September 19, 1864
Came Amo back from Raleigh on Sat jaded & worn out. He brought good accounts of Hood’s army from an intelligent officer with whom he “fore gathered” in his journey. The army is in fine spirits, well disiplined, & defiant, but long for Johnston to be again at their head. They do not undervalue Hood & he possesses their confidence & affection but in a less degree than Joe Johnston whom they all look upon not only as unequaled in strategy but as martyr to personal ill will, either of the President or some one high in his influence. Rumour whispers that Mrs Davis has much to do with it, that Mrs Johnston and herself do not visit whilst Mrs Bragg is her warm personal friend. I must believe, however, that Mr Davis is superior to such influences. He is not a man to be led by a “Commercia Major” & has the good of the country too much at heart to sacrifice it to personal pique. If he makes mistakes, & who that is mortal does not?, they are honest ones!
Patrick sent Amo some Turnip seed sometime since with directions to sell them & divide the proceeds for his trouble. He brought us on our portion in the shape of Sugar [ — ] lbs of the seed buying [ — ] lbs of Sugar — the one being sold for $[ — ] and the other bought at $6, so ten lbs of sugar standing normally at $60 cost us only [ — ] lbs of turnip seed, for which we have no use & which we never before sold! Indeed barter has become the order of the day. We pay for our weaving in Lard! Two lbs of Lard pays for the weaving of 2 yds of coarse cloth & recently two of our neighbors, Mrs Peter & Mrs Ben Smith, desiring to carry their children for change of air to the up country could get board only on promising to pay for it in Bacon & Lard, and part of their baggage actually consisted of bags of bacon and kegs of lard! Spartan simplicity. The Yankees are endeavouring to force our authorities into a special exchange of prisoners by placing our officers in a Stockade on Morris island outside of Gregg & Wagner & exposed to our fire. They want their officers but not their men & tho we have expressed a desire & have done all that in us lay to effect a general exchange of all prisoners they refuse to accede to it, raising innumerable difficulties & now demanding that we shall surrender our own slaves, captured from them, in return for our free white citizens captured by them. Our government refuses to admit the status of negroes to be equal to that of whites & claim that when we recapture slaves they are ours & return at once to their normal state. Butler has written a letter on the subject, distinguished only for bad Logic & impertinence, which I hope Mr Ould will treat with the contempt it deserves.
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