June 1 — I was not by any means all right & well today & could not go out from sheer nervousness. Lost my pocket book containing notes & dates, very annoying as I fear it will fall into people's hands.
There was good reason for concern. Russell's conversations with Bunch and with the British Consul in New Orleans, William Mure, if known to the public, might have put all of them at risk, given the feverish mood in the South those first months after Secession was announced, and before any real fighting had begun.
The passage above is from his private diary, most of which was published in William Howard Russell's Civil War: Private Diary and Letters, 1861-1862, admirably edited by Martin Crawford.
In the edited and through-written text of Russell's My Diary North and South, he writes as he is winding up his visit to New Orleans that the local economy is suffering mightily, but spirits are high and the mood defiant: