Showing posts with label Joseph E Brown. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Joseph E Brown. Show all posts

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: February 8, 1864

The air is filled with rumors—none reliable. It is said Gen. Lee is much provoked at the alarm and excitement in the city, which thwarted a plan of his to capture the enemy on the Peninsula; and the militia and the Department Battalions were kept yesterday and to-day under arms standing in the cold, the officers blowing their nails, and “waiting orders,” which came not. Perhaps they were looking for the “conspirators;” a new hoax to get “martial law.”

A Union meeting has been held in Greensborough, N. C. An intelligent writer to the department says the burden of the speakers, mostly lawyers, was the terrorism of Gen. Winder and his corps of rogues and cut-throats, Marylanders, whose operations, it seems, have spread into most of the States. Mr. Sloan, the writer, says, however, a vast majority of the people are loyal.

It is said Congress is finally about to authorize martial law. My cabbages are coming up in my little hot-bed—half barrel. Gen. Maury writes from Mobile that he cannot be able to obtain any information leading to the belief of an intention on the part of the enemy to attack Mobile. He says it would require 40,000 men, after three months' preparation, to take it.

Gov. Brown, of Georgia, says the Confederate States Government has kept bad faith with the Georgia six months’ men; and hence they cannot be relied on to relieve Gen. Beauregard, etc. (It is said the enemy are about to raise the siege of Charleston.) Gov. B. says the State Guard are already disbanded. He says, moreover, that the government here, if it understood its duty, would not seize and put producers in the field, but would stop details, and order the many thousand young officers everywhere swelling in the cars and hotels, and basking idly in every village, to the ranks. He is disgusted with the policy here. What are we coming to?

 Everywhere our troops in the field, whose terms of three years will expire this spring, are re-enlisting for the war. This is an effect produced by President Lincoln's proclamation; that to be permitted to return to the Union, all men must first take an oath to abolish slavery!

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 145-6

Monday, September 21, 2020

Captain Charles Wright Wills: November 21, 1864

Near Macon, Ga., November 21, 1864.

This makes seven days from Atlanta, 114 miles by the roads we have marched. I think that time for an army like ours, over bad roads, too, for at least four days, is unprecedented.

Our cavalry had a little skirmish at Macon last evening and were driven back. I heard some cannonading, but don't think it amounted to much. There was a little skirmish about the rear of our division at 4 this p. m., but beside racing and maybe capturing some half-dozen of our foragers, it amounted to nothing. Our left occupied Milledgeville. Governor Brown is here at Macon, also Beauregard, and they have scraped together some ten or a dozen things to defend the town with. I don't think from looks at present, that “Pap” is going to try the town, but can't tell. We have thrown up a little rail barricade this evening, which looks as if we were intending to destroy the Macon and Savannah railroad, on which rests the right of our brigade. We are afraid at this writing that Sheaff Herr was captured to-day. He was foraging where that little skirmish took place this p. m., and Rebels were seen after, and within 75 yards of him. It has rained steadily all day and for the last 60 hours, but has turned cold and is now clear.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 322

Monday, June 24, 2019

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: November 15, 1863

After a fine rain all night, it cleared away beautifully this morning, cool, but not unseasonable. There is no news of importance. The Governor of Georgia recommends, in his message, that the Legislature instruct their representatives in Congress to vote for a repeal of the law allowing substitutes, and also to put the enrolling officers in the ranks, leaving the States to send conscripts to the army. The Georgia Legislature have passed a resolution, unanimously, asking the Secretary of War to revoke the appointments of all impressing agents in that State, and appoint none but civilians and citizens. I hope the Secretary will act upon this hint. But will he?
The papers contain the following:

Arrived in Richmond, — Mrs. Todd, of Kentucky, the mother of Mrs. Lincoln, arrived in this city on the steamer Schultz, Thursday night, having come to City Point on a flag of truce boat. She goes South to visit her daughter, Mrs. Helm, widow of Surgeon-General Helm, who fell at Chickamauga. Mrs. Todd is about to take up her residence in the South, all her daughters being here, except the wife of Lincoln, who is in Washington, and Mrs. Kellogg, who is at present in Paris.”

“To The Poor. — C, Baumhard, 259 Main Street, between Seventh and Eighth, has received a large quantity of freshly-ground corn-meal, which he will sell to poor families at the following rates: one bushel, $16; half bushel, $8; one peck, $4; half peck, $2."

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 98-9

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: November 16, 1863

Governor Brown, Georgia, writes the Secretary that he is opposed to impressments, and that the government should pay the market price — whatever that is. And the Rhett politicians of South Carolina are opposed to raising funds to pay with, by taxing land and negroes. So indicates the Mercury.

