Discovered in a smokehouse in the mid-1980s, the diary of Serepta Jordan provides a unique window into the lives of Confederates living in occupied territory in upper middle Tennessee.

Written in a sturdy store ledger, the diary records every day from the fall of 1857 to June 1864. In this abridged version, Jordan reports local news, descriptions of her daily activities, war dispatches, and social life. Orphaned at twelve, Jordan lived in bustling New Providence, Tennessee, on the banks of the Red River. Well educated by private tutors, Jordan read widely, followed politics, and was a skilled seamstress interested in the latest fashions.

This one-of-a-kind volume not only adds a distinct female voice to the story of the Civil War, but also a picture of the slow but steady disintegration of slavery.

Dr. Minoa Uffelman, professor of history at Austin Peay State University, teaches the US South and Women. Her publications include Nannie Haskins Williams: One Southern Woman’s Life of Rebellion to Reconstruction and the articles, “Teaching Rural History in an Urban Age” in History of Rural America, “Tomato Clubs as Salvation” in Tennessee Women in the Progressive Era, and “Homer Plessy, Civil Rights Activist,” in The Human Tradition in the Civil Rights Movement. She is currently editing Volume 2 of Tennessee Women in the Progressive Era.


November 18, 2020


5:30 pm CT

6:30 pm ET