“You are a black-hearted traitor,” she almost screamed at me in the street, this well-bred girl! “My money is just as good as coin you’ll see! Go to Yankee land. It will suit you better with your sordid views and want of faith, than the generous South.”
“Well,” I replied, “when I think of going, I’ll come to you for a letter of introduction to your grandfather in Yankee land.” I said good-morning and turned down another street in a sort of a maze, trying to put myself in her place and see what there was sordid in my advice.
Luckily I met Mrs. B. to turn the current of thought. She was very merry. The city authorities have been searching houses for fire-arms. It is a good way to get more guns, and the homes of those men suspected of being Unionists were searched first. Of course they went to Dr. B.’s. He met them with his own delightful courtesy. “Wish to search for arms? Certainly, gentlemen.” He conducted them through all the house with smiling readiness, and after what seemed a very thorough search bowed them politely out. His gun was all the time safely reposing between the canvas folds of a cot-bed which leaned folded up together against the wall, in the very room where they had ransacked the closets. Queerly, the rebel families have been the ones most anxious to conceal all weapons. They have dug pits quietly at night in the back yards, and carefully wrapping the weapons, buried them out of sight. Every man seems to think he will have some private fighting to do to protect his family.
Friday, Jan. 24, 1862. (On steamboat W., Mississippi River.)—With a changed name I open you once more, my journal. It was a sad time to wed, when one knew not how long the expected conscription would spare the bridegroom. The women-folk knew how to sympathize with a girl expected to prepare for her wedding in three days, in a blockaded city, and about to go far from any base of supplies. They all rallied round me with tokens of love and consideration, and sewed, shopped, mended, and packed, as if sewing soldier clothes. They decked the whole house and the church with flowers. Music breathed, wine sparkled, friends came and went. It seemed a dream, and comes up now and again out of the afternoon sunshine where I sit on deck. The steamboat slowly plows its way through lumps of floating ice,—a novel sight to me,—and I look forward wondering whether the new people I shall meet will be as fierce about the war as those in New Orleans. That past is to be all forgiven and forgotten; I understood thus the kindly acts that sought to brighten the threshold of a new life.