This week in the Civil War for October 5, 1864
150-year old Confederate diary gives up its secrets to volunteer code breaker

Civil War Etiquette

Civil War Etiquette: Martine’s Handbook and Vulgarisms in Conversation- 
 ”Civil War Era Etiquette: Martine’s Handbook and Vulgarisms in Conversation,” originally published in 1866 as a man’s guide to gentlemanly behavior.

Imagine how shocked the author would be to hear the profane greetings, writing and language used today, every sentence from a young girl/guy laced with the “F” bomb. 

How far we’ve come? or have we?

“The true aim of politeness, is to make those with whom you associate as well satisfied with themselves as possible. …it does whatever it can to accommodate their feelings and wishes in social intercourse.”

Today we care little of what those around us think of us. We live in a mentality of “you don’t like what I have to say” “F” you.


Curse or discuss “impolite” subjects when ladies are present

Leave a lady you know unattended, except with permission

Use tobacco in any form when ladies are present

Greet a lady in public unless she acknowledges you first (see “Always” #12)

Eat or drink while wearing gloves

Help a lady with her coat, cloak, shawl, etc.

Offer to bring a lady refreshments if they are available

Offer your arm to escort a lady (with whom you are acquainted) into or out of a building or a room at all social events, and whenever walking on uneven ground

Remove your hat when entering a building

Lift your hat to a lady when she greets you in public (Merely touching the brim or a slight “tip” of the hat was very rude)


Grab your hoops or lift your skirts higher than is absolutely necessary to go up stairs

Lift your skirts up onto a chair or stool, etc.

Sit with your legs crossed (except at the ankles if necessary for comfort or habit)

Lift your skirts up onto the seat of your chair when sitting down (Wait for, or if necessary, ask for assistance when sitting down at a table or on a small light chair)

Speak in a loud, coarse voice

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