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Showing posts from June, 2018


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The White House of the Confederacy: President Davis and General Lee in Richmond.

by Mrs. Jefferson Davis.

In July [1862] we moved to the "old Brockenbrough house," and began to feel somewhat more at home when walking through the old-fashioned terraced garden or the large airy rooms in the seclusion of family life.
The mansion stands on the brow of a steep and very high hill, that is sharply defined against the plain at its foot through which runs the Danville Railway, that leads to the heart of Virginia. On this plain, where the working class lived exclusively, the "Butcher Cats" laid in wait for, and were sworn to eternal enmity against, the "Hill Cats." These high contending parties had an hereditary hate which had impelled them for nearly a hundred years to fight, whenever close enough, with either stones or fists to strike. They were the children of the poor against the gentlemen's sons.
The house is very large, but the rooms are comparatively few, as some of them are over forty feet square. The ceilings are high, the windows wid…

The Story of My Life by Helen Keller

The Story of My Life  by  Helen Keller 
Chapter I
IT is with a kind of fear that I begin to write the history of my life. I have, as it were, a superstitious hesitation in lifting the veil that clings about my childhood like a golden mist. The task of writing an autobiography is a difficult one. When I try to classify my earliest impressions, I find that fact and fancy look alike across the years that link the past with the present. The woman paints the child's experiences in her own fantasy. A few impressions stand out vividly from the first years of my life; but "the shadows of the prison house are on the rest." Besides, many of the joys and sorrows of childhood have lost their poignancy; and many incidents of vital importance in my early education have been forgotten in the excitement of great discoveries. In order, therefore, not to be tedious I shall try to present in a series of sketches only the episodes that seem to me to be the most interesting and important.
I was b…

The Son of Light Horse Harry

by  James Barnes
XV Gathering Clouds
IT was the autumn of 1859. Lee was once more at Arlington. The years since the Mexican War had been passed in strict attention to his military duties, with which he had allowed no side issues to interfere. Immediately after his return to the States, in 1848, he had been employed on the defences being constructed at Baltimore. He had refused the leadership of the Cuban insurrection, offered him by the republican junta, and he had declined also, at first, the offer of the superintendency of the Military Academy at West Point, in 1852. But so convinced were the authorities of the necessity of improving the general condition then existing at the Academy, and so firm was their belief in Lee's abilities, that they insisted upon his reconsidering his decision, and he accepted at last with reluctance. His administration was marked by an improvement in discipline and by the lengthening of the course to five years. While he was at the Academy he had seen his…

The Southern States of the American Union

by  Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry
Chapter XIV War Between the States
Of the protracted and terrible conflict which supervened, it is not my plan or purpose to write. To most persons it came unexpectedly. It was generally believed that the North would welcome a release from further responsibility for the "barbarism and crime of slavery," and that the "wayward sisters," as Horace Greeley in the Tribune advised, would be allowed "to depart in peace."
South Carolina sent a commission to Washington to adjust all questions of dispute between her and the United States. One of the first acts of the Confederate government was to accredit agents to visit Washington and use all honorable means to obtain a satisfactory settlement of all differences. Both efforts failed. Peace Congresses were alike impotent for good. It would avail nothing now to seek to explain the criminations and recriminations on both sides. The passions and prejudices of men were too inflamed for calm nego…

A South Carolina Girl's Recollections of the First Year of the War.

A South Carolina Girl's Recollections of the First Year of the War.
Nullification, States' rights, etc., and the principles thereof were as household words to most South Carolina children; but I having had the misfortune to lose my father when little more than a baby, knew nothing of politics; although I had often heard the days of 1832 discussed, and how the State should have nullified and did not. Therefore, it was not surprising that secession was almost an accomplished fact before I knew very much about it. My brother, a young man of 23, was most enthusiastic, and in his eyes South Carolina could never be wrong; but even from him, I heard but little. The English teacher at the school I attended was a red-hot secessionist, and from her I may say I received my political impressions; and can recall when, one day at dinner, a political discussion going on, I, a shy, awkward, silent girl, ventured a remark, my brother's surprise as he asked me, ''Where did you hear t…