Sarah Lois Wadley papers, 1849-1886.

Creator: Wadley, Sarah Lois, 1844-1920.
Collection number: 1258
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Abstract: Sarah Lois Wadley was the daughter of William Morrill Wadley (1812?-1882) and Rebecca Barnard Everingham Wadley (fl. 1840-1884) and lived with her family in homes near Amite in Tangipahoa Parish, Monroe and Oakland in Ouachita Parish, La., and near Macon, Ga. Diary, 1859-1884 (6 v.), of Sarah Lois Wadley and a few miscellaneous items. Entries in the diary document in detail opinions and events in the life of an articulate and alert young woman just before and during the Civil War. Early entries include a detailed description of a family trip from Amite, La., to visit relatives in New Hampshire. Entries during the war describe reactions to war news; life in the vicinity of Monroe, Oakland, and Homer, La., including comments on freedmen and federal troops; and some activities of Sarah’s father, William Morrill Wadley, who managed the Vicksburg, Shreveport and Texas Railroad and served as Confederate superintendent of railroads. After the war, there are scattered entries, written mostly while living in Georgia, chiefly concerning family matters. One of the diary volumes includes miscellaneous accounts of William Morrill Wadley in Georgia, 1849-1850. Miscellaneous papers include three items relating to the Ladies’ Aid Society of Monroe during the Civil War; a letter, 1869, from Sarah Wadley to her mother, Rebecca, describing a meeting with Robert E. Lee in Lexington, Va.; and an essay on etiquette.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: Entries document the opinions and experiences of a young La. woman just before and during the Civil War. Diary entries include mentions of “perfidious abolitionists”  and trepidation concerning the impending war (26 October 1860), the offering of church communion to blacks (14 July 1861), and a long lamentation over the defeat of the Confederacy (13 May 1865). Typed transcriptions are also available in this collection.