A Confederate Girlhood


Louisa Cheairs McKenny Sheppard

A Confederate Girlhood, the memoir of Louisa Cheairs McKenny Sheppard, reflects upon the life of a young lady raised in the Ozarks during the Civil War. While her reminiscence is decidedly sentimental, it is a compelling representation of wartime and economic struggles and refugee life. Louisa wrote the memoir many years after the events took place. Researchers are reminded that the validity of the events recorded, as with any memoir, may be embellished and should be thoroughly researched.

Louisa Cheairs McKenny Sheppard, “Lou” or “Lulu,” was the fourth child of Talitha and E.D. McKenny. Talitha died during Louisa’s birth in 1848, and she was raised by her grandmother Louisa “Lucy” Terrell Cheairs. Lulu was twelve when the War began, and she recalled impact it had on Springfield and her family. Eventually, they were forced to flee Springfield, and her family left for uncle’s plantation in Mississippi. Over time the family moved to Arkansas, and did not return to Springfield until after the War. A Confederate Girlhood is a recollection of Louisa’s youthful adventures and a tribute to her beloved grandmother.

Contributed by the The History Museum on the Square

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