Posts Tagged ‘raleigh’

General Hospital no 8 Ward A

Raleigh, NC Nove 8th ‘63


My dearest Corrie

Perhaps you will be surprised to see that I have gotten down here it is even so although against my will.  I reported to Dr. Wall as ordered he having no place to keep me transferred me to this place, and I fear from what I have learned since my arrival that I cannot get a furlough at this place, for they say it is a difficult matter to get one. If I should not get one I will be very sadly disappointed for I was much delighted with your promise and did hope that I would be able to comply with your intentions and mine but alas I fear this matter will have to be postponed to some future time. I will make every effort to be sent home till I am able for duty. I had the ball extracted this morning, it was a painful operation but I grinned and endured it. If I should not get home from here the first time I get an opportunity and get there I want us to have the solemn ceremony pronounced. What say you? For I feel like I want to be a married man and if that was the case soon you could be with me, several ladies are here with their husbands attending to their wounds. I know this time would pass more rapidly if I could have the pleasure of your presence, but when will that be? I fear some time will elapse before I see you again.

If I cannot get a furlough I will stay here no longer than I am compelled, but will respond to my command. This seems to be a pretty good hospital everything is kept very nice, good beds and pretty good fare. Give my kindest regards to Puss and Sue.

What have you done with Mr. Conley? How bad I want to go home again  cant think of anything else. I wish I had some way of sending you some paper and envelopes

As ever





Sources: Mike and Carol Lawing, eds., My Dearest Friend: The Civil War Correspondence of Cornelia McGimsey and Lewis Warlick (Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2000). Original collections of the papers are in the Southern Historical Collection, UNC Chapel Hill.



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September 4, 1863

 In my own room at night. It would need no prophet to tell you, O Journal, that Mr Edmondston is from home. When he is here I keep better hours & never think of touching you after tea; still less of actually retiring to my room with you & chatting after the rest of the family are in bed. But so it is. When he is away I take strange liberties.

 By order of Gov. Vance the Senior Captain of the Home Guards in Halifax was ordered to rendezvous the Home Guards at Halifax in the shortest possible time, “with such guns & axes as could be procured & three days rations. Should the enemy advance, trees will be felled across the roads & bridges torn up or burned.” So runs the order. It fell like a thunder clap upon us last night, as we had heard rumours only of an intended advance from New Berne & that Raleigh was in a panic, thinking the Yankees were coming there to look after the “Union feeling” of which the Standard speaks so lovingly, but we thought it rumours only, the Yankees being supposed to have their hands full before Charleston. The order was dated Aug 29th but reached here Sept 3d only, time enough to have done with all need for the services of the gallant Home Guard, but there was nothing for it but to obey. So cooking a Ham & biscuit & getting his Camp fixtures in order for him Mr E was off today for that delectable place Halifax! When will this upturning & unsettling cease & we be left in Peace to enjoy the blessings with a bountiful Providence has vouchasafed to us? What would Lord Falkland have said had fate cast his time in our rather than in his own times! The Clarendon tells us he engeminated the word “Peace! Peace!” His groans now would be terrific.

 But little public news. The enemy captured our rifle pits in front of Wagner by a surprise a few nights since & we seem to have allowed them to rest in quiet possession of them, even suffering them to approach within a few hundred yds of the Fort. I have often to remind you, however, Mrs Edmondston that you were not born a Brigadier Gen, so do not criticize the action or inaction of those who perhaps were.

 The fire upon Sumter is slackened & we have Yankee reports of great exhaustion of both officers & men on board the iron clads, & with a glass the workmen seem busy on the sides of the monsters, whether to repair damages or to give additional strength for a final onslaught we know not. It is now thought that an attempt to run past our batteries & get into the Harbour will soon be made at night. May the ‘bottom’ be the resting place of many a one when they do try it. “Drunken Dick,” the shoal upon which we on our Bridal journey were so nearly wrecked will, I hope, give a good account of himself & thump many of them to pieces on his stalwart back!

 On fast day, whilst the whole town were at Church the Yankees suddenly opened fire upon Chattanooga without one word of warning, altho it is to their knowledge filled with Hospitals and refugees from Mississippi. Rosencrans is taking a leaf from the Christian Burnside’s book. He inaugurated that policy in this State & Gilmore & Rosencrans improve on his teachings.

