June 8, 1864
One almost feels in reading the accounts of the battles now in progress around Richmond as tho the tide of time had gone backward & we were living over again the stirring scenes of two years ago when McClellan made his grand attempt on our Capitol. The names of the battlefields are all repeated but alas, many well known names, names of men who were active then in driving back the invader & spoiler from our land, are now missed from the record of living honour. Gaines Mill, Chickahominy, Bethesda Church, Hanover Old Church, & Seven Pines, Cold Harbour recall the thrill with [which] we first became familiar with their names.
The paper of the 7th tells us that “Yesterday was a quiet day along the Chickahominy. The enemy had abandoned our left & part of our centre apparently in great haste. Early pursued them for two miles capturing sixty prisoners who stated that Grant was retiring to the White House because his men would not fight.” No one, however, beleives that, but the impression which generally prevails is that he is making for James River & will cross to the South Side. Bad news from the valley & Stanton, but as it is a very bitter pill I prefer waiting until I am forced to swallow it ere doing so. I fear, however, that delay will not “sugarcoat” it & that Stanton is really in Yankee possession, but I live in hope that it is not so bad as that, tho the War Office does not, tho without official intelligence of the fact.
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