25 December 1864: “This is the saddest Christmas that I have ever spent”

Item Description: Entry dated 25 December 1864, Christmas Day, from the journal of Fanny Cohen Taylor, describing Northern occupation of Savannah, Georgia. 

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Item Citation: Folder 46, Volume 7, Phillips and Myers Family Papers, #00596Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription: 

Dec 25th Sunday- This is the saddest Christmas that I have ever spent and my only pleasure during the day has been in looking forward to spending my next Christmas in the Confederacy. This morning my Uncle Mr. Myers and his daughter Mrs. Yates Levy came to see us and told us of a party given the evening before by the negroes at Genl Geary’s Hd Qrts where the Gen went into the kitchen and desired an introduction to the ladies and gentlemen there assembled. After the introduction he asked who were slaves and who were free. There was but one slave present a servant girl of my Aunt’s who acknowledged the fact. This elegant gentleman enquired into her private history and finding out that she was a married woman begged an introduction to her husband Mr Valentine  He then presented Mr Valentine, as a Christmas gift, with a free wife. The girl was so much amused having always been a favorite servant and treated like one of the family that she told it to her mistress as a good joke. In the afternoon we had a real rebel meeting. Dr R, Fanny Levy, Dr B and our own family forming the party. We abused the Yankees to our hearts content and congratulated ourselves upon being once more together. Dr R– told me of a news paper that had been issued, called “The loyal Georgian” with this Motto “Redeemed, regenerated and disenthralled”– “the Union must and shall be preserved.” This of course created great merriment, the first time I had a hearty laugh since the Goths had been among us. Dr B– spent the evening with us. We are beginning to improve in spirits we did not retire until 10 o’clock. 

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