July 3, 1862
Still undecided. The country is so favourable for concealment, so overgrown with bushes & undergrowth that it is hard to find them. They are still in retreat to Curl’s Neck on the James a little above City Point, but we have a Division between them and the River & hope yet to make them surrender. They must be short of provisions & ere long their ammunition must fail, for they cannot carry both for such a host. We have captured so enormous a number of Army Waggons & Mules that they cannot have many more. The Gun boats in the James are shelling our troops but they do little damage; as many of their shells fall in the Yankee army as do in ours. Tomorrow will bring us the decisive news, and the 4th of July will, we hope, be celebrated as being the era of our second Independence. Late Northern papers tell us the excitement & anxiety there is intense.
McClellan on Thursday & Friday Telegraphed that he was doing all he wished, his success complete, when hey, Presto, Jackson cut his wire! The Lincoln Government refuse to communicate any news at all, saying the result is unknown, the communication cut off, etc. In consequence the public are terribly exasperated. Good! I hope they will be more so when autocrat Lincoln removes the seal of secrecy from his defeat, or rather has it done for him by the fugitives. Out of 1500 wounded Yankees in one Hospital, one third are wounded in the back! There is valour for you. They fight well, however, as our dead testify. We have captured their Balloon & fixtures & can spy in our turn. It is said that some of the Transports have dropped down the River, heavily laded with men, but that lacks confirmation. O! for tomorrow’s news.
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