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

August 9, 2012

A Confederate Girl's Diary by Sarah Morgan Dawson

August 9th.

To our great surprise, Charlie came in this morning from the other side. He was in the battle, and General Carter, and dozens of others that we did not think of. See the mountain reduced to a mole-hill! He says, though the fight was desperate, we lost only eighty-five killed, and less than a hundred and fifty wounded! And we had only twenty-five hundred against the Yankees’ four thousand five hundred. There is no truth in our having held the Garrison even for a moment, though we drove them down to the river in a panic. The majority ran like fine fellows, but a Maine regiment fought like devils. He says Will and Thompson Bird set fire to the Yankee camp with the greatest alacrity, as though it were rare fun. General Williams was killed as he passed Piper’s, by a shot from a window, supposed to have been fired by a citizen. Some one from town told him that the Federals were breaking in the houses, destroying the furniture, and tearing the clothes of the women and children in shreds, like maniacs. O my home! I wonder if they have entered ours? What a jolly time they would have over all the letters I left in my desk! Butler has ordered them to burn Baton Rouge if forced to evacuate it. Looks as though he was not so sure of holding it.

Miss Turner told Miriam that her mother attempted to enter town after the fight to save some things, when the gallant Colonel Dudley put a pistol to her head, called her an old she-devil, and told her he would blow her d— brains out if she moved a step; that anyhow, none but we d— women had put the men up to fighting, and we were the ones who were to blame for the fuss. There is no name he did not call us.

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