Documenting the American South Logo
Collections >> First-Person Narratives, The North Carolina Experience >> Document Menu >> Summary

Bartlett Yancey Malone, b. 1838
The Diary of Bartlett Yancey Malone
Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 1919.


Bartlett Yancey Malone was born in Caswell County, North Carolina in 1838. In 1861, when he was twenty-three, he left farming to enter the Civil War. He fought with the 6th North Carolina regiment throughout Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, rising in the ranks from private to sergeant. On November 7, 1863 he was captured by the Union Army and imprisoned at Point Lookout, Maryland, where he remained until February 24, 1865. The University of North Carolina published his journal posthumously, with a preface by its editor, William Whatley Pierson, Jr., in 1919.

The Diary of Bartlett Yancey Malone offers readers the voice of one Confederate soldier among the thousands whose experiences and impressions have gone unheard. Reported in a simple and matter-of-fact manner, the diary begins, its editor notes, as a weather report catalogued by an experienced farmer transplanted abruptly from cornfield to battlefield. Many of the daily accounts in the first half of the journal contain descriptive phrases about the weather. However, as Malone grows as a soldier, so do the length, depth, and content of his entries. His persistent journal habits include notations on his diet, his regiment's marches, and biblical texts referred to in the sermons he hears. Interestingly, his rudimentary spelling throughout the diary gives way to more formal prose in the few sentimental poems he includes and likely composed. Of particular interest to scholars is Malone's account of his time in prison at Point Lookout, which offers a glimpse into the hardships Confederate soldiers endured in Northern prisons. Malone ends his diary upon his return home to Caswell County in March 1865.

Harris Henderson
Armistead Lemon

Document menu