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

Post image for A Confederate Girl’s Diary

A Confederate Girl’s Diary

January 19, 2013

A Confederate Girl's Diary by Sarah Morgan Dawson

Monday, January 19th.

That blessed Mr. Halsey like an angel of mercy sent me “Kate Coventry” yesterday, just when I was pining far a bonne bouche of some kind, I did not care what, whether a stick of candy or an equally palatable book. It is delightful to have one’s wishes realized as soon as they are made. I think it rather caused me to relent towards Mr. Halsey; I did not feel half so belligerent as I did just the Sunday before. At all events, I felt well enough to go down in the evening when he called again, though I had been too indisposed to do so on a previous occasion. (O Sarah!)

Wheeled into the parlor, there I beheld not my friend alone, but several other individuals whose presence rather startled me. I found myself undergoing the terrors of an introduction to a Colonel Locke, and to my unspeakable surprise, Major Buckner was claiming the privilege of shaking hands with me, and Colonel Steadman was on the other side, and—was that Mr. Halsey? O never! The Mr. Halsey I knew was shockingly careless of his dress, never had his hair smooth; let his beard grow as it would, and wore a most ferocious slouched hat. This one had taken more than one look at the glass, a thing I should have imagined the other incapable of doing. He had bestowed the greatest care and attention on his dress, had brought his beard within reasonable limits, had combed his hair with the greatest precision, and held lightly in one hand an elegant little cap that I am sure must be provokingly becoming. Why, he was handsome! Ah ça! some mistake, surely, I cried to myself. My Mr. Halsey was not, certainly! “If it be I, as I hope it may be, I’ve a little dog at home who will surely know me,” I kept repeating. I resolved to test the little dog’s sagacity, so I pretended to know this apparition, and thanked him for the pleasure he had afforded me by sending me “Kate Coventry.” He looked conscious and pleased! The “little dog” had found out his identity! I was more puzzled than ever. How account for this wondrous change? . . . But metaphorphosed “John” talked! He was expatiating at a most extraordinary rate, and had been doing so for an hour after supper, when Gibbes drew his chair near me (Gibbes likes to hear what visitors say to his little sister); whereupon timid Mr. Halsey drew his slightly back, and very soon after asked for his horse. O Gibbes! you wretch! what an amusing tête-à-tête you spoiled, you innocent! And the General, of course, only waited for his exit before beginning to tease me unmercifully. I must put an end to this; they shall not bring such unjust charges against him. Yet how am I to make them see reason?


I am more pleased to-night than I could well express. I have been talking to an old and dear friend, no other than Will Pinckney! His arrival was as unexpected as it was agreeable. The cry of “Here comes Will Pinckney” sent me back to August, ‘6o, when the words were always the forerunner of fun and frolic. . . . He told me what he called his secrets; of how he had been treated by the War Department (which has, indeed, behaved shockingly towards the Colonel).

Previous post:

Next post: