A Diary From Dixie Part 7
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"The condition of women is improving, it seems." "Women are brought up not to judge their fathers or their husbands. They take them as the Lord provides and are thankful."
"If they should not go to heaven after all; think what lives most women lead." "No heaven, no purgatory, no - the other thing? Never. I believe in future rewards and punishments."
"How about the wives of drunkards? I heard a woman say once to a friend of her husband, tell it as a cruel matter of fact, without bitterness, without comment, 'Oh, you have not seen him! He has changed. He has not gone to bed sober in thirty years.' She has had her purgatory, if not 'the other thing,' here in this world. We all know what a drunken man is. To think, for no crime, a person * * *
116 may be condemned to live with one thirty years." "You wander from the question I asked. Are Southern men worse because of the slave system and the facile black women? Not a bit. They see too much of them. The barroom people don't drink, the confectionery people loathe candy. They are sick of the black sight of them."
"You think a nice man from the South is the nicest thing in the world? I know it. Put him by any other man and see!"
Have seen Yankee letters taken at Mana.s.sas. The spelling is often atrocious, and we thought they had all gone through a course of blue-covered Noah Webster spelling-books. Our soldiers do spell astonis.h.i.+ngly. There is Horace Greeley: they say he can't read his own handwriting. But, he is candid enough and disregards all time-serving. He says in his paper that in our army the North has a hard nut to crack, and that the rank and file of our army is superior in education and general intelligence to theirs.
My wildest imagination will not picture Mr. Mason1 as a diplomat. He will say chaw for chew, and he will call himself Jeems, and he will wear a dress coat to breakfast. Over here, whatever a Mason does is right in his own eyes. He is above law. Somebody asked him how he p.r.o.nounced his wife's maiden name: she was a Miss Chew from Philadelphia.
1. James Murray Mason was a grandson of George Mason, and had been elected United States Senator from Virginia in 1847. In 1851 he drafted the Fugitive Slave Law. His mission to England in 1861 was shared by John Slidell. On November 8, 1861, while on board the British steamer Trent, in the Bahamas, they were captured by an American named Wilkes, and imprisoned in Boston until January 2, 1862. A famous diplomatic difficulty arose with England over this affair. John Slidell was a native of New York, who had settled in Louisiana and became a Member of Congress from that State in 1843. In 1853 he was elected to the United States Senate.
117 They say the English will like Mr. Mason; he is so manly, so straightforward, so truthful and bold. "A fine old English gentleman," so said Russell to me, "but for tobacco." "I like Mr. Mason and Mr. Hunter better than anybody else." "And yet they are wonderfully unlike." "Now you just listen to me," said I. "Is Mrs. Davis in hearing - no? Well, this sending Mr. Mason to London is the maddest thing yet. Worse in some points of view than Yancey, and that was a catastrophe."
August 29th. - No more feminine gossip, but the licensed slanderer, the mighty Russell, of the Times. He says the battle of the 21st was fought at long range: 500 yards apart were the combatants. The Confederates were steadily retreating when some commotion in the wagon train frightened the "Yanks," and they made tracks. In good English, they fled amain. And on our side we were too frightened to follow them - in high-flown English, to pursue the flying foe.
In spite of all this, there are glimpses of the truth sometimes, and the story leads to our credit with all the sneers and jeers. When he speaks of the Yankees' cowardice, falsehood, dishonesty, and braggadocio, the best words are in his mouth. He repeats the thrice-told tale, so often refuted and denied, that we were harsh to wounded prisoners. Dr. Gibson told me that their surgeon-general has written to thank our surgeons: Yankee officers write very differently from Russell. I know that in that hospital with the Sisters of Charity they were better off than our men were at the other hospitals: that I saw with my own eyes. These poor souls are jealously guarded night and day. It is a hideous tale - what they tell of their sufferings.