 I prefix marked, B no 15, the Retaliation order of Gen Halleck, threatening Gen Fitz Lee & another officer with death by hanging should he execute Captains Flinn & Sawyer as retaliation for the murder of two of our officers by the said distinguished Christian Gen Burnside; also an English view of the manner in which the war is carried on, marked B no 16 and B no 17. Grant’s order respecting the hiring of the negroes by which it appears that that monstrous cheat the Abolition Government has resolved itself in reality but not in name to a stupendous Slave owner, hiring out the “unbleached Americans” as, they call them, for their food and clothing & one twentieth of the proceeds of their labour, an account also of how they drove the negroes to slaughter at Port Hudson, B no. 18. A bill of fare found in Camp at Vicksburg, B no 19. An Appeal to the British Public, B no 23. A beautiful letter from the Mother of Gen Wharton declining in her son’s name a nomination to Congress (B no 20) a Defence of the President from some charges proferred by the press against him (B 21) & several Prices Current B. no 22, 153 but it is time to go to bed, so Journal good night.

 “Stolen waters are sweet” and I have enjoyed my contraband chat greatly and written myself sleepy!

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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October 11, 1862 [cont’d]

Van Dorn has been terribly repulsed at Corinth.  He telegraphed a victory after the first two days, but the enemy being reinforced, a new face & one adverse to us, was put up on everything & he compelled to retreat with great loss.  The enemy report a like loss, especially amongst their officers, but no particulars as yet.  Lee’s army is represented in fine condition & spirits, not known whether or not it is falling back or offering battle.

We had a brush at Franklin & drove back three Gunboats sent up to reconnoiter with heavy loss—from our sharp shooters on the banks.  For that God be praised!  The enemy has been heavily reinforced both at Suffolk & Newberne & all things point to an advance into N Carolina.  Grant us strength to bear what Thou sendest O Lord.

We left Raleigh about day break without breakfast & had a most fatiguing ride home, which we reached about sun set.  Ah! how I enjoyed my own tea!  How long can I drink it—how long enjoy the blessed quiet which reigns around us?  Journal!  This book does not seem natural to me at all!  It depresses me to write in it.  I think the hopes which clustered around the opening of a career so bright as that of the owner of this book & how they were clouded & the shipwreck of a life on the altar of ambition & politics & shrink more into myself & my home duties & associations than ever.  I have not enough to tell you to make me shake off the feelings which oppress me.  It is a dull gloomy afternoon.  The rain falls, drip! drip drip!  Mr E is gone to the meeting for the defence of our homes & I feel dispirited by my surrounding.  So I will stop—so tais toi & au revoir!


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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October 11, 1862 [cont’d]

Saw but few of my Raleigh friends as our stay was so short.  What few I did see were full of forebodings & warnings, urging us to remove all that we valued from this house, in short dear old home to break you up for fear of the enemy making an ascent of the river & harrying our whole country side.  The negroes they were urgent for us to remove, but where to carry them?—that is the question.  How to support them, how to house them, all questions easier put than answered.  Saw Mr Cannon from Perquimans.  He gives a deplorable account of the state of affairs in the Eastern Counties.  At least ten thousand negroes have been stolen or enticed off from their owners since the fall of Roanoke Island.  All our acquaintances have lost their men, many of them their negro women also.  A gentleman, a friend of Mr Cannon, one whom he considers reliable, told him that in a ride of Sunbury to Suffolk, a distance of twenty eight miles, he counted on the side of the road the corpses of fourteen negro children left unburied for the fowls of the air to prey on.  They had died from want of sickness, it may be deserted by their Mammies, & just left us they fell.  Mr Bynum, of Winton, the same who kept that comfortable house where we were so kindly treated on our journey from Perquimans with sister Betsy after Mr Jones death, lost 97 negroes in one night!  During the next week he found the bodies of five or six (Mr C did not remember which) of his little negroes in the swamp opposite his plantation (which lies on the Chowan) who had evidently died of starvation, their fingers being in their mouths and they in an evident state of emancipation & want, deserted probably by their parents in their flight.  We must hope that they thought they would be retaken & cared for by their owner, otherwise their conduct is worse than that of “the brutes that perish.”

The Yankees had two Camps in Gates county & received all that came to them & sent them to Suffolk where they are assorted, the able bodied sent to the army & the women & old ones with the children left literally to starve after they have stolen every thing that could support life.  It is terrible.  Ah! philanthropy!  What a cheat!  What a delusion you have been to the infatuated Abolitionists!  Do they were you as a cheat, a mask, or are they mistaken themselves?  I fear the former.  Ah Madam Stowe, I wish you could look on your own work; heartless and unprincipled as you are, it would make you shudder!

