Sunday, March 12, 2017

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: March 12, 1863

To day we have no army news.

Mr. Richard Smith issued the first number of The Sentinel yesterday morning. Thus we have five daily morning papers, all on half sheets. The Sentinel has a biography of the President, and may aspire to be the “organ.”

John Mitchel, the Irishman, who was sentenced to a penal colony for disturbances in Ireland, some years ago, is now the leading editor of the Enquirer. He came hither from the North recently. His “compatriot,” Meagher, once lived in the South and advocated our “institutions.” He now commands a Federal brigade. What Mitchel will do finally, who knows? My friend R. Tyler, probably, had something to do with bringing him here. As a politician, however, he must know there is no Irish element in the Confederate States. I am sorry this Irish editor has been imported.

The resignation of Gen. Toombs is making some sensation in certain circles. He was among the foremost leaders of the rebellion. He was Secretary of State, and voluntarily resigned to enter the army. I know not precisely what his grievance is, unless it be the failure of the President to promote him to a higher position, which he may have deemed himself entitled to, from his genius, antecedents, wealth, etc. But it is probable he will cause some disturbance. Duff Green, who is everywhere in stormy times, told me to-day that Gen. Toombs would be elected Governor of Georgia this fall, and said there were intimations that Georgia might make peace with the United States! This would be death to the government — and destruction to Toombs. It must be a mistake. He cannot have any such design. If he had, it would be defeated by the people of Georgia, though they sighed for peace. Peace is what all most desire — but not without independence. Some there are, in all the States, who would go back into the Union, for the sake of repose and security. But a majority would not have peace on such terms.

Still, it behooves the President to be on his guard. He has enemies in the South, who hate him much.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 272-3

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