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A Diary From Dixie by Mary Boykin Chesnut

A Diary From Dixie (1905)

by Mary Boykin Chesnut

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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This book was very good. I am an avid reader and among my interest is first hand accounts of the civil war. Mary Chestnut does a good job through the words in her diary presenting an account of the war from inside the circles of the Confederate's presidency. She expresses how slavery was truly represented during the war for both sides showing that the north and south didn't differ much in their sentiments about slavery. She showed many cases of inhuman behavior and generosity from both sides. It supports a common analogy about the civil war being a war about state's rights. But after saying all of this, one has to realize that the book is bastardized from a southern prospective, regardless of how that is altered from modern day reality. ( )
  josmith16 | May 27, 2015 |
The author was a friend and admirer of Jefferson Davis on the eve of the Civil War, but was great enough as a conscious person to realize her admiration was abused. This is a personal diary of a Southern Lady. She also recognized that the white men were not really fighting for "state's rights", but for enslavement of Africans, from which they drew their "black harems".

This single diary pretty much gives The Lie to the propaganda which Southern plutocrats dispensed to the poor white males upon which they depend for their political support, then and to this day. Poor white male Southerners are poor, ignorant, and kept that way.

In writing about the actual events in her life and privy to the rulers of the South, Ms Chesnut has done a great service. Her diary should be studied by the Tea Party to sober them up.
  keylawk | May 7, 2013 |
What a fascinating memoir by a woman who lived in the South during the turmoil of the Civil War. We are given insight into how the progress of the War was perceived by Southerners. Chestnut was close friends with Jefferson Davis and his wife, General Hood, Custis Lee and other notables of the Southern leadership. Because of her friendship with the President Davis, she seemed to overlook his weaknesses and defends him against all critics. She also chronicles the infighting amongst the Confederate leadership and although she doesn't seem to recognize it herself, the downside of the Confederacy's insistence on state's rights. Boykin is very clear from the beginning of her diary that she thinks slavery is over no matter who wins the war because it is unsustainable. However, her view of the Africans, as she calls them, is condescending and once the Proclamation is issued by Lincoln, she thinks the slaves are just waiting to steal her valuables and flee to the Yankee side even though there is amble evidence from her experience with her own servants that this is not occurring. To her credit, there are moments in the Diary that she mentions having read earlier portions of it and realizing that she was wrong in her conclusions about the leadership of certain officers or individuals. There are also moments that we are permitted to see the strains the War has wrought on her marriage; however there are also moments when we see she & her husband have a warm, passionate relationship. A truly inside look at the Civil War from a the Civilian side. ( )
1 vote lamour | Sep 21, 2010 |
One of the most interesting journals of the Civil War. A woman who was well-educated, extremely candid, sharp-tongued, and informed. ( )
  stpnwlf | Jul 16, 2007 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mary Boykin Chesnutprimary authorall editionscalculated
Avary, Myrta LockettDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Isabella D. MartinEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Williams, Ben AmesEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Charleston, S.C., November 8, 1860 - Yesterday on the train, just before we reached Fernandina, a woman called out: "That settles the hash." Tanny touched me on the shoulder and said: "Lincoln's elected." "How do you know?" "The man over there has a telegram."
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0517182661, Hardcover)

This original diary of the wife of Confederate General James Chestnut, Jr., who was also an aide to President Jefferson Davis, provides an eyewitness narrative of all the years of the war. Period photographs illustrate this you-are-there account of the daily lives and tribulations of all who suffered through the war, from ordinary people to the Confederacy's generals and political figures.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:53 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

In her diary, Mary Boykin Chesnut, the wife of a Confederate general and aid to president Jefferson Davis, James Chestnut, Jr., presents an eyewitness account of the Civil War.

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