Source: Arthur Whitford Papers, East Carolina Manuscript Collection, #18.1.a
Staff Person: Jonathan Dembo
Description: Letter from Fannie Wallace to Mannie and Sissie Tuten, 29 July 1863
This little letter is from a young woman in Greensboro, North Carolina to her grandparents, Mannie and Sissie Tuten. It offers a glimpse into social life in the South during the crisis of the Civil War. Written less than a month after the Battle of Gettysburg (1-3 July) and the Fall of Vicksburg (4 July 1863) that ended any hope of Confederate victory, Fannie makes no mention of these disasters. Instead, she focuses on her family and social activities, her friends and her parties. She writes that her cousins are visiting and wishes they could be with them too. She passes on Nancie’s request for some snuff. Fannie knows there is a war on and that there are shortages. Indeed, she proclaims her patriotism: she is writing with Confederate ink on a Confederate spelling book and danced with two Confederate officers at a Ball. Either she did not understand the seriousness of the military situation, or, perhaps, more likely, did not wish to think about them or burden her grandparents with her worries.