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Xxviii. July, 1863

  • Enemy threatening Richmond.
  • -- the city is safe. -- battle of Gettysburg. -- great excitement. -- Yankees in great trouble. -- alas! Vicksburg has fallen. -- President is sick. -- Grant marching against Johnston at Jackson. -- fighting at that place. -- Yankees repulsed at Charleston. -- Lee and Meade facing each other. -- Pemberton surrenders his whole army. -- fall of Port Hudson. -- second class conscripts called for. -- Lee has got back across the Potomac. -- Lincoln getting fresh troops. -- Lee writes that he cannot be responsible if the soldiers fail for want of food. -- rumors of Grant coming East. -- Pemberton in bad odor. -- Hon. W. L. Yancey is dead.

July 1

The intelligence of the capture of Harrisburg and York, Pa., is so far confirmed as to be admitted by the fficers of the Federal flag of truce boat that came up to City Point yesterday.

Of the movements of Hooker's army, we have the following information:

Eadquarters, cavalry division, June 27th, 1863.
General:--I took possession of Fairfax C. H. this morning at nine o'clock, together with a large quantity of stores. The main body of Hooker's army has gone toward Leesburg, except the garrison of Alexandria and Washington, which has retreated within the fortifications.

Very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

J. E. B. Stuart, Major-General.

The Northern papers say that our cruiser Tacony, taken from them, has destroyed twenty-two of their vessels since the 12th inst.; but that our men burnt her at last. Her crew then entered Portland, [367] Maine, and cut out the steam cutter Caleb Cushing, which they subsequently blew up, and then were themselves taken prisoner.

The President has decided that the obstructions below the city shall not be opened for the steam iron-clad Richmond to go out, until another iron-clad be in readiness to accompany her.

Capt. Maury, at Mobile, writes that the two iron-clads, Trent and Nashville, now ready for sea, might take New Orleans and keep it. The President directs the Secretary of War to consult the Secretary of the Navy, and if they agreed, the attempt should be made without loss of time. So, probably, we shall have news from that quarter soon.

The militia and Department Guard (soon to be called the National Guard, probably) were notified to-day to be in readiness at a minute's warning. It is said positively that Dix is advancing toward the city. Well, let him come.

July 2

The President is unwell again; to what extent I have not learned. But the Vice-President is ready, no doubt, to take his place in the event of a fatal result; and some would rejoice at it. Such is the mutability of political affairs!

The Attorney-General Watts, being referred to, sends in a written opinion that foreigners sojourning here, under the protection of the Confederate States, are liable to military duty, in defense of their homes, against any government but the one to which they claim to owe allegiance. This I sent in to the Secretary of War, and I hope he will act on it; but the Assistant Secretary and Mr. Benjamin were busy to-day-perhaps combating the Attorney-General's opinion. Will Mr. Seddon have the nerve to act? It is a trying time, and every man is needed for defense.

The enemy were drawn up in line of battle this morning below the fortifications. The Department Guard (my son Custis among them) were ordered out, and marched away; and so with the second class militia. A battle is looked for to-morrow; and there has been skirmishing to-day. A dispatch from Hanover Court House says the enemy is approaching likewise from the north in large force-and 15 guns. This is his great blunder. He cannot take Richmond, nor draw back Lee, and the detachment of so many of his men may endanger Baltimore and Washington, and perhaps Philadelphia.


July 3

My son Custis stayed out all night, sleeping on his arms in the farthest intrenchments. A little beyond, there was a skirmish with the enemy. We lost eight in killed and wounded. What the enemy suffered is not known, but he fell back, and ran toward the White House.

This morning, Mr. Ould, agent for exchange of prisoners, reported that “not a Yankee could be found on the face of the earth.” And this induced a general belief that the enemy had retired, finally, being perhaps ordered to Washington, where they may be much needed.

The Secretary of War, believing the same thing, intimated to Gen. Elzey (who for some cause is unable to ride, and therefore remains in the city) a desire to send several regiments away to some menaced point at a distance. In response, Elzey writes that none can be spared with safety; that the enemy had apparently divided his force into two bodies, one for Hanover, and the other for the Chickahominy, and both strong; and he advised against weakening the forces here. He said he had not yet completed the manning of the batteries, the delay being in arming the men — and he hoped “Hill could hold out.”

