Showing posts with label Meat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Meat. Show all posts

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: February 10, 1864

 Gen. Lee wrote to the Secretary of War, on the 22d of January, that his army was not fed well enough to fit them for the exertions of the spring campaign; and recommended the discontinuance of the rule of the Commissary-General allowing officers at Richmond, Petersburg, and many other towns, to purchase government meat, etc. etc. for the subsistence of their families, at schedule prices. He says the salaries of these officers ought to be sufficient compensation for their services; that such allowances deprived the officers and soldiers in the field of necessary subsistence, and encouraged able-bodied men to seek such easy positions; it offended the people who paid tithes, to see them consumed by these non-combating colonels, majors, etc., instead of going to feed the army; and it demoralized the officers and soldiers in the field.

This letter was referred to the Commissary-General, who, after the usual delay, returned it with a long argument to show that Gen. Lee was in “error,” and that the practice was necessary, etc.

To this the Secretary responded by a peremptory order, restricting the city officers in the item of meat.

Again the Commissary-General sends it back, recommending the suspension of the order until it be seen what Congress will do! Here are twenty days gone, and the Commissary-General has his own way still. He don't hesitate to bully the Secretary and the highest generals in the field. Meantime the Commissary-General's pet officers and clerks are living sumptuously while the soldiers are on hard fare. But, fortunately, Gen. Lee has captured 1200 beeves from the enemy since his letter was written.

And Gen. Cobb writes an encouraging letter from Georgia. He says there is more meat in that State than any one supposed; and men too. Many thousands of recruits can be sent forward, and meat enough to feed them.

The President has issued a stirring address to the army.

The weather is still clear, and the roads are not only good, but dusty—yet it is cold.

They say Gen. Butler, on the Peninsula, has given orders to his troops to respect private property—and not to molest noncombatants.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 146-7

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

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Dr. Seth Rogers to his Daughter, Sunday Evening, January 18, 1863

January 18, Sunday evening.

Such a transparent day and cool north winds make even South Carolina endurable, while it lasts, I mean. When General Hunter gets here we expect to nullify the State. . . . In our camp most curious problems present themselves, as how to keep people from scurvy without vegetables and fresh meat; how to have a good fire in tents without a fireplace, stove or ventilation; how to make bread without yeast and without oven. How to treat the sick without medicines,—how to amputate limbs without knives, — all these and many other similarly knotty questions the surgeon of the First Regiment of S. C. Vol's. has to consider, — sometimes when he ought to be sleeping. This is not said complainingly. Our men rarely complain and those jeering white soldiers who saw their firm tread in the streets of Beaufort, yesterday, must have discovered a reason for their patience, this silent waiting.

There was a Destiny in the silent, dignified bearing of our men, yesterday. I never in my life, felt so proud, so strong, so large. . . . Hurrah! Hurrah! — the Quartermaster just in with despatch from signal officer announcing arrival of the Arago, and a gun boat at Hilton head, and General Hunter has come.

SOURCE: Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Volume 43, October, 1909—June, 1910: February 1910. p. 345-6

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: January 26, 1864

Gen. Lee recommends the formation of several more brigades of cavalry, mostly from regiments and companies in South Carolina, and to this he anticipates objections on the part of the generals and governors along the Southern seaboard; but he deems it necessary, as the enemy facing him has a vastly superior cavalry force.

The prisoners on Belle Isle (8000) have had no meat for eleven days. The Secretary says the Commissary-General informs him that they fare as well as our armies, and so he refused the commissary (Capt. Warner) of the prisoners a permit to buy and bring to the city cattle he might be able to find. An outbreak of the prisoners is apprehended: and if they were to rise, it is feared some of the inhabitants of the city would join them, for they, too, have no meat—many of them—or bread either. They believe the famine is owing to the imbecility, or worse, of the government. A riot would be a dangerous occurrence, now: the city battalion would not fire on the people—and if they did, the army might break up, and avenge their slaughtered kindred. It is a perilous time.

My wife paid $12, to-day, for a half bushel of meal; meantime I got an order for two bushels, from Capt. Warner, at $10 per bushel.

The President receives visitors to-night; and, for the first time, I think I will go.

