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 makes a casual but chilling reference to enduring racial violence, a hint of what is to come in subsequent years.
Aug. 14, 1865
Mamma is out in the backyard directing the making of a barrel of wine from the native grapes which have ripened in the greatest profusion, hanging in great purple clusters over the blackjack oaks. They are brought into town by the wagonload. Both the boys and Sister are at the writing school where they stay all day, and I, being too lazy to sew … must scribble for amusement.
Mollie Moore sent us over a number of newspapers with full accounts of the imprisonment of our beloved President Jefferson Davis. He pines in his captivity like a caged eagle. Heard directly from My Brother through Hutch Bowman, who stayed with us several days on his way to Kaufman County. We may expect him about the last of the month. … There is a great rush for the river lands. All are anxious to secure a place above overflow. …
Jimmy and Willy Carson spent a pleasant week with us lately, and we gave them much good advice on the subject of flirting, which I hope they will lay to heart. Jimmy is an exceedingly handsome, attractive boy. Jimmy had made a pair of gloves of soft white buckskin and got me to embroider the gauntlets for him in gay colored silks. They were really pretty if not fashionable, a word the meaning of which we have almost forgotten. …
These grey August days we have little to do and little company. Mollie Moore and her two brothers will be over this evening to play cards. …
Our melon patch is exhausted but melons in town are selling for ten cents a dozen. None should go unfed at that rate. Mrs. Tooke kindly furnishes us with plenty of peaches.
Quite a number of Negroes are flocking into town, but there is no disorder. Occasionally we hear of a Negro shot down and lying unburied in the woods.