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

The Journal of Julia LeGrand

Wednesday, 25th [March]. Did not sleep again last night, and only dozed near morning. Dreamed quantities—of being at Shepley’s house and refusing to eat at his table; saw thousands of people, all under unpleasant circumstances; wrote a savage letter to Mayor Miller, and made myself conspicuous generally. Heard Mrs. Norton talking early to Jane; called her in and asked the question which had been lying on my mind, “Has Mary gone?” “No, Miss.” Greatly relieved, I turned over to get a nap, for I felt weak, nervous and sleepy. Presently I heard Jane say, “Aunt Mary has gone and taken Jake.” No more sleep—got up and dressed; I felt desolate and oppressed and it was quite cold. I felt quite as sorry as I did when Julie Ann left us. Mrs. Norton is quite cut up, though she says that she knew that Mary was going. Her first words were, “Now you know whether I know nothing or not, don’t you?” This was a cut at us for having taken Mary’s part. Indeed, I know all—that the woman would not have left but for her having taken too much liquor, and in that state passed the boundary too far for return. She took Jake along. We have both advised Mrs. Norton to move to her daughter’s, Mrs. Dameron’s, and we would go to Mr. Randolph’s. We could board with them. After much entreaty, he would board us instead of receiving us as visitors. She was angry at the mere mentioning of such a thing—said that nothing could make her live in a house full of children, and moreover, she says that if she goes to Mrs. Dameron’s all the servants would leave, as they do not like her. This I am afraid is true, as Mrs. Norton sees defects in the servant world very keenly, and she does not keep silence afterward. Mrs. Dameron’s house-full of servants have been too long indulged to allow of any interference, especially now that they can go to the Yankees with any story they please. This Yankee soldier’s wife at the corner keeps the servants of this neighborhood miserable. Hers are as well clad as she is, and have quite as much time to themselves, but they look sour and anxious. Those who are innocently inclined and are really attached to their mistresses are reproached by others and these low Yankees. I feel very sorry for Mrs. Norton. She did not believe that Mary would leave her, though she said so often. I think that Mary Jane, who is deceitful, I think, had much to do with Mary’s conduct. How long her ladyship may remain, no one knows. This flitting has caused quite a commotion in this household, and, indeed, I must say that I can never get over my sorrowful feeling for a blow of this sort. I had expected better things of Mary. She had always talked of being fond of her mistress’ family, and letters were read to her only a few days ago from every member of it, in which she was spoken of with much attachment. Charley and Mrs. Brown both spoke of what they intended to do to reward her for her faithfulness.

The Yankees have undermined every good feeling which at one time existed between these poor people and their owners. I am almost afraid to see the Confederates, though I long for their coming. So many people have been betrayed by pet servants. Strange that some of the most severe mistresses and masters have kept their servants through all this trying year. Mrs. Roselius came over as soon as she heard of Mary’s flight, and proposed to send over a girl of her sister’s who had been left with her while her sister was in Europe. She is an ugly, half-dazed looking creature—innocent, though, I think. She came in evidently much frightened, having been told alarming tales by Mrs. Roselius’s other servants. She seemed to revive after having been spoken to kindly. Her name is Kitty; I like the poor thing, somehow. I do not expect her to be honest, though, and will try to remember to lock up. I laid $1.50 on the bureau one morning and it disappeared in a very short time. This locking up and watching is perfectly hateful to me. But what can one do? One is obliged to be honest oneself and to pay one’s debts. But negroes have no mercy and will take one’s last cent if you keep it unlocked. I would hate them if I considered them responsible and developed beings. They are not quite men and women yet. I think the Yankees must be of the same mind, for they are catching up the negroes as if they were animals, to put them on the Government plantations. Judge Ogden and Mrs. Waugh passed the morning with us. The Judge was mysterious, and evidently smiles all over him. He is quite brilliant with some secret political information. He would tell nothing, but told us with much emphasis to fear nothing; that all our troubles (political) would be over in a week or two. He was in the depths of gloom not long ago. He does not know that Mary has told us about the spy. I suppose that this spy story, at least, must be true, because the Ogdens have heard from Billy that his captain (Tucker) has been on detached service for some time, and that he (Billy) being first lieutenant, is acting in his place. Judge Ogden saw Captain Tucker in Virginia on service—knows that he has been sent on this mission, so I suppose there can be no deception in this case. He told Judge Ogden that he had been sent here for information as to the position of things generally here. He says that Stonewall Jackson is outside at Camp Moore, and that this city is to be attacked as soon as the Port Hudson affair is over. When will it be over? we constantly ask ourselves. The varied reports one hears are enough to confuse one’s intellect, fraught, as they are, with our dearest interests. All conversation now is a medley of what this spy or that has told, or what some returned prisoner has reported, or that Colonel This or Lieutenant That or Captain So and So has said. We have heard again for the hundredth time that Weitzel has been surrounded and cut to pieces. Brashear is now reported to have been captured by the Confederates. Provisions and artillery sent in that direction for Weitzel have been brought back. Some muddy, soiled and tired cavalry have ridden into town.

We took dinner at Mrs. Dameron’s. Practiced on the piano a good deal—the first time for months. I regret that I have so neglected my music, but have had no heart for anything. Between three and four we heard cannon in the distance—listened with our hearts for some time. We concluded it to be a general clearing out of guns at Camp Parafet. Meant to take a walk, but calling in here for my gloves found so much company that I could not get away. We sat upon the gallery. Mary Waugh came; sent by her father to learn what we knew of a Jackson paper of the 20th, said to be in town, and of which Judge Ogden had told us. These papers are contraband, but they get in sometimes in reality, but oftener by report. We often hear of wonderful victories of ours, said to be detailed by this paper, but the search after it often proves hopeless. You never find anyone who has read it with his own eyes. It is quite a common question, “Did you see it yourself?” Generally some very reliable person has been told by some other reliable person who would not deceive anyone in small matters or great. So many of these stories are proved false by time that the “reliable” man or woman has fallen into bad repute. Three rumors now bring any tale under the ban. This paper of the 20th, the reliable man said, confirmed the capture of Farragut and the Hartford. Great rumors of the cutting to pieces of Rosecrans prevail. The existence and non-existence of the Indianola are as much matters of discussion now as ever the lamented Arkansas gave rise to. We hear “reliable” proofs of both. I am somewhat confused myself by opposite statements, but some people walk with sublime faith through the labyrinth. Mrs. Harrison, whose husband is confined here so long, and whom she is still allowed to visit, sat on the gallery with us and told us many things she had heard the day before from the Confederate prisoners who had been brought in. Colonel Frank Gardiner’s Signal Corps, near Port Hudson, were captured; Captain Youngblood and others. The passing of Farragut, at Port Hudson, and the crippling and the return of the other vessels, and the burning of the Mississippi presented a sublime and awful spectacle. It all took place at night, and the roar of the guns, both from the ships and shore, must have been deafening and terrible to hear. The crew of the Mississippi were all captured or killed. Many a wounded man silently lay upon the decks and was devoured by the flames as she floated. My blood seems to curdle, and I believe my heart does really bleed. It seems strange that we can eat, drink, sleep and array ourselves while such horrors are enacting daily. This evening I sat on the gallery and listened while Mrs. H—— told prison tales and showed Annie Waugh how to make some rose-trimming that she had seen Ginnie wear and especially admired. I do not feel like a trifler, I know.

Monday, 23d [March]. I was very unwell, and it poured down rain all day—a real equinox. Sat pretty much in my room, hearing Mrs. Norton through the open door fretting about not being able to go out and make some visits, and talking about the negroes and the Yankees alternately. I feel all the time as if she feels we ought to be with her and amuse her. I so often nowadays recall scenes and feelings of Frances Burney at Court. Her longing to go—her useless sacrifice of herself and her struggles between a longing for a more congenial society and a fancied gratitude. Read a little and wrote a little and sighed a great deal today. Went to bed, but as it was storming still and Mrs. Norton did not feel sleepy, she talked to us in bed and made every possible noise and inquiry so as to keep us awake. We were both so exhausted by a previous sleeplessness and sickness that I could not show much agreeability in my tone of voice. I am quite ready for any demand upon my friendship and will go to the death for those I love, but I resent being made use of. Mrs. Norton is sensitive to the slightest change in tone from another, and resents it as a wrong done her, though she does not yield her own prerogative in saying whatever she pleases. Indeed, I have a very kind feeling for her, and I pity her age and infirmities. I only feel more fully than ever that people who have nothing in common should never, under any circumstances, live together.

Tuesday broke beautifully clear; soon clouded; poured down again, and even hailed. I had terrible headache and aching of limbs all night— could not get up to breakfast. Ginnie brought me some tea, and seemed so concerned about me, and indeed, looked so very badly herself, that I got up and dressed. I went out on the balcony and helped pick up the unusual hailstones, though stooping was hard work indeed. I had to lie down again and did not go out to see Mr. Randolph, though he sat the morning with Ginnie and Mrs. Norton. He comes often to see if he can aid us in any way— and he would do anything for us—unconditionally, too. Within the last week he has had another child born to him. He regrets that it is not a boy. He was so anxious to call it “Rebel” Randolph. He could call his girl “Rebellion” or “Rebellia,” he says, but cannot bear anything that seems to make a girl or woman conspicuous. I like this sentiment; it accords with his usual ones; he is really brave and manly, and in everything shows tenderness to women and unfortunates. Ginnie’s eyes have been very much inflamed of late, and she has been wearing green glasses. I told an acquaintance that they were as red as blood, meaning the lids, and the report, wonderfully exaggerated, reached our friends at Greenville, and brought them to see us. Mr. Randolph says there was much sympathy and excitement out there as they heard Ginnie’s eyes were running blood, and that she had lost them entirely. So much for report. Thousands of rumors fill the city. The newspapers are a dead waste; they tell nothing. I know from a gentleman who really does know, that Banks, before he left, said, that if any publisher interfered with his actions or proceedings, he would “see to it.” Brashear City has been taken by the Confederates, and Banks, upon his return from Baton Rouge, hurried up to that region, taking the vessels which remained here. They have seized all the cars. There seems to be a great excitement and expectation among our people. We know not what a day may bring forth, and lie down at night not knowing what may happen before morning. Reuben, Mary’s husband, has had a cart here and has removed all Mary’s things and his own. I want to go out and talk to Mary—to beg her not to go away—but Mrs. Norton does not like to have us talk with her servants, and I do not know as I ought to listen to all that she would say about her mistress. I have begged Jane to talk to her, for I know that Mary is acting from the promptings of temper and that she will be sorry for it afterward. I begged Jane to do her duty, and that she would be rewarded for it after this time of desolation is over. That Jane goes out at night without her mistress’ knowledge, I am positive, but I think she is lonely and unhappy here. Farragut reported to be positively a prisoner; the Hartford positively taken, and so is also the Albatross; and Stonewall is positively outside, and the Confederates positively about to attack. I feel a little nervous thrill, but it soon dies out.

