|About the Book|
Born into an influential and wealthy New Orleans family on February 28, 1842, Sarah Morgan was the daughter of a judge who moved his family to Baton Rouge when Sarah was eight. Morgan began her civil war diaries in 1862 at age 20. She was keenlyMoreBorn into an influential and wealthy New Orleans family on February 28, 1842, Sarah Morgan was the daughter of a judge who moved his family to Baton Rouge when Sarah was eight. Morgan began her civil war diaries in 1862 at age 20. She was keenly aware of her social status because of her wealth and soon learned that she must develop a greater level of tolerance than during the antebellum period. The war divided her own family between the causes of the North and the South. At first impressed with the civility of the Union officers when they captured New Orleans in 1862, her opinion changed greatly when Baton Rouge experienced the same fate. Her family’s home was horribly ransacked, seemingly more than any other house in the town. In 1864, Sarah and her mother were forced to move back to New Orleans at which time they learned that two of her brothers had died of disease in the Confederate ranks. She never returned to Baton Rouge and her hatred for the Yankees remained with her the rest of her life. Sarah moved to Paris in her later years, a self-imposed exile. There she died on May 5, 1909. She is buried in the St. Lawrence Cemetery in Charleston. As directly quoted from her civil war diary on Tuesday, May 2d. 1865: While praying for the return of those who have fought so nobly for us, how I have dreaded their first days at home! Since the boys died I have constantly thought of what pain it would bring to see their comrades return without them – to see families reunited, and know that ours never could be again, save in heaven. The diaries that Sarah kept as a young woman during the years of the civil war have become a national treasure and are considered an authentic voice of that conflict. But to those who are able to sense her thoughts from a more personal nature, one will discover written in the midst of this conflict the fragile yet clear thread of the tender longings of a young woman whose time to enjoy the traditional courtship and romance of a prominent southern belle had been shattered by the war. May 6, 1862: For unconfessed to myself, until very recently, I have dressed up an image in my heart, and have unconsciously worshiped it under the name of Beau Ideal. Not a very impossible one, for doubtless there are many such, though the genus is not to be found in Baton Rouge- but still I am ashamed to acknowledge such a schoolgirl weakness, even to myself- for I know if any moonstruck girl described her beau ideal to me, the only sympathy she would get would be a slight elevation of the nose. I hate sentimentality- but way down in my heart, I am afraid I rather like “sentiment”. While remaining faithful to the voice in her diaries, When the Morning Comes in Heaven is the author’s portrayal of the youthful Sarah Morgan with the intent of gifting her with a “beau ideal” in those lost precious moments, and of bringing vividly to life this exceptional, but also very human, nineteenth century woman. A woman whose brilliance and tenacity, restlessly enfolded into high spirits and passion, led her to challenge her birthright, keenly analyze the affects of the war for those she loved, the society in which she lived, and a divided nation that broke her heart. This is the story of a beautiful courageous woman of the South living in an extraordinary time and place irresistible to those who love history.