A Southern soldier's letter to his sister
I've slowed down my reading a bit and while on vacation, took three WW II aviation books with me. Right now I'm reading Joe Glatthaar's, "General Lee's Army."
In invading Pennsylvania during the Gettysburg campaign, one Corn-fed artillerist described his observations to his sister: "We passed through some of the prettiest country that I ever saw in my life they has [some] of the finest land in the world and some of the ugliest women that I ever saw."
Another Confederate wrote, "Sister I will Give you a description of the Girls in pensylvania thay are all nothing but Dutch and Irish and the durty and Sturnest menest lookig Creaturs that I ever saw to Call them selves white Girls." He added, "them is the Girls that is writing to their husbands and Sweeheearts and brothers to fight on and restore the union."
Not to start a fight about which part of the nation has prettier women, but some Union soldiers had quite a number of comments about Southern women. I got this from Irving Bell Wiley's, Life of Billy Yank. For instance, "They look more like polls than any thing else," and another wrote, "The women here are shaped like a lath, nasty, slab-sided, long haired specimins of humanity. I would as soon kiss a dried codfish as one of them." Even worse was this comment, "sharp-nosed, tobacco-chewing, snuff-urbbing, flax-headed, hatchet-faced, yellow-eyed, sallow-skinned, cotton-dressed, flat-breasted, bare-headed, long-waisted, hump-shouldered, stoop-necked, big-footed, straddle-toed, sharp-shinned, thin-lipped, pale-faced, latern-jawed, silly-looking damsels."
More generous and perhaps more generous was, "Thar is Som durnde good looking girls in the Soth." Another impressed northerner said there were, "Squads of 'em (some confounded good looking ones, too) were on dress parade."
Lesson: beauty is in the eyes o' the beholder.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!