Kate Stone’s Civil War: A fear of bad news

Stone’s first standard for even considering spending a significant number of days anywhere in Texas was its number of Louisiana war refugees living nearby. Tyler, Texas, suited her just fine.

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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’s first standard for even considering spending a significant number of days anywhere in Texas was its number of Louisiana war refugees living nearby. Tyler, Texas, suited her just fine.

Note her anxiety over simply the possibility of receiving any news from the outside world. It made her “sick with apprehension.”

Nov. 7, 1863

There are some changes in our household. Mr. Kaiser has left us after his school left him. He has gone seven miles in the country to open another school. May it prove more successful than this attempt. We have forgiven him for his desertion of Jimmy. He cannot help being a coward. He remarked pathetically to Mrs. Carson, speaking of the big boys of the school, that he felt he was on the mouth of a volcano. We have no teacher and no prospect of one.

Mamma is speaking seriously of going on to live in Gilmore to put Jimmy in school, but I hope she will not. There are so many refugees here that we may like Tyler after a while, and the next school the boys may be able to attend. …

Several letters this week. One from Uncle Johnny at Austin. He secured his situation but says everything is very high, wood $40 a cord. A letter from Sarah Wadley just as they were leaving for Georgia. Hope they succeeded in running the blockade and crossing the river in safety.

I do not wish for letters. Have such a fear of bad news. The sight of a letter turns me sick with apprehension.

Author: Fernando Ortiz Jr.

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

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