The Home Front: 1861 to 1865

Southern Diarists

Does Mrs. Pember tell us anything else that we could not learn without her record?

Yes, She is quite explicit that in the early stages of the war, the wounded Confederate soldier had nothing bad whatsoever to say about his Yankee counterpart. The wounded Confederate might curse the loss of this battle or the results of that skirmish, but there was, in 1862 and 1863, nothing personal in his statements or recounting. This changed in the summer of 1864. When the Confederate wounded were brought from the Battle of the Crater (see page 289), they expressed great anger toward the Northern men.

Perhaps it was the explosions caused by dynamite that led the Confederates to say this was “unfair” and a violation of the rules of war, but equally they were infuriated by the use of black soldiers. Many Confederates claimed they had shot down numerous blacks, but took little pride or pleasure in it, saying this had been a waste of their energies.


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