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Xxvi. May, 1863

  • Lee snuffs a battle in the breeze.
  • -- Hooker's army supposed to be 100,000 men. -- Lee's perhaps 55,000 efficient. -- I am planting potatoes. -- part of Longstreet's army gone up. -- enemy makes a raid. -- great victory at Chancellorville. -- hot weather. -- our poor wounded coming in streams, in ambulances and on foot. -- Hooker has lost the game. -- message from the enemy. -- they ask of Lee permission to bury their dead. -- granted, of course. -- Hooker fortifying. -- food getting scarce again. -- Gen. Lee's thanks to the army. -- crowds of prisoners coming in. -- Lieut. -- Gen. Jackson dead. -- Hooker's raiders “hooked” a great many horses. -- enemy demand 500,000 more men. -- Beauregard complains that so many of his troops are taken to Mississippi. -- enemy at Jackson, Miss. -- strawberries. -- R. Tyler. -- my cherries are coming on finely. -- Ewell and Hill appointed lieutenant-generals. -- President seems to doubt Beauregard's veracity.- Hon. D. M. Lewis cuts his wheat to morrow, may 28th. -- Johnston says our troops are in fine spirits around Vicksburg. -- Grant thunders on. -- plan of servile insurrection.

May 1

Gov. Vance writes that Gen. Hill desires him to call out the militia, believing the enemy, balked in the attempt on Charleston, will concentrate their forces against North Carolina. But the Governor is reluctant to call the non-conscripts from the plow in the planting season. He thinks the defense of North Carolina has not been adequately provided for by the government, and that his State has been neglected for the benefit of others. He asks heavy guns; and says half the armament hurled against Charleston would suffice for the capture of Wilmington. [304]

A protest, signed by the thousands of men taken at Arkansas Post, now exchanged, against being kept on this side of the Mississippi, has been received. The protest was also signed by the members of Congress from Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missouri.

Capt. Causey, of the Signal Corps, writes that there are only a few battalions of the enemy on the Peninsula; but that rations for 40,000 men are sent to Suffolk.

Gen. Lee announces the crossing of the Rappahannock at Port Royal (which the Yankees pillaged) and at places above Fredericksburg. Gen. Stuart is hovering on their flank. A great battle may happen any moment.

L. E. Harvey, president of Richmond and Danville Railroad, asks for details to repair locomotives, else daily trains (freight) must be reduced to tri-weekly trains-and then the army cannot be sustained in Virginia.

Hon. Mr. Garnett asked (and obtained) permission for a Mr. Hurst (Jew?) to pass our lines, and bring Northern merchandise to Richmond for sale. He vouches for his loyalty to Virginia. Congress has before it a bill rendering this traffic criminal.

May 2

The awful hour, when thousands of human lives are to be sacrificed in the attempt to wrest this city from the Confederate States, has come again. Now parents, wives, sisters, brothers, and little children, both in the North and in the South, hold their breath in painful expectation. At the last accounts the two armies, yesterday, were drawn up in battle array, facing each other. No water flowed between them, the Northern army being on this side of the Rappahannock. We have no means of knowing their relative numbers; but I suspect Gen. Hooker commands more than 100,000 men, while Gen. Lee's army, perhaps, does not exceed 55,000 efficients.

Accounts by passengers, and reports from the telegraph operators at the northern end of the line, some ten or twelve miles this side of the armies, indicate that the battle was joined early this morning. Certainly heavy cannonading was heard. Yet nothing important transpired up to 3 P. M., when I left the department, else I should have known it. Still, the battle may be raging, without, as yet, decisive result, and the general may not have leisure to be dictating dispatches. [305]

Yet the heavy artillery may be only the preliminary overture to the desperate engagement; and it seems to me that several days might be spent in manoeuvring into position before the shock of arms occurs, which will lay so many heads low in the dust.

But a great battle seems inevitable. All the world knows the fighting qualifications of Gen. Lee, and the brave army he commands; and Gen. Hooker will, of course, make every effort to sustain his reputation as “fighting Joe.” Besides, he commands, for the first time, an army: and knows well that failure to fight, or failure to win, will consign him to the same disgrace of all his predecessors who have hitherto commanded the “Army of the Potomac.”

It is certain that a column of Federal cavalry, yesterday, cut the Central Railroad at Trevillian's depot, which prevents communication with Gordonsville, if we should desire to send heavy stores thither. And some suppose Lee is manoeuvring to get in the rear of Hooker, which would place the enemy between him and Richmond! He could then cut off his supplies, now being drawn by wagons some twenty or thirty miles, and spread alarm even to Washington. But, then, how would it be with Richmond, if Hooker should accept the position, and if the force at Suffolk should advance on the south side of the river, and gun-boats and transports were to come, simultaneously, up the York and James? Has Hooker the genius to conceive such a plan? Suppose it were so, and that he has shipped his supplies from the Potomacthe supplies which Stuart expects to capture — with the desperate resolution, abandoning his base on the Rappahannock, to force a junction with the heavy detachments south and east of this city? A Napoleon would get Richmond-but then Lee might get Washington! Longstreet's corps is somewhere in transitu between Petersburg and Gordonsville, and would no doubt be ordered here, and it might arrive in time. Our defenses are strong; but at this moment we have only-Gen. Wise's brigade, and a few battalions at the batteries, to defend the capital — some 5000 in all.

This is mere speculation, to be succeeded speedily by awful facts. The inhabitants here do not doubt the result, although there is a feverish anxiety to get intelligence. There is no such thing as fear, in this community, of personal danger, even among the women [306] and children; but there is some alarm by the opulent inhabitants, some of whom, for the sake of their property, would submit to the invader. One thing is pretty certain, Richmond will not fall by assault without costing the lives of 50,0(0 men, which is about equal to its population in ordinary times.

Well, I am planting potatoes in my little garden, and hope to reap the benefit of them. I pay 50 cts. per quart for seed potatoes, and should be chagrined to find my expenditure of money and labor had been for the benefit of the invader! Yet it may be so; and if it should be, still there are other little gardens to cultivate where we might fly to. We have too broad and too long a territory in the revolted States to be overrun and possessed by the troops of the United States.

May 3

We have no further news from the army, except the usual skirmishing. A number of our wounded arrived last evening. An officer reports that, from what he could see of the enemy's conduct, the soldiers do not come to the point with alacrity. He thinks they fight with reluctance, and are liable to be routed any hour by inferior numbers.

Troops were sent up in special trains last night, and also this morning. These are some of the regiments which Gen. D. P. Hill had in North Carolina; and hence the complaints of Gov. Vance, that his State did not have its just proportion of the protection of the government. Of Longstreet's movements, I am not advised. But there will be news enough in a few days.

The President's health is still precarious, and he is still threatened with the loss of his remaining eye.

The Vice-President was in my office yesterday, and told me his health is quite as good as usual. One would suppose him to be afflicted with all manner of diseases, and doomed to speedy dissolution; but, then, he has worn this appearance during the last twenty years. His eyes are magnificent, and his mind is in the meridian of intellectual vigor.

There has been some commotion in the city this afternoon and evening, but no painful alarm, produced by intelligence that the enemy's cavalry, that cut the road at Trevillian's depot, had reached Ashland and destroyed the depot. Subsequent rumors brought them within eight miles of the city; and we have no force of any consequence here. The account was brought from Ashland by a [307] Mr. Davis, who killed his horse in riding eighteen miles in one hour and a half.

Later in the day a young man, sixteen years old (Shelton), reached the city from Hanover on a United States horse, the enemy having foraged on his father's farm and taken his blooded steed. He says, when he escaped from them (having been taken prisoner this morning) 1500 were at his father's place, and three times as many more, being 6000 in all, were resting a short distance apart on another farm; but such ideas of numbers are generally erroneous. They told him they had been in the saddle five days, and had burnt all the bridges behind them to prevent pursuit. It was after this that they cut the road at Ashland. They professed to have fresh horses taken from our people, leaving their own. I think they will disappear down the Pamunky, and of course will cut the Central and York River Roads, and the wires. Thus communication with Lee's army is interrupted!

The Fredericksburg train, of course, failed to arrive to-day at 6 P. M.; and it is rumored there were 700 of our wounded in it, and that a great battle was fought yesterday by Lee. These are rumors.

