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In Their Own Words

March 08, 1865

Eliza Frances Andrews Journal Entry on a Rare Luxury

Twenty-four-year-old Eliza Frances Andrews was staying with her oldest sister, who lived near Albany, Georgia. On March 7, she had traveled to Americus to see her cousin, who was a doctor, about her eyes. Invited to spend the night, Eliza wrote in her journal of a rare war-time luxury she enjoyed that night:

“… I occupied Flora’s room that [last] night. Cousin Bessie lent me one of her fine embroidered linen nightgowns, and I was so overpowered at having on a decent piece of underclothing after the coarse Macon Mills homespun I have been wearing for the last two years, that I could hardly go to sleep. I stood before the glass and looked at myself after I was undressed just to see how nice it was to have on a respectable undergarment once more. I can stand patched-up dresses, and even take a pride in wearing Confederate homespun, where it is done open and above board, but I can’t help feeling vulgar and common in coarse underclothes. Cousin Bessie has brought quantities of beautiful things from beyond the blockade, that make us poor Rebs look like ragamuffins beside her. She has crossed the lines by special permit, and will be obliged to return to Memphis by the 2d of April, when her pass will be out. It seems funny for a white woman to have to get a pass to see her husband, just like the negro men here do when their wives live on another plantation. The times have brought about some strange upturnings. Cousin Bolling is awfully blue about the war, and it does begin to look as if our poor little Confederacy was about on its last legs, but I am so accustomed to all sorts of vicissitudes that I try not to let thoughts of the inevitable disturb me. The time to be blue was five years ago, before we went into it… . We met Mr. Wheatley and Maj. Daniel on our way to the depot, and they told us that a dispatch had just been received stating that the Yanks have landed at St. Mark’s and are marching on Tallahassee. We first heard they were 4,000 strong, but before we reached the depot, their numbers had swelled to 15,000.”

Source: Eliza Frances Andrews, The War-Time Journal of a Georgia Girl, 1864-1865 (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1908), pp. 110-112.