Sunday, 22 [March]. General Banks arrived last night, having in train two boatloads of negroes to be put on plantations below the city. This is very nice work for an abolition General, and there is no word of it in the Yankee Era, which must keep as respectable a face as possible before the world. General Banks’ arrival is not mentioned—why, we can not say. Why he is here, thousands are at this moment at work to discover. Mrs. Norton sent Mary Jane to General Banks’ house (at least to his residence, which is her daughter’s house, and where are some of the servants left by Mrs. Harrison when she went off). Jane discovered from the servants that Banks is to return immediately; that he has brought down many servants and about twenty prisoners, and that Port Hudson has been torn to pieces, and that Farragut is quite safe and is industriously aiding the work of “Rebel” starvation by keeping guard over the mouth of Red River. Some of this information we Rebels take the liberty of doubting, though old Harriet professed to have gathered all this from Banks’ own lips by listening at the door. Of course, speculation runs riot—that the attack on Port Hudson is abandoned, and that it is not, are now matters of argument. The Yankee Era and our Federalist neighbor say that Banks did not go up to do anything, and that he has accomplished all he intended to do. Of course we are not to be so hoodwinked, and do not believe all the extravagant reports of our successes, but we do know that Banks and army sallied out of Baton Rouge, and after a few skirmishes, made a hasty retreat thereto; we also know that torn-to-pieces-Port Hudson still proudly rears her protecting crest, and while she does so Banks and his famous “expedition,” which has been filling the public mouth, has not done yet what it traveled so many miles to do. Indeed, we think of little else and talk of little else but “Banks’ Expedition.” This matter of Port Hudson seems to the public mind what Vicksburg was when she was attacked—a turning point, a crisis in our affairs. No mere battle could excite quite so many hopes and fears. Should we lose control of this great river, our chances for peace are delayed for an indefinite time, perhaps forever. Should Port Hudson fall, or Vicksburg, thousands of hearts would lose hope to struggle, though we all say, “Nothing can make us give up.” Were our supposed conquerors a different people; if the faintest shadow of generosity prevailed in the national councils, we might strike less boldly; but as matters now stand, each Southern man knows and feels that there are no such words for him as home and country unless the uncivilized hordes which desolate both are stricken low or beaten from Southern shores.

The negroes and soldiery are behaving dreadfully about Baton Rouge (in the country). My blood runs cold to think of all the dreadful deeds which have been done. Many a noble protest comes, even from the North, against the way in which this war has been carried on. Turchim, who committed unspeakable crimes in northern Alabama, and who was court-martialed and dismissed for the same by the gentlemen of the army, was afterwards rewarded by “Honest Abe” and his accomplices. Blenker’s degraded command are forever rendered infamous for their outrages in the Virginia Valley. What untold horrors have been committed and unpunished in Tennessee, Northern Mississippi, in Arkansas and Missouri! Our blood has congealed at the recitals sent us, and sleep been driven from our eyes at night by the shocking details that we can not, out of respect to public decency, reproduce. All these outrages perpetrated without inquiry and without punishment, at the hands of the commandants on the banks of the Mississippi, in Tennessee and Arkansas. Is it strange that a soldiery thus demoralized prove contemptible on the field of battle where they meet brave men! Here are accusations from a Northern paper, and they are all true: “A mournful contrast is presented to us of the North. The Confederate General Stuart made a raid into Pennsylvania with his cavalry. Like McClellan, he respected private property. Not a piece of bacon, not a chicken or a turkey was stolen from the defenceless inhabitants of Gettysburg or Chambersburg by his ragged and half-starved troops. In the language we heard from the lips of an extreme and unconditional Union man of those parts, opposite whose fine country-seat a body of Confederate cavalry bivouacked for a night and a day, ‘the Confederate forces were ragged and lousy gentlemen.’ A party of Lincoln’s cavalry had encamped on the same grounds previously, and in the language of the same unconditional Union man, their conduct proved them to be ‘Comfortably dressed blackguards.’ But the strong contrast we purposed drawing between the Confederates in Chambersburg and the Federals in Fredericksburg, is this: The Confederates visited the Chambersburg Bank and asked if there were any Government deposits there. Being satisfied that there was nothing but private property, General Stuart ordered the bank, in which he saw thousands of gold, to be locked up and guarded, and not a dollar of it was taken. In Fredericksburg, on the occasion of Burnside’s disastrous foray, while the Irish and other brave brigades were turning their reproachful eyes where Lincoln was telling his hateful jokes to his Cabinet, said, like the gladiators in the pagan arena,‘Imperator, morituri te salutant (Despot, we salute you!), and rush on to certain death. The pet regiments of the Abolitionists who did not rush on to certain death, accomplished more certainly by their victory. These Achilles of Puritanism had also among them a Homer, worthy to immortalize their deeds. The correspondent of the Abolition Daily Times, of this city (New York), felt his soul expand as he dilated on how some of the regiments with whom he stayed robbed the bank of Fredericksburg and pocketed the ‘Rebel’ gold of those Philistines—who, though non-combatants and helpless—were the proper spoils of the saints of New England!” Again: “When this war is over a charge will be made against a Federal General on the Mississippi, that after capturing slaves he hastened them off for cotton and sent the cotton to the North and sold it.” I can add that the charge can be brought against many—not one. I can prove that household furniture has been boxed up and sent to women at the North—taken from the houses captured by these people; also clothing left in houses, household treasures and luxuries, even shrubbery dug from private yards. “Those who fought with Blenker and Milroy, under Banks and Fremont, plundered and destroyed. Pope began his ignominious and short-lived career by adopting plunder as a rule.” “But why,” as this Northern journal asks, “dwell on outrages on property, when still more horrible atrocities are perpetrated and go unpunished?”

Human depravity sickens me; I must turn from the picture which our bleeding country presents. How do I know that New Orleans may not soon be called to play her part in the fearful drama! The presence of a large foreign population has hitherto preserved her from common outrage. The privates have been held in check; the officers only have robbed in the name of the law. The houses and funds of defenceless women have been seized, and numbers have been fed on charity, or starve, who, before the Federals came, were well off. No general sacking has taken place, but we are threatened with pillage and fire if the Confederates attempt to take the city. Butler did not scruple to say last summer that he had signals all ready, and a Confederate attack on this place would let San Domingo in upon us. These Federals have done so many awful things that we are prepared to believe anything of their capacity for evil. I do not judge them by Confederate accounts—in our excited state we might color too highly—but by the accounts of their own people and their protests against them. Their accusations have been as bitter as ours. It is comforting to know that there are some kindly spirits at the North.

Mary Harrison has been in from Greenville to see Ginnie, who has been sick; she brought some nice jelly which she had made herself. I told her she only wanted to show it because she had made it, but I thanked her for it, though pride did lie at the bottom; the jelly was so clear that I could see her plainly. Mary says that her father has a letter telling him that Banks’ mysterious retreat upon Baton Rouge was caused by Stonewall Jackson’s appearance in that region. These heroes have met before, and Banks remembers that meeting well, I’d warrant. If Stonewall, our dear hero, who realizes every one’s ideas of a true knight, “tender and true,” is not near at hand for our deliverance, I fear many of us will die broken-hearted. We are determined to believe that he is hovering near our lines. Lee is enough for Virginia and a dozen Hookers. Why should not Stonewall be sent to such an important point as this? Everything depends upon the conduct of affairs in this region. So we reject every wise counsel which tells us to “not put our trust in—” the coming of our favorite knight. A Confederate attack is expected, and the Federal long-roll has been beaten at dead of night. The Ogdens were all in to-day, breathless and voluble. They know Stonewall is outside—that is because of the spy story. Jule looked horrified when I said that I believed that no spy would take so many into his confidence. Everybody has a spy story now. Mrs. Carr called in a soldier from her gate who was a little, little too far advanced upon a certain road. He was a Confederate soldier in Yankee clothes, who was out of his mind (for a moment), and was blabbing Confederate secrets. After making him sleep awhile he awoke refreshed, and was able to tell her much about to happen. He knew all about the Confederates coming, but a few minutes afterwards he recovered his mind entirely and was so stricken with remorse for having revealed Confederate plans that he wanted to make all present take a solemn oath to reveal nothing. Of course, they made ready promise about keeping it, and feel so conscientious that they have only broken it to their particular friends, and that only in whispers. The particular friends who received such good tidings under protest, likewise are equally as conscientious, and have not yet proclaimed from a housetop, but have whispered in parlors and private sanctums. There is a great change in morals close at hand, at all events—we have all vowed to believe in nothing forevermore if the Confederates do not come this time. Heaven defend us from such a state of atheism. Mrs. Judge Clark is here. She is a sweet, sweet old lady, but she is deaf and has heard nothing; we had to break our promise about the whispering and scream into her ear what we knew. This is only the one infraction, however. Annie Waugh was here, and knew a great deal that her father could vouch for. Mr. and Mrs. Roselius were here, and will not believe in anything—a very uninteresting state of affairs.

Mrs. Roselius gave us, among other histories, that of Mrs. General Valle, who has excited some interest in “Rebel” bosoms by having a woman arrested for looking at her. She was a great heiress and much spoiled by her parents, who, when she came of age, looked about for some one whom she could marry. After looking far and wide for some one whom she would even think of, she remembered suddenly that she had a cousin at West Point. He was of her own blood, and she therefore determined to marry him. What she thought worthy of doing she did forthwith. I did not hear that the general (then a lieutenant) made any demur. He agreed with the lady in thinking that the human race was made that she might not be in it alone, and therefore ennuied by solitude. This lady, after marriage, thought it proper that a person in her position should set an example of conjugal affection. She therefore accompanied her husband to the Rio Grande—overlooking his command, probably. She had never eaten a dinner in her life without ice cream; therefore, the chemical apparatuses for making it were packed up among other “military necessities” of the Department of the Rio Grande. She promoted her husband, I have no doubt, for he is now a general. I am not exaggerating— this is the woman’s own story of herself, given out to an admiring circle of visitors and listeners. She travels with a legion of pillows which are arranged for her by her general and a real gentlewoman, whose reduced condition keeps her as companion to the creature. “When Mrs. General V—— walks abroad from hotel or on steamer deck her two attendants announce that “Mrs. General Valle is about to take the air.” What she may take in the future, heaven only knows! It is enough for me to remember that the newspapers say she has had a woman arrested for looking at her, and that a Northern court has supported her in the charge. She was gazing, it seems, from an open window as some women passed, one of whose regard was attracted towards her for an undue length of time. She dresses absurdly, and perhaps attracted attention on this score. “Woman, do you know who you are looking at?” The accused betrayed ignorance on this momentous topic, and—was arrested. Mrs. Ramsay, a neighbor, knows this lady. I very much fear I have spelled her name improperly, in my haste and usual confusion. I feel at perfect liberty with other words, and indeed, with sentences, but with what relates to this “precious piece of porcelain,” who certainly needs a fall, I should like to be careful. Mrs. Norton has been calling and reading out loud to me from the next room. I hope her ladyship will take my default into kindly consideration; so do I hope you will also, my little niece, and not make poor Aunty the excuse and example of a journal of your own some day. I called out to Mrs. Norton just now that I had read a certain article that she was stumbling over, and she answered, “I ain’t a-goin’ to read to you; I was just tellin’ you what lies the Yankees tell.” Late last night—indeed, every night —I have this to undergo. To say that I am uneasy is not to say enough. I wish that Ginnie, at least, was in a quieter home. I must get off to Greenville soon, though I hate to leave the old lady alone. Our friends there are begging for us earnestly. The Ogdens call on us at the door, and whisper us to make haste. They say they do not like to ask us before Mrs. Norton.

