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The Journal of Kate Stone, 1861–1868

John Q. Anderson

Publication Year: 1995

This journal records the Civil War experiences of a sensitive, well-educated, young southern woman. Kate Stone was twenty when the war began, living with her widowed mother, five brothers, and younger sister at Brokenburn, their plantation home in northeastern Louisiana. When Grant moved against Vicksburg, the family fled before the invading armies, eventually found refuge in Texas, and finally returned to a devastated home. Kate began her journal in May, 1861, and made regular entries up to November, 1865. She included briefer sketches in 1867 and 1868. In chronicling her everyday activities, Kate reveals much about a way of life that is no more: books read, plantation management and crops, maintaining slaves in the antebellum period, the attitude and conduct of slaves during the war, the fate of refugees, and civilian morale. Without pretense and with almost photographic clarity, she portrays the South during its darkest hours.

Published by: Louisiana State University Press

Series: Library of Southern Civilization

Cover, Title Page, Copyright

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Table of Contents

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pp. ix

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pp. xi-xiv

On March 17, 1955, almost ten thousand people crowded into Tallulah, Louisiana, to celebrate "Kate Stone Day," which honored the initial publication of this book. Floats depicted the antebellum history of the area...

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pp. xv-xvi

The manuscript of the Journal of Kate Stone, now in my possession, exists in two large ledger books into which Kate Stone Holmes copied it, without evident revision, in 1900. The Journal contains regular entries dating from...

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pp. xvii-xxviii

The Journal of Kate Stone vividly records the Civil War experiences of a well-educated, sensitive, patriotic Southern girl who was twenty years old when the war began and who was living with her widowed mother, five brothers, and a young...

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Introduction: Writing the War

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pp. xxix-xl

Forty years ago, when John Anderson wrote his introduction to the original published edition of Kate Stone's journal, most Americans considered the Civil War to be largely a military and political event, a matter of battles and boundaries...

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In Retrospect

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pp. 3-12

In looking over the yellowing pages and faded writing of my old diary written in the troubled years from 1861 to 1865, how the old life comes back, the gay, busy life of the plantation at Brokenburn with Mamma...

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1861: "Our Cause is just"

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pp. 13-76

May 15: My Brother started at daybreak this morning for New Orleans. He goes as far as Vicksburg on horseback. He is wild to be off to Virginia. He so fears that the fighting will be over before he can get there that he...

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1862: "These troublous times"

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pp. 77-166

Jan. 6: Christmas passed very quietly with us. Greetings on all sides but no gifts and not many good things prepared beforehand. Had the customary eggnog before breakfast, but not a prize nog. It was made of borrowed...

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1863: "Strangers in a strange land"

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pp. 167-270

Jan. 1: My dear Brother came home this morning and in perfect health. How overjoyed we are to have him with us, but oh the disappointment that he is still only a captain. It seems he and the other gentlemen...

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1864: "Disaster and despair"

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pp. 271-310

[Tyler, Tex.] Jan. 4- We were glad to see the Old Year go. It had been a year of trial to us, and we rejoiced when we caught the last glimpse of 'the sail bearing him on to the dim Ocean of Eternity...

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1865: "The darkest hour"

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pp. 311-367

["Bonnie Castle," Tyler, Tex.] Jan. 29: Uncle Johnny and Kate have just gone to their room after a lengthy discussion of the comparative merits of modern poets and novelists. Johnny has kissed me goodnight...

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1867: "The burden of defeat"

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pp. 368-374

[Brokenburn] Sept. 22: A long silence and a year of hard endeavor to raise a crop, reconstruct the place with the problem of hired labor, high water, and cotton worms. Mamma had little trouble...

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1868: "The outlook is brighter"

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pp. 375-378

[Rose Hill] Sept. ?: In January My Brother rented this place knowing that Brokenburn would be again overflowed, and we moved out the latter part of the month. My Brother lost money again last year...


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pp. 379-400

E-ISBN-13: 9780807151563
Print-ISBN-13: 9780807120170

Page Count: 440
Publication Year: 1995

Series Title: Library of Southern Civilization