Mr Thomas Newby, now an old man, was left in one night without a servant to feed his horse, out of a large plantation!  How soon may this fate be ours!  We hurried home to enable Mr E to attend a meeting of the neighborhood to represent to the Commanding Gen the importance of defending Roanoke River at Hamilton or Rainbow Bluffs instead of Bridgers ferry, as is at present proposed.  I hope they may be successful.

Whilst we were in Raleigh Gov Vance arrived from Richmond & he also brought the news that Patrick was made Colonel, Captain Haxal Lieut Col, and Mr Tucker Major of the newly organized Regt of Cavalry, but he found no announcement of it from the Department.  So we know not what to think.  Just after henry Miller told us of it we read of the passage of the Exemption Bill by which Mr E is exempt from the Conscript as we own far more than mendation & cross purposes except to save him from the Conscript, so I care but little for the honour.  If the country need him I wish him to go; otherwise I ardently desire him at home.

Journal, I brought you a present from Raleigh—a new blank book where in to extend yourself—so we will presently adjourn to it & I will give you the war news, which, alas, is not cheering!

I told you, my dear Journal, that I had a new book for you, not new exactly as it is an old account book of Mr Miller’s given me by Sister Frances; but tho not gifted with personal pulchritude, you, Journal, must add value to it by the sincerity & delicacy of your record.  Write only words of truth & they will be so rare that they will have a value of their own!

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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September 11, 1862

Patrick left home this morning for Garysburg to see Capt Reinhart, the sole Capt left in Edmondston’s Battalion.  He has been ordered there & knows not what to do.  This delay of the War Department in a matter seemingly so simple seems very strange!  Why can’t Mr Randolph say, “No Col E, I cannot fill your Battalion” & order Capt Reinhart elsewhere, or “yes, Col E, take such & such Companies & take the filed at once.”  But no it requires as much management as an affair of State.

I was shocked & distressed greatly yesterday by hearing of the death of my young neighbor, Mrs Sheilds (Susan Whitemore).  I saw her on Sat & thought her quite sick, but I have had daily messages from her (she sending to me only the day before for some crackers & some Cordial & Wine), & each time they have said she was improving; & when the servant came with my empty baskets, so sure was I that she wanted something from me that I met her with the query—“how or now, what can I do for Miss Susan today?”  and to my horror heard she had died about an hour before.  Her infant was born on Wednesday & she, poor thing, taken with dysentery the night after.  She lived just a week & sunk suddenly, I suppose, for Dr Hall could not be summoned to her, as he had gone to visit a distant patient.

After Patrick left his morning I made a beautiful Chaplet of White & delicate Lilac, Dahlias, Evergreens, Feverfew, Citarena, etc., & sent it over to be laid on the coffin, being unable to go myself as Patrick went in the carriage.  Poor Mrs. Whitemore! when I saw her on Sat, in all the importance of a Grandmother, & noticed the change which the possession of a little property has wrought in her (for I have not seen her since her husband left father’s employment), the glories of her new front & stylish cape, the De Dage dress, the tone in which she spoke of “Mr Moore’s orchard,” “our niggers,” etc., & thought how much happiness the possession of a little money can give & what changes it brings in the manners & conduct of its possessors, I little thought so heavy a cloud was hanging over & ready to burst upon her!  Poor woman, she must be crushed to the earth.  I will go & see her, fifteen miles tho it is to her house, in a few days & at least assure her of my sympathy & kindly interest.

Worked steadily all day on my large flat fan fly brush.  It is a beautiful piece of work but very troublesome.  I will never undertake another so large.  However, it amuses me & it is employment.  Read Sismondi.  I have got to Calderon in the Spanish Literature.  I am sorry that Nannie wanted to begin the book before I had finished it, for I feel impelled as it were to read on steadily so as not to keep her waiting & I wished when I got to a review of those books to which I have access to run through them myself in connection with Sismondi, Cervantes, The Spanish Ballads, particularaly those of the Cid, & now Calderon, but I must trust my memory.  I have only Leigh Hunt’s Italian Poets & Boiardo, Pulci, Ariosto, Tasso, Dante even, etc., are run through by him almost as expeditiously as Sismondi dispatches them, so there is not much to be gained there.  “Beware of the man of one book,” it is said, & I believe it to be true, for I fancy I read too much.  My mind is I fear like a Kaleidiscope, one picture effaces the other before it is fixed, and I am too old now to remedy it.  Ah! that we could be wise on the experience of others!  My Grandmother often told me the time would come when I would not remember what I read, & I used to listen to her with a respectful wondering unbelief, but I find it is so.  Ah, she was a remarkable woman, my Grandmother, how few we see like her, and yet with all her cultivation, with all the true piety I believe she possessed, her vigorous mind even, I am glad I am not.  For to me to be loved is greater happiness than to be either revered or admired & we all stood too much in awe of her to dare to pour out the full feelings of our hearts before her & that I would not like.

