New Bern-native Edward Stanly was living in California at the outbreak of war and was appointed military governor of North Carolina by Lincoln in May, 1862, though his reign comprised only that portion of the northeastern part of the State under military occupation. Below he is lectured to by his father's slave, Uncle Abram, who was ashamed his betrayal of his own people; Edmondston also comments on the question of slaves being liberated versus stolen for military service, and their being counted toward northern troop quotas. Major John Devereux served as Quartermaster General for North Carolina.
Catherine Ann Edmondston's Diary Entry – July 24, 1864:
"Brother [Major John Devereux] gave us a most interesting account given him by an eye witness of an interview between Edward Stanley [sic] and an old Negro of his [father's] 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 long 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 came from! Go back! & never let it be said that your father's son turned against his own folks."
July 27, 1864: Sue said at breakfast that "old Lincoln had demoralized her sense of numbers; that he had so often called for 500,000 men that she had got to view it as a small affair, a mere drop in the bucket." Posts have been opened in all of the Southern States in Yankee power for the recruiting of Negroes in order to fill up the quota of the different northern States. State agents are sent out & the stolen Negroes accredited to the State who steals them, by authority of the Yankee Sec of War. This is raising an army with a vengeance – poor Cuffee!
(Diary of a Secesh Lady, The Diary of Catherine Ann Devereux Edmondston, 1860-1866, Crabtree and Patton, editors, NCDAH, 1979, pp. 596-597)
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