In 2008, Texas historian Nancy Draves happened upon an amazing find up for public auction: the 1861 diary of Kitty Anderson, the daughter of prominent San Antonio resident and vocal Union Army supporter Colonel Charles Anderson. Kitty's diary chronicles the Anderson family's tumultuous experience during the early years of the Civil War. Following the vote for Texas's secession and the surrender of San Antonio's federal garrison, Col. Anderson attempted to flee, only to be arrested by Confederate Texas soldiers. Kitty and the family fled to Matamoros via Brownsville and boarded a ship; Col. Anderson escaped from custody and made his way across the Rio Grande and into Monterrey, later reuniting with the family in Vera Cruz.
Kitty Anderson's diary is unique not only for chronicling her trials and observations servations during the harrowing days between September 29 and November 30, 1861-- it also contains a later account written by Kitty describing her father's escape from the Confederates. The strength of this appended text, along with the first-person diary itself, lies in Kitty's gifted prose and her willingness to catalogue all her experiences, including the names of those she encountered, the dates, and the places. A Promise Fulfilled is an important artifact of Civil War Texas and illuminates the diversity of viewpoints held by Texans on the issues of secession, slavery, and what it truly meant to be a patriot.
Nancy Draves taught high school in San Antonio for twenty years and still lives there. This is her first book.