Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: December 9, 1862

W——1, another of Provost Marshal Griswold's policemen, has arrived in Washington. I never doubted he was secretly in the Yankee service here, where many of his fellows still remain, betraying the hand that feeds them. Gen. Winder and the late Secretaries of War must be responsible for all the injury they may inflict upon the country.

Yesterday, the President received a letter from a gentleman well known to him, asserting that if Mississippi and Alabama be overrun by the enemy, a large proportion of the people of those States will certainly submit to the Government of the United States. The President sent this letter to the Secretary of War “for his information.”

A letter from W. P. Harris, Jackson, Mississippi, urges the government to abandon the cities and eastern seaboard, and concentrate all the forces in the West, for the defense of the Mississippi Valley and River, else the latter must be lost, which will be fatal to the cause, etc.

Hon. J. H. Reagan has written a savage letter to the Secretary of War, withdrawing certain papers relating to an application for the discharge from service of his brother-in-law, on account of feeble health. He says he will not await the motions (uncertain) of the circumlocution office, and is unwilling to produce evidence of his statements of the disability of his relative. Mr. Seddon will doubtless make a spirited response to this imputation on his office.

We have a rumor that Morgan has made another brilliant raid into Kentucky, capturing 1800 of the enemy.

The small-pox is spreading in this city to an alarming extent. This is the feast to which Burnside is invited. They are vaccinating the clerks in the departments.

Gen. Floyd writes the government that, as the enemy cannot advance from the West before spring, Echol's and Marshall's forces (10,000) might be used on the seaboard. I wish they were here.

The United States forces in the field, by their own estimates, amount to 800,000. We have not exceeding 250,000; but they are not aware of that.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 208

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