Kate Stone’s Civil War: Lazy and languid

As Stone continues her brief stay with friends in Louisiana, she savors the old sights and sounds of her beloved home state.

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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 continues her brief stay with friends in Louisiana, she savors the old sights and sounds of her beloved home state.

Sept. 2, 1864

Near Oak Ridge, La.

Mrs. and Col. Templeton are entertaining a Mr. Massengale, just from Texas with news of Capt. Jack Wylie. We may look for him any day now. He will bring three beautiful horses, which we three girls have already appropriated in imagination and expect to race over the whole countryside.

I am too used up by my ride, or rather run, of yesterday to do anything. We have been very busy for the last ten days, riding, sewing, singing, receiving visitors, and playing, but now that the Brigade has gone out to Tensas Parish, we will be quiet for a time. Even Walker’s division is passing through en route to Arkansas, and so for the present we are left defenseless. …

Unfortunately for my pleasure, the report is abroad that I am engaged. There is no truth in it, and it deprives me of much fun. …

I have finished all of Jimmy’s clothes and two dresses for myself, and I feel a real Louisianian once more in the very heart of the swamp, suffocating with the heat, fighting mosquitoes, lazy and languid, little appetite, but luxuriating on fruit for breakfast, dinner, and supper and enjoying curds and cream. The swamp is my own dear land most natural, most restful.

Mamma’s trip to Yankeeland did much good to all of us. The carriage, and such a delightful one, is a great triumph. The dry goods are the greatest comfort, relieving our present necessities, and the books and papers are great entertainment. …