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

Post image for Diary of a Southern Refugee, Judith White McGuire.

Diary of a Southern Refugee, Judith White McGuire.

January 15, 2014

Diary of a Southern Refugee During the War by Judith White McGuire

January 15.—Nothing new from the armies—all quiet. At home we are in statu quo, except that we have had a very agreeable accession to our family party in the person of Colonel C. F. M. G. He sleeps in his office, and messes with us. He cheers us every day by bringing the latest news, in the most pleasant form which the nature of the case will admit. My occupation at home just now is as new as that in the office—it is shoe-making. I am busy upon the second pair of gaiter boots. They are made of canvas, presented me by a friend. It was taken from one of our James River vessels, and has been often spread to the breeze, under the “Stars and Bars.” The vessel was sunk among the obstructions at Drury’s Bluff. The gaiters are cut out by a shoemaker, stitched and bound by the ladies, then soled by a shoemaker, for the moderate sum of fifty dollars. Last year he put soles on a pair for ten dollars. They are then blacked with the material used for blacking guns in the navy. They are very handsome gaiters, and bear polishing by blacking and the shoe-brush as well as morocco. They are lasting, and very cheap when compared with those we buy, which are from $125 to $150 per pair. We are certainly becoming very independent of foreign aid. The girls make beautifully, fitting gloves, of dark flannel, cloth, linen, and any other material we can command. We make very nice blacking, and a friend has just sent me a bottle of brilliant black ink, made of elderberries.

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