University of North Carolina Press
Steven Stowe examines the published diaries of twenty women who “wrote the war” in the South in an effort to make sense of the catastrophic events playing out in their region, communities, and homes. Diary-keeping was also a way to self-soothe, discharge nervous energy, and work out anxieties with a constant “companion,” and writing was an emotional anchor in times when change was the only constant thing. Diaries were also way that women, trained to be seen-and-not-heard, could have a (silent) voice, but a permanent one, creating a war record, a memorial of When the World Ended. Diaries are personal histories and genteel southern women fell hard off of their pedestal and wrote about the collapse of what they knew and what they expected with fiery, witty, and often funny entries that most never intended for us to read.
"Keep the Days: Reading the Civil War Diaries of Southern Women,"
Civil War Book Review: Vol. 20
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lsu.edu/cwbr/vol20/iss4/24