Thursday, January 12, 2017

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: January 23, 1863

The Northern papers are filled with what purports to be the intercepted correspondence of Mr. Benjamin with Messrs. Mason and Slidell. Lord John Russell is berated. The Emperor of France is charged with a design to seize Mexico as a colony, and to recognize Texas separately, making that State in effect a dependency, from which cotton may be procured as an offset to British India. He says the French Consuls in Texas are endeavoring to detach Texas from the Confederacy. If this be a genuine correspondence, it will injure the South; if it be false (if the allegations be false), it will still injure us. I have no doubt of its genuineness; and that Mr. Sanders, once the correspondent of the New York Tribune, was the bearer. If Texas leaves us, so may Louisiana — and the gigantic Houmas speculation may turn out well at last.

Mr. Curry has brought forward a copyright bill; Mr. Foster, of Alabama, has introduced a bill to abolish the passport system — leaving the matter to railroad conductors.

A dispatch from Gen. Bragg assures us that our cavalry are still capturing and destroying large amounts of Rosecrans's stores on the Cumberland River.

Col. Wall has been elected Senator from New Jersey. They say he is still pale and ill from his imprisonment, for opinion sake. I hope he will speak as boldly in the Senate as out of it.

I met Gen. Davis to-day (the President's nephew), just from Goldsborough, where his brigade is stationed. He is in fine plumage — and I hope he will prove a game-cock.

Major-Gen. French, in command at Petersburg, is a Northern man. Our native generals are brigadiers. It is amazing that all the superior officers in command near the capital should be Northern men. Can this be the influence of Gen. Cooper? It may prove disastrous!

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 244-5

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