May 4

This morning early the tocsin sounded, and the din, kept up for several hours, intensified the alarm. The presence of the enemy would not have produced a greater effect. But, in truth, the enemy were almost in sight of the city. Hon. James Lyons told me they were within a mile and a half of his house, which is about that distance from the city. Thousands of men, mostly old men and employees of the government, were instantly organized and marched to the batteries.

But the alarm subsided about 10 A. M. upon information being received that the enemy were flying before Gen. Wise down the Peninsula.

After this the following dispatch was received from Gen. Lee:

Milford, May 3d, 1863.
President Davis.
Yesterday Gen. Jackson, with three of his divisions, penetrated to the rear of the enemy, and drove him from all his positions, from the Wilderness to within one mile of Chancellorville. He was engaged at the same time, in front, by two of Longstreet's divisions. [308] This morning the battle was renewed. He was dislodged from all his positions around Chancellorville, and driven back toward the Rappahannock, over which he is now retreating.

Many prisoners were taken, and the enemy's loss, in killed and wounded, large.

We have again to thank Almighty God for a great victory.

I regret to state that Gen. Paxton was killed. Gen. Jackson severely, and Generals Heth and A. P. Hill slightly, wounded.

(Signed) R. E. Lee, General.

Enough is known to raise the spirits of all. Gen. Lee gives thanks to God “for a great victory;” and he never misleads, never exaggerates.

My son Custis got a musket and marched in one of the companies — I have not learned which — for the defense of the city. It is a sultry day, and he will suffer.

The President was driven out in a light open carriage after the reception of Gen. Lee's dispatch, and exhibited the finest spirits. He was even diverted at the zeal of the old men and boys marching out with heavy muskets to the batteries.

Brig.-Gen. Pryor, who has been under arrest (I know not for what offense), volunteered in a company of horse, and galloped away with the rest in pursuit of the enemy.

May 5

To-day the excitement was quite as great as ever, for bodies of the enemy are still in the vicinity. They are like frightened quails when the hawks are after them, skurrying about the country in battalions and regiments. Fitzhugh Lee defeated one of their parties, and reports that the entire calvary force of Hooker, in anticipation of certain victory, had been detached in the rear of Lee's army. This force comprises twenty-eight regiments, or 15,000 mounted men! Now that Hooker is defeatedour operator at Guiney's station dispatches to-day that it is reported there, and believed, that Hooker and his staff are prisonersit may be reasonably doubted whether one-half of this wild cavalry will escape. It was the mad pranks of a desperate commander. Hooker cast all upon the hazard of the die-and lost.

Among the mad pranks of the enemy, they sent a message over the wires to-day from Louisa County, I believe, to this purport: “For Heaven's sake, come and take us. We are broken down, and will surrender.” [309]

They captured an engine sent out yesterday to repair the road. The white men escaped, leaving two free negroes. The Yankees made the negroes put on a full head of steam, and run the locomotive into the river.

One of the enemy was taken sleeping at one of our city batteries near the river.

My friend, Dr. Powell, on the Brooke Turnpike, sent his little son, mounted on his finest horse, on an errand to a neighbor. The lad fell in with, as he called them, “some Yankee Dutchmen,” who presented their pistols and made him dismount. They took his horse and allowed him to return.

At the hour we were dining yesterday, the enemy were within two and a half miles of us on the Brooke road, and might have thrown shell into this part of the city.

Col. D. J. Godwin writes a long letter to the Secretary of War, from King and Queen Counties, concerning the great number of suspicious persons continually passing our lines into those of the enemy, with passports from this city; and the great injury done by the information they give. Unquestionably they have not only given information, but have furnished guides to the many regiments of cavalry now skurrying through the country. But the Baltimore Plug Uglies, under the protection of Gen. Winder, are the masters, now Mr. Secretary Seddon has yielded again.

A letter was received from Gen. J. E. Johnston to-day. He is too unwell to take the field, and suggests, if it be desirable to be in regular communication with Gen. Bragg, that the President send out a confidential officer. He says the army is suffering for meat, and if it retires into East Tennessee, supplies must be obtained from its flanks instead of from its rear, which would be dangerous. The letter was dated a week ago, and gives no indications of a battle. The general says he is exchanging sugar for bacon; but condemns the practice of allowing our people to sell cotton to the enemy for supplies. In my opinion none but government cottonl should be exchanged for subsistence. He says the people are subjugated by trade. He suggests that our men when paroled, and not exchanged, may do duty otherwise than in arms — as is practiced by the enemy.

H. D. Bird, general superintendent of the railroad, writes from Petersburg that the movements of cars with ammunition, etc. are [310] thrown into confusion by the neglect of telegraph agents in giving timely notice. This is an unfortunate time for confusion. I sent the letter to the Secretary, and know that it was not “filed” on the way to him.

A communication came in to-day from the Committee of Safety at Mobile, Ala., charging that J. S. Clark, Wm. G. Ford, and -- Hurt, have been shipping cotton to New Orleans, after pretending to clear it for Nassau. It says Mr. Clarke was an intimate crony of Gen. Butler's speculating brother. It also intimates that the people believe the government here winks at these violations of the act of Congress of April, 1862.

Very curiously, a letter came from the Assistant Secretary's room to-day for “file,” which was written April 22d, 1861, by R. H. Smith to Judge Campbell--a private letter-warning him not to come to Mobile, as nothing was thought of but secession, and it was believed Judge C. had used his influence with Mr. Seward to prevent secession. The writer deprecates civil war. And quite as curiously, the Examiner to-day contains what purports to be Admiral Buchanan's correspondence with the Lincoln government, two letters, the first in April, 1861, tendering his resignation, and the last on May 4th, begging, if it had not been done already, that the government would not accept his resignation.

May 6

The excitement has subsided, as troops come pouring in, and many improvised cavalry companies go out in quest of the fox — who has vanished we know not exactly whither.

It is believed we have taken 15,000 or 20,000 prisoners, and that the enemy's killed, wounded, and prisoners must reach the appalling number of 40,000.

On Sunday, the enemy opposite Fredericksburg sent over a flag, asking permission to bury their dead. This was granted. But when they came-two corps under Gen. Sedgwick came over and fell upon our few regiments in the vicinity. So goes the story. Then, it is said, when Gen. Lee ordered two of our divisions to drive Sedgwick back, the men, learning the enemy with the flag of truce had given no quarter to their comrades, refused to fight unless permitted to retaliate in kind. This was promised them; and then their charge was irresistible, never pausing until the Yankees were hurled back across the river. No prisoners were taken. However this may be, Gen. Lee sends the following to the President: [311]

[received by telegraph from Guiney's Depot.]

headquarters, 10 o'clock A M., May 5, 1863.
To his Excellency, President Davis.
At the close of the battle of Chancellorville, on Sunday, the enemy was reported advancing from Fredericksburg in our rear.

Gen. McLaws was sent back to arrest his progress, and repulsed him handsomely that afternoon. Learning that this force consisted of two corps, under Gen. Sedgwick, I determined to attack it, and marched back yesterday with Gen. Anderson, and uniting with Gens. McLaws and Early in the afternoon, succeeded by the blessing of Heaven in driving Gen. Sedgwick over the river. We have reoccupied Fredericksburg, and no enemy remains south of the Rappahannock in its vicinity.

(Signed) R. E. Lee, General.

Another dispatch from Gen. Lee says Hooker is still on this side of the river, at United States Ford, fortifying.

Gen. Longstreet is now closeted with the Secretary of War. No doubt his entire corps will immediately rejoin Lee.

Jackson was wounded (his arm has been amputated) before the great battle was fought, by our own men, in the gloom of the evening, supposing him a Federal officer. He was reconnoitering in front of the line.

S. S. H-- writes to the department, proposing to send an emissary to the North, to organize secret societies to destroy the enemy's stores, ships, railroad bridges, etc. by an unexplained process.

Tillman, Griffin & Co. write to Judge Campbell to obtain them permission to trade with Mexico. Does this mean trading cotton with the enemy? I know not whether the request was granted.

Mr. Benjamin, Secretary of State, writes to the Secretary to-day for permission for some of his Louisiana friends to leave the country in a government steamer.

