Kate Stone’s Civil War: We enjoy our ease

As Stone loses another brother to the Confederate Army, she also records the hanging of two Missouri spies.

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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)

As Stone loses another brother to the Confederate Army, she also records the hanging of two Missouri spies.

Aug. 23, 1864

Near Oak Ridge, La.

Mamma and I came out to Monroe [La.] and Jimmy joined the army. Mamma and I stopped here at Col. Templeton’s, and then Mamma went on to the river and stayed with Mrs. Newman. She went in the old Jersey but came back in the pretty carriage that we have been wanting ever since we left home. She brought out a carriage load of dry goods that were most welcome.

After staying here a few days, she returned to Monroe for a little stay with Mrs. Wadley and then on home by way of Homer where so many of our friends are established. We stopped there coming out, and they greeted us most cordially. We could not make much of a visit as Jimmy and Mamma were anxious to get on. Mrs. Templeton’s family all insisted on my remaining with them until fall, and then I could go back to Texas with Col. Templeton, who will go out to where the Negroes are beyond Tyler.

Jimmy’s command was camped near here and I could see much of him. Mamma and I knew it would be a delightful visit, and as she unselfishly and I selfishly wanted to stay, I did so and am having a most lovely time. All the family are so kind. …

What a horrible tragedy, the death of Mrs. Hull’s two brothers, hanged as spies in Missouri where they had gone in disguise to recruit for Col. Hull’s regiment. They were with him but he escaped and had the hardihood to go and see them hanged with the faint hope that he might effect their escape. But of course that was hopeless. He made his way out of the state with some men and met a number who knew him but was not betrayed. The men hanged were two gallant young officers of excellent family. I cannot recall their names just now, but their father was the editor and proprietor of one of the leading St. Louis papers and left a large fortune. Poor Mrs. Hull is heartbroken.

It is very warm but we enjoy our ease with open doors and windows, undressed and lounging around. No gentlemen staying in the house to molest or make us afraid. Emmie is busy on a dress that she has had on hand for two weeks. Mary is practicing a delightful concord of sweet sounds, and I have been working on a flannel shirt for Jimmy. …

Author: Fernando Ortiz Jr.

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

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