Thursday, July 4, 2013

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: Tuesday, July 7, 1863

It appears that the fighting near Gettysburg began on Wednesday, July 1st, continued until Sunday, the 5th, and perhaps longer. Up to Friday the Northern papers claim the advantage.

This morning at 1 P.M. [sic] another dispatch was received from the same (unofficial) source, stating that on Sunday the enemy made a stand, and A. P. Hill's corps fell back, followed by the enemy, when Longstreet's and Ewell's corps closed in their rear and captured 40,000 prisoners — who are now guarded by Pickett's division. It states that the prisoners refused to be paroled. This might possibly be true.

This account is credited. Col. Custis Lee, from the President's office, was in my office at half-past two P.M. to-day, and said nothing had been received from his father yet — but he did not deny that such accounts might be substantially true.

The President still keeps his eye on Gen. Beauregard. A paper from the general to Gen. Cooper, and, of course, referred to the President, in relation to the means of defense in his department, and a call for more guns, was sent back to-day, indorsed by the President, that by an examination of the report of Gen. Huger, he thought some discrepancies would appear in the statements of Gen. [Beauregard]. Thus, it would seem, from a repetition of similar [imputations], the President has strong doubts of Gen. [Beauregard's] accuracy of statements. He is quick to detect discrepancies.

Gen. D. H. Hill sends in a characteristic letter. He says the rivers are all swollen, and he can make no movement to-day in pursuit of Dix's army of the Pamunky — or rather "the monkey amy." He says that the Brooke Pike outer defenses are so defective in design, that a force there could be driven off in five minutes by the enemy's sharpshooters. He wants them amended, and a certain grove cut down — and recommends that engineers be put to work, with orders to leave their "kid gloves behind."  He thinks more is to be apprehended from an attack on Petersburg than Richmond; and requests that Gen. Wise be ordered to march thither from Chaffin's Bluff, on the first alarm. He had not heard of the reported victory of Lee.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 371-2

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