Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

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Through Some Eventful Years

February 20, 2014

Through Some Eventful Years by Susan Bradford Eppes

February 20th, 1864.—Two more Georgia regiments passed through today en route for Lake City. I am afraid that means a fight. God help us.


Note:  Since there are 3 more entries for February followed by entries for the 21st, 22nd, and 23rd, the extra entries are included here to maintain the sequence of entries in the book.


February _ _, 1864. We have had a grand time but now it is over. We have had rides and walks and drives; we have had parties, picnics and serenades; we have had a merry two weeks and now our play-mates are gone. They looked so handsome and they held their heads so proudly and marched away with such steady steps. As they went they sang, “The Girl I Left Behind Me.” Poor boys–I hope and pray they may some day come home again.

February _ _, 1864.—Blind Tom is to play at the Capitol tonight. We are going to hear him for he is too wonderful to miss. I am staying at Aunt Margaret’s. Cousin Jim will take Mart and Sue and me to town. It is not very far and I had an invitation to go from a captain in a gorgeous uniform. I would have liked to go with him but Mother does not like us to go around without a chaperon. If I was at Goodwood, Aunt Sue would go; she is the very best aunt a girl ever had.

February _ _, 1864.–Blind Tom is wonderful! He plays the Battle of Manassas and, before he begins to play, his master tells you how Tom came to compose this piece. His master, Colonel Bethune, is so proud of him and Tom loves him and is so affectionate; just like some sweet-tempered animal that you have petted.

This Battle of Manassas begins with the booming of cannon; the rattle of musketry and above all the clear notes of the bugle. Faintly in the distance the strains of Dixie float upon the air, these strains grow louder and louder and mingle with the clashing of guns, the tramping of horses and the sharp commands of officers. He intersperses the music with the names of the different Generals, who took the most prominent parts in the day’s work. How an imbecile (for Tom is plainly that) could ever be taught a connected description of Manassas, is certainly a miracle.

(This diary was written in pencil and in many instances the dates are almost, or quite, illegible. The month and year are plain but the figures are not so plain; particularly is this the case during the years of warfare, possibly the pencils were poor, or the paper might have been. At any rate we ask our readers to be lenient if some little mistakes occur.)

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