Nannie Haskins Diary ~ March 23, 1863

Monday 23rd March 1863
9 O’clock P.M.
I look now and see a family picture. The night is rather warm, consequently the fire has nearly burnt to ashes. The table is in the middle of the floor with a bright lamp burning upon it. Pa is sitting upon one side reading, his usual occupation, myself upon the other writing, and Ma in the corner knitting and rocking. Upon the table is laying my French books, “Charles 12th”, and dictionary with Barkers Philosophy. I have just finished reciting my lessons to Pa. But the circle is not complete. Let me ask myself the question “If a stranger were to pass by and look in, would he say that our little circle had been broken?” Probably, he would not think of it, but if he could look into our hearts (and some times into my mother’s eyes when all is quiet around her and she sits knitting in the corner), he would know that something had happened. Once we were a gay and happy family – once there was six of us now there is three left at home. Two have been taken, one is still battling for “freedom”. Oh God send him back to us, spare him I pray! How I am blessed, both parents are sparred me and how I hope I live to bless them. I wonder if I will ever marry or if I will always be simple “Nannie Haskins”. If I do marry, I wonder who it will be – if it will be a happy marriage, if the man will be poor or rich, handsome or ugly – in short a “clod pole or a tadpole”. Good night my clod pole or tadpole which ever you may be. At A Later Hour Now I am in my own room editing by my little lamp. I read what I wrote before I left Ma’s room and see how silly I am. It is a blessed thing that no one will see this book but myself. For one moment I run on a sad strain, the next I dash off on something about marrying. I am a simpleton any way and I am afraid I will never be any thing else. We heard from brother a few days ago. He has had the “small pox” in a very light form, is now well, and has returned to the regiment. The weather is unpleasant again. I took a new piece today on the piano “Le Reve”. It is a very beautiful as well a difficult thing. I practiced with Annie Heillsman this evening. She is Mattie’s cousin who is going to school with her. I think she is one of the nicest girls I ever saw. She is not at all pretty – in any estimation looks do not constitute beauty. Such beautiful rosy cheeks she has and elegant eyes, neither her mouth nor her nose are pretty. Some would admire her hair, but I do not. It is a real flaxen. So far as I have seen her, I think I will admire her more than I do Mattie though I love the latter dearly. I do not admire all those whom I love. Miserable, miserable hand will I never learn to write. Capt. Heiek Johnson has been recaptured near Nashville in ladies clothes at Mr. Dartehes. He has been sent to Fortress Monroe to be exchanged. I am thinking they will send hem where he don’t want to go – to the army. I ought not to say that. However, no one will ever see it. We have just given the Yanks a whipping at Fort Hudson. Report says they are fighting at Murfreesboro.