Gen. Lee's cavalry are picking up some prisoners, several hundreds having already been sent to Richmond. It is said the advance of his army has been delayed several weeks for want of commissary stores, while Commissary-General Northrop's or Major Ruffin's agent Moffitt, it is alleged, has been selling beef (gross) to the butchers at 50 cents per pound, after buying or impressing at from 16 to 20 cents.
Gen. Lee writes that a scout (from Washington ?) informs him that Gen. Gilmore has been ordered to take Charleston at all hazards, and, failing in the attempt, to make a flank movement and seize upon Branchville; which he (Gen. Lee) deems an unlikely feat.
What a change! The young professors and tutors who shouldered their pens and became clerks in the departments are now resigning, and seeking employment in country schools remote from the horrid sounds of war so prevalent in the vicinity of the Capitol, and since they were ordered to volunteer in the local companies, which will probably have some sharp practice in the field. They are intent, however, on “teaching the young idea how to shoot.” The young chiefs of bureaus, being fixed “for life,” did not volunteer.
SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2, p. 70-1