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Archive for the ‘Catherine Ann Devereux Edmondston’ Category

September 26, 1864

On Sat 24th came James to make a flying visit & see his sister Mrs Coffin. He is well & in good spirits but saddened me by confirming the estimate I have so often heard given of Gen Lee’s & Beauregard’s armies. Together, he says, they have not more than 40,000 men fit for duty! Yet he is hopeful & says if Grant will only extend his lines & attempt to take in the Southside R R, Lee will annihilate him! James is now “Inspector of Field Transportation” & holds the cheif power of Impressment in this State — disagreeable and hard duty & too much power to be in the hands of any one man. Pray God he use it descreetly & justly, “without fear, favour, or affection.” He left for his Head qts at Greensboro today.

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

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September 23, 1864

The cannonade on the 21st proves to have been only a rather more than usually vigorous shelling on Grant’s part, from which no damage resulted, God be thanked. News of an engagement near Winchester in which I fear we were not successful, as the bringing off of our guns & waggon trains is mentioned as a cause of gratulation. Early telegraphs that “the loss on both sides was heavy.” We compelled the enemy to retire, but at night fall we also did the same thing, falling back to Fisher’s Hill, Sheridan being too much worsted to pursue. Sad, sad to relate, we lost Maj Gen Rodes, one of the best Generals of Division we have & Brig Gen Godwin, a gallant & good officer. Rodes tho from Alabama commanded N C troops almost exclusively & Godwin’s Brigade were all from this state. Mouring is sown broadcast throughout our land I fear by this sad battle. Thomas Devereux is in Rodes Division. How long will it be ere we are at rest? Godwin was at one time Provost Marshal of Richmond & we saw him frequently there in the spring of 62.

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

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September 22, 1864

Dined yesterday at the plantation with Jessie, Amo, and Mr E. A merry day but somewhat oppressed by the uneasiness we felt as to the cause of a terrific canonading which took place from daybreak to nine o’clock in the direction of Petersburg. Grant is reported as extending his lines to the left & is now three miles to the west of the Weldon R R. Lee’s policy, the wise ones say, is to allow him thus to weaken by extending his line & suddenly to hurl himself upon & break through it, thus dividing his army. It may be so, but I am not a Brigadier either by birth or brevet.

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

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September 20, 1864

Letter from Frank Jones telling us that 900 Yankee officers have been placed in a stockade on Sullivan’s Island in retaliation for a number of ours confined in like manner by the enemy on Morris Island.  In the mean time Yellow fever has made its appearance in the city, a danger more deadly to the unaclimated Yankee than bullet or ball, & there are many confined there. I hope it will precipitate a general exchange. Sherman, however, takes the position that the men in our hands whose term of service has expired are not entitled to Exchange for our enlisted men in theirs & this want of faith to its subjects, I had better call them at once, is the treatment the best Government under the Sun gives its own & its adopted sons! Stepmother like conduct, which none but a Yankee would have the face to perpetuate; but as Mrs Hines says, “they have forgotten if they ever knew how to blush.”

A Dispatch from Gen Lee tells us that Hampton succeeded in getting in Grant’s rear, capturing 2500 fat beeves, 300 prisoners, a no. of waggons, mules, & horses & returned safely with the loss of fifty men only. In Albemarle Sound, too, we have had a success — 16 men of the Steamer Albemarle went out in small boats, boarded & burnt the steamer Fawn, a boat running through the Dismal Swamp Canal from Norfolk to Yankee head quarters in the North Eastern Counties, with the crew, several commissioned officers in transit to their commands, and 25,000 in gold. As a set off, however, the enemy claims to have captured our N C steamer the Advance with a load of Cotton & 28,000 in specie off Hatteras.  We fear it is true, but she has made a vast sum for the state besides enabling her to provide well for her troops in the way of clothing and shoes and I hope her loss will soon be replaced.

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

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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

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September 17, 1864

Last night when Mr E came home from the plantation he brought us the Key to the terrific explosion which so startled me on Tuesday & has been ever since a matter of grave conjecture with the whole community. It appears that one of our big guns at Weldon, “Long Tom” or “Laughing Charley,” had been so long loaded that it was thought expedient to fire it off. The charge happened to be a [ — ] inch shell, one of the largest size made. From some unknown cause, the explosion of the shell was almost simultaneous with the report of the gun, hence the prolonged & booming sound which caused us such uneasiness. We were greatly releived as the want of a mail made us fear that it came from some device of Grant’s, which would “work us some annoy.” The heavy cannonading heard that day & the next was along the lines & a furious shelling of the city which was kept up for some hours with but little damage.

