May 30, 1864
Grant continues his attempt to flank Lee. Lee still continues to frustrate him. Grant appears to have receded from his determination as expressed to his government “to fight it out on this line if it takes all the summer.” Summer is not quite here & he has changed his base of supplies twice already & circumstances seem to indicate a third, to the White House & York River. Skirmishing goes on constantly, endeavours on Grant’s part “to feel our lines.” Lee has offered battle, but the gage has been declined. Grant is now moving down the Pamunky towards the Peninsula, his army massed on Totopotamoy Creek & shows no dispositions to move further South. The suspense is most painful. Our fate hangs in the balance. May a merciful God shorten our period of probation & give us Peace!
News from the Army of Northern Georgia, cheering. Gen Joe Johnson has inflicted heavy loss upon Sherman, tho as yet there is no general engagement which cannot, however, be long delayed. We have captured many prisoners, a Brigade Commander, & immense numbers of small arms. Cleburn’s Division on the 28th engaged the 4t Army corps under Howard; took 200 prisoners exclusive of the wounded which fell into our hands, killed one thousand, with a loss to us of five hundred men, Maj Gen Howard Johnson & Brig Gen King, the piano stealer, wounded.
The New York World & the Journal of Commerce were suspended by his highness A Lincoln for publishing immediately after the battle of the Wilderness a proclamation appointing a day of fasting & prayer & calling into military service by volunteering & draft 400,000 men, which proclamation proved to be a forgery. Seward & Lincoln accordingly let loose the phials of their wrath upon the unfortunate Editors, ordered their arrest & imprisonment in Fort Lafayette & a military occupation of their premises. When their highnesses were at length appeased & allowed the delinquents again to resume their avocations, the Editor of the World comes out in an address to him which proves old Hudibras to have been a keen observer of human nature. He says, “No Rogue ere felt the halter draw/With good opinion of the Law.” And so Mr “Manton Marble,” for so is he inept, after applauding His Excellency in every step he has hitherto taken in trampling on the Constitution now endeavours to shelter himself behind its broad Aegis! Rob, steal, murder, seize presses, Churches, Slaves, horses, yes the land itself in the South, put your foot down firmly, crush out these Southern Aristocrats, you are a hero & a patriot, but touch me, me Manton Marble& Abraham Lincoln, you are a wretch too vile to enjoy the light of day. Thus does he now discourse, now that he has felt “the halter draw.” Pity Mr Lincoln, that whilst you were about it you had not tightened & ended Mr Manton Marble’s commendations & Phillipics at one stroke. A rascal! But if I dwell on the behaviour of my Yankee bretheren, I shall be in a fair way to emulate Mama’s condition. She said with great earnestness a few days since, “I declare! if this war continues much longer I shall lose the little Christianity I have got!”
So it is with me. The bounds where Christian charity ends & I can “be angry and sin not” are very ill defined in my mind when I read either of the outrages or the meannesses of the Yankee. I rejoice when I hear of their slaughter by thousands, which is all right, for by their death the lives & liberties of my fellow countrymen are preserved. I never stop as Mrs McPheeters did to resolve “that I will be wicked for this once.” When I hear of any of their Generals sharing the fate of that infamous Lyons, it is all good news to me.
This reminds me that I never copied the list of the Generals lost during the last few weeks in the Virginia Campaign. I do it now, premising that I have kept no record of the Louisianna or Georgia enemies Generals. These are Lee’s, Beauregard’s, and Morgan’s alone. Confederates killed Maj. Gen Stuart, Brig Gens Jones, Stafford, Jenkins, Daniel, Gordon, Perrin, & Jenkins again — 8; Wounded, Lieut Gen Longstreet, Brig Gens Pegram, Hayes, Walker, Benning, Ransom, Ramseur, McGowan, R. D. Johnson, Walker again — 10; Prisoners, Maj Gen Edward Johnson, Brig Gen Stewart — 2. Of the Yankees so far as known to us, killed, Maj Gens Wadsworth & Sedgwick — 2; Brig Gens Hayes, Carr, Webb, Taylor, Owens, Stephenson, Rice, Baglie & Ames — 11; Wounded, Brig Gens Warren, Stephens, Robinson, Morris, Getty, Talbot, Baxter, Wright, Smith, & Averil, & two whose names I have lost belonging to Butler’s Command — 12; Prisoners Seymour, Shaller, Neil, & Heckman — 4; 20 Confederates, 27 Yankees. The Yankee papers admitted a loss of 31, independant of Heckman & the two whose names I have lost, making their loss 34, but we had no account of their names. We have lost two Jenkins & — what is a little odd — we have now three Gens Walker all wounded in the foot!
Speaking of wounded Generals, I must tell an anecdote of a little girl who had just begun to read the papers for herself. She looked up from her paper & said “Bad news, sister, bad news, Gen Wheeler is dead”! “How do you know my dear?” “Because I see that Gen Johnston has just reviewed his corpse (corps)”!
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