Diary of a Union Lady, 1861-1865


Diary of a Union Lady, 1861-1865

Maria Lydig Daly
Edited by Harold Earl Hammond
Introduction by Jean V. Berlin

396 pages


June 2000


$24.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Rumor, gossip, and innuendo are the weapons of the home front, and no one wielded them with quite the aplomb of Maria Lydig Daly. Her richly detailed comments on everything from inept Union generals to Dorothea Dix’s appearance provide the liveliest memoir to emerge from a Northern noncombatant. Daly was the wife of a prominent New York City judge whose connections allowed her to meet many major figures involved in Northern military and diplomatic strategy. Despite catty comments about Mrs. Lincoln and less-than-flattering appraisals of Union generalship, Daly could be sympathetic toward the suffering of the soldiers. She noted the fear with which many viewed the draft, seeing it as a terrible incursion on liberty, but she understood that the times called for severe measures.

Author Bio

Introducer Jean V. Berlin is coeditor of Sherman’s Civil War: Selected Correspondence of William T. Sherman, 1860–1865.


"Her diary, a notch better than history, is life—a minute, intimate, hilarious self-portrait. . . . [She is] irritable, querulous, censorious, self-centered, and idle, but not bad-hearted.”—New Yorker

"Her comments on friend and foe alike are frequently caustic and often biased, but she emerges from the pages of the diary as a very definite personality."—Library Journal

"An amusing and valuable social document."—Booklist

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