Mary Chesnut's Diary

ISBN-10: 0143106066

ISBN-13: 9780143106067

Edition: 2011

Authors: Mary Boykin Chesnut, Catherine Clinton

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"A Diary from Dixie first published in the United States of America by D. Appleton and Company, 1905. This edition with an introduction by Catherine Clinton published in Penguin Books 2011."
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Book details

List price: $17.00
Copyright year: 2011
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 4/26/2011
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 384
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.814
Language: English

Mary Chesnut was a Southern-aristocrat daughter of the governor of South Carolina and the wife of a U.S. senator who helped draft the South's secession ordinance and then served the Confederate government during the Civil War. Chesnut was also a gifted writer. She began her daily journal in 1860 and revised it after the Civil War. While the basis for A Diary from Dixie (1905) is her daily journal, her composition process was more akin to that of fiction. She willed her diary to her friend Isabella Martin, who cut it to a third of its original length before publishing it in 1905. Ben Ames Williams, a novelist, edited a more complete version in 1949, including much of the interesting gossip and rumors that had been cut from the first edition. The historian Vann Woodward edited yet another version from original manuscripts, Mary Chesnut's Civil War (1981). The Diary gives an invaluable record of Confederate society and war efforts, as well as a frank picture of the Chesnuts' marriage. Although her views on African Americans are far from enlightened by modern standards, Mary Chesnut hated slavery and the necessity for women to pretend innocence about the mulatto children in their households. Along with its engaging picture of Confederate life, Chesnut's Diary reveals the dilemma of women of wit and intelligence in a repressive society.

Catherine Clinton is an American historian and the author of many books, including Divided Houses: Gender and the Civil Warand Half-Sisters of History: Southern Women and the American Past.She is a contributor to The New Yorker.Christine Lunardini is a freelance writer who holds a Ph.D. in American History from Princeton. Her books include What Every American Should Know About Women's History: 200 Events That Shaped Our Destiny.

