refore he would not join the confederacy of States, but was waiting for the endorsation by the people of Virginia of the action of her representatives duly assembled in convention.
One hundred and twenty thousand votes were cast for the ratification of the Ordinance ot Secession, some twenty thousand against it. Before this popular decision was reached, the convention gave to the Confederate Government the control of the military operations within her border, and the Secretary of War, Mr. L. P. Walker, had, by an order dated Montgomery, Ala., in May, 1861, placed under General Lee's command all troops of the Confederate States as soon as they arrived in Virginia.
Previous to this, his command was limited to the Virginia forces.
Virginia having united her fortune with her Southern sister States, the Confederate Congress in session at Montgomery ten days afterward adjourned to meet in Richmond, Va. A letter from General Lee to his wife, who was still at Arlington, April 30, 1861, tel
cordiality, proffered his services with zeal and earnestness.
He introduced me at once to Hon. L. P. Walker, Secretary of War, and insisted upon presenting me to the President the next day. Major Tys happy in the discharge of these duties, and worked assiduously day and night.
Mr. Walker, the Secretary of War, is some forty-seven or eight years of age, tall, thin, and a little benomentous campaigns, to give much of his attention to any one of the departments.
Nevertheless Mr. Walker, if he be an apt scholar, may learn much before that day; and Congress may simplify his dutiesy.
He was pleading for an installment of the claims of South Carolina on the Confederacy; and Mr. Walker, always hesitating, argued the other side, merely for delay.
Both are fine speakers, with mos time.
The President himself came into our office today and sat some time conversing with Secretary Walker.
He did not appear vexed at the determination of Congress, which he must have been apprise
that the Secretary had a partiality for full letters, especially when addressing any of his friends; and that Major Tyler, who had returned, and was then sitting with the Secretary, rarely dismissed one from his pen under less than three pages.
The colonel smiled, and said when there was nothing further to say, it was economy to say nothing.
He then carried his letters into the Secretary's office, clearing his throat according to custom on passing a door.
I trembled for him; for I knew Mr. Walker had an aversion to signing his name to letters of merely two or three lines.
He returned again immediately, saying the Secretary was busy.
He left the letters, however.
Presently Major Tyler came out of the Secretary's room with several voluminous letters in his own handwriting, duly signed.
The major greeted the colonel most cordially; and in truth his manners of a gentleman are so innate that I believe it would be utterly impossible for him to be clownish or rude in his address, i
te remote from the Secretary's office.
I thought Mr. Walker resented this He had likewise been piqued at the as he passed through the office.
A moment after, Gen. Walker, of Georgia, came in, and addressed the colonel t to act as Secretary of War during the absence of Mr. Walker.
The major retired from the office immediately, t enough in the South to officer millions of men. Mr. Walker is a man of capacity, and has a most extraordinar, that no gentleman can be fit for office.
Well, Mr. Walker is a gentleman by education and instincts; and isirst mighty conflict.
Early in the evening Secretary Walker returned from tea in great excitement.
He stro the department last night with a message for Secretary Walker, on the subject.
The Secretary being absent, ence of the President.
There was no danger of Secretary Walker releasing them; for I had heard him say the aunts, they abandoned their dead and wounded; and he, Walker, would see the prisoners, thus surreptitiously sent
reduction of the rebellion is not a practicable thing.
To-day Mr. Walker inquired where my son Custis was. I told him he was with his mother at Newberdoor, I asked him if he did not think some one should act as Secretary during Mr. Walker's absence.
He replied quickly, and with interest, in the affirmative.
There A. T. Bledsoe discharge the duties of Secretary of War during the absence of Mr. Walker.
This I sent by a messenger to the President, who signed it.
Then I infed a storm; for several of the employees, supposed to be in the confidence of Mr. Walker, designated the proceeding as an outrage; and some went so far as to intimate quietly and with all the dignity of which he was capable.
Secretary Walker returned last night, having heard of the death of Col. Jones before reachident still there, although marked immediate.
And there are no indications of Mr. Walker's quitting office that I can see.
