spoke of Molly and Lawrence s deceitfulness. They 
went about the house quiet as mice while we were at home ; 
or Lawrence sat at the door and sprang to his feet whenever 
we passed. But when we were out, they sang, laughed, 
shouted, and danced. If any of the Lyons family passed 
him, Lawrence kept his seat, with his hat on, too. Mrs. 
Chesnut had said : " Oh ! " so meekly to the whole tirade, 
and added, I will see about it. 

Colonel Urquhart and Edmund Rhett dined here ; charm 
ing men both no brag, no detraction. Talk is never pleas 
ant where there is either. Our noble Georgian dined here. 
He says Hampton was the hero of the Yankee rout 
at Stony Creek. 1 He claims that citizens, militia, and lame 
soldiers kept the bridge at Staunton and gallantly repulsed 
Wilson s raiders. 

At Mrs. S. s last night. She came up, saying, " In 
New Orleans four people never met together without dan 
cing." Edmund Rhett turned to me: "You shall be 
pressed into service. " No, I belong to the reserve corps 

1 The battle of Stony Creek in Virginia was fought on June 28-29, 


July 6, 1864 COLUMBIA, S. C. Jan. 17, 1865 

too old to volunteer or to be drafted as a conscript. But I 
had to go. 

My partner in the dance showed his English descent ; he 
took his pleasure sadly. " Oh, Mr. Rhett, at his pleasure, 
can be a most agreeable companion! " said someone. " I 
never happened to meet him, said I, when he pleased to 
be otherwise. With a hot, draggled, old alpaca dress, and 
those clod-hopping shoes, to tumble slowly and gracefully 
through the mazes of a July dance was too much for me. 
* l What depresses you so ? "he anxiously inquired. Our 
carnival of death." What a blunder to bring us all to 
gether here ! a reunion of consumptives to dance and sing 
until one can almost hear the death-rattle ! 

July 25th. Now we are in a cottage rented from Doctor 
Chisolm. Hood is a full general. Johnston 1 has been re 
moved and superseded. Early is threatening Washington 
City. Semmes, of whom we have been so proud, risked the 
Alabama in a sort of duel of ships. He has lowered the flag 
of the famous Alabama to the Kearsarge. 2 Forgive who 
may ! I can not. We moved into this house on the 20th of 

1 General Johnston in 1863 had been appointed to command the 
Army of the Tennessee, with headquarters at Dalton, Georgia. He was 
to oppose the advance of Sherman s army toward Atlanta. In May, 
1864, he fought unsuccessful battles at Resaca and elsewhere, and in 
July was compelled to retreat across the Chattahoochee River. Fault 
was found with him because of his continual retreating. There were 
tremendous odds against him. On July 17th he was superseded by 

2 Raphael Semmes was a native of Maryland and had served in the 
Mexican War. The Alabama was built for the Confederate States at 
Birkenhead, England, and with an English crew and English equipment 
was commanded by Semmes. In 1863 and 1864 the Alabama destroyed 
much Federal shipping. On June 19, 1864, she was sunk by the 
Federal ship Kearsarge in a battle off Cherbourg. Claims against Eng 
land for damages were made by the United States, and as a result the 
Geneva Arbitration Court was created. Claims amounting to $15,500,- 
000 were finally awarded. This case has much importance in the his 
tory of international law. 



July. My husband was telegraphed to go to Charleston. 
General Jones sent for him. A part of his command is on 
the coast. 

The girls were at my house. Everything was in the 
utmost confusion. We were lying on a pile of mattresses 
in one of the front rooms while the servants were reducing 
things to order in the rear. All the papers are down on the 
President for this change of commanders except the Georgia 
papers. Indeed, Governor Brown s constant complaints, I 
dare say, caused it these and the rage of the Georgia peo 
ple as Johnston backed down on them. 

Isabella soon came. She said she saw the Preston sis 
ters pass her house, and as they turned the corner there was 
a loud and bitter cry. It seemed to come from the Hampton 
house. Both girls began to run at full speed. " What is 
the matter? " asked Mrs. Martin. " Mother, listen; that 
sounded like the cry of a broken heart," said Isabella; 
" something has gone terribly wrong at the PrestonsV 

Mrs. Martin is deaf, however, so she heard nothing and 
thought Isabella fanciful. Isabella hurried over there, and 
learned that they had come to tell Mrs. Preston that Willie 
was killed Willie ! his mother s darling. No country ever 
had a braver soldier, a truer gentleman, to lay down his 
life in her cause. 

July 26th. Isabella went with me to the bulletin-board. 
Mrs. D. (with the white linen as usual pasted on her chin) 
asked me to read aloud what was there written. As I slowly 
read on, I heard a suppressed giggle from Isabella. I know 
her way of laughing at everything, and tried to enunciate 
more distinctly to read more slowly, and louder, with 
more precision. As I finished and turned round, I found 
myself closely packed in by a crowd of Confederate soldiers 
eager to hear the news. They took off their caps, thanked 
me for reading all that was on the boards, and made way 
for me, cap in hand, as I hastily returned to the carriage, 
which was waiting for us. Isabella proposed, Call out to 
22 315 

July 6, 1864 COLUMBIA, S. C. Jan. 17, 1865 

them to give three cheers for Jeff Davis and his generals. 
" You forget, my child, that we are on our way to a fu 

Found my new house already open hospitably to all 
comers. My husband had arrived. He was seated at a pine 
table, on which someone had put a coarse, red table-cover, 
and by the light of one tallow candle was affably entertain 
ing Edward Barnwell, Isaac Hayne, and Uncle Hamilton. 
He had given them no tea, however. After I had remedied 
that oversight, we adjourned to the moonlighted piazza. 
By tallow-candle-light and the light of the moon, we made 
out that wonderful smile of Teddy s, which identifies him 
as Gerald Grey. 

We have laughed so at broken hearts the broken hearts 
of the foolish love stories. But Buck, now, is breaking her 
heart for her brother Willie. Hearts do break in silence, 
without a word or a sigh. Mrs. Means and Mary Barnwell 
made no moan simply turned their faces to the wall and 
died. How many more that we know nothing of ! 

When I remember all the true-hearted, the light-hearted, 
the gay and gallant boys, who have come laughing, singing, 
and dancing in my way in the three years now past ; how I 
have looked into their brave young eyes and helped them 
as I could in every way and then saw them no more forever ; 
how they lie stark and cold, dead upon the battle-field, or 
moldering away in hospitals or prisons, which is worse I 
think if I consider the long array of those bright youths 
and loyal men who have gone to their death almost before 
my very eyes, my heart might break, too. Is anything 
worth it this fearful sacrifice, this awful penalty we pay 
for war? 

Allen G. says Johnston was a failure. Now he will wait 
and see what Hood can do before he pronounces judgment 
on him. He liked his address to his army. It was grand 
and inspiring, but every one knows a general has not time 
to write these things himself. Mr. Kelly, from New Or- 



leans, says Dick Taylor and Kirby Smith have quarreled. 
One would think we had a big enough quarrel on hand for 
one while already. The Yankees are enough and to spare. 
General Lovell says, * Joe Brown, with his Georgians at his 
back, who importuned our government to remove Joe Johns 
ton, they are scared now, and wish they had not. 

In our democratic Republic, if one rises to be its head, 
whomever he displeases takes a Turkish revenge and defiles 
the tombs of his father and mother; hints that his father 
was a horse-thief and his mother no better than she should 
be; his sisters barmaids and worse, his brothers Yankee 
turncoats and traitors. All this is hurled at Lincoln or 
Jeff Davis indiscriminately. 

August 2d. Sherman again. Artillery parked and 
a line of battle formed before Atlanta. When we asked 
Brewster what Sam meant to do at Atlanta he answered, 
Oh oh, like the man who went, he says he means to stay 
there! " Hope he may, that s all. 

Spent to-day with Mrs. McCord at her hospital. She is 
dedicating her grief for her son, sanctifying it, one might 
say, by giving up her soul and body, her days and nights, to 
the wounded soldiers at her hospital. Every moment of her 
time is surrendered to their needs. 

To-day General Taliaferro dined with us. He served 
with Hood at the second battle of Manassas and at Freder- 
icksburg, where Hood won his major-general s spurs. On 
the battle-field, Hood, he said, " has military inspiration." 
We were thankful for that word. All now depends on that 
army at Atlanta. If that fails us, the game is up. 

August 3d. Yesterday was such a lucky day for my 
housekeeping in our hired house. Oh, ye kind Columbia 
folk! Mrs. Alex Taylor, nee Hayne, sent me a huge bowl 
of yellow butter and a basket to match of every vegetable 
in season. Mrs. Preston s man came with mushrooms fresh 
ly cut and Mrs. Tom Taylor s with fine melons. 

Sent Smith and Johnson (my house servant and a car- 


July 6, 1864 COLUMBIA, S. C. Jan. 17, 1865 

penter from home, respectively) to the Commissary s with 
our wagon for supplies. They made a mistake, so they said, 
and went to the depot instead, and stayed there all day. I 
needed a servant sadly in many ways all day long, but I 
hope Smith and Johnson had a g*od time. I did not lose 
patience until Harriet came in an omnibus because I had 
neither servants nor horse to send to the station for her. 

Stephen Elliott is wounded, and his wife and father 
have gone to him. Six hundred of his men were destroyed 
in a mine ; and part of his brigade taken prisoners : Stone- 
man and his raiders have been captured. This last fact 
gives a slightly different hue to our horizon of unmitigated 

General L - told us of an unpleasant scene at the 
President s last winter. He called there to see Mrs. Mc 
Lean. Mrs. Davis was in the room and he did not speak to 
her. He did not intend to be rude ; it was merely an over 
sight. And so he called again and tried to apologize, to 
remedy his blunder, but the President was inexorable, and 
would not receive his overtures of peace and good-will. 
General L - is a New York man. Talk of the savagery 
of slavery, heavens! How perfect are our men s manners 
down here, how suave, how polished are they. Fancy one 
of them forgetting to speak to Mrs. Davis in her own draw 

August 6th. Archer came, a classmate of my husband s 
at Princeton; they. called him Sally Archer then, he was so 
girlish and pretty. No trace of feminine beauty about this 
grim soldier now. He has a hard face, black-bearded and 
sallow, with the saddest black eyes. His hands are small, 
white, and well-shaped ; his manners quiet. He is abstracted 
and weary-looking, his mind and body having been dead 
ened by long imprisonment. He seemed glad to be here, 
and James Chesnut was charmed. " Dear Sally Archer, " 
he calls him cheerily, and the other responds in a far-off, 
faded kind of way. 



Hood and Archer were given the two Texas regiments 
at the beginning of the war. They were colonels and Wig- 
fall was their general. Archer s comments on Hood are: 
" He does not compare intellectually with General Johns 
ton, who is decidedly a man of culture and literary attain 
ments, with much experience in military matters. Hood, 
however, has youth and energy to help counterbalance all 
this. He has a simple-minded directness of purpose al 
ways. He is awfully shy, and he has suffered terribly, but 
then he has had consolations such a rapid rise in his pro 
fession, and then his luck to be engaged to the beautiful 
Miss ." 

They tried Archer again and again on the heated con 
troversy of the day, but he stuck to his text. Joe Johnston 
is a fine military critic, a capital writer, an accomplished 
soldier, as brave as Caesar in his own person, but cautious to 
a fault in manipulating an army. Hood has all the dash 
and fire of a reckless young soldier, and his Texans would 
follow him to the death. Too much caution might be fol 
lowed easily by too much headlong rush. That is where the 
swing-back of the pendulum might ruin us. 

August 10th. To-day General Chesnut and his staff de 
parted. His troops are ordered to look after the mountain 
passes beyond Greenville on the North Carolina and Ten 
nessee quarter. 

Misery upon misery. Mobile 1 is going as New Orleans 
went. Those Western men have not held their towns as we 
held and hold Charleston, or as the Virginians hold Rich 
mond. And they call us a " frill-shirt, silk-stocking chiv 
alry," or " a set of dandy Miss Nancys." They fight des 
perately in their bloody street brawls, but we bear privation 
and discipline best. 

August 14th. We have conflicting testimony. Young 

1 The battle of Mobile Bay, won under Farragut, was fought on 
August 5, 1864. 


July 6, 1864 COLUMBIA, S. C. Jan. 17, 1865 

Wade Hampton, of Joe Johnston s staff, says Hood lost 
12,000 men in the battles of the 22d x and 24th, but Brews- 
ter, of Hood s staff, says not three thousand at the utmost. 
Now here are two people strictly truthful, who tell things 
so differently. In this war people see the same things so 
oddly one does not know what to believe. 

Brewster says when he was in Richmond Mr. Davis said 
Johnston would have to be removed and Sherman blocked. 
He could not make Hardee full general because, when he 
had command of an army he was always importuning the 
War Department for a general-in-chief to be sent there 
over him. Polk would not do, brave soldier and patriot as 
he was. He was a good soldier, and would do his best for 
his country, and do his duty under whomever was put over 
him by those in authority. Mr. Davis did not once intimate 
to him who it was that he intended to promote to the head 
of the Western Army. 

Brewster said to-day that this " blow at Joe Johnston, 
cutting off his head, ruins the schemes of the enemies of the 
government. Wigf all asked me to go at once, and get Hood 
to decline to take this command, for it will destroy him if 
he accepts it. He will have to fight under Jeff Davis s or 
ders ; no one can do that now and not lose caste in the West 
ern Army. Joe Johnston does not exactly say that Jeff 
Davis betrays his plans to the enemy, but he says he dares 
not let the President know his plans, as there is a spy in the 
War Office who invariably warns the Yankees in time. Con 
sulting the government on military movements is played 
out. That s Wigf all s way of talking. Now," added 
Brewster, " I blame the President for keeping a man at 
the head of his armies who treats the government with 
open scorn and contumely, no matter how the people at 
large rate this disrespectful general. * 

1 On July 22d, Hood made a sortie from Atlanta, but after a battle 
was obliged to return. 



August 19th. Began my regular attendance on the 
Wayside Hospital. To-day we gave wounded men, as they 
stopped for an hour at the station, their breakfast. Those 
who are able to come to the table do so. The badly wounded 
remain in wards prepared for them, where their wounds are 
dressed by nurses and surgeons, and we take bread and but 
ter, beef, ham, and hot coffee to them. 

One man had hair as long as a woman s, the result of a 
vow, he said. He had pledged himself not to cut his hair 
until peace was declared and our Southern country free. 
Four made this vow together. All were dead but himself. 
One was killed in Missouri, one in Virginia, and he left one 
at Kennesaw Mountain. This poor creature had had one 
arm taken off at the socket. When I remarked that he was 
utterly disabled and ought not to remain in the army, he 
answered quietly, " I am of the First Texas. If old Hood 
can go with one f oot r I can go with one arm, eh ? ! 

How they quarreled and wrangled among themselves 
Alabama and Mississippi, all were loud for Joe Johnston, 
save and except the long-haired, one-armed hero, who cried 
at the top of his voice : l Oh ! you all want to be kept in 
trenches and to go on retreating, eh? " " Oh, if we had 
had a leader, such as Stonewall, this war would have been 
over long ago! What we want is a leader! " shouted a 

They were awfully smashed-up, objects of misery, 
wounded, maimed, diseased. I was really upset, and came 
home ill. This kind of thing unnerves me quite. 

Letters from the army. Grant s dogged stay about 
Richmond is very disgusting and depressing to the spirits. 
Wade Hampton has been put in command of the Southern 

A Wayside incident. A pine box, covered with flowers, 
was carefully put upon the train by some gentlemen. Isa 
bella asked whose remains were in the box. Dr. Gibbes re 
plied : "In that box lies the body of a young man whose 


July 6, 1864 COLUMBIA, S. C. Jan. 17, 1865 

family antedates the Bourbons of France. He was the last 
Count de Choiseul, and he has died for the South." Let 
his memory be held in perpetual remembrance by all who 
love the South! 

August 22d. Hope I may ne^er know a raid except 
from hearsay. Mrs. Huger describes the one at Athens. 
The proudest and most timid of women were running madly 
in the streets, corsets in one hand, stockings in the other 
deshabille as far as it will go. Mobile is half taken. The 
railroad between us and Richmond has been tapped. 

Notes from a letter written by a young lady who is rid 
ing a high horse. Her fiance, a maimed hero, has been 
abused. " You say to me with a sneer, * So you love that 
man. Yes, I do, and I thank God that I love better than all 
the world the man who is to be my husband. Proud of 
him, are you 1 Yes, I am, in exact proportion to my love. 
You say, I am selfish. Yes, I am selfish. He is my sec 
ond self, so utterly absorbed am I in him. There is not a 
moment, day or night, that I do not think of him. In point 
of fact, I do not think of anything else." No reply was 
deemed necessary by the astounded recipient of this out 
burst of indignation, who showed me the letter and contin 
ued to observe: " Did you ever? She seems so shy, so 
timid, so cold." 

Sunday Isabella took us to a chapel, Methodist, of 
course; her father had a hand in building it. It was not 
clean, but it was crowded, hot, and stuffy. An eloquent 
man preached with a delightful voice and wonderful flu 
ency; nearly eloquent, and at times nearly ridiculous. He 
described a scene during one of his sermons when " beau 
tiful young faces were turned up to me, radiant faces 
though bathed in tears, moral rainbows of emotion playing 
over them," etc. 

He then described his own conversion, and stripped him 
self naked morally. All that is very revolting to one s in 
nate sense of decency. He tackled the patriarchs. Adam, 



Noah, and so on down to Joseph, who was " a man whose 
modesty and purity were so transcendent they enabled him 
to resist the greatest temptation to which fallen man is ex 
posed." " Fiddlesticks ! that is played out ! " my neighbor 
whispered. " Everybody gives up now that old Mrs. Pha 
raoh was forty. " * Mrs. Potiphar, you goose, and she was 
fifty!" " That solves the riddle." " Sh-sh! " from the 
devout Isabella. 

At home met General Preston on the piazza. He was 
vastly entertaining. Gave us Darwin, Herodotus, and Livy. 
We understood him and were delighted, but we did not know 
enough to be sure when it was his own wisdom or when wise 
saws and cheering words came from the authors of whom 
he spoke. 

August 23d. All in a muddle, and yet the news, con 
fused as it is, seems good from all quarters. There is a row 
in New Orleans. Memphis 1 has been retaken; 2,000 prison 
ers have been captured at Petersburg, and a Yankee raid on 
Macon has come to grief. 

At Mrs. Izard s met a clever Mrs. Calhoun. Mrs. Cal- 
houn is a violent partizan of Dick Taylor; says Taylor 
does the work and Kirby Smith gets the credit for it. Mrs. 
Calhoun described the behavior of some acquaintance of 
theirs at Shreveport, one of that kind whose faith removes 
mountains. Her love for and confidence in the Confederate 
army were supreme. Why not 1 She knew so many of the 
men who composed that dauntless band. When her hus 
band told her New Orleans had surrendered to a foe whom 
she despised, she did not believe a word of it. He told her 
to " pack up his traps, as it was time for him to leave 
Shreveport." She then determined to run down to the 
levee and see for herself, only to find the Yankee gunboats 
having it all their own way. She made a painful exhibition 
of herself. First, she fell on her knees and prayed; then 

1 General Forrest made his raid on Memphis in August of this year. 


July 6, 1864 COLUMBIA, S. C. Jan. 17, 1865 

she got up and danced with rage; then she raved and 
dashed herself on the ground in a fit. There was patriotism 
run mad for you ! As I did not know the poor soul, Mrs. 
Calhoun s fine acting was somewhat lost on me, but the 
others enjoyed it. ^ 

Old Edward Johnston has been sent to Atlanta against 
his will, and Archer has been made major-general and, con 
trary to his earnest request, ordered not to his beloved 
Texans but to the Army of the Potomac. 

Mr. C. F. Hampton deplores the untimely end of Mc- 
Pherson. 1 He was so kind to Mr. Hampton at Vicksburg 
last winter, and drank General Hampton s health then and 
there. Mr. Hampton has asked Brewster, if the report of his 
death prove a mistake, and General McPherson is a pris 
oner, that every kindness and attention be shown to him. 
General McPherson said at his own table at Vicksburg that 
General Hampton was the ablest general on our side. 

Grant can hold his own as well as Sherman. Lee has a 
heavy handful in the new Suwarrow. He has worse odds 
than any one else, for when Grant has ten thousand slain, 
he has only to order another ten thousand, and they are 
there, ready to step out to the front. They are like the 
leaves of Vallambrosa. 

August 29th. I take my hospital duty in the morning. 
Most persons prefer afternoon, but I dislike to give up my 
pleasant evenings. So I get up at five o clock and go down 
in my carriage all laden with provisions. Mrs. Fisher and 
old Mr. Bryan generally go with me. Provisions are com 
monly sent by people to Mrs. Fisher s. I am so glad to be a 
hospital nurse once more. I had excuses enough, but at 
heart I felt a coward and a skulker. I think I know how 
men feel who hire a substitute and shirk the fight. There 

1 General McPherson was killed before Atlanta during the sortie 
made by Hood on July 22d. He was a native of Ohio, a graduate of 
West Point, and under Sherman commanded the Army of the Tennessee. 



must be no dodging of duty. It will not do now to send 
provisions and pay for nurses. Something inside of me 
kept calling out, " Go, you shabby creature; you can t bear 
to see what those fine fellows have to bear. 

Mrs. Izard was staying with me last night, and as I 
slipped away I begged Molly to keep everything dead still 
and not let Mrs. Izard be disturbed until I got home. 
About ten I drove up and there was a row to wake the dead. 
Molly s eldest daughter, who nurses her baby sister, let the 
baby fall, and, regardless of Mrs. Izard, as I was away, 
Molly was giving the nurse a switching in the yard, accom 
panied by howls and yells worthy of a Comanche! The 
small nurse welcomed my advent, no doubt, for in two sec 
onds peace was restored. Mrs. Izard said she sympathized 
with the baby s mother ; so I forgave the uproar. 

I have excellent servants; no matter for their short 
comings behind my back. They save me all thought as to 
household matters, and they are so kind, attentive, and 
quiet. They must know what is at hand if Sherman is not 
hindered from coming here " Freedom! my masters! " 
But these sphinxes give no sign, unless it be increased dili 
gence and absolute silence, as certain in their action and as 
noiseless as a law of nature, at any rate when we are in the 

That fearful hospital haunts me all day long, and is 
worse at night. So much suffering, such loathsome wounds, 
such distortion, with stumps of limbs not half cured, ex 
hibited to all. Then, when I was so tired yesterday, Molly 
was looking more like an enraged lioness than anything else, 
roaring that her baby s neck was broken, and howling cries 
of vengeance. The poor little careless nurse s dark face 
had an ashen tinge of gray terror. She was crouching near 
the ground like an animal trying to hide, and her mother 
striking at her as she rolled away. All this was my welcome 
as I entered the gate. It takes these half -Africans but a 
moment to go back to their naked savage animal nature. 


July 6, 1864 COLUMBIA, S. C. Jan. 17, 1865 

Mrs. Izard is a charming person. She tried so to make me 
forget it all and rest. 

September 2d. The battle has been raging at Atlanta, 1 
and our fate hanging in the balance. Atlanta, indeed, is 
gone. Well, that agony is over. .Like David, when the 
child was dead, I will get up from my knees, will wash my 
face and comb my hair. No hope; we will try to have no 

At the Prestons I found them drawn up in line of battle 
every moment looking for the Doctor on his way to Rich 
mond. Now, to drown thought, for our day is done, read 
Dumas s Maitres d Armes. Russia ought to sympathize 
with us. We are not as barbarous as this, even if Mrs. 
Stowe s word be taken. Brutal men with unlimited power 
are the same all over the world. See Russell s India Bull 
Run Russell s. They say General Morgan has been killed. 
We are hard as stones; we sit unmoved and hear any bad 
news chance may bring. Are we stupefied ? 

September 19th. My pink silk dress I have sold for 
$600, to be paid for in instalments, two hundred a month 
for three months. And I sell my eggs and butter from home 
for two hundred dollars a month. Does it not sound well 
four hundred dollars a month regularly. But in what? 
In Confederate money. Helas! 

September 21st. Went with Mrs. Rhett to hear Dr. 
Palmer. I did not know before how utterly hopeless was 
our situation. This man is so eloquent, it was hard to listen 
and not give way. Despair was his word, and martyrdom. 
He offered us nothing more in this world than the martyr s 
crown. He is not for slavery, he says ; he is for freedom, and 
the freedom to govern our own country as we see fit. He is 
against foreign interference in our State matters. That is 
what Mr. Palmer went to war for, it appears. Every day 

1 After the battle, Atlanta was taken possession of and partly burned 
by the Federals. 



shows that slavery is doomed the world over; for that he 
thanked God. He spoke of our agony, and then came the 
cry, " Help us, God! Vain is the help of man." And 
so we came away shaken to the depths. 

The end has come. No doubt of the fact. Our army has 
so moved as to uncover Macon and Augusta. We are going 
to be wiped off the face of the earth. What is there to pre 
vent Sherman taking General Lee in the rear? We have 
but two armies, and Sherman is between them now. l 

September 24th. These stories of our defeats in the val 
ley fall like blows upon a dead body. Since Atlanta fell I 
have felt as if all were dead within me forever. Captain 
Ogden, of General Chesnut s staff, dined here to-day. Had 
ever brigadier, with little or no brigade, so magnificent a 
staff? The reserves, as somebody said, have been secured 
only by robbing the cradle and the grave the men too old, 
the boys too young. Isaac Hayne, Edward Barnwell, 
Bacon, Ogden, Richardson, Miles are the picked men of 
the agreeable world. 

October 1st. Mary Cantey Preston s wedding day has 
come and gone and Mary is Mrs. John Darby now. Maggie 
Howell dressed the bride s hair beautifully, they said, but it 
was all covered by her veil, which was of blond-lace, and 
the dress tulle and blond-lace, with diamonds and pearls. 
The bride walked up the aisle on her father s arm, Mrs. Pres 
ton on Dr. Darby s. I think it was the handsomest wedding 
party I ever saw. John Darby 2 had brought his wedding 

1 During the summer and autumn of 1864 several important battles 
had occurred. In addition to the engagements by Sherman s army 
farther south, there had occurred in Virginia the battle of Cold Harbor 
in the early part of June; those before Petersburg in the latter part of 
June and during July and August ; the battle of Winchester on Septem 
ber 19th, during Sheridan s Shenandoah campaign, and the battle of 
Cedar Creek on October 19th. 

2 After the war, Dr. Darby became professor of Surgery in the Uni 
versity of the City of New York; he had served as Medical Director in 
the Army of the Confederate States and as Professor of Anatomy and 


July 6, 1864 COLUMBIA, S. C. Jan. 17, 1865 

uniform home with him from England, and it did all honor 
to his perfect figure. I forget the name of his London 
tailor the best, of course! " Well/ said Isabella, " it 
would be hard for any man to live up to those clothes. 

And now, to the amazement of us all, Captain Chesnut 
(Johnny) who knows everything, has rushed into a flirta 
tion with Buck such as never was. He drives her every day, 
and those wild, runaway, sorrel colts terrify my soul as 
they go tearing, pitching, and darting from side to side of 
the street. And my lady enjoys it. When he leaves her, he 
kisses her hand, bowing so low to do it unseen that we see 
it all. 

Saturday. The President will be with us here in Colum 
bia next Tuesday, so Colonel McLean brings us word. 
I have begun at once to prepare to receive him in my small 
house. His apartments have been decorated as well as Con 
federate stringency would permit. The possibilities were 
not great, but I did what I could for our honored chief ; be 
sides I .like the man he has been so kind to me, and his wife 
is one of the few to whom I can never be grateful enough for 
her generous appreciation and attention. 

I went out to the gate to greet the President, who met 
me most cordially; kissed me, in fact. Custis Lee and 
Governor Lubbock were at his back. 

Immediately after breakfast (the Presidential party 
arrived a little before daylight) General Chesnut drove 
off with the President s aides, and Mr. Davis sat out on 
our piazza. There was nobody with him but myself. Some 
little boys strolling by called out, " Come here and look; 
there is a man on Mrs. Chesnut s porch who looks just like 
Jeff Davis on postage-stamps." People began to gather at 
once on the street. Mr. Davis then went in. 

Mrs. McCord sent a magnificent bouquet I thought, of 

Surgery in the University of South Carolina; had also served with dis 
tinction in European wars. 



course, for the President ; but she gave me such a scolding 
afterward. She did not know he was there ; I, in my mis 
take about the bouquet, thought she knew, and so did not 
send her word. 

The President was watching me prepare a mint julep 
for Custis Lee when Colonel McLean came to inform us that 
a great crowd had gathered and that they were coming to 
ask the President to speak to them at one o clock. An im 
mense crowd it was men, women, and children. The 
crowd overflowed the house, the President s hand was nearly 
shaken off. I went to the rear, my head intent on the din 
ner to be prepared for him, with only a Confederate com 
missariat. But the patriotic public had come to the rescue. 
I had been gathering what I could of eatables for a month, 
and now I found that nearly everybody in Columbia was 
sending me whatever they had that they thought nice 
enough for the President s dinner. We had the sixty-year- 
old Madeira from Mulberry, and the beautiful old china, 
etc. Mrs. Preston sent a boned turkey stuffed with truffles, 
stuffed tomatoes, and stuffed peppers. Each made a dish 
as pretty as it was appetizing. 

A mob of small boys only came to pay their respects to 
the President. He seemed to know how to meet that odd 

Then the President s party had to go, and we bade them 
an affectionate farewell. Custis Lee and I had spent much 
time gossiping on the back porch. While I was concocting 
dainties for the dessert, he sat on the banister with a cigar 
in his mouth. He spoke very candidly, telling me many a 
hard truth for the Confederacy, and about the bad time 
which was at hand. 

October 18th. Ten pleasant days I owe to my sister. 
Kate has descended upon me unexpectedly from the moun 
tains of Flat Rock. We are true sisters; she understands 
me without words, and she is the cleverest, sweetest woman 
I know, so graceful and gracious in manner, so good and un- 


July 6, 1864 COLUMBIA, S. C. Jan. 17, 1865 

selfish in character, but, best of all, she is so agreeable. Any 
time or place would be charming with Kate for a compan 
ion. General Chesnut was in Camden; but I could not 
wait. I gave the beautiful bride, Mrs. Darby, a dinner, 
which was simply perfection. I* was satisfied for once in 
my life with my own table, and I know pleasanter guests 
were never seated around any table whatsoever. 

My house is always crowded. After all, what a number 
of pleasant people we have been thrown in with by war s 
catastrophes. I call such society glorious. It is the wind- 
up, but the old life as it begins to die will die royally. Gen 
eral Chesnut came back disheartened. He complains that 
such a life as I lead gives him no time to think. 

October 28th. Burton Harrison writes, to General Pres 
ton that supreme anxiety reigns in Richmond. 

Oh, for one single port ! If the Alabama had had in the 
whole wide world a port to take her prizes to and where 
she could be refitted, I believe she would have borne us 
through. Oh, for one single port by which we could get at 
the outside world and refit our whole Confederacy ! If we 
could have hired regiments from Europe, or even have im 
ported ammunition and food for our soldiers ! 

* * Some days must be dark and dreary. At the mantua- 
maker s, however, I saw an instance of faith in our future : 
a bride s paraphernalia, and the radiant bride herself, the 
bridegroom expectant and elect now within twenty miles of 
Chattanooga and outward bound to face the foe. 

Saw at the Laurens s not only Lizzie Hamilton, a per 
fect little beauty, but the very table the first Declaration of 
Independence was written upon. These Laurenses are 
grandchildren of Henry Laurens, of the first Revolution. 
Alas ! we have yet to make good our second declaration of 
independence Southern independence from Yankee med 
dling and Yankee rule. Hood has written to ask them to 
send General Chesnut out to command one of his brigades. 
In whose place? 



If Albert Sidney Johnston had lived ! Poor old General 
Lee has no backing. Stonewall would have saved us from 
Antietam. Sherman will now catch General Lee by the rear, 
while Grant holds him by the head, and while Hood and 
Thomas are performing an Indian war-dance on the fron 
tier. Hood means to cut his way to Lee ; see if he doesn t. 
The Yanks have had a struggle for it. More than once 
we seemed to have been too much for them. We have been 
so near to success it aches one to think of it. So runs the 

Next to our house, which Isabella calls " Tillytudlem, " 
since Mr. Davis s visit, is a common of green grass and very 
level, beyond which comes a belt of pine-trees. On this open 
space, within forty paces of us, a regiment of foreign de 
serters has camped. They have taken the oath of allegiance 
to our government, and are now being drilled and disci 
plined into form before being sent to our army. They are 
mostly Germans, with some Irish, however. Their close 
proximity keeps me miserable. Traitors once, traitors for 

Jordan has always been held responsible for all the fool 
ish proclamations, and, indeed, for whatever Beauregard 
reported or proclaimed. Now he has left that mighty chief, 
and, lo, here comes from Beauregard the silliest and most 
boastful of his military bulletins. He brags of Shiloh ; that 
was not the way the story was told to us. 

A letter from Mrs. Davis, who says: " Thank you, a 
thousand times, my dear friend, for your more than mater 
nal kindness to my dear child. That is what she calls her 
sister, Maggie Howell. " As to Mr. Davis, he thinks the best 
ham, the best Madeira, the best coffee, the best hostess in 
the world, rendered Columbia delightful to him when he 
passed through. We are in a sad and anxious state here 
just now. The dead come in ; but the living do not go out 
so fast. However, we hope all things and trust in God as 
the only one able to resolve the opposite state of feeling into 
23 331 

July 6, 1864 COLUMBIA, S. C. Jan. 17, 1865 

a triumphant, happy whole. I had a surprise of an unusu 
ally gratifying nature a few days since. I found I could 
not keep my horses, so I sold them. The next day they were 
returned to me with a handsome anonymous note to the 
effect that they had been bought by a few friends for me. 
But I fear I can not feed them. Strictly between us, things 
look very anxious here/ 

November 6tk. Sally Hampton went to Richmond with 
the Rev. Mr. Martin. She arrived there on Wednesday. On 
Thursday her father, Wade Hampton, fought a great bat 
tle, but just did not win it a victory narrowly missed. 
Darkness supervened and impenetrable woods prevented 
that longed-for consummation. Preston Hampton rode 
recklessly into the hottest fire. His father sent his brother, 
Wade, to bring h,im back. Wade saw him reel in the saddle 
and galloped up to him, General Hampton following. As 
young W^ade reached him, Preston fell from his horse, and 
the one brother, stooping to raise the other, was himself shot 
down. Preston recognized his father, but died without 
speaking a word. Young Wade, though wounded, held his 
brother s head up. Tom Taylor and others hurried up. The 
General took his dead son in his arms, kissed him, and hand 
ed his body to Tom Taylor and his friends, bade them take 
care of Wade, and then rode back to his post. At the head of 
his troops in the thickest of the fray he directed the fight for 
the rest of the day. Until night he did not know young 
Wade s fate; that boy might be dead, too! Now, he says, 
no son of his must be in his command. When Wade recov 
ers, he must join some other division. The agony of such a 
day, and the anxiety and the duties of the battle-field it is 
all more than a mere man can bear. 

Another letter from Mrs. Davis. She says: " I was 
dreadfully shocked at Preston Hampton s fate his un 
timely fate. I know nothing more touching in history than 
General Hampton s situation at the supremest moment of 
his misery, when he sent one son to save the other and saw 



both fall; and could not know for some moments whether 
both were not killed/ 

A thousand dollars have slipped through my fingers al 
ready this week. At the Commissary s I spent five hundred 
to-day for candles, sugar, and a lamp, etc. Tallow can 
dles are bad enough, but of them there seems to be an end, 
too. Now we are restricted to smoky, terrabine lamps 
terrabine is a preparation of turpentine. When the chim 
ney of the lamp cracks, as crack it will, we plaster up the 
place with paper, thick old letter-paper, preferring the 
highly glazed kind. In the hunt for paper queer old let 
ters come to light. 

Sherman, in Atlanta, has left Thomas to take care of 
Hood. Hood has thirty thousand men, Thomas forty thou 
sand, and as many more to be had as he wants ; he has only 
to ring the bell and call for them. Grant can get all that 
he wants, both for himself and for Thomas. All the world 
is open to them, while we are shut up in a bastile. We 
are at sea, and our boat has sprung a leak. 

November 17th. Although Sherman 1 took Atlanta, he 
does not mean to stay there, be it heaven or hell. Fire and 
the sword are for us here; that is the word. And now I 
must begin my Columbia life anew and alone. It will be a 
short shrift. 

Captain Ogden came to dinner on Sunday and in the 
afternoon asked me to go with him to the Presbyterian 
Church and hear Mr. Palmer. We went, and I felt very 

1 General Sherman had started from Chattanooga for his march 
across Georgia on May 6, 1864. He had won the battles of Dalton, 
Resaca, and New Hope Church in May, the battle of Kennesaw Moun 
tain in June, the battles of Peach Tree Creek and Atlanta in July, and 
had formally occupied Atlanta on September 2d. On November 
16th, he started on his march from Atlanta to the sea and entered Sa 
vannah on December 23d. Early in 1865 he moved his army north 
ward through the Carolinas, and on April 26th received the surrender 
of General Joseph E. Johnston. 


July 6, 1864 COLUMBIA, S. C. Jan. 17, 1865 

youthful, as the country people say; like a girl and her 
beau. Ogden took me into a pew and my husband sat afar 
off. What a sermon ! The preacher stirred my blood. My 
very flesh crept and tingled. A red-hot glow of patriotism 
passed through me. Such a sernlbn must strengthen the 
hearts and the hands of many people. There was more ex 
hortation to fight and die, a la Joshua, than meek Chris 

November 25th. Sherman is thundering at Augusta s 
very doors. My General was on the wing, somber, and full 
of care. The girls are merry enough ; the staff, who fairly 
live here, no better. Cassandra, with a black shawl over her 
head, is chased by the gay crew from sofa to sofa, for she 
avoids them, being full of miserable anxiety. There is 
nothing but distraction and confusion. All things tend to 
the preparation for the departure of the troops. It rains all 
the time, such rains as I never saw before; incessant tor 
rents. These men come in and out in the red mud and 
slush of Columbia streets. Things seem dismal and 
wretched to me to the last degree, but the staff, the girls, 
and the youngsters do not see it. 

Mrs. S. (born in Connecticut) came, and she was ra 
diant. She did not come to see me, but my nieces. She 
says exultingly that " Sherman will open a way out at last, 
and I will go at once to Europe or go North to my relatives 
there/ How she derided our misery and " mocked when 
our fear cometh. I dare say she takes me for a fool. I sat 
there dumb, although she was in my own house. I have 
heard of a woman so enraged that she struck some one over 
the head with a shovel. To-day, for the first time in my 
life, I know how that mad woman felt. I could have given 
Mrs. S. the benefit of shovel and tongs both. 

That splendid fellow, Preston Hampton; " home they 
brought their warrior, dead," and wrapped in that very 
Legion flag he had borne so often in battle with his own 



A letter from Mrs. Davis to-day, under date of Rich 
mond, Va., November 20, 1864. She says : * Affairs West 
are looking so critical now that, before you receive this, you 
and I will be in the depths or else triumphant. I confess I 
do not sniff success in every passing breeze, but I am so 
tired, hoping, fearing, and being disappointed, that I have 
made up my mind not to be disconsolate, even though 
thieves break through and steal. Some people expect an 
other attack upon Richmond shortly, but I think the ava 
lanche will not slide until the spring breaks up its winter 
quarters. I have a blind kind of prognostics of victory for 
us, but somehow I am not cheered. The temper of Congress 
is less vicious, but more concerted in its hostile action." 
Mrs. Davis is a woman that my heart aches for in the 
troubles ahead. 

My journal, a quire of Confederate paper, lies wide 
open on my desk in the corner of my drawing-room. Every 
body reads it who chooses. Buck comes regularly to see 
what I have written last, and makes faces when it does not 
suit her. Isabella still calls me Cassandra, and puts her 
hands to her ears when I begin to wail. Well, Cassandra 
only records what she hears ; she does not vouch for it. For 
really, one nowadays never feels certain of anything. 

November 28th. We dined at Mrs. McCord s. She is 
as strong a cordial for broken spirits and failing heart as 
one could wish. How her strength contrasts with our weak 
ness. Like Doctor Palmer, she strings one up to bear 
bravely the worst. She has the intellect of a man and the 
perseverance and endurance of a woman. 

We have lost nearly all of our men, and we have no 
money, and it looks as if we had taught the Yankees how to 
fight since Manassas. Our best and bravest are under the 
sod ; we shall have to wait till another generation grows up. 
Here we stand, despair in our hearts (" Oh, Cassandra, 
don t! " shouts Isabella), with our houses burning or about 
to be, over our heads. 


July 6, 1864 COLUMBIA, S. C. Jan. 17, 1865 

The North have just got things ship-shape; a splendid 
army, perfectly disciplined, with new levies coming in day 
and night. Their gentry do not go into the ranks. They 
hardly know there is a war up there. 

December 1st. At Coosawhatchie Yankees are landing 
in great force. Our troops down there are raw militia, old 
men and boys never under fire before ; some college cadets, 
in all a mere handful. The cradle and the grave have been 
robbed by us, they say. Sherman goes to Savannah and not 
to Augusta. 

December 3d. Isabella and I put on bonnets and 
shawls and went deliberately out for news. We determined 
to seek until we found. Met a man who was so ugly, I could 
not forget him or his sobriquet ; he was awfully in love with 
me once. He did not know me, but blushed hotly when Isa 
bella told him who I was. He had forgotten me, I hope, or 
else I am changed by age and care past all recognition. He 
gave us the encouraging information that Grahamville had 
been burned to the ground. 

When the call for horses was made, Mrs. McCord sent 
in her fine bays. She comes now with a pair of mules, and 
looks too long and significantly at my ponies. If I were not 
so much afraid of her, I would hint that those mules would 
be of far more use in camp than my ponies. But they will 
seize the ponies, no doubt. 

In all my life before, the stables were far off from the 
house and I had nothing to do with them. Now my ponies 
are kept under an open shed next to the back piazza. Here 
I sit with my work, or my desk, or my book, basking in our 
Southern sun, and I watch Nat feed, curry, and rub down 
the horses, and then he cleans their stables as thoroughly as 
Smith does my drawing-room. I see their beds of straw com 
fortably laid. Nat says, " Ow, Missis, ain t lady s busi 
ness to look so much in de stables." I care nothing for his 
grumbling, and I have never had horses in better condition. 
Poor ponies, you deserve every attention, and enough to 



eat. Grass does not grow under your feet. By night and 
day you are on the trot. 

To-day General Chesnut was in Charleston on his way 
from Augusta to Savannah by rail. The telegraph is still 
working between Charleston and Savannah. Grahamville 
certainly is burned. There was fighting down there to-day. 
I came home with enough to think about, Heaven knows! 
And then all day long we compounded a pound cake in 
honor of Mrs. Cuthbert, who has things so nice at home. 
The cake was a success, but was it worth all that trouble ? 

As my party were driving off to the concert, an omnibus 
rattled up. Enter Captain Leland, of General Chesnut s 
staff, of as imposing a presence as a field-marshal, handsome 
and gray-haired. He was here on some military errand and 
brought me a letter. He said the Yankees had been re 
pulsed, and that down in those swamps we could give a 
good account of ourselves if our government would send 
men enough. With a sufficient army to meet them down 
there, they could be annihilated. " Where are the men to 
come from? " asked Mamie, wildly. " General Hood has 
gone off to Tennessee. Even if he does defeat Thomas 
there, what difference would that make here? " 

December 3d. We drank tea at Mrs. McCord s; she 
had her troubles, too. The night before a country cousin 
claimed her hospitality, one who fain would take the train 
at five this morning. A little after midnight Mrs. McCord 
was startled out of her first sleep by loud ringing of bells ; 
an alarm at night may mean so much just now. In an in 
stant she was on her feet. She found her guest, who 
thought it was daylight, and wanted to go. Mrs. McCord 
forcibly demonstrated how foolish it was to get up five 
hours too soon. Mrs. McCord, once more in her own warm 
bed, had fallen happily to sleep. She was waked by feeling 
two ice-cold hands pass cautiously over her face and person. 
It was pitch dark. Even Mrs. McCord gave a scream in her 
fright. She found it was only the irrepressible guest up 


July 6, 1864 COLUMBIA, S. C. Jan. 17, 1865 

and at her again. So, though it was only three o clock, hi 
order to quiet this perturbed spirit she rose and at five 
drove her to the station, where she had to wait some hours. 
But Mrs. McCord said, " anything for peace at home." 
The restless people who will not let others rest! 

December 5th. Miss Olivia Middleton and Mr. Fred 
erick Blake are to be married. We Confederates have in 
vented the sit-up-all-night for the wedding night; Isabella 
calls it the wake, not the wedding, of the parties married. 
The ceremony will be performed early in the evening ; the 
whole company will then sit up until five o clock, at which 
hour the bridal couple take the train for Combahee. Hope 
Sherman will not be so inconsiderate as to cut short the 

In tripped Brewster, with his hat on his head, both 
hands extended, and his greeting, " Well, here we are! " 
He was travel-stained, disheveled, grimy with dirt. The 
prophet would have to send him many times to bathe in 
Jordan before he could be pronounced clean. 

Hood will not turn and pursue Sherman. Thomas is at 
his heels with forty thousand men, and can have as many 
more as he wants for the asking. Between Thomas and 
Sherman Hood would be crushed. So he was pushing I 
do not remember where or what. I know there was no com 
fort in anything he said. 

Serena s account of money spent : Paper and envelopes, 
$12.00 ; tickets to concert, $10.00 ; tooth-brush, $10.00 ; total, 

December 14th. And now the young ones are in bed 
and I am wide awake. It is an odd thing; in all my life 
how many persons have I seen in love? Not a half-dozen. 
And I am a tolerably close observer, a faithful watcher 
have I been from my youth upward of men and manners. 
Society has been for me only an enlarged field for character 

Flirtation is the business of society; that is, playing at 



love-making. It begins in vanity, it ends in vanity. It is 
spurred on by idleness and a want of any other excitement. 
Flattery, battledore and shuttlecock, how in this game flat 
tery is dashed backward and forward. It is so soothing to 
self-conceit. If it begins and ends in vanity, vexation of 
spirit supervenes sometimes. They do occasionally burn 
their fingers awfully, playing with fire, but there are no 
hearts broken. Each party in a flirtation has secured a 
sympathetic listener, to whom he or she can talk of himself 
or herself somebody who, for the time, admires one ex 
clusively, and, as the French say, excessivement. It is a 
pleasant, but very foolish game, and so to bed. 

Hood and Thomas have had a fearful fight, with car 
nage and loss of generals excessive in proportion to num 
bers. That means they were leading and urging their men 
up to the enemy. I know how Bartow and Barnard Bee 
were killed bringing up their men. One of Mr. Chesnut s 
sins thrown in his teeth by the Legislature of South Caro 
lina was that he procured the promotion of Gist, " State 
Rights " Gist, by his influence in Richmond. What have 
these comfortable, stay-at-home patriots to say of General 
Gist now? " And how could man die better than facing 
fearful odds," etc. 

So Fort McAlister has fallen ! Good-by, Savannah ! 
Our Governor announces himself a follower of Joe Brown, 
of Georgia. Another famous Joe. 

December 19th. The deep waters are closing over us 
and we are in this house, like the outsiders at the time of the 
flood. We care for none of these things. We eat, drink, 
laugh, dance, in lightness of heart. 

Doctor Trezevant came to tell me the dismal news. How 
he piled on the agony! Desolation, mismanagement, de 
spair. General Young, with the flower of Hampton s cav 
alry, is in Columbia. Horses can not be found to mount 
them. Neither the Governor of Georgia nor the Governor 
of South Carolina is moving hand or foot. They have given 


July6, 1864 COLUMBIA, S. C. Jan. 17, 1865 

up. The Yankees claim another victory for Thomas. 1 Hope 
it may prove like most of their victories, brag and bluster. 
Can t say why, maybe I am benumbed, but I do not feel 
so intensely miserable. 

December 27th. Oh, why did.we go to Camden? The 
very dismalest Christmas overtook us there. Miss Rhett 
went with us a brilliant woman and very agreeable. * The 
world, you know, is composed, said she, * of men, women, 
and Rhetts " (see Lady Montagu). Now, we feel that if 
we are to lose our negroes, we would as soon see Sherman 
free them as the Confederate Government ; freeing negroes 
is the last Confederate Government craze. We are a little 
too slow about it; that is all. 

Sold fifteen bales of cotton and took a sad farewell look 
at Mulberry. It is a magnificent old country-seat, with old 
oaks, green lawns and all. So I took that last farewell of 
Mulberry, once so hated, now so beloved. 

January 7th. Sherman is at Hardieville and Hood in 
Tennessee, the last of his men not gone, as Louis Wigfall 
so cheerfully prophesied. 

Serena went for a half-hour to-day to the dentist. Her 
teeth are of the whitest and most regular, simply perfection. 
She fancied it was better to have a dentist look in her mouth 
before returning to the mountains. For that look she paid 
three hundred and fifty dollars in Confederate money. 
Why, has this money any value at all ? " she asked. Lit 
tle enough in all truth, sad to say. 

Brewster was here and stayed till midnight. Said he 
must see General Chesnut. He had business with him. 
His " me and General Hood " is no longer cornic. He 
described Sherman s march of destruction and desolation. 
Sherman leaves a track fifty miles wide, upon which there 

1 Reference is here made to the battle between Hood and Thomas 
at Nashville, the result of which was the breaking up of Hood s army 
as a fighting force. 



is no living thing to be seen," said Brewster before he de 

January 10th. You do the Anabasis business when you 
want to get out of the enemy s country, and the Thermopy 
lae business when they want to get into your country. But 
we retreated in our own country and we gave up our moun 
tain passes without a blow. But never mind the Greeks ; if 
we had only our own Game Cock, Sumter, our own Swamp 
Fox, Marion. Marion s men or Sumter s, or the equivalent 
of them, now lie under the sod, in Virginia or Tennessee. 

January 14th. Yesterday I broke down gave way to 
abject terror under the news of Sherman s advance with no 
news of my husband. To-day, while wrapped up on the 
sofa, too dismal even for moaning, there was a loud knock. 
Shawls on and all, just as I was, I rushed to the door to find 
a telegram from my husband : * All well ; be at home Tues 
day." It was dated from Adam s Run. I felt as light- 
hearted as if the war were over. Then I looked at the date 
and the place Adam s Run. It ends as it began in a run 
Bull s Run, from which their first sprightly running as 
tounded the world, and now Adam s Run. But if we must 
run, who are left to run? From Bull Run they ran full- 
handed. But we have fought until maimed soldiers, women, 
and children are all that remain to run. 

To-day Kershaw s brigade, or what is left of it, passed 
through. What shouts greeted it and what bold shouts of 
thanks it returned ! It was all a very encouraging noise, ab 
solutely comforting. Some true men are left, after all. 

January 16th. My husband is at home once more for 
how long, I do not know. His aides fill the house, and a 
group of hopelessly wounded haunt the place. The drilling 
and the marching go on outside. It rains a flood, with 
freshet after freshet. The forces of nature are befriending 
us, for our enemies have to make their way through swamps. 

A month ago my husband wrote me a letter which I 
promptly suppressed after showing it to Mrs. McCord. He 


July 6, 1864 COLUMBIA, S. C. Jan. 17, 1865 

warned us to make ready, for the end had come. Our re 
sources were exhausted, and the means of resistance could 
not be found. We could not bring ourselves to believe it, 
and now, he thinks, with the railroad all blown up, the 
swamps made impassable by the freshets, which have no time 
to subside, so constant is the rain, and the negroes utterly 
apathetic (would they be so if they saw us triumphant?), if 
we had but an army to seize the opportunity we might do 
something; but there are no troops; that is the real trouble. 

To-day Mrs. McCord exchanged $16,000 in Confederate 
bills for $300 in gold sixteen thousand for three hundred. 

January 17th. The Bazaar for the benefit of the hos 
pitals opens now. Sherman marches constantly. All the 
railroads are smashed, and if I laugh at any mortal thing it 
is that I may not weep. Generals are as plenty as blackber 
ries, but none are in command. 

The Peace Commissioner, Blair, came. They say he 
gave Mr. Davis the kiss of peace. And we send Stephens, 
Campbell, all who have believed in this thing, to negotiate 
for peace. No hope, no good. Who dares hope 1 

Repressed excitement in church. A great railroad 
character was called out. He soon returned and whis 
pered something to Joe Johnston and they went out 
together. Somehow the whisper moved around to us 
that Sherman was at Branchville. " Grant us patience, 
good Lord/ was prayed aloud. " Not Ulysses Grant, good 
Lord," murmured Teddy, profanely. Hood came yester 
day. He is staying at the Prestons with Jack. They sent 
for us. What a heartfelt greeting he gave us. He can 
stand well enough without his crutch, but he does very slow 
walking. How plainly he spoke out dreadful words about 
1 1 my defeat and discomfiture ; my army destroyed, my 
losses, " etc., etc. He said he had nobody to blame but him 
self. A telegram from Beauregard to-day to my husband. 
He does not know whether Sherman intends to advance on 
Branchville, Charleston, or Columbia 



Isabella said: " Maybe you attempted the impossible," 
and began one of her merriest stories. Jack Preston touched 
me on the arm and we slipped out. " He did not hear a 
word she was saying. He has forgotten us all. Did you no 
tice how he stared in the fire? And the lurid spots which 
came out in his face and the drops of perspiration that 
stood on his forehead? * Yes. He is going over some 
bitter scene ; he sees Willie Preston with his heart shot away. 
He sees the panic at Nashville and the dead on the battle 
field at Franklin." " That agony on his face comes again 
and again," said tender-hearted Jack. " I can t keep him 
out of those absent fits. 

Governor McGrath and General Winder talk of prep 
arations for a defense of Columbia. If Beauregard can t 
stop Sherman down there, what have we got here to do it 
with? Can we check or impede his march? Can any one? 

Last night General Hampton came in. I am sure he 
would do something to save us if he were put in supreme 
command here. Hampton says Joe Johnston is equal, if 
not superior, to Lee as a commanding officer. 

My silver is in a box and has been delivered for safe 
keeping to Isaac McLaughlin, who is really my beau-ideal 
of a grateful negro. I mean to trust him. My husband 
cares for none of these things now, and lets me do as I 

Tom Archer died almost as soon as he got to Richmond. 
Prison takes the life out of men. He was only half-alive 
when here. He had a strange, pallid look and such a vacant 
stare until you roused him. Poor pretty Sally Archer: 
that is the end of you. 1 

1 Under last date entry, January 17th, the author chronicles events of 
later occurrence; it was her not infrequent custom to jot down happen 
ings in dateless lines or paragraphs. Mr. Blair visited President Davis 
January 12th; Stephens, Hunter and Campbell were appointed Peace 
Commissioners, January 28th. 





February 16, 1865 March 15, 1865 

HINCOLNTON, N. C., February 16, 1865. A change 
has come o er the spirit of my dream. Dear old 
quire of yellow, coarse, Confederate home-made pa 
per, here you are again. An age of anxiety and suffering 
has passed over my head since last I wrote and wept over 
your forlorn pages. 

My ideas of those last days are confused. The Martins 
left Columbia the Friday before I did, and Mammy, the 
negro woman, who had nursed them, refused to go with 
them. That daunted me. Then Mrs. McCord, who was to 
send her girls with me, changed her mind. She sent them 
up-stairs in her house and actually took away the staircase ; 
that was her plan. 

