The Private Mary Chesnut: The Unpublished Civil War Diariesby Mary Boykin Chesnut
Chestnut allowed herself complete candor and gave free rein to her oftentimes caustic wit.
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian C. Vann Woodward and Chestnut's biographer Elisabeth Muhlenfeld present here the previously unpublished Civil War diaries of Mary Boykin Chestnut. Intimate and spontaneous, these surviving wartime diaries are preserved in their original form.
Chestnut allowed herself complete candor and gave free rein to her oftentimes caustic wit. She was the ideal diarist, always at the right place at the right time with the right connections . Daughter of one senator from South Carolina and wife of another, she had kin and friend all over the Confederacy and knew intimately its political and military leaders . She traveled extensively during the war, watching a world "literally kicked to pieces," and left the most vivid account we have of the death throes of a society. Her diaries, filled with personal revelations and indiscretions, are indispensable as firsthand insight into the Civil War experience.
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