We have 3400 convalescents at Camp Lee, and as many more may be relied on for the defense of the city; so we shall have not less than 22,000 men for the defense of Richmond. The enemy have perhaps 35,000; but it would require 75,000 to storm our batteries. Let this be remembered hereafter, if the 35,000 sent here on a fool's errand might have saved Washington or Baltimore, or have served to protect Pennsylvania-and then let the press of the North bag the administration at Washington! Gen. Lee's course is “right onward,” and cannot be affected by events here.

My friend Jacques (clerk) marched out yesterday with the Department Guard; but he had the diarrhea, and was excused from marching as far as the company. He also got permission to come to town this morning, having slept pretty well, he said, apart from the company. No doubt he did good service in the city today, having his rifle fixed (the ball, I believe, had got down before the powder), and procuring a basket of edibles and a canteen of strong tea, which he promised to share with the mess. He said he saw Custis this morning, looking well, after sleeping on the ground the first time in his life, and without a blanket. [369]

We have nothing further from the North or the West.

July 4

The Department Guard (my son with them) were marched last night back to the city, and out to Meadow Bridge, on the Chickahominy, some sixteen miles! The clerks, I understand, complain of bad meat (two or three ounces each) and mouldy bread; and some of them curse the authorities for fraudulent deception, as it was understood they would never be marched beyond the city defenses. But they had no alternative — the Secretaries would report the names of all who did not volunteer. Most of the poor fellows have families dependent on their salaries for bread-being refugees from their comfortable homes, for the cause of independence. If removed, their wives and little children, or brothers and sisters, must perish. They would be conscribed, and receive only $1 2 per month.

My friend Jacques did not return to the company yesterday, after all, although I saw him get into an ambulance with a basket of food. He got out again, sending the basket to Mr. K., the young chief of the bureau, and Judge Campbell allowed him to remain.

Mr. Myers the lawyer is much with Judge Campbell, working for his Jew clients, who sometimes, I am told, pay $1000 each to be got out of the army, and as high as $500 for a two months detail, when battles are to be fought. Mr. M. thinks he has law for all he does.

A letter from Gen. D. H. Hill shows that it was his intention to bring on a battle on the 2d inst., but the enemy fled. It was only a feint below; but we may soon hear news from Hanover County.

Col. Gorgas (ordnance) writes that as his men are marched out to defend the city, he can't send much ammunition to Gen. Lee!

A letter from Lieut.-Gen. E. Kirby Smith, dated June 15th, shows he was at Shreveport, La., at that date.

The poor militia were allowed to return to their homes to-day; but an hour after the tocsin sounded, and they were compelled to assemble and march again. This is the work of the Governor, and the Secretary of War says there was no necessity for it, as Confederate troops here now can defend the city, if attacked.

July 5

This morning the wires refused to work, being cut, no doubt, in Hanover County.

The presence of the enemy in this vicinity, I think, since they [370] refuse to fight, is designed to prevent us from sending more troops into Pennsylvania. I trust the President will think of this matter, if he is well enough; some of his generals here are incapable of thinking at all.

We have just received intelligence of a great battle at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. I have not heard the day; but the news was brought by flag of truce boat to City Point last night. The Yankee papers, I am told, claim a victory, but acknowledge a loss of five or six generals, among them Meade, commander-in-chief (vice Hooker), mortally wounded. But we still held the town, and “actions speak louder than words.”

More troops are marching up into Hanover County.

July 6

Yesterday evening we received Baltimore and New York papers with accounts (and loose ones) of the battle of Gettysburg. The Governor of Pennsylvania says it was “indecisive,” which means, as we read it, that Meade's army was defeated.

The forces (Federal) are withdrawing from the neighborhood of this city, another indication that Lee has gained a victory. Dix has done but little damage. In retreating from Hanover County, he burnt the bridges to retard pursuit.