Then I met Mr. Christopher Hampton; arranging to 
take off his sisters. They were flitting, but were to go only 
as far as Yorkville. He said it was time to move on. Sher 
man was at Orangeburg, barely a day s journey from Co 
lumbia, and had left a track as bare and blackened as a fire 
leaves on the prairies. 

So my time had come, too. My husband urged me to go 
home. He said Camden would be safe enough. They had 
no spite against that old town, as they have against Charles 
ton and Columbia. Molly, weeping and wailing, came in 
while we were at table. Wiping her red-hot face with the 
cook s grimy apron, she said I ought to go among our own 
black people on the plantation ; they would take care of me 
better than any one else. So I agreed to go to Mulberry or 



the Hermitage plantation, and sent Lawrence down with a 
wagon-load of niy valuables. 

Then a Miss Patterson called a refugee from Tennes 
see. She had been in a country overrun by Yankee invad-\ 
ers, and she described so graphically all the horrors to be* 
endured by those subjected to fire and sword, rapine and 
plunder, that I was fairly scared, and determined to come 
here. This is a thoroughly out-of -all-routes place. And yet 
I can go to Charlotte, am half-way to Kate at Flat Rock, 
and there is no Federal army between me and Richmond. 

As soon as my mind was finally made up, we tele 
graphed to Lawrence, who had barely got to Camden in the 
wagon when the telegram was handed to him ; so he took the 
train and came back. Mr. Chesnut sent him with us to take 
care of the party. 

We thought that if the negroes were ever so loyal to us, 
they could not protect me from an army bent upon sweep 
ing us from the face of the earth, and if they tried to do so 
so much the worse would it be for the poor things with 
their Yankee friends. I then left them to shift for them 
selves, as they are accustomed to do, and I took the same 
liberty. My husband does not care a fig for the property 
question, and never did. Perhaps, if he had ever known 
poverty, it would be different. He talked beautifully about 
it, as he always does about everything. I have told him 
often that, if at heaven s gate St. Peter would listen to him 
a while, and let him tell his own story, he would get in, and 
the angels might give him a crown extra. 

Now he says he has only one care that I should be 
safe, and not so harassed with dread ; and then there is his 
blind old father. A man, said he, * * can always die like 
a patriot and a gentleman, with no fuss, and take it coolly. 
It is hard not to envy those who are out of all this, their dif 
ficulties ended those who have met death gloriously on the 
battle-field, their doubts all solved. One can but do his 
best and leave the result to a higher power. 


Feb. 16, 1865 LINCOLNTON, N. C. March 15, 1865 

After New Orleans, those vain, passionate, impatient lit 
tle Creoles were forever committing suicide, driven to it by 
despair and " Beast " Butler. As we read these things, 
Mrs. Davis said: " If they want to die, why not first kill 
1 Beast Butler, rid the world of .their foe and be saved the 
trouble of murdering themselves? That practical way 
of removing their intolerable burden did not occur to them. 
I repeated this suggestive anecdote to our corps of generals 
without troops, here in this house, as they spread out their 
maps on my table where lay this quire of paper from which 
I write. Every man Jack of them had a safe plan to stop 
Sherman, if 

Even Beauregard and Lee were expected, but Grant had 
double-teamed on Lee. Lee could not save his own how 
could he come to save us ? Read the list of the dead in those 
last battles around Richmond and Petersburg l if you want 
to break your heart. 

I took French leave of Columbia slipped away with 
out a word to anybody. Isaac Hayne and Mr. Chesnut 
came down to the Charlotte depot with me. Ellen, my 
maid, left her husband and only child, but she was willing 
to come, and, indeed, was very cheerful in her way of look 
ing at it. 

" I wan travel roun wid Missis some time stid uh 
Molly goin all de time. 

A woman, fifty years old at least, and uglier than she 
was old, sharply rebuked my husband for standing at the 
car window for a last few words with me. She said rudely : 
* Stand aside, sir ! I want air ! With his hat off, and his 
grand air, my husband bowed politely, and said: " In one 
moment, madam ; I have something important to say to my 

She talked aloud and introduced herself to every man, 

1 Battles at Hatchen s Run, in Virginia, had been fought on February 
5, 6, and 7, 1865. 



claiming his protection. She had never traveled alone be 
fore in all her life. Old age and ugliness are protective in 
some cases. She was ardently patriotic for a while. Then 
she was joined by her friend, a man as crazy as herself to 
get out of this. From their talk I gleaned she had been for 
years in the Treasury Department. They were about to 
cross the lines. The whole idea was to get away from the 
trouble to come down here. They were Yankees, but were 
they not spies? 

Here I am broken-hearted and an exile. And in such a 
place! We have bare floors, and for a feather-bed, pine 
table, and two chairs I pay $30 a day. Such sheets ! But 
fortunately I have some of my own. At the door, before I 
was well out of the hack, the woman of the house packed 
Lawrence back, neck and heels : she would not have him at 
any price. She treated him as Mr. F. s aunt did Clenman 
in Little Dorrit. She said his clothes were too fine for a 
nigger. " His airs, indeed." Poor Lawrence was humble 
and silent. He said at last, " Miss Mary, send me back to 
Mars Jeems." I began to look for a pencil to write a note 
to my husband, but in the flurry could not find one. * Here 
is one," said Lawrence, producing one with a gold case. 
11 Go away," she shouted, " I want no niggers here with 
gold pencils and airs. So Lawrence fled before the storm, 
but not before he had begged me to go back. He said, * if 
Mars Jeems knew how you was treated he d never be will 
ing for you to stay here. 

The Martins had seen my, to them, well-known traveling 
case as the hack trotted up Main Street, and they arrived at 
this juncture out of breath. We embraced and wept. I 
kept my room. 

The Fants are refugees here, too; they are Virginians, 
and have been in exile since the second battle of Manassas. 
Poor things ; they seem to have been everywhere, and seen 
and suffered everything. They even tried to go back to 
their own house, but found one chimney only standing 
24 347 

Feb. 16, 1865 LINCOLNTON, N. C. March 15, 1865 

alone ; even that had been taken possession of by a Yankee, 
who had written his name upon it. 

The day I left home I had packed a box of flour, sugar, 
rice, and coffee, but my husband would not let me bring it. 
He said I was coming to a lahd of plenty unexplored 
North Carolina, where the foot of the Yankee marauder was 
unknown, and in Columbia they would need food. Now I 
have written for that box and many other things to be sent 
me by Lawrence, or I shall starve. 

The Middletons have come. How joyously I sprang to 
my feet to greet them. Mrs. Ben Rutledge described the 
hubbub in Columbia. Everybody was flying in every di 
rection like a flock of swallows. She heard the enemy s 
guns booming in the distance. The train no longer runs 
from Charlotte to Columbia. Miss Middleton possesses her 
soul in peace. She is as cool, clever, rational, and enter 
taining as ever, and we talked for hours. Mrs. Reed was in 
a state of despair. I can well understand that sinking of 
mind and body during the first days as the abject misery of 
it all closes in upon you. I remember my suicidal tenden 
cies when I first came here. 

February 18th. Here I am, thank God, settled at the 
McLean s, in a clean, comfortable room, airy and cozy. 
With a grateful heart I stir up my own bright wood fire. 
My bill for four days at this splendid hotel here was $240, 
with $25 additional for fire. But once more my lines have 
fallen in pleasant places. 

As we came up on the train from Charlotte a soldier took 
out of his pocket a filthy rag. If it had lain in the gutter 
for months it could not have looked worse. He unwrapped 
the thing carefully and took out two biscuits of the species 
known as hard tack. Then he gallantly handed me one, 
and with an ingratiating smile asked me "to take some." 
Then he explained, saying, " Please take these two; swap 
with me ; give me something softer that I can eat ; I am very 
weak still." Immediately, for his benefit, my basket of 



luncheon was emptied, but as for his biscuit, I would not 
choose any. Isabella asked, * But what did you say to him 
when he poked them under your nose ? and I replied, * I 
held up both hands, saying, * I would not take from you 
anything that is yours far from it ! I would not touch 
them for worlds. : 

A tremendous day s work and I helped with a will ; our 
window glass was all to be washed. Then the brass andi 
rons were to be polished. After we rubbed them bright how 
pretty they were. 

Presently Ellen would have none of me. She was scrub 
bing the floor. " You go dat s a good missis an stay to 
Miss Isabella s till de flo dry. I am very docile now, and 
I obeyed orders. 

February 19th. The Fants say all the trouble at the 
hotel came from our servants bragging. They represented 
us as millionaires, and the Middleton men servants smoked 
cigars. Mrs. Reed s averred that he had never done any 
thing in his life but stand behind his master at table with 
a silver waiter in his hand. We were charged accordingly, 
but perhaps the landlady did not get the best of us after all, 
for we paid her in Confederate money. Now that they 
won t take Confederate money in the shops here how are 
we to live? Miss Middleton says quartermasters families 
are all clad in good gray cloth, but the soldiers go naked. 
Well, we are like the families of whom the novels alwaj^s say 
they are poor but honest. Poor? Well-nigh beggars are 
we, for I do not know where my next meal is to come from. 

Called on Mrs. Ben Rutledge to-day. She is lovely, ex 
quisitely refined. Her mother, Mrs. Middleton, came in. 
* You are not looking well, dear ? Anything the matter ? 
No but, mamma, I have not eaten a mouthful to-day. 
The children can eat mush; I can t. I drank my tea, how 
ever. She does not understand taking favors, and, blush 
ing violently, refused to let me have Ellen make her some 
biscuit. I went home and sent her some biscuit all the same. 


Feb. 16, 1865 LINCOLNTON, N. C. March 15, 1865 

February 22d. Isabella has been reading my diaries. 
How we laugh because my sage divinations all come to 
naught. My famous " insight into character " is utter fol 
ly. The diaries were lying on the hearth ready to be 
burned, but she told me to hold 7m to them ; think of them 
a while and don t be rash. Afterward when Isabella and I 
were taking a walk, General Joseph E. Johnston joined us. 
He explained to us all of Lee s and Stonewall Jackson s 
mistakes. We had nothing to say how could we say any 
thing? He said he was very angry when he was ordered to 
take command again. He might well have been in a gen 
uine rage. This on and off procedure would be enough to 
bewilder the coolest head. Mrs. Johnston knows how to be 
a partizan of Joe Johnston and still not make his enemies 
uncomfortable. She can be pleasant and agreeable, as she 
was to my face. 

A letter from my husband who is at Charlotte. He came 
near being taken a prisoner in Columbia, for he was asleep 
the morning of the 17th, when the Yankees blew up the rail 
road depot. That woke him, of course, and he found every 
body had left Columbia, and the town was surrendered by 
the mayor, Colonel Goodwyn. Hampton and his command 
had been gone several hours. Isaac Hayne came away with 
General Chesnut. There was no fire in the town when they 
left. They overtook Hampton s command at Meek s Mill. 
That night, from the hills where they encamped, they saw 
the fire, and knew the Yankees were burning the town, as 
we had every reason to expect they would. Molly was left 
in charge of everything of mine, including Mrs. Preston s 
cow, which I was keeping, and Sally Goodwyn s furniture. 

Charleston and Wilmington have surrendered. I have 
no further use for a newspaper. I never want to see an 
other one as long as I live. Wade Hampton has been made 
a lieutenant-general, too late. If he had been made one and 
given command in South Carolina six months ago I believe 
he would have saved us. Shame, disgrace, beggary, all 



have come at once, and are hard to bear the grand smash ! 
Rain, rain, outside, and naught but drowning floods of tears 
inside. I could not bear it ; so I rushed down in that rain 
storm to the Martins . Rev. Mr. Martin met me at the 
door. " Madam," said he, " Columbia is burned to the 
ground." I bowed my head and sobbed aloud. " Stop 
that ! " he said, trying to speak cheerfully. Come here, 
wife," said he to Mrs. Martin. " This woman cries with 
her whole heart, just as she laughs." But in spite of his 
words, his voice broke down, and he was hardly calmer than 

February 23d. I want to get to Kate, I am so utterly 
heart-broken. I hope John Chesnut and General Chesnut 
may at least get into the same army. We seem scattered 
over the face of the earth. Isabella sits there calmly read 
ing. I have quieted down after the day s rampage. May 
our heavenly Father look down on us and have pity. 

They say I was the last refugee from Columbia who was 
allowed to enter by the door of the cars. The government 
took possession then and women could only be smuggled in 
by the windows. Stout ones stuck and had to be pushed, 
pulled, and hauled in by main force. Dear Mrs. Izard, 
with all her dignity, was subjected to this rough treatment. 
She was found almost too much for the size of the car win 

February 25th. The Pfeifers, who live opposite us here, 
are descendants of those Pfeifers w r ho came South with Mr. 
Chesnut s ancestors after the Fort Duquesne disaster. They 
have now, therefore, been driven out of their Eden, the 
valley of Virginia, a second time. The present Pfeifer is 
the great man, the rich man par excellence of Lincolnton. 
They say that with something very near to tears in his eyes 
he heard of our latest defeats. "It is only a question of 
time with us now," he said. " The raiders will come, you 

In Washington, before I knew any of them, except by 


Feb. 16, 1863 LINCOLNTON, N. C. March 15, 1865 

sight, Mrs. Davis, Mrs. Emory, and Mrs. Johnston were al 
ways together, inseparable friends, and the trio were point 
ed out to me as the cleverest women in the United States. 
Now that I do know them all well, I think the world was 
right in its estimate of them. * 

Met a Mr. Ancrum of serenely cheerful aspect, happy 
and hopeful. " All right now," said he. " Sherman sure 
to be thrashed. Joe Johnston is in command. Dr. Darby 
says, when the oft-mentioned Joseph, the malcontent, gave 
up his command to Hood, he remarked with a smile, " I 
hope you will be able to stop Sherman ; it was more than I 
could do." General Johnston is not of Mr. Ancrum s way 
of thinking as to his own powers, for he stayed here several 
days after he was ordered to the front. , He must have 
known he could do no good, and I am of his opinion. 

When the wagon, in which I was to travel to Flat Rock, 
drove up to the door, covered with a tent-like white cloth, 
in my embarrassment for an opening in the conversation I 
asked the driver s name. He showed great hesitation in 
giving it, but at last said : * My name is Sherman, adding, 
* and now I see by your face that you won t go with me. 
My name is against me these times. Here he grinned and 
remarked : * But you would leave Lincolnton. 

That name was the last drop in my cup, but I gave him 
Mrs. Glover s reason for staying here. General Johnston 
had told her this might be the safest place after all. He 
thinks the Yankees are making straight for Richmond and 
General Lee s rear, and will go by Camden and Lancaster, 
leaving Lincolnton on their west flank. 

The McLeans are kind people. They ask no rent for 
their rooms only $20 a week for firewood. Twenty dollars ! 
and such dollars mere waste paper. 

Mrs. Munroe took up my photograph book, in which I 
have a picture of all the Yankee generals. I want to see 
the men who are to be our masters," said she. Not 
mine " I answered, " thank God, come what may. This 



was a free fight. We had as much right to fight to get out 
as they had to fight to keep us in. If they try to play the 
masters, anywhere upon the habitable globe will I go, 
never to see a Yankee, and if I die on the way so much the 
better. Then I sat down and wrote to my husband in lan 
guage much worse than anything I can put in this book. 
As I wrote I was blinded by tears of rage. Indeed, I nearly 
wept myself away. 

February 26th. Mrs. Munroe offered me religious 
books, which I declined, being already provided with the 
Lamentations of Jeremiah, the Psalms of David, the denun 
ciations of Hosea, and, above all, the patient wail of Job. 
Job is my comforter now. I should be so thankful to know 
life never would be any worse with me. My husband is 
well, and has been ordered to join the great Retreater. I 
am bodily comfortable, if somewhat dingily lodged, and I 
daily part with my raiment for food. We find no one who 
will exchange eatables for Confederate money; so we are 
devouring our clothes. 

Opportunities for social enjoyment are not wanting. 
Miss Middleton and Isabella often drink a cup of tea with 
me. One might search the whole world and not find two 
cleverer or more agreeable women. Miss Middleton is brill 
iant and accomplished. She must have been a hard student 
all her life. She knows everybody worth knowing, and she 
has been everywhere. Then she is so high-bred, high-heart 
ed, pure, and true. She is so clean-minded ; she could not 
harbor a wrong thought. She is utterly unselfish, a devoted 
daughter and sister. She is one among the many large- 
brained women a kind Providence has thrown in my way, 
such as Mrs. McCord, daughter of Judge Cheves; Mary 
Preston Darby, Mrs. Emory, granddaughter of old Frank 
lin, the American wise man, and Mrs. Jefferson Davis. How 
I love to praise my friends ! 

As a ray of artificial sunshine, Mrs. Munroe sent me an 
Examiner. Daniel thinks we are at the last gasp, and now 


Feb. 16, 1865 LINCOLNTON, N. C. March 15, 1865 

England and France are bound to step in. England must 
know if the United States of America are triumphant they 
will tackle her next, and France must wonder if she will 
not have to give up Mexico. My faith fails me. It is all too 
late ; no help for us now from God* or man. 

Thomas, Daniel says, was now to ravage Georgia, but 
Sherman, from all accounts, has done that work once for all. 
There will be no aftermath. They say no living thing is 
found in Sherman s track, only chimneys, like telegraph 
poles, to carry the news of Sherman s army backward. 

In all that tropical down-pour, Mrs. Munroe sent me 
overshoes and an umbrella, with the message, Come over." 
I went, for it would be as well to drown in the streets as to 
hang myself at home to my own bedpost. At Mrs. Munroe s 
I met a Miss McDaniel. Her father, for seven years, was 
the Methodist preacher at our negro church. The negro 
church is in a grove just opposite Mulberry house. She 
says her father has so often described that fine old estab 
lishment and its beautiful lawn, live-oaks, etc. Now, I 
dare say there stand at Mulberry only Sherman s sentinels 
stacks of chimneys. We have made up our minds for the 
worst. Mulberry house is no doubt razed to the ground. 

Miss McDaniel was inclined to praise us. She said: 
" As a general rule the Episcopal minister went to the 
family mansion, and the Methodist missionary preached to 
the negroes and dined with the overseer at his house, but at 
Mulberry her father always stayed at the House, and 
the family were so kind and attentive to him." It was 
rather pleasant to hear one s family so spoken of among 

So, well equipped to brave the weather, armed cap-a-pie, 
so to speak, I continued my prowl farther afield and 
brought up at the Middletons . I may have surprised them, 
for at such an inclement season they hardly expected a 
visitor. Never, however, did lonely old woman receive such 
a warm and hearty welcome. Now we know the worst. Are 



we growing hardened ? We avoid all allusion to Columbia ; 
we never speak of home, and we begin to deride the certain 
poverty that lies ahead. 

How it pours ! Could I live many days in solitary con 
finement? Things are beginning to be unbearable, but I 
must sit down and be satisfied. My husband is safe so far. 
Let me be thankful it is no worse with me. But there is the 
gnawing pain all the same. What is the good of being here 
at alH Our world has simply gone to destruction. And 
across the way the fair Lydia languishes. She has not even 
my resources against ennui. She has no Isabella, no Miss 
Middleton, two as brilliant women as any in Christendom. 
Oh, how does she stand it ! I mean to go to church if it 
rains cats and dogs. My feet are wet two or three times a 
day. We never take cold ; our hearts are too hot within us 
for that. 

A carriage was driven up to the door as I was writing. 
I began to tie on my bonnet, and said to myself in the glass, 
Oh, you lucky woman ! I was all in a tremble, so great 
was my haste to be out of this. Mrs. Glover had the car 
riage. She came for me to go and hear Mr. Martin preach. 
He lifts our spirits from this dull earth ; he takes us up to 
heaven. That I will not deny. Still he can not hold my at 
tention; my heart wanders and my mind strays back to 
South Carolina. Oh, vandal Sherman ! what are you at 
there, hard-hearted wretch that you are ! A letter from Gen 
eral Chesnut, who writes from camp near Charlotte under 
date of February 28th : 

1 c I thank you a thousand, thousand times for your kind 
letters. They are now my only earthly comfort, except the 
hope that all is not yet lost. We have been driven like a 
wild herd from our country. And it is not from a want of 
spirit in the people or soldiers, nor from want of energy 
and competency in our commanders. The restoration of 
Joe Johnston, it is hoped, will redound to the advantage 
of our cause and the reestablishment of our fortunes! I 


Feb. 16, 1865 LINCOLNTON, N. C. March 15, 1865 

am still in not very agreeable circumstances. For the last 
four days completely water-bound. 

" I am informed that a detachment of Yankees were 
sent from Liberty Hill to Camden with a view to destroying 
all the houses, mills, and provisions about that place. No 
particulars have reached me. You know I expected the 
worst that could be done, and am fully prepared for any re 
port which may be made. 

" It would be a happiness beyond expression to see you 
even for an hour. I have heard nothing from my poor old 
father. I fear I shall never see him again. Such is the fate 
of war. I do not complain. I have deliberately chosen my 
lot, and am prepared for any fate that awaits me. My care 
is for you, and I trust still in the good cause of my coun 
try and the justice and mercy of God. 

It was a lively, rushing, young set that South Carolina 
put to the fore. They knew it was a time of imminent dan 
ger, and that the fight would be ten to one. They expected 
to win by activity, energy, and enthusiasm. Then came the 
wet blanket, the croakers ; now, these are posing, wrapping 
Caesar s mantle about their heads to fall with dignity. 
Those gallant youths who dashed so gaily to the front lie 
mostly in bloody graves. Well for them, maybe. There 
are worse things than honorable graves. Wearisome 
thoughts. Late in life we are to begin anew and have la 
borious, difficult days ahead. 

We have contradictory testimony. Governor Aiken has 
passed through, saying Sherman left Columbia as he found 
it, and was last heard from at Cheraw. Dr. Chisolm walked 
home with me. He says that is the last version of the story. 
Now my husband wrote that he himself saw the fires which 
burned up Columbia, The first night his camp was near 
enough to the town for that. 

They say Sherman has burned Lancaster that Sher 
man nightmare, that ghoul, that hyena ! But I do not be 
lieve it. He takes his time. There are none to molest him. 



He does things leisurely and deliberately. Why stop to do 
so needless a thing as burn Lancaster court-house, the 
jail, and the tavern? As I remember it, that descrip 
tion covers Lancaster. A raiding party they say did for 

No train from Charlotte yesterday. Rumor says Sher 
man is in Charlotte. 

February 29th. Trying to brave it out. They have 
plenty, yet let our men freeze and starve in their prisons. 
Would you be willing to be as wicked as they are? A 
thousand times, no ! But we must feed our army first if 
we can do so much as that. Our captives need not starve 
if Lincoln would consent to exchange prisoners; but men 
are nothing to the United States things to throw away. 
If they send our men back they strengthen our army, and 
so again their policy is to keep everybody and everything 
here in order to help starve us out. That, too, is what Sher 
man s destruction means to starve us out. 

Young Brevard asked me to play accompaniments for 
him. The guitar is my instrument, or was; so I sang and 
played, to my own great delight. It was a distraction. 
Then I made egg-nog for the soldier boys below and came 
home. Have spent a very pleasant evening. Begone, dull 
care; you and I never agree. 

Ellen and I are shut up here. It is rain, rain, everlast 
ing rain. As our money is worthless, are we not to starve ? 
Heavens! how grateful I was to-day when Mrs. McLean 
sent me a piece of chicken. I think the emptiness of my 
larder has leaked out. To-day Mrs. Munroe sent me hot 
cakes and eggs for my breakfast. 

March 5th. Is the sea drying up ? Is it going up into 
mist and coming down on us in a water-spout? The rain, 
it raineth every day. The weather typifies our tearful de 
spair, on a large scale. It is also Lent now a quite con 
venient custom, for we, in truth, have nothing to eat. So 
we fast and pray, and go dragging to church like drowned 
rats to be preached at. 


Feb. 16, 1865 LINCOLNTON, N. C. March 15, 1865 

My letter from my husband was so well, what in a 
woman you would call heart-broken, that I began to get 
ready for a run up to Charlotte. My hat was on my head, 
my traveling-bag in my hand, and Ellen was saying 
" Which umbrella, ma am?" . Stop, Ellen," said I, 
* someone is speaking out there. A tap came at the door, 
and Miss McLean threw the door wide open as she said in a 
triumphant voice : * Permit me to announce General Ches- 
nut." As she went off she sang out, " Oh, does not a 
meeting like this make amends ? : 

We went after luncheon to see Mrs. Munroe. My hus 
band wanted to thank her for all her kindness to me. I was 
awfully proud of him. I used to think that everybody had 
the air and manners of a gentleman. I know now that these 
accomplishments are things to thank God for. Father 
O Connell came in, fresh from Columbia, and with news 
at last. Sherman s men had burned the convent. Mrs. 
Munroe had pinned her faith to Sherman because he was a 
Roman Catholic, but Father O Connell was there and saw 
it. The nuns and girls marched to the old Hampton house 
(Mrs. Preston s now), and so saved it. They walked be 
tween files of soldiers. Men were rolling tar barrels and 
lighting torches to fling on the house when the nuns came. 
Columbia is but dust and ashes, burned to the ground. 
Men, women, and children have been left there homeless, 
houseless, and without one particle of food reduced to 
picking up corn that was left by Sherman s horses on picket 
grounds and parching it to stay their hunger. 

How kind my friends were on this, my fete day ! Mrs. 
Rutledge sent me a plate of biscuit ; Mrs. Munroe, nearly 
enough food supplies for an entire dinner ; Miss McLean a 
cake for dessert. Ellen cooked and served up the mate 
rial happily at hand very nicely, indeed. There never was 
a more successful dinner. My heart was too full to eat, but 
I was quiet and calm ; at least I spared my husband the trial 
of a broken voice and tears. As he stood at the window, 



with his back to the room, he said : Where are they now 
iny old blind father and my sister ? Day and night I see 
her leading him out from under his own rooftree. That 
picture pursues me persistently. But come, let us talk of 
pleasanter things." To which I answered, " Where will 
you find them? " 

He took off his heavy cavalry boots and Ellen carried 
them away to wash the mud off and dry them. She brought 
them back just as Miss Middleton walked in. In his agony, 
while struggling with those huge boots and trying to get 
them on, he spoke to her volubly in French. She turned 
away from him instantly, as she saw his shoeless plight, and 
said to me, * I had not heard of your happiness. I did not 
know the General was here." Not until next day did we 
have time to remember and laugh at that outbreak of 
French. Miss Middleton answered him in the same lan 
guage. He told her how charmed he was with my surround 
ings, and that he would go away with a much lighter heart 
since he had seen the kind people with whom he would leave 

I asked my husband what that correspondence between 
Sherman and Hampton meant this while I was preparing 
something for our dinner. His back was still turned as he 
gazed out of the window. He spoke in the low and steady 
monotone that characterized our conversation the whole 
day, and yet there was something in his voice that thrilled 
me as he said : The second day after our march from Co 
lumbia we passed the M. s. He was a bonded man and not 
at home. His wife said at first that she could not find for 
age for our horses, but afterward she succeeded in procur 
ing some. I noticed a very handsome girl who stood beside 
her as she spoke, and I suggested to her mother the pro 
priety of sending her out of the track of both armies. 
Things were no longer as heretofore; there was so much 
straggling, so many camp followers, with no discipline, on 
the outskirts of the army. The girl answered quickly, I 


Feb. 16, 186.5 LINCOLNTON, N. C. March 15, 1865 

wish to stay with my mother. That very night a party of 
Wheeler s men came to our camp, and such a tale they told 
of what had been done at the place of horror and destruc 
tion, the mother left raving. The outrage had been com 
mitted before her very face, she naving been secured first. 
After this crime the fiends moved on. There were only 
seven of them. They had been gone but a short time when 
Wheeler s men went in pursuit at full speed and overtook 
them, cut their throats and wrote upon their breasts: 
These were the seven! 

