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Eliza L. Cowan Atwood Diaries, 1862-1863; 1954

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Identifier: A0065

Title: Eliza L. Cowan Atwood Diaries, 1862-1863; 1954


Eliza L. Cowan was born April 7, 1835, in Shelbyville, Tennessee, to John Wilson Cowan and Jane Eakin. On February 21, 1860, she married Legrand Atwood, who served in the Civil War as captain and surgeon in the 1st Regiment of Rifles, Missouri State Guard. They had six children. Later in life, Eliza Cowan Atwood moved to St. Louis, where she died January 11, 1895.

The collection consists primarily of three diaries (259 pages) by Eliza Cowan Atwood dated January 1, 1862, to January 31, 1863. Written in Shelbyville from the perspective of a Confederate sympathizer, the diaries describe her everyday life, her hobbies of sewing, reading aloud to friends and family, teaching music, and visiting friends. They also describe civilian life during the Civil War in Tennessee, including news received of battles and the progression of the war; and accounts of soldiers passing through or occupying Shelbyville en route to and from Nashville, many of whom stopped at the Atwood house to be fed or housed. Of particular note is a description of General William J. Hardee who stopped at Atwood's home in March 1862, and a physical description of General Adam R. Johnson. Atwood's diaries contain little information on her husband and no mention of her children. The collection also contains a genealogical chart made by George B. Atwood in 1954, and an undated volume (approximately 165 pages) of genealogical notes on the Atwood and allied families by Helen S. Atwood.

4 folders

Cite as: Eliza L. Cowan Atwood Diaries, Missouri History Museum Archives, St. Louis.

Rights: UND

Place: United States

Dates: 1862-1863

Type(s): Diary

Maker/Creator: Atwood, Eliza L. Cowan, 1835-1895

Subjects: Tennessee
Civil War, 1861-1865
Armed Forces


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