Gen. Lee writes (a few days since), from Brandy Station, that Meade seems determined to advance again; that troops are going up the Potomac to Washington, and that volunteers from New York have been ordered thither. He asks the Secretary to ascertain if there be really any Federal force in the York River; for if the report be correct of hostile troops being there, it may be the enemy's intention to make another raid on the railroad. The general says we have troops enough in Southwestern Virginia; but they are not skillfully commanded.
After all, I fear we shall not get the iron from the Aquia Creek Railroad. In the summer the government was too slow, and now it is probably too slow again, as the enemy are said to be landing there. It might have been removed long ago, if we had had a faster Secretary.
Major S. Hart, San Antonio, Texas, writes that the 10,000 (the number altered again) superior rifles captured by the French off the Rio Grande last summer, were about to fall into the hands of United States cruisers; and he has sent for them, hoping the French will turn them over to us.
Gen. Winder writes the Secretary that the Commissary-General will let him have no meat for the 13,000 prisoners; and he will not be answerable for their safe keeping without it. The Quartermaster-General writes that the duty of providing for them is in dispute between the two bureaus, and he wants the Secretary to decide between them. If the Secretary should be very slow, the prisoners will suffer.
Yesterday a set (six) of cups and saucers, white, and not china, sold at auction for $50.
Mr. Henry, Senator from Tennessee, writes the Secretary that if Ewell were sent into East Tennessee with a corps, and Gen. Johnston were to penetrate into Middle Tennessee, forming a junction north of Chattanooga, it would end the war in three months.
SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2, p. 83-4