Sunday, November 27, 2016

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: December 22, 1862

We shall never arrive at the correct amount of casualties at the battle of Fredericksburg. The Enquirer today indicates that our loss in killed, wounded, and missing (prisoners), amounted to nearly 4000. On the other hand, some of the Federal journals hint that their loss was 25,000. Gen. Armstrong (Confederate), it is said, counted 3500 of their dead on the field; and this was after many were buried. There are five wounded to one killed. But where Burnside is now, or what he will attempt next, no doubt Lee knows; but the rest of our people are profoundly ignorant in relation thereto. The New York Herald says: “The finest and best appointed army the world ever saw, has been beaten by a batch of Southern ragamuffins!” And it advises that the shattered remains of the army be put into winter quarters.

The weather has greatly moderated. I hope, now, it will continue moderate!

Mr. Crenshaw, who has the gigantic flour contract with the War Department, effected with Mr. Randolph, has just (in the President's absence) made another contract with Mr. Seddon. The department becomes a partner with him, and another party in England, in a huge commercial transaction, the object of which is to run goods in, and cotton out. We shall have our Girards, as well as the United States. Mr. Crenshaw proceeds to England immediately, bearing letters of credit to Mr. Mason, our Minister, etc.

An immense sum is to be sent West to pay for stores, etc., and Mr. Benjamin recommends the financial agent to the department. The illicit trade with the United States has depleted the country of gold, and placed us at the feet of the Jew extortioners. It still goes on. Mr. Seddon has granted passports to two agents of a Mr. Baumgartien — and how many others I know not. These Jews have the adroitness to carry their points. They have injured the cause more than the armies of Lincoln. Well, if we gain our independence, instead of being the vassals of the Yankees, we shall find all our wealth in the hands of the Jews.

The accounts from North Carolina are still conflicting. It is said the enemy have retired to Newbern; but still we have no letters beyond Goldsborough. From Raleigh we learn that the legislature have postponed the army bill until the 20th of January.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 220-1

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