Margaret Mitchell used Life in Dixie as a major resource for writing Gone With the Wind and one can easily see traits of Mary Gay in Scarlett O’Hara.
Methodist records show that John Harvey Mashburn was assigned to Decatur where Wright’s Legion (Ga 38th) had been sent for training. Since many of Wright’s companies were from the same north Georgia counties in which Rev. Mashburn had been a circuit rider, it is understandable why he became their chaplain.
Mary Gay’s flowery poetry was parodied by Mark Twain in Huckleberry Finn.
LIFE IN DIXIE
Before the DeKalb soldiers go to meet the fortunes of war, let us recall some incidents that preceded their departure. On the northern side of the court-house square there stood a large building, the residence of Mr. Ezekiel Mason. Here, day after day, a band of devoted women met to make the uniforms for the DeKalb Light Infantry. These uniforms had been cut by a tailor, but they were to be made by women’s hands. Among the leading and directing spirits in this work were Mrs. Jonathan B. Wilson, Mrs. Jane Morgan, Mrs. Ezekiel Mason, Mrs. L,evi Willard, Miss Anna Davis, Mrs. James McCulloch, and Miss Lou Fowler. The most of this sewing was done by hand. To the DeKalb Light Infantry, the day before its departure, a beautiful silken banner was given. The ladies of the village furnished the material. The address of presentation was made by Miss Mollie G. Brown. In September, of that same year, my sister was invited to present a banner to Captain William Wright’s Company. Her modest little address was responded to in behalf of the company by Rev. Mr. Mashburn, of the Methodist Church. In March, 1862, there was another banner presented from the piazza of “the Mason Corner”—this time to the Fowler Guards, by Miss Georgia Hoyle. This banner was made by the fair hands of Miss Anna E. Davis. By this time the spirit of independence of the outside world had begun to show itself in the Southern-made grey jeans of the soldiers, and in the homespun dress of Miss Hoyle.
This banner, so skillfully made by Miss Anna Davis, had a circle of white stars upon a field of blue, and the usual bars of red and white—two broad red bars with a white one between. The banner of this pattern was known as the ” stars and bars,” …….
The 38th GA received a new flag in Savannah before they left for Virginia. It is this flag that was lost during a skirmish.