January 17, 1864
Last Sunday, a week ago today, as we walked on the snow by the sheet of ice left by the freshet & amused ourselves with the pleasant tinkling sound & seemingly endless gliding motion of peices of ice which Patrick threw upon it, to our great surprise we saw a buggy with a dashing looking officer in it approaching the Flume. As he had “pressed” a cart as pilot, we gave ourselves no great uneasiness as to his fate which in the end we thought would be to turn back & spend the night at Conneconara, but we were mistaken. Under the friendly guidance of “Hatch” & the Cart he got over safely, when who should the stranger prove to be but Major James! Tired of Hospital life, the intrusion of a Typhoid Fever patient into his room fairly routed him & he decamped at once, changing his base with a rapidity which McClellan might envy & came to us to complete his convalescence. He has now been with us a week & tho still far from well seems both in spirits & health to have improved.
No public news whatever, papers filled with the ovature paid in Richmond to Gen Morgan & details of the outrages committed by Wild in Eastern N C Vide D & D. Private letters tell us that the half is not told. Armed negroes, originally run-aways from their owners to the Yankees, now disgusted with their new rulers, fugitives in turn from the Yankee army, demoralized & lost to all restraint or sense of dependance, their Masters mostly absent, rove through the country & seize from the defenceless inhabitants what they list. God help them & keep us from a like fate. The tender mercies of Abolitionism! Butler has been made by their nation a Jailor on a huge scale, no less than the custodian of all the prisoners in their hands. Certainly they know his capabilities best. Unfitted to cope with armed men or to manoevre an army in the field, his sphere is to triumph over the defenceless, insult innocent women, and to add hardship to an already severe lot. Our refusal to treat with him was it seems anticipated by them & he was selected as the Agent of Exchange only to enable them to throw the onus of the suspension of the Cartel upon us. What a nation!
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