When the Yankees came in town Mrs. Brown, Mrs.Dameron and Mrs. Norton came to us and said that we should not live without protection. We therefore broke up housekeeping, intending to go to sister, in Texas, as soon as possible. We sold our furniture (but did not get paid), and went to Mrs. Dameron’s. We were there as the Yankees came up the river, and sat on her upper gallery nearly all night and watched the flames and smoke which rose from the cotton burning on the levee, while the shouts and songs of the multitude sounded in our ears. Her baby, William Brown, was born that night. He is a lovely boy, and has not seen his papa yet, though he is nearly a year old. I should have liked to have stayed with Mrs. Dameron; we had a delightful upstairs room, with dressing room attached there; but Mrs. Norton would have us come here. She came over to Mrs. Dameron’s herself and slept in our room with us until we consented to move. She meant to be kind, I know, but I know also she hates to be alone; that she hates to be silent or to allow others to remain so. She has said that she is fond of us; for this I am grateful, and I do believe she would do us any kindness she could, if it did not injure herself or family. I can not expect more of her. People are accustomed to her saying what she pleases, and even the Federals here know her. Almost the whole town visits her—she is so fond of company. Mary, the servant, was, I think, excited by liquor the other day, and broke out upon her mistress in the most insolent manner. I had often heard them have those quarrels together before, but never knew Mary to go so far. Her mistress told her she might go to the Yankees as soon as she pleased; that she had done for herself with her forever, and when her grandsons returned, she intended to have her well paid for her insolence. Mary has a very high temper, and when she gets angry, she is frightful to see. When she whips little Jake, though she is his own aunt, she does it as if she wanted to kill him. I have often begged for him, and have borne with the little rascal’s insolence, mischief and thieving constantly, rather than tell his mistress or Mary. He took every advantage of Gin’s and my weakness, or leniency, and really seemed to take a pleasure in venting the wickedness upon us which he was obliged to suppress to them. Harriet took our money on the same principle. Ever since this last outbreak of Mary’s I have been afraid she would run away. She has always had control of the supply closet until now, and has had the yard filled with her chickens. Her mistress made her remove them a few days ago. These things have added to her anger and have made returning repentance impossible. Mary has a good heart, though she will not bear a word of reproof. I told her that she did wrong and that she should take into consideration the fact that her mistress is an old woman, and has had much trouble lately. She has been very sullen and gloomy.


March 21st [1863]. I have not written, because Ginnie has been sick, and I have been far from well, and nothing has appeared worthy of record. Thousands of rumors are floating, and all our conversation is made up of a record of them. Mary Ogden and Jule were down again from Greenville, to gather as much excitement as possible. The voice which proclaims the daily, hourly coming of the Confederates is swelling louder. We whisper (not so softly as when Butler was here) and tell what Mrs. This One said, and Mrs. The Other One has heard, and feed ourselves with hope that we are soon to take New Orleans back; break our chains; go where we please, and finish the war. I told Mr. Randolph, though, this morning, that I did not intend to grow the least excited on the subject, as I did last summer, and that I never would believe anything until I heard the cannon. A very loud one was fired near us yesterday, and for one moment my heart leaped up. For the first time in a long series of months I would be glad to hear of an attack on this city. Now the attack, the taking and the holding seem natural enough and easy to do. The city is poorly defended now, and we have captured quite a show of a navy from the enemy. The Indianola is said to be all safe by those coming in. It is reported that Farragut’s vessel and the one that passed the batteries with her, has been captured above Baton Rouge. We know that Banks has had to fall back upon that place, after having made an advance. ‘Tis said that we will attack him there; some say that we have already done so. Reports of wounded and killed vary—some say 1,700; others 8,000. Forty ambulances with wounded have been brought here, though these are said to have come from Weitzel’s command, which is somewhere in the LaFourche country. One ambulance has just passed here, followed by two vehicles containing women and children. One of the women in a long sun-bonnet was bending over as if weeping; some soldier who enlisted here “for his thirteen dollars a month and grub,” perhaps. While at Greenville I saw two ambulances with dead bodies in them. From one the stiff feet and legs stuck out at one end; the shoes’ were still on and the blue uniform, which we have learned to hate so. This was a dreadful sight to me; how can one survive the horrors of a battlefield! Mrs. Waugh has heard that her son Charley is at Tangipaho—a sort of camp of detention and instruction about thirty miles from here. He is in Breckinridge’s Division, and loves his old commander so much that he would never have joined any other when he returned from his parole here; we therefore infer that Charley Lord is with Breckinridge at Tangipaho, and that the Confederates are really near here and thinking of coming in. These are the straws to which we cling. Mrs. Waugh has also heard from her son Arthur; that he is at Tangipaho; why are these veterans of at least twenty battle-fields at a camp of instruction so near us?

Letters from Charley Chilton say that Billy Ogden (who was stationed when last we heard at Fredericksburg) is also in Hinds county; so is Sydney Harrison, his cousin. Charley cannot tell us what all these young men are doing there lest some of these prying Federals get hold of the letter, but he says we may all meet soon again. Letters from Mrs. Brown and Mary Lu Harrison have also come. The young people outside have been amusing themselves with love affairs. They tell on each other when they write, and in this way we become familiar with the whole programme. Mrs. B. says Mary Lu is engaged to Jimmy Perkins, a Virginia soldier and a great-grandson of Patrick Henry’s. Charley Chilton is engaged, Mary Lu says, to Miss Stokes, of Clinton. (I thought he loved Bettie Smith when he left here.) Sarah Chilton has been reaping coquettish honors on a large scale. She went to Mollie Emanuel’s wedding, in Vicksburg, and attracted much attention. She is very pretty, and knows it well. She has an inordinate love of admiration, very unlike her cousin, Mary Lu, who has really romantic ideas in love. There were some very distinguished people at Miss E.’s wedding, the letters say, and by these people Sarah was particularly admired. She is much talked of, they say. We are left to guess who the distinguished people are. President Davis was in Vicksburg when the wedding came off, and I expect was there, but he is married. Pemberton is in command, also Lee, somewhere in that region—one or both of these may be captive to the young beauty. It reminds one of the old, old days, this company—feasting, riding, dancing and love-making and slaying of men’s hearts. Fred Ogden, too, the young captain of a gun or two at Vicksburg, is engaged to somebody, whose name I can not learn. The girls here have no beaux to look at but the Federal officers, who receive anything but loving looks, and the British officers who, belonging to but a ship or two, cannot serve for all. The Stay-at-homes are not in good repute. It is reported that the Federals are about to conscript the latter class who have taken the oath. We wish they would, and arm them well; they would not be of much service to poor old “Uncle Sam.” The Budget of Fun has a picture or representation of Uncle Sam being bled by the Doctor (Chase), who holds a bowl labeled “U. S. Treasury.” The stream from poor Uncle’s arm is called “Taxes.” The patient complains of great weakness, though clad in stars and stripes, but is persuaded by Chase that he can hold out a little longer. A sideview gives Louis Napoleon and John Bull arm-in-arm, with “Wait till he gets weaker, and then we will cut in.”

Do you know, my poor journal, that these very, very funny things, about matters so very, very serious, make me sigh! Uncle Sam’s weakness gives me no pleasure, good Confederate as I am. Oh, why, in his strength, did he not let us go! Read a beautiful speech of Ben Wood’s begging for peace; another of Henry May’s calling for peace and instant recognition. This is an inferior speech as regards eloquence, and from a Marylander, disappointed me. I was angry enough with Henry May for having accepted a seat in the United States Congress on any terms. He says himself that the people of Maryland have been treated in the most tyrannical manner. He also says he accepted the seat to keep it from another, who might do Maryland more harm. The only way to honor the poor old State is to repudiate a seat in that infamous horde altogether. Vorhees’ speech on the habeas corpus bill is good, strong argument, all of it, though it is not embued with the sentiment of tenderness as is Wood’s. It is not without many noble protests that the Northern people are yielding up their Magna Charta. I see that at the closing of Congress, that Lincoln was endowed with every power of dictator. Treasury, personal liberty, army and navy, and the people at large to conscript at will—are at his disposal. They are so anxious—the poor Northerners—to make chains for us to wear, that they forget that they are being fitted on their own stalwart limbs. It seems that heaven has stricken this people with political blindness.

There have been so many people here today that my head is in a whirl with the rumors I have heard. We have the Hartford, the Albatross; Farragut, a prisoner, is on his way to Richmond, where he will be held as hostage for Butler; Banks’ men have mutinied—they have, before battle, declared their intention to run, and, after being blindly trusted by Banks after such sincere demonstrations, they have been straightway as good as their word. The Confederates are building a bridge at Manchac, over which they are to walk straightway to this city, having Banks’ army and Farragut’s fleet in sort of a military calaboose. A young lady, a supposed spy of the Confederates, was shaking her head in a very peculiar way; said “Yes” or “No” to several political questions in a mysterious manner; said young lady just in from the Confederacy— left there last Saturday evening about dusk— was escorted to the boat by Lieutenant Miller, a gallant young Confederate, who told her all sorts of things, and likewise shook his head, and having performed this expressive pantomime, showed her practically the lumber of which the Manchac bridge was to be built, and told her of the dispatch which he had at that moment received, saying that Banks had been whipped, and that the Stars and Bars were floating over land and wave at Baton Rouge. Federal officers of high rank have been known to cry out almost in anguish, “Oh, if we could only hear from Banks!” They have been in such a wretched state of mind that they made their longing speeches in the very faces of good Confederates. Others have been heard to say that they would go up to Baton Rouge immediately—if they were only sure of getting back. Weitzel’s whole army has been cut off from all communication in LaFourche from this city. His dead and wounded have come in, but the bridge has since been destroyed. The artillery which was sent off to-day, bag and baggage, have come back; the provisions which were also sent to his assistance have returned also. In short, we Confederates here have set things going in an entirely new and spirited style—and we are to have this city back in a day or two, at furthest—some say to-morrow, some are considerate enough to wait until Tuesday next. Stonewall Jackson will certainly be here before the week is out. In fact, we are having over again the scenes of last summer up till the time of the loss of that Phoenix, the Arkansas Ram. Federals are growing imprudent, it seems. Officers say that they know that they will be captured here and tried for their lives. Oh, that I should waste paper in these hard times, when cotton is being burned by proud Confederates every day, with such a medley as private conversations are made of now! We women are at a loss to know quite what we shall do after we hear the cannon. Shall we shut up our doors to keep scared contrabands from claiming fellowship with us, or run out to shake hands with our soldiers!

