February 9, 1864
On Saturday evening the enemy in heavy force crossed the Rapid Anne at three fords, Morton’s, Raccoon, & Barnet’s, the last three miles only from Orange Court House. At two they were repulsed, but at Barnets heavy firing on Sunday morning denoted some action, so says the Examiner. This movement of Meade’s, he goes on to say, is supposed to be intended merely to engage Lee’s attention & to cover movements on the Peninsula. Information given by a deserter has warned the authorities that an advance on Richmond from that quarter was in anticipation & accordingly at nine o’clock on Saturday night a demonstration in heavy force was made and our pickets at Bottom’s Bridge driven in. The alarm was given in Richmond and all the available force marched out to meet them. The second class militia was ordered out & a thousand rumours flew wildly through the streets. A large force of the enemy consisting of three Brigades of infantry, four Regiments of Cavalry, & twelve peices of Artillery are massed at Barhamsville & advancing in the direction of Talleysville. Gen Wade Hampton at Hamilton’s Crossing telegraphs “that the enemy are advancing.” Everything indicates a renewal of McClellan’s attack through the swamps of the Chickahominy.
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