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Diary of Catherine Edmondston, April 11, 1865


Diary of Catherine Edmondston, April 11, 1865


Catherine Edomondston wrote her entry on April 11, 1865, from her summer plantation home Hascosea in Halifax County. The account came as she heard of General William Sherman’s and his men’s movement from the city of Goldsboro. When Sherman’s men raided towns, they often took items like food and clothing, but at times diaries and love letters. Edmondston, of an elite North Carolina family, could not stomach such an idea with her journal. In her diary entry, she referred to the Union soldiers that did such actions as thieves, much different from how Union viewed themselves. She put her journal away to ensure no Yankee would read the, “Journal of a Secesh Lady.” The actions of soldiers reading her personal journal was highly offensive to Edmondston and once again shows why she feared of living under Union control, as she wrote of in Item 176. Although not a firm supporter of the Confederate central government, she still believed that independence would come eventually. The image is of Edmondston


Catherine D. Edmondston


Catherine Edmondston, Journal of a Secesh Lady: The Diary of Catherine Ann Devereux Edmondston, eds. Beth Crabtree and James Patton (Raleigh, North Carolina: Division of Archives and History , 1979), 690-692.






Halifax County, North Carolina

Original Format



And now, old friend, you my Journal, for a time good bye!  You are too bulky to be kept out, exposed to prying Yankee eyes and thievish Yankee fingers.  You go for a season to darkness and solitude and my record must henceforth be kept on scraps of paper, backs of letters, or old memorandum books which I can secrete.  Think how Sheridan’s bumming officers would seize upon the “Journal of a Secesh Lady- a complete record of a daily life spent in the Southern Confederacy from July 1860 to April 65” and how I would feel thus dragged from the recesses of private life and for aught I know published for the amusement of a censorious, curious, and critical public? 

No, old friend, we must part.  I trust you to Owen’s fidelity, hoping the time may yet come when I can withdraw you from your retreat and finish you with a triumphant announcement of Peace and Independence!  So once more, Good bye!


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Catherin Edmondston.jpg


Catherine D. Edmondston, Diary of Catherine Edmondston, April 11, 1865, Civil War Era NC, accessed June 20, 2024,