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August 15th [RICHMOND, Va., 1861]. Mrs. Randolph came. With her were the Freelands, Rose and Maria. The men rave over Mrs. Randolph's beauty; called her a magnificent specimen of the finest type of dark-eyed, rich, and glowing Southern woman-kind. Clear brunette she is, with the reddest lips, the whitest teeth, and glorious eyes ; there is no other word for them. Having given Mrs. Randolph the prize among Southern beauties, Mr. Clayton said Prentiss was the finest Southern orator. Mr. Marshall and Mr. Barnwell dissented; they preferred William C. Preston. Mr. Chesnut had found Colquitt the best or most effective stump orator.
Saw Henry Deas Nott. He is just from Paris, via New York. Says New York is ablaze with martial fire. At no time during the Crimean war was there ever in Paris the show of soldiers preparing for the war such as he saw at New York. The face of the earth seemed covered with marching regiments.
Not more than 500 effective men are in Hampton's Legion, but they kept the whole Yankee army at bay until half -past two. Then just as Hampton was wounded and half his colonels shot, Cash and Kershaw (from Mrs. Smith Lee audibly, " How about Kirby Smith? ") dashed in and not only turned the tide, but would have driven the fugitives into Washington, but Beauregard recalled them. Mr. Chesnut finds all this very amusing, as he posted many of the regiments and all the time was carrying orders over the field. The discrepancies in all these private memories amuse him, but he smiles pleasantly and lets every man tell the tale in his own way.
- Mary Boykin Chestnut
- A Diary from Dixie As Written by Mary Boykin Chesnut, Edited by Isabella D. Martin and Myrta Lockett Avary, 1906