It is said that the government at Washington is ordering their troops from North Carolina and other places on the Southern seaboard towards Washington, and to reinforce Hooker-or Hooker's army. I think Hooker himself will go the way of all general flesh that fails. [312]

The President sent to the War Department fifty-five letters today, written to him on various subjects, but mostly asking appointments. He had read them, and several had indorsed on them, in his own hand, what he wished done in the premises. So he has not lost his sight. He still attends to business at his dwelling, and has not been in his office for more than a month.

Secretary Seddon is gaunt and emaciated, with long straggling hair, mingled grey and black. He looks like a dead man galvanized into muscular animation. His eyes are sunken, and his features have the hue of a man who had been in his grave a full month. But'he is an orator, and a man of fine education-but in bad health, being much afflicted with neuralgia. His administrative capacity will be taxed by the results.

May 7

A scout came in to-day with the vexatious intelligence that a body of hostile cavalry is still in Louisa County. And later in the day we have information that the Mattapony bridge was burned last night! Thus again is communication interrupted between Gen. Lee and the city! Our wounded cannot be brought to the hospitals here, nor supplies sent to them! It really does seem as if an organization of Union men here were co-operating with the enemy, else they never could disappear and reappear so often with impunity. Every one is asking what Gens. Elzey and Winder are doing-and echo answers, what?

There is a great pressure for passports to leave the country. Mr. Benjamin writes an indignant letter to the Secretary against Gen. Whiting, at Wilmington, for detaining a Mr. Flanner's steamer, laden with cotton for some of the nationalities-Mr. B. intimates a foreign or neutral power. But when once away from our shore, many of these vessels steer for New York, depositing large sums “for those whom it may concern.”

Mr. J. B. Campbell, attorney for J. E. Hertz (Jew), writes a long letter to “J. A. Campbell, Assistant Secretary of War,” urging the payment of the slight sum of $25,200 for ninety kegs of bicarbonate of soda seized by the agent of the department! The true value is about $250!

At two o'clock this afternoon a note was received by the Secretary of War from Lieut.-Gen. Longstreet (still in the city), stating that the President last night desired him to go to Gen. Lee immediately; but the general, during the day, has become convinced [313] that he should not leave the city until communications are reestablished with Gen. Lee, and the city in a condition of defense against the sudden dash of one or two columns of the enemy-an event, he thinks, meditated by the Yankees! And the persistency of the Federal cavalry in hanging round the city in spite of all the generals here, and the many companies, battalions, and regiments vainly sent out in quest of them, would seem to indicate such purpose.

But the raids in the West don't seem to flourish so well. We have an official dispatch from Gen. Bragg, stating that Gen. Forrest has captured 1600 of the enemy's cavalry in a body, near Rome, Georgia.

There are amusing scenes among the horrors of war, as the following, taken from a paper to-day, shows:

Taking the oath under protest.

“ A few weeks ago a laughable incident occurred in the neighborhood of Nashville, which ig worthy of record. A saucy, dashing young girl, of the Southern persuasion, was, with a number of other ladies, brought into the presence of Gen. Rosecrans, in order that their Southern ardor might be checked by the administration of the oath of loyalty. The bold, bright-eyed Juno in question, objected to take the oath, saying that her mother had taught her that it was unladylike to swear; her sense of morality forbid her to swear, and swear she could and would not. The officer insisted that the lady must take an oath before she left his presence.

‘Well, general,’ said bright eyes, ‘if I must swear, I will; but all sins of the oath must rest on your shoulders, for I swear on your compulsion: “G-d d — m every Yankee to h-ll!”’

And the defiant beauty tossed her dark curls and swept out of the presence unmolested.

Nashville Union.

7 O'Clock P. M. The report that the bridge over the Mattapony had been burned by the enemy was false-invented probably by a spy or emissary, who has enjoyed the freedom of the city under the Dogberrys and Vergises imported hither to preserve the government. A number of trains containing our wounded men, guarded by a detachment of troops, have arrived at the Fredericksburg depot. An officer just arrived from the army says we have taken 15,000 prisoners. If this be so, the loss of the enemy during the week in Virginia will not be less than 40,000. Our loss in [314] killed and wounded is estimated at from 8 to 10,000-we lost a few hundred prisoners. We have taken, it is said, 53 guns, and lost 14.

I think the reports to-day of squadrons of the enemy's cavalry seen in the surrounding counties are not reliable — they were probably our own men in quest of the enemy.

May 8

To-day the city is in fine spirits. Hooker had merely thrown up defenses to protect his flight across the river. The following dispatch was received last night from Gen. Lee:

Chancellorsville, May 7th, 1863.
To his Excellency, President Davis.
After driving Gen. Sedgwick across the Rappahannock, on the night of the 4th inst., I returned on the 5th to Chancellorville. The march was delayed by a storm, which continued all night and the following day. In placing the troops in position on the morning of the 6th, to attack Gen. Hooker, it was ascertained he had abandoned his fortified position. The line of skirmishers was pressed forward until they came within range of the enemy's batteries, planted north of the Rappahannock, which, from the configuration of the ground, completely commanded this side. His army, therefore, escaped with the loss of a few additional prisoners.

(Signed) R. E. Lee, General.

Thus ends the career of Gen. Hooker, who, a week ago, was at the head of an army of 150,000 men, perfect in drill, discipline, and all the muniments of war. He came a confident invader against Gen. Lee at the head of 65,000 “butternuts,” as our honest poor-clad defenders were called, and we see the result! An active campaign of less than a week, and Hooker is hurled back in disgrace and irreparable disaster! Tens of thousands of his men will never live to “fight another day” --and although the survivors did “run away,” it is doubtful whether they can be put in fighting trim again for many a month.

And the raiding cavalry have not been heard from to-day. If they be not back on the north side of the Rappahannock by this time, it is probable they will reach Richmond in a few days without arms, and on foot. [315]

Gens. Hood's and Pickett's divisions (Longstreet's corps) are now passing through the city-perhaps 15,000 of the best fighting men in the South. Oh, what wisdom and foresight were evinced by Gen. Lee, when, some ten days ago, he telegraphed the President to send him Longstreet's corps, via Gordonsville! It was referred to the Secretary of War, who consulted with Gen. Cooper --and of course it was not done. This corps was not in the battle. If it had been on the field, Hooker's destruction would have been speedy and complete; and his routed regiments would have been followed to the very gates of the Federal capital. As it was, Lee lost a day in driving Sedgwick back-and then Hooker “escaped,” as Lee expresses it.

I do not understand the Assistant Secretary of War's official correspondence. He sent in the other day a letter addressed to him two years ago to be filed-and to-day an envelope addressed to him as Assistant Secretary by Mr. Benjamin, Secretary of State, merely covering a letter (sealed) for R. S. Bunkee, Mobile, Alabama. Well, it is filed.

The pressure for permits to leave the Confederacy is not renewed to-day. Judge Campbell will not have so many passports to “approve,” and I trust confidence in the permanency of the Confederacy will be unshaken. How must they feel who, in anticipation of Lee's defeat, had received, in advance, a pardon from the powers at Washington!

Col. Lay was in to-day; he thinks the-North will be cheered a little by their capture of Grand Gulf, in the West. But that is not Vicksburg, or Charleston, or Richmond.

We have had short allowance of food yesterday and to-day; the country people being afraid to come to market, lest their horses should be seized to go in quest of the enemy's cavalry. My family dined to-day on eight fresh herrings, which cost two dollars.

The trains from Fredericksburg brought down several hundred Federal officers; among them was a general, a large number of colonels, lieutenant-colonels, majors, captains, etc. These, when exchanged, as I suppose they will be — for victory makes our government magnanimous — may, if they choose, deny the report that the raiding cavalry destroyed the railroad.

Now what will the Tribune say? It did say, a few months ago, [316] that if the effort to crush the rebellion failed this spring, it would be useless to prolong the war-and that peace should be made on the best practicable terms. Since the beginning of the war, I doubt not 500,000 men have been precipitated upon Virginia. Where are they now? In the third year of the war, we see “the finest army the world ever saw,” overthrown by about half its numbers, and in full retreat toward its own frontier. Perhaps 100,000 invaders have found bloody graves in Virginia-and an equal number have died of their wounds, or from disease contracted in this State. The number of maimed and disabled must also be 100,000-and yet Richmond is not taken, or likely to be. To invade and subjugate a vast territory, inhabited by millions of warlike people, the assailants must always have four times as many men as the assailed; therefore we stand on an equal footing with the United States in this war, and they may, if they be insane enough, protract it indefinitely, and in the end reap no substantial benefit. On the contrary, the fortune of war may shift the scene of devastation to their own homes. Perhaps Lee may follow up this blow until he enters Pennsylvania.

