October 31, 1863 (cont’d)
Sad news from Norfolk. Dr Wright has been executed for the unproven offence of shooting a Yankee officer who was insulting the women and children of Norfolk. Even could they have proved the deed Justifiable Homicide is the only verdict which an unpacked Jury could have found, but Lincoln and his officials do not do such things by halves. Like Mr Kirkpatrick they “mak sicker” & consumate their bloody work. But we are told that “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church” & if so, every drop of the blood thus inhumanly shed by our enemies will rise up against them, spring up Cadmus-like in armed men who will drive them from the soil they thus desecrate. This judicial murder has excited a deep feeling amongst us & if any thing was needed to intensify our hatred & bitterness to the “loathed Yankee” this has done it. Open war we can stand but this mockery of justice eats like a canker worm into our hearts & poisons our whole blood against them. They attempt now in their pursuits to villify & ridicule their victim. They but bind us the closer to him!
I have received through our County man, Mr Nicholson, who was in Jackson Miss when it occurred, a full & authentic account of the whipping of Mrs Ford by a Yankee officer, with the horrible addition that she was also under their auspices whipped by two of her own servants. She was left by them one mass of gore & blood & tho still alive when Mr N left her life was despaired of by her physician & friends. God be thanked the citizens of the county succeeded in taking the two negroes & Mr N saw them hung in Jackson. Would that I could get the name of the officer, but it was a Dutch name & Mr Nicholson could not recall it. I hope yet to do so! Every nerve & fibre of my frame tingles as I think of it! Increase my faith O God! Increase my faith! Thou seest this wickedness & in thine own good time Thou wilt punish it! Let me not murmer because I see not the end. Let me repeat Deo Vindice, the motto on our national seal — “Deo Vindice”! In Thy sight let all the earth keep silence!
Rev Mr Walkup, chaplain to a Va Regt, who was here a short time since told me a peice of their petty theivery which before such outrages as that pales to nothing, but I will record it as an instance of Yankee meanness only. He vouched for the story, having it from the lips of the lady whom he knew well as a person of high & upright conduct & great probity. She resided near Alexandria, Va & when the war broke out was travelling in Europe. On her return she was detained some time in New York owing to the impossibility of getting transportation or a passport through the enemies lines. She had heard that her house had been sacked & plundered by the high minded Yankees & one day meeting in society a lady with a dress on that looked very familliar to her, she ventured to ask her “where she had got it.”
“Oh!,” said she “where did I get this?” “This,” taking hold of it, “is one of our Southern trophies! — sent it to me from Va.” A few more questions sufficed to convince her that the ladies friend had been one of the party who pillaged her house & that the dress in question was her own, which she had left in her wardrobe at home when she sailed for Europe. Just think of that! I see by the way that Lincoln has rewarded the piano thief Gen Rufus King with a mission to Rome. As he is fond of music perhaps he wishes to hear the “Miserere.”
Mr E. has been to see the wounded soldier I spoke of & finds him in want of everything. He was wounded at Chickamauga & his Mother being in Tenn in the enemies lines he came here to a sister whom he has not seen since he was seven years of age. She, poor woman, is a widow with several little children to support and has as much as she can do to effect it. They are literally without a comfort & he with a hole in his thigh into which one can almost get his fist. Please God he shall want henceforth for nothing that we can give him. All else should be provided her. God make me thankful that my lines are cast in such pleasant places & that I want for nothing.
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