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 4, 2015

A Diary From Dixie by Mary Boykin Miller Chesnut.

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 experiences. A raider asked the plucky little girl, Lizzie Hamilton, 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, “You knew I would not hurt you.” “Of course, I knew you dared not shoot me. Even Sherman 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 and valuables had been hid by the white people. Ladies’-maids dressed themselves in their mistresses’ gowns before the owners’ faces and walked off. 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. I had taken their conduct too much as a matter of course. In the afternoon I had some business on our place, the Hermitage. 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 nothing to show that any one of them had even seen the Yankees, or knew that there was one in existence.

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