August 21, 2019  
LearningDiary of Richard Carr McClementDiary ExtractsGender  
Diary Extracts: Gender

Extract 1: Confederate women during the American Civil War

(All extracts taken from GB 0240 FA/67/3)


Extract 1: Confederate women during the American Civil War

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[p 236]

HMS Galatea  Fort Monroe
January 27, 1865 

10.AM. A party of Southern Ladies (about twenty) came
down the river in steamer accompanied by Lieut
Butler and Dr Wilson. 11.AM the Federal Admiral
“Faragut” arrived in “The Roads” and was saluted with
fourteen guns. Before the salute was fired the
Ladies expressed an unwillingness to be present
while “a Federal” was being saluted. Finding
that they could not avoid being present as their
steamer was lying off at some distance they
declared their feelings in language becoming the
lasting hate of “dear woman” and held their fingers
in their ears while the salute was being fired.
One lady, a niece of Admiral “Faraguts” exclaimed
“put a shot in that gun and let me pull the
trigger and be the means of sinking rather than
saluting “The Yankee”. Showed these ladies
over “The Galatea” which afforded them great
apparent delight as might be expected from
her beautiful arrangements between decks
and in the engine room. 1.PM gave them a
lunch and immediately afterwards a dance
- the band playing all the time. 2 PM The
Commandant (Federal) of Fortress Monroe, his wife,
and sisters in law, and two subordinate officers
came on board. The Confederate ladies were at
this time in the Ward Room at Lunch but on
their (The Federal party) leaving at 3 P.M. they were on
the main deck: the Confederate ladies evinced a
bitterness that civil war and its results alone
could excuse. One of the Federal ladies bowed to
a Confederate lady who, probably, she recognized
as an old friend before the war broke out, but
the latter maintained a leaden manner, looking pale
and the very perfection of bitter resentment while
the others lowly hissed and used expressions which
tended to express their sufferings from the war and
disbelief in any civility from a Federal.
I feared that our ship should be compromised
under the circumstances and explained this to
those near me which had the desired effect
 This peculiar incident can only be fully appreciated

[p 236]

p 236


[p 237]

when it is understood that not one of these
ladies has not lost a brother, father, uncle
of a child in this disastrous war and in
addition have now their nearest friends
in prison. One lady of the party has her husband
and fiver brothers at present fighting.
 Their estates are either in the hands of the
Federal or lying waste. Their town (Norfolk)
is now in the hands of the Federals and they
are only permitted to remain in it by
subscribing to a kind of oath of allegiance to
their enemy’s government.



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