It is lonely here tonight, so Journal, as you are my only companion, I feel like having a long chat with you.  Let me see, there are many topics which fill my heart & thoughts.  We will discuss them.  First the Conscript Act & Mr E’s plans—but no!  I want a relaxation & that I have thought over so often & looked at in so many lights that my mind turns from it as from a sorrowful remembrance.  It awakens an ache of anxiety at the bare mention.  Then Bessie’s matters, but Journal, that is not my own secret.  “Noblesse oblige,” that I confide it not even to you.  Then anxieties about Raleigh people, but I have no business to express them either.  Can’t I find one topic, pleasant, and at the same time open, which I can freely talk over with you, Journal?   No not one!  Literature is the only perfectly unfettered and at the same time cheerful subject left to me & to dwell long on that changes you, Journal, from your legitimate & proper sphere to a mere Composition or Essay.  So Journal, I will first express my fears for our Army in Maryland & then—

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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August 14th, 1862


My dear Wife

Your letter of the 6th was received yesterday, and I was sorry to see you were so unhappy.  You would have done better to have stayed at the Doctor’s.  About me, you must be more content for it is only one day further off and as for the danger here, it is no greater than anywhere else.  The specimen of fighting shown us the other day by the Yankees does not compare to that of the rascals around Richmond.  In fact, Pope’s men did not fight at all.

I wrote to Capt. Kirkland to bring me a horse he wrote to Maj. Scales about, instead of getting the one owned by Maj. Huske.  Tell the Capt. If he can possibly find a good cook to bring him on at any price for we cannot get on without one.  Mr. Young is going to leave me as soon as Gen. Pettigrew returns to duty which will not be long hence.  I shall write at once asking that Jake be made my aide.  If the cloth will make as nice a coat as the one I have, buy me enough to make me a coat and enough to make a sack for Mr. Young.  The cloth my coat was made of sells for about $15 per yd, and so if you think that you spoke of is cheap buy it anyhow and send by Jake.  Do not fear you will not please me for it will.  I must soon have another coat and cannot afford to pay $100.  Tell Capt. Kirkland to call at the Clothing Department in Raleigh when he comes on, and get my coat they were unable to make for me, paying the bill if he pleases and if he should be bringing me any boxes to call on Tom Webb of Hillsboro for some whisky he promised to send me.  I hope Frank has reached you, but had he better not let Helen stay where she is for she will not get well if he continues to carry her around the country.

Pope seems to be satisfied for the present with having caused Jackson to fall back, but let him wait a little while.  Longstreet with his Division is up and others on the way.  He will take to thinking about lines of retreat yet if he does not mind.  Our people got a good many spoils.  I ride a Yankke horse, Harris has a Yankee saddle and bridle, Gen. Hill a fine horse and equipment, Col. Fray of my Brigade ditto, a Lt. of Archer’s Brigade ditto, etc.  We got about 100 firearms, wagons, etc.

Tho’ I have not heard so, I expect Gen. Lee will take command up here, for it does not look reasonable that they would take the command from Jackson to give it to Longstreet who has been sent and who ranks him.

… Gen. Jackson has ordered that military duties he suspended today and divine service held to render thanks for our recent success and to ask for a continue.

I received a little yesterday from Mr. Porter who baptized me saying that through the request of friends he had prepared a tract and was publishing it based upon that incident.  If I had known it in time I should have objected, for I do not sincerely consider myself a fit subject for any such publication.  I know I am a great sinner and not worthy to be held up to others as a light, or one to be followed.  I know I am desirous of doing good and am sorry when I do not, but I can only try to repent.  Oh! that little member the tongue, it will carry me to perdition I fear.

We have a busy camp and are living well.  Col. R.H. Brewer, an old friend who was Lt. in the 1st Dragoons, is now on my staff temporarily.  He is a very nice fellow and a great acquisition.  His only objection, he swears so much but is trying to stop it.  I think if he stays with us he will break himself for he is really anxious.  I could not help remonstrating with him about it when he came.  You see I am getting as many around me as Whiting had.

