A Diary From Dixie Part 1
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A Diary From Dixie.
Mary Boykin Miller Chesnut.
THE AUTHOR AND HER BOOK.
IN Mrs. Chesnut's Diary are vivid pictures of the social life that went on uninterruptedly in the midst of war; of the economic conditions that resulted from blockaded ports; of the manner in which the spirits of the people rose and fell with each victory or defeat, and of the momentous events that took place in Charleston, Montgomery, and Richmond. But the Diary has an importance quite apart from the interest that lies in these pictures.
Mrs. Chesnut was close to forty years of age when the war began, and thus had lived through the most stirring scenes in the controversies that led to it. In this Diary, as perhaps nowhere else in the literature of the war, will be found the Southern spirit of that time expressed in words which are not alone charming as literature, but genuinely human in their spontaneousness, their delightfully unconscious frankness. Her words are the farthest possible removed from anything deliberate, academic, or purely intellectual They ring so true that they start echoes. The most uncompromising Northern heart can scarcely fail to be moved by their abounding sincerity, surcharged though it be with that old Southern fire which overwhelmed the army of McDowell at Bull Run.
In making more clear the unyielding tenacity of the South and the stern conditions in which the war was prosecuted, the Diary has further importance. At the beginning there was no Southern leader, in so far as we can gather * * *
xiv from Mrs. Chesnut's reports of her talks with them, who had any hope that the South would win in the end, provided the North should be able to enlist her full resources. The result, however, was that the South struck something like terror to many hearts, and raised serious expectations that two great European powers would recognize her independence. The South fought as long as she had any soldiers left who were capable of fighting, and at last "robbed the cradle and the grave." Nothing then remained except to "wait for another generation to grow up." The North, so far as her stock of men of fighting age was concerned, had done scarcely more than make a beginning, while the South was virtually exhausted when the war was half over.
Unlike the South, the North was never reduced to extremities which led the wives of Cabinet officers and commanding generals to gather in Was.h.i.+ngton hotels and private drawing-rooms, in order to knit heavy socks for soldiers whose feet otherwise would go bare: scenes like these were common in Richmond, and Mrs. Chesnut often made one of the company. Nor were gently nurtured women of the North forced to wear coa.r.s.e and ill-fitting shoes, such as negro cobblers made, the alternative being to dispense with shoes altogether. Gold might rise in the North to 2.80, but there came a time in the South, when a thousand dollars in paper money were needed to buy a kitchen utensil, which before the war could have been bought for less than one dollar in gold. Long before the conflict ended it was a common remark in the South that, "in going to market, you take your money in your basket, and bring your purchases home in your pocket."
In the North the counterpart to these facts were such items as b.u.t.ter at 50 cents a pound and flour at 12 a barrel. People in the North actually thrived on high prices. Villages and small towns, as well as large cities, had their "bloated bondholders" in plenty, while farmers everywhere * * *
xv were able to clear their lands of mortgages and put money in the bank besides. Planters in the South, meanwhile, were borrowing money to support the negroes in idleness at home, while they themselves were fighting at the front. Old Colonel Chesnut, the author's father-in-law, in April, 1862, estimated that he had already lost half a million in bank stock and railroad bonds. When the war closed, he had borrowed such large sums himself and had such large sums due to him from others, that he saw no likelihood of the obligations on either side ever being discharged.
Mrs. Chesnut wrote her Diary from day to day, as the mood or an occasion prompted her to do so. The fortunes of war changed the place of her abode almost as frequently as the seasons changed, but wherever she might be the Diary was continued. She began to write in Charleston when the Convention was pa.s.sing the Ordinance of Secession. Thence she went to Montgomery, Ala., where the Confederacy was organized and Jefferson Davis was inaugurated as its President. She went to receptions where, sitting aside on sofas with Davis, Stephens, Toombs, Cobb, or Hunter, she talked of the probable outcome of the war, should war come, setting down in her Diary what she heard from others and all that she thought herself. Returning to Charleston, where her husband, in a small boat, conveyed to Major Anderson the ultimatum of the Governor of South Carolina, she saw from a housetop the first act of war committed in the bombardment of Fort Sumter. During the ensuing four years, Mrs. Chesnut's time was mainly pa.s.sed between Columbia and Richmond. For shorter periods she was at the Fauquier White Sulphur Springs in Virginia, Flat Rock in North Carolina, Portland in Alabama (the home of her mother), Camden and Chester in South Carolina, and Lincolnton in North Carolina.
In all these places Mrs. Chesnut was in close touch with men and women who were in the forefront of the * * *
xvi social, military, and political life of the South. Those who live in her pages make up indeed a catalogue of the heroes of, the Confederacy-President Jefferson Davis, Vice-President Alexander H. Stephens, General Robert E. Lee, General "Stonewall" Jackson, General Joseph E. Johnston, General Pierre G. T. Beauregard, General Wade Hampton, General Joseph B. Kershaw, General John B. Hood, General John S. Preston, General Robert Toombs, R. M. T. Hunter, Judge Louis T. Wigfall, and so many others that one almost hears the roll-call. That this statement is not exaggerated may be judged from a glance at the index, which has been prepared with a view to the inclusion of all important names mentioned in the text.
As her Diary constantly shows, Mrs. Chesnut was a woman of society in the best sense. She had love of companions.h.i.+p, native wit, an acute mind, knowledge of books, and a searching insight into the motives of men and women. She was also a notable housewife, much given to hospitality; and her heart was of the warmest and tenderest, as those who knew her well bore witness.
Mary Boykin Miller, born March 31, 1823, was the daughter of Stephen Decatur Miller, a man of distinction in the public affairs of South Carolina. Mr. Miller was elected to Congress in 1817, became Governor in 1828, and was chosen United States Senator in 1830. He was a strong supporter of the Nullification movement. In 1833, owing to ill-health, he resigned his seat in the Senate and not long afterward removed to Mississippi, where he engaged in cotton planting until his death, in March, 1838.
His daughter, Mary, was married to James Chesnut, Jr., April 23, 1840, when seventeen years of age. Thenceforth her home was mainly at Mulberry, near Camden, one of several plantations owned by her father-in-law. Of the domestic life at Mulberry a pleasing picture has come down * * *
xvii to us, as preserved in a time-worn sc.r.a.p-book and written some years before the war: "In our drive of about three miles to Mulberry, we were struck with the wealth of forest trees along our way for which the environs of Camden are noted. Here is a bridge completely canopied with overarching branches; and, for the remainder of our journey, we pa.s.s through an aromatic avenue of crab-trees with the Yellow Jessamine and the Cherokee rose, entwining every shrub, post, and pillar within reach and lending an almost tropical luxuriance and sweetness to the way.
"But here is the house - a brick building, capacious and ma.s.sive, a house that is a home for a large family, one of the homesteads of the olden times, where home comforts and blessings cl.u.s.ter, sacred alike for its joys and its sorrows. Birthdays, wedding-days, 'Merry Christmases,' departures for school and college, and home returnings have enriched this abode with the treasures of life.
"A warm welcome greets us as we enter. The furniture within is in keeping with things without; nothing is tawdry; there is no gingerbread gilding; all is handsome and substantial. In the 'old arm-chair' sits the venerable mother. The father is on his usual ride about the plantation; but will be back presently. A lovely old age is this mother's, calm and serene, as the soft mellow days of our own gentle autumn. She came from the North to the South many years ago, a fair young bride.
"The Old Colonel enters. He bears himself erect, walks at a brisk gait, and needs no spectacles, * * *
xviii yet he is over eighty. He is a typical Southern planter. From the beginning he has been one of the most intelligent patrons of the Wateree Mission to the Negroes, taking a personal interest in them, attending the mission church and wors.h.i.+ping with his own people. May his children see to it that this holy charity is continued to their servants forever!"
