Mary Boykin Chesnut (1823-1886) was the daughter of a prominent South Carolina politician
and attended private schools in her youth. In 1840 she married James Chesnut, Jr., who would
play an important role in the secession movement and the Confederacy. After her husband
became an officer in the Confederate army, she accompanied him on his military missions and
recorded her views and observations in her journal. Her Diary from Dixie, a perceptive view
of Southern life during the American Civil War, was published in 1905.