A Faithful Heart: The Journals of Emmala Reed, 1865 and 1866
Emmala Reed (1839-1893) may not have watched the unfolding of the Civil War from the front lines, but she nonetheless witnessed the collapse of the Confederacy. With the fall of Charleston and the burning of Columbia, waves of refugees flooded into her hometown of Anderson, South Carolina. Returning Confederate soldiers passed through this isolated settlement to get rations of cornmeal on their journey home, and eventually Union troops occupied the town. All the while this twenty-five-year-old, unmarried woman recorded what she observed from Echo Hall, her family home on Anderson's Main Street. Reed's journals from 1865 and 1866 present a detailed account of life in western South Carolina as war turned to reconstruction. Reed's postwar writings are particularly important given their rarity - many Civil War diarists stopped writing at war's end. As the daughter of Judge Jacob Pinckney Reed, a prominent lawyer, merchant, and prewar Unionist, Reed offers a perspective different from the usual ardent secessionist. than on a plantation or in an urban center. In her journals Reed captures the disheartening, chaotic period known as Presidential Reconstruction, the short span of time between the Confederate surrender and the beginnings of Congressional Reconstruction. She describes the apprehensions of people living in a relatively remote area at the war's end, the wide-eyed, end-of-the-war rumors that circulated throughout the South, and the steady procession of historically noteworthy people who moved through Anderson, many of whom visited her father at Echo Hall. Into her account of public travail Reed intertwines details about her private life. She depicts social engagements, religious events, and school activities while often recording her hope for the return of her longtime suitor. Adding a heart breaking twist to her chronicle, Reed writes candidly of her anguish and humiliation when, at last, he comes home only to marry another.
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A Cover Notes 1865 Journal
Abbeville Anderson County Anderson District April awhile beaux Becky Bleckley Blythewood boys bright brother Brown Broyles Carter Census charades Charleston chatted church Clif Cokesbury Columbia Confederate Cora cousin daughter Dick dream Edgefield County Eleanor Ellison Capers Emmala Fannie Fannie Smith Fant fate fear feel felt friends Georgia girls Greenville guess Hammond happy hear heart hope Jefferson Davis Jim Munro John journals Julia Keith late letters lived looking Lucie Lula Mamie married Mary Mattie Orr McCulley Miss morn Murray Nardin never nice night Pendleton District Pheme pleasant queer rec'd Reed Robert Sallie sang seemed sewing Simpson sing sister Smith soldiers South Carolina South Carolina Senate strange sweet talked Theo Theodore Smith Tom Carter town Traditions Tupper Uncle June Vandiver walked Waller Webb wife Wilhite William wonder Yankee young