The “War Department guard” have returned, my son among them, sun-burnt and covered with dust. They were out five days and four nights, sleeping on the ground, without tents or blankets, and with little or nothing to eat, although the CommissaryGen-eral had abundance. The President, however, is better to-day, and able to get out of bed; but his health is apparently gone, and it may be doubtful whether he will ever be quite well again.

The Vice-President went down to the flag of truce boat on Saturday, some say to Fortress Monroe, and others to Washington. It is surmised that he is authorized by the President to have a definitive understanding with the Federal authorities, whether or not private property is to be respected hereafter in the future progress of the war. If not, Gen. Lee will have orders to desolate the Northern States, where he has the power. Some, however, think he goes to Washington, to propose terms of peace, etc.

There is a rumor in the city, generally credited, that another battle was fought in Pennsylvania on Friday, and that the enemy was annihilated; these rumors sometimes assume form and substance, [371] and this one, as if by some sort of magnetism, is credited by many. It is certain that Mr. Morris, superintendent of the telegraph office, has called upon his friends for the largest Confederate flag in the city to hang out of his window. He says nothing more; but he may have sent dispatches to the President, which he is not at liberty to divulge. There may be later news from Lee; or Vicksburg may be relieved; or New Orleans taken; or an armistice; or nothing.

I am glad my son's company were ordered in to-day; for, after a week of fine fair weather, it is now raining furiously. This would have prostrated the tender boys with illness.

July 7

It appears that the fighting near Gettysburg began on Wednesday, July 1st, continued until Sunday, the 5th, and perhaps longer. Up to Friday the Northern papers claim the advantage.

This morning at 1 P. M. another dispatch was received from the same (unofficial) source, stating that on Sunday the enemy made a stand, and A. P. Hill's corps fell back, followed by the enemy, when Longstreet's and Ewell's corps closed in their rear and captured 40,000 prisoners — who are now guarded by Pickett's division. It states that the prisoners refused to be paroled. This might possibly be true.

This account is credited. Col. Custis Lee, from the President's office, was in my office at half-past 2 P. M. to-day, and said nothing had been received from his father yet-but he did not deny that such accounts might be substantially true.

The President still keeps his eye on Gen. Beauregard. A paper from the general to Gen. Cooper, and, of course, referred to the President, in relation to the means of defense in his department, and a call for more guns, was sent back to-day, indorsed by the President, that by an examination of the report of Gen. Huger, he thought some discrepancies would appear in the statements of Gen. B. Thus, it would seem, from a repetition of similar imputations, the President has strong doubts of Gen. B.'s accuracy of statements. He is quick to detect discrepancies.

Gen. D. H. Hill sends in a characteristic letter. He says the rivers are all swollen, and he can make no movement to-day in pursuit of Dix's army of the Pamunky-or rather “the monkey army.” He says that the Brooke Pike outer defenses are so defective [372] in design, that a force there could be driven off in five minutes by the enemy's sharpshooters. He wants them amended, and a certain grove cut down-and recommends that engineers be put to work, with orders to leave their “kid gloves behind.” He thinks more is to be apprehended from an attack on Petersburg than Richmond; and requests that Gen. Wise be ordered to march thither from Chaffin's Bluff, on the first alarm. He had not heard of the reported victory of Lee.

July 8

I am glad to copy the following order of Gen. Lee:

General orders no. 73.

headquarters army of Northern Virginia, Chambersburg, Pa., June 27th, 1863.
The commanding general has observed with marked satisfaction the conduct of the troops on the march, and confidently anticipates results commensurate with the high spirit they have manifested. No troops could have displayed greater fortitude, or better performed the arduous marches of the past ten days. Their conduct in other respects has, with few exceptions, been in keeping with their character as soldiers, and entitles them to approbation and praise.

There have, however, been instances of forgetfulness on the part of some, that they have in keeping the yet unsullied reputation of the army, and that the duties exacted of us by civilization and Christianity are not less obligatory in the country of the enemy than in our own.

