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In Their Own Words

September 22, 1864

Prophetic Journal Entry

In several ways, Gertrude Thomas’s journal entry for this day proved to be prophetic:

“Was it ominous that I should find my pen split when I took it up to write tonight? In these troublous times how superstitious we become. Shall I dare hope that this new Journal which I am commencing will record Peace, an independent Southern Confederacy? Truly the skies are gloomy and the heavy storm appears ready to discharge its thunders in our very midst. Yet how calm, how indifferent we are - we laugh, we smile, we talk, we jest, just as tho no enemy were at our door. And yet the idea has several times suggested itself to me that someday I would have to aid in earning my own support [which would happen]. We have made no arrangement whatever for such a contingency. Gold has increased in value and we have not a dollar [most of their family wealth was in Confederate bonds and slaves] - and yet I am hopeful of the success of our cause, the ultimate success of our Confederacy, while I do not think it improbable that we will lose our fortunes [they did] before that final success is achieved… .”

Source: Virginia Ingraham Burr (ed.), The Secret Eye: The Journal of Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas, 1848-1889 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1990), pp. 236-237.