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Candace Corrigan
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Murfreesboro, TN 37130

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Radio Portraits inspired from women's diaries written 1779-1959

L. Virginia French 1825-1881
Civil War Journal 1860-1865

In 1860, Virginia French began writing a Civil War journal while living on a plantation outside of McMinnville, TN. The journal, available at the Tennessee State Archives, ends a few months after the death of Abraham Lincoln. Her cinematic accounts describe the difficulties of the Federal occupation and the terrible realities of a war fought in her country, her state and her front yard.

Civil War Journal

Looking back on this evening all these many years
To the bride I was ten years ago
When my Darlin' and I were commencing our lives
Down the river of life we did go
And Darlin' and I are now ten times in love
More devoted than ever before
But I pray that this radiant love can survive
In this terrible climate of war

When Nashville surrendered I'll always remember
Was the first day I thought we were lost
I shouted to show Southern powder and steel
Now I shudder to think of the cost
The Yankee invaders are worse than the plague
Eating all that's in sight till it's gone
All we have left to live on is rumors and fear
And the difficult times to go on

I was waiting one day by the rock on the hillside
My Darlin' was comin' up to
With the tenderest tears in his eyes as he saw me
Into his arms I flew
Reluctant to leave me and more like a lover
I noticed his gold wedding band
His fingers so thin that the ring that I gave him
Was slipping right off of his hand

One night in our parlor came soldiers in gray
And a beautiful banner was shown
In the finest of silk it was taken in battle
By ladies up North it was sewn
The flag that I once loved not so long before
and would cheer it in any parade
And I started to weep at the thought of it's capture
And the foolish mistake we have made

Song Source:
A Civil War Journal 1860-1865
by L.Virginia French, Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, TN

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