August 3, 1862
Sunday—brother left very early this morning in our Carriage for Weldon & I occupied myself in writing letters. I dispatched five & then rested! I wrote Alethea Collins yesterday, which completes the task of six that I set myself.
Mama heard from her sister in Petersburg that we fired some small guns about two o clock, sufficient to annoy the enemy who came over to the south side & responded. Suddenly we opened upon them with Long Tom & Big Charles, Parrot guns captured at Maassas, when a terrible crashing & splashing, as the newspapers told us, ensued & in the morning their fleet was like the host of Senacharib!
“By their fruits ye shall know them”! I am more forcibly struck with the force & beauty of this comparison this summer than I ever was. Our young orchard is bearing for the first time & as I wander through it the feeling with which I look upon the different trees is almost a personal one. I have a different feeling for each: Red Astrachan, Summer Rose, Summer Pearmain, there is a shade of sentiment towards each of you which varies in kind & as contrasted with those that are yet to be proved the difference is immense. Domine, Roman Stem, Mattamuskeet, etc., I look to you with hope, but rather with indifference as yet; but to Astrachan & Pearmain I mentally nod my head as to old friends—say “well done, I know you now, feel intimate with you, know what you can do and how you do it”! “By their fruits ye shall know them”! How vividly do these Bible similies taken from the world about us, the Vegetable and farming world, come home to the heart of one intimate with them & how strong is the impress which the “grand old garderner Adam has left on us all”!
Am making some experiments on my peach trees with boiling water poured around & upon the collar. I find that it does not kill the tree but the question is does it the borer? Will go on & try the experiment thoroughly to try & rid our trees of this pest.
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