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|Abstract||The collection is a diary, 1 January 1862-28 September 1863, of Ellen Louise Power of East Feliciana Parish, La. The diary documents daily activities including household and social affairs. Many entries describe civilian relief efforts during the Civil War, shortages in goods brought about by the war, the departure of slaves from neighboring plantations, and the local response to the Union attacks on New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and nearby Port Hudson.|
|Creator||Power, Ellen Louise, 1841-1917.|
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Ellen Louise Power (1841-1917) was a young woman preparing to marry at the time she began to keep this diary. Kept from 1 January 1862 to 28 September 1863 in an account book, the diary contains daily entries recording household activities, social affairs, and local news.
Power apparently resided in the country near Jackson, Louisiana, possibly on a large farm or plantation, as there are some references to servants, and a brief commentary on a "darkey's wedding." Entries contain references to music lessons, sewing, baking, visits, and social affairs --or, as war approached, the lack thereof. Power mentioned many names of family members, friends, neighbors, and various guests, including Confederate soldiers in the area. Many entries contain information relating to the impact of war on East Feliciana.
Power began the diary on New Year's Day, 1862, while in bed with typhoid fever, which she feared she would pass on to her mother. The earliest entries document household and social activities: Power described making gloves, sewing dresses, dyeing threads, baking breads and "Confederate cakes," quilting, knitting, and sewing, as well as attending concerts, picnics, and tableaux, and receiving a steady stream of guests at her home.
References to military activity increase in entries for the spring of 1862, when Union troops took New Orleans and proceeded to Baton Rouge. Topics include news of battles and casualties, civilian relief efforts, war shortages, and the departure of slaves from neighboring plantations. Of particular interest are entries from May through July 1863, as the Union army attacked and captured Port Hudson, bringing the war to East Feliciana. Several entries record the Power family's efforts to aid Confederate soldiers. In June 1863, Union soldiers ransacked the Powers' home.Back to Top
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