Old Mansion. Wednesday 12 [February 1862]
What miserable and anxious days the two past have been. We hear of nothing but disaster and defeat on every side.
Capt Lynch and his little fleet of gun boats were captured at Elizabeth City where they made a stand, but had to give up to over whelming numbers. Where is my brother? Is he among the killed, or has he been taken prisoner? If he was prepared to die.
We can hear nothing yet except that Commodore Lynch was wounded before he was captured.
Our soldiers fought nobly. The news from the West is disastrous. The enemy have penetrated into North Alabama as far as Florence.
The coils of the "Great Anaconda" seem to be tightening around us. That is the name the Yankees have given their plan to crush us all around simultaneously from all points. God help us. Oh my brother my brother.