Women who come before the public are in a bad box now. False hair is taken off and searched for papers. Bustles are "suspect." All manner of things, they say, come over the border under the huge hoops now worn; so they are ruthlessly torn off. Not legs but arms are looked * * *
118 for under hoops, and, sad to say, found. Then women are used as detectives and searchers, to see that no men slip over in petticoats. So the poor creatures coming this way are humiliated to the deepest degree. To men, glory, honor, praise, and power, if they are patriots. To women, daughters of Eve, punishment comes still in some shape, do what they will.
Mary Hammy's eyes were starting from her head with amazement, while a very large and handsome South Carolinian talked rapidly. "What is it?" asked I after he had gone. "Oh, what a year can bring forth - one year! Last summer you remember how he swore he was in love with me? He told you, he told me, he told everybody, and if I did refuse to marry him I believed him. Now he says he has seen, fallen in love with, courted, and married another person, and he raves of his little daughter's beauty. And they say time goes slowly" thus spoke Mary Hammy, with a sigh of wonder at his wonderful cure.
"Time works wonders," said the explainer-general. "What conclusion did you come to as to Southern men at the grand pow-wow, you know?" "They are nicer than the nicest - the gentlemen, you know. There are not too many of that kind anywhere. Ours are generous, truthful, brave, and - and - devoted to us, you know. A Southern husband is not a bad thing to have about the house."
Mrs. Frank Hampton said: "For one thing, you could not flirt with these South Carolinians. They would not stay at the tepid degree of flirtation. They grow so horridly in earnest before you know where you are." "Do you think two married people ever lived together without finding each other out? I mean, knowing exactly how good or how shabby, how weak or how strong, above all, how selfish each was?" "Yes; unless they are dolts, they know to a t.i.ttle; but you see if they have common sense they make believe and get on, so so." Like the Marchioness's orange-peel wine in Old Curiosity Shop.
119 A violent attack upon the North to-day in the Albion. They mean to let freedom slide a while until they subjugate us. The Albion says they use lettres de cachet, pa.s.sports, and all the despotic apparatus of regal governments. Russell hears the tramp of the coming man - the king and kaiser tyrant that is to rule them. Is it McClellan? - "Little Mac"? We may tremble when he comes. We down here have only "the many-headed monster thing," armed democracy. Our chiefs quarrel among themselves.
McClellan is of a forgiving spirit. He does not resent Russell's slurs upon Yankees, but with good policy has Russell with him as a guest.
The Adonis of an aide avers, as one who knows, that "Sumter" Anderson's heart is with us; that he will not fight the South. After all is said and done that sounds like nonsense. "Sumter" Anderson's wife was a daughter of Governor Clinch, of Georgia. Does that explain it? He also told me something of Garnett (who was killed at Rich Mountain).1 He had been an unlucky man clear through. In the army before the war, the aide had found him proud, reserved, and morose, cold as an icicle to all. But for his wife and child he was a different creature. He adored them and cared for nothing else.
One day he went off on an expedition and was gone six weeks. He was out in the Northwest, and the Indians were troublesome. When he came back, his wife and child were underground. He said not one word, but they found him more frozen, stern, and isolated than ever; that was all. The night before he left Richmond he said in his quiet way: "They have not given me an adequate force. I can do nothing. They have sent me to my death." It is acknowledged 1. The battle of Rich Mountain, in Western Virginia, was fought July 11, 1861, and General Garnett, Commander of the Confederate forces, pursued by General McClellan, was killed at Carrick's Ford, July 13th, while trying to rally his rear-guard.
120 that he threw away his life - "a dreary-hearted man," said the aide, "and the unluckiest."
On the front steps every evening we take our seats and discourse at our pleasure. A nicer or more agreeable set of people were never a.s.sembled than our present Arlington crowd. To-night it was Yancey1 who occupied our tongues. Send a man to England who had killed his father-in-law in a street brawl! That was not knowing England or Englishmen, surely. Who wants eloquence? We want somebody who can hold his tongue. People avoid great talkers, men who orate, men given to monologue, as they would avoid fire, famine, or pestilence. Yancey will have no mobs to harangue. No stump speeches will be possible, superb as are his of their kind, but little quiet conversation is best with slow, solid, common-sense people, who begin to suspect as soon as any flourish of trumpets meets their ear. If Yancey should use his fine words, who would care for them over there?
