Mention of the war will wake up a dull company and set
their tongues going, when nearly any other topic would fail.
In the South, the war is what A.D. is elsewhere: they date from it.
All day long you hear things 'placed' as having happened since the waw;
or du'in' the waw; or befo' the waw; or right aftah the waw;
or 'bout two yeahs or five yeahs or ten yeahs befo' the waw
or aftah the waw. It shows how intimately every individual
was visited, in his own person, by that tremendous episode.