Another Year Finds Me in Texas: The Civil War Diary of Lucy Pier Stevens

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University of Texas Press, Feb 23, 2016 - Biography & Autobiography - 367 pages

Lucy Pier Stevens, a twenty-one-year-old woman from Ohio, began a visit to her aunt’s family near Bellville, Texas, on Christmas Day, 1859. Little did she know how drastically her life would change on April 4, 1861, when the outbreak of the Civil War made returning home impossible. Stranded in enemy territory for the duration of the war, how would she reconcile her Northern upbringing with the Southern sentiments surrounding her?

Lucy Stevens’s diary—one of few women’s diaries from Civil War–era Texas and the only one written by a Northerner—offers a unique perspective on daily life at the fringes of America’s bloodiest conflict. An articulate, educated, and keen observer, Stevens took note of seemingly everything—the weather, illnesses, food shortages, parties, church attendance, chores, schools, childbirth, death, the family’s slaves, and political and military news. As she confided her private thoughts to her journal, she unwittingly revealed how her love for her Texas family and the Confederate soldier boys she came to care for blurred her loyalties, even as she continued to long for her home in Ohio. Showing how the ties of heritage, kinship, friendship, and community transcended the sharpest division in US history, this rare diary and Vicki Adams Tongate’s insightful historical commentary on it provide a trove of information on women’s history, Texas history, and Civil War history.

 

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Contents

January 1863
82
February 1863
91
March 1863
98
AprilMay 1863
104
JuneJuly 1863
116
AugustSeptember 1863
136
OctoberDecember 1863
147
JanuaryFebruary 1864
166
JulySeptember 1864
213
OctoberDecember 1864
232
January 1865
243
FebruaryMarch 1865
254
April 116 1865
266
April 17May 4 1865
278
Her World after Texas
303
Bibliography
315

MarchApril 1864
181
MayJune 1864
199

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About the author (2016)

Vicki Adams Tongate teaches full-time at Southern Methodist University, whose DeGolyer Library houses Lucy Pier Stevens’s diary. Tongate’s extensive research on Stevens included meeting with Pier family descendants and correlating Lucy’s diary with the diaries of her aunt Lu Merry Pier and cousin Sarah Pier in the Texas Collection at Baylor University.

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