Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Gentleman's Gentleman

This entry is from Mary Chesnut's Civil War, edited by C. Vann Woodward. Mary Chesnut  was married to James Chesnut, United States Senator from South Carolina, 1859-1861, and afterward an Aide to Jefferson Davis, and a Brigadier General in the Confederate Army.
From an entry dated July 16, 1861:
When he comes up here he rarely brings his body servant, a negro man.  Laurence has charge of all of Mr. Chesnut's things, -- watch, clothes, two or three hundred gold pieces lie in the tray of his trunk.  All these papers &cc he tells Laurence to bring to me if anything happens to him.  But I said, "Maybe he will pack off to Yankees --and freedom -- with all that."
"Fiddlesticks! He is not going to leave me for anybody else.  After all, what can he ever be better than he is now -- a gentleman's gentleman?"

 "He is within sound of the enemies' guns, and when he gets to the other army he is free."

Maria said of Mr Preston's man:  "What he want with anything more -- ef he was free? Don't he live jest as well as Mars. John do now?"
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 William B. Brack, Cap[t]s. servant, Library of Congress Collection

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