Rebel War Clerk

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.

The Northern papers contain intimations of the existence of a conspiracy to dethrone Lincoln, and put a military Dictator at the head of the government. Gen. Fremont is named as the man. It is alleged that this movement is to be made by the Abolitionists, as if Lincoln were not sufficiently radical for them

A call has been made by Congress for explanations of the arrest of a citizen of Virginia, by Gen. Winder, for procuring a substitute for a relative. Gen. W., supposing his powers ample, under martial law, had forbidden agents to procure substitutes. This was in contravention of an act of Congress, legalizing substitutes. If Winder be sustained, it is said we shall have inaugurated a military despotism.

I have just seen persons from the Eastern Shore of Virginia. They say my farm there has not been disturbed[1] by the enemy. I think it probable they knew nothing about its ownership, or it would have been devastated. My agent sent me a little money, part of the rent of year before last. My tenant is getting rich. After peace I shall reside there myself. How I long for the independent life of a farmer!

Wood is selling at $16 per cord, and coal at $9 per load. How can we live here, unless our salaries are increased? The matter is under consideration by Congress, and we hope for favorable action.

Col. Bledsoe has resigned and gone back to his school at Charlottesville.


[1] It is held by the government now, January, 1866, and my family are homeless and destitute. Onancock, Accomac County, Va.—J. B. J.


A Rebel War Clerk’s Diary at the Confederate States Capital, By John Beauchamp Jones

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