September 14, 1862
This Conscript extension Act hangs like the sword of Damocles over my head. They are still debating it in Congress & we cannot tell which side will get the Victory. A letter yesterday from Mr E’s friend Mr Haxall tells him that it is in contemplation to send Brig Gen Beverly Robinson [Robertson], the successor of the lamented and gallant Ashby, out here to organize the North Carolina Cavalry. It seems an odd movement to take him from the face of the enemy for such a purpose, but we have many things now beyond our comprehension & which call for the exercise of simple, unquestioning Faith. Be that as it may, I suppose the organization of the Regt ordered by Maj Gen Martin will go for nothing & new appointments or Elections will take place. Capt Haxall has received a Commission as Lieut & is detailed to act as drill master with the prospect of a field offie in the distance. I do not know how it will be & have been so worried by the whole of it that—but that is not true, I do care & deeply, for beyond my interest for Mr E they are my countrymen, my country’s defenders, & I care for every one & all of them & wish them to have the best officers in the country, & I know they will distinguish themselves. Gen French is made a Major General, I suppose because he is a Northern man, for no one can see any other earthly claim he has. On dit that his wife was a sister of Mrs Davis. If so, that accounts for it! Curtain influence!
No news by mail, but the Yankee press continues to distinguish itself by lying. On Tuesday, five days after Jackson crossed the Potomac, the Washington papers persistently denied that there was a Rebel soldier in Maryland. One of them, the Star I believe, with some little compunction, some weak aspiration after Truth, modestly asserted that the Rebel Jackson had crossed the Potomac, but in a few hours judiciously fell back & re-crossed into Virginia. News from the West tell us that we are having it all our own way in Kentucky. Lexington is taken & the Kentuckians flocking to our Standard. The enemy are evacuating at Corinth & have burned every house in the Village! They are retreating northward & are removing their stores preparatory to an evacuation, it is supposed, of Nashville. The whole country is filled with guerrillas who annoy the Yankees terribly. The war has assumed such giant proportions that I cannot take it all in; so, many things in Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, & Arkansas are omitted by me, not because they are not of great importance but because the nearer object of interest eclipses them. Bragg is in command in the South west & censured for inactivity, but I remember Sidney Johnston & am silent. Beauregard has reported for duty & been assigned to South Carolina & Georgia. Joe Johnson has also recovered from his wound & been placed in command of the trans Mississippi. Yellow fever said to have broken out in New Orleans & the Yankees dying like sheep, but not authentic.
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