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Mary Chesnut's Diary
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About the Author

Mary Boykin Chesnut (1823-1886) was the daughter of a prominent South Carolina politician and attended private schools in her youth. In 1840 she married James Chesnut, Jr., who would play an important role in the secession movement and the Confederacy. After her husband became an officer in the Confederate army, she accompanied him on his military missions and recorded her views and observations in her journal. Her Diary from Dixie, a perceptive view of Southern life during the American Civil War, was published in 1905.

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"[Mary Boykin Chesnut's] take on the Civil War, the run-up to it, and the nation's eventual collapse into the chaos of war, are profound and insightful. There's much to be learned from her thoughts-even today."
-James McBride, author of The Good Lord Bird and Deacon King Kong

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