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Title: A Confederate Girl's Diary
Author: Dawson, Sarah Morgan, 1842-1909
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Confederate Girl's Diary" ***

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The Riverside Press Cambridge



_Published September 1913_




SARAH FOWLER MORGAN                                 _Frontispiece_

    From a daguerreotype in the possession of the family.

MIRIAM MORGAN                                                  64

    From a daguerreotype in the possession of the family.

JAMES MORRIS MORGAN                                           114

    From a daguerreotype in the possession of the family.

FACSIMILE OF A PAGE OF THE DIARY                              150

SARAH FOWLER                                                  192

    Sully's portrait of Mrs. Morgan.

LINWOOD                                                       236

    Built by General A. G. Carter in 1848, now the home of his
    grandson, Howell Morgan. This was a Spanish grant and has
    always remained in the family.


    On Church Street, Baton Rouge, La., now the property of
    St. Joseph Academy, and used as an annex.

JUDGE THOMAS GIBBES MORGAN                                    346


It is perhaps due to a chance conversation, held some seventeen years
ago in New York, that this Diary of the Civil War was saved from

A Philadelphian had been talking with my mother of North and South, and
had alluded to the engagement between the Essex and the Arkansas, on
the Mississippi, as a brilliant victory for the Federal navy. My mother
protested, at once; said that she and her sister Miriam, and several
friends, had been witnesses, from the levee, to the fact that the
Confederates had fired and abandoned their own ship when the machinery
broke down, after two shots had been exchanged: the Federals,
cautiously turning the point, had then captured but a smoking hulk. The
Philadelphian gravely corrected her; history, it appeared, had
consecrated, on the strength of an official report, the version more
agreeable to Northern pride.

"But I wrote a description of the whole, just a few hours after it
occurred!" my mother insisted. "Early in the war I began to keep a
diary, and continued until the very end; I had to find some vent for my
feelings, and I would not make an exhibition of myself by talking, as
so many women did. I have written while resting to recover breath in
the midst of a stampede; I have even written with shells bursting over
the house in which I sat, ready to flee but waiting for my mother and
sisters to finish their preparations."

"If that record still existed, it would be invaluable," said the
Philadelphian. "We Northerners are sincerely anxious to know what
Southern women did and thought at that time, but the difficulty is to
find authentic contemporaneous evidence. All that I, for one, have
seen, has been marred by improvement in the light of subsequent

"You may read my evidence as it was written from March 1862 until April
1865," my mother declared impulsively.

At our home in Charleston, on her return, she unstitched with trembling
hands a linen-bound parcel always kept in her tall, cedar-lined
wardrobe of curled walnut. On it was scratched in ink "To be burned
unread after my death"; it contained, she had once told me, a record of
no interest save to her who had written it and lacked the courage to
re-read it; a narrative of days she had lived, of joys she had lost; of
griefs accepted, of vain hopes cherished.

From the linen, as the stitches were cut, fell five blank books of
different sizes. Two, of convenient dimensions, might have been
intended for diaries; the other three, somewhat unwieldy, were partly
used ledgers from Judge P. H. Morgan's office. They were closely
written in a clear, firm hand; the ink, of poor quality, had faded in
many places to a pale brown scarcely darker than the deep yellow to
which time had burned the paper. The effort to read under such
conditions, and the tears shed over the scenes evoked, might well have
cost my mother her sight; but she toiled for many weeks, copying out
the essential portions of the voluminous record for the benefit of the
Northerner who really wished to know.

Her transcription finished, she sent it to Philadelphia. It was in due
course returned, with cold regrets that the temptation to rearrange it
had not been resisted. No Southerner at that time could possibly have
had opinions so just or foresight so clear as those here attributed to
a young girl. Explanation was not asked, nor justification allowed: the
case, tried by one party alone, with evidence seen from one standpoint
alone, had been judged without appeal.

Keenly wounded and profoundly discouraged, my mother returned the
diaries to their linen envelope, and never saw them again. But my
curiosity had been roused by these incidents; in the night, thoughts of
the records would haunt me, bringing ever the ante-bellum scent of the
cedar-lined wardrobe. I pleaded for the preservation of the volumes,
and succeeded at last when, beneath the injunction that they should be
burned, my mother wrote a deed of gift to me with permission to make
such use of them as I might think fitting.

Reading those pages for myself, of late, as I transcribed them in my
turn, I confess to having blamed the Philadelphian but lightly for his

Here was a girl who, by her own admission, had known but ten months'
schooling in her life, and had educated herself at home because of her
yearning for knowledge; and yet she wrote in a style so pure, with a
command of English so thorough, that rare are the pages where she had
to stop for the alteration of so much as one word. The very haste of
noting what had just occurred, before more should come, had disturbed
the pure line of very few among these flowing sentences. There are
certain uses of words to which the twentieth century purist will take
exception; but if he is familiar with Victorian literature he will know
that these points have been solved within the last few decades--and not
all solved to the satisfaction of everyone, even now.

But underlying this remarkable feat of style, are a fairness of
treatment and a balance of judgment incredible at such a period and in
an author so young. On such a day, we may note an entry denouncing the
Federals before their arrival at Baton Rouge; another page, and we see
that the Federal officers are courteous and considerate, we hear
regrets that denunciations should have been dictated by prejudice. Does
Farragut bombard a town occupied by women and children, or does Butler
threaten to arm negroes against them? Be sure, then, that this Southern
girl will not spare adjectives to condemn them! But do Southern women
exaggerate in applying to all Federals the opprobrium deserved by some?
Then those women will be criticized for forgetting the reserve imposed
upon ladies. This girl knew then what history has since established,
and what enlightened men and women on both sides of Mason and Dixon's
line have since acknowledged: that in addition to the gentlemen in the
Federal ranks who always behaved as gentlemen should, there were
others, both officers and privates, who had donned the Federal uniform
because of the opportunity for rapine which offered, and who were as
unworthy of the Stars and Stripes as they would have been of the Stars
and Bars.

I can understand, therefore, that this record should meet with
skepticism at the hands of theorists committed to an opinion, or of
skimmers who read guessing the end of a sentence before they reach the
middle. But the originals exist to-day, and have been seen by others
than myself; and I pledge myself here to the assertion that I have
taken no liberties, have made no alterations, but have strictly adhered
to my task of transcription, merely omitting here and there passages
which deal with matters too personal to merit the interest of the

Those who read seriously, and with unbiased mind, will need no external
guarantees of authenticity, however; for the style is of that
spontaneous quality which no imitation could attain, and which
attempted improvement could only mar. The very construction of the
whole--for it does appear as a whole--is influenced by the
circumstances which made the life of that tragic period.

The author begins with an airy appeal to Madame Idleness--in order to
forget. Then, the war seemed a sacred duty, an heroic endeavor, an
inevitable trial, according as Southerners chose to take it; but the
prevailing opinion was that the solution would come in victory for
Southern arms, whether by their own unaided might or with the support
of English intervention. The seat of war was far removed, and but for
the absence of dear ones at the front and anxiety about them, Southern
women would have been little disturbed in their routine of household
duties. But presently the roar of cannon draws near, actual danger is
experienced in some cases, suffering and privation must be accepted in
all. Thenceforth, the women are part of the war; there may be
interludes of plantation life momentarily secure from bullets and from
oppression, yet the cloud is felt hanging ever lower and blacker.
Gradually, the writer's gay spirit fails; an injury to her spine, for
which adequate medical care cannot be found in the Confederacy, and the
condition of her mother, all but starving at Clinton, drive these
Southern women to the protection of a Union relative in New Orleans.
The hated Eagle Oath must be taken, the beloved Confederacy must be
renounced at least in words. Entries in the Diary become briefer and
briefer, yet are sustained unto the bitter end, when the deaths of two
brothers, and the crash of the Lost Cause, are told with the tragic
reserve of a broken heart.

                     *      *      *      *      *

I have alluded to passages omitted because too personal. That the
clearness of the narrative may not suffer, I hope to be pardoned for
explaining briefly, here, the position of Sarah Morgan's family at the
outbreak of the Civil War.

Her father, Judge Thomas Gibbes Morgan, had been Collector of the Port
of New Orleans, and in 1861 was Judge of the District Court of the
Parish of Baton Rouge. In complete sympathy with Southern rights, he
disapproved of Secession as a movement fomented by hotheads on both
sides, but he declared for it when his State so decided. He died at his
home in Baton Rouge in November, 1861, before the arrival of Farragut's

Judge Thomas Gibbes Morgan's eldest son, Philip Hickey Morgan, was also
a Judge, of the Second District Court of the Parish of Orleans. Judge
P. H. Morgan (alluded to as "Brother" and his wife as "Sister"
throughout the Diary) disapproved of Secession like his father, but did
not stand by his State. He declared himself for the Union, and remained
in New Orleans when the Federals took possession, but refused to bear
arms against his brothers and friends. His position enabled him to
render signal services to many Confederate prisoners suffering under
Butler's rule. And it was a conversation of his with President Hayes,
when he told the full, unprejudiced truth about the Dual Government and
the popular sentiment of Louisiana, which put an end to Reconstruction
there by the Washington Government's recognition of General Francis T.
Nicholls, elected Governor by the people, instead of Packard, declared
Governor by the Republican Returning Board of the State. Judge P. H.
Morgan had proved his disinterestedness in his report to the President;
for the new Democratic régime meant his own resignation from the post
of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Louisiana which he held
under the Republicans. He applied then to himself a piece of advice
which he later was to give a young relative mentioned in the pages of
this Diary: "Always remember that it is best to be in accord with the
sentiments of the vast majority of the people in your State. They are
more apt to be right, on public questions of the day, than the
individual citizen."

If Judge Thomas Gibbes Morgan's eldest son stayed within the Union
lines because he would not sanction Secession, his eldest
daughter--Lavinia--was on the Federal side also, married to Colonel
Richard Coulter Drum, then stationed in California, and destined to
become, in days of peace, Adjutant-General under President Cleveland's
first administration. Though spared the necessity of fighting against
his wife's brothers, Colonel Drum was largely instrumental in checking
the Secession movement in California which would probably have assured
the success of the South.

In the early days of Secession agitation, another son of Judge T. G.
Morgan, Henry, had died in a duel over a futile quarrel which
busybodies had envenomed. The three remaining sons had gone off to the
war. Thomas Gibbes Morgan, Jr., married to Lydia, daughter of General
A. G. Carter and a cousin of Mrs. Jefferson Davis, was Captain in the
Seventh Louisiana Regiment, serving under Stonewall Jackson; George
Mather Morgan, unmarried, was a Captain in the First Louisiana, also
with Jackson in Virginia. The youngest, James Morris Morgan, had
resigned from Annapolis, where he was a cadet, and hurried back to
enlist in the Confederate navy.

At the family home in Baton Rouge, only women and children remained.
There was Judge Morgan's widow, Sarah Fowler Morgan; a married
daughter, Eliza or "Lilly," with her five children; and two unmarried
daughters, Miriam and Sarah. "Lilly's" husband, J. Charles La Noue,
came and went; unable to abandon his large family without protector or
resources, he had not joined the regular army, but took a part in
battles near whatever place of refuge he had found for those dependent
on him. We note, for instance, that he helped in the Confederate attack
on Baton Rouge, together with General Carter, whose age had prevented
him from taking regular service.

A word more as to the author of this Diary, and I have finished.

The war over, Sarah Morgan knitted together the threads of her torn
life and faced her present, in preparation for whatever the future
might hold. In South Carolina, under Reconstruction, she met a young
Englishman, Captain Francis Warrington Dawson, who had left his home in
London to fight for a cause where his chivalrous nature saw right
threatened by might. In the Confederate navy under Commodore Pegram, in
the Army of Northern Virginia under Longstreet, at the close of the war
he was Chief Ordnance officer to General Fitzhugh Lee. But although the
force of arms, of men, of money, of mechanical resources, of
international support, had decided against the Confederacy, he refused
to acknowledge permanent defeat for Southern ideals, and so cast his
lot with those beside whom he had fought. His ambition was to help his
adopted country in reconquering through journalism and sound politics
that which seemed lost through war. What he accomplished in South
Carolina is a matter of public record to-day. The part played in this
work by Sarah Morgan as his wife is known to all who approached them
during their fifteen years of a married life across which no shadow
ever fell.

Sarah Morgan Dawson was destined to outlive not only her husband, but
all save three of her eight brothers and sisters, and most of the
relatives and friends mentioned in the pages which follow; was destined
to endure deep affliction once more, and to renounce a second home
dearer than that first whose wreck she recorded during the war. Yet
never did her faith, her courage, her steadfastness fail her, never did
the light of an almost childlike trust in God and in mankind fade from
her clear blue eyes. The Sarah Morgan who, as a girl, could stifle her
sobs as she forced herself to laugh or to sing, was the mother I knew
in later years.

I love most to remember her in the broad tree-shaded avenues of
Versailles where, dreaming of a distant tragic past, she found ever new
strength to meet the present. Death claimed her not far from there, in
Paris, at a moment when her daughter in America, her son in Africa,
were powerless to reach her. But souls like unto hers leave their mark
in passing through the world; and, though in a foreign land, separated
from all who had been dear to her, she received from two friends such
devotion as few women deserve in life, and such as few other women are
capable of giving.

She had done more than live and love:--she had endured while endurance
was demanded; and, released from the house of bondage, she had, without
trace of bitterness in her heart, forgiven those who had caused her


July, 1913.



                                            BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA,
                                                   March 9th, 1862.

Here I am, at your service, Madame Idleness, waiting for any suggestion
it may please you to put in my weary brain, as a means to pass this
dull, cloudy Sunday afternoon; for the great Pike clock over the way
has this instant struck only half-past three; and if a rain is added to
the high wind that has been blowing ever since the month commenced, and
prevents my going to Mrs. Brunot's before dark, I fear I shall fall a
victim to "the blues" for the first time in my life. Indeed it is dull.
Miriam went to Linwood with Lydia yesterday, and I miss them beyond all
expression. Miriam is _so_ funny! She says she cannot live without me,
and yet she can go away, and stay for months without missing me in the
slightest degree. Extremely funny! And I--well, it is absurd to fancy
myself alive without Miriam. She would rather not visit with me, and
yet, be it for an hour or a month, I never halfway enjoy myself without
her, away from home. Miriam is my "Rock ahead" in life; I'll founder on
her yet. It's a grand sight for people out of reach, who will not come
in contact with the breakers, but it is quite another thing to me,
perpetually dancing on those sharp points in my little cockleshell that
forms so ludicrous a contrast to the grand scene around. I am sure to

I hold that every family has at heart one genius, in some line, no
matter what--except in our family, where each is a genius, in his own
way. Hem! And Miriam has a genius for the piano. Now I never could bear
to compete with any one, knowing that it is the law of my being to be
inferior to others, consequently to fail, and failure is so humiliating
to me. So it is, that people may force me to abandon any pursuit by
competing with me; for knowing that failure is inevitable, rather than
fight against destiny I give up _de bonne grâce_. Originally, I was
said to have a talent for the piano, as well as Miriam. Sister and Miss
Isabella said I would make a better musician than she, having more
patience and perseverance. However, I took hardly six months' lessons
to her ever so many years; heard how well she played, got disgusted
with myself, and gave up the piano at fourteen, with spasmodic fits of
playing every year or so. At sixteen, Harry gave me a guitar. Here was
a new field where I would have no competitors. I knew no one who played
on it; so I set to work, and taught myself to manage it, mother only
teaching me how to tune it. But Miriam took a fancy to it, and I taught
her all I knew; but as she gained, I lost my relish, and if she had not
soon abandoned it, I would know nothing of it now. She does not know
half that I do about it; they tell me I play much better than she; yet
they let her play on it in company before me, and I cannot pretend to
play after. Why is it? It is _not_ vanity, or I would play, confident
of excelling her. It is not jealousy, for I love to see her show her
talents. It is not selfishness; I love her too much to be selfish to
her. What is it then? "Simply lack of self-esteem" I would say if
there was no phrenologist near to correct me, and point out that
well-developed hump at the extreme southern and heavenward portion of
my Morgan head. Self-esteem or not, Mr. Phrenologist, the result is,
that Miriam is by far the best performer in Baton Rouge, and I would
rank forty-third even in the delectable village of Jackson.

And yet I must have some ear for music. To "know as many songs as
Sarah" is a family proverb; not very difficult songs, or very beautiful
ones, to be sure, besides being very indifferently sung; but the tunes
_will_ run in my head, and it must take _some_ ear to catch them.
People say to me, "Of course you play?" to which I invariably respond,
"Oh, no, but Miriam plays beautifully!" "You sing, I believe?" "Not
at all--except for father" (that is what I used to say)--"and the
children. But _Miriam_ sings." "You are fond of dancing?" "Very; but I
cannot dance as well as Miriam." "Of course, you are fond of society?"
"No, indeed! Miriam is, and she goes to all the parties and returns
all the visits for me." The consequence is, that if the person who
questions is a stranger, he goes off satisfied that "that Miriam must
be a great girl; but that little sister of hers--! Well! a _prig_, to
say the least!"

So it is Miriam catches all my fish--and so it is, too, that it is not
raining, and I'm off.

                                                         April 7th.

Until that dreary 1861, I had no idea of sorrow or grief.... How I love
to think of myself at that time! Not as _myself_, but as some happy,
careless child who danced through life, loving God's whole world too
much to love any particular one, outside of her own family. She was
more childish then--yet I like her for all her folly; I can say it now,
for she is as dead as though she was lying underground.

Now do not imagine that Sarah has become an aged lady in the fifteen
months that have elapsed since, for it is no such thing; her heart does
ache occasionally, but that is a secret between her and this little
rosewood furnished room; and when she gets over it, there is no one
more fond of making wheelbarrows of the children, or of catching
Charlie or mother by the foot and making them play lame chicken.... Now
all this done by a young lady who remembers eighteen months ago with so
much regret that she has lost so much of her high spirits--might argue
that her spirits were before tremendous; and yet they were not. That
other Sarah was ladylike, I am sure, in her wildest moments, but there
is something hurried and boisterous in this one's tricks that reminds
me of some one who is making a merit of being jolly under depressing
circumstances. No! that is not a nice Sarah now, to _my_ taste.

The commencement of '61 promised much pleasure for the rest of the
year, and though Secession was talked about, I do not believe any one
anticipated the war that has been desolating our country ever since,
with no prospect of terminating for some time to come. True the
garrison was taken, but then several pleasant officers of the Louisiana
army were stationed there, and made quite an agreeable addition to our
small parties, and we did not think for a moment that trouble would
grow out of it--at least, we girls did not. Next Louisiana seceded, but
still we did not trouble ourselves with gloomy anticipations, for many
strangers visited the town, and our parties, rides, and walks grew
gayer and more frequent.

One little party--shall I ever forget it?--was on the 9th of March, I
think; such an odd, funny little party! Such queer things happened!
What a fool Mr. McG---- made of himself! Even more so than usual. But
hush! It's not fair to laugh at a lady--under peculiar circumstances.
And he tried so hard to make himself agreeable, poor fellow, that I
ought to like him for being so obedient to my commands. "Say something
new; something funny," I said, tired of a subject on which he had been
expatiating all the evening; for I had taken a long ride with him
before sunset, he had escorted me to Mrs. Brunot's, and here he was
still at my side, and his conversation did not interest me. To hear,
with him, was to obey. "Something funny? Well--" here he commenced
telling something about somebody, the fun of which seemed to consist in
the somebody's having "knocked his _shins_" against something else. I
only listened to the latter part; I was bored, and showed it. "Shins!"
was I to laugh at such a story?

                                                        April 12th.

Day before yesterday, just about this time of evening, as I came home
from the graveyard, Jimmy unexpectedly came in. Ever since the 12th of
February he has been waiting on the Yankees' pleasure, in the
Mississippi, at all places below Columbus, and having been under fire
for thirteen days at Tiptonville, Island No. 10 having surrendered
Monday night; and Commodore Hollins thinking it high time to take
possession of the ironclad ram at New Orleans, and give them a small
party below the forts, he carried off his little aide from the McRae
Tuesday morning, and left him here Thursday evening, to our infinite
delight, for we felt as though we would never again see our dear little
Jimmy. He has grown so tall, and stout, that it is really astonishing,
considering the short time he has been away.... To our great distress,
he jumped up from dinner, and declared he must go to the city on the
very next boat. Commodore Hollins would need him, he must be at his
post, etc., and in twenty minutes he was off, the rascal, before we
could believe he had been here at all. There is something in his eye
that reminds me of Harry, and tells me that, like Hal, he will die

And these days that are going by remind me of Hal, too. I am walking in
our footsteps of last year. The eighth was the day we gave him a party,
on his return home. I see him so distinctly standing near the pier
table, talking to Mr. Sparks, whom he had met only that morning, and
who, three weeks after, had Harry's blood upon his hands. He is a
murderer now, without aim or object in life, as before; with only one
desire--to die--and death still flees from him, and he Dares not rid
himself of life.

All those dancing there that night have undergone trial and affliction
since. Father is dead, and Harry. Mr. Trezevant lies at Corinth with
his skull fractured by a bullet; every young man there has been in at
least one battle since, and every woman has cried over her son,
brother, or sweetheart, going away to the wars, or lying sick and
wounded. And yet we danced that night, and never thought of bloodshed!
The week before Louisiana seceded, Jack Wheat stayed with us, and we
all liked him so much, and he thought so much of us;--and last week--a
week ago to-day--he was killed on the battle-field of Shiloh.

                                                        April 16th.

Among the many who visited us, in the beginning of 1861, there was Mr.
Bradford. I took a dislike to him the first time I ever saw him, and,
being accustomed to say just what I pleased to all the other gentlemen,
tried it with him. It was at dinner, and for a long while I had the
advantage, and though father would sometimes look grave, Gibbes, and
all at my end of the table, would scream with laughter. At last Mr.
Bradford commenced to retaliate, and my dislike changed into respect
for a man who could make an excellent repartee with perfect
good-breeding; and after dinner, when the others took their leave, and
he asked permission to remain,--during his visit, which lasted until
ten o'clock, he had gone over such a variety of subjects, conversing so
well upon all, that Miriam and I were so interested that we forgot to
have the gas lit!

                                                        April 17th.

And another was silly little Mr. B----r, my little golden calf. What
a--don't call names! I owe him a grudge for "cold hands," and the other
day, when I heard of his being wounded at Shiloh, I could not help
laughing a little at Tom B----r's being hurt. What was the use of
throwing a nice, big cannon ball, that might have knocked a man down,
away on that poor little fellow, when a pea from a popgun would have
made the same impression? Not but what he is brave, but little Mr.
B----r is so soft.

Then there was that rattle-brain Mr. T----t who, commencing one
subject, never ceased speaking until he had touched on all. One evening
he came in talking, and never paused even for a reply until he bowed
himself out, talking still, when Mr. Bradford, who had been forced to
silence as well as the rest, threw himself back with a sigh of relief
and exclaimed, "This man talks like a woman!" I thought it the best
description of Mr. T----t's conversation I had ever heard. It was all
on the surface, no pretensions to anything except to put the greatest
possible number of words of no meaning in one sentence, while speaking
of the most trivial thing. Night or day, Mr. T----t never passed home
without crying out to me, "_Ces jolis yeux bleus!_" and if the parlor
were brightly lighted so that all from the street might see us, and be
invisible to us themselves, I always nodded my head to the outer
darkness and laughed, no matter who was present, though it sometimes
created remark. You see, I knew the joke. Coming from a party escorted
by Mr. B----r, Miriam by Mr. T----t,[1] we had to wait a long time
before Rose opened the door, which interval I employed in dancing up
and down the gallery--followed by my cavalier--singing,--

    "Mes jolis yeux bleus,
    Bleus comme les cieux,
    Mes jolis yeux bleus
    Ont ravi son âme," etc.;

which naïve remark Mr. B----r, not speaking French, lost entirely, and
Mr. T----t endorsed it with his approbation and belief in it, and ever
afterwards called me "_Ces jolis yeux bleus_."

      [1] Note added at the time: "O propriety! Gibbes and Lydia were
      with us too."

                                                  April 19th, 1862.

Another date in Hal's short history! I see myself walking home with Mr.
McG---- just after sundown, meeting Miriam and Dr. Woods at the gate;
only that was a Friday instead of a Saturday, as this. From the other
side, Mr. Sparks comes up and joins us. We stand talking in the bright
moonlight which makes Miriam look white and statue-like. I am holding
roses in my hand, in return for which one little pansy has been begged
from my garden, and is now figuring as a shirt-stud. I turn to speak to
that man of whom I said to Dr. Woods, before I even knew his name, "Who
is this man who passes here so constantly? I feel that I shall hate him
to my dying day." He told me his name was Sparks, a good, harmless
fellow, etc. And afterwards, when I did know him, [Dr. Woods] would ask
every time we met, "Well! do you hate Sparks yet?" I could not really
hate any one in my heart, so I always answered, "He is a good-natured
fool, but I will hate him yet." But even now I cannot: my only feeling
is intense pity for the man who has dealt us so severe a blow; who made
my dear father bow his gray head, and shed such bitter tears.

The moon is rising still higher now, and people are hurrying to the
grand Meeting, where the state of the country is to be discussed, and
the three young men bow and hurry off, too. Later, at eleven o'clock,
Miriam and I are up at Lydia's waiting (until the boat comes) with Miss
Comstock who is going away. As usual, I am teasing and romping by
turns. Harry suddenly stands in the parlor door, looking very grave,
and very quiet. He is holding father's stick in his hand, and says he
has come to take us over home. I was laughing still, so I said, "Wait,"
while I prepared for some last piece of folly, but he smiled for the
first time, and throwing his arm around me, said, "Come home, you
rogue!" and laughing still, I followed him.

He left us in the hall, saying he must go to Charlie's a moment, but to
leave the door open for him. So we went up, and I ran in his room, and
lighted his gas for him, as I did every night when we went up together.
In a little while I heard him come in and go to his room. I knew
nothing then; but next day, going into mother's room, I saw him
standing before the glass door of her armoir, looking at a black coat
he had on. Involuntarily I cried out, "Oh, don't, Hal!" "Don't what?
Isn't it a nice coat?" he asked. "Yes; but it is buttoned up to the
throat, and I don't like to see it. It looks--" here I went out as
abruptly as I came in; that black coat so tightly buttoned troubled me.

He came to our room after a while and said he was going ten miles out
in the country for a few days. I begged him to stay, and reproached him
for going away so soon after he had come home. But he said he must,
adding, "Perhaps I am tired of you, and want to see something new. I'll
be so glad to get back in a few days." Father said yes, he must go, so
he went without any further explanation.

Walking out to Mr. Davidson's that evening, Lydia and I sat down on a
fallen rail beyond the Catholic graveyard, and there she told me what
had happened. The night before, sitting on Dr. Woods's gallery, with
six or eight others who had been singing, Hal called on Mr. Henderson
to sing. He complied by singing one that was not nice.[2] Old Mr.
Sparks got up to leave, and Hal said, "I hope we are not disturbing
you?" No, he said he was tired and would go home. As soon as he was
gone, his son, who I have since _heard_ was under the influence of
opium,--though Hal always maintained that he was not,--said it was a
shame to disturb his poor old father. Hal answered, "You heard what he
said. We did _not_ disturb him." "You are a liar!" the other cried.
That is a name that none of our family has either merited or borne
with; and quick as thought Hal sprang to his feet and struck him across
the face with the walking-stick he held. The blow sent the lower part
across the balcony in the street, as the spring was loosened by it,
while the upper part, to which was fastened the sword--for it was
father's sword-cane--remained in his hand. I doubt that he ever before
knew the cane could come apart. Certainly he did not perceive it, until
the other whined piteously he was taking advantage over an unarmed man;
when, cursing him, he (Harry) threw it after the body of the cane, and
said, "_Now_ we are equal." The other's answer was to draw a knife,[3]
and was about to plunge it into Harry, who disdained to flinch, when
Mr. Henderson threw himself on Mr. Sparks and dragged him off.

      [2] Note by Mrs. Dawson in 1896: "Annie Laurie!"

      [3] Note by Mrs. Dawson: Bowie knife.

It was a little while after that Harry came for us. The consequence of
this was a challenge from Mr. Sparks in the morning, which was accepted
by Harry's friends, who appointed Monday, at Greenwell, to meet. Lydia
did not tell me that; she said she thought it had been settled
peaceably, so I was not uneasy, and only wanted Harry to come back from
Seth David's soon. The possibility of his fighting never occurred to

Sunday evening I was on the front steps with Miriam and Dr. Woods,
talking of Harry and wishing he would come. "You want Harry!" the
doctor repeated after me; "you had better learn to live without him."
"What an absurdity!" I said and wondered when he would come. Still
later, Miriam, father, and I were in the parlor, when there was a tap
on the window, just above his head, and I saw a hand, for an instant.
Father hurried out, and we heard several voices; and then steps going
away. Mother came down and asked who had been there, but we only knew
that, whoever it was, father had afterward gone with them. Mother went
on: "There is something going on, which is to be kept from me. Every
one seems to know it, and to make a secret of it." I said nothing, for
I had promised Lydia not to tell; and even I did not know all.

When father came back, Harry was with him. I saw by his nod, and "How
are you, girls," how he wished us to take it, so neither moved from our
chairs, while he sat down on the sofa and asked what kind of a sermon
we had had. And we talked of anything except what we were thinking of,
until we went upstairs.

Hal afterwards told me that he had been arrested up there, and father
went with him to give bail; and that the sheriff had gone out to
Greenwell after Mr. Sparks. He told me all about it next morning,
saying he was glad it was all over, but sorry for Mr. Sparks; for he
had a blow on his face which nothing would wash out. I said, "Hal, if
you _had_ fought, much as I love you, I would rather he had killed you
than that you should have killed him. I love you too much to be willing
to see blood on your hands." First he laughed at me, then said, "If I
had killed him, I never would have seen you again."

We thought it was all over; so did he. But Baton Rouge was wild about
it. Mr. Sparks was the bully of the town, having nothing else to do,
and whenever he got angry or drunk, would knock down anybody he chose.
That same night, before Harry met him, he had slapped one man, and had
dragged another over the room by the hair; but these coolly went home,
and waited for a _voluntary apology_. So the mothers, sisters, and
intimate friends of those who had patiently borne the blows, and being
"woolled," vaunted the example of their heroes, and asked why Dr.
Morgan had not acted as _they_ had done, and waited for an apology?
Then there was another faction who cried only blood could wash out that
blow and make a gentleman of Mr. Sparks again,--as though he ever _had_
been one! So knots assembled at street corners, and discussed it, until
father said to us that Monday night, "These people are so excited, and
are trying so hard to make this affair worse, that I would not be
surprised if they shot each other down in the street," speaking of
Harry and the other.

Hal seemed to think of it no more, though, and Wednesday said he must
go to the city and consult Brother as to where he should permanently
establish himself. I was sorry; yet glad that he would then get away
from all this trouble. I don't know that I ever saw him in higher
spirits than he was that day and evening, the 24th. Lilly and Charlie
were here until late, and he laughed and talked so incessantly that we
called him crazy. We might have guessed by his extravagant spirits that
he was trying to conceal something from us....

He went away before daybreak, and I never saw him again.

                                                  April 26th, 1862.

There is no word in the English language that can express the state
in which we are, and have been, these last three days. Day before
yesterday, news came early in the morning of three of the enemy's boats
passing the Forts, and then the excitement began. It increased rapidly
on hearing of the sinking of eight of our gunboats in the engagement,
the capture of the Forts, and last night, of the burning of the wharves
and cotton in the city while the Yankees were taking possession.
To-day, the excitement has reached the point of delirium. I believe I
am one of the most self-possessed in my small circle; and yet I feel
such a craving for news of Miriam, and mother, and Jimmy, who are in
the city, that I suppose I am as wild as the rest. It is nonsense to
tell me I am cool, with all these patriotic and enthusiastic sentiments.
Nothing can be positively ascertained, save that our gunboats are sunk,
and theirs are coming up to the city. Everything else has been
contradicted until we really do not know whether the city has been
taken or not. We only know we had best be prepared for anything. So day
before yesterday, Lilly and I sewed up our jewelry, which may be of use
if we have to fly. I vow I will not move one step, unless carried away.
Come what will, here I remain.

We went this morning to see the cotton burning--a sight never before
witnessed, and probably never again to be seen. Wagons, drays,--everything
that can be driven or rolled,--were loaded with the bales and taken a
few squares back to burn on the commons. Negroes were running around,
cutting them open, piling them up, and setting them afire. All were as
busy as though their salvation depended on disappointing the Yankees.
Later, Charlie sent for us to come to the river and see him fire a
flatboat loaded with the precious material for which the Yankees are
risking their bodies and souls. Up and down the levee, as far as we
could see, negroes were rolling it down to the brink of the river where
they would set them afire and push the bales in to float burning down
the tide. Each sent up its wreath of smoke and looked like a tiny
steamer puffing away. Only I doubt that from the source to the mouth of
the river there are as many boats afloat on the Mississippi. The
flatboat was piled with as many bales as it could hold without sinking.
Most of them were cut open, while negroes staved in the heads of
barrels of alcohol, whiskey, etc., and dashed bucketsful over the
cotton. Others built up little chimneys of pine every few feet, lined
with pine knots and loose cotton, to burn more quickly. There, piled
the length of the whole levee, or burning in the river, lay the work of
thousands of negroes for more than a year past. It had come from every
side. Men stood by who owned the cotton that was burning or waiting to
burn. They either helped, or looked on cheerfully. Charlie owned but
sixteen bales--a matter of some fifteen hundred dollars; but he was the
head man of the whole affair, and burned his own, as well as the
property of others. A single barrel of whiskey that was thrown on the
cotton, cost the man who gave it one hundred and twenty-five dollars.
(It shows what a nation in earnest is capable of doing.) Only two men
got on the flatboat with Charlie when it was ready. It was towed to the
middle of the river, set afire in every place, and then they jumped
into a little skiff fastened in front, and rowed to land. The cotton
floated down the Mississippi one sheet of living flame, even in the
sunlight. It would have been grand at night. But then we will have fun
watching it this evening anyway; for they cannot get through to-day,
though no time is to be lost. Hundreds of bales remained untouched. An
incredible amount of property has been destroyed to-day; but no one
begrudges it. Every grog-shop has been emptied, and gutters and
pavements are floating with liquors of all kinds. So that if the
Yankees are fond of strong drink, they will fare ill.

Yesterday, Mr. Hutchinson and a Dr. Moffat called to ask for me, with a
message about Jimmy. I was absent, but they saw Lilly. Jimmy, they
said, was safe. Though sick in bed, he had sprung up and had rushed to
the wharf at the first tap of the alarm bell in New Orleans. But as
nothing could be done, he would probably be with us to-day, bringing
mother and Miriam. I have neither heard nor seen more. The McRae, they
said, went to the bottom with the others. They did not know whether any
one aboard had escaped. God be praised that Jimmy was not on her then!
The new boat to which he was appointed is not yet finished. So he is
saved! I am distressed about Captain Huger, and could not refrain from
crying, he was so good to Jimmy. But I remembered Miss Cammack might
think it rather tender and obtrusive, so I dried my eyes and began to
hope he had escaped. Oh! how glad I should be to know he has suffered
no harm. Mr. Hutchinson was on his way above, going to join others
where the final battle is to be fought on the Mississippi. He had not
even time to sit down; so I was doubly grateful to him for his
kindness. I wish I could have thanked him for being so considerate of
me in my distress now. In her agitation, Lilly gave him a letter I had
been writing to George when I was called away; and begged him to
address it and mail it at Vicksburg, or somewhere; for no mail will
leave here for Norfolk for a long while to come. The odd part is, that
he does not know George. But he said he would gladly take charge of it
and remember the address, which Lilly told him was Richmond. Well! if
the Yankees get it they will take it for an insane scrawl. I wanted to
calm his anxiety about us, though I was so wildly excited that I could
only say, "Don't mind us! We are safe. But fight, George! Fight for
us!" The repetition was ludicrous. I meant so much, too! I only wanted
him to understand he could best defend us there. Ah! Mr. Yankee! if you
had but your brothers in this world, and their lives hanging by a
thread, you too might write wild letters! And if you want to know what
an excited girl can do, just call and let me show you the use of a
small seven-shooter and a large carving-knife which vibrate between my
belt and my pocket, always ready for emergencies.

                                                        April 27th.

What a day! Last night came a dispatch that New Orleans was under
British protection, and could not be bombarded; consequently, the
enemy's gunboats would probably be here this morning, such few as had
succeeded in passing the Forts; from nine to fifteen, it was said. And
the Forts, they said, had _not_ surrendered. I went to church; but I
grew very anxious before it was over, feeling that I was needed at
home. When I returned, I found Lilly wild with excitement, picking up
hastily whatever came to hand, preparing for instant flight, she knew
not where. The Yankees were in sight; the town was to be burned; we
were to run to the woods, etc. If the house had to be burned, I had to
make up my mind to run, too. So my treasure-bag tied around my waist as
a bustle, a sack with a few necessary articles hanging on my arm, some
few quite unnecessary ones, too, as I had not the heart to leave the
old and new prayer books father had given me, and Miriam's, too;--pistol
and carving-knife ready, I stood awaiting the exodus. I heaped on the
bed the treasures I wanted to burn, matches lying ready to fire the
whole at the last minute. I may here say that, when all was over, I
found I had omitted many things from the holocaust. This very diary was
not included. It would have afforded vast amusement to the Yankees.
There may yet be occasion to burn them, and the house also. People
fortunately changed their minds about the _auto-da-fé_ just then; and
the Yankees have not yet arrived, at sundown. So, when the excitement
calmed down, poor Lilly tumbled in bed in a high fever in consequence
of terror and exertion.

                          [A page torn out]

I was right in that prophecy. For this was not the Will Pinckney I saw
last. So woebegone! so subdued, careworn, and sad! No trace of his once
merry self. He is good-looking, which he never was before. But I would
rather never have seen him than have found him so changed. I was
talking to a ghost. His was a sad story. He had held one bank of the
river until forced to retreat with his men, as their cartridges were
exhausted, and General Lovell omitted sending more. They had to pass
through swamps, wading seven and a half miles, up to their waists in
water. He gained the edge of the swamp, saw they were over the worst,
and fell senseless. Two of his men brought him milk, and "woke him up,"
he said. His men fell from exhaustion, were lost, and died in the
swamp; so that out of five hundred, but one hundred escaped. This he
told quietly and sadly, looking so heart-broken that it was piteous to
see such pain. He showed me his feet, with thick clumsy shoes which an
old negro had pulled off to give him; for his were lost in the swamp,
and he came out bare-footed. They reached the Lafourche River, I
believe, seized a boat, and arrived here last night. His wife and child
were aboard. Heaven knows how they got there! The men he sent on to
Port Hudson, while he stopped here. I wanted to bring his wife to stay
with us; but he said she could not bear to be seen, as she had run off
just as she had happened to be at that moment. In half an hour he would
be off to take her to his old home in a carriage. There he would rejoin
his men, on the railroad, and march from Clinton to the Jackson road,
and so on to Corinth. A long journey for men so disheartened! But they
will conquer in the end. Beauregard's army will increase rapidly at
this rate. The whole country is aroused, and every man who owns a gun,
and many who do not, are on the road to Corinth. We will conquer yet.

                                                           May 5th.

Vile old Yankee boats, four in number, passed up this morning without
stopping. After all our excitement, this "silent contempt" annihilated
me! What in the world do they mean? The river was covered with burning
cotton; perhaps they want to see where it came from.

                                                           May 9th.

Our lawful (?) owners have at last arrived. About sunset, day before
yesterday, the Iroquois anchored here, and a graceful young Federal
stepped ashore, carrying a Yankee flag over his shoulder, and asked the
way to the Mayor's office. I like the style! If we girls of Baton Rouge
had been at the landing, instead of the men, that Yankee would never
have insulted us by flying his flag in our faces! _We_ would have
opposed his landing except under a flag of truce; but the men let him
alone, and he even found a poor Dutchman willing to show him the road!

He did not accomplish much; said a formal demand would be made next
day, and asked if it was safe for the men to come ashore and buy a few
necessaries, when he was assured the air of Baton Rouge was very
unhealthy for Yankee soldiers at night. He promised very magnanimously
not to shell us out if we did not molest him; but I notice none of them
dare set their feet on _terra firma_, except the officer who has now
called three times on the Mayor, and who is said to tremble visibly as
he walks the streets.

Last evening came the demand: the town must be surrendered immediately;
the Federal flag must be raised; they would grant us the same terms
they granted New Orleans. Jolly terms those were! The answer was worthy
of a Southerner. It was, "The town was defenseless; if we had cannon,
there were not men enough to resist; but if forty vessels lay at the
landing,--it was intimated we were in their power, and more ships
coming up,--we would not surrender; if they wanted, they might come and
take us; if they wished the Federal flag hoisted over the Arsenal, they
might put it up for themselves, the town had no control over Government
property." Glorious! What a pity they did not shell the town! But they
are taking us at our word, and this morning they are landing at the

"All devices, signs, and flags of the Confederacy shall be suppressed."
So says Picayune Butler. _Good._ I devote all my red, white, and blue
silk to the manufacture of Confederate flags. As soon as one is
confiscated, I make another, until my ribbon is exhausted, when I will
sport a duster emblazoned in high colors, "Hurra! for the Bonny blue
flag!" Henceforth, I wear one pinned to my bosom--not a duster, but a
little flag; the man who says take it off will have to pull it off for
himself; the man who dares attempt it--well! a pistol in my pocket
fills up the gap. I am capable, too.

This is a dreadful war, to make even the hearts of women so bitter! I
hardly know myself these last few weeks. I, who have such a horror of
bloodshed, consider even killing in self-defense murder, who cannot
wish them the slightest evil, whose only prayer is to have them sent
back in peace to their own country,--_I_ talk of killing them! For what
else do I wear a pistol and carving-knife? I am afraid I _will_ try
them on the first one who says an insolent word to me. Yes, and repent
for it ever after in sack-cloth and ashes. _O!_ if I was only a man!
Then I could don the breeches, and slay them with a will! If some few
Southern women were in the ranks, they could set the men an example
they would not blush to follow. Pshaw! there are _no_ women here! We
are _all_ men!

                                                          May 10th.

Last night about one o'clock I was wakened and told that mother and
Miriam had come. Oh, how glad I was! I tumbled out of bed half asleep
and hugged Miriam in a dream, but waked up when I got to mother. They
came up under a flag of truce, on a boat going up for provisions,
which, by the way, was brought to by half a dozen Yankee ships in
succession, with a threat to send a broadside into her if she did not
stop--the wretches knew it _must_ be under a flag of truce; no boats
leave, except by special order to procure provisions.

What tales they had to tell! They were on the wharf, and saw the ships
sail up the river, saw the broadside fired into Will Pinckney's
regiment, the boats we fired, our gunboats, floating down to meet them
all wrapped in flames; twenty thousand bales of cotton blazing in a
single pile; molasses and sugar thrown over everything. They stood
there opposite to where one of the ships landed, expecting a broadside,
and resolute not to be shot in the back. I wish I had been there! And
Captain Huger is not dead! They had hopes of his life for the first
time day before yesterday. Miriam saw the ball that had just been
extracted. He will probably be lame for the rest of his life. It will
be a glory to him. For even the Federal officers say that never did
they see so gallant a little ship, or one that fought so desperately as
the McRae. Men and officers fought like devils. Think of all those
great leviathans after the poor little "Widow Mickey"! One came tearing
down on her sideways, while the Brooklyn fired on her from the other
side, when brave Captain Warley put the nose of the Manassas under the
first, and tilted her over so that the whole broadside passed over,
instead of through, the McRae, who spit back its poor little fire at
both. And after all was lost, she carried the wounded and the prisoners
to New Orleans, and was scuttled by her own men in port. Glorious
Captain Huger! And think of his sending word to Jimmy, suffering as he
was, that "his little brass cannon was game to the last." Oh! I hope he
will recover. Brave, dare-devil Captain Warley is prisoner, and on the
way to Fort Warren, that home of all brave, patriotic men. We'll have
him out. And my poor little Jimmy! If I have not spoken of him, it is
not because I have lost sight of him for a moment. The day the McRae
went down, he arose from his bed, ill as he was, and determined to
rejoin her, as his own boat, the Mississippi, was not ready. When he
reached the St. Charles, he fell so very ill that he had to be carried
back to Brother's. Only his desperate illness saved him from being
among the killed or wounded on that gallant little ship. A few days
after, he learned the fate of the ship, and was told that Captain Huger
was dead. No wonder he should cry so bitterly! For Captain Huger was as
tender and as kind to him as his own dear father. God bless him for it!
The enemy's ships were sailing up; so he threw a few articles in a
carpet-bag and started off for Richmond, Corinth, anywhere, to fight.
Sick, weak, hardly able to stand, he went off, two weeks ago yesterday.
We know not where, and we have never heard from him since. Whether he
succumbed to that jaundice and the rest, and lies dead or dying on the
road, God only knows. We can only wait and pray God to send dear little
Jimmy home in safety.

And this is WAR! Heaven save me from like scenes and experiences again.
I was wild with excitement last night when Miriam described how the
soldiers, marching to the depot, waved their hats to the crowds of
women and children, shouting, "God bless you, ladies! We will fight for
you!" and they, waving their handkerchiefs, sobbed with one voice, "God
bless you, Soldiers! Fight for us!"

We, too, have been having our fun. Early in the evening, four more
gunboats sailed up here. We saw them from the corner, three squares
off, crowded with men even up in the riggings. The American flag was
flying from every peak. It was received in profound silence, by the
hundreds gathered on the banks. I could hardly refrain from a groan.
Much as I once loved that flag, I hate it now! I came back and made
myself a Confederate flag about five inches long, slipped the staff in
my belt, pinned the flag to my shoulder, and walked downtown, to the
consternation of women and children, who expected something awful to
follow. An old negro cried, "My young missus got her flag flyin',
anyhow!" Nettie made one and hid it in the folds of her dress. But we
were the only two who ventured. We went to the State House terrace, and
took a good look at the Brooklyn which was crowded with people who took
a good look at us, likewise. The picket stationed at the Garrison took
alarm at half a dozen men on horseback and ran, saying that the
citizens were attacking. The kind officers aboard the ship sent us word
that if they were molested, the town would be shelled. Let them!
Butchers! Does it take thirty thousand men and millions of dollars to
murder defenseless women and children? O the great nation! Bravo!

                                                          May 11th.

I--I am disgusted with myself. No unusual thing, but I am _peculiarly_
disgusted this time. Last evening, I went to Mrs. Brunot's, without an
idea of going beyond, with my flag flying again. They were all going to
the State House, so I went with them; to my great distress, some
fifteen or twenty Federal officers were standing on the first terrace,
stared at like wild beasts by the curious crowd. I had not expected to
meet them, and felt a painful conviction that I was unnecessarily
attracting attention, by an unladylike display of defiance, from the
crowd gathered there. But what was I to do? I felt humiliated,
conspicuous, everything that is painful and disagreeable; but--strike
my colors in the face of the enemy? Never! Nettie and Sophie had them,
too, but that was no consolation for the shame I suffered by such a
display so totally distasteful to me. How I wished myself away, and
chafed at my folly, and hated myself for being there, and every one for
seeing me. I hope it will be a lesson to me always to remember a lady
can gain nothing by such display.

I was not ashamed of the flag of my country,--I proved that by never
attempting to remove it in spite of my mortification,--but I was
ashamed of my position; for these are evidently gentlemen, not the
Billy Wilson's crew we were threatened with. Fine, noble-looking men
they were, showing refinement and gentlemanly bearing in every motion.
One cannot help but admire such foes! They set us an example worthy of
our imitation, and one we would be benefited by following. They come as
visitors without either pretensions to superiority, or the insolence of
conquerors; they walk quietly their way, offering no annoyance to the
citizens, though they themselves are stared at most unmercifully, and
pursued by crowds of ragged little boys, while even men gape at them
with open mouths. They prove themselves gentlemen, while many of our
citizens have proved themselves boors, and I admire them for their
conduct. With a conviction that I had allowed myself to be influenced
by bigoted, narrow-minded people, in believing them to be unworthy of
respect or regard, I came home wonderfully changed in all my newly
acquired sentiments, resolved never more to wound their feelings, who
were so careful of ours, by such unnecessary display. And I hung my
flag on the parlor mantel, there to wave, if it will, in the shades of
private life; but to make a show, make me conspicuous and ill at ease,
as I was yesterday,--never again!

There was a dozen officers in church this morning, and the psalms for
the 11th day seemed so singularly appropriate to the feelings of the
people, that I felt uncomfortable for them. They answered with us,

                                                          May 14th.

I am beginning to believe that we are even of more importance in Baton
Rouge than we thought we were. It is laughable to hear the things a
certain set of people, who know they can't visit us, say about the
whole family.... When father was alive, they dared not talk about us
aloud, beyond calling us the "Proud Morgans" and the "Aristocracy of
Baton Rouge".... But now father is gone, the people imagine we are
public property, to be criticized, vilified, and abused to their
hearts' content....

And now, because they find absurdities don't succeed, they try
improbabilities. So yesterday the town was in a ferment because it was
reported the Federal officers had called on the Miss Morgans, and all
the gentlemen were anxious to hear how they had been received. One had
the grace to say, "If they did, they received the best lesson there
that they could get in town; those young ladies would meet them with
the true Southern spirit." The rest did not know; they would like to
find out.

I suppose the story originated from the fact that we were unwilling to
blackguard--yes, that is the word--the Federal officers here, and would
not agree with many of our friends in saying they were liars, thieves,
murderers, scoundrels, the scum of the earth, etc. Such epithets are
unworthy of ladies, I say, and do harm, rather than advance our cause.
Let them be what they will, it shall not make me less the lady; I say
it is unworthy of anything except low newspaper war, such abuse, and I
will not join in.

I have a brother-in-law in the Federal army whom I love and respect as
much as any one in the world, and shall not readily agree that his
being a Northerner would give him an irresistible desire to pick my
pockets, and take from him all power of telling the truth. No! There
are few men I admire more than Major Drum, and I honor him for his
independence in doing what he believes right. Let us have liberty of
speech and action in our land, I say, but not gross abuse and calumny.
Shall I acknowledge that the people we so recently called our brothers
are unworthy of consideration, and are liars, cowards, dogs? Not I!
_If_ they conquer us, I acknowledge them as a superior race; I will not
say that we were conquered by cowards, for where would that place us?
It will take a brave people to gain us, and that the Northerners
undoubtedly are. I would scorn to have an inferior foe; I fight only my
equals. These women may acknowledge that _cowards_ have won battles in
which their brothers were engaged, but I, I will ever say _mine_ fought
against brave men, and won the day. Which is most honorable?

I was never a Secessionist, for I quietly adopted father's views on
political subjects without meddling with them. But even father went
over with his State, and when so many outrages were committed by the
fanatical leaders of the North, though he regretted the Union, said,
"Fight to the death for our liberty." I say so, too. I want to fight
until we win the cause so many have died for. I don't believe in
Secession, but I do in Liberty. I want the South to conquer, dictate
its own terms, and go back to the Union, for I believe that, apart,
inevitable ruin awaits both. It is a rope of sand, this Confederacy,
founded on the doctrine of Secession, and will not last many years--not
five. The North Cannot subdue us. We are too determined to be free.
They have no right to confiscate our property to pay debts they
themselves have incurred. Death as a nation, rather than Union on such
terms. We will have our rights secured on so firm a basis that it can
never be shaken. If by power of overwhelming numbers they conquer us,
it will be a barren victory over a desolate land. We, the natives of
this loved soil, will be beggars in a foreign land; we will not submit
to despotism under the garb of Liberty. The North will find herself
burdened with an unparalleled debt, with nothing to show for it except
deserted towns, burning homes, a standing army which will govern with
no small caprice, and an impoverished land.

If that be treason, make the best of it!

                                                          May 17th.

One of these days, when peace is restored and we are quietly settled in
our allotted corners of this wide world without any particularly
exciting event to alarm us; and with the knowledge of what is now the
future, and will then be the dead past; seeing that all has been for
the best for us in the end; that all has come right in spite of us, we
will wonder how we could ever have been foolish enough to await each
hour in such breathless anxiety. We will ask ourselves if it was really
true that nightly, as we lay down to sleep, we did not dare plan for
the morning, feeling that we might be homeless and beggars before the
dawn. How unreal it will then seem! We will say it was our wild
imagination, perhaps. But how bitterly, horribly true it is now!

Four days ago the Yankees left us, to attack Vicksburg, leaving their
flag flying in the Garrison without a man to guard it, and with the
understanding that the town would be held responsible for it. It was
intended for a trap; and it succeeded. For night before last, it was
pulled down and torn to pieces.

Now, unless Will will have the kindness to sink a dozen of their ships
up there,--I hear he has command of the lower batteries,--they will
be back in a few days, and will execute their threat of shelling the
town. If they do, what will become of us? All we expect in the way of
earthly property is as yet mere paper, which will be so much trash if
the South is ruined, as it consists of debts due father by many
planters for professional services rendered, who, of course, will be
ruined, too, so all money is gone. That is nothing, we will not be
ashamed to earn our bread, so let it go.

But this house is at least a shelter from the weather, all sentiment
apart. And our servants, too; how could they manage without us? The
Yankees, on the river, and a band of guerrillas in the woods, are
equally anxious to precipitate a fight. Between the two fires, what
chance for us? It would take only a little while to burn the city over
our heads. They say the women and children must be removed, these
guerrillas. Where, please? Charlie says we must go to Greenwell. And
have this house pillaged? For Butler has decreed that no unoccupied
house shall be respected. If we stay through the battle, if the
Federals are victorious, we will suffer. For the officers here were
reported to have said, "If the people here did not treat them decently,
they would know what it was when Billy Wilson's crew arrived. _They_
would give them a lesson!" That select crowd is now in New Orleans.
Heaven help us when they reach here! It is in these small cities that
the greatest outrages are perpetrated. What are we to do?

A new proclamation from Butler has just come. It seems that the ladies
have an ugly way of gathering their skirts when the Federals pass, to
avoid any possible contact. Some even turn up their noses. Unladylike,
to say the least. But it is, maybe, owing to the odor they have, which
is said to be unbearable even at this early season of the year. Butler
says, whereas the so-called ladies of New Orleans insult his men and
officers, he gives one and all permission to insult any or all who so
treat them, then and there, with the assurance that the women will not
receive the slightest protection from the Government, and that the men
will all be justified. I did not have time to read it, but repeat it as
it was told to me by mother, who is in utter despair at the brutality
of the thing. These men our brothers? Not mine! Let us hope for the
honor of their nation that Butler is not counted among the gentlemen of
the land. And so, if any man should fancy he cared to kiss me, he could
do so under the pretext that I had pulled my dress from under his feet!
That will justify them! And if we decline their visits, they can insult
us under the plea of a prior affront. Oh! Gibbes! George! Jimmy! never
did we need your protection as sorely as now. And not to know even
whether you are alive! When Charlie joins the army, we will be
defenseless, indeed. Come to my bosom, O my discarded carving-knife,
laid aside under the impression that these men were gentlemen. We will
be close friends once more. And if you must have a sheath, perhaps I
may find one for you in the heart of the first man who attempts to
Butlerize me. I never dreamed of kissing any man save my father and
brothers. And why any one should care to kiss any one else, I fail to
understand. And I do not propose to learn to make exceptions.

Still no word from the boys. We hear that Norfolk has been evacuated;
but no details. George was there. Gibbes is wherever Johnston is,
presumably on the Rappahannock; but it is more than six weeks since we
have heard from either of them, and all communication is cut off.

                                                          May 21st.

I have had such a search for shoes this week that I am disgusted with
shopping. I am triumphant now, for after traversing the town in every
direction and finding nothing, I finally discovered a pair of _boots_
just made for a little negro to go fishing with, and only an inch and a
half too long for me, besides being unbendable; but I seized them with
avidity, and the little negro would have been outbid if I had not soon
after discovered a pair more seemly, if not more serviceable, which I
took without further difficulty. Behold my tender feet cased in
crocodile skin, patent-leather tipped, low-quarter boy's shoes, No. 2!
"What a fall was there, my country," from my pretty English glove-kid,
to sabots made of some animal closely connected with the hippopotamus!
_A dernier ressort, vraiment!_ for my choice was that, or cooling my
feet on the burning pavement _au naturel_; I who have such a terror of
any one seeing my naked foot! And this is thanks to war and blockade!
Not a decent shoe in the whole community! _N'importe!_ "Better days are
coming, we'll all"--have shoes--after a while--perhaps! Why did not
Mark Tapley leave me a song calculated to keep the spirits up, under
depressing circumstances? I need one very much, and have nothing more
suggestive than the old Methodist hymn, "Better days are coming, we'll
all go right," which I shout so constantly, as our prospects darken,
that it begins to sound stale.

                                                          May 27th.

The cry is "Ho! for Greenwell!" Very probably this day week will see us
there. I don't want to go. If we were at peace, and were to spend a few
months of the warmest season out there, none would be more eager and
delighted than I: but to leave our comfortable home, and all it
contains, for a rough pine cottage seventeen miles away even from this
scanty civilization, is sad. It must be! We are hourly expecting two
regiments of Yankees to occupy the Garrison, and some fifteen hundred
of our men are awaiting them a little way off, so the fight seems
inevitable. And we must go, leaving what little has already been spared
us to the tender mercies of Northern volunteers, who, from the specimen
of plundering they gave us two weeks ago, will hardly leave us even the
shelter of our roof. O my dear Home! How can I help but cry at leaving
you forever? For if this fight occurs, never again shall I pass the
threshold of this house, where we have been so happy and sad, the scene
of joyous meetings and mournful partings, the place where we greeted
each other with glad shouts after even so short a parting, the place
where Harry and father kissed us good-bye and never came back again!

I know what Lavinia has suffered this long year, by what we have
suffered these last six weeks. Poor Lavinia, so far away! How easier
poverty, if it must come, would be if we could bear it together! I
wonder if the real fate of the boys, if we ever hear, can be so
dreadful as this suspense? Still no news of them. My poor little Jimmy!
And think how desperate Gibbes and George will be when they read
Butler's proclamation, and they not able to defend us! Gibbes was in
our late victory of Fredericksburg, I know.

In other days, going to Greenwell was the signal for general noise and
confusion. All the boys gathered their guns and fishing-tackle, and
thousand and one amusements; father sent out provisions; we helped
mother pack; Hal and I tumbled over the libraries to lay in a supply of
reading material; and all was bustle until the carriage drove to the
door at daylight one morning, and swept us off. It is not so gay this
time. I wandered around this morning selecting books alone. We can only
take what is necessary, the rest being left to the care of the Northern
militia in general. I never knew before how many articles were
perfectly "indispensable" to me. This or that little token or keepsake,
piles of letters I hate to burn, many dresses, etc., I cannot take
conveniently, lie around me, and I hardly know which to choose among
them, yet half _must_ be sacrificed; I can only take one trunk.

                                                          May 30th,

After all our trials and tribulations, here we are at last, and no
limbs lost! How many weeks ago was it since I wrote here? It seems very
long after all these events; let me try to recall them.

Wednesday the 28th,--a day to be forever remembered,--as luck would
have it, we rose very early, and had breakfast sooner than usual, it
would seem for the express design of becoming famished before dinner. I
picked up some of my letters and papers and set them where I could find
them whenever we were ready to go to Greenwell, burning a pile of trash
and leaving a quantity equally worthless, which were of no value even
to myself except from association. I was packing up my traveling-desk
with all Harry's little articles that were left to me, and other
things, and I was saying to myself that my affairs were in such
confusion that if obliged to run unexpectedly I would not know what to
save, when I heard Lilly's voice downstairs, crying as she ran in--she
had been out shopping--"Mr. Castle has killed a Federal officer on a
ship, and they are going to shell--" _Bang!_ went a cannon at the word,
and that was all our warning.

Mother had just come in, and was lying down, but sprang to her feet and
added her screams to the general confusion. Miriam, who had been
searching the libraries, ran up to quiet her; Lilly gathered her
children, crying hysterically all the time, and ran to the front door
with them as they were; Lucy saved the baby, naked as she took her from
her bath, only throwing a quilt over her. I bethought me of my
"running-bag" which I had used on a former case, and in a moment my few
precious articles were secured under my hoops, and with a sunbonnet on,
I stood ready for anything.

The firing still continued; they must have fired half a dozen times
before we could coax mother off. What awful screams! I had hoped never
to hear them again, after Harry died. Charlie had gone to Greenwell
before daybreak, to prepare the house, so we four women, with all those
children and servants, were left to save ourselves. I did not forget my
poor little Jimmy; I caught up his cage and ran down. Just at this
moment mother recovered enough to insist on saving father's
papers--which was impossible, as she had not an idea of where the
important ones were. I heard Miriam plead, argue, insist, command her
to run; Lilly shriek, and cry she should go; the children screaming
within; women running by without, crying and moaning; but I could not
join in. I was going I knew not where; it was impossible to take my
bird, for even if I could carry him, he would starve. So I took him out
of his cage, kissed his little yellow head, and tossed him up. He gave
one feeble little chirp as if to ascertain where to go, and then for
the first and last time I cried, laying my head against the gate-post,
and with my eyes too dim to see him. Oh, how it hurt me to lose my
little bird, one Jimmy had given me, too!

But the next minute we were all off, in safety. A square from home, I
discovered that boy shoes were not the most comfortable things to run
in, so I ran back, in spite of cannonading, entreaties, etc., to get
another pair. I got home, found an old pair that were by no means
respectable, which I seized without hesitation; and being perfectly at
ease, thought it would be so nice to save at least Miriam's and my
tooth-brushes, so slipped them in my corsets. These in, of course we
must have a comb--that was added--then how could we stand the sun
without starch to cool our faces? This included the powder-bag; then I
must save that beautiful lace collar; and my hair was tumbling down, so
in went the tucking-comb and hair-pins with the rest; until, if there
had been any one to speculate, they would have wondered a long while at
the singular appearance of a girl who is considered as very slight,
usually. By this time, Miriam, alarmed for me, returned to find me,
though urged by Dr. Castleton not to risk her life by attempting it,
and we started off together.

We had hardly gone a square when we decided to return a second time,
and get at least a few articles for the children and ourselves, who had
nothing except what we happened to have on when the shelling commenced.
She picked up any little things and threw them to me, while I filled a
pillow-case jerked from the bed, and placed my powder and brushes in it
with the rest. Before we could leave, mother, alarmed for us both, came
to find us, with Tiche.[4] All this time they had been shelling, but
there was quite a lull when she got there, and she commenced picking up
father's papers, vowing all the time she would not leave. Every
argument we could use was of no avail, and we were desperate as to what
course to pursue, when the shelling recommenced in a few minutes. Then
mother recommenced her screaming and was ready to fly anywhere; and
holding her box of papers, with a faint idea of saving something, she
picked up two dirty underskirts and an old cloak.

      [4] Mrs. Morgan's negro maid, Catiche.

By dint of Miriam's vehement appeals, aided by a great deal of pulling,
we got her down to the back door. We had given our pillow-case to
Tiche, who added another bundle and all our silver to it, and had
already departed.

As we stood in the door, four or five shells sailed over our heads at
the same time, seeming to make a perfect corkscrew of the air,--for it
sounded as though it went in circles. Miriam cried, "Never mind the
door!" mother screamed anew, and I stayed behind to lock the door, with
this new music in my ears. We reached the back gate, that was on the
street, when another shell passed us, and Miriam jumped behind the
fence for protection. We had only gone half a square when Dr. Castleton
begged us to take another street, as they were firing up that one. We
took his advice, but found our new street worse than the old, for the
shells seemed to whistle their strange songs with redoubled vigor. The
height of my ambition was now attained. I had heard Jimmy laugh about
the singular sensation produced by the rifled balls spinning around
one's head; and here I heard the same peculiar sound, ran the same
risk, and was equal to the rest of the boys, for was I not in the midst
of flying shells, in the middle of a bombardment? I think I was rather
proud of it.

We were alone on the road,--all had run away before,--so I thought it
was for our especial entertainment, this little affair. I cannot
remember how long it lasted; I am positive that the clock struck ten
before I left home, but I had been up so long, I know not what time it
began, though I am told it was between eight and nine. We passed the
graveyard, we did not even stop, and about a mile and a half from home,
when mother was perfectly exhausted with fatigue and unable to proceed
farther, we met a gentleman in a buggy who kindly took charge of her
and our bundles. We could have walked miles beyond, then, for as soon
as she was safe we felt as though a load had been removed from our
shoulders; and after exhorting her not to be uneasy about us, and
reminding her we had a pistol and a dagger,--I had secured a "for true"
one the day before, fortunately,--she drove off, and we trudged on
alone, the only people in sight on foot, though occasionally carriages
and buggies would pass, going towards town. One party of gentlemen put
their heads out and one said, "There are Judge Morgan's daughters
sitting by the road!"--but I observed he did not offer them the
slightest assistance. However, others were very kind. One I never heard
of had volunteered to go for us, and bring us to mother, when she was
uneasy about our staying so long, when we went home to get clothes. We
heard him ring and knock, but, thinking it must be next door, paid no
attention, so he went back and mother came herself.

We were two miles away when we sat down by the road to rest, and have a
laugh. Here were two women married, and able to take care of
themselves, flying for their lives and leaving two lorn girls alone on
the road, to protect each other! To be sure, neither could help us, and
one was not able to walk, and the other had helpless children to save;
but it was so funny when we talked about it, and thought how sorry both
would be when they regained their reason! While we were yet resting, we
saw a cart coming, and, giving up all idea of our walking to Greenwell,
called the people to stop. To our great delight, it proved to be a cart
loaded with Mrs. Brunot's affairs, driven by two of her negroes, who
kindly took us up with them, on the top of their luggage; and we drove
off in state, as much pleased at riding in that novel place as though
we were accustomed to ride in wheelbarrows. Miriam was in a hollow
between a flour barrel and a mattress; and I at the end, astride, I am
afraid, of a tremendous bundle, for my face was down the road and each
foot resting very near the sides of the cart. I tried to make a better
arrangement, though, after a while. These servants were good enough to
lend us their umbrella, without which I am afraid we would have
suffered severely, for the day was intensely warm.

Three miles from town we began to overtake the fugitives. Hundreds of
women and children were walking along, some bareheaded, and in all
costumes. Little girls of twelve and fourteen were wandering on alone.
I called to one I knew, and asked where her mother was; she didn't
know; she would walk on until she found out. It seems her mother lost a
nursing baby, too, which was not found until ten that night. White and
black were all mixed together, and were as confidential as though
related. All called to us and asked where we were going, and many we
knew laughed at us for riding on a cart; but as they had walked only
five miles, I imagined they would like even these poor accommodations
if they were in their reach.

