Saturday, June 3, 2017

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: April 29, 1863

Gen. Beauregard is eager to have completed the “Torpedo Ram,” building at Charleston, and wants a “great gun” for it. But the Secretary of the Navy wants all the iron for mailing his gun-boats. Mr. Miles, of South Carolina, says the ram will be worth two gun-boats.

The President of the Manassas Gap Railroad says his company is bringing all its old iron to the city. Wherefore?

The merchants of Mobile are protesting against the impressment by government agents of the sugar and molasses in the city. They say this conduct will double the prices. So Congress did not and cannot restrain the military authorities.

Gen. Humphrey Marshall met with no success in Kentucky. He writes that none joined him, when he was led to expect large accessions, and that he could get neither stock nor hogs. Alas, poor Kentucky! The brave hunters of former days have disappeared from the scene.

The Secretary of War was not permitted to see my letter which the President referred to him, in relation to an alphabetical analysis of the decisions of the departments. The Assistant Secretary, Judge Campbell, and the young Chief of the Bureau of War, sent it to the Secretary of the Navy, who, of course, they knew had no decisions to be preserved. Mr. Kean, I learn, indorsed a hearty approval of the plan, and said he would put it in operation in the War Office. But he said (with his concurrence, no doubt) that Judge Campbell had suggested it some time before. Well, that may be; but I first suggested it a year ago, and before either Mr. K. or Judge Campbell were in office. Office makes curious changes in men! Still, I think Mr. Seddon badly used in not being permitted to see the communications the President sends him. I have the privilege, and will use it, of sending papers directly to the Secretary.

Gen. Lee telegraphs the President to-day to send troops to Gordonsville, and to hasten forward supplies. He says Lt.-Gen. Longstreet's corps might now be sent from Suffolk to him. Something of magnitude is on the tapis, whether offensive or defensive, I could not judge from the dispatch.
We had hail this evening as large as pullets' eggs.

The Federal papers have accounts of brilliant successes in Louisiana and Missouri, having taken 1600 prisoners in the former State and defeated Price at Cape Girardeau in the latter. Whether these accounts are authentic or not we have no means of knowing yet. We have nothing further from Mississippi.

It is said there is some despondency in Washington.

Our people will die in the last ditch rather than be subjugated and see the confiscation of their property.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 301-2

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