We have news to-day of the crossing of the Rapidan River by Meade's army. A battle, immediately, seems inevitable.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 99

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: October 20, 1863

Nothing definite from Lee. I fear his little campaign from the Rapidan to Bull Run was not a glorious one, although Meade did run to the fortifications at Centreville. He may possibly have had a counter-plot, which is not yet developed. Our papers are rejoicing over thousands of prisoners "picked up;" but Captain Warner, who furnishes the prisoners their rations, assures me that they have not yet arrived; while our papers acknowledge we lost 1000 men, killed and wounded, besides several guns.

The Secretary of War received a dispatch to-day from Gen. Barton, Kinston, N. C, stating that a number of Federal regiments were embarking for (he thinks) South Carolina. This, the Secretary, of course, sends to Gen. Beauregard, but doubts, however, the destination of the troops. He thinks they are to menace Richmond again, and says there are indications of this purpose on the York River. Is Hooker really there? The public knows nothing, as yet, of what is going on down that river. What if Meade retreated to entice Lee away from Richmond, having in preparation an expedition against this city? I should not wonder at anything, since so many equivocal characters are obtaining passports to the United States. Gen. Winder and Judge Campbell are busy signing passports — one granted by the latter yesterday (recorded) also allows the bearer to take with him 2000 pounds tobacco!

A letter was received to-day from the President, ordering certain concessions to Governor Brown, relating to exemptions and details.

Letters have been received justifying the belief (notwithstanding the forebodings of Lieut.-Gen. E. K. Smith) that we have taken Little Rock, Ark., again. This is Price's work; also that Quantrell and other bold raiders in Missouri have collected some thousands of desperate men, and killed several regiments of the enemy. They have burned a number of towns (Union), and taken the large town of Boonville. These are the men against whom Kansas Abolitionists have sworn vengeance — no quarter is to be granted them. I suspect they are granting no quarter!

Yesterday I saw a Captain Commissary on Broad Street give his dog a piece of beef for which I would have given a dollar. Many little children of soldiers stood by with empty baskets. He would not sell a shank!

Dispatch from Alabama:

selma, October 18th, 1863.

President Davis arrived here this evening, and was welcomed by the citizens en masse. An immense crowd gathered in front of the hotel. The President congratulated the people on meeting them under such favorable circumstances, and spoke in glowing terms of the gallantry of Alabamians on every battle-field. He said if the non-conscripts of Alabama would gather their guns and go to the rescue, by guarding Courtland and other points, thereby relieving regular soldiers who are now, from necessity, discharging that sort of duty, such blows would be dealt the enemy as he would find it difficult to recover from. In this way most effective aid could be given the gallant men and officers who are carrying out the plans of the noble Longstreet, under the supervision of the heroic Bragg.

In this way the President was confident that Rosecrans could be crushed to dust. It was only by force of arms that the Yankees could be brought to reason and their plans for our subjugation defeated. Self-reliance and energy were now our only duty. We should not look to Europe for aid, for such is not to be expected now. Our only alternative was to sustain ourselves with renewed energy and determination, and a little more sacrifice upon the part of the people, and the President firmly believed that next spring would see the invader driven from our borders. Then farmers, who are now refugees, could return to their families and pursue their business undisturbed as heretofore. In fact, he believed that the defeat of Rosecrans would practically end the war.

Mr. Randolph has signified his purpose to vote for the bill reducing prices, rather than resign; but Mr. Wyndham Robertson, the delegate, has resigned. Nearly all the papers have taken ground against the "Maximum Bill." To-night a mass meeting is called, to urge the passage of the bill.

The "mass meeting" to-night was a small affair. Mr. Robinson, my old compositor, made a speech, abusing the editors; but the editors have succeeded in putting down for the present the cry for bread. I fear, however, it is but the work of Sisyphus, and it may destroy them; for, if the measure fails before the Legislature, the prices will be sure to advance, and then the people will attribute their woes to those who were instrumental in the defeat of the plan of relief. It is a dangerous thing to array one's self against a famishing people, even when the remedy they demand is not calculated to alleviate their distresses. I saw flour sell at auction to-day for $61 per barrel. This, too, when there is an abundant crop of new grain but recently harvested. It is the result of the depreciation of a redundant currency, and not of an ascertained scarcity. Timber and coal are as abundant as ever they were; and the one sells at $32 per cord, and the other at $30 per load of 25 bushels. And cotton is abundant, while brown domestic is bringing $3.00 per yard. Many are becoming very shabby in appearance; and I can get no clothes for myself or my family, unless the government shall very materially increase our salaries.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 75-7

Friday, March 23, 2018

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: September 3, 1863

Night before last the heavens were illuminated, it is said, by the terrific bombardment of the batteries and forts in the vicinity of Charleston, and earth and sea trembled with the mighty vibrations. Yet no material injury was done our works, and there were not more than a dozen casualties. On the side of the enemy there is no means of ascertaining the effect.

