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The Chesnut Cottage, circa 1850, is one of the most historically significant homes in the Southeast. During the War Between the States it was the home of General James and Mary Boykin Chesnut.

In October of 1864, the Chesnuts hosted President Jefferson Davis and his traveling party in their home.  President Davis gave his last speech to the citizens of Columbia from the front porch of the Cottage. Four months later Columbia was in ashes, with fires destroying houses less than a block away from the Cottage.


First Editon-1905: A Diary from Dixie
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To read an excerpt click here

Mary Boykin Chesnut was a charming hostess who loved entertaining guests in her home. She wrote many pages of her diary while living in the Cottage, and many years later enlarged on her war-time notes to create the Pulitzer prize winning "Diary of Dixie" first published in 1905, almost twenty years after her death. Original copies of the first publication in the Saturday Evening Post (five issues) and first editions of the English and American Versions are on display at the Cottage.
Mary Chesnut's memoirs were first published in 1905 under the title Diary from Dixie. Beginning in January of that year. it was serialized in five weekly issues by the Saturday Evening Post, whose editor gave it its name. In 1982 C. Vann Woodard's revised edition of the diary won the Pulitzer Prize in history. Woodward's edition combined the best of her original diary, and her two subsequent versions, both incomplete, into a historical treasure. Most of Mary's original copybooks and notes survive and are located in the Caroliniana Library at the University of South Carolina. The Diary has been continuously in print by various publishers since it was introduced.

The Chesnut Cottage is tucked into a charming historic neighborhood which contains Columbia's few surviving antebellum homes and mansions. Perfect for a private getaway, the Chesnut Cottage is one of Columbia's "best kept secrets".
1718 Hampton Street • Columbia, South Carolina 29201 • 803-256-1718
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