This collection consists of a diary that is split into two parts, both of which were handwritten by Mary Hogue in both pencil and ink. The front and back covers are absent, but the diaries are securely stitched together. In her diary, Mary describes her time at school, her social activities and the local weather conditions. She also kept track of any news or rumors about the Civil War that reached her. The following are examples of the types of entries found in her diary.
Page 1 - Mary describes a typical day on May 18, 1862: “Lundy and I went to Ira Lewis’ in the morning, staid (sic) all day. Shannon Taylor and Byron, Reece Lewis, and Josh were there. Eph Snyder was there in afternoon awhile (sic) also. Had a pleasant visit. Quite warm. Mercury 83 deg.”
Page 2 - In terms of war news, on May 19, 1862 Mary hears that “our troops have taken Mobile.”
Page 3 - On May 21, 1862 Mary received the news that John Derry died the previous night.
Page 7 - May 25, 1862 brought Mary the news that Herrick had died.
Page 8 - On May 26, 1862 Mary learns that Will Smith is also dead.
Page 11 - May 27, 1862 brought more news of the war. Mary states that the report that “Martinsburg was taken by the rebels is not strictly true, but last accounts state that their calvary were within half a mile. Winchester and Harpers Ferry again in their possession and Washington City in more danger than it has ever been since the war began.”
Page 16 - On June 4, 1862 Mary heard that there was a fight near Richmond.
Page 17 - June 5, 1862 brought the news that some prisoners were taken near Corinth.
Page 28 - Outside of focusing on war news, Mary also describes what everyday life is like for her and her family and friends. For example, on June 23, 1862 Mary writes that “I wrote a letter to Lundy in afternoon. Theodoric Hogue was helping father about the beehouse and was here to supper. Beck Dillon came over and staid (sic) all night. Rained most of the day.”
Page 41 - At times there were long periods when Mary did not have any news of the war to report. However, she carried on with her routine of social activities, and continued to make note of the weather each day. On July 28, 1862 Mary writes, “Received a letter from Addison and Lundy. Will Mead and John were here awhile in the evening. Rainy in forenoon.”
Page 60 - In the final entry in the first part of Mary’s diary, on August 31, 1862, she heard news of “a fight at the old battle ground, Bull Run. Heard that Gen Pope was victorious, nothing definite - yet.” Later in the same entry Mary describes a disturbing encounter she had with a soldier: “We got very much frightened in evening at a drunken soldier who came down the road flourishing a large knife.” Fortunately, no injuries are mentioned and Mary returned home safely.
Page 1 - The second part of Mary’s diary opens on December 19, 1862. She writes: “At home all day, packed my trunk but was disappointed in not getting started to Hopedale. Cloudy and damp.” Mary was going to Hopedale to attend an unnamed secondary school. She was able to make the trip there the next day.
Page 5 - Now settled in at school, Mary continues to describe some of her social activities. On January 1, 1863 she writes: “Cold and fair. At school, attended a party in the Hall Parlor at night, a good many attended.”
Page 6 - On January 6, 1863 Mary notes that she heard “more news of the terrible battle at Murfreesboro (sic).” No further details are provided, however.
Page 8 - Mary saw in the paper that Eugene Dillon was wounded on January 13, 1863.
Page 8 - On January 14, 1863 Mary was told of the death of Asahel Hogue in a letter from home, but she notes that there is “no particular news from the battle.” This may indicate that Asahel’s death was not connected to the war.
Page 10 - January 19, 1863 brought the news that her friend, Addison, had been taken prisoner and paroled. Then on January 21 Mary received another letter stating that Addison had been taken prisoner.
Page 14 - As news about the war becomes scarcer in Mary’s diary, details about her social and school activities come to the forefront. For example, on February 13, 1863 Mary notes that she was “...at society at night on debate, several visitors present.”
Page 16 - Things finally begin to wrap up at school for the term, and Mary spends time with her friends as much as possible. On March 12, 1863 Mary writes: “Our Arithmetic and Algebra examined in the morning. Received a letter from Jack Hamilton. Attended the social in evening accompanied by Mr. Thomas. A great many there and we had a pleasant time.”
Page 16 - Finally, the school term, and the diary, comes to a close and Mary heads home on March 14, 1863. “Fourteen of us walked to the station in the morning, took the cars at eleven, came to Manbenville (sic) and waited until five, came to Bellair changed cars, came on to Belmont. Staid all night at Uncle Thomas Fawcett’s.”
This collection also includes a hand-drawn family tree that goes back to Mary’s grandparents. It includes birth dates and the locations where Mary’s grandparents, parents, and her and her siblings were born. An aunt and uncle are also listed on the family tree, but no further information is given about them beyond their names. The family tree is not dated, and the author is unknown.