Category Archives: Nannie Haskins Diaries

Nannie E. Haskins was born in 1846 and was the daughter of E. B. and Tennessee Stark Williamson Haskins. She was 16 and a Clarksville resident when the Civil War came to her. On October 6, 1870 she married Henry Philips Williams, and they lived at Greenleaf, Todd County, Kentucky. She had three siblings: Benjamin Arron Haskins, Robert Haskins and Tennessee Stark Haskins. Her husband had four children when she married him and together they had six children: Haskins Williams, Benjamin Philips Williams, John Frederick Williams, Teressa Stark Williams, Robert Williams, and Lucy Stark Williams.

Nannie E. Haskins diary ~ February 25, 1863

Wednesday Feb. 25th, 1863

Well I think I had better cut the leaf before this one out. I’ll declare I was so sleepy Sunday evening that I could scarcely write at all. Every time an idea would strike me, “bob” would go my head and then I would forget it. I believe was the last time I wrote in this book. Wednesday it rained all day. Thursday was cloudy and turned very cold. Friday the sun came out very beautifully. That evening Mattie Hillman and myself went and spent the night with cousin Millie. After supper Ewing Thomas came over. He is one of the nicest little fellows I ever saw. He is very thoughtful. I suppose he thinks the girls will get tired of him, for he leaves very early, indeed too early. Saturday morning opened with heavy clouds to obscure the Sun; after breakfasted, we all went out and had a game of hot ball – town ball and cat. They were all new to me, that is I never played them before. I have seen my brothers and other boys play them. We came to town about ten o’clock, by dinner time it was raining. I found Bobbie Killebrew here. She remained until Sunday on account of the inclement weather. Sunday morning I went to Sunday school. Mrs Trice informed me that Mary Shackleford had come and was staying them as she had been in very bad health. They wanted to warm and prepare her father’s house before she went home; so I came home thinking of course Bobbie would like to see her being an old acquaintance but No she did not care to see her as she and Mrs. Barker didn’t visit, the idea of her being so ceremonious with an old lady like her. I wanted to go to church but Bobbie did not if I would stay at home with her, and of course I did but much against my will. I know she has less politeness than any girl I ever saw. I was really glad when they came for her for she certainly is the most complete bore I ever knew. If it had been any other day but Sunday I could have took it better but as it was I had to sit and answer all her fool questions and do nothing more. If she had been like any body else, she would have been interested in reading and let me have done the same, but no I don’t suppose she ever read a book through in her life.

That afternoon Ma and I went up to see her, Mary. I think she looks better than I ever saw her. She described her visit to us. She says that once while she was at her union uncle’s the Yankees came and ordered dinner. Her aunt being a warm southerner refused to give it, but her uncle of course consented and gave them the beefs, but her Aunt like all other southerners was determined they should not have it and slipped into the kitchen and poured soup suds into their victuals. As soon as they found out what she had done, they insulted and cursed her in every manner. Some wanted to shoot her, others jerked and tore her clothes. Mary said that they wanted to strip and tie her to a pole, but that an officer stepped forward and made them behave and merely placed a heavy guard around her. She (Mary) says that they did a great deal worse than that at some places; can it be possible that such brutal conduct will long be permitted to be carried out! No there is a just God in Heaven!!

Charley Barker went after Pa. He came up and we remained until bedtime. Mary showed us a beautiful Photographic Album with the Southern generals in it.

Monday was another beautiful day. In the afternoon, Ma and I went to see Mrs. McMullire and Miss Carrie Noil, but as they were not at home, we went on to see Mrs. Stacker a little while. She loaned me one of her French books, Charles Twelfth by Voltaire. Pa and I intend reading it together.

Yesterday was a very pretty day. Ma, Pa, and myself took dinner with Mrs. Faunlterrf . In the afternoon we went down to see Mrs McKeage but as she was out, we went up to see Nannie Johnson. She is another soft headed girl, but a good one. I like Nannie. I said we went, I ment Mattie Heillman and myself. I am going to stay with Mattie Friday night if Ma will let me. Some how or other that girl has linked her self around my heart. I do love her; there are a great many girls that I like, that is I don’t hat ’em for they have never done anything for me to hate them for. Yet, they have done nothing for me to like them particularly for, and after all, I like them better than human beings in general because I know them. We have exchanged visits and several other reasons I could bring up for as I have said before, liking them better than human beings in general, but Mattie I love particularly well.

Nannie E. Haskins Diary ~ February 27, 1863

Friday evening Feb 27, 1863

This morning the Sun rose in all his splendor. After a warm, rainy, disagreeable yesterday, a bright day this has been, though the air, cold and bracing. Yesterday Mrs Warfield and Mrs. Dr. Bowling spent the day here. For dinner we had spinach and spring onions. Soon after dinner, I received an invitation to a party at Mr. Dortcher in honor of a Miss Ingram of St. Louis, a young lady who is visiting his family. I think it is a very poor time to be giving parties but “circumstances alter cases.” As they have a visitor, of course, it is their duty to try to make her enjoy herself. It was not a large party but a very pleasant one. Of course there was no other young gentlemen there but the “fireside rangers,” and I had almost as soon see so many Yankees. The only difference is, I have a “little” more respect for the latter. I said that it was a very pleasant party. So it was, at least, it seemed so to others. As for myself, I never felt less like enjoying myself in my life, but I did not think one minute, in fact I did not know that they expected to dance until after I arrived there, didn’t think about such a thing until they commenced getting up a set. Someone asked me to dance. I consented and danced nearly every set, nor did once think of what I was doing until I returned home. When Ma asked me if I danced, I answered her in the affirmative. She reproved me for my imprudence. It cut me down considerably to think that I was in deep morning for my brother, and I went to a dancing party, but the worst of all was, I participated in the dance. No one noticed it I know, but how much did that mend the matter with myself, not one little, nor did I even think of what I doing until I returned home and received my mother’s gentle reproach. Oh what would I do without my mother! I have felt so terribly since the party. I don’t feel like speaking to anyone. That is the way I always do, when I am sad I don’t want to see anyone or speak, just keep shut up within my own heart until I get over it. I wish I had known that it was going to be a dancing party when I received the invitation. Then I would have had my mother’s more sober advice, then if she had not let me gone, I could have staid at home and borne the disappointment, but I scarcely think it would have been one, but I do hope I will grow up to be a more prudent woman and not always be the rattle brain girl that I am now. I now have a kink of contempt for that party and everybody I see is asking me about that party, and of course, I have to answer them in a pleasant manner and pretend that I enjoyed it, which I did as well as I could. My heart was not there but I do not know where it was. I reckon it was like a great many of my fits, I merely felt sad, but not as much so as I do now.

I wish I could never hear of that party again, but to carry out etiquette I’ve to call on the “honored” next week and talk about the pleasant party. I despise etiquette! I heard Mrs. McKeage was going to give her a little party next Thursday. If she does and invites me, I will not go. I’ll declare I won’t!!