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Emma Florence LeConte
Diary, 1864-1865: (Transcript)
: Transcript of the manuscript, UNC-Chapel Hill, Southern Historical Collection, .

Summary

Emma Florence LeConte (1847-1932) was born in Georgia and lived there until 1856, when her father, geologist Joseph LeConte, accepted a position at South Carolina College in Columbia. During the Civil War, Emma stayed in Columbia with her mother, while her father was involved in an attempt to make gunpowder for the Confederate army. Her diary from 1864-1865 was published as The Day the World Ended: The Diary of Emma LeConte in 1957.

Beginning with an entry dated December 31, 1864, LeConte records her daily thoughts and emotions during the final months of the Civil War and the beginning of the postwar period. She describes the condition of her family home and includes summaries of letters she received from family members. Her entries often note civilian efforts to help the war effort. In one entry, she describes a bazaar for aiding the Confederate wounded. She also gives an account of General Sherman's march through Columbia on February 18, 1865, when his troops burned government buildings and other houses of important political figures. The diary ends as the appointed provisional Governor arrives to oversee Reconstruction in South Carolina.

Note: The Autobiography of Joseph LeConte, written by Emma Florence LeConte's father is also available on this site at </fpn/leconte/menu.html>.

Work Consulted: Jones, Katherine M., Heroines of Dixie: Confederate Women Tell Their Story of the War, Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1955.

Harris Henderson

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