"But the girl? " 

11 Oh, she was dead! " 

" Are his critics as violent as ever against the Presi 
dent? " asked I when recovered from pity and horror. 
" Sometimes I think I am the only friend he has in the 
world. At these dinners, which they give us everywhere, 
I spoil the sport, for I will not sit still and hear Jeff Davis 
abused for things he is no more responsible for than any 
man at that table. Once I lost my temper and told them it 
sounded like arrant nonsense to me, and that Jeff Davis 
was a gentleman and a patriot, with more brains than the 
assembled company." " You lost your temper truly," 
said I. And I did not know it. I thought I was as cool 
as I am now. In Washington when we left, Jeff Davis 
ranked second to none, in intellect, and may be first, from 
the South, and Mrs. Davis was the friend of Mrs. Emory, 
Mrs. Joe Johnston, and Mrs. Montgomery Blair, and others 
of that circle. Now they rave that he is nobody, and never 
was." " And she? " I asked. " Oh, you would think to 
hear them that he found her yesterday in a Mississippi 
swamp! " " Well, in the French Revolution it was worse. 
When a man failed he was guillotined. Mirabeau did not 
die a day too soon, even Mirabeau." 

He is gone. With despair in my heart I left that rail 
road station. Allan Green walked home with me. I met his 
wife and his four ragged little boys a day or so ago. She 



is the neatest, the primmest, the softest of women. Her 
voice is like the gentle cooing of a dove. That lowering 
black future hangs there all the same. The end of the war 
brings no hope of peace or of security to us. Ellen said I 
had a little piece of bread and a little molasses in store for 
my dinner to-day. 

March 6th. To-day came a godsend. Even a small 
piece of bread and the molasses had become things of the 
past. My larder was empty, when a tall mulatto woman 
brought a tray covered by a huge white serviette. Ellen 
ushered her in with a flourish, saying, " Mrs. McDaniers 
maid. The maid set down the tray upon my bare table, 
and uncovered it with conscious pride. There were fowls 
ready for roasting, sausages, butter, bread, eggs, and pre 
serves. I was dumb with delight. After silent thanks to 
heaven my powers of speech returned, and I exhausted my 
self in messages of gratitude to Mrs. McDaniel. 

" Missis, you oughtn t to let her see how glad you was," 
said Ellen. " It was a lettin of yo sef down." 

Mrs. Glover gave me some yarn, and I bought five dozen 
eggs with it from a wagon eggs for Lent. To show that I 
have faith yet in humanity, I paid in advance in yarn for 
something to eat, which they promised to bring to-morrow. 
Had they rated their eggs at $100 a dozen in " Confed- 
erick money, I would have paid it as readily as $10. But 
I haggle in yarn for the millionth part of a thread. 

Two weeks have passed and the rumors from Columbia 
are still of the vaguest. No letter has come from there, no 
direct message, or messenger. " My God! " cried Dr. 
Frank Miles, " but it is strange. Can it be anything so 
dreadful they dare not tell us? Dr. St. Julien Ravenel 
has grown pale and haggard with care. His wife and chil 
dren were left there. 

Dr. Brumby has at last been coaxed into selling me 
enough leather for the making of a pair of shoes, else I 
should have had to give up walking. He knew my father 


Feb. 16, 1865 LINCOLNTON, N. C. March 15, 1865 

well. He intimated that in some way my father helped him 
through college. His own money had not sufficed, and so 
William C. Preston and my father advanced funds sufficient 
to let him be graduated. Then my uncle, Charles Miller, 
married his aunt. I listened in ra*pture, for all this tended 
to leniency in the leather business, and I bore off the leather 
gladly. When asked for Confederate money in trade I 
never stop to bargain. I give them $20 or $50 cheerfully 
for anything either sum. 

March 8th. Colonel Childs came with a letter from my 
husband and a newspaper containing a full account of Sher 
man s cold-blooded brutality in Columbia. Then we walked 
three miles to return the call of my benefactress, Mrs. Mc- 
Daniel. They were kind and hospitable at her house, but 
my heart was like lead; my head ached, and my legs were 
worse than my head, and then I had a nervous chill. So I 
came home, went to bed and stayed there until the Fants 
brought me a letter saying my husband would be here to 
day. Then I got up and made ready to give him a cheerful 
reception. Soon a man called, Troy by name, the same who 
kept the little corner shop so near my house in Columbia, and 
of whom we bought things so often. We had fraternized. 
He now shook hands with me and looked in my face piti 
fully. We seemed to have been friends all our lives. He 
says they stopped the fire at the Methodist College, perhaps 
to save old Mr. McCartha s house. Mr. Sheriff Dent, being 
burned out, took refuge in our house. He contrived to find 
favor in Yankee eyes. Troy relates that a Yankee officer 
snatched a watch from Mrs. McCord s bosom. The soldiers 
tore the bundles of clothes that the poor wretches tried to 
save from their burning homes, and dashed them back into 
the flames. They meant to make a clean sweep. They 
were howling round the fires like demons, these Yankees 
in their joy and triumph at our destruction. Well, we have 
given them a big scare and kept them miserable for four 
years the little handful of us. 



A woman we met on the street stopped to tell us a pain 
ful coincidence. A general was married but he could not 
stay at home very long after the wedding. When his baby 
was born they telegraphed him, and he sent back a rejoic 
ing answer with an inquiry, Is it a boy or a girl ? : He 
was killed before he got the reply. Was it not sad? His 
poor young wife says, He did not live to hear that his son 
lived." The kind woman added, sorrowfully, " Died and 
did not know the sect of his child. " " Let us hope it will 
be a Methodist/ said Isabella, the irrepressible. 

At the venison feast Isabella heard a good word for me 
and one for General Chesnut s air of distinction, a thing 
people can not give themselves, try as ever they may. Lord 
Byron says, Everybody knows a gentleman when he sees 
one, and nobody can tell what it is that makes a gentleman. 
He knows the thing, but he can t describe it. Now there are 
some French words that can not be translated, and we all 
know the thing they mean gracieuse and svelte, for in 
stance, as applied to a woman. Not that anything was said 
of me like that far from it. I am fair, fat, forty, and 
jolly, and in my unbroken jollity, as far as they know, they 
found my charm. You see, she doesn t howl ; she doesn t 
cry ; she never, never tells anybody about what she was used 
to at home and what she has lost. High praise, and I in 
tend to try and deserve it ever after. 

March 10th. Went to church crying to Ellen, ll It is 
Lent, we must fast and pray." When I came home my 
good fairy, Colonel Childs, had been here bringing rice and 
potatoes, and promising flour. He is a trump. He pulled 
out his pocket-book and offered to be my banker. He stood 
there on the street, Miss Middleton and Isabella witnessing 
the generous action, and straight out offered me money. 
" No, put up that," said I. " I am not a beggar, and I 
never will be ; to die is so much easier. 

Alas, after that flourish of trumpets, when he came with 
a sack of flour, I accepted it gratefully. I receive things I 
25 363 

Feb. 16, 1865 LINCOLNTON, N. C. March 15, 1865 

can not pay for, but money is different. There I draw a 
line, imaginary perhaps. Once before the same thing hap 
pened. Our letters of credit came slowly in 1845, when we 
went unexpectedly to Europe and our letters were to fol 
low us. I was a poor little, inoffensive bride, and a British 
officer, who guessed our embarrassment, for we did not tell 
him (he came over with us on the ship), asked my hus 
band to draw on his banker until the letters of credit should 
arrive. It was a nice thing for a stranger to do. 

We have never lost what we never had. We have never 
had any money only unlimited credit, for my husband s 
richest kind of a father insured us all manner of credit. 
It was all a mirage only at last, and it has gone just as we 
drew nigh to it. 

Colonel Childs says eight of our Senators are for recon 
struction, and that a ray of light has penetrated inward 
from Lincoln, who told Judge Campbell that Southern land 
would not be confiscated. 

March 12th. Better to-day. A long, long weary day in 
grief has passed away. I suppose General Chesnut is some 
where but where? that is the question. Only once has he 
visited this sad spot, which holds, he says, all that he cares 
for on earth. Unless he comes or writes soon I will cease, or 
try to cease, this wearisome looking, looking, looking for 

March 13th. My husband at last did come for a visit 
of two hours. Brought Lawrence, who had been to Cam- 
den, and was there, indeed, during the raid. My hus 
band has been ordered to Chester, S. C. We are surprised 
to see by the papers that we behaved heroically in leaving 
everything we had to be destroyed, without one thought of 
surrender. We had not thought of ourselves from the he 
roic point of view. Isaac McLaughlin hid and saved every 
thing we trusted him with. A grateful negro is Isaac. 

March 15th. Lawrence says Miss Chesnut is very proud 
of the presence of mind and cool self-possession she showed 



in the face of the enemy. She lost, after all, only two bot 
tles of champagne, two of her brother s gold-headed canes, 
and her brother s horses, including Claudia, the brood 
mare, that he valued beyond price, and her own carriage, 
and a fly-brush boy called Battis, whose occupation in life 
was to stand behind the table with his peacock feathers and 
brush the flies away. He was the sole member of his dusky 
race at Mulberry who deserted " Ole Marster " to follow 
the Yankees. 

Now for our losses at the Hermitage. Added to the 
gold-headed canes and Claudia, we lost every mule and 
horse, and President Davis s beautiful Arabian was cap 
tured. John s were there, too. My light dragoon, Johnny, 
and heavy swell, is stripped light enough for the fight now. 
Jonathan, whom we trusted, betrayed us ; and the plantation 
and mills, Mulberry house, etc., were saved by Claiborne, 
that black rascal, who was suspected by all the world. Clai 
borne boldly affirmed that Mr. Chesnut would not be hurt 
by destroying his place; the invaders would hurt only the 
negroes. " Mars Jeems," said he, " hardly ever come 
here and he takes only a little sompen nur to eat when he 
do come. . 

FfiST- .continuing, I sent for St. Julien Ravenel. We 
had a wrangle over the slavery question. Then, he fell foul 
of everybody who had not conducted this war according to 
his ideas. Ellen had something nice to offer him (thanks 
to the ever-bountiful Childs!), but he was too angry, too 
anxious, too miserable to eat. He pitched into Ellen after 
he had disposed of me. Ellen stood glaring at him from the 
fireplace, her blue eye nearly white, her other eye blazing 
as a comet. Last Sunday, he gave her some Dover s pow 
ders for me ; directions were written on the paper in which 
the medicine was wrapped, and he told her to show these to 
me, then to put what I should give her into a wine-glass 
and let me drink it. Ellen put it all into the wine-glass and 
let me drink it at one dose. " It was enough to last you 


Feb. 16, 1865 LINCOLNTON, N. C. March 15, 1865 

your lifetime," he said. " It was murder." Turning to 
Ellen: " What did you do with the directions? " "I 
nuwer see no d rections. You nuvver gimme none." " I 
told you to show that paper to your mistress." " Well, I 
flung dat ole brown paper iri de fire. What you makin all 
dis fuss for ? Soon as I give Missis de physic, she stop fret- 
tin an flingin bout, she go to sleep sweet as a suckling 
baby, an she slep two days an nights, an now she heap 
better." And Ellen withdrew from the controversy. 

" Well, all is well that ends well, Mrs. Chesnut. You 
took opium enough to kill several persons. You were wor 
ried out and needed rest. You came near getting it thor 
oughly. You were in no danger from your disease. But 
your doctor and your nurse combined were deadly. May 
be I was saved by the adulteration, the feebleness, of Con 
federate medicine. 

A letter from my husband, written at Chester Court 
House on March 15th, says : * * In the morning I send Lieut. 
Ogden with Lawrence to Lincolnton to bring you down. I 
have three vacant rooms ; one with bedsteads, chairs, wash- 
stands, basins, and pitchers; the two others bare. You 
can have half of a kitchen for your cooking. I have also at 
Dr. Da Vega s, a room, furnished, to which you are in 
vited (board, also). You can take your choice. If you can 
get your friends in Lincolnton to assume charge of your 
valuables, only bring such as you may need here. Perhaps 
it will be better to bring bed and bedding and the other 




March 21, 1865 May 1, 1865 

(HESTER, S. C., March 21 } 1865. Another flitting has 
occurred. Captain Ogden came for me; the splen 
did Childs was true as steel to the last. Surely 
he is the kindest of men. Captain Ogden was slightly in 
credulous when I depicted the wonders of Colonel Childs s 
generosity. So I skilfully led out the good gentleman for 
inspection, and he walked to the train with us. He offered 
me Confederate money, silver, and gold ; and finally offered 
to buy our cotton and pay us now in gold. Of course, I 
laughed at his overflowing bounty, and accepted nothing; 
but I begged him to come down to Chester or Camden and 
buy our cotton of General Chesnut there. 

On the train after leaving Lincolnton, as Captain Ogden 
is a refugee, has had no means of communicating with his 
home since New Orleans fell, and was sure to know how 
refugees contrive to live, I beguiled the time acquiring in 
formation from him. " When people are without a cent, 
how do they live? " I asked. " I am about to enter the 
noble band of homeless, houseless refugees, and Confeder 
ate pay does not buy one s shoe-strings. To which he re 
plied, " Sponge, sponge. Why did you not let Colonel 
Childs pay your bills? " " I have no bills, " said I. " We 
have never made bills anywhere, not even at home, where 
they would trust us, and nobody would trust me in Lincoln- 
ton. " " Why did you not borrow his money? General 
Chesnut could pay him at his leisure? " " I am by no 


March 21, 1865 CHESTER, S. C. May 1, 1865 

means sure General Chesmit will ever again have any 
money," said I. 

As the train rattled and banged along, and I waved my 
handkerchief in farewell to Miss Middleton, Isabella, and 
other devoted friends, I could only wonder if fate would 
ever throw me again with such kind, clever, agreeable, con 
genial companions? The McLeans refused to be paid for 
their rooms. No plummet can sound the depths of the hos 
pitality and kindness of the North Carolina people. 

Misfortune dogged us from the outset. Everything 
went wrong with the train. We broke down within two 
miles of Charlotte, and had to walk that distance; which 
was pretty rough on an invalid barely out of a fever. My 
spirit was further broken by losing an invaluable lace veil, 
which was worn because I was too poor to buy a cheaper 
one that is, if there were any veils at all for sale in our 

My husband had ordered me to a house in Charlotte 
kept by some great friends of his. They established me in 
the drawing-room, a really handsome apartment ; they made 
up a bed there and put in a washstand and plenty of water, 
with everything refreshingly clean and nice. But it con 
tinued to be a public drawing-room, open to all, so that I 
was half dead at night and wanted to go to bed. The piano 
was there and the company played it. 

The landlady announced, proudly, that for supper there 
were nine kinds of custard. Custard sounded nice and 
light, so I sent for some, but found it heavy potato pie. I 
said: " Ellen, this may kill me, though Dover s powder did 
not." " Don t you believe dat, Missis; try." We barri 
caded ourselves in the drawing-room that night and left the 
next day at dawn. Arrived at the station, we had another 
disappointment; the train was behind time. There we sat 
on our boxes nine long hours ; for the cars might come at 
any moment, and we dared not move an inch from the spot. 

Finally the train rolled in overloaded with paroled pris- 



oners, but heaven helped us : a kind mail agent invited us, 
with two other forlorn women, into his comfortable and 
clean mail-car. Ogden, true to his theory, did not stay at 
the boarding-house as we did. Some Christian acquaint 
ances took him in for the night. This he explained with a 

My husband was at the Chester station with a carriage. 
We drove at once to Mrs. Da Vega s. 

March 24th. I have been ill, but what could you ex 
pect? My lines, however, have again fallen in pleasant 
places. Mrs. Da Vega is young, handsome, and agreeable, 
a kind and perfect hostess ; and as to the house, my room is 
all that I could ask and leaves nothing to be desired; so 
very fresh, clean, warm, and comfortable is it. It is the 
drawing-room suddenly made into a bedroom for me. But 
it is my very own. We are among the civilized of the earth 
once more. 

March 27th. I have moved again, and now I am looking 
from a window high, with something more to see than the 
sky. We have the third story of Dr. Da Vega s house, 
which opens on the straight street that leads to the railroad 
about a mile off. 

Mrs. Bedon is the loveliest of young widows. Yesterday 
at church Isaac Hayne nestled so close to her cap-strings 
that I had to touch him and say, * Sit up ! : Josiah Bedon 
was killed in that famous fight of the Charleston Light Dra 
goons. The dragoons stood still to be shot down in their 
tracks, having no orders to retire. They had been forgotten, 
doubtless, and they scorned to take care of themselves. 

In this high and airy retreat, as in Richmond, then in 
Columbia, and then in Lincolnton, my cry is still : If they 
would only leave me here in peace and if I were sure things 
never could be worse with me. Again am I surrounded by 
old friends. People seem to vie with each other to show how 
good they can be to me. 

To-day Smith opened the trenches and appeared laden 


March 21, 1865 CHESTER, S. C. May 1, 1865 

with a tray covered with a snow-white napkin. Here was 
my first help toward housekeeping again. Mrs. Pride has 
sent a boiled ham, a loaf of bread, a huge pancake ; another 
neighbor coffee already parched and ground; a loaf of 
sugar already cracked; candles, pickles, and all the other 
things one must trust to love for now. Such money as we 
have avails us nothing, even if there were anything left in 
the shops to buy. 

We had a jolly luncheon. James Lowndes called, the 
best of good company. He said of Buck, " She is a queen, 
and ought to reign in a palace. No Prince Charming yet; 
no man has yet approached her that I think half good 
enough for her." 

Then Mrs. Prioleau Hamilton, nee Levy, came with the 
story of family progress, not a royal one, from Columbia 
here : " Before we left home," said she, " Major Hamilton 
spread a map of the United States on the table, and showed 
me with his finger where Sherman was likely to go. Wom 
anlike, I demurred. * But, suppose he does not choose to 
go that way ? Pooh, pooh ! what do you know of war ? 
So we set out, my husband, myself, and two children, all in 
one small buggy. The 14th of February we took up our line 
of march, and straight before Sherman s men for five weeks 
we fled together. By incessant hurrying and scurrying 
from pillar to post, we succeeded in acting as a sort of 
avant-courier of the Yankee army. Without rest and with 
much haste, we got here last Wednesday, and here we mean 
to stay and defy Sherman and his legions. Much the worse 
for wear were we. 

The first night their beauty sleep was rudely broken into 
at Alston with a cry, " Move on, the Yanks are upon us! " 
So they hurried on, half-awake, to Winnsboro, but with no 
better luck. There they had to lighten the ship, leave 
trunks, etc., and put on all sail, for this time the Yankees 
were only five miles behind. " Whip and spur, ride for 
your life! " was the cry. " Sherman s objective point 



seemed to be our buggy," said she; " for you know that 
when we got to Lancaster Sherman was expected there, and 
he keeps his appointments ; that is, he kept that one. Two 
small children were in our chariot, and I began to think of 
the Red Sea expedition. But we lost no time, and soon we 
were in Cheraw, clearly out of the track. We thanked God 
for all his mercies and hugged to our bosoms fond hopes of 
a bed and bath so much needed by all, especially for the 

" At twelve o clock General Hardee himself knocked us 
up with word to l March ! march ! for all the blue bon 
nets are over the border. In mad haste we made for Fay- 
etteville, when they said : l God bless your soul ! This is the 
seat of war now; the battle-ground where Sherman and 
Johnston are to try conclusions. So we harked back, as the 
hunters say, and cut across country, aiming for this place. 
Clean clothes, my dear ? Never a one except as we took off 
garment by garment and washed it and dried it by our 
camp fire, with our loins girded and in haste. I was snug 
and comfortable all that time in Lincolnton. 

To-day Stephen D. Lee s corps marched through only 
to surrender. The camp songs of these men were a heart 
break ; so sad, yet so stirring. They would have warmed the 
blood of an Icelander. The leading voice was powerful, 
mellow, clear, distinct, pathetic, sweet. So, I sat down, as 
women have done before, when they hung up their harps by 
strange streams, and I wept the bitterness of such weeping. 
Music ? Away, away ! Thou speakest to me of things which 
in all my long life I have not found, and I shall not find. 
There they go, the gay and gallant few, doomed; the last 
gathering of the flower of Southern pride, to be killed, or 
worse, to a prison. They continue to prance by, light and 
jaunty. They march with as airy a tread as if they still be 
lieved the world was all on their side, and that there were 


March 21, 1865 CHESTER, S. C. May 1, 1865 

no Yankee bullets for the unwary. What will Joe Johnston 
do with them now? 

The Hood melodrama is over, though the curtain has not 
fallen on the last scene. Cassandra croaks and makes many 
mistakes, but to-day she believes that Hood stock is going 
down. When that style of .enthusiasm is on the wane, the 
rapidity of its extinction is miraculous. It is like the snuff 
ing out of a candle; " one moment white, then gone for 
ever." No, that is not right; it is the snow-flake on the 
river that is referred to. I am getting things as much 
mixed as do the fine ladies of society. 

Lee and Johnston have each fought a drawn battle ; only 
a few more dead bodies lie stiff and stark on an unknown 
battle-field. For we do not so much as know where these 
drawn battles took place. 

Teddy Barnwell, after sharing with me my first lunch 
eon, failed me cruelly. He was to come for me to go down 
to the train and see Isabella pass by. One word with Isa 
bella worth a thousand ordinary ones! So, she has gone 
by and I Ve not seen her. 

Old Colonel Chesnut refuses to say grace; but as he 
leaves the table audibly declares, I thank God for a good 
dinner." When asked why he did this odd thing he said: 
* My way is to be sure of a thing before I return thanks for 
it." Mayor Goodwyn thanked Sherman for promised pro 
tection to Columbia; soon after, the burning began. 

I received the wife of a post-office robber. The poor 
thing had done no wrong, and I felt so sorry for her. Who 
would be a woman? Who that fool, a weeping, pining, 
faithful woman? She hath hard measures still when she 
hopes kindest. And all her beauty only makes ingrates ! 

March 29th. I was awakened with a bunch of violets 
from Mrs. Pride. Violets always remind me of Kate and 
of the sweet South wind that blew in the garden of para 
dise part of my life. Then, it all came back : the dread un 
speakable that lies behind every thought now. 



Thursday. I find I have not spoken of the box-car 
which held the Preston party that day on their way to 
York from Richmond. In the party were Mr. and Mrs. 
Lawson Clay, General and Mrs. Preston and their three 
daughters, Captain Rodgers, and Mr. Portman, whose 
father is an English earl, and connected financially and 
happily with Portman Square. In my American ignorance 
I may not state Mr. Portman s case plainly. Mr. Portman 
is, of course, a younger son. Then there was Cellie and her 
baby and wet-nurse, with no end of servants, male and fe 
male. In this ark they slept, ate, and drank, such being the 
fortune of war. We were there but a short time, but Mr. 
Portman, during that brief visit of ours, was said to have 
eaten three luncheons, and the number of his drinks, tod 
dies, so called, were counted, too. Mr. Portman s contribu 
tion to the larder had been three small pigs. They were, 
however, run over by the train, and made sausage meat of 
unduly and before their time. 

General Lee says to the men who shirk duty, " This is 
the people s war; when they tire, I stop." Wigfall says, 
li It is all over; the game is up." He is on his way to 
Texas, and when the hanging begins he can step over into 

I am plucking up heart, such troops do I see go by every 
day. They must turn the tide, and surely they are going 
for something more than surrender. It is very late, and the 
wind flaps my curtain, which seems to moan, " Too late." 
All this will end by making me a nervous lunatic. 

Yesterday while I was driving with Mrs. Pride, Colo 
nel McCaw passed us! He called out, " I do hope you are 
in comfortable quarters." " Very comfortable," I replied. 
" Oh, Mrs. Chesnut! " said Mrs. Pride, " how can you say 
that ? * Perfectly comfortable, and hope it may never be 
worse with me," said I. "I have a clean little parlor, 16 
by 18, with its bare floor well scrubbed, a dinner-table, six 
chairs, and well, that is all ; but I have a charming lookout 


March 21, 1865 CHESTER, S. C. May 1, 1865 

from my window high. My world is now thus divided into 
two parts where Yankees are and where Yankees are not. 

As I sat disconsolate, looking out, ready for any new 
tramp of men and arms, the magnificent figure of General 
Preston hove in sight. He was mounted on a mighty steed, 
worthy of its rider, followed by his trusty squire, William 
Walker, who bore before him the General s portmanteau. 
When I had time to realize the situation, I perceived at 
General Preston s right hand Mr. Christopher Hampton 
and Mr. Portman, who passed by. Soon Mrs. Pride, in some 
occult way, divined or heard that they were coming here, 
and she sent me at once no end of good things for my tea- 
table. General Preston entered very soon after, and with 
him Clement Clay, of Alabama, the latter in pursuit of his 
wife s trunk. I left it with the Rev. Mr. Martin, and have 
no doubt it is perfectly safe, but where? We have written 
to Mr. Martin to inquire. Then Wilmot de Saussure ap 
peared. " I am here," he said, " to consult with General 
Chesnut. He and I always think alike." He added, em 
phatically: " Slavery is stronger than ever." " If you 
think so," said I, " you will find that for once you and 
General Chesnut do not think alike. He has held that sla 
very was a thing of the past, this many a year. 

I said to General Preston : * * I pass my days and nights 
partly at this window. I am sure our army is silently dis 
persing. Men are moving the wrong way, all the time. 
They slip by with no songs and no shouts now. They have 
given the thing up. See for yourself. Look there. For a 
while the streets were thronged with soldiers and then they 
were empty again. But the marching now is without tap 
of drum. 

March 31st. Mr. Priolcau Hamilton told us of a great 
adventure. Mrs. Preston was put under his care on the train. 
He soon found the only other women along were " strictly 
unfortunate females," as Carlyle calls them, beautiful and 
aggressive. He had to communicate the unpleasant fact to 



Mrs. Preston, on account of their propinquity, and was lost 
in admiration of her silent dignity, her quiet self-posses 
sion, her calmness, her deafness and blindness, her thor 
oughbred ignoring of all that she did not care to see. Some 
women, no matter how ladylike, would have made a fuss 
or would have fidgeted, but Mrs. Preston dominated the sit 
uation and possessed her soul in innocence and peace. 

Met Robert Johnston from Camden. He has been a pris 
oner, having been taken at Camden. The Yankees robbed 
Zack Cantey of his forks and spoons. When Zack did not 
seem to like it, they laughed at him. When he said he did 
not see any fun in it, they pretended to weep and wiped 
their eyes with their coat-tails. All this maddening deri 
sion Zack said was as hard to bear as it was to see them ride 
off with his horse, Albine. They stole all of Mrs. Zack s 
jewelry and silver. When the Yankee general heard of it 
he wrote her a very polite note, saying how sorry he was 
that she had been annoyed, and returned a bundle of Zack s 
love-letters, written to her before she was married. Robert 
Johnston said Miss Chesnut was a brave and determined 
spirit. One Yankee officer came in while they were at break 
fast and sat down to warm himself at the fire. " Rebels 
have no rights/ Miss Chesnut said to him politely. " I 
suppose you have come to rob us. Please do so and go. 
Your presence agitates my blind old father." The man 
jumped up in a rage, and said, " What do you take me for 
a robber ? : " No, indeed, said she, and for very shame 
he marched out empty-handed. 

April 3d. Saw General Preston ride off. He came to 
tell me good-by. I told him he looked like a Crusader on 
his great white horse, with William, his squire, at his heels. 
Our men are all consummate riders, and have their servants 
well mounted behind them, carrying cloaks and traps how 
different from the same men packed like sardines in dirty 
railroad cars, usually floating inch deep in liquid tobacco 


March 21, 1865 CHESTER, S. C. May 1, 1865 

For the kitchen and Ellen s comfort I wanted a pine 
table and a kitchen chair. A woman sold me one to-day for 
three thousand Confederate dollars. 

Mrs. Hamilton has been disappointed again. Prioleau 
Hamilton says the person into whose house they expected 
to move to-day came to say she could not take boarders for 
three reasons: First, " that they had smallpox in the 
house." " And the two others? " " Oh, I did not ask for 
the two others! 

