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Myrta Lockett was born in Halifax County, Virginia on December 7, 1857 to Harwood and Augusta (Harper) Lockett, and she was raised and educated in Mecklenberg County. After her marriage to James Corbin Avary, a Georgia physician, in 1884, she lived in Atlanta and there wrote for the Journal, Constitution, and Georgian newspapers. The couple moved to New York in 1890, and Myrta again found an outlet for her writing with various newspapers, including the Christian Herald. She was also the editor of the memoirs of a Confederate officer's wife entitled, a Virginia Girl in the Civil War (1905), and was one of the editors of Mary Boykin Chesnut's famous Diary From Dixie (1905). She maintained lengthy correspondence with several noted literary figures of that era, including Julia Ward Howe, author of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic." A pioneer female humanitarian, Myrta was active with the Salvation Army and the Woman's War Relief Association during World War I, and participated in relief work in India, China, and Cuba. In her latter years, she moved back to Atlanta, where she died in 1946.
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