Rebel War Clerk

OCTOBER 20TH.—The news from Kentucky is very vague. It seems there has been a battle, which resulted favorably for us, so far as the casualties are concerned. But then Bragg has fallen back forty miles, and is probably retiring toward Cumberland Gap, that he may not be taken in the rear by the enemy’s forces lately at Corinth.

The President intends suspending the Conscription Act in Western Virginia, for the purpose, no doubt, of organizing an army of Partisan Rangers in that direction,

It seems, from recent Northern papers received in this city, that the elections in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana have gone against the Abolitionists. What then? If the war should be waged by the Democrats for the restoration of the Union, and waged according to the rules of civilized nations, respecting non-combatants, and exempting private property from pillage, it would be a still more formidable war than that now waged against us.

I have just received the following note from the Secretary:

“OCTOBER 17th, 1862.

“MR. J. B. JONES will hereafter refer all applicants for passports to Gen. Smith’s Adjutant-General, and grant none from the department.

“GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,
Sec. of War.”

Neither the acting Assistant Secretary, nor Mr. Kean, with his whole alphabet of initials, could be certain whether the order referred merely to applicants to go out of the Confederacy, or all applicants of whatever kind. If the latter, I am functus officio, so far as passports are concerned. But Capt. Kean says there is plenty of work for me to do; and I presume I will not be entirely out of employment.

I took a good look at Mr. Randolph today. He is thin, frail. His face is pale, and will soon be a mass of wrinkles, although he is not over forty. His eyes are extremely small, blue, and glisten very much.


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

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