Mr. Foote, yesterday, offered a resolution that the Commissary-General ought to be removed; which was defeated by a decided vote, twenty in the affirmative. Twenty he relied on failed him. Letters from all quarters denounce the Commissary-General and his agents.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 135-6

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: January 23, 1864

The Secretary of War has authorized Mr. Boute, President of the Chatham Railroad, to exchange tobacco through the enemy's lines for bacon. And in the West he has given authority to exchange cotton with the enemy for meat. It is supposed certain men in high position in Washington, as well as the military authorities, wink at this traffic, and share its profits. I hope we may get bacon, without strychnine.

Congress has passed a bill prohibiting, under severe penalties, the traffic in Federal money. But neither the currency bill, the tax bill, nor the repeal of the exemption act has been effected yet and the existence of the present Congress shortly expires. A permanent government is a cumbersome one.

The weather is fine, and I am spading up my little garden.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 133-4

Friday, July 17, 2020

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: January 18, 1864

A flag of truce boat came up, but no one on board was authorized to negotiate for an exchange of prisoners but Gen. Butler, outlawed. It returns without anything being effected. Congress has passed a bill for the reduction of the currency, in secret session. We know not yet what are its main features. The Senate bill increasing the compensation of civil officers has not yet been acted on in the House, and many families are suffering for food.

Anne writes us that Lieut. Minor has returned from his Canada expedition, which failed, in consequence of the gratuitous action of Lord Lyons, the British Minister at Washington, who has been secured in the interest of the Federal Government, it is said, by bribes. Lieut. M. brought his family a dozen cups and saucers, dresses, shoes, etc., almost unattainable here.

The President receives company every Tuesday evening.

Among the letters referred by the Commissary-General to the Secretary of War to-day for instructions, was one from our honest commissary in North Carolina, stating that there were several million pounds of bacon and pork in Chowan and one or two other counties, liable to the incursions of the enemy, which the people were anxious to sell the government, but were afraid to bring out themselves, lest the enemy should ravage their farms, etc., and suggesting that a military force be sent thither with wagons. The Commissary-General stated none of these facts in his indorsement; but I did, so that the Secretary must be cognizant of the nature of the paper.

The enemy made a brief raid in Westmoreland and Richmond counties a few days ago, and destroyed 60,000 pounds of meat in one of the Commissary-General's depots! A gentleman writing from that section, says it is a pity the President's heart is not in his head; for then he would not ruin the country by retaining his friend, Col. Northrop, the Commissary-General, in office.

It appears that Gen. Meade has changed the Federal policy in the Northern Neck, by securing our people within his lines from molestation; and even by allowing them to buy food, clothing, etc. from Northern traders, on a pledge of strict neutrality. The object is to prevent the people from conveying intelligence to Moseby, who has harassed his flanks and exposed detachments very much. It is a more dangerous policy for us than the old habit of scourging the non-combatants that fall in their power.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 130-1

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: January 19, 1864

A furious storm of wind and rain occurred last night, and it is rapidly turning cold to-day.

The prisoners here have had no meat during the last four days, and fears are felt that they will break out of confinement.

Yesterday Senator Orr waited upon the President, to induce him to remove Col. Northrop, the obnoxious Commissary-General. The President, it is said, told him that Col. N. was one of the greatest geniuses in the South, and that, if he had the physical capacity he would put him at the head of an army.

A letter from Mrs. Polk, widow of President Polk, dated at Nashville, expresses regret that a portion of her cotton in Mississippi was burnt by the military authorities (according to law), and demanding remuneration. She also asks permission to have the remainder sent to Memphis, now held by the enemy. The Secretary will not refuse.

I bought a pretty good pair of second-hand shoes at auction today for $17.50; but they were too large. I will have them sold again, without fear of loss.

A majority of the Judiciary Committee, to whom the subject was referred, have reported a bill in the Senate vacating the offices of all the members of the cabinet at the expiration of every two years, or of every Congress. This is a blow at Mr. Benjamin, Mr. Memminger, etc., and, as the President conceives, at himself. It will not pass, probably; but it looks like war between the Senate and the Executive. Some of the Secretaries may resign on the 18th of February, when this Congress expires. Nous verrons.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 131-2

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: January 14, 1864

Mr. A. ——, editor of the ——, recommends the Secretary of War to get Congress to pass, in secret session, a resolution looking to a reconstruction of the Union on the old basis, and send Commissioners to the Northern Governors. Meantime, let the government organize an army of invasion, and march into Pennsylvania. The object being to sow dissension among the parties of the North.

