We lost five fine guns and over a hundred men on the Nansemond; and we learn that more of the enemy's gunboats and transports have passed Vicksburg! These are untoward tidings. Gens. Pemberton and French are severely criticised.
We had a tragedy in the street to day, near the President's office. It appears that Mr. Dixon, Clerk of the House of Representatives, recently dismissed one of his under clerks, named Ford, for reasons which I have not heard; whereupon the latter notified the former of an intention to assault him whenever they should meet. About two p.m. they met in Bank Street; Ford asked Dixon if he was ready; and upon an affirmative response being given, they both drew their revolvers and commenced firing. Dixon missed Ford, and was wounded by his antagonist, but did not fall. He attempted to fire again, but the pistol missed fire. Ford's next shot missed D. and wounded a man in Main Street, some seventy paces beyond; but his next fire took effect in Dixon's breast, who fell and expired in a few moments.
Many of our people think that because the terms of enlistment of so many in the Federal army will expire next month, we shall not have an active spring campaign. It may be so; but I doubt it. Blood must flow as freely as ever!
SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 298