In and Out of the Lines

by Frances Thomas Howard
In and Out of the Lines: An Accurate Account of Incidents During the Occupation of Georgia By Federal Troops in 1864-65

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From the Preface...

The account which is here presented was written in 1870, but circumstances made its publication at that time impracticable. It tells with absolute truth the experience of one Southern family during the year 1864-1865. There are today living witnesses who can testify to the accuracy of the recital.

The story of the war itself, of the battles which were fought and of the victories which were won by our fathers and brothers, has been carefully written up. There were officers on the field whose duty it was to make reports, and since the struggle ended men of ability in the interest of history have searched out these reports, have sifted the truth from the fiction, and have written up the story for those who come after us. But in the homes of the South, and particularly in those districts which were between the lines occupied at one time by Federal Troops, at another by the Confederates, there were no commanding generals or subordinate officers to submit reports of what occurred, and no historian to write out the happenings of each day, and yet in these homes were enacted some of the most heroic deeds and some of the grimmest tragedies of the war.

Here the South was represented only by her women and children, but they often suffered hardships as great as were endured on the field of battle, and in all their trials they showed an unfaltering devotion to the cause. Their story should be written out.

It should not be written in any hostile or unfriendly spirit, because today we are again a united people; the Southern States are once more a part of the Union, and the Southern mothers of today are ready to make for that Union every sacrifice which could be asked of true patriotism and loyal devotion.

Only three years since, when we were involved in war with Spain, Southern mothers sent their sons to fight for the old flag, and the prayers of Southern women were offered on every hearthstone for its success. But as a matter of history, the events and doings of those years ought to be written out. As a matter of common interest the story ought to go down to future generations, so that in times to come the whole world may know, and particularly the people of the South may know, something of the sufferings of the Southern women in 1864-65, and something of the courage and devotion with which they did their part.

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