JUNE 24TH.—Gen. Lee’s plan works like a charm! Although I have daily orders from Mr. Randolph to send persons beyond our lines, yet the precautions of Lee most effectually prevent any spies from knowing anything about his army. Even the Adjutant-General, S. Cooper, don’t know how many regiments are ordered into Virginia, or where they [...]
A Rebel War Clerk’s Diary at the Confederate States Capital, By John Beauchamp Jones
JUNE 23D.—And Gen. Johnston, I learn, has had his day. And Magruder is on “sick leave.” He is too open in his censures of the late Secretary of War. But Gen. Huger comes off scot-free; he has always had the confidence of Mr. Benjamin, and used to send the flag of truce to Fortress Monroe [...]
JUNE 21ST.—Gen. Beauregard is doubly doomed. A few weeks ago, when the blackness of midnight brooded over our cause, there were some intimations, I know not whether they were well founded, that certain high functionaries were making arrangements for a flight to France; and Gen. Beauregard getting intimation of an order to move certain sums [...]
JUNE 20TH.—Moved once more into the old office.
JUNE 19TH.—To-day so many applications were made to the Secretary himself for passports to the armies, and beyond the lines of the Confederate States, that, forgetting the revocation of his former order, he sent a note into the Assistant Secretary, saying he thought a passport agent had been appointed to attend to such cases; and [...]
JUNE 18TH—Lee is quietly preparing to attack McClellan. The President, who was on the battle-field, is very cheerful.
by John Beauchamp Jones JUNE 17TH.—It is not yet ascertained what amount of ordnance stores we gained from the battle.
JUNE 15TH.—What a change! No one now dreams of the loss of the capital.
JUNE 14TH.—The wounded soldiers bless the ladies, who nurse them unceasingly.
JUNE 13TH.—Gen. Lee is satisfied with the present posture of affairs—and McClellan has no idea of attacking us now. He don’t say what he means to do himself.
JUNE 11TH, 12TH.—Gen. Smith, the New York street commissioner, had been urged as commander-in-chief.
JUNE 10TH.—Col. Bledsoe sent for me again. This time he wanted me to take charge of the letter room, and superintend the young gentlemen who briefed the letters. This I did very cheerfully; I opened all the letters, and sent to the Secretary the important ones immediately. These, for want of discrimination, had sometimes been [...]
JUNE 9TH.—It is now apparent that matters were miserably managed on the battle-field, until Gen. Lee assumed command in person. Most of the trophies of the victory, and thousands of arms, stores, etc. were pillaged by the promiscuous crowds of aliens and Jews who purchased passports thither from the Provost Marshal’s detectives.
JUNE 7TH—But business is in a great measure suspended, and so I have another holiday.
JUNE 6TH.—Gen. Winder getting wind of what was going on, had an interview, first with Mr. Benjamin, who instructed him what to say; and then bringing forward the Provost Marshal, they had a rather stormy interview with Mr. Randolph, who, as usual, yielded to their protestations against having two passport offices, while martial law existed. [...]
JUNE 5TH.—I reopened my office in the department.
JUNE 4TH.—Col. Bledsoe sent word to me to-day by my son that he wished to see me. When I met him he groaned as usual, and said the department would have to open another passport office, as the major-generals in the field refused to permit the relatives of the sick and wounded in the camps [...]
JUNE 3D.—Gen. Lee henceforth assumes command of the army in person. This may be hailed as the harbinger of bright fortune.
JUNE 2D.—Great indignation is expressed by the generals in the field at the tales told of the heroism of the amateur fighters. They say _____ stripped a dead colonel, and was never in reach of the enemy’s guns. Moreover, the civilians in arms kept at such a distance from danger that their balls fell among [...]
JUNE 1ST.—The ambulances are now bringing in the enemy’s wounded as well as our own. It is the prompting of humanity. They seem truly grateful for this magnanimity, as they call it; a sentiment hitherto unknown to them. The battle was renewed to-day, but not seriously. The failure of Gen. Huger to lead his division [...]
MAY 13TH.—This morning I learned that the consuls had carried the day, and were permitted to collect the tobacco alleged to be bought on foreign account in separate warehouses, and to place the flags of their respective nations over them. This was saving the property claimed by foreigners whose governments refused to recognize us (these [...]
MAY 12TH.—I suggested to the Provost Marshal several days ago that there was an act of Congress requiring the destruction of tobacco, whenever it might be in danger of falling into the hands of the enemy. He ran to Gen. Winder, and he to some one else, and then a hundred or more negroes, and [...]
MAY 11TH.—The Baltimore detectives are the lords of the ascendant. They crook a finger, and the best carriages in the street pause, turn round, and are subject to their will. They loll and roll in glory. And they ride on horseback, too—government horses, or horses pressed from gentlemen’s stables. One word of remonstrance, and the [...]
MAY 10Th.—The President’s family have departed for Raleigh, and the families of most of the cabinet to their respective homes, or other places of refuge. The President has been baptized (at home) and privately confirmed in St. Paul’s Church.
MAY 9TH. —My family, excepting my son Custis, started to-day for Raleigh, N. C., where our youngest daughter is at school. But it is in reality another flight from the enemy. No one, scarcely, supposes that Richmond will be defended. But it must be!