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Required



Sarah Morgan Dawson.
A Confederate Girl’s Diary.

One popular genre of Louisiana literature is the Civil War diary. The Louisiana Anthology has a number of these, by Addeman, Bissell, Butler, Dawson, Fearn, Haynes, Hoffman, Merrick, Miller, Polk, Ripley, Taylor, Velazquez. The accounts show a remarkable variety of perspectives — Confederates (as we would expect), local Unionists, Union soldiers, embedded reporters.

Dawson's diary is popular for the perspective it offers; she was 19 when she started keeping her war diary. Her diary was able to clarify the events about the battle of the Essex and the Arkansas on the Mississippi River. Union lore gave them a great victory in a hot battle. Dawson's account showed that The CSS Arkansas broke down before the battle really began; the union ship won be default. Sarah's diary also shows that she kept the concerns typical of her age even in the midst of the war. She writes about flirting with men and searching through Baton Rouge for a new pair of shoes.

Camille Naudin.
“Marseillaise Noire

Little is known about Camille Naudin other than that he was a free Creole of color before the Civil War and that he wrote the “Marseillaise Noire” in 1867. The “Marseillaise Noire” stands in contrast with the blood-thirsty “Marseillaise” in its call for racial reconciliation. I've seen it called an anti-war song; I personally suspect that it may be a war-is-over song. He has a hope for freedom and equality at the beginning of Reconstruction. Rhetorically, his version also has to be careful not to arouse white paranoia, which is always on the lookout for a black uprising. Calls to water the ground with the blood for their enemies would not make friends of former Confederates or even of the most Radical Republican. 



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