April 5th. Miss Middleton s letter came in answer to 
mine, telling her how generous my friends here were to me. 
We long," she says, " for our own small sufficiency of 
wood, corn, and vegetables. Here is a struggle unto death, 
although the neighbors continue to feed us, as you would 
say, with a spoon. We have fallen upon a new device. 
We keep a cookery book on the mantelpiece, and when the 
dinner is deficient we just read off a pudding or a creme. 
It does not entirely satisfy the appetite, this dessert in im 
agination, but perhaps it is as good for the digestion. 

As I was ready to go, though still up-stairs, some one 
came to say General Hood had called. Mrs. Hamilton 
cried out, * Send word you are not at home. " " Never ! 
said I. " Why make him climb all these stairs when you 
must go in five minutes ? " If he had come here dragging 
Sherman as a captive at his chariot wheels I might say not 
at home, but not now." And I ran down and greeted him 
on the sidewalk in the face of all, and walked slowly beside 
him as he toiled up the weary three stories, limping gallant 
ly. He was so well dressed and so cordial ; not depressed in 
the slightest. Pie was so glad to see me. He calls his re 
port self-defense; says Joe Johnston attacked him and he 
was obliged to state things from his point of view. And 
now follow statements, where one may read between the 
lines what one chooses. He had been offered a command in 
Western Virginia, but as General Lee was concerned because 
he and Joe Johnston were not on cordial terms, and as the 



fatigue of the mountain campaign would be too great for 
him, he would like the chance of going across the Missis 
sippi. Texas was true to him, and would be his home, as it 
had voted him a ranch somewhere out there. They say Gen 
eral Lee is utterly despondent, and has no plan if Richmond 
goes, as go it must. 

April 7th. Richmond has fallen and I have no heart 
to write about it. Grant broke through our lines and Sher 
man cut through them. Stoneman is this side of Danville. 
They are too many for us. Everything is lost in Richmond, 
even our archives. Blue black is our horizon. Hood says 
we shall all be obliged to go West to Texas, I mean, for 
our own part of the country will be overrun. 

Yes, a solitude and a wild waste it may become, but, as 
to that, we can rough it in the bush at home. 

De Fontaine, in his newspaper, continues the old cry. 
Now Richmond is given up, he says, it was too heavy 
a load to carry, and we are stronger than ever." " Strong 
er than ever ? : Nine-tenths of our army are under ground 
and where is another army to come from? Will they wait 
until we grow one ? 

April 15th. What a week it has been madness, sad 
ness, anxiety, turmoil, ceaseless excitement. The Wigfalls 
passed through on their way to Texas. We did not see 
them. Louly told Hood they were bound for the Rio 
Grande, and ir-tended to shake hands with Maximilian, Em 
peror of Mexico. Yankees were expected here every min 
ute. Mrs. Davis came. We went down to the cars at day 
light to receive her. She dined with me. Lovely Winnie, 
the baby, came, too. Buck and Hood were here, and that 
queen of women, Mary Darby. Clay behaved like a trump. 
He was as devoted to Mrs. Davis in her adversity as if they 
had never quarreled in her prosperity. People sent me 
things for Mrs. Davis, as they did in Columbia for Mr. 
Davis. It was a luncheon or breakfast only she stayed for 
here. Mrs. Brown prepared a dinner for her at the sta- 


March 21, 1B65 CHESTER, S. C. May 1, 1865 

tion. I went down with her. She left here at five o clock. 
My heart was like lead, but we did not give way. She was 
as calm and smiling as ever. It was but a brief glimpse of 
my dear Mrs. Davis, and under altered skies. 

April 17th. A letter from Mrs. Davis, who writes: 
" Do come to me, and see how we get on. I shall have a 
spare room by the time you arrive, indifferently furnished, 
but, oh, so affectionately placed at your service. You will 
receive such a loving welcome. One perfect bliss have I. 
The baby, who grows fat and is smiling always, is chris 
tened, and not old enough to develop the world s vices or to 
be snubbed by it. The name so long delayed is Varina 
Anne. My name is a heritage of woe. 

" Are you delighted with your husband? I am de 
lighted with him as well as with my own. It is well to lose 
an Arabian horse if one elicits such a tender and at the 
same time knightly letter as General Chesnut wrote to my 
poor old Prometheus. I do not think that for a time he 
felt the vultures after the reception of the General s letter. 

" I hear horrid reports about Richmond. It is said 
that all below Ninth Street to the Rocketts has been burned 
by the rabble, who mobbed the town. The Yankee per 
formances have not been chronicled. May God take our 
cause into His own hands. 

April 19th. Just now, when Mr. Clay dashed up-stairs, 
pale as a sheet, saying, " General Lee has capitulated," I 
saw it reflected in Mary Darby s face before I heard him 
speak. She staggered to the table, sat down, and wept 
aloud. Mr. Clay s eyes were not dry. Quite beside her 
self Mary shrieked, " Now we belong to negroes and Yan 
kees ! Buck said, I do not believe it. 

How different from ours of them is their estimate of us. 
How contradictory is their attitude toward us. To keep the 
despised and iniquitous South within their borders, as part 
of their country, they are willing to enlist millions of men 
at home and abroad, and to spend billions, and we know 



they do not love fighting per se, nor spending money. They 
are perfectly willing to have three killed for our one. We 
hear they have all grown rich, through * shoddy, whatever 
that is. Genuine Yankees can make a fortune trading jack- 

* Somehow it is borne in on me that we will have to pay 
the piper, was remarked to-day. No ; blood can not be 
squeezed from a turnip. You can not pour anything out 
of an empty cup. We have no money even for taxes or to 
be confiscated. " 

While the Preston girls are here, my dining-room is 
given up to them, and we camp on the landing, with our one 
table and six chairs. Beds are made on the dining-room 
floor. Otherwise there is no furniture, except buckets of 
water and bath-tubs in their improvised chamber. Night 
and day this landing and these steps are crowded with the 
elite of the Confederacy, going and coming, and when night 
comes, or rather, bedtime, more beds are made on the floor 
of the landing-place for the war-worn soldiers to rest upon. 
The whole house is a bivouac. As Pickens said of South 
Carolina in 1861, we are " an armed camp." 

My husband is rarely at home. I sleep with the girls, 
and my room is given up to soldiers. General Lee s few, 
but undismayed, his remnant of an army, or the part from 
the South and West, sad and crestfallen, pass through 
Chester. Many discomfited heroes find their way up these 
stairs. They say Johnston will not be caught as Lee was. 
He can retreat; that is his trade. If he would not fight 
Sherman in the hill country of Georgia, what will he do 
but retreat in the plains of North Carolina with Grant, 
Sherman, and Thomas all to the fore ? 

We are to stay here. Running is useless now; so we 
mean to bide a Yankee raid, which they say is imminent. 
Why fly? They are everywhere, these Yankees, like red 
ants, like the locusts and frogs which were the plagues of 

26 379 

March 91, 1865 CHESTER, S. C. May 1, 1865 

The plucky way in which our men keep up is beyond 
praise. There is no howling, and our poverty is made a 
matter of laughing. We deride our own penury. Of the 
country we try not to speak at all. 

April 22d. This yellow Confederate quire of paper, 
my journal, blotted by entries, has been buried three days 
with the silver sugar-dish, teapot, milk-jug, and a few 
spoons and forks that follow my fortunes as I wander. 
With these valuables was Hood s silver cup, which was 
partly crushed when he was wounded at Chickamauga. 

It has been a wild three days, with aides galloping 
around with messages, Yankees hanging over us like a 
sword of Damocles. We have been in queer straits. We 
sat up at Mrs. Bedon s dressed, without once going to bed 
for forty-eight hours, and we were aweary. 

Colonel Cadwallader Jones came with a despatch, a 
sealed secret despatch. It was for General Chesnut. I 
opened it. Lincoln, old Abe Lincoln, has been killed, mur 
dered, and Seward wounded! Why? By whom? It is 
simply maddening, all this. 

I sent off messenger after messenger for General Ches 
nut. I have not the faintest idea where he is, but I know 
this foul murder will bring upon us worse miseries. Mary 
Darby says, " But they murdered him themselves. No 
Confederates are in Washington. " " But if they see fit to 
accuse us of instigating it 1 li Who murdered him ? Who 
knows? " " See if they don t take vengeance on us, now 
that we are ruined and can not repel them any longer/ 

The death of Lincoln I call a warning to tyrants. He 
will not be the last President put to death in the capital, 
though he is the first. 

Buck never submits to be bored. The bores came to tea 
at Mrs. Bedon s, and then sat and talked, so prosy, so 
wearisome was the discourse, so endless it seemed, that we 
envied Buck, who was mooning on the piazza. She rarely 
speaks now. 



Lincoln Assassinated and 
Se ward Mortally Wound 
ed in Washington!! 

GBEENSBOBO, April 19, 1865. 

It is announced to the Army that a suspension of arms has been 
agreed upon pending negotiations between the two Governments. 
During its continuance the two armies arc to occupy their pre 
sent position. 

By command of Qeneral Johnston : 

Liout. Col. and A. A. O. 
Official Copy : ISAAC HAYSE. 

WASHINGTON, April 12, 1865. 

President. Lincoln was murdered, about ten o clock last night, in hia 
private box at Ford s Theatre, in this city, by an assassin, who thai 
him in the head with a pistol baU. At the same hour Mr. Se ward s 
house was entered by another assassin, who stabbed the Secretary in 
several places. It is thought he may possiby recover, but his son 
Fred may possibly die of the wounds he received. 

The assassin of the President leaped from the private box, bran 
dishing his dagger and exclaiming : " Sic Semper TyrannisViR- 
oruiA is UEVESGED !" Mr. Lincoln fell senseless from his seat, and 
continued in that condition until 22 minutes past 10 o clock this 
morning, at which time he breathed his last. 

Vice President Johnson now becomes President, and with take 
the oath of office and assume the duties to-day. 



CHESTEB, S. C., April 22, 1865. 

FLOUR and MEAL given out to the citizens by order of Major 
MITCHELL, Chief Commissary of South Carolina, to be returned 
when called for. is Ixuily wanted to ration General Johnston s army. 
Please return tho same at once. 
E. M. GRAHAM. Agent Subsistence Dep t. 


The ISriga lier-Generil Commanding has been informed that, ID View of th 
approach of the enemy, Urge qaiamy of supplies of Ttrioui kinds were gie 
out by the rarious OoTaram:at oifioera at this past to the ciliseas of the place, lie 
now cally upon, and earnestly request* all ouitens, who miy htrj suit stores in 
their yoaaeadion, to return ihsm to the several Department] to which they belong. 
Ttie stores are much nee IsJ t this time fjr tho ujo of soUitrs, passing through th 
place, and for the sick at iho Hospital. 
By command of Brig. Gen Chesnul: 

M. R OI.ARK, Mijor an I A A. General. 



April 23d. My silver wedding-day, and I am sure the 
unhappiest day of my life. Mr. Portman came with Chris 
topher Hampton. Portman told of Miss Kate Hampton, who 
is perhaps the most thoroughly ladylike person in the world. 
When he told her that Lee had surrendered she started 
up from her seat and said, " That is a lie." " Well, Miss 
Hampton, I tell the tale as it was told me. I can do no 

No wonder John Chesnut is bitter. They say Mulberry 
has been destroyed by a corps commanded by General Lo 
gan. Some one asked coolly, " Will General Chesnut be 
shot as a soldier, or hung as a senator? " " I am not of 
sufficient consequence," answered he. " They will stop 
short of brigadiers. I resigned my seat in the United States 
Senate weeks before there was any secession. So I can not 
be hung as a senator. But after all it is only a choice be 
tween drumhead court martial, short shrift, and a linger 
ing death at home from starvation." 

These negroes are unchanged. The shining black mask 
they wear does not show a ripple of change ; they are 
sphinxes. Ellen has had my diamonds to keep for a week 
or so. When the danger was over she handed them back to 
me with as little apparent interest in the matter as if they 
had been garden peas. 

Mrs. Huger was in church in Richmond when the news 
of the surrender came. Worshipers were in the midst of 
the communion service. Mr. McFarland was called out to 
send away the gold from his bank. Mr. Minnegerode s Eng 
lish grew confused. Then the President was summoned, 
and distress of mind showed itself in every face. The night 
before one of General Lee s aides, Walter Taylor, was mar 
ried, and was off to the wars immediately after the cere 

One year ago we left Richmond. The Confederacy has 
double-quicked down hill since then. One year since I 
stood in that beautiful Hollywood by little Joe Davis s 


March 21, 1865 CHESTER, S. C. May 1, 1865 

grave. Now we have burned towns, deserted plantations, 
sacked villages. You seem resolute to look the worst in the 
face," said General Chesnut, wearily. " Yes, poverty, with 
no future and no hope." li But no slaves, thank God! " 
cried Buck. " We would be the sdbrn of the world if the 
world thought of us at all. You see, we are exiles and pau 
pers." " Pile on the agony." " How does our famous 
captain, the great Lee, bear the Yankees galling chain? " 
I asked. * He knows how to possess his soul in patience, 
answered my husband. " If there were no such word as 
subjugation, no debts, no poverty, no negro mobs backed by 
Yankees ; if all things were well, you would shiver and feel 
benumbed," he went on, pointing at me in an oratorical 
attitude. " Your sentence is pronounced Camden for 

May 1st. In Chester still. I climb these steep steps 
alone. They have all gone, all passed by. Buck went with 
Mr. C. Hampton to York. Mary, Mrs. Huger, and Pinck- 
ney took flight together. One day just before they began to 
dissolve in air, Captain Gay was seated at the table, half 
way between me on the top step and John in the window, 
with his legs outside. Said some one to-day, " She showed 
me her engagement ring, and I put it back on her hand. 
She is engaged, but not to me. " " By the heaven that is 
above us all, I saw you kiss her hand." " That I deny." 
Captain Gay glared in angry surprise, and insisted that 
he had seen it. " Sit down, Gay," said the cool captain in 
his most mournful way. * You see, my father died when I 
was a baby, and my grandfather took me in hand. To him 
I owe this moral maxim. He is ninety years old, a wise old 
man. Now, remember my grandfather s teaching forever- 
more A gentleman must not kiss and tell. 

General Preston came to say good-by. He will take his 
family abroad at once. Burnside, in New Orleans, owes 
him some money and will pay it. l There will be no more 
confiscation, my dear madam, said he ; * they must see 
that we have been punished enough. " * They do not think 



so, my dear general. This very day a party of Federals 
passed in hot pursuit of our President. 

A terrible fire-eater, one of the few men left in the world 
who believe we have a right divine, being white, to hold 
Africans, who are black, in bonds forever ; he is six feet two ; 
an athlete ; a splendid specimen of the animal man ; but he 
has never been under fire; his place in the service was a 
bomb-proof office, so-called. With a face red-hot with rage 
he denounced Jen Davis and Hood. " Come, now," said 
Edward, the handsome, " men who could fight and did not, 
they are the men who ruined us. We wanted soldiers. If 
the men who are cursing Jeff Davis now had fought with 
Hood, and fought as Hood fought, we d be all right now. 

And then he told of my trouble one day while Hood was 
here. " Just such a fellow as you came up on this little 
platform, and before Mrs. Chesnut could warn him, began 
to heap insults on Jeff Davis and his satrap, Hood. Mrs. 
Chesnut held up her hands. Stop, not another word. 
You shall not abuse my friends here! Not Jeff Davis be 
hind his back, not Hood to his face, for he is in that room 
and hears you. : Fancy how dumfounded this creature 

Mrs. Huger told a story of Joe Johnston in his callow 
days before he was famous. After an illness Johnston s 
hair all fell out; not a hair was left on his head, which 
shone like a fiery cannon-ball. One of the gentlemen from 
Africa who waited at table sniggered so at dinner that 
he was ordered out by the grave and decorous black butler. 
General Huger, feeling for the agonies of young Africa, as 
he strove to stifle his mirth, suggested that Joe Johnston 
should cover his head with his handkerchief. A red silk one 
was produced, and turban-shaped, placed on his head. 
That completely finished the gravity of the butler, who fled 
in helplessness. His guffaw on the outside of the door be 
came plainly audible. General Huger then suggested, as 
they must have the waiter back, or the dinner could not go 
on, that Joe should eat with his hat on, which he did. 




May 2, 1865 August 2, 1865 

AMDEN, S. C., May 2, 1865. Since we left Chester 
nothing but solitude, nothing but tall blackened 
chimneys, to show that any man has ever trod this 
road before. This is Sherman s track. It is hard not to 
curse him. I wept incessantly at first. The roses of the 
gardens are already hiding the ruins. My husband said Na 
ture is a wonderful renovator. He tried to say something 
else and then I shut my eyes and made a vow that if we 
were a crushed people, crushed by weight, I would never be 
a whimpering, pining slave. 

We heard loud explosions of gunpowder in the direction 
of Camden. Destroyers were at it there. Met William 
Walker, whom Mr. Preston left in charge of a car-load of 
his valuables. General Preston was hardly out of sight be 
fore poor helpless William had to stand by and see the car 
plundered. " My dear Missis! they have cleaned me out, 
nothing left, moaned William the faithful. We have nine 
armed couriers with us. Can they protect us ? 

Bade adieu to the staff at Chester. No general ever had 
so remarkable a staff, so accomplished, so agreeable, so well 
bred, and, I must say, so handsome, and can add so brave 
and efficient. 

May 4th. Home again at Bloomsbury. From Chester 
to Winnsboro we did not see one living thing, man, woman, 
or animal, except poor William trudging home after his sad 
disaster. The blooming of the gardens had a funereal effect. 



Nature is so luxuriant here, she soon covers the ravages of 
savages. No frost has occurred since the seventh of March, 
which accounts for the wonderful advance in vegetation. 
This seems providential to these starving people. In this 
climate so much that is edible can be grown in two months. 

At Winnsboro we stayed at Mr. Robertson s. There we 
left the wagon train. Only Mr. Brisbane, one of the gener 
al s couriers, came with us on escort duty. The Robertsons 
were very kind and hospitable, brimful of Yankee anec 
dotes. To my amazement the young people of Winnsboro 
had a May-day celebration amid the smoking ruins. Irre 
pressible is youth. 

The fidelity of the negroes is the principal topic. There 
seems to be not a single case of a negro who betrayed his 
master, and yet they showed a natural and exultant joy at 
being free. After we left Winnsboro negroes were seen in 
the fields plowing and hoeing corn, just as in antebellum 
times. The fields in that respect looked quite cheerful. We 
did not pass in the line of Sherman s savages, and so saw 
some houses standing. 

Mary Kirkland has had experience with the Yankees. 
She has been pronounced the most beautiful woman on this 
side of the Atlantic, and has been spoiled accordingly in all 
society. When the Yankees came, Monroe, their negro man 
servant, told her to stand up and hold two of her children 
in her arms, with the other two pressed as close against her 
knees as they could get. Mammy Selina and Lizzie then 
stood grimly on each side of their young missis and her 
children. For four mortal hours the soldiers surged 
through the rooms of the house. Sometimes Mary and her 
children were roughly jostled against the wall, but Mammy 
and Lizzie were stanch supporters. The Yankee soldiers 
taunted .the negro women for their foolishness in standing 
by their cruel slave-owners, and taunted Mary with being 
glad of the protection of her poor ill-used slaves. Monroe 
meanwhile had one leg bandaged and pretended to be lame, 


May 2, 1865 CAMDEN, S. C. Aug. 2, 1865 

so that he might not be enlisted as a soldier, and kept mak 
ing pathetic appeals to Mary. 

1 ( Don t answer them back, Miss Mary, said he. Let 
em say what dey want to ; don t answer em back. Don t 
give em any chance to say you are impudent to em. 

One man said to her : * Why do you shrink from us and 
avoid us so ? We did not come here to fight for negroes ; we 
hate them. At Port Royal I saw a beautiful white woman 
driving in a wagon with a coal-black negro man. If she had 
been anything to me I would have shot her through the 
heart." " Oh, oh! " said Lizzie, " that s the way you talk 
in here. I 11 remember that when you begin outside to beg 
me to run away with you. 

Finally poor Aunt Betsy, Mary s mother, fainted from 
pure fright and exhaustion. Mary put down her baby and 
sprang to her mother, who was lying limp in a chair, and 
fiercely called out, " Leave this room, you wretches! Do 
you mean to kill my mother ? She is ill ; I must put her to 
bed. Without a word they all slunk out ashamed. If I 
had only tried that hours ago, she now said. Outside they 
remarked that she was * an insolent rebel huzzy, who thinks 
herself too good to speak to a soldier of the United States, 
and one of them said : Let us go in and break her mouth. 
But the better ones held the more outrageous back. Monroe 
slipped in again and said: " Missy, for God s sake, when 
dey come in be sociable with em. Dey will kill you." 

" Then let me die." 

The negro soldiers were far worse than the white ones. 

Mrs. Bartow drove with me to Mulberry. On one side 
of the house we found every window had been broken, 
every bell torn down, every piece of furniture destroyed, 
and every door smashed in. But the other side was intact. 
Maria Whitaker and her mother, who had been left in 
charge, explained this odd state of things. The Yankees 
were busy as beavers, working like regular carpenters, de 
stroying everything when their general came in and stopped 



them. He told them it was a sin to destroy a fine old house 
like that, whose owner was over ninety years old. He would 
not have had it done for the world. It was wanton mischief. 
He explained to Maria that soldiers at such times were ex 
cited, wild, and unruly. They carried off sacks full of our 
books, since unfortunately they found a pile of empty sacks 
in the garret. Our books, our letters, our papers were after 
ward strewn along the Charleston road. Somebody found 
things of ours as far away as Vance s Ferry. 

This was Potter s raid. 1 Sherman took only our horses. 
Potter s raid came after Johnston s surrender, and ruined 
us finally, burning our mills and gins and a hundred bales 
of cotton. Indeed, nothing is left to us now but the bare 
land, and the debts contracted for the support of hundreds 
of negroes during the war. 

J. H. Boykin was at home at the time to look after his 
own interests, and he, with John de Saussure, has saved 
the cotton on their estates, with the mules and farming uten 
sils and plenty of cotton as capital to begin on again. The 
negroes would be a good riddance. A hired man would be a 
good deal cheaper than a man whose father and mother, 
wife and twelve children have to be fed, clothed, housed, 
and nursed, their taxes paid, and their doctor s bills, all 
for his half-done, slovenly, lazy work. For years we have 
thought negroes a nuisance that did not pay. They pretend 
exuberant loyalty to us now. Only one man of Mr. Ches- 
nut s left the plantation with the Yankees. 

When the Yankees found the Western troops were not at 
Camden, but down below Swift Creek, like sensible folk 
they came up the other way, and while we waited at Chester 

1 The reference appears to. be to General Edward E. Potter, a native 
of New York City, who died in 1889. General Potter entered the Federal 
service early in the war. He recruited a regiment of North Carolina 
troops and engaged in operations in North and South Carolina and 
Eastern Tennessee. 


May 2, 1865 CAMDEN, S. C. Aug. 2, 1865 

for marching orders we were quickly ruined after the sur 
render. With our cotton saved, and cotton at a dollar a 
pound, we might be in comparatively easy circumstances. 
But now it is the devil to pay, and no pitch hot. Well, all 
this was to be. 

Godard Bailey, editor, whose prejudices are all against 
us, described the raids to me in this wise : They were regu 
larly organized. First came squads who demanded arms 
and whisky. Then came the rascals who hunted for silver, 
ransacked the ladies wardrobes and scared women and 
children into fits at least those who could be scared. 
Some of these women could not be scared. Then came 
some smiling, suave, well-dressed officers, who " regretted 
it all so much." Outside the gate officers, men, and bum 
mers divided even, share and share alike, the piles of 

When we crossed the river coming home, the ferry man 
at Chesnut s Ferry asked for his fee. Among us all we 
could not muster the small silver coin he demanded. There 
was poverty for you. Nor did a stiver appear among us 
until Molly was hauled home from Columbia, where she was 
waging war with Sheriff Dent s family. As soon as her foot 
touched her native heath, she sent to hunt up the cattle. 
Many of our cows were found in the swamp ; like Marion s 
men they had escaped the enemy. Molly sells butter for us 
now on shares. 

Old Cuffey, head gardener at Mulberry, and Yellow 
Abram, his assistant, have gone on in the even tenor of their 
way. Men may come and men may go, but they dig on for 
ever. And they say they mean to " as long as old master 
is alive." We have green peas, asparagus, lettuce, spinach, 
new potatoes, and strawberries in abundance enough for 
ourselves and plenty to give away to refugees. It is early 
in May and yet two months since frost. Surely the wind 
was tempered to the shorn lamb in our case. 

Johnny went over to see Hampton. His cavalry are or- 



dered to reassemble on the 20th a little farce to let them 
selves down easily ; they know it is all over. Johnny, smil 
ing serenely, said, * The thing is up and forever. 

Godard Bailey has presence of mind. Anne Sabb left a 
gold card-case, which was a terrible oversight, among the 
cards on the drawing-room table. When the Yankee raid 
ers saw it their eyes glistened. Godard whispered to her : 
* * Let them have that gilt thing and slip away and hide the 
silver. " No ! " shouted a Yank, * you don t fool me 
that way ; here s your old brass thing ; don t you stir ; fork 
over that silver. And so they deposited the gold card-case 
in Godard s hands, and stole plated spoons and forks, which 
had been left out because they were plated. Mrs. Beach 
says two officers slept at her house. Each had a pillow-case 
crammed with silver and jewelry " spoils of war," they 
called it. 

Floride Cantey heard an old negro say to his master: 
When you all had de power you was good to me, and I 11 
protect you now. No niggers nor Yankees shall tech you. 
If you want anything call for Sambo. I mean, call for Mr. 
Samuel ; dat my name now. 

May 10th. A letter from a Pharisee who thanks the 
Lord she is not as other women are ; she need not pray, as 
the Scotch parson did, for a good conceit of herself. She 
writes, I feel that I will not be ruined. Come what may, 
God will provide for me. But her husband had strength 
ened the Lord s hands, and for the glory of God, doubtless, 
invested some thousands of dollars in New York, where 
Confederate moth did not corrupt nor Yankee bummers 
break through and steal. She went on to tell us : "I have 
had the good things of this world, and I have enjoyed them 
in their season. But I only held them as steward for God. 
My bread has been cast upon the waters and will return 
to me." 

E. M. Boykin said to-day: " We had a right to strike 
for our independence, and we did strike a bitter blow. 


May 2, 1865 CAMDEN, S. C. Aug. 2, 1865 

They must be proud to have overcome such a foe. I dare 
look any man in the face. There is no humiliation in our 
position after such a struggle as we made for freedom 
from the Yankees." He is sanguine. His main idea is 
joy that he has no negroes to support, and need hire only 
those he really wants. 

Stephen Elliott told us that Sherman said to Joe 
Johnston, " Look out for yourself. This agreement 
only binds the military, not the civil, authorities. Is our 
destruction to begin anew? For a few weeks we have had 

Sally Reynolds told a short story of a negro pet of Mrs. 
Kershaw s. The little negro clung to Mrs. Kershaw and 
begged her to save him. The negro mother, stronger than 
Mrs. Kershaw, tore him away from her. Mrs. Kershaw 
wept bitterly. Sally said she saw the mother chasing the 
child before her as she ran after the Yankees, whipping him 
at every step. The child yelled like mad, a small rebel 

May 16th. We are scattered and stunned, the remnant 
of heart left alive within us filled with brotherly hate. We 
sit and wait until the drunken tailor who rules the United 
States of America issues a proclamation, and defines our 
anomalous position. 

Such a hue and cry, but whose fault? Everybody is 
blamed by somebody else. The dead heroes left stiff and 
stark on the battle-field escape, blame every man who stayed 
at home and did not fight. I will not stop to hear excuses. 
There is not one word against those who stood out until the 
bitter end, and stacked muskets at Appomattox. 

