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Mr. Halsey brought us each a little tortoise-shellring he had made for us by his camp-fire, as a keep sake, and of course we promised to wear them for him, particularly as they make our hands look as white as possible. Towards sunset, in spite of prayers and entreaties from Miriam, who insisted that I was too feeble to attempt it, I insisted on walking out to the bench by the river to enjoy the cool breeze ; and was rather glad I had come, when soon after Dr. Capdevielle made his appearance, with two beautiful bouquets which he presented with his French bow to us; and introducing his friend, Mr. Miltonberger, entered into one of those lively discussions about nothing which Frenchmen know how to make so interesting. . . .
No sooner had they left than, to our infinite surprise, the immortal seven of Saturday night walked in. Wonder what fun they find in coming? I see none. For we rarely trouble ourselves about their presence; there are but two I have addressed as yet; one because I am forced to say yes or no to his remarks, and the other because I like his banjo, which he brought again, and feel obliged to talk occasion ally since he is so accommodating, and affords me the greatest amusement with his comic songs. I was about re tiring unceremoniously about twelve o clock, completely worn out, when they finally bethought themselves of saying good-night, and saved me the necessity of being rude. Wonder if that is all the fun they have? I should say it was rather dry. It is mean to laugh at them, though ; their obliging dispositions should save them from our ridicule. Last evening Mr. Halsey succeeded in procuring a large skiff, whereupon four or five of them offered to row, and took us way down the Tchefuncta through the most charming scenery to a spot where Echo answered us in the most remarkable way ; her distinct utterance was really charming. Not being aware of the secret, I thought the first answer to the halloo was from pickets. Mr. Halsey has a magnificent voice ; and the echoes came back so full and rich that soon we appointed him speaker by mutual consent, and were more than repaid by the delightful sounds that came from the woods. The last ray of the sun on the smooth waters; the soldiers resting on their oars while we tuned the guitar and sang in the still evening, until twilight, slowly closing over, warned us to return, forms another of those pictures indescribable though never to be forgotten.
- Sarah Dawson
- A Confederate Girls Diary, Dawson, Sarah Morgan 1842-1909, HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY, The Riverside Press Cambridge, 1913