News from Thomas Devereux up to the 6th — he was well but on the 5th had his horse killed under him. He lost his saddle & bridle and is I suppose poor fellow a foot. Thanks to a merciful God for his preservation!

Details of poor Morgan’s death. He died by treachery & the treachery, too, of a woman! but as statements vary as to what the name of the infamous wretch is, I will wait for authentic accounts. Himself & staff stopped for the night at the house of a Mrs Williams. When they were asleep a woman, whose name should be associated with that of Arnold, mounted her horse & eluding our pickets rode to the Yankee headquarters & returned with a body of Yankee Cavalry whom she guided to the house in which Morgan slept. He was aroused by his hostess, who endeavoured to aid his escape, but another woman, a Yankee, Mrs Fry told his pursuers which way he went.  After a desperate struggle in which he discharged every load in his pistols, killing several of his opponents, he received a shot through the heart & expired instantly! In consequence of the brutal treatment he met with when a prisoner in the hands of the Christian Burnside, he had determined never again to be taken alive & too well did he keep his vow. We are much cast down by his sad fate & Father, in vain, attempts to console us by repeating those lines from Chevy Chase, [ — ] but I do not like the sentiment contained in them, it is too “French.” “Le Roi est mort“! “Vive le Roi.” They compliment the living at the expense of the dead.

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

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September 16, 1864

On Tuesday last whilst sitting reading my Bible alone in the “Soltaire,” I was suddenly aroused by a heavy report, a boom as tho an explosion had taken place. So loud was it that I convinced myself that it was distant thunder & stepped out into the garden to see the cloud from whence it came, but the sky was “without speck or spot or stain.” “The blue Vault” was as clear as crystal. I called to the servants to know what it was, but they as much overcome with surprise as myself. They had also heard it & accepted the fact that it was thunder without examination. In the afternoon & all the next day a heavy canonade was heard by many, Mr E amongst the number, but my ears were not so sharp, deafened I said by the first report. Anxiously did we look for news on Wednesday and on Thursday and again today, Friday, but alaas! We have been doomed to disappointment! No mail! not even a Raleigh paper which would give us a Telegram, meagre it is true, yet still something on which to found conjecture. Every neighbor who comes in is full of eager questions, for the report or explosion was heard through a circuit of fifteen miles, but no one can throw the least light upon it. Pray God it be another Yankee Magazine blown up & with even more damage than that at City Point some weeks since. This want of news tho keeps us cruelly anxious.

Our loss before Atlanta was heavier than the Press Reports, but as we have no official statements it is idle to enumerate them. Hood fell back in good order, Sherman following. Very soon, however, Sherman gave up that game & fell back himself to Atlanta & commenced fortifying. He there promulgated an Order so infamous that a Russian example must be sought if we would find a parallel amongst civilized nations. He finds it for the interest of the U S that every inhabitant should be banished from Atlanta & its vicinity and accordingly directs that those who wish to go North shall be allowed to do so whilst those who prefer remaining at the South shall be sent through his lines into Hoods and proposes to Hood an armistice for ten days in which to execute his barbarious intentions. Hood accepts in order to spare the unfortunates any additional suffering but comments most severely upon the inhumanity of the Order. It seems to us so short sighted a peice of conduct that we can but hail it as an evidence that the Devil is forsaking his own, leaving him now in the lurch. What can he expect but resistance to the death from every Southern man, woman, & child in the future?

McClellan is out in his acceptance of the nomination of the Chicago Convention in a string of balderdash about this “glorious Union” which is almost too absurd to provoke Laughter. “The Union” & “the Constitution,” two corpses, murdered by Northern fanatics. It is more than Northern demagogues can now do to galvanize them. They sit in dumb, dead silence, grimly staring at their murderers.

Amo left us on Tuesday the 13th for a visit to Raleigh. In the meantime we are enjoying Jessie’s society in full. It is long since we have seen her & she is Mr E’s favourite sister, the one nearest his own age, & she it was who was the companion of all his childish pranks, the confidant & friend of his mature years.

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

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