Now I must close.  You did not hear from me as soon as you should, but I could not get the letters off.  I wrote one dispatch and several letters but none went as soon as I expected.  God bless you and the little ones.  How is Turner getting on.  You say nothing about him in your last two letters.

Your loving Husband

Sources: William Hassler, ed., One of Lee’s Best Men: The Civil War Letters of General William Dorsey Pender (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1999). William Dorsey Pender papers, Southern Historical Collection, UNC-Chapel Hill. http://www.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/p/Pender,William_Dorsey.html

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August 2, 1862

Sad news reached us last night, sad news indeed, of the death of Mr Edmondston’s old friend Dr Tennant.  He was wounded but slightly it was thought at the battle on James Island before Charleston & was carried up to his young wife at Walterboro, to die of Erysipilis induced by his wound.  Poor fellow.  With domestic happiness just opening upon him, for he barely saw his infant son, his young wife, not two years married, looking forward to a happy country home, to be cut off thus suddenly and sadly is hard indeed.  I thank Thee O my God that my husband is still spared to me.

            Peace! Peace! Grant us Peace!  Dr Tennant was in Camden on a visit to Dr Salmond when Mr Edmondston carried me there a bride of a fortnight.  Little did I think when I opened the ball given us by Dr S with Dr T that both my host & my partner would fill bloody graves!  One died for his country, died for my freedom, died in the discharge of the highest duty man knows, the defence of his fireside.  He fell wounded in sight almost of St Michel’s spire, in sound of the chimes which had quickened his loitering foot when a schoolboy, in sight of his Mother’s grave, of his Grandfather’s pulpit.  Out on this cruel war which sows broadcast the blood of our best & noblest, gives it in exchange for the scum of Europe, the outcasts of the Northern cities.  Dr Tennant it was who first told us of the Secession of S C when in that misty raw December morning we met him on the W.  & Manchester road, he on his way to see the woman he afterward’s married, we to attend Papa’s golden wedding—eighteen short months ago & what changes we have seen!  Death thou has had a noble harvest since then!  Patrick is much cast down, as well we may be, poor fellow.  He has recently seen his domestic happiness, seen him with his young wife & child, and the thought of them saddens him greatly!

            Today came a letter from the Sec. of War telling Mr E that he was “requested to designate such unattached Companies as he thought could conveniently be assembled to complete a Battalion & then if the Gen Comdg, Maj Gen Hill, approves, the Department will organize the Batallion.”  It came like a thunder clap upon me for I had brought myself to suppose that nought would come of his application & that after a reasonable time of suspense & waiting the whole thing would fall to the ground & we be allowed to go on as usual.  Now it all depends upon the view that Maj Gen Hill will take of it & as he has heretofore expressed himself in the most friendly way & thought or seemed to think highly of Patrick’s Military qualifications, he may think it will conduce to the good of the service to have him in the field.  If so, then fare well to domestic happiness for a time.

            In the afternoon came brother on his way to Raleigh.  Was very busy getting up things to send to his children & to Sophia: Dresses to make her little one some clothes, Turnip seed, & nice things for the little ones.

            We attacked the enemy lying in James River yesterday morning about 2 A M, brought our heavy guns to bear upon their Gun boats.  Instantly every light was extinguished, & a terrible crashing & splashing heard on the river.  At Daylight not a boat was in sight; all had fled precipitately, & McClellan’s camp was observed to be in great commotion, but we had no means of ascertaining the amount of damage inflicted by us.  An accident to one of our guns killed one & wounded more of our men which were the only casualties on our side.  The orders issued by the Heads of the Army & the President are so infamous that I make a collection of them & paste them in the end of this book where they may hereafter be referred to—an infamous record which should die the face of Civilization with a crimson blush.

            The siege of Vicksburg has recommenced.  Nobly has she hitherto held out!  Pray God she may be enabled to continue.  They say that their canal is finished & that the first rise in the river will cut it out so deep that their gun boats will securely pass & avoid the batteries that frown from the heights of Vicksburg.  We maintain that it must be a failure & that time will prove it.  I hope we are right.

