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

July 15, 2013

A Confederate Girl's Diary by Sarah Morgan Dawson

Wednesday, July 15th.

It is but too true; both have fallen. All Port Hudson privates have been paroled, and the officers sent here for exchange. Aye! Aye! I know some privates I would rather see than the officers! As yet, only ten that we know have arrived. All are confined in the Custom-House. Last evening crowds surrounded the place. We did something dreadful, Ada Peirce, Miriam, and I. We went down to the confectionery; and unable to resist the temptation, made a détour by the Custom-House in hope of seeing one of our poor dear half-starved mule and rat fed defenders. The crowd had passed away then; but what was our horror when we emerged from the river side of the building and turned into Canal, to find the whole front of the pavement lined with Yankees! Our folly struck us so forcibly that we were almost paralyzed with fear. However, that did not prevent us from endeavoring to hurry past, though I felt as though walking in a nightmare. Ada was brave enough to look up at a window where several of our prisoners were standing, and kept urging us to do likewise. “Look! He knows you, Sarah! He has called another to see you! They both recognize you! Oh, look, please, and tell me who they are! They are watching you still!” she would exclaim. But if my own dear brother stood there, I could not have raised my eyes; we only hurried on faster, with a hundred Yankees eyes fixed on our flying steps.

My friend Colonel Steadman was one of the commissioners for arranging the terms of the capitulation, I see. He has not yet arrived.

• • • • • • • •

Dreadful news has come of the defeat of Lee at Gettysburg. Think I believe it all? He may have been defeated; but not one of these reports of total overthrow and rout do I credit. Yankees jubilant, Southerners dismal. Brother, with principles on one side and brothers on the other, is correspondingly distracted.

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