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1864: Day to Day

January 2, 2014

This is Part 4 of a five-part essay series on Kate Stone and her Civil War which was modified from a paper I presented at the New York Military Affairs Symposium in October 2011.

Learn more about Stone’s amazing life in 1861, 1862, 1863, 1865 and beyond. Click on each year to read more about her experiences.

As the war ground on into 1864, the men and women around Stone made the most of their lives of exile in East Texas. Dances were held. Men and women married. new boys studied for classes.

In Tyler, Texas, Stone cleaned the house, played chess, and read. The wall Stone built in her mind to hold back the crush of mounting tragedies in the Eastern Theater became a permanent fixture. Not even the drama of death breached the barrier anymore.

(Photo edited by Bob Rowen)

“People do not mourn their dead as they used to,” she wrote. “Everyone seems to live only in the present — just from day to day — otherwise I fancy many would go crazy.”

In 1864, Confederate victories brightened the situation in the Trans-Mississippi Theater. In the spring of 1864, Federal forces under Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Banks began the Red River Campaign, in which Federal forces from Vicksburg, New Orleans and Arkansas were supposed to meet near Shreveport, seize Louisiana once and for all, amputate Texas from the Confederacy, and then abort any nascent relationship between the Confederacy and the French-controlled Mexican government.

But the plan failed to consider Confederate audacity. In early April 1864, Maj. Gen. Taylor beat back the Federal invasion at the Battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill.

Stone practically leapt for joy in her journal. “It is our first great success on this side of the river. … We will never laugh at our soldiers on this side of the Mississippi again. …”

The Confederate conscription act lowered the age range for enlistment to seventeen, and in August, Kate Stone lost a third brother to the Confederate Army. James Stone joined a unit named Harrison’s Brigade at Monroe, La.

She and her mother accompanied him to Louisiana, and Federal raids through the area frightened her, especially when conducted by black soldiers.

“The Paternal Government at Washington,” she wrote, “has done all in its power to incite a general insurrection throughout the South, in the hopes of thus getting rid of the women and children in one grand holocaust. We would be practically helpless should the Negroes rise, since there are so few men left at home.”

******

Works cited or consulted for this essay series:
Faust, Drew Gilpin. Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War. Chapel Hill: North Carolina UP, 1996. Print.
. Southern Stories: Slaveholders in Peace and War. Columbia, Mo.: University of Missouri, 1992. Print.
Foote, Shelby. The Civil War: A Narrative. New York: Vintage, 1986. Print.
Johnson, Ludwell H. Red River Campaign: Politics and Cotton in the Civil War. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 1958. Print.
Kronk, Gary W. “C/1861 J1 (Great Comet of 1861).” Cometography.com. n.d. Web. 11 Sept. 2011.
Long, E.B. and Barbara Long. The Civil War: Day by Day. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1971. Print.
McPherson, James M., ed. The Atlas of the Civil War. New York: Macmillan, 1994. Print.
. Battle Cry of Freedom. New York: Oxford UP. 1988. Print.
Parrish, T. Michael. Richard Taylor: Soldier Prince of Dixie. Chapel Hill: North Carolina UP. 1992. Print.
Stone, Kate. Brokenburn: The Journal of Kate Stone, 1861-1868. Ed. John Q. Anderson. Baton Rouge: Louisiana UP. 1995. Print.
Sullivan, Walter. The War the Women Lived: Female Voices from the Confederate South. Nashville: J.S. Sanders & Company. 1995. Print.
Wilson, Edmund. Patriotic Gore: Studies in the Literature of the American Civil War. New York: W.W. Norton, 1962. Print.
Wooster, Ralph A. Civil War Texas. Texas State Historical Association. 199. Print.

