Marianna Saunders Prentis, Daguerreotype

Marianna Saunders Prentis, #4136-G

This daguerreotype of Marianna Saunders Prentis (1812-1864) was one of thousands of such images taken of Southern women during the war. 

According to family tradition, the 1840 oil painting of Martha Susan Prince (Mrs. Robert C. B. Nelson) was deliberately "stomped by a Union soldier." Her chin does bear evidence of repairs. Martha Susan Price Painting, #10605-A

Macaria; Evans, Augusta J.

Evans, Augusta J. (Augusta Jane), Macaria; or, Altars of Sacrifice, second edition, Richmond: West & Johnson, 1864, and, Macaria, New York: John Bradburn, 1864.

During the 1864 Atlanta campaign a Confederate soldier asserted a paper bound copy of Macaria saved his life when it stopped a Yankee bullet which might have otherwise killed him. This novel, first published in Richmond in 1864 and the South's most popular wartime novel, sold more than 20,000 copies. It appeared in several and different editions between 1864 and 1903. Augusta Jane Evans (1835-1909), a prominent antebellum Southern writer, wrote her third novel, under trying circumstances while a nurse in Mobile, Alabama. Although the war cut her off from her regular publishers, she had a copy smuggled by blockade runner to New York City by way of Havana, Cuba. Its dedication "To The Army of The Southern Confederacy" did not appear in Northern and postwar editions.

The allegoric adventures of its heroine, Irene Huntingdon, paralleled the wartime lives, loves, and struggles of Confederate women. Macaria (Greek for "blessed") portrayed the Civil War as an opportunity for Southern women's self-expression and self-realization. It also characterized the North as a land of "shameless, hideous Abolitionism," the South as "the bodyguard for the liberty of the Republic" and discussed the dangers besetting it (especially the possibility of secession by select Confederate states). After the war Evans married Lorenzo Madison Wilson, a wealthy neighbor twenty-seven years her senior. Although a zealous wartime advocate for women's rights, Mrs. Wilson's last novel, A Speckled Bird (1902) denounced female suffrage. The second Richmond edition's dedication page and the first Northern edition's title page are displayed.