May 18th. A feeling of sadness hovers over me now, 
day and night, which no words of mine can express. There 
is a chance for plenty of character study in this Mulberry 
house, if one only had the heart for it. Colonel Chesnut, 
now ninety-three, blind and deaf, is apparently as strong as 
ever, and certainly as resolute of will. Partly patriarch, 


From a Portrait in Oil by Gilbert Stuart. 


partly grand seigneur, this old man is of a species that we 
shall see no more the last of a race of lordly planters who 
ruled this Southern world, but now a splendid wreck. His 
manners are unequaled still, but underneath this smooth 
exterior lies the grip of a tyrant whose will has never been 
crossed. I will not attempt what Lord Byron says he could 
not do, but must quote again : * Everybody knows a gen 
tleman when he sees him. I have never met a man who 
could describe one. We have had three very distinct speci 
mens of the genus in this house three generations of gen 
tlemen, each utterly different from the other father, son, 
and grandson. 

African Scipio walks at Colonel Chesnut s side. He is 
six feet two, a black Hercules, and as gentle as a dove in all 
his dealings with the blind old master, who boldly strides 
forward, striking with his stick to feel where he is going. 
The Yankees left Scipio unmolested. He told them he was 
absolutely essential to his old master, and they said, " If 
you want to stay so bad, he must have been good to you 
always. Scip says he was silent, for it * made them mad 
if you praised your master." 

Sometimes this old man will stop himself, just as he is 
going off in a fury, because they try to prevent his at 
tempting some feat impossible in his condition of lost fac 
ulties. He will ask gently, I hope that I never say or do 
anything unseemly! Sometimes I think I am subject to 
mental aberrations. At every footfall he calls out, * Who 
goes there? " If a lady s name is given he uncovers and 
stands, with hat off, until she passes. He still has the old- 
world art of bowing low and gracefully. 

Colonel Chesnut came of a race that would brook no in 
terference with their own sweet will by man, woman, or 
devil. But then such manners has he, they would clear any 
man s character, if it needed it. Mrs. Chesnut, his wife, 
used to tell us that when she met him at Princeton, in the 
nineties of the eighteenth century, they called him " the 


May 2, 1865 CAMDEN, S. C. Aug. 2, 1865 

Young Prince." He and Mr. John Taylor, 1 of Columbia, 
were the first up-country youths whose parents were 
wealthy enough to send them off to college. 

When a college was established in South Carolina, Colo 
nel John Chesnut, the father of the aforesaid Young Prince, 
was on the first board of trustees. Indeed, I may say that, 
since the Revolution of 1776, there has been no convocation 
of the notables of South Carolina, in times of peace and 
prosperity, or of war and adversity, in which a representa 
tive man of this family has not appeared. The estate has 
been kept together until now. Mrs. Chesnut said she drove 
down from Philadelphia on her bridal trip, in a chariot and 
four a cream-colored chariot with outriders. 

They have a saying here on account of the large fami 
lies with which people are usually blessed, and the subdivi 
sion of property consequent upon that fact, besides the ten 
dency of one generation to make and to save, and the next 
to idle and to squander, that there are rarely more than 
three generations between shirt-sleeves and shirt-sleeves. 
But these Chesnuts have secured four, from the John Ches 
nut who was driven out from his father s farm in Virginia 
by the French and Indians, when that father had been 
killed at Fort Duquesne, 2 to the John Chesnut who saunters 

i ~~" 

1 John Taylor was graduated from Princeton in 1790 and became a 
planter in South Carolina. He served in Congress from 1806 to 1810, 
and in the latter year was chosen to fill a vacancy in the United States 
Senate, caused by the resignation of Thomas Sumter. In 1826 he was 
chosen Governor of South Carolina. He died in 1832. 

2 Fort Duquesne stood at the junction of the Monongahela and Alle- 
ghany Rivers. Captain Trent, acting for the Ohio Company, with 
some Virginia militiamen, began to build this fort in February, 1754. 
On April 17th of the same year, 700 Canadians and French forced him 
to abandon the work. The French then completed the fortress and 
named it Fort Duquesne. The unfortunate expedition of General 
Braddock, in the summer of 1755, was an attempt to retake the fort, 
Braddock s defeat occurring eight miles east of it. In 1758 General 
Forbes marched westward from Philadelphia and secured possession 



along here now, the very perfection of a lazy gentleman, 
who cares not to move unless it be for a fight, a dance, or a 

The first comer of that name to this State was a lad 
when he arrived after leaving his land in Virginia; and be 
ing without fortune otherwise, he went into Joseph Ker 
shaw s grocery shop as a clerk, and the Kershaws, I think, so 
remember that fact that they have it on their coat-of-arms. 
Our Johnny, as he was driving me down to Mulberry yes 
terday, declared himself delighted with the fact that the 
present Joseph Kershaw had so distinguished himself in 
our war, that they might let the shop of a hundred years 
ago rest for a while. * Upon my soul, cried the cool cap 
tain, " I have a desire to go in there and look at the Ker 
shaw tombstones. I am sure they have put it on their mar 
ble tablets that we had an ancestor one day a hundred 
years ago who was a clerk in their shop." This clerk be 
came a captain in the Revolution. 

In the second generation the shop had so far sunk that 
the John Chesnut of that day refused to let his daughter 
marry a handsome, dissipated Kershaw, and she, a spoiled 
beauty, who could not endure to obey orders when they were 
disagreeable to her, went up to her room and therein re 
mained, never once coming out of it for forty years. Her 
father let her have her own way in that ; he provided ser 
vants to wait upon her and every conceivable luxury that 
she desired, but neither party would give in. 

I am, too, thankful that I am an old woman, forty-two 
my last birthday. There is so little life left in me now to be 
embittered by this agony. i Nonsense ! I am a pauper, 
says my husband, " and I am as smiling and as comfortable 
as ever you saw me." " When you have to give up your 
horses? How then? " 

of the place, after the French, alarmed at his approach, had burned it. 
Forbes gave it the name of Pittsburg. 


May 2, 1865 CAMDEN, S. C. Aug. 2, 1865 

May 21st. They say Governor Magrath has absconded, 
and that the Yankees have said, " If you have no visible 
governor, we will send you one. " If we had one and they 
found him, they would clap him in prison instanter. 

The negroes have flocked to the Yankee squad which has 
recently come, but they were snubbed, the rampant freed- 
men. " Stay where you are," say the Yanks. " We have 
nothing for you." And they sadly " peruse " their way. 
Now that they have picked up that word " peruse," they 
use it in season and out. When we met Mrs. Preston s 
William we asked, Where are you going ? " " Perusing 
my way to Columbia," he answered. 

When the Yanks said they had no rations for idle ne 
groes, John Walker answered mildly, " This is not at all 
what we expected." The colored women, dressed in their 
gaudiest array, carried bouquets to the Yankees, making 
the day a jubilee. But in this house there is not the slightest 
change. Every negro has known for months that he or she 
was free, but I do not see one particle of change in their 
manner. They are, perhaps, more circumspect, polite, and 
quiet, but that is all. Otherwise all goes on in antebellum 
statu quo. Every day I expect to miss some familiar face, 
but so far have been disappointed. 

Mrs. Huger we found at the hotel here, and we brought 
her to Bloomsbury. She told us that Jeff Davis was travel 
ing leisurely with his wife twelve miles a day, utterly care 
less whether he were taken prisoner or not, and that General 
Hampton had been paroled. 

Fighting Dick Anderson and Stephen Elliott, of Fort 
Sumter memory, are quite ready to pray for Andy Johnson, 
and to submit to the powers that be. Not so our belligerent 
clergy. * Pray for people when I wish they were dead ? 
cries Rev. Mr. Trapier. * No, never ! I will pray for Pres 
ident Davis till I die. I will do it to my last gasp. My chief 
is a prisoner, but I am proud of him still. He is a spectacle 
to gods and men. He will bear himself as a soldier, a pa- 



triot, a statesman, a Christian gentleman. He is the mar 
tyr of our cause. And I replied with my tears. 

* Look here : taken in woman s clothes ? asked Mr. 
Trapier. Kubbish, stuff, and nonsense. If Jeff Davis has 
not the pluck of a true man, then there is no courage left on 
this earth. If he does not die game, I give it up. Some 
thing, you see, was due to Lincoln and the Scotch cap that 
he hid his ugly face with, in that express car, when he 
rushed through Baltimore in the night. It is that escapade 
of their man Lincoln that set them on making up the wom 
an s clothes story about Jeff Davis." 

Mrs. W. drove up. She, too, is off for New York, to sell 
four hundred bales of cotton and a square, or something, 
which pays tremendously in the Central Park region, and 
to capture and bring home her belle fille, who remained 
North during the war. She knocked at my door. The day 
was barely dawning. I was in bed, and as I sprang up, 
discovered that my old Confederate night-gown had to be 
managed, it was so full of rents. I am afraid I gave undue 
attention to the sad condition of my gown, but could no 
where see a shawl to drape my figure. 

She was very kind. In case my husband was arrested 
and needed funds, she offered me some " British securi 
ties " and bonds. We were very grateful, but we did 
not accept the loan of money, which would have been 
almost the same as a gift, so slim was our chance of repay 
ing it. But it was a generous thought on her part ; I own 

Went to our plantation, the Hermitage, yesterday. Saw 
no change; not a soul was absent from his or her post. I 
said, " Good colored folks, when are you going to kick off 
the traces and be free ? In their furious, emotional way, 
they swore devotion to us all to their dying day. Just the 
same, the minute they see an opening to better themselves 
they will move on. William, my husband s foster-brother, 
came up. i i Well, William, what do you want ? asked my 
2? 395 

May 2, 1865 CAMDEN, S. C. Aug. 2, 1865 

husband. " Only to look at you, marster; it does me 

June 1st. The New York Herald quotes General Sher 
man as saying, " Columbia was burned by Hampton s 
sheer stupidity. But then wh*o burned everything on the 
way in Sherman s march to Columbia, and in the line of 
march Sherman took after leaving Columbia ? We came, for 
three days of travel, over a road that had been laid bare by 
Sherman s torches. Nothing but smoking ruins was left in 
Sherman s track. That I saw with my own eyes. No liv 
ing thing was left, no house for man or beast. They who 
burned the countryside for a belt of forty miles, did they 
not also burn the town? To charge that to " Hampton s 
stupidity " is merely an afterthought. This Herald an 
nounces that Jeff Davis will be hanged at once, not so much 
for treason as for his assassination of Lincoln. " Stan- 
ton," the Herald says, " has all the papers in his hands to 
convict him." 

The Yankees here say, * The black man must go as the 
red man has gone ; this is a white man s country. The ne 
groes want to run with the hare, but hunt with the hounds. 
They are charming in their professions to us, but declare 
that they are to be paid by these blessed Yankees in lands 
and mules for having been slaves. They were so faithful 
to us during the war, why should the Yankees reward them, 
to which the only reply is that it would be by way of pun 
ishing rebels. 

Mrs. Adger 1 saw a Yankee soldier strike a woman, and 
she prayed God to take him in hand according to his deed. 

Elizabeth K. Adger, wife of the Rev. John B. Adger, D.D., of 
Charleston, a distinguished Presbyterian divine, at one time a mission 
ary to Smyrna where he translated the Bible into the Armenian tongue. 
He was afterward and before the war a professor in the Theological 
Seminary at Columbia. His wife was a woman of unusual judgment 
and intelligence, sharing her husband s many hardships and notable 
experiences in the East. 



The soldier laughed in her face, swaggered off, stumbled 
down the steps, and then his revolver went off by the con 
cussion and shot him dead. 

The black ball is in motion. Mrs. de Saussure s cook 
shook the dust off her feet and departed from her kitchen 
to-day free, she said. The washerwoman is packing 
to go. 

Scipio African us, the Colonel s body-servant, is a sol 
dierly looking black creature, fit to have delighted the eyes 
of old Frederick William of Prussia, who liked giants. We 
asked him how the Yankees came to leave him. " Oh, I 
told them marster couldn t do without me nohow ; and then 
I carried them some nice hams that they never could have 
found, they were hid so good. 

Eben dressed himself in his best and went at a run to 
meet his Yankee deliverers so he said. At the gate he met 
a squad coming in. He had adorned himself with his watch 
and chain, like the cordage of a ship, with a handful of 
gaudy seals. He knew the Yankees came to rob white peo 
ple, but he thought they came to save niggers. Hand over 
that watch! " they said. Minus his fine watch and chain, 
Eben returned a sadder and a wiser man. He was soon in 
his shirt-sleeves, whistling at his knife-board. " Why? 
You here? AVhy did you come back so soon? " he was 
asked. ; Well, I thought may be I better stay with ole 
marster that give me the watch, and not go with them that 
stole it." The watch was the pride of his life. The iron 
had entered his soul. 

Went up to my old house, " Kamschatka." The Tra- 
piers live there^now. In those drawing-rooms where the 
children played Puss in Boots, where we have so often 
danced and sung, but never prayed before, Mr. Trapier 
held his prayer-meeting. I do not think I ever did as much 
weeping or as bitter in the same space of time. I let my 
self go; it did me good. I cried with a will. He prayed 
that we might have strength to stand up and bear our bitter 


May 2, 1865 CAMDEN, S. C. Aug. 2, 1865 

disappointment, to look on our ruined homes and our deso 
lated country and be strong. And he prayed for the man 
" we elected to be our ruler and guide." We knew that 
they had put him in a dungeon and in chains. 1 Men watch 
him day and night. By orders of Andy, the bloody-minded 
tailor, nobody above the rank of colonel can take the benefit 
of the amnesty oath, nobody who owns over twenty thou 
sand dollars, or who has assisted the Confederates. And 
now, ye rich men, howl, for your misery has come upon you. 
You are beyond the outlaw, camping outside. Howell Cobb 
and R. M. T. Hunter have been arrested. Our turn will 
come next, maybe. A Damocles sword hanging over a 
house does not conduce to a pleasant life. 

June 12th. Andy, made lord of all by the madman, 
Booth, says, " Destruction onty to the wealthy classes." 
Better teach the negroes to stand alone before you break up 
all they leaned on, Yankees ! After all, the number who 
possess over $20,000 are very few. 

Andy has shattered some fond hopes. He denounces 
Northern men who came South to espouse our cause. They 
may not take the life-giving oath. My husband will remain 
quietly at home. He has done nothing that he had not a 
right to do, nor anything that he is ashamed of. He will not 
fly from his country, nor hide anywhere in it. These are his 
words. He has a huge volume of Macaulay, which seems to 
absorb him. Slily I slipped Silvio Pellico in his way. He 
looked at the title and moved it aside. " Oh," said I, " I 
only wanted you to refresh your memory as to a prisoner s 
life and what a despotism can do to make its captives 
happy! : 

1 Mr. Davis, while encamped near Irwinsville, Ga., had been cap 
tured on May 10th by a body of Federal cavalry under Lieutenant- 
Colonel Pritchard. He was taken to Fortress Monroe and confined 
there for two years, his release being effected on May 13, 1867, when he 
was admitted to bail in the sum of $100,000, the first name on his bail- 
bond being that of Horace Greeley. 



Two weddings in Camden, Ellen Douglas Ancrum to 
Mr. Lee, engineer and architect, a clever man, which is the 
best investment now. In Columbia, Sally Hampton and 
John Cheves Haskell, the bridegroom, a brave, one-armed 

A wedding to be. Lou McCord s. And Mrs. McCord 
is going about frantically, looking for eggs " to mix and 
make into wedding-cake," and finding none. She now 
drives the funniest little one-mule vehicle. 

I have been ill since I last wrote in this journal. Sere 
na s letter came. She says they have been visited by bush 
whackers, the roughs that always follow in the wake of an 
army. My sister Kate they forced back against the wall. 
She had Katie, the baby, in her arms, and Miller, the brave 
boy, clung to his mother, though he could do no more. 
They tried to pour brandy down her throat. They knocked 
Mary down with the butt end of a pistol, and Serena they 
struck with an open hand, leaving the mark on her cheek 
for weeks. 

Mr. Christopher Hampton says in New York people 
have been simply intoxicated with the fumes of their own 
glory. Military prowess is a new wrinkle of delight to 
them. They are mad with pride that, ten to one, they 
could, after five years hard fighting, prevail over us, handi 
capped, as we were, with a majority of aliens, quasi foes, 
and negro slaves whom they tried to seduce, shut up with us. 
They pay us the kind of respectful fear the British meted 
out to Napoleon when they sent him off with Sir Hudson 
Lowe to St. Helena, the lone rock by the sea, to eat his 
heart out where he could not alarm them more. 

Of course, the Yankees know and say they were too many 
for us, and yet they would all the same prefer not to try us 
again. Would Wellington be willing to take the chances of 
Waterloo once more with Grouchy, Bliicher, and all that 


May 2, 1865 CAMDEN, S. C. Aug. 2, 1865 

left to haphazard ? Wigfall said to old Cameron * in 1861, 
" Then you will a sutler be, and profit shall accrue." 
Christopher Hampton says that in some inscrutable way in 
the world North, everybody has contrived to amass fabu 
lous wealth by this war. 

There are two classes of vociferous sufferers in this com 
munity: 1. Those who say, " If people would only pay me 
what they owe me ! ! 2. Those who say, * If people would 
only let me alone. I can not pay them. I could stand it if 
I had anything with which to pay debts. 

Now we belong to both classes. Heavens ! the sums peo 
ple owe us and will not, or can not, pay, would settle all our 
debts ten times over and leave us in easy circumstances for 
life. But they will not pay. How can they? 

We are shut in here, turned with our faces to a dead 
wall. No mails. A letter is sometimes brought by a man on 
horseback, traveling through the wilderness made by Sher 
man. All railroads have been destroyed and the bridges 
are gone. We are cut off from the world, here to eat out our 
hearts. Yet from my window I look out on many a gallant 
youth and maiden fair. The street is crowded and it is 
a gay sight. Camden is thronged with refugees from the 
low country, and here they disport themselves. They call 
the walk in front of Bloomsbury " the Boulevard." 

H. Lang tells us that poor Sandhill Milly Trimlin is 
dead, and that as a witch she had been denied Christian 
burial. Three times she was buried in consecrated ground 
in different churchyards, and three times she was dug up 
by a superstitious horde, who put her out of their holy 
ground. Where her poor, old, ill-used bones are lying now 
I do not know. I hope her soul is faring better than her 
body. She was a good, kind creature. Why supposed to be 
a witch? That H. Lang could not elucidate. 

1 Simon Cameron became Secretary of War in Lincoln s Administra 
tion, on March 4, 1861. On January 11, 1862, he resigned and was 
made Minister to Russia. 



Everybody in our walk of life gave Milly a helping 
hand. She was a perfect specimen of the Sandhill tack- 
ey race, sometimes called * country crackers. Her skin 
was yellow and leathery, even the whites of her eyes were 
bilious in color. She was stumpy, strong, and lean, hard- 
featured, horny-fisted. Never were people so aided in 
every way as these Sandhillers. Why do they remain 
Sandhillers from generation to generation ? Why should 
Milly never have bettered her condition? 

My grandmother lent a helping hand to her grandmoth 
er. My mother did her best for her mother, and I am sure 
the so-called witch could never complain of me. As long as 
I can remember, gangs of these Sandhill women traipsed in 
with baskets to be filled by charity, ready to carry away 
anything they could get. All are made on the same pattern, 
more or less alike. They were treated as friends and neigh 
bors, not as beggars. They were asked in to take seats by 
the fire, and there they sat for hours, stony-eyed, silent, 
wearing out human endurance and politeness. But their 
husbands and sons, whom we never saw, were citizens and 
voters ! When patience was at its last ebb, they would open 
their mouths and loudly demand whatever they had come 
to seek. 

One called Judy Bradly, a one-eyed virago, who played 
the fiddle at all the Sandhill dances and fandangoes, made 
a deep impression on my youthful mind. Her list of re 
quests was always rather long, and once my grandmother 
grew restive and actually hesitated. * Woman, do you 
mean to let me starve? " she cried furiously. ]Vly grand 
mother then attempted a meek lecture as to the duty of 
earning one s bread. Judy squared her arms akimbo and 
answered, li And pray, who made you a judge of the world? 
Lord, Lord, if I had er knowed I had ter stand all this 
jaw, I wouldn t a took your ole things," but she did take 
them and came afterward again and again. 

June 27th. An awful story from Suniter. An old gen- 


May 2, 1865 CAMDEN, S. C. Aug. 2, 1865 

tleman, who thought his son dead or in a Yankee prison, 
heard some one try the front door. It was about midnight, 
and these are squally times. He called out, " What is 
that? " There came no answer. After a while he heard 
some one trying to open a window and he fired. The house 
was shaken by a fall. Then, after a long time of dead 
silence, he went round the house to see if his shot had done 
any harm, and found his only son bathed in his own blood 
on his father s door-step. The son was just back from a 
Yankee prison one of his companions said and had been 
made deaf by cold and exposure. He did not hear his 
father hail him. He had tried to get into the house in 
the same old way he used to employ when a boy. 

My sister-in-law in tears of rage and despair, her ser 
vants all gone to " a big meeting at Mulberry/ though 
she had made every appeal against their going. " Send 
them adrift," some one said, " they do not obey you, or 
serve you; they only live on you." It would break her 
heart to part with one of them. But that sort of thing 
will soon right itself. They will go off to better them 
selves we have only to cease paying wages and that is 
easy, for we have no money. 

July 4th. Saturday I was in bed with one of my worst 
headaches. Occasionally there would come a sob and I 
thought of my sister insulted and my little sweet Williams. 
Another of my beautiful Columbia quartette had rough ex 
periences. A raider asked the plucky little girl, Lizzie Ham 
ilton, for a ring which she wore. You shall not have it, 
she said. The man put a pistol to her head, saying, * Take 
it off, hand it to me, or I will blow your brains out." 
" Blow away," said she. The man laughed and put down 
his pistol, remarking, " Yota knew I would not hurt you." 
" Of course, I knew you dared not shoot me. Even Sher 
man would not stand that." 

There was talk of the negroes where the Yankees had 
been negroes who flocked to them and showed them where 



silver aud valuables had been hid by the white people. 
Ladies -maids dressed themselves in their mistresses gowns 
before the owners faces and walked ofi . Now, before this 
every one had told me how kind, faithful, and considerate 
the negroes had proven. I am sure, after hearing these 
tales, the fidelity of my own servants shines out brilliantly. 
1 had taken their conduct too much as a matter of course. 
In the afternoon I had some business on our place, the Her 
mitage. John drove me down. Our people were all at 
home, quiet, orderly, respectful, and at their usual work. 
In point of fact things looked unchanged. There was noth 
ing to show that any one of them had even seen the Yan 
kees, or knew that there was one in existence. 

July 26th. I do not write often now, not for want of 
something to say, but from a loathing of all I see and hear, 
and why dwell upon those things? 

Colonel Chesnut, poor old man, is worse grows more 
restless. He seems to be wild with " homesickness." He 
wants to be at Mulberry. When there he can not see the 
mighty giants of the forest, the huge, old, wide-spreading 
oaks, but he says he feels that he is there so soon as he hears 
the carriage rattling across the bridge at the Beaver Dam. 

I am reading French with Johnny anything to keep 
him quiet. We gave a dinner to his company, the small 
remnant of them, at Mulberry house. About twenty idle 
negroes, trained servants, came without leave or license and 
assisted. So there was no expense. They gave their time 
and labor for a good day s feeding. I think they love to be 
at the old place. 

Then I went up to nurse Kate Withers. That lovely girl, 
barely eighteen, died of typhoid fever. Tanny wanted his 
sweet little sister to have a dress for Mary Boykin s wed 
ding, where she was to be one of the bridesmaids. So Tanny 
took his horses, rode one, and led the other thirty miles in 
the broiling sun to Columbia, where he sold the led horse 
and came back with a roll of Swiss muslin. As he entered 


May 2, 1865 CAMDEN, S. C. Aug. 2, 1865 

the door, he saw Kate lying there dying. She died praying 
that she might die. She was weary of earth and wanted to 
be at peace. I saw her die and saw her put in her coffin. 
No words of mine can tell how unhappy I am. Six young 
soldiers, her friends, were her* pall-bearers. As they 
marched out with that burden sad were their faces. 

Princess Bright Eyes writes: " Our soldier boys re 
turned, want us to continue our weekly dances." Another 
maiden fair indites: " Here we have a Yankee garrison. 
We are told the officers find this the dullest place they were 
ever in. They want the ladies to get up some amusement 
for them. They also want to get into society. 

From Isabella in Columbia: " General Hampton is 
home again. He looks crushed. How can he be otherwise ? 
His beautiful home is in ruins, and ever present with him 
must be the memory of the death tragedy which closed for 
ever the eyes of his glorious boy, Preston! Now! there 
strikes up a serenade to General Ames, the Yankee com 
mander, by a military band, of course. . . . Your last 
letters have been of the meagerest. What is the matter ? 

August 2d. Dr. Boykin and John Witherspoon were 
talking of a nation in mourning, of blood poured out like 
rain on the battle-fields for what? " Never let me hear 
that the blood of the brave has been shed in vain! No; 
it sends a cry down through all time." 



Adger, Mrs. John B., 396. 

Aiken, Gov. William, his style of 
living, 253. 

Aiken, Miss, her wedding, 240- 

Alabama, the, surrender of, 314. 

Alabama Convention, the, 15. 

Alexandria, Va., Ellsworth killed 
at, 58. 

Allan, Mrs. Scotch, 258. 

Allston, Ben, his duel, 66; a call 
from, 73. 

Allston, Col., 234. 

Allston, Washington, 46. 

Anderson, Gen. Richard, 49, 225. 

Anderson, Major Robert, 5; his 
mistake, 34; fired on, in Fort 
Sumter, 35; when the fort sur 
rendered, 39; his flagstaff, 43; 
his account of the fall of Fort 
Sumter, 48; offered a regi 
ment, 50, 119. 

Antietam, battle of, 213. 

Archer, Capt. Tom, a call from, 
113; his comments on Hood, 
318; his death, 343. 

Athens, Ga., the raid at, 322. 

Atlanta, battle of, 326. 

Auze*, Mrs. , her troubled life, 

BAILEY, GODARD, 388, 389. 
Baldwin, Col. , 84. 
Baltimore, Seventh Regiment in, 

41 ; in a blaze, 47. 
Barker, Theodore, 112. 

Barnwell, Edward, 316. 

Barn well, Mrs. Edward, 208; and 
her boy, 253-254. 

Barnwell, Mary, 194, 316. 

Barnwell, Rev. Robert, estab 
lishes a hospital, 83; back in 
the hospital, 172; sent for to 
officiate at a marriage, 185, 194; 
his death, 238. 

Barnwell, Mrs. Robert, her death, 

Barnwell, Hon. Robert W., sketch 
of, 10, 47; on Fort Sumter, 
50, 57, 77; at dinner with, 98; 
and the opposition to Mr. Davis, 
104; on fame, 106; on democ 
racies, 110, 160; as to Gen. 
Chesnut, 163. 

Barren, Commodore Samuel, 101 ; 
an anecdote of, when a middy, 
120-122; a prisoner, 124. 

Bartow, Col. 2; and his wife, 
71; killed at Bull Run, 87; 
eulogized in Congress, 90. 

Bartow, Mrs. , hears of her 
husband s death, 87-88; her 
husband s funeral, 88; a call on, 
146, 162; in one of the de 
partments, 166; her story of 
Miss Toombs, 193, 199, 204; 
goes to Mulberry, 386. 

Beauregard, Gen. P. G. T., 28; 
a demigod, 31; in council with 
the Governor, 33, 34; leaves 
Montgomery, 50; at Norfolk, 
58; his report of the capture of 
Fort Sumter, 62; and the name 



Bull Run, 63; faith in him, 
77; a horse for, 80; in Rich 
mond, 83-84; his army in want 
of food, 97; not properly sup 
ported, 99; half Frenchman, 
102; letters from, 107, 131; at 
Columbus, Miss., 139; flanked 
at Nashville, 156; and Shiloh, 
163; at Huntsville, 165; fight 
ing his way, 174; retreating, 
175; evacuates Corinth, 178, 
in disfavor, 183; and Whiting, 

Bedon, Josiah, 369. 

