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A Virginia Girl in the Civil War
Being a Record of the Actual Experiences of the
Wife of a Confederate Officer

by Marta Lockett Avary

Copyright 2004, The Narrative Press
219 pages, Softcover, 8.5"x5.5"

From the back cover:
A Virginia Girl in the Civil War, first published in 1903, offers an extraordinary glimpse inside the mind of a Confederate officer's young wife during the Civil War. The story, collected "over teacups" and written down by Marta Lockett Avary, is the first-hand account of Nellie, and alias invented by Avary to protect the narrator. Nellie was born to a banker in Norfolk, and married officer Dan Grey when she was seventeen.

     I had my husband, and ah! how happy we were - how glad we both were that I had met Dan Grey! We did not go to housekeeping at once. In the first place, I did not know anything about housekeeping and I didn't want Dan to find it out; in the second place, we wanted to look around before we settled upon a house; and in the third, and what was to me the smallest place, the country was in a very unsettled condition.

Not long after her marriage, the Civil War began and Nellie often accompanied her husband as he traveled around the South. She describes the behavior and characteristics of Confederate officers and soldiers away from the battlefield, and includes a look at her encounters and friendship with General J.E.B. Stuart.

     Lee's army and "Fighting Joe" Hooker's were grappling with each other there like tigers in a jungle. Stuart, our great cavalry leader, had caught up Jackson's mantle as it fell, and was riding around in that valley of death, charging his men to "Remember Jackson!" Then came news of victory and Richmond was wild with woe as well. In many homes were vacant chairs because of that battle in the Wilderness, and from Petersburg, twenty miles away, came the sound of mourning. Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted because they were not.

Though they were separated from each other on occasion, the narrative closes with the reunion of Dan and Nellie following the Confederacy's surrender.

     The third night as I laid my aching head on the pillow I said: "Mother, if he don't come home tomorrow, the next day I start out to look for him." Do you know how it is to feel in your sleep that some one is looking at you? This is the sort of sensation that aroused me the next morning, and I opened my eyes in the early dawn to find my husband standing by the bed with clasped hands looking down at me. Ah, we were happy - we were happy! Ragged, defeated, broken, we had but each other and that was enough.

Packed with adventure and struggle, pain and joy and the sensitive, feminine perspective so often missing from historical works, A Virginia Girl in the Civil War is a genuine "Gone with the Wind."

Book condition: This is a new "remainder" book. A remainder is a book that may have been unsold by the publisher, or it may have been an "unsold" return from a bookstore. It may have minor shelf wear on the cover, or other mild imperfection. We do not ship books with major damage. No remainder mark.


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