May 9

The papers contain the following order from Gen. Lee:

General orders no. 59.

headquarters army of Northern Virginia, May 7th, 1863.
With heartfelt gratification, the General Commanding expresses to the army his sense of the heroic conduct displayed by officers and men, during the arduous operations in which they have just been engaged.

Under trying vicissitudes of heat and storm, you attacked the enemy, strongly intrenched in the depths of a tangled wilderness, and again on the hills of Fredericksburg, fifteen miles distant, and by the valor that has triumphed on so many fields, forced him once more to seek safety beyond the Rappahannock. While this glorious victory entitles you to the praise and gratitude of the nation, we are especially called upon to return our grateful thanks to the only Giver of victory for the signal deliverance He has wrought.

It is, therefore, earnestly recommended that the troops unite on Sunday next in ascribing to the Lord of hosts the glory due unto His name. [317]

Let us not forget in our rejoicing the brave soldiers who have fallen in defense of their country; and while we mourn their loss, let us resolve to emulate their noble example.

The army and the country alike lament the absence for a time of one to whose bravery, energy, and skill they are so much indebted for success.

The following letter from the President of the Confederate States is communicated to the army as an expression of his appreciation of its success:

I have received your dispatch, and reverently unite with you in giving praise to God for the success with which He has crowned our arms.

In the name of the people, I offer my cordial thanks to yourself and the troops under your command for this addition to the unprecedented series of great victories which your army has achieved.

The universal rejoicing produced by this happy result will be mingled with a general regret for the good and the brave who are numbered among the killed and wounded.

R. E. Lee, General.

The losses on either side are not yet relatively ascertained. Ours, in killed, wounded, and prisoners, will probably reach 10,000. We have taken about 10,000 prisoners; the enemy's killed and wounded is thought to be 15,000 to 20,000. We have taken about fifty guns-and it is said 40,000 small arms, in good order. They did not have leisure to destroy them as on former occasions. It was a complete and stunning defeat.

Gen. Jackson remains near Fredericksburg, and is doing well since the amputation of his (left) arm. The wound was received, during the battle by moonlight, from his own men, who did not recognize their beloved general.

A letter was received to-day from Gen. Whiting at Wilmington, who refuses to permit the “Lizzie” to leave the port, unless ordered to do so. He intimates that she trades with the enemy. And yet Mr. Benjamin urges the Secretary to allow her to depart! Commodore Lynch also writes that the detention of the “Lizzie” is a prudential measure, as it is the only steamer in port that could [318] conduct our unfinished gun-boat to a place of safety, should the enemy's fleet make a sudden attack on the city.

The President (who still absents himself from the Executive Office, his health being precarious) writes the Secretary to consult Gen. Lee before detaching Gen. Jenkins's cavalry brigade from the West. It would have been better if Gen. Lee's advice had been taken in regard to Gen. Longstreet.

The men from the garrison at Drewry's Bluff, and the crew from the steamer Richmond, were taken away to man the batteries around the city. The President requests the Secretary to order them back at the earliest moment practicable. It would be an ugly picture if our defenses at Drewry's Bluff were surprised and taken by a sudden dash of the enemy up James River.

The raid of the enemy's cavalry, after all, did little or no permanent injury to the roads or canal. They are all in operation again.

It is said Lincoln has called for 500,000 more men. Numbers have now no terror for the Southern people. They are willing to wage the war against quadruple their number.

May 10

Detachments of Federal troops are now marching into the city every few hours, guarded by (mostly) South Carolinians, dressed in home-spun, died yellow with the bark of the butternut-tree. Yesterday evening, at 7 o'clock, a body of 2000 arrived, being marched in by way of the Brooke Pike, near to my residence. Only 200 Butternuts had them in charge, and a less number would have sufficed, for they were extremely weary. Some of them, however, attempted to be humorous.

A young officer asked one of the spectators if the “Libby” (the prison) was the best house in the city to put up at. He was answered that it was the best he would find.

Another passed some compliment on a mulatto wench, who replied: “Go long, you nasty Abolition Yankee.”

One of our soldiers taken at Arkansas Post, just exchanged, walked along with the column, and kept repeating these words: “Now you know how we felt when you marched us through your cities.”

But generally a deep silence was maintained, and neither insult nor indignity offered the fallen foe. Other columns are on the way --and how they are to be subsisted is a vexatious question. [319]

The Washington papers of the day preceding the first battle contain Hooker's address to his army-how different from Lee's! It is short, though:

General orders no. 47.

headquarters army of the Potomac, Camp near Falmouth, April 30th.
It is with heartfelt satisfaction that the Commanding General announces to the army that the operations of the last three days have determined that our enemy must either ingloriously fly or come out from behind his defenses and give us battle on our own ground, where certain destruction awaits him. The operations of the 15th, 11th, and 12th corps have been a succession of splendid achievements.

By command of Maj.-Gen. Hooker.

S. Williams, Ass't. Adj't.-Gen.

Another column of between twelve and fifteen hundred prisoners marched in this afternoon. It is said a copy of the New York Herald is in town, which acknowledges Hooker's loss to be fully 40,000. There are rumors, also, that our army in Tennessee has gained a great victory. Rumors from the West have hitherto been so very unreliable, that I shall wait patiently for the confirmation of any reports from that quarter.

May 11

Lieut.-Gen. J. T. Jackson died at 3 P. M. yesterday. His remains will arrive in the city at 5 P. M. this afternoon. The flags are at half-mast, and all the government offices and even places of business are closed. A multitude of people, mostly women and children, are standing silently in the streets, awaiting the arrival of the hero, destined never again to defend their homes and honor.

A letter from Gen. Lee says, emphatically, that if cavalry be not brought from North Carolina and the South, the enemy's cavalry will be enabled to make raids almost anywhere without molestation. I recollect distinctly how he urged the Secretary of War (Randolph), months ago, to send to Texas for horses, but it was not attended to-and now we see the consequences.

The exchanged prisoners here, taken at Arkansas Post, are ordered to the Mississippi. Gen. Longstreet urged the Secretary to send them off, if that were their destination, without a moment's [320] delay, several days ago-else they would be too late to participate in the campaign.

Northern papers set down Hooker's loss at 20,000, a modest figure, subject to revision.

The Federal Secretary of War has issued a statement to mollify the panic. He is bound to acknowledge that, whereas Hooker advanced upon Lee across the river, he is now, after the battle, back again, where he started from. But he says not more than a third of the army was engaged; and as 30,000 reinforcements have been sent from Washington, and as many from Suffolk, the army will soon be as strong as ever, and in condition for another advanceand defeat.

But what credit can we attach to such statements, since McClellan, under oath, said that he had ninety odd thousand men at the battle of Sharpsburg, 75,000 of whom only were actually engaged, while Lee had 100,000? We know that he did not have 40,000 engaged!

Gen. Van Dorn is dead-being killed by a man whose peace he had ruined.

More applications for passports to leave the country are coming in-and they are “allowed” by the Assistant Secretary of War. How could he refuse, since his own family (at least a portion of it) have enjoyed the benefits of sojourning in the North since the war began?

A letter was received to-day from Mr. Ranney, president of the N. C., Jackson, and Great Northern Railroad Co., asking the protection of government from harm for violations of the Act of Congress of April 19th, 1862, prohibiting the transportation of cotton within the enemy's lines. He incloses a number of peremptory orders from Lieut.-Gen. Pemberton, dated January 19th, February 16th and 19th, to take large amounts of cotton into the enemy's lines for S. J. Josephs (Jew?), and for Messrs. Clarke, Ford, and Hust, etc. etc. He says Gen. P. threatened to seize the road if he did not comply, and asserted that he had authority from the Secretary of War to issue the orders. One of these orders was from Gov. Pettus, for a small lot not more than fifty bales, to be exchanged for salt. This was authorized by the President, who most positively forbid the others. The letter from Gen. Johnston the other day said this traffic was subjugating the [321] people. Was that “allowed” to reach the Secretary and the President? I know not; it has not yet passed through my hands from the President back to the department.