Bedon, Mrs. , 369. 

Benjamin, Judah P., 278, 287. 

Berrien, Dr. , 100, 193. 

Berrien, Judge, 166. 

Bibb, Judge, 9. 

Bierne, Bettie, her admirers, 232, 
234; her wedding, 235. 

Big Bethel, battle of, 81 ; Magru- 
der at, 196. 

Binney, Horace, his offer to Lin 
coln, 64; quoted, 128, 311. 

Blair, Rochelle, 21. 

Blake, Daniel, 214. 

Blake, Frederick, 338. 

Blake, Walter, negroes leave him, 

Bluffton, movement, the, 3. 

Bonaparte, Jerome Napoleon, goes 
to Washington, 98; described, 
102; disappointed in Beaure- 
gard, 128. 

Boykin, A. H., 35. 

Boykin, Dr., 17, 18, 21, 135, 404. 

Boykin, E. M., 161, 389. 

Boykin, Hamilton, 171. 

Boykin, James, 220. 

Boykin, J. H., 387. 

Boykin, Col. John, 121 ; his death 
in prison, 308. 

Boykin, Kitty, 22. 

Boykin, Mary, 312, 403. 

Boykin, Tom, his company, 58, 

Bradley, Judy, 401. 

Bragg, Gen. Braxton, joins Beau- 
regard, 139, 147; a stern dis 
ciplinarian, 203; at Chicka- 
mauga, 248, 252; defeated at 
Chattanooga, 258; asks to be 
relieved, 259; one of his horses, 

Brandy Station, battle of, 236. 

Breckinridge, Gen. John C., 249; 
in Richmond, 275; at the Ives 
theatricals, 285-286, 289. 

Brewster, Mr. , 10; at Fau- 
quier W T hite Sulphur Springs, 
77; remark by, 79; a talk with, 
82; quoted, 108, 122; criticism 
of, 124; and Hood s love-affair, 
266-267; on Joe Johnston s re 
moval, 320, 338. 

Bright, John, his speeches in be 
half of the Union, 109. 

Brooks, Preston, 74. 

Brown, Gov., of Georgia, 315. 

Brown, John, of Harper s Ferry, 1. 

Browne, "Constitution," going to 
Washington, 9. 

Browne, Mrs. , on spies, 206; 
describes the Prince of Wales, 

Brumby, Dr. , 361. 

Buchanan, James, 16, 207. 

Buckner, Gen. Simon B., 131; in 
I Richmond, 267-268, 275. 

Bull Run, objection to the name, 
63; battle of, 85-90. See Ma- 

Burnside, Gen. Ambrose E., cap 
tures Roanoke Island, 132; 
money due from, to Gen. Pres 
ton, 159. 

Burroughs, Mrs. , 189. 

Butler, Gen. B. F., his Order No. 
28, 164-165; at New Orleans, 



183, 202; threatening Rich 
mond, 294; kind to Roony 
Lee, 300; at New Orleans, 346. 
Byron, Lord, as a lover, 297; 
quoted, 391. 

/-"1ALHOUN, JOHN C., anec- 

V_y dote of, 17. 

Calhoun, Mrs. , 323. 

Camden, S. C., excitement at, 3; 
dwelling in, 21 ; the author s ab 
sence from, 22; the author in, 
42-46; battle of, 75; a romance 
in, 120-121; return to, 127-130, 
240-251; Gen. Chesnut in, 250; 
a picnic near, at Mulberry, 251; 
return to, 304; the author in, 

Cameron, Simon, a proclamation 
by, 92, 400. 

Campbell, Judge John A., his 
resignation, 14; his family, 77, 

Cantey, Mary, 183. 

Cantey, Zack, 375. 

Capers, Mrs. , 26. 

Carlyle, Thomas, and slavery in 
America, 136. 

Carroll, Chancellor, 27. 

Carroll, Judge, 204. 

Gary, Constance, 263; a call on, 
264; a call from, 272; a call for, 
272; as Lady Teazle, 276, 277; 
as Lydia Languish, 285; makes 
a bonnet, 293; describes a wed 
ding, 300; and Preston Hamp 
ton, 301. 

Gary, Hetty, 244, 260, 272; Gen. 
Chesnut with, 274. 

Chancellorsville, battle of, 213, 

Charleston, the author in, 1-5; 
Secession Convention adjourns 
to, 3; Anderson in Fort Sumter, 
5 ; war steamer off, 9 ; return to, 

21-41 ; Convention at, in a snarl, 
26; a ship fired into at, 31; 
soldiers in streets of, 33; An 
derson refuses to capitulate at, 
35; the fort bombarded, 36; 
Bull Run Russell in, 40; re 
turn to, from Montgomery, 57- 
67; thin-skinned people in, 60; 
its condition good, 163; bom 
bardment of, 174; under bom 
bardment, 258; surrender of, 

Chase, Col. , 6. 

Chattanooga, siege of, 258. 

Chesnut, Col. James, Sr., sketch 
of, XVII; looking for fire, 66; 
and Nellie Custis, 93, 122; his 
family, 127; anecdote of, 135; 
his losses from the war, 158; 
his old wines, 249; a letter from, 
296; and his wife, 310; refuses 
to say grace, 372; sketch of, 
390-392; illness of, 403. 

Chesnut, Mrs. James, Sr., praises 
everybody, 59; and Mt. Ver- 
non, 63; anecdote of, 66-67; 
silver brought from Philadel 
phia by, 135; sixty years in the 
South, 170, 236; her death, 
299; and her husband, 310-311, 

Chesnut, Gen. James, Jr., his 
death described, XVIII; his 
resignation as U. S. Senator, 3, 
4, 9; with Mr. Davis, 14, 19; 
averts a duel, 21, 26; at target 
practice, 29; made an aide to 
Beauregard, 34; goes to demand 
surrender of Fort Sumter, 34; 
his interview with Anderson, 35; 
orders Fort Sumter fired on, 36; 
asleep in Beauregard s room, 
37; describes the surrender, 39; 
with Wade Hampton, 47; his 
interview with Anderson, 48; 



goes to Alabama, 52; opposed 
to leaving Montgomery, 55, 57; 
and Davin the spy, 60; letter 
from, 63; and the first shot at 
Fort Sumter, 65; letter from, 
at Manassas Junction, 65; in 
Richmond, 69; a letter from, 
74-75; orders to move on, re 
ceived by, 80; receiving spies 
from Washington, 82; with 
Davis and Lee, 83; his servant 
Lawrence, 84; his account of 
the battle of Bull Run, 88; 
speech by, 90; carries orders at 
Bull Run, 106; returns to Co 
lumbia, 126; on slavery, 130; 
news for, from Richmond, 
132; criticized, 134; his ad 
dress to South Carolinians, 140; 
asked to excuse students from 
military service, 141 ; his mili 
tary affairs, 143, 144; negroes 
offer to fight for, 147; attacked, 
148; reasonable and consider 
ate, 151; his adventure with 
Gov. Gist, 153; illness of, 155; 
offered a place on staff of Mr. 
Davis, 157; and the fall of New 
Orleans, 159; finds a home for 
negroes, 160; on a visit to his 
father, 161; as to Charleston s 
defenses, 163; promotion for, 
163; at dinner, 166, 167; called 
to Richmond, 171; his self- 
control, 173; and the negroes, 
181; returns to Columbia, 190; 
off to Richmond, 191, 194; let 
ter from, on the Seven Days 
fighting, 197; hears the Con 
federacy is to be recognized 
abroad, 201 ; staying with Pres 
ident Davis, 202; his character 
in Washington, 204; with Gen. 
Preston, 207; his busy life, 215; 
in Wilmington, 216; at Miss 

Bierne s wedding, 235; an an 
ecdote of, 242; when a raiding 
party was near Richmond, 245; 
at the war office with, 247; a 
tour of the West by, 248; at 
home reading Thackeray s nov 
els, 250; visits Bragg s army 
again, 252; contented, but op 
posed to more parties, 257; re 
ceives a captured saddle from 
Gen. Wade Hampton, 258; man 
ages Judge Wigfall, 261; his 
stoicism, 262; opposed to feast 
ing, 263; in good humor, 268; 
in a better mood, 271; de 
nounces extravagance, 272 ; and 
Hetty Gary, 274; popularity of, 
with the Carys, 277; with Col. 
Lamar at dinner, 279; promo 
tion for, 280; his pay, 284; at 
church, 292; going to see the 
President, 293; made a briga 
dier-general, 302, 305; his re 
turn to South Carolina, 307; 
his work in saving Richmond, 
309; called to Charleston, 315; 
his new home in Columbia, 316; 
his friend Archer, 318-319; 
returns to Columbia, 330; in 
Charleston, 337; says the end 
has come, 341; urges his wife 
to go home, 344-345; an anec 
dote of, 346; escapes capture, 
350; a letter from, 355; in Lin- 
colnton, 359; ordered to Ches 
ter, S. C., 364; letter from, 366; 
his cotton, 367; and slavery, 
374; receives news of Lincoln s 
assassination, 380; fate of, 381. 
Chesnut, Mrs. James, Jr., the 
author, importance of her diary, 
XIII; how she wrote it, XV; 
her early life, XVI; her home 
described, XX ; history of 
her diary, XXI; in Charleston, 



1-5; on keeping a journal, 1; 
visits Mulberry, 2; her hus 
band s resignation as Senator, 
3; in Montgomery, 6-20; on 
the political outlook, 7; hears 
a story from Robert Toombs, 
7; at dinners, etc., 9-11; calls 
on Mrs. Davis, 12; sees a wom 
an sold at auction, 13; sees 
the Confederate flag go up, 14; 
at the Confederate Congress, 18; 
in Charleston, 21-41; at Mul 
berry again, 21; a petition to, 
from house-servants, 22; her 
father-in-law, 22; goes to the 
Charleston Convention, 23; one 
of her pleasantest days, 26; her 
thirty-eighth birthday, 27; a 
trip by, to Morris Island, 31; 
her husband goes to Anderson 
with an ultimatum, 35; on a 
housetop when Sumter was 
bombarded, 35-36; watching 
the negroes for a change, 38 ; in 
Camden, 42-46; the lawn at 
Mulberry, 43; her photograph- 
book, 43; a story of her maid 
Maria, 45; at Montgomery, 47- 
56; a cordial welcome to, 48; 
a talk by, with A. H. Stephens 
and others, 49-54; a visit to 
Alabama, 52; at luncheon with 
Mrs. Davis, 55; in Charleston, 
57-67; goes to Richmond, 62, 
66; letter to, from her husband, 
65; in Richmond, 68-76; in 
cidents in the journey. 68-69; 
a talk by, with Mrs. Davis, 71 ; 
at the Champ-de-Mars, 72; at 
Mr. Davis s table, 73; letters to, 
from her husband, 74, 75; at 
White Sulphur Springs, 77-81; 
in Richmond, 82-126; has a 
glimpse of war, 83; weeps at 
her husband s departure, 84; 


the battle of Bull Run, 85-91; 
Gen. Chesnut s account of the 
battle, 88; describes Robert E. 
Lee, 93-94; at a flag presen 
tation, 96; her money-belt, 101; 
goes to a hospital, 107, 108; an 
unwelcome caller on, 111; knit 
ting socks, 113; her fondness 
for city life, 124; leaving Rich 
mond, 125; in Camden, 127- 
130; her sister Kate, 127; a 
letter to, from old Col. Chesnut, 
127; illness of, 128; a hiatus 
in her diary, 130; in Columbia, 
131-209; a visit to Mulberry, 
134; illness of, 135; reading 
Uncle Tom s Cabin, 142; her 
influence with her husband 
in public matters, 145; over 
hears her husband attacked, A 
148; her husband and her call 
ers, 151-153; her husband s 
secretary, 154; depressed, 157; 
anniversary of her wedding, 
158; at the Governor s, 160; as 
to love and hatred, 162; her 
impression of hospitality in 
different cities, 166-167; at 
Mulberry, 169; a flood of tears, 
173; illness of, 180; a call on, 
by Governor Pickens, 181; 
knows how it feels to die, 182; 
at Decca s wedding, 184-185; 
Gen. Chesnut in town, 190; a 
letter to, from her husband, 
197; assisting the Wayside Hos 
pital, 205-206; goes to Flat 
Rock, 210; illness of, 210; in 
Alabama, 216-228; meets her 
husband in Wilmington, 216; 
a melancholy journey by, 220- 
221; finds her mother ill, 221; 
Dick, a negro whom she taught 
to read, 224; her father s body- 
servant Simon, 225; in Mont- 


gomery, 226-227; in Richmond, 
229-239; asked to a picnic by 
Gen. Hood, 230; hears two love- 
tales, 232-233; at Miss Bierne s 
wedding, 235; receives from 
Mrs. Lee a likeness of the Gen 
eral, 236; burns some personal 
papers, 239; in Camden, 240- 
251; sees Longstreet s corps 
going West, 241; a story of her 
mother, 243; at church during 
the battle of Chancellorsville, 
244-245; to the War Office 
with her husband, 247; a tran 
quil time at home, 250; a pic 
nic at Mulberry, 251; in Rich 
mond, 252-303; lives in apart 
ments, 252; an adventure in 
Kingsville, 255-257; gives a 
party, 257; criticized for ex 
cessive hospitality, 263; with 
Mrs. Davis, 264; drives with 
Gen. Hood, 265-267, 271; three 
generals at dinner, 268; at a 
charade party, 273-274; an ill- 
timed call, 278; Thackeray s 
death, 282; gives a luncheon- 
party, 282-283; at private 
theatricals, 285; gives a party 
for John Chesnut, 286; goes to 
a ball, 287; a walk with Mr. 
Davis, 291; selling her old 
clothes, 300; her husband 
made a brigadier-general, 302; 
in Camden, 304; leaving Rich 
mond, 304; Little Joe s funer 
al, 306; experiences in a jour 
ney, 307-308; friends with her 
at Mulberry, 309; writes of 
her mother-in-law, 310-311; 
at Bloomsbury again, 311; in 
Columbia, 313-343; at home 
in a cottage, 314-316; attend 
ance of, at the Wayside Hos 
pital, 321, 324, 325; at Mary 

Preston s wedding, 327; enter 
tains President Davis, 328-329; 
a visit to, from her sister, 329; 
letters to, from Mrs. Davis, 331, 
332, 335; her ponies, 336; dis- 
^ress of, at Sherman s advance, 
341 ; her husband at home, 341 ; 
hi Lincolnton, 344-366; her 
flight from Columbia, 344-347; 
her larder empty, 361; refuses 
an offer of money, 363; her 
husband ordered to Chester, 
364; losses at the Hermitage, 
364; illness of, 364; in Ches 
ter, 367-383; incidents in a 
journey by, 367-369; a call 
on, from Gen. Hood, 376; on 
Lincoln s assassination, 380; in 
Camden, 384-404; goes to Mul 
berry, 386; sketch by, of her 
father-in-law, 390-392; goes to 
the Hermitage, 395; illness of, 
399; no heart to write more, 

Chesnut, Capt. John, a soft-heart 
ed slave-owner, 21 ; enlists as a 
private, 58; his plantation, 64; 
letter from, 132; negroes to 
wait on, 163, 187; and McClel- 
lan, 192; in Stuart s command, 
198; one of his pranks, 202; 
goes to his plantation, 250; 
joins his company, 252, 287; a 
flirtation by, 328, 351, 381. 

Chesnut, John, ST., 392. 

Chesnut, Miss, her presence of 
mind, 364; bravery shown by, 

Chesnut family, the, 22. 

Chester, S. C., the author in, 367- 
383; the journey to, 367-369; 
news of Lincoln s assassination 
in, 380. 

Cheves, Edward, 199. 

Cheves, Dr. John, 172. 



Cheves, Langdon, 24; a talk with, 
26; farewell to, 37. 

Chickahominy, battle on the, 177; 
as a victory, 180; another bat 
tle on the, 196. 

Chickamauga, battle of, 248. 

Childs, Col. , 362, 363, 364; his 
generosity, 367. 

Childs, Mrs. Mary Anderson, 16. 

Chisolm, Dr. , 314. 

Choiseul, Count de, 322. 

Clay, C. C., a supper given by, 
283, 302, 374. 

Clay, Mrs. C. C., as Mrs. Malaprop, 

Clay, Mrs. Lawson, 273. 

Clayton, Mr. , 2; on the Gov 
ernment, 110. 

Clemens, Jere, 12. 

Cobb, Howell, desired for Presi 
dent of the Confederacy, 6, 
18; his common sense, 68; ar 
rest of, 398. 

Cochran, John, a prisoner in 
Columbia, 133. 

Coffey, Capt. , 257. 

Cohen, Mrs. Miriam, her son in 
the war, 166; a hospital anec 
dote by, 176; a sad story told 
by, 178; her story of Luryea, 

Colcock, Col. , 2. 

Cold Harbor, battle of, 196. 

Columbia, Secession Convention 
in, 2; small-pox in, 3; pleas 
ant people in, 166; dinner in, 
167; Wade Hampton in, 187; 
the author in, 131-209; Gov 
ernor and council in, 132; a trip 
from, to Mulberry, 135; crit 
ics of Mr. Davis in, 140; hos 
pitality in, 166; people coming 
to, from Richmond, 169; Wade 
Hampton in, wounded, 187- 
193; Prof. Le Conte s powder- 

factory in, 187; the Wayside 
Hospital in, 205; called from, 
to Alabama, 218; the author 
takes a cottage in, 314-316; 
President Davis visits, 328-329; 
burning of, 351, 358, 361, 362, 

Confederate flag, hoisting of, at 
Montgomery, 14. 

Congress, the, burning of, 140. 

Cooper, Gen. , 85, 103, 149. 

Corinth, evacuated, 178. 

Cowpens, the, battle of, 63. 

Coxe, Esther Maria, 257. 

Cumberland, the, sinking of, 139. 

Cummings, Gen., a returned pris 
oner, 200. 

Curtis, George William, 200. 

Custis, Nellie, 93, 236. 

Cuthbert, Capt. George, wounded, 
211; shot at Chancellorsville, 

Cuthbert, Mrs. George, 337. 

DACRE, MAY, 135. 
Dahlgren, Admiral John H., 

Dahlgren, Col. U., his raid and 
death, 294. 

Daniel, Mr., of The Richmond 
Examiner, 109. 

Darby, Dr. John T., surgeon of the 
Hampton Legion, 57; false re 
port of his death. 88, 205; with 
Gen. Hood, 230; goes to Eu 
rope, 293, 296; his marriage, 

Da Vega, Mrs. , 369. 

Davin, , as a spy, 59. 

Davis, President Jefferson, 6, 8; 
when Secretary of War, 11; 
elected President, 12; no se- 
ceder, 29; and Hampton s Le 
gion, 147; a dinner at his house, 




49; a long war predicted by, 53; 
his want of faith in success, 71 ; 
on his Arabian horse, 72; at 
his table, 73; the author met 
by, 82; goes to Manassas, 86; 
speech by, 90; the author asked 
to breakfast with, 95; presents 
flag to Texans, 96; as a recon- 
structionist, 104; ill, 124; criti 
cism of, 129; his inauguration, 
132; his address criticized, 134; 
a defense of, 140; Gen. Gonzales 
complains to, 148; abuse of, 
150; and Butler s "Order No. 
28," 165; on the battle-field, 
202 ; wants negroes in the army, 
224; a reception at his house, 
246; ill, 246; in Charleston, 
253; riding alone, 263; as a 
dictator, 265; his Christmas 
dinner, 268; a talk with, 274; 
Congress asks for advice, 280; a 
walk home with, 283; attacked 
for nepotism, 290; walks home 
from church with the author, 
291; speaks to returned pris 
oners, 301; when Little Joe 
died, 305; his Arabian horse, 
309; and Joe Johnston s re 
moval, 326; in Columbia, 328- 
329; on his visit to Columbia, 
331; praise of, 360; when Lee 
surrendered, 381; traveling lei 
surely, 394; capture of, 395, 

Davis, Jefferson, Jr., 306. 

Davis, Mrs. Jefferson, a call on, 12; 
at one of her receptions, 49; 
a talk with, 53; at lunch with, 
55; adores Mrs. Emory, 61; 
the author met by, 69 ; her en 
tourage, 76; her ladies de 
scribed, 79; brings news of 
Bull Run, 86; announces to 
Mrs. Bartow news of her hus 

band s death, 88; in her draw 
ing-room, 90; "a Western wom 
an," 102; a landlady s airs to, 
192; says that the enemy are 
within three miles of Richmond, 
346; a call from, 263; a drive 
with, 264; at the Semmes cha 
rade, 273; her servants, 275; a 
reception by, 281; a call on, 
282; gives a luncheon, 284; 
her family unable to live on 
their income, 300; depressed, 
301; a drive with, 302; over 
looked in her own drawing- 
room, 318; letters from, 331, 
332, 335; in Chester, 377; a 
letter from, 378. 

Davis, "Little Joe," 264; his 
tragic death, 305; his funeral, 
306, 309. 

Davis, Nathan, 148; a call from, 
152, 210. 

Davis, Nick, 12. 

Davis, Rev. Thomas, 252. 

Davis, Varina Anne (" Winnie, 
Daughter of the Confederacy"), 

Deas, George, 12, 298. 

De Leon, Agnes, back from Egypt, 

De Leon, Dr., 9. 

Derby, Lord, 136. 

Douglas, Stephen A., 12; his 
death, 60. 

Drayton, Tom, 148. 

Drury s Bluff, battle of, 230. 

Duncan, Blanton, anecdote of, 
150, 208. 

Elliott, Stephen, 318. 
Ellsworth, Col. E. E., his death 

at Alexandria, 58. 
Elmore, Grace, 155. 



Elzey, Gen. , tells of the dan 
ger of Richmond, 246. 

Emancipation Proclamation, the, 
153, 199. 

Emerson, R. W., the author read 
ing, 64. 

Emory, Gen. William H., his 
resignation, 61. 

Emory, Mrs. William H., Frank 
lin s granddaughter, 61, 84; a 
clever woman, 352. 

Eustis, Mrs. , 124. 

PINES, battle of, 171. 

Farragut, Admiral D. G., cap 
tures New Orleans, 158, 319. 

Fauquier White Sulphur Springs, 

Fernandina, Fla., 2. 

Fitzpatrick, Mrs. , 8, 53. 

Floyd, John D., at Fort Donel- 
son, 140. 

Ford, Mary, 312. 

Forrest, Gen. Nathan B., 323. 

Fort Donelson, surrender of, 131, 

Fort Duquesne, 392. 

Fort McAlister, 339. 

Fort Moultrie, 42. 

Fort Pickens, 47. 

Fort Pillow, given up, 177. 

Fort Sumter, Anderson in, 5, 8; 
if it should be attacked, 9 ; folly 
of an attack on, 12; and An 
derson, 29; surrender of, de 
manded, 34; bombardment of, 
35; on fire, 38; surrender of, 
39; those who captured it, 42; 
who fired the first shot at, 65. 

Freeland, Maria, 257. 

Frost, Henry, 147. 

Frost, Judge , 54. 

Frost, Tom, 26. 

AILLARD, MRS. , 173. 

Garnett, Dr. , his broth 
er s arrival from the North, 
107, 260. 

Garnett, Mary, 9. 

Garnett, Muscoe Russell, 144. 

Garnett, Gen. R. S., killed at 
Rich Mountain, 119. 

Gay, Captain, 382. 

Georgetown, enemy landing in, 

Gibbes, Dr. , 26; reports inci 
dents of the war, 93; bad news 
from, 100. 

Gibbes, Mrs. , 32. 

Gibbes, Mrs. Hampton, 170. 

Gibson, Dr. , 117. 

Gibson, Mrs., her prophecy, 169; 
her despondency, 174. 

Gidiere, Mrs. , 4. 

Gist, Gov., 152; an anecdote of, 

Gladden, Col. , 156. 

Gonzales, Gen. , his farewell to 
the author, 125; complains of 
want of promotion, 148. 

Goodwyn, Artemus, 21. 

Goodwyn, Col. , 218, 350. 

Gourdin, Robert, 25, 32. 

Grahamsville, to be burned, 336. 

Grant, Gen. U. S. , and the surrender 
of Fort Donelson, 131 ; at Vicks- 
burg, 219; a place for, 269; his 
success, 270; pleased with Sher 
man s work, 299 ; reenforcements 
for, 310; before Richmond, 322, 
333; closing in on Lee, 346; 
Richmond falls before, 377. 

Greeley, Horace, quoted, 116. 

Green, Allen, 32, 95, 360. 

Green, Mrs. Allen, 33. 

Green, Halcott, 171, 203. 

Greenhow, Mrs. Rose, warned the 
Confederates at Manassas, 176; 
in Richmond, 201, 204. 



Gregg, Maxcy, 31. 
Grundy, Mrs., 257. 

HALLECK, GEN., being re- 
enforced, 165; takes Cor 
inth, 178. 

Hamilton, Jack, 36. 

Hamilton, Louisa, her baby, 36, 

Hamilton, Prioleau, 374. 

Hamilton, Mrs. Prioleau, 370. 

Hammy, Mary, 66, 76; her fiance, 
79; many strings to her bow, 
100; her disappointment, 118; 
in tears, 124. 

Hampton, Christopher, 161, 264; 
leaving Columbia, 344, 399. 

Hampton, Frank, his death and 
funeral, 237; a memory of, 238. 

Hampton, Mrs. Frank, 40, 42; 
on flirting with South Carolin 
ians, 118, 173. 

Hampton, Miss Kate, 218; anec 
dote of, 381. 

Hampton Legion, the, Dr. Darby 
its surgeon, 57; ift a snarl, 85; 
at Bull Run, 105. 

Hampton, Preston, 40, 237, 260, 
264, 272; his death in battle, 

Hampton Roads, the Merrimac 
in, 164. 

Hampton, Sally, 293, 332; mar 
riage of, 399. 

Hampton, Gen. Wade, of the 
Revolution, 39, 43, 47. 

Hampton, Mrs. Wade, the elder, 

Hampton, Gen. Wade, his Legion, 
, 47; in Richmond, 82; wounded, 
87; the hero of the hour, 135, 
150; shot in the foot, 171; his 
wound, 180; his heroism when 
wounded, 181; in Columbia, 

187; at dinner, 189-190; and 
his Legion, 191 ; a reception to, 
192; sends a captured saddle 
to Gen. Chesnut, 258; a basket 
of partridges from, 271, 313; 
ghts a battle, in which his two 
sons fall, 332; tribute of, to Joe 
Johnston, 343; made a lieu 
tenant-general, 350; correspond 
ence of, with Gen. Sherman, 
359; home again, 404. 

Hampton, Mrs. Wade, 136. 

Hampton, Wade, Jr., 249; wound 
ed in battle, 332. 

Hardee, Gen. William J., 371. 

Harlan, James, 90. 

Harper s Ferry, to be attacked, 
58; evacuated, 65. 

Harris, Arnold, brings news from 
Washington, 91. 

Harrison, Burton, 246, 263, 264; 
at a charade, 274; defends Mr. 
Davis, 290, 305, 330. 

Hartstein, Capt., 25. 

Haskell, Alexander, 198, 268. 

Haskell, John C., 293, 399. 

Haskell, Mrs. , 196. 

Haskell, William, 27. 

Haxall, Lucy, 257. 

Haxall, Mrs., 278. 

Hayne, Mrs. Arthur, 146. 

Hayne, Isaac, 26, 66, 316, 346, 

Hayne, Mrs. Isaac, 27; when her 
son died, 202. 

Hayne, Paul, 176; his son and 
Lincoln, 202, 208. 

Hemphill, John, 48. 

Hermitage, the, 365. 

Hey ward, Barn well, as an escort, 
64, 212, 278, 283. 

Heyward, Henrietta Magruder, 

Heyward, Joseph, 212. 

Heyward, Mrs. Joseph, 28, 39. 



Heyward, Savage, 22. 

