Showing posts with label Martial Law. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Martial Law. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Diary of Gideon Welles: Tuesday, July 19, 1864

 At the Cabinet-meeting to-day, the President brought forward specially the riot in Coles County, Illinois, and the controversy between Governor Peirpoint and General Butler, with especial reference in the latter case to affairs at Norfolk, where the military authorities have submitted a vote to the inhabitants whether they will be governed by martial law. Of course the friends of civil administration, who denied the validity of the whole proceeding, would not vote, and the military had it all as they pleased. This exhibition of popular sovereignty destroying itself pleases Butler. He claims to have found large quantities of whiskey, which he seized and sold. But all the whiskey in Norfolk is there under permits issued by himself. While Butler has talents and capacity, he is not to be trusted. The more I see of him, the greater is my distrust of his integrity. All whiskey carried to Norfolk is in violation of the blockade.

Mr. Ericsson and the newspapers are discussing the monitors. He is honest and intelligent, though too enthusiastic, and claiming too much for his invention, but the newspapers are dishonest and ignorant in their statements, and their whole purpose is to assail the Department. But the system will vindicate itself. There have been errors and mistakes in the light-class monitors. I trusted too much to Fox and Stimers, and am therefore not blameless. But I was deceived, without its being intended perhaps, supposing that Ericsson and Lenthall had a supervision of them until considerable progress had been made towards their completion. I confided in Fox, who was giving these vessels special attention, and he confided in Stimers without my being aware that he was giving him the exclusive management of them. Fox and Lenthall were daily together, and I had not a doubt that much of the consultation was in regard to them, until, becoming concerned from what I heard, I questioned Lenthall direct, when he disclaimed all responsibility and almost all knowledge of them. I then inquired clearly and earnestly of Fox, who placed the whole blame on Stimers. The latter, I heard, had quarrelled with Ericsson and had been carrying forward the construction of these vessels, reporting and consulting with no one but Fox and Admiral Gregory.

SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 2: April 1, 1864 — December 31, 1866, p. 81-2

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

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: February 11, 1864

Night before last 109 Federal prisoners, all commissioned officers, made their escape from prison—and only three or four have been retaken! 

The letter of Mr. Sloan, of North Carolina, only produced a reply from the Secretary that there was not the slightest suspicion against Gen. W., and that the people of North Carolina would not be satisfied with anybody. 

Eight thousand men of Johnston's army are without bayonets, and yet Col. Gorgas has abundance. 

Governor Milton, of Florida, calls lustily for 5000 men—else he fears all is lost in his State. 

To-day bacon is selling for $6 per pound, and all other things in proportion. A negro (for his master) asked me, to-day, $40 for an old, tough turkey gobbler. I passed on very briskly. 

We shall soon have martial law, it is thought, which, judiciously administered, might remedy some of the grievous evils we labor under. I shall have no meat for dinner to-morrow. 

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 147-8

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Diary of Corporal David L. Day: May 1, 1862


Martial law not being a very favorable institution for pleasure parties, I presume the usual May day festival is dispensed with here as I have not seen any parties out or demonstrations of any kind going on. I should think a May party here might be very successful as the woods abound with wild flowers in great variety and beauty. 

Fort Macon surrendered to Gen. Burnside last Friday evening, after a bombardment of eleven hours. The general succeeded in getting his siege guns in battery behind some sand ridges about half a mile in rear of the fort, unobserved by the garrison, and the first notice they had of his presence was a shot from one of the guns. After holding out for eleven hours and seeing they could make no defense and that there was no chance for escape, they hauled down their colors. By this surrender, 65 guns and 450 prisoners, with stores and ammunition, have fallen into our hands. Their loss was eight killed and twenty wounded. Our loss was one killed and five wounded. 

A good story is told in connection with the surrender of this fort to the Confederates. After the war broke out and they were seizing the forts, a strong force of Confederates, with a great flourish of trumpets, presented themselves one morning at the sallyport of the fort, demanding its immediate and unconditional surrender. Now it happened that the only occupants of the fort were an old ordnance sergeant and his wife who had been in charge of the property for many years. The old sergeant came to the gate, and looking over the crowd, said to the officer in command that under the circumstances he thought the garrison might as well surrender, but he would like the privilege of taking the old flag and marching out with the honors of war. To this the officer assented and the old sergeant hauled down the flag and winding it around him, he and his wife marched out, greatly to the surprise of the officer, who found that they two comprised the whole garrison. 