The negroes deserve the greatest praise for their conduct. Hundreds
were walking with babies or bundles; ask them what they had saved, it
was invariably, "My mistress's clothes, or silver, or baby." Ask what
they had for themselves, it was, "Bless your heart, honey, I was glad
to get away with mistress's things; I didn't think 'bout mine."

It was a heart-rending scene. Women searching for their babies along
the road, where they had been lost; others sitting in the dust crying
and wringing their hands; for by this time we had not an idea but what
Baton Rouge was either in ashes, or being plundered, and we had saved
nothing. I had one dress, Miriam two, but Tiche had them, and we had
lost her before we left home.

Presently we came on a guerrilla camp. Men and horses were resting on
each side of the road, some sick, some moving about carrying water to
the women and children, and all looking like a monster barbecue, for as
far as the eye could see through the woods, was the same repetition of
men and horses. They would ask for the news, and one, drunk with
excitement or whiskey, informed us that it was our own fault if we had
saved nothing, the people must have been ---- fools not to have known
trouble would come before long, and that it was the fault of the men,
who were aware of it, that the women were thus forced to fly. In vain
we pleaded that there was no warning, no means of foreseeing this; he
cried, "_You_ are ruined; so am I; and my brothers, too! And by ----
there is nothing left but to die now, and I'll die!" "Good!" I said.
"But die fighting for us!" He waved his hand, black with powder, and
shouted, "That I will!" after us. That was the only swearing guerrilla
we met; the others seemed to have too much respect for us to talk loud.

Lucy had met us before this; early in the action, Lilly had sent her
back to get some baby-clothes, but a shell exploding within a few feet
of her, she took alarm, and ran up another road, for three miles, when
she cut across the plantations and regained the Greenwell route. It is
fortunate that, without consultation, the thought of running here
should have seized us all.

                                                          May 31st.

I was interrupted so frequently yesterday that I know not how I
continued to write so much. First, I was sent for, to go to Mrs.
Brunot, who had just heard of her son's death, and who was alone with
Dena; and some hours after, I was sent for, to see Fanny, now Mrs.
Trezevant, who had just come with her husband to bring us news of
George. A Mrs. Montgomery, who saw him every day at Norfolk, said Jimmy
was with him, and though very sick at first, was now in good health.
The first news in all that long time! When the city was evacuated,
George went with his regiment seven miles from Richmond, Jimmy to the
city itself, as aide to Com. Hollins. This lady brought George's opal
ring and diamond pin. Howell and Mr. Badger, who had just joined the
guerrillas as independents, spent the day with me. We were all in such
confusion that I felt ashamed: every one as dirty as possible; I had on
the same dress I had escaped in, which, though then perfectly clean,
was now rather--dirty. But they knew what a time we had had.

To return to my journal.

Lucy met mother some long way ahead of us, whose conscience was already
reproaching her for leaving us, and in answer to her "What has become
of my poor girls?" ran down the road to find us, for Lucy thinks the
world can't keep on moving without us. When she met us, she walked by
the cart, and it was with difficulty we persuaded her to ride a mile;
she said she felt "used" to walking now. About five miles from home, we
overtook mother. The gentleman had been obliged to go for his wife, so
Mary gave her her seat on the cart, and walked with Lucy three miles
beyond, where we heard that Lilly and the children had arrived in a
cart, early in the day. All the talk by the roadside was of burning
homes, houses knocked to pieces by balls, famine, murder, desolation;
so I comforted myself singing, "Better days are coming" and "I hope to
die shouting, the Lord will provide"; while Lucy toiled through the sun
and dust, and answered with a chorus of "I'm a-runnin', a-runnin' up to

It was three o'clock when we reached Mr. David's and found Lilly. How
warm and tired we were! A hasty meal, which tasted like a feast after
our fatigue, gave us fresh strength, and Lilly and Miriam got in an old
cart with the children to drive out here, leaving me with mother and
Dellie to follow next day. About sunset, Charlie came flying down the
road, on his way to town. I decided to go, and after an obstinate
debate with mother, in which I am afraid I showed more determination
than amiability, I wrung a reluctant consent from her, and, promising
not to enter if it was being fired or plundered, drove off in triumph.
It was a desperate enterprise for a young girl, to enter a town full of
soldiers on such an expedition at night; but I knew Charlie could take
care of me, and if he was killed I could take care of myself; so I

It was long after nine when we got there, and my first act was to look
around the deserted house. What a scene of confusion! armoirs spread
open, with clothes tumbled in every direction, inside and out; ribbons,
laces on floors; chairs overturned; my desk wide open covered with
letters, trinkets, etc.; bureau drawers half out, the bed filled with
odds and ends of everything. I no longer recognized my little room. On
the bolster was a little box, at the sight of which I burst out
laughing. Five minutes before the alarm, Miriam had been selecting
those articles she meant to take to Greenwell, and, holding up her box,
said, "If we were forced to run for our lives without a moment's
warning, I'd risk my life to save this, rather than leave it!" Yet here
lay the box, and she was safe at Greenwell!

It took me two hours to pack father's papers, then I packed Miriam's
trunk, then some of mother's and mine, listening all the while for a
cannon; for men were constantly tramping past the house, and only on
condition our guerrillas did not disturb them had they promised not to
recommence the shelling. Charlie went out to hear the news, and I
packed alone.

It seems the only thing that saved the town was two gentlemen who rowed
out to the ships, and informed the illustrious commander that there
were no men there to be hurt, and he was only killing women and
children. The answer was, "He was sorry he had hurt them; he thought of
course the town had been evacuated before the men were fools enough to
fire on them, and had only shelled the principal streets to intimidate
the people." These streets were the very ones crowded with flying women
and children, which they must have seen with their own eyes, for those
lying parallel to the river led to the Garrison at one end and the
crevasse at the other, which cut off all the lower roads, so that the
streets he shelled were the only ones that the women could follow,
unless they wished to be drowned. As for the firing, four guerrillas
were rash enough to fire on a yawl which was about to land without a
flag of truce, killing one, wounding three, one of whom afterwards

They were the only ones in town, there was not a cannon in our hands,
even if a dozen men could be collected, and this cannonading was kept
up in return for half a dozen shots from as many rifles, without even a
show of resistance after! So ended the momentous shelling of Baton
Rouge, during which the valiant Farragut killed one whole woman,
wounded three, struck some twenty houses several times apiece, and
indirectly caused the death of two little children who were drowned in
their flight, one poor little baby that was born in the woods, and
several cases of the same kind, besides those who will yet die from the
fatigue, as Mrs. W. D. Phillips who had not left her room since
January, who was carried out in her nightgown, and is now supposed to
be in a dying condition. The man who took mother told us he had taken a
dying woman--in the act of expiring--in his buggy, from her bed, and
had left her a little way off, where she had probably breathed her last
a few moments after. There were many similar cases. Hurrah for the
illustrious Farragut, the Woman Killer!!!

It was three o'clock before I left off packing, and took refuge in a
tub of cold water, from the dust and heat of the morning. What a luxury
the water was! and when I changed my underclothes I felt like a new
being. To be sure I pulled off the skin of my heel entirely, where it
had been blistered by the walk, dust, sun, etc., but that was a trifle,
though still quite sore now. For three hours I dreamed of rifled shells
and battles, and at half-past six I was up and at work again. Mother
came soon after, and after hard work we got safely off at three, saving
nothing but our clothes and silver. All else is gone. It cost me a pang
to leave my guitar, and Miriam's piano, but it seems there was no help
for it, so I had to submit.

It was dark night when we reached here. A bright fire was blazing in
front, but the house looked so desolate that I wanted to cry. Miriam
cried when I told her her piano was left behind. Supper was a new
sensation, after having been without anything except a _glass_ of
clabber (no saucers) and a piece of bread since half-past six. I laid
down on the hard floor to rest my weary bones, thankful that I was so
fortunate as to be able to lie down at all. In my dozing state, I heard
the wagon come, and Miriam ordering a mattress to be put in the room
for me. I could make out, "Very well! you may take that one to Miss
Eliza,[5] but the next one shall be brought to Miss Sarah!" Poor
Miriam! She is always fighting my battles. She and the servants are
always taking my part against the rest of the world.... She and Lucy
made a bed and rolled me in it with no more questions, and left me with
damp eyes at the thought of how good and tender every one is to me.
Poor Lucy picked me a dish of blackberries to await my arrival, and I
was just as grateful for it, though they were eaten by some one else
before I came.

      [5] Lilly.

Early yesterday morning, Miriam, Nettie, and Sophie, who did not then
know of their brother's death, went to town in a cart, determined to
save some things, Miriam to save her piano. As soon as they were
halfway, news reached us that any one was allowed to enter, but none
allowed to leave the town, and all vehicles confiscated as soon as they
reached there. Alarmed for their safety, mother started off to find
them, and we have heard of none of them since. What will happen next? I
am not uneasy. They dare not harm them. It is glorious to shell a town
full of women, but to kill four lone ones is not exciting enough.

                                                  June 1st, Sunday.

From the news brought by one or two persons who managed to reach here
yesterday, I am more uneasy about mother and the girls. A gentleman
tells me that no one is permitted to leave without a pass, and of
these, only such as are separated from their families, who may have
left before. All families are prohibited to leave, and furniture and
other valuables also. Here is an agreeable arrangement! I saw the
"pass," just such as we give our negroes, signed by a Wisconsin
colonel. Think of being obliged to ask permission from some low plowman
to go in or out of our own house! Cannon are planted as far out as
Colonel Davidson's, six of them at our graveyard, and one or more on
all the other roads. If the guerrillas do not attempt their capture, I
shall take it upon myself to suggest it to the very next one I see.
Even if they cannot use them, it will frighten the Yankees, who are in
a state of constant alarm about them. Their reason for keeping people
in town is that they hope they will not be attacked so long as our own
friends remain; thereby placing us above themselves in the scale of
humanity, since they acknowledge we are not brute enough to kill women
and children as they did not hesitate to do.

Farragut pleads that he could not restrain his men, they were so
enraged when the order was once given to fire, and says they _would_
strike a few houses, though he ordered them to fire solely at horses,
and the clouds of dust in the street, where guerrillas were supposed to
be. The dust was by no means thick enough to conceal that these
"guerrillas" were women, carrying babies instead of guns, and the
horses were drawing buggies in which many a sick woman was lying.

A young lady who applied to the Yankee general for a pass to come out
here, having doubtless spoken of the number of women here who had fled,
and the position of the place, was advised to remain in town and write
to the ladies to return immediately, and assure them that they would be
respected and protected, etc., but that it was madness to remain at
Greenwell, for a terrific battle would be fought there in a few days,
and they would be exposed to the greatest danger. The girl wrote the
letter, but, Mr. Fox, we are not quite such fools as to return there to
afford you the protection our petticoats would secure to you, thereby
preventing you from receiving condign punishment for the injuries and
loss of property already inflicted upon us by you. No! we remain
_here_; and if you are not laid low before you pass the Comite Bridge,
we can take to the woods again, and camp out, as many a poor woman is
doing now, a few miles from town. Many citizens have been arrested, and
after being confined a while, and closely questioned, have been
released, if the information is satisfactory. A negro man is informing
on all cotton burners and violent Secessionists, etc.

                                                      Sunday night.

The girls have just got back, riding in a mule team, on top of baggage,
but without either mother or any of our affairs. Our condition is
perfectly desperate. Miriam had an interview with General Williams,
which was by no means satisfactory. He gave her a pass to leave, and
bring us back, for he says there is no safety here for us; he will
restrain his men in town, and protect the women, but once outside, he
will answer neither for his men, nor the women and children. As soon as
he gets horses enough, he passes this road, going to Camp Moore with
his cavalry, and then we are in greater danger than ever. Any house
shut up shall be occupied by soldiers. Five thousand are there now,
five more expected. What shall we do? Mother remained, sending Miriam
for me, determined to keep us there, rather than sacrifice both our
lives and property by remaining here. But then--two weeks from now the
yellow fever will break out; mother has the greatest horror of it, and
we have never had it; dying is not much in the present state of our
affairs, but the survivor will suffer even more than we do now. If
we stay, how shall we live? I have seventeen hundred dollars in
Confederate notes now in my "running-bag," and three or four in silver.
The former will not be received there, the latter might last two days.
If we save our house and furniture, it is at the price of starving. I
am of opinion that we should send for mother, and with what money we
have, make our way somewhere in the interior, to some city where we can
communicate with the boys, and be advised by them. This is not living.
Home is lost beyond all hope of recovery; if we wait, what we have
already saved will go, too; so we had better leave at once, with what
clothing we have, which will certainly establish us on the footing of
ladies, if we chance to fall among vulgar people who never look beyond.
I fear the guerrillas will attack the town to-night; if they do, God
help mother!

General Williams offered Miriam an escort when he found she was without
a protector, in the most fatherly way; he must be a good man. She
thanked him, but said "she felt perfectly safe on _that_ road." He bit
his lip, understanding the allusion, and did not insist. She was to
deliver a message from parties in town to the first guerrillas they
met, concerning the safest roads, and presently six met them, and
entered into conversation. She told them of the proffered escort, when
one sprang forward crying, "Why didn't you accept, Miss? The next time,
_ask_ for one, and if it is at all disagreeable to you, _I_ am the very
man to rid you of such an inconvenience! I'll see that you are not
annoyed long." I am glad it was not sent; she would have reproached
herself with murder forever after. I wonder if the General would have
risked it?

                                                       BATON ROUGE,
                                                           June 3d.

Well! Day before yesterday, I almost vowed I would not return, and last
evening I reached here. Verily, consistency, thou art a jewel! I
determined to get to town to lay both sides of the question before
mother; saving home and property, by remaining, thereby cutting
ourselves off forever from the boys and dying of yellow fever; or
flying to Mississippi, losing all save our lives. So as Mrs. Brunot was
panic-stricken and determined to die in town rather than be starved at
Greenwell, and was going in on the same wagon that came out the night
before, I got up with her and Nettie, and left Greenwell at ten
yesterday morning, bringing nothing except this old book, which I would
rather not lose, as it has been an old and kind friend during these
days of trouble. At first, I avoided all mention of political affairs,
but now there is nothing else to be thought of; if it is not burnt for
treason, I will like to look it over some day--if I live. I left
Greenwell, without ever looking around it, beyond one walk to the
hotel, so I may say I hardly know what it looks like. Miriam stayed,
much against her will, I fear, to bring in our trunks, if I could send
a wagon.

A guerrilla picket stopped us before we had gone a mile, and seemed
disposed to turn us back. We said we must pass; our all was at stake.
They then entreated us not to enter, saying it was not safe. I asked if
they meant to burn it; "We will help try it," was the answer. I begged
them to delay the experiment until we could get away. One waved his hat
to me and said he would fight for me. Hope he will--at a distance. They
asked if we had no protectors; "None," we said. "Don't go, then"; and
they all looked so sorry for us. We said we must; starvation, and
another panic awaited us out there, our brothers were fighting, our
fathers dead; we had only our own judgment to rely on, and that told us
home was the best place for us; if the town must burn, let us burn in
our houses, rather than be murdered in the woods. They looked still
more sorry, but still begged us not to remain. We would, though, and
one young boy called out as we drove off, "What's the name of that
young lady who refused the escort?" I told him, and they too expressed
the greatest regret that she had not accepted. We met many on the road,
nearly all of whom talked to us, and as they were most respectful in
their manner (though they saw us in a mule team!), we gave them all the
information we could, which was all news to them, though very little.
Such a ride in the hot sun, perched up in the air! One of the servants
remarked, "Miss Sarah ain't ashamed to ride in a wagon!" With truth I
replied, "No, I was never so high before."

Two miles from home we met the first Federal pickets, and then they
grew more numerous, until we came on a large camp near our graveyard,
filled with soldiers and cannon. From first to last none refrained from
laughing at us; not aloud, but they would grin and be inwardly
convulsed with laughter as we passed. One laughed so comically that I
dropped my veil hastily for fear he would see me smile. I could not
help it; if any one smiled at me while I was dying, I believe I would
return it. We passed crowds, for it was now five o'clock, and all
seemed to be promenading. There were several officers standing at the
corner, near our house, who were very much amused at our vehicle. I did
not feel like smiling then. After reducing us to riding in a mule team,
they were heartless enough to laugh! I forgot them presently, and gave
my whole attention to getting out respectably. Now getting _in_ a wagon
is bad enough; but getting out--! I hardly know how I managed it. I had
fully three feet to step down before reaching the wheel; once there,
the driver picked me up and set me on the pavement. The net I had
gathered my hair in, fell in my descent, and my hair swept down halfway
between my knee and ankle in one stream. As I turned to get my little
bundle, the officers had moved their position to one directly opposite
to me, where they could examine me at leisure. Queens used to ride
drawn by oxen hundreds of years ago, so I played this was old times,
the mules were oxen, I a queen, and stalked off in a style I am
satisfied would have imposed on Juno herself. When I saw them as I
turned, they were perfectly quiet; but Nettie says up to that moment
they had been in convulsions of laughter, with their handkerchiefs to
their faces. It was not polite!

I found mother safe, but the house was in the most horrible confusion.
Jimmy's empty cage stood by the door; it had the same effect on me that
empty coffins produce on others. Oh, my birdie! At six, I could no
longer stand my hunger. I had fasted for twelve hours, with the
exception of a mouthful of hoe-cake at eleven; I that never fasted in
my life!--except last Ash Wednesday when Lydia and I tried it for
breakfast, and got so sick we were glad to atone for it at dinner. So I
got a little piece of bread and corn beef from Mrs. Daigre's servant,
for there was not a morsel here, and I did not know where or what to
buy. Presently some kind friend sent me a great short-cake, a dish of
strawberry preserves, and some butter, which I was grateful for, for
the fact that the old negro was giving me part of her supper made me
rather sparing, though she cried, "Eat it all, honey! I get plenty

Mother went to Cousin Will's, and I went to Mrs. Brunot's to sleep, and
so ended my first day's ride on a mule team. Bah! A lady can make
anything respectable by the way she does it! What do I care if I had
been driving mules? Better that than walk seventeen miles.

I met Dr. DuChêne and Dr. Castleton twice each, this morning. They were
as kind to me as they were to the girls the other day. The latter saved
them a disagreeable visit, while here. He and those three were packing
some things in the hall, when two officers passed, and prepared to come
in, seeing three good-looking girls seemingly alone, for Miriam's dress
hid Dr. Castleton as he leaned over the box. Just then she moved, the
Doctor raised his head, and the officers started back with an "Ah!" of
surprise. The Doctor called them as they turned away, and asked for a
pass for the young ladies. They came back bowing and smiling, said they
would write one in the house, but they were told very dryly that there
were no writing accommodations there. They tried the fascinating, and
were much mortified by the coldness they met. Dear me! "Why wasn't I
born old and ugly?" Suppose I should unconsciously entrap some
magnificent Yankee! What an awful thing it would be!!

Sentinels are stationed at every corner; Dr. Castleton piloted me
safely through one expedition; but on the next, we had to part company,
and I passed through a crowd of at least fifty, alone. They were
playing cards in the ditch, and swearing dreadfully, these pious
Yankees; many were marching up and down, some sleeping on the pavement,
others--picking odious bugs out of each other's heads! I thought of the
guerrillas, yellow fever, and all, and wished they were all safe at
home with their mothers and sisters, and we at peace again.

What a day I have had! Here mother and I are alone, not a servant on
the lot. We will sleep here to-night, and I know she will be too
nervous to let me sleep. The dirt and confusion were extraordinary in
the house. I could not stand it, so I applied myself to making it
better. I actually swept two whole rooms! I ruined my hands at
gardening, so it made no difference. I replaced piles of books,
crockery, china, that Miriam had left packed for Greenwell; I
discovered I could empty a dirty hearth, dust, move heavy weights, make
myself generally useful and dirty, and all this is thanks to the
Yankees! Poor me! This time last year I thought I would never walk
again! If I am not laid up forever after the fatigue of this last week,
I shall always maintain I have a Constitution. But it all seems nothing
in this confusion; everything is almost as bad as ever. Besides that, I
have been flying around to get Miriam a wagon. I know she is half
distracted at being there alone. Mother chose staying with all its
evils. Charlie's life would pay the penalty of a cotton burner if he
returned, so Lilly remains at Greenwell with him. We three will get on
as best we can here. I wrote to the country to get a wagon, sent a pass
from Headquarters, but I will never know if it reached her until I see
her in town. I hope it will; I would be better satisfied with Miriam.

                                                          June 4th.

Miriam and Mattie drove in, in the little buggy, last evening after
sunset, to find out what we were to do. Our condition is desperate.
Beauregard is about attacking these Federals. They say he is coming
from Corinth, and the fight will be in town. If true, we are lost
again. Starvation at Greenwell, fever and bullets here, will put an end
to us soon enough. There is no refuge for us, no one to consult.
Brother, whose judgment we rely on as implicitly as we did on father's,
we hear has gone to New York; there is no one to advise or direct us,
for, if he is gone, there is no man in Louisiana whose decision I would
blindly abide by. Let us stay and die. We can only die once; we can
suffer a thousand deaths with suspense and uncertainty; the shortest is
the best. Do you think the few words here can give an idea of our agony
and despair? Nothing can express it. I feel a thousand years old
to-day. I have shed the bitterest tears to-day that I have shed since
father died. I can't stand it much longer; I'll give way presently, and
I know my heart will break. Shame! Where is God? A fig for your
religion, if it only lasts while the sun shines! "Better days are
coming"--I can't!

Troops are constantly passing and repassing. They have scoured the
country for ten miles out, in search of guerrillas. We are here without
servants, clothing, or the bare necessaries of life: suppose they
should seize them on the way! I procured a pass for the wagon, but it
now seems doubtful if I can get the latter--a very faint chance. Well!
let them go; our home next; then we can die sure enough. With God's
help, I can stand anything yet in store for me. "I hope to die
shouting, the Lord will provide!" Poor Lavinia! if she could only see
us! I am glad she does not know our condition.

                                                             5 P.M.

What a day of agony, doubt, uncertainty, and despair! Heaven save me
from another such! Every hour fresh difficulties arose, until I believe
we were almost crazy, every one of us.

As Miriam was about stepping in the buggy, to go to Greenwell to bring
in our trunks, mother's heart misgave her, and she decided to sacrifice
her property rather than remain in this state any longer. After a
desperate discussion which proved that each argument was death, she
decided to go back to Greenwell and give up the keys of the house to
General Williams, and let him do as he pleased, rather than have it
broken open during her absence. Mattie and Mr. Tunnard were present at
the discussion, which ended by the latter stepping in the buggy and
driving Miriam to the Garrison. General Williams called her by name,
and asked her about Major Drum. It seems all these people, native and
foreign, know us, while we know none. Miriam told him our condition,
how our brothers were away, father dead, and mother afraid to remain,
yet unwilling to lose her property by going away; how we three were
alone and unprotected here, but would remain rather than have our home
confiscated. He assured her the house should not be touched, that it
would be respected in our absence as though we were in it, and he would
place a sentinel at the door to guard it against his own men who might
be disposed to enter. The latter she declined, but he said he would
send his aide to mark the house, that it might be known. A moment after
they got back, the aide, Mr. Biddle (I have his name to so many passes
that I know it now), came to the door. Mr. Tunnard left him there,
uncertain how we would receive a Christian, and I went out and asked
him in. He looked uncertain of his reception, too, when we put an end
to his doubt by treating him as we invariably treat gentlemen who
appear such. He behaved remarkably well under the trying circumstances,
and insisted on a sentinel; for, he said, though they would respect the
property, there were many bad characters among the soldiers who might
attempt to rob it, and the sentinel would protect it. After a visit of
ten minutes, devoted exclusively to the affair, he arose and took his
leave, leaving me under the impression that he was a gentleman wherever
he came from, even if there were a few grammatical errors in the pass
he wrote me yesterday; but "thou that judgest another, dost thou sin?"

Well, now we say, fly to Greenwell. Yes! and by to-night, a most
exaggerated account of the whole affair will be spread over the whole
country, and we will be equally suspected by our own people. Those who
spread useless falsehoods about us will gladly have a foundation for a
monstrous one. Didn't Camp Moore ring with the story of our
entertaining the Federal officers? Didn't they spread the report that
Miriam danced with one to the tune of "Yankee Doodle" in the State
House garden? What will they stop at now? O! if I was only a man, and
knew what to do!

[Illustration: MIRIAM MORGAN]


We were so distressed by the false position in which we would be placed
by a Federal sentinel, that we did not know what course to pursue. As
all our friends shook their heads and said it was dangerous, we knew
full well what our enemies would say. If we win Baton Rouge, as I pray
we will, they will say we asked protection from Yankees against our own
men, are consequently traitors, and our property will be confiscated by
our own Government. To decline General Williams's kind offer exposes
the house to being plundered. In our dilemma, we made up our minds to
stay, so we could say the sentinel was unnecessary.

Presently a file of six soldiers marched to the gate, an officer came
to the steps and introduced himself as Colonel McMillan, of 21st
Indiana Volunteers. He asked if this was Mrs. Morgan's; the General had
ordered a guard placed around the house; he would suggest placing them
in different parts of the yard. "Madam, the pickets await your orders."
Miriam in a desperate fright undertook to speak for mother, and asked
if he thought there was any necessity. No, but it was an additional
security, he said. "Then, if no actual necessity, we will relieve you
of the disagreeable duty, as we expect to remain in town," she said. He
was very kind, and discussed the whole affair with us, saying when we
made up our minds to leave,--we told him after we could not decide,--to
write him word, and he would place a guard around to prevent his men
and the negroes from breaking in. It was a singular situation: our
brothers off fighting them, while these Federal officers leaned over
our fence, and an officer standing on our steps offered to protect us.
These people are certainly very kind to us. General Williams especially
must be a dear old gentleman; he is so good.

How many good, and how many mean people these troubles have shown us! I
am beginning to see my true friends, now; there is a large number of
them, too. Everybody from whom we least expected attention has
agreeably surprised us....

General Williams will believe we are insane from our changing so often.

His guard positively refused.

                                                          June 5th.

Last night I determined to stay. Miriam went after our trunks at
daylight. A few hours after, Lilly wrote we must go back. McClellan's
army was cut to pieces and driven back to Maryland, by Jackson; the
Federals were being driven into the swamp from Richmond, too.
Beauregard is undoubtedly coming to attack Baton Rouge; his fire would
burn the town, if the gunboats do not; the Yankees will shell, at all
events, if forced to retire. It cannot stand. We can't go to New
Orleans. Butler says he will lay it in ashes if he is forced to
evacuate it, from yellow fever or other causes. Both must be burned.
Greenwell is not worth the powder it would cost, so we must stand the
chance of murder and starvation there, rather than the certainty of
being placed between two fires here. Well, I see nothing but bloodshed
and beggary staring us in the face. Let it come. "I hope to die
shouting, the Lord will provide."

                                                          June 6th.

We dined at Mrs. Brunot's yesterday, and sitting on the gallery later,
had the full benefit of a Yankee drill. They stopped in front of the
house and went through some very curious manoeuvres, and then marched
out to their drill-ground beyond. In returning, the whole regiment drew
up directly before us, and we were dreadfully quiet for five minutes,
the most uncomfortable I have experienced for some time. For it was
absurd to look at the sky, and I looked in vain for one man with
downcast eyes whereon I might rest mine; but from the officers down to
the last private, they were all looking at us. I believe I would have
cried with embarrassment if the command had not been given at that
moment. They drilled splendidly, and knew it, too, so went through it
as though they had not been at it for an hour before. One conceited,
red-headed lieutenant smiled at us in the most fascinating way; perhaps
he smiled to think how fine he was, and what an impression he was

We got back to our solitary house before twilight, and were sitting on
the balcony, when Mr. Biddle entered. He came to ask if the guard had
been placed here last night. It seems to me it would have saved him
such a long walk if he had asked Colonel McMillan. He sat down, though,
and got talking in the moonlight, and people passing, some citizens,
some officers, looked wonderingly at this unheard-of occurrence. I
won't be rude to any one in my own house, Yankee or Southern, say what
they will. He talked a great deal, and was very entertaining; what
tempted him, I cannot imagine. It was two hours before he thought of
leaving. He was certainly very kind. He spoke of the scarcity of flour
in town; said they had quantities at the Garrison, and asked permission
to send us a barrel, which of course we refused. It showed a very good
heart, though. He offered to take charge of any letters I would write;
said he had heard General Williams speak of Harry; and when he at last
left, I was still more pleased with him for this kindness to us. He
says Captain Huger is dead. I am very, very much distressed. They are
related, he says. He talked so reasonably of the war, that it was quite
a novelty after reading the abusive newspapers of both sides. I like
him, and was sorry I could not ask him to repeat his visit. We are
unaccustomed to treat gentlemen that way; but it won't do in the
present state to act as we please. Mob governs.

Mother kept me awake all night to listen to the mice in the garret.
Every time I would doze she would ask, "What's that?" and insist that
the mice were men. I had to get up and look for an imaginary host, so I
am tired enough this morning.

Miriam has just got in with all the servants, our baggage is on the
way, so we will be obliged to stay whether we will or no. I don't care;
it is all the same, starve or burn. Oh! I forgot. Mr. Biddle did _not_
write that pass! It was his clerk. He speaks _very_ grammatically, so
far as I can judge!!

                                                  June 8th, Sunday.

These people mean to kill us with kindness. There is such a thing as
being too kind. Yesterday General Williams sent a barrel of flour to
mother, accompanied by a note begging her to accept it "in
consideration of the present condition of the circulating currency,"
and the intention was so kind, the way it was done so delicate, that
there was no refusing it. I had to write her thanks, and got in a
violent fit of the "trembles" at the idea of writing to a stranger. One
consolation is, that I am not a very big fool, for it took only three
lines to prove myself one. If I had been a thundering big one, I would
have occupied two pages to show myself fully. And to think it is out of
our power to prove them our appreciation of the kindness we have
universally met with! Many officers were in church this morning, and as
they passed us while we waited for the door to be opened, General
Williams bowed profoundly, another followed his example; we returned
the salute, of course. But by to-morrow, those he did not bow to will
cry treason against us. Let them howl. I am tired of lies, scandal, and
deceit. All the loudest gossips have been frightened into the country,
but enough remain to keep them well supplied with town talk.... It is
such a consolation to turn to the dear good people of the world after
coming in contact with such cattle. Here, for instance, is Mr.
Bonnecase on whom we have not the slightest claims. Every day since we
have been here, he has sent a great pitcher of milk, knowing our cow is
out; one day he sent rice, the next sardines, yesterday two bottles of
Port and Madeira, which cannot be purchased in the whole South. What a
duck of an old man! That is only one instance.

                                                         June 10th.

This morning while I was attending to my flowers ... several soldiers
stopped in front of me, and holding on the fence, commenced to talk
about some brave Colonel, and a shooting affair last night. When all
had gone except one who was watching me attentively, as he seemed to
wish to tell me, I let him go ahead. The story was that Colonel
McMillan was shot through the shoulder, breast, and liver, by three
guerrillas while four miles from town last night, on a scout. He was a
quarter of a mile from his own men at the time, killed one who shot
him, took the other two prisoners, and fell from his horse himself,
when he got within the lines. The soldier said these two guerrillas
would probably be hanged, while the six we saw pass captives, Sunday,
would probably be sent to Fort Jackson for life. I think the guerrilla
affair mere murder, I confess; but what a dreadful fate for these young
men! One who passed Sunday was Jimmy's schoolmate, a boy of sixteen;
another, Willie Garig, the pet of a whole family of good, honest
country people....

These soldiers will get in the habit of talking to me after a while,
through my own fault. Yesterday I could not resist the temptation to
ask the fate of the six guerrillas, and stopped two volunteers who were
going by, to ask them. They discussed the fate of the country, told me
Fort Pillow and Vicksburg were evacuated, the Mississippi opened from
source to mouth; I told them of Banks's and McClellan's defeat; they
assured me it would all be over in a month,--which I fervently pray may
be so; told me they were from Michigan (one was Mr. Bee, he said,
cousin of our General); and they would probably have talked all day if
I had not bowed myself away with thanks for their information.

It made me ashamed to contrast the quiet, gentlemanly, liberal way
these volunteers spoke of us and our cause, with the rabid, fanatical,
abusive violence of our own female Secession declaimers. Thank Heaven,
I have never yet made my appearance as a Billingsgate orator on these
occasions. All my violent feelings, which in moments of intense
excitement were really violent, I have recorded in this book; I am
happy to say only the reasonable dislike to seeing my country
subjugated has been confided to the public ear, when necessary; and
that even now, I confess that nothing but the reign of terror and gross
prejudice by which I was surrounded at that time could justify many
expressions I have here applied to them. Fact is, these people have
disarmed me by their kindness. I expected to be in a crowd of ruffian
soldiers, who would think nothing of cutting your throat or doing
anything they felt like; and I find, among all these thousands, not one
who offers the slightest annoyance or disrespect. The former is the
thing as it is believed by the whole country, the latter the true state
of affairs. I admire foes who show so much consideration for our

Contrast these with our volunteers from New Orleans--all gentlemen--who
came to take the Garrison from Major Haskins. Several of them passing
our gate where we were standing with the Brunots, one exclaimed, "What
pretty girls!" It was a stage aside that we were supposed not to hear.
"Yes," said another; "beautiful! but they look as though they could be
fast." Fast! and we were not even speaking! not even looking at them!
Sophie and I were walking presently, and met half a dozen. We had to
stop to let them pass the crossing; they did not think of making way
for us; No. 1 sighed--such a sigh! No. 2 followed, and so on, when they
all sighed in chorus for our edification, while we dared not raise our
eyes from the ground. That is the time I would have made use of a
dagger. Two passed in a buggy, and trusting to our not recognizing them
from the rapidity of their vehicle, kissed their hands to us until they
were out of sight! All went back to New Orleans vowing Baton Rouge had
the prettiest girls in the world. These were our own people, the élite
of New Orleans, loyal Southerners and gentlemen. These Northerners pass
us satisfied with a simple glance; some take off their hats, for all
these officers know our name, though we may not know theirs; how, I
can't say.

When I heard of Colonel McMillan's misfortune, mother conspired with me
to send over some bandages, and something Tiche manufactured of flour
under the name of "nourishment," for he is across the street at
Heroman's. Miriam objected on account of what "our people" will say,
and what we will suffer for it if the guerrillas reach town, but we
persuaded her we were right.... You can imagine our condition at
present, many years hence, Sarah, when you reflect that it is the
brave, noble-hearted, generous Miriam who is afraid to do that deed on
account of "public opinion," which indeed is "down" on us. At Greenwell
they are frantic about our returning to town, and call us traitors,
Yankees, and vow vengeance.... A lady said to me, "The guerrillas have
a black list containing the names of those remaining in town. All the
men are to be hanged, their houses burned, and all the women are to be
tarred and feathered." I said, "Madam, if I believed them capable of
such a vile _threat_, even, much less the execution, I would see them
cut down without a feeling of compassion" (which is not true), "and
swear I was a Yankee rather than claim being a native of the same
country with such brutes." She has a long tongue; when I next hear of
it, it will be that _I_ told the story, and called them brutes and
hoped they would be shot, etc. And so goes the world. No one will think
of saying that I did not believe them guilty of the thought, even. Our
three brothers may be sick or wounded at this minute; what I do for
this man, God will send some one to do for them, and with that belief I
do it....

                                                         June 11th.

Last evening mother and Miriam went to the Arsenal to see if they would
be allowed to do anything for the prisoners. General Williams received
them, and fascinated Miriam by his manner, as usual. Poor Miriam is
always being fascinated, according to her own account. He sent for
little Nathan Castle and Willie Garig, and left them alone in the room
with them, showing his confidence and delicacy by walking away. The
poor young men were very grateful to be remembered; one had his eyes
too full of tears to speak. Mr. Garig told Miriam that when the story
of her refusing the escort was told in camp, the woods rang with shouts
of "Three cheers for Miss Morgan!" They said they were treated very
well, and had no want, except clean clothes, and to let their mothers
know they were well and content.

I have been hard at work mending three or four suits of the boys'
clothing for those poor young men. Some needed thread and needle very
much, but it was the best we could do. So I packed them all up--not
forgetting a row of pins--and sent Tiche off with the bundle, perched
real Congo fashion on her many-colored head-handkerchief, which was
tied in the most superb Creole style in honor of the occasion.

                                                 June 16th, Monday.

My poor old diary comes to a very abrupt end, to my great distress. The
hardest thing in the world is to break off journalizing when you are
once accustomed to it, and mine has proved such a resource to me in
these dark days of trouble that I feel as though I were saying good-bye
to an old and tried friend. Thanks to my liberal supply of pens, ink,
and paper, how many inexpressibly dreary days I have filled up to my
own satisfaction, if not to that of others! How many disagreeable
affairs it has caused me to pass over without another thought, how many
times it has proved a relief to me where my tongue was forced to remain
quiet! Without the blessed materials, I would have fallen victim to
despair and "the Blues" long since; but they have kept my eyes fixed on
"Better days a-coming" while slightly alluding to present woes; kept me
from making a fool of myself many a day; acted as lightning rod to my
mental thunder, and have made me happy generally. For all of which I
cry, "Vivent pen, ink, and paper!" and add with regret, "Adieu, my
mental Conductor. I fear this unchained lightning will strike
somewhere, in your absence!"


"I hope to die shouting, the Lord will provide!"

                                           Monday, June 16th, 1862.

There is no use in trying to break off journalizing, particularly in
"these trying times." It has become a necessity to me. I believe I
should go off in a rapid decline if Butler took it in his head to
prohibit that among other things.... I reserve to myself the privilege
of writing my opinions, since I trouble no one with the expression of
them.... I insist, that if the valor and chivalry of our men cannot
save our country, I would rather have it conquered by a brave race than
owe its liberty to the Billingsgate oratory and demonstrations of some
of these "ladies." If the women have the upper hand then, as they have
now, I would not like to live in a country governed by such tongues. Do
I consider the female who could spit in a gentleman's face, merely
because he wore United States buttons, as a fit associate for me?
Lieutenant Biddle assured me he did not pass a street in New Orleans
without being most grossly insulted by _ladies_. It was a friend of his
into whose face a lady _spit_ as he walked quietly by without looking
at her. (Wonder if she did it to attract his attention?) He had the
sense to apply to her husband and give him two minutes to apologize or
die, and of course he chose the former.[6] Such things are enough to
disgust any one. "Loud" women, what a contempt I have for you! How I
despise your vulgarity!

      [6] This passage was later annotated by Mrs. Dawson as follows:
      "_Friend_ (Farragut). _Lady_ (I know her, alas!). _Husband_ (She
      had none!)."

Some of these Ultra-Secessionists, evidently very recently from "down
East," who think themselves obliged to "kick up their heels over the
Bonny Blue Flag," as Brother describes female patriotism, shriek out,
"What! see those vile Northerners pass patiently! No true Southerner
could see it without rage. I could kill them! I hate them with all my
soul, the murderers, liars, thieves, rascals! You are no Southerner if
you do not hate them as much as I!" _Ah ça!_ a true-blue Yankee tell
me that I, born and bred here, am no Southerner! I always think, "It
is well for you, my friend, to save your credit, else you might be
suspected by some people, though your violence is enough for me." I
always say, "_You_ may do as you please; my brothers are fighting for
me, and doing their duty, so that excess of patriotism is unnecessary
for me, as my position is too well known to make any demonstrations

This war has brought out wicked, malignant feelings that I did not
believe could dwell in woman's heart. I see some of the holiest eyes,
so holy one would think the very spirit of charity lived in them, and
all Christian meekness, go off in a mad tirade of abuse and say, with
the holy eyes wondrously changed, "I hope God will send down plague,
yellow fever, famine, on these vile Yankees, and that not one will
escape death." O, what unutterable horror that remark causes me as
often as I hear it! I think of the many mothers, wives, and sisters who
wait as anxiously, pray as fervently in their faraway homes for their
dear ones, as we do here; I fancy them waiting day after day for the
footsteps that will never come, growing more sad, lonely, and
heart-broken as the days wear on; I think of how awful it would be if
one would say, "Your brothers are dead"; how it would crush all life
and happiness out of me; and I say, "God forgive these poor women! They
know not what they say!" O women! into what loathsome violence you have
abased your holy mission! God will punish us for our hard-heartedness.
Not a square off, in the new theatre, lie more than a hundred sick
soldiers. What woman has stretched out her hand to save them, to give
them a cup of cold water? Where is the charity which should ignore
nations and creeds, and administer help to the Indian and Heathen
indifferently? Gone! All gone in Union versus Secession! _That_ is what
the American War has brought us. If I was independent, if I could work
my own will without causing others to suffer for my deeds, I would not
be poring over this stupid page; I would not be idly reading or sewing.
I would put aside woman's trash, take up woman's duty, and I would
stand by some forsaken man and bid him Godspeed as he closes his dying
eyes. _That_ is woman's mission! and not Preaching and Politics. I say
I would, yet here I sit! O for liberty! the liberty that _dares_ do
what conscience dictates, and scorns all smaller rules! If I could help
these dying men! Yet it is as impossible as though I was a chained
bear. I can't put out my hand. I am threatened with Coventry because I
sent a custard to a sick man who is in the army, and with the anathema
of society because I said if I could possibly do anything for Mr.
Biddle--at a distance--(he is sick) I would like to very much. Charlie
thinks we have acted shockingly in helping Colonel McMillan, and that
we will suffer for it when the Federals leave. I would like to see any
_man_ who _dared_ harm my father's daughter! But as he seems to think
our conduct reflects on him, there is no alternative. Die, poor men,
without a woman's hand to close your eyes! We women are too _patriotic_
to help you! I look eagerly on, cry in my soul, "I wish--"; you die;
God judges me. Behold the woman who dares not risk private ties for
God's glory and her professed religion! Coward, helpless woman that I
am! If I was free--!

                                                         June 17th.

Yesterday, and day before, boats were constantly arriving and troops
embarking from here, destined for Vicksburg. There will be another
fight, and of course it will fall. I wish Will was out of it; I don't
want him to die. I got the kindest, sweetest letter from Will when
Miriam came from Greenwell. It was given to her by a guerrilla on the
road who asked if she was not Miss Sarah Morgan.

                                                         June 18th.

How long, O how long, is it since I have lain down in peace, thinking,
"This night I will rest in safety"? Certainly not since the fall of
Fort Jackson. If left to myself, I would not anticipate evil, but would
quietly await the issue of all these dreadful events; but when I hear
men, who certainly should know better than I, express their belief that
in twenty-four hours the town will be laid in ashes, I begin to grow
uneasy, and think it must be so, since they say it. These last few
days, since the news arrived of the intervention of the English and
French, I have alternately risen and fallen from the depth of despair
to the height of delight and expectation, as the probability of another
exodus diminishes, and peace appears more probable. If these men would
not prophesy the burning of the city, I would be perfectly

Well! I packed up a few articles to satisfy my conscience, since these
men insist that another run is inevitable, though against my own
conviction. I am afraid I was partly influenced by my dream last night
of being shelled out unexpectedly and flying without saving an article.
It was the same dream I had a night or two before we fled so
ingloriously from Baton Rouge, when I dreamed of meeting Will Pinckney
suddenly, who greeted me in the most extraordinarily affectionate
manner, and told me that Vicksburg had fallen. He said he had been
chiefly to blame, and the Southerners were so incensed at his losing,
the Northerners at his defending, that both were determined to hang
him; he was running for his life. He took me to a hill from which I
could see the Garrison, and the American flag flying over it. I looked,
and saw we were standing in blood up to our knees, while here and there
ghastly white bones shone above the red surface. Just then, below me I
saw crowds of people running. "What is it?" I asked. "It means that in
another instant they will commence to shell the town. Save yourself."
"But Will--I must save some clothes, too! How can I go among strangers
with a single dress? I _will_ get some!" I cried. He smiled and said,
"You will run with only what articles you happen to have on." Bang!
went the first shell, the people rushed by with screams, and I awakened
to tell Miriam what an absurd dream I had had. It happened as Will had
said, either that same day or the day after; for the change of clothes
we saved apiece were given to Tiche, who lost sight of us and quietly
came home when all was over, and the two dirty skirts and old cloak
mother saved, after carrying them a mile and a half, I put in the buggy
that took her up; so I saved nothing except the bag that was tied under
my hoops. Will was right. I saved not even my powder-bag. (Tiche had it
in the bundle.) My handkerchief I gave mother before we had walked
three squares, and throughout that long fearfully warm day, riding and
walking through the fiery sunshine and stifling dust, I had neither to
cool or comfort me.

                                                         June 19th.

Miriam and I have disgraced ourselves! This morning I was quietly
hearing Dellie's lessons, when I was startled by mother's shrieks of
"Send for a guard--they've murdered him!" I saw through the window a
soldier sitting in the road just opposite, with blood streaming from
his hand in a great pool in the dust. I was downstairs in three bounds,
and, snatching up some water, ran to where he sat alone, not a creature
near, though all the inhabitants of our side of the street were looking
on from the balconies, all crying "Murder!" and "Help!" without moving
themselves. I poured some water on the man's bloody hand, as he held it
streaming with gore up to me, saying, "The man in there did it,"
meaning the one who keeps the little grog-shop, though it puzzled me at
the time to see that all the doors were closed and not a face visible.
I had hardly time to speak when Tiche called loudly to me to come
away,--she was safe at the front gate,--and looking up, I found myself
in a knot of a dozen soldiers, and took her advice and retreated home.
It proved to be the guard Miriam had roused. She ran out as I did, and
seeing a gentleman, begged him to call the guard for that murdered man.
The individual--he must have been a "patriot"--said he didn't know
where to find one. She cried out they were at Heroman's; he said he
didn't believe they were. "Go! I tell you!" she screamed at last; but
the brave man said he didn't like to, so she ran to the corner and
called the soldiers herself. O most brave man! Before we got back from
our several expeditions, we heard mother, Lilly, Mrs. Day, all
shouting, "Bring in the children! lock the doors!" etc. All for a poor
wounded soldier!

We after discovered that the man was drunk, and had cursed the woman of
the grog-shop, whereupon her husband had pitched him out in the street,
where they found him. They say he hurt his hand against a post; but
wood could never have cut deep enough to shed all that gore. I don't
care if he was drunk or sober, soldier or officer, Federal or
Confederate! If he had been Satan himself lying helpless and bleeding
in the street, I would have gone to him! I can't believe it was as
criminal as though I had watched quietly from a distance, believing him
dying and contenting myself with looking on. Yet it seems it was
dreadfully indecorous; Miriam and I did very wrong; we should have
shouted murder with the rest of the women and servants. Whereas the man
who declined committing himself by calling one soldier to the rescue of
another, supposed to be dying, acted most discreetly, and showed his
wisdom in the most striking manner.

May I never be discreet, or wise, if this is Christian conduct, or a
sample of either! I would rather be a rash, impetuous fool! Charlie
says he would not open his mouth to save a dozen from being murdered. I
say I am not Stoic enough for that. Lilly agrees with him, Miriam with
me; so here we two culprits stand alone before the tribunal of
"patriotism." Madame Roland, I take the liberty of altering your words
and cry, "O Patriotism! How many base deeds are sanctioned by your
name!" Don't I wish I was a heathen! In twenty-four hours the whole
country will be down on us.

        O for a pen to paint the slaves
        Whose "country" like a deadly blight
        Closes all hearts when Pity craves
        And turns God's spirit to darkest night!
        May life's patriotic cup for such
        Be filled with glory overmuch;
    And when their spirits go above in pride,
        Spirit of Patriotism, let these valiant abide
    Full in the sight of grand mass-meeting--I don't
        Want you to cuss them,
    But put them where they can hear politics,
        And yet can't discuss them!

(I can't say worse than that!)

                                                         June 26th.

Yesterday morning, just as I stepped out of bed I heard the report of
four cannon fired in rapid succession, and everybody asked everybody
else, "Did you hear that?" so significantly, that I must say my heart
beat very rapidly for a few moments, at the thought of another
stampede. At half-past six this morning I was wakened by another
report, followed by seven others, and heard again the question, "Did
you hear _that_?" on a higher key than yesterday.--It did not take me
many minutes to get out of bed, and to slip on a few articles, I
confess. My chief desire was to wash my face before running, if they
were actually shelling us again. It appears that they were only
practicing, however, and no harm was intended. But we are living on
such a volcano, that, not knowing what to expect, we are rather

I am afraid this close confinement will prove too much for me; my long
walks are cut off, on account of the soldiers. One month to-morrow
since my last visit to the graveyard! That haunts me always; it must be
so dreary out there! Here is a sketch of my daily life, enough to
finish me off forever, if much longer persisted in.

First, get up a little before seven. After breakfast, which is
generally within a few minutes after I get down (it used to be _just_
as I got ready, and sometimes before, last winter), I attend to my
garden, which consists of two strips of ground the length of the house,
in front, where I can find an hour's work in examining and admiring my
flowers, replanting those that the cows and horses occasionally (once a
day) pull up for me, and in turning the soil over and over again to see
which side grows best. O my garden! abode of rare delights! how many
pleasant hours I have passed in you, armed with scissors, knife, hoe,
or rake, only pausing when Mr. This or Mr. That leaned over the fence
to have a talk!--last spring, that was; ever so many are dead now, for
all I know, and all off at the war. Now I work for the edification of
proper young women, who look in astonishment at me, as they would
consider themselves degraded by the pursuit. A delicate pair of hands
my flower mania will leave me!

Then I hear Dellie's and Morgan's lessons, after which I open my desk
and am lost in the mysteries of Arithmetic, Geography, Blair's
Lectures, Noël et Chapsal, Ollendorff, and reading aloud in French and
English, besides writing occasionally in each, and sometimes a peep at
Lavoisne, until very nearly dinner. The day is not half long enough for
me. Many things I would like to study I am forced to give up, for want
of leisure to devote to them. But one of these days, I will make up for
present deficiencies. I study only what I absolutely love, now; but
then, if I can, I will study what I am at present ignorant of, and
cultivate a taste for something new.

The few moments before dinner, and all the time after, I devote to
writing, sewing, knitting, etc., and if I included darning, repairs,
alterations, etc., my list would be tremendous, for I get through with
a great deal of sewing. Somewhere in the day, I find half an hour, or
more, to spend at the piano. Before sunset I dress, and am free to
spend the evening at home, or else walk to Mrs. Brunot's, for it is not
safe to go farther than those three squares, away from home. From early
twilight until supper, Miriam and I sing with the guitar, generally,
and after, sit comfortably under the chandelier and read until about
ten. What little reading I do, is almost exclusively done at that time.
It sounds woefully little, but my list of books grows to quite a
respectable size, in the course of a year.

At ten comes my Bible class for the servants. Lucy, Rose, Nancy, and
Dophy assemble in my room, and hear me read the Bible, or stories from
the Bible for a while. Then one by one say their prayers--they cannot
be persuaded to say them together; Dophy says "she can't say with Rose,
'cause she ain't got no brothers and sisters to pray for," and Lucy has
no father or mother, and so they go. All difficulties and grievances
during the day are laid before me, and I sit like Moses judging the
children of Israel, until I can appease the discord. Sometimes it is
not so easy. For instance, that memorable night when I had to work
Rose's stubborn heart to a proper pitch of repentance for having
stabbed a carving-fork in Lucy's arm in a fit of temper. I don't know
that I was ever as much astonished as I was at seeing the dogged,
sullen girl throw herself on the floor in a burst of tears, and say if
God would forgive her she would never do it again. I was lashing myself
internally for not being able to speak as I should, furious at myself
for talking so weakly, and lo! here the girl tumbles over wailing and
weeping! And Dophy, overcome by her feelings, sobs, "Lucy, I scratched
you last week! please forgive me this once!" And amazed and bewildered
I look at the touching tableau before me of kissing and reconciliation,
for Lucy can bear malice toward no one, and is ready to forgive before
others repent, and I look from one to the other, wondering what it was
that upset them so completely, for certainly no words of mine caused
it. Sometimes Lucy sings a wild hymn, "Did you ever hear the heaven
bells ring?" "Come, my loving brothers," "When I put on my starry
crown," etc.; and after some such scene as that just described, it is
pleasant to hear them going out of the room saying, "Good-night, Miss
Sarah!" "God bless Miss Sarah!" and all that.

                                                         June 27th.

A proclamation of Van Dorn has just been smuggled into town, that
advises all persons living within eight miles of the Mississippi to
remove into the interior, as he is determined to defend his department
at all hazards to the last extremity. Does not look like the Peace I
have been deluding myself with, does it? That means another Exodus. How
are we to leave, when we are not allowed to pass the limits of the
corporation by the Federals? Where are we to go? We are between the two
armies, and here we must remain patiently awaiting the result. Some of
these dark nights, bang! we will hear the cannon, and then it will be
_sauve qui peut_ in a shower of shells. Bah! I don't believe God will
suffer that we should be murdered in such a dreadful way! I don't
believe He will suffer us to be turned homeless and naked on the world!
"Something will turn up" before we are attacked, and we will be spared,
I am certain. We can't look forward more than an hour at a time now,
sometimes not a minute ahead (witness the shelling frolic), so I must
resume my old habit of laying a clean dress on my bed before going to
sleep, which I did every night for six weeks before the shelling of
Baton Rouge, in order to run respectably, as muslin cross-bar
nightgowns are not suitable for day dresses.

                                                         June 28th.

I am afraid I shall be nervous when the moment of the bombardment
actually arrives. This suspense is not calculated to soothe one's
nerves. A few moments since, a salute was fired in honor of General
Butler's arrival, when women, children, and servants rushed to the
front of the houses, confident of a repetition of the shelling which
occurred a month ago to-day. The children have not forgotten the scene,
for they all actually howled with fear. Poor little Sarah stopped her
screams to say, "Mother, don't you wish we was dogs 'stead o' white
folks?" in such piteous accents that we had to laugh. _Don't_ I wish I
was a dog! Sarah is right. I don't know if I showed my uneasiness a
while ago, but certainly my heart has hardly yet ceased beating rather
rapidly. If I knew what moment to expect the stampede, I would not
mind; but this way--to expect it every instant--it is too much! Again,
if I knew where we could go for refuge from the shells!--

                     *      *      *      *      *

A window banging unexpectedly just then gave me a curious twinge; not
that I thought it was the signal, oh, dear, no! I just thought--what, I
wonder? Pshaw! "Picayune Butler's coming, coming" has upset my nervous
system. He interrupted me in the middle of my arithmetic; and I have
not the energy to resume my studies. I shall try what effect an hour's
practice will have on my spirits, and will see that I have a pair of
clean stockings in my stampede sack, and that the fastenings of my
"running-bag" are safe. Though if I expect to take either, I should
keep in harness constantly. How long, O Lord! how long?

                                                 June 29th, Sunday.

"Any more, Mr. Lincoln, any more?" Can't you leave our racked homes in
repose? We are all wild. Last night, five citizens were arrested, on no
charge at all, and carried down to Picayune Butler's ship. What a
thrill of terror ran through the whole community! We all felt so
helpless, so powerless under the hand of our tyrant, the man who swore
to uphold the Constitution and the laws, who is professedly only
fighting to give us all Liberty, the birthright of every American, and
who, nevertheless, has ground us down to a state where we would not
reduce our negroes, who tortures and sneers at us, and rules us with an
iron hand! Ah! Liberty! what a humbug! I would rather belong to England
or France, than to the North! Bondage, woman that I am, I can never
stand! Even now, the Northern papers, distributed among us, taunt us
with our subjection and tell us "how coolly Butler will grind them
down, paying no regard to their writhing and torture beyond tightening
the bonds still more!" Ah, truly! this is the bitterness of slavery, to
be insulted and reviled by cowards who are safe at home and enjoy the
protection of the laws, while we, captive and overpowered, dare not
raise our voices to throw back the insult, and are governed by the
despotism of one man, whose word is our law! And that man, they tell
us, "is the right man in the right place. _He_ will develop a Union
sentiment among the people, if the thing can be done!" Come and see if
he can! Hear the curse that arises from thousands of hearts at that
man's name, and say if he will "speedily bring us to our senses." Will
he accomplish it by love, tenderness, mercy, compassion? He might have
done it; but did he try? When he came, he assumed his natural rôle as
tyrant, and bravely has he acted it through, never once turning aside
for Justice or Mercy.... This degradation is worse than the bitterness
of death!

I see no salvation on either side. No glory awaits the Southern
Confederacy, even if it does achieve its independence; it will be a
mere speck in the world, with no weight or authority. The North
confesses itself lost without us, and has paid an unheard-of ransom to
regain us. On the other hand, conquered, what hope is there in this
world for us? Broken in health and fortune, reviled, contemned, abused
by those who claim already to have subdued us, without a prospect of
future support for those few of our brothers who return; outcasts
without home or honor, would not death or exile be preferable? Oh, let
us abandon our loved home to these implacable enemies, and find refuge
elsewhere! Take from us property, everything, only grant us liberty! Is
this rather frantic, considering I abhor politics, and women who meddle
with them, above all? My opinion has not yet changed; I still feel the
same contempt for a woman who would talk at the top of her voice for
the edification of Federal officers, as though anxious to receive an
invitation requesting her presence at the Garrison. "I can suffer and
be still" as far as outward signs are concerned; but as no word of this
has passed my lips, I give it vent in writing, which is more lasting
than words, partly to relieve my heart, partly to prove to my own
satisfaction that I am no coward; for one line of this, surrounded as
we are by soldiers, and liable to have our houses searched at any
instant, would be a sufficient indictment for high treason.

Under General Williams's rule, I was perfectly satisfied that whatever
was done, was done through necessity, and under orders from
Headquarters, beyond his control; we all liked him. But now, since
Butler's arrival, I believe I am as frantic in secret as the others are
openly. I know that war sanctions many hard things, and that both sides
practice them; but now we are so completely lost in Louisiana, is it
fair to gibe and taunt us with our humiliation? I could stand anything
save the cowardly ridicule and triumph of their papers. Honestly, I
believe if all vile abusive papers on both sides were suppressed, and
some of the fire-eating editors who make a living by lying were soundly
cowhided or had their ears clipped, it would do more towards
establishing peace, than all the bloodshedding either side can afford.
I hope to live to see it, too. Seems to me, more liberty is allowed to
the press than would be tolerated in speech. Let us speak as freely as
any paper, and see if to-morrow we do not sleep at Fort Jackson!

This morning the excitement is rare; fifteen more citizens were
arrested and carried off, and all the rest grew wild with expectation.
So great a martyrdom is it considered, that I am sure those who are not
arrested will be woefully disappointed. It is ludicrous to see how each
man thinks he is the very one they are in search of! We asked a
twopenny lawyer, of no more importance in the community than Dophy is,
if it was possible he was not arrested. "But I am expecting to be every
instant!" So much for his self-assurance! Those arrested have, some,
been quietly released (those are so smiling and mysterious that I
suspect them), some been obliged to take the oath, some sent to Fort
Jackson. Ah, Liberty! What a blessing it is to enjoy thy privileges! If
some of these poor men are not taken prisoners, they will die of
mortification at the slight.

Our valiant Governor, the brave Moore, has by order of the real
Governor, Moïse, made himself visible at some far-distant point, and
issued a proclamation, saying, whereas we of Baton Rouge were held
forcibly in town, he therefore considered men, women, and children
prisoners of war, and as such the Yankees are bound to supply us with
all necessaries, and consequently any one sending us aid or comfort or
provisions from the country will be severely punished. Only Moore is
fool enough for such an order. Held down by the Federals, our paper
money so much trash, with hardly any other to buy food and no way of
earning it; threatened with starvation and utter ruin, our own friends,
by way of making our burden lighter, forbid our receiving the means of
prolonging life, and after generously warning us to leave town, which
they know is perfectly impossible, prepare to burn it over our heads,
and let the women run the same risk as the men. Penned in on one little
square mile, here we await our fate like sheep in the slaughter-pen.
Our hour may be at hand now, it may be to-night; we have only to wait;
the booming of the cannon will announce it to us soon enough.

Of the six sentenced to Fort Jackson, one is the Methodist minister,
Mr. Craven. The only charge is, that he was heard to pray for the
Confederate States by some officers who passed his house during his
family prayers. According to that, which of us would escape unhung? I
do not believe there is a woman in the land who closes her eyes before
praying for God's blessing on the side on which her brothers are
engaged. Are we all to cease? Show me the dungeon deep enough to keep
me from praying for them! The man represented that he had a large
family totally dependent on him, who must starve. "Let them get up a
subscription," was General Butler's humane answer. "I will head it
myself." It is useless to say the generous offer was declined.

                                                         June 30th.

As a specimen of the humanity of General Butler, let me record a threat
of his uttered with all the force and meaning language can convey, and
certainly enough to strike terror in the hearts of frail women, since
all these men believe him fully equal to carry it into execution; some
even believe it will be done. In speaking to Mr. Solomon Benjamin of
foreign intervention in our favor, he said, "Let England or France try
it, and I'll be ---- if I don't arm every negro in the South, and make
them cut the throat of every man, woman, and child in it! I'll make
them lay the whole country waste with fire and sword, and leave it
desolate!" Draw me a finer picture of Coward, Brute, or Bully than that
one sentence portrays! O men of the North! you do your noble hearts
wrong in sending such ruffians among us as the representatives of a
great people! Was ever a more brutal thought uttered in a more brutal
way? Mother, like many another, is crazy to go away from here, even to
New Orleans; but like the rest, will be obliged to stand and await her
fate. I don't believe Butler would _dare_ execute his threat, for at
the first attempt, thousands, who are passive now, would cut the brutal
heart from his inhuman breast.

                                                 Tuesday, July 1st.

I heard such a good joke last night! If I had belonged to the female
declaiming club, I fear me I would have resigned instantly through mere
terror. (Thank Heaven, I don't!) These officers say the women talk too
much, which is undeniable. They then said, they meant to get up a
sewing society, and place in it every woman who makes herself
conspicuous by her loud talking about them. Fancy what a refinement of
torture! But only a few would suffer; the majority would be only too
happy to enjoy the usual privilege of sewing societies, slander, abuse,
and insinuations. How some would revel in it. The mere threat makes me
quake! If I could so far forget my dignity, and my father's name, as to
court the notice of gentlemen by contemptible insult, etc., and if I
should be ordered to take my seat at the sewing society--!!! I would
never hold my head up again! Member of a select sewing circle! Fancy
me! (I know "there is never any _gossip_ in _our_ society, though the
one over the way gets up dreadful reports"; I have heard all that, but
would rather try neither.) Oh, how I would beg and plead! Fifty years
at Fort Jackson, good, kind General Butler, rather than half an hour in
your sewing society! Gentle, humane ruler, spare me and I split my
throat in shouting "Yankee Doodle" and "Hurrah for Lincoln!" Any, every
thing, so I am not disgraced! Deliver me from your sewing society, and
I'll say and do what you please!

Butler told some of these gentlemen that he had a detective watching
almost every house in town, and he knew everything. True or not, it
looks suspicious. We are certainly watched. Every evening two men may
be seen in the shadow on the other side of the street, standing there
until ever so late, sometimes until after we have gone to bed. It may
be that, far from home, they are attracted by the bright light and
singing, and watch us for their amusement. A few nights ago, so many
officers passed and repassed while we were singing on the balcony, that
I felt as though our habit of long standing had suddenly become
improper. Saturday night, having secured a paper, we were all crowding
around, Lilly and I reading every now and then a piece of news from
opposite ends of the paper, Charlie, walking on the balcony, found five
officers leaning over the fence watching us as we stood under the
light, through the open window. Hope they won't elect me to the sewing

                                           Thursday night, July 3d.

Another day of sickening suspense. This evening, about three, came the
rumor that there was to be an attack on the town to-night, or early
in the morning, and we had best be prepared for anything. I can't say
I believe it, but in spite of my distrust, I made my preparations.
First of all I made a charming improvement in my knapsack, _alias_
pillow-case, by sewing a strong black band down each side of the centre
from the bottom to the top, when it is carried back and fastened below
again, allowing me to pass my arms through, and thus present the
appearance of an old peddler. Miriam's I secured also, and tied all our
laces in a handkerchief ready to lay it in the last thing.

But the interior of my bag!--what a medley it is! First, I believe, I
have secured four underskirts, three chemises, as many pairs of
stockings, two under-bodies, the prayer book father gave me, "Tennyson"
that Harry gave me when I was fourteen, two unmade muslins, a white
mull, English grenadine trimmed with lilac, and a purple linen, and
nightgown. Then, I must have Lavinia's daguerreotype, and how could I
leave Will's, when perhaps he was dead? Besides, Howell's and Will
Carter's were with him, and one single case did not matter. But there
was Tom Barker's I would like to keep, and oh! let's take Mr. Stone's!
and I can't slight Mr. Dunnington, for these two have been too kind to
Jimmy for me to forget; and poor Captain Huger is dead, and I _will_
keep his, so they all went together. A box of pens, too, was
indispensable, and a case of French note-paper, and a bundle of Harry's
letters were added. Miriam insisted on the old diary that preceded
this, and found place for it, though I am afraid if she knew what trash
she was to carry, she would retract before going farther.

It makes me heartsick to see the utter ruin we will be plunged in if
forced to run to-night. Not a hundredth part of what I most value can
be saved--if I counted my letters and papers, not a thousandth. But I
cannot believe we will run to-night. The soldiers tell whoever
questions them that there will be a fight before morning, but I believe
it must be to alarm them. Though what looks suspicious is, that the
officers said--to whom is not stated--that the ladies must not be
uneasy if they heard cannon tonight, as they would probably commence to
celebrate the Fourth of July about twelve o'clock. What does it mean? I
repeat, I don't believe a word of it; yet I have not yet met the woman
or child who is not prepared to fly. Rose knocked at the door just now
to show her preparations. Her only thought seems to be mother's silver,
so she has quietly taken possession of our shoe-bag, which is a long
sack for odds and ends with cases for shoes outside, and has filled it
with all the contents of the silver-box; this hung over her arm, and
carrying Louis and Sarah, this young Samson says she will be ready to

I don't believe it, yet here I sit, my knapsack serving me for a desk,
my seat the chair on which I have carefully spread my clothes in order.
At my elbow lies my running- or treasure-bag, surrounded by my cabas
filled with hair-pins, starch, and a band I was embroidering, etc.;
near it lie our combs, etc., and the whole is crowned by my dagger;--by
the way, I must add Miriam's pistol which she has forgotten, though
over there lies her knapsack ready, too, with our bonnets and veils.

