Mary Hogue Diary
Scope and Contents
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.
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is located in the Walter Havighurst Special Collections, Miami University Libraries. For library use only.
Biographical / Historical
Mary Hogue was born on July 10, 1840 in Plainfield, Ohio to parents Washington Hogue and Phebe Gregg. She had five siblings: William, Lundy, Minerva, Romazo, and Alvesto. Mary was the second oldest child, younger only than William by about three years. At the time the diary was written Mary was 22 years old. In her diary, she describes the weather, her social engagements and correspondence, and she took an interest in the Civil war. She would take note of whatever news about the war reached her in her diary. It also seems that Mary received some secondary education at a school in Hopedale, although the name of the institution is not specifically stated in the diary. She describes her time at school in the second part of the diary, where she notes what classes, meetings, and dances she attends, when she spends time studying and going to church, and what exams she takes at the end of the term. The second part of the diary then ends with Mary leaving school, presumably to return back home to her parents.
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Language of Materials
This nineteenth century diary offers a unique look at the civil war from a female perspective. It is an unbound volume that is separated into two parts, each of which appears to be hand sewn together. Both parts are handwritten in pencil and ink by Mary Hogue. The first part of the diary dates from May 18, 1862 to August 31, 1862 and is 60 pages long, though the pages are not numbered. The second part dates from December 19, 1862 to March 14, 1863 and is 16 pages long, and also has unnumbered pages. This diary shows that Mary was interested in the progress of the Civil War, as she recorded the latest news and rumors that reached her. Beyond the war news, Mary also describes life at the secondary school she attends, her daily social activities, the correspondence she sends and receives, and she notes the weather conditions of each day. The diary entries are often brief and can at times be somewhat lacking in description and detail. However, Mary’s diary could still be of interest to researchers who are trying to determine what life experiences for women were like during the 19th century in midwest Ohio. Researchers might also find this diary useful if they are interested in finding out what news of the war reached civilians, how often they received such news, and whether or not the news was accurate.
This collection also includes a simple hand-drawn family tree that goes back to Mary’s grandparents. It was drawn in black ink on a blank sheet of paper that is 8.5 x 11 inches in size. The family tree includes birth dates for Mary’s grandparents, parents, and her and her siblings. It also indicates the towns and states where each person was born, and it appears to note the month and year when Mary’s parents were married. There is an aunt and uncle listed on the family tree as well, but no other information is given about them besides their names. The family tree is not dated, and the author is unknown.
Organization of the Collection
Diary: Part I
The first part of Mary Hogue’s diary dates from May 18, 1862 to August 31, 1862 and is 60 pages long, although the pages are not numbered. This part shows that Mary was interested in the progress of the Civil War, and it contains most of the news and rumors about the war that reached her. Yet, beyond the war news, Mary also describes her daily social activities, including who she visits and who comes to visit her, and who she writes to and receives letters from. She also makes a point of noting what the weather conditions are like each day - if it is raining, snowing, cool, warm, pleasant, etc. The diary entries are often brief and can at times be somewhat lacking in description and detail, but they do provide a glimpse at what life was like in 19th century midwest Ohio during the Civil War.
Diary: Part II
The second part of Mary’s diary dates from December 19, 1862 to March 14, 1863, is 16 pages long, and also has unnumbered pages. News about the Civil War is present, but somewhat scarcer in this part, and the diary entries focus more often on Mary’s time spent at a secondary school in Hopedale. She continues to describe her social engagements, such as making and receiving calls, and writing and receiving letters. Furthermore, she talks about attending church with her friends, going to society meetings, and attending parties and dances. Finally, Mary’s diary concludes with her noting the examinations she takes in her classes, and then describing her journey to her Uncle Thomas Fawcett’s house, from which she will presumably travel home to her parents. The entries in Mary’s diary are sometimes brief, but they help to illustrate what daily life was like for a woman living in 19th century Ohio.
This collection includes a simple hand-drawn family tree that goes back to Mary’s grandparents. It was drawn in black ink on a blank sheet of paper that is 8.5 x 11 inches in size. The family tree includes birth dates for Mary’s grandparents, parents, and her and her siblings. It also indicates the towns and states where each person was born, and it appears to note the month and year when Mary’s parents were married. There is an aunt and uncle listed on the family tree as well, but no other information is given about them besides their names. The family tree is not dated, and the author is unknown.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was purchased by Miami University Libraries from AbeBooks.com.
Existence and Location of Copies
A full transcription of the Mary Hogue Diary is available online. It can be accessed via this link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1LKWfT6xFUcvC90y7WVVY3ZURex7Fln3OBoBIW1Sfn6Q/edit?usp=sharing
See also the External Documents section.
- Mary Hogue Diary
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
Part of the Walter Havighurst Special Collections Finding Aids Repository