James Chesnut, Jr., was the son and heir of Colonel James Chesnut, whose wife was Mary c.o.xe, of Philadelphia. Mary c.o.xe's sister married Horace Binney, the eminent Philadelphia lawyer. James Chesnut, Jr., was born in 1815 and graduated from Princeton. For fourteen years he served in the legislature of South Carolina, and in January, 1859, was appointed to fill a vacancy in the United States Senate. In November, 1860, when South Carolina was about to secede, he resigned from the Senate and thenceforth was active in the Southern cause, first as an aide to General Beauregard, then as an aide to President Davis, and finally as a brigadier-general of reserves in command of the coast of South Carolina.
General Chesnut was active in public life in South Carolina after the war, in so far as the circ.u.mstances of Reconstruction permitted, and in 1868 was a delegate from that State to the National convention which nominated Horatio Seymour for President. His death occurred at Sarsfield, February 1, 1885. One who knew him well wrote: "While papers were teeming with tribute to this knightly gentleman, whose services to his State were part of her history in her prime - tribute that did him no more than justice, in recounting his public virtues - I thought there was another phase of his character which the world did not know and the press did not chronicle - that * * *
xix which showed his beautiful kindness and his courtesy to his own household, and especially to his dependents.
"Among all the preachers of the South Carolina Conference, a few remained of those who ever counted it as one of the highest honors conferred upon them by their Lord that it was permitted to them to preach the gospel to the slaves of the Southern plantations. Some of these retained kind recollections of the cordial hospitality shown the plantation missionary at Mulberry and Sandy Hill, and of the care taken at these places that the plantation chapel should be neat and comfortable, and that the slaves should have their spiritual as well as their bodily needs supplied.
"To these it was no matter of surprise to learn that at his death General Chesnut, statesman and soldier, was surrounded by faithful friends, born in slavery on his own plantation, and that the last prayer he ever heard came from the lips of a negro man, old Scipio, his father's body-servant; and that he was borne to his grave amid the tears and lamentations of those whom no Emanc.i.p.ation Proclamation could sever from him, and who cried aloud: '0 my master! my master! he was so good to me! He was all to us! We have lost our best friend!'
"Mrs. Chesnut's anguish when her husband died, is not to be forgotten; the 'bitter cry' never quite spent itself, though she was brave and bright to the end. Her friends were near in that supreme moment at Sarsfield, when, on November 22, 1886, her own heart ceased to beat. Her servants had been true to her; no blandishments of freedom had drawn Ellen or Molly away from 'Miss Mary.' Mrs. Chesnut lies buried in the * * *
xx family cemetery at Knight's Hill, where also sleep her husband and many other members of the Chesnut family."
The Chesnuts settled in South Carolina at the close of the war with France, but lived originally on the frontier of Virginia. Their Virginia home had been invaded by French and Indians, and in an expedition to Fort Duquesne the father was killed. John Chesnut removed from Virginia to South Carolina soon afterward and served in the Revolution as a captain. His son James, the "Old Colonel," was educated at Princeton, took an active part in public affairs in South Carolina, and prospered greatly as a planter. He survived until after the War, being a nonogenarian when the conflict closed. In a charming sketch of him in one of the closing pages of this Diary, occurs the following pa.s.sage: "Colonel Chesnut, now ninety-three, blind and deaf, is apparently as strong as ever, and certainly as resolute of will. Partly patriarch, partly grand seigneur, this old man is of a species that we shall see no more; the last of a race of lordly planters who ruled this Southern world, but now a splendid wreck."
Three miles from Camden still stands Mulberry. During one of the raids committed in the neighborhood by Sherman's men early in 1865, the house escaped destruction almost as if by accident. The picture of it in this book is from a recent photograph. A change has indeed come over it, since the days when the household servants and dependents numbered between sixty and seventy, and its owner was lord of a thousand slaves. After the war, Mulberry ceased to be the author's home, she and General Chesnut building for themselves another to which they gave the name of Sarsfield. Sarsfield, of which an ill.u.s.tration is given, still stands in the pine lands not far from Mulberry. Bloomsbury, another of old Colonel Chesnut's plantation dwellings, survived the march of Sherman, and is now the * * *
xxi home of David R. Williams, Jr., and Ellen Manning, his wife, whose children roam its halls, as grandchildren of the author's sister Kate. Other Chesnut plantations were Cool Spring, Knight's Hill, The Hermitage, and Sandy Hill.