A letter from a Mr. Stephens, Columbia, S. C, to the President, says it is in his power to remove one of the evils which is bringing the administration into disrepute, and causing universal indignation—Gen. Winder. The writer says Winder drinks excessively, is brutish to all but Marylanders, and habitually receives bribes, etc. The President indorsed on it that he did not know the writer, and the absence of specifications usually rendered action unnecessary. But perhaps the Secretary may find Mr. S.'s character such as to deserve attention.

Captain Warner says it is believed there will be a riot, perhaps, when Col. Northrop, the Commissary-General, may be immolated by the mob. Flour sold to-day at $200 per barrel; butter, $8 per pound; and meat from $2 to $4. This cannot continue long without a remedy.

The President has another reception to-night.

A Yankee Account Of The Treatment Op Confederate Prisoners.—The Chicago Times gives the account which follows of the treatment of our soldiers at Camp Douglas.

It is said that about four weeks ago one of the prisoners was kindling his fire, which act he had a right to perform, when one of the guard accosted him with, “Here, what are you doing there?” The prisoner replied, “That is not your business,” when the guard instantly drew his musket and shot the fellow dead. It is said also that a mulatto boy, a servant of one of the Confederate captains, and, of course, a prisoner of war, who was well known to have a pass to go anywhere within the lines, was walking inside the guard limits about a day after the above occurrence, when the guard commanded him to halt. He did not stop, and was instantly killed by a bullet.

It is also charged that, at the time the discovery was made of an attempt on the part of some of the prisoners to escape, a party of three or four hundred was huddled together and surrounded by a guard; that one of them was pushed by a comrade and fell to the ground, and that instantly the unfortunate man was shot, and that three or four others were wounded. It is further stated that it is no uncommon thing for a soldier to fire on the barracks without any provocation whatever, and that two men were thus shot while sleeping in their bunks a week or two ago, no inquiry being made into the matter. No court-martial has been held, no arrest has been made, though within the past month ten or twelve of the prisoners have been thus put out of the way. Another instance need only be given: one of the prisoners asked the guard for a chew of tobacco, and he received the bayonet in his breast without a word.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 128-9

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: January 17, 1864

There is nothing new to-day. The weather is pleasant for the season, the snow being all gone.

Custis has succeeded in getting ten pupils for his night-school, and this will add $100 per month to our income—if they pay him. But with flour at $200 per barrel; meal, $20 per bushel, and meat from $2 to $5 per pound, what income would suffice? Captain Warner (I suppose in return for some writing which Custis did for him) sent us yesterday two bushels of potatoes, and, afterwards, a turkey! This is the first turkey we have had during our housekeeping in Richmond.

I rarely see Robert Tyler nowadays. He used to visit me at my office. His brother John I believe is in the trans-Mississippi Department. My friend Jacques is about town occasionally.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 130

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: January 10, 1864

Letters from Governor Vance received to-day show that he has been making extensive arrangements to clothe and subsist North Carolina troops. His agents have purchased abroad some 40,000 blankets, as many shoes, bacon, etc., most of which is now at Bermuda and Nassau. He has also purchased an interest in several steamers; but, it appears, a recent regulation of the Confederate States Government forbids the import and export of goods except, almost exclusively, for the government itself. The governor desires to know if his State is to be put on the same footing with private speculators.

He also demands some thousands of bales of cotton, loaned the government—and which the government cannot now replace at Wilmington—and his complaints against the government are bitter. Is it his intention to assume an independent attitude, and call the North Carolina troops to the rescue? A few weeks will develop his intentions.

Mr. Hunter is in the Secretary's room every Sunday morning. Is there some grand political egg to be hatched?

If the government had excluded private speculators from the ports at an early date, we might have had clothes and meat for the army in abundance—as well as other stores. But a great duty was neglected!

