Showing posts with label North Carolina. Show all posts
Showing posts with label North Carolina. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Jonathan Worth to Springs, Oak & Co., May 13, 1861

ASHEBORO, May 13th, 1861.

I have just returned from Raleigh. The State regards the impending war as a sectional one and all seemed determined to repel it. A large majority up to the issuing of Lincoln's proclamation were firm for the Union. Some of us would have made any sacrifice to preserve it. The small concessions made by the last Congress had strengthened us. Lincoln prostrated us. He could have devised no scheme more effectual than the one he has pursued, to overthrow the friends of Union here. Whether this was his design in order to make war upon slavery, or his purpose only what he professes, we are in doubt. [Next three lines illegible.] Whatever may be his purpose, any sensible man could foresee, and this act of his will prove, that he is the most efficient auxiliary of the secessionists. I have been the most persevering and determined public man in my State to preserve the Union—the last to abandon the hope, that the good sense of the Nation would prevent a collision between the extremes, each of which I viewed with equal abhorrence. I am left no other alternative but to fight for or against my section. I can not hesitate. Lincoln has made us a unit to resist until we repel our invaders or die. I can see no hope in the future, whatever may be the issue of the fight, which now seems inevitable. The best chance for ultimate re-union would be a peaceable separation.

Our Legislature is terrible. You will have seen our new stay law. All collection for creditors at home and abroad is cut off, without any security to creditors.

Will you please let me know how accts. stand between me and you? I intend to pay the little I owe North and South, if I can be permitted to do so without being a traitor.

Read Gov. Graham's speech to the Hillsboro volunteers, published in the Standard this week. It is a true exponent of the views of all quondam Union men here.


SOURCE: J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, Editor, The Correspondence of Jonathan Worth, Volume 1, p. 143

Jonathan Worth to D. G. Worth, May 15, 1861

ASHEBORO, May 15, 1861.

I have been forced by surrounding facts to take sides, or rather front, with my section. I regard a prudent peace, even accompanied with the contemplated secession of the State, and her union with the Confederate States, as preferable to a civil war on a gigantic scale; but I have not a particle of confidence in the wisdom or the patriotism of the new rulers to whom we submit. I leave the Union and the flag of Washington because I am subjected and forced to submit to my master-democracy, detesting it with more and more intensity, as I become better acquainted with its leaders and its objects. I still believe that no respectable and stable government can ever be established in America, except on the plan of a Union, such as that we are wickedly and foolishly overthrowing. Even on the plan of a peaceful separation, North America will soon become Mexicanized. New York will next secede, the doctrine being once recognized. The great and populous North west, cut off from the Ocean, excepting by the assent of foreign states will open a road to the great highway of Nations with the sword—but if the free States act on the plan they now avow of preserving the Union by force of arms, no odds at what cost of life or treasure, the civil strife will soon beget the most diabolical purposes.

The masses, already deluded, with the notion that Slavery is the cause, when in fact, it is now only the pretext with the leaders of both sections, will proclaim freedom to the slaves and arm them against us.

I think the South is committing suicide, but my lot is cast with the South and being unable to manage the ship, I intend to face the breakers manfully and go down with my companions.

These are my calm conclusions.

I have been deeply pained at the responsibilities of my position. I have become resigned from conscious impotence to do anything to impede the evils upon us, and have concluded to drift with the current, keeping a sharp lookout for some opportunity, by the aid of Divine Providence, to divert the ship of State from the gulf of ruin towards which we are bound.

What are your plans? Will you stay in Wilmington, or return to the back country and make corn till the war is over?

Soon after the Fourth of July war will begin in earnest, if not sooner; or peace will be made. The former, in my opinion, is most probable. I do not think the North is making her military preparations as a mere bravado.

In the event of war can you continue your business with any prospect of success? If an invasion of this State be made, is not Wilmington likely to be one of the first places attacked?

Have you attached yourself to any of the military organizations so as to forbid your removing from Wilmington? In times of war some must remain at home to provide food for the soldiers and protect and feed the women and children. I hope you will not allow the ardor around you or the apprehension of not being deemed brave, to make you forget that you can contribute to the defense of your country, as effectually as you could by going into the army—and at the same time take care of your wife and children.

