July 2, 1864
Still without direct news from Richmond or Petersburg. The severe battle reported to have taken place last Friday a week ago was undecisive, yet we lost, sad to say, 400 prisoners. Gen Fitz Lee has driven Kautz from the Danville road & is said to be in pursuit of him. Hampton has had “adoe,” as the Morte d’Arthur has it, with a party of raiders, whether the same or not we cannot tell at Stoney Crk — & repulsed them. The Scotland Neck Rifles were engaged, lost some, killed, wounded, & captured. Amongst the two last is Dr Hugh Davis, a man whom Mr E liked & trusted & in the last category is the Col of the Regt, Col John Baker, he on whose account Gen French behaved so unhandsomely to Mr E. Ah! Mrs E! I fear me you glorify yourself with the thought that had your husband been there he would not have been captured! True Madam, but then he might have been killed! So instead of self-exultation, be thankful that God has spared you the suffering & anxiety now endured by Mrs Baker.
Hunter is retreating as fast as whip & spur can aid him before Early. No time now for foraging & “living off the country.” Sauve qui peut & the Devil take the hindmost is the order of the day. He was overhauled near Salem & lost besides killed & wounded 200 prisoners. The road is strewed with his dead horses & cast off equipments — arms, caissons, & even cannon. He finds the road by Liberty “a hard one to travel.” “All quiet around Petersburg & plenty of prisoners” is our last account from there, but all our news comes from passengers who walk to Stoney Crk, so that it is both old & uncertain when it reaches us, & news like a egg should be fresh to make it valuable. Grant boasted that he would eat his 4th of July dinner in Richmond. God grant he may do so & in “the Hotel de Libby” to boot with attendants a plenty in the shape of Confederate soldiers to see that he wants for nothing of the privileges usually accorded to a prisoner of war! Hunter with usual Yankee barbarity shelled the town of Lexington without notice & on entering sent a squad of men to Ex Gov Letcher’s house & summoning Mrs L, gave her ten minutes to remove such things as she wished to preserve from the house & occupied five minutes of the ten telling her what things she was to leave untouched. So that five minutes was all three Ladies had to save wardrobe, provisions, & bedding. The savages, they cannot understand & are incapable of being made to appreciate the sublime lesson taught them last summer by Gen Lee in his march through Penn! — a spectacle, however, at which one day the civilized world will stand in amazed admiration, amazed that an army burning under the sense of such wrongs & outrages on their own homes could yet leave unmolested the homes of their enemies when in their power, & this, & deeds worse than this, is the return we get for it!
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