Sunday as it is, trains of government wagons are going incessantly past my door laden with ice—for the hospitals next summer, if we keep Richmond.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 126-7

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: January 7, 1864

Gen. J. E. Johnston dispatches from the West that the meat is so indifferent, the soldiers must have an additional quantity of rice.

Beef sells to-day at $1.25 per pound by the quarter. And yet an Englishman at the best hotel yesterday remarked that he never lived so cheaply in any country, his board being only three shillings (in specie) per diem, or about $20 Confederate States notes.

A dozen china cups and saucers sold at auction to-day for $160. Col. Preston, Conscription Bureau, several members of the cabinet, etc. feasted at a cost of $2000! It is said that the Jack was turned up and Jeff turned down in a witticism, and smiled at nem. con. But I don't believe that.

We have a light snow, the first time the earth has been white this winter.

I am reminded daily of the privations I used to read of in the Revolutionary War. Then thorns were used, now we use pins, for buttons. My waistbands of pantaloons and drawers are pinned instead of buttoned.

Gen. Jno. H. Morgan arrived this evening, and enjoyed a fine reception, as a multitude of admirers were at the depot.

About the same hour the President rode past my house alone, to indulge his thoughts in solitude in the suburbs of the city.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 125

Friday, May 1, 2020

Captain Charles Wright Wills: October 7, 1864

The Rebels have left the railroad after being whipped by General Corse at Allatoona Pass. The 14th Corps drove them out to Lost Mountain yesterday. No hard fighting. They tore up not more than eight miles of railroad, which will be rebuilt in a very few days.

Deserters report the whole Rebel Army here, but that the ten days' rations they started with have run out. Other deserters say that their army has started for Nashville, Huntsville, or hell; that they are satisfied they can't make either of the first named places, and would rather go to Sherman than the last named. It is wonderful what confidence this army has in Sherman. Every man seems to think the idea of these Rebels being able to do us any permanent harm is perfectly preposterous, and all are in the best of spirits. I can't help thinking that the Rebels must have all cleared out of this vicinity, or else we'd be going for them. Our stock is in too bad condition to follow them far over the, at present, horrible roads. A man rode along on a poor old bone-rack of a horse a while ago. Some wag commenced, “caw,” “caw,” “caw.” The whole camp took it up and for five minutes you would have thought that 10,000 crows were holding a jubilee. Let some one start a squirrel or rabbit and 500 men will be after it in a minute. Old soldiers are just a lot of men with school-boy spirits.

Officers don't draw meat like the men. I have just had two meals of beef (and no other meat) in the last ten days. All our officers are the same way. It is mostly our own fault.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 306-7

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: January 1, 1864

A bright windy day, and not cold. The President has a reception to-day, and the City Councils have voted the hospitalities of the city to Brig.-Gen. J. H. Morgan, whose arrival is expected. If he comes, he will be the hero, and will have a larger crowd of admirers around him than the President. The Councils have also voted a sword to ex-Gov. Letcher, whose term of service ended yesterday. Gov. Wm. Smith—nicknamed Extra-Billy—is to be inaugurated to-day.

Flour is now held at $150 per barrel. Capt. Warner has just sold me two bushels of meal at $5 per bushel; the price in market is $16 per bushel.

I did not go to any of the receptions to-day; but remained at home, transplanting lettuce-plants, which have so far withstood the frost, and a couple of fig-bushes I bought yesterday. I am also breaking up some warm beds, for early vegetables, and spreading manure over my little garden: preparing for the siege and famine looked for in May and June, when the enemy encompasses the city. I bought some tripe and liver in the market at the low price of $1 per pound. Engaged to pay $250 hire for our servant this year.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 122-3

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: December 17, 1863

Averill (Federal) made a raid a day or two since to Salem (Roanoke County, Va.), cutting the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, destroying the depot, bridges, court-house, etc.

Gen. J. E Johnston has been ordered to take command of Bragg's army.

I saw a communication from Lieut.-Col. Ruffin (Commissary Bureau), suggesting the trade of cotton to the enemy in New Orleans for supplies, meat, etc., a Mr. Pollard, of St. Louis, having proposed to barter meat for cotton, which Col. Ruffin seems to discourage.

Gen. Halleck has proposed a plan of exchange of prisoners, so far as those we hold go. We have 15,000; they, 40,000.

