Friday, February 24, 2017

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: February 23, 1863

I saw a letter from Gen. Lee to day, suggesting to the government on appeal to the Governors of the States to aid more directly in recruiting the armies. He says the people habitually expect too much from the troops now in the field; that because we have gained many victories, it does not follow that we shall always gain them; that the legitimate fruits of victory have hitherto been lost, for the want of numbers on our side; and, finally, that all those who fail to go to the field at such a momentous period as this, are guilty of the blood of the brave soldiers who perish in the effort to achieve independence.

This would be contrary to the “rules and regulations” as understood by the Adjutant and Inspector-General (a Northern man), and no doubt the Secretary of War and the President will reject the plan.

The petition of forty members of Congress in my behalf came from Mr. Seddon, the Secretary, to our bureau to-day. He asks the superintendent if there is a necessity for such an officer, one whose rank is equal to that of a commandant of a camp of instruction. He says important services only should require the appointment of such an officer. Well, Gen. Rains recommended it. I know not whether he can say more. I shall not get it, for Congress has but little influence, just now.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 263

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