The commanding general considers that no greater disgrace could befall the army, and through it, our whole people, than the perpetration of the barbarous outrages upon the innocent and defenseless, and the wanton destruction of private property, that have marked the course of the enemy in our own country. Such proceedings not only disgrace the perpetrators and all connected with them, but are subversive of the discipline and efficiency of the army and destructive of the ends of our present movements. It must be remembered that we make war only upon armed men, and that we cannot take vengeance for the wrongs our people have suffered without lowering ourselves in the eyes of all whose abhorrence has been excited by the atrocities of our enemy, and offending [373] against Him to whom vengeance belongeth, without whose favor and support our efforts must all prove in vain.

The commanding general, therefore, earnestly exhorts the troops to abstain with most scrupulous care from unnecessary or wanton injury to private property; and he enjoins upon all officers to arrest and bring to summary punishment all who shall in any way offend against the orders on this subject.

R. E. Lee, General.

We have no additional news from the battle-field, except the following dispatch from Winchester:

Our loss is estimated at 10,000. Between 3000 and 4000 of our wounded are arriving here to-night. Every preparation is being made to receive them.

Gens. Scales and Pender have arrived here wounded, this evening. Gens. Armistead, Barksdale, Garnett, and Kemper are reported killed. Gens. Jones, Heth, Anderson, Pettigrew, Jenkins, Hampton, and Hood are reported wounded.

The Yankees say they had only two corps in the fight on Wednesday, which was open field fighting. The whole of the Yankee force was engaged in the last three days fighting. The number — is estimated at 175,000.

The hills around Gettysburg are said to be covered with the dead and wounded of the Yankee Army of the Potomac.

The fighting of these four days is regarded as the severest of the war, and the slaughter unprecedented; especially is this so of the enemy.

The New York and Pennsylvania papers are reported to have declared for peace.

But the absence of dispatches from Gen. Lee himself is beginning to create distrust, and doubts of decisive success at Gettysburg. His couriers may have been captured, or he may be delaying to announce something else he has in contemplation.

The enemy's flag of truce boat of yesterday refused to let us have a single paper in exchange for ours. This signifies something — I know not what. One of our exchanged officers says he heard a Northern officer say, at Fortress Monroe, that Meade's loss was, altogether, 60,000 men; but this is not, of course, reliable. [374] Another officer said Lee was retiring, which is simply impossible, now, for the flood.

But, alas I we have sad tidings from the West. Gen. Johnston telegraphs from Jackson, Miss., that Vicksburg capitulated on the 4th inst. This is a terrible blow, and has produced much despondency.

The President, sick as he is, has directed the Secretary of War to send him copies of all the correspondence with Johnston and Bragg, etc., on the subject of the relief of Pemberton.

The Secretary of War has caught the prevailing alarm at the silence of Lee, and posted off to the President for a solution-but got no-ie. If Lee falls back again, it will be the darkest day for the Confederacy we have yet seen.

July 9

The sad tidings from Vicksburg have been confirmed by subsequent accounts. The number of men fit for duty on the day of capitulation was only a little upwards of 7000. Flour was selling at $400 per barrel This betrays the extremity to which they had been reduced.

A dispatch to-day states that Grant, with 100,000 men (supposed), is marching on Jackson, to give Johnston battle. But Johnston will retire-he has not men enough to withstand him, until he leads him farther into the interior. If beaten, Mobile might fall.

We have no particulars yet — no comments of the Southern generals under Pemberton. But the fall of the place has cast a gloom over everything.

The fall of Vicksburg, alone, does not make this the darkest day of the war, as it is undoubtedly. The news from Lee's army is appalling. After the battle of Friday, the accounts from Martinsburg now state, he fell back toward Hagerstown, followed by the enemy, fighting but little on the way. Instead of 40,000 we have only 4000 prisoners. How many we have lost, we know not. The Potomac is, perhaps, too high for him to pass it-and there are probably 15,000 of the enemy immediately in his rear! Such are the gloomy accounts from Martinsburg.

Our telegraph operators are great liars, or else they have been made the dupes of spies and traitors. That the cause has suffered much, and may be ruined by the toleration of disloyal persons within our lines, who have kept the enemy informed of all our movements, there can be no doubt. [375]

The following is Gen. Johnston's dispatch announcing the fall of Vicksburg:

Jackson, July 7th, 1863.
Hon. J. A. Seddon, Secretary of War.
Vicksburg capitulated on the 4th inst. The garrison was paroled, and are to be returned to our lines, the officers retaining their side-arms and personal baggage.

