Josie Underwood's Civil War Diary

Josie Underwood's Civil War Diary

Video. A young southern belle chronicles the times when Union and Confederate troops invaded her home in Bowling Green, Kentucky.


6 - 12+


Social Studies, U.S. History

NG Live

This video was filmed on April 5, 2012 as part of the National Geographic Live! Lecture series at National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Author Winston Groom writes that Shiloh was the first battle in the United States Civil War that shocked Americans into seeing how long and how terrible the war would become. A well-educated, outspoken member of a politically prominent family in Bowling Green, Kentucky, Josie Underwood (1840-1923) left behind one of the few intimate accounts of the Civil War written by a southern woman sympathetic to the U.S., despite living in a Confederate state in rebellion.


  • Who was Josie Underwood? (start-00:35 min.)

  • Passage from Josie Underwood's diary: March 1,1862 (00:36-00:59 min.)

  • Casualties during the Civil War (01:00-01:15 min.)

  • Passage from Josie Underwood's diary: April 15, 1862 (01:16-01:24 min.)

  • Background of Josie Underwood (01:25-02:03 min.)

  • Passage from Josie Underwood's diary: Sept 3, 1862 (02:04-02:16 min.)

  • Harsh realities of the Civil War (02:17-02:37 min.)

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Page Producers
Nina Page, National Geographic Society
Samantha Zuhlke, National Geographic Society
Last Updated

October 19, 2023

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