SOURCE: J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, Editor, The Correspondence of Jonathan Worth, Volume 1, p. 144-5

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Jonathan Worth to Johnson and Farnsworth, May 22, 1861

ASHEBORO, May 22nd, 1861.

This State is now a perfect unit as the North seems to be. No man desired or worked harder than myself to preserve the Union, but the Abolitionists North and the fire-eaters South have gradually forced everybody into the ranks of the one or the other. In N. C. the Union sentiment was largely in the ascendant and gaining strength until Lincoln prostrated us. Congress having refused to pass the force bill, we felt that the President could abandon Sumter and Pickens without any sacrifice of his principles, but in conformity with the Legislative will. He induced the whole South so to believe. The assurance of Seward to Judge Campbell seems to have been made with deliberate duplicity, and we can not doubt that Mr. Lincoln knew his policy would disarm all Union men in the Southern States. He did more than all the secessionists to break up the Union, but whether he did this, not being statesman enough to comprehend the effect of his measures; or whether his purpose was to drive all the slave States into rebellion, thinking he could bring against us men enough, with the aid of a servile insurrection, to overthrow us and abolish Slavery, we are in doubt. If the Union be restored, the War must at once cease.  Our white population and our slaves will resist to the death. I infer from all I can see that Lincoln's measures have united the North. The have certainly united North Carolina. The North must stop her warlike measures and consent to a severance of the government—or the God of Battles must long gloat over the carnage of alienated brethren. Reason has left. Rage controls both sections.

God save the Country.-

Gov. Graham, as I presume you know, is universally respected for every quality which should commend the regard of good and wise men. He was as strong for the Union as Edward Everett till Lincoln's proclamation. I enclose a late speech of his. Have it published in some of your leading papers. Let good men North and South understand each other.


SOURCE: J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, Editor, The Correspondence of Jonathan Worth, Volume 1, p. 50-1

Monday, October 5, 2020

Remarks of Jonathan Worth on the Proposition to call a Con[ven]tion, in the Senate, January, 1861.*

The proposition of the Senator from Guilford, as I understand it, is to submit it to the vote of the people whether they will have a Convention, altogether unrestricted, without anything in the preamble or body of the resolutions declaratory of the purpose of the calling such Convention. I recognize as the basis of our government the right of the people to govern, and I am therefore willing, if the people desire it, that such a Convention be called, free to consider and act on every principle of government, State or National, with this proviso only, that the action of such Convention shall have no validity until ratified by a vote of the people; but if the bill in any way indicates that the Convention is called to consider our Federal relations, I can not vote for it, because the Constitution authorizes the General Assembly to call no such Convention. Such Conventions have been nowhere called except for the purpose of carrying out secession. I will not discuss this doctrine as a constitutional remedy. This has been sufficiently done. It is sufficient for my present purpose to declare that I regard it as a ruinous heresy, whether the present Union be preserved or a Southern Confederacy be formed. I regard it as the seed of death in any Confederation. A new Republic founded on it would be based on Disintegration. I can therefore vote for no bill which in any way squints toward a recognition of this doctrine.

The only Convention to consider of National affairs, which the General Assembly can constitutionally call, is a Convention provided for in the Fifth Article of the Constitution of the United States to pass on amendments to the Constitution of the United States previously proposed as therein prescribed. Any other Convention called by the General Assembly to consider of National affairs I regard as revolutionary, and I am sure my constituents are not ready for revolution for existing causes.

* In Worth's writing

SOURCE: J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, Editor, The Correspondence of Jonathan Worth, Volume 1, p. 128-9

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Jonathan Worth’s Address to People Of Randolph And Alamance, January 31, 1861

To My Constituents of the Counties of Randolph and Alamance:

On the 28th of February next you are called upon, by the question of a an act of the General Assembly, by your vote to declare whether or not you want a State Convention, restricted to the consideration of our National Affairs; and also, at the same time, to vote for delegates for said Convention, in case a majority of the whole State shall call it. The Act provides that the action of the Convention shall have no validity until ratified by a vote of the people. I voted against this act because neither the Constitution of the United States, nor of this State, contemplates any such convention, and because I can see no way by which it can do any good, and I fear it may do much mischief. Such a convention is a modern invention of South Carolina, to bring about a sort of legalized revolution. It has been adopted in most of the Southern States. All its original advocates were disunionists. Wherever such a convention has assembled, it has asserted the power to sever the State from the Union, and declare it an independent government. Under my oath to support the Constitution of the United States, I could not vote to call a convention to overthrow that instrument. I thought it improper for the General Assembly to ask you whether you want an unconstitutional Convention. What can it do o lt can do nothing only as a revolutionary body. Everybody looks for a remedy for our national troubles, to an amendment of the Constitution of the United States. The Fifth Article of the Constitution of the United States prescribes two modes of amendment. I give you the words:

