XIII. April, 1862
- Gen. Beauregard succeeds Gen. Sydney Johnston. -- Dibble, the traitor. -- enemy at Fredericksburg. -- they say we will be subdued by the 15th of June. -- Lee rapidly concentrating at Richmond. -- Webster, the spy, hung.
April 1Gen. Sydney Johnston having fallen in battle, the command in the West devolved on Gen. Beauregard, whose recent defense at Island No.10 on the Mississippi, has revived his popularity. But, I repeat, he is a doomed man.
April 2Gen. Wise is here with his report of the Roanoke disaster.
April 3Congress is investigating the Roanoke affair. Mr. Benjamin has been denounced in Congress by Mr. Foote and others as the sole cause of the calamities which have befallen the country. I wrote a letter to the President, offering to show that I had given no passport to Mr. Dibble, the traitor, and also the evidences, in his own handwriting, that Mr. Benjamin granted it.
April 4The enemy are shelling our camp at Yorktown. I can hear the reports of the guns, of a damp evening. We are sending back defiance with our guns. The President has not taken any notice of my communication. Mr. Benjamin is too powerful to be affected by such proofs of such small matters.
April 5Newbern, N. C., has fallen into the hands of the enemy! Our men, though opposed by greatly superior numbers, made a brave resistance, and killed and wounded 1000 of the invaders. The enemy were piloted up the river to Newbern by the same Mr. Dibble to whom I refused a passport, but to whom the Secretary of War granted one. The press everywhere is commenting on the case of Dibble-but Mordecai still sits at the gate.
April 6Two spies (Lincoln's detective police) have been  arrested here, tried by court-martial, and condemned to be hung. There is an awful silence among the Baltimore detectives, which bodes no harm to the condemned. They will not be executed, though guilty.
April 7R. G. H. Kean, a young man, and a connection of Mr. Randolph, has been appointed Chief of the Bureau of War in place of Col. Bledsoe, resigned at last. Mr. Kean was, I believe, a lieutenant when Mr. Randolph was colonel, and acted as his adjutant.
April 8Col. Bledsoe has been appointed Assistant Secretary of War by the President. Now he is in his glory, and has forgotten me.
April 9There are several young officers who have sheathed the sword, and propose to draw the pen in the civil service. To-day I asked of the department a month's respite from labor, and obtained it. But I remained in the city, and watched closely, still hoping I might serve the cause, or at least prevent more injury to it, from the wicked facility hitherto enjoyed by spies to leave the country.
April 10The condemned spies have implicated Webster, the letter-carrier, who has had so many passports. He will hang, probably. Gen. Winder himself, and his policemen, wrote home by him. I don't believe him any more guilty than many who used to write by him; and I mean to tell the Judge Advocate so, if they give me an opportunity.
April 11The enemy are at Fredericksburg, and the Yankee papers say it will be all over with us by the 15th of June. I doubt that.
April 12The committee (Congressional) which have been investigating the Roanoke Island disaster have come to the conclusion, unanimously, and the House has voted accordingly, and with unanimity, that the blame and guilt of that great calamity rest solely upon “Gen. Huger and Judah P. Benjamin.”
April 13Gen. Wise now resolved to ask for another command, to make another effort in defense of his country. But, when he waited upon the Secretary of War, he ascertained that there was no brigade for him. Returning from thence, some of his officers, who had escaped the trap at Roanoke, crowded round him to learn the issue of his application.  “ There is no Secretary of War I” said he. “What is Randolph?” asked one. “ He is not Secretary of War!” said he; “he is merely a clerk, an underling, and cannot hold up his head in his humiliating position. He never will be able to hold up his head, sir.”
April 14There will soon be hard fighting on the Peninsula.
April 15Gen. Beauregard has written to Gen. Wise, offering him a command in his army, if the government will consent to it. It will not be consented to.
April 16Troops are being concentrated rapidly in Virginia by Gen. Lee.
April 17To-day Congress passed an act providing for the termination of martial law within thirty days after the meeting of the next session. This was as far as they could venture; for, indeed, a majority seem to be intimidated at the glitter of bayonets in the streets, wielded by the authority of martial law. The press, too, has taken the alarm, and several of the publishers have confessed a fear of having their offices closed, if they dare to speak the sentiments struggling for utterance. It is, indeed, a reign of terror! Every Virginian, and other loyal citizens of the Southmembers of Congress and all-must now, before obtaining Gen. Winder's permission to leave the city for their homes, bow down before the aliens in the Provost Marshal's office, and subscribe to an oath of allegiance, while a file of bayonets are pointed at his back!
April 18The President is thin and haggard; and it has been whispered on the street that he will immediately be baptized and confirmed. I hope so, because it may place a great gulf between him and the descendant of those who crucified the Saviour. Nevertheless, some of his enemies allege that professions of Christianity have sometimes been the premeditated accompaniments of usurpations. It was so with Cromwell and with Richard III. Who does not remember the scene in Shakspeare, where Richard appears on the balcony, with prayer book in hand and a priest on either side?
April 19All believe we are near a crisis, involving the possession of the capital.
April 21A calm before the storm.