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

Post image for Journal of Julia LeGrand.

Journal of Julia LeGrand.

March 7, 2013

The Journal of Julia LeGrand

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.

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