Kate Stone’s Civil War: Despondent and chicken-hearted

Stone is wary of “chicken-hearted” rumors of a defeat at Vicksburg. She also receives her first “Texas beau.”

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From 2012 to 2015, Stillness of Heart will share interesting excerpts from the extraordinary diary of Kate Stone, who chronicled her Louisiana family’s turbulent experiences 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)

Stone is wary of “chicken-hearted” rumors of a defeat at Vicksburg. She also receives her first “Texas beau.”

July 26, 1863

Lamar County, Texas

I had my first call from a Texas beau yesterday evening.

A smooth-faced, rosy-cheeked, young dandy, dressed in the height of Paris fashion and dotingly proud of his jet-black imperial. Several of the elite of Blue’s Prairie have called on us. I wonder, shall we look as old-fashioned as they after a year or two of prairie life? Even Blue’s Prairie is looking lovely now. It is covered with a flower, looking like feathery, white plumes laced and tangled together with a yellow love vine and purple maypop vines.

There are some most disquieting rumors believed by the despondent and chicken-hearted, but we do not give them credence. It is said both Vicksburg and Port Hudson have been taken, with a number of prisoners. We have heard it affirmed and contradicted half a dozen times. We will wait to see Gen. Johnston’s official report of such disaster before believing it.

Unionism is rampant about here. There was a company of Jayhawkers for the Federal side raised in this county. Half of the militia have been drafted for six months, and oh, the moaning and bewailing of the feminine population. But I cannot be sorry for the militia. My sympathies are all with the soldiers in the field.