Monday, May 2, 2011

Keeper of Confederate Memoirs to Be Honored in San Angelo

This year a special honor is planned for a Texas woman who secured the memoirs of Confederate soldiers for generations to come.  Mamie Ann Yeary published  Reminiscences of the Boys in Gray, 1861–1865 in 1912.  Mamie Yeary is buried in Fairmont Cemetary in San Angelo.  She will be honored with a marker and ceremony by the Tom Green SCV camp. 

 The Texas Handbook at has this article about her. 

YEARY, MAMIE ANN (1876–1922). Mamie Yeary, compiler of Confederate memoirs, was born on October 10, 1876, to James Knox Polk and Mary L. (Bickley) Yeary of Farmersville, Texas. She grew up in Farmersville in a family and region sympathetic to Confederate ideals long after the Civil War. Due to a long-term physical ailment, Mamie remained with her parents into adulthood, allowing her mother to care for her. The family eventually moved from Collin County to McGregor. In 1912 Yeary published Reminiscences of the Boys in Gray, 1861–1865. This 904-page book comprised memoirs submitted to her by Confederate Army veterans living in Texas at the time of writing. To these records she added the constitution of the Confederate States of America and a complete listing of Civil War engagements. Although the book received minimal attention in Yeary's lifetime, renewed interest in genealogy and Civil War history later in the century encouraged a reprinting. Morningside House, a Dayton, Ohio, publisher, reissued the book with an index in 1986. Mamie Yeary died on June 15, 1922, and is buried in Fairmount Cemetery in San Angelo.

The Terry Texas Rangers archive online highlights some of her soldier memoirs on their site.

This blog has had several conversations on the importance of diaries and other primary source documents in making our presentations authentic.  Mamie secured these records so that upcoming generations could learn about the life and struggles of the most defining conflict in our country's history.  Hooray for this frontier woman!

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