Josie Underwood's Civil War Diary

By Josie Underwood

A well-educated, outspoken member of a politically admired kinfolk in Bowling eco-friendly, Kentucky, Josie Underwood (1840–1923) left at the back of one of many few intimate debts of the Civil conflict written via a southern lady sympathetic to the Union. This bright portrayal of the early years of the conflict starts a number of months ahead of the 1st photographs have been fired on castle Sumter in April 1861. "The Philistines are upon us," twenty-year-old Josie writes in her diary, leaving absolute confidence concerning the alarm she feels while accomplice squaddies occupy her once-peaceful city. delivering a distinct point of view at the tensions among the Union and the Confederacy, Josie finds that Kentucky was once a hotbed of political and army motion, relatively in her place of birth of Bowling eco-friendly, often called the Gibraltar of the Confederacy. positioned alongside vital rail and water routes that have been very important for transport offers out and in of the Confederacy, town associated the higher South's alternate and inhabitants facilities and was once strategically serious to either armies. shooting the fright and frustration she and her kin skilled while Bowling eco-friendly served because the accomplice army's headquarters within the fall of 1861, Josie tells of squaddies who trampled fields, pilfered plants, burned fences, diminish timber, stole nutrition, and invaded houses and companies. In early 1862, Josie's outspoken Unionist father, Warner Underwood, was once ordered to evacuate the family's Mount Air property, which used to be later destroyed by way of occupying forces. Wartime hardships additionally strained relationships between Josie's family members, acquaintances, and pals, whose passionate ideals approximately Lincoln, slavery, and Kentucky's secession divided them. released for the 1st time, Josie Underwood's Civil struggle Diary interweaves firsthand descriptions of the political unrest of the day with distinct bills of an energetic social lifestyles packed with shuttle, events, and suitors. Bringing to lifestyles a Unionist, slave-owning younger lady who adversarial either Lincoln's regulations and Kentucky's secession, the diary dramatically chronicles the actual and emotional traumas visited on Josie's kin, neighborhood, and nation in the course of wartime.

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Grider. it truly is uncertain if she will get a cross. 7 OCTOBER fifth— the day past, one other brigade marched up the hill and camped within the fruit orchard and the few apples left at the bushes are quick disappearing. those troops are from Mississippi—are larger having a look than the Missouri troops and higher mannered—but [have] no longer even more regard for fences and feature been sauntering in regards to the backyard and backyard and a number of other got here to the door to invite for milk—but didn't push into the home because the others do and doff their hats so far as they see Ma or me—maybe after they discover the place the cows remain, they won’t anymore ask for milk. SUNDAY— A quiet attractive day—but Pa might now not take the entire young ones black and white, and saunter alongside the river financial institution and during the woods and fields. we're too hemmed in by way of troops and he will be suspected of “taking observations” to report—as he used to be the opposite day whilst he, with the remainder of us have been sitting at the entrance porch staring at the drilling. They have been having a sham conflict and we have been pondering what percentage males there were—when Pa made a kind of estimate and acknowledged he judged there has to be approximately 30,000. eight We have been status down by way of the gate on the time, the place we had long gone to get a greater view, and an outstanding many other folks from city have been there in carriages, on horseback and foot, looking at the drilling. the following day, a insurgent who's indebted to Pa for plenty of kindnesses advised him—it was once mentioned at headquarters that he used to be estimating the troops and was once appearing for and speaking with the Union forces and used to be being watched, so he had greater be cautious or he will be arrested and despatched South. I desire to the nice Lord we have been in verbal exchange with the Union troops and the skin global. We listen not anything other than what the confederates wish us to listen to and that i don’t think the bills released within the papers we see are precise. hardly, we get a Louisville magazine which by some means has been smuggled in and is handed round clandestinely one of the Union people—till it really is tired, and no letters other than within the comparable means. Pa is constantly getting letters from his previous buddies within the South. a lot of them simply as a lot against the doctrine of secession as he is—but have yielded to the strain of situations and long gone over to the rebels they usually propose and plead with Pa to do an identical factor because the “best policy”—I can't conceive of my father giving up a precept for “Policy’s sake”—and he thinks the path the South is pursuing the worst coverage in the world for the South and may convey damage and desolation upon the South in any case if she succeeds in directing [dividing] this Union—which may perhaps God forbid! after we went to church this morning and glided by the orchard and the camps of this Mississippi brigade, it used to be humorous to determine the various infantrymen or perhaps they have been officials, tipping approximately within the dust (for it rained the day before today) in velvet smoking jackets and embroidered slippers—whilst their negro valets—were blacking their boots sooner than or at the back of a few of the tents. They seemed extra like they have been out on a excitement tenting than getting ready to fulfill bullets and dying.

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