SOURCE: David L. Day, My Diary of Rambles with the 25th Mass. Volunteer Infantry, p. 55

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Proclamation of Major-General Nathaniel P. Banks, January 11, 1864


New Orleans, January 11, 1864.

I. In pursuance of authority vested in me by the President of the United States, and upon consultation with many representative men of different interests, being fully assured that more than a tenth of the population desire the earliest possible restoration of Louisiana to the Union, I invite the loyal citizens of the State qualified to vote in public affairs, as hereinafter prescribed, to assemble in the election precincts designated by law, or at such places as may hereafter be established, on the 22d day of February, 1864, to cast their votes for the election of State officers herein named, viz: Governor, lieutenant-governor, secretary of state, treasurer, attorney-general, superintendent of public instruction, auditor of public accounts, who shall, when elected, for the time being, and until others are appointed by competent authority, constitute the civil government of the State, under the constitution and laws of Louisiana, except so much of the said constitution and laws as recognize, regulate, or relate to slavery, which, being inconsistent with the present condition of public affairs and plainly inapplicable to any class of persons now existing within its limits, must be suspended, and they are therefore and hereby declared to be inoperative and void. This proceeding is not intended to ignore the right of property existing prior to the rebellion, nor to preclude the claim for compensation of loyal citizens for losses sustained by enlistments or other authorized acts of the Government.

II. The oath of allegiance prescribed by the President's proclamation, with the condition affixed to the elective franchise by the constitution of Louisiana, will constitute the qualification of voters in this election. Officers elected by them will be duly installed in their offices on the 4th day of March, 1864.

III. The registration of voters, effected under the direction of the Military Governor and the several Union associations, not inconsistent with the proclamation, or other orders of the President, are confirmed and approved.

IV. In order that the organic law of the State may be made to conform to the will of the people, and harmonize with the spirit of the age, as well as to maintain and preserve the ancient landmarks of civil and religious liberty, an election of delegates to a convention for the revision of the constitution will be held on the first Monday of April, 1864. The basis of representation, the number of delegates, and the details of election will be announced in subsequent orders.

V. Arrangements will be made for the early election of members of Congress for the State.

VI. The fundamental law of the State is martial law. It is competent and just for the Government to surrender to the people, at the earliest possible moment, so much of military power as may be consistent with the success of military operation; to prepare the way by prompt and wise measures for the full restoration of the State to the Union and its power to the people; to restore their ancient and unsurpassed prosperity; to enlarge the scope of agricultural and commercial industry, and to extend and confirm the dominion of rational liberty. It is not within human power to accomplish these results without some sacrifice of individual prejudices and interests. Problems of state too complicate for the human mind have been solved by the national cannon. In great civil convulsions the agony of strife enters the souls of the innocent as well as the guilty. The Government is subject to the law of necessity, and must consult the condition of things rather than the preferences of men, and if so be that its purposes are just and its measures wise, it has the right to demand that questions of personal interest and opinion shall be subordinate to the public good. When the national existence is at stake and the liberties of the people in peril, faction is treason.

The methods herein proposed submit the whole question of government directly to the people. First, by the election of executive officers faithful to the Union, to be followed by a loyal representation in both Houses of Congress, and then by a convention which will confirm the action of the people and recognize the principles of freedom in the organic law. This is the wish of the President. The anniversary of Washington's birth is a fit day for the commencement of so grand a work. The immortal Father of his Country was never guided by a more just and benignant spirit than that of his successor in office, the President of the United States. In the hour of our trial let us heed his admonitions.

Louisiana in the opening of her history sealed the integrity of the Union by conferring upon its Government the Valley of the Mississippi. In the war for independence upon the sea she crowned a glorious struggle against the first maritime power of the world by a victory unsurpassed in the annals of war. Let her people now announce to the world the coming restoration of the Union, in which the ages that follow us have a deeper interest than our own, by the organization of a free government, and her fame will be immortal.

