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 23, 2014

A Diary From Dixie by Mary Boykin Miller Chesnut.

January 23d.—My luncheon was a female affair exclusively. 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 Mariner, and told how she had been prevented by a violent attack of cramps from running the blockade, and how providential 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.”

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