Commodore Barron, when he was a middy, accompanied Phil Augustus Stockton to claim his bride. He, the said Stockton, had secretly wedded a fair heiress (Sally Cantey). She was married by a magistrate and returned to Mrs. Grillaud's boarding-school until it was time to go home - that is, to Camden.
Lieutenant Stockton (a descendant of the Signer) was the handsomest man in the navy, and irresistible. The bride was barely sixteen. When he was to go down South among those fire-eaters and claim her, Commodore Barron, then his intimate friend, went as his backer. They were to announce the marriage and defy the guardians. Commodore 1. William Lowndes Yancey was a native of Virginia, who settled in Alabama, and in 1844 was elected to Congress, where he became a leader among the supporters of slavery and an advocate of secession. He was famous in his day as an effective public speaker.
121 Barron said he antic.i.p.ated a rough job of it all, but they were prepared for all risks. "You expected to find us a horde of savages, no doubt," said I. "We did not expect to get off under a half-dozen duels." They looked for insults from every quarter and they found a polished and refined people who lived en prince, to say the least of it. They were received with a cold, stately, and faultless politeness, which made them feel as if they had been sheep-stealing.
The young lady had confessed to her guardians and they were for making the best of it; above all, for saving her name from all gossip or publicity. Colonel John Boykin, one of them, took Young Lochinvar to stay with him. His friend, Barron, was also a guest. Colonel Deas sent for a parson, and made a.s.surance doubly sure by marrying them over again. Their wish was to keep things quiet and not to make a nine-days' wonder of the young lady.
Then came b.a.l.l.s, parties, and festivities without end. He was enchanted with the easy-going life of these people, with dinners the finest in the world, deer-hunting, and fox-hunting, dancing, and pretty girls, in fact everything that heart could wish. But then, said Commodore Barron, "the better it was, and the kinder the treatment, the more ashamed I grew of my business down there. After all, it was stealing an heiress, you know."
I told him how the same fate still haunted that estate in Camden. Mr. Stockton sold it to a gentleman, who later sold it to an old man who had married when near eighty, and who left it to the daughter born of that marriage. This pretty child of his old age was left an orphan quite young. At the age of fifteen, she ran away and married a boy of seventeen, a canny Scotchman. The young couple lived to grow up, and it proved after all a happy marriage. This last heiress left six children; so the estate will now be divided, and no longer tempt the fortune-hunters.
The Commodore said: "To think how we two youngsters * * *
122 in our blue uniforms went down there to bully those people." He was much at Colonel Chesnut's. Mrs. Chesnut being a Philadelphian, he was somewhat at ease with them. It was the most thoroughly appointed establishment he had then ever visited.
Went with our leviathan of loveliness to a ladies' meeting. No scandal to-day, no wrangling, all harmonious, everybody knitting. Dare say that soothing occupation helped our perturbed spirits to be calm. Mrs. C - - is lovely, a perfect beauty. Said Brewster: "In Circa.s.sia, think what a price would be set upon her, for there beauty sells by the pound!"
Coming home the following conversation: "So Mrs. Blank thinks purgatory will hold its own - never be abolished while women and children have to live with drunken fathers and brothers." "She knows." "She is too bitter. She says worse than that. She says we have an inst.i.tution worse than the Spanish Inquisition, worse than Torquemada, and all that sort of thing." "What does she mean?" "You ask her. Her words are sharp arrows. I am a dull creature, and I should spoil all by repeating what she says."