N. P. BANKS,                       
Major-General, Commanding.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series III, Volume 4 (Serial No. 125), p. 22-3

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: November 11, 1863

No news. I saw, to-day, Gen. Lee's letter of the 7th instant, simply announcing the capture of Hoke's and Haye's brigades. They were on the north side of the river, guarding the pont de tete. There is no excuse, no palliation. He said it was likely Meade's entire army would cross. This had been sent by the Secretary to the President, who indorsed upon it as follows: “If it be possible to reinforce, it should be done promptly. Can any militia or local defense men be made available? — J. D.”

Gen. Whiting writes that he has refused to permit Mr. Crenshaw's correspondence with Collie & Co. to pass uninspected, from a knowledge of the nature of previous correspondence seen by him.

The Northern papers state that Mr. Seward has authorized them to publish the fact that the French Government has seized the Confederate rams building in the ports of France.

I have written Custis Lee, the President's aid, that but one alternative now remains: for the President, or some one else, to assume all power, temporarily, and crush the speculators. This I think is the only chance of independence. I may be mistaken— but we shall see.

Capt. Warner, who feeds the 13,000 prisoners here, when he has the means of doing so, says Col. Northrop, the Commissary, does not respond to his requisitions for meat. He fears the prisoners will take or destroy the city, and talks of sending his family out of it.

I condemned the reign of martial law in this city, in 1862, as it was not then necessary, and because its execution was intrusted to improper and obnoxious men. But now I am inclined to think it necessary not only here, but everywhere in the Confederacy. Many farmers refuse to get out their grain, or to sell their meat, because they say they have enough Confederate money! money for the redemption of which their last negro and last acre are responsible. So, if they be permitted to maintain this position, neither the army nor the non-producing class of the population can be subsisted; and, of course, all classes must be involved in a common ruin. A Dictator might prevent the people from destroying themselves, and it seems that nothing short of extreme measures can prevent it. But, again, suppose the Federal Government were to propose a sweeping amnesty, and exemption from confiscation to all who should subscribe to a reconstruction of the Union — and this, too, at a time of suffering and despondency — and so large a body were to embrace the terms as to render a prolongation of the war impracticable? What would the money the farmers now possess be worth? And what would become of the slaves, especially in Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missouri?

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 94-5

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Lieutenant-Colonel William T. Lusk to Elizabeth Adams Lusk, July 20, 1863

Headquarters Del. Dept.
Wilmington, Del., July 20th, 1863.
My dear Mother:

You have heard before now, I suppose, that I was in New-York a few days last week. I saw Horace then, but the excitement of the riots excluded all other topics of conversation.

Lilly was kind enough to write me a letter which I shall gladly answer, as I have time enough now to remember all correspondents that remember me. If nothing else, I have abundant opportunities to read and write. After the draft has been enforced in this State, the necessity for Martial Law will probably have passed away. Then I hope either to have more active service, or to get relieved altogether. My summer experience will lead me to enjoy with the greater zest, the coming winter.

Gen. Tyler has behaved most handsomely I think, for when he was ordered to Maryland Heights, it was with the understanding that he was to have an important command, if not that of the Middle Department itself. But the loss of Milroy's Army, the advance of Hooker, and consequent assignment of French to the Heights, the troubles in Baltimore, one and all operated to break up all plans, and to leave him in his present position. I have not heard him utter, for all, a single word of complaint, though necessarily his position must be very irksome to him.

Aunt Maria, Uncle Phelps and Nellie were in NewYork for a few hours while I was there, but I did not know it until it was too late. Mr. ——, who lives opposite my Uncle's, sent for me to come and see him. He proposed that I should take charge of a patrol to protect their part of the town. I turned to young —— and suggested that he would make one of the patrol. "No," says the young man, "but I'll furnish a porter from father's store as a substitute." Indeed thought I, with such heroic youths, there is no need of doing anything here. I can let this part of the city take care of itself.

