Sarah Morgan: The Civil War Diary Of A Southern Woman

Sarah Morgan: The Civil War Diary Of A Southern Woman Born Into One Of The Best Families Of Baton Rouge, Sarah Morgan Was Not Yet Twenty When She Began Her Diary In January , Nine Months After The Start Of The Civil War She Was Soon To Experience A Coming Of Age Filled With The Turmoil And Upheaval That Devastated The Wartime South She Set Down The Remarkable Events Of The War In A Record That Remains One Of The Most Vivid, Evocative Portrayals In Existence Of A Time And Place That Today Make Up A Crucial Chapter In Our National HistorySarah Morgan Herself Emerges As One Of The Most Memorable Nineteenth Century Women In Fiction Or Nonfiction, A Young Woman Of Intelligence And Fortitude, As Well As Of High Spirits And Passion, Who Questioned The Society Into Which She Was Born And The Meaning Of The War For Ordinary Families Like Her Own And For The Divided Nation As A WholeNow Published In Its Entirety For The First Time, Sarah Morgan S Classic Account Brings The Civil War And The Old South To Life With All The Freshness And Immediacy Of Great Literature

Nineteenth century Louisiana writer Sarah Morgan Dawson is best known for the diary she kept during the Civil War From March 1862 until April 1865, Dawson chronicled her thoughts and experiences, providing one of the most detailed accounts of civilian life in wartime Louisiana A gifted storyteller, Dawson recorded her feelings about the Confederacy, war, politics, refugee life, and women s place

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  • Paperback
  • 672 pages
  • Sarah Morgan: The Civil War Diary Of A Southern Woman
  • Sarah Morgan Dawson
  • English
  • 06 January 2019
  • 9780671785031

10 thoughts on “Sarah Morgan: The Civil War Diary Of A Southern Woman

  1. says:

    Considering that it s a diary, not to mention a diary by an upper middle class Southern woman, I had mixed hopes regarding the book I found it, for the most part, well written, with several interesting anecdotes, and occasional mention of how specific battles affected the Morgan family s life.That said, Sarah herself seemed to be a particularly self absorbed, whiny, egotistical teenager, despite being 19 when she began her diaries She constantly describes herself as unattractive and unpleasant, while in the next sentence brags about the number of men who call on her married men, in many cases She accuses several of the wives of these married men as being mentally unstable due to their jealousy at the attention paid to Sarah by their husbands while she then goes on to proclaim that no one could ever take her flirting seriously and states that she will continue flirting Throughout the course of the book she knowingly leads on several young men, only to write about her shock when they announce their intentions.At one point during the book, Sarah suffered what appears to be a bruised or cracked tailbone which is painful I couldn t sit for a week after I bruised mine , but not life threatening and spends the next few months bemoaning her state, claiming she will die this, after she has already frequently wailed over how she would be the least missed of all her siblings, were she to die from her terrible injury The medical treatments she is subjected to surely only prolonged her invalid state bleeding and blistering, administration of strychnine, forced bed rest when she actually would have been better off walking around, rather than losing muscle mass for months If I could have been spoiled so every time I so much as bruised myself, I would have turned into the biggest brat that ever was.In the introduction, Sarah is described as a feminist I can t think where they would have gotten this impression She does repeatedly state that she wishes she could be a man, so as to help fight the war and because men are naturally smarter , and that she does not intend to marry unless she can find a man who is her intellectual better of which she believes there are none besides her brothers and the aforementioned married men , but those statements, no matter how vehement, do not a feminist make I should think that denigrating one s own sex would actually make one an anti feminist What irritated me the most was her slavish devotion to class circles While glorifying the noble Confederate army, she still considers it the greatest of impertinence when one of the common soldiers so much as doffs his cap or bows to her She refuses to associate with those she considers beneath her, which is nearly everyone her father was a judge, and thus she believes herself a cut above the rest At one point, an officer with whom she had previously been friendly revealed himself as the son of Baton Rouge s brewer, at which point she cut him from her society and reasoned that the cut was acceptable because he should have known better than to aspire to her acquaintance Sarah also expresses her surprise and horror at the gossip that surrounds her family gossip that is based on their desire to associate as little as possible with the lower classes.The little details regarding daily life in the Confederate South were fascinating, and Sarah s lack of political discussion was refreshing she knew that her knowledge of the political situation was lacking, and thus only maintained opinions on those things with which she was familiar very rare, no matter the time period.I am glad to have read it, but Sarah is exactly the kind of person who would drive me mad if I knew her transparently self serving, but with a firm belief that everything she does is for the benefit of others.She did have quite a gift for eloquence, though.

