by John Beauchamp Jones

            SEPTEMBER 22D.—Cloudy; rained much last night.

            The following is all we know yet of Early’s defeat:

“HEADQUARTERS ARMY OP NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
“September 2001, 1864.                     

“HON. JAMES A. SEDDON.
            “Gen. Early reports that, on the morning of the 19th, the enemy advanced on Winchester, near which place he met his attack, which was resisted from early in the day till near night, when he was compelled to retire. After night he fell back to Newtown, and this morning to Fisher’s Hill.
            “Our loss reported to be severe.
            “Major-Gen. Rhodes and Brig.-Gen. Godwin were killed, nobly doing their duty.

            “Three pieces of artillery of King’s battalion were lost.
            “The trains and supplies were brought off safely.
            “(Signed)                                             R. E. LEE.”

            The profound chagrin produced by this event is fast becoming a sort of reckless unconcern. Many would fight and die in the last ditch, rather than give up Richmond; and many others are somewhat indifferent as to the result, disgusted with the management of affairs.

            The President left the city on Monday, ignorant of the defeat of Early, for Georgia. It is said Beauregard is with him; but this is not certain. His private secretary, Mr. Burton Harrison, says he will be absent at least a month, perhaps until Christmas. Congress meets early in November; and before that day we may have terrible events—events determining the fate of the war.

            We have heard heavy firing down the river all day; but it may not be a serious matter, though a general battle is looked for soon on the south side.

            Gen. Lee will soon be reinforced materially. The President has adopted a suggestion I made to Gen. Bragg, and a general order is published to-day virtually abolishing the Bureau of Conscription. The business is mostly turned over to the commanders of the Reserves; and conscription is to be executed by Reserve men unfit for duty in the field. All the former conscript officers, guards, details, clerks, etc. fit to bear arms, are to go into the ranks.

            “When the cat’s away, the mice will play,” is an old saying, and a true one. I saw a note of invitation to-day from Secretary Mallory to Secretary Seddon, inviting him to his house at 5 P.M. to partake of “pea-soup” with Secretary Trenholm. His “pea-soup” will be oysters and champagne, and every other delicacy relished by epicures. Mr. Mallory’s red face, and his plethoric body, indicate the highest living; and his party will enjoy the dinner while so many of our brave men are languishing with wounds, or pining in a cruel captivity. Nay, they may feast, possibly, while the very pillars of the government are crumbling under the blows of the enemy.

            It is said the President has gone to Georgia to prevent Governor Brown, Stephens, H. V. Johnson, Toombs, etc. from making peace (for Georgia) with Sherman.

            A splenetic letter from Gov. Vance indicates trouble in that quarter. He says the Confederate States Government threw every possible impediment in his way when he bought a steamer and imported machinery to manufacture clothing for the North Carolina troops, and now the Confederate States Quartermaster-General is interfering with these factories, because, he says, he, the Governor, is supplying the troops at less expense than the Quartermaster-General would do. He demands details for the factories, and says if the Confederate States Government is determined to come in collision with him, he will meet it. He says he will not submit to any interference. Gov. Vance was splenetic once before, but became amiable enough about the time of the election. Since his election for another term, he shows his teeth again.

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