June 27, 1862
The battle has commenced. ** Our wing is engaged, with a prospect of the engagement becoming general. Jackson is really there, but the papers went to press before there was anything decisive.
Col Clark was ordered to leave Petersburg with four day rations, for what point he knew not when he wrote but Mary has since heard that the 24th Regt, his, is in Richmond. So, poor thing, her anxiety is intense. Thank God that I am spared the cruel suspense in which I would be plunged were Patrick there. God would give me strength to bear it, but I thank his merciful Providence which lays no such burden upon me.
Evan Spruill is dead, died of Camp fever, another martyr to our liberty. His poor Mother, her presentiments are realized, for when Rebecca died she was sure that she should soon lose another child. Her grief she said always came doubled. George will reach here with the body today. Never was there a more afflicted family. This is the fifth child she has lost, four of them of mature age.
Just as we were going to bed came a note from Sou Hill with the news which George & Charles Spruill brought from Richmond. The battle “began” at six and continued until nine when we had taken all the batteries on the River (this the papers told us, with the addition that we had turned them on the enemy), driven the enemy across, taken possession of all the bridges, & run the Yankees three miles. Gen Branch led the attack, was in the thickest of the fight, & covered himself with glory. They are still fighting.
George saw the flashing of the canon at Petersburg, glorious news. God grant that it may be all true. Ah! for our wounded! Think of the poor fellows lying out all this night, bleeding, dying, with no one to minister to or raise them from the ground, whilst we can go peacefully & quietly to bed, to sleep and forget them. They suffer that we may be spared. God preserve our liberty, for it is dearly bought! The best blood of the country is flowing for it.
Poor Mary, I sympathize deeply with her, for her husband is there & who can tell what may be his fate, what he may be enduring now this very moment. Tom Jones & himself are in the same Brigade, Ransoms. God watch over & preserve them! We cannot wait the slow progress of Nathan & his mule with the mail tomorrow, so sent Owen on one of the best horses with charges not to dally. Our suspense is keen. God give us the victory! The attack was delayed on our side in order to hear from Jackson. At six, nothing having been heard from him, the attack was made. God grant that he may come up in time.
** Seven Days Battle in Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Days_Battles and National Park Service http://www.nps.gov/rich/historyculture/sevendays.htm
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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