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

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A Diary From Dixie.

January 9, 2014

A Diary From Dixie by Mary Boykin Miller Chesnut.

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 Chattanooga.” 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. 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 depressing, indeed.

[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 penitentiary, but he escaped and once more joined the Confederate army. In September, 1864, he was killed in battle near Greenville, Tenn.

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