There is trouble in the Conscription Bureau. Col. Preston, the new superintendent, finds it no bed of roses, made for him by Lieut.-Col. Lay — the lieutenant-colonel being absent in North Carolina, sent thither to compose the discontents; which may complicate matters further, for they don't want Virginians to meddle with North Carolina matters. However, the people he is sent to are supposed to be disloyal. Gen. Pillow has applied to have Georgia in the jurisdiction of his Bureau of Conscription, and the Governors of Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee unite in the request; also Generals Johnston and Bragg. Gen. Pillow already has Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, etc.—a much larger jurisdiction than the bureau here. Col. Preston, of course, protests against all this, and I believe the Secretary sympathizes with him.
Prof. G. M. Richardson, of the Georgia Military Institute, sends some interesting statistics. That State has furnished the army 80,000, between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years. Still, the average number of men in each county between sixteen and eighteen and forty-five and sixty is 462, and there are 132 counties: total, 60,984. He deducts 30 per cent, for the infirm, etc. (18,689), leaving 42,689 men able to bear arms still at home. Thus, after putting some 500,000 in the field (if we could put them there), there would yet remain a reserve for home defense against raids, etc. in the Confederate States, of not less than 250,000 men.
Gen. Winder sent to the Secretary of War to-day for authority to appoint a clerk to attend exclusively to the mails to and from the United States — under Gen. Winder's sole direction.
Major Quantrel, a Missouri guerrilla chief, has dashed into Lawrence, Kansas, and burnt the city — killing and wounding 180. He had Gen. Jim Lane, but he escaped.
Gen. Floyd is dead; some attribute his decease to ill treatment by the government.
I saw Mr. Hunter yesterday, bronzed, but bright. He is a little thinner, which improves his appearance.
Gen. Lee is in town—looking well. When he returns, I think the fall campaign will open briskly.
A dispatch received to-day says that on Tuesday evening another assault on Battery Wagner was in progress — but as yet we have no result.
Lieut. Wood captured a third gun-boat in the Rappahannock, having eight guns.
The prisoners here selected to die, in retaliation for Burnside's execution of our officers taken while recruiting in Kentucky, will not be executed.
Nor will the officers taken on Morris Island, serving with the negroes, suffer death in accordance with the act of Congress and the President's proclamation. The Secretary referred the matter to the President for instruction, and the President invited the advice of the Secretary. The Secretary advised that they be held indefinitely, without being brought to trial, and in this the President acquiesces.
SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2, p. 24-6