From information (pretty direct from Washington), I believe it is the purpose of the enemy to make the most strenuous efforts to capture Richmond and Wilmington this fall and winter. It has been communicated to the President that if it takes their last man, and all their means, these cities must fall. Gen. Smith is getting negroes to work on the defenses, and the subsistence officers are ordered to accumulate a vast amount of provisions here.
Letters from Beauregard show that the Commissary-General, because he thinks Charleston cannot be defended, opposes the provisioning the forts as the general would have it done! The general demands of the government to know whether he is to be overruled, and if so, he must not be held responsible for the consequences. We shall see some of these days which side the President will espouse. Beauregard is too popular, I fear, to meet with favor here. But it is life or death to the Confederacy, and danger lurks in the path of public men who endanger the liberties of the people.
SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 176