Fredericksburg not shelled yet; but the women and children are flying hither. The enemy fired on a train of women and children yesterday, supposing the cars (baggage) were conveying military stores. The Northern press says Burnside is determined to force his way, directly from the Rappahannock to Richmond, by virtue of superior numbers. The thing Lee desires him to attempt.
The enemy are landing troops at Newport News, and we shall soon hear of gun-boats and transports in the James River. But no one is dismayed. We have supped on horrors so long, that danger now is an accustomed condiment. Blood will flow in torrents, and God will award the victory.
Another letter from Gen. Whiting says there is every reason to suppose that Wilmington will be attacked immediately, and if reinforcements (10,000) be not sent him, the place cannot be defended against a land assault. Nor is this all: for if the city falls, with the present force only to defend it, none of our men can escape. There is no repose for us!
SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 195-6