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.

April 1, 2013

The Journal of Julia LeGrand

Wednesday, April 1st [1863]. Mary Ogden here. She has been to see Mrs. Tutt, a lady who is just in. Mary Harrison called on her yesterday, and we had quite a laugh at her doleful face when she returned from the visit. “I have called to make you all miserable,” was her greeting as she entered. Then followed a volley of disappointment. Mrs. Tutt stood sponsor for all. Stonewall Jackson is not outside; he is in Virginia. The Hartford is not taken; nor the Albatross. All of our gunboats are injured and undergoing repairs. We have lost Pontchatoula. There are three fine gunboats in Mobile harbor, but only intended for its defence; last of all, the Confederates are not even thinking of taking this place. One by one we recovered from these explosions. We began to take Mrs. Tutt’s character into consideration. Indeed, she is not the sort of woman we could even expect to hear good tidings. She has no imagination; therefore, could tell nothing in its true light, for according to a theory popular with romantic people, the real truth underlies the common surface, and it is only by realizing what we feel and cannot see that we reach it. Stonewall J—— must be there in spite of Mrs. Tutt. But in disguise, as we had heard. Mrs. Tutt is as truthful as the sunlight, but so prosaic—who would expect her to realize so stupendous a romance as that, and as for the expected attack here—who would, for a moment, suppose that our Generals would be so silly as to tell their plans to Mrs. Tutt! So we went on laughing very much and sighing a great deal audibly now and then. We had heard that Mrs. Tutt had taken a solemn oath to the Confederates not to reveal one single thing which she had seen or heard. This meant a great deal, we thought; if she could honestly reveal nothing, what might we not believe? This is the matter which Mary Ogden went to settle. One member of her family had said she had taken that very solemn oath; another said that it was only the oath to the Confederacy—taken Yankee fashion. Mrs. Wilkinson says that such an oath has never been administered in the Confederacy; so the matter must stand as we heard at first. They did not appeal directly to Mrs. Tutt, for she is in deep grief on account of her recently lost husband.

However, one by one our hopes are dying out. Our imprisonment is terrible. It does not seem to have the same effect on others as on Ginnie and me. We are so uncongenially situated. After Mary Ogden had gone home, Lizzie and Jule, who had been passing the day in town, came in. The Mitchell girls were with them—all bright, rosy and cheerful. The last two, however, said they were very low-spirited at home now. “Pa has gone to his plantation and cannot get back.” They ran on cheerfully enough about their young matters, though. One of them raised her Beauregard (a small cape worn by Confederate women), and showed a huge button which she avowed to have stolen from “Somebody’s” coat. Ginnie called it a Yankee button, but she made great haste to show her Pelican. They know all the Spanish officers, and like them “so much.” We saw them to the cars and the Ogdens got in. Mrs. Saunders and Mr. R. ‘s little Eva were within. They called to us to come soon to Greenville. I wish we could go and stay awhile; they all come to see us so often and beg so earnestly for our return visits.

I have no fancy for Mr. S——. The Yankee Era to-day acknowledeged the loss of another gunboat, the Diana, in the Teche. We are told, too, that Sibley has beaten the Yankees well in the Teche country.

Weitzel is now in the city. The Yankees, too, have admitted that our men fought splendidly, and after capturing a number of them treated them in the kindest and most gallant manner. I do love this. Mrs. Roselius and ourselves were talking about this matter to-day. Mrs. Roselius repeated what she had heard from her husband. Weitzel has said that the men of Louisiana are as brave as any the world contains—they fought them splendidly, and afterwards treated their captives nobly, but it was astonishing to him that the women were so very bitter, so uncompromising, that they could not give an enemy a civil word. I said I was so sorry to hear this, and mentioned what Mr. Harrison, who has been a prisoner for months in the Custom House, had seen there of the rudeness of our women who went to see after the prisoners. Mrs. Norton burst out in her abrupt way, “Dear knows, they treat us bad enough; for my part, I don’t care what they say to them, the wretches.” I remarked that it was at least for a woman’s own sake that she avoid notoriety. Any notion that I may have formed of chivalry, true patriotism and courtesy I did not touch upon. Many women here insult the Federal soldiers, who will not sacrifice their love of finery for the sake of their anxious fathers and brothers. I would expect little true patriotism from such. Went to see Mrs. Gilmour and her daughter.

Mrs. G—— is a sweet, sweet old lady. She, too, is going to Texas on a visit to a married son there. She hopes that we may meet, and so do I. She knows a lady just in from Port Hudson. We have not captured the Hartford or Farragut, but he is yet between our batteries. The Indianola is under repairs at Alexandria, and is not destroyed. The Yankees are deserting Baton Rouge, after all their military display there. They are fortifying Donaldsonville, they say, because they wish to cut us off from supplies, but we say because they could not remain where they were; their men were deserting, a dozen, sometimes fifteen, a day, and refused to fight when Banks marched out with them. Reports of our having four vessels in the Gulf. I fear our hopes are vain, and we are not to be delivered yet.

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