Friday, November 25, 2016

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: December 20, 1862 – 9 p.m.

After a very cold day, it has become intensely frigid. I have two fires in our little Robin's Nest (frame) on the same floor, and yet ice forms rapidly in both rooms, and we have been compelled to empty the pitchers! This night I doubt not the Potomac will be closed to Burnside and his transports! During the first Revolution, the Chesapeake was frozen over. If we have a winter like that, we shall certainly have an armistice in Virginia without the intervention of any other than the Great Power above. But we shall suffer for the want of fuel: wood is $18 per cord, and coal $14 per cart load.

Gen. Bonham, who somehow incurred the dislike of the authorities here, and was dropped out of the list of brigadiers, has been made Governor of South Carolina.

And Gen. Wise, who is possessed of perhaps the greatest mind in the Confederacy, is still fettered. They will not let him fight a battle, because he is “ambitious!” When Norfolk was (wickedly) given up, his home and all his possessions fell into the hands of the enemy. He is now without a shelter for his head, bivouacing with his devoted brigade at Chaffin's farm, below the city. He is the senior brigadier in the army, and will never be a major-general.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 219

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