Summary of April, early May 1864
Cousin William left here Saturday 14 [April 1864]. He had been here a little more than two weeks. His health was so bad when he returned to the army after his visit in the winter that when the preparations for the Spring campaign began the surgeon ordered him to the rear. His sister, Mrs. Malloy is very ill out a Gillopis & he has gone out there with her. Thus far this has been a glorious campaign for us. Everybody seems confident of success & though all those who have loved ones in the field are enduring the most intense mental suffering & anxiety yet the people as a body can rejoice with all their hearts. Washington & Plymouth NC have been recaptured by our forces under Gen Hoke & although the Yankees burnt almost the whole of Washington still the people and the surrounding country are freed from Yankee rule and then the productions of that fertile part of the state will be such a help to us. If all we hear from our armies is true it is such a victory as not country ever witnessed and the brightest day our confederacy ever saw & peace must be near.
Source: Malinda Ray Diary, Anna Sutton Sherman Papers, North Carolina State Archives. See also David A. Ray Papers, Southern Historical Collection, UNC-Chapel Hill