May 27, 1864
Set out yesterday for Looking Glass but was compelled to return by high water on all the roads. In consequence of the heavy, almost unprecedented, rain of Wednesday afternoon all the bridges are washed up. The “terrific battle” of Sunday night of which Mr Hill told us & in which Beauregard displayed such remarkable strategy has not even a place in the newspaper. On the contrary everything along our lines is reported as “more quiet than it has been for days.” I beleive I will never again mention a rumour or record a single item of news until I see it either in an official form or from a source from whence sensation dispatches never issue. Mr Hill heard it as a matter of fact & as such repeated when, in fact, there was no fight at all on that evening. One thing, however, we can take comfort it: if we are deceived it is by wild reports which fly from mouth to mouth & like a rolling snow ball gathers as it goes. Our Generals & our Government do not deliberately deceive us as the Yankee Generals & Government do their credulous people. Butler telegraphs that he has Fort Drewry invested, that by a sortie of the garrison Gen Heckman & staff narrowly escaped capture, when the facts are — a signal repulse for him ere he reached the fortifications of Drewry’s Bluff & the actual lodging of Heckman, his staff, & a part of his command in the prisons appointed for the Abolition prisoners in Richmond. On the 9th “information was received in Washington of the sinking in Albemarle Sound of the rebel Ram Albemarle by the U S steamer Sassacus.” Have they no shame that they thus persist in telling such lies. Mr E thinks it is done in order to secure Lincoln’s nomination by the political convention which meets on the 7th of June, but they are short sighted if they think so flimsy a tissue of falsehoods will last until then. Even now the truth begins to peep out.
They have been forced to admit Sigel’s defeat by Beckenridge but insist it has no bearing on the great Cause. Kautz’s party has rejoined Butler, they now say, but without effecting the object he proposed. Kautz’s & Speare’s seems to be identical commands. Speares is the second &, to us it seems, the most prominent of the two. Grant has swung his army along the arc of a circle occupied by Lee as a defensive line, no longer attacking the upper part of it. Lee withdraws his army to face him anew. “Gen Lee without abandoning his defensive line has responded to Gen Grant’s movement by occupying the south bank of the North Anna river & offers to the enemy a free crossing of the Mattaponi,” says an editorial in one of our papers.
Letters last night from mr Haigh tells us that it is his grandson, Chas T. Haigh, who is killed. His son is still safe. This young man is barely nineteen; he is the son of Mr John & Caroline Haigh. Ah! well do I remember a happy time in June 1844 when I went to his Father’s house to meet him, a happy bridegroom bringing his wife home. A merry “in-fair” we had, but they have seen much sorrow since then.
There has been heavy fighting in Northern Georgia in which we claim the victory but as yet nothing is decided — no general engagement. Kilpatrick the theif is reported wounded at the recent engagement at Resaca. Virginia will wear no weeds for him, a theif & a Robber.
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