May 12

The departments and all places of business are still closed in honor of Gen. Jackson, whose funeral will take place to-day. The remains will be placed in state at the Capitol, where the people will be permitted to see him. The grief is universal, and the victory involving such a loss is regarded as a calamity.

The day is bright and excessively hot; and so was yesterday.

Many letters are coming in from the counties in which the enemy's cavalry replenished their horses. It appears that the government has sent out agents to collect the worn-down horses left by the enemy; and this is bitterly objected to by the farmers. It is the corn-planting season, and without horses, they say, they can raise no crops. Some of these writers are almost menacing in their remarks, and intimate that they are about as harshly used, in this war, by one side as the other.

To-day I observed the clerks coming out of the departments with chagrin and mortification. Seventy-five per cent. of them ought to be in the army, for they are young able-bodied men. This applies also to the chiefs of bureaus.

The funeral was very solemn and imposing, because the mourning was sincere and heartfelt. There was no vain ostentation. The pall bearers were generals. The President followed near the hearse in a carriage, looking thin and frail in health. The heads of departments, two and two, followed on foot-Benjamin and Seddon first-at the head of the column of young clerks (who ought to be in the field), the State authorities, municipal authorities, and thousands of soldiers and citizens. The war-horse was led by the general's servant, and flags and black feathers abounded.

Arrived at the Capitol, the whole multitude passed the bier, and gazed upon the hero's face, seen through a glass in the coffin.

Just previous to the melancholy ceremony, a very large body of prisoners (I think 3500) arrived, and were marched through Main Street, to the grated buildings allotted them. But these attracted slight attention,--Jackson, the great hero, was the absorbing thought. Yet there are other Jacksons in the army, who will win victories,--no one doubts it. [322]

The following is Gen. Lee's order to the army after the intelligence of Gen. Jackson's death:

General orders no. 61.

Headquarters, Army Northern Va., May 11th, 1863.
With deep grief the Commanding General announces to the army the death of Lieut.-Gen. T. J. Jackson, who expired on the 10th inst., at 3-P. M. The daring, skill, and energy of this great and good soldier, by the decree of an all-wise Providence, are now lost to us. But while we mourn his death, we feel that his spirit still lives, and will inspire the whole army with his indomitable courage and unshaken confidence in God as our hope and our strength. Let his name be a watchword to his corps, who have followed him to victory on so many fields. Let officers and soldiers emulate his invincible determination to do everything in the defense of our beloved country.

R. E. Lee, General.

The letter written by Gen. Lee to Gen. Jackson before the death of the latter is as follows:

The letter of Gen. Lee to Gen. Jackson.

Chancellorville, May 4th.
I have just received your note informing me that you were wounded. I cannot express my regret at the occurrence. Could I have dictated events, I should have chosen for the good of the country to have been disabled in your stead.

I congratulate you upon the victory which is due to your skill and energy.

Most truly yours, R. E. Lee. To Gen. T. J. Jackson.

“The nation's agony,” as it is termed in a Washington paper, in an appeal for 500,000 more men, now demands a prompt response from the people. And yet that paper, under the eye and in the interest of the Federal Government, would make it appear that “the Army of the Potomac” has sustained no considerable disaster. What, then, constitutes the “nation's agony” ? Is it [323] the imminency of war with England? It may be, judging from the debates in Parliament, relating to the liberties the United States have been taking with British commerce. But what do they mean by the “nation?” They have nothing resembling a homogeneous race in the North, and nearly a moiety of the people are Germans and Irish. How ridiculous it would have been even for a Galba to call his people the Roman nation! An idiot may produce a conflagration, but he can never rise to the dignity of a high-minded man. Yet that word “Nation” may raise a million Yankee troops. It is a “new thing.”

The Northern papers say Charleston is to be assailed again immediately; that large reinforcements are going to Hooker, and that they captured six or eight thousand prisoners in their flight on the Rappahannock. All these fictions are understood and appreciated here; but they may answer a purpose in the North, by deceiving the people again into the belief that Richmond will certainly fall the next time an advance is made. And really, where we see such extravagant statements in the Federal journals, after a great battle, we are much rejoiced, because we know them to be unfounded, and we are led to believe our victory was even greater than we supposed it to be.

May 13

Col. Gorgas, Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance, sent in to-day a report of the arms captured in the recent battle. It appears from his statement that, so far, only eight guns have been found, taken from the enemy, while we lost ten. Thus, it would appear, our papers have been “lying,” in regard to that item, as well as the Northern papers about the number of prisoners lost and taken. But, so far, we have collected 12,000 of the enemy's small arms left upon the field, and 8000 of our own, indicating the number of our killed and wounded. But the New York journals say we captured only 1700 prisoners; whereas, up to this time, more than 6000 have arrived in Richmond; 5000 of whom leave to-day, paroled until exchanged. I doubt whether we lost 2000 prisoners in the battle.

The Philadelphia Press, just received, charges the government at Washington with circulating false reports, and is now convinced Hooker met with a most crushing defeat.

It is rumored the enemy are disembarking troops at the White House, York River. If this be so, it is to prevent reinforcements being sent to Lee. [324]

The Governor of Alabama declares that Mobile is neglected, and says he will continue to protest against the failure of the government to make adequate preparations for the defense of the city.

I saw Gen. Wise to-day. He seems weather-beaten, but hardy.

May 14

We have been beaten in an engagement near Jackson, Miss., 4000 retiring before 10,000. This is a dark cloud over the hopes of patriots, for Vicksburg is seriously endangered. Its fall would be the worst blow we have yet received.

Papers from New York and Philadelphia assert most positively, and with circumstantiality, that Hooker recrossed the Rappahannock since the battle, and is driving Lee toward Richmond, with which his communications have been interrupted. But this is not all: they say Gen. Keyes marched a column up the Peninsula, and took Richmond itself, over the Capitol of which the Union flag “is now flying.” These groundless statements will go out to Europe, and may possibly delay our recognition. If so, what may be the consequences when the falsehood is exposed? I doubt the policy of any species of dishonesty.

Gov. Shorter, of Alabama, demands the officers of Forrest's captives for State trial, as they incited the slaves to insurrection.

Mr. S. D. Allen writes from Alexandria, La., that the people despair of defending the Mississippi Valley with such men as Pemberton and other hybrid Yankees in command. He denounces the action also of quartermasters and commissaries in the Southwest.

A letter from Hon. W. Porcher Miles to the Secretary of War gives an extract from a communication written him by Gen. Beauregard, to the effect that Charleston must at last fall into the hands of the enemy, if an order which has been sent there, for nearly all his troops to proceed to Vicksburg, be not revoked. There are to be left for the defense of Charleston only 1500 exclusive of the garrisons!

May 15

The Tredegar Iron Works and Crenshou's woolen factory were mostly destroyed by fire last night! This is a calamity.

We have also intelligence of the occupation of Jackson, Miss., by the enemy. Thus they cut off communication with Vicksburg, and that city may be doomed to fall at last. The President is at work again at the Executive Office, but is not fully himself yet. [325] The Secretary of War dispatched Gen. Lee a day or two ago, desiring that a portion of his army, Pickett's division, might be sent to Mississippi. Gen. Lee responds that it is a dangerous and doubtful expedient; it is a question between Virginia and Mississippi; he will send the division off without delay, if still deemed necessary. The President, in sending this response to the Secretary, says it is just such an answer as he expected from Lee, and he approves it. Virginia will not be abandoned.

Gens. Lee, Stuart, and French were all at the War Department to-day. Lee looked thinner, and a little pale. Subsequently he and the Secretary of War were long closeted with the President.

Gen. Schenck (Federal) has notified Gen. W. E. Jones, that our men taken dressed in Federal uniform will not be treated as prisoners of war, but will be tried and punished as spies, etc. The President directed the Secretary of War to-day to require Gen. Lee to send an order to the commander of the Federal army, that accouterments and clothing will be deemed subjects of capture, and if our men are treated differently than prisoners of war, when taken, we will retaliate on the prisoners in our possession.

