MARCH 24TH.—Gen. Walker, of Georgia—the same who had the scene with Col. Bledsoe—has resigned. I am sorry that the Confederate States must lose his services, for he is a brave man, covered with honorable scars. He has displeased the Secretary of War.
A Rebel War Clerk’s Diary at the Confederate States Capital, By John Beauchamp Jones
MARCH 23D.—Gen. Winder was in this morning listening to something MacCubbin was telling him about the Richmond Whig. It appears that, in the course of a leading article, enthusiastic for the cause, the editor remarked, “we have arms and ammunition now.” The policemen, one and all, interpreted this as a violation of the order to [...]
MARCH 22D.—Capt. Godwin, the Provost Marshal, was swearing furiously this morning at the policemen about their iniquitous forgeries.
MARCH 21ST.—Gen. Winder’s detectives are very busy. They have been forging prescriptions to catch the poor Richmond apothecaries. When the brandy is thus obtained it is confiscated, and the money withheld. They drink the brandy, and imprison the apothecaries.
MARCH 20TH.—There is skirmishing every day on the Peninsula. We have not exceeding 60,000 men there, while the enemy have 158,000. It is fearful odds. And they have a fleet of gun-boats.
MARCH 19TH.—Mr. MacCubbin, whom I take to be a sort of Scotch-Irishman, though reared in the mobs of Baltimore, I am informed has given some passports, already signed, to some of his friends. This interference will produce a rupture between Capt. Godwin and Capt. MacCubbin; but as the former is a Virginian, he may have [...]
MARCH 18TH.—A Mr. MacCubbin, of Maryland, has been appointed by Gen. Winder the Chief of Police. He is wholly illiterate, like the rest of the policemen under his command.
MARCH 17TH.—Col. Porter has resigned his provost marshal-ship, and is again succeeded by Capt. Godwin, a Virginian, and I like him very well, for he is truly Southern in his instincts.
MARCH 16TH.—I omitted to note in its place the gallant feat of Commodore Buchanan with the iron monster Merrimac in Hampton Roads. He destroyed two of the enemy’s best ships of war. My friends, Lieutenants Parker and Minor, partook of the glory, and were severely wounded.
MARCH 15TH.-For several days troops have been pouring through the city, marching down the Peninsula. The enemy are making demonstrations against Yorktown.
MARCH 14TH.—The Provost Marshal, Col. Porter, has had new passports printed, to which his own name is to be appended. I am requested to sign it for him, and to instruct the clerks generally.
MARCH 13TH.—Nevertheless, I am (temporarily) signing my name to the passports, yet issued by the authority of the Secretary of War. They are filled up and issued by three or four of the Provost Marshal’s clerks, who are governed mainly by my directions, as neither Col. Porter nor the clerks, nor Gen. Winder himself, have [...]
MARCH 12TH.—Gen. Winder moved the passport office up to the corner of Ninth and Broad Streets. The office at the corner of Ninth and Broad Streets was a filthy one; it was inhabited—for they slept there—by his rowdy clerks. And when I stepped to the hydrant for a glass of water, the tumbler repulsed me [...]
MARCH 11TH.—I have summed up the amounts of patriotic contributions received by the army in Virginia, and registered on my book, and they amount to 31,515,898.* The people of the respective States contributed as follows: North Carolina $325,417 Alabama, 817,600 Mississippi 272,670 Georgia 244,885 South Carolina 137,206 Texas 87,800 Louisiana 61,950 Virginia* 48,070 Tennessee 17,000 [...]
MARCH 10TH.—One of the friends of the Secretary of War came to me to-day, and proposed to have some new passports printed, with the likeness of Mr. Benjamin engraved on them. He said, I think, the engraving had already been made. I denounced the project as absurd, and said there were some five or ten [...]
MARCH 9TH—Gen. Winder has appointed Col. Porter Provost Marshal,—Godwin not being high enough in rank, I suppose.
MARCH 8TH.—Gen. Winder has appointed Capt. Godwin Provost Marshal
MARCH 7TH.—Gen. Winder has established a guard with fixed bayonets at the door of the passport office. They let in only a few at a time, and these, when they get their passports, pass out by the rear door, it being impossible for them to return through the crowd.
MARCH 6TH.—Some consternation among the citizens—they dislike martial law.
MARCH 5TH.—Martial law has been proclaimed.
MARCH 4TH.—We shall have stirring times here. Our troops are to be marched through Richmond immediately, for the defense of Yorktown—the same town surrendered by Lord Cornwallis to Washington. But its fall or its successful defense now will signify nothing.
MARCH 3D.—But McClellan would not advance. He could not drag his artillery at this season of the year; and so he is embarking his army, or the greater portion of it, for the Peninsula.
MARCH 2D.—Gen. Jos. E. Johnston has certainly made a skillful retrograde movement in the face of the enemy at Manassas. He has been keeping McClellan and his 210,000 men at bay for a long time with about 40,000. After the abandonment of his works it was a long time before the enemy knew he had [...]
MARCH 1ST.—It is certain that the City of Nashville has been evacuated, and will, of course, be occupied by the enemy. Gen. Johnston, with the remnant of his army, has fallen down to Murfreesborough, and as that is not a point of military importance, will in turn be abandoned, and the enemy will drop out [...]
FEBRUARY 28TH.—These calamities may be a wholesome chastening for us. We shall now go to work and raise troops enough to defend the country. Congress will certainly pass the Conscription Act recommended by the President.