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

April 30, 2013

A Confederate Girl's Diary by Sarah Morgan Dawson

Thursday, April 30th.

Was not the recollection of this day bitter enough to me already? I did not think it could be more so.

Yet behold me crying as I have not cried for many and many a day. Not for Harry; I dare not cry for him. I feel a deathlike quiet when I think of him; a fear that even a deep-drawn breath would wake him in his grave. And as dearly as I love you, O Hal, I don’t want you in this dreary world again. . . .

Talk of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes! Talk of Louis XIV! Of — pshaw! my head is in such a whirl that history gets all mixed up, and all parallels seem weak and moderate in comparison to this infamous outrage. To-day, thousands of families, from the most respectable down to the least, all who have had the firmness to register themselves enemies to the United States, are ordered to leave the city before the fifteenth of May. Think of the thousands, perfectly destitute, who can hardly afford to buy their daily bread even here, sent to the Confederacy, where it is neither to be earned nor bought, without money, friends, or a home. Hundreds have comfortable homes here, which will be confiscated to enrich those who drive them out. “It is an ill wind that blows no one good.” Such dismal faces as one meets everywhere! Each looks heartbroken. Homeless, friendless, beggars, is written in every eye. Brother’s face is too unhappy to make it pleasant to look at him. True, he is safe; but hundreds of his friends are going forth destitute, leaving happy homes behind, not knowing where the crust of bread for famishing children is to come from to-morrow. He went to General Bowens and asked if it were possible that women and children were included in the order. Yes, he said; they should all go, and go in the Confederacy. They should not be allowed to go elsewhere. Penned up like sheep to starve! That’s the idea! With the addition of forty thousand mouths to feed, they think they can invoke famine to their aid, seeing that their negro brothers don’t help them much in the task of subjugating us.

• • • • • • • •

Don’t care who knows I smuggled in a dozen letters! Wish I had had more!

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