It is long past eleven, and no sound of the cannon. Bah! I do not
expect it. "I'll lay me down and sleep in peace, for Thou only, Lord,
makest me to dwell in safety." Good-night! I wake up to-morrow the same
as usual, and be disappointed that my trouble was unnecessary.

                                                          July 4th.

Here I am, and still alive, having wakened but once in the night, and
that only in consequence of Louis and Morgan crying; nothing more
alarming than that. I ought to feel foolish; but I do not. I am glad I
was prepared, even though there was no occasion for it.

While I was taking my early bath, Lilly came to the bath-house and told
me through the weather-boarding of another battle. Stonewall Jackson
has surrounded McClellan completely, and victory is again ours. This is
said to be the sixth battle he has fought in twenty days, and they say
he has won them all. And the Seventh Regiment distinguished itself, and
was presented with four cannon on the battlefield in acknowledgment of
its gallant conduct! Gibbes belongs to the "ragged howling regiment
that rushed on the field yelling like unchained devils and spread a
panic through the army," as the Northern papers said, describing the
battle of Manassas. Oh, how I hope he has escaped!

And they say "Palmerston has urged the recognition of the Confederacy,
and an armed intervention on our side." Would it not be glorious? Oh,
for peace, blessed peace, and our brothers once more! Palmerston is
said to have painted Butler as the vilest oppressor, and having added
he was ashamed to acknowledge him of Anglo-Saxon origin. Perhaps
knowing the opinion entertained of him by foreign nations, caused
Butler to turn such a somersault. For a few days before his arrival
here, we saw a leading article in the leading Union paper of New
Orleans, threatening us with the arming of the slaves for our
extermination if England interfered, in the same language almost as
Butler used when here; three days ago the same paper ridiculed the
idea, and said such a brutal, inhuman thing was never for a moment
thought of, it was too absurd. And so the world goes! We all turn
somersaults occasionally.

And yet, I would rather we would achieve our independence alone, if
possible. It would be so much more glorious. And then I would hate to
see England conquer the North, even if for our sake; my love for the
old Union is still too great to be willing to see it so humiliated. If
England would just make Lincoln come to his senses, and put an end to
all this confiscation which is sweeping over everything, make him agree
to let us alone and behave himself, that will be quite enough. But what
a task! If it were put to the vote to-morrow to return free and
unmolested to the Union, or stay out, I am sure Union would have the
majority; but this way, to think we are to be sent to Fort Jackson and
all the other prisons for expressing our ideas, however harmless, to
have our houses burned over our heads, and all the prominent men
hanged, who would be eager for it?--unless, indeed, it was to escape
even the greater horrors of a war of extermination.

                                                          July 5th.

     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

Think, that since the 28th of May, I have not walked three squares at a
time, for my only walks are to Mrs. Brunot's!

It is enough to kill any one; I might as well be at Ship Island, where
Butler has sentenced Mrs. Phillips for laughing while the corpse of a
Federal officer[7] was passing--at least, that is to be the principal
charge, though I hope, for the sake of Butler's soul, that he had
better reasons. Shocking as her conduct was, she hardly deserved two
years' close confinement in such a dreadful place as that, because she
happened to have no sense of delicacy, and no feeling.

      [7] Note by Mrs. Dawson in 1906: DeKay, our relative.

"The darkest hour is just before the day"; we have had the blackest
night for almost three months, and I don't see the light yet. "Better
days are coming--" I am getting skeptical, I fear me.

I look forward to my future life with a shudder. This one cannot last
long; I will be "up and doing" before many months are past. Doing what?
Why, if all father left us is lost forever, if we are to be penniless
as well as homeless, I'll work for my living. How, I wonder? I will
teach. I know I am not capable, but I can do my best. I would rather
die than be dependent; I would rather die than teach. There now, you
know how I feel! Teaching before dependence, death before teaching. My
soul revolts from the drudgery. I never see a governess that my heart
does not ache for her. I think of the nameless, numberless insults and
trials she is forced to submit to; of the hopeless, thankless task that
is imposed on her, to which she is expected to submit without a murmur;
of all her griefs and agony shut up in her heart, and I cry Heaven help
a governess. My heart bleeds for them and--

                                                     1 o'clock P.M.

Thus far had I reached when news came that our forces were attacking
the town, and had already driven the pickets in! I am well now.

We all rushed to make preparations instantly. I had just finished
washing my hair, before I commenced writing, and had it all streaming
around me; but it did not take a minute to thrust it into a loose net.
Then we each put on a fresh dress, except myself, as I preferred to
have a linen cambric worn several times before, to a clean one not
quite so nice, for that can do good service when washed. The excitement
is intense; mother is securing a few of father's most valuable papers;
Lilly running around after the children, and waiting for Charlie who
cannot be found; Miriam, after securing all things needful, has gone
downstairs to wait the issue; and I, dressed for instant flight, with
my running-bag tied to my waist, and knapsack, bonnet, veil, etc., on
the bed, occupy my last few moments at home in this profitable way.

Nobody knows what it is. A regiment has been marched out to meet our
troops, some say commanded by Van Dorn, which I doubt. The gunboats are
preparing to second them; we hear the Garrison drum and see people
running, that is all. We don't know what is coming. I believe it will
prove nothing, after all. But--! The gunboat is drawn up so as to
command our street here; the guns aimed up the street just below, and
if a house falls, ours will be about the first. Well! this time next
year, we will know all of which we are now ignorant. That is one
consolation! The house will either be down or standing, then.

                                                             6 P.M.

We have once more subsided; how foolish all this seems! Miriam and I
laughed while preparing, and laughed while unpacking; it is the only
way to take such things, and we agree on that, as on most other
subjects. "They say" the affair originated from half a dozen shots
fired by some Federal soldiers through idleness, whereupon the pickets
rushed in screaming Van Dorn was after them at the head of six thousand
men. I have my reasons for doubting the story; it must have been
something more than that, to spread such a panic; for they certainly
had time to ascertain the truth of the attack before they beat the long
roll and sent out their troops, for if it had been Van Dorn, he would
have been on them before that. Whatever it was, I am glad of the
excitement, for it gave me new life for several hours; I was really
sick before. Oh, this life! When will it end? Evermore and forevermore
shall we live in this suspense? I wish we were in the Sandwich Islands.

                                                          July 7th.

As we have no longer a minister--Mr. Gierlow having gone to Europe--and
no papers, I am in danger of forgetting the days of the week, as well
as those of the month; but I am positive that yesterday was Sunday
because I heard the Sunday-School bells, and Friday I am sure was the
Fourth, because I heard the national salute fired. I must remember that
to find my dates by.

Well, last night being Sunday, a son of Captain Hooper, who died in the
Fort Jackson fight, having just come from New Orleans, stopped here on
his way to Jackson, to tell us the news, or rather to see Charlie, and
told us afterwards. He says a boat from Mobile reached the city
Saturday evening, and the captain told Mr. La Noue that he brought an
extra from the former place, containing news of McClellan's surrender
with his entire army, his being mortally wounded, and the instant
departure of a French, and English, man-of-war, from Hampton Roads,
with the news. That revived my spirits considerably--all except
McClellan's being wounded; I could dispense with that. But if it were
true, and if peace would follow, and the boys come home--! Oh, what
bliss! I would die of joy as rapidly as I am pining away with suspense
now, I am afraid!

About ten o'clock, as we came up, mother went to the window in the
entry to tell the news to Mrs. Day, and while speaking, saw a man
creeping by under the window, in the narrow little alley on the side of
the house, evidently listening, for he had previously been standing in
the shadow of a tree, and left the street to be nearer. When mother ran
to give the alarm to Charlie, I looked down, and there the man was,
looking up, as I could dimly see, for he crouched down in the shadow of
the fence. Presently, stooping still, he ran fast towards the front of
the house, making quite a noise in the long tangled grass. When he got
near the pepper-bush, he drew himself up to his full height, paused a
moment as though listening, and then walked quietly towards the front
gate. By that time Charlie reached the front gallery above, and called
to him, asking what he wanted. Without answering the man walked
steadily out, closed the gate deliberately; then, suddenly remembering
drunkenness would be the best excuse, gave a lurch towards the house,
walked off perfectly straight in the moonlight, until seeing Dr. Day
fastening his gate, he reeled again.

That man was not drunk! Drunken men cannot run crouching, do not shut
gates carefully after them, would have no inclination to creep in a dim
little alley merely to creep out again. It may have been one of our
detectives. Standing in the full moonlight, which was very bright, he
certainly looked like a gentleman, for he was dressed in a handsome
suit of black. He was no citizen. Form your own conclusions! Well!
after all, he heard no treason. Let him play eavesdropper if he finds
it consistent with his character as a gentleman.

The captain who brought the extra from Mobile wished to have it
reprinted, but it was instantly seized by a Federal officer, who
carried it to Butler, who monopolized it; so _that_ will never be
heard of again; we must wait for other means of information. The young
boy who told us, reminds me very much of Jimmy; he is by no means so
handsome, but yet there is something that recalls him; and his voice,
though more childish, sounds like Jimmy's, too. I had an opportunity of
writing to Lydia by him, of which I gladly availed myself, and have
just finished a really tremendous epistle.

                                               Wednesday, 9th July.

Poor Miriam! Poor Sarah! they are disgraced again! Last night we were
all sitting on the balcony in the moonlight, singing as usual with our
guitar. I have been so accustomed to hear father say in the evening,
"Come, girls! where is my concert?" and he took so much pleasure in
listening, that I could not think singing in the balcony was so very
dreadful, since he encouraged us in it. But last night changed all my
ideas. We noticed Federals, both officers and soldiers, pass singly, or
by twos or threes at different times, but as we were not singing for
their benefit, and they were evidently attending to their own affairs,
there was no necessity of noticing them at all.

But about half-past nine, after we had sung two or three dozen others,
we commenced "Mary of Argyle." As the last word died away, while the
chords were still vibrating, came a sound of--clapping hands, in short!
Down went every string of the guitar; Charlie cried, "I told you so!"
and ordered an immediate retreat; Miriam objected, as undignified, but
renounced the guitar; mother sprang to her feet, and closed the front
windows in an instant, whereupon, dignified or not, we all evacuated
the gallery and fell back into the house. All this was done in a few
minutes, and as quietly as possible; and while the gas was being turned
off downstairs, Miriam and I flew upstairs,--I confess I was mortified
to death, very, very much ashamed,--but we wanted to see the guilty
party, for from below they were invisible. We stole out on the front
balcony above, and in front of the house that used to be Gibbes's, we
beheld one of the culprits. At the sight of the creature, my
mortification vanished in intense compassion for his. He was standing
under the tree, half in the moonlight, his hands in his pockets,
looking at the extinction of light below, with the true state of
affairs dawning on his astonished mind, and looking by no means
satisfied with himself! Such an abashed creature! He looked just as
though he had received a kick, that, conscious of deserving, he dared
not return! While he yet gazed on the house in silent amazement and
consternation, hands still forlornly searching his pockets, as though
for a reason for our behavior, from under the dark shadow of the tree
another slowly picked himself up from the ground--hope he was not
knocked down by surprise--and joined the first. His hands sought his
pockets, too, and, if possible, he looked more mortified than the
other. After looking for some time at the house, satisfied that they
had put an end to future singing from the gallery, they walked slowly
away, turning back every now and then to be certain that it was a fact.
If ever I saw two mortified, hangdog-looking men, they were these two
as they took their way home. Was it not shocking?

But they could not have meant it merely to be insulting or they would
have placed themselves in full view of us, rather than out of sight,
under the trees. Perhaps they were thinking of their own homes, instead
of us.

                                                         July 10th.

A proclamation is out announcing that any one talking about the war, or
present state of affairs, will be "summarily" dealt with. Now, seems to
me "summarily" is not exactly the word they mean, but still it has an
imposing effect. What a sad state their affairs must be in, if they
can't bear comment. An officer arrived day before yesterday, bringing
the surprising intelligence that McClellan had captured Richmond and
fifty thousand prisoners; that is the time _they_ talked. But when we
received yesterday confirmation of his being finally defeated by our
troops, and the capture of his railroad train twelve miles in length,
they forbid further mention of the subject. I wonder if they expect to
be obeyed? What a stretch of tyranny! O free America! You who uphold
free people, free speech, free everything, what a foul blot of
despotism rests on a once spotless name! A nation of brave men, who
wage war on women and lock them up in prisons for using their woman
weapon, the tongue; a nation of free people who advocate despotism; a
nation of Brothers who bind the weaker ones hand and foot, and scourge
them with military tyrants and other Free, Brotherly institutions; what
a picture! Who would not be an American? One consolation is, that this
proclamation, and the extraordinary care they take to suppress all news
except what they themselves manufacture, proves me our cause is
prospering more than they like us to know. I do believe day is about to

If our troops are determined to burn our houses over our heads to spite
the Yankees, I wish they would hurry and have it over at once. Ten
regiments of infantry are stationed at Camp Moore, and Scott's cavalry
was expected at Greenwell yesterday, both preparing for an attack on
Baton Rouge. If we must be beggars, let it come at once; I can't endure
this suspense.

                                                         July 11th.

A letter from George this morning! It was written on the 20th of June,
and he speaks of being on crutches in consequence of his horse having
fallen with him, and injured his knee. Perhaps, then, he was not in the
first battle of the 25th? But bah! I know George too well to imagine he
would keep quiet at such a moment, if he could possibly stand! I am
sure he was there with the rest of the Louisiana regiment. The papers
say "the conduct of the First Louisiana is beyond all praise"; of
course, George was there!

And Jimmy is with him at Richmond; but whether in the army, or navy, or
what rank if in the first, he does not say; he only says he is looking
remarkably well. Gibbes he had heard from in a letter dated the 16th,
and up to then he was in perfect health. His last letter here was dated
10th of March, so we are thankful enough now. I was so delighted to
read the accounts of the "gallant Seventh" in some paper we fortunately
procured. At Jackson's address, and presentation of the battery they
had so bravely won, I was beside myself with delight; I was thinking
that Gibbes, of course, was "the" regiment, had taken the battery with
his single sword, and I know not what besides. Strange to say, I have
not an idea of the names of the half-dozen battles he was in, in June,
but believe that one to be Port Republic.

                                                 June 12th [_sic_].

Brother writes that rumors of the capture of Baton Rouge by our troops
have made him very uneasy about us; and he wishes us to go down to New
Orleans if possible. I wish we could. The impression here, is that an
attack is inevitable, and the city papers found it necessary to
contradict the rumor of Ruggles having occupied it already. I wish
mother would go. I can see no difference there or here, except that
there, we will be safe, for a while at least....

I grow desperate when I read these Northern papers reviling and abusing
us, reproaching us for being broken and dispersed, taunting us with
their victories, sparing no humiliating name in speaking of us, and
laughing as to what "we'll see" when we vile rebels are "driven out of
Virginia, and the glorious Union firmly established." I can't bear
these taunts! I grow sick to read these vile, insulting papers that
seem written expressly to goad us into madness!... There must be many
humane, reasonable men in the North; can they not teach their editors
decency in this their hour of triumph?


                                                 July 13th, Sunday.

A profitable way to spend such a day! Being forced to dispense with
church-going, I have occupied myself in reading a great deal, and
writing a little, which latter duty is a favorite task of mine after
church on Sundays. But this evening, the mosquitoes are so savage that
writing became impossible, until Miriam and I instituted a grand
extermination process, which we partly accomplished by extraordinary
efforts. She lay on the bed with the bar half-drawn over her, and
half-looped up, while I was commissioned to fan the wretches from all
corners into the pen. It was rather fatiguing, and in spite of the
numbers slain, hardly recompensed me for the trouble of hunting them
around the room; but still, Miriam says exercise is good for me, and
she ought to know.

I have been reading that old disguster, Boswell. Bah! I have no
patience with the toady! I suppose "my mind is not yet thoroughly
impregnated with the Johnsonian ether," and that is the reason why I
cannot appreciate him, or his work. I admire him for his patience and
minuteness in compiling such trivial details. He must have been an
amiable man, to bear Johnson's brutal, ill-humored remarks; but seems
to me if I had not spirit enough to resent the indignity, I would at
least not publish it to the world! Briefly, my opinion, which this book
has only tended to confirm, is that Boswell was a vain, conceited prig,
a fool of a jackanape, an insupportable sycophant, a--whatever mean
thing you please; there is no word small enough to suit him. As to
Johnson, he is a surly old bear; in short, an old brute of a tyrant.
All his knowledge and attainments could not have made me tolerate him,
I am sure. I could have no respect for a man who was so coarse in
speech and manners, and who eat like an animal. Fact is, I am not a
Boswellian, or a Johnsonian, either. I do not think him such an
extraordinary man. I have heard many conversations as worthy of being
recorded as nineteen-twentieths of his. In spite of his learning, he
was narrow-minded and bigoted, which I despise above all earthly
failings. Witness his tirades against Americans, calling us Rascals,
Robbers, Pirates, and saying he would like to burn us! Now I have
railed at many of these ordinary women here, for using like epithets
for the Yankees, and have felt the greatest contempt for their absurd
abuse. These poor women do not aspire to Johnsonian wisdom, and their
ignorance may serve as an excuse for their narrow-mindedness; but the
wondrous Johnson to rave and bellow like any Billingsgate nymph! Bah!
He is an old disguster!

                                                  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 private 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.

                                               July 17th, Thursday.

It is decided that I am to go to New Orleans next week. I hardly know
which I dislike most, going or staying. I know I shall be dreadfully
homesick; but--

                     *      *      *      *      *

Remember--and keep quiet, Sarah, I beg of you. Everything points to an
early attack here. Some say this week. The Federals are cutting down
all our beautiful woods near the Penitentiary, to throw up breastworks,
some say. Cannon are to be planted on the foundation of Mr. Pike's new
house; everybody is in a state of expectation. Honestly, if Baton Rouge
_has_ to be shelled, I shall hate to miss the fun. It will be worth
seeing, and I would like to be present, even at the risk of losing my
big toe by a shell. But then, by going, I can save many of my clothes,
and then Miriam and I can divide when everything is burned--that is one
advantage, besides being beneficial by the change of air. _They say_
the town is to be attacked to-night. I don't believe a word of it.

Oh, I was so distressed this evening! They tell me Mr. Biddle was
killed at Vicksburg. I hope it is not true. Suppose it was a shot from
Will's battery?

                                                 July 20th, Sunday.

Last night the town was in a dreadful state of excitement. Before
sunset a regiment, that had been camped out of town, came in, and
pitched their tents around the new theatre, in front of our church. All
was commotion and bustle; and as the pickets had been drawn in, and the
soldiers talked freely of expecting an attack, everybody believed it,
and was consequently in rather an unpleasant state of anticipation.
Their cannon were on the commons back of the church, the artillery
horses tied to the wheels; while some dozen tents were placed around,
filled with men who were ready to harness them at the first alarm. With
all these preparations in full view, we went to bed as usual. I did not
even take the trouble of gathering my things which I had removed from
my "peddler sack"; and slept, satisfied that, if forced to fly, I would
lose almost everything in spite of my precaution in making a bag.

Well! night passed, and here is morning, and nothing is heard yet. The
attack is delayed until this evening, or to-morrow, they say. Woman
though I am, I am by no means as frightened as some of these men are. I
can't get excited about it. Perhaps it is because they know the danger,
and I do not. But I hate to see _men_ uneasy! I have been so accustomed
to brave, fearless ones, who would beard the Devil himself, that it
gives me a great disgust to see any one less daring than father and the

I have been so busy preparing to go to the city that I think if the
frolic should intervene and prevent my departure, I would be
disappointed, though I do not want to go. It would be unpleasant, for
instance, to pack all I own in my trunk, and just as I place the key in
my pocket to hear the shriek of "Van Dorn!" raised again. This time it
is to be Ruggles, though. I would not mind if he came before I was
packed. Besides, even if I miss the fun here, they say the boats are
fired into from Plaquemine; and then I have the pleasure of being in a
fight anyhow. Mother is alarmed about that part of my voyage, but
Miriam and I persuaded her it is nothing.

If I was a man--oh, wouldn't I be in Richmond with the boys!... What is
the use of all these worthless women, in war times? If they attack, I
shall don the breeches, and join the assailants, and fight, though I
think they would be hopeless fools to attempt to capture a town they
could not hold for ten minutes under the gunboats. How do breeches and
coats feel, I wonder? I am actually afraid of them. I kept a suit of
Jimmy's hanging in the armoir for six weeks waiting for the Yankees to
come, thinking fright would give me courage to try it (what a seeming
paradox!), but I never succeeded. Lilly one day insisted on my trying
it, and I advanced so far as to lay it on the bed, and then carried my
bird out--I was ashamed to let even my canary see me;--but when I took
a second look, my courage deserted me, and there ended my first and
last attempt at disguise. I have heard so many girls boast of having
worn men's clothes; I wonder where they get the courage.

To think half the men in town sat up all night in expectation of a
stampede, while we poor women slept serenely! Everybody is digging pits
to hide in when the ball opens. The Days have dug a tremendous one; the
Wolffs, Sheppers, and some fifty others have taken the same precaution.
They may as well dig their graves at once; what if a tremendous shell
should burst over them, and bury in the dirt those who were not killed?
Oh, no! let me see all the danger, and the way it is coming, at once.
To-morrow,--or day after,--in case no unexpected little incident occurs
in the interval, I purpose going to New Orleans, taking father's papers
and part of Miriam's and mother's valuables for safe-keeping. I hate to
go, but they all think I should, as it will be one less to look after
if we are shelled--which I doubt. I don't know that I require _much_
protection, but I might as well be agreeable and go. Ouf! how I will
grow homesick, before I am out of sight!


Here we go, sure enough. At precisely eleven o'clock, while we were
enjoying our first dreams, we were startled by the long roll which was
beat half a square below us. At first I only repeated "The roll of the
drum," without an idea connected with it; but hearing the soldiers
running, in another instant I was up, and was putting on my stockings
when Miriam ran in, in her nightgown. The children were roused and
dressed quickly, and it did not take us many instants to prepare,--the
report of two shots, and the tramp of soldiers, cries of
"Double-quick," and sound as of cannon moving, rather hastening our
movements. Armoirs, bureaus, and everything else were thrown open, and
Miriam and I hastily packed our sacks with any articles that came to
hand, having previously taken the precaution to put on everything fresh
from the armoir. We have saved what we can; but I find myself obliged
to leave one of my new muslins I had just finished, as it occupied more
room than I can afford, the body of my lovely lilac, and my beauteous
white mull. But then, I have saved eight half-made linen chemises! that
will be better than the outward show.

Here comes an alarm of fire--at least a dreadful odor of burning cotton
which has set everybody wild with fear that conflagration is to be
added to these horrors. The cavalry swept past on their way to the
river ten minutes ago, and here comes the news that the gunboats are
drawing up their anchors and making ready. Well! here an hour has
passed; suppose they do not come after all? I have been watching two
sentinels at the corner, who are singing and dancing in the gayest way.
One reminds me of Gibbes; I have seen him dance that way often. I was
glad to see a good-humored man again. I wish I was in bed. I am only
sitting up to satisfy my conscience, for I have long since ceased to
expect a _real_ bombardment. If it must come, let it be now; I am
tired of waiting. A crowd of women have sought the protection of the
gunboats. I am distressed about the Brunots; suppose they did not hear
the noise? O girls! if I was a man, I wonder what would induce me to
leave you four lone, unprotected women sleeping in that house,
unconscious of all this? Is manhood a dream that is past? Is humanity
an idle name? Fatherless, brotherless girls, if I was honored with the
title of Man, I do believe I would be fool enough to run around and
wake you, at least! Not another word, though. I shall go mad with rage
and disgust. I am going to bed. This must be a humbug. Morgan came
running in, once more in his night-gear, begging Lilly to hear his
prayers. In answer to her "Why? You have said them to-night!" he says,
"Yes! but I've been getting up so often!" Poor child! no wonder he is

One hour and a half of this nonsense, and no result known. We are told
the firing commenced, and the pickets were driven in, twenty minutes
before the long roll beat.

                                                         July 21st.

It is impossible to discover the true story of last night's alarm. Some
say it was a gang of negroes who attacked the pickets in revenge for
having been turned out of the Garrison; others say it was a number of
our soldiers who fired from the bushes; and the most amusing story is
that they took alarm at an old white horse, which they killed,
mistaking him for the Confederates. One regiment has refused to do
picket duty; and the story runs among these poor soldiers that our
army, which is within a mile, is perfectly overwhelming. The excitement
still continues.

I have been writing to the Brunots the news confirming the death of
McClellan, the surrender of his army, and the good tidings of our Ram's
recent exploits above Vicksburg, and her arriving safely under the guns
there. If we could keep all the dispatches that have passed between us
since the battle of the forts, what a collection of absurdity and
contradiction it would be! "Forts have been taken." "Their ships have
passed; forts safe; Yankees at our mercy." "Ships at New Orleans. City
to be bombarded in twelve hours." "Forts surrendered." "City under
British protection." "No, it isn't." "City surrendered." "Mistake."
"Baton Rouge to be burned when Yankee ships come." And so on, sometimes
three times a day, each dispatch contradicting the other, and all
equally ridiculous.

The crowd here seems to increase. The streets are thronged with the
military, and it will soon be impossible to go even to Mrs. Brunot's,
which will be a great privation to me.... Five thousand are to come
next week, and then it will really be impossible to go in the streets.

                                                 July 22d, Tuesday.

Another such day, and there is the end of me! Charlie decided to send
Lilly and the children into the country early to-morrow morning, and
get them safely out of this doomed town. Mother, Miriam, and I were to
remain here alone. Take the children away, and I can stand whatever is
to come; but this constant alarm, with five babies in the house, is too
much for any of us. So we gladly packed their trunks and got them
ready, and then news came pouring in.

First a negro man just from the country told Lilly that our soldiers
were swarming out there, that he had never seen so many men. Then Dena
wrote us that a Mrs. Bryan had received a letter from her son, praying
her not to be in Baton Rouge after Wednesday morning, as they were to
attack to-morrow. Then a man came to Charlie, and told him that though
he was on parole, yet as a Mason he must beg him not to let his wife
sleep in town to-night; to get her away before sunset. But it is
impossible for her to start before morning. Hearing so many rumors, all
pointing to the same time, we began to believe there might be some
danger; so I packed all necessary clothing that could be dispensed with
now in a large trunk for mother, Miriam, and me, and got it ready to
send out in the country to Mrs. Williams. All told, I have but eight
dresses left; so I'll have to be particular. I am wealthy, compared to
what I would have been Sunday night, for then I had but two in my sack,
and now I have my best in the trunk. If the attack comes before the
trunk gets off, or if the trunk is lost, we will verily be beggars; for
I pack well, and it contains everything of any value in clothing.

The excitement is on the increase, I think. Everybody is crazy to leave

                                               Thursday, July 24th.

Yes; that must be the date, for one day and two nights have passed
since I was writing here. Where shall I begin the story of my
wanderings? I don't know that it has a beginning, it is all so hurried
and confused.

But it was Tuesday evening that the Federals were seized with a panic
which threw the whole town in alarm. They said our troops were within
eight miles, ten thousand in number. The report was even started that
the advance guard was skirmishing with the Federals; the shots were
heard distinctly, a dozen people were ready to swear. The Yankees
struck their tents, galloped with their cannon through the streets with
the most terrific din, troops passed at double-quick on their way to
the Garrison, everything was confusion. Mr. Tunnard told us yesterday
he was present when part of them reached the gate of the Garrison, and
saw one of the officers spring forward, waving his sword, and heard him
cry, "Trot, men! Gallop, I say! Damn you! _run_ in!"--with a perfect
yell at the close; whereupon all lookers-on raised a shout of laughter,
for the man was frightened out of his wits. A Federal officer told him
that their fright was really a disgrace; and if one thousand of our men
had come in town, the whole thirty-five hundred would have been at
their mercy. Even the naval officers denounce it as a most arrant piece
of cowardice; for instead of marching their troops out to meet ours,
they all rushed into the Garrison, where, if attacked, their only
retreat would have been into the river. The gunboats were ordered into
the middle of the stream, in front of the Garrison; and cooped up
there, these valiant men awaited the assault in such trepidation that
yesterday they freely said the force could be purchased for fifty
cents, they are so ashamed of their panic.

Imagine what effect this had on the inhabitants! Soon, an exodus took
place, in the direction of the Asylum, and we needs must follow the
general example and run, too. In haste we packed a trunk with our
remaining clothes,--what we could get in,--and the greatest confusion
prevailed for an hour. Beatrice had commenced to cry early in the
evening, and redoubled her screams when she saw the preparations; and
Louis joining in, they cried in concert until eight o'clock, when we
finally got off. What a din! Lilly looked perfectly exhausted; that
look on her face made me heartsick. Miriam flew around everywhere;
mother always had one more article to find, and the noise was dreadful,
when white and black assembled in the hall ready at last. Charlie
placed half of the trunks on the dray, leaving the rest for another
trip; and we at last started off. Besides the inevitable running-bag,
tied to my waist, on this stifling night I had my sunbonnet, veil,
comb, toothbrush, cabas filled with dozens of small articles, and
dagger to carry; and then my heart failed me when I thought of my
guitar, so I caught it up in the case; and remembering father's heavy
inkstand, I seized that, too, with two fans. If I was asked what I did
with all these things, I could not answer. Certain it is I had every
one in my hands, and was not _very_ ridiculous to behold.

Seventeen in number, counting white and black, our procession started
off, each loaded in their own way. The soldiers did not scruple to
laugh at us. Those who were still waiting in front of the churches to
be removed laughed heartily, and cried, "Hello! Where are you going?
Running? Good-bye!" Fortunately they could not see our faces, for it
was very dark. One stopped us under a lamp-post and wanted us to go
back. He said he knew we were to be attacked, for the Confederates were
within five miles; but we were as safe at home as at the Asylum. He was
a very handsome, respectable-looking man, though dirty, as Yankee
soldiers always are, and in his shirt-sleeves besides. We thanked him
for his kindness, and went on. All stopped at the Brunots', to see that
they were ready to fly; but the two parties were so tremendous that we
gladly divided, and Miriam and I remained with them until they could
get ready, while our detachment went on.

Wagons, carts, every vehicle imaginable, passed on to places of safety,
loaded with valuables, while women and children hurried on, on foot. It
took the Brunots as long to prepare as it did us. I had to drag Sophie
out of her bed, where she threw herself, vowing she would not run; and
after an interminable length of time, we were at last ready and
started, with the addition of Mrs. Loucks and her sons in our train.
The volunteer, whose sole duty seems to be to watch the Brunots, met us
as we got out. He stopped as he met the first, looked in silence until
Sophie and I passed, and then burst out laughing. No wonder! What a
walk it was! Nobody hesitated to laugh, even though they meant to run
themselves, and we made fun of each other, too, so our walk was merry

When we reached there, the Asylum was already crowded--at least, it
would have been a crowd in any other place, though a mere handful in
such a building. The whole house was illuminated, up to the fifth
story, and we were most graciously received by the director, who had
thrown the whole house open to whoever chose to come, and exerted
himself to be accommodating. It looked like a tremendous hotel where
every one is at home; not a servant or one of the deaf and dumb
children was to be seen; we had all the lower story to ourselves.
Wasn't it pleasant to unload, and deposit all things in a place of
safety! It was a great relief. Then we five girls walked on the
splendid balcony which goes around the house until we could no longer
walk, when I amused myself by keeping poor Sophie standing, since she
would not sit down like a Christian, but insisted on going to bed like
a lazy girl, as she is. When I finally let her go, it did not take her
many minutes to undress, and soon we were all ready for bed. The
Brunots had beds on the parlor floor; across the wide hall, we had a
room opposite; and next to ours, Lilly and the children were all
sleeping soundly. I ran the blockade of the hall in my nightgown, and
had a splendid romp with the girls after rolling Sophie out of bed, and
jerking Nettie up. Mother and Mrs. Brunot cried, "Order," laughing, but
they came in for their share of the sport, until an admiring crowd of
females at the door told us by their amused faces they were enjoying
it, too; so I ran the gauntlet again, and got safely through the hall,
and after a few more inroads, in one of which Miriam accompanied me,
and on which occasion I am sure we were seen in our nightgowns, we
finally went to bed. I won't say went to sleep, for I did not pretend
to doze. All our side of the house had bars, except me; and the
mosquitoes were unendurable; so I watched mother and Miriam in their
downy slumbers and lay on my hard bed for hours, fighting the torments
with bare arms.

Every now and then I heard a stir among the females above, indicating
that some few were anticipating a panic. Once they took a rush from the
fourth story, and cried they heard the cannon; twenty guns had been
fired, etc. I lay still, determined not to believe it; and presently
all subsided. I lay there for hours longer, it seemed, when Nettie at
last wandered in disconsolate to find if we were asleep; for with the
exception of Sophie, they, too, had been awake all night. I went to the
parlor with her, when she, Dena, and I, decided to dress at once and
sit on the balcony, since sleep was hopeless. Behold me in a blue
muslin flounced to the waist, with a cape, too! What a running costume!
Miriam only had time to take off her white dress before starting. All
dressed, we went to the northwest corner, as far as possible from the
rest of the household, and sat in a splendid breeze for hours. It was
better than fighting insatiable mosquitoes; so there we sat talking
through the greater part of a night which seemed to have borrowed a few
additional hours for our benefit. We'll have no Leap Year in '64; the
twenty-four extra hours were crowded in on that occasion, I think.

We discussed our favorite books, characters, authors, repeated scraps
here and there of the mock sentimental, talked of how we would one day
like to travel, and where we would go; discussed love and marriage, and
came to the conclusion neither was the jest it was thought to be. (O
wise young women!) Poor Nettie retired in despair, and we two watched
alone for hours longer. The sun must have been arrested by some Joshua
on the road; couldn't make me believe it was doing its duty as usual.
We wandered around the balconies, through the grounds in the dim
starlight (for it was cloudy), and finally, beholding a faint promise
of morning, sat still and waited for the coming of the lazy sun. What
was still more aggravating was that every time we looked in at the
others showed them sleeping peacefully. Miriam lay her full length with
outstretched arms, the picture of repose, looking _so_ comfortable!
When the sun finally made his appearance (he was out on a spree, I
found, for his eyes were not half opened, and he looked dull and heavy
as he peeped from behind his bed curtains), others began to stir, and
in an hour more, we were ready to leave. Those who had slept, came out
with swelled eyes and drowsy looks; while we three, who had been up all
night, were perfectly calm, though _rather_ pale; but I am seldom

Were we not thankful to see home still standing! I did not feel tired
_much_, but somehow, when it struck half-past six, and I found myself
alone here (Miriam having stopped at Mrs. Day's), I suddenly found
myself divested of my flounces, and most other articles, and
involuntarily going towards the bed. I could not sleep, wasn't thinking
of such a thing; meant to--there was an end of my soliloquy! Where I
went, I don't know. As the clock struck eight, I got up as unaccountably,
and discovered I had lost all idea of time in sleep. If it had not been
for the clock, I should have said I had slept a day and a night, and it
was now Thursday morning. A giant refreshed, I rose from my slumbers,
took a hasty cup of coffee, and set to work packing Lilly's trunk, for
I was crazy to see the children off as soon as possible.

It was no short work, but we all hurried, said good-bye, and saw them
go with a feeling of relief. By the experience of the night before, we
knew that when the real moment came it would be impossible to get them
off in time to escape danger. Poor Lilly! We miss her sadly; but are
thankful to know that she is out of danger with her poor little
children. She looked heartbroken at the idea of leaving us alone; but
then, when one weak woman has five small babies to take care of, is it
fair to impose three big ones on her? I'd never stay here, if she
sacrificed her children to take care of us who need no protection. I
was very lazy after they left; and sat reading until a note was brought
from Charlie saying they were safe beyond the lines.

Last night came another alarm. Some fifty cannon were fired somewhere
above, reports came that a body of our troops were a few miles out, so
a thousand of these men took courage and went out to reconnoitre. Mrs.
Brunot and mother insisted on going again to the Asylum for protection
against the coming attack, though we at first begged and pleaded to
stay at home. But we had to follow, and I don't think any of us were in
the best of humors, as we were all conscious of doing a foolish thing.

We were cordially received again, and got quite gay. Sleeping
accommodations no better than before, as far as I was concerned.
Sophie, Miriam, and I had but one bar between us, so we placed two
mattresses side by side, and by dint of chairs and strings, stretched
the net as far as possible over them. Those two were well enough; but
to my share fell a baby's mattress two feet by four, placed between the
wall and the other great bed, with the end of the bar a foot above my
face, and one sheet to do the duty of two--however, they had only one,
also. Well! I believe I am tall, so my bed did not fit me. As it was
two inches higher than theirs, there was no sharing. In spite of a
heavy rain that was now pouring, my warm place was intolerable, and the
perspiration streamed from my face so as to be disagreeable, to say the
least. It drove me to walk in my sleep, I am afraid, for I have an
indistinct recollection of finding myself standing at the window trying
to breathe. It was a very, very little piece of sleep I got after all,
and that little by no means refreshing.

Up at sunrise again, but it took some time to get ready, for I had to
get some clothes out of the trunk, to send home. Well, ever since I
reached here I have been writing, and I am ashamed to say how long it
is. As the time grows more exciting, my book grows shorter, to my great
distress. What will I do?

We all vowed that would be the last time we would run until we heard
the cannon, or had some better reason than a Yankee panic to believe
the Confederates were coming; though if we listened to mother, she
would go there every night if this lasted for a whole year. Kind
Phillie Nolan wrote insisting on our staying with them on the
plantation until it was over, but we cannot do it; the time is too
uncertain; if we _knew_ it was to come this week, we might stay that
long with her; but to go for an indefinite period, Miriam and I would
not hear of.

I have kept for the last a piece of news I received with thankfulness,
when I finally heard it; for, though known to the whole family and all
the town on Tuesday night, no one thought it worth while to tell me
until I heard it by accident last evening. It was that a Mr. Bell,
writing to his wife, says Gibbes asked him to send word to mother that
he, George, and Jimmy were in the fight of the 10th and 11th, and all
safe. God be praised!

                                                         July 25th.

An old gentleman stopped here just now in a carriage and asked to see
me. Such a sad, sick old man! He said his name was Caldwell, and that
passing through East Feliciana, Mrs. Flynn had asked him to deliver a
message to us. Had we heard from our brothers? I told him the message
from Mr. Bell. He commenced crying. There was one of them, he said, who
got hurt. I held my breath and looked at him. He cried more still, and
said yes, it was Gibbes--in the hand--not dangerous--but--Here I
thought he meant to tell me worse; perhaps he was dead; but I could not
speak, so he went on saying Lydia and the General had gone on to
Richmond instantly, and had probably reached there before to-day. He
took so long to tell it, and he cried so, that I was alarmed, until I
thought perhaps he had lost one of his own sons; but I dared not ask
him. Just then one of the horses fell down with sunstroke, and I begged
the old gentleman to come in and rest until they could raise the horse;
but he said no, he must go on to the river. He looked so sick that I
could not help saying he looked too unwell to go beyond, and I wished
he would come in. But he burst into tears, saying, "Yes, my child, I am
very, very sick, but I must go on." Poor old man, with his snow-white

                                                         July 27th.

I have my bird back! As I waked this morning, I heard a well-known
chirp in the streets, and called to mother I knew it was Jimmy. Sure
enough it is my bird. Lucy Daigre has had him ever since the shelling,
as a negro caught it that day and gave it to her.

                                                         July 29th.

This town, with its ten thousand soldiers, is more quiet than it was
with the old population of seven thousand citizens. With this
tremendous addition, it is like a graveyard in its quiet, at times.
These poor soldiers are dying awfully. Thirteen went yesterday. On
Sunday the boats discharged hundreds of sick at our landing. Some lay
there all the afternoon in the hot sun, waiting for the wagon to carry
them to the hospital, which task occupied the whole evening. In the
mean time these poor wretches lay uncovered on the ground, in every
stage of sickness. Cousin Will saw one lying dead without a creature by
to notice when he died. Another was dying, and muttering to himself as
he lay too far gone to brush the flies out of his eyes and mouth, while
no one was able to do it for him. Cousin Will helped him, though.
Another, a mere skeleton, lay in the agonies of death, too; but he
evidently had kind friends, for several were gathered around holding
him up, and fanning him, while his son leaned over him crying aloud.
Tiche says it was dreadful to hear the poor boy's sobs. All day our
_vis-à-vis_, Baumstark, with his several aids, plies his hammer;
all day Sunday he made coffins, and says he can't make them fast
enough. Think, too, he is by no means the only undertaker here! Oh, I
wish these poor men were safe in their own land! It is heartbreaking to
see them die here like dogs, with no one to say Godspeed. The Catholic
priest went to see some, sometime ago, and going near one who lay in
bed, said some kind thing, when the man burst into tears and cried,
"Thank God, I have heard _one_ kind word before I die!" In a few
minutes the poor wretch was dead.

                                                         July 31st.

I believe I forgot to mention one little circumstance in my account of
that first night at the Deaf and Dumb Asylum, which at the time struck
me with extreme disgust. That was seeing more than one man who had no
females or babies to look after, who sought there a refuge from the
coming attack. At daylight, one dapper young man, in fashionable array,
came stepping lightly on the gallery, carrying a neat carpet-bag in his
hand. I hardly think he expected to meet two young ladies at that hour;
I shall always believe he meant to creep away before any one was up;
for he certainly looked embarrassed when we looked up, though he
assumed an air of indifference, and passed by bravely swinging his
sack--but I think he wanted us to believe he was not ashamed. I dare
say it was some little clerk in his holiday attire; but I can't say
what contempt I felt for the creature.

Honestly, I believe the women of the South are as brave as the men who
are fighting, and certainly braver than the "Home Guard." I have not
yet been able to coax myself into being as alarmed as many I could name
are. They say it is because I do not know the danger. _Soit_. I prefer
being brave through ignorance, to being afraid in consequence of my
knowledge of coming events. Thank Heaven, my brothers are the bravest
of the brave! I would despise them if they shrunk back, though Lucifer
should dispute the path with them. Well! _All_ men are not Morgan boys!
They tell me cowards actually exist, though I hope I never met one. The
poor men that went to the Asylum for safety might not have what Lavinia
calls "a moral backbone." No wonder, then, they tumbled in there!
Besides, I am told half the town spent the night on the banks of the
river, on that occasion; and perhaps these unfortunates were subject to
colds, and preferred the shelter of a good roof. Poor little fellows!
How I longed to give them my hoops, corsets, and pretty blue organdie
in exchange for their boots and breeches! Only I thought it was
dangerous; for suppose the boots had been so used to running that they
should prance off with me, too? Why, it would ruin my reputation! Miss
Morgan in petticoats is thought to be "as brave as any other man"; but
these borrowed articles might make her fly as fast "as any other man,"
too, if panic is contagious, as the Yankees here have proved. One
consolation is, that all who could go with any propriety, and all who
were worthy of fighting, among those who believed in the South, are off
at the seat of war; it is only trash, and those who are obliged to
remain for private reasons, who still remain. Let us count those young
individuals as trash, and step over them. Only ask Heaven why you were
made with a man's heart, and a female form, and those creatures with
beards were made as bewitchingly nervous?

                                               August 2d, Saturday.

I had thought my running days were over; so little did I anticipate
another stampede that I did not notice the report of the attack that
was prophesied for night before last, and went to bed without gathering
my clothes. But to-day comes a hasty note from Charlie, telling us to
leave instantly as General Breckinridge is advancing with ten thousand
men to attack us, and at 12 M. yesterday was within thirty-four miles.
He begged us to leave to-day; there would be trouble before to-morrow
night. It was so earnest, and he asserted all so positively, that we
are going to Phillie's this evening to stay a week, as they say eight
days will decide. Ah, me! our beautiful town! Still I am skeptical. If
it _must be_, pray Heaven that the blow comes now! Nothing can be
equal to suspense. These poor men! Are they not dying fast enough? Will
Baumstark have orders for an unlimited supply of coffins next week?
Only Charlie's family, ours, and the Brunots know it. He enjoined the
strictest secrecy, though the Brunots sent to swear Mrs. Loucks in, as
she, like ourselves, has no protector. I would like to tell everybody;
but it will warn the Federals. I almost wish we, too, had been left in
ignorance; it is cruel to keep it to ourselves. I believe the Yankees
expect something; "they say" they have armed fifteen hundred negroes.
Foes and insurrection in town, assailing friends outside.--Nice time!

Our cavalry has passed the Amite. Poor Charlie has come all the way to
the ferry landing on the other side to warn us. If we do not take
advantage, it will not be for want of knowing what is to come. How
considerate it was in him to come such a long way! I am charmingly
excited! If I only had a pair of breeches, my happiness would be
complete. Let it come! I lose all, but in Heaven's name let us have it
over at once! My heart fails when I look around, but "Spit fire!" and
have an end to this at once! Liberty forever, though death be the

Treason! Here lies my pass at my elbow, in which has been gratuitously
inserted that "Parties holding it are considered to give their parole
not to give information, countenance, aid, or support to the so-called
Confed. S." As I did not apply for it, agree to the stipulation, or
think it by any means proper, I don't consider it binding. I could not
give my word for doing what my conscience tells me is Right. I cross
with this book full of treason. It "countenances" the C.S.; shall I
burn it? That is a stupid ruse; they are too wise to ask you to
subscribe to it, they just append it.

                                                         August 3d,

_Enfin nous sommes arrivées!_ And after what a trip! As we reached the
ferry, I discovered I had lost the pass, and had to walk back and
search for it, aided by Mr. Tunnard, who met me in my distress, as it
has always been his luck to do. But somebody had already adopted the
valuable trifle, so I had to rejoin mother and Miriam without it. The
guard resolutely refused to let us pass until we got another, so off
flew Mr. Tunnard to procure a second--which was vastly agreeable, as I
knew he would have to pay twenty-five cents for it, Yankees having come
down as low as that, to procure money. But he had gone before we could
say anything, and soon returned with the two-bits' worth of leave of
absence. Then we crossed the river in a little skiff after sundown, in
a most unpleasant state of uncertainty as to whether the carriage was
waiting at the landing for us, for I did not know if Phillie had
received my note, and there was no place to go if she had not sent for
us. However, we found it waiting, and leaving mother and Miriam to pay
the ferry, I walked on to put our bundles in the carriage. A man
stepped forward, calling me by name and giving me a note from Charlie
before I reached it; and as I placed my foot on the step, another came
up and told me he had left a letter at home for me at one o'clock. I
bowed Yes (it was from Howell; must answer to-morrow). He asked me not
to mention it was "him"; a little servant had asked his name, but he
told her it was none of her business. I laughed at the refined remark,
and said I had not known who it was--he would hardly have been
flattered to hear I had not even inquired. He modestly said that he was
afraid I had seen him through the window. Oh, no! I assured him. "Well,
please, _any_how, don't say it's me!" he pleaded most grammatically.
I answered, smiling, "I did not know who it was then, I know no more
now, and if you choose, I shall always remain in ignorance of your
identity." He burst out laughing, and went off with, "Oh, do, Miss
Morgan, forget all about me!" as though it was a difficult matter! Who
can he be?

We had a delightful drive in the moonlight, though it was rather long;
and it was quite late when we drove up to the house, and were most
cordially welcomed by the family. We sat up late on the balcony
listening for the report of cannon, which, however, did not come. Baton
Rouge is to be attacked to-morrow, "they say." Pray Heaven it will all
be over by that time! Nobody seems to doubt it, over here. A while ago
a long procession of guerrillas passed a short distance from the house,
looking for a party of Yankees they heard of in the neighborhood, and
waved their hats, for lack of handkerchiefs, to us as we stood on the

I call this writing under difficulties! Here I am employing my knee as
a desk, a position that is not very natural to me, and by no means
comfortable. I feel so stupid, from want of sleep last night, that no
wonder I am not even respectably bright. I think I shall lay aside this
diary with my pen. I have procured a nicer one, so I no longer regret
its close. What a stupid thing it is! As I look back, how faintly have
I expressed things that produced the greatest impression on me at the
time, and how completely have I omitted the very things I should have
recorded! Bah! it is all the same trash! And here is an end of it--for
_this_ volume, whose stupidity can only be equaled by the one that
precedes, and the one that is to follow it. But who expects to be
interesting in war times? If I kept a diary of events, it would be one
tissue of lies. Think! There was no battle on the 10th or 11th,
McClellan is _not_ dead, and Gibbes was never wounded! After that, who
believes in reliable information? Not I!


                                          Monday, August 4th, 1862.

Here we are at Dr. Nolan's plantation, with Baton Rouge lying just
seven miles from us to the east. We can surely hear the cannon from
here. They are all so kind to us that I ought to be contented; but
still I wish I was once more at home. I suppose it is very unreasonable
in me, but I cannot help it. I miss my old desk very much; it is so
awkward to write on my knee that I cannot get used to it. Mine is a
nice little room upstairs, detached from all the rest, for it is formed
by a large dormer window looking to the north, from which I have seen a
large number of guerrillas passing and repassing in their rough
costumes, constantly. I enjoy the fresh air, and all that, but pleasant
as it is, I wish I was at home and all the fuss was over. Virginia
Nolan and Miriam are already equipped in their riding costumes, so I
must lay this down and get ready to join them in a scamper across the
fields. How delighted I will be to get on a horse again.

                                                        August 5th.

About half-past nine, as we got up from the breakfast table, a
guerrilla told us the ram Arkansas was lying a few miles below, on her
way to coöperate with Breckinridge, whose advance guard had already
driven the pickets into Baton Rouge. Then we all grew wild with

Such exclamations! such delight that the dreadful moment had at last
arrived! And yet you could see each stop as we rejoiced, to offer up a
prayer for the preservation of those who were risking their lives at
that moment. Reason, and all else, was thrown aside, and we determined
to participate in the danger, if there was any to be incurred. Mother
threatened us with shot and shell and bloody murder, but the loud
report of half a dozen cannon in slow succession only made us more
determined to see the fun, so Lilly Nolan and Miss Walters got on
horseback, and Phillie, Ginnie, Miriam, and I started off in the
broiling sun, leaving word for the carriage to overtake us. When we
once got in, the driver, being as crazy as we, fairly made his horses
run along the road to catch a glimpse of our Ram. When, miles below,
she came in sight, we could no longer remain in the carriage, but
mounted the levee, and ran along on foot until we reached her, when we
crossed to the outer levee, and there she lay at our feet.

And nothing in her after all! There lay a heavy, clumsy, rusty, ugly
flatboat with a great square box in the centre, while great cannon put
their noses out at the sides, and in front. The decks were crowded with
men, rough and dirty, jabbering and hastily eating their breakfast.
That was the great Arkansas! God bless and protect her, and the brave
men she carries.

While there, a young man came up, and in answer to Phillie's inquiries
about her father--who, having gone to town yesterday to report, being
paroled, had written last night to say no passes were granted to leave
town--the young fellow informed her _so_ pleasantly that her father was
a prisoner, held as hostage for Mr. Castle. Poor Phillie had to cry;
so, to be still more agreeable, he told her, Yes, he had been sent to a
boat lying at the landing, and ran the greatest risk, as the ram would
probably sink the said boat in a few hours. How I hated the fool for
his relish of evil tidings!

But never mind our wild expedition, or what came of it. Am I not
patient! Ever since I commenced to write, the sound of a furious
bombardment has been ringing in my ears; and beyond an occasional run
to see the shells fly through the air (their white smoke, rather) I
have not said a word of it. The girls have all crowded on the little
balcony up here, towards town, and their shrieks of "There it goes!"
"Listen!" "Look at them!" rise above the sound of the cannon, and
occasionally draw me out, too. But I sit here listening, and wonder
which report precedes the knocking down of our home; which shell is
killing some one I know and love. Poor Tiche and Dophy!--where are
they? And oh, I hope they did not leave my birdie Jimmy to die in his
cage. I charged them to let him loose if they could not carry him.
Dophy will be so frightened. I hope they are out of danger. Oh, my dear
home! shall I ever see you again? And the Brunots! Oh, how I hope they
are safe. These loud cannon make me heartsick, and yet I am so excited!
How rapidly they answer each other! I am told the attack commenced at
five this morning, and lasted three hours. Those girls are shouting
that Baton Rouge must be on fire, from the volume of smoke in that
direction. How they scream as the balls go up, to show it to each
other. I think I'll take a look, too.

                     *      *      *      *      *

We are all going four or five miles through this warm sun to be nearer
the scene of action. Any one might know there was no white man on the
premises. There is the carriage! Oh, I am _so_ seasick! What will I be
before we get back?

                                                        August 6th.

We six madcaps got in the carriage and buggy, and rode off in search of
news. We took a quantity of old linen rags along, and during the whole
drive, our fingers were busy making lint. Once we stopped at a
neighbor's to gather the news, but that did not interfere with our
labors at all. Four miles from here we met a crowd of women flying, and
among them recognized Mrs. La Noue and Noémie. A good deal of loud
shouting brought them to the carriage in great surprise to see us
there. They were running from the plantation where they had taken
refuge, as it was not safe from the shells, as the gunboats had proved
to them. The reports we had heard in the morning were from shots fired
on this side of the river by them, in hopes of hurting a guerrilla or
two. Noémie told us that two Western regiments had laid down their
arms, and General Williams had been killed by his own men. She looked
so delighted, and yet it made me sick to think of his having been
butchered so. Phillie leaned out, and asked her, as she asked
everybody, if she knew anything about her father. Noémie, in her
rapture over that poor man's death, exclaimed, "Don't know a word about
him! know Williams was cut to pieces, though!"--and that is all we
could learn from her.

We went on until we came in sight of Baton Rouge. There it stood,
looking so beautiful against the black, lowering sky that I could not
but regret its fate. We could see the Garrison, State House, Asylum,
and all that; but the object of the greatest interest to me was the
steeple of the Methodist church, for to the right of it lay home. While
looking at it, a negro passed who was riding up and down the coast
collecting lint, so I gave him all we had made, and commenced some
more. Presently, we met Mr. Phillips, to whom Phillie put the same
question. "He is on the Laurel Hill a prisoner--Confound that negro!
where did he go?" And so on, each answer as far as concerned her,
seeming a labor, but the part relating to the servant very hearty. Poor
Phillie complained that everybody was selfish--thought only of their
own affairs, and did not sympathize with her. "Yes, my dear," I
silently assented; for it was _very_ true; every one seemed to think of
their own interests alone. It was late before we got home, and then we
had great fun in watching shells which we could dimly trace against the
clouds, falling in what must have been the Garrison. Then came a
tremendous fire, above, which _may_ have been a boat--I don't know.

I hear a tremendous firing again, and from the two volumes of smoke,
should judge it was the Arkansas and the Essex trying their strength at
a distance. We are going down to see what's the fun. It would be absurd
to record all the rumors that have reached us, since we can rely on
none. They say we fought up to nine last night, and occupied the
Garrison for five minutes, when the shells forced us to abandon it.
Also that four regiments laid down their arms, that the Federals were
pursued by our men to the river, driven to the gunboats, and pushed off
to prevent the Western men from coming aboard. An eye-witness, from
this side, reports that General Williams, "they say," was forcibly held
before a cannon and blown to pieces. For the sake of humanity, I hope
this is false.

Oh, what a sad day this is for our country! Mother disapproved so of
our going to the levee to see the fight, that we consented to remain,
though Miriam and Ginnie jumped into the buggy and went off alone.
Presently came tidings that all the planters near Baton Rouge were
removing their families and negroes, and that the Yankees were to shell
the whole coast, from there up to here. Then Phillie, Lilly (Nolan),
and I jumped in--the carriage that was still waiting, and ran after the
others to bring them back before they got in danger; but when we
reached the end of the long lane, we saw them standing on the high
levee, wringing their hands and crying. We sprang out and joined them,
and there, way at the bend, lay the Arkansas on fire! All except myself
burst into tears and lamentations, and prayed aloud between their sobs.
I had no words or tears; I could only look at our sole hope burning,
going, and pray silently. Oh, it was so sad! Think, it was our sole
dependence! And we five girls looked at her as the smoke rolled over
her, watched the flames burst from her decks, and the shells as they
exploded one by one beneath the water, coming up in jets of steam. And
we watched until down the road we saw crowds of men toiling along
toward us. Then we knew they were those who had escaped, and the girls
sent up a shriek of pity.

On they came, dirty, half-dressed, some with only their guns, others, a
few, with bundles and knapsacks on their backs, grimy and tired, but
still laughing. We called to the first, and asked if the boat were
really afire; they shouted, "Yes," and went on, talking still.
Presently one ran up and told us the story. How yesterday their engine
had broken, and how they had labored all day to repair it; how they had
succeeded, and had sat by their guns all night; and this morning, as
they started to meet the Essex, the other engine had broken; how each
officer wrote his opinion that it was impossible to fight her with any
hope of success under such circumstances, and advised the Captain to
abandon her; how they had resolved to do so, had exchanged shots with
the Essex across the point, and the first of the latter (only one,
also) had set ours afire, when the men were ordered to take their side
arms. They thought it was to board the Essex, assembled together, when
the order was given to fire the Arkansas and go ashore, which was done
in a few minutes. Several of the crew were around us then, and up and
down the road they were scattered still in crowds.


Miriam must have asked the name of some of the officers; for just then
she called to me, "He says that is Mr. Read!" I looked at the foot of
the levee, and saw two walking together. I hardly recognized the
gentleman I was introduced to on the McRae in the one that now stood
below me in rough sailor pants, a pair of boots, and a very thin and
slazy lisle undershirt. That is all he had on, except an old straw hat,
and--yes! he held a primer! I did not think it would be embarrassing to
him to meet me under such circumstances; I only thought of Jimmy's
friend as escaping from a sad fate; so I rushed down a levee twenty
feet high, saying, "O Mr. Read! You won't recognize me, but I am
Jimmy's sister!" He blushed modestly, shook my hand as though we were
old friends, and assured me he remembered me, was glad to meet me, etc.
Then Miriam came down and talked to him, and then we went to the top of
the levee where the rest were, and watched the poor Arkansas burn.

By that time the crowd that had gone up the road came back, and we
found ourselves in the centre of two hundred men, just we five girls,
talking with the officers around us as though they were old friends.
You could only _guess_ they were officers, for a dirtier, more forlorn
set I never saw. Not _dirty_ either; they looked clean, considering the
work they had been doing. Nobody introduced anybody else; we all felt
like brothers and sisters in our common calamity. There was one
handsome Kentuckian, whose name I soon found to be Talbot, who looked
charmingly picturesque in his coarse cottonade pants, white shirt,
straw hat, black hair, beard, and eyes, with rosy cheeks. He was a
graduate of the Naval Academy some years ago. Then another jolly-faced
young man from the same Academy, pleased me, too. He, the doctor, and
the Captain, were the only ones who possessed a coat in the whole
crowd, the few who saved theirs carrying them over their arms. Mr. Read
more than once blushingly remarked that they were prepared to fight,
and hardly expected to meet us; but we pretended to think there was
nothing unusual in his dress. I can understand, though, that he should
feel rather awkward; I would not like to meet _him_, if I was in the
same costume.

They all talked over their loss cheerfully, as far as the loss of
money, watches, clothes, were concerned; but they were disheartened
about their boat. One threw himself down near my feet, saying, "_Me
voilà._ I have saved my gun, _et puis_ the clothes that I stand in!"
and laughed as though it were an excellent joke. One who had been on
the Merrimac chiefly regretted the loss of the commission appointing
him there, though he had not saved a single article. The one with the
jolly face told me Will Pinckney was among those attacking Baton Rouge,
and assured him he expected to take supper there last night. He thought
it would be with us, I know! I hope he is safe!

After a while the men were ordered to march up the lane, to some
resting spot it is best not to mention here, and straggled off; but
there were many sick among them, one wounded at Vicksburg, and we
instantly voted to walk the mile and three quarters home, and give them
the carriage and buggy. But long after they left, we stood with our new
friends on the levee watching the last of the Arkansas, and saw the
Essex, and two gunboats crowded with men, cautiously turn the point,
and watch her burn. What made me furious was the thought of the glowing
accounts they would give of their "capture of the Arkansas!!!" Capture,
and they fired a shot apiece!--for all the firing we heard was the
discharge of her guns by the flames. We saw them go back as cautiously,
and I was furious, knowing the accounts they would publish of what we
ourselves had destroyed. We had seen many shells explode, and one
magazine, and would have waited for the other, if the clouds had not
threatened rain speedily. But we had to leave her a mere wreck, still
burning, and started off on our long walk.

In our hurry, I had brought neither handkerchief nor gloves, but hardly
missed either, I was so excited. Mr. Talbot walked home with me, and
each of the others with some one else. He had a small bundle and a
sword, and the latter I insisted on carrying. It was something, to
shoulder a sword made for use rather than for ornament! So I _would_
carry it. He said "he would remember who had carried it, and the
recollection would give it a new value in his eyes, and I might rest
assured it should never be disgraced after _that_," and all that sort
of thing, _of course_, as it is usual to say it on such occasions. But
I shouldered the sword bravely, determined to show my appreciation of
the sacrifice they had made for us, in coming to our rescue on a boat
they had every reason to believe was unsafe. I liked Mr. Talbot! He
made himself very agreeable in that long walk. He asked permission to
send me a trophy from the first action in which he used "that" sword,
and _didn't_ I say yes! He thought Southern men had every encouragement
in the world, from the fact that the ladies welcomed them with great
kindness in victory or defeat, insinuating he thought they hardly
deserved our compassion after their failure on the Arkansas. But I
stoutly denied that it _was_ a failure. Had they not done their best?
Was it their fault the machinery broke? And in defeat or victory, were
they not still fighting for us? Were we the less grateful when they met
with reverse? Oh, didn't I laud the Southern men with my whole
heart!--and I think he felt better for it, too! Yes! I like him!

We all met at the steps, and water was given to our cavaliers, who
certainly enjoyed it. We could not ask them in, as Dr. Nolan is on his
parole; but Phillie intimated that if they chose to order, they might
do as they pleased, as women could not resist armed men! So they took
possession of the sugar-house, and helped themselves to something to
eat, and were welcome to do it, since no one could prevent! But they
first stood talking on the balcony, gayly, and we parted with many warm
wishes on both sides, insisting that, if they assisted at a second
attack on Baton Rouge, they must remember our house was at their
service, wounded or in health. And they all shook hands with us, and
looked pleased, and said "God bless you," and "Good-bye."


I heard a while ago, the doctor of the Ram, who brought back the buggy,
say the Arkansas's crew were about leaving; so remembering poor Mr.
Read had lost everything, mother, suggesting he might need money, gave
me twenty dollars to put in his hands, as some slight help towards
reaching his destination. Besides, coming from Jimmy's mother, he could
not have been hurt. But when I got down, he was far up the lane,
walking too fast for me to overtake him; then I tried to catch Mr.
Stephenson, to give it to him for me, but failed. Presently, we saw I
am afraid to say how many wagons loaded with them, coming from the
sugar-house; so Phillie, Lilly, and I snatched up some five bottles of
gin, between us, and ran out to give it to them. A rough old sailor
received mine with a flood of thanks, and the others gave theirs to
those behind. An officer rode up saying, "Ladies, there is no help for
it! The Yankee cavalry are after us, and we must fight them in the
corn. Take care of yourselves!" We shouted "Yes!" told them to bring in
the wounded and we would nurse them. Then the men cried, "God bless
you," and we cried, "Hurrah for the Arkansas's crew," and "Fight for
us!" Altogether it was a most affecting scene. Phillie, seeing how
poorly armed they were, suggested a gun, which I flew after and
delivered to a rough old tar. When I got out, the cart then passing
held Mr. Talbot, who smiled benignly and waved his hat like the rest.
He looked still better in his black coat, but the carts reminded me of
what the guillotine days must have been in France. He shouted
"Good-bye," we shouted "Come to us, if you are wounded"; he smiled and
bowed, and I cried, "_Use_ that sword!"--whereupon he sprang to his
feet and grasped the hilt as though about to commence. Then came other
officers; Mr. Scales, Mr. Barblaud, etc., who smiled recognition,
stopped the wagon as Phillie handed up a plate of bread and meat, and
talked gayly as they divided it, until the Captain rode up. "On,
gentlemen! not a moment to lose!" Then the cart started off, the empty
plate was flung overboard, and they rode off waving hats and crying,
"God bless you, ladies!" in answer to our repeated offers of taking
care of them if they were hurt. And they have gone to meet the Yankees,
and I hope they _won't_, for they have worked enough to-day, and from
my heart I pray God prosper those brave men!

                                                        August 7th.

Last night, shortly after we got in bed, we were roused by loud
cannonading towards Baton Rouge, and running out on the small balcony
up here, saw the light of a great fire in that direction. From the
constant reports, and the explosion of what seemed to be several powder
magazines, we imagined it to be either the Garrison or a gunboat.
Whatever it was, it was certainly a great fire. We all ran out in our
nightgowns, and watched for an hour in the damp air, I without even
shoes. We listened to the fight a long while, until the sound ceased,
and we went back to bed.


I am so disheartened! I have been listening with the others to a man
who was telling us about Baton Rouge, until I am heartsick. He says the
Yankees have been largely reinforced, and are prepared for another
attack which will probably take place to-morrow; that the fight was a
dreadful one, we driving them in, and losing twelve hundred, to their
fifteen hundred. It must have been awful! And that our troops have
resolved to burn the town down, since they cannot hold it under the
fire of the gunboats.

                                                August 8th, Friday.

Again last night, about nine, we heard cannon in Baton Rouge, and
watched the flashes, which preceded the reports by a minute, at least,
for a long time. We must have seen our own firing; perhaps we wanted to
find out the batteries of the enemy. It was not the most delightful
thing imaginable to watch what might be the downfall of our only home!
And then to think each ball might bring death to some one we love! Ah,
no! it was not pleasant!

Miriam and I have many friends in Breckinridge's division, I expect, if
we could only hear the names of the regiments. The Fourth is certainly
there. And poor Will! I wonder if he has had his supper yet? I have
been thinking of him ever since Mr. Scales told me he was there, and
praying myself sick for his safety and that of the rest. I shut my eyes
at every report and say, "Oh, please! poor Will!--and the others, too!"
And when I _don't_ hear the cannon, I pray, to be in advance of the

It is now midday, and again we hear firing; but have yet to learn the
true story of the first day's fight. Preserve me from the country in
such stirring days! We might as well be in Europe as to have the
Mississippi between us and town.

