June 12, 1862
Mr. Edmondston left for Wilmington tho scarcely able to travel, but he is so much interested in his Battalion that he will leave no stone unturned to get into Service. His knee still very painful.
In the afternoon came brother. Being a volunteer aid without pay, he can leave when he pleases & so came home to see what was best to be done after the freshet. He feels gloomy about Richmond & in fact about the cause generally, as he has seen so much of the inefficiency of our officers. Huger, he tells us, has been suspended for not bringing up his reserve on Sunday & cutting the enemy off. Had he done so, the loss of life would have been much less & the whole of the Yankees on the South side of the Chickahominy would have fallen into our hands! “Thy sin shall find thee out” comes true with nations as well as men, for had they superceeded him as they ought to have done, after the finding of the Court of Inquiry after the Roanoke Island disaster, this would never have happened now & indeed the Va might have been still spared to us.
Stanley the renegade, the traitor Governor, appointed by Mr Lincoln to rule his native State, finds the way of the transgressor hard. He has stopped the negro schools as being contrary to the Statute Law of N C, by which he has offended his Northern masters, but with a strange inconsistency he ignores the fact (of which Mr Badger has reminded him however) that his being here, as Gov, is as much an infringement of our rights, for the Laws of N C provide for an election of the Gov by the people. He said that if there was one man in N C whom he regarded more than another, one man whom he loved, the man was Richard S Donnel, & yet the first sight which greeted him on stepping ashore at New Berne was the coffin of Mr Donnell’s mother with her name & the date of her birth & death cut on it waiting shipment to N Y, her remains having been thrown out to give place to the body of a Yankee officer! Such is our foe.
I sympathize deeply with the Donnells & hope that poor Fanny was buried in Raleigh where she died & that her remains are not exposed to the insult that her Mother’s & Grandfather’s have been—for it is said that the skull of Gov Richard Dobbs Speight was stuck upon a pole & that Stanley was forced to look at it as he landed! Meet & right it is that his father’s foe should rise from his grave to exult over Stanley’s infamy, for know that Gov Speight was killed in a duel by Stanley’s father now fifty years ago at least. I fear me the “false Stanley” as he is still called in England is “false” still, even tho’ represented now by Lord Derby, false to his master at Bosworth field. Now this one of the same name, tho I doubt not the same blood, is false to his country, to his name, & to his fame. Let him go down to the “vile dust” “unwept” & “unhonoured.”
The Yankees have in and about New Berne more than 6,000 negroes who work when they please & if they do not please they draw their rations from the Q Master. This cannot last. No government can stand it. The end must soon come. Burnside is arming & drilling the negroes & expects when the fate of Richmond is decided to commence active operations. God be with us & vain will be the rage of men.
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