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Historic Diaries: Emily Quiner, 1863

Aug. 22, 1863: A Frolic in the Country

Editor's Note:

Orphan Asylum: This may have been the Leath Orphan Asylum, established in 1855 by private donations on fifteen acres of land on the New Raleigh Road on the outskirts of Memphis. It could house up to 200 inmates.


Captain Pierce: Mortimer Pierce of Waupun, Wis., was with Co. A. of the 32nd Infantry.


View Emily's entire diary at Turning Points in Wisconsin History.


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Saturday 23d [22nd]


It looked like rain this morning, but cleared up before noon. I staid in my ward all day until noon.


We started for the [Orphan] Asylum about two, a couple of gentlemen from the Small Pox Hospital came with hacks and took Jennie and I, also Lou & Cordy. The gentlemen with whom Jennie & I went did not know anything about the direction of the Asylum, as unfortunately did not the driver. We however, took the road which seemed the most likely to be the right one, and started, after going a mile or so out of our way in two or three different directions, exploring a cotton field, being stopped by the pickets and inquiring our way several times, we managed to get into the grounds of the Asylum by the back way.


There we found Lou & Cordy who had started before us, they had been there some time and they tried to rally [indecipherable] us on having been lost, which we would by no means admit. After resting a little while we went down into the worts at the back of the house, where they had put up a capital swing and enjoyed ourselves for an hour or so, and then came back to the house to supper. All the ladies in the Hospital were there and Drs. Nelson, Feassey & Watts. We had a grand supper in the dining room, after which we enjoyed ourselves, according to our tastes. Dr. Nelson & I walked through the grounds. He told me the names of all the trees with which I was not familiar, and we collected quite a bouquet of rose leaves and grasses and flowers.


There was a cotton field near the grounds, which we visited and I saw for the first time a cotton boll and the cotton plant growing with its flowers. I had some to bring home with me. I enjoy the society of the Doctor very much, he takes such an interest in every thing that I like, and I believe him to be a noble minded honorable man. I would like an opportunity of being better acquainted with him, but he is going away in a week or two and I presume we shall never meet again. About six o'clock all the people from our house except we young folks went home, and we danced under the trees by the light of the moon until we were tired, and then returning to the house, sang songs and talked nonsense until ten o'clock, when we concluded that it was time to go home. We met a Captain Pierce & wife from our 32d Reg't, who were very pleasant people. Mrs. P's is going up at the same time we do. We had a pleasant ride home and altogether enjoyed the day very much. I pressed my flowers as soon as I got home.


Mr. Smith returned from Vicksburg today. We shall probably start for home Tuesday next.

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