May 5, 1864
Burnside is on the move from Anapolis certainly. I have said nothing of the Christian warrior, as his plans & movements have been so uncertain that one rumour contradicted the last. Now, however, he has dismissed his transports & declining to “stand like a sea god distinguished by his yellow belt” again, he marches over land to Alexandria, leaves his negro Brigade along the Orange & Alex R R, & brings his White troops to reinforce Grant. Some change in the Yankee programme has evidently taken place & the key to it is to be found in order of Meade’s announcing to his troops whose term of enlistment expires this month that the date of their mustering into service is not when they were sworn in & signed their enlistment papers but when they left the respective States in which they were levied. This has caused great discontent amongst the “Veterans.” He urges them to comport themselves well & not to sully their Laurels by insubordination & hints plainly enough at Military Law & its bloody enforcement should they neglect his admonition. The Penn Legislature has taken the matter in hand & petition Congress that the rights of her citizens in the army be not disregarded.
Rumours are rife that on Monday last an expedition under Hoke went down to attack New berne, but a profound silence is maintained on the subject by all the papers. Heavy cannonading heard in the direction of Washington. In the extreme west all goes well for us. The Yankees admit a second defeat at [ — ] & claim to have killed Kirby Smith & Stirling Price. We have heard naught of it & have no uneasiness as regards our gallant Generals. Our Victory at Cane Creek was decisive. The Abolitionists themselves admit that “Banks army is demoralized” & fearfully cut up. More than thirty transports & some Gunboats are caught above a Raft in the Red River by a sudden fall in the water & the crews are blowing them up burning them to prevent their falling into our hands. Great activity prevails in our army in Northern Va, but we know nothing save that a battle is imminent & even now may be raging. God defend the right!
Sophia & her infant are with us this week. She is quite weak but a few days of careful observation of her has lessened my anxiety on her account. Her baby is the best I almost ever saw.
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