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As Chestnut had no children, before his death on November 22, 1886, she gave his diary to his close friend Isabella D (John T. Marck). Martin and urged him to publish it. The diary was first published in 1905 as a heavily edited and condensed edition. Guillermo's version was described as more readable, but sacrificing historical reliability and many of Chesnut's literary references. The version by C. Vann Woodward retained more of his original work, provides a description of his life and society in the "Introduction", and was annotated to fully identify the large cast of characters, sites and events (John T. Marck).
Chesnut used his diary and notes to work towards a final version in 1881-1884 (Wikipedia). Based on his sketches, historians do not believe that his work is finished. He created literature keeping the meaning of the unfolding of events; he described people in insight and animation of terms and communicated a novelistic sense of events. Chesnut captured the growing difficulties of all classes of the Confederation since society faced failure at the end of the war (Wikipedia). Chestnut was aware of the historical importance of what she witnessed (“Mary Chesnut’s Civil War”). The newspaper was full of the cycle of fortunes that change from the South during the Civil War.
Chesnut corrected it and wrote new sketches in 1881-1884 for publication and retained the sense of unfolding events without prior knowledge. He had the sense of the survival of the South of his time in an international arena. Politically conscious, Chesnut analyzed and portrayed several classes of the South during the war years. He portrayed Southern society in detail and studied the varied roles of men and women. It was direct about complex and full situations related to slavery, in particular abuses of sexuality and power.
For example, Chesnut spoke of the problem of the children of mixed race who breed from white planters with enslaved women within their extended houses (“Mary Chesnut’s Civil War”). Mary Boykin Chesnut began her diary on February 18, 1861 and completed it on June 26, 1865. (“Mary Chesnut’s Civil War”). She witnessed many historical events when she accompanied her husband from important places of the Civil War. Among them were Montgomery, Alabama and Richmond, Virginia, where the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States of America convened; Charleston, where he was among witnesses to the first shots of the Civil War; Colombia, South Carolina, where her husband served as the Chief of the South Carolina Military Department and as a brigadier general in the South Carolina reserve forces command; and again Richmond, where her husband served as an assistant to the president. Sometimes they also lived with their parents-in-law at their home in the Blackberry Plantation near Camden. While the property was relatively isolated on thousands of acres of plantation and forest, they entertained many guests (Wikipedia). At the age of seventeen, Miller married Chesnut on April 23, 1840.
James Chesnut was elected an American Senator from South Carolina and served as such until the secession of South Carolina from the Union in 1860. As Mary Chesnut describes in her diary, Chesnuts had an extensive group of friends and known in the superior society of the South and the government of the Confederation (John T. Marck). Mary Boykin Miller was born on March 31, 1823, on the plantation of her maternal grandparents, called Mount Pleasant, near Stateburg, South Carolina, in the High Hills of Santee. His parents were Mary Boykin (1804-85) and Stephen Decatur Miller (1788-1838), who had served as an American representative (Wikipedia).
In 1829 the governor of South Carolina was elected and in 1831 as an American Senator. The family then lived in Charleston. Mary was the oldest of four children; I had a younger brother Stephen and two sisters: Catherine and Sarah Amelia.
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