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A Confederate Girl's Diary [Kindle Edition]

Sarah Morgan Dawson
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $6.99
Kindle Price: $0.00
You Save: $6.99 (100%)

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Book Description

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sarah Morgan Dawson (1842-1909) was born in New Orleans to a wealthy judge, and moved with the family to Baton Rouge at the age of eight. She penned her diary between March 1862 - April 1865. By the end the war, she had moved back to New Orleans with her widowed mother. In 1874, she married Frank Dawson, a newspaper owner from England. Ten years later, his death left her a widow with two children. She moved to Paris, France and died there in 1909.

Product Details

  • File Size: 471 KB
  • Print Length: 280 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1466204028
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004TQ136Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,112 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars well written, narrow in scope May 12, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The formatting was a bit odd, but by adjusting the font on my Kindle, I found it easily readable.

This was published by her daughter after Mrs. Dawson's death in 1909. Born in 1843 Miss Morgan (as she was during the War) started keeping a diary in March 1862 from her home in Baton Rouge. From one of the leading families in LA, they were mixed about secession, 3 of her brothers joined the CS forces (2 died) and a fourth (I think the oldest) lived in New Orleans as a Unionist throughout the war. A sister was married to a Union officer and lived in CA at the time.

A lot of this book is the sort over dramatic, society lady claptrap that is not at all interesting to me, but does serve to make some of the characters in Uncle Tom's Cabin more believable.

The most interesting, for me, part of the book, is the back and forth dilemma of the family (mother, daughters, grandchildren and of course, house servants) as to whether to stay in their house in Baton Rouge (occupied by the Federals in May 1862) or whether to leave and find a place to stay. She elucidates all the pros and cons of each movement (and they move about quite a bit through the summer of 1863, when they finally relocate to their brothers house in New Orleans). Staying in Baton Rouge would of course result in the their Confederate supporting friends thinking them Unionists, but leaving jeopardizes their property in the town, and their search for a suitable place to stay takes many twists and turns.

SM observes the battle for Baton Rouge Aug 1862 from the other side of the river, sees the gunboats in action, and the Arkansas scuttled. Much of the crew of that ship passes her location.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book for research April 2, 2012
By Bekka
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was a really good source for research I have done for Civil War Reenacting. Great first hand accounts of civilian refugee life. This girl writes very well for her age. Good detail and entertainingly told.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! September 21, 2012
By Terri
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love this book. As a graduate history major, I appreciate how informative it is, yet it is also very entertaining. It reads very much like a novel. The reader gets to follow along with Sarah as she tells of her adventures fleeing and then returning back home, striving to keep some normalcy in life amidst the war's constant uncertainty. She spills her thoughts and emotions honestly onto the pages of her diary. One moment she is reviling the yankees, the next praising them for their consideration. She is constantly worried about her brothers and friends fighting in battles, yet proud of their bravery. The Civil War with all its horror, upheaval, and patriotism come to life and become very personal through the reflections of this young lady. Be sure to read the introduction; it puts the book into context and gives some backstory to the family members.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars well worth reading April 22, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Sarah Morgan’s diary gives us a unique look at the Civil War, and an opportunity to understand the social values of the day and how it affected women. The first book I’ve read from the Confederate point of view, it helps me understand the resentment that still lingers in parts of the South today. Sarah considered it shameful for a woman to state strong opinions in public, so she filled the pages of her diary with her thoughts and emotions, venting them so that she could maintain a proper demeanor. She never intended anyone else to read what she wrote so sometimes it’s a little confusing, but overall it flows well and gives an incredible look into life in Louisiana during the war. Sometimes venomous, sometimes frivolous, the book gives an honest reflection of the mental and emotional turmoil of a young woman who faced danger, deprivation, and the loss of her home, family members, and her whole way of life.

Sarah wrote well and proved herself to be intelligent and well educated despite having little formal education. This was not uncommon; many people of her day, including Abraham Lincoln, educated themselves through reading and grasping every opportunity to better themselves. She held herself to high standards, even refusing physical help from men she did not know after an accident that injured her spine because of the impropriety of it. I noticed that her family’s slaves refused to leave their mistress when offered their freedom—a fact which speaks volumes of her family’s graciousness.

A great companion to this book is Leander Stillwell’s The Story of a Common Soldier of Army Life in the Civil War, 1861-1865. Just a year younger than Sarah, Stillwell was born and raised in a log cabin in Illinois. He cherished the same sort of devotion to the union that she held for the confederacy and with such differing backgrounds and viewpoints his book provides an interesting counterpoint to hers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Confederate Girl's Diary November 24, 2012
By Tony
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An excellent book for those who are interested in the Civil War. Sarah Morgan was very perceptive about what was happening around her during the war, even though she was young and accurate news at the time was scarce. The suffering of innocent civilians is a theme throughout the book. She reminds us of the human side of war as people in the story seem to come to life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Detail About the Civil War November 7, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This first-hand account of the life of a Confederate girl is both interesting and a very informative source of historical facts. As a "Yankee" myself, I have tended to hear mostly "Northern" accounts of the way certain battles were fought and either won or lost. This book actually gave me a chance to see things from the other side of the conflict. Miss Sarah is a most eloquently spoken Southern Belle, and I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to read her diaries, thank Heavens they were never burned, as she originally intended for them!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars couldn't hold my interest
This was boring. I deleted it from my kindle
Published 2 days ago by Callie
4.0 out of 5 stars Grit
Interesting to read how a young girl felt during that tumultuous time. I am amazed at her courage as to losing her home, lifestyle, friends and family. She really had grit.
Published 22 days ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars First hand account of the life of a young lady in the south during the...
This was much better than I had anticipated. Most of the books I had read about the war concerned troop movements, battlefield tactics, etc. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Jay Hamilton
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very interesting.
Published 1 month ago by jacqueline
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Enjoyed it very much. If you like reading about the Civil War , it is worth the read.
Published 1 month ago by Samm E. Brechtel
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good incite to 1860 s life
Published 1 month ago by nickbosh
5.0 out of 5 stars A good look at what the southern women of the civil ...
A good look at what the southern women of the civil war period went through. Her brother Jimmy, who was in the confederate navy, is also mentioned in "The War-Time Journal of a... Read more
Published 1 month ago by RebontheRiver
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Civil War Diary
Excellent diary; gives feelings, thoughts, and history of a witness to the American Civil War. Women were powerless observers during this time. Eye opening reading.
Published 2 months ago by delanolady
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very graphic view of life during the Confederacy.
Published 2 months ago by Ginny
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't let the word 'girl' fool you! She writes well, check out her...
A snapshot of how a southern teenage girl saw the war. Don't let the word teenage affect your view of this work. This youngster writes very well. Read more
Published 2 months ago by AJ Mac
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