June 11, 1862
Went with Mr E to Looking Glass for the first time since we moved out. The last part of our trip was taken by me in a cart, Mr E on Horseback, such an inconvenience is the River. Our Dams are torn to pieces, but in this we have fared no worse than our neighbors, as the whole valley has been swept from the source of the river to the mouth. The loss of property, stock, fencing, corn, wheat, & Labour is immense. In our immediate section 1,000,000 bushels would not cover it. One of our neighbors lost two negroes drowned. We, thank God, escaped that distress. It is a serious question with father & Mr E whether they will put back the Looking Glass dams or not. I hope not. Make what corn we can & pasture the rest & by raising stock for the future fill up our income. The risk and loss is too great & our force too weak to put back the work.
Jackson has gained another victory in the Valley of Va. He has beaten Shields & holds Fremont in check, who fears to attack him singly. No particulars as yet. He is the only one of our generals who gives the enemy no rest, no time to entrench themselves. Matters before Richmond look gloomy to us out siders. McClellan advances, entrenching as he comes. Why do we allow it? Richmondmust fall after a time if he is allowed to go on. The loss of life was terrific on Sat & Sunday. The enemy admits a loss of 5,000 killed & wounded, we 2,500 on our side, & both of course are under the mark–& yet to us it seems a useless bloodshed, as after removing their Camp & stores we “fell back” and allowed them to occupy the entrenchments from which we had driven them. It is more than we plain people can understand & faith was never so much needed as now, earnest unquestioning faith!
Never was known such a summer for wet & cold. We have had a fire all day & a good one too ever since the 1st of June. Verily it is no “summer at all, but a winter painted green,” as are the Sweedish summers; and as for rain, never did so much & so violent & heavy rains fall before. It is more than a week since a plough has been put in the ground & from present prospects it will be a week longer & that near the summer solstice!
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