“The Congress, whenever two-thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution; or on the application of the Legislatures of two-thirds of the several States shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid, for all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratifical by the Legislatures of three-fourths of the several States, or by conventions in three-fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress.”

Our wise fathers did not intend that the great fundamental law—the Constitution—should be lightly altered. If bare majorities of the popular vote could have altered it, a written Constitution would have been idle.

You will see that there are two constitutional modes of amendment. Congress has been endeavoring to agree on amendments. There is little prospect that two-thirds of both houses can agree on anything. The members were all elected as partizans. Many of them have indulged in crimination and recrimination in mutual abuse of each other till they are not in the temper to act as patriots and statesmen. They have become excited—excited men rarely act prudently and wisely. The other mode of amendment has not been tried. Shall we not try all constitutional modes of amendment before we resort to strange and unconstitutional modes? That other mode seems peculiarly adapted to our present condition. Let a National Convention be called. Surely two-thirds of the State will join in such a call. If called, it is hoped wise and discreet men, not men lately engaged in party strife, will be called to fill it. Can anybody doubt that such an assembly could compose the National commotions. I do not doubt it. The provision for such a convention, in common with all their works, shows the forecast and wisdom of our fathers. In such an assembly, composed of calm and prudent men, all sections could be heard, could interchange views, each could make some concessions to the feelings and prejudices of others, the same sort of concession we all have to make to each other in religion, morals, and everything else, which makes civilized society.

They would agree on a basis of settlement. In all the States excepting South Carolina, perhaps in a few other Southern States, the people still cherish a love for the name of Washington and for the Union. The doings of such a convention would be likely to be heartily ratified by three-fourths of the States. At all events let no one break up this great Union till we have fully tried all constitutional modes of amendment.

If the proposed State Convention does what its most ardent advocates desire it to do, it will be what all conventions south of us have done—declare the State out of the Union and an independent State. Every artifice will be employed to make you believe that a convention is to be 
called to save the Union. Believe it not. It is true, many members who are Union men voted for submitting it to a vote of the people whether they would have a convention or not, throwing upon you, with little time to consider, a responsibility which I think they should have met themselves. A majority refused to pass an amendment allowing you to endorse on your tickets whether you are for Union or disunion. It will be said that the convention can do no harm since whatever it may do will have no validity till ratified by you. The disunion leaders boldly maintain that the Legislature can not restrict the convention, that it may pass whatever ordinance it pleases, regardless of the restraints attempted to be imposed upon it by the Act of Assembly; and that it may, or may not, at its pleasure, submit its action to the people for ratification. If war begins it will probably be brought on during the sitting of the convention.

It is now the policy of disunionists to postpone hostilities until President Buchanan goes out and President Lincoln comes in. They will probably court a fight as soon as Lincoln takes the reins. If war shall have actually commenced before the convention closes its session, and an ordinance of secession be passed, it is to be feared that its action will not be referred to the people for ratification. Not one of the five States which seceded, though acting under no emergency, has submitted its action to the people for ratification. We have not yet exhausted constitutional remedies. We can not have exhausted them before this convention shall assemble. Believe not those who may tell you this convention is called to save the Union. It is called to destroy it. If you desire to preserve the Union vote “No Convention,” and at the same time, be careful for whom you vote as delegates.

When we shall have seen what the Commissioners shall effect, who are to meet in Washington on the 4th of February, to look for a remedy for the National disturbances, when we shall have called for a National Convention and it shall be refused, or shall have failed to accomplish a pacification, it will be time enough to resort to revolution. I think that those only should vote for a convention who regard disunion as the only remedy for the disease of the times.

I have felt it due to you to present this hasty explanation of my views, on a momentous question on which you are called upon to vote with such extraordinary haste.