This intelligence was brought by an officer who left the place on Sunday, the 5th.

J. E. Johnston, General.

We get nothing from Lee himself. Gen. Cooper, the Secretary of War, and Gen. Hill went to the President's office about one o'clock. They seemed in haste, and excited. The President, too, is sick, and ought not to attend to business. It will kill him, perhaps.

There is serious anxiety now for the fate of Richmond. Will Meade be here in a few weeks? Perhaps so-but, then, Lee may not have quite completed his raid beyond the Potomac.

The Baltimore American, no doubt in some trepidation for the quiescence of that city, gets up a most glowing account of “Meade's victory” --if it should, indeed, in the sequel, prove to have been one. That Lee fell back, is true; but how many men were lost on each side in killed, wounded, and prisoners-how many guns were taken, and what may be the result of the operations in Pennsylvania and Maryland--of which we have as yet such imperfect accounts — will soon be known.

July 10

This is the day of fate-and, without a cloud in the sky, the red sun, dimly seen through the mist (at noonday), casts a baleful light on the earth. It has been so for several days.

Early this morning a dispatch was received from Gen. Beauregard that the enemy attacked the forts in Charleston harbor, and, subsequently, that they were landing troops on Morris Island. Up to 3 o'clock we have no tidings of the result. But if Charleston falls, the government will be blamed for it — since, notwithstanding the remonstrances of Gen. B., the government, members of Congress, and prominent citizens, some 10,000 of his troops were away to save Vicksburg. [376]

About one o'clock to-day the President sent over to the Secretary of War a dispatch from an officer at Martinsburg, stating that Gen. Lee was still at Hagerstown awaiting his ammunition -(has not Col. Gorgas, Chief of Ordnance, been sufficiently vigilant?)-which, however, had arrived at the Potomac. That all the prisoners (number not stated), except those paroled, were at the river. That nothing was known of the enemy-but that cavalry fighting occurred every day. He concluded by saying he did not know whether Lee would advance or recross the river. If he does the latter, in my opinion there will be a great revulsion of feeling in the Confederate States and in the United States.

Another dispatch, from Gen. J. E. Johnston, dated yesterday, at Jackson, Miss., stated that Grant's army was then withinfour miles of him, with numbers double his own. But that he would hold the city as long as possible, for its fall would be the loss of the State. I learn a subsequent dispatch announced that fighting had begun. I believe Johnston is intrenched.

To-day Mr. Secretary Seddon requested Attorney-General Watts, if he could do so consistent with duty, to order a nolle prosequi in the District Court of Alabama in the case of Ford, Hurd & Co. for trading with the enemy. Gen. Pemberton had made a contract with them, allowing them to ship cotton to New Orleans, and to bring back certain supplies for the army. But Mr. Attorney-General Watts replied that it was not consistent with his duty to comply, and therefore he demurred to it, as the act they were charged with was in violation of the act of Congress of April 19th, 1862.

We lost twelve general officers in the fall of Vicksburg-one lieutenant-general, four major-generals, and seven brigadiers.

Dispatches from Jackson, Miss., say the battle began yesterday, but up to the time of the latest accounts it had not become general. Johnston had destroyed the wells and cisterns, and as there are no running streams in the vicinity, no doubt Grant's army will suffer for water, if the defense be protracted.

From Charleston we learn that we lost in yesterday's combat some 300 men, killed and wounded — the enemy quite as many. This morning the Yankees assaulted the battery on Morris Island, and were repulsed in two minutes, with a loss of 95 killed and 130 wounded, besides prisoners. Our loss was five, killed and wounded. Nothing further was heard up to 7 o'clock P. M. 37G [377]

From Lee we have no news whatever.

