Margaret Junkin Preston, Poet of the Confederacy: A Literary Life
Though her poetry and short stories had appeared in several national magazines and her only novel, Silverwood (1856), had been published anonymously prior to her marriage, Preston gave up her writing career in exchange for household duties. But with the onset of war, Preston again took to wielding her pen, this time to espouse the Southern cause through a series of Confederate nationalist verses. The deaths of Stonewall Jackson and her stepson, her husband's dangerous military service, and the invasion of her home by Union troops all solidified for Preston the high personal cost of war and compounded her belief in the justice of the Confederate cause. Her most notable piece from this period is a long narrative poem, Beechenbrook: A Rhymeof the War, published in Richmond in 1865.
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