Suggestions for Further Reading
A Note on the Text
Mary Chesnut's Diary
Charleston, S. C., November 8, 1860-December 27, 1860.
The news of Lincoln's election
Raising the Palmetto flag
The author's husband resigns as United States Senator
The Ordinance of Secession
Anderson takes possession of Fort Sumter
Montgomery, Ala., February 19, 1861-March 11, 1861.
Making the Confederate Constitution
Robert Toombs
Anecdote of General Scott
Lincoln's trip through Baltimore
Howell Cobb and Benjamin H. Hill
Hoisting the Confederate flag
Mrs. Lincoln's economy in the White House
Hopes for peace
Despondent talk with anti-secession leaders
The South unprepared
Fort Sumter
Charleston, S. C., March 26, 1861-April 15, 1861.
A soft-hearted slave-owner
Social gaiety in the midst of war talk
Beauregard a hero and a demigod
The first shot of the war
Anderson refuses to capitulate
The bombardment of Fort Sumter as seen from the housetops
War steamers arrive in Charleston harbor
�Bull Run� Russell
Demeanor of the negroes
Camden, S. C., April 20, 1861-April 22, 1861.
After Sumter was taken
the jeunesse dor�e
The story of Beaufort Watts
Maria Whitaker's twins
The inconsistencies of life
Montgomery, Ala., April 27, 1861-May 20, 1861.
Baltimore in a blaze
Anderson's account of the surrender of Fort Sumter
A talk with Alexander H. Stephens
Reports from Washington
An unexpected reception
Southern leaders take hopeless views of the future
Planning war measures
Removal of the capital
Charleston, S. C, May 25, 1861-June 24, 1861.
Waiting for a battle in Virginia
Ellsworth at Alexandria
Big Bethel
Moving forward to the battleground
Mr. Petigru against secession
Mr. Chesnut goes to the front
Russell's letters to the London Times
Richmond, Va., June 27, 1861-July 4, 1861.
Arrival at the new capital
Criticism of Jefferson Davis
Soldiers everywhere
Mrs. Davis's drawing-room
A day at the Champ de Mars
The armies assembling for Bull Run
Col. L. Q. C. Lamar
Fauquier White Sulphur Springs, Va., July 6, 1681-July 11, 1861.
Cars crowded with soldiers
A Yankee spy
Anecdotes of Lincoln
Gaiety in social life
Listening for guns
A horse for Beauregard
Richmond, Va., July 13, 1861-September 2, 1861.
General Lee and Joe Johnston
The battle of Bull Run
Colonel Bartow's death
Rejoicings and funerals
Anecdotes of the battle
An interview
Treatment of prisoners
Toombs thrown from his horse
Criticism of the Administration
Paying the soldiers
Suspected women searched
Mason and Slidell
Camden, S. C., September 9, 1861-September 19, 1861.
The author's sister, Kate Williams
Old Colonel Chesnut
Roanoke Island surrenders
Up Country and Low Country
Family silver to be taken for war expenses
Mary McDuffie Hampton
The Merrimac and the Monitor
Columbia, S. C., February 20, 1862-July 21, 1862.
Dissensions among Southern leaders
Uncle Tom's Cabin
Conscription begins
Abuse of Jefferson Davis
The battle of Shiloh
Beauregard flanked at Nashville
Old Colonel Chesnut again
New Orleans lost
The battle of Williamsburg
Dinners, teas, and breakfasts
Wade Hampton at home wounded
Battle of the Chickahominy
Albert Sidney Johnston's death
Richmond in sore straits
A wedding and its tragic ending
Malvern Hill
Recognition of the Confederacy in Europe
Flat Rock, N. C., August 1, 1862 August 8, 1862.
A mountain summer resort
George Cuthbert
A disappointed cavalier
Antietam and Chancellorsville
General Chesnut's work for the army
Portland, Ala, July 8, 1863-July 30, 1863.
A journey from Columbia to Southern Alabama
The surrender of Vicksburg
A terrible night in a swamp on a riverside
A good pair of shoes
The author at her mother's home
Anecdotes of negroes
A Federal Cynic
Richmond, Va., August 10, 1863-September 7, 1863.
General Hood in Richmond
A brigade marches through the town
Rags and tatters
Two love affairs and a wedding
The battle of Brandy Station
The Robert Barnwell tragedy
Camden, S. C., September 10, 1863-November 5, 1863.
A bride's dressing-table
Home once more at Mulberry
Longstreet's army seen going West
Constance and Hetty Cary
At church during Stoneman's raid
Richmond narrowly escapes capture
A battle on the Chickahominy
A picnic at Mulberry
Richmond, Va., November 28, 1863-April 11, 1864.
Mr. Davis visits Charleston
Adventures by rail
A winter of mad gaiety
Weddings, dinner-parties, and private theatricals
Battles around Chattanooga
Bragg in disfavor
General Hood and his love affairs
Some Kentucky generals
Burton Harrison and Miss Constance Cary
George Eliot
Thackeray's death
Mrs. R. E. Lee and her daughters
Richmond almost lost
Colonel Dahlgren's death
General Grant
Depreciated currency
Fourteen generals at church
Camden, S. C., May 8, 1864-June 1, 1864.
A farewell to Richmond
�Little Joe's� pathetic death and funeral
An old silk dress
The battle of the Wilderness
Spottsylvania Court House
At Mulberry once more
Old Colonel Chesnut's grief at his wife's death
Columbia, S. C., July 6, 1864-January 17, 1865.
Gen. Joe Johnston superseded and the Alabama sunk
The author's new home
Sherman at Atlanta
The battle of Mobile Bay
At the hospital in Columbia
Wade Hampton's two sons shot
Hood crushed at Nashville
Farewell to Mulberry
Sherman's advance eastward
The end near
Lincolnton, N. C., February 16, 1865,-March 15, 1865.
The flight from Columbia
A corps of generals without troops
Broken-hearted and an exile
Taken for millionaires
A walk with Gen
The burning of Columbia
Confederate money refused in the shops
Selling old clothes to obtain food
Gen. Joe Johnston and President Davis again
Braving it out
Mulberry saved by a faithful negro
Ordered to Chester, S. C.
Chester, S. C., March 21, 1865-May 1, 1865.
How to live without money
Keeping house once more
Other refugees tell stories of their flight
The Hood melodrama over
The exodus from Richmond
Passengers in a box car
A visit from General Hood
The fall of Richmond
Lee's surrender
Yankees hovering around
In pursuit of President Davis
Camden, S. C., May 2, 1865-August 2, 1865.
Once more at Bloomsbury
Surprising fidelity of negroes
Stories of escape
Federal soldiers who plundered old estates
Mulberry partly in ruins
Old Colonel Chesnut last of the grand seigniors
Two classes of sufferers
A wedding and a funeral
Blood not shed in vain
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