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 14, 2012

A Confederate Girl's Diary by Sarah Morgan Dawson

July 14th, 3 P.M.

Another pleasant excitement. News has just arrived that Scott’s cavalry was having a hard fight with the Yankees eight miles from town. Everybody immediately commenced to pick up stray articles, and get ready to fly, in spite of the intense heat. I am resigned, as I hardly expect a shelling. Another report places the fight fourteen miles from here. A man on horseback came in for reinforcements. Heaven help poor Howell, if it is true. I am beginning to doubt half I hear. People tell me the most extravagant things, and if I am fool enough to believe them and repeat them, I suddenly discover that it is not half so true as it might be, and as they themselves frequently deny having told it, all the odium of “manufacturing” rests on my shoulders, which have not been accustomed to bear lies of any kind. I mean to cease believing anything, unless it rests on the word of some responsible person. By the way —the order I so confidently believed, concerning the proclamation, turns out not quite so bad. I was told women were included, and it extended to houses as well as public ones, though I fortunately omitted that when I recorded it. When I read it, it said, “All discussions concerning the war are prohibited in bar-rooms, public assemblies, and street corners.” As women do not frequent such places, and private houses are not mentioned, I cannot imagine how my informant made the mistake, unless, like me, it was through hearing it repeated. Odious as I thought it then, I think it wise now; for more than one man has lost his life through discussions of the kind.

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