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March 12th [COLUMBIA, S. C., 1862]. In the naval battle the other day we had twenty-five guns in all. The enemy had fifty-four in the Cumberland, forty- four in the St. Lawrence, besides a fleet of gunboats, filled with rifled cannon. Why not? They can have as many as they please. No pent-up Utica contracts their powers "; the whole boundless world being theirs to recruit in. Ours is only this one little spot of ground the blockade, or stockade, which hems us in with only the sky open to us, and for all that, how tender-footed and cautious they are as they draw near.
An anonymous letter purports to answer Colonel Chesnut's address to South Carolinians now in the army of the Potomac. The man says, All that bosh is no good. He knows lots of people whose fathers were notorious Tories in our war for independence and made fortunes by selling their country. Their sons have the best places, and they are cowards and traitors still. Names are given, of course.
Floyd and Pillow J are suspended from their commands because of Fort Donelson. The people of Tennessee demand a like fate for Albert Sidney Johnston. They say he is stupid. Can human folly go further than this Tennessee madness ?
I did Mrs. Blank a kindness. I told the women when her name came up that she was childless now, but that she had lost three children. I hated to leave her all alone. Women have such a contempt for a childless wife. Now, they will be all sympathy and goodness. I took away her reproach among women.
- Mary Boykin Chestnut
- A Diary from Dixie As Written by Mary Boykin Chesnut, Edited by Isabella D. Martin and Myrta Lockett Avary, 1906