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.

November 17, 2012

The Journal of Julia LeGrand

A letter to Mrs. Chilton:

New Orleans, Nov. 17th, 1862.

Dear Mrs. Chilton:

I have sent you two or three letters and though I have once had a line from you, you did not acknowledge the receipt of anything from me. I would have written oftener, but I always feel that it is almost unkind to burden anyone with a line now-a-days, and besides I am so unfortunate both in small and great things that I feel as if I risked the letters of other people by enclosing mine with them. I would give much to see you all and more to meet you without anxiety and dread upon your mind. I feel heavy-hearted always and would be glad to creep into a cave even, to forget and be at rest. I have looked anxiously to hear more of Claude, poor worn-out wreck. How I long to see him! I pity him all the time. How can he perform the commonest services for himself now. I long to go to sister in Texas, and if Claude is sure of returning to Hinds, will press through to meet him. I have some money owing me here which I cannot get until next month. I should like to take it with me for I have a great horror of being left somewhere in a strange place without this arm of protection. If that long journey were only over. I long so to see my sister. I feel great anxiety for her just now. I wonder why G–– was not burned instead of being abandoned. You used to doubt my feelings, but it was because you did not understand them. I have met no one whose ideas of defense were more stringent than my own. I would give up all, sacrifice all to honor. What is a city compared to a city’s good name. I was in a rage and frenzy last spring; I was so much before the hitherto most violent people that I hardly knew where I was. The love of housetops prevailed to a degree that I had never formed the most distant idea. The housetops were preserved intact and we are all reaping the benefit of what they shelter. Yet I feel just as I used to do, that this honor and truth do not belong to any land exclusively. I have had ample proof of this. Men of Northern birth here have gone to prison as bravely and nobly as any, while our own people have been in many instances recreant. It is a safe philosophy which teaches us a love for the good and hatred of the bad of all lands, and a resistance to the death of all invaders. I ache to think of all the horrors that have fallen and that are yet to fall. There is no hope left in me. I do not talk much, but the suppressed life of pain which I lead is enough to kill a stronger person. We lead a lonely, anxious life and are sick most always. Come what will, you must think of us always as friends of the old time. I think of the old, old time before all of the illusions faded until my heart feels like breaking. Be kind to my poor dilapidated soldier, should he return to you. Give love to each and all of the children. Tell Charley that I am gratified to see that he remembers us. Tell him I have heard alarming reports of him—is he about to surrender his freedom? I would be in at the death if I knew when the solemn sacrifice is to be made. There was a great frolic on board the English ship, the Rinaldo, a few nights ago. The contraband flag waved freely over seas of red wine and promontories of sugar-work. Mr. F–– , of the little Sanctuary, made I thought a dreadful concession last spring and I never went to hear him afterward. He was married, unhappily, I think, about two months ago. Latterly he has acted quite a bold part and is now in a prison at the North. He called from the ship as he went off: “When I come back the Confederate flag will wave over New Orleans. Hurrah for Jeff Davis!”

J. E. Le Grand.

Previous post:

Next post: