Callie Anthony says: I'm Callie Anthony, and I was born on March 16, 1839. My full name is Susan Austin Callie Jane Anthony, but I never use all those names. I grew up and still live in Campbell County, Virginia, near Evington at my father's house, Walnut Hill. It's a beautiful place, at the foot of a mountain and two creeks run by the house down to the Otter River. We're southwest of Lynchburg.
My older sister Morgiana died a few years ago, and I miss her terribly. She had just gotten married when she died. I also had a baby brother who didn't live. I still have two brothers: Ben, who is married and lives nearby, and John William. Ben's wife Jennie is sweet as she can be, and her brother Victor is such a gentleman! (He's a lawyer in North Carolina, and he's not married, yet.) My brother Johnny goes to Randolph Macon College, but he just joined the Confederate Army. My Pa is Charles Anthony. He's had some trouble with his leg recently, but he's well for being 68 years old. He's completely in charge of the estate and all his business concerns, although Johnny helps him a lot when he's home. My Ma is Martha Davis (Haden) Anthony. I've been helping her with running the house since I got home from school, but what I really want is to get married and have my own house to run! I know I could be a good mistress, and run a household, servants and everything, perfectly. I just need to find that perfect man.
The last couple of years I've been attending Hollins Institute, the best girls school in all of Virginia, maybe anywhere! My favorite subject was English; I just love to read books and write. I wish I could have gone back to finish my last year of school, but with the war breaking out, it wasn't really feasible. Now all my writing is in letters to my many cousins and friends. I'm lucky to have so many correspondents, and we have to write since it is hard to travel too far. Here are a few of my letters I thought I'd share. And don't forget to check out some of the photographs in my scrapbook.
Sectional tensions were high following John Brown's October 1859 raid on Harpers Ferry and during the presidential election campaign in 1860.
After Abraham Lincoln won election as president of the United States in November 1860, some Southern states began to secede while some Virginians worked to craft a compromise to preserve the Union.
When the Virginia Convention began meeting in February 1861, most of the delegates did not advocate immediate secession, but events beyond Virginia's borders in April 1861 resulted in the Convention's vote to secede.