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III







Born: March 31, 1823 - Pleasant Hill, South Carolina
Died: Nov. 22, 1886 - Camden, South Carolina


The daughter of a prominent South Carolina political leader, in 1840 she married James Chesnut, Jr., a lawyer, who later served as a U.S. senator from South Carolina, resigning to take an important role in the secession movement and
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Mary Chestnut, A Diary from Dixie
C-SPAN's Video Library: Mary Chestnut
the Confederacy. She had kept a journal since her school days; with the advent of secession, she determined to record events both great and small for the use of future historians. Accompanying her husband, now a staff officer, on his military missions, Chesnut began her conscientious record of her views and observations on Feb. 15, 1861, and closed it on Aug. 2, 1865. An ardent but not blind Southern patriot, she was also a longtime opponent of slavery. Placed in close proximity to most of the military and political leaders of the Confederacy, she employed her intelligence and native writing ability to produce a skillful and vivid
Works by Mary Chesnut
A Diary from Dixie
account of the war from a unique perspective. A portion of her journals was published as A Diary from Dixie in 1905, and a larger edition in 1949. Though not a day-by-day account, it is highly regarded by historians for its perceptive views of the Confederacy's leaders and its insight into wartime Southern society.

Web sites about Mary Chesnut
Mary Boykin Miller Chesnut: 1823-1886, Diarist and Author
Mary Boykin Miller Chesnut Gravesite
The Southern Homefront, 1861-1865 from Documenting the American South



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