Library of Congress Magazine (LCM), Vol. 1 No. 2: November-December 2012 Page: 17
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FIERY RIGHTEOUSNESS OF A LOST CAUSE: EUGENIA LEVY PHILLIPS
South Carolina native Eugenia Levy Phillips was the wife of Philip Phillips,
a prominent lawyer who was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in
1852. An outspoken Confederate sympathizer, Eugenia Phillips often found
herself at odds with Union officials in the couple's home of Washington,
D.C. When South Carolina seceded and war broke out in 1861, Phillips was
treated as a Southern sympathizer.
In her journal, Phillips describes the indignities of her confinement after
her arrest at the home of Rose Greenhow by federal officers in Washington,
along with her two daughters and sister Martha.
Aug. 28, 1861
This day has ushered in a new era in the History of the Country one which
marks the arrest and imprisonment of women, forpolitical opinions!At
eleven oclock we were notified by an ofcer, that my sister (a visitor) my two
daughters and myself were by the orders of the Government to be taken from
our house, and conveyed as prisoners to anotherplace of confinement. We
immediately prepared with courageous hearts, inspired with the thought that
we were suffering in a noble cause, and determined so to bear ourselves, as not
to shame our southern countrywomen. My dear husband was my chiefsorrow.
For ourselves, conscious we had done no wrong, we feared nothing-
Aug. 30, 1861
Again I ask myself what is my crime?
If an ardent attachment to the land of my birth and the expression of deepest
sympathy with my relatives and friends in the South, constitute treason-then
am I indeed a traitor-! If hostility to Black Republicanism, its sentiments,
andpolicy-is a crime-I am self condemned-! If detestation of this unholy
war, inaugurated by party lust-is deserving punishment then am I worthy
of its severest penalties-! and thus suffering, I would shout Hosannas for the
glorious cause of southern independence.
Although my heart sickens, and the Future looks dark, some indefinable
emotion, whispers courage andpromises that the day of reckoning will soon
Released after a three-week imprisonment, Phillips relocated to New
Orleans, where she supported Confederate spying efforts.
She also ran afoul of the notorious Union General
Benjamin "Beast" Butler by allegedly mocking the
funeral of a Union soldier. Butler issued a special
order imprisoning her at the harsh, primitive Ship
Island facility off the coast of Mississippi, a fate
almost unheard of for a woman up to that time.
She was only released after reluctantly taking an
oath foreswearing giving aid and comfort to
the enemies of the Union. Surviving these K r '
indignities, she died in Georgia in 1902. " , A_
BENJAMIN "BEAST" BUTLER J
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Office of Communications, Library of Congress. Library of Congress Magazine (LCM), Vol. 1 No. 2: November-December 2012, periodical, November 2012; Washington, D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc133017/m1/19/: accessed April 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .