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.
Stone distracts herself from the new year’s cold beginning with some wry observations of an attractive young woman who, she fears, will break many hearts.
Jan. 4, 1864
We were glad to see the Old Year go. It had been a year of trial to us, and we rejoiced when we caught the last glimpse of the sail bearing him on to the dim Ocean of Eternity. The New Year came wailing in, borne on the wings of a freezing norther. God grant it may bring peace to our war-worn land and those we love home again.
Mrs. Savage and her cortege, with Dr. Meagher in the train, arrived Tuesday and are busy settling in their new quarters. The little girls have been staying in here with us until today. We found five in the room with insufficient bedclothes rather too much for comfort in this freezing weather. I very foolishly allowed myself to be persuaded to spend the first night out in camp with them, and I have not recovered from it yet. I feel like blushing every time I think of it as we all practically slept together with only a curtain separating the tent into two rooms and the mattresses touching each other. I never felt so out of place.
Anna is the same as ever, but Emily Norris has outgrown the name of little girl. She has developed very rapidly and promises to be a noted flirt. She already has her “trot lines” out for all these boys. Think Jimmy Stone and Eddie will fall easy victims, but I doubt her ability to land such shy, wild specimens as Johnny and Jimmy Carson.
We are so glad to have Johnny and Jimmy start to school today. It worried us all the time seeing Jimmy losing his last year at home learning nothing. We did not mind so much about Johnny’s idleness. He is well advanced and the brightest child I ever saw. He takes the lead. Jimmy Carson and Eddie will follow him anywhere and applaud all he says or does.
Jimmy Carson has been away for a week on business connected with Anderson’s killing that Negro, a dreadful affair, and Mrs. Carson has fretted over his absence as she alone can fret. It is a terrible spell of weather to be traveling. The snow is several inches deep and frozen hard with the keenest wind howling around the house.
Capt. King, the exquisite, has paid us several visits and beaten me a game of chess by my connivance. He came by to tell us good-bye Tuesday on his way to Shreveport and Camden. Sent letters by him and one of introduction to Julia and Carrie Lowry.