By unanimous consent, the little lane in front of the house has been
christened "Guerrilla Lane," and the long one leading to the river,
"Arkansas." What an episode that was, in our lives! The officers go by
the name of Miriam's, Ginnie's, Sarah's, as though they belonged to

Those girls did me the meanest thing imaginable. Mr. Talbot and I were
planning a grand combined attack on Baton Rouge, in which he was to
command a fleet and attack the town by the river, while I promised to
get up a battalion of girls and attack them in the rear. We had settled
it all, except the time, when just then all the others stopped talking.
I went on: "And now, it is only necessary for you to name the day--"
Here the girls commenced to giggle, and the young men tried to suppress
a smile; I felt annoyed, but it did not strike me until after they had
left, that I had said anything absurd. What evil imaginations they must
have, if they could have fancied I meant anything except the battle!

                                                        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

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.

                                               August 10th, Sunday.

Is this really Sunday? Never felt less pious, or less seriously
disposed! Listen to my story, and though I will, of course, fall far
short of the actual terror that reigned, yet it will show it in a
lukewarm light, that can at least recall the excitement to me.

To begin, then, last evening, about six o'clock, as we sat reading,
sewing, and making lint in the parlor, we heard a tremendous shell
whizzing past, which those who watched, said passed not five feet above
the house. Of course, there was a slight stir among the
unsophisticated; though we, who had passed through bombardments,
sieges, and alarms of all kinds, coolly remarked, "a shell," and kept
quiet. (The latter class was not very numerous.) It was from one of the
three Yankee boats that lay in the river close by (the Essex and two
gunboats), which were sweeping teams, provisions, and negroes from all
the plantations they stopped at from Baton Rouge up. The negroes, it is
stated, are to be armed against us as in town, where all those who
manned the cannon on Tuesday were, for the most part, killed; and
served them right! Another shell was fired at a carriage containing
Mrs. Durald and several children, under pretense of discovering if she
was a guerrilla, doubtless. Fortunately, she was not hurt, however.

By the time the little _émeute_ had subsided, determined to have a
frolic, Miss Walters, Ginnie, and I got on our horses, and rode off
down the Arkansas Lane, to have a gallop and a peep at the gunboats
from the levee. But mother's entreaties prevented us from going that
near, as she cried that it was well known they fired at every horse or
vehicle they saw in the road, seeing a thousand guerrillas in every
puff of dust, and we were sure to be killed, murdered, and all sorts of
bloody deaths awaited us; so to satisfy her, we took the road about a
mile from the river, in full view, however. We had not gone very far
before we met a Mr. Watson, a plain farmer of the neighborhood, who
begged us to go back. "You'll be fired on, ladies, sure! You don't know
the danger! Take my advice and go home as quick as possible before they
shell you! They shot buggies and carriages, and of course they won't
mind _horses_ with women! Please go home!" But Ginnie, who had taken a
fancy to go on, acted as spokeswoman, and determined to go on in spite
of his advice, so, nothing loath to follow her example, we thanked him,
and rode on. Another met us; looked doubtful, said it was not so
dangerous if the Yankees did not see the dust; but if they did, we
would be pretty apt to see a shell soon after. Here was frolic! So we
rode on some mile or two beyond, but failing to see anything startling,
turned back again.

About two miles from here, we met Mr. Watson coming at full speed. The
ladies, he said, had sent him after us in all haste; there was a report
that the whole coast was to be shelled; a lady had passed, flying with
her children; the carriage was ordered out; they were only waiting for
us, to run, too. We did not believe a word of it, and were indignant at
their credulity, as well as determined to persuade them to remain where
they were, if possible. When told their plan was to run to the house
formerly used as a guerrilla camp, we laughed heartily. Suppose the
Yankees fired a shell into it to discover its inhabitants? The idea of
choosing a spot so well known! And what fun in running to a miserable
hole, when we might sleep comfortably here? I am afraid rebellion was
in the air. Indeed, an impudent little negro, who threw open the gate
for us, interrupted Ginnie in the midst of a tirade with a sly "Here's
the beginning of a little fuss!"

We found them all crazy with fear. I did not say much; I was too
provoked to trust myself to argue with so many frightened women. I only
said I saw no necessity. Ginnie resisted; but finally succumbed. Mr.
Watson, whom we had enlisted on our side also, said it was by no means
necessary, but if we were determined, we might go to his house, about
four miles away, and stay there. It was very small, but we were
welcome. We had in the mean time thrown off our riding-skirts, and
stood just in our plain dresses, though the others were freshly dressed
for an exodus. Before the man left, the carriage came, though by that
time we had drawn half the party on our side; we said we would take
supper, and decide after, so he went off.

In a few moments a rocket went up from one of the boats, which
attracted our attention. Five minutes after, we saw a flash directly
before us. "See it? Lightning, I expect," said Phillie. The others all
agreed; but I kept quiet, knowing that some, at least, knew what it was
as well as I, and determined not to give the alarm--for I was beginning
to feel foolish. Before half a minute more came a tearing, hissing
sound, a sky-rocket whose music I had heard before. Instantly I
remembered my running-bag, and flew upstairs to get it, escaping just
in time from the scene which followed on the gallery which was
afterwards most humorously described to me. But I was out of hearing of
the screams of each (and yet I must have heard them); neither saw Miss
Walters tumble against the wall, nor mother turn over her chair, nor
the general _mêlée_ that followed, in which Mrs. Walters, trying to
scale the carriage, was pulled out by Uncle Will, who shouted to his
plunging horses first, then to the other unreasoning creatures, "Woa,
there! 'Tain't safe! Take to the fields! Take to the woods! Run to the
sugar-house! Take to your heels!" in a frenzy of excitement.

I escaped all that, and was putting on my hoops and hastily catching up
any article that presented itself to me in my speed, when the shell
burst over the roof, and went rolling down on the gallery, according to
the account of those then below. Two went far over the house, out of
sight. All three were seen by Mr. Watson, who came galloping up in a
few moments, crying, "Ladies, for God's sake, leave the house!" Then I
heard mother calling, "Sarah! You will be killed! Leave your clothes
and run!"--and a hundred ejaculations that came too fast for me to
answer except by an occasional "Coming, if you will send me a candle!"
Candle was the same as though I had demanded a hand-grenade, in
mother's opinion, for she was sure it would be the signal for a
bombardment of my exposed room; so I tossed down my bundles, swept
combs and hairpins into my bosom (all points up), and ravished a candle
from some one. How quickly I got on, then! I saved the most useless of
articles with the greatest zeal, and probably left the most serviceable
ones. One single dress did my running-bag contain--a white linen
cambric with a tiny pink flower--the one I wore when I told Hal
good-bye for the last time. The others I left.

When I got down with my knapsack, mother, Phillie, and Mrs. Walters

                                           AT RANDALLSON'S LANDING,
                                                       August 11th.

I don't mean those ladies were, but that I am at present. I'll account
for it after I have disposed of the stampede. Imagine no interruption,
and continue--in the carriage urging Uncle Will to hurry on, and I had
hardly time to thrust my sack under their feet before they were off.
Lilly and Miss Walters were already in the buggy, leaving Ginnie and me
to follow on horseback. I ran up after my riding-skirt, which I was
surprised to find behind a trunk, and rolled up in it was my
running-bag, with all my treasures! I was very much provoked at my
carelessness; indeed, I cannot imagine how it got there, for it was the
first thing I thought of. When I got back, there was no one to be seen
except Ginnie and two negroes who held our horses, and who disappeared
the instant we were mounted; with the exception of two women who were
running to the woods, we were the only ones on the lot, until Mr.
Watson galloped up to urge us on. Again I had to notice this
peculiarity about women--that the married ones are invariably the first
to fly, in time of danger, and always leave the young ones to take care
of themselves. Here were our three matrons, prophesying that the house
would be burnt, the Yankees upon us, and all murdered in ten minutes,
flying down the Guerrilla Lane, and leaving us to encounter the horrors
they foretold, alone.

It was a splendid gallop in the bright moonlight, over the fields, only
it was made uncomfortable by the jerking of my running-bag, until I
happily thought of turning it before. A hard ride of four miles in
about twenty minutes brought us to the house of the man who so kindly
offered his hospitality. It was a little hut, about as large as our
parlor, and already crowded to overflowing, as he was entertaining
three families from Baton Rouge. Can't imagine where he put them,
either. But it seems to me the poorer the man, and the smaller the
house, the greater the hospitality you meet with. There were so many of
us that there was not room on the balcony to turn. The man wanted to
prepare supper, but we declined, as Phillie had sent back for ours
which we had missed.

I saw another instance of the pleasure the vulgar take in the horrible.
A Mr. Hill, speaking of Dr. Nolan, told Phillie "he had no doubt he had
been sent to New Orleans on the Whiteman, that carried General
Williams's body; and that every soul had gone down on her."
Fortunately, just then the overseer brought a letter from him saying he
had gone on another boat, or the man's relish of the distressing might
have been gratified.

It was so crowded there that we soon suggested going a short distance
beyond, to Mr. Lobdell's, and staying there for the night, as all
strenuously objected to our returning home, as there was danger from
prowling Yankees. So we mounted again, and after a short ride we
reached the house, where all were evidently asleep. But necessity knows
no rules; and the driver soon aroused an old gentleman who came out and
invited us in. A middle-aged lady met us, and made us perfectly at home
by leaving us to take care of ourselves; most people would have thought
it indifference; but I knew it was _manque de savoir faire_, merely,
and preferred doing as I pleased. If she had been officious, I would
have been embarrassed. So we walked in the moonlight, Ginnie and I,
while the rest sat in the shade, and all discussed the fun of the
evening, those who had been most alarmed laughing loudest. The old
gentleman insisted that we girls had been the cause of it all; that our
white bodies (I wore a Russian shirt) and black skirts could easily
have caused us to be mistaken for men. That, at all events, three or
four people on horseback would be a sufficient pretext for firing a
shell or two. "In short, young ladies," he said, "there is no doubt in
my mind that you were mistaken for guerrillas, and that they only
wanted to give you time to reach the woods where they heard they have a
camp, before shooting at you. In short, take my advice and never mount
a horse again when there is a Yankee in sight." We were highly
gratified at being mistaken for them, and pretended to believe it was
true. I hardly think he was right, though; it is too preposterous.

_Pourtant_, Sunday morning the Yankees told a negro they did not mean
to touch the house, but were shooting at some guerrillas at a camp just
beyond. We know the last guerrilla left the parish five days ago.

Our host insisted on giving us supper, though Phillie represented that
ours was on the road; and by eleven o'clock, tired alike of moonlight
and fasting, we gladly accepted, and rapidly made the preserves and
batter-cakes fly. Ours was a garret room, well finished, abounding in
odd closets and corners, with curious dormer windows that were reached
by long little corridors. I should have slept well; but I lay awake all
night. Mother and I occupied a narrow single bed, with a bar of the
thickest, heaviest material imaginable. Suffocation awaited me inside,
gnats and mosquitoes outside. In order to be strictly impartial, I lay
awake to divide my time equally between the two attractions, and think
I succeeded pretty well. So I spent the night on the extreme edge of
the bed, never turning over, but fanning mother constantly. I was not
sorry when daybreak appeared, but dressed and ascended the observatory
to get a breath of air.

Below me, I beheld four wagons loaded with the young Mrs. Lobdell's
baggage. The Yankees had visited them in the evening, swept off
everything they could lay their hands on, and with a sick child she was
obliged to leave her house in the night and fly to her father-in-law. I
wondered at their allowing her four wagons of trunks and bundles; it
was very kind. If I were a Federal, I think it would kill me to hear
the whisper of "Hide the silver" wherever I came. Their having
frequently relieved families of such trifles, along with negroes,
teams, etc., has put others on their guard now. As I sat in the parlor
in the early morning, Mrs. Walters _en blouse volante_ and all
_échevelée_, came in to tell me of Mr. Lobdell's misfortunes. "They
took his negroes [right hand up]; his teams [left hand up]; his
preserves [both hands clutching her hair]; they swept off everything,
except four old women who could not walk! they told him if he didn't
come report himself, they'd come fetch him in three days! They beggared
him!" [Both eyes rolling like a ship in a storm.] I could not help
laughing. Mr. Bird sat on the gallery, and had been served in the same
way, with the addition of a pair of handcuffs for a little while. It
was not a laughing matter; but the old lady made it comical by her

When we suggested returning, there was another difficulty. All said it
was madness; that the Yankees would sack the house and burn it over our
heads; we would be insulted, etc. I said no one yet had ever said an
impudent thing to me, and Yankees certainly would not attempt it; but
the old gentleman told me I did not know what I was talking about; so I
hushed, but determined to return. Ginnie and I sat an hour on horseback
waiting for the others to settle what they would do; and after having
half-roasted ourselves in the sun, they finally agreed to go, too, and
we set off in a gallop which we never broke until we reached the house,
which to our great delight we found standing, and not infested with

                                                       August 12th.

Another resting-place! Out of reach of shells for the first time since
last April! For how long, I wonder? For wherever we go, we bring shells
and Yankees. Would not be surprised at a visit from them out here, now!

Let me take up the thread of that never-ending story, and account for
my present position. It all seems tame now; but it was very exciting at
the time.

As soon as I threw down bonnet and gloves, I commenced writing; but
before I had halfway finished, mother, who had been holding a
consultation downstairs, ran up to say the overseer had advised us all
to leave, as the place was not safe; and that I must pack up instantly,
as, unless we got off before the Essex came up, it would be impossible
to leave at all. All was commotion; every one flew to pack up. Phillie
determined to go to her friends at Grosse Tête, and insisted on
carrying us off with her. But I determined to reach Miriam and Lilly if
possible, rather than put the Federal army between us. All _en
déshabillé_, I commenced to pack our trunk, but had scarcely put an
article in when they cried the Essex was rounding the point, and our
last opportunity passing away. Then I flew; and by the time the boat
got opposite to us, the trunk was locked, and I sat on it, completely
dressed, waiting for the wagon, We had then to wait for the boat to get
out of sight, to avoid a broadside; so it was half-past ten before we
set off, fortified by several glasses of buttermilk apiece.

All went in the carriage except Ginnie, Lilly (Nolan), and me, and we
perched on the baggage in the wagon. Such stifling heat! The wagon
jarred dreadfully, and seated at the extreme end, on a wooden trunk
traversed by narrow slats, Ginnie and I were jolted until we lost our
breath, all down Arkansas Lane, when we changed for the front part. I
shall never forget the heat of that day.

Four miles beyond, the carriage stopped at some house, and, still
determined to get over the river, I stepped into the little cart that
held our trunks, drove up to the side of it, and insisted on mother's
getting in, rather than going the other way with Phillie. I had a
slight discussion, and overcame mother's reluctance to Phillie's
objections with some difficulty; but finally prevailed on the former to
get into the cart, and jolted off amid a shower of reproaches, regrets,
and good-byes. I knew I was right, though; and the idea reconciled me
to the heat, dust, jarring, and gunboat that was coming up behind us.

Six miles more brought us to Mr. Cain's, where we arrived at two
o'clock, tired, dirty, and almost unrecognizable. We were received with
the greatest cordiality in spite of that. Mother knew both him and his
wife, but though I had never seen either, the latter kissed me as
affectionately as though we had known each other. It was impossible to
cross when the gunboat was in sight, so they made us stay with them
until the next morning. A bath and clean clothes soon made me quite
presentable, and I really enjoyed the kindness we met with, in spite of
a "tearing" headache, and a distended feeling about the eyes as though
I never meant to close them again--the consequence of my vigil, I
presume. O those dear, kind people! I shall not soon forget them. Mr.
Cain told mother he believed he would keep me; at all events, he would
make an exchange, and give her his only son in my place. I told him I
was willing, as mother thought much more of her sons than of her

I forgot to say that we met General Allen's partner a mile or two from
Dr. Nolan's, who told us it was a wise move; that he had intended
recommending it. All he owned had been carried off, his plantation
stripped. He said he had no doubt that all the coast would be ravaged,
and they had promised to burn his and many other houses; and Dr.
Nolan's--though it might _possibly_ be spared in consideration of
his being a prisoner, and his daughter being unprotected--would most
probably suffer with the rest, but even if spared, it was no place for
women. He offered to take charge of us all, and send the furniture into
the interior before the Yankees should land, which Phillie gladly

What a splendid rest I had at Mrs. Cain's! I was not conscious of being
alive until I awaked abruptly in the early morning, with a confused
sense of having dreamed something very pleasant.

Mr. Cain accompanied us to the ferry some miles above, riding by the
buggy; and leaving us under care of Mr. Randallson, after seeing us in
the large flat, took his leave. After an hour spent at the hotel after
landing on this side, we procured a conveyance and came on to Mr.
Elder's, where we astonished Lilly by our unexpected appearance very
much. Miriam had gone over to spend the day with her, so we were all
together, and talked over our adventures with the greatest glee. After
dinner Miriam and I came over here to see them all, leaving the others
to follow later. I was very glad to see Helen Carter once more. If I
was not, I hope I may live in Yankee-land!--and I can't invoke a more
dreadful punishment than that.

Well! here we are, and Heaven only knows our next move. But we must
settle on some spot, which seems impossible in the present state of
affairs, when no lodgings are to be found. I feel like a homeless
beggar. Will Pinckney told them here that he doubted if our house were
still standing, as the fight occurred just back of it, and every volley
directed towards it. He says he thought of it every time the cannon was
fired, knowing where the shot would go.

                                                       August 13th.

I am in despair. Miss Jones, who has just made her escape from town,
brings a most dreadful account. She, with seventy-five others, took
refuge at Dr. Enders's, more than a mile and a half below town, at
Hall's. It was there we sent the two trunks containing father's papers
and our clothing and silver. Hearing that guerrillas had been there,
the Yankees went down, shelled the house in the night, turning all
those women and children out, who barely escaped with their clothing,
and let the soldiers loose on it. They destroyed everything they could
lay their hands on, if it could not be carried off; broke open armoirs,
trunks, sacked the house, and left it one scene of devastation and
ruin. They even stole Miss Jones's braid! She got here with nothing but
the clothes she wore.

This is a dreadful blow to me. Yesterday, I thought myself beggared
when I heard that our house was probably burnt, remembering all the
clothing, books, furniture, etc., that it contained; but I consoled
myself with the recollection of a large trunk packed in the most
scientific style, containing quantities of nightgowns, skirts,
chemises, dresses, cloaks,--in short, our very best,--which was in
safety. Winter had no terrors when I thought of the nice warm clothes;
I only wished I had a few of the organdie dresses I had packed up
before wearing. And now? It is all gone, silver, father's law papers,
without which we are beggars, and clothing! Nothing left!

I could stand that. But as each little article of Harry's came up
before me (I had put many in the trunk), I lost heart.... They may
clothe their negro women with my clothes, since they only steal for
them; but to take things so sacred to me! O my God, teach me to forgive

Poor Miss Jones! They went into her clothes-bag and took out articles
which were certainly of no service to them, for mere deviltry. There
are so many sufferers in this case that it makes it still worse. The
plantation just below was served in the same way; whole families fired
into before they knew of the intention of the Yankees; was it not fine
sport? I have always been an advocate of peace--if we could name the
conditions _ourselves_--but I say, War to the death! I would give my
life to be able to take arms against the vandals who are laying waste
our fair land! I suppose it is because I have no longer anything to
lose that I am desperate. Before, I always opposed the burning of Baton
Rouge, as a useless piece of barbarism in turning out five thousand
women and children on the charity of the world. But I noticed that
those who had no interest there warmly advocated it. Lilly Nolan cried
loudly for it; thought it only just; but the first shell that whistled
over her father's house made her crazy with rage. The brutes! the
beasts! how cruel! wicked! etc. It was too near home for her, then.
There is the greatest difference between _my_ property and _yours_. I
notice that the further I get from town, the more ardent are the people
to have it burned. It recalls very forcibly Thackeray's cut in "The
Virginians," when speaking of the determination of the Rebels to burn
the cities: he says he observed that all those who were most eager to
burn New York were inhabitants of Boston; while those who were most
zealous to burn Boston had all their property in New York. It is true
all the world over. And I am afraid I am becoming indifferent about the
fate of our town. Anything, so it is speedily settled! Tell me it would
be of service to the Confederacy, and I would set fire to my home--if
still standing--willingly! But would it?

                                                       August 17th.

Another Sunday. Strange that the time, which should seem so endless,
flies so rapidly! Miriam complains that Sunday comes every day; but
though that seems a little too much, I insist that it comes twice a
week. Let time fly, though; for each day brings us so much nearer our
destiny, which I long to know.

Thursday, we heard from a lady just from town that our house was
standing the day before, which somewhat consoled us for the loss of our
silver and clothing; but yesterday came the tidings of new afflictions.
I declare we have acted out the first chapter of Job, all except that
verse about the death of his sons and daughters. God shield us from
that! I do not mind the rest. "While he was yet speaking, another came
in and said, 'Thy brethren and kinsmen gathered together to wrest thine
abode from the hand of the Philistines which pressed sore upon thee;
when lo! the Philistines sallied forth with fire and sword, and laid
thine habitation waste and desolate, and I only am escaped to tell
thee.'" Yes! the Yankees, fearing the Confederates might slip in
unseen, resolved to have full view of their movements, so put the torch
to all eastward, from Colonel Matta's to the Advocate. That would lay
open a fine tract of country, alone; but unfortunately, it is said that
once started, it was not so easy to control the flames, which spread
considerably beyond their appointed limits. Some say it went as far as
Florida Street; if so, we are lost, as that is a half-square below us.
For several days the fire has been burning, but very little can be
learned of the particulars. I am sorry for Colonel Matta. Such a fine
brown stone front, the finest in town. Poor Minna! poverty will hardly
agree with her. As for our home, I hope against hope. I will not
believe it is burnt, until somebody declares having been present on
that occasion. Yet so many frame houses on that square must have
readily caught fire from the sparks.

Wicked as it may seem, I would rather have all I own burned, than in
the possession of the negroes. Fancy my magenta organdie on a dark
beauty! Bah! I think the sight would enrage me! Miss Jones's trials are
enough to drive her crazy. She had the pleasure of having four officers
in her house, men who sported epaulets and red sashes, accompanied by a
negro woman, at whose disposal all articles were placed. The worthy
companion of these "gentlemen" walked around selecting things with the
most natural airs and graces. "_This_," she would say, "we _must_
have. And some of these books, you know; and all the preserves, and
these chairs and tables, and all the clothes, of course; and yes! the
rest of these things." So she would go on, the "gentlemen" assuring her
she had only to choose what she wanted, and that they would have them
removed immediately. Madame thought they really must have the wine, and
those handsome cut-glass goblets. I hardly think I could have endured
such a scene; to see all I owned given to negroes, without even an
accusation being brought against me of disloyalty.[8] One officer
departed with a fine velvet cloak on his arm; another took such a
bundle of Miss Jones's clothes, that he had to have it lifted by some
one else on his horse, and rode off holding it with difficulty. This I
heard from herself, yesterday, as I spent the day with Lilly and mother
at Mr. Elder's, where she is now staying. Can anything more disgraceful
be imagined? They all console me by saying there is no one in Baton
Rouge who could possibly wear my dresses without adding a considerable
piece to the belt. But that is nonsense. Another pull at the corset
strings would bring them easily to the size I have been reduced by
nature and bones. Besides, O horror! Suppose, instead, they should let
in a piece of another color? That would annihilate me! Pshaw! I do not
care for the dresses, if they had only left me those little articles of
father's and Harry's. But that is hard to forgive.

      [8] The Act of July 16th, 1862, authorized the confiscation of
      property only in the cases of rebels whose disloyalty was
      established.--W. D.

                                                       August 19th.

Yesterday, two Colonels, Shields and Breaux, both of whom distinguished
themselves in the battle of Baton Rouge, dined here. Their personal
appearance was by no means calculated to fill me with awe, or even to
give one an idea of their rank; for their dress consisted of merely
cottonade pants, flannel shirts, and extremely short jackets (which,
however, is rapidly becoming the uniform of the Confederate States).

                     *      *      *      *      *

Just three lines back, three soldiers came in to ask for molasses. I
was alone downstairs, and the nervous trepidation with which I received
the dirty, coarsely clad strangers, who, however, looked as though they
might be gentlemen, has raised a laugh against me from the others who
looked down from a place of safety. I don't know what I did that was
out of the way. I felt odd receiving them as though it was my home, and
having to answer their questions about buying, by means of acting as
telegraph between them and Mrs. Carter. I confess to that. But I know I
talked reasonably about the other subjects. Playing hostess in a
strange house! Of course, it was uncomfortable! and to add to my
embarrassment, the handsomest one offered to pay for the milk he had
just drunk! Fancy my feelings, as I hastened to assure him that General
Carter never received money for such things, and from a soldier,
besides, it was not to be thought of! He turned to the other, saying,
"In Mississippi we don't meet with such people! Miss, they don't
hesitate to charge four bits a canteen for milk. They take all they
can. They are not like you Louisianians." I was surprised to hear him
say it of his own State, but told him we thought here we could not do
enough for them.

                                                       August 20th.

Last evening, after hard labor at pulling molasses candy, needing some
relaxation after our severe exertions, we determined to have some fun,
though the sun was just setting in clouds as watery as New Orleans
milk, and promised an early twilight. All day it had been drizzling,
but that was nothing; so Anna Badger, Miriam, and I set off, through
the mud, to get up the little cart to ride in, followed by cries from
the elder ladies of "Girls! Soap is a dollar and a half a bar! Starch a
dollar a pound! Take up those skirts!" We had all started stiff and
clean, and it did seem a pity to let them drag; so up they went--you
can imagine how high when I tell you my answer to Anna's question as to
whether hers were in danger of touching the mud, was, "Not unless you
sit down."

The only animal we could discover that was not employed was a poor old
pony, most appropriately called "Tom Thumb," and him we seized
instantly, together with a man to harness him. We accompanied him from
the stable to the quarter where the cart was, through mud and water,
urging him on with shouts and cries, and laughing until we could laugh
no longer, at the appearance of each. The cart had been hauling wood,
but that was nothing to us. In we tumbled, and with a driver as
diminutive as the horse, started off for Mr. Elder's, where we picked
up all the children to be found, and went on. All told, we were twelve,
drawn by that poor horse, who seemed at each step about to undergo the
ham process, and leave us his hind quarters, while he escaped with the
fore ones and harness. I dare say we never enjoyed a carriage as much,
though each was holding a muddy child. Riding was very fine; but soon
came the question, "How shall we turn?"--which was not so easily
solved, for neither horse nor boy understood it in the least. Every
effort to describe a circle brought us the length of the cart farther
up the road, and we promised fair to reach Bayou Sara before morning,
at that rate. At last, after fruitless efforts to dodge under the
harness and escape, pony came to a standstill, and could not be induced
to move. The children took advantage of the pause to tumble out, but we
sat still. Bogged, and it was very dark already! Wouldn't we get it
when we got home! Anna groaned, "Uncle Albert!" Miriam laughed, "the
General!" I sighed, "Mrs. Carter!" We knew what we deserved; and darker
and darker it grew, and pony still inflexible! At last we beheld a
buggy on a road near by and in answer to Morgan's shouts of "Uncle!
Uncle! come turn our cart!" a gentleman jumped out and in an instant
performed the Herculean task. Pony found motion so agreeable that it
was with the greatest difficulty we prevailed on him to stop while we
fished seven children out of the mud, as they pursued his flying hoofs.
Once more at Mr. Elder's, we pitched them out without ceremony, and
drove home as fast as possible, trying to fancy what punishment we
would receive for being out so late.

Miriam suggested, as the most horrible one, being sent to bed
supperless; Anna's terror was the General's displeasure; I suggested
being deprived of rides in future; when all agreed that mine was the
most severe yet. So as we drove around the circle, those two set up
what was meant for a hearty laugh to show "they were not afraid,"
which, however, sounded rather shaky to me. I don't think any of us
felt like facing the elders; Miriam suggested anticipating our fate by
retiring voluntarily to bed; Anna thought we had best run up and change
our shoes, anyway; but at last, with her dare-devil laugh, Miriam
sauntered into the room, where they all were, followed by us, and
thrusting her wet feet into the fire that was kindled to drive away the
damp (followed also by us), commenced a laughable account of our
fun--in which we, of course, followed, too. If I had fancied we were to
escape scot free, we would most surely have got a scolding. It is
almost an inducement to hope always for the--worst! The General did not
mention the hour! did not prohibit future rides!

While we were yet toasting, a negro came in with what seemed a
bank-note, and asked his master to see how much it was, as one of the
women had sold some of her watermelons to the three soldiers of the
morning, who had given that to her for a dollar. The General opened it.
It was a pass! So vanish all faith in human nature! They looked so
honest! I could never have believed it of them! But it looked so much
like the "shinplasters" we are forced to use, that no wonder they made
the mistake. To discover who had played so mean a trick on the poor old
woman, the General asked me if I could decipher the name. I threw
myself on my knees by the hearth, and by the flickering light read "S.
Kimes. By order of C! H!! Luzenberg!!! Provost Marshal!!!! Onolona,
Miss.," with a gasp of astonishment that raised a burst of laughter
against me. Thought he was taken prisoner long ago! At all events, I
didn't know he had turned banker, or that his valuable autograph was
worth a dollar!

                                                       August 21st.

Miriam and mother are going to Baton Rouge in a few hours, to see if
anything can be saved from the general wreck. From the reports of the
removal of the Penitentiary machinery, State Library, Washington
Statue, etc., we presume that that part of the town yet standing is to
be burnt like the rest. I think, though, that mother has delayed too
long. However, I dreamed last night that we had saved a great deal, in
trunks; and my dreams sometimes come true. Waking with that impression,
I was surprised, a few hours after, to hear mother's sudden
determination. But I also dreamed I was about to marry a Federal
officer! That was in consequence of having answered the question,
whether I would do so, with an emphatic "Yes! if I loved him," which
will probably ruin my reputation as a patriot in this parish. Bah! I am
no bigot!--or fool either....

                                                        August 23d.

Yesterday Anna and I spent the day with Lilly, and the rain in the
evening obliged us to stay all night. Dr. Perkins stopped there, and
repeated the same old stories we have been hearing, about the powder
placed under the State House and Garrison, to blow them up, if forced
to evacuate the town. He confirms the story about all the convicts
being set free, and the town being pillaged by the negroes and the rest
of the Yankees. He says his own slaves told him they were allowed to
enter the houses and help themselves, and what they did not want the
Yankees either destroyed on the spot, or had it carried to the Garrison
and burned. They also bragged of having stopped ladies on the street,
cut their necklaces from their necks, and stripped the rings from their
fingers, without hesitation. It may be that they were just bragging to
look great in the eyes of their masters; I hope so, for Heaven help
them if they fall into the hands of the Confederates, if it is true.

I could not record all the stories of wanton destruction that reached
us. I would rather not believe that the Federal Government could be so
disgraced by its own soldiers. Dr. Day says they left nothing at all in
his house, and carried everything off from Dr. Enders's. He does not
believe we have a single article left in ours. I hope they spared
Miriam's piano. But they say the soldiers had so many that they offered
them for sale at five dollars apiece! We heard that the town had been
completely evacuated, and all had gone to New Orleans except three
gunboats that were preparing to shell, before leaving.

This morning Withers's battery passed Mr. Elder's on their way to Port
Hudson, and stopped to get water. There were several buckets served by
several servants; but I took possession of one, to their great
amusement. What a profusion of thanks over a can of water! It made me
smile, and they smiled to see my work, so it was all very funny. It was
astonishing to see the number of Yankee canteens in the possession of
our men. Almost all those who fought at Baton Rouge are provided with
them. In their canvas and wire cases, with neat stoppers, they are
easily distinguished from our rough, flat, tin ones. I declare I felt
ever so important in my new situation as waiting-maid!

There is very little we would not do for our soldiers, though. There is
mother, for instance, who got on her knees to bathe the face and hands
of a fever-struck soldier of the Arkansas, while the girls held the
plates of those who were too weak to hold them and eat at the same
time. Blessed is the Confederate soldier who has even toothache, when
there are women near! What sympathies and remedies are volunteered! I
always laugh, as I did then, when I think of the supposed wounded man
those girls discovered on that memorable Arkansas day. I must first
acknowledge that it was my fault; for seized with compassion for a man
supported by two others who headed the procession, I cried, "Oh, look!
he is wounded!" "Oh, poor fellow!" screamed the others, while tears and
exclamations flowed abundantly, until one of the men, smiling
humorously, cried out, "Nothing the matter with him!" and on nearer
view, I perceived it was laziness, or perhaps something else, and was
forced to laugh at the streaming eyes of those tender-hearted girls.

                                               August 24th, Sunday.

Soon after dinner yesterday two soldiers stopped here, and requested
permission to remain all night. The word "soldier" was enough for us;
and without even seeing them, Anna and I gladly surrendered our room,
and said we would sleep in Mrs. Badger's, instead. However, I had no
curiosity to see the heroes, and remained up here reading until the
bell summoned me to supper, when I took my seat without looking at
them, as no introduction was possible, from their having refrained from
giving their names.

Presently I heard the words, "That retreat from Norfolk was badly
conducted." I looked up, and saw before me a rather good-looking man
covered with the greatest profusion of gold cloth and buttons, for
which I intuitively despised him. The impulse seized me, so I spoke.
"Were you there?" "No; but near by. I was there with the First
Louisiana for 'most a year." "Do you know George Morgan?" "Know George?
Yes, indeed! You are his sister." This was an assertion; but I bowed
assent, and he went on, "Thought so, from the resemblance. I remember
seeing you ten years ago, when you were a very little girl. I used to
be at your house with the boys; we were schoolmates." I remarked that I
had no recollection of him. "Of course not," he said, but did not
inform me of his name. He talked very familiarly of the boys, and said
he had met them all at Richmond. Next he astounded me by saying he was
a citizen of Baton Rouge, though he had been almost four years in New
York before the war broke out. He was going to town to look after the
"property," hearing his father had gone to France. An inhabitant of
that city, who was so familiar with my brothers and me, and with whom I
was not acquainted! Here was a riddle to solve. Let us see who among
our acquaintances had gone to France. I could think of none. I made up
my mind to find out his name if I had to ask it.

All through supper he talked, and when, in country style, the gentlemen
left us at table, I found the curiosity of the others was even more
excited than mine. I was determined to know who he was, then.

In the parlor, he made some remark about never having been in ladies'
society the whole time he was in Virginia. I expressed my surprise, as
George often wrote of the pleasant young ladies he met everywhere. "Oh,
yes!" said monsieur, "but it is impossible to do your duty as an
officer, and be a lady's man; so I devoted myself to my military
profession exclusively." "Insufferable puppy!" I said to myself. Then
he told me of how his father thought he was dead, and asked if I had
heard of his rallying twenty men at Manassas, and charging a Federal
regiment, which instantly broke? I honestly told him, "No." "Iagoo, the
great boaster," I decided. Abruptly he said there were very few nice
young ladies in Baton Rouge. "Probably so, in _his_ circle," I thought,
while I dryly remarked, "Indeed?" "Oh, yes!" and still more abruptly he
said, "Ain't you the youngest?--Yes! I thought so! I remember you when
you were a wee thing, so high," placing his hand at a most insultingly
short distance from the floor. "Really I must ask your name," I said.
He hesitated a moment and then said in a low tone, "De J----." "De ----
What?" I absurdly asked, thinking I was mistaken. "A---- de J----" he
repeated. I bowed slightly to express my satisfaction, said, "Anna, we
must retire," and with a good-night to my newly discovered gentleman,
went upstairs.

He is the one I heard George speak of last December when he was here,
as having been court-martialed, and shot, according to the universal
belief in the army; that was the only time I had ever heard his name,
though I was quite familiar with the cart of De J---- _père_, as it
perambulated the streets. My first impressions are seldom erroneous.
From the first, I knew that man's respectability was derived from his
buttons. That is why he took such pride in them, and contemplated them
with such satisfaction. They lent him social backbone enough to
converse so familiarly with me; without the effulgence of that splendid
gold, which he hoped would dazzle my eye to his real position, he would
have hardly dared to "remember me when I was a wee thing, so high." Is
he the only man whose coat alone entitles him to respectability? He may
be colonel, for all I know; but still, he is A---- de J---- to me. He
talked brave enough to be general.

This morning I met him with a cordial "Good-morning, Mr. de J----,"
anxious to atone for several "snubs" I had given him, long before I
knew his name, last night; you see I could afford to be patronizing
now. But the name probably, and the fluency with which I pronounced it,
proved too much for him, and after "Good-morning, Miss Morgan," he did
not venture a word. We knew each other then; his name was no longer a

                                    August 25th. About 12 at night.

Sleep is impossible after all that I have heard, so, after vainly
endeavoring to follow the example of the rest, and sleep like a Stoic,
I have lighted my candle and take to this to induce drowsiness.

Just after supper, when Anna and I were sitting with Mrs. Carter in her
room, I talking as usual of home, and saying I would be perfectly happy
if mother would decide to remain in Baton Rouge and brave the
occasional shellings, I heard a well-known voice take up some sentence
of mine from a dark part of the room, and with a cry of surprise, I was
hugging Miriam until she was breathless. Such a forlorn creature!--so
dirty, tired, and fatigued, as to be hardly recognizable. We thrust her
into a chair, and made her speak. She had just come with Charlie, who
went after them yesterday; and had left mother and the servants at a
kind friend's, on the road. I never heard such a story as she told. I
was heartsick; but I laughed until Mrs. Badger grew furious with me and
the Yankees, and abused me for not abusing them.

She says when she entered the house, she burst into tears at the
desolation. It was one scene of ruin. Libraries emptied, china smashed,
sideboards split open with axes, three cedar chests cut open,
plundered, and set up on end; all parlor ornaments carried off--even
the alabaster Apollo and Diana that Hal valued so much. Her piano,
dragged to the centre of the parlor, had been abandoned as too heavy to
carry off; her desk lay open with all letters and notes well thumbed
and scattered around, while Will's last letter to her was open on the
floor, with the Yankee stamp of dirty fingers. Mother's portrait
half-cut from its frame stood on the floor. Margret, who was present at
the sacking, told how she had saved father's. It seems that those who
wrought destruction in our house were all officers. One jumped on the
sofa to cut the picture down (Miriam saw the prints of his muddy feet)
when Margret cried, "For God's sake, gentlemen, let it be! I'll help
you to anything here. He's dead, and the young ladies would rather see
the house burn than lose it!" "I'll blow your damned brains out," was
the "gentleman's" answer as he put a pistol to her head, which a
brother officer dashed away, and the picture was abandoned for finer
sport. All the others were cut up in shreds.

Upstairs was the finest fun. Mother's beautiful mahogany armoir, whose
single door was an extremely fine mirror, was entered by crashing
through the glass, when it was emptied of every article, and the
shelves half-split, and half-thrust back crooked. Letters, labeled by
the boys "Private," were strewn over the floor; they opened every
armoir and drawer, collected every rag to be found and littered the
whole house with them, until the wonder was, where so many rags had
been found. Father's armoir was relieved of everything; Gibbes's
handsome Damascus sword with the silver scabbard included. All his
clothes, George's, Hal's, Jimmy's, were appropriated. They entered my
room, broke that fine mirror for sport, pulled down the rods from the
bed, and with them pulverized my toilet set, taking also all Lydia's
china ornaments I had packed in the wash-stand. The débris filled my
basin, and ornamented my bed. My desk was broken open. Over it was
spread all my letters, and private papers, a diary I kept when twelve
years old, and sundry tokens of dried roses, etc., which must have been
_very_ funny, they all being labeled with the donor's name, and the
occasion. Fool! how I writhe when I think of all they saw; the
invitations to buggy rides, concerts, "Compliments of," etc.--! Lilly's
sewing-machine had disappeared; but as mother's was too heavy to move,
they merely smashed the needles.

[Illustration: SARAH FOWLER
Sully's portrait of Mrs. Morgan]

In the pillaging of the armoirs, they seized a pink flounced muslin of
Miriam's, which one officer placed on the end of a bayonet, and paraded
round with, followed by the others who slashed it with their swords
crying, "I have stuck the damned Secesh! that's the time I cut her!"
and continued their sport until the rags could no longer be pierced.
One seized my bonnet, with which he decked himself, and ran in the
streets. Indeed, all who found such, rushed frantically around town, by
way of frolicking, with the things on their heads. They say no frenzy
could surpass it. Another snatched one of my calico dresses, and a pair
of vases that mother had when she was married, and was about to decamp
when a Mrs. Jones jerked them away, and carried them to her
boarding-house, and returned them to mother the other day. Blessed be
Heaven! I have a calico dress! Our clothes were used for the vilest
purposes, and spread in every corner--at least those few that were not

Aunt Barker's Charles tried his best to defend the property. "Ain't you
'shamed to destroy all dis here, that belongs to a poor widow lady
who's got two daughters to support?" he asked of an officer who was
foremost in the destruction. "Poor? Damn them! I don't know when I have
seen a house furnished like this! Look at that furniture! _They_ poor!"
was the retort, and thereupon the work went bravely on, of making us
poor, indeed.

It would have fared badly with us had we been there. The servants say
they broke into the house crying, "Where are those damned Secesh women?
We know they are hid in here, and we'll make them dance for hiding from
Federal officers!" And they could not be convinced that we were not
there, until they had searched the very garret. Wonder what they would
have done? Charles caught a Captain Clark in the streets, when the work
was almost over, and begged him to put an end to it. The gentleman went
readily, but though the devastation was quite evident, no one was to be
seen, and he was about to leave, when, insisting that there was some
one there, Charles drew him into my room, dived under the bed, and drew
from thence a Yankee captain, by one leg, followed by a lieutenant,
each with a bundle of the boys' clothes, which they instantly dropped,
protesting they were only looking around the house. The gentleman
captain carried them off to their superior.

Ours was the most shockingly treated house in the whole town. We have
the misfortune to be equally feared by both sides, because we will
blackguard neither. So the Yankees selected the only house in town that
sheltered three forlorn women, to wreak their vengeance on. From far
and near, strangers and friends flocked in to see the ravages
committed. Crowds rushed in before, crowds came in after, Miriam and
mother arrived, all apologizing for the intrusion, but saying they had
heard it was a sight never before seen. So they let them examine to
their hearts' content; and Miriam says the sympathy of all was
extraordinary. A strange gentleman picked up a piece of mother's
mirror, which was as thick as his finger, saying, "Madame, I should
like to keep this as a memento. I am about to travel through
Mississippi, and having seen what a splendid piece of furniture this
was, and the state your house is left in, should like to show this as a
specimen of Yankee vandalism."

William Waller flew to our home to try to save it; but was too late.
They say he burst into tears as he looked around. While on his kind
errand, another band of Yankees burst into his house and left not one
article of clothing to him, except the suit he had on. The whole talk
is about our dreadful treatment at the Yankees' hands. Dr. Day, and Dr.
Enders, in spite of the assertions of the former, lost nothing.

Well! I am beggared! Strange to say, I don't feel it. Perhaps it is the
satisfaction of knowing my fate that makes me so cheerful that Mrs.
Carter envied my stoicism, while Mrs. Badger felt like beating me
because I did not agree that there was no such thing as a gentleman in
the Yankee army. I know Major Drum for one, and that Captain Clark must
be two, and Mr. Biddle is three, and General Williams--God bless him,
wherever he is! for he certainly acted like a Christian. The Yankees
boasted loudly that if it had not been for him, the work would have
been done long ago.

And now, I am determined to see my home, before Yankee shells complete
the work that Yankee axes spared. So by sunrise, I shall post over to
Mr. Elder's, and insist on Charlie taking me to town with him. I hardly
think it is many hours off. I feel so settled, so calm! Just as though
I never meant to sleep again. If I only had a desk,--a luxury I have
not enjoyed since I left home,--I could write for hours still, without
being sleepy; but this curved attitude is hard on my stiff back, so
good-night, while I lie down to gain strength for a sight they say will
make me faint with distress. _Nous verrons!_ If I say I Won't, I know
I'll not cry. The Brunots lost nothing at all from their house, thank
Heaven for the mercy! Only they lost all their money in their flight.
On the door, on their return, they found written, "Ladies, I have done
my best for you," signed by a Yankee soldier, who they suppose to be
the one who has made it a habit of continually passing their house.

Forgot to say Miriam recovered my guitar from the Asylum, our large
trunk and father's papers (untouched) from Dr. Enders's, and with her
piano, the two portraits, a few mattresses (all that is left of
housekeeping affairs), and father's law books, carried them out of
town. For which I say in all humility, Blessed be God who has spared us
so much.

                                             Thursday, August 28th.

I am satisfied. I have seen my home again. Tuesday I was up at sunrise,
and my few preparations were soon completed, and before any one was
awake, I walked over to Mr. Elder's, through mud and dew, to meet
Charlie. Fortunate was it for me that I started so early; for I found
him hastily eating his breakfast, and ready to leave. He was very much
opposed to my going; and for some time I was afraid he would force me
to remain; but at last he consented,--perhaps because I did not
insist,--and with wet feet and without a particle of breakfast, I at
length found myself in the buggy on the road home. The ride afforded me
a series of surprises. Half the time I found myself halfway out of the
little low-necked buggy when I thought I was safely in; and the other
half, I was surprised to find myself really in when I thought I was
wholly out. And so on, for mile after mile, over muddy roads, until we
came to a most terrific cross-road, where we were obliged to pass, and
which is best undescribed. Four miles from town we stopped at Mrs.
Brown's to see mother, and after a few moments' talk, went on our road.

I saw the first Yankee camp that Will Pinckney and Colonel Bird had set
fire to the day of the battle. Such a shocking sight of charred wood,
burnt clothes, tents, and all imaginable articles strewn around, I had
never before seen. I should have been very much excited, entering the
town by the route our soldiers took; but I was not. It all seemed tame
and familiar. I could hardly fancy I stood on the very spot where the
severest struggle had taken place. The next turn of the road brought us
to two graves, one on each side of the road, the resting-place of two
who fell that day. They were merely left in the ditch where they fell,
and earth from the side was pulled over them. When Miriam passed, parts
of their coats were sticking out of the grave; but some kind hand had
scattered fresh earth over them when I saw them. Beyond, the sight
became more common. I was told that their hands and feet were visible
from many. And one poor fellow lay unburied, just as he had fallen,
with his horse across him, and both skeletons. That sight I was spared,
as the road near which he was lying was blocked up by trees, so we were
forced to go through the woods, to enter, instead of passing by, the
Catholic graveyard. In the woods, we passed another camp our men
destroyed, while the torn branches above testified to the number of
shells our men had braved to do the work. Next to Mr. Barbee's were the
remains of a third camp that was burned; and a few more steps made me
suddenly hold my breath, for just before us lay a dead horse with the
flesh still hanging, which was hardly endurable. Close by lay a
skeleton,--whether of man or horse, I did not wait to see. Not a human
being appeared until we reached the Penitentiary, which was occupied by
our men. After that, I saw crowds of wagons moving furniture out, but
not a creature that I knew. Just back of our house was all that
remained of a nice brick cottage--namely, four crumbling walls. The
offense was that the husband was fighting for the Confederates; so the
wife was made to suffer, and is now homeless, like many thousands
besides. It really seems as though God wanted to spare our homes. The
frame dwellings adjoining were not touched, even. The town was hardly
recognizable; and required some skill to avoid the corners blocked up
by trees, so as to get in at all.

Our house could not be reached by the front, so we left the buggy in
the back yard, and running through the lot without stopping to examine
the storeroom and servants' rooms that opened wide, I went through the
alley and entered by the front door.

Fortunate was it for this record that I undertook to describe the
sacking only from Miriam's account. If I had waited until now, it would
never have been mentioned; for as I looked around, to attempt such a
thing seemed absurd. I stood in the parlor in silent amazement; and in
answer to Charlie's "Well?" I could only laugh. It was so hard to
realize. As I looked for each well-known article, I could hardly
believe that Abraham Lincoln's officers had really come so low down as
to steal in such a wholesale manner. The _papier-maché_ workbox Miriam
had given me was gone. The baby sacque I was crocheting, with all
knitting needles and wools, gone also. Of all the beautiful engravings
of Annapolis that Will Pinckney had sent me, there remained a single
one. Gentlemen, my name is written on each! Not a book remained in the
parlor, except "Idyls of the King," that contained my name also, and
which, together with the door-plate, was the only case in which the
name of Morgan was spared. They must have thought we were related to
John Morgan, and wreaked their vengeance on us for that reason. Thanks
for the honor, but there is not the slightest connection! Where they
did not carry off articles bearing our name, they cut it off, as in the
visiting-cards, and left only the first name. Every book of any value
or interest, except Hume and Gibbon, was "borrowed" permanently. I
regretted Macaulay more than all the rest. Brother's splendid French
histories went, too; all except "L'Histoire de la Bastille." However,
as they spared father's law libraries (all except one volume they used
to support a flour barrel with, while they emptied it near the parlor
door), we ought to be thankful.

The dining-room was _very_ funny. I looked around for the cut-glass
celery and preserve dishes that were to be part of my "dot," as mother
always said, together with the champagne glasses that had figured on
the table the day that I was born; but there remained nothing. There
was plenty of split-up furniture, though. I stood in mother's room
before the shattered armoir, which I could hardly believe the same that
I had smoothed my hair before, as I left home three weeks previously.
Father's was split across, and the lock torn off, and in the place of
the hundreds of articles it contained, I saw two bonnets at the sight
of which I actually sat down to laugh. One was mother's velvet, which
looked very much like a football in its present condition. Mine was not
to be found, as the officers forgot to return it. Wonder who has my
imperial? I know they never saw a handsomer one, with its black velvet,
purple silk, and ostrich feathers.

I went to my room. Gone was my small paradise! Had this shocking place
ever been habitable? The tall mirror squinted at me from a thousand
broken angles. It looked so knowing! I tried to fancy the Yankee
officers being dragged from under my bed by the leg, thanks to Charles;
but it seemed too absurd; so I let them alone. My desk! What a sight!
The central part I had kept as a little curiosity shop with all my
little trinkets and keepsakes of which a large proportion were from my
gentlemen friends; I looked for all I had left, found only a piece of
the McRae, which, as it was labeled in full, I was surprised they had
spared. Precious letters I found under heaps of broken china and rags;
all my notes were gone, with many letters. I looked for a letter of
poor ----, in cipher, with the key attached, and name signed in plain
hand. I knew it would hardly be agreeable to him to have it read, and
it certainly would be unpleasant to me to have it published; but I
could not find it. Miriam thinks she saw something answering the
description, somewhere, though.

Bah! What is the use of describing such a scene?[9] Many suffered along
with us, though none so severely. Indeed, the Yankees cursed loudly at
those who did not leave anything worth stealing. They cannot complain
of us, on that score. All our handsome Brussels carpets, together with
Lydia's fur, were taken, too. What did they not take? In the garret, in
its darkest corner, a whole gilt-edged china set of Lydia's had been
overlooked; so I set to work and packed it up, while Charlie packed her
furniture in a wagon, to send to her father.

      [9] In her book, _From Flag to Flag_, Mrs. Eliza McHatton Ripley
      gives a vivid description of Judge Morgan's house as she herself
      saw it after the sacking.--W. D.

It was now three o'clock; and with my light linen dress thrown off, I
was standing over a barrel putting in cups and saucers as fast as I
could wrap them in the rags that covered the floor, when Mr. Larguier
sent me a nice little dinner. I had been so many hours without
eating--nineteen, I think, during three of which I had slept--that I
had lost all appetite; but nevertheless I ate it, to show my
appreciation. If I should hereafter think that the quantity of rags was
exaggerated, let me here state that, after I had packed the barrel and
china with them, it made no perceptible diminution of the pile.

As soon as I had finished my task, Charlie was ready to leave again; so
I left town without seeing, or hearing, any one, or any thing, except
what lay in my path. As we drove out of the gate, I begged Charlie to
let me get my bird, as I heard Charles Barker had him. A man was
dispatched, and in a few minutes returned with my Jimmy. I have since
heard that Tiche deserted him the day of the battle, as I so much
feared she would; and that Charles found him late in the evening and
took charge of him. With my pet once more with me, we drove off again.
I cast many a longing look at the graveyard; but knowing Charlie did
not want to stop, I said nothing, though I had been there but once in
three months, and that once, six weeks ago. I could see where the fence
had been thrown down by our soldiers as they charged the Federals, but
it was now replaced, though many a picket was gone. Once more I stopped
at Mrs. Brown's, while Charlie went on to Clinton, leaving me to drive
mother here in the morning. Early yesterday, after seeing Miriam's
piano and the mattresses packed up and on the road, we started off in
the buggy, and after a tedious ride through a melting sun, arrived here
about three o'clock, having again missed my dinner, which I kept a
profound secret until supper-time.

By next Ash Wednesday, I will have learned how to fast without getting
sick! Though very tired, I sat sewing until after sunset, dictating a
page and a half to Anna, who was writing to Howell.

                                                         August 29,
                                                       CLINTON, LA.

Noah's _duck_ has found another resting-place! Yesterday I was
interrupted while writing, to pack up for another move, it being
impossible to find a boarding-house in the neighborhood. We heard of
some about here, and Charlie had engaged a house for his family, where
the servants were already settled, so I hurried off to my task. No easy
one, either, considering the heat and length of time allowed. This time
I ate dinner as I packed, again. About four, finding Miriam did not
come to Mr. Elder's as she promised, I started over to General Carter's
with her clothes, and found her just getting into the buggy to ride
over, as I arrived warm, tired, hardly able to stand. After taking her
over, the General sent the buggy back for Mrs. Carter and myself, and
soon we were all assembled waiting for the cars. At last, determining
to wait for them near the track, we started off again, General Carter
driving me in his buggy. I love General Carter. Again, after so many
kind invitations, he told me he was sorry we would not remain with him;
if we were content, he would be only too happy to have us with him; and
spoke so kindly that I felt as though I had a Yankee ball in my throat.
I was disposed to be melancholy anyway; I could not say many words
without choking. I was going from the kindest of friends to a country
where I had none at all; so could not feel very gay. As we reached the
track, the cars came shrieking along. There was a pause, a scuffle,
during which the General placed me and my bird in a seat, while Lilly,
Charlie, Miriam, mother, five children, and two servants, with all the
baggage, were thrown aboard some way, when with a shriek and a jerk we
were off again, without a chance of saying good-bye, even.

I enjoyed that ride. It had but one fault; and that was, that it came
to an end. I would have wished it to spin along until the war was over,
or we in a settled home. But it ended at last, to Jimmy's great relief,
for he was too frightened to move even, and only ventured a timid chirp
if the car stopped, as if to ask, "Is it over?" Nothing occurred of any
interest except once a little boy sent us slightly off the track, by
meddling with the brakes.

Landed at sunset, it is hard to fancy a more forlorn crew, while
waiting at the depot to get the baggage off before coming to the house.
We burst out laughing as we looked at each lengthened face. Such a
procession through the straggling village has hardly been seen before.
How we laughed at our forlorn plight as we trudged through the hilly
streets,--they have no pavements here,--looking like emigrants from the
Ould Counthry, as we have watched them in New Orleans!

At the house we found Tiche laid up. The loaded wagon, with its
baggage, four mules, three grown servants, and four children, was
precipitated from a bridge twenty-five feet high, by the breaking of
the before-mentioned causeway, and landed with the whole concern in
deep water below. Wonderful to relate, not a life was lost! The
mattress on which the negroes remained seated floated them off into
shallow water. The only one hurt was Tiche, who had her leg severely
sprained. The baggage was afterwards fished out, rather wet. In the mud
next morning (it happened late at night), Dophy found a tiny fancy
bottle that she had secreted from the Yankees; a present from Clemmy
Luzenberg, it was, and one of two things left in my curiosity shop by
the Yankees.

After seeing everything in, we started off for the hotel, where we
arrived after dark, rather tired, I think. Not a comfortable house,
either, unless you call a bare, unfurnished, dirty room without shutter
or anything else, comfortable; particularly when you are to sleep on
the floor with four children and three grown people, and a servant.
After breakfast we came here until we can find a place to settle in,
which Mr. Marsden has promised to attend to for us. It is rather rough
housekeeping yet, but Lilly has not yet got settled. Our dinner was
rather primitive. There was a knife and fork to carve the meat, and
then it was finished with spoons. I sat on the floor with my plate, and
a piece of cornbread (flour not to be bought at any price) and ate with
my fingers--a new experience. I found that water can be drunk out of a

Ouf! I am tired!

                                                       August 30th.

Still no prospect of a lodging; so here we remain. I never before lived
in a house without a balcony, and have only now found out how
inconvenient it is. The whole establishment consists of two rooms on
each side of a passage as wide as the front door; and as it has a very
low ceiling, with no opening, and no shade near, it is decidedly the
warmest spot I ever inhabited. We all sleep on the floor and keep our
clothes in our trunks--except Lilly, who has an armoir without doors.
Knives and forks for dinner to-day, though the table still consists of
a single plank. The house really has a suffocating effect on me, there
is such a close look about it. The front is fully a foot below the
level of the street, while quite a flight of steps leads from the back
door to the yard. In fact, the whole town consists of abrupt little
mounds. It is rather a pretty place; but Heaven save me from the misery
of living in it! Miriam is crazy to remain--even advocates that dirty,
bare, shutterless boarding-house where we passed the first night, from
what attraction I cannot imagine. I am just as anxious to get into the
country. I would hate the dull round of this little place; I prefer
solitude where I can do as I please without being observed. Here we are
as well known by people we never before heard of as though we were

                                             September 1st, Monday.

I woke up this morning and, to my great surprise, find that summer has
already passed away, and that we have already entered the first month
of fall. Where has the summer gone to? Since the taking of Fort
Jackson, the days have gone by like a dream. I had hardly realized
spring, when now I find it is autumn. I am content to let the time fly,
though, as every day brings us nearer Peace--or something else.

How shockingly I write! Will I ever again have a desk or a table to
write on? At present, my seat is a mattress, and my knee my desk; and
that is about the only one I have had since the 2d of August. This is
the dreariest day I have seen for some time. Outside, it has been
raining since daybreak, and inside, no one feels especially bright or
cheerful. I sometimes wish mother would carry out her threat and brave
the occasional shellings at Baton Rouge. I would dare anything, to be
at home again. I know that the Yankees have left us little besides the
bare house; but I would be grateful for the mere shelter of the roof. I
often fancy how we will miss little articles that we thought necessary
to our comfort before, when we return.... And the shoes I paid five
dollars for, and wore a single time? I am wishing I had them now that I
am almost barefooted, and cannot find a pair in the whole country....
Would it not be curious, if one of these days while traveling in the
North (if I ever travel again), I should find some well-loved object
figuring in a strange house as a "trophy of the battle of Baton Rouge"?
I should have to seek for them in some very low house, perhaps;
respectable people had very little to do with such disgraceful work, I
fancy. Suppose I should see father's cigar-stand, for instance, or
Miriam's little statues? I wonder if the people would have the
conscience to offer to return them? A young lady, passing by one of the
pillaged houses, expressed her surprise at seeing an armoir full of
women's and children's clothes being emptied, and the contents tied up
in sheets. "What can you do with such things?" she asked a soldier who
seemed more zealous than the rest. "Ain't I got a wife and four
children in the North?" was the answer. So we, who have hardly clothes
enough for our own use, are stripped to supply Northerners!

One would think that I had no theme save the wreck of our house, if
they read this. But I take it all out in here. I believe I must be made
of wood, or some other tough material, not to feel it more. I sometimes
ask myself if it is because I did not care for home, that I take it so
quietly now. But I know that is not it. I was wild about it before I
knew what had happened; since I learned all, few are the words that
have escaped my lips concerning it. Perhaps it is because I have the
satisfaction of knowing what all women crave for--the Worst. Indeed it
is a consolation in such days as these when truth concerning either
side is difficult to discover. The certainty of anything, fortune or
misfortune, is comfort to me. I really feel sorry for the others who
suffered; but it does not strike me that sympathy is necessary in our

Mrs. Flynn came to Lilly's room, when she heard of it, well prepared
for sympathy, with a large handkerchief and a profusion of tears, when
she was horrified to find both her and Miriam laughing over the
latter's description of some comical scene that met her sight in one of
the rooms. Seems to me that tears on all occasions come in as the
fortieth article, to the articles of belief of some people.

                                                      September 3d.

Political news it would be absurd to record; for our information is
more than limited, being frequently represented by a blank. Of the
thirteen battles that Gibbes has fought in, I know the names of four
only: Bull Run, Stonebridge, Port Republic, and Cedar Run. Think of all
I have yet to hear! To-day comes the news of another grand affair, the
defeat of McClellan, Pope, and Burnside combined. If I dared believe
it! But accounts are too meagre as yet. Both Gibbes and George were in
it, if there _was_ a fight, and perhaps Jimmy, too. Well! I must wait
in patience. We have lost so much already that God will surely spare
those three to us. Oh! if they come again, if we can meet once more,
what will the troubles of the last six months signify? If I dared hope
that next summer would bring us Peace! I always prophesy it just six
months off; but do I believe it?

Indeed, I don't know what will become of us if it is delayed much
longer. If we could only get home, it would be another thing; but
boarding, how long will mother's two hundred and fifty last? And that
is all the money she has. As to the claims, amounting to a small
fortune, she might as well burn them. They will never be paid. But if
we get home, what will we do for bedding? The Yankees did not leave us
a single comfort, and only two old bars and a pair of ragged sheets,
which articles are not to be replaced at any price in the Confederacy,
so we must go without. How glad I am that we gave all our blankets to
our soldiers last summer! So much saved from the Yankees!

Poor Lavinia! She fancies us comfortably settled at home; I dare say
she spends all her time in picturing to herself what we may be doing,
and recalling each piece of furniture the rooms contained. Wonder if
she would not be shocked if the real scene were suddenly revealed to
her, and she should see the desolated house and see us fugitives in a
strange town. Wonder how the cry of "Where are those three damned
Secesh women?" would have struck her, had she heard the strange oaths
and seen the eager search which followed? I dare say it would have
frightened her more than it did me when I was told of it. William
Waller says it is God's mercy that we had escaped already, for we
certainly would have suffered. I hardly think we could have been
harmed, though, and shall always regret that we did not return
immediately after the battle. It took them from that day to the
evacuation to finish the work; and I rather think that our presence
would have protected the house.

Our servants they kindly made free, and told them they must follow them
(the officers). Margret was boasting the other day of her answer, "I
don't want to be any free-er than I is now--I'll stay with my
mistress," when Tiche shrewdly remarked, "Pshaw! Don't you know that if
I had gone, you'd have followed me?" The conduct of all our servants is
beyond praise. Five thousand negroes followed their Yankee brothers
from the town and neighborhood; but ours remained. During the fight, or
flight, rather, a fleeing officer stopped to throw a musket in Charles
Barker's hands, and bade him fight for his liberty. Charles drew
himself up, saying, "I am only a slave, but I am a Secesh nigger, and
won't fight in such a d---- crew!" Exit Yankee, continuing his flight
down to the riverside.

                                                     September 4th.

I hear to-day that the Brunots have returned to Baton Rouge, determined
to await the grand finale there. They, and two other families, alone
remain. With these exceptions, and a few Dutch and Irish who cannot
leave, the town is perfectly deserted by all except the Confederate
soldiers. I wish I was with them! If all chance of finding lodgings
here is lost, and mother remains with Lilly, as she sometimes seems
more than half inclined, and Miriam goes to Linwood, as she frequently
threatens, I believe I will take a notion, too, and go to Mrs. Brunot!
I would rather be there, in all the uncertainty, expecting to be
shelled or burnt out every hour, than here. Ouf! what a country! Next
time I go shopping, I mean to ask some clerk, out of curiosity, what
they _do_ sell in Clinton. The following is a list of a few of the
articles that shopkeepers actually laugh at you if you ask for:
Glasses, flour, soap, starch, coffee, candles, matches, shoes, combs,
guitar-strings, bird-seed,--in short, everything that I have heretofore
considered as necessary to existence. If any one had told me I could
have lived off of cornbread, a few months ago, I would have been
incredulous; now I believe it, and return an inward grace for the
blessing at every mouthful. I have not tasted a piece of wheatbread
since I left home, and shall hardly taste it again until the war is

I do not like this small burg. It is very straggling and pretty, but I
would rather not inhabit it. We are as well known here as though we
carried our cards on our faces, and it is peculiarly disagreeable to me
to overhear myself spoken about, by people I don't know, as "There goes
Miss Morgan," as that young man, for instance, remarked this morning to
a crowd, just as I passed. It is not polite, to say the least.

Will Carter was here this morning and told me he saw Theodore Pinckney
in the streets. I suppose he is on his way home, and think he will be a
little disappointed in not finding us at Linwood as he expects, and
still more so to hear he passed through the very town where we were
staying, without knowing it.

                                                       BEECH GROVE,
                                           September 6th, Saturday.

Another perch for Noah's duck! Where will I be in a week or two from
this? I shall make a mark, twenty pages from here, and see where I
shall be when I reach it. Here, most probably; but oh, if I could then
be at home! General Carter, who spent the evening with us day before
yesterday, remarked that the first thing he heard as he reached town
was that all the gentlemen and ladies of Clinton were hunting for
country lodgings for us. It was pretty much the case. The General was
as kind as ever, bless his gray head! and made us promise to go back to
Linwood with him when he passes back next week. This is the way we keep
the promise--coming out here.

Early yesterday morning we received a note from Eliza Haynes, one of
our indefatigable agents, saying her grandmother, Mrs. McCay, had
consented to receive us, and would come for us in the evening.
Immediately my packing task was begun. But imagine my disappointment,
just as I had finished one trunk, to hear mother announce her
determination to let us go alone, while she remained with Lilly!
Prayers, entreaties, tears, arguments, all failed; and we were forced
to submit. So with a heart fuller than I can express, I repacked the
trunk with Miriam's and my clothing, and got ready to depart. In the
evening the carriage drove up to the door with Eliza and her
grandmother, and with a hasty and rather choky good-bye to Lilly and
mother, we were hurried in, and in another moment were off.

I fancied the house would be north of Clinton, so of course the horses
took the road south. Then I decided on a white cottage to the left of
the road, and about two miles out, found that it was to the right, not
painted, and no cottage at all, but a nondescript building, besides.
"'Twas ever thus from childhood's hour!" When did I ever fancy anything
exactly as it was? But the appearance does not affect the house, which
is really very comfortable, though apparently unfinished. The same
objection might be made to it that I made to Mrs. Moore's, for there is
not a shutter on the place. But fine shade trees take their place, and
here I do not feel the want of them so much, as our room is in the back
of the house, to the west, where the rising sun cannot salute my nose
as it did at Mrs. Moore's. As to what effect the setting sun has, I
must wait for the evening to decide, though I always enjoy that. At
Greenwell, we used to walk a mile away from home to see the sun set in
an open field.

