On the 18th inst. the enemy's battery on the opposite side of the Mississippi River opened on Vicksburg. The damage was not great; but the front of the town is considered untenable.
The Conscription bill has passed the United States Senate, which will empower the President to call for 3,000,000 men. “Will they come, when he does call for them?” That is to be seen. It may be aimed at France; and a war with the Emperor might rouse the Northern people again. Some of them, however, have had enough of war.
To-day I heard of my paper addressed to the President on the subject of an appeal to the people to send food to the army. He referred it to the Commissary-General, Col. Northrop, who sent it to the War Department, with an indorsement that as he had no acquaintance with that means of maintaining an army (the patriotic contributions of the people), he could not recommend the adoption of the plan. Red tape is mightier than patriotism still. There may be a change, however, for Gen. Lee approves the plan.
SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 264