Your affec. Son,

SOURCE: William Chittenden Lusk, Editor, War Letters of William Thompson Lusk, p. 290-1

Monday, September 25, 2017

Charles Sumner to Rudolf Schleiden, November 3, 1861

You will observe that I propose no crusade for abolition, or, according to your language, no change of programme, making it a war of abolition instead of a war for the preservation of the Union. I accept the latter formula, but insist that the Union can be preserved only by striking at slavery. In short, abolition is not to be the object of the war, but simply one of its agencies. Mr. Cameron's instructions are practically a proclamation of freedom to the slaves where the expedition lands; and not only this, an invitation to take part “in squads and companies.” And this is beyond the Act of Congress and only by virtue of martial law. Indeed, he goes beyond Fremont.

SOURCE: Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and Letters of Charles Sumner: Volume 4, p. 49

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: June 14, 1863

W——ll, one of the Winder detectives that fled to Washington last year, is back again. But the Mayor has arrested him as a spy, and it is said a lady in the city can prove his guilt. Gen. Winder wanted to bail him; but the Mayor was inexorable, and so W——ll is in the jail, awaiting his trial. Two others, of  Winder's police, have likewise been arrested by the city authorities for some harsh treatment of a citizen supposed to have a barrel of whisky in his house. The justification offered is the jurisdiction of martial law, which Gen. Winder still thinks exists, although annulled by Congress.

The company (of 104) organized in the War Department as independent volunteers for local defense, being objected to by Gen. Elzey, because they would not be subject to his command, was rejected by the President, who insisted that the officers of the departments (civil) should be mustered into the service under the act of August 21st, 1861, and are subject to his control, and liable to be attached to battalions, regiments, etc., he appointing the field and staff officers. This was communicated to the lieutenant of the company by the Secretary of War, who stated also that the President required the names of all refusing to reorganize on that basis to be reported to him.

There is an indefinable dread of conspiracy, and the President is right, perhaps, to frown upon all military organizations not subject to his orders. Mr. Randolph, late Secretary of War, has been very busy organizing the second class militia of the city for. “local defense,” under the supposition that he would command them; but the President has made a requisition for 8000 of this class of men, for the same purpose, which will put them under Confederate orders, perhaps. A jealousy, I fear, is growing up between Confederate and State authority. This when the common enemy is thundering at all our gates!

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 347-8

Monday, June 26, 2017

Diary of Gideon Welles: Thursday, July 16, 1863

It is represented that the mob in New York is about subdued. Why it was permitted to continue so long and commit such excess has not been explained. Governor Seymour, whose partisans constituted the rioters, and whose partisanship encouraged them, has been in New York talking namby-pamby. This Sir Forcible Feeble is himself chiefly responsible for the outrage.

General Wool, unfitted by age for such duties, though patriotic and well-disposed, has been continued in command there at a time when a younger and more vigorous mind was required. In many respects General Butler would at this time have best filled that position. As a municipal and police officer he has audacity and certain other qualities in which most military men are deficient, while as a general in the field he is likely to accomplish but little. He, or any one else, would need martial law at such a time, and with such element, in a crowded and disorderly city like New York. Chase tells me there will probably be a change and that General Dix will succeed General Wool. The selection is not a good one, but the influences that bring it about are evident. Seward and Stanton have arranged it. Chase thinks McDowell should have the position. He is as good, perhaps, as any of the army officers for this mixed municipal military duty.

Lee's army has recrossed the Potomac, unmolested, carrying off all its artillery and the property stolen in Pennsylvania. When I ask why such an escape was permitted, I am told that the generals opposed an attack. What generals? None are named. Meade is in command there; Halleck is General-in-Chief here. They should be held responsible. There are generals who, no doubt, will acquiesce without any regrets in having this war prolonged.

In this whole summer's campaign I have been unable to see, hear, or obtain evidence of power, or will, or talent, or originality on the part of General Halleck. He has suggested nothing, decided nothing, done nothing but scold and smoke and scratch his elbows. Is it possible the energies of the nation should be wasted by the incapacity of such a man?

John Rodgers of the Weehawken was here to-day. He is, I think, getting from under the shadow of Du Pont's influence.

Mr. Hooper and Mr. Gooch have possessed themselves of the belief — not a new one in that locality — that the Representatives of the Boston and Charlestown districts are entitled to the custody, management, and keeping of the Boston Navy Yard, and that all rules, regulations, and management of that yard must be made to conform to certain party views of theirs and their party friends.

SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 1: 1861 – March 30, 1864, p. 372-4

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: March 4, 1863

The enemy bombarded Fort McAlister again yesterday, several gun-boats opening fire on it. It lasted all day; during winch one of the iron-clads retired, perhaps injured. We had only two men wounded and one gun (8 in. columbiad) dismounted. The fort was but little injured.

Recent Northern papers assert that their gun-boats have all passed through the canal opposite Vicksburg. This is not true yet.

Lincoln is now Dictator, his Congress having given him power to call out all the male population between the ages of twenty and thirty-five years, and authority to declare martial law whenever he pleases. The Herald shouts for Lincoln — of course. We must fight and pray, and hope for revolution and civil war in the North, which may occur any day.

Our cavalry, under Gen. Jones, has done some brilliant skirmishing recently in the vicinity of Winchester; and as soon as the March winds dry the earth a little, I suppose Hooker will recommence the “On to Richmond.” We shall be weaker the next campaign, but our men are brave.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 267

Monday, February 20, 2017

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: February 19, 1863

The resignation of Gen. Gustavus W. Smith has been accepted by the President. It was well done — the acceptance, I mean. Who will Gen. Winder report to now? Gen. Winder has learned that I am keeping a diary, and that some space in it may be devoted to the history of martial law. He said to Capt. Warner, his commissary of prisons, that he would patronize it. The captain asked me if Gen. Winder's rule was not dwelt upon in it. I said doubtless it was; but that I had not yet revised it, and was never in the habit of perusing my own works until they were completed. Then I carefully corrected them for the press.

Major-Gen. Pickett's division marched through the city to-day for Drewry's Bluff. Gen. Lee writes that this division can beat the army corps of Hooker, supposed to be sent to the Peninsula. It has 12,000 men — an army corps 40,000. Brig.-Gen. Hood's division is near the city, on the Chickahominy. Gen. Lee warns the government to see that Gens. French and Pryor be vigilant, and to have their scouts closely watching the enemy at Suffolk. He thinks, however, the main object of the enemy is to take Charleston; and he suggests that every available man be sent thither. The rest of his army he will keep on the Rappahannock, to watch the enemy still remaining north of that river.

I sent a communication to the President to-day, proposing to reopen my register of “patriotic contributions” to the army, for they are suffering for meat. I doubt whether he will agree to it. If the war be prolonged, the appeal must be to the people to feed the army, or else it will dissolve.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 261-2

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: January 6, 1863

To-day we are all down again. Bragg has retreated from Murfreesborough. It is said he saved his prisoners, captured cannon, etc., but it is not said what became of his own wounded. The Northern papers say they captured 500 prisoners in the battle, which they claim as a victory. I do not know how to reconcile Bragg's first dispatches, and particularly the one saying he had the whole field, and would follow the enemy, with this last one announcing his withdrawal and retirement from the field.

Eight thousand men were taken from Bragg a few days before the battle. It was not done at the suggestion of Gen. Johnston; for I have seen an extract of a letter from Gen. J. to a Senator (Wigfall), deprecating the detachment of troops from Bragg, and expressing grave apprehensions of the probable consequences.

A letter was received from R. R. Collier, Petersburg, to-day, in favor of civil liberty, and against the despotism of martial law.

Senator Clark, of Missouri, informed me to-day that my nephew, R. H. Musser, has been made a colonel (under Hindman or Holmes), and has a fine regiment in the trans-Mississippi Department.

Lewis E. Harvie, president of the railroad, sends a communication to the Secretary (I hope it will reach him) inclosing a request from Gen. Winder to permit liquors to be transported on his road to Clover Hill. Mr. Harvie objects to it, and asks instructions from the Secretary. He says Clover Hill is the point from which the smuggling is done, and that to place it there, is equivalent to bringing it into the city.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 232-3

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Diary of Corporal Charles H. Lynch: April 9, 1865

Detailed for picket duty. Located out on Tuscaror road, in charge. One duty I had to perform was to examine all citizens who enter town, as the town is under martial law, and they must have passes to go in and out, which are obtained from the Provost Marshal. They must take the oath of allegiance to the United States. They can then go in and out on business.

