March 22, 1864
Snowing fast & furiously all day & today, which was not the case yesterday, the snow lies where it falls, & the earth is wrapped in a winding sheet. My Hyacinths peep out from their white envelope & make one sad to look at them. They remind me of fair young girls who have just taken the White Veil & are not yet dead to all of Earth’s enjoyments. The brilliant yellow of Forsythia now in magnificent bloom shows in sickly contrast to the pallor of all around it. White does not bring out its beauty as strongly as does a green carpet. Ah! for the Peaches! We breath a sigh over, I fear now extinct, hopes of a harvest. No dawdling through the “fragrant orchard” this summer, no flitting from tree to tree in search of new beauties, and, fie, Mrs Edmondston, for so sublunary a thought, no luscious desserts which cost the pleasure only of gathering.
Father dined with us again & contrary to our entreaties left in the snow and sleet for home, mama being alone. Patrick had so amusing an instance of the effect of the snow upon Cuffey that I must record it. Being at Father’s Flume endeavouring to pursuade him to come in & let him superintend it for him he saw Kenny who with Joe Exum (two stout stalwart men) had stopped work “to warm,” holding his hand spike to the fire to warm it also before he resumed his labor of lifting & carrying timber, a fact which he frankly admitted. Think of that, ye hard worked navvies of England, ye poor labourers of Ireland, who in storm & sleet are forced to toil still for the daily bread which ye need in hard even more than in good weather. A southern negro when forced by a pressing & unusual necessity to work in a soft falling fleecy snow stops to warm himself and his handspike. The sleet commenced after dinner — & ere that Cuffy was snugly housed for the night.
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