Thursday, February 16, 2017

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: February 15, 1863

Already, as if quite certain that the great Northwest would speedily withdraw from the Eastern United States, our people are discussing the eventualities of such a momentous occurrence. The most vehement opposition to the admission of any of the non-slaveholding States, whose people have invaded our country and shed the blood of our people, into this Confederacy, is quite manifest in this city. But Virginia, “the Old Mother,” would, I think, after due hesitation, take back her erring children, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and perhaps one or two more, if they earnestly desired to return to her parental protection.

Some of the Cotton States might revolt at such a project, and even the cabinet might oppose the scheme of adding several powerful free States to the Confederacy; but it would not all suffice to prevent it, if they desire to join us. It is true, the constitution would have to be modified, for it is not to be supposed that slaves would be held in any of the States referred to; but then slavery would be recognized by its proper term, and ample guarantees would be agreed upon by the great free States which abandon the United States on the issue of emancipation.

Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, added to the thirteen Confederate States, would speedily constitute us a people of sufficient military power to defy the menaces of the arms of the greatest powers of the earth; and the commercial and agricultural prosperity of the country would amaze the world.

I am of the opinion that Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Missouri would form a league of union with Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana, even if the rest of the Southern States were to reject the alliance. But who can foresee the future through the smoke of war, and amid the clash of bayonets? Nevertheless, division and subdivision would relieve all of the burden of debt, for they would repudiate the greater part, if not the whole, of the indebtedness of both the present governments, which has been incurred in ravaging the country and cutting each other's throats. The cry will be: “We will not pay the price of blood — for the slaughter of our brothers!”

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 259-60

No comments: