April 18, 1864
We have had since the first of this month a succession of heavy rains & consequent freshets in the river. So cold, wet, & backward a Spring has rarely been known. Corn planting which should be over is but fairly begun & the Low grounds are a Lake, with the prospect of continuing so for some time to come. Since the Snow Storm of the 22d of March there has been five distinct freshets, one 21 ft 1 in, another 21 ft 7 in, so there has been but little dry land to be seen. We have made three trips to Hascosea & three times has the weather disappointed us & delayed our work there. We came back from one nearly fruitless one on Sat. We succeeded, however, in bedding Potatoes & I in planting my Dahlia & Tube Rose Roots. Sad to say I found on opening my “bank” of the former that I have lost more than half of my ample stock. This would not be so much a subject of regret did I not fear that some of my finest varieties have perished altogether. The prospect for Pears is good & that for Peaches, spite of our fears, fair. The crop is much thinned out, but if we escape future late frosts we will have an abundance. Sowed my Flower seed but was forced to entrust my Ochre & Corn to Allen’s superintendance.
Whilst at Hascosea soldiers were constantly passing & from some Georgians belonging to a Battery, which was en route from Hamilton to Weldon, we learned that an attack was considered iminent there, the Yankees having thrown a Pontoon bridge over the Chowan at Murfreesboro & a cavalry advance in force is expected across the county of Northampton in the tract of that taken by Onderdonk & his plunderers last summer. The men we entertained were intelligent, & most grateful for the little kindness we had it in our power to show them; they confirmed the account we had previously heard of the repulse of a Regt of negro Cavalry at Suffolk by a charge of Artillery. anomalous as it appears! It is a fact they ran too fast for the infantry to keep up or even to get in range when “a Charge” by sections of two Batteries was ordered. They said it was ludicrous in the extreme — Field pieces thundering down upon the ranks of the cavalry! — no need to stop to unlimber, pursuit was the word! & Cuffee scattered right & left. They took no prisoners & never intending taking any. A beautiful field peice was captured from them & tied to it was a prisoner, one of our men, who understood that he was to be hanged! One other was liberated in Suffolk, who had been informed that such was to be his fate the next day!
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