A letter from Governor Vance, of North Carolina, complains of an insult offered by Col. Thorburn (of Virginia), and asking that he be removed from the State, and if retained in service, not to be permitted to command North Carolinians. The Governor, by permission of Gen. Whiting, proceeded down the river to a steamer which had just got in (and was aground) from Europe, laden with supplies for the State; but when attempting to return was stopped by Col. T., who said it was against the rules for any one to pass from the steamer to the city until the expiration of the time prescribed for quarantine. The Governor informed him of his special permission from Gen. Whiting and the Board of Navigation-and yet the colonel said he should not pass for fifteen days, “if he was Governor Vance or Governor Jesus Christ.” The President indorsed on this letter, as one requiring the Secretary's attention, “if the case be as stated.”

Again the blockade-runners are at their dirty work, and Judge Campbell is “allowing” them. To-day Col. J. Gorgas, who is daily in receipt of immense amounts of ordnance stores from Europe by government steamers, recommends that passports be given N. H. Rogers and L. S. White to proceed North for supplies. This is a small business. It is no time to apply for passports, and no time to grant them.

We now know all about the mission of Vice-President Stephens under flag of truce. It was ill-timed for success. At Washington news had been received of the defeat of Gen. Lee--which may yet prove not to have been “all a defeat.”

July 12

There is nothing additional this morning from Charleston, Mississippi, or Maryland. Telegraphic communication is still open to Jackson, where all was quiet again at the last accounts; but battle, then, must occur immediately. From Charleston we learn that Beauregard had repulsed every assault of the enemy. It is rumored that Lee's account of the battle of Gettysburg will be published to-morrow, showing that it was the “most brilliant and successful battle of the war.” I hope he may say so --for then it will be so.

Our papers are publishing Milroy's papers captured at Winchester.

July 13

The Enquirer says the President has got a letter [378] from Gen. Lee (why not give it to the people?) stating that his operations in Pennsylvania and Maryland have been successful and satisfactory, and that we have now some 15,000 to 18,000 prisoners, besides the 4000 or 5000 paroled. Nonsense!

Lee and Meade have been facing each other two or three days, drawn up in battle array, and a decisive battle may have occurred ere this. The wires have been cut between Martinsburg and Hagerstown.

Not another word have we from either Charleston or Jackson; but we learn that monitors, gun-boats, and transports are coming up the James River.

Altogether, this is another dark day in our history. It has been officially ascertained that Pemberton surrendered, with Vicksburg, 22,000 men! He has lost, during the year, not less than 40,000! And Lovell (another Northern general) lost Fort Jackson and New Orleans. When will the government put “none but Southerners on guard?”

Letters to-day from the Governors of South Carolina, Alabama, and North Carolina show that all are offended at the Confederate government. Judge Campbell's judicial profundity (and he is the department's correspondent) is unfortunate at this crisis, when, not great principles, but quick and successful fighting, alone can serve.

It appears that President Lincoln has made a speech in Washington in exultation over the fall of Vicksburg, and the defeat of an army contending against the principle that all men were created equal. He means the negro-we mean that white men were created equal — that we are equal to Northern white peoople, and have a right, which we do not deny to them, of living under a government of our own choice.

July 14

To day we have tidings of the fall of Port Hudson, on the Mississippi River, our last stronghold there. I suppose some 10,000 or 12,000 of our men had to surrender, unconditionally. Thus the army of Gen. Pemberton, first and last, some 50,000 strong, has been completely destroyed. There is sadness and gloom throughout the land!

The enemy are established on Morris Island, and the fate of Charleston is in doubt.

We have nothing authentic from Gen. Lee; but long trains of the slightly wounded arrived yesterday and to-day. [379]

It has been raining, almost every day, for nearly two weeks.

The President is quite amiable now. The newspaper editors can find easy access, and he welcomes them with smiles.

A letter was received to-day from a Major Jones, saying he was authorized to state that the Messrs.--, engine-makers in Philadelphia, were willing to remove their machinery to the South, being Southern men. The President indorsed that authority might be given for them to come, etc.

Gen. Beauregard writes for a certain person here skilled in the management of torpedoes-but Secretary Mallory says the enemy's gun-boats are in the James River, and he cannot be sent away. I hope both cities may not fall!

A heavy thunder-storm, accompanied with a deluging rain, prevails this afternoon at 5-o'clock P. M.

July 15

There was a rumor of another battle beyond the Potomac, this morning, but it has not been confirmed.

