Thursday, June 22, 2017

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: May 17, 1863

The last few days have been cool and dry; fine weather for campaigning. And yet we hear of no demonstrations apparently, though I believe Lee's army is moving.

Mr. Lamar, of Savannah (formerly president of the Bank of the Republic, New York), writes that he and others are organizing an Exporting and Importing Company, and desires the government to take an interest in it. So far the heads of bureaus decline, and of course the Secretary will do nothing. But the Secretary has already engaged with Mr. Crenshaw in a similar enterprise, and so informed Mr. Mason, at London.

About 10 A.M., some 2500 men of all arms arrived at “double quick,” having left Ashland, eighteen miles distant, at 5 o'clock this morning. That was brisk marching. The guns were sent down on the railroad. The government has information that Gen. Keyes, with a full division of infantry and a brigade of cavalry, had marched up to West Point, to threaten Richmond. The troops, however, which arrived from Ashland, had been taken from the batteries here, and did not belong to Gen. Lee's army.

Messrs. Davenport & Co., Mobile, charge Gen. Buckner with permitting 1000 bales of cotton to be shipped to New Orleans.

The president of the Fredericksburg Road states, in a letter to the Secretary, that, after the battle, by military authority, the cars were appropriated by the Federal officers (prisoners), while our wounded soldiers had to remain and await the return of the trains.

Hon. Mr. Dargin, of Alabama, writes to the Secretary, to procure from the President a disavowal of the “organship” of the Enquirer, as that paper, under the belief that it speaks for the government, is likely to inflict much mischief on the country. He alluded to the bitter articles against the Democrats and peace men of the North, who would soon have been able to embarrass, if not to check the operations of the Republican war party. He says now, that they will write against us, and deal destruction wherever they penetrate the land.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 326-7

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