Immediate is still there; b
Four hundred thousand troops to be raised.
want of arms.
Yankees offer to sell them to us.
Col. J. A. Washington killed.
assigned, temporarily, to the head to accept his resignation; and tells me in confidence, not to be revealed for a few days, that Mr. Walker has tendered his resignation, and that it will be accepted.
The colonel enjspecial clerk with $2000 salary.
This was allowed by a recent act.
Some of Mr. Walker's clerks must know that he intends giving up the seals of office soon, for they are engaged da entire letter-book, which is itself but a copy of the letters I and others have written, with Mr. Walker's name appended to them.
Long may they be a monument of his epistolary administrative ability and profound statesmanship!
And, just as I expected, Mr. Benjamin is to be Mr. Walker's successor.
Col. Bledsoe is back again; and it devolved on me to inform Major Tyler that the
back of a letter, for a passport.
I declined to give it; and he departed in anger, saying the Secretary would grant it. He knew this, for he said the Secretary had promised him one.
Col. Bledsoe was in to-day.
I had not seen him for a long time.
He had not been sitting in the office two minutes before he uttered one of his familiar groans.
Instantly we were on the old footing again.
He said Secretary Benjamin had never treated him as Chief of the Bureau, any more than Walker.
Dibble has succeeded in obtaining a passport from the Secretary himself.
Gen. T. J. Jackson has destroyed a principal dam on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.
That will give the enemy abundance of trouble.
This Gen. Jackson is always doing something to vex the enemy; and I think he is destined to annoy them more.
It is with much apprehension that I see something like a general relaxation of preparation to hurl back the invader.
It seems as if the gove
Mr. Benjamin reminded me of Daniel Webster, when he used to make solemn declarations that his friends in office were likewise the partisans of President Tyler.
A Mr. O. Hendricks, verylately of the U. S. Coast Survey, has returned from a tour of the coast of North Carolina, and has been commissioned a lieutenant by the Secretary of War.
He says Burnside will take Roanoke Island, and that Wise and all his men will be captured.
It is a man-trap.
Gen. L. P. Walker, the first Secretary of War, is assigned to duty in the Southwest under Gen. Bragg.
How can he obey the orders of one who was so recently under his command?
I think it probable he will resign again before the end of the campaign.
There has been a storm on the coast, sinking some of the enemy's ships.
Col. Allen, of New Jersey, was lost.
He was once at my house in Burlington, and professed to be friendly to the Southern cause.
I think he said he owned land and sla
ders, supposing, of course, they would be copied by Gen. W.'s clerks.
But they were not copied.
The policemen threaten to stop the Examiner soon, for that paper has been somewhat offensive to the aliens who now have rule here.
Gen. Walker, of Georgia--the same who had the scene with Col. Bledsoe--has resigned.
I am sorry that the Confederate States must lose his services, for he is a brave man, covered with honorable scars.
He has displeased the Secretary of War.
March 25 being overslaughed.
His were the first troops that entered Virginia to meet the enemy; and because some of his three months men were reorganized into fresh regiments, his brigade was dissolved, and his commission canceled.
Price, Beauregard, Walker, Bonham, Toombs, Wise, Floyd, and others of the brightest lights of the South have been somehow successively obscured.
And Joseph E. Johnston is a doomed fly, sooner or later, for he said, not long since, that there could be no hope of success a
authority nor any disposition to transfer the power.
He discussed their relative duties,--for the benefit of all future Secretaries, I suppose.
But it looks like a rupture.
It seems, then, after acting some eight months merely in the humble capacity of clerk, Mr. Randolph has all at once essayed to act the President.
The Secretary of War did not go to the President's closet today.
This is the third day he has absented himself.
Such incidents as these preceded the resignation of Mr. Walker.
It is a critical time, and the Secretary of War ought to confer freely with the President.
Sunday, November 16
Yesterday the Secretary of War resigned his office, and his resignation was promptly accepted by the President.
A profound sensation has been produced in the outside world by the resignation of Mr. Randolph; and most of the people and the press seem inclined to denounce the President, for they know not what.
In this matter the President is not to blame;