My new blog, Diaries of the Civil War, is moving along nicely. I’ve been tweaking, a little bit at a time on the format and styling. It’s still a “plain Jane” blog, but I’ve figured out how to format the text so that it has more of a book look, with indented first lines and a reduced space between paragraphs. There are currently 335 posts, with 314 of them scheduled for future publication. I’ve created a website for background reference material. It’s called Rebellion Documents.
The actual splintering of the Union didn’t occur until November, 1860 and the conflict didn’t start until the firing on Fort Sumter in April, 1861. The idea behind the blog is to post material — day by day — from the corresponding day 150 years ago. While November is still a ways away, this is one time I don’t want to procrastinate. I have a number of documents identified for use and have a spreadsheet showing when each one starts. This is already helping me with planning and implementation. A few of the documents contain relevant material from before the war and I’ll be posting them as I get to to them — and, later, I’ll change the posted date to 150 years after the original date so that posts are sequenced correctly.
Diaries of the Civil War will likely continue for some period after the end of the war. The diary I am working with now has some interesting material that deals with the aftermath of the war. The following is scheduled to be published June 9, 2015. June 9, 1865, was about 2 months after the end of the war.
June 9th, 1865.—Nellie went away today and the parting between her and Sister Mag was pitiful. She has nursed Eddie all his life and for three weeks now, the three weeks Sister Mag has been so ill, she has been almost constantly at her side, while I took care of Eddie. He is sorely distressed but it is as nothing compared to his mother’s grief at giving her up.
Nellie knelt on the floor and put her arms about sister, both were sobbing and both faces were wet with tears.
“I wouldn’t leave you Miss Mag,” she gasped out, “but my husband says I got ter go. He says if I don’t go with him now I shant never come and he says I b’longs ter him now an’ so I’ll have ter go.”
“Can’t you persuade him to stay here with you, Nellie?” pleaded the almost heart-broken mistress, but no, he did not like country life, he had work in the iron foundry and would not give it up.
From the porch, just outside, Emperor Dulan’s loud voice was heard, “Come on, Nellie—I shore is tired waiting.”
He was evidently impatient and she could stay no longer.
“God bless you, Miss Mag, God bless Marse Amos an’ de sweet chillun an’, over everything else, may the Lord bless Marse Ned an’ Mis’ Patsey.”
Another link broken and it is only the beginning of the end. I hope Emperor will be kinder than he sounds. I love Nellie, myself. She has been Sister Mag’s maid for years, they grew up together, she has nursed the children and has been friend as well as servant.
I wonder what Aunt Harriet Beecher Stowe would think of the farewell of this morning? We were afraid the excitement would be too much for our dear invalid, but she is sleeping quietly; has been ever since she ate her very light luncheon at twelve o’clock. Adeline does not give us dinner until three o’clock, sometimes later, but she is such a good cook that nobody feels like finding fault with the hour.