August 29, 1863
Not one word from Charleston since I last wrote. We know not whether to think it a good or a bad omen but hope for the best. A long letter from Amo giving a minute account of a visit he paid Fort Sumter. He alas confirms the news of the damage inflicted upon it. The Southern face is completely demolished & but for a strong “Ramp of sandbags & a Reinforce wall” which had been built in anticipation of the effect of the bombardment, I suppose the Fort would be untenable as the parapet is leveled to the terrepleine. Every gun upon the Southern, western, & Northwestern faces dismounted, the Northwestern wall breached, the Northern & eastern faces still stand, one Gun only having been dismounted — in short, he says Sumter will have to be abandoned, as only twelve guns are serviceable. Commissary & ordnance store were being sent off in large quantities & efforts were making to throw the guns over into the water so that they could be floated off & used elsewhere, but in spite of this there is no need to despond. Wagner, Gregg, & our other batteries are as strong & as defiant as ever. He is indignant at the barbarity of shelling the city at the dead hour of the night & well he may be. I preserve the account of the bombardment published in the Courier, as well as Gen Beauregard’s correspondance with Gen Gilmore to which I have already referred, marked B no 1 and some accounts of Yankee barbarity & some of their general orders which speak for themselves, marked respectively
Yesterday came James’ Servant William from Orange Court House bringing good news of him. He sent his Quarter Master’s vouchers for his brother to take care of for him. To me he sent a quantity of Stationary, paper, envelopes, pens, holder, pencils, etc., captured from the enemy — the triumph of possessing them should sharpen my wits, season you, O Journal, with Attic salt — & what I consider as a present indeed four papers of English pins! I told him if he dared to send me Yankee pins I would make a cushion of him & I see he has heeded. Never do I desire to see aught from that country again save it be a legitimate capture, a prize of war. My Stationary was taken from the field of Gettysburg, so I use it with pleasure. He sent his brother a hat, a fine Parisien one such as now commands $60 in Halifax & to Amo a fine undress officer’s coat with a photograph of the owner in the pocket, also from the field of Gettysburg. It made me shudder to look at! It seemed as tho stained with blood.
I have been busy today rumaging up what stores I had to send him tomorrow, but I am low down in delicacies now, yet a jar of Mixed Pickles, one of Pickled pepper, one of butter, a can of Lard, 2 bottles of Walnut Catsup, a ½ Gallon of Honey, a bottle of Cayenne Pepper, ½ bu of Hominy, do of Meal, a bu of potatoes, Green Corn, Green Pepper & Tomatoes, 2 Hams, a side of Bacon, 5 Watermelons, & a coop of chickens are things not to be despised in Camp where naught is seen but Beef & Flour, for William tells me that is the whole Commissariat.
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