To go into a discussion of the ground on which the disunionists claim that we ought to dissolve the Union, would require more time than I could properly withdraw from my legislative duties. I content myself with saying that I have carefully read nearly all the debates in Congress, and I see no sufficient reason for abandoning the counsels of the Father of his Country, and the Government under which we have become the freest and most powerful nation of the earth, and launching, probably through civil war, upon the dark sea of experiment.

January 31, 1860 [sic]

SOURCES: “Circular,” Fayetteville Semi-Weekly Observer, Fayetteville, North Carolina, published February 7, 1861, p. 2;  J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, Editor, The Correspondence of Jonathan Worth, Volume 1, p. 129-33

Friday, September 25, 2020

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: February 6, 1864

Major-Gen. Breckinridge, it is said, is to command in Southwestern Virginia near the Kentucky line, relieving Major-Gen. Sam Jones.

Yesterday the cabinet decided to divide the clerks into three classes. Those under eighteen and over forty-five, to have the increased compensation; those between those ages, who shall be pronounced unable for field service, also to have it; and all others the Secretaries may certify to be necessary, etc. This will cover all their cousins, nephews, and pets, and exclude many young men whose refugee mothers and sisters are dependent on their salaries for subsistence. Such is the unvarying history of public functionaries.

Gen. Pickett, finding Newbern impregnable, has fallen back, getting off his prisoners, etc. But more troops are going to North Carolina.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 144

Friday, July 17, 2020

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: January 22, 1864

Troops, a few regiments, have been passing down from Lee's army, and going toward North Carolina. A dispatch, in cipher, from Petersburg, was received to-day at 3 p.m. It is probable the enemy threaten the Weldon and Wilmington Railroad. We shall hear soon.

It is thought the negroes that attempted to burn the President's house (they had heaped combustibles under it) were instigated by Yankees who have been released upon taking the oath of allegiance. But I think it quite as probable his enemies here (citizens) instigated it. They have one of the servants of the War Department under arrest, as participating in it.

The weather is delightful, and I seek distraction by spading in my garden.

Judge Campbell is still "allowing" men to pass out of the Confederate States; and they will invite the enemy in!

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

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Diary of Corporal David L. Day: February 5, 1862


The clink of the windlass is heard on all the boats, hoisting up their anchors, so here we go for a trip up the sound, probably for Roanoke island. This island holds the Albemarle sound and all that part of North Carolina lying on it, and also Southeast Virginia. It is quite an important point, and we learn is strongly fortified. Our fleet consists of about seventy sail of all kinds and makes an imposing appearance. The gunboats, under command of Commodore Goldsborough, take the advance, the transports and other craft following. After a few hours sail, the low, pine-covered shore of the old North state presented itself to view. We were in sight of the shore all day and not a house was to be seen or any visible signs of life, excepting huge columns of smoke rising above the tree-tops. These were probably signal fires, as they could be seen along the shore as far as the eye could reach. We sailed today to within ten miles of the light-house at the western end of the Pamlico sound, the entrance to Croatan sound, in which is situated the coveted island. Here we dropped anchor for the night, the gunboats forming a picket guard, and extending themselves nearly to the light-house. The island can be seen through a glass, and tomorrow I expect we shall get a nearer view.

SOURCE: David L. Day, My Diary of Rambles with the 25th Mass. Volunteer Infantry, p. 31-2

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: January 16, 1864

General good spirits prevail since Northern arrivals show that the House of Representatives at Washington has passed a resolution that 1,000,000 men, including members of Congress under 50, volunteer to deliver the prisoners of war out of our hands. This produces a general smile, as indicative of the exhaustion of the available military force of the United States —and all believe it to be the merest bravado and unmitigated humbug. Every preparation will be made by the Confederate States Government for the most stupendous campaign of the war.

There are indications of disorganization (political) in North Carolina—but it is too late. The Confederate States Executive is too strong, so long as Congress remains obedient, for any formidable demonstration of that character to occur in any of the States. We shall probably have martial law everywhere.

I bought some garden seeds to-day, fresh from New York! This people are too improvident, even to sow their own seeds.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 129-30

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: December 7, 1863

Cold and clear. Gen. Longstreet telegraphs to-day from Rutledge, Tenn., some fifty miles northeast of Knoxville, and says he will soon need railroad facilities. He is flying from superior numbers, and may be gathering up supplies.

