Sunday, December 11, 2016

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: December 31, 1862

There were more skirmishes near Vicksburg yesterday; and although several of the Louisiana regiments are said to have immortalized themselves (having lost only two or three men each), I suppose nothing decisive was accomplished. I have not implicit faith in Western dispatches; they are too often exaggerations. And we have nothing further from Murfreesborough.

But there is reliable intelligence from Albemarle Sound, where a large fleet of the enemy's transports appeared yesterday. We must look now for naval operations. Perhaps Weldon is aimed at.

Gen. Wise writes a remarkable letter to the department. His son, just seventeen years old, a lieutenant in 10th Virginia Cavalry, was detailed as ordnance officer of the general's brigade, when that regiment was taken from his father. Now Gen. Cooper, the Northern head of the Southern army, orders him to the 10th Cavalry. The general desires his son to remain with him, or that the lieutenant may be permitted to resign. He says he asks no favors of the administration, and has never received any. His best blood (Capt. O. J. W.) has been given to the country, and his home and property lost by the surrender of Norfolk, etc.

To-day, Gen. Winder's account for disbursement of “secret service” money was sent in. Among the persons who were the recipients of this money, I noticed Dr. Rossvally, a notorious spy, and S——w, one of his policemen, who, with W——ll, very recently fled to the enemy, and is now in the service of the United States, at Washington!

Gen. Lee has given the command in Northwestern Virginia to Gen. W. E. Jones; and he asks the Secretary to hold a major he has captured as a hostage for the good conduct of the Federal Gen. Milroy, who is imitating Gen. Pope in his cruelties to civilians.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 227

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