Gen. Longstreet censured Gen. French for his conduct before Suffolk, and the Secretary of War proposed that French be relieved, and sent before a court of inquiry. The President vetoed this, saying such courts were nuisances, and would not have him molested at this critical moment.

Gen. D. H. Hill writes that desertions in North Carolina are alarmingly frequent; that deserters will soon be in arms; that papers and factions exist there in favor of reconstruction, laboring to convince the people that the State has been neglected by the Confederate States Government, and he suggests summary punishments. The President directs the Secretary to correspond with Gov. Vance on the subject.

Mr. Benjamin has had some pretty passports printed. He sends one to Assistant Secretary Campbell for a Mr. Bloodgood and son to leave the Confederate States. I hope there is no bad blood in this incessant intercourse with persons in the enemy's country. Just at this crisis, if so disposed, any one going thither might inflict incalculable injury on the cause of Southern independence.

May 16

It appears, after the consultation of the generals [326] and the President yesterday, it was resolved not to send Pickett's division to Mississippi, and this morning early the long column march through the city northward. Gen. Lee is now stronger than he was before the battle. Gen. Pickett himself, with his long, black ringlets, accompanied his division, his troops looking like fighting veterans, as they are. And two fine regiments of cavalry, the 2d and 59th North Carolina Regiments, passed through the city this morning likewise.

A letter was received from Gen. Beauregard to-day, again protesting against the movement of so many of his troops to Mississippi; 5000 on the 5th, and more than 5000 on the 10th instant.

He makes an exhibit of the forces remaining in South Carolina and Georgia--about 4000 infantry, 5000 cavalry, and 6000 artillery, some 15,000 in all. He says the enemy is still on the coast, in the rivers, and on the islands, and may easily cut his communications with Savannah; and they have sufficient numbers to take Charleston, in all probability, without passing the forts. He says information of his weakness is sure to be communicated to the enemy-and I think so too, judging from the number of passports “allowed” by Judge Campbell and Mr. Benjamin!

There is some purpose on the part of Gen. Lee to have a raid in the enemy's country, surpassing all other raids. If he can organize two columns of cavalry, 5000 each, to move in parallel lines, they may penetrate to the Hudson River; and then the North will discover that it has more to lose by such expeditions than the South. Philadelphia, even, may be taken.

To-day, the regular train on the Fredericksburg road came back to the city, the conductor being in a terrible fright, and reporting that the enemy were again at Ashland. But it turned out that the troops there were our men! It is not probable the enemy's cavalry will soon approach Richmond again.

May 17

The last few days have been cool and dry; fine weather for campaigning. And yet we hear of no demonstrations apparently, though I believe Lee's army is moving.

Mr. Lamar, of Savannah (formerly president of the Bank of the Republic, New York), writes that he and others are organizing an Exporting and Importing Company, and desires the government to take an interest in it. So far the heads of bureaus decline, and of course the Secretary will do nothing. But the [327] Secretary has already engaged with Mr. Crenshaw in a similar enterprise, and so informed Mr. Mason, at London.

About 10 A. M., some 2500 men of all arms arrived at “double quick,” having left Ashland, eighteen miles distant, at 5 o'clock this morning. That was brisk marching. The guns were sent down on the railroad. The government has information that Gen. Keyes, with a full division of infantry and a brigade of cavalry, had marched up to West Point, to threaten Richmond. The troops, however, which arrived from Ashland, had been taken from the batteries here, and did not belong to Gen. Lee's army.

Messrs. Davenport & Co., Mobile, charge Gen. Buckner with permitting 1000 bales of cotton to be shipped to New Orleans.

The president of the Fredericksburg Road states, in a letter to the Secretary, that, after the battle, by military authority, the cars were appropriated by the Federal officers (prisoners), while our wounded soldiers had to remain and await the return of the trains.

Hon. Mr. Dargin, of Alabama, writes to the Secretary, to procure from the President a disavowal of the “organship” of the Enquirer, as that paper, under the belief that it speaks for the government, is likely to inflict much mischief on the country. He alluded to the bitter articles against the Democrats and peace men of the North, who would soon have been able to embarrass, if not to check the operations of the Republican war party. He says now, that they will write against us, and deal destruction wherever they penetrate the land.

May 19

A dispatch from Gen. Johnston says a battle has been fought between Pemberton and Grant, between Jackson and Vicksburg, Mississippi, which lasted nine hours. Pemberton was forced back. This is all we know yet.

Another letter, from Hon. W. Porcher Miles, remonstrating against the withdrawal of Beauregard's troops, was received today. He apprehends the worst consequences.

The government is buying 5000 bales of cotton for the Crenshaw scheme. Jas. R. Crenshaw, of this city, is at Charleston on this business. Why not arrange with Lamar?

Gov. Shorter forwards another strongly written memorial from Mobile, against the traffic of cotton with the enemy, and, indeed, against all blockade-running. [328]

Gov. Jno. Milton, of Florida, also writes a powerful denunciation of the illicit traffic, which it seems the policy of the government has been to encourage. They all say this traffic is doing the work of subjugation more effectually than the arms of the enemy.

The President is too ill again to come to the Executive Office. His messenger, who brought me some papers this morning, says he is in a “decline.” I think he has been ill every day for several years, but this has been his most serious attack. No doubt he is also worried at the dark aspects in his owjn State-Mississippi.

If Vicksburg falls, and the Valley be held by the enemy, then the Confederacy will be curtailed of half its dimensions. Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, Arizona, New Mexico, all the Indian country, Kentucky, half of Tennessee, one-third of Virginia, Eastern North Carolina, and sundry islands, etc. of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, will be wrested from us. What will remain of the Confederacy? Two-thirds of Virginia, half of Tennessee, the greater part of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and the whole of Alabama,--less than six States! But still the war will go on, as long as we have brave armies and great generals, whether the President lives or dies.

May 20

Reports from the West say we lost 3000 and the enemy 6000 men in the battle of the 15th inst., when Pemberton fell back over the Black River. Our forces numbered only 12,000, Grant's three times that number. Something decisive must occur before Vicksburg in a few days.

Mr. J. W. Henry writes from New's Ferry, that parties of cavalry, going about the country, professing to belong to our Gen. Stuart's corps, are probably Yankee spies making observations preparatory for another raid. The city councils are organizing the citizens for local defense, thinking it probable another dash may be made.

Gen. Dix threatens to hang the citizens of Williamsburg if they co-operate with Gen. Wise in his frequent attacks on the Federals. Gen. Wise replies, threatening to hang Gen. Dix if he carries his threat into execution, and should fall into his hands, in a more summary manner than John Brown was hung for making his raid in Virginia.

Butter is worth $4 per pound. A sheep is worth $50. A cow $500.


May 21

There was a rumor on the street last ntght that Gen. Johnston had telegraphed the President that it would be necessary to evacuate Vicksburg. This has not been confirmed to-day, and I do not believe it. It would be irremediably disastrous.

Mr. N. S. Walker writes from Bermuda, May 11th, 1863, that seventeen additional British regiments have been ordered to Canada. A large amount of ordnance and ordnance stores, as well as several war steamers, have likewise been sent thither. He states, moreover, that United States vessels are having their registers changed. Does this really mean war?

Strawberries were selling in market this morning at $4 for less than a pint. Coal $25 per load, and wood $30 per cord.

May 22

A letter from Gen. Howell Cobb, declining the offer of the Secretary of War, of the position of Quartermaster-General, was received to-day. His wife is ill, and he prefers to remain with her; besides, he doubts his qualifications-he, who was Secretary of the Treasury of the United States! He says, moreover, referring to the imperfect ordnance stores of his brigade, that there can be no remedy for this so long as Col. G. is the Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance. So Col. Myers is to be disposed of at last, and Col. G. has but an uncertain tenure.

We have sad rumors from Vicksburg. Pemberton, it is said, was flanked by Grant, and lost 30 guns, which he abandoned in his retreat. Where Johnston is, is not stated. But, it is said, Vicksburg is closely invested, and that the invaders are closing in on all sides. There is much gloom and despondency in the city among those who credit these unofficial reports. It would be a terrible blow, but not necessarily a fatal one, for the war could be prolonged indefinitely.

