ALD, Excerpts From the Diary of Sarah Logan Kenney

Note: Sarah Logan Kenney was the daughter of Elsie, Anna Clayton Logan’s second-born daughter.

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My father was not well so we decided to move to Pensacola. Being a lawyer, he planned to work with Tom (Kennedy) in the land business. My grandmother died in 1924 and left Mama a little money. She used it to buy a Model T Ford in 1925. I was taught to drive so that I could drive the family to Pensacola. I was 13 years old at the time. We made the trip safely and moved into a cottage Aunt Sadie owned next to her place on Scenic Highway…My father died suddenly in the Spring of 26–our life changed! Read more

ALD, The Accumulation of Horrors That Was 1893

John and Gertie came in from Idaho. They spent a part of their time with us and a part with the Tuckers in Lexington. This was the last time we saw John. He went back to Idaho and died January 15th. He requested that he be buried in our lot in Salem. He died bravely as a Christian. How I thank God for that blessing. Gertrude’s mother went to Idaho and returned with Gertie and was at our house at the funeral. They had a fearful trip, delayed by a snow storm. Gertie went to Lexington to live with her parents. She was and is devoted to John. Her parents are dead now and she had a home in Winchester, Virginia. Read more

ALD, My Children Grew, and History Repeated

There is a great deal I can write but I am old and get tired. Things went on as usual. My sister Jeannie had five children., I had four, and George three. On October 27th my son Philip Clayton was born. A friend said he was the prettiest baby he had ever seen. Sadie, I thing*, was just as pretty but all my children were. And although they had all the diseases known to children went safely through all, with no trained nurse and no hospital. Beside the ordinary diseases my father and mother had frequent attacks of jaundice and rheumatism. I nursed them too. Read more

ALD, Beautiful Children Followed

When Mollie began to talk she gave everyboyd* names. She was confused as my father called my mother “Sarah” and the rest of us called her Mama. She puzzled her brain and evolved the name Mama Sarah. Then for her father, she gave the name Daddy Bob, for me Annie Ma, coupling the two names. Then one day she said to my father, “Papa what is your name. He said James, and then with a very satisfied air she said “Papa James.” Read more

ALD, I Married Robert

I enjoyed my cousin’s many West Point stories. He loved to tell of his experiences there to the day of his death. He was placed in charge of camps at Lynchburg to train soldiers and afterwards was at Fort Donalson with General Floyd, and was there when it was captured. He escaped as the prisoners were brough* over the Mississippi River, was a fine swimmer, and though shot at several times escaped and stayed in the bushes for three days without food. He finally found friends, returned to the army and was in command of a regiment. He fought in many battles. In the Battle of Winchester he was promoted for gallantry. He had two horses killed from under him but he was not wounded. He wrote me a full history of his was* record but that, and all my valuable papers, letters, pictures, books, manuscripts were destroyed in the Atlanta fire. Read more

ALD, My Little School

Oh, that was a trying year. I arranged with Roanoke College that John and Joe go there and Dr. Bittle and Dr. Davis sent me their daughters in exchange. We worked very hard. My dear mother at home, Jeanie and I at school. We taught all day until 4 p.m. and gave music lessons in the afternoon. This year I took boys and my father assisted with them. My mother had three young men for meals, Henry Fairfax, Fairfax Irving and a Mr. Snowden. She had a cook. Servants were reasonable then in price, so she had time to sew and see to things, but our life was very hard. Read more

ALD, Seven Episcopalians

As I said previously we decided to leave the beloved home, my father, mother, and children to go to Ashland, the boys, Jim and Joe to go to Randolph Macon college, Edith, Mercer and Nellie to go to a private school. Strother was only five years old, George rented the farm, John went to teach with Mr. Dabney, Jeanie and I to go to Salem to teach. We were to meet at Dungeness and decide again what was best to do. So with sad yet glad hearts we started to make our fortunes. I had no money. My cousin loaned me some on my pioneer trip to Salem. My friend Rev. G.W. Prime rented the house in Ashland. If we failed in Salem we were to go to Ashland. I had no southern friend that (had) a penny more than I did, so being obliged to fulfil my engagement I went to Richmond to see my father’s commissioner and found him out of town. What to do then. I must have expressed my feelings, for Mr. Cardaza’s partner said, “Is there anything I can do for you?” Read more

ALD, The General Came Calling

This summer we had crowds for weeks and passersby, once for three weeks a regiment, all that was left off Colonel Stevensons Kentucky regiment. Our very great friend Major John Reeve was in this command. We had the horses and servants to feed and were glad to do it. Our friends were completely nonplussed. They could not go home. An old cousin, Dr. James from Lancaster, Virginia stopped by to see us and stayed several months. He came to Petersburg in search of his son, who was wounded at the Battle of the Crater and he could hear nothing. He could not find him at Petersburg, so came to us. Poor man, he asked anxiously of every passing soldier they could tell him of his son. After many weeks he had the news that he had died of his wound. There was no communication and nobody had any money, so he stayed on until finally my father let him have the money, $40, with which he bought a horse and left for home. We were sorry to see him go. He was my father’s first cousin, a clever mn*, highly educated, and an old fashioned Virginia gentleman. We met him afterwards in Salem where we both lived and our families were very intimate. Read more

ALD, Richmond Falls

But I have again digressed. George was still in the 4th Virginia cavalry, and John was crazy to go. A friend of Jeanie’s came on a visit and offered to take John as his aid. He was colonel of a regiment, so finally our parents consented. John was a fine horseman and a good shot, so he was allowed to go. Colonel Bolton let him take a servant, George Nicholas, one of our dining room boys. There was great excitement in the family, white and black, when they left. Read more

ALD, Hard Times

Well, we lived anxious and sad. We went to Richmond to see friends. I stayed often with our cousins the Bookers who lived on Clay street just opposite of Jefferson Davis, so I saw the Davis’ a good deal in their domestic life. Mrs. Davis and her sister Miss Margaret Howell, I admired them physically. They, especially Mrs. Davis, were very clever and brilliant in society, but her lack of innate refinement was too evident. President Davis was greatly her superior. He was as refined as he looked, always the gentleman. The children were very attractive. I saw them very often–Maggie, Jeff and Joe. Read more