Sunday, July 23, 2017

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: June 15, 1863

The enemy have abandoned the vicinity of Fredericksburg, falling back across the river, and probably retiring toward Alexandria, or else they have taken to their transports, and intend making another effort to capture Richmond. It is rumored that Gen. Ewell has taken Winchester; but this, I think, is at least premature.

Certainly the government is taking steps to guard against a blow at Richmond. All the civil officers (subordinates, only, of course) are being mustered into the service for “local defense or special duty;” but Gen. Elzey, the Marylander, it is reported, has said the “d----d clerks have given me so much trouble, that I intend to keep them on duty in such a way that they cannot perform their functions in the departments, and so others must be appointed in their places.” This would be in violation both of the Constitution and several acts of Congress. Yet they are to be mustered in this evening “for three years, or the war.” And the Secretary of the Treasury has announced that all who refuse to volunteer are to be reported, by the President's command, and will be removed. The President has intimated no such thing. Of course they will volunteer. There is much censure of the President for “bad faith” — most of the clerks being refugees, with families to support.

Mayor Mayo has refused to admit Gen. Winder's three policemen (all imported) to bail, and they remain in prison; and Judge Meredith has refused to discharge them on a writ of habeas corpus — resolving first to test the validity of the martial law set up for them in their defense.

I believe the government is acting on my suggestion to Col. Johnston, A. D. C., in regard to searching blockade-runners, caught in the lines, bearing sealed letters to the North. To-day the Attorney-General sent to the department, for Mr. Seddon's approval, instructions to Confederate Attorneys and Marshals to aid and co-operate with M. Greenwood, a detective agent of the government. I think about the first men he detects in treasonable practices will be Gen. Elzey and Gen. Winder's detectives.

Mr. Vallandigham has been nominated for Governor of Ohio.

The following are the conditions upon which women and children can come to the South, or go to the North, published in Washington and Baltimore:

First. — All applications for passes to go South must be made in writing and verified by oath, addressed to Major L. C. Turner, Judge Advocate, Washington, D. C., as follows:

“I, A—— B——, applicant for a pass to go to City Point, Virginia, and now residing at ——, do solemnly swear that, if said pass be granted, I will not take any property excepting my wearing apparel, and that all the articles to be taken with me are contained in the trunk or package delivered or to be delivered to the quartermaster on the transport steamer on which I am to go to City Point. That I have not been in any insurgent State, nor beyond the military lines of the United States, within thirty days last past. That I will not return within the military lines of the United States during the present war, and that I have not in my trunk nor on my person any papers or writings whatsoever, nor any contraband articles.

“No person will be allowed to take more than one trunk or package of female wearing apparel, weighing not over one hundred pounds, and subject to inspection; and if anything contraband be found in the trunk or on the person, the property will be forfeited and the pass revoked.

Second. — A passenger boat will leave Annapolis, Md., on the first day of July next, to deliver those permitted to go South at City Point, and the baggage of each applicant must be delivered to the quartermaster on said boat, at least twenty-four hours previous to the day of departure for inspection.

Third. — Children will be allowed to accompany their mothers and relatives, and take their usual wearing apparel; but the name and age of each child must be given in the application.

Fourth. — Ladies and children desiring to come North will be received on the boat at City Point and taken to Annapolis, and every adult person coming North will be required to take and subscribe to the oath of allegiance to the Government of the United States before the boat leaves Fortress Monroe.

"L. C. Turner, Judge Advocate."

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 348

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