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 12, 2012

A Diary From Dixie by Mary Boykin Miller Chesnut.

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 Somerset in Richmond. He laughed his fill at our ragged, dirty soldiers, but he stopped his laughing when he saw them under 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!

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