101 Comments
  1. Hi Fernando. I have been taking a glance at your Kate Stone’s diary posts for a while now but have only recently gone back to the beginning and realised just what a fascinating story she told, and how well.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. 1863: Demons « stillness of heart
  2. 1862: Ruin and Disaster « stillness of heart
  3. 1861: The Dark River « stillness of heart
  4. 1865: The Happiest Year « stillness of heart
  5. Kate Stone’s Civil War: ‘Death in defense of the South’ « stillness of heart
  6. Kate Stone’s Civil War: The stir and mob of angry life « stillness of heart
  7. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Whipped unmercifully « stillness of heart
  8. Kate Stone’s Civil War: They thought me so ugly « stillness of heart
  9. Kate Stone’s Civil War: The blood of her children « stillness of heart
  10. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Gallantly fought and won « stillness of heart
  11. Kate Stone’s Civil War: The fevers « stillness of heart
  12. Kate Stone’s Civil War: The war inches closer « stillness of heart
  13. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Gladden our hearts « stillness of heart
  14. Kate Stone’s Civil War: The noble, gentle heart « stillness of heart
  15. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Rainy days « stillness of heart
  16. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Sad Christmas « stillness of heart
  17. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Happy birthday « stillness of heart
  18. Kate Stone’s Civil War: They close in and kill « stillness of heart
  19. Kate Stone’s Civil War: The little creature « stillness of heart
  20. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Victory will be ours « stillness of heart
  21. Kate Stone’s Civil War: A perfect love of a lieutenant « stillness of heart
  22. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Burn our cities « stillness of heart
  23. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Fashion is an obsolete word « stillness of heart
  24. Kate Stone’s Civil War: The sleep that knows no waking « stillness of heart
  25. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Trembling hearts « stillness of heart
  26. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Capable of any horror « stillness of heart
  27. Kate Stone’s Civil War: The fire of battle « stillness of heart
  28. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Beyond my strength « stillness of heart
  29. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Tragedy after tragedy « stillness of heart
  30. Kate Stone’s Civil War: His sins against the South « stillness of heart
  31. Kate Stone’s Civil War: A lady’s favors « stillness of heart
  32. Kate Stone’s Civil War: She was heartbroken « stillness of heart
  33. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Preparing to run « stillness of heart
  34. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Hoodoo woman | stillness of heart
  35. Kate Stone’s Civil War: It made us tremble | stillness of heart
  36. Kate Stone’s Civil War: The pistol pointed at my head | stillness of heart
  37. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Tears on my cheek | stillness of heart
  38. Kate Stone’s Civil War: A horrid flight | stillness of heart
  39. Kate Stone’s Civil War: The greatest villian | stillness of heart
  40. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Flaming cheeks and flashing eyes | stillness of heart
  41. Kate Stone’s Civil War: The glory of the family | stillness of heart
  42. Kate Stone’s Civil War: His father’s sins | stillness of heart
  43. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Baffled beasts of prey | stillness of heart
  44. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Useless to resist | stillness of heart
  45. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Southern hearts | stillness of heart
  46. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Like mad demons | stillness of heart
  47. Kate Stone’s Civil War: On the road for Texas | stillness of heart
  48. Kate Stone’s Civil War: The dark corner | stillness of heart
  49. Kate Stone’s Civil War: The dirtiest people | stillness of heart
  50. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Scowling, revengeful faces | stillness of heart
  51. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Despondent and chicken-hearted | stillness of heart
  52. Despondent and chicken-hearted | Catching up with stillness of heart | Hey Sweetheart, Get Me Rewrite!
  53. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Makes us tremble for Texas | stillness of heart
  54. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Lose our scalps | stillness of heart
  55. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Conquer or die | stillness of heart
  56. Kate Stone’s Civil War: My pen is powerless | stillness of heart
  57. Kate Stone’s Civil War: They call us all renegades | stillness of heart
  58. Kate Stone’s Civil War: It makes us shiver | stillness of heart
  59. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Years of grinding toil | stillness of heart
  60. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Destroyed by the Yankees | stillness of heart
  61. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Two distressed damsels | stillness of heart
  62. Kate Stone’s Civil War: This is too disgraceful | stillness of heart
  63. Kate Stone’s Civil War: The heart of a boy | stillness of heart
  64. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Credulous mortals | stillness of heart
  65. Kate Stone’s Civil War: A fear of bad news | stillness of heart
  66. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Pride must have a fall | stillness of heart
  67. Kate Stone’s Civil War: So little to eat | stillness of heart
  68. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Nobly and fearlessly | stillness of heart
  69. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Alone in a strange land | stillness of heart
  70. Kate Stone’s Civil War: A charming little woman | stillness of heart
  71. Kate Stone’s Civil War: A sad 1863 ends | stillness of heart
  72. Kate Stone’s Civil War: We will be slaves | stillness of heart
  73. Kate Stone’s Civil War: We fear it cannot last | stillness of heart
  74. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Lounged and gossiped | stillness of heart
  75. Kate Stone’s Civil War: They will never give up | stillness of heart
  76. 1861: The Dark River | stillness of heart
  77. 1863: Demons | stillness of heart
  78. 1865: The Happiest Year | stillness of heart
  79. 1862: Ruin and Disaster | stillness of heart
  80. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Torrents of blood | stillness of heart
  81. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Restless and wretched | stillness of heart
  82. Kate Stone’s Civil War: A fever of apprehension | stillness of heart
  83. Kate Stone’s Civil War: A piece of amusement | stillness of heart
  84. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Only sadness and tears | stillness of heart
  85. Kate Stone’s Civil War: The grand crash | stillness of heart
  86. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Words are powerless | stillness of heart
  87. Kate Stone’s Civil War: The story so far … | stillness of heart
  88. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Civilization commences again | stillness of heart
  89. Kate Stone’s Civil War: He deserves killing | stillness of heart
  90. Kate Stone’s Civil War: It is unavoidable | stillness of heart
  91. Kate Stone’s Civil War: No disorder | stillness of heart
  92. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Astonish the natives | stillness of heart
  93. Kate Stone’s Civil War: Our pleasant Tyler life | stillness of heart
  94. Kate Stone’s Civil War: The very poorest people | stillness of heart
  95. Kate Stone’s Civil War: A state of insubordination | stillness of heart
  96. Kate Stone’s Civil War: The bitterness of defeat | stillness of heart
  97. Kate Stone’s Civil War: At home again | stillness of heart
  98. Kate Stone’s Civil War: How many idle hours | stillness of heart
  99. Kate Stone’s Civil War: I was young again | stillness of heart
  100. Kate Stone’s Civil War: The entire special series | stillness of heart

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