Have been interested for the last two or three days in reading, when I had time, letters that were taken from the intercepted mail. Most of them are from intelligent writers in the best circles at Richmond. In these communications, freely written in friendly confidence, there [crops] out a latent feeling of hope for peace and restoration of once happier days. There is distress and deprivation; the spirit of hate engendered by strife is there, but no happiness nor inward satisfaction over the desolation which active hostilities have caused. Strange that so many intelligent beings should be so madly influenced.
A number of Senatorial elections have recently taken place. Cameron has not succeeded even by corruption, and it is well he did not. I felt relieved when I heard he was defeated, though I did not rejoice in the success of his opponent, whose sympathies are reputed to be with the Secessionists.
SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 1: 1861 – March 30, 1864, p. 223