Saturday, July 22, 2017

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: June 14, 1863

W——ll, one of the Winder detectives that fled to Washington last year, is back again. But the Mayor has arrested him as a spy, and it is said a lady in the city can prove his guilt. Gen. Winder wanted to bail him; but the Mayor was inexorable, and so W——ll is in the jail, awaiting his trial. Two others, of  Winder's police, have likewise been arrested by the city authorities for some harsh treatment of a citizen supposed to have a barrel of whisky in his house. The justification offered is the jurisdiction of martial law, which Gen. Winder still thinks exists, although annulled by Congress.

The company (of 104) organized in the War Department as independent volunteers for local defense, being objected to by Gen. Elzey, because they would not be subject to his command, was rejected by the President, who insisted that the officers of the departments (civil) should be mustered into the service under the act of August 21st, 1861, and are subject to his control, and liable to be attached to battalions, regiments, etc., he appointing the field and staff officers. This was communicated to the lieutenant of the company by the Secretary of War, who stated also that the President required the names of all refusing to reorganize on that basis to be reported to him.

There is an indefinable dread of conspiracy, and the President is right, perhaps, to frown upon all military organizations not subject to his orders. Mr. Randolph, late Secretary of War, has been very busy organizing the second class militia of the city for. “local defense,” under the supposition that he would command them; but the President has made a requisition for 8000 of this class of men, for the same purpose, which will put them under Confederate orders, perhaps. A jealousy, I fear, is growing up between Confederate and State authority. This when the common enemy is thundering at all our gates!

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 347-8

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