Monday, May 8, 2017

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: April 20, 1863

We have nothing definite from Suffolk, or from Washington, N. C.

But we have Northern accounts of their great disaster at Charleston. It appears that during the brief engagement on the 7th inst., all their monitors were so badly damaged that they were unable to prolong or to renew the contest. They will have to be taken to New York for repairs; and will not go into service again before autumn. Thus, after nearly a year's preparation, and the expenditure of $100,000,000, all their hopes, so far as Charleston is concerned, have been frustrated in a few brief hours, under the fire of Beauregard's batteries. They complain that England furnished us with the steel-pointed balls that penetrated their iron turrets. To this there can be no objection; indeed it may be productive of good, by involving the Abolitionists in a new quarrel: but it is due to candor to state that the balls complained of were manufactured in this city.

It was a Federal account of the retaking the Queen of the West, reported by Mr. Benjamin; and hence, it is not generally believed.

It is thought by many that Hooker will change his base from the Rappahannock to the Pamunky, embarking his army in transports. If this be so, we shall again have the pleasure of hearing the thunders of battle, this summer, in Richmond.

Gen. Lee has been quite ill, but is now recovering.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 296

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