July 7, 1862
The enemy in the fork of Chickahominy & James, a strong natural position, which he is strengthening. We must either attack at great disadvantage or fall back. Westover and Berkely are the scene of their ravages now. Their tents dot the river for miles & there is a desolate wilderness behind them. How I pity the families in the garden spot of Va! Hitherto War has not come near them. One week ago and their crops were smiling with plenteousness, the Wheat Harvest had commenced & secure in their remote situation with impossible swamps, without roads, too, between them and the enemy, they dwelt at home & viewed from far the horrors of war. Suddenly with one swoop they found themselves environed with blood & carnage, their houses pillaged, their crops destroyed, their stock killed, their fences gone, & they driven outcasts from their happy homes. God be with them & support them in this time of trial! Ah! for the Virginia. Were she still afloat McClellan would have capitulated in the Swamp of the Chickahominy instead of entrenching himself, a new thorn in our side.
The N Y Herald admits the fact of Intervention, but that is such a lying sheet that we do not trust it. Probably he has some stocks which he either wishes to raise or depreciate & hence his admission. Vicksburg still holds out, but our eyes are so bent on Richmond that we see scarcely anything else. The enemy have abandoned James Island, it is supposed to reinforce McClellan, so Charleston feels the first good effect of the repulse we have given him at Richmond. Lincoln calls for 300,000 more troops. Will he get them?
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