Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The end of the Civil War Journal of Julia P. Cutler

This blog began over four years ago as a tribute to Julia Cutler and as a way to share her remarkable journal written 150 years ago.  She wrote almost every day throughout the Civil War, sharing news of the war, family news, and her own day-to-day activities.  After I read the journal,  my admiration for  Julia was so great that I wanted to share her words with Dawes/Cutler descendants and with anyone else who had an interest in the history of the time.  She was a strong and capable woman, a keen observer, steady and slow to panic, and devoted to her family.  She suffered her share of loss and sadness, but she also took delight in her garden, her writing and her family.  She seldom seemed discouraged and her personal faith remained strong.  I think she knew she was writing for posterity:  she nearly always included first and last names of people in her journal.  For the most part, she kept negative opinions to herself or she was very tactful about them (although she had no love for "traitors" to the Union).

 Julia Cutler continued to write in her journal sporadically until August 1865.  The entries stop but resume in the same book in January 1869.  In her later life, she helped publish the papers of her grandfather Manasseh Cutler, her father Ephraim Cutler, and her brother William P. Cutler.  Julia never married, but always was involved in the lives of her nieces and nephews.  Julia lived to the age of 90, spending her remaining years in a house near her nephew Rufus R. Dawes and his wife Mary in Marietta, Ohio.  

I have very much enjoyed posting Julia Cutler's journal entries to this blog.  I have learned a good deal about the Civil War, the impact of the war on families, and a woman's perspective on the times.  Because we know how the Civil War ended, we sometimes forget the uncertainty that contemporary people felt.  I found particularly moving the account of the celebration at the end of the war which was followed by feelings of devastation upon hearing of Lincoln's assassination.  Those were hard times, important times and they are worth remembering.

I have updated the "People" tab at the top of this page so you can learn a little bit about what happened in the lives of the Cutler/Dawes family after 1865.  I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Now that I have posted all the remaining entries for 1865, I expect this to be my last post to this blog.  Thanks for reading!  And thanks to Julia for writing all those years ago.

Peggy Dempsey

Julia P. Cutler

Julia Cutler, her niece Sarah Julia Cutler, and Sarah's mother, Lizzie Voris Cutler


  1. Thank you for four years of gracious reading. I'll miss my daily visit very much

    1. You are most welcome. It has been a pleasure to read the journal and to share the journal entries.

  2. Linda Harden-LantzJune 19, 2015 at 8:57 AM

    Do you live in Marietta. I was there for several days in May and also saw some Julia Cutler's journal entries. However mine were of stories that her father related to her in his final years of the settlement of the Ohio Territory. She mentioned my ancestors and their settlement at Noggletown, just up the road a bit from Constitution, closer to Marietta. What a treasure this lady was to the history of OHIO. Thank you for some of her writings. I too have a copy of 3 of her hand written pages.

    1. Linda, I don't live in Marietta but have been there many times to visit the Special Collections Library at Marietta College where many Cutler/Dawes papers are housed. We also have ourself many letters that were handed down through the family (Julia Cutler is the aunt of my husband's great-grandfather, Rufus Dawes.) I am glad you have enjoyed reading her Civil War Journal.