A Union Woman in Civil War Kentucky: The Diary of Frances by Frances Peter, John Smith Ph.D., William Cooper Jr.

By Frances Peter, John Smith Ph.D., William Cooper Jr.

Frances Peter was once one of many 11 teenagers of Dr. Robert Peter, a health care professional for the Union military. The Peter relatives lived on Gratz Park close to downtown Lexington, the place nineteen-year-old Frances all started recording her impressions of the Civil conflict. as a result of ailment, she didn't usually enterprise outdoors her domestic yet used to be capable of assemble a amazing volume of data from associates, friends, and newspapers. Peter's candid diary chronicles Kentucky's invasion by way of Confederates less than Gen. Braxton Bragg in 1862, Lexington's month-long career by means of Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith, and adjustments in perspective one of the slave inhabitants following the Emancipation Proclamation. As troops from either North and South took turns preserving the town, she again and again emphasised the rightness of the Union reason and minced no phrases in expressing her disdain for the hated ""secesh."" Her writings articulate many issues universal to Kentucky Unionists. even though she was once an ardent supporter of the conflict opposed to the Confederacy, Peter additionally fearful that Lincoln's use of authority handed his constitutional rights. Her personal attitudes in the direction of blacks have been ambiguous, as used to be the case with many of us in that point. Peter's descriptions of day-by-day occasions in an occupied urban offer worthwhile insights and a special female standpoint on an underappreciated point of the warfare. till her loss of life by means of epileptic seizure in August 1864, Peter rigorously recorded the placement and deportment of either Union and accomplice infantrymen, incidents on the army hospitals, and tales from the nation-state. Her account of a torn and divided quarter is a window to the conflict throughout the gaze of a tender girl of intelligence and substance.

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Knopf, 1966}; Anne Firor Scott, The Southern Lady: From Pedestal to Politics, 183G-1930 (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1970}; and Bell Irvin Wiley, Conftderate Women (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1975). For a contextual analysis of this work, see Jean V. Berlin, "Introduction to the Bison Book Edition," Mary Elizabeth Massey, Women in the Civil War (Lincoln: Univ. of Nebraska Press, 1994}, vii-xvi. 15. Whites, The Civil War as a Crisis in Gender, 4. Despite the current trend of women's historians to emphasize gender-based discontent, two recent works-Daniel E.

Danville, the Boyle County seat, is southwest of Lexington. See John E. , The Kentucky Encyclopedia (Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 1992), 252. 4. First used as a training camp, this place (located west of Columbus, Ohio) was later more important as a Federal prison camp. In 1863 about 8,000 Confederate prisoners were confined there. See Mark Boatner, The Civil War Dictionary (New York: David McKay Company, 1969), 117. WEDNESDAY }AN 22ND 1862 ... Col. Mundys cavalry leaves here today for London.

The secesh have had to stay at home for the last two days but today thinking martial law was over (Major Brachts proclamation had only declared it for 48 hours) they ventured out & about 50 were imprisoned in • 21. The Diary of Frances Peter the court house yard, under another proclamation which declared that all persons that were not union, did not belong to any volunteer company or were not willing to enlist in one were to be arrested.... A man was taken up last night for carrying the secesh mail.

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