Kate Stone’s Civil War: Rainy days

As the war’s first Christmas approached, life went on at Brokenburn. Soft winter rain drenched the neighborhood. A strange relative got married. Sickness claimed yet another acquaintance. It’s a fascinating record of a quiet home front. Quiet for the moment.

From 2012 to 2015, Stillness of Heart will share interesting excerpts from the extraordinary diary of Kate Stone, the daughter of Louisiana cotton plantation owners who chronicled her turbulent life throughout the Civil War era.

Learn more about Stone’s amazing life in 1861, 1862, 1863, 1864, 1865 and beyond. Click on each year to read more about her experiences. You can read the entire journal online here.

(Photo edited by Bob Rowen)

As the war’s first Christmas approached, life went on at Brokenburn. Soft winter rain drenched the neighborhood. A strange relative got married. Sickness claimed yet another acquaintance. It’s a fascinating record of a quiet home front. Quiet for the moment.

Dec. 22:

I have been sleeping with Mamma and so I have not written for some time, as night is my time for scribbling.

Aunt Laura left us ten days ago after a two-week stay, and she seemed to enjoy so much being with us all, especially Mamma. Her visit was a pleasure to us. …

After two weeks of the lovliest warm spring weather with skies as blue and bright as bend over Italian plains, we wake to hear a soft, warm rain pattering down, and so no church for us today. And none of us went last Sunday. Sunday spent at home is a long, weary day. …

The greatest news of all Uncle Johnny is married. On the seventeenth of this month he gave his heart and hand to Miss Kate Boone, a girl from Charleston, S.C., who has been visiting her brother at Pine Bluff, Ark., for some months. She is quite a young girl, not more than seventeen, while Uncle Johnny is thirty-five. We wish them every happiness, and I wish he would bring her down to see us. I only hope he will not try to educate her according to his theories but will let her go on as Nature and her own antecedents and education would have her. But for years he has had the idea of marrying a very young girl and molding and educating her according to his pet theories. My mind misgives me that such is still his plan.

Other Pa (Stone’s maternal grandfather) left the day after the wedding, which was very quiet. He is not pleased with the marriage, though he does not say much against it. Uncle John is editing a paper in Pine Bluff. He is a most impracticable man with so many theories, and he has made ducks and drakes of all the money inherited from Other Ma (Stone’s maternal grandmother) and every other cent he could get. We hope marriage will be his salvation, an anchor to keep him from drifting with every tide, or feeling, or impulse. Johnny says he shall call his new Aunt “Aunt Boone.” He likes it better than “Kate.” I have pre-emption title on that name. …

Mrs. Virginia Cavalier, the oldest sister of the Morris girls, died a week ago of swamp fever. She was a widow with two young children and a very attractive woman. Her brother-in-law, Mr. Joe Cavalier, has been addressing her for the last year, so report says.

Author: Fernando Ortiz Jr.

Handsome gentleman scholar, Civil War historian, unpretentious intellectual, world traveler, successful writer.

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