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Historic Diaries: Emily Quiner, 1863

Aug. 31, 1863: Plagued by Indecision

Editor's Note:

For the next four weeks, Emily resumed her Madison life of university classes, religious activities, and social events, intending all the while to return to the South. The serious illness of agent George Smith, however, repeatedly delayed her departure. She expected to leave for Memphis with him on Sept.15th, but his relapse held them up again. A week later his wife wrote that he was still delirious, and Emily and her sister prepared to return without him by enlisting Gov. Salomon's help. We will omit the next 25 entries about routine affairs in Madison and resume her diary with the entry for Sept. 26, 1863.

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

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Did not feel very well this morning. Went up town. Saw Joe Curtis, an old friend, at home on furlough. He goes back in a few days. Got a new calico dress. Several friends called upon me today. It seems very pleasant to be at home again. I am a little undecided about going back. I would like to attend school this semester and finish German & French and take painting lessons, but I am afraid I could not content myself to settle back into the old routine again. I should be so glad to feel that I had done something, however little, for my country in this, her hour of need. I have always wanted to do something and now that a way is opened for me, I feel as if it were my duty to walk in it. Father & Mother would rather I should stay at home but will offer no objection to my going. I did not feel well enough to go to meeting this evening.

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