Friday, June 24, 2016

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: October 14, 1862

Congress adjourned yesterday at five o'clock P.M. I have heard nothing of Mr. Brooks and the Passport Bill I drafted. The truth is that, with few exceptions, the members of this Congress are very weak, and very subservient to the heads of departments.

Congress has given him (the President) power to suspend the writ of habeas corpus anywhere, until thirty days after the reassembling of Congress — and they have failed to pass the joint resolution declaring no power exists under the Constitution to institute martial law. They voted it separately, but flinched when put to the test to act conjointly; and martial law still exists in this city.

We have Northern accounts of a dash into Pennsylvania by Gen. Stuart and 1500 of his cavalry. He went as far as Chambersburg, which surrendered; and he was gathering horses, etc., for the use of the army, paying for them in Confederate notes. They say he did not disturb any other description of private property without paying for it. I hope he is safely back again by this time. The Northern papers claim a victory in Kentucky — but I shall wait until we hear from Bragg.

Gen. Magruder has been assigned to duty in Texas. What Genl. Johnston is to do, does not yet appear. A great many new assistant adjutants and inspector-generals are to be appointed for the generals, lieutenant-generals, majors, and brigadier-generals, having rank and pay of colonels, majors, captains, and lieutenants of cavalry. Like the Russian, perhaps, we shall have a purely military government; and it may be as good as any other.

Gold, in the North, is selling at 23 per cent, premium; and Exchange on England at $1.40. This is an indication that the Abolitionists are bringing distress upon their own country.

The financial bill did not pass — so there is to be no forced loan. Neither did a bill, making Confederate notes a legal tender — so there will be a still greater depreciation.

Gen. Hardee is a lieutenant-general.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 169-70

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