From Charleston we have no news; but from Jackson there has been considerable fighting, without a general engagement.

The Enquirer and Sentinel to-day squint at a military dictatorship; but President Davis would hardly attempt such a feat at such a time.

Gen. Samuel Jones, Western Virginia, has delayed 2000 men ordered to Lee, assigning as an excuse the demonstrations of the enemy in the Kanawha Valley. “Off with his head-so much for Buckingham!”

There is some gloom in the community; but the spirits of the people will rebound.

A large crowd of Irish, Dutch, and Jews are daily seen at Gen. Winder's door, asking permission to go North on the flag of truce boat. They fear being forced into the army; they will be compelled to aid in the defense of the city, or be imprisoned. They intend to leave their families behind, to save the property they have accumulated under the protection of the government.

Files of papers from Europe show that Mr. Roebuck and other members of Parliament, as well as the papers, are again agitating the question of recognition. We shall soon ascertain the real intentions of France and England. If they truly desire our success, and apprehend danger from the United States in the event of a reconstruction of the Union, they will manifest their purposes [380] when the news of our recent calamities shall be transported across the ocean. And if such a thing as reconstruction were possible, and were accomplished (in such a manner and on such terms as would not appear degrading to the Southern people), then, indeed, well might-both France and England tremble. The United States would have millions of soldiers, and the Southern people would not owe either of them a debt of gratitude.

July 16

This is another blue day in the calendar. Nothing from Lee, or Johnston, or Bragg; and no news is generally bad news. But from Charleston we learn that the enemy are established on Morris Island, having taken a dozen of our guns and howitzers in the sand hills at the lower end; and that the monitors had passed the bar, and doubtless an engagement by land and by water is imminent, if indeed it has not already taken place. Many regard Charleston as lost. I do not.

Again the Enquirer, edited by Mitchel, the Irishman, is urging the President to seize arbitrary power; but the Examiner combats the project defiantly.

Mr. Secretary Seddon, who usually wears a sallow and cadaverous look, which, coupled with his emaciation, makes him resemble an exhumed corpse after a month's interment, looks to-day like a galvanized corpse which had been buried two months. The circles round his eyes are absolutely black! And yet he was pacing briskly backward and forward between the President's office and the War Department. He seems much affected by disasters.

The United States agent of exchange has sent a notice to our agent that the negroes we capture from them in battle must be exchanged as other soldiers are, according to the cartel, which said nothing about color; and if the act of Congress in relation to such soldiers be executed, the United States would retaliate to the utmost extremity.

Captains H. W. Sawyer and John Flinn, having been designated by lot for execution in retaliation for two of our captains executed by Gen. Burnside for recruiting in Kentucky, write somewhat lugubriously, in bad grammar and execrable chirography, that, as they never served under Burnside, they should not be made to suffer for his deed. They say we have two of Burnside's captains at Atlanta (and they give their names) who would be the proper victims.

I saw a paper to-day, sent to the department, with a list of the [381] United States officers at Memphis who are said to have taken bribes; among them is Col. H — r, of Illinois, Provost Marshal General (Grant's staff); Col. A- , Illinois, ex-Provost Marshal; Capt. W--, Illinois, Assistant Provost Marshal; Capt. C-- (Gen. Herbert's staff), and “Dan Ross,” citizen of Illinois, procurer.

On the 9th instant Gen. D. H. Hill (now lieutenant-general, and assigned to Mississippi) asks if troops are to be sent to cover Lee's retreat; and fears, if the enemy establish themselves at Winchester, they will starve Lee to death. Speaking of the raid of the enemy to the North Carolina Railroad, he said they would do the State infinite service by dashing into Raleigh and capturing all the members of the legislature. He also hits at the local newspapers here. Their mention of his name, and the names of other officers in the campaign round Richmond, informed the enemy that we had no troops at Goldsborough and Weldon, and hence the raid. And, after all, he says the enemy were not more numerous than our forces in the recent dash at Richmond. He says it was no feint, but a faint.

To-day an order was issued for the local troops to deliver up their ammunition. What does that mean?

And to-day the President calls for the second class of conscripts, all between eighteen and forty-five years of age. So our reserves must take the field!

