Sunday, May 13, 2018

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: September 18, 1863

Nothing new from the Rappahannock, but a battle is looked for soon. Rosecrans, who had advanced into Georgia, has fallen back on Chattanooga, which he is fortifying. If he be not driven from thence, we shall lose our mines, and the best country for commissary supplies. But Bragg had from 60,000 to 70,000 men on the 5th inst., when he had not fallen back far from Chattanooga; since then he has received more reinforcements from Mississippi, and Longstreet's corps, arrived by this time, will swell his army to 90,000 men, perhaps. Johnston will probably take command, for Bragg is becoming unpopular. But Bragg will fight!

The equinoctial storm has commenced, and the monitors are not in view of Charleston, having sought quiet waters.

The Enquirer has again assailed Mr. Benjamin, particularly on account of the retention of Mr. Spence, financial agent in England (appointed by Mr. Memminger), an anti-slavery author, whose books advocate Southern independence. To-day a letter was sent to the Secretary of War, from Mr. Benjamin, stating the fact that the President had changed the whole financial programme for Europe. Frazer, Trenholm, & Co., Liverpool, are to be the custodians of the treasure in England, and Mr. McRae, in France, etc., and they would keep all the accounts of disbursements by the agents of departments, thus superseding Mr. Spence. I think this arrangement will somewhat affect the operations of Major Huse (who is a little censured in the letter, purporting to be dictated by the President, but really written by the President) and Col. Gorgas.

If Wilmington continues in our possession, the transactions in Europe will be large, and the government will derive more of its supplies from thence.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 46-7

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