May 1, 1863
Dined yesterday at Father’s. Found all well & pleased to see me again after so long an absence. Heard from Sue & Rachel all the particulars of Kate Miller’s wedding. Her Aunt Sophia entertained & gave them their wedding feast, nice bride’s cake she sent me, but the Raison cake was really a clever substitute for the genuine article, being made of dried cherries and whortleberries. The eye was well deceived, but to the taste it was rather sour tho’ not more so than cake made from old raisins often is. “Confederate Raisins” are dried Peaches clipped to bits with scissors, & quite nice puddings do they make. Puddings! what a reminiscence! It seems ages since I dabbled in eggs & sugar, currants, maccaroni, & sage. “What shall I have for dessert?” seems a question of medieval times, so long it is since the question perplexed me. Kate’s wedding outfit, that is her underclothing, is a fit one for war & for a soldiers wife, who perforce must practice economy & management. Her Chemises are made of her Aunt Sophia’s fine linen sheets & her drawers, which I had made for her, were cut from some of her Grandmother’s fine cotton ones — think of that!
No public news except that more gunboats & transports have passed Vicksburg. The country, I am glad to see, begins to clamor at it, so I hope it will be stopped. The enemy slowly & from a great distance shell our works there, tho with little damage.
Sometime since in a skirmish at [ -- ] between some of Van Dorn’s Cavalry & the enemy they captured part of a Battery commanded by Capt Freeman, taking him & some of his officers and men prisoner. We heard that they had wantonly shot him, but the particulars which now reach us outrage every feeling of decency, civilization and humanity. It seems that Van Dorn ordered a charge, determined at all hazzards to retake the guns (in which by the way he was successful), when the Yankees seeing the Cavalry forming for the purpose ordered Capt Freeman to take command of his Guns & to point them at his comrades & mow them down as they came up, which of course he refused, when, horrible to relate, they instantly & in cold blood shot him. 64 In retaliation, we took no prisoners that day, but we retook the guns & the slaughter was terrific.
There are rumours of war between the U S & England, but we do not beleive them & in fact have lost all interest in England. We feel almost as indifferent to her as we do to Austria or Turkey. If the U S were to let us alone, England & herself might re-enact the “Killkenny Cats” for ought we care.
Father has written a fine letter on the food and farming question to Gov Vance,. The Gov has published it [April 28, 1863, North Carolina Standard]. We go out this afternoon for a couple of days at Hascosea; I on gardening, Mr E on farming, bent.
No news from Suffolk. We lost a Battery there last week by Gen French’s mismanagement. He exposed & failed to support it. He is a Jersey man, low bred & vulgar. His heart cannot be in his business. I wonder why President Davis ever made him a Major Gen’?
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
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