"It is your own family that she calls the familiars of the Inquisition. She declares that they set upon you, fall foul of you, watch and hara.s.s you from morn till dewy eve. They have a perfect right to your life, night and day, unto the fourth and fifth generation. They drop in at breakfast and say, 'Are you not imprudent to eat that?' 'Take care now, don't overdo it.' 'I think you eat too much so early in the day.' And they help themselves to the only thing you care for on the table. They abuse your friends and tell you it is your duty to praise your enemies. They tell you of all your faults candidly, because they love you so; that gives them a right to speak. What family * * *
123 interest they take in you. You ought to do this; you ought to do that, and then the everlasting 'you ought to have done,' which comes near making you a murderer, at least in heart. 'Blood's thicker than water,' they say, and there is where the longing to spill it comes in. No locks or bolts or bars can keep them out. Are they not your nearest family? They dine with you, dropping in after you are at soup. They come after you have gone to bed, when all the servants have gone away, and the man of the house, in his nights.h.i.+rt, standing sternly at the door with the huge wooden bar in his hand, nearly scares them to death, and you are glad of it."
"Private life, indeed!" She says her husband entered public life and they went off to live in a far-away city. Then for the first time in her life she knew privacy. She never will forget how she jumped for joy as she told her servant not to admit a soul until after two o'clock in the day. Afterward, she took a fixed day at home. Then she was free indeed. She could read and write, stay at home, go out at her own sweet will, no longer sitting for hours with her fingers between the leaves of a frantically interesting book, while her kin slowly driveled nonsense by the yard - waiting, waiting, yawning. Would they never go? Then for hurting you, who is like a relative? They do it from a sense of duty. For stinging you, for cutting you to the quick, who like one of your own household? In point of fact, they alone can do it. They know the sore, and how to hit it every time. You are in their power. She says, did you ever see a really respectable, responsible, revered and beloved head of a family who ever opened his mouth at home except to find fault? He really thinks that is his business in life and that all enjoyment is sinful. He is there to prevent the women from such frivolous things as pleasure, etc., etc.
I sat placidly rocking in my chair by the window, trying to hope all was for the best. Mary Hammy rushed in * * *
124 literally drowned in tears. I never saw so drenched a face in my life. My heart stopped still. "Commodore Barron is taken prisoner," said she. "The Yankees have captured him and all his lieutenants. Poor Imogen - and there is my father scouting about, the Lord knows where. I only know he is in the advance guard. The Barron's time has come. Mine may come any minute. Oh, Cousin Mary, when Mrs. Lee told Imogen, she fainted! Those poor girls; they are nearly dead with trouble and fright."
"Go straight back to those children," I said. "n.o.body will touch a hair of their father's head. Tell them I say so. They dare not. They are not savages quite. This is a civilized war, you know."
Mrs. Lee said to Mrs. Eustis (Mr. Corcoran's daughter) yesterday: "Have you seen those accounts of arrests in Was.h.i.+ngton?" Mrs. Eustis answered calmly: "Yes, I know all about it. I suppose you allude to the fact that my father has been imprisoned." "No, no," interrupted the explainer, "she means the incarceration of those mature Was.h.i.+ngton belles suspected as spies." But Mrs. Eustis continued, "I have no fears for my father's safety."
August 31st. - Congress adjourns to-day. Jeff Davis ill. We go home on Monday if I am able to travel. Already I feel the dread stillness and torpor of our Sahara of a Sand Hill creeping into my veins. It chills the marrow of my bones. I am reveling in the noise of city life. I know what is before me. Nothing more cheering than the cry of the lone whippoorwill will break the silence at Sandy Hill, except as night draws near, when the screech-owl will add his mournful note.
September 1st. - North Carolina writes for arms for her soldiers. Have we any to send? No. Brewster, the plainspoken, says, "The President is ill, and our affairs are in the hands of noodles. All the generals away with the army; n.o.body here; General Lee in Western Virginia. Reading the third Psalm. The devil is sick, the devil a * * *
125 saint would be. Lord, how are they increased that trouble me? Many are they that rise up against me!"
September 2d. - Mr. Miles says he is not going anywhere at all, not even home. He is to sit here permanently - chairman of a committee to overhaul camps, commissariats, etc., etc.
