Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

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A Diary From Dixie

July 3, 2012

A Diary From Dixie by Mary Boykin Miller Chesnut.

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 MeClellan 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 seventeen years old.

If anything can reconcile me to the idea of a horrid failure after all efforts to make good our independence of Yankees, it is Lincoln’s proclamation freeing the negroes. Especially yours, Messieurs, who write insults to your Governor 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 may walk off without an order from the Council to work on fortifications.

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 appointed establishment—such beautiful grounds, flowers, and fruits; indeed, all that heart could wish; such delightful dinners, such pleasant drives, such jolly talks, such charming people; but this horrid war poisons everything.

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