To-day the Secretary refused to sign the colonel's letters, telling him to sign them himself-by order of the Secretary of War.
Yesterday the colonel did not take so many letters to answer; and to-day he looked about him for other duties more congenial to his nature.
It is coming in earnest!
The supposed thunder, heard down the river yesterday, turns out to have been artillery.
A fight has occurred at Bethel, and blood.-Yankee blood-has flowed pretty freely.
Magruder was assailed by some five thousand Yankees at Bethel, on the Peninsula.
His force was about nine hundred; but he was behind intrenchments.
We lost but one man killed and five wounded. The enemy's loss is several hundred.
That road to Richmond is a hard one to travel!
But I learn there is a panic about Williamsburg.
Several young men from that vicinity have shouldered their pens and are applying for clerkships in the departments.
But most of the men of proper age in the literary instit
litical offenders, when they are too ignorant to comprehend what constitutes a political offense?
They are illiterate men, of low instincts and desperate characters.
But their low cunning will serve them here among unsuspecting men. They will, if necessary, give information to the enemy themselves, for the purpose of convincing the authorities that a detective police is indispensable; and it is probable a number of them will be, all the time, on the pay-rolls of Lincoln.
Gen. Magruder commands on the Peninsula. President Tyler had a villa near Hampton, which the Yankees despoiled in a barbarous manner.
They cut his carpets, defaced the pictures, broke the statues, and made kindling wood of the piano, sofas, etc.
Mr. Benjamin is a frequent visitor at the department, and is very sociable: some intimations have been thrown out that he aspires to become, some day, Secretary of War. Mr. Benjamin, unquestionably, will have great influence with the President
Benjamin has been dismissed, or resigned.
Mr. Benjamin has been promoted.
He is now Secretary of State.
His successor in the War Department is G. W. Randolph, a lawyer of modest pretensions, who, although he has lived for several years in this city, does not seem to have a dozen acquaintances.
But he inherits a name, being descended from Thomas Jefferson, and, I believe, likewise from the Mr. Randolph in Washington's cabinet.
Mr. Randolph was a captain at Bethel under Magruder; and subsequently promoted to a colonelcy.
Announcing his determination to quit the military service more than a month ago, he entered the field as a competitor for the seat in Congress left vacant by the death of President Tyler. Hon. James Lyons was elected, and Col. Randolph got no votes at all.
Gen. Lee is to have command of all the armies --but will not be in the field himself.
He will reside here.
Congress passed an act to create a commanding general; but this was ve
ertain that it was not destined to leave the Confederacy.
I have not learned its ultimate destination; but the victory of the Seven Pines intervening, Gen. Beauregard has been relieved of his command, on sick leave.
But I know his army is to be commanded permanently by Gen. Bragg.
There are charges against Beauregard.
It is said the Yankee army might have been annihilated at Shiloh, if Beauregard had fought a little longer.
And Gen. Johnston, I learn, has had his day. And Magruder is on sick leave.
He is too open in his censures of the late Secretary of War.
But Gen. Huger comes off scotfree; he has always had the confidence of Mr. Benjamin, and used to send the flag of truce to Fortress Monroe as often as could be desired.
Gen. Lee's plan works like a charm Although I have daily orders from Mr. Randolph to send persons beyond our lines, yet the precautions of Lee most effectually prevent any spies from knowing anything about his army.
Even the Adjut
Gen. Lee brings forward conscripts.
Gen. Cobb appointed to arrange exchange of prisoners.
Mr. Ould as agent.
Pope, the braggart, comes upon the stage.
meets a braggart's fate.
the war transferred to Northern Virginia.
To-day Gen. Magruder led his division into action at Malvern Hill, it is said, contrary to the judgment of other commanders.
The enemy's batteries commanded all the approaches in most advantageous position, and fearful was the slaughter.
A wounded soldier, fresp even our own people in profound ignorance of what transpires there.
There is a pause in the depreciation of C. S. securities.
Gen. Lovell, it is said, will be tried by a courtmartial.
The same has been said of Generals Magruder and Huger.
But I doubt it.
The Examining Board of Surgeons, established by the Secretary of War, has been abolished by order of Gen. Lee.
It was the only idea of the Secretary yet developed, excepting the handing over of the
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 Gen. 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 28 per cent. premium; and Ex
d that, hitherto, he was well content to operate within the prescribed limits.
Therefore, if it was not a silly caprice, it was a deliberate purpose, to escape a cloud of odium he knew must sooner or later burst around him.
A letter from Gen. Magruder, dated 10th inst., at Jackson, Mississippi, intimates that we shall lose Holly Springs.
He has also been in Mobile, and doubts whether that city can be successfully defended by Gen. Forney, whose liver is diseased, and memory impaired.
He rcalamitous blunder!
Letters from North Carolina are distressing enough.
They say, but for the influence of Gov. Vance, the legislature would favor reconstruction!
Gen. Marshall writes lugubriously.
He says his men are all barefoot.
Gen. Magruder writes that Pemberton has only 20,000 men, and should have 50,000 more at once-else the Mississippi Valley will be lost, and the cause ruined.
He thinks there should be a concentration of troops there immediately, no matter how much other pl
d to hand, our men captured the Harriet Lane, a fine United States ship of war, iron clad.
She was boarded and taken.
Another of the enemy's ships, it is said, was blown up by its officers, rather than surrender, and many perished.
If this be Magruder's work, it will make him famous.
Our public offices are crowded with applicants for clerkships, mostly wounded men, or otherwise unfit for field duty.
How can we live here?
Boarding is $60 per month, and I have six to support!
The estimated loss of the enemy in killed and wounded is put down at 12,000.
Our loss in killed and wounded not more than half that number.
To-day we have official intelligence confirming the brilliant achievement at Galveston; and it was Magruder's work.
He has men under him fitted for desperate enterprises; and he has always had a penchant for desperate work.
So we shall expect to hear of more gallant exploits in that section.
He took 600 prisoners.
We have news also from Vicksbu
rly day, if the weather will admit of it. In regard to the last attempt of Burnside to cross his army (when he stuck in the mud), Gen. Lee says it was fortunate for the Federals that they failed to get over.
No doubt he was prepared for their reception.
Congress is doing nothing but voting money for themselves.
The President (some of the members say) is their master, and they await his nod. These are his enemies.
We have a dispatch from Texas, of another success of Gen. Magruder at Sabine Pass, wherein he destroyed a large amount of the enemy's stores.
But we are calmly awaiting the blow at Charleston, or a Savannah, or wherever it may fall.
We have confidence in Beauregard.
We are more anxious regarding the fate of Vicksburg.
Northern man as he is, if Pemberton suffers disaster by any default, he will certainly incur the President's eternal displeasure.
Mississippi must be defended, else the President himself may feel the pangs of a refugee.
went down the river.
Of course the public is not likely to know what transpired there — if anything.
The trans-Mississippi army is getting large amounts of stores, etc., on the Rio Grande River. Major Hart, Quartermaster, writes from San Antonio, Texas, on the 13th of July, that three large English steamers, Sea Queen, Sir Wm. Peel, and the Gladiator, had arrived, were discharging, etc. Also that two large schooners were hourly expected with 20,000 Enfield rifles on board.
He says Gen. Magruder is impressing cotton to freight these vessels.
So far, 260 Quakers, non-combatants, have been reported, mostly in North Carolina.
A few cannot pay the $500consci-entiously.
The papers begin to give the details of the great battle of Chickamauga--the river of death.
We have nothing additional from Bragg, except confirmation of his victory from Northern journals; and it is reported that Meade is sending two more army corps to the Southwest, for the purpose of ex