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In Their Own Words

April 12, 1865

Diary Entry on Rhyme Pleasing Civil War Soldiers

Eliza Frances Andrews recorded in her diary that a rhyme she had made up had a positive effect on some soldiers.

“Breakfast so late that visitors began to call before we had finished. In the evening, Mr. Renaud and Mr. Jeffers called. Mr. Jeffers is a wonderful mimic, and sings a comic song so well that I told him I wondered how he ever escaped being a vagabond. Dr. Robertson had got leave to start for Virginia in the morning, and was having a farewell party of gentlemen in his room, whom he seemed to be entertaining chiefly on tobacco and “straws.” After a while they joined us in the parlor, and Mr. Jeffers introduced each one as he came in, with a happy little rhyming couplet on his name or occupation. Altogether, it was one of the brightest, wittiest things I ever heard, though I am sorry to say that some of the company gave evidence of having indulged too freely in “straws,” with the usual seasonings. Dr. Boyd says that my little rhyme about the boys on crutches did the sick soldiers more good than all his medicines. Some poor fellows who had hardly noticed anything for a week, he says, laughed and clapped their hands like happy children, as they lay on their beds and listened. He says they have been talking about it ever since.”

Source: Eliza Frances Andrews, The War-Time Journal of a Georgia Girl, 1864-1865 (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1908), p. 142.