The message of Gov. Seymour, of New York, if I am not mistaken in its import and purposes, will have a distracting effect on the subjugation programme of the government at Washington. I shall look for riots, and perhaps rebellions and civil wars in the North.
Mr. Stanley, ycleped Governor of North Carolina, has written a letter (dated 31st December) to Gen. French, complaining that our soldiery have been guilty of taking slaves from their humane and loyal masters in Washington County, against their will; and demanding a restoration of them to their kind and beneficent owners, to whom they are anxious to return. Gen. French replies that he will do so very cheerfully, provided the United States authorities will return the slaves they have taken from masters loyal to the Confederate States. These may amount to 100,000. And he might have added that on the next day all — 4,000,000 — were to be emancipated, so far as the authority of the United States could accomplish it.
The enemy's gun-boats (two) came up the York River last week, and destroyed an oyster boat. Beyond the deprivation of oysters, pigs, and poultry, we care little for these incursions.
SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 236