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Preface. This diary was written with the knowledge of the President and the Secretary of War. I informed them of it by note. They did not deprecate criticism on their official conduct; for they allowed me still to execute the functions of a very important position in the Government until the end of its career. My discriminating friends will understand why I accepted the poor title of a clerkship, after having declined the Chargeship to Naples, tendered by Mr. Calhoun during the administration of President Polk. J. B. J. Onancock, Accomac Co., Va., March, 1866.