The Diary, as it now exists in forty-eight thin volumes, of the small quarto size, is entirely in Mrs. Chesnut's handwriting. She originally wrote it on what was known as "Confederate paper," but transcribed it afterward. When Richmond was threatened, or when Sherman was coming, she buried it or in some other way secreted it from the enemy. On occasion it shared its hiding-place with family silver, or with a drinking-cup which had been presented to General Hood by the ladies of Richmond. Mrs. Chesnut was fond of inserting on blank pages of the Diary current newspaper accounts of campaigns and battles, or lists of killed and wounded. One item of this kind, a newspaper "extra," issued in Chester, S. C., and announcing the a.s.sa.s.sination of Lincoln, is reproduced in this volume.
Mrs. Chesnut, by oral and written bequest, gave the Diary to her friend whose name leads the signatures to this Introduction. In the Diary, here and there, Mrs. Chesnut's expectation that the work would some day be printed is disclosed, but at the time of her death it did not seem wise to undertake publication for a considerable period. Yellow with age as the pages now are, the only harm that has come to them in the pa.s.sing of many years, is that a few corners have been broken and frayed, as shown in one of the pages here reproduced in facsimile.
In the summer of 1904, the woman whose office it has been to a.s.sist in preparing the Diary for the press, went South to collect material for another work to follow her A Virginia Girl in the Civil War. Her investigations led her to Columbia, where, while the guest of Miss Martin, she learned of the Diary's existence. Soon afterward an arrangement was made with her publishers under which the Diary's owner and herself agreed to condense * * *
xxii and revise the ma.n.u.script for publication. The Diary was found to be of too great length for reproduction in full, parts of it being of personal or local interest rather than general. The editing of the book called also for the insertion of a considerable number of foot-notes, in order that persons named, or events referred to, might be the better understood by the present generation.
Mrs. Chesnut was a conspicuous example of the well-born and high-bred woman, who, with active sympathy and unremitting courage, supported the Southern cause. Born and reared when Nullification was in the ascendant, and acquiring an education which developed and refined her natural literary gifts, she found in the throes of a great conflict at arms the impulse which wrought into vital expression in words her steadfast loyalty to the waning fortunes of a political faith, which, in South Carolina, had become a religion.
Many men have produced narratives of the war between the States, and a few women have written notable chronicles of it but none has given to the world a record more radiant than hers, or one more pa.s.sionately sincere. Every line in this Diary throbs with the tumult of deep spiritual pa.s.sion, and bespeaks the luminous mind, the unconquered soul, of the woman who wrote it.
ISABELLA D. MARTIN,.
MYRTA LOCKETT AVARY.
xxii-a A PAGE OF THE DIARY IN FACSIMILE.* * *
I. CHARLESTON, S. C.
November 8, 1860 - December 27, 1860.
CHARLESTON, S. C., November 8, 1860. - Yesterday on the train, just before we reached Fernandina, a woman called out: "That settles the hash." Tanny touched me on the shoulder and said: "Lincoln's elected." "How do you know?" "The man over there has a telegram."
The excitement was very great. Everybody was talking at the same time. One, a little more moved than the others, stood up and said despondently: "The die is cast; no more vain regrets; sad forebodings are useless; the stake is life or death." "Did you ever!" was the prevailing exclamation, and some one cried out: "Now that the black radical Republicans have the power I suppose they will Brown 1 us all. " No doubt of it.