N. S. Walker, Confederate States agent, Bermuda, writes that the steamer R. E. Lee was chased, on her last trip out, twelve hours, and was compelled to throw 150 bales government cotton overboard. He says the British crown officers have decided that British bottoms, with British owners of cargo, running out of blockaded ports, are liable to seizure anywhere on the high seas.

Some of the papers say Knoxville is in the hands of the enemy, and others deny it.

Hon. F. S. Lyon writes from Demopolis, Ala., that the Vicksburg army have not reported upon the expiration of the thirty days' leave, in large numbers, and that the men never can be reorganized to serve again under Pemberton.

Gen. Jos. E. Johnston writes from Morton, Miss., that he is disposing his force to oppose any raids of the enemy, and that he shall keep the Vicksburg troops (when exchanged) in Eastern Mississippi.

Gov. Jos. E. Brown telegraphs that the men (militia) in Georgia cannot be compelled to leave the State; but if the government will send them 5000 arms, he thinks he can persuade them to march out of it, provided he may name a commander. The President indorses on this: “If they are militia, I have no power to appoint; if C. S: troops, I have no power to delegate the authority to appoint.”

Gen. Lee is still here (I thought he had departed), no doubt arranging the programme of the fall campaign, if, indeed, there be one. He rode out with the President yesterday evening, but neither were greeted with cheers. I suppose Gen. Lee has lost some popularity among idle street walkers by his retreat from Pennsylvania. The President seeks seclusion. A gentleman who breakfasted with him this morning, tells me the President complained of fatigue from his long ride with Gen. Lee.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 31-2

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: July 25, 1863

Gen. Beauregard telegraphs that preparations should be made to withstand a bombardment at Savannah, and authority is asked, at the instance of Gov. Brown, to impress a sufficient number of slaves for the purpose.

Gen. Jos. E. Johnston telegraphs the President that Grant has fallen back to Vicksburg, and, from information in his possession, will not stay there a day, but will proceed up the river. Gen. Johnston asks if this eccentric movement does not indicate a purpose to concentrate the enemy's forces for the reduction of Richmond.

Grant's men, no doubt, objected to longer service at this season in the Southwest; perhaps Lincoln thinks Grant is the only general who can take Richmond, or it may be necessary for the presence of the army in the North to enforce the draft, to overawe conspirators against the administration, etc. We shall soon know more about it.

Misfortunes come in clusters. We have a report to-day that Gen. Morgan's command has been mostly captured in Ohio. The recent rains made the river unfordable.

It appears that Gen. Pemberton had but 15 days' rations to last 48 days, that the people offered him a year's supply for nothing if he would have it, and this he would not take, red tape requiring it to be delivered and paid for, so it fell into the hands of the enemy. He had a six months' supply of ammunition when he surrendered, and often during the siege would not let his men reply to the enemy's guns.

Advertisers in the papers offer $4000 for substitutes. One offers a farm in Hanover County, on the Central Railroad, of 230 acres, for a substitute. There is something significant in this. It was so in France when Napoleon had greatly exhausted the male population.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 387

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: July 20, 1863

Nothing from Lee or from Johnston, except that the latter has abandoned Jackson. From Bragg's army, I learn that a certain number of regiments were moving from Chattanooga toward Knoxville — and I suspect their destination is Lee's army.

But we have a dispatch from Beauregard, stating that he has again repulsed an attack of the enemy on the battery on Morris Island with heavy loss — perhaps 1500 — while his is trifling.

A thousand of the enemy's forces were in Wytheville yesterday, and were severely handled by 130 of the home guards. They did but little injury to the railroad, and burned a few buildings.

An indignant letter has been received from the Hon. W. Porcher Miles, who had applied for a sub-lieutenancy for Charles Porcher, who had served with merit in the 1st South Carolina Artillery, and was his relative. It seems that the President directed the Secretary to state that the appointment could not be given him because he was not 21 years of age. To this Mr. M. replies that several minors in the same regiment have been appointed. I think not.

Governor Brown writes a long letter, protesting against the decision of the Confederate States Government, that the President shall appoint the colonel for the 51st Georgia Regiment, which the Governor says is contrary to the Confederate States Constitution. He will resist it.

A Mrs. Allen, a lady of wealth here, has been arrested for giving information to the enemy. Her letters were intercepted. She is confined at the asylum St. Francis de Sales. The surgeon who attends there reports to-day that her mental excitement will probably drive her to madness. Her great fear seems to be that she will be soon sent to a common prison. There is much indignation that she should be assigned to such comfortable quarters — and I believe the Bishop (McGill) protests against having criminals imprisoned in his religious edifices. It is said she has long been sending treasonable letters to Baltimore — but the authorities do not have the names of her letter-carriers published. No doubt they had passports.

A letter from Lee's army says we lost 10,000 in the recent battle, killed, wounded, and prisoners. We took 11,000 prisoners and 11 guns.

Thank Heaven! we have fine weather after nearly a month's rain. It may be that we shall have better fortune in the field now.

Some of the bankers had an interview with the government today. Unless we can achieve some brilliant success, they cannot longer keep our government notes from depreciating, down to five cents on the dollar. They are selling for only ten cents now, in gold. In vain will be the sale of a million of government gold in the effort to keep it up.

Gen. Morgan, like a comet, has shot out of the beaten track of the army, and after dashing deeply into Indiana, the last heard of him he was in Ohio, near Cincinnati. He was playing havoc with steam-boats, and capturing fine horses. He has some 3000 men we cannot afford to lose — but I fear they will be lost.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 383-4

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Cheering News From Alabama, Mississippi, And Georgia

The editor of the Carolinian has conversed with a gentleman who brings cheering news from the Executives of the above States.  Gov. PETTUS, of Mississippi, on the receipt of the news of LINCOLN’S election, will immediately convene the Legislature.  The Disunion vote will be overwhelming.  The Governor of Georgia will call for a large appropriation to arm the State.  Gov. MOORE, of Alabama, will immediately issue writes of election for a new Legislature.  In Louisiana it is thought that the Disunion movement will prevail, and Florida is said to consider herself in advance of South Carolina.  We have no fears of Southern co-operation.  The cotton States at least must be united.

— Published in The Abbeville Press, Abbeville, South Carolina, Friday Morning, November 9, 1860, p. 2

Friday, August 19, 2016

Lieutenant Colonel Charles Fessenden Morse: November 3, 1864

Atlanta, Ga., Nov. 3,1864.

I am now going to let you into some of our mighty secrets, which, probably, when you receive this, will be no secrets at all.

We are going to abandon Atlanta, first utterly destroying every railroad building, store, and everything else that can be of any use to the rebels. The railroad from here as far north as Resaca will be entirely destroyed. Then, cutting loose from everything and everybody, Sherman is going to launch his army into Georgia.

We shall probably march in two or three columns to Savannah, destroying all railroads and government property at Macon and Augusta, and taking up all rails on our line of march. Isn't the idea of this campaign perfectly fascinating? We shall have only to “bust” through Joe Brown's militia and the cavalry, to take any of these inland cities. Of course, the taking of Savannah is only the preface to taking Charleston. Colonel Coggswell, with five regiments, has been ordered to prepare this place for destruction; he has given me the charge of about half of it. I have just submitted my proposition how to do it.

The proposed movement is the most perfectly concealed I have ever known one to be; scarcely an officer on the staff or anywhere else knows our destination or intention. There are all kinds of rumors which are told as facts, but they only more effectually conceal the real campaign. We shall be lost to the world for a month or six weeks; then shall suddenly emerge at some seaport, covered with dirt and glory. I like the idea of a water-base amazingly; no tearing up railroads in our rear, no firing into trains, and no running off the track. General Thomas will be left, with fifty thousand or sixty thousand men, to guard the line of the Tennessee. I suppose Hood will bother him considerably, but that is none of our business. If Hood chases us, we can whip him as we have done before, and we have the best of him in the way of supplies, as we shall eat up ahead of him. I feel perfectly confident of success, no matter what course the rebels take. General Slocum will have command of the two largest and best corps in the army, and will show himself the able man he is. Sherman will have a chance to compare him with his other army commanders.

SOURCE: Charles Fessenden Morse, Letters Written During the Civil War, 1861-1865, p. 196-7

Friday, August 5, 2016

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: November 2, 1862

I watch the daily orders of Adjutant and Inspector-Gen. Cooper. These, when “by command of the Secretary of War,” are intelligible to any one, but not many are by his command. When simply “by order,” they are promulgated by order of the President, without even consulting the Secretary; and they often annul the Secretary's orders. They are edicts, and sometimes thought very arbitrary ones. One of these orders says liquor shall not be introduced into the city; and a poor fellow, the other day, was sentenced to the ball-and-chain for trying to bring hither his whisky from Petersburg. On the same day Gov. Brown, of Georgia, seized liquor in his State, in transitu over the railroad, belonging to the government!

