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Loudoun Lady
07-18-2010, 09:03 PM
I'm delighted to share a recent find at the Fondren Library at Rice University - the Broun family U.S. Civil War papers (MS 177). It consists of Catherine Barbara Broun's Diary "Family Events" from 1854-1889 as well as letters, genealogy, and a foreword by a descendant. Here is the link: http://library.rice.edu/collections/WRC/finding-aids/manuscripts/0177/?searchterm=broun

If the link fails, go to library.rice.edu and search for "Broun"

Here is the catalog description:
"The greater portion of Catherine Broun's diary, Family Events, covers the period of the Civil War. As the Broun home was in Middleburg, in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, Family Events records many of her observations of Confederate and Union activities. Mrs. Broun dined with officers of both the Union and Confederate forces, and many of the conversations at these dinners are recorded or alluded to. She also sheltered Southern soldiers and officers during the periodic Union occupations of Middleburg and Sunnyside. The most important of these officers sheltered was the ranger leader, John Singleton Mosby. Also covered in some detail are the problems which Union occupation generated in Southern society, especially involving control of servants and of property."

While there is an error in geography (Middleburg is east of the Shenandoah Valley), the diary gives a very detailed and intimate look at the life of a merchant/farmer's wife before, during and after the war. She also relates the movement of Confederate and Union troops, organizing the local Civilian Aid Society, visiting her relatives in camp at Leesburg, Centreville, Harper's Ferry, visiting Ball's Bluff after the battle, nursing the wounded, feeding Union deserters, hiding Confederate stragglers, her husband's imprisonment at the Capitol Prison, crossing the lines into Berlin (Brunswick) MD for supplies, and watching the Burning Raid of November '64.

I also have a question for the medical historians. Catherine's son, Kinzie, suffered from an "affectation in the hip" following a fever which left him ill for much of his childhood, and lame for life. What could that be?

Kindest regards,
Karen Quanbeck