[Catherine Edmonston catches her diary up at the end of the year, summing up what has happened in late 1861 with Mason & Slidell and other preparations for war, including fears of another naval assault by the Union on the NC coast]
Our disappointment was keen as we saw our Commissioners peaceably depart on board the British ship Rinaldo without their having effected for us that good which we so confidently hoped for. They were surrendered on the 26th of December & so closed the year for us. Disappointed in our hopes of Foreign aid, the Coast of SC ravaged & destroyed, its garden spot in the hands of a ruthless invader, Savannah threatened, Charleston in ashes, an immense fleet of Mortar boats & gunboats backed by an enormous army preparing to descend the Mississippi & seize its fertile valley, another army ready to march through Kentucky and Tennessee, Norfolk beleaguered and blockaded, Fortress Monro where we had spent our money like water, with tis impregnable position and complete armament in the hands of our enemies—a thorn in our sides to vex and destroy us, an army equal to our own fronting us on the Potomac, ready at any moment to fall upon Richmond and rumours, nay authentic accounts, that another immense Armada was being fitted out for the coast of N. Carolina, whilst preparations were actively making for the Bombardment of N Orleans—the hearts of our people might well—“fail—for fear”–& we shrink before the inevitable fate which our conquest involved. But it did not! Men & women looked the alternative sternly in the face and preferred death, extermination, anything to being conquered, subjugated, our God given Blessing of self Government infringed or even tampered with, and determined to resist to the last, to be free!
Source: Edmondston, Catherine Ann Devereux, 1823-1875, Journal of a Secesh Lady: The Diary of Catherine Ann Devereux Edmondston 1860-1866. Crabtree, Beth G and Patton, James W., (Raleigh, NC: North Carolina Division of Archives and History, 1979). http://nc-historical-publications.stores.yahoo.net/478.html