There is sometimes a reverse picture. Mrs. Norton sent Mary Jane, the servant, to pump political information from the Yankee woman who lives in a small house at the corner, captured from Mr. Phillips. The woman, whose husband is in the Federal army at Baton Rouge, has her plans laid out as regularly as ours. The Monitor has passed the Port Hudson batteries; Farragut is safe and well, on the flagship Hartford; Port Hudson is entirely torn to pieces, and the Confederates and Federals are near enough for conversation—in short, she will have the “rebellion” over in a few days. All these statements, and the reverse, come from the most reliable people. I think the fabled well has caved in and covered up dear Truth forever. If she survives sufficiently after this war is over to give us a history of it, it will be more than I expect of her. Some earnest articles in Northern papers are calling for true statements to be made to the people. The war has been kept up by deception. It is time that the North should know that her enemy is quick in resource, brave, vigilant, determined and persevering—that she has been unfortunate on land and sea; that her foe is neither too naked or starved too much to fight valiantly, and that last of all, that the famous canal is a failure. The proud Northern transports will never sail through it to carry soldiers to die on the Walnut Hills. The upper army is in sad plight; that I can see from their own papers. The constant rising of the Mississippi deprives them even of a dry camp. The sun is growing quite hot now, and mosquitoes must begin to torment the sick and suffering. I feel sorry for the thousands of poor aching heads that are now lying far from woman’s kindly aid, in many a dismal camp, both Federal and Confederate. I feel oftener sorry for the Federals, I believe, though the Confederates are dearer. Our boys are sustained by the knowledge that they are right. Who would not be sustained for fighting for hearthstone and native land! The constant statements of the Northern papers prove that the Federal army is dissatisfied and in a state of demoralization. Hooker has just dismissed forty officers in disgrace. A few days ago he had to shoot at the privates, right and left. In this town soldiers are deserting constantly, I know. From all accounts it would seem that Banks has found in New Orleans a Capua—though he is no Hannibal. Fifteen hundred deserters have been taken up recently in New York City. The Administration blames the Generals, Admirals and contractors, and changes them forthwith; the people blame the Administration, and so the papers get filled with complaints. Only a few wise, noble men assail the Cause; and these are not hearkened to or obeyed. There is a goodly show of verse in town commemorating Strong’s dispersing the members of Doctor Goodrich’s church. I have not seen them. Doctor Goodrich, now in New York, writes to his wife. I believe I have recorded that he and two others—Mr. Fulton and Doctor Leacock—were refused a landing here because they had refused to take the oath. In the St. Nicholas Hotel, New York, Colonel Strong met Doctor Goodrich, and remembering his face, and not where he had seen it, spoke to him and asked his name. “I, sir,” said the minister, “am Doctor Goodrich, of St. Paul’s Church, New Orleans, and you, sir, are Colonel Strong.” He then turned on his heel and left him. I do not envy Strong’s feelings for the moment. We heard that he had had compunctions about breaking up the church, and that he was very pale and trembled, but being commissioned by the strong-willed Butler, obeyed. I was told that Strong said he thought the women would fly at him. This accounts for his paleness, I suppose.

Tuesday, March 17th [1863]. Rose this morning feeling very badly. Coughed a great deal last night. Slept but little, but in the short interval dreamed so unhappily that Ginnie awoke me twice, after my having cried out. I was among crowds of people, it seemed, with a heavy weight upon my heart. I was traveling on an immense iron steamer—saw a boy fall over and drown, whereupon I screamed and awoke. After this I could not sleep. Listened long to see if I could hear the guns at Port Hudson. For several nights the firing has been heard by some people. At Greenville Judge Ogden, who was here yesterday, heard them at four o’clock in the morning, distinctly; he got up and waked the girls, who also heard them. The Judge has heard that his son Billy has come to Mississippi from Virginia. He can not tell whether on furlough or with the army. It is reported the 7th Regiment, Crescent Rifles, is outside with Col. Harry Hays and the great Stonewall. These are times of great excitement. This seems to us all the crisis of the struggle. If we are successful in the two coming engagements we hope to have peace at once. If the North fails to open the Mississippi to the Western people and its ports to the world, it is thought that the war must be abandoned. Heaven knows—the people of the North seem demented to me. That they should feel a wild regret for the loss of the Southern States, after having goaded them into resistance, seems natural enough, but that they should think that war and bloodshed will restore the Union, seems but a fanatical dream. No one more sincerely mourned the Union than myself, but to me the separation of the States was the blow. There would be no beauty in union now. And we have too much dear blood to remember now, if not to revenge, ever to be able to go back now. Ah, if Vallandigham had only been president instead of Lincoln! Perhaps these things are all intended—who can tell! The existence or non-existence of a nation cannot be disregarded by the Higher Intelligence. (Mrs. Roselius would regard this expression as a proof of my having gone through a course of infidel reading—she came to this conclusion the other day when she heard me use the term First Cause.)

The black people in the city have met with the most dreadful blow at the hands of their Yankee friends. These poor people have been misled by every wile and persuaded to leave their owners and even in many instances to be insolent to them. I know of a number of instances where they have been promised by the Yankees freedom, riches, free markets, a continual basking in the sun, places in the Legislative Halls, possession of white people’s houses, and a great deal more; of course, these infinite temptations have proved too much for them—they have gone over in numbers to the Yankees, insulting white people in the streets and in houses. They have been protected by Yankee courts here, both in murder and robbery. And after all this they are being picked up singly and collectively and driven by Yankee bayonets to the plantations, where they are to work or be shot down. All servants who have not passes given them by the Yankee authorities, are to be disposed of in this way—and as no pass is granted to any owner who has not taken the oath, a terrible scene of confusion is at work. These Yankees pretend that they have come to restore civilization and justice to this benighted Southern land and assume in all their printed work a vast philanthropic sympathy for the oppressed race; never since the Southern people have owned slaves has the separation of families been carried on on as large scale as now. Indeed negroes have been more protected from separation than white people until now. To-day from forty to fifty colored women, picked up without notification on the streets, were driven at the point of Yankee bayonets on a boat and taken to a plantation. Yankee soldiers seize those even who are with their own mistresses, unless they have Yankee passes. “Have you a pass?” is the question, and if the victim is not so protected, “Fall into line then,” is the response. Among all the crimes Yankee writers have heaped upon us, this cannot be enumerated. Mary, Mrs. Norton’s woman, came to us just now; she is very uneasy about her young daughter Emma, who is hired out. She fears the Yankees will take her off. Indeed, she fears to be taken, too, as she can get no pass, and some houses even have been entered by the soldiers. The insolent negroes who have been boasting of Yankee support are very much crest-fallen and ashamed. One of Mrs. Roselius’s threatened to have a gentleman arrested last week; this week she is powerless.

Mary Ogden just in from Greenville—full of news and excited. “It was the Albatross that passed the batteries” and was very much injured—so was the Hartford. Both injured and between two fires. Farragut, they say, has pronounced the attack useless, but makes it because ordered to do so. I really do not suppose he has opened his mouth upon the subject. He is a brave man, this much we all accord him. His family live here, and he was educated, it is said, by one of the charitable institutions of this city. His relatives would not receive him after the city fell, and when the shelling of the city was imminent, he sent word that he would protect them and received in answer that they would not accept his protection. It was reported at the time that his mother was here, but that was untrue; she is dead. I remember laughing at the excited manner in which Martine Ogden exclaimed that the city would be safe. “For surely,” said she, “he won’t shell his mother.”

The Era is filled with insolent braggadocio because Farragut has passed—even in crippled condition. The Yankees have called their military collection in all quarters—”The vast Anaconda,” which is “to crush the rebellion.” We think that Farragut’s being separated from the fleet by powerful batteries looks very much as if the head of the water snake was severed from its body. He said that his ship should pass, though that should be the only one. The town is all excitement—the Yankees here expect an attack. Indeed, if possible, we should make it— the enemy would then have to capitulate. The forts below we could take later. Every hour brings its report. Indeed, it is an awful time, fraught as it is with death and ruin to the majority. The Yankee woman at the corner is in much trouble; we think that she has heard no hopeful news from Baton Rouge. She is all packed to start somewhere at a moment’s notice. Mary Ogden took dinner and passed the afternoon with us. She had been out in the morning to look up some Mrs. Colonel Pinckney, who is just in from the Confederacy, and knows her brother in the army. This lady reports everything going on well outside. She passed through Baton Rouge. On the way she fell in with many Federal soldiers—they volunteered conversation and told her a good deal. She is a daughter of an officer in the old United States’ army, and was brought up in garrison circles, so I presume she knew how to talk to military folk. She learned that the soldiers at Baton Rouge were bent on not fighting—that they were going over to us at the first opportunity. Vicksburg and Jackson are filled with officers and men who have resigned the Federal service. This seems almost incredible, but this war is being held now as both useless, senseless and wicked. Thousands of these soldiers say they do not hate Southern people and that they want to live among them. Two officers left the steamer Mississippi and changed their uniform before that unfortunate vessel left this city.

Late in the evening I took a walk and stopped at Doctor Glenn’s—found Sarah in bed with a roomful of ladies. Her baby is nine days old—called “Robert Lee,” after our great General. Mrs. Pritchard and her daughter were there and told me much of what these Federals are doing in the city. If the United States had chosen to war against the Union, instead of for it, she could not have chosen better people for her service. Three ladies of Mrs. Pritchard’s acquaintance were arrested not long ago and thrown into a room filled with all sorts of horrid people—drunken soldiers and half-dressed ones—for having been singing “The Bonnie Blue Flag” in their own houses with some officers from the British ship. Another lady giving an entertainment to some British officers in her own home had it forcibly entered and was threatened with a search for flags while the company were present. These disgraceful things often happen. Not very long ago an officer rode in among the flowers in Mrs. Budike’s yard, because a child was singing “The Bonnie Blue Flag”—he had the lady called to the balcony, and told her that it was “a pity that United States officers who had worked hard all day could not take a ride for recreation without being insulted by that Rebel song.” Was there ever such nonsense and such a want of pride and dignity. I’m afraid that Mrs. Stewart’s daughters next door will be arrested some day, for their piano and mingled voices are continually doing duty to that contraband ditty. A gentleman of Mrs. Pritchard’s acquaintance has been arrested—he asked Mayor Miller wherefore, “For hanging out a Confederate flag,” said he. “I know the gentleman,” said Mrs. Pritchard, “and I am sure he did no such foolhardy a thing—he would not be guilty of such silly hardihood.” “Oh, well, then,” returned this easy-natured upstart, “he must have had one somewhere in his house, and besides he has been circulating these obnoxious poems,” meaning the “Battle of the Handkerchiefs” and a prose article purporting to be an official report of one of Banks’ men. The town is flooded with these articles—some of them very cutting. The Federals can not find out their authors or the place of their publishing.

Mrs. Callender has just been in; says she is going to the funeral of Commander Cummings, who was killed up the river when Farragut passed. We told her she would be taken for one of the mourners. She laughed. Colonel Clarke, the only gentleman among the Federals, has been wounded, some say seriously; his death is even reported. There appears to be much regret for him among our people, and if he is brought here our women intend to do all in their power for him, to show their grateful distinction between himself and others.

Sunday, March 15th [1863]. Mrs. Dameron’s little ones came over to breakfast. I predict that Mary Lu, or Yete, as she is called, will one day make a sweet, pretty and ingenuous woman. She is shy now, not demonstrative—not half so much noticed and petted as her sister Sydney. The latter is very communicative—she is very pretty, and as much at her ease as a grown woman and quite as worldly-minded and fond of show as some of them. She will be a coquette, I fancy, and will give her good, religious papa the heartache often. Mrs. Dameron with all the children (the baby born the night the city fell, while the Yankee gunboats were steaming up the river; a beautiful boy who has never yet seen his papa) passed yesterday with us, as did also Mrs. White. Courtnay, a fine boy whom they call Chopper(?). The little folk were quite noisy, and their peaceful-minded mother looked as well, calm and contented as if all the world were so, too. She is so honest-minded, so true, innocent and unworldly, that one cannot respect her too highly. She has a kind, good husband—but he went out with the Confederate guards, when General Soule carried them off and has not been back since. She hears often by what we “Rebels” call the “underground railroad,” and the “grapevine telegraph.” He is not in the army, but in the Commissary Department. His friend, Mr. Broadwell (Colonel, they call him, though not in service), being a sort of head man in Jackson—he, Colonel B , being a friend of President Davis, and in great trust with him, can procure favors for his friends. I do not think they will ever fall on one more worthy than Mr. Dameron— a good husband, son and brother. Mr. Broadwell was quite a neighborhood card when in the city— he is very rich, very useful to the Government, and I believe is making a still greater fortune now. He is honest, however, and his word is law, they say, in Jackson, now a military depot. He is awfully uninteresting—and I believe would be literally the death of me were I forced to entertain him long at a time. Why are useful people often so uninteresting? This man is “strong and healthy,” I say, “and ought to be in the field where so many of our delicate brothers are risking health and losing fortune.” Mr. B—— bears the title of Colonel. Then why is he in the Commissary Department?