Governor Vance writes distressfully concerning the scarcity of provisions in certain counties of North Carolina, and the rudeness of impressing agents.

Lieut.-Gen. Hardee telegraphs from Dalton that 5000 cavalry, besides two brigades of Buckner's command, are with Longstreet, and that other troops ought to be sent him (H.) to compensate for these detachments.

Mr. L. S. White obtained another passport yesterday to go to Maryland, on the recommendation of Col. Gorgas, Chief of Ordnance.

There was a quorum in Congress to-day; but the message was not sent in.

A five-dollar gold piece sold at auction on Saturday for $140— $28 in Confederate notes for one of gold.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 112

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Diary of Gideon Welles: Saturday, April 23, 1864

We have met with some disaster in North Carolina. Am apprehensive the army has been a little delinquent.

General Butler has telegraphed to Fox, who is an old boyhood associate and acquaintance, to come down to Hampton Roads. Wants help. Asks F. to induce the President to go down, but he declines, — wisely, I think. Troops are getting in at Fortress Monroe, and the indications in this vicinity warn us that the strength is being gathered for a conflict.

Sumner called on me to-day. Had just come from Chase; spoke of the finances and currency. I told him I was a hard-money man and could not unlearn old ideas, and had no time to study new theories. He laughed and said that things in these days must conflict with my old opinions. It is evident that our statesmen do not realize the importance nor condition of the money and currency question.

SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 2: April 1, 1864 — December 31, 1866, p. 16-7

Diary of Gideon Welles: Monday, April 25, 1864

Reverses in North Carolina are bad at this time. The death of Flusser is most unfortunate. I presume the blame of the disasters will be attributed to the Navy, which, in fact, is merely auxiliary to the army. Letter-writers and partisan editors who are courted and petted by the military find no favor with naval men, and as a consequence the Navy suffers detraction.

Burnside's army corps passed through Washington to-day, whites, blacks, and Indians numbering about 30,000. All the indications foreshadow a mighty conflict and battle in Virginia at an early day.

Fox and Edgar have gone to Fortress Monroe. Calls for naval aid and assistance come up from that quarter.

SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 2: April 1, 1864 — December 31, 1866, p. 17

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: October 25, 1863

We have nothing new this morning; but letters to the department from North and South Carolina indicate that while the troops in Virginia are almost perishing for food, the farmers are anxious to deliver the tithes, but the quartermaster and commissary agents are negligent or designedly remiss in their duty. The consequence will be the loss of the greater portion of these supplies, and the enhancement of the price of the remainder in the hands of the monopolists and speculators.

The Southern Express Co. has monopolized the railroads, delivering cotton for speculators, who send it to the United States, while the Confederate States cannot place enough money in Europe to pay for the supplies needed for the army.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 82

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: October 17, 1863

We hear to-day that a battle has taken place near Manassas, and that Lee has taken some 9000 prisoners and many wagons. At 3 p.m. there was no official intelligence of this event, and it was not generally credited.

Gen. Wise writes from Charleston, that it is understood by the French and Spanish Consuls there that the city will not be bombarded.

In Eastern North Carolina the people have taken the oath of allegiance to the United States, to be binding only so long as they are within the military jurisdiction of the enemy; and they ask to be exempt from the Confederate States tithe tax, for if they pay it, the enemy will despoil them of all that remains.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 72-3

Friday, May 18, 2018

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: September 19, 1863

The reports from Western North Carolina indicate that much bad feeling prevails there still; and it is really something more than a military trick to obtain a command. But I think the government had better keep out of the field its assistant adjutant-generals, and especially those in the Bureau of Conscription, unless they are put in subordinate positions. Some of them have sought their present positions to keep aloof from the fatigues and dangers of the field; and they have contributed no little to the disaffection in North Carolina. Gen. Whiting suggests that one of Gen Pickett's brigades be sent to Weldon; and then, with Ransom's brigade, he will soon put down the deserters and tories. The Governor approves this plan, and I hope it will be adopted.

The Northern papers say President Lincoln, by proclamation, has suspended the writ of habeas corpus throughout the United States. This is good news for the South; for the people there will strike back through the secret ballot-box.

They also say an expedition is about to sail up the Rio Grande, where it will come in collision with the French, now occupying Matamoras.

