Mr. M——, Major Ruffin’s commissary agent, denies selling government beef to the butchers; of course it was his own. But he has been ordered not to sell any more, while buying for the government.
Mr. Rouss, of Winchester, merchant, has succeeded in getting some brown cotton from the manufacturer, in Georgia, at cost, which he sells for cost and carriage to refugees. My wife got 20 yards to-day for $20. It is brown seven-eighth cotton, and brings in other stores $3 per yard. This is a saving of $40. And I bought 24 pounds of bacon of Capt. Warner, Commissary, at $1 per pound. The retail price is $2.50 — and this is a saving of $36. Without such “short cuts” as these, occasionally, it would be impossible to maintain my family on the salaries my son Custis and myself get from the government, $3000.
How often have I and thousands in our youth expressed the wish to have lived during the first Revolution, or rather to have partaken of the excitements of war! Such is the romance or “enchantment” which “distance lends” “to the view.” Now we see and feel the horrors of war, and we are unanimous in the wish, if we survive to behold again the balmy sunshine of peace, that neither we nor our posterity may ever more be spectators of or participants in another war. And yet we know not how soon we might plunge into it, if an adequate necessity should arise. Henceforth, in all probability, we shall be a military people. But I shall seek the peaceful haunts of quiet seclusion, for which I sigh with great earnestness. O for a garden, a vine and fig-tree, and my library!
Among the strange events of this war, not the least is the position on slavery (approving it) maintained by the Bishop of Vermont.
SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2, p. 88