The War-time Journal of a Georgia Girl, 1864-1865
In the fall of 1864 General Sherman and his army cut a ruinous swath across Georgia, and outraged Southerners steeled themselves for defeat. Threatened by the approach of the Union army, young Eliza Frances Andrews and her sister Metta fled from their home in Washington, Georgia, to comparative safety in the southwestern part of the state. The daughter of a prominent judge who disapproved of secession, Eliza kept a diary that fully registers the anger and despair of Confederate citizens during the last months of the Civil War. Traveling across Georgia, Eliza observes Sherman’s devastation. A lively social life is maintained at her eldest sister’s plantation, where she and Metta take refuge, but Eliza’s sense of doom is clear. Rumors are rife—the fall of Richmond, the surrender of General Lee, the imminent approach of the Yankees. On returning to the family home, she sees the Old South crumble before her eyes. The War-Time Journal of a Georgia Girl depicts the chaos and tumult of a period when invaders and freed slaves swarmed in the streets, starved and beaten soldiers asked for food at houses with little or none, and currency was worthless. Eliza’s agony is complicated by political differences with her beloved father. Edited and first published nearly a half century after the Civil War, her diary is a passionate firsthand record.
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