Friday, April 11, 2014

April 11, 1864

April 11, 1864

---Mary Boykin Chestnut writes in her diary:

Mrs. Ould gave me a luncheon on Saturday. I felt that this was my last sad farewell to Richmond and the people there I love so well. Mrs. Davis sent her carriage for me, and we went to the Oulds’ together. Such good things were served—oranges, guava jelly, etc. The Examiner says Mr. Ould, when he goes to Fortress Monroe, replenishes his larder; why not? . . .

My husband is now brigadier-general and is sent to South Carolina to organize and take command of the reserve troops. C. C. Clay and L. Q. C. Lamar are both spoken of to fill the vacancy made among Mr. Davis's aides by this promotion.

 To-day, Captain Smith Lee spent the morning here and gave a review of past Washington gossip. I am having such a busy, happy life, with so many friends, and my friends are so clever, so charming. But the change to that weary, dreary Camden! Mary Preston said: "I do think Mrs. Chesnut deserves to be canonized; she agrees to go back to Camden." The Prestons gave me a farewell dinner; my twenty-fourth wedding day, and the very pleasantest day I have spent in Richmond.


---Jenkin Lloyd Jones, Federal artilleryman, writes in his journal of a tragic episode in camp:

Huntsville, Monday, April 11. Spent the day in the usual way. Two hours’ gun drill in the morning, then game of ball; an hour company drill in the afternoon; a game or two of chess, then parade 4 P. M.; reading, writing, the remainder of the time till retreat at 8 P. M. when I made down my cot. In the quiet of alone I lay down, a few yearning thoughts of home, mother, etc. and all is oblivion till reveille calls me forth from the land of nod. A little after noon we were startled by a terrible explosion near the depot. A caisson of the Illinois Battery had exploded while returning from drill, killing six cannoneers instantly and wounding two. A very sad affair. Bodies torn to shreds.

Jenkin Lloyd Jones

---The Mobile News prints this editorial reproving loose moral conduct between the women of Mobile and the army officers:

—We can hope no good results from trivial and light conduct on the part of our women. Instead of adorning their persons for seductive purposes, and tempting our officers to a course alike disgraceful and unworthy of women, whose husbands and brothers are in our armies, they had better exhort them to well-doing, than act as instruments of destruction to both parties. The demoralization among our women is becoming fearful. Before the war, no woman dared to demean herself lightly; but now a refined and pure woman can scarcely travel without seeing some of our officers with fine-looking ladies as companions. You are forced to sit at the tables with them; you meet them wherever you go. Is it that we, too, are as wild as our enemies, scoffing at God and at all rules of social morality? For heaven’s sake, let us frown down this growing evil, unless all mothers and fathers would have their daughters grow up in a pestilential atmosphere, which but to breathe is death.


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