SOURCE: Charles H. Lynch, The Civil War Diary, 1862-1865, of Charles H. Lynch 18th Conn. Vol's, p. 147

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Major Wilder Dwight: March 15, 1862

camp Near Winchester, March 15, 1862.

Of all the platitudes and jingles that ever amused and deluded a chivalrous people, the assertion, “You can't subjugate a State,” is the wildest. These people were first subjugated to secession, and now they are rapidly being subjugated back to loyalty. Subjection is what vast numbers of them sigh for. If only they were sure that the Union authority would last. Therein lies McClellan's wisdom. No step backward, is his motto. With such tactics, and with a bold and confident advance, I care not whether we fight battles or follow retreats, though the former is far better, we restore the Union.

I fear the people will regard the retreat from Manassas as a disappointment to our arms, and almost a Rebel success. I fear that they will think McClellan's preparation and generalship wasted. A little patience, however, may show that they are wrong. We have gained an immense moral victory over the Rebellion, and a short time hence we shall begin to see palpable material results. Only let us not, by a sudden and rash revulsion, begin at once to undervalue our foe. Nothing but the presence everywhere, in the seceded States, of Union bayonets will accomplish the Union's restoration. That is a work of some time and struggle, yet it must be done. The most dangerous heresy seems to me to be the suggestion that the States, having gone out, are to be governed as Territories. This involves the admission of the theory we went to war against. Martial law may be necessary within the States for a time; but the State, as well as the national government, is to be restored, or our contest is fruitless. Changes, rapid and unexpected, are the order of the day. Heintzelman's promotion to a corps d’armée leaves open his division. Yesterday, when I went to town, I found that General Hamilton was promoted to the command of that division. He went off yesterday afternoon, regret following him from every one. He is a great loss to us. His departure leaves a brigade vacant; accordingly our regiment is to-day transferred to Hamilton's old brigade, and Colonel Gordon, as senior Colonel, assigned to its command, as Acting Brigadier. This is a pleasing change, and it gives the Colonel room to show himself. It probably, for the present, may find me in command of the regiment, as Colonel Andrews is still on detached duty; but I shall make every exertion to have him returned to the regiment, in justice to him. He has fairly earned the right to the command, and I should not feel content to have him or the regiment deprived of it, though my own personal ambition might be gratified by so desirable a command. I hope I can sink myself in seeking always the welfare of the regiment, and the interest of so faithful an officer and friend as Colonel Andrews. I think more and more, though I am unwilling to write about it, that we missed the cleverest chance at cutting off and bagging Jackson and his force that ever fell in one's way. Caution is the sin of our generals, I am afraid; but military criticism is not graceful, and I will waive it for the present. Yet if you knew how we ache for a chance at fighting, how we feel that our little army corps out in this valley has no hope of it, you would not wonder that a leaden depression rests heavily upon us, as we think of our hesitating and peaceful advent to Winchester. And now why we do not push on upon Jackson at Strasburg passes my limited conjectural capacity to guess. I presume the reason to be that his evanescent tactics would be sure to result in his evaporation before we got there.

This morning a few companies of cavalry, four pieces of artillery, and five companies of infantry, Massachusetts Thirteenth, went out on an armed reconnoissance, and chased Colonel Ashby's cavalry several miles. The cavalry were too quick for them, and our own cavalry has no more chance of catching them than the wagon train has. They are admirably mounted and thoroughly trained. Where our men have to dismount and take down the bars, they fly over fences and across country like birds.

General Banks has just gone off to Washington. Conjecture is busy, again, with “why”? My guess is, that we have outlived our usefulness in the Shenandoah Valley, and that we shall make a cut through the gap into the path of the Grand Army. At any rate, nothing more can happen this side the mountains, and I certainly hope we shall not be absorbed into any force that is to be handled by General Fremont.

Our little town of Berryville is also called, as you may see on some of the maps, Battletown, probably with prescient sarcasm on –––'s anticipated cannonade of that peaceful agricultural implement, the threshing-machine. Who shall say that we are not engaged in the noble task of fulfilling prophecy and making history!

