The cars which came in from the North last night brought a great many women, children, and negroes from Fredericksburg and its vicinity. The benevolent and patriotic citizens here had, I believe, made some provision for their accommodation. But the enemy had not yet shelled the town.
There is a rumor that Jackson was to appear somewhere in the rear of the enemy, and that the Federal stores which could not be moved with the army had been burnt at Manassas.
Yesterday the President remitted the sentence of a poor lad, sentenced to ball-and-chain for six months, for cowardice, etc. He had endured the penalty three months. I like this act, for the boy had enlisted without the consent of his parents, and was only sixteen years of age.
J. R. Anderson & Co. (having drawn $500,000 recently on the contract) have failed to furnish armor for the gun-boats — the excuse being that iron could not be had for their rolling-mills. The President has ordered the Secretaries of the Navy and War to consult on the propriety of taking railroad iron, on certain tracks, for that purpose.
SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 195