Some of the late Secretary's friends are hinting that affairs will go amiss now, as if he wonld have prevented any disaster! Who gave up Norfolk? That was a calamitous blunder! Letters from North Carolina are distressing enough. They say, but for the influence of Gov. Vance, the legislature would favor reconstruction!
Gen. Marshall writes lugubriously. He says his men are all barefoot.
Gen. Magruder writes that Pemberton has only 20,000 men, and should have 50,000 more at once — else the Mississippi Valley will be lost, and the cause ruined. He thinks there should be a concentration of troops there immediately, no matter how much other places might suffer; the enemy beaten, and the Mississippi secured at all hazards. If not, Mobile is lost, and perhaps Montgomery, as well as Vicksburg, Holly Springs, etc.
One of our paroled men from Washington writes the President that, on the 6th instant, Burnside had but seventy regiments; and the President seemed to credit it! The idea of Burnside advancing with seventy regiments is absurd. But how many absurd ideas have been entertained by the government, and have influenced it! Nous verrons.
SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 197