A letter from Gen. Howell Cobb, declining the offer of the Secretary of War, of the position of Quartermaster-General, was received to-day. His wife is ill, and he prefers to remain with her; besides, he doubts his qualifications — he, who was Secretary of the Treasury of the United States! He says, moreover, referring to the imperfect ordnance stores of his brigade, that there can be no remedy for this so long as Col. G. is the Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance. So Col. Myers is to be disposed of at last, and Col. G. has but an uncertain tenure.
We have sad rumors from Vicksburg. Pemberton, it is said, was flanked by Grant, and lost 30 guns, which he abandoned in his retreat. Where Johnston is, is not stated. But, it is said, Vicksburg is closely invested, and that the invaders are closing in on all sides. There is much gloom and despondency in the city among those who credit these unofficial reports. It would be a terrible blow, but not necessarily a fatal one, for the war could be prolonged indefinitely.
I met with Robt. Tyler to-day, who offers to wager something that Gen. Stuart will be in Philadelphia in a fortnight, and he said there was a proposition to stop the publication of newspapers, if the President would agree to it, as they gave information to the enemy, and at such a time as this did no good whatever. He thinks they are on the eve of revolution in the North, and referred to Gov. Seymour's letter, read at a public meeting in New York.
SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 329