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The Recollections of Margaret Cabell Brown Loughborough: A Southern Woman's Memories of Richmond, VA and Washington, DC in the Civil War Paperback – December 8, 2009
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The book is based on Margaret Loughborough's article written for the Montgomery County, Maryland chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy when she was 80. It is social history seen through the eyes of a Virginia-born lady married to a Washingtonian who throws in his lot with the Confederacy. Those familiar with today's Washington northwest neighborhoods will also be fascinated by images of rolling fields, prosperous farms, and even slave-based plantations not unlike what could then be found just beyond the Potomac River.
Those familiar with the famed Civil War diarist, Mary Chesnut, will recognize uncanny similarities. Margaret Loughborough recalls events from the perspective of a newlywed separated from her soldier husband by the exigencies of war and forced to survive by toiling away at jobs not then open to women, some not exactly suited to a woman born into Virginia's landed aristocracy. Mary Chesnut, the wife of a high ranking Confederate official, eventually leads a life not dissimilar to Margaret's, one tempered by wartime inflation, worthless currency, privation, and food shortages. Both witness and chronicle the ebb and flow, and finally the slow, strangulating death of the Confederate experiment gone awry.Read more ›
So I read this with a personal interest but I also read it as one who had heard stories of the struggles that occurred within families. War is never pleasant or polite as many of us were led to believe. Brothers were fighting on both sides of this conflict and feared to go home to see parents as their sibling from the enemy might be there. Sisters could not speak to each other as their husbands were on opposite sides of this conflict. The simple act of sending socks to a family member was enough to land one in prison for months.
I hope that many will read this book and learn of the reality of war and the great upheaval that happens in the midst of war. It was interesting that many years after the war was over Margaret wrote her recollections and was very careful about what she said fearing that even after many years there might be reprisals against family members who lived in Washington DC and were sympathetic to the South.
I also wish as does Mr. Johnston that Margaret's diary had not been lost.Read more ›