To-day I thought I would not go to church, but stay at home and have a quiet time. Mary Ogden came first—I was glad to see her; she loves us and we love her. Then came Mrs. Dameron; then Mrs. Roselius, after she left, Mary Ogden, who had gone out, came back to dinner. She left on the three o’clock car. Doctor Fenner then arrived. Then Mrs. Norton read aloud out of newspapers, and Ginnie laid down her book with a sigh— and I, how can I possibly string together a sensible sentence! Mrs. White and Mrs. Dameron are in the other room now, if no one comes after them. I will record what Mary O—— told me in the greatest secrecy. I fear to write it. If anything should happen, will I have time to burn this record! A spy of Stonewall Jackson’s has been in this town—within this week—being known to ——; has been at his house.

He has worn the Federal uniform during his stay and has taken away all necessary information. This man is no impostor, having been seen by in Virginia last summer—he is the Captain in which ——’s son has been first lieutenant since this young man has been on detached service. The spy is well known to —— and they therefore believe what he says. He brings the astounding intelligence that Stonewall Jackson is now at Pontchatoula disguised as a wagoner! He says that when he met him he called him General, whereupon Stonewall disclaimed the honor. “You can not deceive me, General,” said he, “I served under you too long.” He was after this appointed spy. This city is to be taken back before long, unless, indeed, we should be beaten in the coming contests of Port Hudson and Vicksburg. Mary imparted this information almost with fear and trembling to us and made us promise most sacredly to not even whisper or look it to another. Ginnie and myself are the only two in all the world that she would even whisper it to, she says. Her father would be half crazy if he knew anyone else knew of this visit. I have heard so much of Confederate attacks on this place, that such reports do not excite me now. This young man’s story I would doubt altogether if had not known him and seen him in service in Virginia. Time will prove. I wish I could realize him and what he says as Mary does. There are many rumors of Stonewall’s being outside somewhere near. One reliable “lady” knows from a “reliable” gentleman that he is within five miles of the city and bent on its attack. Mr. Randolph says he heard two Federals in the car say, “Well, who knows that that old Stonewall won’t burst in on this city any day. Well, well, we must admit that Stonewall and Longstreet are two powerful men. Powerful men!”

Why should Jackson be in disguise, when his very name at Port Hudson would make our army there invincible? I can offer no solution but this: if it should be known in Virginia, the effect on our army there might be dispiriting. He is so idolized by his men and so feared by the enemy. Even the cold Englishman, whose account of this hero I read a few days ago, says that he could be led anywhere under the inspiring influence of two such men as Lee and Stonewall Jackson. I am so glad that dear Claude’s short military career was passed under him. Claude was one of the famous “Foot Cavalry” until he left his poor arm at Port Republic. Taylor’s Brigade, Harry Hays and the Seventh Regiment Crescent Rifles are names doubly dear for Claude’s sake. I have now in my desk a letter of Claude’s—of last year—written in pencil on a cartridge box— which says: “We have just given Banks a complete whipping—I expect we have done rather a brilliant thing.” Banks will get another whipping soon, in a few days, we think, though the Federals have it reported that Port Hudson has already been evacuated by our troops—frightened at their approach, perhaps. ‘Tis said by our people that fighting is going on to-day. (N. B.—Mrs. Norton reading Bible aloud.) We have just held a discussion—we have expressed a wish that we might get this place by treaty—this humane desire gives offence to Mrs. N——. She “wants them killed.”

She wants to “hear the cannon—let ’em come from France or wherever they will.” If a forcible entry of this town will help to hasten the end of this terrible war, I will be glad to see it—and that speedily—but if our successes which have gained us the admiration of the world, could only buy our freedom without more bloodshed, would it not be better! Oh, I long, long to see this cruel war over! I do not like to even hear of the sufferings our enemies endure. The meeting of the two huge armies now on the river, bent on annihilating each other is a terrible matter to think of. It seems to me I have no longer any faith in civilization, learning, religion—anything good. (If I should write down a scrap of the Bible here, do not let it astonish you, my little niece—your auntie is very seldom alone. Nobody means to inflict any ill upon her, but she is talked to, or read to, almost every minute in the day from before breakfast to bed time.) Who knows what a fine journal I might not have written you if I had had the health and spirits to go about much, and had the privacy in which to record what I heard.

Mrs. Norton went yesterday to get papers for her negroes, according to Federal command—was quite astonished to be asked if she had taken the oath. In giving answer, she also managed to give offence to the official, who rudely told her to “Hush,” whereupon she told him she would talk as much as she pleased in spite of all the Federals in New Orleans and not take the oath either. The Federal said he didn’t care a damn whether she took the oath or not. She then made a very proper answer—”You have proved a gentleman of the first stamp, sir,” said she, “in swearing at an old lady; a very fine gentleman indeed.” He was then silent and ashamed. Mrs. Dameron, Mrs. Doctor Stille and Mrs. Wells all went to the same place to get papers for their servants and were treated very politely. To those who had not taken the oath he expressed great regret, that he was compelled not to issue passes for servants belonging to disloyal people. Such servants are all caught up and forced by Federal soldiers to work on the fortifications and plantations. I pity poor Julie Ann; I wonder what death she will die! She has never known real hardship. This step of the authorities here has given the negroes a great blow. So much for Federal philanthropy! Another instance of it. The Yankee Era said yesterday that the Indianola before her capture by the Confederates had been dispatched to destroy the cotton and plantation of Jeff Davis and his brother and to bring off all the male slaves— the male slaves, philanthropy! We hear constantly of negroes who are brought away unwillingly from their home comforts and their masters—and not infrequently are these poor people robbed of all they have by their pretended saviors. Mrs. Wilkinson’s old man was robbed on his plantation of his watch and money, and another of four hundred dollars, which had been hoarded up for a long time. It’s bad enough for a soldier to steal chickens and pigs, yet I have in some sort a sympathy for this sort of outrage, but when I think of how these pretended civilizers and benefactors have ransacked this town for fine linen and silver spoons—letting not even negroes escape—I feel glad enough to have ceased calling Federal soldiers brothers and countrymen. The dear old Union has ceased to be dear to all who would have once died for it. Its defenders are not knights or cavaliers, but robbers. I am growing each day fonder of our new flag. I did not love it at first—but my heart was thrilled at the accounts of our gallant Southern heroes. I am proud to hear what brave and honorable gentlemen they are, though too often clothed in homespun and too often shoeless.

Read an account in the New York World of the sinking of the Hatteras by the Alabama. It is given out by the officers of the Hatteras on their return to New York. The short conflict was thrillingly interesting. I fancy I can hear Semmes call out, “Do you want assistance!” to the sinking crew—and the awful moments that followed the inquiry. The paper says, “Every comfort was provided for both officers and men” on board the Alabama, and every attention was paid to the littlest wants of the prisoners. Cots were erected on the spar deck for the wounded in order to give them fresh air, and the surgeon of the Alabama extended every facility in their power, furnishing all sorts of medicinal stores for the use of the wounded. A guard was placed round the sick and wounded, and all on board prohibited from making a noise. Some of the Rebel officers gave up their sleeping accommodations; treated them with the utmost courtesy and consideration.” In the Yucatan channel the Alabama ran up to a strange vessel which they ascertained to be English. The Confederate flag was then hoisted and the English vessel dipped her colors three times in token of respect. At Port Royal many British residents and others came on board greeting the officers of the 290 warmly— “We are glad to see you; our whole hearts are with you.” Handshakings and congratulations were exchanged all around and the Southern Confederacy and its representatives were exalted to the skies. Her Brittanic Majesty’s steamer Greyhound was in port, and when it was known on board this vessel that the Alabama was there, it was proposed to greet her with “Dixie Land” and the band struck up. Hearing this air, Semmes remarked to some of the Union officers, “Do you hear that greeting to the lone wanderer of the seas? That is what we hear everywhere.” The English and other visitors on board the Alabama spoke contemptuously of the Yankees, and the Yankee Government before the Union prisoners. “Contemptible Yankees,” was their mildest appellation. This, I think, was mean. The feelings of the unfortunate should never be wounded. The officers of the Hatteras had only done their duty. I am glad that on the Alabama and our other war vessels, that prisoners are treated with respect and kindness. Such things are the triumphs of civilization.

The New York papers are indignant at the sympathy we receive. Indeed, it is wonderful how our young Confederacy has sustained itself with a new and untried government; a volunteer army comprised of men unused to hardship or discipline; many of them high-blooded young fellows who cannot be prone to bear meekly the harshness of officers; with ports blockaded; shut out from not only comforts—but needs; badly clad; poorly armed and coarsely fed; cut off from all United States natural resources; without navy or arsenal—yet have we defied the enemy and preserved our border line almost unbroken. These are triumphs indeed, and it is a grand thing to feel that our countrymen are endowed with faculties which ripen under misfortune and trial, with an enthusiasm which ennobles their deeds, and a courage which is the best of foundations both for national and social character. But, alas! will not this Southern Confederacy be torn asunder sometime as the once sacred Union now is! I want to love all the States with the same love. I used to honor all American soil from Maine to Georgia. I have had a great blow in the severing of the old States and it seems to me that the security has gone from all things. No Constitution made by man could be better or nobler than that our old fathers framed—yet how was it trampled on! There will not be, I fear, in future years any better security against the machinations of bad politicians than there has been in the present time, and here among us may arise some other Lincoln-like demagogue to whom our people will yield their liberties and self-respect as the Northern people have yielded theirs. The separation of States and the blood shedding and suffering of a people will be the consequence. Texas, I fear, will certainly form a republic of her own. There are enough of Texan hearts still beating who regretted the old Union with the United States, though no soldiers have borne more nobly the arms of the Confederacy with honor than those of Texas. They have been distinguished on every field. Talking of Texas stirs in my heart the ever-longing to see my loved ones there. My sister and her dear little ones; my brothers— more especially poor, wounded Claude. No letter or word can reach us from there. I fear my many efforts to smuggle scraps of paper through to them have failed. I have a spool of cotton in which I propose to send a few lines when the Wilkinsons go, but they will wait now I suppose until Port Hudson falls or is pronounced impregnable.

