Friday, February 17, 2017

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: February 16, 1863

Another gun-boat has got past Vicksburg. But three British steamers have run into Charleston with valuable cargoes.

Gen. Lee is now sending troops to Charleston, and this strengthens the report that Hooker's army is leaving the Rappahannock. They are probably crumbling to pieces, under the influence of the peace party growing up in the North. Some of them, however, it is said, are sent to Fortress Monroe.

Our Bureau of Conscription ought to be called the Bureau of Exemption. It is turning out a vast number of exempts. The Southern Express Company bring sugar, partridges, turkeys, etc. to the potential functionaries, and their employees are exempted during the time they may remain in the employment of the company. It is too bad!

I have just been reperusing Frederick's great campaigns, and find much encouragement. Prussia was not so strong as the Confederate States, and yet was environed and assailed by France, Austria, Russia, and several smaller powers simultaneously. And yet Frederick maintained the contest for seven years, and finally triumphed over his enemies. The preponderance of numbers against him in the field was greater than that of the United States against us; and Lee is as able a general as Frederick. Hence we should never despair.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 260

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