A Maryland Bride in the Deep South: The Civil War Diary of Priscilla Bond

Priscilla Bond, Author, Kimberly Harrison, Editor Louisiana State University Press $45 (384p) ISBN 978-0-8071-3143-5
In this diary of a Confederate soldier's young wife in Louisiana during the Civil War, Bond writes of courtship, religious faith, and her battle with tuberculosis. Harrison includes Bond's diaries from 1858 to 1865 in full, illustrating Bond's maturation from a 19-year-old leaving her family for the first time to an adult facing the desperate reality of war. In her 60 pages of introductory material, Harrison attempts to justify the inclusion of every ""Oh! How my poor heart ached"" by folding it into cultural theory and history, with section titles like ""Love, Friendship, and Power: The War's Impact on Relationships"" and ""Functions of Literacy and the Diary."" Bond's writing speaks for itself at times, like when she writes of autumn, ""On everything seems to be written 'passing away.' It reminds us of our own bodys,"" but daily descriptions of the weather and teatime visitors bury these small gems. Harrison's intention-to avoid ""appropriating women's words and possibly misrepresenting them""-is commendable, but that is not to say Bond's trivial outpourings won't repel some readers.
Reviewed on: 04/03/2006
Release date: 04/01/2006
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!