Want to save this letter now that you've found it?
It's easy - just create your own collection of letters after signing up for a free account.
I preach patience; but how about practice? I am exasperated ! there is the simple fact. And is it not enough? What a scene I have just witnessed! A motley crew of thousands of low people of all colors parading the streets with flags, torches, music, and all other accompaniments, shouting, screaming, exulting over the fall of Port Hudson and Vicksburg. The "Era" will call it an enthusiastic demonstration of the loyal citizens of the city; we who saw it from upper balconies know of what rank these "citizens" were. We saw crowds of soldiers mixed up with the lowest rabble in the town, workingmen in dirty clothes, newsboys, ragged children, negroes, and even women walking in the procession, while swarms of negroes and low white women elbowed each other in a dense mass on the pavement. To see such creatures exulting over our misfortune was enough to make one scream with rage. One of their dozen transparencies was inscribed with "A dead Confederacy." Fools ! The flames are smouldering ! They will burst out presently and consume you! More than half, much more, were negroes. As they passed here they raised a yell of "Down with the rebels!" that made us gnash our teeth in silence. The Devil possessed me. "O Miriam, help me pray the dear Lord that their flag may burn!" I whispered as the torches danced around it. And we did pray earnestly so earnestly that Miriam's eyes were tightly screwed up; but it must have been a wicked prayer, for it was not answered.
Dr.'s has out a magnificent display of black cotton grammatically inscribed with " Port Hudson and Vicksburg is ours," garnished with a luminous row of tapers, and, drunk on two bits worth of lager beer, he has been shrieking out all Union songs he can think of with his horrid children until my tympanum is perfectly cracked. Miriam wants to offer him an extra bottle of lager for the two places of which he claims the monopoly. He would sell his creed for less. Miriam is dying to ask him what he has done with the Confederate uniform he sported before the Yankees came. His son says they are all Union men over there, and will "lemonate" (illuminate) to-night. A starving seamstress opposite has stuck six tallow candles in her window ; better put them in her stomach!
And I won't believe Vicksburg has surrendered) Port Hudson I am sure has fallen. Alas, for all hopes of serving the brave creatures ! the rumor is that they have been released on parole. Happily for them; but if it must go, what a blessed privilege it would have been to aid or comfort them !
- Sarah Dawson
- A Confederate Girls Diary, Dawson, Sarah Morgan 1842-1909, HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY, The Riverside Press Cambridge, 1913