  2. says:

    Sarah Morgan was a young woman when the Civil War broke out This is her actual diary from Jan of 1862 to June 1865 She details her sentiments about the politics of the era, her hatred of Yankees and loyalty to the Confederacy She relates her sadness at the loss of family members to the war and other means She and her mother and other family members flee their home due to the war She is from Louisiana and is a well educated, well bred young woman If you like Civil War history and would like to hear it from her perspective, you will enjoy this book I did get distracted during parts of it but overall, it was a great book to help you understand the mindset and behavior of the Southern woman during the late 1800 s.

  3. says:

    Sarah Morgan, at the tender age of 19, began her diary nine months after the start of the Civil War Living in Baton Rouge, she was near the heart of the conflict throughout much of the war and witnessed first hand the effects of several battles Her diary gives the modern reader a vivid account of many of the privations suffered by the Confederates, though her family s wealth seems to have insulated her from the worst of the food shortages that many poorer people suffered from Can you imagine wearing ill fitting shoes and walking for miles, simply because shoes have been impossible to find due to the war But that s exactly what Sarah Morgan did on her flight from Baton Rouge The book is a fascinating account of what the southerners experienced during the American Civil War and their personal devastation over being forced to remain part of the Union, though one also gets a good sense of Miss Morgan growing and maturing as a woman in her personal life.This is a very fascinating read, as Miss Morgan wrote in great detail about her life as a staunch supporter of the Confederacy It was even fascinating when I realized that she was the aunt to Gloria Vanderbilt s grandfather I came away from this book with sympathy towards the Confederates than I had had previously.

  4. says:

    A fascinating diary account of the civil war, seen through the eyes of a 20 year old woman, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana Her diary really instills the sense of despair as the Confederacy s opposition becomes increasingly futile The entries which dont relate to the war are also very interesting, depicting everyday life in the 1860 s Deep South.The diary is incredibly colorful and heartfelt She was extremely intelligent and I believe she later carved out a very successful career as an author and journalist, which doesn t surprise me one bit.This was the first book I fully read from Project Gutenburg, and also the first book on my Sony reader Its also probably one of the most interesting historical accounts I ve ever read.

  5. says:

    I started this book a week ago, and I m almost finished reading it s 500 pages I have never found a primary source document to be so enthralling Quotes like, Oh For a slice of bread but if I were to choose between Wheat bread in the Union, and cornbread in the confederacy, I would say Sawdust and Independence forever Makes you want to stand up and sing Dixie.

  6. says:

    Sarah Morgan was a young woman,almost 20 years old, from a high ranking family in Baton Rouge LA She is very intelligent, a gifted writer, extremely attached to her family, and very much not an adult yet Her feelings and behavior are immature, as well they might be at 19 and 20 She is however, as I said, really smart She thinks rings around many of the people around her and can t stop herself from being unkind in a charming Southern way She finds her own witty sarcasm amusing, and she often puts people down for the fun of it She seems to find most people boring and has a problem with hating young men who show an interest in her She thinks her father and brothers and sisters are exalted people and has a very strong sense of her entitled privilege Her feelings about the lower classes, if she ever has to think about them, is dismissive at best and often disgusted She views slaves like simple children who should be kindly but strictly disciplined I don t think it occurs to her at all that they have brains that might be the equivalent of hers So even though this is called A Civil War Diary it often has nothing to do with war and everything to do with being a young girl s diary.The books starts out with several sad events the devastating death of her favorite older brother in a duel, and then a few months later the death of her beloved father These were obviously terrible events for her family, but to make everything worse the Civil War had started and pretty soon Baton Rouge was being shelled and her family had to flee their home In the beginning Sarah is not a rabid anti Unionist, she would like the Union to make the necessary concessions to the South and if possible for the country to be re united As the war progresses and the deaths and privation mount she becomes a person who hates Yankees with a passion To make things complicated, of her 4 remaining brothers 3 are fighting for the Confederacy and one is on the side of the Union Family is everything for Sarah though, she continues to love and think highly of her Union brother The family is admirable in this way even though Sarah seems to have an unbelievable superiority complex kind of mixed with a hatred of herself that could be artful but I think has a real basis Her beau relationships are sad I think She rejects the possible she intends to never marry or have children although she does eventually and sees nothing wrong with an older married man who comes repeatedly to their house for parties and evenings and outings who is obviously very infatuated with her Well, like I said, she was young Re reading some pages I am again struck with how brilliant she is It is too long to print here but I recommend reading her description of of what she wants in a husband on pages 60,61,62 and 63.Everything that she wrote about the Civil War was, like war itself I guess, alternately boring and horrific and terribly, terribly sad.

