Rebel War Clerk

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 still enveloped in mystery.

About one hundred of the commissioned officers of Pope’s army, taken prisoners by Jackson, and confined as felons in our prisons, in conformity to the President’s retaliatory order, were yesterday released on parole, in consequence of satisfactory communications from the United States Government, disavowing Pope’s orders, I presume, and stating officially the fact that Pope himself has been relieved from command.

We have taken, and paroled, within the last twelve or fifteen weeks, no less than forty odd thousand prisoners! The United States must owe us some thirty thousand men. This does not look like progress in the work of subjugation.

Horrible! I have seen men just from Manassas, and the battle-field of the 30th August, where, they assure me, hundreds of dead Yankees still lie unburied! They are swollen “as large as cows,” say they, “and are as black as crows.” No one can now undertake to bury them. When the wind blows from that direction, it is said the scent of carrion is distinctly perceptible at the White House in Washington. It is said the enemy are evacuating Alexandria. I do not believe this.

A gentleman (Georgian) to whom I gave a passport to visit the army, taking two substitutes, over forty-five years of age, in place of two sick young men in the hospitals, informs me that he got upon the ground just before the great battle at Sharpsburg commenced. The substitutes were mustered in, and in less than an hour after their arrival, one of them was shot through the hat and hair, but his head was untouched. He says they fought as well as veterans.

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

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