South Carolina Hall Of Fame: Mary Boykin Chesnut

Mary Boykin Chesnut

Born-(Died): 1823-1886
Profession: Diarist
Inducted: 1999

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Mary Boykin Chesnut was born in 1823 in Stateburg, South Carolina and was educated in Charleston. The daughter of Governor Stephen Decatur Miller, she married James Chesnut, Jr. of Camden. James Chesnut served in the South Carolina Senate, as an aide to Confederate President Jefferson Davis, and later as a brigadier general in the Confederate Army. Mrs. Chesnut’s entrée to the social, political and military worlds of her day provided her an opportunity to observe events first hand. Her Diary from Dixie, published in 1905, provides a fascinating view of the people and events during the years surrounding the Civil War. In 1982 C. Vann Woodward received the Pulitzer Prize in history for his editing of Mary Chesnut’s Civil War.