Sunday, January 22, 2017

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: January 31, 1863

We have dispatches from Charleston, to-day, which reconcile us to the loss of the cargo captured by the blockading squadron early in the week. An artillery company captured a fine gun-boat in Stone River (near Charleston) yesterday evening. She had eleven guns and 200 men.

But this morning we did better still. Our little fleet of two iron-clads steamed out of Charleston harbor, and boldly attacked the blockading fleet. We crippled two of their ships, and sunk one, completely raising the blockade, for the time being. This will frustrate some of their plans, and may relieve Wilmington.

The attack on Fort McAlister was a failure. The monitor which assaulted the fort sustained so much injury, that it had to retire for repairs.

Several blockade-runners between this and Williamsburg were arrested and sent to Gen. Winder to-day by Lieut. G. D. Wise. Gen. W. sent them to Gen. Rains. Mr. Petit and Mr. James Custis (from Williamsburg) came with them to endeavor to procure their liberation. Gen. Rains sent them back to Gen. W., with a note that he had no time to attend to such matters. Such business does not pertain to his bureau. I suppose they will be released.

Major Lear, of Texas, who was at the capture of the Harriet Lane, met on the captured steamer his mortally-wounded son, the lieutenant.

A few days ago, Lieut. Buchanan was killed on a United States gun-boat by our sharpshooters. He was the son of Admiral Buchanan, in the Confederate service, now at Mobile. Thus we are reminded of the wars of the roses — father against son, and brother against brother. God speed the growth of the Peace Party, North and South; but we must have independence.

Mr. Hunter was in our office to-day, getting the release of a son of the Hon. Jackson Morton, who escaped from Washington, where he had resided, and was arrested here as a conscript. The Assistant Secretary of War ruled him entitled to exemption, although yesterday others, in the same predicament, were ruled into the service.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 250-1

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