And it appears that Lord John Russell will not prevent the sailing of our monitor-rams from British ports without evidence of an intention to use them against the United States. He will do nothing on suspicion; but must have affidavits, etc.

A young lady, Miss Heiskell, applied yesterday, through the Hon. A. H. H. Stuart, for a passport to Philadelphia, to be married to a young merchant of that city. Her father was a merchant of that city, though a native of Virginia. I believe it was granted.

The country is indignant at the surrender of Cumberland Gap by Brig.-Gen. Frazier, without firing a gun, when his force was nearly as strong as Burnside's. It was too bad! There must be some examples of generals as well as of deserting poor men, whose families, during their absence, are preyed upon by the extortioners, who contrive to purchase exemption from military service. The country did not know there was such a general until his name became famous by this ignominious surrender. Where did Gen. Cooper find him?

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 47-8

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: September 16, 1863

The enemy advanced yesterday, and, our forces being unequal in numbers, captured Culpepper C. H. Our cavalry fell back several miles, and a battle is looked for immediately, near Orange C. H., where Gen. Lee awaits the foe in an advantageous position.

From the Southwest also a battle is momentarily looked for. If the enemy be beaten in these battles, they will suffer more by defeat than we would.

Gov. Vance has written a pointed letter to the President in regard to the mob violence in Raleigh. He says, when the office of the Standard was sacked, the evil was partially counterbalanced by the sacking of the Journal, — the first, moderate Union, the last, ultra-secessionist. He demands the punishment of the officers present and consenting to the assault on the Standard office, part of a Georgia brigade, and avers that another such outrage will bring back the North Carolina troops from the army for the defense of their State.

From Morton, Miss., Gen. Hardee says, after sending reinforcements to Bragg, only three brigades of infantry remain in his department. Upon this the President made the following indorsement and sent it to the Secretary of War:

"The danger to Atlanta has probably passed."

While the army of Gen. Taylor threatens the southwestern part of Louisiana, troops will not probably leave New Orleans. The movement to White River is more serious at this time than the preparations against Mobile.

"Efforts should be made to prevent the navigation of the Mississippi by commercial steamers, and especially to sink transports."

The letter of Gov. Vance in relation to the 30,000 men destined for North Carolina being referred to the President, he sent it back indorsed as follows:

“Gov. V.'s vigilance will discover the fact if this supposition be true, and in the mean time it serves to increase the demand for active exertions, as well to fill up the ranks of the army as to organize ‘local defense’ troops.”

The letter of Lt.-Col. Lay, Inspector of Conscripts, etc., was likewise referred to the President, who suggests that a general officer be located with a brigade near where the States of North Carolina, South Carolina, etc. meet.

And the President indorses on Gen. Whiting's earnest calls for aid at Wilmington, that Gen. Martin be sent him, with the “locals,” as he calls them, and a brigade from Pickett's division, when filled up. But suppose that should be too late? He says Ransom's troops should also be in position, for it is important to hold Wilmington.

Calico is selling now for $10 per yard; and a small, dirty, dingy, dilapidated house, not near as large as the one I occupy, rents for $800. This one would bring $1200 now; I pay $500, which must be considered low. Where are we drifting? I know not; unless we have a crop of victories immediately.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 45-6

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: September 15, 1863

Gov. Vance writes that he has reliable information that the 30,000 troops in New York, ostensibly to enforce the draft, are intended for a descent on North Carolina, and Gen. Whiting has said repeatedly that 3000 could take Wilmington. The Governor says if North Carolina be occupied by the enemy, Virginia and the whole Confederacy will be lost, for all communication now, by rail, is through that State.

Gen. Sam. Jones writes from Abingdon, Va., that from his information he does not doubt Cumberland Gap and its garrison capitulated on the 9th inst. He calls lustily for reinforcements, and fears the loss of everything, including the salt works, if he be not reinforced. Well, he will be reinforced!

Gov. (just elected) R. L. Caruthers (of Tennessee) begs that 20,000 men from Lee's army be sent out on Rosecrans's left flank to save Tennessee, which alone can save the Confederacy. Well, they have been sent!

There must be a “fight or a foot-race” soon in Northern Georgia, and also in Virginia, on the Rappahannock. May God defend the right! If we deserve independence, I think we shall achieve it. If God be not for us, we must submit to His will.