I met with Robt. Tyler to-day, who offers to wager something that Gen. Stuart will be in Philadelphia in a fortnight, and he said there was a proposition to stop the publication of newspapers, if the President would agree to it, as they gave information to the enemy, and at such a time as this did no good whatever. He thinks they are on the eve of revolution in the North, and referred to Gov. Seymour's letter, read at a public meeting in New York.

May 23

The reports from Mississippi have not been confirmed by official dispatches, and it is understood that the President remarked yesterday, at dinner, that he was satisfied with the [330] condition of affairs in that State. If this be so, Vicksburg must not only be still in our possession, but likely to be held by us at the end of this campaign. The President, I know, feels a peculiar interest in that State, and I learn by a letter from Tennessee, that on the 9th inst. troops left McMinnville for the rescue of Vicksburg — a Texas brigade.

Cavalry continue to pass through this city from the south, while infantry are passing to the south. These movements will puzzle the spies, who are daily, and without difficulty, obtaining passports to leave the Confederate States.

We have Northern papers to-day, containing Gen. Hooker's grandiloquent address to his army, a few days. after his flight. I preserve it here for the inspection of the future generation, and to deter other generals from the bad policy of publishing false statements.


General orders no 49.

headquarters army of the Potomac, May 6th, 1863.
The Major-General commanding tenders to this army his congratulations on its achievements of the last seven days. If it has not accomplished all that was expected, the reasons are well known to the army. It is sufficient to say they were of a character not to be foreseen or prevented by human sagacity or resources. In withdrawing from the south bank of the Rappahannock, before delivering a general battle to our adversaries, the army has given renewed evidence of its confidence in itself, and its fidelity to the principles it represents.

In fighting at a disadvantage we would have been recreant to our trust, to ourselves, our cause, and our country. Profoundly loyal and conscious of its strength, the Army of the Potomac will give or decline battle whenever its interest or honor may demand. It will also be the guardian of its own history and its own honor. By our celerity and secrecy of movement our advance and passage of the rivers were undisputed, and on our withdrawal not a rebel returned to follow. The events of the last week may swell with pride the hearts of every officer and soldier of this army. We have added new laurels to its former renown. We have made long marches, crossed rivers, surprised the enemy in his intrenchments, [331] and whenever we have fought we have inflicted heavier blows than we have received.

We have taken from the enemy five thousand prisoners and fifteen colors, captured and brought off seven pieces of artillery, and placed hors du combat eighteen thousand of his chosen troops. We have destroyed his depots filled with vast amounts of stores, damaged his communications, captured prisoners within the fortifications of his capital, and filled his country with fear and consternation. We have no other regret than that caused by the death of our brave companions; and in this we are consoled by the conviction that they have fallen in the holiest cause ever submitted to the arbitrament of battle.

(Signed)By command of Major-General Hooker. S. Williams, A. A.G.

To-day we have another official report from the Chief of Ordnance of the fruits of our victory, as far as they have been gathered, though the whole field has not been carefully gleaned, which I append as a commentary on the statements of Hooker.

Five twelve-pounder Napoleons; 7 three-inch rifled guns; 1 Parrott gun, ten-pounder; 9 caissons; 4 rear parts of caissons; 3 battery wagons; 2 forges; 1500 rounds artillery ammunition; large lot of artillery harness; large lot of wheels, axles, ammunition chests, etc.; 16,500 muskets and rifles; 4000 cap pouches; 11,500 haversacks, and 300,000 rounds infantry ammunition. The report says thousand of our soldiers helped themselves on the field to better arms, etc., which cannot be computed.

Now for the prisoners. To-day the last lot taken by Hooker arrived by flag of truce boat, making in all just 2700. We have already sent off 7000 prisoners taken from him, and 1000 are yet to go. Our killed, wounded, and missing amount to but little over 8000. Hooker's killed and wounded are admitted by the Northern papers to be 20,000, and some say his entire loss was fully 40,000. So much for his march over the Rappahannock and his flight back again. If he is not satisfied, Lee will try him again.

Sunday, may 24

We have had a fortnight of calm, dry, and warm weather. There is a hazy atmosphere, and the sun rises [332] and sets wearing a blood-red aspect. At night the moon, dimly and indistinctly seen (now a crescent), has a somber and baleful appearance. This is strange at this season of the year; it is like Indian summer in May. The ground is dry and crusted, and apprehensions are felt for the crops, unless we have rain in a few days. My poor little garden has suffered for moisture, but the area is so small I am enabled to throw water over it in the evening. My beets, tomatoes, early potatoes, and lettuce look pretty well, though not so far advanced, in consequence of the late spring, as I have seen them in Burlington. But they are a great comfort to me. I work them, water them, and look at them, and this is what the French would call a distraction. I have abundance of roses,--this is the city of roses. And my cherries are coming on finely,--I know not yet what kind they are; but it relieves the eye to gaze on them. And then my neighbor has a pigeon-house, and the birds come into my yard and are fed by my daughters, being pretty and tame. I sit for hours watching them.

Alas! this cruel war! But independence will be ample compensation. Our posterity will thank us for our sacrifices and sufferings. Yet all do not suffer. The Gil Biases, by their servility and cringing to their patrons, the great men in power, and only great because they have patronage to bestow, which is power, are getting rich. Even adroit clerks are becoming wealthy. They procure exemptions, discharges, and contracts for the speculators for heavy bribes, and invest the money immediately in real estate, having some doubts as to its ultimate redemption, and possibly indifferent as to the fate of the country, so that their own prosperity be secure. After the war the rascals and traitors will be rich, and ought to be marked and exposed.

May 25

Dispatches from the West inform us that three attempts to carry the city of Vicksburg by assault have been repulsed with heavy loss. Johnston is on the enemy's flank and rear, engendering a new army with rapidity, and if the garrison can hold out a little while, the city may be safe.

Gens. Ewell and A. P. Hill have been made lieutenant-generals, and will command Jackson's corps. It appears that the Senate has not yet confirmed Hardee, Holmes, and Pemberton.

The Washington correspondent of the New York Commercial Advertiser says Hooker's loss in killed and wounded amounted to [333] “over 23,000 men, and he left 24 guns on the other side of the Rappahannock.” We got 8000 prisoners, which will make the loss 31,000 men, and it is said the stragglers, not yet collected, amount to 10,000 men! Only 13 guns fell into our hands, the rest fellinto the river!

May 26

Reliable information of hard fighting at Vicksburg; but still, so far as we know, the garrison of the invested city has repulsed every assault made upon it. The enemy's losses are said to be very heavy. Something decisive must occur there soon, and I hope something calamitous to the enemy.

The President and the cabinet have been in council nearly all day. Can they have intelligence from the West, not yet communicated to the public?

We learn from Newbern, N. C., that gray-haired old men, women, and children, who refused to take the oath of allegiance, have been driven from their homes, on foot, despoiled of their property. Among these I see the names of the Misses Custis, cousins of my wife. Gen. Daniels, commanding our forces at Kinston, sent out wagons and ambulances to convey them within our lines. They were on foot.

May 27

Gen. Beauregard's statement of the number of his troops, after 10,000 had been ordered to Mississippi, with urgent appeals for the order to be countermanded, came back from the President to-day, to whom it had been referred by Mr. Secretary Seddon. The President indorsed, characteristically, that the statement did not agree in numbers with a previous one, and asked the Secretary to note the discrepancy! This was all.

The president of the Seaboar4 Railroad requests the Secretary to forbid the common use of the bridge over the Roanoke at Weldon, the tracks being planked, to be used in case of a hasty retreat; the loss might be great, if it were rendered useless. It is 1760 feet long, and 60 feet high.

Mr. John Minor Botts is here in difficulty, a negro being detected bearing a letter from him to the enemy's camp. The letter asked if no order had come from Washington, concerning the restoration of his slaves taken away (he lives on the Rappahannock) by Hooker's men; and stating that it was hard for him to be insulted and imprisoned by the Confederate States-and deprived of his property by the United States-he a neutral. Gen. F. Lee [334] thought he ought not to be permitted to remain in proximity to the enemy, and so sent him on to Richmond. He was to see the Secretary to-day.

Hon. D. M. Lewis, Sparta, Ga., writes that he will cut his wheat on the 28th (to-morrow), and both for quality and quantity he never saw it equaled. They have new flour in Alabama; and everywhere South the crops are unprecedented in amount.

