May 19, 1864 cont’d
In the Valley of Va Gen Breckenridge has defeated Sigel at New Market with heavy loss & sent him back to Winchester. The corps of Cadets at the Va Military Institute were out on this occasion & suffered severely, losing five killed & fifteen wounded. We have long ceased to wonder at our boys’ fighting. Our Cause animates them & makes men of them ere their “beards be grown.” Averill & his horde of marauders is again repulsed near Augusta Court House, I beleive, but the accounts refers to some news we have lost so it is not clear to my mind where, but they are in retreat. From Dalton we have additional accounts of heavy skirmishing, but they are telegrams only & only leave on us the impression of a battle being imminent, both armies as yet manoevring in the course of which they sometimes clash. From Lousianna we have Gen Taylor’s congratulatory address to his troops in which he sums up their victories, Mansfield, Pleasant Hill, and Blair’s Landing & mourns the loss of Gens Green & Mouton. Steele’s surrender subsequent to the address is confirmed, but as yet nothing authorative from Banks at Alexandria. I cannot keep the record of all the gunboats we destroy there or those that they set fire to, to prevent their falling into our hands; they seem to be Legion, but I had better wait for official accounts.
One anecdote of the Army of Northern Va which has reached us I must record. During one of the recent battles Gen Lee placed himself at the head of a Texas Brigade in order to lead them into battle — when — as one man — they halted & cried out “We will not advance unless you go back“! Was ever a nobler tribute paid by men to a Commander? So far we have the names of fifteen of our Generals killed & wounded including Johnson, whom the Yankees claim to have captured, viz., five killed, 9 wounded, & 1 prisoner against twenty two Yankees whose fate we know, viz., ten killed, eight wounded, & three prisoners. Stuart & Ransom on our side & Heckman on theirs are included, tho neither of them were in Northern Va, these last being around Richmond. Every where so far have our arms been successful. God make us thankful. He it is who giveth us the victory & in His own good time He will grant us Peace! Peace & a name and place amongst the kingdoms of the earth.
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