I have always kept a journal after a fas.h.i.+on of my own, with dates and a line of poetry or prose, mere quotations, which I understood and no one else, and I have kept letters and extracts from the papers. From to-day forward I will tell the story in my own way. I now wish I had a chronicle of the two delightful and eventful years that have just pa.s.sed. Those delights have fled and one's breath is taken away to think what events have since crowded in. Like the woman's record in her journal, we have had "earthquakes, as usual" - daily shocks.
1. A reference to John Brown of Harper's Ferry.
2 At Fernandina I saw young men running up a Palmetto flag, and shouting a little prematurely, "South Carolina has seceded!" I was overjoyed to find Florida so sympathetic, but Tanny told me the young men were Gadsdens, Porchers, and Gourdins, 1 names as inevitably South Carolinian as Moses and Lazarus are Jewish.
From my window I can hear a grand and mighty flow of eloquence. Bartow and a delegation from Savannah are having a supper given to them in the dining-room below. The noise of the speaking and cheering is pretty hard on a tired traveler. Suddenly I found myself listening with pleasure. Voice, tone, temper, sentiment, language, all were perfect. I sent Tanny to see who it was that spoke. He came back saying, "Mr. Alfred Huger, the old postmaster." He may not have been the wisest or wittiest man there, but he certainly made the best aftersupper speech.
December 10th. - We have been up to the Mulberry Plantation with Colonel Colc.o.c.k and Judge Magrath, who were sent to Columbia by their fellow-citizens in the low country, to hasten the slow movement of the wisdom a.s.sembled in the State Capital. Their message was, they said: "Go ahead, dissolve the Union, and be done with it, or it will be worse for you. The fire in the rear is hottest." And yet people talk of the politicians leading! Everywhere that I have been people have been complaining bitterly of slow and lukewarm public leaders.
Judge Magrath is a local celebrity, who has been stretched across the street in effigy, showing him tearing off his robes of office. The painting is in vivid colors, the canvas huge, and the rope hardly discernible. He is depicted with a countenance flaming with contending emotions - rage, disgust, and disdain. We agreed that the time 1. This and other French names to be met with in this Diary are of Huguenot origin.
3 had now come. We had talked so much heretofore. Let the fire-eaters have it out. Ma.s.sachusetts and South Carolina are always coming up before the footlights.
As a woman, of course, it is easy for me to be brave under the skins of other people; so I said: "Fight it out. Bluffton 1 I has brought on a fever that only bloodletting will cure." My companions breathed fire and fury, but I dare say they were amusing themselves with my dismay, for, talk as I would, that I could not hide.
At Kingsville we encountered James Chesnut, fresh from Columbia, where he had resigned his seat in the United States Senate the day before. Said some one spitefully, "Mrs. Chesnut does not look at all resigned." For once in her life, Mrs. Chesnut held her tongue: she was dumb. In the high-flown style which of late seems to have gotten into the very air, she was offering up her life to the cause.
We have had a brief pause. The men who are all, like Pickens, 2 "insensible to fear," are very sensible in case of small-pox. There being now an epidemic of small-pox in Columbia, they have adjourned to Charleston. In Camden we were busy and frantic with excitement, drilling, marching, arming, and wearing high blue c.o.c.kades. Red sashes, guns, and swords were ordinary fireside accompaniments. So wild were we, I saw at a grand parade of the home-guard a woman, the wife of a man who says he is a secessionist per se, driving about to see the drilling of this new company, although her father was buried the day before.
Edward J. Pringle writes me from San Francisco on November 30th: "I see that Mr. Chesnut has resigned 1. A reference to what was known as "the Bluffton movement" of 1844, in South Carolina. It aimed at secession, but was voted down.
2. Francis W. Pickens, Governor of South Carolina, 1860-62. He had been elected to Congress in 1834 as a Nullifier, but had voted against the "Bluffton movement." From 1858 to 1860, he was Minister to Russia. He was a wealthy planter and had fame as an orator.