Since the turning over of the passports to Generals Smith and Winder, I have resumed the position where all the letters to the department come through my hands. I read them, make brief statements of their contents, and send them to the Secretary. Thus all sent by the President to the department go through my hands, being epitomized in the same manner.

The new Assistant Secretary, Judge Campbell, has been ordering the Adjutant-General too peremptorily; and so Gen. Cooper has issued an order making Lieut.-Col. Deas an Acting Assistant Secretary of War, thus creating an office in defiance of Congress.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 181

Friday, October 2, 2015

Diary of Mary Boykin Chesnut: December 19, 1864

The deep waters are closing over us and we are in this house, like the outsiders at the time of the flood. We care for none of these things. We eat, drink, laugh, dance, in lightness of heart.

Doctor Trezevant came to tell me the dismal news. How he piled on the agony! Desolation, mismanagement, despair. General Young, with the flower of Hampton's cavalry, is in Columbia. Horses can not be found to mount them. Neither the Governor of Georgia nor the Governor of South Carolina is moving hand or foot. They have given up. The Yankees claim another victory for Thomas.1 Hope it may prove like most of their victories, brag and bluster. Can't say why, maybe I am benumbed, but I do not feel so intensely miserable.

1 Reference is here made to the battle between Hood and Thomas at Nashville, the result of which was the breaking up of Hood's army as a fighting force.

SOURCES: Mary Boykin Chesnut, Edited by Isabella D. Martin and Myrta Lockett Avary, A Diary From Dixie, p. 339-40

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Diary of Mary Boykin Chesnut: December 14, 1864

And now the young ones are in bed and I am wide awake. It is an odd thing; in all my life how many persons have I seen in love? Not a half-dozen. And I am a tolerably close observer, a faithful watcher have I been from my youth upward of men and manners. Society has been for me only an enlarged field for character study.

Flirtation is the business of society; that is, playing at love-making. It begins in vanity, it ends in vanity. It is spurred on by idleness and a want of any other excitement. Flattery, battledore and shuttlecock, how in this game flattery is dashed backward and forward. It is so soothing to self-conceit. If it begins and ends in vanity, vexation of spirit supervenes sometimes. They do occasionally burn their fingers awfully, playing with fire, but there are no hearts broken. Each party in a flirtation has secured a sympathetic listener, to whom he or she can talk of himself or herself—somebody who, for the time, admires one exclusively, and, as the French say, excessivement. It is a pleasant, but very foolish game, and so to bed.

Hood and Thomas have had a fearful fight, with carnage and loss of generals excessive in proportion to numbers. That means they were leading and urging their men up to the enemy. I know how Bartow and Barnard Bee were killed bringing up their men. One of Mr. Chesnut's sins thrown in his teeth by the Legislature of South Carolina was that he procured the promotion of Gist, “State Rights” Gist, by his influence in Richmond. What have these comfortable, stay-at-home patriots to say of General Gist now? “And how could man die better than facing fearful odds,” etc.

So Fort McAlister has fallen! Good-by, Savannah! Our Governor announces himself a follower of Joe Brown, of Georgia. Another famous Joe.

SOURCES: Mary Boykin Chesnut, Edited by Isabella D. Martin and Myrta Lockett Avary, A Diary From Dixie, p. 338-9

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Diary of Mary Boykin Chesnut: July 26, 1864

Isabella went with me to the bulletin-board. Mrs. D. (with the white linen as usual pasted on her chin) asked me to read aloud what was there written. As I slowly read on, I heard a suppressed giggle from Isabella. I know her way of laughing at everything, and tried to enunciate more distinctly — to read more slowly, and louder, with more precision. As I finished and turned round, I found myself closely packed in by a crowd of Confederate soldiers eager to hear the news. They took off their caps, thanked me for reading all that was on the boards, and made way for me, cap in hand, as I hastily returned to the carriage, which was waiting for us. Isabella proposed, “Call out to them to give three cheers for Jeff Davis and his generals.” “You forget, my child, that we are on our way to a funeral.”

Found my new house already open hospitably to all comers. My husband had arrived. He was seated at a pine table, on which someone had put a coarse, red table-cover, and by the light of one tallow candle was affably entertaining Edward Barnwell, Isaac Hayne, and Uncle Hamilton. He had given them no tea, however. After I had remedied that oversight, we adjourned to the moonlighted piazza. By tallow-candle-light and the light of the moon, we made out that wonderful smile of Teddy's, which identifies him as Gerald Grey.