I find Mrs. McCay an excellent, plain old lady, with neither airs nor
pretentions, and very kind-hearted. Here she lives alone, with the
exception of an orphan girl called Jane, whose position, half-menial,
half-equal, it would be hard to define. Poor girl! the name of orphan
alone was enough to make me sorry for her. She must be "Friday's
child"! she is so "ready and willing." Eliza, who it seems stays a
great deal with her grandmother, is one of the brightest little girls I
have seen for a long while. She sings and plays on the piano with a
style and assurance that I can only mutely covet. Why cannot I have the
confidence I see all others possess? She took me to the gin-house last
evening, though I could not see much, as it was almost sunset when we
arrived. An early tea, and singing, and music after, completed our
evening, and then we were shown to our room.

Mrs. McCay has only room for us two, so it is fortunate that mother
would not come. She says she wants us to spend a few days with her, to
see if we like it, or if we will be willing to be separated from
mother. In the mean time, we can look around for lodgings in a larger
and more comfortable place where we can be together. She tells such
stories about the house Lilly lives in, of its age, and unhealthiness,
that I am frightened about mother. She says she will die if she stays
there this month. Miriam and Eliza have gone to town to see them, and
are then going to Mrs. George's to see if she can accommodate us.

I wanted to have a splendid dream last night, but failed. It was
pleasant, though, to dream of welcoming George and Gibbes back. Jimmy I
could not see; and George was in deep mourning. I dreamed of fainting
when I saw him (a novel sensation, since I never experienced it awake),
but I speedily came to, and insisted on his "pulling Henry Walsh's red
hair for his insolence," which he promised to do instantly. How absurd!
Dreams! dreams! That pathetic "Miss Sarah, do you ever dream?" comes
vividly back to me sometimes. Dream? Don't I! Not the dreams that he
meant; but royal, purple dreams, that De Quincey could not purchase
with his opium; dreams that I would not forego for all the inducements
that could be offered. I go to sleep, and pay a visit to heaven or
fairyland. I have white wings, and with another, float in rosy clouds,
and look down on the moving world; or I have the power to raise myself
in the air without wings, and silently float wherever I will, loving
all things and feeling that God loves me. I have heard Paul preach to
the people, while I stood on a fearful rock above. I have been to
strange lands and great cities; I have talked with people I have never
beheld. Charlotte Brontë has spent a week with me--in my dreams--and
together we have talked of her sad life. Shakespeare and I have
discussed his works, seated tête-à-tête over a small table. He pointed
out the character of each of his heroines, explaining what I could not
understand when awake; and closed the lecture with "You have the
tenderest heart I have ever read, or sung of"--which compliment,
considering it as original with him, rather than myself, waked me up
with surprise.

                                            September 9th, Tuesday.

Back again! For how long, I know not. At sunset Saturday, Eliza and
Miriam returned to Mrs. McCay's with Nannie Davidson. Mother had proved
obdurate and refused to leave Clinton; so they had all gone on, and
spent the day with Mrs. Haynes instead of going to Mrs. George's. After
my quiet, solitary day, I was glad to see them again, particularly as
they brought confirmation of the great victory in Virginia. It is said
the enemy were cut off from Washington, and that we were pursuing them.
O my brothers! If God will only spare them! I envy Lydia who is so near
them, and knows all, and can take care of them if they are hurt. It
will be several days at least, before we can hear from them, if we hear
at all; for Jimmy has never yet written a line, and George has written
but once since the taking of the forts, and that was before the battle
of Chickahominy. We can only wait patiently. Perhaps General Carter
will bring us news.

Mrs. Haynes sent a very pressing invitation for us to spend the next
day with her, so, although it was Sunday, we went. I am becoming
dreadfully irreligious. I have not been to church since Mr. Gierlow
went to Europe last July. It is perfectly shocking; but the Yankees
have kept me running until all pious dispositions have been shaken out
of me; so they are to blame. Like heathens, we called on Miss Comstock
as we passed through town, and spent an hour with her. Landed at Mr.
Haynes's, we had ample time to look around before he and his wife got
back from church. Here again I found what seems to be the prevailing
style of the country, widespread doors and windows, with neither blinds
nor shade trees to keep off the glare of the sun. The dining-room was a
wide hall, where the rising sun shone in your face at breakfast, and at
dinner, being directly overhead, seemed to shine in at both ends at
once. A splendid arrangement for a Fire Worshiper; but I happened to be
born in America, instead of Persia, so fail to appreciate it.

                                                    September 10th.

Yesterday I was interrupted to undertake a very important task. The
evening before, mother and Lilly happened to be in a store where two
officers were buying materials for making shirts, and volunteered to
make them for them, which offer they gladly accepted, though neither
party knew the other. They saw that they were friends of Charlie, so
had no scruples about offering their services; the gentlemen saw that
they were ladies, and very kind ones, besides, so made no difficulty
about accepting. Lilly undertook one of purple merino, and I took a
dark blue one. Miriam nominally helped her; but her very sore finger
did not allow her to do much. Mother slightly assisted me; but I think
Lilly and I had the best of the task. All day we worked, and when
evening came, continued sewing by the light of these miserable
home-made candles. Even then we could not finish, but had to get up
early this morning, as the gentlemen were to leave for Port Hudson at
nine o'clock. We finished in good time, and their appearance
recompensed us for our trouble. Lilly's was trimmed with folds of blue
from mine, around collar, cuffs, pockets, and down the front band;
while mine was pronounced a _chef d'oeuvre_, trimmed with bias folds of
tiny red and black plaid. With their fresh colors and shining pearl
buttons, they were really very pretty. We sent word that we would be
happy to make as many as they chose for themselves or their friends,
and the eldest, with many fears that it was an "imposition" and we were
"too good," and much more of the same kind, left another one with
Charlie for us. We cannot do too much, or even enough, for our
soldiers. I believe that is the universal sentiment of the women of the

Well, but how did we get back here? I hardly know. It seems to me we
are being swayed by some kind of destiny which impels us here or there,
with neither rhyme nor reason, and whether we will or no. Such
homeless, aimless, purposeless, wandering individuals are rarely seen.
From one hour to another, we do not know what is to become of us. We
talk vaguely of going home "when the Yankees go away." When will that
be? One day there is not a boat in sight; the next, two or three stand
off from shore to see what is being done, ready, at the first sight of
warlike preparation, to burn the town down. It is particularly unsafe
since the news from Virginia, when the gunboats started from Bayou
Goula, shelling the coast at random, and destroying everything that was
within reach, report says. Of course, we cannot return to our homes
when commissioned officers are playing the part of pirates, burning,
plundering, and destroying at will, with neither law nor reason.
Donaldsonville they burned before I left Baton Rouge, because some fool
fired a shotgun at a gunboat some miles above; Bayou Sara they burned
while we were at General Carter's, for some equally reasonable excuse.
The fate of Baton Rouge hangs on a still more slender thread. I would
give worlds if it were all over.

At Mrs. Haynes's we remained all night, as she sent the carriage back
without consulting us. Monday we came to town and spent the day with
Lilly. How it was, I can't say; but we came to the conclusion that it
was best to quit our then residence, and either go back to Linwood or
to a Mrs. Somebody who offered to take us as boarders. We went back to
Mrs. McCay's, to tell her of our determination, and in the morning took
leave of her and came back home.

We hear so much news, piece by piece, that one would imagine some
definite result would follow, and bring us Peace before long. The
Virginia news, after being so great and cheering, has suddenly ceased
to come. No one knows the final result. The last report was that we
held Arlington Heights. Why not Washington, consequently? Cincinnati
(at last accounts) lay at our mercy. From Covington, Kirby Smith had
sent over a demand for its surrender in two hours. Would it not be
glorious to avenge New Orleans by such a blow? But since last night the
telegraph is silent.

News has just come of some nice little affair between our militia in
Opelousas and the Yankees from New Orleans, in which we gave them a
good thrashing, besides capturing arms, prisoners, and ammunition. "It
never rains but it pours" is George's favorite proverb. With it comes
the "rumor" that the Yankees are preparing to evacuate the city. If it
could be! Oh, if God would only send them back to their own country,
and leave ours in peace! I wish them no greater punishment than that
they may be returned to their own homes, with the disgrace of their
outrages here ever before their eyes. That would kill an honest man, I
am sure.

                                      Sunday, September 14th, 1862.

I have been so busy making Lieutenant Bourge's shirt that I have not
had time to write, besides having very little to write about. So my
industry saved my paper and spared these pages a vast amount of trash.
I would not let any one touch Lieutenant Bourge's shirt except myself;
and last evening, when I held it up completed, the loud praises it
received satisfied me it would answer. Miriam and Miss Ripley declared
it the prettiest ever made. It is dark purple merino. The bosom I
tucked with pleats a quarter of an inch deep, all the way up to the
collar, and stitched a narrow crimson silk braid up the centre to hold
it in its place. Around the collar, cuffs, pockets, and band down the
front, the red cord runs, forming a charming contrast to the dark
foundation. Indeed, I devoted the sole article the Yankees let fall
from my two workboxes--a bunch of soutache--to the work. Large white
pearl buttons completed the description, and my shirt is really as
quiet, subdued, and pretty a one as I ever saw. I should first hear the
opinion of the owner, though. If he does not agree with all the others,
I shall say he has no taste.

I got a long sweet letter from Sophie on Friday that made me happy for
the whole day. They were about leaving for Alexandria. I was glad to
hear they would be out of danger, but still I was sorry they were going
so far away. I have been laying a hundred wild schemes to reach Baton
Rouge and spend a day or two with them, which is impossible now. Sophie
writes just as she talks--and that means remarkably well, so I can at
least have the pleasure of corresponding. At Dr. Carnal's they will be
out of the reach of all harm and danger; so I ought to rejoice. There
is one thing in which Sophie and I agree, and that is in making
Stonewall Jackson our hero. Talk of Beauregard! he never had my
adoration; but Stonewall is the greatest man of the age, decidedly.

Still no authentic reports of the late battles in Virginia. I say late,
referring to those fought two weeks ago. From the Federal accounts,
glowing as they usually are, I should gather the idea that their rout
was complete. I cannot imagine why we can hear nothing more from our
own side....

I think my first act on my return home will be to take a cup of coffee
and a piece of bread, two luxuries of which I have been deprived for a
long while. Miriam vows to devour an unheard-of number of biscuits,
too. How many articles we considered as absolutely necessary, before,
have we now been obliged to dispense with! Nine months of the year I
reveled in ice, thought it impossible to drink water without it. Since
last November, I have tasted it but once, and that once by accident.
And oh, yes! I caught some hail-stones one day at Linwood! Ice-cream,
lemonade, and sponge cake was my chief diet; it was a year last July
since I tasted the two first, and one since I have seen the last. Bread
I believed necessary to life; vegetables, senseless. The former I never
see, and I have been forced into cultivating at least a toleration of
the latter. Snap beans I can actually swallow, sweet potatoes I really
like, and one day at Dr. Nolan's I "bolted" a mouthful of tomatoes, and
afterwards kept my seat with the heroism of a martyr. These are the
minor trials of war. If that were all--if coarse, distasteful food were
the only inconvenience!

When I think of what Lavinia must suffer so far from us, and in such
ignorance of our condition, our trials seem nothing in comparison to
hers. And think how uneasy Brother must be, hearing of the battle, and
not knowing where we fled to! For he has not heard of us for almost two
months. In return we are uneasy about him and Sister. If New Orleans is
attacked, what will become of them with all those children?

                                           Tuesday, September 16th.

Yesterday Miriam determined to go to Linwood, and consequently I had a
severe task of trunk-packing, one of my greatest delights, however. I
hate to see any one pack loosely or in a slovenly manner. Perhaps that
is the reason I never let any one do it if I am able to stand. This
morning was appointed as our day for leaving, but I persuaded her to
wait until to-morrow, in hope that either the General, or news from
Virginia, would arrive this evening. Bless this village! It is the
meanest place for news that I ever was in. Not a word can be gathered,
except what is false or unfounded; and they are even tired of that, in
the last few days.

Talk of Baton Rouge turning Yankee, as the report went here! Of the
three or four there who took the oath, not one can be compared to some
loyal citizens of this small burg. Why, I talked to two gentlemen
yesterday who, if it were not for the disgrace and danger incurred by
bearing the name, I should style Union men, and talked or rather
listened to them, until my spirits were reduced to the lowest ebb.
People were shocked at our daring to believe there lived gentlemen and
Christians in the North--I mean those wild fanatics, who could only
take in one idea at a time, and rarely divested their brains of that
one to make room for a newer one, were shocked at our belief; but if
they could converse with a few here, that I could point out, our gnat
of common sense would be swallowed by this behemoth of heterodoxy.

This morning Mrs. Bar, Miss Bernard, and a Miss Mud came to town and
surprised us by a most unexpected visit. They spent the day with us,
and have just now driven off on their return home, through this
drizzly, misting evening. A while ago a large cavalry company passed,
at the corner, on their way from Port Hudson to Camp Moore, the report
is. They raised their hats to us, seeing us at the gate, and we waved
our handkerchiefs in return, each with a silent "God bless you," I am

As though to prove my charge unjust, news comes pouring in. Note we a
few items, to see how many will prove false. First, we have taken
Baltimore without firing a gun; Maryland has risen _en masse_ to join
our troops; Longstreet and Lee are marching on Washington from the
rear; the Louisiana troops are ordered home to defend their own
State--thank God! if it will only bring the boys back! Then comes
tidings of nine gunboats at Baton Rouge; Ponchatoula on the railroad
taken by Yankees; Camp Moore and three batteries, ditto. Not so
cheering! If that is so, Clinton lies within reach, being thirty-five
miles off.

Leaving much the most valuable portion of our clothing here, the
Yankees will probably appropriate what little they spared us and leave
us fairly destitute; for we take only summer clothes to Linwood. I have
plenty of underclothes, but the other day, when I unpacked the large
trunk from Dr. Enders's, I found I had just two dresses for winter; a
handsome blue silk I bought just two years ago last spring, and one
heavy blue merino that does not fit me. What an outfit for winter!
Miriam has two poplins and a black silk, and mother a wine-colored
merino, only. But each of us is blessed with a warm cloak, and are
correspondingly grateful. I was confident I had saved my green, dark
blue, and brown silk dresses, but the Yankees saved them instead, for
me, or their suffering sweethearts, rather. On the other hand, taking
so many necessary articles to Linwood, the risk of losing them is the
same. An attack on Port Hudson is apprehended, and if it falls, General
Carter's house will be decidedly unsafe from Yankee vengeance. The
probability is that it will burn, as they have been daily expecting
ever since the Yankees occupied Baton Rouge. The risk seems equal,
either way. Go or stay, the danger seems the same. Shall we go, then,
for variety, or die here of stagnation while waiting for the Yankees to
make up their minds? I would rather be at neither place, just now; in
fact I could hardly name the place I should like to be in now, unless
it were Europe or the Sandwich Islands; but I love Linwood and its dear
inhabitants, and under other circumstances should be only too happy to
be there. I was regretting the other day that our life was now so
monotonous; almost longed for the daily alarms we had when under Yankee
rule in Baton Rouge. Stirring times are probably ahead.

                                         September 17th, Wednesday.

Still floating about! This morning after breakfast, General Carter made
his appearance, and in answer to his question as to whether we were
ready to leave with him, Miriam replied, "Yes, indeed!" heartily, glad
to get away from Clinton, where I have detained her ever since the day
Theodore returned home, to her great disgust. As our trunk was already
packed, it did not take many minutes to get ready; and in a little
while, with a protracted good-bye, we were on our way to the depot,
which we reached some time before the cars started. Though glad to
leave Clinton, I was sorry to part with mother. For ten days she has
been unable to walk, with a sore on her leg below the knee; and I want
to believe she will miss me while I am away. I could not leave my bird
in that close, ill-ventilated house. He has never sung since I
recovered him; and I attribute his ill health or low spirits to that
unhealthy place, and thought Linwood might be beneficial to him, too;
so brought him with me, to see what effect a breath of pure air might

We were the only ladies on the cars, except Mrs. Brown, who got off
halfway; but in spite of that, had a very pleasant ride, as we had very
agreeable company. The train only stopped thirteen times in the twenty
miles. Five times to clear the brushwood from the telegraph lines, once
running back a mile to pick up a passenger, and so on, to the great
indignation of many of the passengers aboard, who would occasionally
cry out, "Hello! if this is the 'clearing-up' train, we had better send
for a hand-car!" "What the devil's the matter now?" until the General
gravely assured them that it was an old habit of this very
accommodating train, which in summer-time stopped whenever the
passengers wished to pick blackberries on the road.

Many soldiers were aboard on their way to Port Hudson, to rejoin their
companies. One gallant one offered me a drink of water from his
canteen, which I accepted out of mere curiosity to see what water from
such a source tasted of. To my great surprise, I found it tasted just
like any other. The General introduced a Mr. Crawford to us, who took
the seat next to me, as the one next to Miriam was already occupied,
and proved a very pleasant and talkative _compagnon de voyage_. General
Carter's query as to my industry since he had seen me, brought my
acknowledgment of having made two shirts, one of which I sent
yesterday. Who to? was the next question. I gave the name, adding that
I did not know the gentleman, and he was under the impression that it
was made by mother. "I'll see that he is undeceived!" cried the
General. "Hanged if I don't tell him!" "Thirtieth Louisiana, you say?"
queried Mr. Crawford. "That is the very one I am going to! I will tell
him myself!" So my two zealous champions went on, the General ending
with "See to it, Crawford; Mrs. Morgan shall not have the credit!" as
though there was any great merit in sewing for one's countrymen! Our
new acquaintance handed me from the cars as we reached Linwood, and
stood talking while the accommodating train slowly rolled out its
freight. He told me he was going to send me a tiny sack of coffee,
which proposition, as it did not meet with the slightest encouragement,
will of course never be thought of again.

I noticed, too, on the train, one of the Arkansas's crew. The same who,
though scarcely able to stand on a severely wounded foot, made such a
fuss about riding in a carriage while "real ladies" had to walk. Of
course he did not recognize us, any more than we would have known him
if Dr. Brown had not pointed him out. I hear all of them are at Port
Hudson. Anna told me, as we got here, that Dr. Addison (the one I
disliked because he was so scrupulously neat while the others were
dressed, or rather undressed, for working) was here yesterday, and
inquired for the Miss Morgans, saying they were the most charming young
ladies he had ever met. On what he founded his opinion, or how he
happened to inquire for us in this part of the country, I cannot

The General brings news of the boys from Jackson. He there met an
officer who left Stonewall Jackson's command on the 2d inst., and says
Gibbes was unhurt, God be praised! Another saw George a week ago in
Richmond, still lame, as the cap of his knee had slipped in that fall
last spring. Of Jimmy we hear not a word, not even as to where he is.
It seems as though we are destined never to hear again.

                                          September 20th, Saturday.

General Carter has just received a letter from Lydia, which contains
what to me is the most melancholy intelligence--the news of the death
of Eugene Fowler,[10] who was killed on the 22d of August, in some
battle or skirmish in Virginia. Poor Eugene!... Does it not seem that
this war will sweep off all who are nearest and dearest, as well as
most worthy of life, leaving only those you least care for, unharmed?

      [10] A cousin.

                                                    September 21st.

After supper last night, by way of variety, Anna, Miriam, and I came up
to our room, and after undressing, commenced popping corn and making
candy in the fireplace. We had scarcely commenced when three officers
were announced, who found their way to the house to get some supper,
they having very little chance of reaching Clinton before morning, as
the cars had run off the track. Of course, we could not appear; and
they brought bad luck with them, for our corn would not pop, and our
candy burned, while to add to our distress the odor of broiled chicken
and hot biscuit was wafted upstairs, after a while, in the most
provoking way. In vain we sent the most pathetic appeals by each
servant, for a biscuit apiece, after our hard work. Mrs. Carter was
obdurate until, tired out with our messages, she at last sent us an
empty jelly-cup, a shred of chip beef, two polished drumsticks, and
half a biscuit divided in three. With that bountiful repast we were
forced to be content and go to bed.

At sunrise this morning, Mrs. Carter left to go down to her father in
Iberville, to see her stepmother who is expected to die. Scarcely had
she gone when six more officers and soldiers came in from the still
stationary cars to get their breakfast. We heard that Mr. Marsden, too,
was down there, so the General sent him a nice breakfast, and I sent my
love with it; but he had already breakfasted at Mr. Elder's. As soon as
they left, we prepared for church, and just as we were ready, Captain
Brown and Mr. Addison were announced. The Doctor greeted us with an
elegant bow, but they did not remain long, as we were about going out.

                     *      *      *      *      *

Many officers were in church, and as I passed out, Colonel Breaux
joined me, and escorted Miriam and me to the carriage, where we stood
talking some time under the trees before getting in. He gave us a most
pressing invitation to name a day to visit the camp that he might "have
the pleasure of showing us the fortifications," and we said we would
beg the General's permission to do so. Charming Colonel Breaux! Like
all nice men, he is married, of course. He and another officer drove
just behind our carriage in coming home, until we came to the fork of
the road. Then, leaning from their buggy, both gentlemen bowed
profoundly, which we as cordially returned. Two more behind followed
their example, and to our great surprise, ten, who were seated in a
small wagon drawn by two diminutive mules, bowed also, and, not content
with that, rose to their feet as the distance between the two roads
increased, and raised their caps, though in the most respectful
silence. Rather queer; and I would have said impertinent had they been
any others than Confederates fighting for us, who, of course, are
privileged people.

                                                    September 24th.

Yesterday the General saluted us with "Young ladies, if you will ride
in a Confederate carriage, you may go to dress parade this evening."
Now, in present phraseology, "Confederate" means anything that is
rough, unfinished, unfashionable, or poor. You hear of Confederate
dresses, which means last year's. Confederate bridle means a rope
halter. Confederate silver, a tin cup or spoon. Confederate flour is
corn meal, etc. In this case the Confederate carriage is a Jersey wagon
with four seats, a top of hickory slats covered with leather, and the
whole drawn by mules. We accepted gladly, partly for the ride and
sight, partly to show we were not ashamed of a very comfortable
conveyance; so with Mrs. Badger as chaperon, we went off in grand
style. I must say I felt rather abashed and wished myself at home as we
drove into town, and had the gaze of a whole regiment riveted on us.
But soon the men fell in line, and I did not feel so painfully
conspicuous. I was amused at a contrast near by, too. There was but one
carriage present, besides ours, though there were half a dozen ladies
on horseback. This carriage was a very fine one, and in it sat three of
the ugliest, dowdiest, worst dressed females I ever saw. We three girls
sat in our rough carriage as comfortable as could be, dressed--well, we
could not have been dressed better--and looking our very best. _Sans
mentir_, I think the Confederates were much the most respectable.

And what a sad sight the Fourth Louisiana was, that was then parading!
Men that had fought at Shiloh and Baton Rouge were barefooted. Rags was
their only uniform, for very few possessed a complete suit, and those
few wore all varieties of colors and cuts. Hats could be seen of every
style and shape, from the first ever invented down to the last one
purchased evidently some time since. Yet he who had no shoes looked as
happy as he who had, and he who had a cap had something to toss up,
that's all.

Four or five that we knew gathered around our vehicle and talked to us.
Mr. Heuston told me he heard I had been thrown, severely injured, had a
narrow escape, etc. Was not thrown! Saddle turned. A few steps off we
recognized Mr. Scales. He would stare very hard at us, and if we turned
towards him, would look quickly the other way as though afraid to meet
our gaze. Presently he gave us an opportunity, and we bowed. He came
forward eagerly, blushing deeply, and looking very much pleased, and
shook hands with us, and remained some time talking. He said he had not
heard of our arrival, but would call as soon as possible. Mr. Talbot
had joined Breckinridge.

Having seen the last of that parade, he invited us to see that of his
sailors, which was next; but it was too far; so we turned off to see
Colonel Breaux's, a mile away. His, the Thirtieth Louisiana, is a
beautiful encampment on a large open common. Parade was almost over as
we reached there, and soon the Colonel came to meet us. I did not look
at the drill. I was watching the hundreds of tents--it looked like a
great many--and was wondering how men could live in such places, and
was trying to fancy what George's or Gibbes's looked like. It was
pleasant to watch the barefoot soldiers race around like boys let loose
from school, tossing caps and chips at two old gray geese that flew in
circles around the encampment, just as though they had never had more
earnest work. One gray-headed man stood in the door of his tent, while
a black-headed young one danced before him, to his own whistle, with
his arms akimbo. Altogether it was a very pretty picture; but poor men!
how can they be happy in these tents?

                                            September 26th, Friday.

                       _Sarah Morgan._  X.

My mark finds me at Linwood, though I had not the slightest idea that
it would. Wonder where twenty pages beyond will find me? At home, I
hope and pray, though I am as happy here as I could possibly be in any
place on earth.

Stirring news from our armies comes pouring in. Sunday, Colonel Breaux
told me of Wool's defeat, and the great number of prisoners, cannon,
and the large supplies of stores and ammunition that we had captured.
Then Tuesday we heard of three great battles in Maryland, the third one
still continuing; but no particulars of any of them. Yesterday came
tidings of our having recrossed the Potomac, and to-day we hear that
McClellan's army has been cut to pieces; but whether it is the same old
fight or a new one, I cannot as yet learn; for reliable information is
not easily obtained in America at this period.

Did I ever record how little truth there was in any of that last
Clinton news? It speaks for itself, though. Not a boat lay at Baton
Rouge; Camp Moore was not even threatened; Ponchatoula Station was
burned, but the one battery was retaken by our men the same night.

[Illustration: LINWOOD]

But still these false reports cannot equal the Yankees'. Take, for
instance, the report of the Captain of the Essex. I give General Carter
as my authority. The Captain reports having been fired on by a battery
of thirty-six large guns, at Port Hudson, some weeks ago, when he
opened fire and silenced them, one after the other, from the first to
the last. Not a shot from the "rebel" batteries reached them, and not a
casualty on their side occurred. But the loss of the Confederates must
have been awful. He came within--I forget how many--yards from the
shore, and there was not a live man to be seen. He did not mention if
there were any dead ones! Now for the other side. There were but four
guns mounted there at the time. Shot and shell from those four
certainly reached something, for one was seen to enter a porthole, from
whence issued frightful shrieks soon after, and it is well known that
the Essex is so badly injured by "something" as to be in a sinking
condition, and only kept afloat by a gunboat lashed on either side. If
she is uninjured, why did she not return and burn Natchez as she
announced? In leaving Port Hudson, where "not a live man was to be
seen" (nor a dead one to be found), she stopped at Mr. Babin's, just
below Dr. Nolan's, where she remained the rest of the day. After she
left, being curious to discover the reason of her short stay, Mr. Babin
walked to the place where she had been, and discovered sixteen fresh
graves on the bank. If they buried them as they did at Baton Rouge and
Vicksburg, four in a grave, how many would they be? But granting there
were but sixteen, would that prove the veracity of the Captain? Poor
man! Perhaps he is related to Pope, and cannot help himself.

                                                    September 27th.

I often wonder how lies first came into the world, and whether those
who originate them do not believe them as firmly as any one else would
believe truth. Lying seems to be the common creed of children and

Anna told me of having heard Lennice telling the other servants that
she knew there were spirits, because I often talked to them. Every
morning and evening I walked to the graveyard with a basket of flowers,
and would sit by father's and Harry's graves and call their spirits to
me; and they would all fly to me, and talk and sing with me for hours
until I would tell them good-bye and go home, when they would go away
too. I suppose the ignorant girl, having foundation enough from my
frequent visits there, which were most often alone, made up the rest to
account for my never seeming to like company out there. The fervent
"Good Lord" with which the tale was received by the other servants, and
the full credence they gave it, might have proved unpleasant if further
circulated; and I believe some members of the family found it necessary
to put an end to it at once.

And speaking of the graveyard recalls something I heard for the first
time last night. Miriam was telling me that Tiche had asked if we knew
that Mr. Sparks had visited Harry's grave? That he had got a basket of
flowers from the Davidsons, and had made their driver carry it for him.
And the man had told her that, after filling the vases with roses, and
spreading them over the grave, he had thrown himself on it with a
shriek of despair, calling on Harry to forgive him; that it was only
because forced by his father that he had killed him; and calling on God
to prove that he would give his life gladly to recall Harry's. The man
thought him a raving maniac and fled in terror. Miriam asked Fanny if
it was true, and she said yes; she had gathered the flowers for him

I saw them there, but little knew whose hand had brought them. I
perceived at once that they were not mine, and touched even to tears by
so silent an offering from an unknown person, I said, "It is some
woman's work; God bless the hand that laid them there." I cannot say
how much that little tribute affected me. And, Mr. Sparks, I do not
retract the blessing now. No! "God have mercy on him!" has been my
prayer ever since I knew what an awful loss you had caused us. God
knows that I never even desired this revenge--remorse standing over his
grave. It has ever been, "God pity and forgive!"--never yet for an
instant, "God pursue and avenge!"

                                                    September 28th.

We were roused up at four o'clock last night by the arrival of Lydia
and Eugene Carter,[11] the first from Virginia and the second from
Tennessee; and, of course, there was very little sleep for any of us,
so anxious were we to hear the news they brought. First I learned that
Gibbes was safe up to the 17th; that George, in spite of the advice of
his surgeon, had rejoined Stonewall Jackson in Maryland; and Jimmy was
midshipman on the ironclad Palmetto State at Charleston. How thankful I
was to hear that much, I need not say. Lydia said they all three looked
remarkably well; Jimmy handsomer than ever. After that, news of all
kinds came indiscriminately. The boys were very anxious about us, but
had no idea of our misfortunes or whereabouts. They believed us still
in Baton Rouge, and feared we had been there during the battle. Lydia
only heard of our house having been plundered when she reached Alabama,
so of course they are still ignorant of it. They were all very
homesick, but said that we were their only trouble.

      [11] Lydia, daughter of General Carter and wife of Captain Thomas
      Gibbes Morgan; Eugene, eldest son of General Carter, and husband
      of Helen mentioned in the Diary.

A few of the C----s' stories had reached them through brother officers;
and George swore to make himself understood by those ladies if he ever
saw them again. A gentleman from Cooper's Wells told Lydia that they
never tired of repeating their stories to every new arrival; and no man
was suffered to depart without having heard a few. If a gentleman
friend of ours or the boys inquired if they knew the Miss Morgans of
Baton Rouge, "Oh, yes!" would be the answer, "intimately! But you know
they have turned Yankee. Received Federal officers every day, and
placed all their property under Yankee protection. I" (or "my sister,"
as it happened who was retailing the lie, meaning Mrs. S----) "slept in
their house when it was surrounded by a Yankee guard. Oh, they are
perfectly in favor of the Yankees," and so on. Think of a common, low
soldier who stopped for buttermilk somewhere where Anna was,
introducing the subject. "It is all false!" Anna interrupted. The man
answered, "Oh, Miss! you don't suppose we believe it? We would not
believe such stories of any young ladies, much less these; for if they
are true, their conduct must have been perfectly disgraceful. But
though we know these stories to be lies, it does not prevent their
being discussed in camp."...

Lydia saw Mr. McG----, too, at Lynchburg, who sent me his "regards."
Poor fellow! He says he still has "dreams"! He told her a few, but she
says they were chiefly about meeting me at a ball, when I always
treated him with the most freezing coldness. The same old nightmare.
How often he has told me of that same dream, that tormented him
eighteen months ago. He says he often thinks of me now--and he still
"dreams" of me! "Dreams are baseless fabrics whose timbers are mere
moonbeams." Apply your own proverb!...

A clatter of hoofs down the road! And bent over the window-sill which
is my desk, my fingers are not presentable with the splattering of this
vile pen in consequence of my position. Two hours yet before sundown,
so of course I am not dressed. They come nearer still. Now I see them!
Dr. Addison and Mr. M----! I shall not hurry my toilet for them. It
will take some time to comb my hair, too. Wish I could remain up here!

                                           Tuesday, September 30th.

It required very little persuasion to induce those gentlemen to stay
to supper, the other evening, and it was quite late before they took
their leave. Dr. Addison I was very much pleased with, and so were all
the rest. Mr. M----, none of us fell desperately in love with. He is
too nonchalant and indifferent, besides having a most peculiar
pronunciation which grated harshly on my ears, and that no orthography
could fully express. "Garb," for instance, was distorted into "gairb,"
"yard" into "yaird," "Airkansas," and all such words that I can only
imitate by a violent dislocation of my lower jaw that puts Anna into
convulsions of laughter--only she would laugh the same if it was _not_
funny. This Kentuckian pronunciation grates "hairshly" on my Southern
ears. Miriam addressed herself exclusively to the Doctor, so I was
obliged to confine my attention entirely to neglected Mr. M----, in
which pious duty I was ably and charitably seconded by the General.
Speaking of the bravery and daring displayed by the Southern soldiers
during this war, Mr. M---- mentioned the dangerous spot he had seen us
in the first day we went down to the "Airkansas" and said that, lying
directly across the point from the Essex, they expected every instant
to see one of her shells explode among us, and were very uneasy about
our position, as we did not seem to know the danger. I asked him if he
had observed anything peculiar among the dozen planters and overseers
standing a short distance from us, when the Captain sent us word that
our position was a very dangerous one, as they expected the Essex to
open fire every instant, and we had best stand below the levee, higher
up, where we would be safe from shells. "I noticed that before any of
you understood your position, every man had disappeared as though by
magic." Now I had noticed that myself. When I turned, under shelter of
the levee, our gallant planters were galloping off in the distance.
While Ginnie and I looked and laughed, we suddenly found ourselves the
sole objects on the horizon; the other girls were in the road below,
going carelessly toward the carriage; so we followed, having lost sight
of the brave representatives of Southern chivalry, being the last to
leave the supposed field of danger. To my former remark, let me add
that there is only one set who take better care for their safety than
married women; and that set is composed exclusively of the "Home
Guard." Timid girls, either through ignorance or fun, compose the
majority of the brave "men" that the volunteer service has not

                                            October 1st, Wednesday.

Just after sunset yesterday, Anna and I were walking down the road
towards the sugar-house, she reading occasionally from Abbott's
"Napoleon," and then pausing for me to explain the _very_ difficult
passages she could not understand, when we suddenly became aware of the
approach of a horse, and raising our bowed heads, beheld Colonel Breaux
and another before us, to our infinite surprise and astonishment. The
Colonel sprang from his horse and advanced on foot; his companion
slowly followed his example, and was introduced as Captain Morrison. We
adjourned our historical fit for some future period, and walked home
with the gentlemen. Miriam did not get back from her excursion to the
cane-patch until it was quite late; when after sitting down a few
moments, she ran upstairs to change her dress. She had just put it on
an hour before, but nothing would do but she must dress up fine; so she
put on her handsomest organdie. In vain I pointed to my simple pink
muslin with a white body that I had worn all day, and begged she would
not make the contrast between us more striking than ever, as I felt I
could not change it without exciting remark. She was obdurate; dressed
herself in gorgeous array, and, as usual, I looked like her lady's

Colonel Breaux paid my hair the most extravagant compliments. He said
he could not say his prayers for looking at it in church, Sunday before
last. Perhaps that is the reason St. Paul said a woman should not
worship in church with her head uncovered! But as the Yankees stole my
bonnet, I am reduced to wearing my black straw walking-hat with its
curled brim, trimmed in black ribbon with golden sheaves of wheat. Two
years ago this fall, father threw me a banknote at table, and I
purchased this with it. Now it is my only headgear, except a sunbonnet.
Before leaving, which was not until quite late, this evening was named
for our ride to the fortifications, to our infinite delight, as we have
dreamed and talked of nothing else for a week....

A dispatch just received from Gibbes, from Mobile, on his way home. I
am so happy! But what can bring him? I fear--

Lydia has gone to Clinton to meet him at Lilly's.

                                              October 2d, Thursday.

With what extraordinary care we prepared for our ride yesterday! One
would have thought that some great event was about to take place. But
in spite of our long toilet, we stood ready equipped almost an hour
before Colonel Breaux arrived. I was standing in a novel place--upon
the bannisters looking over the fields to see if he was coming--and,
not seeing him, made some impatient exclamation, when lo! he appeared
before me, having only been concealed by the wood-pile, and O my
prophetic soul! Captain Morrison was by his side!

There was quite a cavalcade of us: Mr. Carter and his wife, Mrs. Badger
and Mrs. Worley, in two buggies; the three boys, who, of course,
followed on horseback, and the two gentlemen, Miriam, Anna, and I,
riding also. It was really a very pretty sight, when Captain Morrison
and I, who took the lead going, would reach the top of one of the steep
hills and look down on the procession in the hollow below. Fortunately
it was a very cloudy evening; for, starting at four, it would have been
very unpleasant to ride that distance with the sun in our faces.

As we reached the town we heard the loud report of two cannon which
caused the elder ladies to halt and suggest the propriety of a return.
But if it was a gunboat, that was the very thing I was anxious to see;
so we hurried on to the batteries. It proved to be only practicing,
however. At the first one we stopped at, the crew of the Arkansas were
drilling. After stopping a while there, we followed the river to see
the batteries below. It was delightful to ride on the edge of a high
bluff with the muddy Mississippi below, until you fancied what would be
the probable sensation if the horse should plunge down into the waters;
then it ceased to be so pleasant. The great, strong animal I rode could
have carried me over without a protest on my part; for the ridiculous
bit in his mouth was by no means suited to his strength; and it would
require a more powerful arm than mine to supply the deficiency. Miriam
had generously sacrificed her own comfort to give him to me; and rode
fiery Joe instead of her favorite. But it was by no means a comfort to
me. Then Anna was not reconciled to her pony while I was on such a fine
horse, until I proposed an exchange, and gladly dismounted near an old
mill two miles and a half below Port Hudson, as we returned home.

In leaving the town, we lost sight of the buggies, as there was no
carriage road that might follow the bluff; and though there was one
just back, we never saw our buggies again. Once, following a crescent,
far below us lay the water battery concealed by the trees that grew by
the water's edge, looking, from where we stood, like quite a formidable
precipice. Then still beyond, after leaving the river, we passed
through a camp where the soldiers divided their attention equally
between eating their supper and staring at us in the most profound
silence. Then, through an old gate, down a steep hill, past a long line
of rifle-pits, a winding road, and another camp where more men stared
and cooked their supper, we came to the last battery but one, which lay
so far below that it was too late to visit it. We returned highly
delighted with what we had seen and our pleasant ride. It was late when
we got back, as altogether our ride had been some fifteen miles in
length. As soon as we could exchange our habits for our evening
dresses, we rejoined our guests at the supper-table, where none of us
wanted for an appetite except poor Captain Morrison, who could not be
tempted by the dishes we so much relished. After supper, Colonel Breaux
and I got into a discussion, rather, _he_ talked, while I listened with
eyes and ears, with all my soul.... What would I not give for such
knowledge! He knows everything, and can express it all in the clearest,
purest language, though he says he could not speak a word of English at

The discussion commenced by some remark I made about physiognomy; he
took it up, and passed on to phrenology--in which he is no great
believer. From there he touched on the mind, and I listened, entranced,
to him. Presently he asserted that I possessed reasoning faculties,
which I fear me I very rudely denied. You see, every moment the painful
conviction of my ignorance grew more painful still, until it was most
humiliating; and I repelled it rather as a mockery. He described for my
benefit the process of reasoning, the art of thinking. I listened more
attentively still, resolving to profit by his words.... Then he turned
the conversation on quite another theme. Health was the subject. He
delicately alluded to my fragile appearance, and spoke of the necessity
of a strong constitution to sustain a vigorous mind. If the mind
prevailed over the weak body, in its turn it became affected by decay,
and would eventually lose its powers. It was applicable to all cases;
he did not mean that I was sickly, but that my appearance bespoke one
who had not been used to the exercise that was most necessary for me.
Horseback rides, walks, fresh air were necessary to preserve health. No
man had greater disgust for a freckled face than he; but a fair face
could be preserved by the most ordinary precautions and even improved
by such exercise. He illustrated my case by showing the difference
between the flower growing in the sunshine and that growing in a
cellar. Father's own illustration and very words, when he so often
tried to impress on me the necessity of gaining a more robust frame
than nature had bestowed! And a letter he had made Hal write me,
showing the danger of such neglect, rose before me. I forgot Colonel
Breaux; I remembered only the ardent desire of those two, who seemed to
speak to me through his lips. It produced its effect. I felt the guilt
I had incurred by not making greater efforts to gain a more robust
frame; and putting on my sunbonnet as I arose from the breakfast-table
this morning, I took my seat here on the wide balcony where I have
remained seated on the floor ever since, with a chair for a desk,
trying to drink an extra amount of fresh air.

I was sorry when Colonel Breaux arose to take his leave. As he took my
hand, I said earnestly, "Thank you for giving me something to think
about." He looked gratified, made some pleasant remark, and after
talking a while longer, said good-night again and rode off. While
undressing, Miriam and I spoke of nothing else. And when I lay down,
and looked in my own heart and saw my shocking ignorance and pitiful
inferiority so painfully evident even to my own eyes, I actually cried.
Why was I denied the education that would enable me to be the equal of
such a man as Colonel Breaux and the others? He says the woman's mind
is the same as the man's, originally; it is only education that creates
the difference. Why was I denied that education? Who is to blame? Have
I exerted fully the natural desire To Know that is implanted in all
hearts? Have I done myself injustice in my self-taught ignorance, or
has injustice been done to me? Where is the fault, I cried. Have I
labored to improve the few opportunities thrown in my path, to the best
of my ability? "Answer for yourself. With the exception of ten short
months at school, where you learned nothing except arithmetic, you have
been your own teacher, your own scholar, all your life, after you were
taught by mother the elements of reading and writing. Give an account
of your charge. What do you know?" Nothing! except that I am a fool!
and I buried my face in the sheet; I did not like even the darkness to
see me in my humiliation.

                                             October 4th, Saturday.

While Anna and Miriam went out riding last evening, just as I put down
my pen, I went out for a solitary walk down the road that Gibbes would
have to pass; but saw nothing of the carriage. When I got back, they
told me he was wounded. My fears were well founded, then. With what
anxiety we waited for his coming it would be impossible to describe.
Every wagon rattling through the fields made us stop and listen; every
canestalk waving in the moonlight brought us to our feet.

At last, after supper, far off in the clear light we saw the carriage.
I could not sit still. I walked down the steps and stood under the tree
in front, followed by Anna. I did not like her to stand nearer the spot
where it would stop than I, even. All the rest remained on the balcony.
We did not know how serious the wound might be; we must be careful.
Eugene Carter advised caution for more reasons than one. "Look out!" he
cried; "suppose it should be Colonel Breaux?" "Then I am afraid the
Colonel will get a kiss," I answered nervously, shuffling from one foot
to the other. "But suppose it is Mr. M----?" he persisted. "Oh, thank
you for the caution! I will look carefully before I greet him!" I
returned, moving to the other side, for nearer around the circle moved
the carriage. I heard his voice.

"O Gibbes, where is it?" "Left shoulder; mere scratch," he answered.
The carriage stopped, "Gibbes! Gibbes!" I cried. "My darling!" and he
had his great strong arm around me; the left was hanging in a sling.
Slowly the others moved down the steps towards him. What a meeting! My
heart was in my throat, I was so happy. Every one caught the well hand
and kissed him again and again, and every one shrunk from that left
side. I had almost forgotten my "gear Lygia" in my excitement. We
followed him on the balcony and put him in a chair near the steps. I
pulled off his hat and coat, and knelt in front of him with my arm
across his lap, to get near enough. Miriam stood on the steps with his
arm around her shoulder, and Lydia near. The others stood around;
altogether, it was a happy group that performed in the tableau of "The
Soldier's Return." Presently the negroes gathered too. "How is you,
Mass' Gibbes?" in all imaginable keys and accents was heard, while the
Captain shook hands with each and inquired into their own state of

But even wounded soldiers can eat; so supper was again prepared. I am
afraid it gave me too much pleasure to cut up his food. It was very
agreeable to butter his cornbread, carve his mutton, and spread his
preserves; but I doubt whether it could be so pleasant to a strong man,
accustomed to do such small services for himself. We listened to him
talk, but though it was evident from his slow, deliberate speech, so
different from his ordinary habit, that he was suffering, yet I felt
impatient when he was interrupted by any commonplace observation by one
of us. I wanted to learn something of his exploits. Much knowledge I
obtained! He was wounded at Sharpsburg on the 17th September, at nine
in the morning. That is all the information I got concerning himself.
One would imagine that the seventeen months that have elapsed since we
last met had been passed in a prolonged picnic. Concerning others, he
was quite communicative. Father Hubert told him he had seen George in
the battle, and he had come out safe. Gibbes did not even know that he
was in it, until then. Our army, having accomplished its object,
recrossed the Potomac, after what was decidedly a drawn battle. Both
sides suffered severely. Hardly an officer on either side escaped
unhurt. Mr. McGimsey is wounded, and Major Herron reported killed. I
expect the list will contain the names of many friends when it comes.

                     *      *      *      *      *

I have just come from seeing Gibbes's wound dressed. If that is a
scratch, Heaven defend me from wounds! A minié ball struck his left
shoulder strap, which caused it to glance, thereby saving the bone.
Just above, in the fleshy part, it tore the flesh off in a strip three
inches and a half by two. Such a great raw, green, pulpy wound, bound
around by a heavy red ridge of flesh! Mrs. Badger, who dressed it,
turned sick; Miriam turned away groaning; servants exclaimed with
horror; it was the first experience of any, except Mrs. Badger, in
wounds. I wanted to try my nerves; so I held the towel around his body
and kept the flies off while it was being washed. He talked all the
time, ridiculing the groans of sympathy over a "scratch," and oh, how I
loved him for his fortitude! It is so offensive that the water
trickling on my dress has obliged me to change it.

                                                       October 6th.

Last night, I actually drew from Gibbes the outlines of Jackson's
campaign. He told me of some heroic deeds of his fellow soldiers; but
of his own, not a word. I have seen his name too often in the papers,
to believe that he has no deeds of his own to relate, if he only would.

                                             October 9th, Thursday.

It is astonishing what a quantity of fresh air has been consumed by me
since I formed that wise resolution. The supply must be largely
increased, to keep up with the demand; perhaps that is the cause of all
these clouds and showers; I must be making a severe drain on the
economy of heaven. From breakfast to dinner I remain on the balcony,
and read aloud several chapters of the "Mémoires" of Dumas, by way of
practice. A dictionary lies by me, and I suffer no word to pass without
a perfect definition. Then comes my French grammar, which I study while
knitting or sewing, which takes very nearly until dinner-time. After
that, I do as I please, either reading or talking, until sunset when we
can ride or walk; the walk being always sweetened with sugar-cane. The
evening we always spend on the balcony. Is that _grand air_ enough? _O
mon teint! je serai joliment brune!_

We three girls occupy the same room, since Gibbes's arrival, and have
ever so much fun and not half enough sleep. I believe the other two
complain of me as the cause; but I plead not guilty. I never was known
to laugh aloud, no matter how intense might have been my mirth; "it
won't come," as Gibbes murmured last night while reading aloud Artemus
Ward's last letter, when we discovered it was suppressed laughter,
rather than suppressed pain, that caused him to writhe so. On the other
hand, Anna and Miriam laugh as loud and lustily as daughters of the
Titans--if the respectable gentlemen had daughters. I confess to doing
more than half the talking, but as to the laugh that follows, not a
bit. Last night I thought they would go wild, and I too laughed myself
into silent convulsions, when I recited an early effusion of my poetic
muse for their edification. Miriam made the bedstead prance, fairly,
while Anna's laugh sounded like a bull of Bashan with his head in a
bolster case.

                                            Saturday, October 11th.

Miriam went off to Clinton before daylight yesterday, with Mr. Carter
and Mrs. Worley. She would not let me go for fear mother should keep
us. At midnight they got back last night, tired, sleepy, and
half-frozen, for our first touch of cool weather came in a strong north
wind in the evening which grew stronger and stronger through the night,
and they had worn only muslin dresses. I shall never cease to regret
that I did not go too. Miriam says mother is looking very sad. Sad, and
I am trying to forget all our troubles, and am so happy here! O mother,
how selfish it was to leave you! I ask myself whether it were best to
stay there where we would only be miserable without adding anything to
your comfort or pleasure, or to be here, careless and happy while you
are in that horrid hole so sad and lonesome. According to my theory,
Miriam would remind me that I say it is better to have three miserable
persons than two happy ones whose happiness occasions the misery of the
third. That is my doctrine only in peculiar cases; it cannot be applied
to this one. I say that if, for example, Miriam and I should love the
same person, while that person loved only me, rather than make her
unhappy by seeing me marry him, I would prefer making both him and
myself miserable, by remaining single. She says "Fudge!" which means, I
suppose, nonsense. But our happiness here does not occasion mother's
unhappiness. She would rather see us enjoying ourselves here than
moping there. One proof is, that she did not suggest our return. She
longs to get home, but cannot leave poor Lilly alone, for Charlie is in
Granada. Oh, how willingly I would return to the old wreck of our home!
All its desolation could not be half so unendurable as Clinton. But
Lilly cannot be left. Poor Lilly! When I look at her sad young face, my
heart bleeds for her. With five helpless little children to care for,
is she not to be pitied? I think that such a charge, in such dreadful
days, would kill me. How patiently she bears it!

                                            Thursday, October 16th.

It seems an age since I have opened this book. How the time has passed
since, I have but a vague idea, beyond that it has passed very
pleasantly.... Once since, I have been with Mrs. Badger to a Mr.
Powell, who has started quite an extensive shoe-making establishment,
in the vain attempt to get something to cover my naked feet. I am so
much in need that I have been obliged to borrow Lydia's shoes every
time I have been out since she returned. This was my second visit
there, and I have no greater satisfaction than I had at first. He got
my measure, I got his promise, and that is the end of it, thus far. His
son, a young man of about twenty-four, had the cap of his knee shot off
at Baton Rouge. Ever since he has been lying on his couch, unable to
stand; and the probability is that he will never stand again. Instead
of going out to the manufactory, Mrs. Badger has each time stopped at
the house to see his mother (who, by the way, kissed me and called me
"Sissie," to my great amusement) and there I have seen this poor young
man. He seems so patient and resigned that it is really edifying to be
with him. He is very communicative, too, and seems to enjoy company, no
matter if he does say "her'n" and "his'n." Wonder why he doesn't say
"_shisen_" too? The girls are highly amused at the description I give
of my new acquaintance, but still more so at Mrs. Badger's account of
the friendship of this poor young cripple, and his enjoyment of my
visits. Of course it is only her own version, as she is very fond of
jokes of all kinds.

Night before last Lydia got playing the piano for me in the darkened
parlor, and the old tunes from her dear little fingers sent me off in a
sea of dreams. She too caught the vision, and launched off in a
well-remembered quadrille. The same scene flashed on us, and at each
note, almost, we would recall a little circumstance, charming to us,
but unintelligible to Anna, who occupied the other side. Together we
talked over the _dramatis personæ_. Mrs. Morgan, Jr., in dark blue silk
with black flounces, a crimson chenille net on her black hair, sits at
the piano in her own parlor. On the Brussels carpet stands, among
others, Her Majesty, Queen Miriam, in a lilac silk, with bare neck and
arms save for the protection afforded by a bertha of _appliqué_ lace
trimmed with pink ribbon, with hair _à la_ madonna, and fastened low on
her neck. Is she not handsome as she stands fronting the folding doors,
her hand in tall Mr. Trezevant's, just as she commences to dance, with
the tip of her black bottine just showing? Vis-à-vis stands pretty
Sophie, with her large, graceful mouth smiling and showing her pretty
teeth to the best advantage. A low neck and short-sleeved green and
white poplin is her dress, while her black hair, combed off from her
forehead carelessly, is caught by a comb at the back and falls in curls
on her shoulders. A prettier picture could not be wished for, as she
looks around with sparkling eyes, eager for the dance to begin. There
stands calm Dena in snuff-colored silk, looking so immeasurably the
superior of her partner, who, I fancy, rather feels that she is the
better man of the two, from his nervous way of shifting from one foot
to the other, without saying a word to her. Nettie, in lilac and white,
stands by the mantel laughing undisguisedly at her partner, rather than
with him, yet so good-humoredly that he cannot take offense, but rather
laughs with her. Lackadaisical Gertrude, whose face is so perfect in
the daytime, looks pale and insipid by gaslight, and timidly walks
through the dance. Stout, good-natured Minna smiles and laughs, never
quite completing a sentence, partly from embarrassment, partly because
she hardly knows how; but still so sweet and amiable that one cannot
find fault with her for so trifling a misfortune. At this point, Lydia
suggests, "And Sarah, do you forget her?" I laugh; how could I forget?
There she stands in a light blue silk checked in tiny squares, with
little flounces up to her knee. Her dress fits well, and she wears very
pretty sleeves and collar of _appliqué_. Lydia asks if that is all, and
how she looks. The same old song, I answer. She is looking at Miriam
just now; you would hardly notice her, but certainly her hair is well
combed. That is all you can say for her. Who is she dancing with? A
youth fond of "dreams"; futile ones, at that, I laughingly reply. He
must be relating one just now, for there is a very perceptible curl on
her upper lip, and she is looking at him as though she thought she was
the tallest. Lydia dashes off into a lively jig. "Ladies to the right!"
I cried. She laughed too, well knowing that that part of the dance was
invariably repeated a dozen times at least. She looked slyly up: "I am
thinking of how many hands I saw squeezed," she said. I am afraid it
did happen, once or twice.

Eighteen months ago! What a change! One who was prominent on such
occasions--Mr. Sparks--they tell me is dead. May God have mercy on his
soul, in the name of Jesus Christ! I did not ask even this revenge.

                                            October 18th, Saturday.

Last night mother arrived from Clinton with Gibbes and Lydia, who had
gone there the day before to get her to go to Baton Rouge.

                                              October 19th, Sunday.

What an unexpected change! I am surprised myself! Yesterday as the
Baton Rouge party were about leaving, Miriam thought Lilly would be
lonesome alone here with her sick baby, and decided that we should
leave by the cars, and stay with her until mother returned. There was
no time to lose; so dressing in haste, we persuaded Anna to accompany
us, and in a few moments stood ready. We walked down to the overseer's
house to wait for the cars, and passed the time most agreeably in
eating sugar-cane, having brought a little negro expressly to cut it
for us and carry our carpet-bag. Three young ladies, who expected to be
gone from Saturday until Wednesday, having but one carpet-bag between
them! Can it be credited? But, then, we knew we had clothes here, and
depended upon them for supplies, when we now find they are in the trunk
and mother has the key.

We walked aboard alone, in the crowded train, and found ourselves in
the only car reserved for ladies, which was already filled with a large
party returning from Port Hudson, consisting of the fastest set of
girls that I have seen for some time. Anna and I had to content
ourselves with a seat on a small box between the benches, while Miriam
was established on the only vacant one, with a sick soldier lying at
her feet. The fast girls talked as loud as possible and laughed in a
corresponding style in spite of the sick man. They must have been on a
picnic, from the way they talked. One in a short dress complained that
she had not seen her sweetheart. A pert little miss of thirteen cried,
"You can bet your head I never went to any place where I did not see
one of _my_ sweethearts." One of about seventeen, a perfect beauty,
declared she would die of thirst. "So will I! and I don't want to die
before I get a husband!" exclaimed her vis-à-vis. They evidently
expected to produce an impression on us. At every "brilliant" remark
("stupid" understood), they looked at us to see what we thought. All of
them sat with bare heads in the strong light, an unfailing proof of _la
basse classe_ on steamers and cars. Every time my veil blew aside, they
made no difficulty about scanning my features as though they thought it
might be agreeable. I must confess I was equally impolite in regard to
the Beauty; but then her loveliness was an excuse, and my veil
sheltered me, besides. While this young Psyche was fascinating me, with
her perfect face and innocent expression, one of her companions made a
remark--one that I dare say is made every day, and that I never
imagined could be turned into harm. My Beauty uttered a prolonged "Oh!"
of horror, and burst out laughing, followed by all the others. My
disgust was unspeakable. Mock modesty is always evident. A modest girl
could not have noticed the "catch"; the immodest, on the lookout for
such an opportunity, was the only one who could have perceived it.
Well! after all, no one can be perfect; this may be the single stain on
my Beauty, though I confess I would rather have any other failing than
this, almost.

Putting this aside, I hardly know which I was most amused by: the
giddy, lively girls to my right, or the two ladies to my left who were
as cross and ill-natured as two old cats and railed unmercifully at the
silly creatures behind them, and carried their spite so far as to
refuse to drink because the conductor (the husband of one of them) gave
the young ladies water before passing it to their two elders. Didn't
the poor man get it! She wouldn't taste a drop of that nasty dirty
drippings, that she wouldn't! Might have had the decency to attend to
his kinsfolks, before them creatures! And why didn't he wait on those
two young ladies behind her? He did ask them? Well, ask them again!
they must want some! Poor Henpecked meekly passed the can again, to be
again civilly declined. I confess the "drippings" were too much for me
also, though I did not give it as my excuse. Mrs. Hen recommenced her
pecking; poor Mr. Hen at last surlily rejoined, "For Heaven's sake,
don't make a fuss in the cars," with an emphasis on the last word that
showed he was accustomed to it at home, at least. With my veil down, I
leaned against the window, and remembering Colonel Breaux's remarks two
nights before concerning cross people, I played his "little
philosopher" for the remainder of the journey.

At sunset we walked in at Lilly's gate, and astonished her by standing
before her as she sat alone with her poor sick little Beatrice in her

                                            Wednesday, 22d October,

We left Clinton this morning, and have just now arrived by the cars.
Charlie came in last evening, to our great surprise, so we did not
scruple to leave Lilly....

The Baton Rouge party returned late this evening. In spite of all
preparation, Gibbes was horrified at the appearance of home.

                                              Friday, October 24th.

A letter from Jimmy, the first we have received since New Orleans fell.
It was dated the 10th inst., and he spoke of being on the eve of
running the blockade, and going to Liverpool "to represent our
unfortunate navy," as he says, though I am at loss to imagine what he
can mean. He speaks of a kind friend, a Mr. George Trenholm,[12] whose
kindness has been perfectly extraordinary. He has befriended him in
every way.

      [12] Secretary of the Treasury of the Confederate States. Later,
      Colonel James Morris Morgan ("Jimmy" in the Diary), married Mr.
      Trenholm's daughter Helen, whose portrait appears on an issue of
      Confederate bank notes.

Charlie has just come by the railroad, bringing other letters from him,
to mother and Lilly. In mother's is his last good-bye on the 12th.
Again Mr. Trenholm is the theme. I could not help crying over my dear
little brother's manly, affectionate letter. He says he is sure God
will still care for him, He has raised him up friends wherever he has
been. He says he lost all his clothing in going to Charleston. There,
among other kind people, he met this gentleman, who carried him to his
house, where he has kept him ever since, treating him like his son, and
forced him to accept a magnificent outfit as a present from him. He
procured the appointment which sends Jimmy abroad (I wish Jimmy had
been more explicit concerning it; we hardly know what it is, or how
long it will keep him). The money he received to pay Jimmy's passage
(received from the Government) he in turn obliged Jimmy to accept, as
he sails in one of Mr. Trenholm's steamers; and not satisfied with
that, gives him _carte blanche_ on his house in England, to be filled
up with any amount he chooses to name.

Mother went back to Clinton with Charlie that evening, to my great
distress; for she hates that odious place as much as I.

I know the life will kill her if it lasts six months longer. How happy
I would be, if it were not for the thought of her uncomfortable
position there! Lilly agrees with me that, once out of it, she never
wishes to see the vile place again. Margret says that when the Lord had
finished all the world and all the people, he had some scraps left, and
just thought he'd "batch up" Clinton with them. Perhaps she is right.

                                              Sunday, 26th October.

This place is completely overrun by soldiers passing and repassing.
Friday night five stayed here, last night two more, and another has
just gone. One, last night, a bashful Tennesseean, had never tasted
sugar-cane. We were sitting around a blazing fire, enjoying it hugely,
when in answer to our repeated invitations to help himself, he
confessed he had never eaten it. Once instructed, though, he got on
remarkably well, and ate it in a civilized manner, considering it was a
first attempt.

Everything points to a speedy attack on Port Hudson. Rumors reach us
from New Orleans of extensive preparations by land and water, and of
the determination to burn Clinton as soon as they reach it, in revenge
for the looms that were carried from Baton Rouge there, and which can
soon be put in working order to supply our soldiers, negroes, and
ourselves with necessary clothing. Of two evils, if Baton Rouge is to
be overrun by Yankees, and Clinton burned, I would rather await them at

                                               Sunday, November 2d.

Yesterday was a day of novel sensations to me. First came a letter from
mother announcing her determination to return home, and telling us to
be ready next week. Poor mother! she wrote drearily enough of the
hardships we would be obliged to undergo in the dismantled house, and
of the new experience that lay before us; but _n'importe_! I am ready
to follow her to Yankeeland, or any other place she chooses to go. It
is selfish for me to be so happy here while she leads such a
distasteful life in Clinton. In her postscript, though, she said she
would wait a few days longer to see about the grand battle which is
supposed to be impending; so our stay will be indefinitely prolonged.
How thankful I am that we will really get back, though! I hardly
believe it possible, however; it is too good to be believed.

The nightmare of a probable stay in Clinton being removed, I got in
what the boys call a "perfect gale," and sang all my old songs with a
greater relish than I have experienced for many a long month. My heart
was open to every one. So forgiving and amiable did I feel that I went
downstairs to see Will Carter! I made him so angry last Tuesday that he
went home in a fit of sullen rage. It seems that some time ago, some
one, he said, told him such a joke on me that he had laughed all night
at it. Mortified beyond all expression at the thought of having had my
name mentioned between two men, I, who have thus far fancied myself
secure from all remarks good, bad, or indifferent (of men), I refused
to have anything to say to him until he should either explain me the
joke, or, in case it was not fit to be repeated to me, until he
apologized for the insult. He took two minutes to make up a lie. This
was the joke, he said. Our _milkman_ had said that that Sarah Morgan
was the proudest girl he ever saw; that she walked the streets as
though the earth was not good enough for her. My milkman making his
remarks! I confess I was perfectly aghast with surprise, and did not
conceal my contempt for the remark, or his authority either. But one
can't fight one's milkman! I did not care for what he or any of that
class could say; I was surprised to find that they thought at all! But
I resented it as an insult as coming from Mr. Carter, until with tears
in his eyes fairly, and in all humility, he swore that, if it had been
anything that could reflect on me in the slightest degree, he would
thrash the next man who mentioned my name. I was not uneasy about a
milkman's remarks, so I let it pass, after making him acknowledge that
he had told me a falsehood concerning the remark which had been made.
But I kept my revenge. I had but to cry "Milk!" in his hearing to make
him turn crimson with rage. At last he told me that the less I said on
the subject, the better it would be for me. I could not agree. "Milk" I
insisted was a delightful beverage. I had always been under the
impression that we owned a cow, until he had informed me it was a
milkman, but was perfectly indifferent to the animal so I got the milk.
With some such allusion, I could make him mad in an instant. Either a
guilty conscience, or the real joke, grated harshly on him, and I
possessed the power of making it still worse. Tuesday I pressed it too
far. He was furious, and all the family warned me that I was making a
dangerous enemy.

Yesterday he came back in a good humor, and found me in unimpaired
spirits. I had not talked even of "curds," though I had given him
several hard cuts on other subjects, when an accident happened which
frightened all malicious fun out of me. We were about going out after
cane, and Miriam had already pulled on one of her buckskin gloves,
dubbed "old sweety" from the quantity of cane-juice they contain, when
Mr. Carter slipped on its mate, and held it tauntingly out to her. She
tapped it with a case-knife she held, when a stream of blood shot up
through the glove. A vein was cut and was bleeding profusely.

He laughed, but panic seized the women. Some brought a basin, some
stood around. I ran after cobwebs, while Helen Carter held the vein and
Miriam stood in silent horror, too frightened to move. It was, indeed,
alarming, for no one seemed to know what to do, and the blood flowed
rapidly. Presently he turned a dreadful color, and stopped laughing. I
brought a chair, while the others thrust him into it. His face grew
more deathlike, his mouth trembled, his eyes rolled, his head dropped.
I comprehended that these must be symptoms of fainting, a phenomenon I
had never beheld. I rushed after water, and Lydia after cologne.
Between us, it passed away; but for those few moments I thought it was
all over with him, and trembled for Miriam. Presently he laughed again
and said, "Helen, if I die, take all my negroes and money and prosecute
those two girls! Don't let them escape!" Then, seeing my long face, he
commenced teasing me. "Don't ever pretend you don't care for me again!
Here you have been unmerciful to me for months, hurting more than this
cut, never sparing me once, and the moment I get scratched, it's 'O Mr.
Carter!' and you fly around like wild and wait on me!" In vain I
represented that I would have done the same for his old lame dog, and
that I did not like him a bit better; he would not believe it, but
persisted that I was a humbug and that I liked him in spite of my
protestations. As long as he was in danger of bleeding to death, I let
him have his way; and, frightened out of teasing, spared him for the
rest of the evening.

Just at what would have been twilight but for the moonshine, when he
went home after the blood was stanched and the hand tightly bound, a
carriage drove up to the house, and Colonel Allen was announced. I
can't say I was ever more disappointed. I had fancied him tall,
handsome, and elegant; I had heard of him as a perfect fascinator, a
woman-killer. Lo! a wee little man is carried in, in the arms of two
others,--wounded in both legs at Baton Rouge, he has never yet been
able to stand.... He was accompanied by a Mr. Bradford, whose assiduous
attentions and boundless admiration for the Colonel struck me as
unusual.... I had not observed him otherwise, until the General
whispered, "Do you know that that is the brother of your old
sweetheart?" Though the appellation was by no means merited, I
recognized the one he meant. Brother to our Mr. Bradford of eighteen
months ago! My astonishment was unbounded, and I alluded to it
immediately. He said it was so; that his brother had often spoken to
him of us, and the pleasant evenings he had spent at home.

                                                November 4th, 1862.

