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Another Year Finds Me in Texas

Another Year Finds Me in Texas
The Civil War Diary of Lucy Pier Stevens

One of few women’s diaries from Civil War–era Texas and the only one written by a Northerner, this previously unpublished journal offers a unique perspective on daily life and the ties that transcended sectional loyalties during America’s most divisive conflict

Series: Published in Cooperation with the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University

February 2016
Active (available)
$29.95
367 pages | 6 x 9 | 12 b&w photos, 1 b&w map |
ISBN: 
978-1-4773-0846-2
Description: 

Lucy Pier Stevens, a twenty-one-year-old woman from Ohio, began a visit to her aunt’s family near Bellville, Texas, on Christmas Day, 1859. Little did she know how drastically her life would change on April 4, 1861, when the outbreak of the Civil War made returning home impossible. Stranded in enemy territory for the duration of the war, how would she reconcile her Northern upbringing with the Southern sentiments surrounding her?

Lucy Stevens’s diary—one of few women’s diaries from Civil War–era Texas and the only one written by a Northerner—offers a unique perspective on daily life at the fringes of America’s bloodiest conflict. An articulate, educated, and keen observer, Stevens took note of seemingly everything—the weather, illnesses, food shortages, parties, church attendance, chores, schools, childbirth, death, the family’s slaves, and political and military news. As she confided her private thoughts to her journal, she unwittingly revealed how her love for her Texas family and the Confederate soldier boys she came to care for blurred her loyalties, even as she continued to long for her home in Ohio. Showing how the ties of heritage, kinship, friendship, and community transcended the sharpest division in US history, this rare diary and Vicki Adams Tongate’s insightful historical commentary on it provide a trove of information on women’s history, Texas history, and Civil War history.

Awards: 

Recipient of a Publication Award from The San Antonio Conservation Society

Contents: 
  • Acknowledgements
  • Editorial Practices
  • Map of Texas
  • Dramatis Personae
  • Timeline
  • Introduction. Lucy: Herself, Her Family, Her Friends
    • Her Texas World
    • Her Diary
  • Chapter 1. January 1863
  • Chapter 2. February 1863
  • Chapter 3. March 1863
  • Chapter 4. April–May 1863
  • Chapter 5. June–July 1863
  • Chapter 6. August–September 1863
  • Chapter 7. October–December 1863
  • Chapter 8. January–February 1864
  • Chapter 9. March–April 1864
  • Chapter 10. May–June 1864
  • Chapter 11. July–September 1864
  • Chapter 12. October–December 1864
  • Chapter 13. January 1865
  • Chapter 14. February–March 1865
  • Chapter 15. April 1–16, 1865
  • Chapter 16. April 17–May 4, 1865
  • Lucy: Her World after Texas
  • Bibliography
  • Index
Excerpts: 

From the book

Dec 13th sunday ~ Just four years ago today I bid adieux to home ~ and friends with a heavy heart ~ ’tis true that the good bye’s must be said, but yet how happy did I then feel in comparison to the present. . . . after the partings had been given and we had gotten some distance on our journey came the anticipation of the happy meeting at home again when I should return, which I imagined would not be far in the future ~ and in the mean time I should have such a pleasant visit with Aunt Lu & family. . . . Each new object began to possess an attraction, and with most agreeable company I could not wish for a pleasanter trip than we had. Alas how great are the changes now ~ friends are scattered ~ No news been heard from home since two years ago the 19th of August & no hopes of getting any soon. Peace, prosperity & happiness then smiled upon & now our beloved country is deluged in war. Not a home but feels its sorrows, and in many instances, husbands, brothers & Fathers have been torn from their homes to spend their life’s blood for the defense of what they feel to be a Just cause.

 

Reviews: 

“Lucy Pier Stevens’s diary illuminates the workings of a slaveholding household, the ebb and flow of civilian morale, the ways in which Texas stood apart from the rest of the Confederacy, and the reading habits of a literate family, among many other things. The diary’s immediacy and rich detail recommend it to anyone interested in the southern home front during the final years of a profoundly disruptive crisis.”
Gary W. Gallagher, University of Virginia, author of The Union War

Another Year Finds Me in Texas is a charming Civil War diary of a young Ohio woman, trapped in the Lone Star state for the war’s duration. From epidemics to love triangles, from births to funerals, Lucy Pier Stevens’s journal of the wartime South makes for fascinating reading. For scholars and students alike, Vicki Tongate’s attentive narration provides the fullest possible contextualization for Stevens’s personal account—and brings to life the human dramas reflected in this critical era.”
Catherine Clinton, Denman Chair of American History, University of Texas at San Antonio