We have laughed so at broken hearts — the broken hearts of the foolish love stories. But Buck, now, is breaking her heart for her brother Willie. Hearts do break in silence, without a word or a sigh. Mrs. Means and Mary Barnwell made no moan — simply turned their faces to the wall and died. How many more that we know nothing of!

When I remember all the true-hearted, the light-hearted, the gay and gallant boys, who have come laughing, singing, and dancing in my way in the three years now past; how I have looked into their brave young eyes and helped them as I could in every way and then saw them no more forever; how they lie stark and cold, dead upon the battle-field, or moldering away in hospitals or prisons, which is worse — I think if I consider the long array of those bright youths and loyal men who have gone to their death almost before my very eyes, my heart might break, too. Is anything worth it — this fearful sacrifice, this awful penalty we pay for war?

Allen G. says Johnston was a failure. Now he will wait and see what Hood can do before he pronounces judgment on him. He liked his address to his army. It was grand and inspiring, but every one knows a general has not time to write these things himself. Mr. Kelly, from New Orleans, says Dick Taylor and Kirby Smith have quarreled. One would think we had a big enough quarrel on hand for one while already. The Yankees are enough and to spare. General Lovell says, “Joe Brown, with his Georgians at his back, who importuned our government to remove Joe Johnston, they are scared now, and wish they had not.”

In our democratic Republic, if one rises to be its head, whomever he displeases takes a Turkish revenge and defiles the tombs of his father and mother; hints that his father was a horse-thief and his mother no better than she should be; his sisters barmaids and worse, his brothers Yankee turncoats and traitors. All this is hurled at Lincoln or Jeff Davis indiscriminately.

SOURCE: Mary Boykin Chesnut, Edited by Isabella D. Martin and Myrta Lockett Avary, A Diary From Dixie, p. 315-7

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Diary of Mary Boykin Chesnut: July 25, 1864

Now we are in a cottage rented from Doctor Chisolm. Hood is a full general. Johnston 1 has been removed and superseded. Early is threatening Washington City. Semmes, of whom we have been so proud, risked the Alabama in a sort of duel of ships. He has lowered the flag of the famous Alabama to the Kearsarge.2 Forgive who may! I can not. We moved into this house on the 20th of July. My husband was telegraphed to go to Charleston. General Jones sent for him. A part of his command is on the coast.

The girls were at my house. Everything was in the utmost confusion. We were lying on a pile of mattresses in one of the front rooms while the servants were reducing things to order in the rear. All the papers are down on the President for this change of commanders except the Georgia papers. Indeed, Governor Brown's constant complaints, I dare say, caused it — these and the rage of the Georgia people as Johnston backed down on them.

Isabella soon came. She said she saw the Preston sisters pass her house, and as they turned the corner there was a loud and bitter cry. It seemed to come from the Hampton house. Both girls began to run at full speed. “What is the matter?” asked Mrs. Martin. “Mother, listen; that sounded like the cry of a broken heart,” said Isabella; “something has gone terribly wrong at the Prestons’.”

Mrs. Martin is deaf, however, so she heard nothing and thought Isabella fanciful. Isabella hurried over there, and learned that they had come to tell Mrs. Preston that Willie was killed — Willie! his mother's darling. No country ever had a braver soldier, a truer gentleman, to lay down his life in her cause.

1 General Johnston in 1863 had been appointed to command the Army of the Tennessee, with headquarters at Dalton, Georgia. He was to oppose the advance of Sherman's army toward Atlanta. In May, 1864, he fought unsuccessful battles at Resaca and elsewhere, and in July was compelled to retreat across the Chattahoochee River. Fault was found with him because of his continual retreating. There were tremendous odds against him. On July 17th he was superseded by Hood.

2 Raphael Semmes was a native of Maryland and had served in the Mexican War. The Alabama was built for the Confederate States at Birkenhead, England, and with an English crew and English equipment was commanded by Semmes. In 1863 and 1864 the Alabama destroyed much Federal shipping. On June 19, 1864, she was sunk by the Federal ship Kearsarge in a battle off Cherbourg. Claims against England for damages were made by the United States, and as a result the Geneva Arbitration Court was created. Claims amounting to $15,500,000 were finally awarded. This case has much importance in the history of international law.