  7. says:

    A good accounting of what the people in Louisiana went through during the Civil War and the difficulties of having people you love on both sides of the conflict Sarah acted fairly and with respect towards her siblings, no matter differing personal beliefs I think identifying with Sarah was one of the main reasons I liked this book Like Sarah, I m only too happy to be left alone with my books, writings and thoughts So too, I grow nervous at the idea of mingling in company and dread large gatherings and parties A humorous touch was added in the way she seemed to be, for lack of a better term, a loser magnet The following passage sums up her unfortunate meetings with gentleman she d rather not have encountered As I seem to possess irresistible attractions for every fool, the biggest one in the room fastened himself to me page 538 , a circumstance which happens with great frequency throughout the book A nice peek at a budding feminist of the time Sarah was a refreshing change from the conformity of most other women of the time without losing her sense of propriety Intelligent, witty and unwilling to yield to the whims of any man without good reason No wonder so many men fell in love with her much to her chagrin and amazement without her even trying to curry their favor A beautiful wordsmith who can inspire longing and patriotic fervor along with a humorous touch which found me laughing out loud at intervals A true treasure even if she repeatedly dismisses her writing as unworthy foolishness I also appreciated the introduction which gives a glimpse of Sarah s later years, so her story doesn t end abruptly at twenty three years of age When Sarah writes about the death of her two brothers in early 1864, my grief was palpable and I was moved to tears One of the saddest things I have ever read in my life Her sorrow cuts like a blade I think the huge lapse in diary entries in 1864 after her brothers deaths speaks eloquently than any words regarding the effects of her grief Thereafter, her writing takes on a subdued tone, too, and you can sense a change in her A spark seems to have died with her brothers The only reason I took off one star is because she definitely acts the snob at times without even realizing, despite her sincere piousness I do, however, have great admiration for the way she stoically endured a crippling back injury for many months As the book ended, I felt as if I was parting from an old friend.An interesting side note Sarah Morgan is the great great aunt of Gloria Vanderbilt.

  8. says:

    A Confederate Girl s Diary published in 1913, by her daughter by Sarah Morgan Dawson 1842 1919 is a remarkable work It paints the civilian life during the Civil War in Louisiana If one considers that Sarah had but a scant 10 months of formal education, it says much for home and self education that many southern girls of the time were forced to follow Her diary wasn t just informative but she succeeds in making mundane daily life on the home front interesting Her personal views of the war and the northern enemy changes constantly, giving the reader the feeling that she never cared about the political side or the military horrors that afflicted people especially the soldiers of both sides The first couple of books 1862 clothes and other trifles seem to take up most of her thoughts Once her family home was looted by Union troops, she soon accepted the loss and her concerns take on another light It is interesting to note the rumors that circulated far from the front lines and the effect it has on the populace The later books see her again as a true confederate patriot and her small efforts to care and comfort soldiers for both sides I have read similar diaries of soldiers fighting on both sides but this is one of the few by a non combatant woman Her home in Baton Rouge was occupied fairly soon after the commencement of the war so many of the sketches are those of Yankee occupation A Confederate Girl s Diary gives a good insight in southern civilian life during that great American struggle and should interest anyone fascinated with that period of history.

  9. says:

    I read this several years ago Interesting diary of a somewhat spoiled and immature young woman during the civil war in Louisiana She was 19 when the diary starts and it details the activities of her family during the war Sarah, her sister and widowed mother leave Baton Rouge when it is occupied by the Union and go live with another family on a plantation she is injured and spent what i think was way too much time in bed months for a broken or cracked tailbone Much of the book relates visits and flirting with young Confederate officers I have the image of Scarlet O Hara sitting on the lawn at the picnic, surrounded by young men, all wanting to bring her a dessert or whatever it was One small section remains in my memory, when she writes about slavery and how the slaves are happy to be taken care of, or something to that effect I got the impression she believed she was being generous and magnanimous in her comments It made me believe she was sheltered and very naive about the reality of the world around her,

  10. says:

    I feel like I ve been through the civil war these last 2 weeks as I plow through Sarah Morgan s 2 inch thick diary Just today I found this photo of her online Now I know what she looks like What a time in history the civil war was, especially hard on the southern women.Miss Morgan didn t take kindly to the ladies around her spitting at the Yankee soldiers and officers as they walked by in Baton Rouge which was her home town She had some decency and wasn t going to stoop to that where I got the photo fromIt seems as though I met her through her diary entries When her dad died, it was so touching as she loved him very much and her brother died her favorite brother She was so close to her sister too There were 6 books in all she wrote which are compiled in one big book that you can get from the library and of course there is to go to for a dozen reviews.I ll do a few excerpts from her book in the next few days.Here s 2 short ones August 15th,I am in despair, Miss Jones who has just made her escape from town, brings a most dreadful account She, with seventy five others, took refuge at Dr Enders, than a mile and a half below town, at Hall s It was there we sent the two trunks containing father s papers and our clothing and silver Hearing that guerillas had been there, the Yankees went down, shelled the house in the night, turning all those women and children out, who barely escaped with their clothing and let the soldiers loose on it They destroyed everything they could lay their hands on they even stole Miss Jones braid she got here with nothing but the clothes she wore.August 17,Thursday we heard from a lady just from town, that our house was standing the day before, which somewhat consoled us for the loss of our silver and clothing

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