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Mary Boykin Chesnut

  • We are divorced, North from South, because we have hated each other so. If we could only separate politely, and not have a horrid fight for divorce.

  • I think this journal will be disadvantageous for me, for I spend my time now like a spider spinning my own entrails, instead of reading as my habit was in all spare moments.

  • Threatened men live long.

  • A freshet in the autumn does not compensate for a drought in the spring.

  • Of all our sorrows, memory is the worst.

  • Youth is a blunder, manhood a struggle, old age is one long regret!

  • To think there are men who dare so defile a church, a sacred sanctuary dedicated to God. We have to hold up our skirts and walk tiptoe, so covered is the floor, the aisle and pews, with the dark shower of tobacco juice.

  • Peace, comfort, quiet, happiness, I have found away from home. Only your own family, those nearest and dearest, can hurt you.

  • Is the sea drying up? It is going up into mist and coming down on us in this water spout, the rain. It raineth every day, and the weather represents our tearful despair on a large scale.

Mary Boykin Chesnut, Confederate diarist

(1823 - 1886)