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A Woman's Wartime Journal An account of the passage over a Georgia plantation of Sherman's army on the march to the sea, as recorded in the diary of Dolly Sumner Lunt   By:

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Transcriber's Note: Inconsistent hyphenation in the original document has been preserved. Obvious typographical errors have been corrected. For a complete list, please see the end of this document.

A WOMAN'S WARTIME JOURNAL

[Illustration]

A WOMAN'S WARTIME JOURNAL

AN ACCOUNT OF THE PASSAGE OVER A GEORGIA PLANTATION OF SHERMAN'S ARMY ON THE MARCH TO THE SEA, AS RECORDED IN THE DIARY OF

DOLLY SUMNER LUNT (Mrs. Thomas Burge)

With an Introduction and Notes by JULIAN STREET

[Illustration]

NEW YORK THE CENTURY CO. 1918

Copyright, 1918, by THE CENTURY CO.

INTRODUCTION

Though Southern rural life has necessarily changed since the Civil War, I doubt that there is in the entire South a place where it has changed less than on the Burge Plantation, near Covington, Georgia. And I do not know in the whole country a place that I should rather see again in springtime the Georgia springtime, when the air is like a tonic vapor distilled from the earth, from pine trees, tulip trees, balm of Gilead trees (or "bam" trees, as the negroes call them), blossoming Judas trees, Georgia crab apple, dogwood pink and white, peach blossom, wistaria, sweet shrub, dog violets, pansy violets, Cherokee roses, wild honeysuckle, azalia, and the evanescent green of new treetops, all carried in solution in the sunlight.

It is indicative of the fidelity of the plantation to its old traditions that though more than threescore springs have come and gone since Sherman and his army crossed the red cottonfields surrounding the plantation house, and though the Burge family name died out, many years ago, with Mrs. Thomas Burge, a portion of whose wartime journal makes up the body of this book, the place continues to be known by her name and her husband's, as it was when they resided there before the Civil War. Some of the negroes mentioned in the journal still live in cabins on the plantation, and almost all the younger generation are the children or grandchildren of Mrs. Burge's former slaves.

Mrs. Burge (Dolly Sumner Lunt) was born September 29, 1817, in Bowdoinham, Maine. That she was brought up in New England, in the heart of the abolitionist movement, and that she was a relative of Charles Sumner, consistent foe of the South, lends peculiar interest to the sentiments on slavery expressed in her journal. As a young woman she moved from Maine to Georgia, where her married sister was already settled. While teaching school in Covington she met Thomas Burge, a plantation owner and gentleman of the Old South, and presently married him. When some years later Mr. Burge died, Mrs. Burge was left on the plantation with her little daughter Sarah (the "Sadai" of the journal) and her slaves, numbering about one hundred. Less than three years after she was widowed the Civil War broke out, and in 1864 this cultivated and charming woman saw Sherman's army pass across her fields on the March to the Sea.

At the time of my visit to the plantation the world was aghast over the German invasion of Belgium, the horrors of which had but recently been fully revealed and confirmed.... What, then, I began to wonder, must life have been in this part of Georgia, when Sherman's men came by? What must it have been to the woman and the little girl living on these acres, in this very house? For though Germany's assault was upon an unoffending neutral state and was the commencement of a base war, whereas Sherman's March through Georgia was an invasion of what was then the enemy's country for the purpose of "breaking the back" of that enemy and thus terminating the war, nevertheless "military necessity" was the excuse in either case for a campaign of deliberate destruction which, in the State of Georgia, was measured by Sherman himself at one hundred millions... Continue reading book >>




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