To-morrow is election day. For Congress, Col. Wickham, who voted against secession, opposes Mr. Lyons. But he has fought since!

We have a letter from Gen. Jos. E. Johnston, dated at Calhoun, Miss., 16th inst. He says the enemy on the railroad at Clinton numbered 25,000. We got our baggage out of Jackson before it was abandoned. Pemberton marched to Edward's Station with 17,000 men. Gen. Johnston himself had 7500, and some 15,000 more were on the way to him. We had 3000 at Port Hudsonbeing over 40,000 which he meant to concentrate immediately. I think Vicksburg ought to be safe.

Our government has been notified that, if we execute the two officers (selected by lot) in retaliation for the execution of two of our officers in Kentucky, two men will be shot or hung by the enemy. Thus the war will be still more terrible!

Vallandigham has been sent to Shellbyville, within our lines. I think our people ought to give him a friendly greeting.

May 28

There is some animation at the polls, this being election day. It is said Mr. Wickham, who for a long time, in the Convention, voted against the secession of Virginia, is leading Mr. Lyons, an original secessionist, and will probably beat him. And Flournoy, an old Whig politician, will probably be elected governor.

A dispatch from Gen. Johnston, dated yesterday, says in every fight, so far, around Vicksburg, our forces have been successful, and that our soldiers are in fine spirits.

Papers from the North have, in great headings, the word Vic-tory, and announce that the Stars and Stripes are floating over the City of Vicksburg! They likewise said their flag was floating over the Capitol in this city. If Vicksburg falls, it will be a sad day for us; if it does not fall, it will be a sad day for the war party of the United States. It may be decisive, one way or the other. If we beat them, we may have peace. If they beat usalthough [335] the war will not and cannot terminate — it may degenerate into a guerrilla warfare, relentless and terrible!

May 29

A dispatch from Gen. Johnston, dated 27th inst, says fighting at Vicksburg had been in progress ever since the 19th instant, and that our troops have been invariably successful in repulsing the assults. Other dispatches say the unburied dead of the enemy, lying in heaps near our fortifications, have produced such an intolerable stench that our men are burning barrels of tar without their works.

But still all is indefinite. Yet, from the persistent assaults of the enemy it may be inferred that Grant is inspired with the conviction that it is necessary for him to capture Vicksburg immediately, and before Johnston collects an army in his rear. A few days may produce a decisive result.

Hon. E. S. Dargan, Mobile, Ala., writes that it is indispensable for our government to stipulate for aid from Europe at the earliest moment practicable, even if we must agree to the gradual emancipation of the slaves. He says the enemy will soon overrun the Southwestern States and prevent communication with the East, and then these States (Eastern) cannot long resist the superior numbers of the invaders. Better (he thinks, I suppose) yield slavery, and even be under the protection of a foreign government, than succumb to the United States.

The enemy, wherever they have possession in the South, have adopted the policy of sending away (into the Confederate States) all the inhabitants who refuse to take the oath of allegiance. This enables them to appropriate their property, and, being destitute, the wanderers will aid in the consumption of the stores of the Confederates. A Mr. W. E. Benthuisen, merchant, sent from New Orleans, telegraphs the President for passports for himself and family to proceed to Richmond. The President intimates to the Secretary of War that many similar cases may be looked for, and he thinks it would be better for the families to be dispersed in the country than congregated in the city.

The following are the wholesale prices to-day:

produce, provisions, etc.-The quotations given are wholesale. Wheat-nothing doing-we quote it nominal at $6.50 to $7; corn, very scarce, may be quoted at $9 to $10; oats, $6 to $6.50 per bushel; flour-superfine, $32, extra, $34, family, $37 per barrel; [336] corn-meal, $11 per bushel; bacon, hoground, $1.45 to $1.50-a strictly prime article a shade higher; butter, $2.50 to $3 per pound; lard, $1.50 to $1.60; candles, $2.75 to $3 for tallow, $5 for adamantine; dried fruit-apples, $10 to $12, peaches, $15 to $18 per bushel; eggs, $1.40 to $1.50 per dozen; beans, $18 to $20; peas, $15 to $18 per bushel; potatoes, $8 to $10 per bushel; hay and sheaf-oats, $10 to $12 per cwt.; rice, 18 to 20 cents per pound; salt, 45 to 50 cents per pound; soap, 50 to 60 cents per pound for hard country.

leather.-Market unsettled. We quote as follows: Sole, $3.50 to $4 per pound; harness, $1 to $1.25; russett and wax upper, $5 to $5.50; wax kip skins, $6 per pound; calf skins, $300 to $325 per dozen.

liquors.-We continue to quote apple brandy at $23 to $25; whisky, $28 to $32; French brandy-common, $45, genuine, $80 per gallon.

Groceries.-Brown sugar, $1.40 to $1.55 per pound-no clarified or crushed offering; molasses, $10.50 to $11 per gallon; coffee, $3.75 to $4 per pound; tea, $8.50 to $10 per pound.

May 30

The newspapers have a dispatch, to-day, from Jackson, Miss., which says the enemy have fallen back from the position lately occupied by them in front of Vicksburg. It adds, that they will be forced to retire to the Big Black River, for want of water. Gen. G. A. Smith, who is here, and who resigned because he was not made lieutenant-general instead of Pemberton, says he “don't know how to read this dispatch.” Nevertheless, it is generally believed, and affords much relief to those who appreciate the importance of Vicksburg.

Mr. Botts was offered $500 in Confederate States notes, the other day, for a horse. He said he would sell him for $250 in gold, but would not receive Confederate notes, as the South would certainly be conquered, and it was merely a question of time. This information was communicated to the Secretary of War to-day, but he will attach no importance to it.

Among the papers sent in by the President, to-day, was a communication from Gov. Vance, of North Carolina, inclosing a letter from Augustus S. Montgomery, of Washington City, to Major-Gen. Foster, Newbern, N. C., found in a steamer, captured the other day by our forces, in Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal. It [337] informed Gen. F. that a plan of servile insurrection had been adopted, and urged his co-operation. All the Yankee generals in the South would co-operate: they were to send smart negroes from the camps among the slaves, with instructions to rise simultaneously at night on the 1st August. They were to seize and destroy all railroad bridges, cut the telegraph wires, etc., and then retire into the swamps, concealing themselves until relieved by Federal troops. It is said they were to be ordered to shed no blood, except in self-defense, and they were not to destroy more private property than should be unavoidable. The writer said the corn would be in the roasting-ear, and the hogs would be running at large, so that the slaves could easily find subsistence.

The President thanked Gov. Vance for this information, and said our generals would be made acquainted with this scheme; and he commended the matter to the special attention of the Secretary of War, who sent it to Gen. Lee.

May 31

The commissioners, appointed for the purpose, have agreed upon the following schedule of prices for the State of Virginia, under the recent impressment act of Congress; and if a large amount of supplies be furnished at these prices — which are fifty, sometimes one hundred per cent. lower than the rates private individuals are paying — it will be good proof that all patriotism is not yet extinct-:

Wheat, white, per bushel of 60 pounds, $4.50; flour, superfine, per barrel of 196 pounds, $22.50; corn, white, per bushel of 56 pounds, $4; unshelled corn, white, per bushel of 56 pounds, $3.95; corn-meal, per bushel of 50 pounds, $4.20; rye, per bushel of 56 pounds, $3.20; cleaned oats, per bushel of 32 pounds, $2; wheatbran, per bushel of 17 pounds, 50 cents; shorts, per bushel of 22 pounds, 70 cents; brown stuff, per bushel of 28 pounds, 90 cents; ship stuff, per bushel of 37 pounds, $1.40; bacon, hoground, per pound, $1; salt pork, per pound, $1; lard, per pound, $1; horses, first class, artillery, etc., average price per head, $350; wool, per pound, $3; peas, per bushel of 60 pounds, $4; beans, per bushel of 69 pounds, $4; potatoes, Irish, per bushel of 69 pounds, $4; potatoes, sweet, per bushel of 69 pounds, $5 ; onions, per bushel of 60 pounds, $5; dried peaches, peeled, per bushel of 38 pounds, $8; dried peaches, unpeeled, per bushel of 38 pounds, $4.50; dried apples, peeled, per bushel of 28 pounds, $3.

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