DIARY OF A UNION LADY, 1861-1865 by Harold Earl  Hammond


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Carefully edited, with a foreword by Allan Nevins, this previously unpublished diary of a New York society woman, Mrs. Maria Daly, the wife of a judge, is a lively personal account of New York social and political life in the Civil War. Although Mrs. Daly, as revealed by her diary, was not an entirely endearing person, possessing an acid tongue and strong prejudices, she knew most of the leading politicians and ""Copperheads"" of her day and wrote of them with the eye of a keen if not always reliable observer. Born in 1824 to wealth and social position, in she married Judge Charles P. Daly, an Irish Catholic and a brilliant and honest judges her family opposed the marriage, for which she never forgave them. Hating Lincoln and bitterly critical of the conduct of the War, she repeated political gossip, but wrote also of soldiers, the draft riots, war charities (to which she contributed little in personal effort), and of public reaction to defeat and victory. She was catty in her comments on all women, particularly Mrs. Lincoln, spiced her diary with remarks on generals and cabinet ministers and diplomats, and managed to hate, simultaneously, Abolitionists, Secessionists, Negroes, the English, and the entire Beecher family. Often of doubtful accuracy but valuable for its picture of New York upper-class life and political thought in the Civil War, this long and meticulously annotated diary belongs in all comprehensive libraries of the War; it will appeal to American social historians and also to general readers interested in personal records.

Publisher: Funk & Wagnalls