4 and that South Carolina is hastening into a Convention, perhaps to secession. Mr. Chesnut is probably to be President of the Convention. I see all of the leaders in the State are in favor of secession. But I confess I hope the black Republicans will take the alarm and submit some treaty of peace that will enable us now and forever to settle the question, and save our generation from the prostration of business and the decay of prosperity that must come both to the North and South from a disruption of the Union. However, I won't speculate. Before this reaches you, South Carolina may be off on her own hook - a separate republic."
December 21st. - Mrs. Charles Lowndes was sitting with us to-day, when Mrs. Kirkland brought in a copy of the Secession Ordinance. I wonder if my face grew as white as hers. She said after a moment: "G.o.d help us. As our day, so shall our strength be." How grateful we were for this pious e.j.a.c.u.l.a.t.i.o.n of hers! They say I had better take my last look at this beautiful place, Combahee. It is on the coast, open to gunboats.
We mean business this time, because of this convocation of the notables, this convention.1 In it are all our wisest and best. They really have tried to send the ablest men, the good men and true.) South Carolina was never more splendidly represented. Patriotism aside, it makes society delightful. One need not regret having left Was.h.i.+ngton.
December 27th. - Mrs. Gidiere came in quietly from her marketing to-day, and in her neat, incisive manner exploded this bombsh.e.l.l:. "Major Anderson 2 has moved into 1. The Convention, which on December 20, 1860, pa.s.sed the famous Ordinance of Secession, and had first met in Columbia, the State capital.
2. Robert Anderson, Major of the First Artillery, United States Army, who, on November 20, 1860, was placed in command of the troops in Charleston harbor. On the night of December 26th, fearing an attack, he had moved his command to Fort Sumter. Anderson was a graduate of West Point and a veteran of the Black Hawk, Florida, and Mexican Wars.
4a THE OLD BAPTIST CHURCH IN COLUMBIA, S.C.
Here First Met the South Carolina Secession Convention.
5 Fort Sumter, while Governor Pickens slept serenely." The row is fast and furious now. State after State is taking its forts and fortresses. They say if we had been left out in the cold alone, we might have sulked a while, but back we would have had to go, and would merely have fretted and fumed and quarreled among ourselves. We needed a little wholesome neglect. Anderson has blocked that game, but now our sister States have joined us, and we are strong. I give the condensed essence of the table-talk: "Anderson has united the cotton States. Now for Virginia!" "Anderson has opened the ball." Those who want a row are in high glee. Those who dread it are glum and thoughtful enough.
A letter from Susan Rutledge: "Captain Humphrey folded the United States Army flag just before dinnertime. Ours was run up in its place. You know the a.r.s.enal is in sight. What is the next move? I pray G.o.d to guide us. We stand in need of wise counsel; something more than courage. The talk is: 'Fort Sumter must be taken; and it is one of the strongest forts.' How in the name of sense are they to manage? I shudder to think of rash moves."
II. MONTGOMERY, ALA.
February 19, 1861 - March 11, 1861 MONTGOMERY, Ala., February 19, 1861. - The brand-new Confederacy is making or remodeling its Const.i.tution. Everybody wants Mr. Davis to be General-in-Chief or President. Keitt and Boyce and a party preferred Howell Cobb 1 for President. And the fire-eaters per se wanted Barnwell Rhett.
My brother Stephen brought the officers of the "Montgomery Blues" to dinner. "Very soiled Blues," they said, apologizing for their rough condition. Poor fellows! they had been a month before Fort Pickens and not allowed to attack it. They said Colonel Chase built it, and so were sure it was impregnable. Colonel Lomax telegraphed to Governor Moore 2 if he might try to take it, "Chase or no Chase," and got for his answer, "No." "And now," say the Blues, "we have worked like n.i.g.g.e.rs, and when the fun and fighting begin, they send us home and put regulars 1. A native of Georgia, Howell Cobb had long served in Congress, and in 1849 was elected Speaker. In 1851 he was elected Governor of Georgia, and in 1857 became Secretary of the Treasury in Buchanan's Administration. In 1861 he was a delegate from Georgia to the Provisional Congress which adopted the Const.i.tution of the Confederacy, and presided over each of its four sessions.
