Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: December 24, 1862

The Louisville Journal says the defeat of Burnside is “sickening,” and that this sad condition of affairs cannot be borne long.

It is said that Confederate bonds are bringing quite as much in New York as in Richmond; and that the bonds of Southern men are freely discounted in the North. These, if true, are indications of approaching peace. Cotton at 50 cents per pound, and our capacity to produce five million bales per annum must dazzle the calculating Yankees. A single crop worth $1,000,000,000! What interest or department of industry in the United States can promise such results?

Letters were received to-day from Nassau, dated 12th December. Mr. L. Heyliger, our agent, reports a number of steamers sailing, and about to sail, with large amounts of stores and goods of all kinds, besides plates for our navy. A Mr. Wiggs has several steamers engaged in this business. Our government own some, and private individuals (foreign speculators) are largely engaged in the trade. Most of these steamers run sixteen miles an hour.

A Mr. Hart, agent for S. Isaac Campbell & Co., London, proposes to clothe and equip 100,000 men for us, and to receive certificates for specific amounts of cotton. This same house has, on this, it is said, advanced as much as $2,000,000 on our account. This looks cheering. We have credit abroad. But they are Jews.

Mr. Heyliger says he has seen letters from the United States, conveying information that Charleston is to be attacked about the holidays — the ensuing week — by four iron-clad gun-boats. Well, I believe we have three there; so let them come!

Every day we have propositions to supply the army and the country with goods, for cotton; and they succeed in delivering stores, etc., in spite of the vigilance of the Federal blockading squadrons. There is a prospect that we shall have abundance of everything some of these days. But there is some wrangling. The Quartermaster-General complains to-day that Lieut.-Gen. Pemberton has interfered with his agents, trading cotton for stores. Myers is a Jew, and Pemberton a Yankee — so let them fight it out.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 223-4

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