February 14, 1864
Have been for several days out at Hascosea gardening. Such weather as we have is almost unprecedented, fine bracing white frosts and a succession of them whilst the middle of the day is mild & serene & so it has been for some weeks past. On cutting the Scuppernong Grape Vine it bled as in the latter part of March! I congratulate myself on not having delayed my pruning. It is now too late for it. Am today dressed in my homespun dress, warp & filling spun & then woven on the plantation. Very comfortable & near it is & does Becky and Cap credit. They are the manufacturers.
Congress has been distinguishing itself by another foolish bill. Another do I say? Their name is Legion! This one, however, forbids the exportation of Cotton, Tobacco, Rice, or any of our staples & the importation of what they term Luxuries, Brandies, Engraving, Statuary, Laces, Silks, Cotton or Linen fabrics, and even Dolls! Women & childrens finery are strictly prohibited, but masculine adornments, “galloon braid,” gold stars, gold wings, and everything pertaining to fine Uniforms are by all means to enter! That Congress is an “unco squad”!
Not much public news. The shelling of Charleston continues. No change in the Fleet & no other active movements. The incapables at Richmond have allowed one hundred & nine Yankee officers to burrow under their noses out of the Libby Prison. One hundred & nine! — Colonels, the infamous Streight at their head, Majors, Captains, Lieutenants, Prisoners bought with the blood aye the lives of our soldiers in the field & held as hostages for the well being of our unfortunate comrades immured in Northern Dungeons, wearing their lives away in hopeless captivity, are allowed thus to hood wink sleepy sentinels aye perchance to bribe greedy officials. It is too bad! Twenty two have been re-captured but what are they amongst so many. Turner is the name of the Commandant; Turn out he has proved himself; turned out I hope he will find himself. Re-enlistments for the War are going on rapidly & universally through the whole army. Congress stands hat in hand & bows to every Regiment, nay, in some cases even to Battalions & Companies. A vote of thanks is tendered to all. A “cute” Yankee by studying the proceedings of the Confederate Congress could give a pretty accurate “guess” as to the strength of our Army. Gold is quoted at 200 percent (two hundred) in New York, higher than it has yet been and the sixth sense of the Yankee nation which lies in its pocket throbs keenly in consequence.
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