Major Huse is buying and shipping 2000 tons saltpetre, besides millions of dollars worth of arms and stores. If we can keep Wilmington, we can send out cotton and bring in supplies without limit.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 44-5

Friday, April 20, 2018

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: September 14, 1863

The report from Lt.-Col. Lay of the condition of affairs in North Carolina, received some days ago, was indorsed by Judge Campbell, Assistant Secretary of War, and father-in-law of Col. Lay, that the destruction of the government was imminently menaced, does not seem to have alarmed the President; on the contrary, he sends the paper back to the Secretary, Mr. Seddon, suggesting that he had better correspond with Gov. Vance on the subject, and if military force should be required, he might call in the aid of Brig.-Gen. Hoke, thus ending hopes of a conscription officer here obtaining a command.

And so with rumors from Eastern Tennessee; the President takes matters coolly, saying the “locals,” meaning home guards, or companies for local defense, should be on the alert against raiders. If large bodies of the enemy come in, Jenkins's brigade, and one from Pickett's division, might be temporarily detached to punish them.

Bragg is falling back toward Atlanta, and Burnside says, officially, that he has taken Cumberland Gap, 1200 prisoners, with 14 guns, without a fight. All of Tennessee is now held by the enemy.
There has been another fight (cavalry) at Brandy Station, and our men, for want of numbers, “fell back.” When will these things cease?

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 44

Friday, April 13, 2018

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: September 12, 1863

Lieut.-Col. Lay, “Inspector,” reports from North Carolina that some twenty counties in that State are “disaffected;” that the deserters and “recusants” are organized and brigaded; armed, and have raised the flag of the United States. This is bad enough to cause the President some loss of sleep, if any one would show it to him.

Gen. Wise, it is said, is ordered away from the defense of Richmond with his brigade. I saw him to-day (looking remarkably well), and he said he did not know where he was going — waiting orders, I suppose.

C. J. McRae, agent of the loan in Europe, writes July 24th, 1863, that the bad news of Lee's failure in Pennsylvania and retreat across the Potomac, caused the loan to recede 3½ per cent, and unless better news soon reaches him, he can do nothing whatever with Confederate credits. He says Capt. Bullock has contracted for the building of two “iron-clads” in France, and that disbursements on account of the navy, hereafter, will be mostly in France. I fear the reports about a whole fleet of Confederate gun-boats having been built or bought in England are not well founded. Major Ferguson has also (several have done so before him) made charges against Major Huse, the agent of Col. Gorgas, Chief of Ordnance. Mr. McRae thinks the charges cannot be substantiated.

We have tidings of the bursting of the Blakely gun at Charleston. I fear this involves the fall of Charleston. Still Beauregard is there.

Gen. Pickett's division (decimated at Gettysburg) is to remain in this vicinity — and Jenkins's and Wise's brigades will leave. The hour now seems a dark one. But we must conquer or die.

It is said a deserter has already gone over from our lines and given information to the enemy of the large number of troops detached from the Army of Virginia. No doubt Gen. Meade will take advantage of their absence, and advance on Richmond again. Yet I am told the very name of Richmond is a terror to the foe.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 42

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: September 7, 1863

Batteries Wagner and Gregg and Fort Sumter have been evacuated! But this is not yet the capture of Charleston. Gen. Beauregard telegraphed yesterday that he was preparing (after thirty-six hours' incessant bombardment) to evacuate Morris Island; which was done, I suppose, last night. He feared the loss of the garrisons, if he delayed longer; and he said Sumter was silenced. Well, it is understood the great Blakely is in position on Charleston wharf. If the enemy have no knowledge of its presence, perhaps we shall soon have reports from it.

Gen. Lee, it is said, takes two corps d’armée to Tennessee, leaving one in Virginia. But this can be swelled to 50,000 men by the militia, conscripts, etc., which ought to enable us to stand a protracted siege, provided we can get subsistence. Fortune is against us now.

Lieut.-Col. Lay reports great defection in North Carolina, and even says half of Raleigh is against “the Davis Government.”

The Secretary of War has called upon the Governor for all the available slave labor in the State, to work on the defenses, etc.

The United States flag of truce boat came up to City Point last night, bringing no prisoners, and nothing else except some dispatches, the nature of which has not yet transpired.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 36