Hill, Benjamin H., refusal of, 
to fight a duel, 11, 13; in Rich 
mond, 274. 

Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 144. 

Hood, Gen. John B., 100; de 
scribed, 230; with his staff, 
231 ; at Chickamauga, 248; calls 
on the author, 263; a drive 
with, 265; his love-affairs, 266- 
269; a drive with, 271 ; fitted for 
gallantry, 277; on horseback, 
282; drives with Mr. Davis, 
283; has an ovation, 284; at a 
ball, 287; his military glory, 
290; anecdote of, 298; a full 
general, 314; his address to the 
army, 316; losses of, before At 
lanta, 320; his force, 333; off 
to Tennessee, 337; losses of, at 
the battle of Nashville, 337, 340; 
in Columbia, 342; his glory 
on the wane, 372; a call from, 
376; his silver cup, 380; abuse 
of, 383. 

Hooker, Gen. Joseph B., 162, 213. 

Howell, Maggie, 76, 304, 327. 

Howell, Mrs., 265. 

Huger, Alfred, 2. 

Huger, Gen. Benjamin, 383. 

Huger, Mrs., 381, 394. 

Huger, Thomas, 31 ; his death, 186. 

Humphrey, Capt., 5. 

Hunter, R. M. T., at dinner with, 
53, 57, 144; a walk home with, 
283, 398. 

JNGRAHAM, CAPT. , 8, 10, 

-L 14, 42, 54; says the war has 
hardly begun, 99, 147. 

Ives, Col. J. C., 284. 

Ives, Mrs. J. C., 273; her theatri 
cals, 285. 

Izard, Mrs. , 26; quoted, 93, 
146 ; tells of Sand Hill patriots, 
209, 351. 

Izard, Lucy, 212. 


*J WALL/ at Bull Run, 89, 
170; his movements, 172; his 
influence, 175; his triumphs, 
179; following up McClellan, 
193; faith in, 196; killed, 213; 
promoted Hood, 230; described 
by Gen. Lawton, 261-262; la 
ments for, 269. 

Jameson, Mr. , 54. 

James Island, Federals land on, 
181; abandoned, 195. 

Johnson, President Andrew, 394, 

Johnson, Mrs. Bradley T., as a 
heroine, 71. 

Johnson, Herschel V., 11. 

Johnson, Dr. Robert, 220. 

Johnston, Gen. Albert Sidney, 
131, 140; killed at Shiloh, 156, 

Johnston, General Edward, a 
prisoner in the North, 232; 
help he once gave Grant, 269. 

Johnston, Gen. Joseph E., his 
command, 75; evacuates Har 
per s Ferry, 65; retreating, 78; 
to join Beauregard, 84, 85; at 
Bull Run, 91; at Seven Pines, 
171; wounded, 180; his hero 
ism as a boy, 184; sulking, 228; 
as a great god of war, 240; 
thought well of, 248; his care 
for his men, 249; made com- 
mander-in-chief of the West, 
265; orders to, 290; suspended, 
314; cause of his removal, 315, 
317, 320; a talk with, 350; in 
Lincolnton, 352; a drawn bat- 



tie by, 372; not to be caught, 

379 ; anecdote of, 383. 
Johnston, Mrs. Joseph E., 53, 86; 

and Mrs. Davis, 102, 350; her 

cleverness, 352. 
Johnston, Robert, 375. 
Jones, Col. Cadwallader, 380. 
Jones, Gen. , 315. 
Jordan, Gen., an outburst from, 

KEARSARGE, the, 314. 
Keitt, Col. Lawrence, op 
posed to Mr. Davis, 68; seek 
ing promotion, 258. 

Kershaw s brigade in Columbia, 

Kershaw, Joseph, and the Ches- 
nuts, 393. 

Kershaw, Gen. Joseph B., and his 
brigade, 21; anecdote of, 63; 
his regiment praised, 95; his 
piety, 101; his independent re 
port on Bull Run, 107. 

Kershaw, Mrs. Joseph B., 390. 

Kilpatrick, Gen. Judson, 294; 
threatening Richmond, 296 ; 
his failure before Richmond, 

King, Judge, 211. 

Kingsville, 3; an adventure in, 

Kirkland, Mary, 385. 

Kirkland, Mrs. , 4. 

Kirkland, William, 311. 

Kirkwood Rangers, the, 106. 


A BORDE, DR. , 210. 

Lamar, Col. L. Q. C., in 
Richmond, 70; a talk with, 72; 
on the war, 73; on crutches, 82, 
144; asked to dinner, 278; his 

talk of George Eliot, 279-280; 
and Constance Gary, 286; 
spoken of, for an aideship, 302. 

Lancaster, 356. 

Lane, Harriet, 18. 

haurens, Henry, his grandchil 
dren, 330. 

Lawrence, a negro, unchanged, 
38; fidelity of, 101, 112; quar 
rels of, with his wife, 217, 237; 
sent home, 288. 

Lawton, Gen. Alexander R., talks 
of " Stonewall Jackson," 261 ; a 
talk with, 276. 

Le Conte, Prof. Joseph, 141; his 
powder manufactory, 187. 

Ledyard, Mr. , 18. 

Lee, Custis, 100, 246, 328. 

Lee, Fitzhugh, 294. 

Lee, Light Horse Harry, 94. 

Lee, Gen. Robert E., made Gen- 
eral-in-chief of Virginia, 47, 63; 
with Davis and Chesnut, 83; 
seen by the author for the first 
time, 93; warns planters, 136; 
criticism of, 188; faith in, 197; 
warns Mr. Davis on the battle 
field, 202; and Antietam, 213; 
wants negroes in the army, 224 ; 
a likeness of, 236; faith in him 
justified, 240; at Mr. Da vis s 
house, 244; fighting Meade, 
258; at church, 264; in Rich 
mond, 265; if he had Grant s 
resources, 270; a sword for, 
292; instructed in the art of 
war, 292; his daughter-in-law s 
death, 300; a postponed re 
view by, 306; without back 
ing, 331 ; a drawn battle by, 
372; despondent, 377; capitu 
lation of, 378 ; part of his army 
in Chester, 379. 

Lee, Mrs. Robert E., 93, 124, 236; 
a call on, 292. 



Lee, Roony, 93; wounded, 236; 
Butler kind to, 300. 

Lee, Capt. Smith, a walk with, 
294, 302, 303. 

Lee, Stephen D., 371. 

Legree, of Uncle Tom s Cabin, dis 
cussed, 114-116. 

Leland, Capt., 337. 

Leon, Edwin de, sent to Eng 
land, 172. 

Levy, Martha, 211. 

Lewes, George Henry, 280. 

Lewis, John, 257. 

Lewis, Major John Coxe, 265. 

Lewis, Maria, her wedding, 264, 

Lincoln, Abraham, his election, 
1; at his inauguration, 9; in 
Baltimore, 12, 13; his inau 
gural address, 14; his Scotch 
cap, 18; described, 19, 33; as a 
humorist, 71; his army, 76; 
anecdote of, 78; his emancipa 
tion proclamation, 153, 199; 
his portrait attacked by Paul 
Hayne s son, 202; his regrets 
for the war, 203, 270; assassina 
tion of, 380, 396. 

Lincoln, Mrs. Abraham, vulgarity 
of, 12; her economy, 16, 18, 
270; her sister in Richmond, 

Lincolnton, the author in, 344- 
366; an exile in, 347; taken for 
a millionaire in, 349; Gen. 
Chesnut in, 358-359. 

Lomax, Col., 6. 

Longstreet, A. B., author of 
Georgia Scenes, 82. 

Longstreet, Gen. James, his army 
going West, 241; separated 
from Bragg, 258; failure of, 265. 

Lowe, Sir Hudson, 399. 

Lowndes, Charles, 211. 

Lowndes, Mrs. Charles, 4. 

Lowndes, James, a call from, 112, 


Lowndes, Rawlins, 211. 
Lowndes, Mrs. , 59. 
Lubbock, Gov. , 328. 
Luryea, Albert, his death, 175. 
Lyons, Lord, 136. 
Lyons, Mrs., 239, 281, 313. 
Lyons, Rachel, 208. 

MAGRATH, JUDGE, 2, 394. 
Magruder, Gen. John B., 
wins battle of Big Bethel, 62, 
196; public opinion against, 
201; in Columbia, 204. 

Mallory, Stephen R., 13; meets 
the author in Richmond, 69, 

Mallory, Mrs. S. R., 27. 

Malvern Hill, battle of, 194, 214. 

Manassas, a sword captured at, 
101. See Bull Run. 

Manassas Junction, letter from 
Gen. Chesnut at, 65. 

Manassas Station, 63; looking for 
a battle at, 64. 

Manning, Gov. John, sketch of, 
23; at breakfast, 25, 27; news 
from, 32, 34; an aide to Beaure- 
gard, 36; under fire, 38; his 
anecdote of Mrs. Preston, 168. 

Marshall, Henry, 161. 

Martin, Isabella D., 155, 268; 
quoted, 275; to appear in a 
play, 276; on war and love- 
making, 288; when Willie Pres 
ton died, 315; takes the author 
to a chapel, 322; a walk with, 
336, 343, 350, 363; letter from, 

Martin, Rev. William, and the 
Wayside Hospital, 206; at Lin 
colnton, 351. 

Martin, Mrs. William, 315. 

Mason, George, 103. 



Mason, James M., at dinner with, 
98; as an envoy to England, 
116-117, 125; on false news, 

McCaa, Col. Burwell Boykin, his 
death in battle, 229, 373. 

McClellan, Gen. George B., ad 
vancing for a battle, 65; su 
persedes Scott, 98 ; as a coming 
king, 119; said to have been 
removed, 153; his force of men 
on the Peninsula 158; his army, 
164; at Fair Oaks, 171; his 
lines broken, 187; followed by 
"Stonewall" Jackson. 193; pris 
oners taken from, 196; belief 
in his defeat, 198; destruction 
of his army expected, 200; his 
escape, 201 ; and Antietam, 213. 

McCord, Cheves, 177. 

McCord, Mrs. Louisa S., and her 
brother, 139; her faith in South 
ern soldiers, 175; of patients in 
the hospital, 182; a talk with, 
199; on nurses, 203, 239; at her 
hospital, 317; sends a bouquet 
to President Davis, 328; a din 
ner with, 335; her horses, 336; 
her troublesome country cousin, 

McCullock, Ben, 50. 

McDowell, Gen. Irvin, defeated 
at Bull Run, 91. 

McDuffie, Mary, 136. 

McFarland, Mrs., 236. 

McLane, Col., 329. 

McLane, Mrs., 85-86. 

McLane, , 92. 

McMahan, Mrs., 210. 

Meade, Gen. George G., fighting 
Lee, 258-259; his armies, 269. 

Means, Gov. John H., 26, 33; a 
good-by to, 207, 214. 

Means, Mrs. , 37. 

Means, Stark, 37. 

Memminger, Hon. Mr., letter 
from, 164. 

Memphis given up, 177; retaken, 

Merrimac, the, 136, 139, 140; 
ailed the Virginia, 148; sunk, 

Meynardie, Rev. Mr., 66; as a 
traveling companion, 68, 101. 

Middleton, Miss, 348, 349; de 
scribed, 353, 359; a letter from, 

Middleton, Mrs. , 136, 154. 

Middleton, Mrs. Tom, 26. 

Middleton, Olivia, 338. 

Miles, Col. , an aide to Beaure- 
gard, 36; an anecdote by, 43, 
54, 125. 

Miles, Dr. Frank, 361. 

Miles, William A., his love-affairs, 

Miller, John L., 309. 

Miller, Stephen, 6. 

Miller, Stephen Decatur, sketch of, 
16; his body-servant, Simon, 

Miller, Mrs. Stephen Decatur, 216; 
ill in Alabama, 221; her return 
with the author, 226; an anec 
dote of her bravery, 243. 

Milton, John, as a husband, 298. 

Minnegerode, Rev. Mr., his church 
during Stoneman s raid, 245; 
his prayers, 277. 

Mobile Bay, battle of, 319. 

Moise, Mr. , 178. 

Monitor, the, 137, 139, 140. 

Montagu, Lady Mary, 142. 

Montgomery, Ala., the author in, 
6-20; Confederacy being or 
ganized at, 6; speeches in Con 
gress at, 12; Confederate flag 
raised at, 15; the author in, 47- 
56; a trip from Portland, Ala., 
to, 52; removal of Congress 



from, 55; society in, 166; hospi 
tality in, 166; the author in, 
220, 226-228. 

Montgomery Blues, the, 6. 

Montgomery Hall, 21. 

Moore, Gen. A. B., 6; brings news, 

8, 10, 15. 

Morgan, Gen. John H., an anec 
dote of, 208; his romantic mar 
riage, 242; in Richmond, 275; 
a dinner by, 276; his death re 
ported, 326. 

Morgan, Mrs. John H., her ro 
mantic marriage, 242. 

Mormonism, 143. 

Morris Island, 31; being fortified, 

Moses, Little, 134. 

Mt. Vernon, 63. 

Mulberry, a visit to, 2, 21; por 
trait of C. C. Pinckney at, 32; 
the author at, 42; a stop at, 57; 
the author ill at, 127, 135; hos 
pitality at, 169; a picnic at, 251 ; 
in spring, 308; Madeira from, 
329; a farewell to, 340; fears 
for, 354; reported destruction 
of, 381; results of attack on, 
386; a dinner at, 403. 

-\J-APIER, LORD, 176. 
-A-N Napoleon III, 136. 
Nashville, evacuation of, 134. 
Nelson, Warren, 143. 
Newbern, lost, 144. 
New Madrid, to be given up, 146. 
New Orleans, taken by Farragut, 

158-159; a story from, 178; 

men enlisting in, 188; women 

at, 188. 
New York Herald, the, quoted, 

9, 13, 18, 34, 43, 100; criticism 
by, 281, 298. 

New York Tribune, the, quoted, 
89, 96, 107. 

Nickleby, Mrs., 131. 

Norfolk, burned, 164. 

Northrop, Mr. , abused as com 
missary-general, 97. 

Nott, Henry Deas, on the war, 

OGDEN, CAPT. , 327, 333, 

Orange Court House, 74. 
Ordinance of Secession, passage 

of, 4. 

Ossoli, Margaret Fuller, 32. 
Ould, Judge, 247. 
Ould, Mrs., a party of hers, 259, 

274, 280; gives a luncheon, 302. 
Owens, Gen. , 48. 

T3ALMER, DR. , 326. 

J- Palmetto Flag, raising the, 2. 

Parker, Frank, 303. 

Parkman, Mrs., 235. 

Patterson, Miss , 345. 

Pea Ridge, battle of, 139. 

Pemberton, Gen. John C., 219, 

Penn, Mrs. ,281. 

Petersburg, an incident at, 255; 
prisoners taken at, 323. 

Petigru, James L., his opposition 
to secession, 24, 36; refuses to 
pray for Mr. Davis, 63, 284. 

Pettigrew, Johnston, offered a 
brigadier-generalship, 145, 171, 

Phillips, Mrs., 201. 

Pickens, Gov. Francis W., "in 
sensible to fear," 3; and Fort 
Sumter, 5; a telegram from, 9; 
a fire-eater, 29; orders a signal 
fired, 33; a call from, 151, 181; 
has telegram from Mr. Davis, 
190; serenaded, 204. 

Pickens, Mrs. Francis W., 29, 



134, 149; her reception to Gen. 
Wade Hampton, 192-193. 

Pillow, Gideon J., at Fort Donel- 
son, 140. 

Pinckney, Cha les C., 32. 

Pinckney, Miss , 32. 

Pizzini s, 111. 

Poe, Edgar Allan, 258. 

Polk, Gen. Leonidas, and Sher 
man, 291, 298. 

Pollard, Mr. , dinner at home of, 

Porcher, Mr. , drowned, 107. 

Portland, Ala., a visit to, 52. 

Portman, Mr. , 373. 

Port Royal, 137. 

Potter, Gen. Edward E., 387. 

Preston, Jack, 343. 

Preston, Gen. John S., at War- 
renton, 82; as to prisoners in 
Columbia, 133; ruined by the 
fall of New Orleans, 159 ; on gos 
siping, 162; his entertain 
ments, 168, 207; with Hood at 
a reception, 284, 323; return of 
his party from Richmond, 373; 
on horseback, 374; a good-by 
from, 375; going abroad, 382. 

Preston, Mrs. John S., 39; goes to 
Manassas, 69, 94; quoted, 130, 
143; a dinner wi^h, 157; a ball 
given by, 167; her fearlessness, 
168; a call with, 180; at a con 
cert, 193; an anecdote by, 295- 

Preston, Mary C., goes to Mul 
berry, 134, 136, 143; a drive by, 
with Mr. Venable, 150; with 
Gen. Chesnut, 159; a talk with, 
162; gives Hood a bouquet, 
231; made love to, 233, 256; 
greets Gen. Hood, 263, 283, 
296; her marriage, 327; a din 
ner to, 330. 

Preston, Sally Buchanan Camp 

bell, called "Buck," 150, 167; 

made love to, 233, 266; why she 

dislikes Gen. Hood, 286; men 

who worship, 288; and Gen. 

Hood, 289, 291; on horseback, 


Preston, Miss Susan, 36. 
Preston, Willie, 43; his death, 


Preston, William C., 105, 362. 
Pride, Mrs. , 370, 372, 373. 
Prince of Wales, the, his visit to 

Washington, 207. 
Pringle, Edward J., letter from, 


Pringle, Mrs. John J., 186. 
Pryor, Gen. Roger A., 37. 

"OACHEL, MADAM, in Char- 

-Lt leston, 238. 

Randolph, Gen. , 147. 

Randolph, Mrs. , described, 
105; and Yankee prisoners, 
107; her theatricals, 275. 

Ravenel, St. Julien, 365. 

Reed, Wm. B., arrested, 113. 

Reynolds, Mrs. , 22. 

Rhett, Albert, 165. 

Rhett, Mrs. Albert, 147. 

Rhett, Barn well, desired for Pres 
ident of the Confederacy, 6 ; as 
a man for president, 104. 

Rhett, Barnwell, Jr., 148. 

Rhett, Burnet, to marry Miss 
Aiken, 21 . 

Rhett, Edmund, 150,. 313-314. 

Rhett, Grimke", 200. 

Rice, Henry M., 205. 

Rich Mountain, battle of, 119. 

Richmond, going to, 66; the au 
thor in, 68-76; return to, from 
White Sulphur Springs, 82-126; 
a council of war in, 83; when 
Bull Run was fought, 85-89; 
Robert E. Lee seen in, 93-94; 



at the hospitals in, 108-111; 
women knitting socks in, 113; 
agreeable people in, 120; Gen. 
Chesnut called to, 157; hospi 
tality in, 167; a battle near, 171, 
174; the Seven Days fighting 
near, 197-198; return to, 229- 
239; Gen. Hood in, 229-231; a 
march past in, 231; a funeral 
in, 237; during Stoneman s 
raid, 239, 247; at Mr. Da vis s 
in, 244; the enemy within three 
miles of, 246; at the War-Office 
in, 247-248; return to, 252- 
303; the journey to, 252-256; 
to see a French frigate near, 
259; Gen. Hood in, 265-269, 
271; merriment in, 272-277, 
282-287; a huge barrack, 278; 
almost taken, 293-294; Dahl- 
gren s raid, 294; Kilpatrick 
threatens, 296, 298; fourteen 
generals at church in, 299; re 
turned prisoners in, 301 ; a fare 
well to, 302-304; Little Joe 
Da vis s death in, 305-306; 
anxiety in, 330; fall of, 377. 

Roanoke Island, surrender of, 132. 

Robertson, Mr. , 385. 

Rosecrans, Gen. William S., 248; 
at Chattanooga, 258. 

Russell, Lord, 136. 

Russell, William H., of the Lon 
don Times, 40, 50; criticisms by, 
52; his criticisms mild, 60; rub 
bish in his letters, 64; attacked, 
66; abuses the South, 74; his 
account of Bull Run, 96, 113; 
his criticisms of plantation 
morals, 114; on Bull Run, 117; 
his "India," 208. 

Rutledge, Mrs. Ben., 348. 

Rutledge, John, 31. 

Rutledge, Julia, 240. 

Rutledge, Robert, 14. 

Rutledge, Sally, 212. 
Rutledge, Susan, 5. 

Saussure, Mrs. John de, 15; 
a good- by from, 67. 

Saussure, Wilmot de, 89, 107, 109. 

Scipio Africanus, a negro, 391, 397. 

Scott, Gen. Winfield, anecdote of, 
7 ; and officers wishing to resign, 
10; on Southern soldiers, 182. 

Scott, Mrs. Winfield, 19. 

Secession in South Carolina, 2; 
the Convention of, 3; support 
for, 5. 

Secession ville, battle of, 191. 

Seddon, Mr. J. A., 247. 

Semmes, Admiral R., 236; a cha 
rade-party at his house, 272- 
273; and the surrender of the 
Alabama, 314. 

Semmes, Mrs., her calmness, 294. 

Seven Days Battle, last of the, 
194; Gen. Chesnut s account of, 

Seven Pines, battle of, 171. 

Seventh Regiment, of New York, 
the, in Baltimore, 41. 

Seward, William H., 17, 33, 104; 
quoted, 146 ; reported to have 
gone to England, 203; at 
tempted assassination of, 380. 

Shakespeare, William, as a lover, 

Shand, Nanna, 158. 

Shand, Rev. Mr., 194, 195. 

Shannon, William M., 21. 

Shannon, Capt. , a call from, 

Sharpsburg. See Antietam. 

Sherman, Gen. William T., at 
Vicksburg, 219; marching to 
Mobile, 291; his work in Mis 
sissippi, 299; between Lee and 
Hood, 327; to catch Lee in the 



rear, 331; his march to the sea, 
333; at Augusta, 334; going to 
Savannah, 336; desolation in 
his path, 340-341; marching 
constantly, 342; no living thing 
in his path, 354-355, 356, 
357; burning of Columbia, 358, 
362; correspondence with Gen. 
Hampton, 359; promise of pro 
tection by, to Columbia, 372; 
at the fall of Richmond, 377; 
ruin in his track, 384; remark 
of, to Joe Johnston, 390; ac 
cuses Wade Hampton of burn 
ing Columbia, 396. 

Shiloh, battle of, 156. 

Simms, William Gilmore, 43, 145. 

Singleton, Mrs., 184, 194, 237; her 
orphan grandchildren, 238. 

Slidell, Mrs. , 149. 

Smith, Gen. Kirby, wounded, 87, 
90; as a Blucher, 94, 317, 323. 

Somerset, Duke of, his son in 
Richmond, 203. 

Soulouque, F. E., his career in 
Hayti, 74. 

South Carolina, the secession of, 
2, 4; attack on, 10; a small 
State, 70. 

Spotswood Hotel, the, 59; the 
author at, 69; a miniature 
world, 70; the drawing-room of, 

Spottsylvania Court House, bat 
tles around, 310. 

Stanard, Mr. , 94. 

Stan ton, Edwin M., 310. 

Stark, Mary, 95, 146. 

St. Cecilia Society, the, balls of, 

St. Michael s Church, and the fir 
ing on Fort Sumter, 35. 

Stephens, Alexander H., 10; 
elected Vice-President, 12; his 
fears for the future, 49. 

Stockton, Philip A., his clandes 
tine marriage, 120-122. 

Stockton, Mrs. Edward, 251. 

Stockton, Emma, 272. 

Stoneman, Gen. G. S., his raid, 
239, 244, 245; before Atlanta, 
317, 377. 

Stony Creek, battle of, 313. 

Stowe, Harriet Beecher, 143, 189. 

Stuart, Gen. Jeb, his cavalry, 187, 

Sue, Eugene, 46. 

Sumner, Charles, 74. 

Sumter, S. C., an awful story from, 
401, 402. 

JL Taliaferro, Gen. , 317. 

Taylor, John, 392. 

Taylor, Gen. Richard, 227. 

Taylor, Willie, 165. 

Team, Adam, 252 ? 254, 256. 

Thackeray, W. M., quoted, 110; 
on American hostesses, 168; his 
death, 281. 

Thomas, Gen. George H., his 
forces, 333; and Gen. Hood, 
338; wins the battle of Nash 
ville, 339, 340. 

Thompson, John R., 258, 260, 298. 

Thompson, Mrs. John R., 204. 

Togno, Madame , 151. 

Tompkins, Miss Sally, her hospital, 

Toombs, Robert, an anecdote 
told by, 7, 20; thrown from his 
horse and remounts, 97, 101; 
as a brigadier, 108; in a rage, 
132; his criticisms, 171; de 
nounced, 179. 

Toombs, Mrs. Robert, a recep 
tion given by, 48, 53 ; a call on, 

Toombs, Miss , anecdote of, 193. 



Trapier, Gen. , 148. 

Trapier, Rev. Mr., 394, 397. 

Trenholm, Capt. , 133. * 

Trescott, William H., 24, 29, 70; 
says Bull Run is a victory lead 
ing to ruin, 92; his dinners, 153. 

Trezevant, Dr. , 198, 339. 

Trimlin, Milly, 400-401. 

Tucker, Capt., 273. 

Tyler, Miss, 14. 

U 184. 
Urquhart, Col. , 313. 

V ENT B., 216. 

Velipigue, Jim, 63. 

Venable, Col., 36, 40; reports a 
brave thing at Bull Run, 92; 
on the Confederate losses at 
Nashville, 134; his comment 
on an anecdote, 138; on toler 
ation of sexual immorality, 143, 
144; an aide to Gen. Lee, 172, 
187; describes Hood s eyes, 230, 
257; quoted, 289. 

Vicksburg, gunboats pass, 205; 
surrender of, reported, 219, 220; 
must fall, 247; a story of the 
siege of, 295. 

Virginia, and secession, 5. 

von Borche, Major , 268, 272; 
his name, 285. 

Walker, William, 384. 
Walker, Mrs. ,49, 112. 
Wallenstein, translations of, 162. 
Ward, Matthias, an anecdote by, 


Washington, city of, deserted, 27; 
alarming news from, 49; why 

not entered after Bull Run, 90; 
how news of that battle was 
received in, 91; Confederates 
might have walked into, 103; 
state dinners in, 166. 

Washington, George, at Trenton, 

Washington, L. Q., letters from, 
158, 164, 245. 

Watts, Col. Beaufort and Fort 
Sumter, 42; a touching story 
of, 43, 147. 

Wayside Hospital, the, 205; the 
author at, 321. 

Weston, Plowden, 160. 

West Point, Ga., 220. 

Whitaker, Maria, and her twins, 
45, 386. 

Whiting, Col. , 31. 

Whiting, Gen. , 307. 

Whitner, Judge, 26. 

Wigfall, Judge L. T., 29; speech 
by, 30; angry with Major An 
derson, 48, 69; and Mr. Brew- 
ster, 7.3; quoted, 91; with his 
Texans, 96; an enemy of Mr. 
Davis, 102; reconciled with Mr. 
Davis, 104; still against Mr. Da 
vis, 261; and Joe Johnston s 
removal, 320; going to Texas, 
373; on the way to Texas, 377; 
remark of, to Simon Cameron, 

Wigfall, Mrs. L. T., 28; a visit 
with, 32; talk with, about the 
war, 33; a telegram to, 59; 
quoted, 84; a drive with, 96; 
a call on, 266, 275. 

Wilderness, the battle of the, 310. 

Williams, Mrs. David R. (the au 
thor s sister, Kate), 127, 329, 
351, 399. 

Williams, Mrs. John N., 129. 

Williamsburg, battle at, 161, 171. 

Wilson, Henry, at Manassas, 89. 



Winder, Miss, arrested, 113. 
Withers, Judge ,21, 60. 
Withers, Kate, death of, 403. 
Witherspoon, John, 250, 404. 
Witherspoon, Mrs. , found dead, 

from, 120; letter from, to 
Lord Russell, 136. 
"Yankee Doodle, "20. 
Yorktown, siege and evacuation 
oi> 161. 



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