Saturday, January 5, 2013

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: Richmond, Virginia, Sunday, February 23, 1862

At last we have the astounding tidings that Donelson has fallen, and Buckner, and 9000 men, arms, stores, everything are in possession of the enemy! Did the President know it yesterday? Or did the Secretary keep it back till the new government (permanent) was launched into existence? Wherefore? The Southern people cannot be daunted by calamity!

Last night it was still raining — and it rained all night. It was a lugubrious reception at the President's mansion. But the President himself was calm, and Mrs. Davis seemed in spirits. For a long time I feared the bad weather would keep the people away; and the thought struck me when I entered, that if there were a Lincoln spy present, we should have more ridicule in the Yankee presses on the paucity of numbers attending the reception. But the crowd came at last, and filled the ample rooms. The permanent government had its birth in storm, but it may yet nourish in sunshine. For my own part, however, I think a provisional government of few men, should have been adopted “for the war.”

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 111

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