April 1

A disappointing day; weather quite fine this morning; commenced raining about noon and has continued all day; was relieved from picket about 1 p. m. by the One Hundred and Thirty-eighth Pennsylvania Infantry; marched to the bridge the other side of Culpeper and waited for the officer of the day, but soon found to our disgust that he had gone to camp. He's no soldier! ought to be court-martialed!

April 1, 1864

Friday. Moving day at home. Our folks will get into their new home to-day, and I wish I was there to help settle them down in it. It will be their first move without me since I was big enough to help.

I slept late this morning, till long after breakfast, and then, having nothing to get up for, lay and dozed until dinner time. Tony had my clothes brushed and my boots blacked and felt much worse than I did because I had lost my breakfast. I told him I would make it up for dinner, and I did. The river is full of boats now.

April First

Hidden no longer
In moss-covered ledges,
Starring the wayside,
Under the hedges,
Violet, Pimpernel,
Flashing with dew,
Daisy and Asphodel
Blossom anew.

Down in the bosky dells
Everywhere,
Faintly their fairy bells
Chime in the air.
Thanks to the sunshine!
Thanks to the showers!
They come again, bloom again,
Beautiful flowers!
Theophilus Hunter Hill
(Author of the first book published under copyright of the Confederate Government )

 

Battle of Five Forks, Virginia, 1865

 

 

April 1, 1863

Nothing worth writing for a few days. To-day those we left at quarantine came up looking hale and hearty. Most of them have had smallpox or varioloid. The weather is warm and the boys who have been out of camp report alligators are plenty in the swamp back of us, and snakes of many kinds also. I am rambling about camp nowadays, but am not discharged from the hospital yet. General Neal Dow found a place next door to camp to-day where liquor is sold. He took every bottle he could find and smashed them across the porch rail after first locking up the landlord. Camp is being cleared and every precaution taken to keep away yellow fever. There is none of it yet, but it is expected this summer on account of so many soldiers that are new to the climate. Lew Holmes has been worse for some days and we fear we shall lose him yet.

Midnight. I am sitting up to let a tired out nurse get a nap. Holmes died a few minutes ago. He tried to tell me something, but his tongue was so swelled I could not understand what he said. He pulled me clear down to his face and his breath was awful. I pretended to understand, and he settled back as if satisfied and only breathed a few times more. His troubles are over, and those of his old father and mother and his wife and child will begin when the news reaches them. I am glad they did not see the end.

Diaries

Thursday, 1.

Come again into my study, having sat some time for greater comfort in the sunnier east room by an open fire, as needful in our climate, almost, as in that of changeable England. Busy days these last, with a little something to show for them. After all, I am here most at home, and myself surrounded by friendly pictures and books, free to follow the mood of the moment,—read, write, recreate. I wish more came of it all. Here are these voluminous diaries, showy seen from without, with far too little of life transcribed within. Was it the accident of being shown, when a boy, in the old oaken cabinet, my mother's little journal, that set me out in this chase of myself, continued almost uninterruptedly, and now fixed by habit as a part of the day, like the rising and setting of the sun? Yet it has educated me into whatever skill I possess with the pen, I know not to how much besides; has made me emulous of attaining the art of portraying my thoughts, occupations, surroundings, friendships; and could I succeed in sketching to the life a single day's doings, should esteem myself as having accomplished the chiefest feat in literature. Yet the nobler the life and the busier, the less, perhaps, gets written, and that which is, the less rewards perusal.

"Life's the true poem could it be writ,

Yet who can live at once and utter it."

All is in the flowing moments. But who shall arrest these and fix the features of the passing person behind the pageantry, and write the diary of one's existence?

April 1

April 1, 1870.--I am inclined to believe that for a woman love is the supreme authority--that which judges the rest and decides what is good or evil. For a man, love is subordinate to right. It is a great passion, but it is not the source of order, the synonym of reason, the criterion of excellence. It would seem, then, that a woman places her ideal in the perfection of love, and a man in the perfection of justice. It was in this sense that St. Paul was able to say, "The woman is the glory of the man, and the man is the glory of God." Thus the woman who absorbs herself in the object of her love is, so to speak, in the line of nature; she is truly woman, she realizes her fundamental type. On the contrary, the man who should make life consist in conjugal adoration, and who should imagine that he has lived sufficiently when he has made himself the priest of a beloved woman, such a one is but half a man; he is despised by the world, and perhaps secretly disdained by women themselves. The woman who loves truly seeks to merge her own individuality in that of the man she loves. She desires that her love should make him greater, stronger, more masculine, and more active. Thus each sex plays its appointed part: the woman is first destined for man, and man is destined for society. Woman owes herself to one, man owes himself to all; and each obtains peace and happiness only when he or she has recognized this law and accepted this balance of things. The same thing may be a good in the woman and an evil in the man, may be strength in her, weakness in him.

There is then a feminine and a masculine morality--preparatory chapters, as it were, to a general human morality. Below the virtue which is evangelical and sexless, there is a virtue of sex. And this virtue of sex is the occasion of mutual teaching, for each of the two incarnations of virtue makes it its business to convert the other, the first preaching love in the ears of justice, the second justice in the ears of love. And so there is produced an oscillation and an average which represent a social state, an epoch, sometimes a whole civilization.

Such at least is our European idea of the harmony of the sexes in a graduated order of functions. America is on the road to revolutionize this ideal by the introduction of the democratic principle of the equality of individuals in a general equality of functions. Only, when there is nothing left but a multitude of equal individualities, neither young nor old, neither men nor women, neither benefited nor benefactors--all social difference will turn upon money. The whole hierarchy will rest upon the dollar, and the most brutal, the most hideous, the most inhuman of inequalities will be the fruit of the passion for equality. What a result! Plutolatry--the worship of wealth, the madness of gold--to it will be confided the task of chastising a false principle and its followers. And plutocracy will be in its turn executed by equality. It would be a strange end for it, if Anglo-Saxon individualism were ultimately swallowed up in Latin socialism.

It is my prayer that the discovery of an equilibrium between the two principles may be made in time, before the social war, with all its terror and ruin, overtakes us. But it is scarcely likely. The masses are always ignorant and limited, and only advance by a succession of contrary errors. They reach good only by the exhaustion of evil. They discover the way out, only after having run their heads against all other possible issues.