A letter from Mr. Underwood, of Rome, Ga., says our people fly from our own cavalry, as they devastate the country as much as the enemy.

We have a cold rain to-day. The bill prohibiting the employment of substitutes has passed both Houses of Congress. When the Conscription act is enlarged, all substitutes now in the army will have to serve for themselves, and their employers will also be liable.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 116

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: December 19, 1863

Bright and cold. A resolution passed Congress, calling on the President to report the number of men of conscript age removed from the Quartermaster's and Commissary's Departments, in compliance with the act of last session. The Commissary-General, in response, refers only to clerks—none of whom, however, it seems have been removed.

Capt. Alexander, an officer under Gen. Winder, in charge or Castle Thunder (prison), has been relieved and arrested for malfeasance, etc.

Gen. C. J. McRae, charged with the investigation of the accounts of Isaacs, Campbell & Co., London, with Major Huse, the purchasing agent of Col. J. Gorgas, Chief of Ordnance, reports irregularities, overcharges, etc., and recommends retention of gold and cotton in this country belonging to I., C. & Co.

Mr. ——— informed me to-day that he signed a contract with the Commissary-General last night to furnish meat on the Mississippi in Tennessee, in exchange for cotton. He told me that the proposition was made by the Federal officers, and will have their connivance, if not the connivance of Federal functionaries in Washington, interested in the speculation. Lieut.-Col. Ruffin prefers trading with the enemy at New Orleans.

It is rumored that Mr. Seddon will resign, and be succeeded by Gov. Letcher; notwithstanding Hon. James Lyons asserted in public (and it appears in the Examiner to-day) that Gov. L. told Gen. J. R. Anderson last year, subsequent to the fall of Donelson, "he was still in favor of the Union."

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 117

Friday, August 23, 2019

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: November 23, 1863

Nothing of moment from the armies, although great events are anticipated, soon.

On Saturday, Gen. Winder's or Major Griswold's head of the passport office, Lieut. Kirk, was arrested on the charge of selling passports at $100 per man to a Mr. Wolf and a Mr. Head, who transported passengers to the Potomac. W. and H. were in prison, and made the charge or confession. This passport business has been, our bane ever since Gen. Winder got control of it under Mr. Benjamin. Lieut. K. is from Louisiana, but originally from New York.

Mr. Benjamin sent over to-day extracts from dispatches from Mr. Slidell and a Mr. Hotze, agent, showing how the government is swindled in Europe by the purchasing agents of the bureaus here. One, named Chiles, in the purchase of $650,000, Mr. Slidell says, was to realize $300,000 profit! And Mr. Hotze (who is he?) says the character and credit of the government are ruined abroad by its own agents! Mr. Secretary Seddon will soon see into this matter.

Capt. Warner says the Federal prisoners here have had no meat for three days, Commissary-General Northrop having none, probably, to issue. One hundred tons rations, however, came up for them yesterday on the flag boat.

Exchange on London sells at $1 for $18.50, and gold brings about the same. Our paper money, I fear, has sunk beyond redemption. We have lost five steamers lately; and it is likely the port of Wilmington (our last one) will be hermetically sealed. Then we shall soon be destitute of ammunition, unless we retake the mineral country from the enemy.

Mr. Memminger has sent a press to the trans-Mississippi country, to issue paper money there.

Mr. Slidell writes that all our shipments to and from Matamoras ought to be under the French flag. There may be something in this.

The President was expected back to-day; and perhaps came in the evening. He is about to write his message to Congress, which assembles early in December, and perhaps he desired to consult Gen. Lee.

Everywhere the people are clamorous against the sweeping impressments of crops, horses, etc. And at the same time we have accounts of corn, and hay, and potatoes rotting at various depots 1 Such is the management of the bureaus.

