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Diary of a Southern Refugee during the War

Diary of a Southern Refugee during the War

Judith Brockenbrough McGuire
EDITED BY James I. Robertson
Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 366
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  • Book Info
    Diary of a Southern Refugee during the War
    Book Description:

    Judith Brockenbrough McGuire's Diary of a Southern Refugee during the War is among the first of such works published after the Civil War. Although it is one of the most-quoted memoirs by a Confederate woman, James I. Robertson's edition is the first to present vital details not given in the original text. His meticulous annotations furnish references for poems and quotations, supply the names of individuals whom McGuire identifies by their initials alone, and provide an in-depth account of McGuire's extraordinary life.

    Throughout the war years, McGuire made poignant entries in her diary. She wrote incisive commentaries on society, ruminated on past glories, and detailed her hardships. Her entries are a highly personal, highly revealing mixture of family activities; military reports and rumors; conditions behind the battle lines; and her observations on life, faith, and the future. In providing illuminating background and references that significantly enhance the text, Robertson's edition adds considerably to our understanding of this important work.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-4438-2
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[iv])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [v]-[vi])
  3. Introduction
    (pp. 1-8)

    Some of the most revealing chronicles of life during the Civil War came from the busiest people. Moreover, those who recorded lengthy observations tended to be well educated and farsighted. Judith Brockenbrough McGuire was in that relatively small class.

    HerDiary of a Southern Refugee during the Waris among the first such works published after the Civil War. The book initially appeared in 1867 and has been reprinted four times.¹ it is one of the most quoted of memoirs written by a Confederate woman.² yet no historian has heretofore assumed the tasks of identifying scores of individuals mentioned by...

  4. May–December 1861
    (pp. 9-56)

    At Home, May 4, 1861—I am too nervous, too wretched to-day to write in my diary, but that the employment will while away a few moments of this trying time. our friends and neighbors have left us. Every thing is broken up. The Theological Seminary is closed; the High School dismissed. Scarcely any one is left of the many families which surrounded us. The homes all look desolate; and yet this beautiful country is looking more peaceful, more lovely than ever, as if to rebuke the tumult of passion and the fanaticism of man. We are left lonely...

  5. January–August 1862
    (pp. 57-112)

    Westwood,¹ Hanover County, January 20, 1862—I pass over the sad leave-taking of our kind friends in Clarke [County] and Winchester. It was very sad, because we knew not when and under what circumstances we might meet again. We left Winchester, in the stage, for Strasburg at ten o’clock at night, on the 24th of December. The weather was bitter cold, and we congratulated ourselves that the stage was not crowded. Mr. [McGuire] and the girls were on the back seat, a Methodist clergyman, a soldier, and myself on the middle, and two soldiers and our maid Betsey on the...

  6. September 1862–May 1863
    (pp. 113-162)

    Lynchburg, September 2—The papers to-day give glorious news of a victory to our arms on the plains of Manassas, on the 28th, 29th, and 30th. I will give General Lee’s telegram:

    Army of Northern Virginia

    Groveton,August30—10 P.M.


    To President Davis:—This army achieved to-day, on the plains of Manassas, a signal victory over the combined forces of McClellan and Pope. On the 28th and 29th, each wing, under Generals [James] Longstreet and Jackson, repulsed with valour attacks made on them separately. We mourn the loss of our gallant dead in every conflict, yet our...

  7. June 1863–July 1864
    (pp. 163-210)

    June 1 [1863]—L. and B.¹ went up to Mr. Marye’s near Fredericksburg today, to visit their brother’s grave. They took flowers with which to adorn it. It is a sweet, though sad office, to plant flowers on a Christian’s grave. They saw my sister, who is there, nursing their wounded son.²

    News from Vicksburg cheering.

    5th—Our household circle has been broken to-day, by Mrs. S[tuart] and her daughter B[ella] leaving it for South Carolina. We are grieved to give them up.

    6th—We have been interested lately by a visit to this village of our old friend, Mrs....

  8. August 1864–May 1865
    (pp. 211-264)

    August 11—Sheridan’s and Early’s troops are fighting in the Valley. We suffered a disaster near Martinsburg,¹ and our troops fell back to Strasburg; had a fight on the old battle-ground at Kernstown, and we drove the enemy through Winchester to Martinsburg, which our troops took possession of.² Poor Winchester, how checkered its history throughout the war!³ Abounding in patriotism as it is, what a blessing it must be to have a breath of free air, even though it be for a short time! Their welcome of our soldiers is always so joyous, so bounding, so generous! How they must...

  9. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 265-266)
  10. Notes
    (pp. 267-340)
  11. Selected Bibliography
    (pp. 341-346)
  12. Index
    (pp. 347-360)