We exchanged our ideas of Mr. Mason, in which we agreed perfectly. In the first place, he has a n.o.ble presence - really a handsome man; is a manly old Virginian, straightforward, brave, truthful, clever, the very beau-ideal of an independent, high-spirited F. F. V. If the English value a genuine man they will have one here. In every particular he is the exact opposite of Talleyrand. He has some peculiarities. He had never an ache or a pain himself; his physique is perfect, and he loudly declares that he hates to see persons ill; seems to him an unpardonable weakness.
It began to grow late. Many people had come to say good-by to me. I had fever as usual to-day, but in the excitement of this crowd of friends the invalid forgot fever. Mr. Chesnut held up his watch to me warningly and intimated "it was late, indeed, for one who has to travel tomorrow." So, as the Yankees say after every defeat, I "retired in good order."
Not quite, for I forgot handkerchief and fan. Gonzales rushed after and met me at the foot of the stairs. In his foreign, pathetic, polite, high-bred way, he bowed low and said he had made an excuse for the fan, for he had a present to make me, and then, though "startled and amazed, I paused and on the stranger gazed." Alas! I am a woman approaching forty, and the offering proved to be a bottle of cherry bounce. Nothing could have been more opportune, and with a little ice, etc., will help, I am sure, to save my life on that dreadful journey home.
No discouragement now felt at the North. They take our forts and are satisfied for a while. Then the English * * *
126 are strictly neutral. Like the woman who saw her husband fight the bear, "It was the first fight she ever saw when she did not care who whipped."
Mr. Davis was very kind about it all. He told Mr. Chesnut to go home and have an eye to all the State defenses, etc., and that he would give him any position he asked for if he still wished to continue in the army. Now, this would be all that heart could wish, but Mr. Chesnut will never ask for anything. What will he ask for? That's the rub. I am certain of very few things in life now, but this is one I am certain of : Mr. Chesnut will never ask mortal man for any promotion for himself or for one of his own family.
X. CAMDEN, S. C.
September 9, 1861-September 19, 1861 CAMDEN, S. C., September 9,1861. - Home again at Mulberry, the fever in full possession of me. My sister, Kate, is my ideal woman, the most agreeable person I know in the world, with her soft, low, and sweet voice, her graceful, gracious ways, and her glorious gray eyes, that I looked into so often as we confided our very souls to each other.
G.o.d bless old Betsey's yellow face! She is a nurse in a thousand, and would do anything for "Mars Jeems' wife." My small ailments in all this comfort set me mourning over the dead and dying soldiers I saw in Virginia. How feeble my compa.s.sion proves, after all.
I handed the old Colonel a letter from his son in the army. He said, as he folded up the missive from the seat of war, "With this war we may die out. Your husband is the last - of my family." He means that my husband is his only living son; his grandsons are in the army, and they, too, may be killed - even Johnny, the gallant and gay, may not be bullet-proof. No child have I.
Now this old man of ninety years was born when it was not the fas.h.i.+on for a gentleman to be a saint, and being lord of all he surveyed for so many years, irresponsible, in the center of his huge domain, it is wonderful he was not a greater tyrant - the softening influence of that angel wife, no doubt. Saint or sinner, he understands the world about him - au fond.
128 Have had a violent attack of something wrong about my heart. It stopped beating, then it took to trembling, creaking and thumping like a Mississippi high-pressure steamboat, and the noise in my ears was more like an ammunition wagon rattling over the stones in Richmond. That was yesterday, and yet I am alive. That kind of thing makes one feel very mortal.
Russell writes how disappointed Prince Jerome Napoleon was with the appearance of our troops, and "he did not like Beauregard at all." Well! I give Bogar up to him. But how a man can find fault with our soldiers, as I have seen them individually and collectively in Charleston, Richmond, and everywhere - that beats me.
The British are the most conceited nation in the world, the most self-sufficient, self-satisfied, and arrogant. But each individual man does not blow his own penny whistle; they brag wholesale. Wellington - he certainly left it for others to sound his praises - though Mr. Binney thought the statue of Napoleon at the entrance of Apsley House was a little like " 'Who killed c.o.c.k Robin?' 'I, said the sparrow, with my bow and arrow.' " But then it is so pleasant to hear them when it is a lump sum of praise, with no private crowing - praise of Trafalgar, Waterloo, the Scots Greys.
