OCTOBER 18TH.—Major-Gen. Jones telegraphs from Knoxville, Tenn., that a wounded officer arrived from Kentucky, reports a victory for Bragg, and that he has taken over 10,000 prisoners. We shall soon have positive news. A letter from Admiral Buchanan states that he has inspected the defenses of Mobile, and finds them satisfactory. I traversed the markets [...]
A Rebel War Clerk’s Diary at the Confederate States Capital, By John Beauchamp Jones
OCTOBER 17TH.—The article in the Whig is backed by one of a similar character in the Examiner. We shall see what effect they will have on the policy adopted by the Secretary of War. Although still unofficial, we have confirmatory accounts of Bragg’s victory in Kentucky. The enemy lost, they say, 25,000 men. Western accounts [...]
OCTOBER 16TH.—There is no confirmation of the reported victory in Kentucky. An Englishman, who has been permitted to go North, publishes there a minute and pretty accurate description of our river defenses. I have written a leading article for the Whig to-morrow, on “Martial Law and Passports.” My plan is to organize committees in all [...]
OCTOBER 15TH.—A young man showed me a passport to-day to return to Washington. It appears that Secretary Randolph has adopted another plan, which must be a rare stroke of genius. The printed passport is “by order of the Secretary of War,” and is signed by “J. H. Winder, Brig.-Gen.” But this is not all: on [...]
OCTOBER 10TH.—Mr. Brooks called this morning to get me to draft a passport bill, which he said he would get Congress to pass. I doubt it. I wrote the bill, however. He says fifteen or twenty members of Congress visit his house daily. They dine with him, and drink his old whisky. Mr. B. has [...]
OCTOBER 2D.—News from the North indicate that in Europe all expectation of a restoration of the Union is at an end; and the probability is that we shall soon be recognized, to be followed, possibly, by intervention. Nevertheless, we must rely upon our own strong arms, and the favor of God. It is said, however, [...]
OCTOBER 1ST.—They are still striking at martial law in the Senate, as administered by Gen. Winder. A communication from the Secretary of War admits that Gen. W. was authorized to suppress substitute agencies—“but this did not justify impressment and confiscation.” It appears that Gen Winder ordered the agents to be impressed into the service, and [...]
SEPTEMBER 30TH.—Lincoln’s proclamation was the subject of discussion in the Senate yesterday. Some of the gravest of our senators favor the raising of the black flag, asking and giving no quarter hereafter. The yellow fever is raging at Wilmington, North Carolina. The President, in response to a resolution of inquiry concerning Hyde, the agent who [...]
SEPTEMBER 29TH.—We have Lincoln’s proclamation, freeing all the slaves from and after the 1st January next. And another, declaring martial law throughout the United States! Let the Yankees ruminate on that! Now for a fresh gathering of our clans for another harvest of blood. On Saturday the following resolutions were reported by Mr. Semmes, from [...]
SEPTEMBER 27TH.—The papers this morning contain accounts of the landing of Yankees at White House, York River; and of reinforcements at Williamsburg and Suffolk. They might attempt to take Richmond, while Lee’s army is away; for they know we have no large body of troops here. A battery passed through the city this morning early, [...]
SEPTEMBER 25TH.—Blankets, that used to sell for $6, are now $25 per pair; and sheets are selling for $15 per pair, which might have been had a year ago for $4. Common 4-4 bleached cotton shirting is selling at $1 a yard. Gen. Lee’s locality and operations, since the battle of Sharpsburg or Shepherdstown, are [...]
SEPTEMBER 24TH.—The papers this morning are still in doubt whether Lee has returned to the Virginia side of the Potomac, or remains in Maryland. My theory is that he is perdue for the present, hoping all the enemy’s forces will enter Virginia, from Washington—when he will pounce upon that city and cut off their retreat. [...]
SEPTEMBER 23D.—Jackson, the ubiquitous and invincible, fell upon Burnside’s division and annihilated it. This intelligence has been received by the President. We have, also, news from Kentucky. It comes this time in the New York Herald, and is true, as far as it goes. A portion of Buell’s army, escaping from Nashville, marched to Mumfordsville, [...]
SEPTEMBER 22ND.—There are rumors that only Jackson’s corps recrossed the Potomac to look after a column of the enemy sent to recapture Harper’s Ferry and take Winchester, our grand depot.
SEPTEMBER 21ST—We have one day of gloom. It is said that our army has retreated back into Virginia.
SEPTEMBER 20TH.—While Jackson was doing his work, McClellan, who has been restored to command, marched at the head of 100,000 men to the rescue of Harper’s Ferry, but D. P. Hill, with his single division, kept him at bay for many hours, until Longstreet came to his assistance; and night fell upon the scene. But [...]
SEPTEMBER 19TH.—And God has blessed us even more abundantly than we supposed. The rumor that our invincible Stonewall Jackson had been sent by Lee to Harper’s Ferry, and had taken it, is TRUE. Nearly 12,000 men surrendered there on the 15th inst., after the loss of two or three hundred on their side, and only [...]
SEPTEMBER 18th.—To-day, in response to the President’s proclamation, we give thanks to Almighty God for the victories HE has blessed us with.
SEPTEMBER 17TH.—Everything seems to indicate the “breaking up” of the armies of our enemies, as if our prayers had been answered, and the hosts of Lincoln were really to be “brought to confusion.”
SEPTEMBER 16TH—Intelligence from Missouri states that the Union militia have rallied on the side of the South.
SEPTEMBER 15TH.—Our flag floats over the Capitol at Frankfort! And Gen. Marshall, lately the exile and fugitive, is en-camped with his men on his own farm, near Paris.
SEPTEMBER 14TH.—Our army has entered the City of Lexington, and the population hail our brave soldiers as deliverers. Three regiments were organized there in twenty-four hours, and thirty thousand recruits, it is thought, will flock to our standard in Kentucky.
SEPTEMBER 13TH—Buell has impressed 10,000 slaves, and is fortifying Nashville.
SEPTEMBER 12TH.—The ranks of the enemy are broken everywhere in the West. Buell is flying to Nashville as a city of refuge, but we have invincible columns interposed between him and his country.
SEPTEMBER 11TH —And Cincinnati is trembling to its center. That abolition city, half foreign and half American, is listening for the thunder of our avenging guns.