“While I was sick Mrs. Roselius brought over a photograph of a large picture painted here last summer in great secrecy. It was to be sent to Europe to give an idea to the people there what Butler was doing in this conquered city. While Butler was here he seemed almost insane on the subject of enriching himself. He was not content in robbing people of their wealth and women of their jewels and silver; he opened several graves, supposing that gold had been hidden in them. It was thought that he was led on to these searches by the reports of negroes. It is well known here that he opened the grave of our well-loved hero, Sydney A. Johnston (killed at Shiloh). This picture, therefore, represents a graveyard, with the inscription on several tombs very distinct—Sydney A. Johnston, Charles Dreux and the Washington Artillery. On the steps of one of the tombs sits, with back erect, a huge and hideous hyena, with Butler‘s head. A skull and several bones lie near. The effect is sickening and appalling. When I looked at it the same sick feeling came over me of dread and horror that I had felt the day that the wretched thing was done—when Mrs. Brown came up and whispered what Butler was doing and whom he had last seized, and a creeping horror made us all feel the power and wickedness of the wretch to whom we had yielded the city. Over this picture appear the words, “Great Federal Menagerie now on exhibition,” and beneath, “The Great Massachusetts Hyena—true to his traditional instincts, he violates the Grave.” It would have been death last summer to have been caught painting this picture as it would have been to have been known to know anything about it; Mrs. Brown having whispered it to us, though not to her mother. I never saw it until Mrs. Roselius brought it over—she seemed quite astonished to hear we knew anything of it. This picture on a large scale, exhibited over the civilized world would be certainly a greater though more refined punishment than hanging or tearing to pieces by a mob would be for Butler, with which he is so often threatened in private conversation. I do not like violent measures of any sort which inflict physical torture, but I do think that a wretch like Benjamin Butler should be held up to the execration of the entire civilized world. Such rebukes must turn the most hardened villain’s eye inward, and moreover they act wholesomely on others. There should be no revenge in punishment in a civilized society; punishments should be administered for their effect merely for prevention of crimes.

Mrs. Wells has paid us a visit. Reports that Farragut has passed by Port Hudson. Great rejoicing among the Yankees. Mrs. Wells, who has been on a long visit to Mrs. Montgomery, has told us so much of the quiet charities done by both Mrs. Montgomery and the Judge. I was glad to hear it, as they are very rich and as they entertain but little, are thought mean generally. They are very kind to Confederate soldiers, taking them in, nursing them, clothing them and giving them money. People never have any right to pronounce on human character, at least until it has been brought under close inspection. So many are overrated because of some manner that may be entirely superficial and deceptive as to the character it conceals. Mrs. Norton has been down town—brings the Yankee Era. Farragut has passed with two vessels, the flagship Hartford and one other. The Mississippi was destroyed by our batteries—thirty men killed. Farragut is now expected to be between two fires now that he is separated from the rest of his fleet. His position seems dangerous to us— flanked on one side by Port Hudson and on the other by Vicksburg, and a bold report that he has been captured, is already out. Mr. Dudley was up this afternoon; I was making a sack and made Ginnie go out. It is wrong for us to seclude ourselves as we do, but oh, when one feels wretched, anxious and lonely as I do, how can I wish for anything but solitude. Other people seem to be able to throw off their grief by merely meeting and chatting about it. Mrs. Dameron and Mrs. Norton received letters this afternoon. All are well outside the lines. Mary Lou Harrison wrote to her grandma, so also Charley. They have not heard from Texas—the mails being broken up. Charley says that he sent the letter I sent him to Claude—I suppose by Mr. Riley, who is about to return to Galveston where his father is stationed. I feel so dreadfully being thus cut off from all I love. Mrs. Roselius came in this evening, so did Mrs. White and Mrs. Dameron. I walked a little way home with the two latter, after shutting myself up all day long. Mrs. Roselius promised to get me one of the pictures of Butler as hyena. I should like to have the large oil painting.

March 14th [1863]. For the last few days the Federal soldiers have been arresting all the negroes seen in the streets without passes (given out at the Mayor’s office, Mayor Miller, formerly on General Shepley’s staff, and with whom Mrs. Norton has the written bet about the fall of Port Hudson). General, or Governor, Shepley was standing on his (Mrs. Brown’s) steps as Mrs. Norton passed. She stopped and chatted as usual; asked if Port Hudson “is taken yet.” “I am to drink some of that champagne,” said he. “You must take it at my house,” said she, “for I will win it—you will never win it; you will never take Port Hudson.” The General looked very pale; I expect he thinks so, too. The wife of a Yankee who is lodged in a “captured house” at the corner of our square, had a letter from her husband a few days ago. He is at Baton Rouge, and is to take part in the coming battle. “It will be a terrible fight,” he writes. Two weeks ago she told Mrs. Norton, out of mere bravado and to frighten her, that the Federals had surrounded both Vicksburg and Port Hudson and that both places were in Federal power. She has held levees for the negroes, and has always managed to say something disagreeable about our defeats somewhere or other, or that Butler would soon be back, or something of that sort, whenever we passed her door. But a great anxiety has taken possession of her; she has “no one but her husband,” she says, and indeed we feel sorry for the poor thing. Should Port Hudson fall she will say all sorts of things as we pass, I know, but she is a poor, common creature and is only to be pitied. I hope her husband will be spared her; also that as many of the soldiers as possible will desert to us as have promised to do so. It took three regiments to force off one to go to this Port Hudson affair. We “Rebels” have been making laughing calculations and trying to work out political problems by the rule of three, since this event. Specimens: “If it takes three regiments to move one to the scene of action, how many will it take to move out Banks’ whole army?” “How many will it take to make them fight?” and so forth.

Just called out to see Mrs. Wilkinson—not the paroled one—she tells me that Mrs. Bowen, the wife of a Yankee Colonel, let slip in her converse that three Connecticut regiments mutinied and had to be sent home—officers and men. The rule of three still at work. General Sherman asked Kate Wilkinson why she was so anxious to go over the lines. “Oh, General, I am so tired here, and I do so long for some fresh Confederate air.” The General smiled and said, “Well, stay, and maybe you will have some good Confederate air here soon before long.” We wonder what he meant by that. General Sherman has advised Mrs. Wilkinson not to go yet as there will be danger in the transfer. “Wait,” said he smilingly, “and perhaps we will send you all the way to Vicksburg.” “I have heard something of going that way,” returned Mrs. Wilkinson, “but under our own flag.” The “Rebel” ram Missouri has run the gauntlet out of the Yazoo where she was built, and is safe at Vicksburg. Farragut and Banks are both at Baton Rouge. Word has been received here, it is said, that fighting has commenced at Port Hudson. The few Federals who are left here keep up much journeying to and fro. They are riding furiously up and down the street and the jingling of their swords is sounding in our ears all day long as they pass our door. I can not say that their step is martial, or in the cavalier style. They ride, indeed, infamously in two ways—in the first place they have stolen every horse in town, even ladies’ carriage horses and those from doctors’ buggies; in the next, they sit on them in the most awkward style, bumping up and down, laboring, apparently, more than the horses. They sit back pompously, and no doubt think that we admire them wonderfully. The Indianola, which we captured from the Federals, was reported lost. Indeed, an “extra” informed us that a strange vessel went steaming past the batteries at Vicksburg while our people were raising the Indianola (which had been sunk in the capture), whereupon our Confederate boats took alarm and destroyed the half raised vessel. I thought it queer that two Confederate steamers would run from one Yankee craft, and now we hear that the whole thing was a ruse, and that the Indianola is not only raised, but in good fighting order, having lost in the submerging but two guns.

“We are getting quite a navy—all captured; not one had we with which to begin. When the Queen of the West passed Vicksburg, she ruled, indeed, like a queen over the world of waters, which lie between Port Hudson and Vicksburg, thus locking up our Texas and Red River trade, cutting off our army supplies. The Federals were jubilant over her passing, but she soon fell after a short and inglorious career, and a still more inglorious struggle. She was destroyed by the Red River batteries and deserted by her officers. She floats a new, and I hope to high Heaven, what is to ever be a worthier flag, and her first exploit under it, was to make another Federal bulwark succumb. These iron monsters which were soon to make an end of “the rebellion” are fast falling into our hands, and besides, we have some trusty ones of our own building. We Confederate women are forever counting them in our hearts and on our fingers. They are to open the prison doors of New Orleans. We have three building up the Yazoo; one, the Missouri, has run the gauntlet, and we have seven building at Mobile. In two months we can take this city back. Mrs. Norton is reading out loud—she sees badly—stumbles, I cannot make out what she means, or what I mean myself. I hope my Edith, when she reads this, will take into consideration her auntie’s trials and never feel tempted to scrawl out such a production herself.

March 13th [1863]. I have been sick, and am nervous, mentally and physically. I am enjoying though to-day my first quiet moments for a long time. Ginnie and I are alone, as in our own home. Mrs. Norton and all have gone to Greenville to pass the day with the Ogdens. We told Mary we would come another time. Mrs. Norton wanted us to go; the more the merrier, she said, but Ginnie was sick, a good excuse, for poor Ginnie loves quiet better than anything now.

Indeed we have not been alone together for days. The Ogdens, the Harrisons, the Waughs, the Randolphs, Mrs. Callender, Mrs. Roselius, and ever so many other people have been here and sat by my bed and talked and talked and talked. I have not that sort of tact which enables one to dismiss friends pleasantly—no matter how I feel, I must bear it, and Ginnie is like me. We have been very, very gloomy and unwell, yet never alone. When outside friends go home, Mrs. Norton reads in her dreadful style these hateful newspapers aloud. She knows we hate them, “But people ought to take interest,” she says; “That is not her way”—“She don’t know how people can do so,” and she goes on until we are most distracted. Every advertisement, every negro arrest is drawled out and stumbled over. She sits in her room, has the door opened between us and begins before we are dressed in the morning. It is a mania with her and we are dying under it. The carts passing in front of our room (also cars) make it impossible for us to hear clearly, which she takes as a great affront. She asks all sorts of questions as to what we think the Federals will do, and if we are not true prophets in the least as well as greatest matters, throws it up to us. I get very, very tired of this sort of life, and my heart aches to see its effect on Ginnie. I would go to Greenville to our friends there, but when people are so kind and affectionate as they all are, one seems ungrateful not to make some effort to be agreeable and lively. Another reason too, we cannot leave Mrs. Norton for any length of time without quarreling with her. She really means to give us no offence; she is kinder to us than to others, and as she would insist on knowing why we left her house, we could not tell her without a blow up. I hate the eclat of a quarrel; I hate a quarrel itself, and more than all I remember many times when the old lady repressed her naturally high temper, out of kindness and respect to us. She is, only, very unlike ourselves—not one sentiment or taste have we in common, and our constant effort to accommodate ourselves to her is killing us by inches. I will take poor Ginnie and go for another visit to Greenville soon. The Randolphs, the Harrisons and Ogdens all beg us constantly; we see them almost every day. There has been a falling out between the Harrisons and the Ogdens—it distresses me—they are both kind, good and honorable families—we being the confidants of both sides see that misunderstandings and servants’ tales have separated them. Once we succeeded in making peace between them, but now the falling out has reached the gentlemen of each house; I do not hope for any favorable adjustment of things.

