And your famous Mary is, hey look at that, a similar last name: Mary Chesnut, a South Carolina author noted for writing a sophisticated diary describing the American Civil War and her upper class circles of Southern society.
According to wikipedia – The diary was filled with the cycle of changing fortunes during the Civil War. Although she edited it during the 1870s and 1880s for publication, she retained the sense of events unfolding without foreknowledge. She was very politically aware, and analyzed the changing fortunes of the South and its various classes through the years. She also portrayed southern society and the mixed roles of men and women. She was forthright about complex and fraught situations related to slavery, particularly the abuses of sexuality and power. For instance, Chesnut confronted the problem of white men fathering children with enslaved women in their own extended households.