O what a glorious time we had yesterday! First, there were those two
gentlemen to be entertained all day, which was rather a stretch, I
confess, so I stole away for a while. Then I got the sweetest letter
from Miss Trenholm, enclosing Jimmy's photograph, and she praised him
so that I was in a damp state of happiness and flew around showing my
picture to everybody, Mr. Bradford included, who pronounced him a noble
boy, and admired him to my satisfaction. Then came a letter from Lilly,
saying mother had decided to remain in Clinton, and wanted us to join
her there. O my prophetic soul! My heart went below zero! Then Colonel
Allen sent to Port Hudson for the band to serenade us, and raised my
spirits in anticipation of the treat. While performing my toilet in the
evening, Waller Fowler arrived, on his way to Vicksburg, bringing a
letter to Miriam from Major Drum! Heaven only knows how it got here!
Such a dear, kind letter, dated 6th of August, only! Affairs were very
different then, and he said that Lavinia's distress about us was such
that he must try to send her nearer to us. And such an unexpected piece
of news! Oh, my heart fails me! I cannot fancy Lavinia a mother.

Slowly I dressed myself, and still more slowly I combed Anna. I could
think of nothing else until I heard Miriam and Mr. Bradford call us to
take a walk, when we hurried down to them. A race down to the railroad,
a merry talk standing on the track mingled with shouts of laughter in
which I tried to drown fears for Lavinia, made the early sunset clouds
pass away sooner than usual, to us, and moonlight warned us to return.
Mrs. Worley passed us in her buggy, coming to stay all night; and
halfway a servant met us, saying two soldiers had come to call on us.
Once there, I was surprised to find that one was Frank Enders, the one
I least expected to see. The other was a Mr. Harold. I need not
describe him, beyond this slight indication of his style. Before half
an hour was over, he remarked to Anna that I was a _very_ handsome
girl, and addressed me as--_Miss Sally_! That is sufficient.

Then Will Carter came in, and joined our circle. His first aside was,
"If you only knew how much I liked you last night, you would never be
cruel to me again. Why, I thought you the greatest girl in the world!
Please let's part friends to-night again!" I would not promise, for I
knew I would tease him yet; and at supper, when I insisted on his
taking a glass of milk, his face turned so red that Mrs. Carter pinched
my arm blue, and refused to help me to preserves because I was making
Will _mad_! But Waller helped me, and I drank my own milk to Mr.
Carter's health with my sweetest smile. "Confound that milkman! I wish
he had cut his throat before I stumbled over him," he exclaimed after
tea. But I had more amusing game than to make him angry then; I wanted
to laugh to get rid of the phantom that pursued me, Lavinia.

The evening passed off very pleasantly; I think there were some
eighteen of us in the parlor. About ten the General went to the
sugar-house (he commenced grinding yesterday) and whispered to me to
bring the young people down presently. Mr. Bradford and I succeeded in
moving them, and we three girls retired to change our pretty dresses
for plain ones, and get shawls and _nuages_, for our warm week had
suddenly passed away, and it was quite cold out. Some of the gentlemen
remarked that very few young ladies would have the courage to change
pretty evening dresses for calico, after appearing to such advantage.
Many would prefer wearing such dresses, however inappropriate, to the
sugar-mill. With his droll gravity, Gibbes answered, "Oh, our girls
don't want to be stuck up!"

There was quite a string of us as we straggled out in the beautiful
moonlight, with only Mrs. Badger as an escort. Mr. Enders and I had a
gay walk of it, and when we all met at the furnace, we stopped and
warmed ourselves, and had a laugh before going in. Inside, it was
lighted up with Confederate gas, in other words, pine torches, which
shed a delightful light, neither too much nor too little, over the
different rooms. We tried each by turns. The row of bubbling kettles
with the dusky negroes bending over in the steam, and lightly turning
their paddles in the foamy syrup, the whole under the influence of
torchlight, was very interesting; but then, Mr. Enders and I found a
place more pleasant still. It was in the first purgery, standing at the
mouth of the chute through which the liquid sugar runs into the car;
and taking the place of the car as soon as it was run off to the
coolers, each armed with a paddle, scraped the colon up and had our own
fun while eating. Then running along the little railroad to where the
others stood in the second room over the vats, and racing back again
all together to eat sugar-cane and cut up generally around our first
pine torch, we had really a gay time.

Presently "Puss wants a corner" was suggested, and all flew up to the
second staging, under the cane-carrier and by the engine. Such racing
for corners! Such scuffles among the gentlemen! Such confusion among
the girls when, springing forward for a place, we would find it already
occupied! All dignity was discarded. We laughed and ran as loud and
fast as any children, and the General enjoyed our fun as much as we,
and encouraged us in our pranks. Waller surpassed himself, Mr. Bradford
carried all by storm, Mr. Enders looked like a schoolboy on a frolic,
Mr. Carter looked sullen and tried lazily not to mar the sport
completely, while Mr. Harold looked timidly foolish and half afraid of
our wild sport. Mrs. Badger laughed, the General roared, Anna flew
around like a balloon, Miriam fairly danced around with fun and frolic,
while I laughed so that it was an exertion to change corners. Then
forfeits followed, with the usual absurd formalities in which Mr.
Bradford sentenced himself unconsciously to ride a barrel, Miriam to
make him a love speech going home, Mr. Enders to kiss my hand, and I to
make him (Mr. Enders) a declaration, which I instantly did, in French,
whereby I suffered no inconvenience, as Miriam alone comprehended. Then
came more sugar-cane and talk in the purgery, and we were horrified
when Mrs. Badger announced that it was twelve o'clock, and gave orders
to retire.

O the pleasant walk home! Then, of course, followed a last good-night
on the balcony, while the two young men mounted their horses and Frank
Enders vowed to slip off every time he had a chance and come out to see
us. Then there was a grand proposition for a ride to Port Hudson on
horseback, and in order to secure a pledge that we would pass by
General Beale's headquarters, Mr. Enders wrapped my _nuage_ around his
throat, declaring that I would be obliged to stop there for it, though,
if prevented, he would certainly be obliged to bring it back himself.
This morning, however, the married ladies made so much difficulty about
who should go, and how, that we were forced to abandon it, much as we
would have enjoyed it.

I am afraid to say how late it was when we got to bed. I know it was
almost ten when we left the breakfast-table this morning, so I suppose
it must have been quite late before we retired. To Colonel Allen's, as
well as to our own great disappointment, the band could not come on
account of sickness.

                                                      November 6th.

We three girls fancied a walk last evening, and immediately after
dinner prepared to walk to Mrs. Breaux's, only a mile, and get her to
come to the sugar-house. But as we put on our bonnets, Captain
Bradford, brother of the one who left in the morning, was announced,
and our expedition had to be abandoned. This is the third of the five
brothers that I have met, and if it were not for the peculiarity in
their voices, I should say that there was not the most distant
relationship existing between them. This one is very handsome, quiet,
and what Dickens calls "in a high-shouldered state of deportment." He
looks like a moss-covered stone wall, a slumbering volcano, a--what you
please, so it suggests anything unexpected and dangerous to stumble
over. A man of indomitable will and intense feeling, I am sure. I
should not like to rouse his temper, or give him cause to hate me. A
trip to the sugar-house followed, as a matter of course, and we showed
him around, and told him of the fun we had those two nights, and taught
him how to use a paddle like a Christian. We remained there until
supper-time, when we adjourned to the house, where we spent the
remainder of the evening very pleasantly. At least I suppose he found
it so, for it was ten o'clock before he left.

                     *      *      *      *      *

Just now I was startled by a pistol shot. Threatening to shoot her, Mr.
Carter playfully aimed Miriam's pistol at her, and before he could take
fair aim, one barrel went off, the shot grazing her arm and passing
through the armoir just behind. Of course, there was great
consternation. Those two seem doomed to kill each other. She had played
him the same trick before. He swore that he would have killed himself
with the other shot if she had been hurt; but what good would that do

                                              Sunday, November 9th.

I hardly know how these last days have passed. I have an indistinct
recollection of rides in cane-wagons to the most distant field, coming
back perched on the top of the cane singing, "Dye my petticoats," to
the great amusement of the General who followed on horseback. Anna and
Miriam, comfortably reposing in corners, were too busy to join in, as
their whole time and attention were entirely devoted to the consumption
of cane. It was only by singing rough impromptus on Mr. Harold and
Captain Bradford that I roused them from their task long enough to join
in a chorus of "Forty Thousand Chinese." I would not have changed my
perch, four mules, and black driver, for Queen Victoria's coach and

And to think old Abe wants to deprive us of all that fun! No more
cotton, sugar-cane, or rice! No more old black aunties or uncles! No
more rides in mule teams, no more songs in the cane-field, no more
steaming kettles, no more black faces and shining teeth around the
furnace fires! If Lincoln could spend the grinding season on a
plantation, he would recall his proclamation. As it is, he has only
proved himself a fool, without injuring us. Why, last evening I took
old Wilson's place at the bagasse shoot, and kept the rollers free from
cane until I had thrown down enough to fill several carts, and had my
hands as black as his. What cruelty to slaves! And black Frank thinks
me cruel, too, when he meets me with a patronizing grin, and shows me
the nicest vats of candy, and peels cane for me. Oh! very cruel! And so
does Jules, when he wipes the handle of his paddle on his apron, to
give "Mamselle" a chance to skim the kettles and learn how to work!
Yes! and so do all the rest who meet us with a courtesy and "Howd'y,
young Missus!" Last night we girls sat on the wood just in front of the
furnace--rather Miriam and Anna did, while I sat in their laps--and
with some twenty of all ages crowded around, we sang away to their
great amusement. Poor oppressed devils! Why did you not chunk us with
the burning logs instead of looking happy, and laughing like fools?
Really, some good old Abolitionist is needed here, to tell them how
miserable they are. Can't Mass' Abe spare a few to enlighten his

                                             November 10th, Monday.

In spite of its being Sunday, no sooner was dinner concluded yesterday
than we adjourned, as usual, to the sugar-house to see how much damage
we could do. Each took from a negro his long paddle, and for more than
half an hour skimmed the kettles industriously, to the amazement of
half a dozen strange soldiers who came to see the extraordinary process
of sugar-making. At one time the two boys taking possession of the two
other paddles, not a negro was at the kettles, but stood inspecting our
work. The hardest part we found to be discharging the batteries, which
none of us could do without their assistance.

We had no sooner relinquished our paddles than some one announced two
gentlemen at the house. While we were discussing the possibility of
changing our dresses before being seen, enter Mr. Enders and Gibbes
Morgan[13] of Fenner's battery. No retreat being possible, we looked
charmed and self-possessed in spite of plain calicoes and sticky
hands.... Mr. Enders very conveniently forgot to bring my _nuage_. He
says he started expressly to do so, but reflecting that I might then
have no inducement to pay that visit to Port Hudson, he left it for
another time.... We arranged a visit to Gibbes, and Mr. Enders made me
promise to call at General Beale's headquarters for a pass. "They will
want you to go to the Provost Marshal's for it, but you just come to
General Beale's, and send a courier for me, and I will bring it
myself!"--and half in fun, half in earnest, I promised.

      [13] H. Gibbes Morgan, a cousin.

                                          November 12th, Wednesday.

Once more a cripple and consigned to my bed, for how long, Heaven only
knows. This is written while in a horizontal position, reposing on my
right arm, which is almost numb from having supported me for some
sixteen hours without turning over. Let me see if I can remember how it

Last evening we started out to see Gibbes, just Miriam and Anna in one
buggy, and Mrs. Badger and I in the other. Gibbes proper, that is, the
Captain, and the General both approved, but neither could accompany us.
It is useless to say how much I objected to going without a gentleman.
Indeed, when we reached the road which formed the fourth side of the
square formed by Colonel Breaux's, Captain Bradford's, and Captain
Fenner's camps, I thought I should die of terror on finding myself in
such a crowd of soldiers on parade. My thick veil alone consoled me,
but I made a vow that I would not go through it again, not if I never
saw Gibbes, Jr., again on earth.

His camp lay far off from the road, so that we had to drive out to it
between the other two, and asked a soldier to tell him that we were
there. Presently he came up, looking so pleased that I was almost glad
that we had come; and then Captain Fenner appeared, looking charmed,
and Lieutenant Harris, who looked more alarmed and timid than I.
Captain Fenner exerted himself to entertain us, and seeing how
frightened I was, assured me that it was an everyday occurrence for
young ladies to visit them in parties without gentlemen, and that it
was done all through the Confederacy; which, however, did not comfort
me for the hundreds of eyes that were looking at us as our small party
stood out in front of the encampment around a cannon. I think he can
throw more expression into his eyes than any one I ever saw. Miriam
suggested sending Gibbes to the Provost to get our pass in order to
avoid the crowd that might be there. Eager to leave the present one for
a more retired spot, I exclaimed, "Oh, no! let us go ourselves! We
can't get in a worse crowd!" I meant a _greater_; but Captain Fenner
looked so comically at me that I could scarcely laugh out an apology,
while he laughed so that I am sure he did not listen to me. What a
comical mouth! I liked him _very_ much, this time. He promised to come
out to-day or to-morrow, and have a game of "Puss wants a corner" in
the sugar-house. But now I can't join in, though it was to me the
promise was made.

But to the catastrophe at once.

As we left, we insisted on taking Gibbes to get our pass, and made him
get into Miriam's buggy, where there was space for him to kneel and
drive. I was to carry out my promise to Mr. Enders. We had to pass just
by the camp of the First Alabama, Colonel Steadman's, where the whole
regiment was on parade. We had not gone thirty yards beyond them when a
gun was discharged. The horse instantly ran off. I don't believe there
could be two cooler individuals than Mrs. Badger and I were. I had
every confidence in her being able to hold him so long as the bridle
lasted. I had heard that there was more danger in jumping at such
moments than in remaining quiet, so I sat still. There was nothing to
hold to, as it was a no-top, or what I call a "low-neck," buggy; so my
hands rested quietly in my lap. Presently I saw the left rein snap
close to the horse's mouth. I knew all was over then, but did not utter
a word. Death seemed inevitable, and I thought it was as well to take
it coolly. The horse turned abruptly; I felt that something impelled me
out, followed the impulse, saw Mrs. Badger's white cape fluttering
above me, received a blow on the extremity of my spine that I thought
would kill me before I reached the ground, landing, however, on my left
hip, and quietly reclining on my left elbow, with my face to an upset
buggy whose wheels spun around in empty air. I heard a rush as of
horses; I saw men galloping up; I would have given worlds to spring to
my feet, or even to see if they were exposed; but found I could not
move. I had no more power over my limbs than if they were iron; only
the intense pain told me I was still alive. I was perfectly conscious,
but unable to move. My only wonder was why Miriam, who was in front,
did not come to me.

My arm was giving away. Dimly, as through a haze, or dream, I saw a
soldier bending over me, trying to raise me. The horse he had sprung
from rushed up to his master, and reared up over me. I saw the iron
hoofs shining above my body; death was certain this time, but I could
not move. He raised his arm and struck him, and obedient to the blow
the animal turned aside and let his feet fall without crushing me. Mrs.
Carter, when she heard it described, offered a fabulous sum for a
correct drawing of that most interesting tableau, the gallant Alabamian
supporting a helpless form on one arm, while he reined in a fiery
charger with the other. I was not aware of the romance; I was conscious
only of the unpleasant situation.

Dozens crowded around, and if I had been a girl for display, here was
an opportunity, for thirty pair of soldier arms were stretched out to
hold me. "No! Gibbes! Gibbes!" I whispered, and had the satisfaction of
being transferred from a stranger's to my cousin's arms. Gibbes
trembled more than I, but with both arms clasped around me, held me up.
But for that I would have returned to my original horizontal position.
"Send for the doctor!" cried one. "A surgeon, quick!" cried another.
"Tell them no!" I motioned. I was conscious of a clatter of hoofs and
cloud of dust. One performed a feat never heard of before. He brought a
glass of water at full gallop which I instantly drained by way of
acknowledgment. I think I felt the unpleasant situation more than the
pain. Not being accustomed to being the centre of attraction, I was by
no means pleased with the novel experience. Miriam held my hand, and
questioned me with a voice tremulous with fear and laughter. Anna
convulsively sobbed or giggled some question. I felt the ridiculous
position as much as they. Laughing was agony, but I had to do it to
give them an excuse, which they readily seized to give vent to their
feelings, and encouraged by seeing it, several gold-band officers
joined in, constantly endeavoring to apologize or check themselves with
a "Really, Miss, it may seem unfeeling, but it is impossible"--the rest
was lost in a gasp, and a wrestle between politeness and the desire to

I don't know what I was thinking of, but I certainly paid very little
attention to what was going on. I only wanted to get home, away from
all those eyes; and my most earnest wish made me forget them. The first
remark I heard was my young Alabamian crying, "It is the most beautiful
somerset I ever saw! Indeed, it could not be more gracefully done! Your
feet did not show!" Naïf, but it was just what I wanted to know, and
dared not ask. Some one ran up, and asked who was hurt, and I heard
another reply, "I am afraid the young lady is seriously injured, only
she won't acknowledge it. It is worth while looking at her. She is the
coolest, most dignified girl you ever saw"; and another was added to
the already too numerous audience. Poor Mrs. Badger, having suffered
only from torn clothing, received very little sympathy, while I got
more than my share. I really believe that the blow I received was from
her two hundred and forty pound body, though the Alabamian declares he
saw the overturning buggy strike me as I fell.

To her and others I am indebted for the repetition of many a remark
that escaped me. One bold soldier boy exclaimed, "Madame, we are all
warriors, but we can't equal that! It is braver than any man!" I had to
laugh occasionally to keep my spirits up, but Miriam ordered me to
quit, saying that I would go off in hysterics. I had previously
repeatedly declared to the Doctor that I was not hurt, and seeing him
idle, and hearing Miriam's remark, the Alabamian--I am told--cried, "O
Doctor! Doctor! can't you do something? Is she going to have
hysterics?" "Really," said the Doctor, "the young lady objects to being
examined; but as far as I can judge, she has no limbs broken."
Everybody ordered me to confess at once my injury; but how was I to
inform a whole crowd that I had probably broken the tip of my backbone,
and could not possibly sit down? So I adhered to my first affirmation,
and made no objection when they piled the cushions up and made Gibbes
put me down; for I knew he must be tired.

I am told I remained there an hour. I know they talked to me, and that
I answered; but have not an idea of the subject. A gentleman brought a
buggy, and offered to drive me home; but a Captain Lenair insisted on
running after the ambulance. Arrived there, Mr. Enders says he rushed
in, crying, "For God's sake, General Beale, lend me the ambulance!
There is a dreadful accident, and I am afraid the young lady will die!"
Coming back he exclaimed, "By Jove! boys, if you want to see a sight,
run down and see her hair! The prettiest auburn (?) you ever looked at,
and sweeps the ground! I wouldn't mind such a fall if I had such hair
to show. Come look at it, do!" Mr. Enders says he was sure that it was
I, as soon as hair was mentioned, and started out as soon as he had
finished a duty he had to perform. My garter, a purple silk ribbon, lay
in the centre of the ring. By the respectful silence observed, I saw
they recognized its use, so, unwilling to leave such a relic behind, I
asked aloud for my "ribbon," whereupon Anna says the officers pinched
each other and smiled. Up came the ambulance, and I was in imminent
danger of being carried to it, when with a desperate effort I regained
my feet with Gibbes's help, and reached it without other assistance.
Beyond, I could do no more.

Captain Lenair got inside, and several others lifted me up to him, and
I sank motionless on the floor. All bade me good-bye, and my little
Alabamian assured me that he was proud of having been the first to
assist me. President Miller whispered to Mrs. Badger for permission to
accompany us, which she readily granted, and raising me on the seat, he
insisted on putting his arm around me to hold me up. It was useless to
decline. "Now, Miss Morgan, I assure you I am an old married man! I
know you are suffering! Let me have my way!" and the kind old gentleman
held me so comfortably, and broke the force of so many jolts, that I
was forced to submit and acknowledge that had it not been for him I
could not have endured the rough road. At the gate that leads to
General Beale's headquarters, I saw half a dozen figures standing. One
was Frank Enders, who hailed the driver. "Hush!" said one I recognized
as Captain Lenair. "The young lady is in there, and the Provost, too!"
"I don't care if it is Jeff Davis, I'll find out if she is hurt!" he
answered. Miriam and Anna recognized him, as they followed behind us,
and called to him. Without more ado, he jumped into their buggy,
finding them alone, and drove them home. He asked me something as he
passed, but I could not answer.

The road was dreadful. Once the driver mistook it and drove us within
two steps of an embankment six feet high, but discovered the mistake
before the horses went over.

What I most dreaded was explanations when we should arrive. Miriam
stepped out an instant before, and I heard her telling the accident.
Then everybody, big and little, white and black, gathered around the
ambulance. The Provost thought himself privileged to carry me, Gibbes
insisted on trying it with his one arm, when the General picked me up
and landed me on the gallery. He wanted me to lie down in old Mrs.
Carter's room, but confident that once there I could not get up, and
feeling that perhaps the gentlemen would take advantage of its being on
the ground floor to suggest calling on me, I struggled upstairs with
Helen's assistance. A dozen hands undressed me, and laid me on my face
in bed, which position I have occupied up to the present, 3 P.M....
Unable to turn, all night I lay awake, lying on my face, the least
comfortable of positions; but though the slightest motion tortured me,
I had to laugh as we talked it over.

Of course, this has been written in scratches, and in my same position,
which will account for many blots. This morning I was interrupted by
mother's unexpected arrival, she having come with Dellie and Morgan to
spend the day. Of course, she is horrified at the accident of that
"unfortunate Sarah"!

                                           Saturday, November 15th.

I think I grow no better rapidly. Fortunately on Wednesday night they
succeeded in turning me over; for my poor elbows, having lost all their
skin, were completely used up. Now, if I go slowly and carefully, I can
turn myself at the cost of some little suffering....

Yesterday Colonel Steadman, of the First Alabama, called with his
father. He sent me many messages of condolence, and the rather
unpleasant advice to be cupped and scarified. His profession was that
of a physician before he became colonel. His surgeon, whose name is
Madding, told him he was satisfied that I was seriously injured, though
I had not complained. The Colonel is the same who called when we were
in Clinton. They readily accepted our invitation to dinner, and
remained until late in the afternoon, when Captain Bradford came in.
More messages of condolence and sympathy upstairs, which produced no
visible effect on my spine, though very comforting to the spirit.

                                                     November 16th.

I was interrupted yesterday morning by Mrs. Badger, who wished to apply
a few dry cups to my back, to which I quietly submitted, and was unable
to move afterwards without pain, as a reward for my patience. But
towards sunset came two dear letters that made me forget what I had
suffered, one from George, and one from Jimmy, dated Bermudas. For the
first time I know what my dear little brother suffered during those
long months when we could not hear if he were dead or alive. He kept
the secret until he no longer needed either friends or money; and now
he tells it with a simplicity that made me cry fit to break my heart
when I was left alone in the twilight with no one to see.... George
comforts me with hopes of Peace, and a speedy return. If it could only

This morning the boom of Yankee guns reached my ears; a sound I had
hoped never to hear again. It is only those poor devils (I can afford
to pity them in their fallen state) banging away at some treasonable
sugar-houses that are disobedient enough to grind cane on the other
side of the river. I hear that one is at Mrs. Cain's. The sound made my
heart throb. What if the fight should come off before I can walk? It
takes three people to raise me whenever it is necessary for me to move;
I am worse than helpless.

                                            Tuesday, November 18th.

A note just came from mother, telling me that the most awful Yankees
were coming to burn Linwood and take Port Hudson, and so this evening I
must walk down to the cars with a chair to rest in until they came, and
must certainly be in Clinton to-night. Delightful arrangement! I wrote
to ask if she knew that my legs were of no more service to me than to
her? Dr. Dortch has again been murdering me ... says perhaps I can
stand by Sunday. If the Yankees come before--

                                       Friday night, November 21st.

Lying on my face, as it were, with my poor elbows for a support, I try
to pass away these lonely hours. For with the exception of old Mrs.
Carter, who is downstairs, and the General, who is elsewhere, Anna and
I are the only white people on the place. The cause of this heartless
desertion is a grand display of _tableaux vivants_ at Jackson, for
the benefit of the Soldiers' Hospital, and of course it would be sinful
to stay away, particularly as Anna is a great deal better, and I need
no care....

                                        Thursday, December 4th.[14]

It would be only the absurd tableaux I agreed to, with plenty of fun,
and nothing more. So I tried to be merry and content, and so I should
have been, for there was plenty to talk about, and every one was so
solicitous for my comfort; and there was Mr. Enders who would wheel my
chair for me wherever I wished it, and was as kind and attentive as a
brother. Surely my first trip should have been a gay one! Miriam sat
down by the piano, Mr. Enders drew me by her, and we three sang until
dark together. A Mr. Morse, his wife, and mother, who are spending a
week here, were our audience. The first two retired at candle-light,
while the latter, present at the play the night before, remained to the
last. But while we sang, every noise at the parlor door caused us to
turn with the apprehension of we hardly knew what. A dozen times Mr.
Enders consulted his watch, and telegraphed his fears to me, though I
persisted in thinking it only the fun that had been intended.

      [14] A page is here torn from the Diary. It evidently related the
      beginning of an incident of which my sister and I have often
      heard our mother tell: how, after the Jackson tableaux, our aunt
      Miriam laughingly staked herself in a game of cards with Will
      Carter--and lost. The sequel follows, the scene at the house of
      his uncle, General Carter, beginning in the middle of a
      sentence.--W. D.

Half-past six came, and with it, Mrs. Worley. Now, she knew better. For
Dr. Dortch had come to see me, and was guiding me in my game of euchre
in which I was not even as wise as my partner, Mr. Enders, when her
note came. Instantly we put down our cards, while Miriam begged him to
write and tell her the true story. He wrote and we all read it. Not
only that, but Miriam added a postscript which I think was this, word
for word: "Mrs. Worley, it is only a bet at cards, intended as the
merest joke. There is not a word of truth in it, and I will consider it
the greatest favor if you will contradict the report whenever you may
hear it!" Explicit enough, one would think; but still she came, and
sent word into the parlor that one of the ladies present when Will made
the announcement had sent her contribution to the evening's fun. It
turned out to be a complete bridal suit, worn by the lady a year ago!
That was too serious a jest. Miriam went into the other room to speak
to Mrs. Worley, who, cold as an icicle, refused to receive or make
explanation, beyond "I won't kiss you; this is too cruel." There was
nothing to do; she returned laughing, but certainly feeling herself the
injured one, and so she was.

In fifteen minutes, another stir. I held my breath with expectation.
Lydia introduced--Mr. G----. Ten miles he had ridden through mud and
water that freezing evening, at Will Carter's request, to perform the
ceremony between him and Miriam. Lydia laughed until she could hardly
introduce him. He, hat in hand, bowed around the convulsed circle with
a countenance shining with the most sublimely vacant expression. O that
man's idiotic face, and solemn, portentous look, brought a writhe even
to my trembling lips! Mr. Enders would have given one an excellent idea
of the effect produced by a real old piney-woods chill; he shook as
with suppressed laughter. But when the tremendous preacher (tremendous
because composed of gigantic Nothing) turned his lugubrious face
towards Mrs. Morse, and addressed her as Mrs. Morgan under the
impression that she had come down to see her daughter married, Miriam's
risibles could no longer stand it, and she flew from the room in time
to avoid a disgraceful explosion.

I was growing frightened. Mr. Enders was leaning over my chair, and
involuntarily it burst from me with a groan, "For God's sake, help me
save her!" "Hush! Lie back in your chair! I will!" he whispered. "But
for the love of Heaven, save my sister!" "I'll do what you will, if you
will only keep still and not hurt yourself. I'll do my best." It was
all whispered, that the minister and Mrs. Morse might not hear. "If it
were your sister, what would you do?" "My God! I'd meet him on the
front gallery and kick him out! Then I'd know one of us must die
to-morrow!" "But under the circumstances it is impossible for Gibbes to
act!" I urged, while we agreed that it was the most unwarrantable piece
of insolence ever perpetrated. While we talked, Gibbes had seized
Miriam and, without interfering or advising further, advised her to
keep her room and not meet Will.

But I skipped the most important part. She came back when she had
recovered her composure, and sat by me. Mr. Enders, when I asked what
was best to do, whispered that to spare Will's feelings, and avoid a
most painful scene, as well as to show that she had no serious
intentions whatever, she should see that the minister was put in full
possession of the facts before it went any farther. He felt keenly his
unpleasant situation, and it was only our earnest request that induced
him to remain, or give his advice. Who should explain? Certainly not
the General. He thought the joke carried too far, and retired to his
room before Mr. G---- came. How take part against his own nephew? Not
Gibbes either, for he had gone upstairs too worried and annoyed to talk
to any one; besides, it was his wife's cousin. Who then? Miriam is one
woman in a thousand. Rising, she crossed the room slowly and as
dignified as though she only meant to warm herself. I think I see her
before me now, as she stood before the fire, facing Mr. G----, looking
so handsome and stylish in her black grenadine with the pale-green
trimming, telling her story. Plainly, earnestly, distinctly, without
hurry or embarrassment, in the neatest, prettiest, most admirable
speech I ever heard, she told everything just as it was. Bravo for
Miriam! There lives not the woman in this State who could do so painful
a thing in such a beautiful way. I felt like hugging her. Oh, it was
magnificent! He heard her in surprise, but when once satisfied of its
truth, he said, "Well, Miss Morgan, when you stand on the floor, when I
ask if you will, it is your privilege to answer, 'No.'" Miriam is not
one to do so cruel a thing; she is too noble to deceive him so far and
wound him so cruelly before all, when he believed himself so near
happiness. She said that it was mockery, she would not suffer him to
believe for an instant that she meant to marry him; if he believed it,
he was deceiving himself wilfully, for he already knew that she had
told him it could never be. He agreed to take it only as a jest,
promised that he would not feel hurt; and with the most admirable tact,
Miriam, the trump (I have been playing euchre, excuse me), settled the
minister, and the wedding, by her splendid behavior, with no trouble.

A rapid step was heard in the hall; the bridegroom had come! I know he
must have killed his horse. He certainly did not leave his house before
one o'clock; it is twenty miles by the road to Clinton; he went there,
procured his license, and was here at seven, in full costume. He
bounded upstairs to meet the bride-elect.

I can fancy him going to Clinton, doubting, fearing, believing against
all evidence, yet trembling; securing the license at last, persuading
himself that she would not dare refuse when the deeds were recorded in
court, and he held them in his hand;--and very few women would have
been brave enough, too; he did not know My Miriam! I can fancy the poor
horse lashed through the heavy mire, tired, foaming, panting, while his
strong arm urged it on, with whip and spur; I can hear the exulting
beating of his heart, that wild refrain that was raging as his
death-knell--"Mine! Mine at last!" I could hear it, I say. It rung in
my ears all night. He held her in his power; she must be his; hastily,
yet carefully he performs his toilet; I dare say he stopped to think
which cravat she liked best. "Mine! Mine!" the song is ringing in every
stroke of his throbbing breast. Mount! Mount! Two miles fly past. He
sweeps through the moonlight like Death riding on a pale horse; yonder
shine lights in the parlor; and that above; is it hers? He throws
himself from his horse; his hour has come, hers too; with the license
and minister, his own adoration--and she must love him too!--he will
win! Show him the way to her! She is his forever now! His? My God! had
I not reason to cry, "In God's name, save her, Frank!" He reaches Mrs.
Carter's room, and triumphantly throws the license on her table. He is
ready now; where is his bride?

Some one meets him. "Will!"

The story is told; she is not to be won by force; she has appealed to
the minister; he has carried the jest too far. The strong man reels; he
falls on the bed in his bridal array in agony too great for tears. I
dare not ask what followed; they tell me it was awful. What madness and
folly, to dream of forcing her to marry him! Why, if she had loved him,
the high-handed proceeding would have roused the lion of her spirit! He
is no mate for her. He has but one thought, and at last words come.
"Miriam! Miriam! Call her, for the love of God!" One word! one look!
Oh, she will take pity on him in his misery. Let her come for one
instant! she cannot be so cruel! she will marry him if only to save him
from death, or worse! And fortunate it was that he was not armed, one
of the two would have died; perhaps both. The heartbroken prayer goes
on. The exulting "Mine! Mine!" has changed to the groan of despair,
"Miriam! for the love of God! come to me!"

And where is the bride? Gibbes has her caged in the next room, this one
where I am now lying. He has advised her not to appear; to go to bed
and say no more. Sent to bed like a baby on her wedding night! She says
that she laughed aloud when the door closed on her. She laughing in
here, he groaning in there, it is to be hoped they each drowned the
voice of the other.... The minister said good-night. He disclaimed all
feeling of pique; he felt chiefly for the young lady--and the
disappointed groom. (Ouf!) I sent to ask Will to come to me alone for a
moment; no, he could not see me; write to him.

Slowly, as though an aged, infirm, tottering man, we heard him
descending the steps. How different from the step that carried him up!
We, conscience-stricken, sat within, with doors closed. He was off. He
has again mounted his horse, and the broken-hearted man, hardly less
cruel than the expectant bridegroom, dashes the rowel in his side and
disappears like a whirlwind.

                     *      *      *      *      *

I can fancy mother's and Lilly's agony, when they hear of the wedding.
All Clinton knew it last night, and if they did, too, I know there was
as little sleep for them as for us. I know mother shrieked, "My child!
My child!" while Lilly cried. How could he believe she meant to marry
him, without even sending word to mother when he was going to the very
town? Bah! What a jolly go if those two got hysterics about the
supposed Moral Suicide! Glad I was not at the tea-party! Well, fearing
the effect of such a shock in mother's nervous state, Gibbes advised
Miriam to go on the cars this evening, and convince her that it had not
occurred, court records and licenses and minister to the contrary
notwithstanding; so my duck, my angel, she whom I call my Peri with the
singed wings (children who play in the fire must expect to be burned),
set off on her pious errand, without the protecting arm of her

                                              Sunday, 7th December.

I have had a shock! While writing alone here (almost all have gone to
church), I heard a step ascending the stair. What, I asked, if it
should be Will? Then I blamed myself for supposing such a thing
possible. Slowly it came nearer and nearer, I raised my head, and was
greeted with a ghastly smile. I held out my hand. "Will!" "Sarah!"
(Misery discards ceremony.) He stood before me the most woebegone,
heartbroken man I ever saw.

With a forced laugh he said, "Where is my bride? Pshaw! I know she has
gone to Clinton! I have come to talk to _you_. Wasn't it a merry
wedding?" The hollow laugh rang again. I tried to jest, but failed.
"Sit down and let me talk to you," I said. He was in a wayward humor;
cut to the heart, ready to submit to a touch of silk, or to resist a
grasp of iron. This was the man I had to deal with, and get from him
something he clung to as to--not his life, but--Miriam. And I know so
little how to act in such a case, know so little about dealing gently
with wild natures!

He alarmed me at first. His forced laugh ceased; he said that he meant
to keep that license always. It was a joke on him yesterday, but with
that in his possession, the tables would be turned on her. He would
show it to her occasionally. It should keep her from marrying any one
else. I said that it would be demanded, though; he must deliver it. The
very devil shot in his eye as he exclaimed fiercely, "If any one dares
demand it, I'll die before giving it up! If God Almighty came, I'd say
no! I'll die with it first!" O merciful Father, I thought; what misery
is to come of this jest. He must relinquish it. Gibbes will force him
into it, or die in the attempt; George would come from Virginia....
Jimmy would cross the seas.... And I was alone in here to deal with
such a spirit!

I commenced gently. Would he do Miriam such a wrong? It was no wrong,
he said; let him follow his own will. "You profess to love her?" I
asked. "Profess? Great God! how can you? I adore her! I tell you that,
in spite of all this, I love her not more--that is impossible,--but as
much as ever! Look at my face and ask that!" burst from him with the
wildest impulse. "Very well. This girl you _love_, then, you mean to
make miserable. You stand forever between her and her happiness,
because you love her! Is this love?" He was sullenly silent. I went on:
"Not only her happiness, but her honor is concerned. You who love her
so, do her this foul injury." "Would it affect her reputation?" he
asked. "Ask yourself! Is it quite right that you should hold in your
hands the evidence that she is Mrs. Carter, when you know she is not,
and never will be? Is it quite honorable?" "In God's name, would it
injure Miriam? I'd rather die than grieve her."

My iron was melted, but too hot to handle; I put it on one side,
satisfied that I and I only had saved Miriam from injury and three
brothers from bloodshed, by using his insane love as a lever. It does
not look as hard here as it was in reality; but it was of the hardest
struggles I ever had--indeed, it was desperate. I had touched the right
key, and satisfied of success, turned the subject to let him believe he
was following his own suggestions. When I told him he must free Miriam
from all blame, that I had encouraged the jest against her repeated
remonstrances, and was alone to blame, he generously took it on
himself. "I was so crazy about her," he said, "that I would have done
it anyhow. I would have run any risk for the faintest chance of
obtaining her"; and much more to the same purpose that, though very
generous in him, did not satisfy my conscience. But he surprised me by
saying that he was satisfied that if I had been in my room, and he had
walked into the parlor with the license, she would have married him.
What infatuation! He says, though, that I only prevented it; that my
influence, by my mere presence, is stronger than his words. I don't say
that is so; but if I helped save her, thank Heaven!

It is impossible to say one half that passed, but he showed me his
determination to act just as he has heretofore, and take it all as a
joke, that no blame might be attached to her. "Besides, I'd rather die
than not see her; I laugh, but you don't know what I suffer!" Poor
fellow! I saw it in his swimming eyes.

At last he got up to go before they returned from church. "Beg her to
meet me as she always has. I told Mrs. Worley that she must treat her
just the same, because I love her so. And--say I go to Clinton
to-morrow to have that record effaced, and deliver up the license. I
would not grieve her; indeed, I love her too well." His voice trembled
as well as his lips. He took my hand, saying, "You are hard on me. I
could make her happy, I know, because I worship her so. I have been
crazy about her for three years; you can't call it a mere fancy. Why
are you against me? But God bless you! Good-bye!" And he was gone.

Why? O Will, because I love my sister too much to see her miserable
merely to make you happy!

                                             Friday, 12th December.

My cripple friend that I mentioned so far back continues to send me the
most affecting messages. "He is really wretched about me; never was
more distressed; thinks of nothing else"; and so on through the whole
list. To cap the climax, he sends me word that he can now walk on
crutches, and the first time he can venture in a buggy, means to call
on me. _Que le ciel m'en préserve!_ What could we talk about? "His'n"
and "her'n" several misfortunes? That's too bad! Every one teases me
unmercifully about my new conquest. I can't help but be amused; and
yet, beware, young girls, of expressing sympathy, even for soldiers!
There is no knowing what effect it may produce.

                                             Sunday, December 14th.

Yesterday evening, some time before sunset, Mr. Enders was announced,
to our great surprise, as we knew he had been in Clinton all the week,
having been transferred there instead of to Jackson, as he threatened.
He was the most miserable, unhappy creature one could possibly imagine;
even too melancholy for me to laugh at him, which expresses the last
degree of wretchedness. To all our questions, he had but one answer,
that he had had the most dreadful attack of "blues" ever since he was
here Sunday; that he had waited every evening at the cars, expecting
us, and at last, seeing that we had no intention of coming, he could no
longer stand the temptation, so got permission to come down for a day
to Port Hudson so he could come out to see us.... Before we could
fairly get him cheerful, Will Carter and Ned Badger, who returned only
this week from Kentucky, entered. Will was in a bad humor, and wanted
to vent it on us; so after waiting some time, he proposed that the two
young men should go with him, pocketing at the same moment the cards
which had won Miriam and saying they would have a nice game together,
and just the rarest old whiskey! He looked around to see the effect
produced. We girls did not move, but Mr. Enders said he must really
return immediately to Port Hudson, and start for Clinton from there in
the night. Will thought it would be such a triumph over us to carry him
off, that he insisted. They'd have a fine time! cure the blues! etc.
Ned was more than willing; and at last Mr. Enders said, Well! he felt
just so desperate that he did not care what he did; he believed he
would go. I saw he was in a reckless humor, and that Will knew it, too,
and I promised to make at least an effort to save him.

Miriam spoke to him apart, but he said he had promised now; he must go.
Will ran down triumphant to mount his horse, calling him to follow. All
ran out to see him off, when Frank came back to tell me good-bye. I
seized the opportunity, and didn't I plead! I told him I would not ask
him to stay here, though he knew we would be happy to have him stay;
and begged him to go back to the camp, and leave Will alone.... I
suggested other resources; talked of his mother whom he idolizes,
pleaded like a grandmother; and just as I wound up, came Will's voice
from below, "Why the devil don't you come, Enders? Hurry!" He moved a
step, looked at me; I dropped my head without a word. Here I must
confess to the most consummate piece of acting; I am sorry, but as long
as it saved him from doing what I knew he would have cause to regret, I
am not ashamed of having tried it. Will called impatiently again, as he
stood hesitating before me; I did not say, "Stay," I just gave the
faintest sigh imaginable.... He went down and told Will he would not
go! Of course, Will went off in a rage with us.

                                       Friday, December 26th, 1862.

Monday Dr. Woods and Mr. Van Ingen stopped, just from their regiment in
Kentucky and on their way home, and I begged so hard to see the Doctor,
and promised so faithfully to retire if I suffered too much, that Mrs.
Badger yielded, like an angel, and I carried my point. The Doctor! We
looked in vain at each other; I for my dandy friend in irreproachable
broadcloth, immaculate shirt bosoms and perfect boots; he for the
brusque, impulsive girl who in ordinary circumstances would have run
dancing into the parlor, would have given him half-glad,
half-indifferent greeting, and then found either occasion to laugh at
him or would have turned elsewhere for amusement. We looked, I say, in
vain. Before me stood my pattern of neatness in a rough uniform of
brown homespun. A dark flannel shirt replaced the snowy cambric one,
and there was neither cravat nor collar to mark the boundary line
between his dark face and the still darker material. And the dear
little boots! O ye gods and little fishes! they were clumsy, and
mud-spattered! If my mouth twitched with laughter as I silently
commented, the Doctor's did not! I, who always danced on my way, came
in lying back on my pillows, and wheeled in by a servant. The Doctor's
sympathy was really touching, and poor consolation he gave when he
heard the story. "You will recover, to a certain extent; but will feel
it more or less all your life."

                     *      *      *      *      *

I am the ruin of all these puns; the gentlemen will hate me; I must
learn to ignore their conundrums until they answer them themselves, and
to wait patiently for the pun instead of catching it and laughing
before it is half-spoken. Why can't I do as the others do? There was
Mr. Van Ingen with his constant stream of them, that I anticipated
several times. He said to me, "If I were asked what town in Louisiana I
would rather be in this evening, what would my answer be?" I should
have looked perfectly innocent, and politely inquisitive; but I did
neither. I saw the answer instantly, and laughed. "Ah, you have
guessed! I can see it in your eyes!" he said. Of course I had, but I
told him I was afraid to say it, for fear he might think I was
flattering myself. Then we both laughed. The place he referred to was
_Bayou, Sarah_....

Yesterday, being a beautiful day, I was carried down in honor of
Christmas, to meet Captain Fenner and Mr. Duggan who were to dine with
us. The cars had brought Miriam a beautiful little set of collars and
cuffs from Dellie, and the oddest, sweetest little set for me, from
Morgan, for our Christmas gift. It is all Lilly....

We had an exquisite Christmas gift the night before, a magnificent
serenade, a compliment from Colonel Breaux. It very singularly happened
that Miriam, Anna, and Ned Badger were sitting up in the parlor,
watching alone for Christmas, when the band burst forth at the steps,
and startled them into a stampede upstairs. But Gibbes, who came with
the serenaders, caught them and brought them back into the parlor,
where there were only _eight_ gentlemen; and in this novel, unheard-of
style, only these two girls, with Gibbes to play propriety, entertained
all these people at midnight while the band played without....

I commenced writing to-day expressly to speak of our pleasant
Christmas; yet it seems as though I would write about anything except
that, since I have not come to it yet. Perhaps it is because I feel I
could not do it justice. At least, I can say who was there. At sunset
came Captain Bradford and Mr. Conn, the first stalking in with all the
assurance which a handsome face and fine person can lend, the second
following with all the timidity of a first appearance.... Again, after
a long pause, the door swung open, and enter Mr. Halsey, who bows and
takes the seat on the other side of me, and Mr. Bradford, of Colonel
Allen memory, once more returned to his regiment, who laughs, shakes
hands all around, and looks as happy as a schoolboy just come home for
the holidays, who has never-ending visions of plumcakes, puddings, and
other sweet things. While all goes on merrily, another rap comes, and
enter Santa Claus, dressed in the old uniform of the Mexican War, with
a tremendous cocked hat, and preposterous beard of false hair, which
effectually conceal the face, and but for the mass of tangled short
curls no one could guess that the individual was Bud. It was a device
of the General's, which took us all by surprise. Santa Claus passes
slowly around the circle, and pausing before each lady, draws from his
basket a cake which he presents with a bow, while to each gentleman he
presents a wineglass replenished from a most suspicious-looking black
bottle which also reposes there. Leaving us all wonder and laughter,
Santa Claus retires with a basket much lighter than it had been at his
entrance.... Then follow refreshments, and more and more talk and
laughter, until the clock strikes twelve, when all these ghosts bid a
hearty good-night and retire.

                                       January 1st, Thursday, 1863.

1863! Why I have hardly become accustomed to writing '62 yet! Where has
this year gone? With all its troubles and anxieties, it is the shortest
I ever spent! '61 and '62 together would hardly seem three hundred and
sixty-five days to me. Well, let time fly. Every hour brings us nearer
our freedom, and we are two years nearer peace now than we were when
South Carolina seceded. That is _one_ consolation....

I learn, to my unspeakable grief, that the State House is burned down.

                                               Sunday, January 4th.

One just from Baton Rouge tells us that my presentiment about our house
is verified; Yankees do inhabit it, a Yankee colonel and his wife. They
say they look strangely at home on our front gallery, pacing up and
down.... And a stranger and a Yankee occupies our father's place at the
table where he presided for thirty-one years.... And the old lamp that
lighted up so many eager, laughing faces around the dear old table
night after night; that with its great beaming eye watched us one by
one as we grew up and left our home; that witnessed every parting and
every meeting; by which we sang, read, talked, danced, and made merry;
the lamp that Hal asked for as soon as he beheld the glittering
chandeliers of the new innovation, gas; the lamp that all agreed should
go to me among other treasures, and be cased in glass to commemorate
the old days,--our old lamp has passed into the hands of strangers who
neither know nor care for its history. And mother's bed (which, with
the table and father's little ebony stand, alone remained uninjured)
belongs now to a Yankee woman! Father prized his ebony table. He said
he meant to have a gold plate placed in its centre, with an
inscription, and I meant to have it done myself when he died so soon
after. A Yankee now sips his tea over it, just where some beau or
beauty of the days of Charles II may have rested a laced sleeve or
dimpled arm....[15]

      [15] This "little ebony table"--which happened to be mahogany so
      darkened with age as to be recognized only by an expert many
      years after the war--and a mahogany rocking-chair are the two
      pieces of furniture which survived the sacking of Judge Morgan's
      house and remain to his descendants to-day. Such other furniture
      as could be utilized was appropriated by negroes.--W. D.

Give the devil his due. Bless Yankees for one thing; they say they
tried hard to save our State House.



                  From my sick bed, this 15th day of January, 1863.
                                                 LINWOOD, Thursday.

Am I not glad to get another blank book! On Sunday my old one gave out,
to my unspeakable distress, and I would have been _désolée_ if I had
not had three or four letters to answer, as writing is my chief
occupation during my tedious illness. O that unfortunate trip to Port
Hudson! Have I not cause to remember and regret it? Two months last
Sunday since I have been lying here a cripple, and I am not yet able to
take a step. However, on Monday mother sent Dr. Woods as my fourth
physician, and I have made up my mind that either he or Nature will
effect a cure before long. Wonder how it feels to walk? It makes me
weary to see others try it; I always fear that the exertion must be
very painful--an absurd idea which I endeavor to keep to myself....

                                              Monday, January 19th.

That blessed Mr. Halsey like an angel of mercy sent me "Kate Coventry"
yesterday, just when I was pining for a _bonne bouche_ of some kind, I
did not care what, whether a stick of candy or an equally palatable
book. It is delightful to have one's wishes realized as soon as they
are made. I think it rather caused me to relent towards Mr. Halsey; I
did not feel half so belligerent as I did just the Sunday before. At
all events, _I felt well enough to go down in the evening when he
called again_, though I had been too indisposed to do so on a previous
occasion. (O Sarah!)

Wheeled into the parlor, there I beheld not my friend alone, but
several other individuals whose presence rather startled me. I found
myself undergoing the terrors of an introduction to a Colonel Locke,
and to my unspeakable surprise, Major Buckner was claiming the
privilege of shaking hands with me, and Colonel Steadman was on the
other side, and--_was_ that Mr. Halsey? O never! The Mr. Halsey I knew
was shockingly careless of his dress, never had his hair smooth; let
his beard grow as it would, and wore a most ferocious slouched hat.
This one had taken more than one look at the glass, a thing I should
have imagined the other incapable of doing. He had bestowed the
greatest care and attention on his dress, had brought his beard within
reasonable limits, had combed his hair with the greatest precision, and
held lightly in one hand an elegant little cap that I am sure must be
provokingly becoming. Why, he was handsome! _Ah ça_! some mistake,
surely, I cried to myself. _My_ Mr. Halsey was not, certainly! "If it
be I, as I hope it may be, I've a little dog at home who will surely
know me," I kept repeating. I resolved to test the little dog's
sagacity, so I pretended to know this apparition, and thanked him for
the pleasure he had afforded me by sending me "Kate Coventry." He
looked conscious and pleased! The "little dog" had found out his
identity! I was more puzzled than ever. How account for this wondrous
change?... But metamorphosed "John" talked! He was expatiating at a
most extraordinary rate, and had been doing so for an hour after
supper, when Gibbes drew his chair near me (Gibbes likes to hear what
visitors say to his little sister); whereupon timid Mr. Halsey drew his
slightly back, and very soon after asked for his horse. O Gibbes! you
wretch! what an amusing tête-à-tête you spoiled, you innocent! And the
General, of course, only waited for his exit before beginning to tease
me unmercifully. I must put an end to this; they shall not bring such
unjust charges against him. Yet how am I to make them see reason?


I am more pleased to-night than I could well express. I have been
talking to an old and dear friend, no other than Will Pinckney! His
arrival was as unexpected as it was agreeable. The cry of "Here comes
Will Pinckney" sent me back to August, '60, when the words were always
the forerunner of fun and frolic.... He told me what he called his
secrets; of how he had been treated by the War Department (which has,
indeed, behaved shockingly towards the Colonel).

                                             Thursday, 22d January.

What a rush of visitors last night! One would imagine they had all come
by appointment, expressly to have an impromptu dance, which they
certainly enjoyed, by the way. There was little Captain C----, the
Susceptible and Simple, who so innocently says "I seen" and "I done
it," without the faintest suspicion of the peculiarity, and looks so
sweet, and guileless, and amiable, and soft, that I can't help
wondering if he would be sticky if I touch him. Indeed, I think his
hands stick, at least; for when he told me good-bye, it was with the
greatest difficulty that I extracted mine from his grasp (he having
forgotten to return it during a long farewell address), and even when I
succeeded in recovering it, by being almost rude, it was not released
without a _very_ sensible pressure from the _putty_, or whatever it is
that is so tenacious. I am afraid it is rather a habit of his, which
has lost all force or meaning by being too frequently repeated. Then
there was a horrid little wretch, vulgar and underbred (to my idea), to
whom I was introduced as Mr. G----.... But here is Lieutenant Dupré,
whom I have not yet introduced, though we have met before. Tall,
good-looking, a fine form, and not a sparkling face, I am inclined to
believe that his chief merit lies in his legs. Certainly when he dances
he puts his best foot forward, and knows it, too. Miriam, who adores
dancing, is flirting openly with this divinity of the "Deux Temps" and
polka, and skims around with his arm about her (position sanctified by
the lively air Lydia is dashing off on the piano) with a grace and
lightness only equaled by his own. And Lieutenant Duggan, with his
good, honest, clever face which so unmistakably proclaims him "Tom," we
know already, so no further description is needed. Captain Fenner, too,
is well known, with his short, though graceful figure, his
good-humored, intelligent face, irresistible imperial, and that roguish
expression about that large mouth which displays such handsome teeth,
and seems to say, "Don't trust me too far."

Little Captain C---- tells me a long story about how Colonel Steadman
had come to him and asked if he believed it possible that Miss Morgan
had put her life and happiness in the hands of a homoeopathic
physician; how he considered her fate sealed; and what a shame it was
to trifle with such a sad affair, at my age, too, ruined for life! It
was dreadful! Too sad! Hereupon, as continuing the story, he remarks
that being asked his opinion by the Colonel, he agreed perfectly and
thought with him it was an appalling sacrifice, and oh, all sorts of
things! Anything, just to make me miserable and unhappy!

Well, what is written will come to pass. First comes a doctor with a
butchering apparatus who cups and bleeds me unmercifully, says I'll
walk ten days after, and exit. Enter another. Croton oil and strychnine
pills, that'll set me up in two weeks. And exit. Enter a third. Sounds
my bones and pinches them from my head to my heels. Tells of the
probability of a splinter of bone knocked off my left hip, the
possibility of paralysis in the leg, the certainty of a seriously
injured spine, and the necessity for the most violent counter-irritants.
Follow blisters which sicken even disinterested people to look at, and
a trifle of suffering which I come very near acknowledging to myself.
Enter the fourth. Inhuman butchery! wonder they did not kill you! Take
three drops a day out of this tiny bottle, and presto! in two weeks you
are walking! A fifth, in the character of a friend, says, "My dear
young lady, if you do, your case is hopeless." What wonder that I am
puzzled? A wiser head would be confused. I want to believe all, but how
is it possible? "What will be, will be."

                     *      *      *      *      *

_Bon_! here comes a note from Mr. Halsey! _Ah ça!_ Lend him "Zaidee"?
Certainly! Here is a postscript three times the length of the note;
_voyons_. Will Miss Sarah make the annotations he requested, in "Kate
Coventry"? He is anxious to have the lady's opinion on the questions of
taste and propriety which so frequently occur in the book.... I'll not
attempt such a display; yet there are several passages I am dying to
mark. One in particular, speaking of the peculiarities of men, of how
they are always more at ease when they have their hands employed,
drawing confidence and conversation from a paper-knife and book to
tumble, a pair of scissors and a thread to snip, or even from imbibing
the head of a cane, I am anxious to call his attention to. If I dared
add to the list, "or a cord and tassel to play with"! This nervous Mr.
Halsey is wearing out my pretty blue tassel that Frank admires so much;
he says he can talk better when he dangles it. Think the hint might
save it in the future!

                                         Friday night, January 23d.

I am particularly happy to-day, for we have just heard from Brother for
the first time since last July. And he is well, and happy, and wants us
to come to him in New Orleans so he can take care of us, and no longer
be so anxious for our safety. If we only could!--To be sure the letter
is from a gentleman who is just out of the city, who says he writes at
Brother's earnest request; still it is something to hear, even
indirectly. One hundred and fifty dollars he encloses with the request
that mother will draw for any amount she wishes. Dear Brother, money is
the least thing we need; first of all, we are dying for want of a home.
If we could only see ours once more!

During this time we have heard incidentally of Brother; of his having
taken the oath of allegiance--which I am confident he did not do until
Butler's October decree--of his being a prominent Union man, of his
being a candidate for the Federal Congress, and of his withdrawal; and
finally of his having gone to New York and Washington, from which
places he only returned a few weeks since. That is all we ever heard. A
very few people have been insolent enough to say to me, "Your brother
is as good a Yankee as any." My blood boils as I answer, "Let him be
President Lincoln if he will, and I would love him the same." And so I
would. Politics cannot come between me and my father's son. What he
thinks right, is right, for him, though not for me. If he is for the
Union, it is because he believes it to be in the right, and I honor him
for acting from conviction, rather than from dread of public opinion.
If he were to take up the sword against us to-morrow, Miriam and I, at
least, would say, "If he thinks it his duty, he is right; we will not
forget he is our father's child." And we will not. From that sad day
when the sun was setting for the first time on our father's grave, when
the great, strong man sobbed in agony at the thought of what we had
lost, and taking us both on his lap put his arms around us and said,
"Dear little sisters, don't cry; I will be father and brother, too,
now," he has been both. He respects our opinions, we shall respect his.
I confess myself a rebel, body and soul. _Confess?_ I glory in it! Am
proud of being one; would not forego the title for any other earthly

Though none could regret the dismemberment of our old Union more than I
did at the time, though I acknowledge that there never was a more
unnecessary war than this in the beginning, yet once in earnest, from
the secession of Louisiana I date my change of sentiment. I have never
since then looked back; forward, forward! is the cry; and as the
Federal States sink each day in more appalling folly and disgrace, I
grow prouder still of my own country and rejoice that we can no longer
be confounded with a nation which shows so little fortitude in
calamity, so little magnanimity in its hour of triumph. Yes! I am glad
we are two distinct tribes! I am proud of my country; only wish I could
fight in the ranks with our brave soldiers, to prove my enthusiasm;
would think death, mutilation, glorious in such a cause; cry, "War to
all eternity before we submit." But if I can't fight, being
unfortunately a woman, which I now regret for the first time in my
life, at least I can help in other ways. What fingers can do in
knitting and sewing for them, I have done with the most intense
delight; what words of encouragement and praise could accomplish, I
have tried on more than one bold soldier boy, and not altogether in
vain; I have lost my home and all its dear contents for our Southern
Rights, have stood on its deserted hearthstone and looked at the ruin
of all I loved--without a murmur, almost glad of the sacrifice if it
would contribute its mite towards the salvation of the Confederacy. And
so it did, indirectly; for the battle of Baton Rouge which made the
Yankees, drunk with rage, commit outrages in our homes that civilized
Indians would blush to perpetrate, forced them to abandon the town as
untenable, whereby we were enabled to fortify Port Hudson here, which
now defies their strength. True they have reoccupied our town; that
Yankees live in our house; but if our generals said burn the whole
concern, would I not put the torch to our home readily, though I love
its bare skeleton still? Indeed I would, though I know what it is to be
without one. Don't Lilly and mother live in a wretched cabin in vile
Clinton while strangers rest under our father's roof? Yankees, I owe
you one for that!

Well! I boast myself Rebel, sing "Dixie," shout Southern Rights, pray
for God's blessing on our cause, without ceasing, and would not live in
this country if by any possible calamity we should be conquered; I am
only a woman, and that is the way I feel. Brother may differ. What
then? Shall I respect, love him less? No! God bless him! Union or
Secession, he is always my dear, dear Brother, and tortures could not
make me change my opinion.

                                              Friday, January 30th.

A whole week has passed since I opened this book, a week certainly not
spent in idleness, if not a very interesting one. For I have kept my
room almost all the time, leaving Miriam and Anna to entertain their
guests alone. Even when Mr. Halsey called on Sunday, I declined going
down. Why, I wonder? I felt better than usual, was in a splendid humor
for talking, yet--my excuses took my place, and I lay quietly in bed,
dreaming by the firelight, and singing hymns to myself. Once in a while
the thought would occur to me, "Why don't I go down?" But it was always
answered with a wry face, and the hymn went on. Yet I knew he had come
expecting to see me.

On the table near me stood a bunch of snowdrops that Miriam had culled
for her _beloved_ Captain Bradford. An idea struck me so suddenly that
my voice died instantly. The spirit of mischief had taken possession of
me. Laughing to myself, I caught them up, drew three long bright hairs
from my head--they looked right gold-y in the firelight--and tied them
around the flowers--I thought I should never get to the end while
wrapping them. Thus secured, a servant carried them into the parlor
with "Miss Sarah's compliments to Mr. Halsey." Poor Miriam's cry of
surprise at finding her flowers thus appropriated, reached my ears and
caused me to laugh again. It _was_ rather cool! But then it was better
fun than going down. And then didn't it flatter his vanity! O men! you
vain creatures! A woman would receive a whole bunch of hair and forty
thousand bouquets, without having her head turned; while you--Well! I
heard enough from Miriam to amuse me, at all events.

And a day or two after, Captain Bradford had a long story to tell
her--what he called a good joke on Mr. Halsey. Of how he had found him
kissing three long bright hairs in rapture, and on asking where he got
them, received as an answer--"From the God-_blessedest_ little angel
that ever wore long hair!" This _blessedest_ little angel did not
intend it as a souvenir, and is consequently annoyed about stories of
three hairs, intended as a string and nothing more, being wrapped in
tissue paper and treasured up--so goes the tale--instead of being
thrown into the fire as I certainly expected.

                     *      *      *      *      *

Last night Anna and Miriam sat on my bed at twilight, playing cards
while I tried my guitar, when Captain C----, Major Spratley, and
Lieutenant Dupré were announced. Quick, down went the cards as they
sprang to their feet to throw off their neat calicoes. Where was
Miriam's comb, and grenadine, and collar, and belt? Good gracious!
where was her buckle? On the bureau, mantel, washstand, or under them?
"Please move a moment, Anna!" In such a hurry, do! There was Anna,
"Wait! I'm in a hurry, too! Where is that pomatum? You Malvina! if you
don't help me, I'll--There! take that, Miss! Now fly around!" Malvina,
with a faint, dingy pink suddenly brought out on her pale sea-green
face, did fly around, while I, hushing my guitar in the tumult, watch
each running over the other, in silent amazement, wondering if order
can come out of such confusion, and if the people downstairs were worth
all that trouble.

When I finally made my appearance in the parlor, it was with the
conviction that I would have a dreadfully stupid time, and Captain
C---- too. However, though at first I had both, soon only the last was
left me. Some one suggested calling the Spirits, which game I had
imagined "played out" long ago; and we derived a great deal of
amusement from it. Six of us around a small table invoked them with the
usual ceremony. There was certainly no trick played; every finger was
above the board, and all feet sufficiently far from the single leg to
insure fair play. Every rap seemed to come exactly from the centre of
the table, and was painfully distinct though not loud. When asked if
there was a writing medium present, it indicated Captain C----. I
observed that he seemed averse to trying it, but yielded at length and
took the pencil in his hand.

Our first question, of course, was, How long before Peace? Nine months
was written. Which foreign nation would recognize us first? France,
then England, in eight months. Who was Miriam to marry? Captain of a
battery. "Who?" we all shouted. "Captain C. E. Fenner"[16] was written
again. When? In ten months. I believe Captain C---- to be honest about
it. He seemed to have no control over his hand, and his arm trembled
until it became exceedingly painful. Of course, I do not actually
believe in Spiritualism; but there is certainly something in it
one cannot understand; and Mrs. Badger's experience is enough to
convert one, alone. Each was startled in turn by extraordinary
revelations concerning themselves. Gibbes was to be transferred to the
Trans-Mississippi Department,[17] George would come home, and all the
gentlemen had the name and address of future sweethearts written in
full. The question was asked, "Who will Sarah Morgan fall in love
with?" Every eye was on the pencil as a capital "H" was traced. As the
"a" followed, I confess to a decided disgust at the Spirits, and was
about to beg it might be discontinued when the rest followed rapidly
until in three separate lines appeared, "Has not seen him yet" (here
came an exclamation of surprise from Lydia and Miriam, who knew how
true it was, and even Gibbes looked astonished). "Captain, in Virginia.
Captain Charles Lewis."[18] A perfect buzz of comments followed; every
one asked every one else if they knew any one by that name, and every
one said no. Gibbes was decidedly more interested than I. That odd "Has
not seen him yet," expressing so exactly the fact that I pride myself
upon, carried conviction in the truth of Spirits, _almost_. "Who will
she marry?" asked Gibbes. (He has a pet belief, in which I encourage
him, that I will never marry.) Again came the name as distinctly as
before, of Captain Charles Lewis. "When will she marry him?" "In June,
1864," was the answer. I was to meet him in New Orleans. November
followed, after a period.

      [16] Note by Mrs. Dawson in 1896: wrong--she married Lieutenant

      [17] Note by Mrs. Dawson: he was transferred in his coffin.

      [18] Captain F. W. Dawson, whom Sarah Morgan eventually married,
      was at that time a captain in Virginia, and she had not yet seen

Of course, the Spirits produced some slight commotion which made the
time pass pleasantly until Miriam began to waltz with her Monsieur Deux
Temps. Then Captain C---- told me why he had been unwilling to try it;
of how his father believed so strongly in it that he had very nearly
been made crazy by it, and how he had sworn to abandon the practice of
consulting them, seeing the effect produced. He did not believe in
Spirits himself; but could not account for the influence he was under,
when he saw his hand involuntarily write things he was totally
unconscious of, himself. However, he proposed that we two should have a
private consultation with them, which I opened by asking when I should
again see my home. I know he did not know anything about it; but on the
paper appeared--"Five months have gone--five months more." It is _just_
five months since I did see home. I think it was the 26th of August
that Charlie took me there. He asked if he should ever marry. "Never.
You will be jilted by the lady you love in Missouri, Miss Christina
P----." I pointed it out to him, as he happened to be looking at me
when it was written. It surprised him into saying, "Why, I'm engaged to
her!" I asked whose spirit was communicating with us. He was watching
the dance when his hand wrote, "John C----." I laughed and asked if
there was such a person, pointing to the name. He looked actually sick
as he said, "Yes, my brother; he is dead." I had not the heart to talk
of Spirits again; so we took to writing poetry together, every
alternate line falling to my lot. It made an odd jingle, the
sentimental first line being turned to broad farce by my absurd second

                                      February 5th, Thursday night.

A letter from Lavinia has come to me all the way from California. How
happy it made me, though written so long ago! Only the 30th of June!
Lavinia has changed, changed. There is a sad, worn-out tone in every
line; it sounds old, as though she had lived years and years ago and
was writing as though she were dead and buried long since. Lavinia,
whose letters used to keep me in sunshine for weeks at a time! Well! no
wonder she is sad. All these dreary years from home, with so faint a
hope of ever again seeing it, and all these sorrows and troubles that
have befallen us, combined, are not calculated to make her happy. But I
wish she had kept her cheerful heart. Well, perhaps it is easier for us
to be cheerful and happy, knowing the full extent of our calamities,
than it is for her, knowing so little and having just cause to fear so
much. Courage! Better days are coming! And then I'll have many a funny
tale to tell her of the days when the Yankees kept us on the _qui
vive_, or made us run for our lives. It will "tell" merrily; be almost
as lively as those running days were. One of my chief regrets over my
helplessness is that I will not be able to run in the next stampede. I
used to enjoy it. Oh, the days gone by, the dreary days, when, cut off
from our own people, and surrounded by Yankees, we used to catch up any
crumb of news favorable to our side that was smuggled into town, and
the Brunots and I would write each other little dispatches of
consolation and send them by little negroes! Those were dismal days.
Yet how my spirits would rise when the long roll would beat, and we
would prepare for flight!

