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

November 30, 2013

A Confederate Girl's Diary by Sarah Morgan Dawson

Monday, November 30th.

Our distress about Gibbes has been somewhat relieved by good news from Jimmy. The jolliest sailor letter from him came this morning, dated only the 4th instant from Cherbourg, detailing his cruise on the Georgia from leaving England, to Bahia, Trinidad, Cape of Good Hope, to France again. Such a bright, dashing letter! We laughed extravagantly over it when he told how they readily evaded the Vanderbilt, knowing she would knock them into “pie”; how he and the French Captain quarreled when he ordered him to show his papers, and how he did not know French abuse enough to enter into competition with him, so went back a first and second time to Maury when the man would not let him come aboard, whereupon Maury brought the ship to with two or three shots and Jimmy made a third attempt, and forced the Frenchman to show his papers. He tells it in such a matter-of-fact way! No extravagance, no idea of having been in a dangerous situation, he a boy of eighteen, on a French ship in spite of the Captain’s rage. What a jolly life it must be! Now dashing in storms and danger, now floating in sunshine and fun! Wish I was a midshipman! Then how he changes, in describing the prize with an assorted cargo that they took, which contained all things from a needle to pianos, from the reckless spurt in which he speaks of the plundering, to where he tells of how the Captain, having died several days before, was brought on the Georgia while Maury read the service over the body and consigned it to the deep by the flames of the dead man’s own vessel. What noble, tender, manly hearts it shows, those rough seamen stopping in their work of destruction to perform the last rites over their dead enemy. One can fancy their bare heads and sunburned faces standing in solemn silence around the poor dead man when he dropped into his immense grave. God bless the “pirates”!

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