Kate Stone’s Civil War: One of life’s greatest trials

With Mamma away, Stone remains in command of the Tyler home, and with that duty comes caring for sick friends.

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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)

With Mamma away, Stone remains in command of the Tyler home, and with that duty comes caring for sick friends.

Feb. 12, 1865

Tyler, Texas

Mamma is still away, and from the condition of the roads we know not when to expect her. We miss her dreadfully, but we have had much company. Mrs. Carson has been sick, and we walk over there nearly every evening. Poor Mr. Alexander died recently, and Mrs. Hull, who had been sitting up all night, sent for me early one rainy morning to come and relieve her. I remained until dark, a most dreary day, for though Mr. Alexander was the merest acquaintance, we felt for his wife and children. The duty of visiting the sick and afflicted is one of life’s greatest trials.

Met a delightful gentleman when I spent the day at Mrs. Savage’s. He is Dr. Boone, a Missourian, handsome, elegant, the Medical Director for the Northern District, and is stationed at Bonham. He is trying to get Dr. McGregor to exchange with him. I only wish they will. He would be a social acquisition. He called with Dr. Weir yesterday morning and soon challenged me to a game of chess. I won the first and he the second and so the championship is undecided. He is to come as soon as he returns to play the decisive game. …

We hear today the enemy are advancing on Monroe. If so, we do not know when Henry will find Harrison’s brigade. Reports of a great battle between Lee and Grant. Our forces victorious.

There is no sewing hurrying us now. Sister gets off early to school after our usual breakfast, beef and biscuit, syrup, and homemade coffee monotonous, but the best we can do. …

Author: Fernando Ortiz Jr.

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

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