July 24, 1864
Sunday — Today came most unexpectedly brother in good health & spirits. His little boy John is out of danger. We have had fine rains & the prospect for a crop is good & to crown all his happiness he brought news of a victory of Hood over Sherman in front of Atlanta! We had taken 2000 prisoners, 28 peices of cannon, 4 stand of colour, whilst the dispatch went on to say that Hardee was in their rear & fighting still going on. A telegram only gives us the news, but still it is official & signed by Gen Hood. Bragg has made his appearance out there which, I fear, bodes us no good, but we must hope for the best.
Brother gave us a most interesting account given him by an eye witness of an interview between Edward Stanley & an old negro of his fathers when he came to N C as her Military Governor. The negro it seems was sick & in consequence Mr Stanley went to see him. Abram, for such was his name, turned his face to the wall as his young master entered the cabin. When Stanley holding out his hand addressed him thus, “Well Uncle Abram I am sorry to see you laid up thus. I know you must have been sick or you would have been to see me.” To which the negro replied, “God knows Marse Ned that I never thought to live to see the day when I should have to say I was sorry to see you. But what are you doing here? Go! over Marse Ned, go over and stand along side of your own folks. Take a glass of water & a crust of bread with them, but stand by them, & if you wont do that go back, Marse Ned, where you come from! go back! & never let it be said that your father’s son turned against his own folks.”
Time fails me to tell how his brother Alfred, then a prisoner on parole, met him & what he said to him of the desecration of the grave yard & the oppression of the people. He gave Burnside a parole for a year & on the expiration of it, he, tho an old man between sixty and seventy, has often been known to leave home on foot at night, walk through the swamps & woods for miles to the nearest Picket station, & give information to them when any movement was projected by the enemy. He has, & it is on record, brought into our pickets between thirty & forty Yankee horses & equipment, the riders of which, to use a slang phrase, he had lost in the woods. He has now a post under the Confederate Gov, within our lines, or it would not do even to tell such a fact, but as I record the infamy of one brother, justice demands that the patriotism of the other should not be passed over. All honour to Alfred Stanly!
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