                                 Monday, February 9th, 1863. Night.

A letter from my dear little Jimmy! How glad I am, words could not
express. This is the first since he arrived in England, and now we know
what has become of him at last. While awaiting the completion of the
ironclad gunboat to which he has been appointed, like a trump he has
put himself to school, and studies hard, which is evident from the
great improvement he already exhibits in his letter....

My delight at hearing from Jimmy is overcast by the bad news Lilly
sends of mother's health. I have been unhappy about her for a long
while; her health has been wretched for three months; so bad, that
during all my long illness she has never been with me after the third
day. I was never separated from mother for so long before; and I am
homesick, and heartsick about her. Only twenty miles apart, and she
with a shocking bone felon in her hand and that dreadful cough, unable
to come to me, whilst I am lying helpless here, as unable to get to
her. I feel right desperate about it. This evening Lilly writes of her
having chills and fevers, and looking very, _very_ badly. So Miriam
started off instantly to see her. My poor mother! She will die if she
stays in Clinton, I know she will!

                                          Wednesday, February 18th.

Gibbes has gone back to his regiment. I can't say how dreary I felt
when he came to tell me good-bye. I did not mean to cry; but how could
I help it when he put his arms around me?...

                                        Sunday, February 22d, 1863.

Mother has come to me! O how glad I was to see her this morning! And
the Georgia project, which I dared not speak of for fear it should be
mere talk and nothing more, is a reality.--Yes! we are actually going!
I can hardly believe that such good fortune as getting out of that
wretched Clinton really awaits us. Perhaps I shall not like Augusta
either; a stranger in a strange city is not usually enchanted with
everything one beholds; but still--a change of scene--a new
country--new people--it is worth while! Shall we _really_ go? Will some
page in this book actually record "Augusta, Georgia"? No! I dare not
believe it! Yet the mere thought has given me strength within the last
two weeks to attempt to walk. Learning to walk at my age! Is it not
amusing? But the smallest baby knows more about it than I did at first.
Of course, I knew one foot was to be put before the other; but the
question was how it was to be done when they would not go? I have
conquered that difficulty, however, and can now walk almost two yards,
if some one holds me fast.

_Sunset._ Will [Pinckney] has this instant left. Ever since dinner he
has been vehemently opposing the Georgia move, insisting that it will
cost me my life, by rendering me a confirmed cripple. He says _he_
could take care of me, but no one else can, so I must not be moved.
I am afraid his arguments have about shaken mother's resolution.
Pshaw! it will do me good! I must go. It will not do to remain here.
Twenty-seven thousand Yankees are preparing to march on Port Hudson,
and this place will certainly be either occupied by them, or burned. To
go to Clinton is to throw myself in their hands, so why not one grand
move to Augusta?

                                              Monday, February 23d.

Here goes! News has been received that the Yankees are already packed,
ready to march against us at any hour. If I was up and well, how my
heart would swell with exultation. As it is, it throbs so with
excitement that I can scarcely lie still. Hope amounts almost to
presumption at Port Hudson. They are confident that our fifteen
thousand can repulse twice the number. Great God!--I say it with all
reverence--if we could defeat them! _If_ we could scatter, capture,
annihilate them! My heart beats but one prayer--Victory! I shall grow
wild repeating it. In the mean time, though, Linwood is in danger. This
dear place, my second home; its loved inhabitants; think of their being
in such peril! Oh, I shall cry heartily if harm comes to them! But I
must leave before. No use of leaving my bones for the Yankees to pick;
better sing "Dixie" in Georgia. To-morrow, consequently, I go to that
earthly paradise, Clinton, thence to be re-shipped (so goes the
_present_ programme) to Augusta in three days. And no time for adieux!
Wonder who will be surprised, who vexed, and who will cry over the
unforeseen separation? Not a single "good-bye"! Nothing--except an old
brass button that Mr. Halsey gave me as a souvenir in case he should be
killed in the coming assault. It is too bad. Ah! Destiny! Destiny!
Where do you take us? During these two trying years, I have learned to
feel myself a mere puppet in the hands of a Something that takes me
here to-day, to-morrow there, always unexpectedly, and generally very
unwillingly, but at last leads me somewhere or other, right side up
with care, after a thousand troubles and distresses. The hand of
Destiny is on me now; where will it lead me?

                                           Tuesday [February] 24th.

Meeting Miriam by mere accident on the road last evening and hearing of
our surprising journey to Georgia, Mr. Halsey came to spend a last
evening with us, and say good-bye. What a deluge of regrets, hopes,
fears, etc. Perfectly overwhelming. Why had I not told him of it the
night before? All our friends would be so disappointed at not having an
opportunity of saying good-bye. If the Yankees would only postpone
their attack so he might accompany us! But no matter; he would come on
in two months, and meet us there. And would we not write to him? Thank
you! Miriam may, but I shall hardly do so! We had such a pleasant
evening together, talking over our trip. Then we had a dozen songs on
the guitar, gay, sad, and sentimental; then he gave me a sprig of
jessamine as a keepsake, and I ripped open my celebrated "running-bag"
to get a real _for true_ silver five cents--a perfect curiosity in
these days--which I gave him in exchange, and which he promised to wear
on his watch-chain. He and Miriam amused themselves examining the
contents of my sack and laughing at my treasures, the wretches! Then
came--good-bye. I think he was sorry to see us go. Well! he ought to
miss us! Ah! these fare-wells! To-day I bid adieu to Linwood. "It may
be for years, and it may be forever!" _This_ good-bye will cost me a

                                          Wednesday, February 25th.

Here we are still, in spite of our expectations. Difficulty on
difficulty arose, and an hour before the cars came, it was settled that
mother should go to Clinton and make the necessary arrangements, and
leave us to follow in a day or two. Two days more! Miriam no more
objected than I did, so mother went alone. Poor Miriam went to bed soon
after, _very_ ill. So ill that she lay groaning in bed at dusk, when a
stir was heard in the hall below, and Colonel Steadman, Major Spratley,
and Mr. Dupré were announced. Presto! up she sprang, and flew about in
the most frantic style, emptying the trunk on the floor to get her
prettiest dress, and acting as though she had never heard of pains and
groans. When we leave, how much I shall miss the fun of seeing her and
Anna running over each other in their excitement of dressing for their
favorites. Anna's first exclamation was, "Ain't you glad you didn't
go!" and certainly we were not sorry, from mere compassion; for what
would she have done with all three? If I laughed at their extra touches
to their dresses, it did not prevent me from bestowing unusual
attention on my own. And by way of bravado, when I was carried down, I
insisted on Mrs. Badger lending me her arm, to let me walk into the
parlor and prove to Colonel Steadman that in spite of his prophecies I
was able to take a few steps at least.

                     *      *      *      *      *

His last words, "You _won't_ go, will you? Think once more!" sent me
upstairs wondering, thinking, undecided, and unsatisfied, hardly
knowing what to do, or what to say. Every time I tried to sleep, those
calm, deep, honest gray eyes started up before my closed ones, and that
earnest "You _won't_ go, will you? Think once more!" rang in my ears
like a solemn warning. Hopes of seeing Georgia grew rather faint, that
night. Is it lawful to risk my life? But is it not better to lose it
while believing that I have still a chance of saving it by going, than
to await certain death calmly and unresisting in Clinton? I'd rather
die struggling for this life, this beautiful, loved, blessed life that
God has given me!

                                               March 10th, Tuesday.

     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

I had so many nice things to say--which now, alas, are knocked forever
from my head--when news came that the Yankees were advancing on us, and
were already within fifteen miles. The panic which followed reminded me
forcibly of our running days in Baton Rouge. Each one rapidly threw
into trunks all clothing worth saving, with silver and valuables, to
send to the upper plantation. I sprang up, determined to leave
instantly for Clinton so mother would not be alarmed for our safety;
but before I got halfway dressed, Helen Carter came in, and insisted on
my remaining, declaring that my sickness and inability to move would
prove a protection to the house, and save it from being burned over
their heads. Put on that plea, though I have no faith in melting the
bowels of compassion of a Yankee, myself, I consented to remain, as
Miriam urgently represented the dangers awaiting Clinton. So she tossed
all we owned into our trunk to send to mother as hostage of our return,
and it is now awaiting the cars. My earthly possessions are all
reposing by me on the bed at this instant, consisting of my guitar, a
change of clothes, running-bag, cabas, and this book. For in spite of
their entreaties, I would not send it to Clinton, expecting those
already there to meet with a fiery death--though I would like to
preserve those of the most exciting year of my life. They tell me that
this will be read aloud to me to torment me, but I am determined to
burn it if there is any danger of that. Why, I would die without some
means of expressing my feelings in the stirring hours so rapidly
approaching. I shall keep it by me.

Such bustle and confusion! Every one hurried, anxious, excited,
whispering, packing trunks, sending them off; wondering negroes looking
on in amazement until ordered to mount the carts waiting at the door,
which are to carry them too away. How disappointed the Yankees will be
at finding only white girls instead of their dear sisters and brothers
whom they love so tenderly! Sorry for their disappointment!

"They say" they are advancing in overwhelming numbers. That is nothing,
so long as God helps us, and from our very souls we pray His blessing
on us in this our hour of need. For myself, I cannot yet fully believe
they are coming. It would be a relief to have it over. I have taken the
responsibility of Lydia's jewelry on my shoulders, and hope to be able
to save it in the rush which will take place. Down at the cars Miriam
met Frank Enders, going to Clinton in charge of a car full of
Yankees,--deserters, who came into our lines. He thinks, just as I do,
that our trunks are safer here than there. Now that they are all off,
we all agree that it was the most foolish thing we could have done.
These Yankees interfere with all our arrangements.

I am almost ashamed to confess what an absurdly selfish thought
occurred to me a while ago. I was lamenting to myself all the troubles
that surround us, the dangers and difficulties that perplex us,
thinking of the probable fate that might befall some of our brave
friends and defenders in Port Hudson, when I thought, too, of the fun
we would miss. Horrid, was it not? But worse than that, I was longing
for something to read, when I remembered Frank told me he had sent
to Alexandria for Bulwer's "Strange Story" for me, and then I
unconsciously said, "How I wish it would get here before the Yankees!"
I am _very_ anxious to read it, but confess I am ashamed of having
thought of it at such a crisis. So I toss up the farthing Frank gave me
for a keepsake the other day, and say I'll try in future to think less
of my own comfort and pleasure.

Poor Mr. Halsey! What a sad fate the pets he procures for me meet! He
stopped here just now on his way somewhere, and sent me a curious
bundle with a strange story, by Miriam. It seems he got a little
flying-squirrel for me to play with (must know my partiality for pets),
and last night, while attempting to tame him, the little creature bit
his finger, whereupon he naturally let him fall on the ground,
(Temper!) which put a period to his existence. He had the nerve to skin
him after the foul murder, and sent all that remains of him out to me
to prove his original intention. The softest, longest, prettiest fur,
and such a duck of a tail! Poor little animal couldn't have been larger
than my fist. Wonder if its spirit will meet with that of the little
bird which flew heavenward with all that pink ribbon and my letter from
Mr. Halsey?

                                              Saturday, March 14th.
                                                    5 o'clock, P.M.

They are coming! The Yankees are coming at last! For four or five hours
the sound of their cannon has assailed our ears. There!--that one shook
my bed! Oh, they are coming! God grant us the victory! They are now
within four miles of us, on the big road to Baton Rouge. On the road
from town to Clinton, we have been fighting since daylight at
Readbridge, and have been repulsed. Fifteen gunboats have passed
Vicksburg, they say. It will be an awful fight. No matter! With God's
help we'll conquer yet! Again!--the report comes nearer. Oh, they _are_
coming! Coming to defeat, I pray God.

Only we seven women remain in the house. The General left this morning,
to our unspeakable relief. They would hang him, we fear, if they should
find him here. Mass' Gene has gone to his company; we are left alone
here to meet them. If they _will_ burn the house, they will have to
burn me in it. For I cannot walk, and I know they shall not carry me.
I'm resigned. If I _should_ burn, I have friends and brothers enough to
avenge me. Create _such_ a consternation! Better than being thrown from
a buggy--only I'd not survive to hear of it!

Letter from Lilly to-day has distressed me beyond measure. Starvation
which threatened them seems actually at their door. With more money
than they could use in ordinary times, they can find nothing to
purchase. Not a scrap of meat in the house for a week. No pork, no
potatoes, fresh meat obtained _once_ as a favor, and poultry and flour
articles unheard of. Besides that, Tiche crippled, and Margret very
ill, while Liddy has run off to the Yankees. Heaven only knows what
will become of them. The other day we were getting ready to go to them
(Thursday) when the General disapproved of my running such a risk,
saying he'd call it a d---- piece of nonsense, if I asked what he
thought; so we remained. They will certainly starve soon enough without
our help; and yet--I feel we should all be together still. That last
superfluous word is the refrain of Gibbes's song that is ringing in my
ears, and that I am chanting in a kind of ecstasy of excitement:--

    "Then let the cannon boom as it will,
      We'll be gay and happy still!"

And we will be happy in spite of Yankee guns! Only--my dear This, That,
and the Other, at Port Hudson, how I pray for your safety! God spare
our brave soldiers, and lead them to victory! I write, touch my guitar,
talk, pick lint, and pray so rapidly that it is hard to say which is my
occupation. I sent Frank some lint the other day, and a bundle of it
for Mr. Halsey is by me. Hope neither will need it! But to my work

                                        Half-past One o'clock, A.M.

It has come at last! What an awful sound! I thought I had heard a
bombardment before; but Baton Rouge was child's play compared to this.
At half-past eleven came the first gun--at least the first _I_ heard,
and I hardly think it could have commenced many moments before.
Instantly I had my hand on Miriam, and at my first exclamation, Mrs.
Badger and Anna answered. All three sprang to their feet to dress,
while all four of us prayed aloud. Such an incessant roar! And at every
report the house shaking so, and we thinking of our dear soldiers, the
dead and dying, and crying aloud for God's blessing on them, and defeat
and overthrow to their enemies. That dreadful roar! I can't think fast
enough. They are too quick to be counted. We have all been in Mrs.
Carter's room, from the last window of which we can see the incessant
flash of the guns and the great shooting stars of flame, which must be
the hot shot of the enemy. There is a burning house in the distance,
the second one we have seen to-night. For Yankees can't prosper unless
they are pillaging honest people. Already they have stripped all on
their road of cattle, mules, and negroes.

Gathered in a knot within and without the window, we six women up here
watched in the faint starlight the flashes from the guns, and silently
wondered which of our friends were lying stiff and dead, and then,
shuddering at the thought, betook ourselves to silent prayer. I think
we know what it is to "wrestle with God in prayer"; we had but one
thought. Yet for women, we took it almost too coolly. No tears, no
cries, no fear, though for the first five minutes everybody's teeth
chattered violently. Mrs. Carter had her husband in Fenner's battery,
the hottest place if they are attacked by the land force, and yet to my
unspeakable relief she betrayed no more emotion than we who had only
friends there. We know absolutely nothing; when does one ever know
anything in the country? But we presume that this is an engagement
between our batteries and the gunboats attempting to run the blockade.

Firing has slackened considerably. All are to lie down already dressed;
but being in my nightgown from necessity, I shall go to sleep, though
we may expect at any instant to hear the tramp of Yankee cavalry in the

                                                Sunday, March 15th.

To my unspeakable surprise, I waked up this morning and found myself
alive. Once satisfied of that, and assuring myself of intense silence
in the place of the great guns which rocked me to sleep about half-past
two this morning, I began to doubt that I had heard any disturbance in
the night, and to believe I had written a dream within a dream, and
that no bombardment had occurred; but all corroborate my statement, so
it must be true, and this portentous silence is only the calm before
the storm. I am half afraid the land force won't attack. We can beat
them if they do; but suppose they lay siege to Port Hudson and starve
us out? That is the only way they can conquer.

We hear nothing still that is reliable.

Just before daylight there was a terrific explosion which electrified
every one save myself. I was sleeping so soundly that I did not hear
anything of it, though Mrs. Badger says that when she sprang up and
called me, I talked very rationally about it, and asked what it could
possibly be. Thought that I had ceased talking in my sleep. Miriam was
quite eloquent in her dreams before the attack, crying aloud, "See!
See! What do I behold?" as though she were witnessing a rehearsal of
the scene to follow.

_Later._ Dr. Kennedy has just passed through, and was within the
fortifications last night; brings news which is perhaps reliable, as it
was obtained from Gardiner. It was, as we presumed, the batteries and
gunboats. One we sunk; another, the Mississippi, we disabled so that
the Yankees had to abandon and set fire to her, thirty-nine prisoners
falling into our hands. It was her magazine that exploded this morning.
Two other boats succeeded in passing, though badly crippled. Our
batteries fired gallantly. Hurrah! for Colonel Steadman! I know his was
by no means the least efficient!

Clinton, they say, will inevitably be sacked. Alas, for mother and
Lilly! What can we do? The whole country is at the mercy of the Yankees
as long as Gardiner keeps within the fortifications. Six miles below
here they entered Mr. Newport's, pulled the pillow-cases from the beds,
stuffed them with his clothes, and helped themselves generally. What
can we expect here? To tell the truth, I should be disappointed if they
did not even look in at us, on their marauding expedition.

                                                        March 17th.

_On dit_ the Yankees have gone back to Baton Rouge, hearing we had
sixty thousand men coming down after them. I believe I am positively
disappointed! I did want to see them soundly thrashed! The light we
thought was another burning house was that of the Mississippi. They say
the shrieks of the men when our hot shells fell among them, and after
they were left by their companions to burn, were perfectly appalling.

Another letter from Lilly has distressed me beyond measure. She says
the one chicken and two dozen eggs Miriam and I succeeded in buying
from the negroes by prayers and entreaties, saved them from actual
hunger; and for two days they had been living on one egg apiece and
some cornbread and syrup. Great heavens! has it come to this? Nothing
to be bought in that abominable place for love or money. Where the next
meal comes from, nobody knows.

                                             Wednesday, March 25th.

Early last evening the tremendous clatter of a sword that made such
unnecessary noise that one might imagine the owner thereof had betaken
himself to the favorite pastime of his childhood, and was prancing in
on his murderous weapon, having mistaken it for his war steed,
announced the arrival of Captain Bradford, who with two friends came to
say adieu. Those vile Yankees have been threatening Ponchatoula, and
his battery, with a regiment of infantry, was on its way there to drive
them back. The Captain sent me word of the distressing departure, with
many assurances that he would take care of "my" John.

Scarcely had he departed, when lo! John arrives, and speaks for
himself. Yes! he is going! Only a moment to say good-bye ... sunset
approaches. Well! he must say good-bye now! Chorus of young ladies:
"Oh, will you not spend the evening with us? You can easily overtake
the battery later." Chorus of married ladies: "You must not think of
going. Here is a comfortable room at your service, and after an early
breakfast you can be on the road as soon as the others." No necessity
for prayers; he readily consents. And yet, as the evening wore on, when
we laughed loudest I could not help but think of poor little Mrs.
McPhaul sitting alone and crying over her brother's departure, fancying
his precious bones lying on the damp ground with only the soldier's
roof--the blue vault of heaven--above, while two miles away he sat in a
comfortable parlor amusing himself.

About sunrise, while the most delightful dreams floated through my
brain, a little voice roused me exclaiming, "Sady! Sady! John Hawsey
say so! Say give Sady!" I opened my eyes to see little Gibbes standing
by me, trying to lay some flowers on my cheek, his little face
sparkling with delight at his own importance. A half-opened rosebud
with the faintest blush of pink on its creamy leaves--a pink, and a
piece of arbor vitæ, all sprinkled with dew, this was my bouquet. The
servant explained that Mr. Halsey had just left, and sent me that with
his last good-bye. And he has gone! "And now there's nothing left but
weeping! His face I ne'er shall see, and naught is left to me,
save"--putting away my book and all recollections of nonsense. So here

                                               Tuesday, March 31st.

"To be, or not to be; that's the question." Whether 'tis nobler in the
Confederacy to suffer the pangs of unappeasable hunger and never-ending
trouble, or to take passage to a Yankee port, and there remaining, end
them. Which is best? I am so near daft that I cannot pretend to say; I
only know that I shudder at the thought of going to New Orleans, and
that my heart fails me when I think of the probable consequence to
mother if I allow a mere outward sign of patriotism to overbalance what
should be my first consideration--her health. For Clinton is growing no
better rapidly. To be hungry is there an everyday occurrence. For ten
days, mother writes, they have lived off just hominy enough to keep
their bodies and souls from parting, without being able to procure
another article--not even a potato. Mother is not in a condition to
stand such privation; day by day she grows weaker on her new regimen; I
am satisfied that two months more of danger, difficulties,
perplexities, and starvation will lay her in her grave. The latter
alone is enough to put a speedy end to her days. Lilly has been obliged
to put her children to bed to make them forget they were supperless,
and when she followed their example, could not sleep herself, for very

We have tried in vain to find another home in the Confederacy. After
three days spent in searching Augusta, Gibbes wrote that it was
impossible to find a vacant room for us, as the city was already
crowded with refugees. A kind Providence must have destined that
disappointment in order to save my life, if there is any reason for
Colonel Steadman's fears. We next wrote to Mobile, Brandon, and even
that horrid little Liberty, besides making inquiries of every one we
met, while Charlie, too, was endeavoring to find a place, and
everywhere received the same answer--not a vacant room, and provisions
hardly to be obtained at all.

The question has now resolved itself to whether we shall see mother die
for want of food in Clinton, or, by sacrificing an outward show of
patriotism (the inward sentiment cannot be changed), go with her to New
Orleans, as Brother begs in the few letters he contrives to smuggle
through. It looks simple enough. Ought not mother's life to be our
first consideration? Undoubtedly! But suppose we could preserve her
life and our free sentiments at the same time? If we could only find a
resting-place in the Confederacy! This, though, is impossible. But to
go to New Orleans; to cease singing "Dixie"; to be obliged to keep your
sentiments to yourself--for I would not wound Brother by any
Ultra-Secession speech, and such could do me no good and only injure
him--_if_ he is as friendly with the Federals as they say he is; to
listen to the scurrilous abuse heaped on those fighting for our homes
and liberties, among them my three brothers--could I endure it? I fear
not. Even if I did not go crazy, I would grow so restless, homesick,
and miserable, that I would pray for even Clinton again. Oh, I don't,
don't want to go! If mother would only go alone, and leave us with
Lilly! But she is as anxious to obtain Dr. Stone's advice for me as we
are to secure her a comfortable home; and I won't go anywhere without
Miriam, so we must all go together. Yet there is no disguising the fact
that such a move will place us in a very doubtful position to both
friends and enemies. However, all our friends here warmly advocate the
move, and Will Pinckney and Frank both promised to knock down any one
who shrugged their shoulders and said anything about it. But what would
the boys say? The fear of displeasing them is my chief distress. George
writes in the greatest distress about my prolonged illness, and his
alarm about my condition. "Of one thing I am sure," he writes, "and
that is that she deserves to recover; for a better little sister never
lived." God bless him! My eyes grew right moist over those few words.
Loving words bring tears to them sooner than angry ones. Would he
object to such a step when he knows that the very medicines necessary
for my recovery are not to be procured in the whole country? Would he
rather have mother dead and me a cripple, in the Confederacy, than both
well, out of it? I feel that if we go we are wrong; but I am satisfied
that it is worse to stay. It is a distressing dilemma to be placed in,
as we are certain to be blamed whichever course we pursue. But I don't
want to go to New Orleans!

Before I had time to lay down my pen this evening, General Gardiner and
Major Wilson were announced; and I had to perform a hasty toilette
before being presentable. The first remark of the General was that my
face recalled many pleasant recollections; that he had known my family
very well, but that time was probably beyond my recollection; and he
went on talking about father and Lavinia, until I felt quite
comfortable, with this utter stranger.... I would prefer his speaking
of "our" recent success at Port Hudson to "my"; for we each, man,
woman, and child, feel that we share the glory of sinking the gunboats
and sending Banks back to Baton Rouge without venturing on an attack;
and it seemed odd to hear any one assume the responsibility of the
whole affair and say "my success" so unconsciously. But this may be the
privilege of generals. I am no judge, as this is the first Confederate
general I have had the pleasure of seeing. Wish it had been old
Stonewall! I grow enthusiastic every time I think of the dear old

I am indebted to General Gardiner for a great piece of kindness,
though. I was telling him of how many enemies he had made among the
ladies by his strict regulations that now rendered it almost impossible
for the gentlemen to obtain permission to call on them, when he told me
if I would signify to my friends to mention when they applied that
their visit was to be here, and not elsewhere, that he would answer for
their having a pass whenever they called for one. _Merci du compliment;
mais c'est trop tard, Monsieur!_

                                                Tuesday, April 7th.

I believe that it is _for true_ that we are to leave for New Orleans,
via Clinton and Ponchatoula, this evening. Clinton, at least, I am sure
of. Lilly came down for me yesterday, and according to the present
programme, though I will not answer for it in an hour from now, we
leave Linwood this evening, and Clinton on Thursday. I am almost
indifferent about our destination; my chief anxiety is to have some
definite plans decided on, which seems perfectly impossible from the
number of times they are changed a day. The uncertainty is really
affecting my spine, and causing me to grow alarmingly thin....


                                                Wednesday, CLINTON,
                                                   April 8th, 1863.

Our last adieux are said, and Linwood is left behind, "it may be for
years, and it may be forever." My last hours were spent lying on the
sofa on the gallery, with Lydia at my feet, Helen Carter sitting on the
floor at my side, while all the rest were gathered around me as I
played for the _last time_ "the centre of attraction." I grew almost
lachrymose as I bid a last adieu to the bed where I have spent so many
months, as they carried me downstairs. Wonder if it will not miss me?
It must have been at least five before the cars returned. Mrs. Carter
grew quite pathetic as they approached, while poor little Lydia, with
streaming eyes and choking sobs, clung first to Miriam and then to me,
as though we parted to meet only in eternity. All except her mother
started in a run for the big gate, while I was carried to the buggy
through the group of servants gathered to say good-bye, when the
General drove me off rapidly.

What a delightful sensation is motion, after five months' inaction! The
last time I was in a vehicle was the night General Beale's ambulance
brought me to Linwood a helpless bundle, last November. It seemed to me
yesterday that I could again feel the kind gentleman's arm supporting
me, and his wondering, sympathetic tone as he repeated every half-mile,
"Really, Miss Morgan, you are _very_ patient and uncomplaining!" Good,
kind President Miller! As though all the trouble was not his, just
then! But stopping at the gate roused me from my short reverie, and I
opened my eyes to find myself stationary, and in full view of a train
of cars loaded with soldiers, literally covered with them; for they
covered the roof, as well as filled the interior, while half a dozen
open cars held them, seated one above the other in miniature pyramids,
and even the engine was graced by their presence. Abashed with finding
myself confronted with so many people, my sensation became decidedly
alarming as a dozen rude voices cried, "Go on! we won't stop!" and a
chorus of the opposition cried, "Yes, we will!" "No!" "Yes!" they cried
in turn, and as the General stood me on the ground (I would have walked
if it had been my last attempt in life), I paused irresolute, not
knowing whether to advance or retreat before the storm. I must say they
are the only rude soldiers I have yet seen in Confederate uniforms. But
as I walked slowly, clinging to the General's arm, half from fear, and
half from weakness, they ceased the unnecessary dispute, and remained
so quiet that I was more frightened still, and actually forgot to say
good-bye to Mrs. Carter and Mrs. Worley as they stood by the road. How
both the General and I escaped being hurt as he raised me on the
platform, every one is at a loss to account for. I experienced only
what may be called slight pain, in comparison to what I _have_ felt;
but really fear that the exertion has disabled him for to-day. It must
have been very severe. Some officers led me to my seat, Lilly, Miriam,
and Anna got in, the General kissed us heartily, with damp eyes and
kind wishes; the cars gave a whistle, and I put my head out of the
window to see Mrs. Carter industriously applying white cambric to her
face, which occupation she relinquished to call out last good-byes;
another whistle and a jerk, and we were off, leaving her and Mrs.
Worley, surrounded by children and servants, using their handkerchiefs
to wipe tears and wave farewell, while the General waved his hat for
good-bye. Then green hedges rapidly changing took their place, and
Linwood was out of sight before we had ceased saying and thinking, God
bless the kind hearts we had left behind. Can I ever forget the
kindness we have met among them?

To see green trees and wild flowers once more, after such an illness,
is a pleasure that only those long deprived of such beauties by a
similar misfortune can fully appreciate.

It was a relief to discover that what I had thought shocking rudeness
in the soldiers had not been reserved for me alone. For every time we
stopped, the same cry of "No waiting for slow people" was raised,
varied by constant expostulations with the engine for drinking ponds
dry, and mild suggestions as to taking the road the other side of the
fence, which would no doubt prove smoother than the track. These
Arkansas troops have acquired a reputation for roughness and ignorance
which they seem to cultivate as assiduously as most people would their
virtues. But rudeness does not affect their fighting qualities.

                                          Sunday, April 12th, 1863.

We arrived here about five last evening, and, strange to say, the
journey, fatiguing as it was, has not altogether disabled me. But I
must go back to Clinton to account for this new change. It would never
do to take more than a hundred miles at a single jump without speaking
of the incidents by the way. Numerous and pleasant as they were, some
way they have unaccountably paled; and things that seemed so extremely
amusing, and afforded me so much pleasure during these four days, now
seem to be absurd trifles half forgotten.

I now remember lying in state on Lilly's bed Wednesday, talking to Mrs.
Badger (who had been several days in town), Anna, Sarah Ripley, and the
others, when Frank suddenly bolted in, just from Port Hudson, to say
another good-bye, though I told him good-bye at Linwood Sunday.
Presently the General entered, just from Linwood, to see us off; then
Mr. Marston and his daughter, and Mr. Neafus, all as kind as possible,
until a perfect levee was assembled, which I, lying all dressed with a
shawl thrown over me, enjoyed all the more as I could take my ease, and
have my fun at the same time. Frank, sitting by my pillow, talked
dolorously of how much he would miss us, and threatened to be taken
prisoner before long in order to see us again.

                     *      *      *      *      *

When we were finally left alone, I fancy there was very little sleep in
the house. As to me, I lay by Lilly wide awake, thinking how lonely she
would be without us, and perfectly _désolée_ at the idea of leaving the
Confederacy (the dear gray coats included); so when it was almost
sunrise there was no necessity of rousing me to dress, as I was only
too glad to leave my sleepless bed. Before I got dressed, Anna, her
mother, and Sarah Ripley came in again; then Miss Comstock; and just as
I had put the last touch to my dress, the gentlemen of the night before
entered, and we had almost an hour and a half's respite before the
carriage, less punctual than we, drove to the door.

The General picked me up in his arms and carried me once more to the
carriage. Then the servants had to say good-bye; then Lilly, very
quiet, very red, and dissolved in tears, clung to me almost without a
word, hardly able to speak, whilst I, distressed and grieved as I was,
had not a tear in my eyes--nothing but a great lump in my throat that I
tried to choke down in order to talk to Frank, who stood at the window
by me, after she left.... How the distance lengthens between us! I
raise up from my pillows and find myself at Camp Moore at four o'clock.
Forty miles are passed over; good-bye, Frank!

From Camp Moore we had to go three miles back, to find Captain Gilman's
house where we were expected. The gentleman is a friend of Gibbes,
though I had never seen any of them before. Such a delightful place,
with everything looking so new, and cool, and such a hospitable hostess
that I thought everything charming in spite of my fatigue. I had hardly
a moment to look around; for immediately we were shown to our rooms,
and in a very few minutes Miriam had me undressed and in bed, the most
delightful spot in the world to me just then. While congratulating
myself on having escaped death on the roadside, I opened my eyes to
behold a tray brought to my bedside with a variety of refreshments.
Coffee! Bread! Loaf-sugar! Preserves! I opened my mouth to make an
exclamation at the singular optical illusion, but wisely forbore
speaking, and shut it with some of the unheard-of delicacies

Early next morning the same routine was gone through as Thursday
morning. Again the carriage drove to the door, and we were whisked off
to Camp Moore, where the engine stood snorting with impatience to hurry
us off to Ponchatoula.... Soon we were steaming down the track, I
reclining on my pillows in an interesting state of invalidism, sadly
abashed now and then at the courteous, wondering gaze of the soldiers
who were aboard. Having very little idea of the geography of that part
of the country, and knowing we were to take a carriage from some point
this side of Ponchatoula, fancying how surprised Mr. Halsey would be to
hear we had passed him on the way, I took a card from my
traveling-case, and wrote a few words for "good-bye," as we could not
see him again. I sealed it up, and put it in my pocket to send to the
first post-office we passed.

About twelve o'clock we stopped at Hammond, which was our place to
disembark. Mother sent out to hire a negro to carry me off the
platform; and while waiting in great perplexity, a young officer who
had just seated himself before me, got up and asked if he could assist
her, seizing an arm full of cloaks as he spoke. I got up and walked to
the door to appear independent and make believe I was not the one, when
mother begged him not to trouble himself; she wanted a man to assist
her daughter who was sick. Calling a friend, the gentleman kindly
loaded him with the cloaks, etc., while he hurried out after me. I was
looking ruefully at the impracticable step which separated me from the
platform. The question of how I was to carry out my independent notions
began to perplex me. "Allow me to assist you," said a voice at my
elbow. I turned and beheld the handsome officer. "Thank you; I think I
can get down alone." "Pray allow me to lift you over this place." "Much
obliged, but your arm will suffice." "Sarah, let the gentleman carry
you! You know you cannot walk!" said my very improper mother. I
respectfully declined the renewed offer. "Don't pay any attention to
her. Pick her up, just as you would a child," said my incorrigible
mother. The gentleman turned very red, while Miriam asserts I turned
extremely white. The next thing I knew, by passing his arm around my
waist, or taking me by my arms--I was so frightened that I have but a
confused idea of it--I was lifted over the intervening gulf and landed
on the platform!

Hammond boasts of four houses. One, a shoe manufactory, stood about
twenty or thirty yards off, and there the gentleman proposed to conduct
me. Again he insisted on carrying me; and resolutely refusing, I
pronounced myself fully equal to the walk, and accepting his proffered
arm, walked off with dignity and self-possession. He must have fancied
that the injury was in my hand; for holding my arm so that my entire
weight must have been thrown on him, not satisfied with that support,
with his other hand he held mine _so_ respectfully and so carefully
that I could not but smile as it struck me, which, by the way, _was not
until I reached the house_!

Discovering that he belonged to Colonel Simonton's command, I asked him
to take Mr. Halsey the note I had written an hour before. He pronounced
himself delighted to be of the slightest service, and seeing that we
were strangers, traveling unprotected, asked if we had secured a
conveyance to take us beyond. We told him no. He modestly suggested
that some gentleman might attend to it for us. He would be happy to do
anything in his power. I thought again of Mr. Halsey, and said if he
would mention we were in Hammond, he would be kind enough to see to it
for us. "May I ask your name?" he asked, evidently surprised to find
himself asking a question he was dying to know. I gave him my card,
whereupon mother asked _his_ name, which he told us was Howard. We had
been talking for some ten minutes, when feeling rather uncomfortable at
being obliged to look up at such a tall man from my low seat, to
relieve my neck as well as to shade my face from any further scrutiny,
I put down my head while I was still speaking. Instantly, so quietly,
naturally, and unobtrusively did he stoop down by me, on one knee so
that his face was in full view of mine, that the action did not seem to
me either singular or impertinent--in fact, I did not think of it until
mother spoke of it after he left. After a few moments it must have
struck him; for he got up and made his parting bow, departing, as I
afterwards heard, to question Tiche as to how I had been hurt, and
declaring that it was a dreadful calamity to happen to so "lovely" a
young lady.

                                                Monday, April 13th.

Having nothing to do, I may as well go on with the history of our
wanderings. When the cars were moving off with the handsome Mr. Howard,
mother turned to a gentleman who seemed to own the place, and asked to
be shown the hotel. He went out, and presently returning with a chair
and two negroes, quietly said he would take us to his own house; the
hotel was not comfortable. And, without listening to remonstrances, led
the way to a beautiful little cottage, where he introduced his wife,
Mrs. Cate, who received us most charmingly, and had me in bed before
five minutes had elapsed. I don't know how any one can believe the
whole world so wicked; for my part I have met none but the kindest
people imaginable; I don't know any wicked ones.

Before half an hour had passed, a visitor was announced; so I gathered
up my weary bones, and with scarcely a peep at the glass, walked to the
parlor. I commenced laughing before I got there, and the visitor smiled
most absurdly, too; for it was--Mr. Halsey! It seemed so queer to meet
in this part of the world that we laughed again after shaking hands. It
_was_ odd. I was thinking how much amused the General would be to hear
of it; for he had made a bet that we would meet when I asserted that we
would not.

After the first few remarks, he told me of how he had heard of our
arrival. A gentleman had walked into camp, asking if a Mr. Halsey was
there. He signified that he was the gentleman, whereupon the other drew
out my note, saying a young lady on the cars had requested him to
deliver it. Instantly recognizing the chirography, he asked where I
was. "Hammond. This is her name," replied the other, extending to him
my card. Thinking, as he modestly confessed, that I had intended it
only for him, Mr. Halsey coolly put it into his pocket, and called for
his horse. Mr. Howard lingered still, apparently having something to
say, which he found difficult to put in words. At last, as the other
prepared to ride off, with a tremendous effort he managed to say, "The
young lady's card is mine. If it is all the same to you, I should like
to have it returned." Apologizing for the mistake, Mr. Halsey returned
it, feeling rather foolish, I should imagine, and rode on to the
village, leaving, as he avers, Mr. Howard looking enviously after the
lucky dog who was going to see _such_ a young lady.

He told me something that slightly disgusted me with Captain Bradford.
It was that when he reached the bivouac the next morning after leaving
Linwood, the Captain had put him under arrest for having stayed there
all night. It was too mean, considering that it is more than probable
that he himself remained at Mrs. Fluker's. We discovered, too, that we
had missed two letters Mr. Halsey had written us, which, _of course_,
is a great disappointment. One, written to both, the other, a short
note of ten pages, for me, which I am sure was worth reading.

It was not until after sunset that we exhausted all topics of conversation,
and Mr. Halsey took his leave, promising to see us in the morning.

And, to be sure, as soon as I was dressed on Saturday, he again made
his appearance, followed soon after by the carriage. Taking a cordial
leave of Mrs. Cate, with many thanks for her hospitality, we entered
our conveyance, and with Mr. Halsey riding by the side of the carriage,
went on our way. He was to accompany us only as far as Ponchatoula--some
six miles; but the turning-point in his journey seemed to be an
undetermined spot; for mile after mile rolled away--rather the wheels
rolled over them--and still he rode by us, talking through the window,
and the sprays of wild flowers he would pick for me from time to time
were growing to quite a bouquet, when he proposed an exchange with the
farmer who was driving us, and, giving him his horse, took the reins

I think Miriam and I will always remember that ride. The laughter, the
conversation, the songs with the murmuring accompaniment of the wheels,
and a thousand incidents pleasant to remember though foolish to speak
of, will always form a delightful tableau in our recollections. I have
but one disagreeable impression to remember in connection with the
trip, and that occurred at a farmhouse two miles from here, where we
stopped to get strawberries. I preferred remaining in the carriage, to
the trouble of getting out; so all went in, Mr. Halsey dividing his
time equally between Miriam in the house and me in the carriage,
supplying me with violets and _pensées_ one moment, and the next
showing me the most tempting strawberries at the most provoking
distance, assuring me they were exquisite. The individual to whom the
carriage belonged, who had given up the reins to Mr. Halsey, and who,
no doubt, was respectable enough for his class in his part of the
country, would allow no one to bring me my strawberries, reserving the
honor for himself. Presently he appeared with a large saucer of them
covered with cream. I was naturally thankful, but would have preferred
his returning to the house after he had fulfilled his mission. Instead,
he had the audacity to express his admiration of my personal
appearance; without a pause gave me a short sketch of his history,
informed me he was a widower, and _very_ anxious to marry again, and
finally,--Lares and Penates of the house of Morgan ap Kerrig, veil your
affronted brows! You will scarcely credit that the creature had the
insolence to say that--he would marry me to-morrow, if he could, and
think himself blessed; for the jewel of the soul must be equal to the
casket that contained it! Yes! this brute of a man had the unparalleled
audacity to speak to me in such a way! Just then, mother, remembering
her invalid, came to the gallery and asked how I was enjoying my lunch.
"I'm courting her!" cried the wretch. "Glad she did not go in! Swear
she's the prettiest girl I _ever_ saw!" At that moment Mr. Halsey
came sauntering out with a handful of violets for me, and, turning my
shoulder to the creature, I entered into a lively discussion with him,
and at last had the satisfaction of seeing the wretch enter the house.

A drive through the straggling, half-deserted town brought us here to
Mrs. Greyson's, a large, old-fashioned-looking house so close to the
Tchefuncta (I think that is the name of the river) that I could throw a
stone in it from my bed, almost.

Mrs. Greyson herself would require two or three pages to do her
justice. Fancy the daughter of Sir Francis Searle, the widow of General
Greyson, the belle of New Orleans in her young days, settled down into
a hotel-keeper on a small scale, with stately ladies and gentlemen
looking down in solemn surprise at her boarders from their rich
portrait frames on the parlor wall! Fallen greatness always gives me an
uncomfortable thrill. Yet here was the heiress of these shadows on the
wall, gay, talkative, bustling, active; with a word of caution, or a
word of advice to all; polite, attentive, agreeable to her guests,
quarreling and exacting with her servants, grasping and avaricious with
all; singing a piece from "Norma" in a voice, about the size of a
thread No. 150, that showed traces of former excellence; or cheapening
a bushel of corn meal with equal volubility. What a character! Full of
little secrets and mysteries. "Now, my dear, I don't ask you to tell a
_story_, you know; but if the others ask you if you knew it, just look
surprised and say, 'Oh, dear me, when did it happen?' 'Cause I promised
not to tell; only you are such favorites that I could not help it, and
it would not do to acknowledge it. And if any one asks you if I put
these candles in here, just say you brought them with you, that's a
love, because they will be jealous, as I only allow them lamps."
Eccentric Mrs. Greyson! Many an hour's amusement did she afford me.[19]

      [19] This paragraph, which occurs retrospectively in the Diary
      under date of New Orleans, Sunday, May 24th, 1863, is inserted
      here for the sake of clearness.--W. D.

A ride of twenty-six miles bolt upright in the carriage, over such bad
roads, had almost used me up; I retired to bed in a state of collapse,
leaving Miriam to entertain Mr. Halsey alone. After supper, though, I
managed to put on my prettiest dress, and be carried down to the parlor
where I rejoined the rest. Several strange ladies were present, one of
whom has since afforded me a hearty laugh. She was a horrid-looking
woman, and ten minutes after I entered, crossing the room with a most
laughable look of vulgarity attempting to ape righteous scorn, jerked
some articles of personal property from the table and retired with the
sweep of a small hurricane. I thought her an eccentric female; but what
was my amazement yesterday to hear that she sought Mrs. Greyson, told
her it was impossible for her to stay among so many elegantly dressed
ladies, and that she preferred keeping her room. Next day, she told her
that she was entirely too attentive to us, and rather than be neglected
in that way for other people, would leave the house, which she did

There was a singular assembly of odd characters in the parlor Saturday
night, six of whom looked as though they were but so many reflections
of the same individual in different glasses, and the seventh differed
from the rest only in playing exquisitely on the banjo--"Too well to be
a gentleman," I fear. These were soldiers, come to "call" on us. Half
an hour after we arrived, a dozen of them took possession of the bench
on the bank of the river, one with his banjo who played and sang
delightfully. Old Mrs. Greyson, who is rather eccentric, called, "Ah,
Mr. J----! Have you heard already of the arrival of the young ladies?
You never serenaded _me_!" The young man naturally looked foolish; so
she went out and asked him to come around after dark and play for the
young ladies. So after a while he came, "bringing six devils yet worse
than himself," as the old Scriptural phrase has it, all of whom sat on
the same side of the room, and looked at us steadily when they thought
we were not looking. All had the same voice, the same bow, the same
manner--that is to say none at all of the latter; one introduced an
agreeable variety, saying as he bowed to each separately, "Happy to
make your acquaintance, ma'am." Mr. Halsey just managed to keep his
face straight, while I longed for a Dickens to put them all together
and make one amusing picture out of the seven. I troubled myself very
little about them, preferring Mr. Halsey's company, not knowing when we
would meet again. It would not have been quite fair to leave him to
himself after he had ridden such a distance for us; so I generously
left the seven to Miriam, content with one, and rather think I had the
best of the bargain. The one with the banjo suggested that we should
sing for them before he played for us, so Miriam played on the piano,
and sang with me on the guitar half a dozen songs, and then the other
commenced. I don't know when I have been more amused. There was an odd,
piney-woods dash about him that was exceedingly diverting, and he went
through comic, sentimental, and original songs with an air that showed
his whole heart was in it. Judging from the number of youth too timid
to venture in, who peeped at us from the windows, I should say that
young ladies are curiosities just now in Madisonville.

                                               Tuesday, April 14th.

Ah! another delightful glimpse of society has been offered to our
charmed view. Such a treat has not often fallen to our lot. Good Mrs.
Greyson, in her anxiety to make all around her happy, determined we
should have a dance. I should say "Miriam"; for Mrs. Bull and Mrs. Ivy
never indulge in such amusements, and I can't; so it must have been for
Miriam alone. Such a crew! The two ladies above mentioned and I almost
laughed ourselves into hysterics. Poor Miriam, with a tall, slender
Texan who looked as though he had chopped wood all his life, moved
through the dance like the lady in "Comus"; only, now and then a burst
of laughter at the odd mistakes threatened to overcome her dignity. We
who were fortunately exempt from the ordeal, laughed unrestrainedly at
the mêlée. One danced entirely with his arms; his feet had very little
to do with the time. One hopped through with a most dolorous expression
of intense absorption in the arduous task. Another never changed a
benign smile that had appeared on entering, but preserved it unimpaired
through every accident. One female, apparently of the tender age of
thirty, wore a yellow muslin, with her hair combed rigidly _à la
chinoise_, and tightly fastened at the back of her head in a knot whose
circumference must have been fully equal to that of a dollar. In
addition to other charms, she bore her neck and chin in a very peculiar
manner, as though she were looking over the fence, Mr. Christmas
remarked. Mr. Christmas had ridden all the way from Ponchatoula to see
us, and if it had not been for him, Mr. Worthington, and Dr.
Capdevielle, who came in after a while, I think I should have expired,
and even Miriam would have given up in despair. The Doctor was an old
friend of Harry's, though we never met him before.

                                              Thursday, April 16th.

Mr. Halsey brought us each a little tortoise-shell ring he had made for
us by his camp-fire, as a keepsake, and of course we promised to wear
them for him, particularly as they make our hands look as white as
possible. Towards sunset, in spite of prayers and entreaties from
Miriam, who insisted that I was too feeble to attempt it, I insisted on
walking out to the bench by the river to enjoy the cool breeze; and was
rather glad I had come, when soon after Dr. Capdevielle made his
appearance, with two beautiful bouquets which he presented with his
French bow to us; and introducing his friend, Mr. Miltonberger, entered
into one of those lively discussions about nothing which Frenchmen know
how to make so interesting....

No sooner had they left than, to our infinite surprise, the immortal
seven of Saturday night walked in. Wonder what fun they find in coming?
I see none. For we rarely trouble ourselves about their presence; there
are but two I have addressed as yet; one because I am forced to say yes
or no to his remarks, and the other because I like his banjo, which he
brought again, and feel obliged to talk occasionally since he is so
accommodating, and affords me the greatest amusement with his comic
songs. I was about retiring unceremoniously about twelve o'clock,
completely worn out, when they finally bethought themselves of saying
good-night, and saved me the necessity of being rude. Wonder if that is
all the fun they have? I should say it was rather dry. It is mean to
laugh at them, though; their obliging dispositions should save them
from our ridicule. Last evening Mr. Halsey succeeded in procuring a
large skiff, whereupon four or five of them offered to row, and took us
'way down the Tchefuncta through the most charming scenery to a spot
where Echo answered us in the most remarkable way; her distinct
utterance was really charming. Not being aware of the secret, I thought
the first answer to the halloo was from pickets. Mr. Halsey has a
magnificent voice; and the echoes came back so full and rich that soon
we appointed him speaker by mutual consent, and were more than repaid
by the delightful sounds that came from the woods. The last ray of the
sun on the smooth waters; the soldiers resting on their oars while we
tuned the guitar and sang in the still evening, until twilight, slowly
closing over, warned us to return, forms another of those pictures
indescribable though never to be forgotten.

                                              Saturday, April 18th.

When I paused on Thursday to rest a few moments, how little idea I had
that the rest I was taking would soon be required for another journey!

It was agreed among us, with our fellow travelers, Mrs. Bull and Mrs.
Ivy, whom we met at Mrs. Greyson's, endeavoring to reach the city like
ourselves, that we would wait there until we could receive our
passports from General Pemberton. When this journey was first seriously
contemplated, Miriam wrote to Colonel Szymanski representing mother's
state of health and my unfortunate condition, the necessity of medical
advice for both, and the impossibility of remaining in famishing
Clinton, and asked him to apply to the General for a pass to go to
Brother. The Colonel sent word through Eugene La Noue that we should
obtain it in a few days, and advised us to go by way of Ponchatoula.
Tired of delay, and hearing that we could pass as readily on General
Gardiner's order, we obtained one and started off without waiting for
the other. The first news on arriving at Madisonville was that no one
should pass except on General Pemberton's order.

Pleasant intelligence for those who had come that far without! The
other two ladies were in the same dilemma. They were told that they
should have a pass if they would wait. Waiting at the expense of four
dollars a day for each,--Mrs. Ivy with two very sick babies, Mrs. Bull
with all her property in New Orleans at stake, Tiche with her broken
foot, mother with a powerless hand, and I with an injured spine,--was
anything but agreeable under the circumstances; though nothing could be
more pleasant, apart from this sense of restriction, than our stay at
Madisonville. General Pemberton took his leisure about the affair,
which is not surprising, as our Generals have more weighty matters than
women's passports to attend to. Still, pleased as we were with our
residence there, it was necessary to get on as soon as possible. So as
I rested from labors about one o'clock on Thursday, Mrs. Bull came in
to suggest a new plan to mother. It was to leave immediately for a
plantation called Bonfouca, thirty miles off, where schooners came
twice a week, and where we would be allowed to embark without a pass.
Carriages that had just brought a party of ladies from Mandeville were
waiting on the other side of the river, which could take us off
immediately, for there was not a moment to lose.

Instantly we resolved to hazard the undertaking.

About three we got into the large scow to cross the Tchefuncta, in a
party numbering five ladies, four children, and four servants. One of
the devoted pickets, after setting me carefully in the most comfortable
place, asked permission to accompany me as far as the carriage; he was
sure he could assist me more carefully than the drivers. And without
further parley, he followed. Before we turned the point, Mr.
Worthington[20] ... the dim distance, rowing up the stream in the
direction of Madisonville. What if he had perceived us, and was
hastening after us, deeming it his duty to arrest us for trying to get
away without General Pemberton's order? As the idea was suggested,
there was rather a nervous set of ladies on board. The half-mile that
we had to go before reaching our landing-place was passed over in
nervous apprehension. At last the spot was reached. Mr. Worthington had
not appeared, and we reached _terra firma_ without being "nabbed," as
we confidently expected. The obliging picket put me into the carriage,
bade me a most friendly adieu, and returned to the village, leaving us
with every prospect of getting off without serious difficulty, in spite
of our serious apprehensions.

      [20] The torn edge of a page has obliterated several words, which
      might, to judge by the context, have been "was seen in."

With two little children and Tiche with me, our carriage started off
some time before the others. Two or three miles from our
starting-point, I perceived three gentlemen riding towards us, one of
whom I instantly recognized as Dr. Capdevielle. Instantly I stopped the
carriage to speak to him. His look of astonishment when satisfied of my
identity rather amused me; but my amusement was changed to a slight
feeling of disappointment when he commenced talking. Was it possible I
was leaving Madison? Oh, how distressed he was! He was promising
himself so much pleasure! And to leave so unexpectedly! He had just
come with his friends from--somewhere. They had planned a surprise
party at Mrs. Greyson's for us that evening, and had been after the
supper they had procured--somewhere, as I before observed, and were
just now returning. And now we were deserting them! He had invited
Monsieur Berger, Monsieur Pollock, Monsieur ---- _Mais enfin des
Messieurs!_ he exclaimed with a comical emphasis and smile that brought
vivid recollections of the other party before my eyes, by force of
contrast, I suppose. And wasn't I sorry we had left! We fairly condoled
with each other. Twenty minutes had elapsed before I had so far
recovered from the disappointment as to bethink myself of the propriety
of continuing my journey. And then with the assurance of being mutually
_désolée_, we parted with a hearty good-bye, and he rode on to rejoin
his companions, while I went the way he had come.

Two miles beyond, I met three others of the six gentlemen he had
mentioned, riding in a little dogcart which contained champagne baskets
in which the supper was evidently packed, each gentleman elegantly
dressed, holding between them a little basket of bouquets that my
prophetic soul told me was intended for Miriam and me. I was not
personally acquainted with the gentlemen, or I should have told them of
the disappointment that awaited them. It _must_ have been a

In the midst of profound reflections about fate, vanity of human wishes
and calculations, friendships formed on the roadside in the journey
through life (or from Clinton), I raised my eyes to behold Lake
Ponchartrain, and to find myself in Mandeville, just seven miles from
the Tchefuncta. Looking at the dreary expanse of water, which suggested
loneliness and desolation, first recalled my own situation to me. Here
I was in this straggling place, with Tiche, a cripple like myself, and
two little children under my care, without an idea of where we were to
go. Any one as timid and dependent as I to be placed in such a position
as pioneer to such a tremendous company would feel rather forlorn. But
some step had to be taken, so I consulted the driver as to where we
could obtain board, and followed his suggestion. One house after the
other we stopped at, and with my veil down and my heart beating as
though I were soliciting charity, or some other unpleasant favor, I
tried to engage rooms for the company, without success. At last we were
directed to a Frenchman, who, after the usual assurance of "nothing to
eat" (which we afterwards found to be only too true), consented to
receive us. "Taking possession" seemed to me such a dreadful
responsibility that for some time I remained in the carriage, afraid to
get out before the others arrived. But there was still no sign of them;
so I gathered my children and Tiche, and prepared to dismount with the
Frenchman's assistance.

I have read descriptions of such houses and people, but I have not
often seen them. The man and his wife were perfect specimens of the low
Canadian, speaking only French. No sooner had they discovered that I
was "blessée," as they supposed, than each seized an arm and with
overwhelming exclamations of sympathy, halfway dragged me into the
room, where they thrust me into a chair. Their family seemed to consist
only of cats and dogs who seemed to agree most harmoniously, and each
of whom conceived the liveliest affection for us. As we were leaving
Mrs. Greyson's, a stranger just from the city, brought to our room a
paper of ham, tongue, and biscuits for "the sick young lady" (Heaven
only knows how she heard of her), saying she had just traveled the road
herself, and knew I would find nothing to eat; so she would insist on
putting this in our basket. It was done in a manner that put all
refusal out of the question; so it had to be accepted. I was feeding
little Jenny Ivy and Minna Bull on this lunch for want of something
else to do, when the affection of the cats and dogs became
overpowering. Six of them jumped at us, licked Jenny's face, eat
Minna's ham, and what with sundry kicks and slaps I had exercise enough
to last a week, and was rapidly losing all my strength, when the woman
came to my rescue and called her pets off just as the rest of the party
drove up to find me almost exhausted.

Such a bedroom! There was a narrow single bed in which mother, Jenny,
and I slept, a decrepit table on which stood a diseased mirror, a
broken lounge without a bottom, and a pine armoir filled with--corn! In
the centre stood the chief ornament, a huge pile of dirt, near which
Miriam's mattress was placed, while the sail of a boat flanked it in on
the other side, arranged as a bed for Tiche. The accommodations in the
other bedroom were far inferior to ours. Then the mosquitoes swarmed
like pandemonium on a spree, and there was but one bar in the house,
which the man declared should be only for me. I would rather have been
devoured by the insects than enjoy comforts denied to the others; so I
made up my mind it should be the last time.

Our supper was rare. "Nothing like it was ever seen in Paris," as
McClellan would say. It consisted of one egg apiece, with a small
spoonful of rice. A feast, you see! Price, one dollar each, besides the
dollar paid for the privilege of sleeping among dirt, dogs, and fleas.

                                                Sunday, April 19th.

Friday morning we arose and prepared to resume our journey for
Bonfouca, twenty-three miles away. The man walked in very unceremoniously
to get corn from the armoir as we got up, throwing open the windows and
performing sundry little offices usually reserved for _femmes-de-chambre_;
but with that exception everything went on very well. Breakfast being a
luxury not to be procured, we got into the carriages before sunrise,
and left this romantic abode of dogs and contentment. Again our road
lay through piney woods, so much like that from Hammond to Ponchatoula
that involuntarily I found myself looking through the window to see if
Mr. Halsey was there. It lacked only his presence to make the scene all
in all the same. But alas! this time the driver picked me wild flowers,
and brought us haws. Mr. Halsey, in blissful ignorance of our
departure, was many and many a mile away. The drive was not half as
amusing. The horse would not suffer any one except Miriam to drive, and
at last refused to move until the driver got down and ran along by the
carriage. Every time the poor boy attempted to occupy his seat, the
obstinate animal would come to a dead stop and refuse to go until he
dismounted again. I am sure that he walked nineteen miles out of the
twenty-three, out of complaisance to the ungrateful brute.

All equally fatigued and warm, we reached this place about twelve
o'clock. Mrs. Bull had arrived before us; and as the carriage stopped,
her girl Delia came to the gate the personification of despair, crying,
"You can't get out, ladies. They say we can't stop here; we must go
right back." The panic which ensued is indescribable. Go back when we
were almost at our journey's end, after all the money we had spent, the
fatigue we had undergone, to be turned back all the way to Clinton,
perhaps! "With my sick babies!" cried Mrs. Ivy. "With my sick child!"
cried mother. "Never! You may turn me out of your house, but we will
die in the woods first! To go back is to kill my daughter and these
babies!" This was to the overseer who came to the carriage. "Madam, I
have orders to allow no one to pass who has not written permission.
Lieutenant Worthington sent the order two days ago; and I am liable to
imprisonment if I harbor those who have no passport," the man
explained. "But we have General Gardiner's order," I expostulated.
"Then you shall certainly pass; but these ladies cannot. I can't turn
you away, though; you shall all come in and stay until something can be
determined on."

This much granted was an unlooked-for blessing. He showed us the way to
a large unfurnished house, one room of which contained a bed with one
naked mattress, which was to be our apartment. Mrs. Bull sat down in a
calm, dignified state of despair; little Mrs. Ivy dissolved in tears;
we all felt equally disconsolate; the prospect of getting off was not
so pleasant when we thought we should be obliged to leave them behind.
Our common misfortunes had endeared us to each other, strangers as we
were a week ago. So we all lamented together, a perfect _Jérémiade_ of
despair. The overseer is very tender-hearted; he condoled, comforted,
and finally determined that if there was any way of getting them off,
they should go. A glimpse of sunshine returned to our lowering sky, and
cheerfulness reigned once more, to be violently dethroned some hours
later. Three of the Madisonville pickets were announced approaching the
house. Of course, they were coming after us! Oh, that vile Mr.
Worthington! We always _did_ hate him! There was such a sneaky look
about him. Hypocrite! we always felt we should hate him! Oh, the
wretch! "I won't go back!" cried mother. "I shall not," said quiet Mrs.
Bull. "He shall pay my expenses if he insists on taking me back!"
exclaimed Mrs. Ivy. "Spent all my money! Mrs. Bull, you have none to
lend me, remember, and Mrs. Morgan _shan't_! Oh, that Worthington!
Let's make him pay for all!" We smothered our laughter to sit trembling
within as the pickets stepped on the gallery. I believe we commenced
praying. Just think! Thus far, our journey has cost mother two hundred
and twenty dollars. It would cost the same to get back to blessed
Clinton, and fancy our spending that sum to settle there again!
Besides, we gave away all our clothes to our suffering friends; and
what would we do there now?

After half an hour of painful suspense, we discovered that it would
have been as well to spare poor Mr. Worthington; for the pickets were
not after us, but had come to escort Mrs. R----, a woman who was taking
the body of her son, who was killed at Murfreesboro, to the city for
interment. Poor woman! she rode all this distance sitting on her
child's coffin. Her husband was one of those who with B---- stole that
large sum of money from father which came so near ruining him. She
speaks of her husband as of a departed saint. I dare say she believes
him innocent of the theft in spite of his public confession. The grave
has wiped out even the disgrace of the penitentiary where he expiated
his offense.... When I told Tiche who the woman was, she clasped her
hands, saying, "The Lord is good! Years and years master suffered while
she grew rich, and now _her_ time comes! The Lord don't forget!" I
can't feel that way. It is well for the narrow-minded to look for God's
judgment on us for our sins; but mine is a more liberal faith. God
afflicted her for some wise purpose; but if I thought it was to avenge
father, I should be afraid of her. As it is, I can be sorry, oh, _so_
sorry for her!

As usual I find myself taken care of at the expense of the others.
There are but two bars on the place; one, the overseer said, should be
for me, the other for the children. Sheets were scarce, covers scarcer
still. Tired of being spoiled in this way, I insisted on being allowed
to sleep on a mattress on the floor, after a vigorous skirmish with
mother and Miriam, in which I came off victorious. For a bar, I
impressed Miriam's grenadine dress, which she fastened to the doorknob
and let fall over me à la Victoria tester arrangement. To my share fell
a double blanket, which, as Tiche had no cover, I unfolded, and as she
used the foot of my bed for a pillow, gave her the other end of it,
thus (tell it not in Yankeeland, for it will never be credited)
actually sleeping under the same bedclothes with our black, shiny negro
nurse! We are grateful, though, even for these discomforts; it might
have been so much worse! Indeed, I fear that our fellow travelers do
not fare as well. Those who have sheets have no bars; those who have
blankets have no sheets; and one woman who has recently joined us has
nothing except a mattress which is to do the duty of all three. But
then, we got bread! Real, pure, wheat bread! And coffee! None of your
potato, burnt sugar, and parched corn abomination, but the
unadulterated berry! I can't enjoy it fully, though; every mouthful is
cloyed with the recollection that Lilly and her children have none.

As usual, as Mrs. Greyson says, the flowers follow us; yesterday I
received three bouquets, and Miriam got one too. In this out-of-the-way
place such offerings are unexpected; and these were doubly gratifying
coming from people one is not accustomed to receiving them from. For
instance, the first was from the overseer, the second from a servant,
and the third from a poor boy for whom we have subscribed to pay his
passage to the city.

                                              Wednesday, April 22d,
                                                       NEW ORLEANS.

Yesterday we arrived; I thought we should never get here. Monday we had
almost given up in despair, believing the schooner would never return.
But in the evening, when all were gathered in our room discussing our
hopes and fears, a sail was perceived at the mouth of the bayou,
whereupon every one rushed out to see the boat land. I believe that I
have not mentioned that this Bonfouca is on a bayou of the same name
that runs within a few yards of this house. It is an Indian name
signifying Winding River, which struck us as very appropriate when we
watched the schooner sailing now to the left, now to the right,
apparently through the green fields; for the high grass hid the course
of the stream so that the faintest line was not perceptible, except
just in front of the house. All was now bustle and confusion, packing,
dressing, and writing last words to our friends at home, until
half-past eleven, when we embarked.

This is my first experience of schooners, and I don't care if I never
behold another. The cabin where Mr. Kennedy immediately carried me, was
just the size of my bed at home (in the days I had a home) and just
high enough to stand in. On each side of the short ladder, there was a
mattress two feet wide. One of them Mrs. R---- had possession of
already, the other was reserved for me. I gave the lower part of mine
to Minna and Jennie, who spent the rest of the night fighting each
other and kicking me.

Just before twelve we "weighed anchor" and I went on deck to take a
last look at Dixie with the rest of the party. Every heart was full.
Each left brothers, sisters, husband, children, or dear friends behind.
We sang, "Farewell dear land," with a slight quaver in our voices,
looked at the beautiful starlight shining on the last boundary of our
glorious land, and, fervently and silently praying, passed out of

God bless you, all you dear ones we have left in our beloved country!
God bless and prosper you, and grant you the victory in the name of
Jesus Christ.

I returned to my mattress, and this is the way we spent the night.

Mrs. R----, rocking and moaning as she sat up in bed, whined out her
various ills with a minute description of each, ceasing the recital
only to talk of her son's body which lay on deck. (Yesterday morning
she was sitting crying on his coffin while a strange woman sat on its
head eating her bread and cheese.) Mrs. Bull, one of the most
intelligent and refined ladies I have yet met, who is perfectly devoted
to me, sat by me, laughing and talking, trying her best to make every
one comfortable and happy in her unobtrusive way. Mother talked to Mrs.
R---- and cried at the thought of leaving her children fighting and
suffering. The space between the two beds was occupied by three
Irishwomen and Mrs. Ivy's two babies. The babies had commenced
screaming as they were brought into the pen, at which I was not
surprised. Having pitched their voices on the proper key, they never
ceased shrieking, kicking, crying, throwing up, and going through the
whole list of baby performances. The nurses scolded with shrill voices
above the bedlam that had hushed even Mrs. R----'s complaints; Jennie
and Minna quarreled, kicked, and cried; and as an aggravation to the
previous discomforts, a broad-shouldered, perspiring Irishwoman sat
just by my head, bracing herself against my pillow in the most
unpleasant style. I endured it without flinching until about half-past
three, when the condensed odor of a dozen different people and children
became unendurable, and I staggered up on deck where Miriam and Mrs.
Ivy had been wise enough to remain without venturing below. They laid
me on a bench in the stern, rolled me up in shawls to keep off the
heavy dew, and there I remained until daylight with them, as wide awake
as ever.

At daylight there was a universal smoothing of heads, and straightening
of dresses, besides arrangements made for the inspection of baggage.
Being unwilling for any Christian to see such a book as this, I passed
a piece of tape through the centre leaves, and made Miriam tie it under
her hoops. At sunrise we were in sight of the houses at the lake end.
It seemed as though we would never reach land.

