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

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A Confederate Girl’s Diary

December 14, 2012

A Confederate Girl's Diary by Sarah Morgan Dawson

Sunday, December 14th.

Yesterday evening, some time before sunset, Mr. Enders was announced, to our great surprise, as we knew he had been in Clinton all the week, having been transferred there instead of to Jackson, as he threatened. He was the most miserable, unhappy creature one could possibly imagine; even too melancholy for me to laugh at him, which expresses the last degree of wretchedness. To all our questions, he had but one answer, that he had had the most dreadful attack of “blues” ever since he was here Sunday; that he had waited every evening at the cars, expecting us, and at last, seeing that we had no intention of coming, he could no longer stand the temptation, so got permission to come down for a day to Port Hudson so he could come out to see us. . . . Before we could fairly get him cheerful, Will Carter and Ned Badger, who returned only this week from Kentucky, entered. Will was in a bad humor, and wanted to vent it on us; so after waiting some time, he proposed that the two young men should go with him, pocketing at the same moment the cards which had won Miriam and saying they would have a nice game together, and just the rarest old whiskey! He looked around to see the effect produced. We girls did not move, but Mr. Enders said he must really return immediately to Port Hudson, and start for Clinton from there in the night. Will thought it would be such a triumph over us to carry him off, that he insisted. They’d have a fine time! cure the blues! etc. Ned was more than willing; and at last Mr. Enders said, Well! he felt just so desperate that he did not care what he did; he believed he would go. I saw he was in a reckless humor, and that Will knew it, too, and I promised to make at least an effort to save him.

Miriam spoke to him apart, but he said he had promised now; he must go. Will ran down triumphant to mount his horse, calling him to follow. All ran out to see him off, when Frank came back to tell me good-bye. I seized the opportunity, and did n’t I plead! I told him I would not ask him to stay here, though he knew we would be happy to have him stay; and begged him to go back to the camp, and leave Will alone. . . . I suggested other resources; talked of his mother whom he idolizes, pleaded like a grandmother; and just as I wound up, came Will’s voice from below, “Why the devil don’t you come, Enders? Hurry!” He moved a step, looked at me; I dropped my head without a word. Here I must confess to the most consummate piece of acting; I am sorry, but as long as it saved him from doing what I knew he would have cause to regret, I am not ashamed of having tried it. Will called impatiently again, as he stood hesitating before me; I did not say, “Stay,” I just gave the faintest sigh imaginable. . . . He went down and told Will he would not go! Of course, Will went off in a rage with us.

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