Sunday, December 25, 2016

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: January 9, 1863

The Northern papers say the Federals have taken Vicksburg; but we are incredulous. Yet we have no reliable intelligence from thence; and it may be so. It would be a terrible blow, involving, for a time, perhaps, the loss of the Mississippi River.

But we have cheering news from Galveston, Texas. Several of our improvised gun-boats attacked the enemy's war vessels in the harbor, and after a sanguinary contest, hand to hand, our men captured the Harriet Lane, a fine United States ship of war, iron clad. She was boarded and taken. Another of the enemy's ships, it is said, was blown up by its officers, rather than surrender, and many perished. If this be Magruder's work, it will make him famous.

Our public offices are crowded with applicants for clerkships, mostly wounded men, or otherwise unfit for field duty.

How can we live here? Boarding is $60 per month, and I have six to support! They ask $1800 rent for a dwelling — and I have no furniture to put in one. Gen. Rains and I looked at one today, thinking to take it jointly. But neither of us is able to furnish it. Perhaps we shall take it, nevertheless.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 235

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