The Sarcastic Civil War Diarist Who Chronicled the Confederacy’s Fall

Raised in Plantation Privilege, Mary Boykin Chesnut Was Unprepared for the Trauma of War and Defeat

“February 18, 1861…. I do not allow myself vain regrets or sad foreboding. This Southern Confederacy must be supported now by calm determination and cool brains. We have risked all, and we must play our best, for the stake is life or death.”

With that entry, Mary Boykin Chesnut began her diary, chronicling the momentous four years that encompassed the American Civil War. Chesnut’s diary is one of the most significant and intimate sources for understanding the Southern Confederacy. Chesnut and her husband, James Chesnut Jr., moved within the highest …

How the Chesapeake Bay Formed American Identity

It's Been an Artery Through Which Democracy and Capitalism Flowed

When Captain Christopher Newport sailed into the Chesapeake Bay in 1607 to establish the first permanent English colony in North America, his goal was not freedom.

In that way, Newport, the …

Green Gem

Where I Once Caught Lightning Bugs, I Find Myself

Sometimes the places I go are the places I came from. Imprinted from infancy with a sense of belonging, I cannot help but return to the small community of Meadowview, …

Washington-Lee High School (Arlington, Va.)

Sweating through the Guilt

I couldn’t resist. I tried, I really did. I stayed away for more than a year, but in the end I succumbed. I pledged in The Washington Post that I …