It is now Sunday morning. After two days' cloud and rain, we have bright sunshine. Colonel Andrews comes back to the regiment, and Colonel Gordon assumes his slippery honors as provisional brigadier.

I should like to go to church with you this morning, even in an east wind. Instead of it, however, I must content myself with thinking of you in my wind-swept camp near Winchester. I see that Governor Letcher appoints Winchester as a place of rendezvous for his new levy of militia. I only wish they would obey his order.

SOURCE: Elizabeth Amelia Dwight, Editor, Life and Letters of Wilder Dwight: Lieut.-Col. Second Mass. Inf. Vols., p. 211-3

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: October 16, 1862

There is no confirmation of the reported victory in Kentucky.

An Englishman, who has been permitted to go North, publishes there a minute and pretty accurate description of our river defenses.

I have written a leading article for the Whig to-morrow, on “Martial Law and Passports.” My plan is to organize committees in all the border counties to examine the passports of strangers seeking egress from the country and to permit loyal citizens, not desiring to pass our borders, or the lines of the armies, to travel without passports. An officer and a squad of soldiers at the depots can decide what soldiers are entitled to pass on the roads.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 171

Friday, June 24, 2016

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: October 14, 1862

Congress adjourned yesterday at five o'clock P.M. I have heard nothing of Mr. Brooks and the Passport Bill I drafted. The truth is that, with few exceptions, the members of this Congress are very weak, and very subservient to the heads of departments.

Congress has given him (the President) power to suspend the writ of habeas corpus anywhere, until thirty days after the reassembling of Congress — and they have failed to pass the joint resolution declaring no power exists under the Constitution to institute martial law. They voted it separately, but flinched when put to the test to act conjointly; and martial law still exists in this city.

We have Northern accounts of a dash into Pennsylvania by Gen. Stuart and 1500 of his cavalry. He went as far as Chambersburg, which surrendered; and he was gathering horses, etc., for the use of the army, paying for them in Confederate notes. They say he did not disturb any other description of private property without paying for it. I hope he is safely back again by this time. The Northern papers claim a victory in Kentucky — but I shall wait until we hear from Bragg.

Gen. Magruder has been assigned to duty in Texas. What Genl. Johnston is to do, does not yet appear. A great many new assistant adjutants and inspector-generals are to be appointed for the generals, lieutenant-generals, majors, and brigadier-generals, having rank and pay of colonels, majors, captains, and lieutenants of cavalry. Like the Russian, perhaps, we shall have a purely military government; and it may be as good as any other.

Gold, in the North, is selling at 23 per cent, premium; and Exchange on England at $1.40. This is an indication that the Abolitionists are bringing distress upon their own country.

The financial bill did not pass — so there is to be no forced loan. Neither did a bill, making Confederate notes a legal tender — so there will be a still greater depreciation.

Gen. Hardee is a lieutenant-general.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 169-70

Friday, June 10, 2016

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: October 3, 1862

Gen. Wise was countermanded in his march against Williamsburg, by Major-Gen. Gustavus W. Smith. He had 2700 men, the enemy 1500, and he would have captured and slain them all. Gen. Wise was the trusted and revered Governor of Virginia, while Smith was the Street Commissioner in New York.

A strong letter from Vice-President Stephens is published today, in which it is successfully maintained that no power exists, derived either from the Constitution or acts of Congress, for the declaration of martial law. He says all punishments inflicted by military governors on civilians are clearly illegal.

There is a rumor that we have Louisville, but it does not seem to be authentic. We have nothing from Lee, and know not exactly where McClellan is.

Many people thought the President himself would take the field. I doubt not he would have done so if the Provisional Government had continued in existence until independence was achieved.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 163

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: October 2, 1862

News from the North indicate that in Europe all expectation of a restoration of the Union is at an end; and the probability is that we shall soon be recognized, to be followed, possibly, by intervention. Nevertheless, we must rely upon our own strong arms, and the favor of God. It is said, however, an iron steamer is being openly constructed in the Mersey (Liverpool), for the avowed purpose of opening the blockade of Charleston harbor.

Yesterday in both Houses of Congress resolutions were introduced for the purpose of retaliating upon the North the barbarities contemplated in Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation.

