Posts Tagged ‘Union occupation’

The captured deserters

We mentioned in our last that several deserters from our army had been captured in front of Newbern, two of them executed, and others on trial. The Raleigh Confederate, whose Editor was on the ground, says,

“We learn that among the yankee prisoners taken below Kinston last week, there were forty five deserters from Nethercutt’s Battalion. They were in full yankee uniform, and will of course suffer the penalty so eminently due the base crime of desertion to the enemy. One desert from the 8th Regiment, caught in yankee uniform, was shot on Thursday last, with several others.

Source: Fayetteville Observer, February 11, 1864 as found on www.ncecho.org

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A gentleman from one of the eastern counties within the lines of the enemy, informs us on the authority of a Yankee Official, that the negroes which are held in Newbern by the Federals are dying at the rate of 25 to 50 per day. In addition to being entirely without shelter, they are suffering from small-pox, and some other very malignant disease, the name of which our informant could not recollect. Such being the case, if the Yankees continue to steal the slaves from their comfortable and healthful homes, their guilt can hardly be estimated to its full extent.

The gentleman who brings this intelligence is known to be worthy of all credit, and he thinks that there will surely be an abandonment of negro stealing in our eastern borders for the time to come. We forgot to add that the contrabands in Newbern are also in a naked and starving condition.

Source: Greensborough Patriot, December 24, 1863 as found on www.ncecho.org

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From Newbern

We learn from a source that we consider reliable, that Butler has been to Newbern and returned to Fortress Monroe. He was there two or three days the first of the past week, was feted, serenaded &c. We learn from a gentleman right up from the lines that the “Beast” has shut down upon all returning to Newbern by our people. He says that they shall not return even though they take the oath. These are pretty hard papers on those outsiders who are so anxious to get back, but we see no help for it. We suppose the best way to get back to Newbern is to organize a force and whip Butler out. Who’ll volunteer?

Source: Greensborough Patriot, December 3, 1863 as found on www.ncecho.org

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From Below

We learn by letter from Kinston, Oct. 28th that James M. Foy, Esq. of this county, (now acting as scout in Eastern North Carolina,) has just returned from an expedition in the neighborhood of Newbern. He carried two men with him, and brought back three others, a yankee Major and two privates, captured with their horses and arms. A good citizen and a gallant soldier is Mr. Foy! Success to him!

We learn that the Yankees have 3000 cavalry at Newbern, among them two veteran regiments, the 3d and 4th New York. They intend a raid in about two weeks.

Source: Fayetteville Observer, October 29, 1863 as found on www.ncecho.org

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Saturday 24th [October 1863]

Mr. Henry came home last night about 8 o’clock. I was so glad to see him but when I heard of his narrow escape & having to go back this morning, my heart almost stopped to beat. He & others had a skirmish with the tories or yanks at Warm Springs Thursday evening. Mr. Henry thinks Maj. John Woodfin is killed. A ball brushed Mr. Henry’s arm, it is an ugly place & very sore. His horse was shot in the fore leg. They had to run up a mountain. Mr. Henry was near Woodfin when he was shot. He fell off his horse soon after they started up the MT. & tis supposed he was dead. Mr. Henry’s horse run under a bush & pulled him off. He then run about 100 yds. & Maj. Woodfin’s horse & another horse came along so he got Davis’ horse. Davis was shot in the hip. He got back to Marshall by the time Mr. Henry & them did. There was only twelve in the squad. They were sent around by Woodfin to see the strength of the enemy. The others, about 100 men, were a quarter of a mile behind. These others were Capt. Harris’ Cavalry. Two men were killed in Capt. Harris’ company. Mr. Henry & these others slept in the Mountains that night. He left his horse as he was too lame to travel. It was the Cagle horse, a good one. Mr. Henry says he could run very fast. They got to Marshall yesterday about 12, had not eat anything since Thursday morning. He lost his overcoat, hat & cape & left his bridle & saddle on poor John Cagle when he left him. He woke me this morning about 1 o’clock. We did not get up till near three. I felt miserable indeed. I slept but little last night thinking of his going this morning. It kept me awake a long time. It may be the last night I shall ever sleep in his dear arms. Oh! I have felt so sad all day, so miserable. I told him goodbye in the front piazza. He eat breakfast a little after 4, he and another man that was going with him. It was raining when he started. Oh! that the Lord would hear my poor petition & spare my dear husbands life. I ask & beseech it of Thee Oh Lord. Stay Thy wrath on us as a nation I pray & grant us peace.