Fighting this and fighting that, with their crack corps stirs the blood and every heart responds - three times three! Hurrah!
But our people feel that they must send forth their own reported prowess: with an, "I did this and I did that." I know they did it; but I hang my head.
In those Tarleton Memoirs, in Lee's Memoirs, in Moultrie's, and in Lord Rawdon's letters, self is never brought to the front. I have been reading them over and admire their modesty and good taste as much as their courage and cleverness. That kind of British eloquence takes me. It is not, "Soldats! marchons, gloire!" Not a bit of it; but, * * *
128a MULBERRY HOUSE, NEAR CAMDEN, S. C.
From a Recent Photograph.
129 "Now, my lads, stand firm!" and, "Now up, and let them have it!"
Our name has not gone out of print. To-day, the Examiner, as usual, pitches into the President. It thinks Toombs, Cobb, Slidell, Lamar, or Chesnut would have been far better in the office. There is considerable choice in that lot. Five men more utterly dissimilar were never named in the same paragraph.
September 19th. - A painful piece of news came to us yesterday - our cousin, Mrs. Witherspoon, of Society Hill, was found dead in her bed. She was quite well the night before. Killed, people say, by family sorrows. She was a proud and high-strung woman. Nothing shabby in word, thought, or deed ever came nigh her. She was of a warm and tender heart, too; truth and uprightness itself. Few persons have ever been more loved and looked up to. She was a very handsome old lady, of fine presence, dignified and commanding.
"Killed by family sorrows," so they said when Mrs. John N. Williams died. So Uncle John said yesterday of his brother, Burwell. "Death deserts the army," said that quaint old soul, "and takes fancy shots of the most eccentric kind nearer home."
The high and disinterested conduct our enemies seem to expect of us is involuntary and unconscious praise. They pay us the compliment to look for from us (and execrate us for the want of it) a degree of virtue they were never able to practise themselves. It is a crowning misdemeanor for us to hold still in slavery those Africans whom they brought here from Africa, or sold to us when they found it did not pay to own them themselves. Gradually, they slid or sold them off down here; or freed them prospectively, giving themselves years in which to get rid of them in a remunerative way. We want to spread them over other lands, too - West and South, or Northwest, where the climate would free them or kill them, or improve them out * * *
130 of the world, as our friends up North do the Indians. If they had been forced to keep the negroes in New England, I dare say the negroes might have shared the Indians' fate, for they are wise in their generation, these Yankee children of light. Those pernicious Africans! So have just spoken Mr. Chesnut and Uncle John, both ci-devant Union men, now utterly for State rights.
It is queer how different the same man may appear viewed from different standpoints. "What a perfect gentleman," said one person of another; "so fine-looking, high-bred, distinguished, easy, free, and above all graceful in his bearing; so high-toned! He is always indignant at any symptom of wrong-doing. He is charming - the man of all others I like to have strangers see - a n.o.ble representative of our country." "Yes, every word of that is true," was the reply. "He is all that. And then the other side of the picture is true, too. You can always find him. You know where to find him! Wherever there is a looking-gla.s.s, a bottle, or a woman, there will he be also." "My G.o.d! and you call yourself his friend." "Yes, I know him down to the ground."
This conversation I overheard from an upper window when looking down on the piazza below - a complicated character truly beyond La Bruyre - with what Mrs. Preston calls refinement spread thin until it is skin-deep only.
An iron steamer has run the blockade at Savannah. We now raise our wilted heads like flowers after a shower. This drop of good news revives us.1 1. By reason of illness, preoccupation in other affairs, and various deterrent causes besides, Mrs. Chesnut allowed a considerable period to elapse before making another entry in her diary.