2. Andrew Bary Moore, elected Governor of Alabama in 1859. In 1861, before Alabama seceded, he directed the seizure of United States forts and a.r.s.enals and was active afterward in the equipment of State troops.
7 there." They have an immense amount of powder. The wheel of the car in which it was carried took fire. There was an escape for you! We are packing a hamper of eatables for them.
I am despondent once more. If I thought them in earnest because at first they put their best in front, what now? We have to meet tremendous odds by pluck, activity, zeal, dash, endurance of the toughest, military instinct. We have had to choose born leaders of men who could attract love and secure trust. Everywhere political intrigue is as rife as in Was.h.i.+ngton.
Cecil's saying of Sir Walter Raleigh that he could "toil terribly" was an electric touch. Above all, let the men who are to save South Carolina be young and vigorous. While I was reflecting on what kind of men we ought to choose, I fell on Clarendon, and it was easy to construct my man out of his portraits. What has been may be again, so the men need not be purely ideal types.
Mr. Toombs 1 told us a story of General Scott and himself. He said he was dining in Was.h.i.+ngton with Scott, who seasoned every dish and every gla.s.s of wine with the eternal refrain, "Save the Union; the Union must be preserved." Toombs remarked that he knew why the Union was so dear to the General, and ill.u.s.trated his point by a steamboat anecdote, an explosion, of course. While the pa.s.sengers were struggling in the water a woman ran up and down the bank crying, "Oh, save the red-headed 1. Robert Toombs, a native of Georgia, who early acquired fame as a lawyer, served in the Creek War under General Scott, became known in 1842 as a "State Rights Whig," being elected to Congress, where he was active in the Compromise measures of 1850. He served in the United States Senate from 1853 to 1861, where he was a p.r.o.nounced advocate of the sovereignty of States, the extension of slavery, and secession. He was a member of the Confederate Congress at its first session and, by a single vote, failed of election as President of the Confederacy. After the war, he was conspicuous for his hostility to the Union.
8 man!" The red-headed man was saved, and his preserver, after landing him noticed with surprise how little interest in him the woman who had made such moving appeals seemed to feel. He asked her "Why did you make that pathetic outcry?" She answered, "Oh, he owes me ten thousand dollars." "Now General," said Toombs, "the Union owes you seventeen thousand dollars a year!" I can imagine the scorn on old Scott's face.
February 25th - Find every one working very hard here. As I dozed on the sofa last night, could hear the scratch, scratch of my husband's pen as he wrote at the table until midnight.
After church to-day, Captain Ingraham called. He left me so uncomfortable. He dared to express regrets that he had to leave the United States Navy. Ha had been stationed in the Mediterranean, where he liked to be , and expected to be these two years, and to take those lovely daughters of his to Florence. Then came Abraham Lincoln, and rampant black Republicanism, and he must lay down his life for South Carolina. He, however, does not make any moan. He says we lack everything necessary in naval gear to retake Fort Sumter. Of course, he only expects the navy to take it. He is a fish out of water here. He is one of the finest sea-captains; so I suppose they will soon give him a s.h.i.+p and send him back to his own element.
At dinner Judge - was loudly abusive of Congress. He said: "They have trampled the Const.i.tution underfoot. They have provided President Davis with a house." He was disgusted with the folly of parading the President at the inauguration in a coach drawn by four white horses. Then some one said Mrs. Fitzpatrick was the only lady who sat with the Congress. After the inaugural she poked Jeff Davis in the back with her parasol that he might turn and speak to her. "I am sure that was democratic enough," said some one.
Governor Moore came in with the latest news - a telegram * * *
9 from Governor Pickens to the President, " that a war steamer is lying off the Charleston bar laden with reenforcements for Fort Sumter, and what must we do?" Answer: "Use your own discretion!" There is faith for you, after all is said and done. It is believed there is still some discretion left in South Carolina fit for use.
A Diary From Dixie Part 1
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