Stevens sent after his negroes we have hired, they went. The people of Asheville expect a raid every day from the tories or yanks one. Stevens is going to move his family, white & black too. I have felt so sad all day. I have done nothing of importance. I finished the dress for Gus. Cook got Pinck’s & Zona’s shoes done today. Fannie is spinning, I want to make Mr. Henry an overcoat as soon as I can get the filling spun. He wants it lapped. Betsey will help spin it. She has quit weaving till she gets the filling ready. There is about ten yds. to weave yet. She will be here Monday after rolls. The wagon got home with the rolls Thursday night. They are very nice, most of them mixed. I did not get the fine wool carded. They brought it back. They would have had to wait two days for it so they said so they brought it home. Take care of my husband whilst he is out I ask of thee O Lord. May our forces come out victorious I pray. They expected a fight with them today. They sent the cannon down yesterday from Asheville.

Source: Diary of Cornelia Henry in Fear in North Carolina: The Civil War Journal and Letters of the Henry Family. Clinard, Karen L. and Russell, Richard, eds. (Asheville, NC: Reminiscing Books, 2008).

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We suppose the service will hardly suffer any detriment by the announcement that there has been a change of commanders at Kinston, the former commandant of that post having been ordered to another place for duty. The new commandant we know nothing about but hope that he will give satisfaction to our Eastern friends by keeping the Yankees behind their works at Newbern and Washington. The force at those places is said to be very small. Raleigh Progress


Previously in another section of the paper: “The former commandant at Kinston having been ordered to another place for duty, he is succeeded by Gen. Barton, late of Bragg’s army.”

Source: Greensborough Patriot, October 22, 1863 as found on www.ncecho.org.

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July 29, 1863

This is a terrible state to live in. Expectation & anxiety unsettle and destroy one’s peace of mind to that degree that we are ready for anything. We sit here at home in a calm of desperation, I fear tho perhaps it may be resignation, unable to do anything but determined to meet the fate in store for us as becomes christians & patriots — something analagous, I suppose, to the resignation & calmness with which most persons meet death when it is inevitable — struggles, murmurs, & repining are alike useless & the human mind takes refuge in that sublime repose which is the admiration of all who witness even the violent death of men of high spirit.

Mama came out on Monday night, Father remaining on the River. Herself, Sue, & I compose the household & we even wait for news with a calmness that surprises me. Can it be Faith or do we indeed realize the promise “as thy days so shall thy strength be”? Was up early yesterday & my first work was indicative. I made a number of Rifle Cartridges & sent them with a Canteen of Tea to Mr Edmondston. I received messages constantly yesterday from him all telling the same tale, viz., a steady advance of the enemy in heavy force from Plymouth. The last courier reported them across Gardner’s Creek the bridge over which had been rebuilt by them. The 24th N C, Col Clark, is at Jackson to repel a column advancing from Murfresboro; a few troops in Halifax & aid promised from Weldon. Pray God Col Martin hold out until it reaches him. Put in a place of safety some valuables & some meat, but it is but little that we can save. I look at our books, friends which we have been years in collecting, with a sigh to think that a few days may see them desecrated by theivish hands, torn, mutilated, & cast out, perhaps burned, & ourselves wanderers without a home or a roof to shelter our heads! Gods will be done! As I write, a messenger comes in from Mr Edmondston. No news he tells us, not one word from below. Can the courier be captured? Is it guns or thunder which I hear in the distance all this morning? God be with and grant us Peace!

Morgan’s command, 2500 men, is we fear cut off, surrounded, & made prisoners of in Ohio, he with a squad of men only making his escape, but I will wait for news until it comes from our own side. These Cretan accounts take up paper to no purpose. An official report, for instance, of an attack on Drewry’s Bluff has appeared in the Northern papers, whereas we know that the Gunboats did not ascend so high & that not a gun was fired! Gen Lee officially contradicts, in a Dispatch to Gen Cooper, Meades late official dispatch to his Government of the capture of a Brigade of men & many guns at Falling Waters. Gen Lee says that he only notices it because of its official character, that Meade captured only a few stragglers, men wearied & footsore who on account of the heaviness of the roads could not keep up. Two Guns were abandoned because of the failing of their team the jaded horses could not be replaced with others until the head of the column was so far in advance that it was thought a needless risk to return for them & they were therefore abandoned. He officially gives Meade the lie. Which General will the world beleive? Pope, Halleck, & McClellan, even if Meade be innocent, your sins will be visited on his head, but Gen Meade had you the honour of a preux chevalier you would not allow your Government thus to tamper with your fair fame! You were said to be a gentleman, but “it is hard to touch pitch without being defiled.”  No mail last night.

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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