June 20, 1864
At the plantation with Mr E. We had sent for the girl Catherine Jackson. I tried to set forth, to her, her shortcomings & deficiencies in a firm yet kind light, particularly her utter want of veracity, her idleness, & her horrid unwomanly practice of chewing tobacco & her fancy for straying about the country alone. We have provided her with a home for more than a fortnight during which time she has barely spun a lb of cotton. Sent her to Mrs George Pope with an admonition that she would not please unless she was more industrious.
News but meagre from Petersburg but all good. Gen Lee telegraphs that we have retaken the entrenchments at Howlets, from whence we conclude that he is South of the James. Confirmation of the repulse of the enemy before Petersburg, which is now considered safe from their attacks. The slaughter was terrific on their side, ours slight. Not much news from the Valley & that not encouraging. They have taken & burned all the important buildings in Lexington & menace Lynchburg, but Breckenridge will, I hope, frustrate their designs. They have no supplies, no waggons, & live off the country, pillaging, robbing, & committing the most horrible outrages. Johnson still holds Sherman at bay. He dare not attack altho invited to do so. Morgan, we hear from the North, holding his own in Kentucky.
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