We like our new quarters — and the three Samaritan widows, without children. They lend us many articles indispensable for our comfort. It is probable they will leave us soon in the sole occupancy of the house. There is ground enough for a good many vegetables — and meat is likely to be scarce enough. Bacon is now $1.37½ cts. per pound, and flour $30 per barrel. The shadow of the gaunt form of famine is upon us! But the pestilence of small-pox is abating.
We have now fine March weather; but the floods of late have damaged the railroad bridges between this and Fredericksburg. The Secretary of War requested the editors, yesterday, to say nothing of this. We have no news from the West or from the Southeast — but we shall soon have enough.
The United States Congress has passed the Conscription Act. We shall see the effect of it in the North; I predict civil war there; and that will be our “aid and comfort.”
Gen. Toombs has resigned; and it is said Pryor has been made a major-general. Thus we go up and down. The President has issued a proclamation for prayer, fasting, etc., on the twenty-seventh of this month. There will certainly be fasting — and prayer also. And God has helped us, or we should have been destroyed ere this.
SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 266-7