July 17, 1862
Father left us yesterday for a jaunt up the country & to the Kittrells & the Catawba White Sulphur Sprs in hopes the change would be of service to his health.
Patrick is very weak & feeble but more bent than ever on getting into active service. He was all day drawing up a Memorial to the Sec of War & had to pause the rest many times.
The papers tell us that our Government have demanded Butler from the U S Government to be hung for hanging Mumford! Failing him it declares its intention of hanging Maj Gen McCall, the only Maj Gen in our possession. It may be right & may save hundreds from the fate of poor Mumford, but it seems hard and almost blood thirsty! But this law of Retaliation is so opposed to all Christian ethics that I know not how to judge it! It may be but the beginning, as brother says, and inaugurate a scene of bloodshed & deliberate murder from which we turn with horror. Yet Mumford’s death was an outrage, a crime against humanity, a cold blooded murder, from the repetition of which our citizens should be protected. Butlerhas imprisoned a Mrs Philips for laughing on her Balcony, at what is not stated, when a Yankee funeral was passing. Was ever such tyranny heard of before? He deserves death. Would that his nation would give him up.
The enemy have, we learn, left Williamston & returned to Plymouth. What was the fate of the unfortunate magistrates we have not heard. I hope they resisted & refused to take the oath. I hope so for the honour of N C.
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