zondag 27 mei 2012

Sarah Morgan Dawson -- 27 mei 1862

May 27th.
The cry is "Ho! for Greenwell!" Very probably this day week will see us there. I don't want to go. If we were at peace, and were to spend a few months of the warmest season out there, none would be more eager and delighted than I: but to leave our comfortable home, and all it contains, for a rough pine cottage seventeen miles away even from this scanty civilization, is sad. It must be! We are hourly expecting two regiments of Yankees to occupy the Garrison, and some fifteen hundred of our men are awaiting them a little way off, so the fight seems inevitable. And we must go, leaving what little has already been spared us to the tender mercies of Northern volunteers, who, from the specimen of plundering they gave us two weeks ago, will hardly leave us even the shelter of our roof. O my dear Home! How can I help but cry at leaving you forever? For if this fight occurs, never again shall I pass the threshold of this house, where we have been so happy and sad, the scene of joyous meetings and mournful partings, the place where we greeted each other with glad shouts after even so short a parting, the place where Harry and father kissed us good-bye and never came back again!

I know what Lavinia has suffered this long year, by what we have suffered these last six weeks. Poor Lavinia, so far away! How easier poverty, if it must come, would be if we could bear it together! I wonder if the real fate of the boys, if we ever hear, can be so dreadful as this suspense? Still no news of them. My poor little Jimmy! And think how desperate Gibbes and George will be when they read Butler's proclamation, and they not able to defend us! Gibbes was in our late victory of Fredericksburg, I know.

In other days, going to Greenwell was the signal for general noise and confusion. All the boys gathered their guns and fishing-tackle, and thousand and one amusements; father sent out provisions; we helped mother pack; Hal and I tumbled over the libraries to lay in a supply of reading material; and all was bustle until the carriage drove to the door at daylight one morning, and swept us off. It is not so gay this time. I wandered around this morning selecting books alone. We can only take what is necessary, the rest being left to the care of the Northern militia in general. I never knew before how many articles were perfectly "indispensable" to me. This or that little token or keepsake, piles of letters I hate to burn, many dresses, etc., I cannot take conveniently, lie around me, and I hardly know which to choose among them, yet half must be sacrificed; I can only take one trunk.

Sarah Morgan Dawson (1842-1909) woonde tijdens de Amerikaanse burgeroorlog in Louisiana en hield in die periode een dagboek bij.

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