|“I charge my three children to keep this book carefully, to value it above gold & silver & to let it descend to their children as the record of a noble life—Leila Habersham, November 1863”||A Savannah Family is an extensive, intimate, private collection of letters never before made available to the public. |
The letters are here supported by judicious, well-researched footnotes which allow the modern reader a chance to truly experience the turbulent period of 1830 to 1901, the life span of Leila Mackay Elliott (Mrs. Frederic Augustus Habersham).
Leila assembled the major part of the letters in the late summer of 1863, following the death of her husband at the Battle of Chancellorsville.
She sewed them into a leather bound book and interwove her own narrative between them, giving her story a freshness and sense of immediacy seldom achieved by memoirs and third person narratives.
This well educated, extended family, close friends of General Robert E. Lee, wrote exceedingly well, and the women were often better posted on events than were the men who were locked in combat. Letters from Fred and his four soldier brothers-in-law, stationed in Georgia, Virginia and Charleston Harbor, together with letters from the home front, run the gamut of love, tenderness, excitement, anguish and sorrow.
Later letters follow the family through and after the war, including those who went to California.
Photographs, also from private unpublished sources, illustrate these unique, fully indexed, first-person accounts. (6.25×9.25, hard-cover, 308 pages)
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