Mrs. Roselius and Mary Waugh—to our room—Mary just from a sick-bed, too. Sat till the cars bringing Mrs. Norton back. She spent a pleasant day and regretted we were not well enough to go. The girls sent us much love and pressing invitations. The Randolphs and Harrisons live across the street either way from Judge Ogden’s, so Mrs. Norton made the most of her time and paid visits all around. She says everything looks green and lovely and rather lonely. The Yankee tents and flags, uniforms and band playings being missed in a pictorial way, if in no other. The pleasure of going to Greenville is destroyed, in a measure, by the disagreements among the two families. We, Ginnie and I, do not scruple to give them advice and to tell them that they are both wrong. I tell them that I expect to lose the friendship of both sides, but they say they appreciate our feelings perfectly. Mary Harrison and Judge Ogden met here a few days ago— the Judge sat in the parlor and Mary came to our room—we did not know which side to be the most with. Mary was as nervous as possible; thinks Judge O—— has grossly insulted her father. We know he never meant to insult anybody in his life, being the most amiable man of our acquaintance, and the one most easily imposed upon. He is indeed a proverb of kindness and patience. Jule Ogden and Mary Harrison, too, met here— bowed distantly—and had to go down the steps together, and to take the three o’clock car together, and ride all the way home together; get out at the same station together; all without speaking. It is very silly, and both sides are ashamed. I think the position of Kentucky in this war laid the ground-work of the whole affair. This State has been freely discussed here and freely blamed, and the Harrisons resent all that is said against her. They have indeed a morbid sensitiveness and love for their old home, and they cannot help feeling that people mean to be personal, when they speak of her. This state of things induced a suspicious, almost resentful tone of feeling which has exaggerated and returned unmeant wrongs, and in this way quite a catalogue of offences have been recorded on both sides and the old feeling wholly undermined. I feel sorry to see a large family of young people leave a loved home for any other, especially in this country, where State pride and love is so predominant. There can never be any National feeling in this country—men are willing to sacrifice and die for Native State, and they are prone to think it the home and birthplace of every perfection. People, even in transmigratory America, can not be transplanted without injury. Even if a root is secured in a strange soil, many a delicate tendril is wounded and lost that would have blossomed sweetly in the old.

I feel sorry for the Harrisons; they came to Louisiana just before the war commenced, leaving a large circle of friends and acquaintances in Kentucky. They have led a lonely prison life here since the city was captured, while their relatives and friends in the old State have been enjoying themselves. Mary Harrison’s eyes filled with tears when she told me of the welcome Kirby Smith had had at her aunt’s house not long ago. John Morgan, their pet hero, is an old acquaintance, as other Confederate heroes. They warmly espouse the Southern cause. They don’t meet any heroes here, poor girls, and never a soldier to whom they can say,God speed you!” They were intimates and relatives of Henry Clay and other intellectual people at home, and consequently feel much cut off here as regards society. Having come here at an unfortunate time, their beautiful home on the railroad is regarded by them as a prison—ugly and hateful in their eyes. We, Ginnie and myself, are both border State people, and have the position of old Maryland to regret, too. We can see much to justify the conduct of the poor border States, and I must confess that the people who have flocked to take the oath to the United States, as they of this city have done, have no right to pass such sweeping censures as Maryland and Kentucky receive every day. Said Mrs. Brewer to me the other evening, “Ah, do you not feel glad that you are out of your native State? How shamefully she has behaved.” She did not mean to be rude. Her husband is a Marylander and was present. His father and mother were driven off of their farm near Annapolis, as it was needed for a Federal camp. He has lost a son and a nephew in the Southern service. I told Mrs. Brewer that I thought the men of the border States who had fought for Southern rights, were the real heroes of the war. Others fight for all they have in the world—these men lose all. Their States not seceding, they are exiles in purse and home. They have not even the common feeling of State pride to support them in the burden-bearing heat of this war. I was told by a young gentleman—an Adam’s cavalry man—from near Natchez, that he had seen many of the Maryland boys while serving in Virginia. “They are real exiles,” said he; “noble, splendid-looking fellows.” Poor old Maryland! I wish no Yankee had ever moved within your border; not that I hate them so bitterly, but it is too wretched a thing to have a divided population.

Between North and South this war is sectional; in the unhappy border States alone, it is civil. People never know how they act until tried. Two years ago the people here could not have been made to believe that they, under any circumstances, would take an oath to the repudiated authority of the United States. After the first blood was shed in this war, blood which “flecked the streets of Baltimore,” after the resistance to the first Federal troops, was disarmed and put down, an outcry went up in New Orleans against Maryland. “She had yielded! She was pusillanimous! She was willing to see her Southern sisters overrun and oppressed! She was mean, contemptible!”

“Better,” said the papers and the people, “better had the proud city of Baltimore been razed to the ground than to have become what she is,” I said so, too; at least, I felt so then and I feel so now— I would rather there should be no Baltimore—so long in my memory a sacred spot—now polluted by traitor’s feet; a Baltimore not true to the “Old Line’s fame.” I used to love to think how much of that dear soil was once the birthright of the Croxalls—my mother’s family, and how many thousands of dearest memories cluster about that splendid domain—Portland Manor—that once was ours. It lies not far away from Annapolis, now a Federal resting place. Our dear old home, our dear old Maryland! I did not know until this revolution how much I loved either. Ah, well, here are we, two lonely-hearted women living in Louisiana, not bearing transplanting much better than the Harrisons, though we went through it much earlier when mere children. We are sadder than they—we can not, in our unprotected state, live in our own house. By the by, I will record it here. That house and garden of ours is confiscated, they tell me. If so, Mr. Randolph must move out of it and let the Yankees move in. It only nearly escaped being made a hospital. I am glad we did not take the oath, though. The border State people have been very true in this respect. “Pride or Conscience?” I ask myself. Mrs. Brewer, who made that remark about Maryland, took the oath, and when a Federal tried to turn her out of her house she said she was a Union woman. The papers and people, who cried out, “Better had Baltimore been destroyed,” took quite another tone when New Orleans fell. Then it was, “We are a conquered people and we must not provoke our invaders.” When Marshall Kane, of Baltimore, was lodged in Fort McHenry and poor Thomas thrown in irons, my heart, it seemed, shed tears of blood; people said, “The pusillanimous Marylanders.” Since that day Mayor Monroe has been dragged to Fort Jackson in almost a dying condition, and the brave Mumford, who tore down the first Federal flag raised in the city, has been hung, and no man’s hand was lifted to help him. Indeed there has been more individual and collective resistance in Baltimore than in this city which has suffered more provocation. Yet people even yet will not make allowance for others who yield to bitter circumstance, even as they do Maryland, after the seizure and imprisonment of her Legislature, which would have carried the State out of the Union, sent other members to the Federal Congress. I felt this a great disgrace to her, but then New Orleans this winter has shown me how such movements can be made. Haus and Flanders, of this city, to represent Louisiana; men nobody had heard of till this commotion. Had poor old Maryland had her ex-Governor Lowe, instead of the serpent Hicks as her ruler, she would have been in the field as early as her sister Virginia. Together they would have taken sides after their peace commissions had failed. Old Virginia was for a long time distrusted here. “She should have been one of the first to have gone out,” people said, but now that she is the battle field, bleeding, dismantled and torn, she is loved. For my part, I never blamed her. I respected her dalliance, her love of the Union, and her earnest efforts toward mediation, but when the last failed, I knew she was right to sever her old bonds, and stand by her Southern sisters, and I knew dear old Maryland was wrong. I made some concession in my arraigning thoughts, because of her geographical position. The broad Potomac divided her from her friends and the severing Chesapeake brought the iron monsters to her very door and she had no time to think and prepare. I will do the people here the justice to say that her position has been considered. She has been much sympathized with and pitied, and “Maryland, my Maryland” has been sung with real and earnest pathos by thousands of Southern lips. They thought she was true, that she would come with us some day when her chains were taken off; they knew that she had helped us and that many a Maryland mother had a son to mourn, who lay beyond the wide Potomac. After Lee’s advance, and the battle of Antietam [Sharpsburg], this feeling changed. Lee was certainly unsupported. It was a great blow to me. “They should have risen en masse,” we said. Lee only remained three days, however, and men cannot leave homes unprotected so suddenly and on such short notice. Had he seized Baltimore; had he stayed long enough to offer protection to those he invited, I believe many would have joined him. The young and ardent were already on the field and the others required safeguards for their families. I wish Lee had never gone to Maryland. It was pleasant to dream of her relief in my own way. What sort of a journal is this, I wonder!

Mrs. Norton met a Confederate soldier in the cars the other day; they fell into converse and he promised to come to see us all, as he is on parole and is allowed the freedom of the city, but without his uniform. This creates an unpleasant excitement here; unpleasant to Federals, I mean—our officers we hear are much sought after and are in danger of forming bad habits from too much toast-drinking. Mrs. Norton’s soldier appointed a day and hour and Mr. Randolph, Mary Harrison, and Mrs. Dameron waited here a long time for his lordship, but he did not make his appearance. I was sick in bed and Ginnie was gloomy, sick and nervous—so I did not regret the disappointment for ourselves.

Mrs. Pinkard has had a message from the Federal authorities that she must either lodge General Sherman, give up her house, or pay rent for it. Cool and insolent! Colonel French lived in it and gave it up after Mrs. Pinkard’s return with reluctance. She had taken the oath and there was no excuse. “Would you have me turn Mrs. French into the street?” said he when first applied to. Why the last change, I cannot say.

March 8th [1863]. Clear and beautiful, this Sunday morning. Orange trees in full bloom and roses, honeysuckle and jessamine scenting the air. Too warm. Spring with all its beauty is a desolate season with me. I miss the kindly blaze, the bracing atmosphere and even the lonely sad tone of the winter wind. There is something sad in seeing all things renewed but one’s self. Children finely dressed are hurrying to Sunday school. Mrs. Norton in her best, getting ready for church. I do not feel like going. I wish I had some vent for myself, whether it were church going or visiting. I feel so lonely-hearted always. Yesterday afternoon I was mortified, being for the first time in my life the occasion of a servant’s falsehood. Often I have allowed myself to be persecuted by trifling converse rather than to send a false “Not at home,” or a rude “Beg to be excused.” After dinner Ginnie and I felt tired and not quite well—we had exhausted ourselves talking with Mrs. Norton and Mr. Randolph, and as Mrs. Norton had gone down town, we thought we would refuse all that called and have a quiet time.

Ginnie told Jane to say that Mrs. N—— was out and that we were not well. Mrs. Wells and Mrs. Montgomery called. We heard Jane say “Not at home” for all of us. Called her up afterward and gave her a lecture on story-telling. She said she couldn’t say we did not want to see anybody. Mrs. Roselius came; heard her tell the same thing. I was not dressed, or should have contradicted her in person. I was nervous really—partly because Mrs. R—— is accustomed to pass through our room, or would peep through the blind on the gallery to find if we were in. She retreated before I could get ready. Mr. Dudley called; Mrs. Callender—all shut up. Presently Mrs. Norton returned, bringing Mrs. Roselius with her and Jaque. The impudent little fellow had to open wide our door and make some remark about our being shut in the dark. We felt mortified, but did not go out. Indeed there should be some decent, yet truthful, way of denying one’s self to people when one is weary and out of spirits. After tea, Mrs. Dameron and Mrs. White called and sat for a while. I went down to the gate with them and stood alone a little while looking upon the night. A full moon struggling with heavy clouds; patches of blue sky and a few sweet stars. “Custom can not stale” the infinite variety of the world above us—the voices of the vast eternity are never trite, and the emotions they inspire never weary—they are ever fresh, though as old as the world.

Mary Ogden in from Greenville this morning. The Yankees took away everything from the camp, she says, and burned everything they could not carry—not expected back in that region. Mary brought a letter from her friend, Roberta Archer, of Baltimore, to read to us. She writes as a Unionist—though a warm Southerner—and in this way can tell us much of the position of things in Old Maryland. She is thoroughly out of spirits about the political situation in her native State. That Lee was not reenforced and welcomed by her country people, she is grieved and mortified. The Southern cause is warmly supported by the women and those men who have gone to the Southern battle fields are in high favor. Men, it seems, make the excuse of “Want of arms” in Maryland, as they do here. I, too, am distressed about Maryland’s position. I would not have believed once that the dear old State would have stood calm when the South was trampled on. However, many of her sons have left all to fight for a cause which their State has not adopted. They are noble fellows and will be exiles henceforth. God help this ruined land. I would rather that Maryland should help to form a new Confederacy than to remain a dishonored member of this one. There will, I expect, eventually be formed three Confederacies, if not now. New England should remain alone.