SOURCE: Mary Boykin Chesnut, Edited by Isabella D. Martin and Myrta Lockett Avary, A Diary From Dixie, p. 314-5

Monday, April 6, 2015

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: July 18, 1861

The major is sick again, and Jacques is away; therefore I have too much work, and the colonel groans for me. He is proud of the appointments he made with such rapidity, and has been complimented. And in truth there is no reason why the thousands of applications should not be acted on promptly; and there are many against delay. A large army must be organized immediately, and it will be necessary to appoint thousands of field and staff officers — unless all the governors are permitted to do as Gov. Brown desires to do. The Secretary is in better health, and quite condescending. My work pleases him; and I shouldn't be astonished if he resented the sudden absence of Mr. Jacques. But he should consider that Mr. J. is only an amateur clerk getting no pay, rich, and independent of the government.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 63

Monday, September 1, 2014

John B. Floyd to Governor Joseph E. Brown, December 18, 1860

War Department,
December 18, 1860.

His Excellency Joseph E. Bbown,
Governor of Georgia,

Sir: In answer to your letter of the 24th ultimo, I have the honor to state that the following samples of accoutrements can be furnished to you by the United States on payment of their cost price, as annexed viz: Two knapsacks, $5.06; two haversacks, 78 cents; two canteens, with straps, 92 cents. Total, $7.26.

You can obtain the remaining equipments desired by addressing Maj. W. A. Thornton, U. S. Arsenal, New York, and requesting their purchase, describing them as follows: Two sets of infantry accoutrements, complete; two saber-belts and plates, complete; two saber-knots; two holsters (pouches) for Colt belt pistols; all of the latest U. S. Army pattern. I have no doubt Major Thornton will take pleasure in attending to the matter.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
John B. Floyd,
Secretary of War.

SOURCE: Allen D. Candler, The Confederate Records of the State of Georgia, Volume 3: Official Correspondence of Governor Joseph E. Brown 1860-1865 inclusive, p. 5-6

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Governor Joseph E. Brown to John B. Floyd, November 24, 1860

November 24th, 1860.
Hon. John B. Floyd,
Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: Being desirous of having manufactured in Georgia a supply for the State of certain military equipments, I am compelled again to trespass upon your kindness to ask of you the favor to help me in some way — by sale or cause to be advanced to our State as a part of Georgia’s quota of arms, etc., for the coming year — two sample sets of each of the following equipments, viz:

First.  Equipment for riflemen, consisting of knapsack, cartridge box, and belt, complete.

Second.  Equipments for infantry, complete.

Third.  Saber equipment, complete, including pouch for Colt revolvers. All of the latest and most approved styles and patterns adopted by the U. S. Army.

I dislike to trouble you with this small matter, but really I know of no other method of obtaining, with certainty as to kind, etc., samples or patterns of the equipments desired. I would prefer to purchase the articles to obtaining them otherwise, if I knew where they could be obtained. Be pleased to cause the sample sets, two of each, furnished me, in some way least troublesome to yourself, of the said equipments, and you will lay me under renewed obligations for your kindness.

I am very sincerely, your obedient servant,

[First indorsement.]

December 1st, 1860.

I respectfully report to the Secretary of War that such of the military equipments asked for as belong to this department can be furnished without inconvenience, viz: Two knapsacks, $5.56; two haversacks, 78 cents; and two canteens and straps, 92 cents.

J. E. Jonnsron,

[Second indorsement.]

December 1st, 1860.

Respectfully returned with the report that the State of Georgia, having drawn her full quota, including that for 1861, cannot obtain the accoutrements by issue, on that account, from the Government supply, nor can such articles as are wanted be sold by the Government.

There will be no difficulty, however, in Governor Brown’s obtaining them, if he will write to Maj. W. A. Thornton, U. S. Arsenal, New York, and request him to purchase for the State two sets of infantry accoutrements, complete, two saber-belts and plates, complete; two saber-knots, two holster pouches for Colt belt pistols; all of the latest U. S. Army patterns.

I doubt not that Major Thornton will make the purchase for the Governor with pleasure.

Captain of Ordnance.

SOURCE: Allen D. Candler, The Confederate Records of the State of Georgia, Volume 3: Official Correspondence of Governor Joseph E. Brown 1860-1865 inclusive, p. 3-5

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

General Pierre G. T. Beauregard to Jefferson Davis, December 6, 1864

AUGUSTA, GA., December 6, 1864.
President of the Confederate States:

SIR: Your letter of the 30th ultimo, acknowledging the receipt of my telegram of 24th of November, was received by me on the road from Macon to this place. With the limited reliable means at our command I believe that all that could be has been done, under existing circumstances, to oppose the advance of Sherman's forces toward the Atlantic coast. That we have not thus far been more successful none can regret more than myself, but he will doubtless be prevented from capturing Augusta, Charleston, and Savannah, and he may yet be made to experience serious loss before reaching the coast.

