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A Confederate Girl's Diary
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A Confederate Girl's Diary by Sarah Morgan Dawson. With an Introduction by Warrington Dawson. 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 destruction. 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."
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A Confederate Girl's Diary by Sarah Morgan Dawson

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