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 31, 2013

The Journal of Julia LeGrand

Tuesday, 31st [March]. Mary Harrison, Mr. Randolph, Mrs. Waugh and Mary Ogden passed nearly the whole morning with us. Mary H—— stayed to dinner, as she missed the car for Greenville. Mr. Randolph was angry when we told him the Miller case. Said I should have sent for him. I had had an idea of beckoning to him from the gallery as he passed in the car, but I thought something might happen in that horrid court-room which might have brought trouble on him. I know he would never have allowed Miller to have treated us so without resenting it, and then he certainly would have gone to prison. He heard my story and took Captain Miller’s name down. He believes the Confederates are coming. “Why do you do that?” said Ginnie. He laughed and said, “I shall have a lock of his hair some day,” meaning that he intended to have his scalp. He has been so much in wild countries that he often talks in this Indian fashion. This was jest; but he declares that Miller shall apologize to Mrs. Norton on his knees. He says I must never go any more to such a place without calling on him. Mary Ogden has lately played a favorite caper of hers, which is representing some character of her fancy and deceiving her acquaintances. She has a perfect passion for this sort of thing, and does it remarkably well. She played rather too serious a game a few days ago. Mr. Randolph and some other gentlemen were at Judge Ogden’s, and Mary thought it proper to disguise herself as a lady just got in from Natchez. Of course, she was brimful of good Confederate items, and her accounts were so very brilliant that one gentleman, quite excited, cried out, “I knew it—I told you so, Judge; you can’t doubt now, Judge, with this lady just in from the outside.” This, for these anxious days, when men’s minds are drawn out to their finest tension and their hearts are longing for some precious tidings for a still doubtful cause, was rather too serious a game to play. Mary has a genius for this sort of acting, and can’t help it. Mr. Randolph was giving us some of this Natchez lady’s glad tidings, and we did not like the glances which he and Miss Mary exchanged. “If you doubt me, ladies,” said he, “I can bring the very lady to you.” “Oh, yes, go and get her,” Mary H— and some of the rest of us cried. Whereupon Mr. Randolph rose and took the Natchez lady by the hand and stood her up before the company. Mary Harrison and Mary Ogden spoke to each other again in quite a friendly manner. They do not visit yet.

A boy cried out,Extra,” and immediately there was a sensation. It proved much better than most of the cheats we have had lately. Quite a brilliant affair at Vicksburg. We drove back two gunboats and sunk two; one passed—the Benton—said to be so much damaged that the Albatross sailed up to her assistance. The Albatross and the Hartford said to be at the mouth of the canal, though Mr. Randolph insists that they both are ours, and that they only fly the Federal flag to attract others to run the gauntlet. If that were true, we would not cripple and sink them so. It must have been an awful sight. It happened in daylight, and quite a collection of men, women and children beheld the sinking vessel and cheered as she went down with all her crew. They are our enemies; they must be killed or conquered, but, my God, I do not think I could have found voice to cheer as she sunk, leaving but a black spot behind her! My heart would have stood still and my tongue, too. Vicksburg claims the title of “The Gibraltar of the South.” Went out with Mary Waugh to take a walk; came back and found a room full. Mr. Waugh says that Shepley has employed three or four hundred more policemen who are to hear (accidentally) conversations on the cars and in the streets. This sort of thing suits his tastes and instincts. He would like to adjust all sorts of cases of espionage himself. I hear, too (from Federal sources, it is said), that next week all houses are to be searched in which British officers have been entertained and the United States flag stamped on. I am told that putting foot on the United States flag while toasts are being drunk to the Confederacy is often part of the ceremony on such occasions. A very silly performance, I think; we could never think of Lee or Jackson at such a feast.

Mrs. Norton once proposed to have some of them here, but we did not wish it and as she would have made us the excuse for more company, we refused to give her opportunity. Indeed, I would not like to be introduced to strangers and foreigners under her chaperonage. She is so very abrupt and peculiar. Mrs. Roselius, our most intimate neighbor, was very anxious to entertain them, and she has so much taste, tact and good breeding that she could have made a pleasant affair of it; but her husband is such a determined Federal that she could not give the matter a thought. He, like all the Federals now, hates the English. The French and Spanish here are also our friends, and I hear a great deal of their visiting among our pretty girls. A handsome young Spaniard from one of the ships made quite a sensation among them. I have no heart any more; no spirit to do anything. Anxiety, sickness and grief have sapped the last remnant of merriment or interest in me.

Previous post:

Next post: