Wednesday, April 20, 2011

War, War ! Is the One Idea

Today’s entry comes from  Famous Adventures and Prison Escapes of the Civil War. This is from A War Diary of Union Woman in the South, by Dora Richards Miller, edited by G. W. Cable.  The diary was originally published anonymously to protect the writer's identity.  She was a teacher in New Orleans.   

The entry is from April 20, 1861.

The last few days have glided away in a halo of beauty. But nobody has time or will to enjoy  it. War, war ! is the one idea. The children play only with toy cannons and soldiers; the oldest inhabitant  goes by every day with his rifle to practice; the public squares are full of companies drilling, and are now the  fashionable resorts. We have been told that it is best for women to learn how to shoot too, so as to protect  themselves when the men have all gone to battle. Every evening after dinner we adjourn to the back lot and fire at a target with pistols. Yesterday I dined at Uncle Ralph's. Some members of the bar were present,  and were jubilant about their brand-new Confederacy. It would soon be the grandest government ever known.  Uncle Ralph said solemnly, " No, gentlemen ; the day we seceded the star of our glory set." The words sunk  into my mind like a knell, and made me wonder at the mind that could recognize that and yet adhere to the  doctrine of secession.

In the evening I attended a farewell gathering at a friend's whose brothers are to leave this week for  Richmond. There was music. No minor chord was permitted.


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