Mary Alansa "Allie" Rounds was a young woman who came to Virginia from New York in 1860 to teach at the Loch Willow Academy near Churchville – a school founded by her uncle, Jedediah Hotchkiss, who would go on to fame as "Stonewall" Jackson's cartographer in the Civil War. Although she was a Northerner, she stayed at the academy after the Civil War began, and courted (and eventually wed) Confederate cavalry officer Francis F. Sterrett.
Her diary, to which she added some notes in 1913, focuses on the everyday life of a young woman in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and the people she knew. While she avoided writing about controversial topics and many of the tumultuous events of the day, Rounds – a keen observer of people – provided in-depth descriptions of what they looked like, what they wore and how they participated in some of the social events of the day. She also captured in her diary one hair-raising experience with a Yankee sentry.
Overall, her diary is valuable to the historian and the casual reader as a colorful reminiscence of people, times and places that have long since disappeared from the American scene. Comes with illustrations and an introduction by historian Charles Culbertson.
Paperback, 88 pages, 9 x 6 inches, illustrated, ISBN 978-1497349353.