Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Mizell-Nelson, Michael

Second Advisor

Mitchell, Mary N.

Third Advisor

Powers, Madelon


This thesis examines the diary of Ellen Wallace, a woman who lived in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, during the American Civil War. A diligent diarist, Ellen recorded not only the workings of her farm and household, but also her interactions with slaves, her worries about secession, and her shifting views on President Lincoln, emancipation and the war itself. At the start of the war, Ellen was a staunch Unionist. By war's end, she was a Confederate. This thesis will examine the factors that contributed to Ellen's changing political ideals and how she sought to reconcile her opposing beliefs. Ellen occupied a role rarely discussed in Civil War scholarship: not a member of the southern paternalist society, or a northern abolitionist. Ellen was a slave‐owning woman who supported the Union cause.


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