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Diary of Emma LeConte
02-12-2017, 05:54 PM (This post was last modified: 02-12-2017 05:58 PM by Gene C.)
Post: #1
Diary of Emma LeConte
This may be a bit of a rambling thread. I post it because it is an example of how looking for one thing leads to something unrelated yet totally fascinating.

I recently purchased a book about Lincoln written by Earl Schenck Miers. In looking up on Amazon what else he may have written, I found he has written many history books, several on the civil war. As you look through the list you will probably see some you are familiar with. He wrote books for teens as well as adults.
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=dp_byline_s...evancerank

What caught my eye was the book he has edited about Emma LeConte's diary, "When The World Ended". She was a young lady of 17 and lived in Colombia, SC. She wrote about Sherman's march through SC and the burning of the city.

This is what she wrote about Lincoln's assassination....
"We are all in a tremor of excitement. At home it was the same. If it is only true! The first feeling I had when the news was announced was simply gratified revenge. The man we hated has met his proper fate. I thought with exultation of the howl it had by that time sent through the North, and how it would cast a damper on their rejoicings over the fall of our noble Lee. The next thought was how it would infuriate them against us - and that was pleasant too. After talking it over the hope presented itself that it might produce a confusion that would be favorable but there is scarcely any likelihood of that - he is hardly important enough for that. Andy Johnson will succeed him - the rail-splitter will be succeeded by the drunken *****. Such are the successors of Washington and Jefferson - such are to rule the South. "Sic semper tyrannis" - it has run in my head all day,"

Here is a site with some information about her with more exerts from her diary, and the article has a link to the diary itself.
http://civilwarwomenblog.com/emma-leconte/

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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02-12-2017, 07:23 PM
Post: #2
RE: Diary of Emma LeConte
This is excellent!

Thank you for sharing.

Bob
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02-12-2017, 07:43 PM (This post was last modified: 02-12-2017 07:59 PM by L Verge.)
Post: #3
RE: Diary of Emma LeConte
I have referred to that Civil War Women website many times. Lots of good history here that never makes it into books. I might add, for those of you who read John Fazio's great Love Story article in the February Surratt Courier about the Barlows, you will find another story on this same website about John Brown Gordon, CSA (mentioned in the Barlow article) and his fifty-year love affair with his wife, Fanny.
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02-12-2017, 09:02 PM
Post: #4
RE: Diary of Emma LeConte
Gene:

Thank you for this. I knew nothing of Emma LeConte's diary. As for her attitude re the assassination, it was a common one. One has to consider the context of time and place. There were many in the South, despite such context, who had a more rational view of the matter. Mary Boykin Chesnut, another diarist, for example, referred to the assassination as "maddening" and a "foul murder (that) will bring down worse miseries on us". Later, she referred to Booth as "the madman".

Interestingly, the LeConte diary is the second unknown that has been unearthed for me today. The other is Littleton Washington's Journal. Apparently Washington was the second in command in the Confederate State Department, immediately under Benjamin. I plan to read his Journal as soon as I can get my hands on a hard copy. I understand that it ends with the Dahlgren-Kilpatrick Raid, the pages following apparently having been ripped out by someone, maybe the author himself. That could be very significant from the standpoint of what Washington knew about the Confederate response to the Raid (and to Wistar's Raid too). But it is almost impossible to prove anything by its absence. I keep telling my wife that I needed two lives; one isn't enough to read all I would like to read and experience all I would like to experience. We need a second one anyway to undo all the mistakes made in the first one.

Laurie, thank you for mentioning the stories.

John
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02-13-2017, 05:34 AM
Post: #5
RE: Diary of Emma LeConte
Link to Emma LeConte's handwriting:

http://blogs.lib.unc.edu/civilwar/index....il-1865-2/
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02-13-2017, 11:25 AM
Post: #6
RE: Diary of Emma LeConte
(02-13-2017 05:34 AM)RJNorton Wrote:  Link to Emma LeConte's handwriting:

http://blogs.lib.unc.edu/civilwar/index....il-1865-2/

Thanks for posting this, Roger. What beautiful handwriting and sincere thoughts - whether modern society agrees or not! I suspect that you would find her sentiments on the mind and tongue of the majority of Southerners in late-April, 1865.

As for Mary Boykin Chestnut, I never did care for the lady, despite the fact that her writings give insight into upper class views of the war. There is just something about her tone that irritates me.
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02-13-2017, 11:59 AM
Post: #7
RE: Diary of Emma LeConte
(02-12-2017 07:43 PM)L Verge Wrote:  I have referred to that Civil War Women website many times. Lots of good history here that never makes it into books. I might add, for those of you who read John Fazio's great Love Story article in the February Surratt Courier about the Barlows, you will find another story on this same website about John Brown Gordon, CSA (mentioned in the Barlow article) and his fifty-year love affair with his wife, Fanny.
Thanks Laurie. I enjoyed John's Valentine's Day story in the Surratt Courier and will now check out John Brown Gordon. I too have found the Civil War Women site.
It adds another dimension to the the Civil War story.
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02-13-2017, 03:11 PM
Post: #8
RE: Diary of Emma LeConte
While you check out Gordon's love life, also take a look at how he, Joseph Brown (first in Secession, first in Reconstruction, first in Redemption), and Alfred Colquitt switched state and federal offices and used the corruption and kickbacks in the convict lease system to milk Georgia dry after the CW. Now there's a triumvirate for you!
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02-13-2017, 06:01 PM
Post: #9
RE: Diary of Emma LeConte
(02-13-2017 03:11 PM)Wild Bill Wrote:  While you check out Gordon's love life, also take a look at how he, Joseph Brown (first in Secession, first in Reconstruction, first in Redemption), and Alfred Colquitt switched state and federal offices and used the corruption and kickbacks in the convict lease system to milk Georgia dry after the CW. Now there's a triumvirate for you!

Thanks Wild Bill. There is indeed more to Gordon than his love life. After reading about his Postbellum career I have a much better picture of the man and his character.
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