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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Camp Smith July 21, 1862

My Dear Mother

We reached here in safety on Saturday morning after a rather tiresome march.  My company marched from Alexanders to the springs on Friday and that was rather a forced march of twenty seven miles.  On Thursday night we got shelter in Alexanders stable loft and so were sheltered from the rain, of which I was very glad as it would have been rather hard to have had the men to lay out the first night in such a rain.  I found  Guss here and succeeded in getting fixed up very comfortably in an old field about midway between the springs and Paint Rock.  Our men are coming in tolerably well and by this evening I think all of our men will be here, as soon as we get them all together and regularly mustered in, it will be necessary for one of us to go on to Raleigh to get shoes and clothing.  I suppose I will be the one to go, but don’t much wish to as I have no particular love for Raleigh.  If I do go I will pass through Asheville but it is doubtful.

If you write to me or have any letters or packages to send, direct them to the Warm Springs.  I will write to Nannie today and hope that package has turned up safely and that you will forward it here—without opening it.  Tell sister Anna, I tried to make a cup of cocoa today but failed rather.  I will try again & hope for better luck.  Love to all.

Your Affec Son

T.W. Patton


Sources: Christopher Watford, ed. The Civil War inNorthCarolina: Soldiers’ and Civilians’ Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865, Volume 1. (Jefferson,NorthCarolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2003). Original in Patton Family Papers, Southern Historical Collection, UNC Chapel Hill.

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July 21, 1862

Anniversary of the Battle of Manassas.  Who would have thought one year ago that this war would still be raging and the Blockade unraised?  With the exception of salt & shoes I think we suffer less from the Blockade than we did; our people having determined to do without many things which formerly they thought to be necessaries cease to feel the want of them as they did at first.  The want of coffee is a sore discomfort, but it is astonishing how cheerfully it is borne.  Thanks to Patrick’s far seeing I suffer less than my neighbors; indeed I have not yet felt the want of a single thing, a blessing vouchsafed to few.  Shoes for the servants I need most, but the weather is warm & they can go bare foot tho’ I do not like it.

Went with Mr E to the Plantation.  An effort had been made to break into our Pork House.  The rogues got nothing, but Mr E took most summary & immediate measures to repress the spirit of disorganization & theft before it should become prevalent amongst our people.  He summoned all the men, told them such a thing must be known to some of them, it could not occur without the cognizance of somebody, & gave them half an hour to bring him the guilty person, but that two people in the throng were to be whipped for the offence.  At the end of the time, they being unable to agree in a verdict, he had twenty or more straws of different lengths thrown into a basin and the lots drawn.  Upon those two who had the shortest straw the punishment was to fall.  Hogfeeder Solomon and Ishmael were the unfortunate ones & were without more delay made to suffer the penalty.  This plan seems hard, but he says it is the only one to prevent thieves being as rampant here as they are at Conneconara.  It makes it the duty of the whole plantation to detect offenders.  This must be one of the fruits of the War, as we never had such a thing before.

In the afternoon came Mr Shaw for a nights lodging & shelter from a coming shower & well for him, good man, that he reached one in time, for a harder, longer, more uninterrupted rain was never before seen.  It cannot be general.  The quantity of water which feel we have no means of estimating, but the whole yard & lot were afloat.  Tho well drained with large ditches, the bridge in the road in front of the house was washed up and the water almost deep enough to swim a horse there, where there is never a drop in ordinary times.  If, however, it should be general we have a terrible freshet before us, so goodbye to the young corn.

Mr Shaw is on his way to join the Scotland Neck Mounted Rifles.  He joins to avoid the Conscription.  He brought us an idle rumour of seven hundred Conscripts having rebelled inRaleigh& having been fired upon, but I do not believe a word of it.

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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June 14th

We are having some beautiful weather now, we are all well at home, day before yesterday I heard that my dear Willie was sick in the army. Dr. McCain saw him at the camp 2 miles of Richmond, I felt very sad when I heard it, he is sick with diarhea, and a very poor diet. Mr. Bethell has gone to Danville to hear from him by Telegraph, if he is seriously sick Mr. Bethell will go to see him, and if possible bring him home. I feel so sorry for him, he has a hard time of it, but I look to the Lord and pray to him to take care of dear Willie and bring him safely home. I pray that God may save his life and keep him from being killed.

We received a letter from dear George, he was well, he is drilling the Soldiers in Raleigh.

We have not heard from our daughter Mary Virginia in several weeks, I hope she will come to N. Carolina and spend the summer.

Source: Mary Jeffreys Bethell Diary, 1853-1873.  #1737-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. http://docsouth.unc.edu/imls/bethell/menu.html

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