Nothing definite has transpired at Charleston, or if so, we have not received information of it yet.
From the West, we have accounts, from Northern papers, of the failure of the Yankee Yazoo expedition. That must have its effect.
Judge Campbell, Assistant Secretary of War, has decided in one instance (page 125, E. B. Conscript Bureau), that a paroled political prisoner, returning to the South, is not subject to conscription. This is in violation of an act of Congress, and general orders. It appears that grave judges are not all inflexibly just, and immaculately legal in their decisions. Col. Lay ordered the commandant of conscripts (Col. Shields) to give the man a protection, without any reason therefor.
It is now said large depots of provisions are being formed on the Rappahannock. This does not look like an indication of a retrograde movement on the part of Gen. Lee. Perhaps he will advance.
This afternoon dispatches were received from Charleston. Notwithstanding all the rumors relative to the hostile fleet being elsewhere, it is now certain that all the monitors, iron-clads, and transports have succeeded in passing the bar, and at the last accounts were in readiness to begin the attack. And Beauregard was prepared to receive it. To-morrow we shall have exciting intelligence. If we are to believe what we hear from South Carolinians, recently from Charleston (I do believe it), Charleston will not be taken. If the ground be taken, it will not be Charleston. If the forts fall, and our two rams be taken or destroyed, the defenders will still resist. Rifle-pits have been dug in the streets; and if driven from these, there are batteries beyond to sweep the streets, thus involving the enemy and the city in one common ruin.
SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 287-8