DIARY OF THE WAR
My grandfather kept an accurate diary of his daily experiences during the
Civil War. He often wrote articles for county papers giving the dates and
places where the boys in gray were fifty, sixty years ago. This was
especially popular during the 'teens when the Confederate Veterans had
their annual reunions and were entertained at all the County Fairs.
Unfortunately, his diary has been lost. However, in 1911, he wrote
a series of articles for the SPENCER TIMES published by E.N. Haston, long-time
Secretary of the State of Tennessee. Mr. Haston gave the originals
to his brother-in-law and my uncle, F.S. Clark of McMinnville.
These articles were written more than fifty years ago --- fifty years after
the CIVIL WAR. Much of his material was taken from his diary ---
but the WAR was still fresh in his memory.
The first article was lost and we had despaired of locating a copy.
Just a few days ago my sister, Mrs. C.B. Shockley, found a copy of this
article in the bottom of a trunk in her attic.
These articles were reprinted in the SPENCER TIMES about 1918 and by the
SPARTA EXPOSITOR --- and probably other county papers.
This year, 1963, seemed to be the proper year for re-publishing these articles,
since we are observing the Civil War Centennial.
We elected to use the off-set method for two reasons --- to substantiate
the authenticity, if such should be needed; and to reveal the excellent
penmanship of that era.
It is our hope that these articles might be of some minor historical value
--- especially to the relatives of the Van Buren boys who fought for the
It is not our purpose to re-open a wound that has so nearly healed after
a century. Instead, we concur with Abram J. Ryan in his beautiful
poem "The Conquered Banner" ---
The Conquered Banner
"Furl that Banner; True 'tis gory,
Yet 'tis wreathed around with glory,
And 'twill live in song and story
"Furl that Banner, softly, slowly;
Treat it gently ---- it is holy
For it droops above the dead;
Touch it not ---- unfold it never ---
Let it droop there furled forever,
For its people's
hopes are fled."
C.W. Clark, Jr.