I forgot to speak of our alarm as we got in the lake. No sooner had we
fairly left the bayou than the sky suddenly became threatening. The
captain shook his head and spoke of a very ugly night for the lake,
which sent everybody's heart to their throats, and alarmed us
immeasurably. We got talking of the sailor's superstition of crossing
the water with a corpse, until we persuaded ourselves that it was more
than probable we would founder in the coming storm. But the severest
storm we met was the one in the cabin; and all night the only wind was
a head breeze, and the spicy gale from below.

When we at last entered the canal, I beheld the animal now so long
unseen, the Yankee. In their dark blue uniforms, they stood around, but
I thought of the dear gray coats, and even the pickets of Madisonville
seemed nobler and greater men than these. Immediately a guard was
placed on board, we whispering before he came, "Our dear Confederates,
God bless them."

We had agreed among ourselves that come what would, we would preserve
our dignity and self-respect, and do anything rather than create a
scene among such people. It is well that we agreed. So we whispered
quietly among ourselves, exhorting each other to pay no attention to
the remarks the Yankees made about us as we passed, and acting the
martyr to perfection, until we came to Hickock's Landing. Here there
was a group of twenty Yankees. Two officers came up and asked us for
papers; we said we had none. In five minutes one came back, and asked
if we had taken the oath. No; we had never taken _any_. He then took
down our names. Mother was alone in the coop. He asked if there was not
another. The schooner had fifteen passengers, and we had given only
fourteen names. Mother then came up and gave her name, going back soon

While one went after our passes, others came to examine our baggage. I
could not but smile as an unfortunate young man got on his knees before
our trunk and respectfully handled our dirty petticoats and stockings.
"You have gone through it before," he said. "Of course, the
Confederates searched it."--"Indeed, they did not touch it!" I
exclaimed. "They never think of doing such work."--"Miss, it is more
mortifying to me than it can be to you," he answered. And I saw he was
actually blushing. He did his work as delicately as possible, and when
he returned the keys, asked if we had letters. I opened my box and put
them into his hand. One came near getting me into serious trouble. It
was sent by some one I never saw, with the assurance that it contained
nothing objectionable. I gave it sealed to the man, who opened it, when
it proved to be rather disagreeable, I judged from his language. He
told me his captain must see it before he could let me have it, and
carried it off. Presently he came back and told me it could not be
returned. I told him to burn it then, as I neither knew the writer, the
contents, nor those it was written to. "I may save you some difficulty
if I destroy it," he remarked, whereupon he tore it up and flung it
into the canal. I have since found I had cause to be grateful; for just
after came an officer to see the young lady who brought that letter. I
showed the pieces in the water, saying the young man had torn it up,
which seemed to annoy him; it was to be sent to headquarters, he said.

Then came a bundle of papers on board carried by another, who standing
in front of us, cried in a startling way, "Sarah Morgan!"--"Here" (very
quietly).--"Stand up!"--"I cannot" (firmly).--"Why not?"--"Unable"
(decisively). After this brief dialogue, he went on with the others
until all were standing except myself, when he delivered to each a
strip of paper that informed the people that Miss, or Mrs. So-and-So
had taken and subscribed the oath as Citizen of the United States. I
thought that was all, and rejoiced at our escape. But after another
pause he uncovered his head and told us to hold up our right hands.
Half-crying, I covered my face with mine and prayed breathlessly for
the boys and the Confederacy, so that I heard not a word he was saying
until the question, "So help you God?" struck my ear. I shuddered and
prayed harder. There came an awful pause in which not a lip was moved.
Each felt as though in a nightmare, until, throwing down his blank
book, the officer pronounced it "All right!" Strange to say, I
experienced no change. I prayed as hard as ever for the boys and our
country, and felt no nasty or disagreeable feeling which would have
announced the process of turning Yankee.

Then it was that mother commenced. He turned to the mouth of the
diminutive cave, and asked if she was ready to take the oath. "I
suppose I _have_ to, since I belong to you," she replied. "No, madam,
you are not obliged; we force no one. Can you state your objections?"
"Yes, I have three sons fighting against you, and you have robbed me,
beggared me!" she exclaimed, launching into a speech in which Heaven
knows _what_ she did not say; there was little she left out, from her
despoiled house to her sore hand, both of which she attributed to the
at first amiable man, who was rapidly losing all patience. Faint with
hunger, dizzy with sleeplessness, she had wrought on her own feelings
until her nerves were beyond control. She was determined to carry it
out, and crying and sobbing went through with it.

I neither spoke nor moved.... The officer walked off angrily and sent
for a guard to have mother taken before General Bowens. Once through
her speech, mother yielded to the entreaties of the ladies and
professed herself ready to take the oath, since she was obliged to.
"Madam, I did not invite you to come," said the polite officer, who
refused to administer the oath; and putting several soldiers on board,
ordered them to keep all on board until one could report to General
Bowens. Mother retired to the cabin, while we still kept our seats

Oh, that monotonous, never-ending canal! We thought it would go on
forever. At last we came to the basin in the centre of the city. Here
was a position for ladies! Sitting like Irish emigrants on their
earthly possessions, and coming in a schooner to New Orleans, which a
year ago would have filled us with horror. Again the landing was
reached, and again we were boarded by officers. I don't know how they
knew of the difficulty mother had made, but they certainly did, and
ordered that none should leave until the General's will was made known.

Mrs. Bull and Mrs. Ivy, after a long delay and many representations, at
last prepared to leave. I was sitting in the spot I had occupied ever
since before daylight, with nothing to support me above my hips. All of
us had fasted since an early and light supper the night before; none
had slept. I was growing so weak from these three causes, and the
burning sun (for it was now twelve), that I could hardly speak when
they came to tell me good-bye. Alarmed at my appearance, Mrs. Bull
entreated the officer to allow me to leave the boat. No, he said; it
was impossible; we should remain on board until General Bowens could
come. We may get an answer in half an hour, or we may not get it for
some time; and there we must stay until it came. "But this young lady
has been ill for months; she is perfectly exhausted, and will faint if
she is not removed immediately," pleaded Mrs. Bull. She did not know my
powers of control. Faint! I would have expired silently first! The
officer said those were his orders; I could not leave. "Do you think
you are performing your duty as a gentleman and a Christian? This young
lady has obtained her pass already, without the slightest difficulty,"
she persisted. Still he said he was acting according to orders. Not to
be baffled, she begged that she might be allowed to take me to Brother,
telling him who he was, while our trunk, Miriam, Tiche, and mother
would remain as hostages. Then he gave a reluctant consent on condition
I left my number, so he could go after me when I was wanted.

I don't know what good came of the consent, for there I was to remain
until something, I don't know what, happened. I only know I was growing
deathly sick and faint, and could hardly hold myself up, when some time
after Mrs. Bull and Mrs. Ivy left (under the impression that I was to
go immediately), a gentleman in citizen's clothes came to me and said
he had obtained permission for me to wait General Bowens's orders in
his office, a few steps from the schooner. Thankful for so much, I
accepted his arm and slowly dragged myself along to the first shelter I
had seen that day. By some wonderful condescension Miriam and mother
were allowed to follow; and with the guard at the door, we waited there
for half an hour more until our sentence could be received.

Miriam had written a line to Brother as soon as possible, telling him
of the situation, and while we were waiting in this office, I half dead
with fatigue, a carriage dashed up to the door, and out of it stepped
Brother. I felt that all our troubles were over then. He looked so glad
to see us that it seemed a pity to tell the disagreeable story that yet
remained to be told. But once heard, he made all go right in a few
moments. He got into the carriage with mother, to take her to General
Bowens, while we got into another to come to the house. I saw no more
of the guard or officer.

When we arrived, Sister was too astonished to speak. She did not
believe we would come when it was ordered that all should take the oath
on entering. If we had only realized it I don't think we would, either.

In half an hour mother got back. Supported by Brother's presence, she
had managed to hold up her right hand and say "Yes" to the oath--which
was more than any of us had done.

                     *      *      *      *      *

Brother found an officer at the door who had been ordered (before he
took mother to the General) to arrest her and confine her in the
Custom-House. I suppose Miriam and I would have shared the imprisonment
with her. But Brother has a way of making all these things right; and
the man was sent back without accomplishing his mission.

                                                Sunday, April 26th.

I am getting well! Bless the Lord, O my soul! Life, health, and
happiness dawn on my trembling view again!... Dr. Stone came to see me
a few hours after I arrived; two days after, he called again; this
morning I walked out to meet him when he was announced, and he asked me
how my sister was. When I told him I was myself, "God bless my soul!
You don't say so!" he exclaimed, evidently astonished at the

                                              Thursday, April 30th.

Was not the recollection of this day bitter enough to me already? I did
not think it could be more so. Yet behold me crying as I have not cried
for many and many a day. Not for Harry; I dare not cry for him. I feel
a deathlike quiet when I think of him; a fear that even a deep-drawn
breath would wake him in his grave. And as dearly as I love you, O Hal,
I don't want you in this dreary world again....

Talk of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes! Talk of Louis XIV!
Of--pshaw! my head is in such a whirl that history gets all mixed up,
and all parallels seem weak and moderate in comparison to this infamous
outrage. To-day, thousands of families, from the most respectable down
to the least, all who have had the firmness to register themselves
enemies to the United States, are ordered to leave the city before the
fifteenth of May. Think of the thousands, perfectly destitute, who can
hardly afford to buy their daily bread even here, sent to the
Confederacy, where it is neither to be earned nor bought, without
money, friends, or a home. Hundreds have comfortable homes here, which
will be confiscated to enrich those who drive them out. "It is an ill
wind that blows no one good." Such dismal faces as one meets
everywhere! Each looks heartbroken. Homeless, friendless, beggars, is
written in every eye. Brother's face is too unhappy to make it pleasant
to look at him. True, he is safe; but hundreds of his friends are going
forth destitute, leaving happy homes behind, not knowing where the
crust of bread for famishing children is to come from to-morrow. He
went to General Bowens and asked if it were possible that women and
children were included in the order. Yes, he said; they should all go,
and go in the Confederacy. They should not be allowed to go elsewhere.
Penned up like sheep to starve! That's the idea! With the addition of
forty thousand mouths to feed, they think they can invoke famine to
their aid, seeing that their negro brothers don't help them much in the
task of subjugating us.

                     *      *      *      *      *

Don't care who knows I smuggled in a dozen letters! Wish I had had

                                                 June 9th, Tuesday.

My dear Brother, who is always seeking to make somebody happy, arranged
a dinner-party at the lake for us Saturday. There was quite a number of
us, as, besides ourselves and the five children, we had Mrs. Price and
her children, Mrs. Bull, and three nurses.... There are no Southern
young men left in town, and those who remain would hardly be received
with civility by Miriam and myself. Of the Yankees, Brother has so much
consideration for us that he has never invited one to his house since
we have been here, though he has many friends among them who visited
here before our arrival. Such delicacy of feeling we fully appreciate,
knowing how very few men of such a hospitable nature would be capable
of such a sacrifice. Thinking we need company, Brother frequently
invites what he calls "a safe old Secessionist" (an old bachelor of
fifty-three who was wounded at Shiloh) to dine with us; thinking it a
fair compromise between the stay-at-home youth and Yankees, neither of
whom this extremely young man could be confounded with.

                                                 Sunday, June 14th.

The excitement about Port Hudson and Vicksburg is intense. When I heard
on Friday that the last attack was being made on the former place, I
took to my prayers with a delirium of fervor. If I was a man, if I had
the blessed privilege of fighting, I would be on the breastworks, or
perchance on the water batteries under Colonel Steadman's command. But
as I was unfortunately born a woman, I stay home and pray with heart
and soul. That is all I can do; but I do it with a will. In my
excitement, I was wishing that I was a Catholic, that I might make a
vow for the preservation of Port Hudson, when a brilliant idea struck
me. It was this: though vows are peculiar to Catholics, mosquitoes are
common to all sects. From that arose this heroic scheme: I said, "Hear
me, Miriam, thou who knowest I have slept undisturbed but three nights
out of seventeen, four hours out of each of the other fourteen having
been spent in destroying my insatiable foe. Thou seest that nightly
vigils are torturing me pale and weak, thou knowest what unspeakable
affection I have for the youth yclept by the ancients Morpheus. Yet
listen to my vow: If Port Hudson holds out, if our dear people are
victorious, I offer up myself on the altar of my country to mosquitoes,
and never again will I murmur at their depredations and voracity." Talk
of pilgrimages, and the ordinary vow of wearing only the Virgin's
colors (the most becoming in the world); there never was one of greater
heroism or more sublime self-sacrifice than this. And as if to prove my
sincerity, they have been worse than ever these last two nights. But as
yet I have not murmured; for the Yankees, who swore to enter Port
Hudson before last Monday night, have not yet fulfilled their promise,
and we hold it still. _Vivent_ vows and mosquitoes, and forever may our
flag wave over the entrenchments! We will conquer yet, with God's

A week or ten days ago came a letter from Lydia, who is placed within
the lines by this recent raid. She writes that the sugar-house and
quarters have been seized for Yankee hospitals, that they have been
robbed of their clothing, and that they are in pursuit of the General,
who I pray Heaven may escape them. She wrote for clothing, provisions,
and a servant, and after we had procured them all, and were ready to
send them, we discovered that they would not be allowed to pass; so I
hardly know what the poor child will do unless she accepts Brother's
invitation to come down to him immediately, if she thinks it right.

                                                         June 17th.

I must write something somewhere, I don't care if dinner is ready, and
Brother's "safe old Secesh" downstairs! Lydia has another boy! Letter
has just come, and I am demented about my new godchild! There now! feel

One more word--it shall be called "Howell." Dear, blessed little baby!
how I shall love it!

                                                 Sunday, June 21st.

How about that oath of allegiance? is what I frequently ask myself, and
always an uneasy qualm of conscience troubles me. Guilty or not guilty
of perjury? According to the law of God in the abstract, and of
nations, Yes; according to my conscience, Jeff Davis, and the peculiar
position I was placed in, No. Which is it? Had I had any idea that such
a pledge would be exacted, would I have been willing to come? Never!
The thought would have horrified me. The reality was never placed
before me until we reached Bonfouca. There I was terrified at the
prospect; but seeing how impossible it would be to go back, I placed
all my hopes in some miracle that was to intervene to prevent such a
crime, and confidently believed my ill health or something else would
save me, while all the rest of the party declared they would think it
nothing, and take forty oaths a day, if necessary. A forced oath, all
men agree, is not binding. The Yankees lay particular stress on this
being voluntary, and insist that no one is solicited to take it except
of their own free will. Yet look at the scene that followed, when
mother showed herself unwilling! Think of being ordered to the
Custom-House as a prisoner for saying she supposed she would _have_ to!
_That's_ liberty! that is free will! It is entirely optional; you have
only to take it quietly or go to jail. That is freedom enough,
certainly! There was not even that choice left to me. I told the
officer who took down my name that I was unwilling to take the oath,
and asked if there was no escaping it. "None whatever" was his reply.
"You have it to do, and there is no getting out of it." His rude tone
frightened me into half-crying; but for all that, as he said, I had it
to do. If perjury it is, which will God punish: me, who was unwilling
to commit the crime, or the man who forced me to it?

                                                 Friday, June 26th.

O praise the Lord, O my soul! Here is good news enough to make me happy
for a month! Brother is so good about that! Every time he hears good
news on our side, he tells it just as though it was on his side,
instead of on ours; while all bad news for us he carefully avoids
mentioning, unless we question him. So to-day he brought in a budget
for us.

Lee has crossed the Potomac on his way to Washington with one hundred
and sixty thousand men. Gibbes and George are with him. Magruder is
marching on Fort Jackson, to attack it in the rear. One or two of our
English ironclads are reported at the mouth of the river, and Farragut
has gone down to capture them. O Jimmy! Jimmy! suppose he should be on
one of them? We don't know the name of his ship, and it makes us so
anxious for him, during these months that we have heard nothing of his

It is so delightful to see these frightened Yankees! One has only to
walk downtown to be satisfied of the alarm that reigns. Yesterday came
the tidings of the capture of Brashere City by our troops, and that a
brigade was fifteen miles above here, coming down to the city. Men
congregated at corners whispering cautiously. These were evidently
Confederates who had taken the oath. Solitary Yankees straggled along
with the most lugubrious faces, troubling no one. We walked down to
Blineau's with Mrs. Price, and over our ice-cream she introduced her
husband, who is a true blue Union man, though she, like ourselves, is a
rank Rebel. Mr. Price, on the eve of making an immense fortune, was
perfectly disconsolate at the news. Every one was to be ruined;
starvation would follow if the Confederates entered; there was never a
more dismal, unhappy creature. Enchanted at the news, I naturally asked
if it were reliable. "Perfectly! Why, to prove how true, standing at
the door of this salon five minutes ago, I saw two young ladies pass
with Confederate flags, which they flirted in the face of some Federal
officers, unrebuked!" Verily, thought I, something is about to happen!
Two days ago the girls who were "unrebuked" this evening would have
found themselves in jail instead.

                                                         July 10th.

Shall I cry, faint, scream, or go off in hysterics? Tell me which,
quickly; for to doubt this news is fine and imprisonment, and if I
really believe it I would certainly give way to my feelings and commit
some vagaries of the kind. My resolution is formed! I will do neither;
I won't gratify the Yankees so much. I have been banging at the piano
until my fingers are weary, and singing "The Secret through Life to be
Happy" until my voice is cracked; I'll stand on my head if necessary,
to prove my indifference; but I'll never believe this is true until it
is confirmed by stronger authority.

Day before yesterday came tidings that Vicksburg had fallen on the 4th
inst. The "Era" poured out extras, and sundry little popguns fizzled
out salutes. All who doubted the truth of the report and were brave
enough to say so were fined or imprisoned; it has become a penal
offense to doubt what the "Era" says; so quite a number of arrests were
made. This morning it was followed up by the announcement of the
capture of Port Hudson. The guns are pealing for true, and the Yankees
at headquarters may be seen skipping like lambs, for very joy. And I
still disbelieve! Skeptic! The first thing I know that "Era" man will
be coming here to convert me! But I don't, can't, won't believe it!
_If_ it is true,--but I find consolation in this faith: it is either
true, or not true,--if it is true, it is all for the best, and if it is
_not_ true, it is better still. Whichever it is, is for some wise
purpose; so it does not matter, so we wait, pray, and believe.

                                                    5 o'clock, P.M.

I don't believe it? What am I crying about then? It seems so hard! How
the mighty are fallen! Port Hudson gone! Brother believes it. That is
enough for me. God bless him! I cry hourly. He is so good and
considerate. He told me, "Name your friends, and what can be done for
them shall be attended to. The prisoners will be sent here. Maybe I
cannot do much; but food and clothing you shall have in abundance for
them when they arrive." God bless him for his kindness!

O dear, noble men! I am afraid to meet them; I should do something
foolish; best take my cry out in private now. May the Lord look down in
pity on us! Port Hudson does not matter so much; but these brave, noble
creatures! The "Era" says they had devoured their last mule before they

                               Saturday, July 10th, 10 o'clock P.M.

I preach patience; but how about practice? I am exasperated! there is
the simple fact. And is it not enough? What a scene I have just
witnessed! A motley crew of thousands of low people of all colors
parading the streets with flags, torches, music, and all other
accompaniments, shouting, screaming, exulting over the fall of Port
Hudson and Vicksburg. The "Era" will call it an enthusiastic
demonstration of the loyal citizens of the city; we who saw it from
upper balconies know of what rank these "citizens" were. We saw crowds
of soldiers mixed up with the lowest rabble in the town, workingmen in
dirty clothes, newsboys, ragged children, negroes, and even _women_
walking in the procession, while swarms of negroes and low white women
elbowed each other in a dense mass on the pavement. To see such
creatures exulting over our misfortune was enough to make one scream
with rage. One of their dozen transparencies was inscribed with "A dead
Confederacy." Fools! The flames are smouldering! They will burst out
presently and consume you! More than half, much more, were negroes. As
they passed here they raised a yell of "Down with the rebels!" that
made us gnash our teeth in silence. The Devil possessed me. "O Miriam,
help me pray the dear Lord that their flag may burn!" I whispered as
the torches danced around it. And we did pray earnestly--so earnestly
that Miriam's eyes were tightly screwed up; but it must have been a
wicked prayer, for it was not answered.

Dr. S---- has out a magnificent display of black cotton grammatically
inscribed with "Port Hudson and Vicksburg _is_ ours," garnished with a
luminous row of tapers, and, drunk on two bits' worth of lager beer, he
has been shrieking out all Union songs he can think of with his horrid
children until my tympanum is perfectly cracked. Miriam wants to offer
him an extra bottle of lager for the two places of which he claims the
monopoly. He would sell his creed for less. Miriam is dying to ask him
what he has done with the Confederate uniform he sported before the
Yankees came. His son says they are all Union men over there, and will
"lemonate" (illuminate) to-night. A starving seamstress opposite has
stuck six tallow candles in her window; better put them in her stomach!

And I won't believe Vicksburg has surrendered! Port Hudson I am sure
has fallen. Alas, for all hopes of serving the brave creatures! the
rumor is that they have been released on parole. Happily for them; but
if it _must_ go, what a blessed privilege it would have been to aid or
comfort them!

                                              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.

                                               Saturday, July 18th.

It may be wrong; I feel very contrite; but still I cannot help thinking
it is an error on the right side. It began by Miriam sending Mr. Conn a
box of cigars when she was on Canal the other day, with a note saying
we would be delighted to assist him in anyway. Poor creature! He wrote
an answer which breathed desolation and humility, under his present
situation, in every line. The cigars, an unexpected kindness, had
touched a tender cord evidently. He said he had no friends, and would
be grateful for our assistance.

But before his answer arrived, yesterday morning I took it into my head
that Colonel Steadman was also at the Custom-House, though his arrival
had not been announced, the Yankees declining to publish any more names
to avoid the excitement that follows. So Miriam and I prepared a lunch
of chicken, soup, wine, preserves, sardines, and cakes, to send to him.
And, fool-like, I sent a note with it. It only contained the same offer
of assistance; and I would not object to the town crier's reading it;
but it upset Brother's ideas of decorum completely. He said nothing to
Miriam's, because that was first offense; but yesterday he met Edmond,
who was carrying the basket, and he could not stand the sight of
another note. I wish he had read it! But he said he would not assume
such a right. So he came home very much annoyed, and spoke to Miriam
about it. Fortunately for my peace of mind, I was swimming in the
bathtub in blissful unconsciousness, else I should have drowned myself.
He said, "I want you both to understand that you shall have everything
you want for the prisoners. Subscribe any sum of money, purchase any
quantity of clothing, send all the food you please, but, for God's
sake, don't write to them! In such a place every man knows the other
has received a letter, and none know what it contains. I cannot have my
sisters' names in everybody's mouth. Never do it again!" All as kind
and as considerate for us as ever, and a necessary caution; I love him
the better for it; but I was dismayed for having rendered the reproof
necessary. For three hours I made the most hideous faces at myself and
groaned aloud over Brother's displeasure. He is so good that I would
rather bite my tongue off than give him a moment's pain. Just now I
went to him, unable to keep silence any longer, and told him how
distressed I was to have displeased him about that note. "Don't think
any more about it, only don't do it again, dear," was his answer. I was
so grateful to him for his gentleness that I was almost hurried into a
story. I began, "It is the first time--" when I caught myself and said
boldly, "No, it is not. Colonel Steadman has written to me before, and
I have replied. But I promise to you it shall not occur again if I can
avoid it." He was satisfied with the acknowledgment, and I was more
than gratified with his kindness. Yet the error _must_ have been on the
right side!

Colonel Steadman wrote back his thanks by Edmond, with heartfelt
gratitude for finding such friends in his adversity, and touching
acknowledgments of the acceptable nature of the lunch. His brother and
Colonel Lock were wounded, though recovering, and he was anxious to
know if I had yet recovered. And that was all, except that he hoped we
would come to see him, and his thanks to Brother for his kind message.
Brother had sent him word by one of the prisoners that though he was
not acquainted with him, yet as his sisters' friend he would be happy
to assist him if he needed money or clothing. There was no harm in
either note, and though I would not do it again, I am almost glad I let
him know he still had friends before Brother asked me not to write.

And as yet we can't see them. A man was bayoneted yesterday for waving
to them, even. It only makes us the more eager to see them. We did see
some. Walking on Rampart Street with the Peirces yesterday, in front of
a splendid private house, we saw sentinels stationed. Upon inquiry we
learned that General Gardiner and a dozen others were confined there.
Ada and Miriam went wild. If it had not been for dignified Marie, and
that model of propriety, Sarah, there is no knowing but what they would
have carried the house by storm. We got them by without seeing a gray
coat, when they vowed to pass back, declaring that the street was not
respectable on the block above. We had to follow. So! there they all
stood on the balcony above. We thought we recognized General Gardiner,
Major Wilson, Major Spratley, and Mr. Dupré. Miriam was sure she did;
but even when I put on a bold face, and tried to look, something kept
me from seeing; so I had all the appearance of staring, without
deriving the slightest benefit from it. Wonder what makes me such a

Mr. Conn writes that Captain Bradford is wounded, but does not say
whether he is here.

                                                Thursday, July 23d.

It is bad policy to keep us from seeing the prisoners; it just sets us
wild about them. Put a creature you don't care for in the least, in a
situation that commands sympathy, and nine out of ten girls will fall
desperately in love. Here are brave, self-sacrificing, noble men who
have fought heroically for us, and have been forced to surrender by
unpropitious fate, confined in a city peopled by their friends and
kindred, and as totally isolated from them as though they inhabited the
Dry Tortugas! Ladies are naturally hero-worshipers. We are dying to
show these unfortunates that we are as proud of their bravery as though
it had led to victory instead of defeat. Banks wills that they remain
in privacy. Consequently our vivid imaginations are constantly occupied
in depicting their sufferings, privations, heroism, and manifold
virtues, until they have almost become as demigods to us. Even horrid
little Captain C---- has a share of my sympathy in his misfortune!
Fancy what must be my feelings where those I consider as gentlemen are
concerned! It is all I can do to avoid a most tender compassion for a
very few select ones. Miriam and I are looked on with envy by other
young ladies because some twenty or thirty of our acquaintance have
already arrived. To know a Port Hudson defender is considered as the
greatest distinction one need desire. If they would only let us see the
prisoners once to sympathize with, and offer to assist them, we would
never care to call on them again until they are liberated. But this is
aggravating. Of what benefit is it to send them lunch after lunch, when
they seldom receive it? Colonel Steadman and six others, I am sure, did
not receive theirs on Sunday. We sent with the baskets a number of
cravats and some handkerchiefs I had embroidered for the Colonel.

Brother should forbid those gentlemen writing, too. Already a dozen
notes have been received from them, and what can we do? We can't tell
them not to. Miriam received a letter from Major Spratley this morning,
raving about the kindness of the ladies of New Orleans, full of hope of
future successes, and vows to help deliver the noble ladies from the
hands of their oppressors, etc. It is a wonder that such a patriotic
effusion could be smuggled out. He kindly assures us that not only
those of our acquaintance there, but all their brother officers, would
be more than happy to see us in their prison. Position of affairs
rather reversed since we last met!


                                         NEW ORLEANS, August, 1863.
                                                      Friday, 14th.

Doomed to be bored! To-night Miriam drags me to a _soiree musicale_,
and in the midst of my toilet, I sit down with bare shoulders to
scratch a dozen lines in my new treasure which has been by me for three
days, untouched. I don't know what tempts me to do it except
perversity; for I have nothing to say.

I was in hopes that I would never have occasion to refer to the
disagreeable subject that occupied the last pages of my old journal,
but the hope proves fallacious, and wherever I turn, the same subject
is renewed. So there is no longer any reason in waiting until all
mention can be avoided. Yesterday a little, sly, snaky creature asked
me if I knew "the Hero of Port Hudson." "Yes," I said briefly.
"Unmistakable! I see it in your face!" she remarked. "See what?" "That
you betray yourself. Do you know that every one believes that you are
engaged to him?" In surprise I said no; such a thing had never been
mentioned before me until then. "Well! they say so, and add, too, that
you are to be married as soon as the war is over." "'They' are paying
me an undeserved compliment," I returned. Where could such a report
have originated? Not certainly from him, and not, most assuredly, from
me. Where does Dame rumor spring from? He is a stranger here, and I
have never mentioned his name except to the Peirces, who would no more
report such a thing than I would myself. I won't mind it if it does not
reach his ears; but what assurance have I that it will not? That would
be unpleasant! Why can't "they say" let everybody settle their own

Here comes Miriam after me! What a bore! What a bore! And she looks as
though it was a pleasure to go out! How I hate it!

Glancing up the page, the date strikes my eye. What tempted me to begin
it Friday? My dear Ada would shiver and declare the blank pages were
reserved for some very painful, awful, uncomfortable record, or that
"something" would happen before the end of it. Nothing very exciting
can happen, except the restoration of peace; and to bring that about, I
would make a vow to write only on Fridays.

                                                      Sunday, 16th.

Coming out of church this morning with Miriam, a young lady ran up with
an important air, as though about to create a sensation. "I have a
message for you both," she said, fixing her eyes on mine as though she
sought something in them. "I visit the prisoners frequently, you know,
and day before yesterday Captain Steadman requested me to beg you to
call, that he will not take a refusal, but entreated you to come, if it
were only once." The fates must be against me; I had almost forgotten
his existence, and having received the same message frequently from
another, I thoughtlessly said, "You mean _Colonel_, do you not?"
Fortunately Miriam asked the same question at the instant that I was
beginning to believe I had done something very foolish. The lady looked
at me with her calm, scrutinizing, disagreeable smile--a smile that had
all the unpleasant insinuations eyes and lips can convey, a smile that
looked like "I have your secret--you can't deceive _me_"--and said with
her piercing gaze, "No, _not_ the Colonel. He was very ill that day
(did you know it?) and could not see us. This was _really_ the
Captain." "He is very kind," I stammered, and suggested to Miriam that
we had better pass on. The lady was still eyeing me inquisitively.
Decidedly, this is unpleasant to have the reputation of being engaged
to a man that every girl is crazy to win! If one only cared for him, it
would not be so unpleasant; but under the circumstances,--_ah ça!_ why
don't they make him over to the young lady whose father openly avows he
would be charmed to have him for a son-in-law? This report has cost me
more than one impertinent stare. The young ladies think it a very
enviable position. Let some of them usurp it, then!

So the young lady, not having finished her examination, proposed to
accompany us part of the way. As a recompense, we were regaled with
charming little anecdotes about herself, and her visits. How she had
sent a delightful little custard to the Colonel (here was a side glance
at my demure face) and had carried an autographic album in her last
visit, and had insisted on their inscribing their names, and writing a
verse or so. "How interesting!" was my mental comment. "Can a man
respect a woman who thrusts him her album, begging for a compliment the
first time they meet? What fools they must think us, if they take such
as these for specimens of the genus!"

Did we know Captain Lanier? Know him, no! but how vividly his face
comes before me when I look back to that grand smash-up at Port Hudson,
when his face was the last I saw before being thrown, and the first I
recognized when I roused myself from my stupor and found myself in the
arms of the young Alabamian. At the sound of his name, I fairly saw the
last ray of sunset flashing over his handsome face, as I saw it then.
No, I did not know him. He had spoken to me, begging to be allowed to
hold me, and I had answered, entreating him not to touch me, and that
was all I knew of him; but she did not wait for the reply. She hurried
on to say that she had sent him a bouquet, with a piece of poetry, and
that he had been heard to exclaim, "How beautiful!" on reading it.
"And do you know," she continued, with an air that was meant to be
charmingly naïf, but which was not very successful, as naïveté at
twenty-nine is rather flat, "I am _so_ much afraid he thinks it
original! I forgot to put quotation marks, and it would be _so_ funny
in him to make the mistake! For you know I have not much of the--of
that sort of thing about me--I am not a poet--poetess, author, you
know." Said Miriam in her blandest tone, without a touch of sarcasm in
her voice, "Oh, if he has ever seen you, the mistake is natural!" If I
had spoken, my voice would have carried a sting in it. So I waited
until I could calmly say, "You know him well, of course." "No, I never
saw him before!" she answered with a new outburst of naïveté.

                                               Monday, August 24th.

A letter from Captain Bradford to Miriam. My poor Adonis, that I used
to ridicule so unmercifully, what misfortunes have befallen him! He
writes that during the siege at Port Hudson he had the top of his ear
shot off (wonder if he lost any of that beautiful golden fleece yclept
his hair?), and had the cap of his knee removed by a shell, besides a
third wound he does not specify. Fortunately he is with kind friends.
And he gives news of Lydia, most acceptable since such a time has
elapsed since we heard from her.... He says, "Tell Miss Sarah that the
last I saw of John, he was crossing the Mississippi in a skiff, his
parole in his pocket, his sweet little sister by his side," (O you
wretch! at it again!) "and Somebody else in his heart." How considerate
to volunteer the last statement! Then followed half a page of
commendation for his bravery, daring, and skill during the siege (the
only kind word he ever spoke of him, I dare say), all looking as though
I was to take it as an especial compliment to myself, and was expected
to look foolish, blush, and say "Thanky" for it. As though I care!

                                                      Monday night.

I consider myself outrageously imposed upon! I am so indignant that I
have spent a whole evening making faces at myself. "Please, Miss Sarah,
look natural!" William petitions. "I never saw you look cross before."
Good reason! I never had more cause! However, I stop in the midst of a
hideous grimace, and join in a game of hide the switch with the
children to forget my annoyance.

Of course a woman is at the bottom of it. Last night while Ada and
Marie were here, a young lady whose name I decline to reveal for the
sake of the sex, stopped at the door with an English officer, and asked
to see me in the entry. I had met her once before. Remember this, for
that is the chief cause of my anger. Of course they were invited in;
but she declined, saying she had but a moment, and had a message to
deliver to me alone, so led me apart. "Of course you know who it is
from?" she began. I told a deliberate falsehood, and said no, though I
guessed instantly. She told me the name then. She had visited the
prison the day before, and there had met the individual whose name,
joined to mine, has given me more trouble and annoyance during the last
few months than it would be possible to mention. "And our entire
conversation was about you," she said, as though to flatter my vanity
immensely. He told her then that he had written repeatedly to me,
without receiving an answer, and at last had written again, in which he
had used some expressions which he feared had offended my reserved
disposition. Something had made me angry, for without returning letter
or message to say I was not displeased, I had maintained a resolute
silence, which had given him more pain and uneasiness than he could
say. That during all this time he had had no opportunity of explaining
it to me, and that now he begged her to tell me that he would not
offend me for worlds--that he admired me more than any one he had ever
met, that he could not help saying what he did, but was distressed at
offending me, etc. The longest explanation! And she was directed to beg
me to explain my silence, and let him know if I was really offended,
and also leave no entreaty or argument untried to induce me to visit
the prison; he _must_ see me.

As to visiting the prison, I told her that was impossible. (O how glad
I am that I never did!) But as to the letters, told her "to assure him
that I had not thought of them in that light, and had passed over the
expressions he referred to as idle words it would be ridiculous to take
offense at; and that my only reason for persevering in this silence had
been that Brother disapproved of my writing to gentlemen, and I had
promised that I would not write to him. That I had feared he would
misconstrue my silence, and had wished to explain it to him, but I had
no means of doing so except by breaking my promise; and so had
preferred leaving all explanation to time, and some future

"But you did not mean to pain him, did you?" the dear little creature
coaxingly lisped, standing on tiptoe to kiss me as she spoke. I assured
her that I had not. "He has been dangerously ill," she continued,
apologizingly, "and sickness has made him more morbid and more unhappy
about it than he would otherwise have been. It has distressed him a
great deal."

I felt awkwardly. How was it that this girl, meeting him for the first
and only time in her life, had contrived to learn so much that she had
no right to know, and appeared here as mediator between two who were
strangers to her, so far usurping a place she was not entitled to, as
to apologize to _me_ for his sensitiveness, and to entreat me to tell
him he had not forfeited my esteem, as though _she_ was his most
intimate friend, and I a passing acquaintance? Failing to comprehend
it, I deferred it to a leisure moment to think over, and in the mean
time exerted myself to be affable.

I can't say half she spoke of, but as she was going she said, "Then
will you give me permission to say as many sweet things for you as I
can think of? I'm going there to-morrow." I told her I would be afraid
to give her _carte blanche_ on such a subject; but that she would
really oblige me by explaining about the letters. She promised, and
after another kiss, and a few whispered words, left me.

Maybe she exaggerated, though! Uncharitable as the supposition was, it
was a consolation. I was unwilling to believe that any one who
professed to esteem me would make me the subject of conversation with a
stranger--and such a conversation! So my comfort was only in hoping
that she had related a combination of truth and fiction, and that he
had not been guilty of such folly.

Presently it grew clearer to me. I must be growing in wickedness, to
fathom that of others, I who so short a time ago disbelieved in the
very existence of such a thing. I remembered having heard that the
young lady and her family were extremely anxious to form his
acquaintance, and that her cousin had coolly informed Ada that she had
selected him among all others, and meant to have him for a "beau" as
soon as she could be introduced to him; I remembered that the young
lady herself had been very anxious to discover whether the reputation
common report had given me had any foundation.

As soon as we were alone, I told mother of our conversation in the
entry, and said, "And now I am certain that this girl has made use of
my name to become acquainted with him."

                                          Thursday, 10th September.

O my prophetic soul! part of your forebodings are already verified! And
in what an unpleasant way!

Day before yesterday an English officer, not the one who came here, but
one totally unknown to me, said at Mrs. Peirce's he was going to visit
the Confederate prisoners. He was asked if he knew any. Slightly, he
said; but he was going this time by request; he had any quantity of
messages to deliver to Colonel ---- from Miss Sarah Morgan. "How can
that be possible, since you are not acquainted with her?" Ada demanded.
He had the impudence to say that the young lady I have already
mentioned had requested him to deliver them for her, since she found it
impossible. Fortunately for me, I have two friends left. Feeling the
indelicacy of the thing, and knowing that there must be some mistake
that might lead to unpleasant consequences, Ada and Marie, my good
angels, insisted on hearing the messages. At first he refused, saying
that they were entrusted to him confidentially; but being assured that
they were really intimate with me, whereas the other was a perfect
stranger, and that I would certainly not object to their hearing what I
could tell a gentleman, he yielded, fortunately for my peace of mind,
and told all.

I can't repeat it. I was too horrified to hear all, when they told me.
What struck me as being most shocking was my distorted explanation
about the letters. It now set forth that I was not allowed to write
myself, but would be happy to have him write to me; then there was an
earnest assurance that my _feelings_ toward him had not changed in the

Here I sprang from my chair and rushed to the window for a breath of
air, wringing my hands in speechless distress. How a word more or less,
an idea omitted or added, a syllable misplaced, can transform a whole
sentence, and make what was before harmless, really shocking!

And if it had not been for Ada and Marie--! Blessed angels! they
entreated him not to deliver any of his messages, insisting that there
must be a mistake, that if he knew me he would understand that it was
impossible for me to have sent such a message by a stranger. And
although at first he declared he felt obliged to discharge the task
imposed on him, they finally succeeded in persuading him to relinquish
the errand, promising to be responsible for the consequences.

"Ah me!" I gasped last night, making frantic grimaces in the dark, and
pinching myself in disgust, "why can't they let me alone?... O
women--women! I wish he could marry all of you, so you would let me
alone! Take him, please; but _en grâce_ don't disgrace me in the
excitement of the race!"

                                                      Friday, 25th.

Write me down a witch, a prophetess, or what you will. I am certainly
something! All has come to pass on that very disagreeable subject very
much as I feared. Perhaps no one in my position would speak freely on
the subject; for that very reason I shall not hesitate to discuss it.

Know, then, that this morning, He went North along with many other
Confederate prisoners, to be exchanged. And he left--he who has written
so incessantly and so imploringly for me to visit his prison--he left
without seeing me. Bon! Wonder what happened?

     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *


I have learned more. He has not yet left; part of the mystery is
unraveled, only I have neither patience nor desire to seek for more.
These women--! Hush! to slander is too much like them; be yourself.

My sweet little lisper informed a select circle of friends the other
night, when questioned, that the individual had not called on me, and,
what was more, would not do so. "Pray, how do you happen to be so
intimately acquainted with the affairs of two who are strangers to
you?" asked a lady present. She declined saying how she had obtained
her information, only asserting that it was so. "In fact, you cannot
expect _any_ Confederate _gentleman_ to call at the house of Judge
Morgan, a professed Unionist," she continued. So that is the story she
told to keep him from seeing me. She has told him that we had turned
Yankees! All her arts would not grieve me as much as one word against
Brother. My wrongs I can forget; but one word of contempt for Brother I
_never_ forgive! White with passion I said to my informant, "Will you
inform the young lady that her visit will never be returned, that she
is requested not to repeat hers, and that I decline knowing any one who
dares cast the slightest reflection on the name of one who has been
both father and brother to me!" This evening I was at a house where she
was announced. Miriam and I bade our hostess good-evening and left
without speaking to her. Anybody but Brother! No one shall utter his
name before me save with respect and regard.

This young woman's father is a Captain in the Yankee navy, and her
brother is a Captain in the Yankee army, while three other brothers are
in the Confederate. Like herself, I have three brothers fighting for
the South; unlike her, the only brother who avows himself a Unionist
has too much regard for his family to take up arms against his own
flesh and blood.

                                              Tuesday, October 6th.

I hope this will be the last occasion on which I shall refer to the
topic to which this unfortunate book seems to have been devoted. But it
gives me a grim pleasure to add a link to the broken chain of the
curious story, now and then. Maybe some day the missing links will be
supplied me, and then I can read the little humdrum romance of What
might have been, or What I'm glad never was, as easily as Marie tells
her rosary.

Well! the prisoners have gone at last, to my unspeakable satisfaction.
Day before yesterday they left. Now I can go out as I please, without
fear of meeting him face to face. How odd that I should feel like a
culprit! But that is in accordance with my usual judgment and
consistency. Friday, I had a severe fright. Coming up Camp Street with
Ada, after a ramble on Canal, we met two Confederates. Everywhere that
morning we had met gray coats, but none that I recognized. Still,
without looking, I saw through my eyelids, as it were, two hands
timidly touch two gray caps, as though the question "May I?" had not
yet been answered. In vain I endeavored to meet their eyes, or give the
faintest token of greeting. I was too frightened and embarrassed to
speak, and only by a desperate effort succeeded in bending my head in a
doubtful bow, that would have disgraced a dairy maid, after we had
passed. Then, disgusted with myself, I endeavored to be comforted with
the idea that they had perhaps mistaken me for some one else; that
having known me at a time when I was unable to walk, they could have no
idea of my height and figure, or walk. So I reasoned, turning down a
side street. Lo! at a respectable distance they were following! We had
occasion to go into a daguerreau salon. While standing in the light,
two gray uniforms, watching us from the dark recess at the door,
attracted my attention. Pointing them out to Ada, I hurried her past
them downstairs to the street. Faster and faster we walked, until at
the corner I turned to look. There they were again, sauntering
leisurely along. We turned into another street, mingled in the crowd,
and finally lost sight of them. That fright lasted me an hour or two.
Whose purse have I stolen, that I am afraid to look these men in the

But what has this to do with what I meant to tell? How loosely and
disconnectedly my ideas run out with the ink from my pen! I meant to
say how sorry I am for my dear little lisper that she failed in her
efforts to conquer the "Hero"; and here I have drifted off in a page of
trash that does not concern her in the least. Well! she did not
succeed, and whatever she told him was told in vain, as far as _she_
was concerned. He was not to be caught! What an extraordinary man!
Dozens fighting for the preference, and he in real, or pretended

I must do him the justice to say he is the most guileless, as well as
the most honest of mortals. He told the mother of a rich and pretty
daughter what he thought of me; that my superior did not exist on
earth, and my equal he had never met. Ha! ha! this pathetic story makes
me laugh in spite of myself. Is it excess of innocence, or just a rôle
he adopted? Stop! His idle word is as good as an oath. He could not
pretend to what he did not believe. He told her of his earnest and
sincere admiration--words! words! hurry on! She asked how it was
then--? Here he confessed, with a mixture of pride and penitence, that
he had written me letters which absolutely required answers, and to
which I had never deigned to reply by even a word. That, mortified
beyond measure at my silent contempt, he had tried every means of
ascertaining the cause of my coldness, but I had never vouchsafed an
answer, but had left him to feel the full force of my harsh treatment
without one word of explanation. That when he was paroled, he had hoped
that I would see him to tell him wherein he had forfeited my esteem;
but I had not invited him to call, and mortified and repulsed as he had
been, it was impossible for him to call without my permission.... Did
my little lisper change the message when the little midshipman told her
it had been intercepted because too friendly? I know she met this
martyred Lion frequently after that and had many opportunities of
telling him the simple truth, but she evidently _did not_.

He has gone away with sorely wounded feelings, to say nothing more; for
that I am sincerely sorry; but I trust to his newly acquired freedom,
and his life of danger and excitement, to make him forget the wrongs he
believes himself to have suffered at my hands. If it was all to be gone
through again (which thank Heaven, I will never be called upon to
endure again), I would follow Brother's advice as implicitly then as I
did before. He is right, and without seeing, I believe. They tell me of
his altered looks, and of his forced, reckless gaiety which, so
strangely out of keeping with his natural character, but makes his
assumed part more conspicuous. No matter! He will recover! Nothing like
a sea voyage for disorders of all kinds. And we will never meet again;
that is another consolation.

"Notice: The public are hereby informed through Mrs. ----, Chief
Manager of the Theatre of High Tragedy, that Miss Sarah M., having been
proved unworthy and incompetent to play the rôle of Ariadne, said part
will hereafter be filled by Miss Blank, of Blank Street, who plays it
with a fidelity so true to nature that she could hardly be surpassed by
the original."

                                              Monday, November 9th.

Another odd link of the old, stale story has come to me, all the way
from New York. A friend of mine, who went on the same boat with the
prisoners, wrote to her mother to tell her that she had formed the
acquaintance of the most charming, fascinating gentleman among them, no
other than my _once_ friend. Of course, she would have been less than a
woman if she had not gossiped when she discovered who he was. So she
sends me word that he told her he had been made to believe, as long as
he was on parole in New Orleans, that we were all Unionists now, and
that Brother would not allow a Confederate to enter the house. (O my
little lisper, was I unjust to you?) He told her that I had been very
kind to him when he was in prison, and he would have forgotten the rest
and gladly have called to thank me in person for the kindness he so
gratefully remembered, if I alone had been concerned; but he felt he
could not force himself unasked into my brother's house....

She told him how false it was.

                                              Sunday, November 22d.

A report has just reached us that my poor dear Gibbes has been taken
prisoner along with the rest of Hayes's brigade.

                                                     November 26th.

Yes! It is so, if his own handwriting is any proof. Mr. Appleton has
just sent Brother a letter he had received from Gibbes, asking him to
let Brother know he was a prisoner, and we have heard, through some one
else, that he had been sent to Sandusky. Brother has applied to have
him paroled and sent here, or even imprisoned here, if he cannot be

                                             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"!

                               Thursday night, December 31st, 1863.

The last of eighteen sixty-three is passing away as I write.... Every
New Year since I was in my teens, I have sought a quiet spot where I
could whisper to myself Tennyson's "Death of the Old Year," and even
this bitter cold night I steal into my freezing, fireless little room,
_en robe de nuit_, to keep up my old habit while the others sleep....

    "Old year, you shall not die;
    We did so laugh and cry with you,
    I've half a mind to die with you,
    Old year, if you must die."

No! Go and welcome! Bring Peace and brighter days, O dawning New Year.
Die, faster and faster, Old One; I count your remaining moments with
almost savage glee.

                                            Wednesday, February 3d.

Last night we were thrown into the most violent state of commotion by
the unexpected entrance of Captain Bradford. He has been brought here a
prisoner, from Asphodel, where he has been ever since the surrender of
Port Hudson, and taking advantage of his tri-weekly parole, his first
visit was naturally here, as he has no other friends.

Poor creature, how he must have suffered! The first glance at his
altered face where suffering and passion have both left their traces
unmistakably since we last met, and the mere sight of his poor lame
leg, filled my heart with compassion.

                     *      *      *      *      *

How he hates Mr. Halsey! I could not forego the pleasure of provoking
him into a discussion about him, knowing how they hated each other. He
would not say anything against him; understand, that as a gentleman and
a companion, Mr. Halsey was his warmest and best friend; there was no
one he admired more; but he must say that as a soldier, he was the
worst he had ever seen--not that he was not as brave and gallant a man
as ever lived, but he neglected his duties most shamefully while
visiting Linwood so constantly, eluding the sentinels daily as he asked
for neither pass nor permission, and consulting only his inclinations
instead of his superior officers or his business. And that last night
at Linwood, when he absented himself without leave, why could he not
have signified to him, his Captain, that he wished to say good-bye,
instead of quietly doing as he pleased? When the Colonel sent for a
report of the number of men, quantity of forage and ammunition, etc.,
and it was discovered that John Halsey was absent without leave, with
the books locked up and the keys in his pocket--even after this lapse
of time, the fire flashed through the ice as the Captain spoke.
Sergeant Halsey, I am sorry for you when you reported yourself next
day! All the fun that could have been crowded into an evening at
Linwood could not have repaid you for the morning's scene. And after
all, what was it beyond very empty pleasure, with a great deal of
laughter? He could have dispensed with it just as well. Looking back, I
congratulate myself on being the only one who did not ask him to stay.


Not dead! not dead! O my God! Gibbes is _not_ dead! Where--O dear God!

Only a few days ago came a letter so cheerful and hopeful--we have
waited and prayed so patiently--at my feet lies one from Colonel
Steadman saying he is dead. Dead! Suddenly and without a moment's
warning summoned to God! No! it cannot be! I am mad! O God, have mercy
on us! My poor mother! And Lydia! Lydia! God comfort you! My brain
seems afire. Am I mad? Not yet! God would not take him yet! He will
come again! Hush, God is good! Not dead! not dead!

O Gibbes, come back to us!


O God, O God, have mercy on us! George is dead! Both in a week. George,
our sole hope--our sole dependence.


Dead! Dead! Both dead! O my brothers! What have we lived for except
you? We, who would have so gladly laid down our lives for yours, are
left desolate to mourn over all we loved and hoped for, weak and
helpless; while you, so strong, noble, and brave, have gone before us
without a murmur. God knows best. But it is hard--O so hard! to give
them up....

If we had had any warning or preparation, this would not have been so
unspeakably awful. But to shut one's eyes to all dangers and risks, and
drown every rising fear with "God will send them back; I will not doubt
His mercy," and then suddenly to learn that your faith has been
presumption--and God wills that you shall undergo bitter affliction--it
is a fearful awakening! What glory have we ever rendered to God that we
should expect him to be so merciful to us? Are not all things His, and
is not He infinitely more tender and compassionate than we deserve?

We have deceived ourselves wilfully about both. After the first dismay
on hearing of Gibbes's capture, we readily listened to the assertions
of our friends that Johnson's Island was the healthiest place in the
world; that he would be better off, comfortably clothed and under
shelter, than exposed to shot and shell, half fed, and lying on the
bare ground during Ewell's winter campaign. We were thankful for his
safety, knowing Brother would leave nothing undone that could add to
his comfort. And besides that, there was the sure hope of his having
him paroled. On that hope we lived all winter--now confident that in a
little while he would be with us, then again doubting for a while, only
to have the hope grow surer afterwards. And so we waited and prayed,
never doubting he would come at last. He himself believed it, though
striving not to be too hopeful lest he should disappoint us, as well as
himself. Yet he wrote cheerfully and bravely to the last. Towards the
middle of January, Brother was sure of succeeding, as all the prisoners
had been placed under Butler's control. Ah me! How could we be so
blind? We were sure he would be with us in a few weeks! I wrote to him
that I had prepared his room.

On the 30th of January came his last letter, addressed to me, though
meant for Lavinia. It was dated the 12th--the day George died. All his
letters pleaded that I would write more frequently--he loved to hear
from me; so I had been writing to him every ten days. On the 3d of
February I sent my last. Friday the 5th, as I was running through
Miriam's room, I saw Brother pass the door, and heard him ask Miriam
for mother. The voice, the bowed head, the look of utter despair on his
face, struck through me like a knife. "Gibbes! Gibbes!" was my sole
thought; but Miriam and I stood motionless looking at each other
without a word. "Gibbes is dead," said mother as he stood before her.
He did not speak; and then we went in.

We did not ask how, or when. That he was dead was enough for us. But
after a while he told us Uncle James had written that he had died at
two o'clock on Thursday the 21st. Still we did not know how he had
died. Several letters that had been brought remained unopened on the
floor. One, Brother opened, hoping to learn something more. It was from
Colonel Steadman to Miriam and me, written a few hours after his death,
and contained the sad story of our dear brother's last hours.

He had been in Colonel Steadman's ward of the hospital for more than a
week, with headache and sore throat, but it was thought nothing; he
seemed to improve, and expected to be discharged in a few days. On the
21st he complained that his throat pained him again. After prescribing
for him, and talking cheerfully with him for some time, Colonel
Steadman left him surrounded by his friends, to attend to his other
patients. He had hardly reached his room when some one ran to him
saying Captain Morgan was dying. He hurried to his bedside, and found
him dead. Captain Steadman, sick in the next bed, and those around him,
said he had been talking pleasantly with them, when he sat up to reach
his cup of water on the table. As soon as he drank it he seemed to
suffocate; and after tossing his arms wildly in the air, and making
several fearful efforts to breathe, he died.

                     *      *      *      *      *

"Hush, mother, hush," I said when I heard her cries. "We have Brother
and George and Jimmy left, and Lydia has lost all!" Heaven pity us!
George had gone before--only He in mercy kept the knowledge of it from
us for a while longer.

On Thursday the 11th, as we sat talking to mother, striving to make her
forget the weary days we had cried through with that fearful sound of
"Dead! Dead!" ringing ever in our ears, some one asked for Miriam. She
went down, and presently I heard her thanking somebody for a letter.
"You could not have brought me anything more acceptable! It is from my
sister, though she can hardly have heard from us yet!" I ran back, and
sitting at mother's feet, told her Miriam was coming with a letter from
Lydia. Mother cried at the mention of her name. O my little sister! You
know how dear you are to us! "Mother! Mother!" a horrible voice cried,
and before I could think who it was, Miriam rushed in, holding an open
letter in her hand, and perfectly wild. "George is dead!" she shrieked,
and fell heavily to the ground.

O my God! I could have prayed Thee to take mother, too, when I looked
at her. I thought--I almost hoped she was dead, and that pang spared!
But I was wild myself. I could have screamed!--laughed! "It is false!
Do you hear me, mother? God would not take both! George is not dead!" I
cried, trying in vain to arouse her from her horrible state or bring
one ray of reason to her eye. I spoke to a body alive only to pain; not
a sound of my voice seemed to reach her; only fearful moans showed she
was yet alive.

Miriam lay raving on the ground. Poor Miriam! her heart's idol torn
away. God help my darling! I did not understand that George _could_ die
until I looked at her. In vain I strove to raise her from the ground,
or check her wild shrieks for death. "George! only George!" she would
cry; until at last, with the horror of seeing both die before me, I
mastered strength enough to go for the servant and bid her run quickly
for Brother.

How long I stood there alone, I never knew. I remember Ada coming in
hurriedly and asking what it was. I told her George was dead. It was a
relief to see her cry. I could not; but I felt the pain afresh, as
though it were her brother she was crying over, not mine. And the sight
of her tears brought mine, too. We could only cry over mother and
Miriam; we could not rouse them; we did not know what to do.

Some one called me in the entry. I went, not understanding what I was
doing. A lady came to me, told me her name, and said something about
George; but I could not follow what she said. It was as though she was
talking in a dream. I believe she repeated the words several times, for
at last she shook me and said, "Listen! Rouse yourself! the letter is
about George!" Yes, I said; he is dead. She said I must read the
letter; but I could not see, so she read it aloud. It was from Dr.
Mitchell, his friend who was with him when he died, telling of his
sickness and death. He died on Tuesday the 12th of January, after an
illness of six days, conscious to the last and awaiting the end as only
a Christian, and one who has led so beautiful a life, could, with the
Grace of God, look for it. He sent messages to his brothers and
sisters, and bade them tell his mother his last thoughts were of her,
and that he died trusting in the mercy of the Saviour. George! our
pride! our beautiful, angel brother! _Could_ he die? Surely God has
sent all these afflictions within these three years to teach us that
our hopes must be placed Above, and that it is blasphemy to have
earthly idols!

The letter said that the physicians had mistaken his malady, which was
inflammation of the bowels, and he had died from being treated for
something else. It seemed horrible cruelty to read me that part; I knew
that if mother or Miriam ever heard of it, it would kill them. So I
begged Mrs. Mitchell never to let them hear of it. She seemed to think
nothing of the pain it would inflict; how could she help telling if
they asked? she said. I told her I must insist on her not mentioning
it; it would only add suffering to what was already insupportable; if
they asked for the letter, offer to read it aloud, but say positively
that she would not allow any one to touch it except herself, and then
she might pass it over in silence. I roused Miriam then and sent her to
hear it read. She insisted on reading it herself, and half dead with
grief held out her hands, begging piteously to be suffered to read it
alone. I watched then until I was sure Mrs. Mitchell would keep her
promise. Horrible as I knew it to be from strange lips, I knew by what
I experienced that I had saved her from a shock that might cost her her
life; and then I went back to mother.

No need to conceal what I felt there! She neither spoke nor saw. If I
had shrieked that he died of ill treatment, she would not have
understood. But I sat there silently with that horrible secret,
wondering if God would help me bear it, or if despair would deprive me
of self-control and force me presently to cry it aloud, though it
should kill them both.

At last Brother came. I had to meet him downstairs and tell him. God
spare me the sight of a strong man's grief! Then Sister came in,
knowing as little as he. Poor Sister! I could have blessed her for
every tear she shed. It was a comfort to see some one who had life or
feeling left. I felt as though the whole world was dead. Nothing was
real, nothing existed except horrible speechless pain. Life was a
fearful dream through which but one thought ran--"Dead--Dead!"

Miriam had been taken to her room more dead than alive--Mother lay
speechless in hers. The shock of this second blow had obliterated, with
them, all recollection of the first. It was a mercy I envied them; for
I remembered both, until loss of consciousness would have seemed a
blessing. I shall never forget mother's shriek of horror when towards
evening she recalled it. O those dreadful days of misery and
wretchedness! It seems almost sacrilege to refer to them now. They are
buried in our hearts with our boys--thought of with prayers and tears.

How will the world seem to us now? What will life be without the boys?
When this terrible strife is over, and so many thousands return to
their homes, what will peace bring us of all we hoped? Jimmy! Dear
Lord, spare us that one!

                                                 November 2d, 1864.

This morning we heard Jimmy is engaged to Helen Trenholm, daughter of
the Secretary of the Confederate States. He wrote asking Brother's
consent, saying they had been engaged since August, though he had had
no opportunity of writing until that day--the middle of September. I
cried myself blind. It seems that our last one is gone. But this is the
first selfish burst of feeling. Later I shall come to my senses and
love my sister that is to be. But my darling! my darling! O Jimmy! How
can I give you up? You have been so close to me since Harry died!

Alone now; best so.

                                               NO. 19 DAUPHINE ST.,
                               Saturday night, December 31st, 1864.

One year ago, in my little room in the Camp Street house, I sat
shivering over Tennyson and my desk, selfishly rejoicing over the
departure of a year that had brought pain and discomfort only to me,
and eagerly welcoming the dawning of the New One whose first days were
to bring death to George and Gibbes, and whose latter part was to
separate me from Miriam, and brings me news of Jimmy's approaching
marriage. O sad, dreary, fearful Old Year! I see you go with pain!
Bitter as you have been, how do we know what the coming one has in
store for us? What new changes will it bring? Which of us will it take?
I am afraid of eighteen sixty-five, and have felt a vague dread of it
for several years past.

Nothing remains as it was a few months ago. Miriam went to Lilly, in
the Confederacy, on the 19th of October (ah! Miriam!), and mother and I
have been boarding with Mrs. Postlethwaite ever since. I miss her
sadly. Not as much, though, as I would were I less engaged. For since
the first week in August, I have been teaching the children for Sister;
and since we have been here, I go to them every morning instead of
their coming to me. Starting out at half-past eight daily, and
returning a little before three, does not leave me much time for
melancholy reflections. And there is no necessity for indulging in them
at present; they only give pain.

                                                  NO. 211 CAMP ST.,
                                                  April 19th, 1865.

"All things are taken from us, and become portions and parcels of the
dreadful pasts."...

Thursday the 13th came the dreadful tidings of the surrender of Lee and
his army on the 9th. Everybody cried, but I would not, satisfied that
God will still save us, even though all should apparently be lost.
Followed at intervals of two or three hours by the announcement of the
capture of Richmond, Selma, Mobile, and Johnston's army, even the
stanchest Southerners were hopeless. Every one proclaimed Peace, and
the only matter under consideration was whether Jeff Davis, all
politicians, every man above the rank of Captain in the army and above
that of Lieutenant in the navy, should be hanged immediately, or _some_
graciously pardoned. Henry Ward Beecher humanely pleaded mercy for us,
supported by a small minority. Davis and all leading men _must_ be
executed; the blood of the others would serve to irrigate the country.
Under this lively prospect, Peace, blessed Peace! was the cry. I
whispered, "Never! Let a great earthquake swallow us up first! Let us
leave our land and emigrate to any desert spot of the earth, rather
than return to the Union, even as it Was!"

Six days this has lasted. Blessed with the silently obstinate
disposition, I would not dispute, but felt my heart swell, repeating,
"God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in time of
trouble," and could not for an instant believe this could end in an

This morning, when I went down to breakfast at seven, Brother read the
announcement of the assassination of Lincoln and Secretary Seward.

"Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." This is murder! God
have mercy on those who did it!

                     *      *      *      *      *

Charlotte Corday killed Marat in his bath, and is held up in history as
one of Liberty's martyrs, and one of the heroines of her country. To
me, it is all murder. Let historians extol blood-shedding; it is
woman's place to abhor it. And because I know that they would have
apotheosized any man who had crucified Jeff Davis, I abhor this, and
call it foul murder, unworthy of our cause--and God grant it was only
the temporary insanity of a desperate man that committed this crime!
Let not his blood be visited on our nation, Lord!

Across the way, a large building, undoubtedly inhabited by officers, is
being draped in black. Immense streamers of black and white hang from
the balcony. Downtown, I understand, all shops are closed, and all
wrapped in mourning. And I hardly dare pray God to bless us, with the
crape hanging over the way. It would have been banners, if our
President had been killed, though!

                                               Saturday, 22d April.

To see a whole city draped in mourning is certainly an imposing
spectacle, and becomes almost grand when it is considered as an
expression of universal affliction. So it is, in one sense. For the
more violently "Secesh" the inmates, the more thankful they are for
Lincoln's death, the more profusely the houses are decked with the
emblems of woe. They all look to me like "not sorry for him, but
dreadfully grieved to be forced to this demonstration." So all things
have indeed assumed a funereal aspect. Men who have hated Lincoln with
all their souls, under terror of confiscation and imprisonment which
they _understand_ is the alternative, tie black crape from every
practicable knob and point to save their homes. Last evening the B----s
were all in tears, preparing their mourning. What sensibility! What
patriotism! a stranger would have exclaimed. But Bella's first remark
was: "Is it not horrible? This vile, _vile_ old crape! Think of hanging
it out when--" Tears of rage finished the sentence. One would have
thought pity for the murdered man had very little to do with it.

Coming back in the cars, I had a _rencontre_ that makes me gnash my
teeth yet. It was after dark, and I was the only lady in a car crowded
with gentlemen. I placed little Miriam on my lap to make room for some
of them, when a great, dark man, all in black, entered, and took the
seat and my left hand at the same instant, saying, "Good-evening, Miss
Sarah." Frightened beyond measure to recognize Captain Todd[21] of the
Yankee army in my interlocutor, I, however, preserved a quiet exterior,
and without the slightest demonstration answered, as though replying to
an internal question. "Mr. Todd." "It is a long while since we met," he
ventured. "Four years," I returned mechanically. "You have been well?"
"My health has been bad." "I have been ill myself"; and determined to
break the ice he diverged with "Baton Rouge has changed sadly." "I hope
I shall never see it again. We have suffered too much to recall home
with any pleasure." "I understand you have suffered severely," he said,
glancing at my black dress. "We have yet one left in the army, though,"
I could not help saying. He, too, had a brother there, he said.

      [21] A cousin of Mrs. Lincoln.

He pulled the check-string as we reached the house, adding, "This is
it," and absurdly correcting himself with "Where do you live?"--"211. I
thank you. Good-evening"; the last with emphasis as he prepared to
follow. He returned the salutation, and I hurriedly regained the house.
Monsieur stood over the way. A look through the blinds showed him
returning to his domicile, several doors below.

I returned to my own painful reflections. The Mr. Todd who was my
"sweetheart" when I was twelve and he twenty-four, who was my brother's
friend, and daily at our home, was put away from among our acquaintance
at the beginning of the war. This one, I should not know. Cords of
candy and mountains of bouquets bestowed in childish days will not make
my country's enemy my friend now that I am a woman.

                                             Tuesday, May 2d, 1865.

While praying for the return of those who have fought so nobly for us,
how I have dreaded their first days at home! Since the boys died, I
have constantly thought of what pain it would bring to see their
comrades return without them--to see families reunited, and know that
ours never could be again, save in heaven. Last Saturday, the 29th of
April, seven hundred and fifty paroled Louisianians from Lee's army
were brought here--the sole survivors of ten regiments who left four
years ago so full of hope and determination. On the 29th of April,
1861, George left New Orleans with his regiment. On the fourth
anniversary of that day, they came back; but George and Gibbes have
long been lying in their graves....

                                                         June 15th.

Our Confederacy has gone with one crash--the report of the pistol fired
at Lincoln.


Reading this for the first time, in all these many years, I wish to
bear record that God never failed me, through stranger vicissitudes
than I ever dared record. Whatever the anguish, whatever the extremity,
in His own good time He ever delivered me. So that I bless Him to-day
for all of life's joys and sorrows--for all He gave--for all He has
taken--and I bear witness that it was all Very Good.

                                   SARAH MORGAN DAWSON.

July 23d, 1896.

The Riverside Press
U . S . A

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