Monday, January 16, 2017

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: January 26, 1863

The Northern papers say Hooker's grand division crossed the Rappahannock, ten miles above Falmouth, several days ago.

Burnside has issued an address to his army, promising them another battle immediately.

Gen. Lee advises the government to buy all the grain in the counties through which the canal runs. He says many farmers are hoarding their provisions, for extortionate prices.

I have no house yet. Dr. Wortham had one; and although I applied first, he let Mr. Reagan, the Postmaster-General, have it. He is a member of President Davis's cabinet — and receives $3000 salary.

There is much indignation expressed by the street talkers against Mr. Benjamin and Mr. Sanders, in the matter of the intercepted dispatches: against Mr. Benjamin for casting such imputations on Napoleon and his consular agents, and for sending his dispatches by such a messenger, in the absence of the President; against Sanders for not destroying the dispatches. Many think the information was sold to the United States Government.

Col. Wall has made a speech in Philadelphia. He said he should take his seat in the United States Senate as an advocate of peace; and he boldly denounced the Lincoln administration.

Our official report shows that our military authorities, up to this time, have burnt 100,000 bales of cotton in Arkansas. I have not learned the amount destroyed in other States — but it is large. Gen. Lee thinks the object of the expeditions of the enemy on the Southern coast is to procure cotton, etc. The slaves can do them no good, and the torch will disappoint the marauders.

Strong and belligerent resolutions have been introduced in the United States Congress against France, for her alleged purpose to obtain dominion in Mexico. It is violative of the Monroe doctrine. And Mr. Benjamin's accusation against the consuls (embracing a French design on Texas) might seem like a covert purpose to unite both the Confederate and the United States against France — and that might resemble premeditated reconstruction. But diplomatists must be busy — always at their webs. President Davis would be the last man to abandon the ship Independence.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 246-7

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