July 21, 1862
Anniversary of the Battle of Manassas. Who would have thought one year ago that this war would still be raging and the Blockade unraised? With the exception of salt & shoes I think we suffer less from the Blockade than we did; our people having determined to do without many things which formerly they thought to be necessaries cease to feel the want of them as they did at first. The want of coffee is a sore discomfort, but it is astonishing how cheerfully it is borne. Thanks to Patrick’s far seeing I suffer less than my neighbors; indeed I have not yet felt the want of a single thing, a blessing vouchsafed to few. Shoes for the servants I need most, but the weather is warm & they can go bare foot tho’ I do not like it.
Went with Mr E to the Plantation. An effort had been made to break into our Pork House. The rogues got nothing, but Mr E took most summary & immediate measures to repress the spirit of disorganization & theft before it should become prevalent amongst our people. He summoned all the men, told them such a thing must be known to some of them, it could not occur without the cognizance of somebody, & gave them half an hour to bring him the guilty person, but that two people in the throng were to be whipped for the offence. At the end of the time, they being unable to agree in a verdict, he had twenty or more straws of different lengths thrown into a basin and the lots drawn. Upon those two who had the shortest straw the punishment was to fall. Hogfeeder Solomon and Ishmael were the unfortunate ones & were without more delay made to suffer the penalty. This plan seems hard, but he says it is the only one to prevent thieves being as rampant here as they are at Conneconara. It makes it the duty of the whole plantation to detect offenders. This must be one of the fruits of the War, as we never had such a thing before.
In the afternoon came Mr Shaw for a nights lodging & shelter from a coming shower & well for him, good man, that he reached one in time, for a harder, longer, more uninterrupted rain was never before seen. It cannot be general. The quantity of water which feel we have no means of estimating, but the whole yard & lot were afloat. Tho well drained with large ditches, the bridge in the road in front of the house was washed up and the water almost deep enough to swim a horse there, where there is never a drop in ordinary times. If, however, it should be general we have a terrible freshet before us, so goodbye to the young corn.
Mr Shaw is on his way to join the Scotland Neck Mounted Rifles. He joins to avoid the Conscription. He brought us an idle rumour of seven hundred Conscripts having rebelled inRaleigh& having been fired upon, but I do not believe a word of it.
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