The clerks are in great excitement, having learned that a proposition will be brought forward to put all men under forty-five years of age in the army. It will be hard to carry it; for the heads of departments generally have nephews, cousins, and pets in office, young and rich, who care not so much for the salaries (though they get the best) as for exemption from service in the field. And the editors will oppose it, as they are mostly of conscript age. And the youthful members of Congress could not escape odium if they exempted themselves, unless disabled by wounds.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 102-3

Friday, July 12, 2019

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: November 20, 1863

We have reports of some successes to-day. Gen. Hampton, it appears, surprised and captured several companies of the enemy's cavalry, a day or two since, near Culpepper Court House. And Gen. Wheeler has captured several hundred of the enemy in East Tennessee, driving the rest into the fortifications of Knoxville. Gen. Longstreet, at last accounts, was near Knoxville with the infantry. We shall not be long kept in suspense — as Longstreet will not delay his action; and Burnside may find himself in a "predicament."

A private soldier writes the Secretary to-day that his mother is in danger of starving — as she failed to get flour in Richmond, at $100 per barrel. He says if the government has no remedy for this, he and his comrades will throw down ,their arms and fly to some other country with their families, where a subsistence may be obtained.

Every night robberies of poultry, salt meats, and even of cows and hogs are occurring. Many are desperate.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 100-1

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: November 13, 1863

No news of battles yet. But we have a rumor of the burning of the fine government steamer R. E. Lee, chased by the blockaders. That makes two this week.

Gen. Lee dispatched the President, yesterday, as follows:

“Orange C. H., Nov. 12th. — For the last five days we have only received three pounds of corn per horse, from Richmond, per day. We depend on Richmond for corn. At this rate, the horses will die, and cannot do hard work. The enemy is very active, and we must be prepared for hard work any day. — R. E. Lee.”

On the back of which the President indorsed: "Have the forage sent up in preference to anything else. The necessity is so absolute as to call for every possible exertion.—Jefferson Davis."

Perhaps this may rouse the department. Horses starving in the midst of corn-fields ready for gathering! Alas, what mismanagement!

I cut the following from the Dispatch:

Flour. — We heard yesterday of sales of flour at $110 per barrel. We do not, however, give this as the standard price; for, if the article was in market, we believe that even a higher figure would be reached. A few days since a load of flour was sent to an auction-house on Cary Street to be sold at auction. The proprietors of the house very properly declined to receive it, refusing to dispose of breadstuffs under the hammer, where men of money, and destitute of souls, would have an opportunity of buying it up and withdrawing it from market.

corn-meal. — This article is bringing from $18 to $20 per bushel, and scarce at that.

Country Produce And Vegetables. — We give the following as the wholesale rates: Bacon, hoground, $2.75 to $3; lard, $2.25 to $2.30; butter, $3.75 to $4; eggs, $2 to $2.25; Irish potatoes, $7.50 to $8; sweet potatoes, $10.50 to $12; tallow candles, $4 per pound; salt, 45 cents per pound.

groceries. — Coffee — wholesale, $9 per pound, retail, $10; sugar, $2.85 to $3.25; sorghum molasses, wholesale, $10, and $14 to $15 at retail; rice, 30 to 35 cents.

liquors. — Whisky, $55 to $70 per gallon, according to quality, apple brandy, $50; high proof rum, $50; French brandy, $80 to $100.

"In the city markets fresh meats are worth $1.25 to $1.50 for beef and mutton, and $2 for pork; chickens, $6 to $8 per pair; ducks, $7 to $8 per pair; butter, $4.50 to $5 per pound; sweet potatoes, $2.50 per half peck; Irish potatoes, $2 per half peck.

leather. — Sole leather, $6.50 to $7.50 per pound; upper leather, $7.50 to $8; harness leather, $5.50 to $6; hides are quoted at $2.50 to $2.75 for dry, and $1.50 for salted green; tanners' oil, $4 to $5 per gallon.

tobacco. — Common article, not sound, $1 to $1.25; medium, pounds, dark, $1.30 to $2; good medium bright, $2 to $2.75; fine bright, $2 to $4; sweet 5's and 10's scarce and in demand, with an advance."

My friend Capt. Jackson Warner sent me, to-day, two bushels of meal at government price, $5 per bushel. The price in market is $20. Also nine pounds of good beef, and a shank—for which he charged nothing, it being part of a present to him from a butcher.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 96-7

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: October 29, 1863

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 2p. 83-4

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: October 28, 1863

No news from the army. We have some 13,000 prisoners here, hungry; for there is not sufficient meat for them.

Mr. Memminger, Secretary of the Treasury, is said to be transporting his private fortune (very large) to Europe.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 83