The resignation of Gen. Gustavus W. Smith has been accepted by the President. It was well done — the acceptance, I mean. Who will Gen. Winder report to now? Gen. Winder has learned that I am keeping a diary, and that some space in it may be devoted to the history of martial law. He said to Capt. Warner, his commissary of prisons, that he would patronize it. The captain asked me if Gen. Winder's rule was not dwelt upon in it. I said doubtless it was; but that I had not yet revised it, and was never in the habit of perusing my own works until they were completed. Then I carefully corrected them for the press.
Major-Gen. Pickett's division marched through the city to-day for Drewry's Bluff. Gen. Lee writes that this division can beat the army corps of Hooker, supposed to be sent to the Peninsula. It has 12,000 men — an army corps 40,000. Brig.-Gen. Hood's division is near the city, on the Chickahominy. Gen. Lee warns the government to see that Gens. French and Pryor be vigilant, and to have their scouts closely watching the enemy at Suffolk. He thinks, however, the main object of the enemy is to take Charleston; and he suggests that every available man be sent thither. The rest of his army he will keep on the Rappahannock, to watch the enemy still remaining north of that river.
I sent a communication to the President to-day, proposing to reopen my register of “patriotic contributions” to the army, for they are suffering for meat. I doubt whether he will agree to it. If the war be prolonged, the appeal must be to the people to feed the army, or else it will dissolve.
SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 261-2