Emily Dickinson's Confederate Uncle

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"Clad in Victory" by Virginia Dickinson Reynolds
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"Clad in Victory"

Although we claimed the same great-grandfather, my first meeting with Martha Dickinson Bianchi was accidental. For me, it proved a happy and exciting event. I had not planned it and I am certain that she was innocent of my existence.

My grandfather, Samuel Fowler Dickinson Jr., was one of the younger brothers of Edward--Emily's father. The fact that my grandfather left Amherst when he was barely twenty, and went to Georgia to try to make his own way in the world, and that he succeeded there, and only went back to Amherst on occasional visits, caused him to be something of a stranger to his own birthplace. During the War between the States, he and my own father espoused the cause of the Secessionists. That must have created a rift between them and the family in Amherst, for I can remember the story being told of my great uncles in Massachusetts advertising a reward for my father's capture, "alive or dead."


from Guests in Eden (New York: Zeta Chapter, Phi Delta Gamma, 1946)

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Transcription and commentary copyright 1999 by Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved.
Maintained by Lara Vetter <lv26@umail.umd.edu>
Last updated on June 12, 2000