Friday, January 6, 2017

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: January 20, 1863

The rumor of fighting on the Rappahannock is not confirmed. But Gen. Lee writes that his beeves are so poor the soldiers won't eat the meat. He asks the government to send him salt meat.

From Northern sources we learn that Arkansas Post has fallen, and that we have lost from 5000 to 7000 men there. If this be true, our men must have been placed in a man-trap, as at Roanoke Island.

Mr. Perkins, in Congress, has informed the country that Mr. Memminger, the Secretary of the Treasury, has hitherto opposed and defeated the proposition that the government buy all the cotton. Mr. M. should never have been appointed. He is headstrong, haughty, and tyrannical when he imagines he is dealing with inferiors, and he deems himself superior to the rest of mankind. But he is no Carolinian by birth or descent.

We see accounts of public meetings in New Jersey, wherein the government at Washington is fiercely denounced, and peace demanded, regardless of consequences. Some of the speakers openly predicted that the war would spread into the North, if not terminated at once, and in that event, the emancipationists would have foes to fight elsewhere than in the South. Among the participants I recognize the names of men whom I met in convention at Trenton in 1860. They clamor for the “Union as it was, the Constitution as it is,” adopting the motto of my paper, the “Southern Monitor, the office of which was sacked in Philadelphia in April, 1861. Our government will never agree to anything short of independence. President Davis will be found inflexible on that point.

There was a rumor yesterday that France had recognized us. The news of the disaster of Burnside at Fredericksburg having certainly been deemed very important in Europe. But France has not yet acted in our behalf. We all pray for the Emperor's intervention. We suffer much, and but little progress is made in conscription. Nearly all our resources are in the field. Another year of war, and ——!

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 242-3

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