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.
Kate Stone’s brother returned with news of a beloved Louisiana crawling with Federal troops and Unionists. Stone was enraged, disgusted, and insulted.
Oct. 8, 1863
“Elysian Fields,” Lamar County, Texas
The last few days have been full of interest. First, Johnny returned only last night, and this opens the gates of release from this region of sin and woe. We think we can get off on Monday. Uncle Johnny has been awaiting only Johnny’s return to move on, and they will start on their long journey on Saturday over 300 miles. Thus Johnny’s arrival has been the signal trumpet calling us all to horse and away.
A letter from Julia in which she says My Brother was twice severely wounded in his right arm in the battle of Gettysburg. He has recovered and is with his command but has lost the use of his right hand. We are truly thankful it is no worse. If we could only hear all that has happened to him since seeing him last, but we know so little. Poor fellow, this is his fifth wound and the most severe of all. We so hope he can get a furlough this fall. It worries me to hear of Tom Manlove’s frolicking about, getting married and enjoying himself in every way, getting all the honor, while My Brother, who is worth ten of him, gets only the hard work of the camp and the wounds. … I can write and think myself into a fever about My Brother.
Julia is still at Camden. All wagons have been impressed to remove government stores, and so they cannot get away. She heard through Robert Norris, who wrote asking news of his aunt, that Uncle Bo is well and is now a 1st lieutenant. We are so glad of his promotion. Not a word of Brother Coley, and we are very anxious about him. Joe Carson is regimental colorbearer, a dangerous post. …
Johnny gives a dreadful account of affairs in and around Delhi and Monroe. Most of the citizens remaining boast of being Unionists and carry on a most profitable trade with Vicksburg. The Yankee cavalry came out to Monroe by invitation, and a number of citizens signed a petition asking them to come out and drive away our soldiers still there. This is too disgraceful to be true. Then, a great number of Louisianians have deserted. My cheek crimsons as I write this of our own beloved state, but I cannot believe that she has brought her name to be a disgrace and reproach to her loyal children. …