The Abolitionists of the North want McClellan removed — I hope they may have their will. The reason assigned by his friends for his not advancing farther into Virginia, is that he has not troops enough, and the Secretary of War has them not to send him. I hope this may be so. Still, I think he must fight soon if he remains near Martinsburg.

The yellow fever is worse at Wilmington. I trust it will not make its appearance here.

A resolution was adopted yesterday in the Senate, to the effect that martial law does not apply to civilians. But it has been applied to them here, and both Gen. Winder and his Provost Marshal threatened to apply it to me.

Among the few measures that may be attributed to the present Secretary of War, is the introduction of the telegraph wires into his office. It may possibly be the idea of another; but it is not exactly original; and it has not been productive of good. It has now been in operation several weeks, all the way to Warrenton; and yet a few days ago the enemy's cavalry found that section of country undefended, and took Warrenton itself, capturing in that vicinity some 2000 wounded Confederates, in spite of the Secretary's expensive vigilance. Could a Yankee have been the inventor of the Secretary's plaything? One amused himself telegraphing the Secretary from Warrenton, that all was quiet there; and that the Yankees had not made their appearance in that neighborhood, as had been rumored! If we had imbeciles in the field, our subjugation would be only pastime for the enemy. It is well, perhaps, that Gen. Lee has razeed the department down to a second-class bureau, of which the President himself is the chief.

I see by a correspondence of the British diplomatic agents, that their government have decided no reclamation can be made on us for burning cotton and tobacco belonging to British subjects, where there is danger that they may fall into the hands of the enemy. Thus the British government do not even claim to have their subjects in the South favored above the Southern people. But Mr. Benjamin is more liberal, and he directed the Provost Marshal to save the tobacco bought on foreign account. So far, however, the grand speculation has failed.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 161-2

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: October 1, 1862

They are still striking at martial law in the Senate, as administered by Gen. Winder. A communication from the Secretary of War admits that Gen. W. was authorized to suppress substitute agencies — “but this did not justify impressment and confiscation.” It appears that Gen Winder ordered the agents to be impressed into the service, and the money paid for substitutes to be confiscated! Notwithstanding his blundering ignorance is disavowed, he is still retained in command.

The enemy are at Warrenton; and McClellan's army has crossed the Upper Potomac. Another battle is imminent — and fearful will be the slaughter this time. Lee had but little if any more than 40,000 in the battle of Sharpsburg; the Northern papers said McClellan had 200,000! a fearful odds. But Lee now has 70,000 — and, besides, he will be defending Virginia. McClellan, with his immense army, must advance, or else relinquish command. The Abolitionists of the North have never liked him, and they wield the power at present. A defeat of Lee near Winchester would produce consternation here.

There are, as usual, thousands of able-bodied men still in our streets. It is probable every man, able to march, will be required on the field of battle. If we can get out all, we shall certainly gain the day, and establish our independence.

How shall we subsist this winter? There is not a supply of wood or coal in the city — and it is said there are not adequate means of transporting it hither. Flour at $16 per barrel, and bacon at 75 cts. per pound, threaten a famine. And yet there are no beggars in the streets. We must get a million of men in arms and drive the invader from our soil. We are capable of it, and we must do it. Better die in battle than die of starvation produced by the enemy.

The newspapers are printed on half sheets — and I think the publishers make money; the extras (published almost every day) are sold to the newsboys for ten cents, and often sold by them for twenty-five cents. These are mere slips of paper, seldom containing more than a column — which is reproduced in the next issue. The matter of the extras is mostly made up from the Northern papers, brought hither by persons running the blockade. The supply is pretty regular, and dates are rarely more than three or four days behind the time of reception. We often get the first accounts of battles at a distance in this way, as our generals and our government are famed for a prudential reticence. When the Northern papers simply say they have gained a victory, we rejoice, knowing their Cretan habits. The other day they announced, for European credulity, the capture and killing of 40,000 of our men: this staggered us; but it turned out that they did capture 700 of our stragglers and 2000 wounded men in field hospitals. Now they are under the necessity of admitting the truth. Truth, like honesty, is always the best policy.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 160-1