Sammy Erwin has just come in to tell us that his sister, Mrs. Chalmers, is going to be sent out to-morrow and wants to see us. His brother, Stanhope, they have just heard, was killed at the battle of Murfreesboro. Went to see Em—Mrs. Chalmers—on Sunday; found much company and had a full view of General Miles’ house and yard, which are now occupied by Yankees. The privates were wrestling and tumbling over in the yard and out by the street gate, looking wholly unimpressed by the great questions now at issue. I detached myself as much as possible from the general converse and speculated in my usual way. No one talks anything but war-talk. At home and abroad the eternal Yankee is dinned into my ears. I feel an intense interest in this terrible struggle— it underlies almost my every thought and action, and my alternate hopes and fears as to future events have worn me mentally and physically, so much so, that a “waiting-for-the-war-to-be-over” feeling has paralyzed my every energy. It is for this reason—because I have suffered and do suffer so much—I am soon wearied by the trivial details of the hour, even though the war and the Yankees give them birth. I found Sarah looking badly and Em is not to leave to-morrow. She is awaiting Yankee orders. I do not think that either she or the Wilkinsons will be sent out till that awful affair at Port Hudson is over. Em is not to be allowed to carry more provisions with her than are to be actually needed on the journey. “1 presume you will find plenty when that is over, madame,” says satirical Mr. Officer, which meant, “I know that they are half starving in the Confederacy, but if you are silly enough to go there, you must abide the consequences.” These officers ask numberless insolent (necessary?) questions when applied to for passports. They are gruff or otherwise, as the humor takes them. “Why don’t you stay here and take your tea and coffee in peace?” Bowen asked of Ginnie. “Those people in the Confederacy can’t let you have anything to eat out there.” “I don’t fear deprivations outside the lines,” said Miss Pride. I met the Misses Pritchard at Sarah’s, daughters of a lady quite famous in Confederate sewing societies and all sorts of associations. They are graceful girls; not very pretty, but intelligent, filled with sublime contempt for the Yankees. They are Philadelphia people. These adopted Southerners are much hotter than we, strange to say. Butler poured out particular venom on this class.

I left Doctor Glen’s early and called on the Wilkinsons ; met there Doctor Fenner, who told us that our big “Rebel Ram” is finished, and has run out of the Yazoo and is now lying at Vicksburg. She will soon begin to write her history. I hope the fate of the ram Arkansas will not be hers. After the Arkansasbrilliant dash from the Yazoo last summer, through the whole Federal fleet, fighting her way safely to Vicksburg, a thrill of enthusiasm and admiration passed through us poor prisoners here, lighting our way, as it were. This feeling ended in a positive personification of the boat, and we spoke of our grim-faced champion as though it were a human being. We loved it and felt protected, even from afar. The Federal accounts of its passage through the great fleet, proved what a splendid and wonderful thing had been done, and after vessel after vessel had given her broadsides and left her unharmed, we began to feel towards the Arkansas as the mother of Achilles must have felt toward that invulnerable (vulnerable) hero after she dipped him. We were sure she was invulnerable, so after the battle of Baton Rouge, when news of her death and destruction came to us, we indignantly rejected such wild beliefs. For weeks, for months, the matter aroused warm discussions. One said, “It was a ruse of ours, the Arkansas would stir our blood again and yet again.” Another contended that she had been blown up by our own people, because her machinery had failed. Of course many resisted the idea of inefficiency in our pride and pet. “No, we would not believe it,” and so we did not for months. Indeed our faiths pro and con were sadly confused by the reports of eye witnesses. This man had seen her blown up— the other had seen her captured and finished by the Essex (Federal), while yet another had seen her towed off in safety toward Vicksburg. (Later accounts.) This lady knew a reliable gentleman who had just run the blockade—he could swear that he had seen the Arkansas on such a day under the batteries safe at Vicksburg. This was to be kept a great secret, both as regarded the ram and the blockade-runner—this reliable gentleman, through fear of the meddling Butler, was never forthcoming, and so we went on keeping his secret with all our might, only whispering it throughout our various circles. I know a gentleman (Doctor Camel) who still believes in the Arkansas. On this day, March 8th, Mr. Randolph knows a man who is bold enough to say that he knows she is safe. Queer world this.

People are beginning to look forward to an attack on this place once more. I do not intend to get excited as I did last summer. How often was I told as I lay down at night to put a dark dress by my bedside, as the Confederates would be here by morning. Dozens and dozens of nights were appointed for the attack, and dozens of mornings broke in disappointment to thousands. We believe now but for the loss of our dear ram we would have had the city back long ago, though croakers cry, “Never again; except by treaty.” I was among those croakers at first. I felt we could never get it back the sad ignominious day it fell, but I grew into a more hopeful state after awhile and joined with some faith the whispering conclaves. How often we imagined we heard the guns at the Fort, I could not at this time safely determine, but their attack and fall were often talked over enough in the dim twilight to stir my blood. What deeds of valor and devotion were we not to perform. We partly rose from the sluggish channel in which sorrow had made us float so long. I do not think that either Gin or myself would fear in battle—we are too sad-hearted. The town is in Federal hands still, but after long silence on this momentous topic, men and women begin again to whisper of attack. General Banks, Farragut and fleet have left for Baton Rouge to aid the attack at Port Hudson. This place is now poorly defended, and we might take it if the 290 and Oreta were here. I would rather get it by treaty, oh, so much— there would be no blood shed then, but if I say so before Mrs. Norton it raises a perfect storm. I would fight as bravely as she, if the city is attacked and needs women’s help, but I cannot help nourishing a hope that the fights at all the different points may be delayed until some decision is arrived at in Congress, which will leave us a free people without further shedding of blood. Why desolate more homes; especially why slaughter more of these poor wretches, more than half of whom are in open insubordination with their own authorities, who are deserting to us constantly? Bayonets were drawn on the poor fellows who refused to embark for the attack on Port Hudson. The men do not wish to fight us, they openly say so.

There are many ways to get together an army in any cause—many of these men have joined for bread. Mrs. Norton wants the negroes all killed, too, “because they listened to Yankee lies.” This is being no greater, wiser or better than Wendell Phillips, who wants all slave holders killed. What a world this is. The North is hating England for her sympathy with us, and for the help she has given us—we are hating her because she does not give us recognition, because she did not long ago. If the extremists were not held in check by a more humane class, the earth would soon be depopulated. I hear numbers of humane sentiments from true Southern people who would fight our enemies bravely, but who do not hate them. When Judge Ogden’s house was guarded he had a fire made in an outhouse for the poor desolate-looking fellows to warm themselves by, and Mary Ogden gave the sick medicine, toast and coffee that she made for them herself. She was “too good to be a Rebel,” one poor wretch said— the whole family are registered enemies. Saw the picture of Mrs. Lieutenant Andrews at Mrs. Wilkinson’s. She had it taken with great alacrity when Mrs. W—— asked her. She does not know she is to figure in the family annals as the keeper of The Female Bastile. Mrs. W—— still has to report herself; it rained for two days, heavily, and she did not go down, and therefore received a message from Lieutenant Andrews that if she did not report herself before 4 o’clock that day, he would send a sergeant after her. Has the world ever seen before a woman on parole! A woman, old and delicate, a lady, wholly unconnected with politics of any sort, who went over the lines because a report of her husband’s death had reached her, and who returned to her children! Mr. Randolph says ’tis a pity that the Confederates take no women prisoners—if they did, Mrs. W—— might be exchanged.

7th. Mrs. Harrison called to say that someone would take out a letter for us all. I had a disappointment in that way a few days ago. A man who was to have run out a schooner, was arrested and all his goods seized. Katy Wilkinson has sent us some more work, as we had often pressed her to do. We have sewed belts on pieces of dark cloth, doubled,which are to be worn on the girls’ persons as skirts, and after crossing the lines, to be worn on the back of some Confederate soldier. Heaven send that the girls be not searched. They say they would not permit it. I would not let one of the infamous creatures touch me. Mrs. Andrews, the wife of the Lieutenant at whose house Mrs. Wilkinson was imprisoned, was one of the women who volunteered to search the ladies who went out last time. She was at first very rude to Mrs. W—— , but that lady having one day asked for her daguerrotype, she was so flattered by the request that she not only went down town and had it immediately taken, but has been in a good, polite humor ever since. She did not know that Mrs. W—— only wanted her likeness that she might show the features of her jailer in the future to her children. Mrs. Harrison reports that all the soldiers have been sent from Camp Weitzel and Carrollton up the river. They have gone to Baton Rouge, and we suppose that means that there will soon be an attack upon Port Hudson. The Yankee Era reports the Confederate capture of the Yankee vessel No. 2 between Port Hudson and Vicksburg. Mr. Randolph brought us the news that fighting is going on, or suspected of going on, at Baton Rouge, our side having made the attack. Stonewall Jackson reported there. Oh, how I should like to see him! There is excitement of some nature afloat. Troops are being sent off and artillery has been taken from the square above us. Our people down town seem greatly aroused. Mr. R—— said a thousand men could take this city now. I proposed to him that he should seriously try to get his friends to join him in such an undertaking. There are twenty thousand men in this city who could aid our people if agreed. It is thought that the Federals do not wish to attack either Port Hudson or Vicksburg. They do not wish to bring matters to a crisis. They cannot depend on their men. A transport came up the river yesterday evening, the soldiers upon which being drunk sang the “Bonnie Blue Flag” and shouted for Jeff Davis.

The last Caucasion says that there are now but two parties in the United States—one, that of Jeff Davis, who supports the Constitution, and that of Lincoln who tramples on it. Our Major Prados, who was murdered by a deserter, was buried yesterday; his funeral was larger than that of Dreux, the first New Orleans officer who fell in the war. Banks sent word to the crowd that it must disperse, and that only the friends of Major Prados should attend him to the grave.

“Tell General Banks,” returned the people, “that we are all his friends.” A very good answer, I think. Someone remarked to Banks that this was called a Union city. “A Union city,” returned Banks with contempt; “I could carry every Union man in it on a hand-car.” Such is the fact, really, and I can but mourn that so many took the oath when that wretched Butler was here. I do not wonder at timid people yielding, but I do wonder at that want of unity among an oppressed people which would have protected them. Butler could not have revenged himself upon a whole town. No man or woman seemed to think that he or she would have been supported in resistance, and therefore did not attempt any. We fortunately made up our minds not to take it. And if the whole town had yielded, we would not have done so. People crowded so to take the oath, that we were under the impression that but a few intended to resist, and that those few would be certainly punished. So we tied up a few treasures which were to go to prison with us, and, with some fluttering maybe, waited our fate. Another expedition into the Tech country under Weitzel. More desolation of homes. ‘Tis to be hoped that Sibley, or some of our men, will be there to defend. We are such prisoners here that we know nothing. The Essex war steamer has been chased by our Confederate Queen of the West, and is so damaged that she is pumping water. Caucasion newspapers all suppressed. One smuggled sold for 75 cents. Banks has offered $500.00 reward for the discovery of the person who wrote “La Bataille des Mouchoirs.” Banks denies having anything to do with sending cannon and artillery down upon the women and children. Farragut disclaims the whole affair of having had the women and children carried down the river in a boat and kept there until the next day. They are much mortified—report says.