November 14, 1862
Sue got home from Petersburg on Wednesday & came down to see me today. She tells me that Bishop Lay is out with a publication signed by twelve other respectable gentlemen in which he says that Gen Mitchel, commanding the Abolitionist at North Alabama, said that the Northern army needed no pay; the possession of the Lands & women of the South was inducement sufficient for them. It had been used as an inducement to promote volunteering. It was enough! What an infamous wretch! Let his name go down to posterity by the side of Butler’s, & speaking of him, Mayor Monroe of N Orleans has fallen victim to his cruelty in imprisoning him at Ship Island for so long. He is dead! How long O Lord! how long! Brother has just gone; he tells me that Gen Martin is relieved of his command here by Gen Evans of S C—a good officer, but he likes whisky, in fact drinks very hard. I wonder if it can be true. People now-a-days cast about firebrands in the shape of allegations of drunkenness, incapacity, etc., with such recklessness that I hope brother has been mis-informed. Mr E is at Clarksville now to learn news from below & whether we are to fortify Rainbow Bend, so I will wait for his return for the news.
I write out a list of prices to let us see when peace comes what hardships must have been endured by those who had but little money.
Bacon 75 to 100
Pork 75 to 70
Coarse cotton cloth 75 to $1.00
Wool—per lb— 75
Flannel—per yd—n $5
Shoes negro— $10 to $18
Ladies Gaiters $15
Spool Cotton— $1.00
Factory Cotton per block $8.50
Flour—per lb— $30
Tea—per lb— $9.00
Boots—per p $30 to $35
Coarse Woolen cloth $12
Country homespun $1 to $2 p yd
Fodder Richmond market per cut 2.50
Apple Brandy—per gal— $20
Black Alpacca—ordinary— $5.00
Salt per bu—(thirty dollars) $30
Shuck—Richmond market— 2.25
Patrick showed me a side of Leather which he had had tanned, which he told me would have cost him $50 & a small side at that.
Gen Mitchel, the Abolition commander at Port Royal S C, and most of his Staff are dead with a disease that their Doctors cannot tell which it is, Yellow, Billious, Country or Coast fever. Gen Hunter again in command.
From the West the news is discouraging. Bragg has campaigned himself out of Kentucky & a storm of abuse follows him. I append an order from the Yankee Gen at Suffolk which proves that the outrages we hear of are no fiction, marked D. Mr Smith of Norfolk, our merchant Mr Marsden Smith, his brother tells me brother is kindly allowed by Gen Viele, the Abolitionist in command there, to leave Norfolk if he will give up the whole of his property to the U S, hand in a Schedule, resign all & depart. “The tender mercies of the wicked are cruel” truly. A gentleman of Norfolk, name I did not hear, demeaned himself so far as to apply to Gen Viele a short time since to be allowed to punish his maid servant by whipping. Permission was readily granted with the addition, “but bear in mind that she may apply to me next week to have your wife whipped, in which case it will be my duty to grant it.” Can one conceive of such an insult? Can one receive it and live? God keep me from a sight of them even.
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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