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Kate Stone’s Civil War: The most enjoyable life

March 3, 2015


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)

Stone finally embraces in writing her Tyler, Texas, community as she and her mother help residents raise money for home Confederate veterans.

It is astonishing, given her vivid condescension to and disdain for Texans recorded in past entries, to see Stone not just befriend Tyler residents but to also dismiss any potential disparagement from her fellow Louisiana refugees.

Note her new friendship with Mollie E. Moore, who will eventually become a celebrated poet and successful writer.

March 3, 1865

Tyler, Texas

Our interest for the last ten days has centered on the all-engrossing theme of tableaux. All the society young folks of the town with Mamma as head and front of the affair are busy getting up an entertainment, tableaux, music, and charades, to raise money for establishing a soldiers’ home. The natives, very unexpectedly, asked us to take part; and as Mamma knows more of such things than all the rest of them put together, she soon found herself sole manager of the affair and I am her [deputy]. I have taken no part but they kindly allow me to attend all rehearsals, and I have had a gay time but for being bored to extremity by Dr. Weir, whom I nearly hate.

We have become acquainted with all the creme de la creme of the city, and from one to a dozen are always dropping in to discuss something or ask Mamma’s advice. I know most of the love affairs of Tyler now. I hope Janie Roberts and Lt. Alexander will make a match. They are very much in love with each other and it would be quite suitable. The young people have rehearsed here several times when it was too bad to go to the church. …

Anna Meagher was asked to play at the entertainment but some feeling of pique prevented her, and they all speak most contemptuously of the whole affair. But we are glad the ice is at last broken, and we are friends with the people of the town. It is far more agreeable, and there are many nice people when one finds them out. Mollie E. Moore, a poetess, is a charming girl and we are becoming quite friends. They live near. The other refugees can laugh at us if they like, but we are having the most enjoyable life. …

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