July 15, 1862
Patrick better today. Whilst we were at tea came news that the Yankees have occupied Williamston in force, that they have arrested the magistrates at Hamilton, & hold them personally responsible for their repulse by Capt Whitaker’s Co last week. They demand to know who fired upon them. The cowards, to come & take peaceful unarmed men, who had nothing in the world to do with the action, & hold them responsible for the conduct of a body of regular Confederate soldiers! Who fired upon them? Why the Southern Confederacy, which they have come to invade, represented by a company in the 1st N C Cavalry. Who fired upon them? What a question, when you came here to be fired upon? Ah! the rascals. They are uncomfortably near us tho, and I trust that the Government will send troops down to keep them in check.
A Steamer has got in from Liverpool & brings as a present from the Liverpool merchants to the Confederate States thirteen Batteries of Light Artillery, 78 guns in all, Rifles, carriage, harness, & every thing complete—a magnificent present and one for which Liverpool has my warmest thanks. we will not forget her when trade opens & Liverpool shall have the precedence of all other goods in my estimation. The first real act of kindness which we have received from any nation in the world.
Johnson has thrown into the Pententiary at Nashville all the clergyman of what denomination soever who refuse to take the oath and to pray for the President of the U S. Where is your boasted liberty, your boasted Religious freedom, when a man cannot even pray as he wishes but must stain his soul with a lying lip prayer? Truly, he tries to make us realize one of the curses in the Psalms—“their prayers were turned into sin.”
Vicksburg holds out gallantly & there are rumours that in Arkansas we have captured Curtis and 5,000 men, but it wants confirmation. Major Gen Liar Halleck, as the English papers call him, claims a victory for the Feds at Richmond, says Richmond has fallen & that 15,000 Confederates are captured. Shame where is thy blush? Indeed, the Northern Journals generally claim that McClellan has only changed front and in fact made a magnificent strategic movement & that too in the face of an enemy, that he is nearer Richmond than he was at the commencement of the Battle. Truth surely has left this earth.
As I walk in the garden this morning and look at my young Pear trees bending with fruit, Patrick’s prophecy about the Yankees being here before they ripened fruit, uttered when he planted them two years since, comes over me like a chill. True, Doyenne d Ete has done its best to falsify his Cassandra-like anticipations, but the Vicar of Waikfield & Bon Chetien look as tho months of sun were needed to soften them and the close vicinity of the marauders at Williamston not twenty five miles off may well make us tremble, but God knows best and He will direct everything in His own way.
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