On the 16th of November, when about leaving Tuscumbia, Ala., on a tour of inspection to Corinth, Miss., I was informed by General Hood of the report just received by him that Sherman would probably move from Atlanta into Georgia I instructed him at once to repeat his orders to General Wheeler to watch closely Sherman's movements, and should he move as reported, to attack and harass him at all favorable points. I telegraphed to Lieutenant-General Taylor, at Selma, Ala, to call on Governor Watts, of Alabama, and Governor Clark, of Mississippi, for all the State troops that they could furnish, and with all the available movable forces of his department to keep himself in readiness to move at a moment's notice to the assistance of Maj. Gens. Howell Cobb and G. W. Smith, who were then at or about Griffin, Ga., threatening Atlanta. I also telegraphed to General Cobb to call upon Governor Brown, of Georgia, and Governor Bonham, of South Carolina, for all the State troops that could be collected. I made all necessary preparations to repair forthwith to Georgia in the event of Sherman's executing his reported movement.

On my arrival at Corinth, on the 18th of November, having been informed that Sherman had commenced his movement, I issued all necessary orders to meet the emergency, including an order to General Hood to send one division of cavalry (Jackson's) to re-enforce Wheeler, but this order was suspended by him, his objection being that his cavalry could not be reduced without endangering the success of his campaign in Tennessee, and that General Wheeler already had thirteen brigades under his command. I finally instructed him to send only one brigade, if he contemplated taking the offensive at once, as had already been decided upon. I then left Corinth for Macon, where I arrived on 24th of November.

I did not countermand the campaign into Tennessee to pursue Sherman with Hood's army for the following reasons:

First. The roads and creeks from the Tennessee to the Coosa Rivers across Sand and Lookout Mountains had been, by the prevailing heavy rains, rendered almost impassable to artillery and wagon trains.

Second. General Sherman, with an army better appointed, had already the start of about 275 miles, on comparatively good roads. The transfer of Hood's army into Georgia could not have been more expeditious by railway than by marching through the country, on account of the delays unavoidably resulting from the condition of the railroads.

Third. To pursue Sherman the passage of the Army of Tennessee would necessarily have been over roads with all the bridges destroyed, and through a devastated country, affording no subsistence or forage, and, moreover, it was feared that a retrograde movement on our part would seriously deplete the army by desertions.

Fourth. To have sent off the most or the whole of the Army of Tennessee in pursuit of Sherman would have opened to Thomas' forces the richest portion of the State of Alabama, and would have made nearly certain the capture of Montgomery, Selma, and Mobile, without insuring the defeat of Sherman.

Fifth. In October last, when passing through Georgia to assume command of the Military Division of the West, I was informed by Governor Brown that he could probably raise, in case of necessity, about 6,000 men, which I supposed might be doubled in a levy en masse. General Cobb informed me, at the same time, that at Augusta, Macon, and Columbus he had about 6,500 local troops, and that he hoped shortly to have collected at his reserve and convalescent camps near Macon 2,500 more. Of these 9,000 men he supposed about one-half, or 5,000, could be made available as movable troops for an emergency.

To oppose the advance of the enemy from Atlanta the State of Georgia would thus have probably 17,000 men, to which number must be added the thirteen brigades of Wheeler's cavalry, amounting to about 7,000 men. The troops which could have been collected from Savannah, South Carolina, and North Carolina before Sherman's forces could reach the Atlantic coast would have amounted, it was supposed, to about 5,000 men.

Thus it was a reasonable supposition that about 29,000 or 30,000 men could be collected in time to defend the State of Georgia and insure the destruction of Sherman's army, estimated by me at about 36,000 effectives of all arms, their cavalry, about 4,000 strong, being included in this estimate.

Under these circumstances, after consultation with General Hood, I concluded to allow him to prosecute with vigor his campaign into Tennessee and Kentucky, hoping that by defeating Thomas' army, and such other forces as might hastily be sent against him, he would compel Sherman, should he reach the coast of Georgia or South Carolina, to repair at once to the defense of Kentucky, and perhaps Ohio, and thus prevent him from re-enforcing Grant. Meanwhile supplies might be sent to Virginia from Middle and East Tennessee, thus relieving Georgia from the present constant drain upon its limited resources.

I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


SOURCES: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 44 (Serial No. 92), p. 931-3; John Bell Hood, Advance and Retreat, p. 278-80