Melinda R., age unknown, North Carolina


We had to go to school Monday and Tuesday, I think Mr Cooper might have given us those two days. Tuesday night Sister, Buddy Line & I went to the tableaux. They were very pretty they had the Southern Confederacy, the bride morning & evening star & a great many others, 20 I think. The next morning Lina & I got up early & came down stairs & caught everybody. I got a book & a beautiful reticule green velvet & yellow leather. Lina got a purple velvet & black leather. We went to the Catholic church. I could not understand anything the priest said. Aunts Peggie & Jane & Cousin Jane & Uncle Edward dined with us. Aunt Jane, Lina & I went to walk for the evening. Sarah Goodman, a girl about 18 was very badly burnt Christmas morning & died that night. Thursday Emily, Eliza & Lina spent the day with me. I went over & spent the day at Aunt Jane’s Friday. Today Ma & Sister were both sick. Miss Ann Warren spent the morning here. Aunt Jane has been over all day. Gen Scott of the Federal Army went to Europe soon after, his resignation has returned. He came back in the same vessel he sailed in so he could have only stayed two or three days. The papers seem to think that war is inevitable since he has returned. Prince Albert husband of Victoria, Queen of England died on the 18 of this month aged 41 he was three months younger than his wife. Mr McLean boys had a party Thursday night but I was not invited. Some think that the yankees now that they hear the roar of the British lion will back out of the scrape & on their knees give up Messrs Mason & Tlidell but if they do they will lower themselves as a nation, in the eyes of the world. Lord Lyons the minister of the Eli L has detained a vessel a mail steamer & he has orders if they refuse to deliver up Mason & Tlidell to demand his passports, France takes England’s side. Seward wants war with England, I suppose the yankees have found they cannot “subjugate the South” & they think they can say if there is war with England that they could have subdued the rebellion in the south if England had not interfered.  *(Diary: Melinda Ray, 1861-1865, North Carolina State Archives)