XI. COLUMBIA, S. C.
February 20, 1862 - July 21, 1862 COLUMBIA, S. C., February 20, 1862. - Had an appet.i.te for my dainty breakfast. Always breakfast in bed now. But then, my Mercury contained such bad news. That is an appetizing style of matutinal newspaper. Fort Donelson1 has fallen, but no men fell with it. It is prisoners for them that we can not spare, or prisoners for us that we may not be able to feed: that is so much to be "forefended," as Keitt says. They lost six thousand, we two thousand; I grudge that proportion. In vain, alas! ye gallant few - few, but undismayed. Again, they make a stand. We have Buckner, Beauregard, and Albert Sidney Johnston. With such leaders and G.o.d's help we may be saved from the hated Yankees; who knows?
February 21st. - A crowd collected here last night and there was a serenade. I am like Mrs. Nickleby, who never saw a horse coming full speed but she thought the Cheerybles had sent post-haste to take Nicholas into co-partners.h.i.+p. So I got up and dressed, late as it was. I felt sure England had sought our alliance at last, and we would 1. Fort Donelson stood on the c.u.mberland River about 60 miles northwest of Nashville. The Confederate garrison numbered about 18,000 men. General Grant invested the Fort on February 13, 1862, and General Buckner, who commanded it, surrendered on February 16th. The Federal force at the time of the surrender numbered 27,000 men; their loss in killed and wounded being 2,660 men and the Confederate loss about 2,000.
132 make a Yorktown of it before long. Who was it? Will you ever guess? - Artemus Goodwyn and General Owens, of Florida.
Just then, Mr. Chesnut rushed in, put out the light, locked the door and sat still as a mouse. Rap, rap, came at the door. "I say, Chesnut, they are calling for you." At last we heard Janney (hotel-keeper) loudly proclaiming from the piazza that "Colonel Chesnut was not here at all, at all. " After a while, when they had all gone from the street, and the very house itself had subsided into perfect quiet, the door again was roughly shaken. "I say, Chesnut, old fellow, come out - I know you are there. n.o.body here now wants to hear you make a speech. That crowd has all gone. We want a little quiet talk with you. I am just from Richmond." That was the open sesame, and to-day I hear none of the Richmond news is encouraging. Colonel Shaw is blamed for the shameful Roanoke surrender.1 Toombs is out on a rampage and swears he will not accept a seat in the Confederate Senate given in the insulting way his was by the Georgia Legislature: calls it shabby treatment, and adds that Georgia is not the only place where good men have been so ill used.
The Governor and Council have fluttered the dove-cotes, or, at least, the tea-tables. They talk of making a call for all silver, etc. I doubt if we have enough to make the sacrifice worth while, but we propose to set the example.
February 22d. - What a beautiful day for our Confederate President to be inaugurated! G.o.d speed him; G.o.d keep him; G.o.d save him!
John Chesnut's letter was quite what we needed. In spirit it is all that one could ask. He says, "Our late reverses are acting finely with the army of the Potomac. A few more thras.h.i.+ngs and every man will enlist for the 1. General Burnside captured the Confederate garrison at Roanoke Island on February 8, 1862.
133 war. Victories made us too sanguine and easy, not to say vainglorious. Now for the rub, and let them have it!"
A lady wrote to Mrs. Bunch: "Dear Emma: When shall I call for you to go and see Madame de St. Andr?" She was answered: "Dear Lou: I can not go with you to see Madame de St. Andre, but will always retain the kindest feeling toward you on account of our past relations," etc. The astounded friend wrote to ask what all this meant. No answer came, and then she sent her husband to ask and demand an explanation. He was answered thus: "My dear fellow, there can be no explanation possible. Hereafter there will be no intercourse between my wife and yours; simply that, nothing more." So the men meet at the club as before, and there is no further trouble between them. The lady upon whom the slur is cast says, "and I am a woman and can't fight!"
A Diary From Dixie Part 7
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A Diary From Dixie Part 7 summary
You're reading A Diary From Dixie Part 7. This novel has been translated by Updating. Author: Mary Chestnut already has 457 views.
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