Friday, February 22, 2013

February 22, 1863: The diary of Sarah Morgan Dawson



As Union forces prepare to advance on Port Hudson, Louisiana, Sarah Morgan Dawson and her family tried to decide where they would refugee to--Sarah's first choice was Augusta, Georgia where she imagined she would be safe from any Yankee incursion.
Sunday, February 22d, 1863.

Mother has come to me! O how glad I was to see her this morning! And the Georgia project, which I dared not speak of for fear it should be mere talk and nothing more, is a reality.—Yes! we are actually going! I can hardly believe that such good fortune as getting out of that wretched Clinton really awaits us. Perhaps I shall not like Augusta either; a stranger in a strange city is not usually enchanted with everything one beholds; but still—a change of scene—a new country—new people—it is worth while! Shall we really go? Will some page in this book actually record "Augusta, Georgia"? No! I dare not believe it! Yet the mere thought has given me strength within the last two weeks to attempt to walk. Learning to walk at my age! Is it not amusing? But the smallest baby knows more about it than I did at first. Of course, I knew one foot was to be put before the other; but the question was how it was to be done when they would not go? I have conquered that difficulty, however, and can now walk almost two yards, if some one holds me fast.

Sunset. Will [Pinckney] has this instant left. Ever since dinner he has been vehemently opposing the Georgia move, insisting that it will cost me my life, by rendering me a confirmed cripple. He says he could take care of me, but no one else can, so I must not be moved. I am afraid his arguments have about shaken mother's resolution. Pshaw! it will do me good! I must go. It will not do to remain here. Twenty-seven thousand Yankees are preparing to march on Port Hudson, and this place will certainly be either occupied by them, or burned. To go to Clinton is to throw myself in their hands, so why not one grand move to Augusta?

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