Mary Boykin Chesnut

Mary Boykin Chesnut told about the civil war, from her own (Wealthy) and everyone else's (finiancial) point of view

She saw the war first hand and told about what she saw. She didn't shy away from what she saw, nor did she let her husband's excessive pro-slavery attitude change her very anti-slavery views. (She was never very outspoken about her opinions though.) She kept a detailed diary about the horrors that she saw from her first visit on Feb. 2/1861 until Jun. 26/1865.

She knew and thought about how important her experiences were historically (And that in and of it's self is pretty amazing, seeing as most people don't even think far enough ahead to plan what they're going to wear tomorrow.) She filled her diary with the cycle of changing fortunes of the south during the Civil War. She edited her journal and wrote new drafts for publication in 1881-1884, retaining the lack of fore knowledge.

Mrs.Chesnut was politically aware, she analyzed and portrayed the various classes of the south through the years of the war. She provided a detailed view of southern society and especially of the mixed rolls of men and women. She was *forthright about the complex and fraught situations related to slavery, particularly the abuses of women's sexuality and the power exercised by white men. For instance: Chesnut discussed the problem of white plantar's fathering mixed-race children.


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