July 17

At last we have the authentic announcement that Gen. Lee has recrossed the Potomac! Thus the armies of the Confederate States are recoiling at all points, and a settled gloom is apparent on many weak faces. The fall of Charleston is anticipated. Subjugation is not apprehended by the government; for, if driven to an interior line of defense, the war may be prolonged indefinitely, or at least until the United States becomes embroiled with some European power.

Meantime we are in a half starving condition. I have lost twenty pounds, and my wife and children are emaciated to some extent. Still, I hear no murmuring.

To-day, for the second time, ten dollars in Confederate notes are given for one in gold; and no doubt, under our recent disasters, the depreciation will increase. Had it not been for the stupidity of our Dutch Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. Memminger, [382] there would have been no financial difficulties. If he had recommended (as he was urged to do) the purchase by the government of all the cotton, it could have been bought at 7 cents per pound; and the profits alone would have defrayed the greater portion of the expenses of the war, besides affording immense diplomatic facilities and advantages. But red-tape etiquette, never violated by the government, may prove our financial ruin beyond redemption. It costs this government five times as much to support an army as it does the United States; and the call for conscripts is a farce, since the speculators (and who is not one now?) will buy exemptions from the party who, strangely, have the authority to grant them.

The last accounts from Jackson state that Burnside is reinforcing Grant, and that heavy skirmishing is going on daily. But all suppose thatJohnston must retreat. And Bragg is in no condition to face Rosecrans.

Whether Lee will come hither or not, no one knows; but some tremble for the fate of Richmond. Lee possibly may cross the Potomac again, however, if Meade detaches a heavy force to capture Richmond.

What our fate would be if we fall into the hands of the invader, may be surmised from the sufferings of the people in New Orleans.

July 18

Lee has got over the Potomac with a loss, in crossing, of 1500; and Johnston has abandoned Jackson, Miss.

But we have awful good news from New York: an Insurrec-Tion, the loss of many lives, extensive pillage and burning, with a suspension of the conscription!

Gen. Morgan is in the enemy's country.

July 19

We have no news this morning. But a rumor prevails, which cannot be traced to any authentic source, that Texas has put herself under the protection of France. It is significant, because public sentiment seems to acquiesce in such a measure; and I have not met with any who do not express a wish that it may be so. Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas are now isolated, and no protection or aid can be given them by the government here; and it is natural, after the fall of New Orleans and Vicksburg, for the people to hope that the invaders may be deprived of their prey just at the moment when they anticipated a realization of its enjoyment. [383]

Hon. Wm. Porcher Miles writes that, after consultation, the officers have decided that it would be impracticable to hold Morris Island, even if the enemy were driven from it at the point of the bayonet. Therefore they call loudly for Brooke guns of long range, and guns of large calibre for Sumter, so that the fort may prevent the enemy from erecting batteries in breaching distance. They say, in their appeal, that since the fall of Vicksburg there is no other place (but one) to send them. They are now idle in Richmond. I understand the Secretary of War, etc. are in consultation on the subject, and I hope the President will, at last, yield to Gen. Beauregard's demands.

Gen. Maury also writes for guns and ordnance stores for the defense of Mobile, which may be attacked next. He will get them.

If the insurrection in New York lives, and resistance to conscription should be general in the North, our people will take fresh hope, and make renewed efforts to beat back the mighty armies of the foe-suffering, and more than decimated, as we are.

But if not — if Charleston and Richmond and Mobile should fall, a peace (submission) party will spring up. Nevertheless, the fighting population would still resist, retiring into the interior and darting out occasionally, from positions of concentration, at the exposed camps of the enemy.

July 20

Nothing from Lee or from Johnston, except that the latter has abandoned Jackson. From Bragg's army, I learn that a certain number of regiments were moving from Chattanooga toward Knoxville-and I suspect their destination is Lee's army.

But we have a dispatch from Beauregard, stating that he has again repulsed an attack of the enemy on the battery on Morris Island with heavy loss-perhaps 1500--while his is trifling.

A thousand of the enemy's forces were in Wytheville yesterday, and were severely handled by 130 of the home guards. They did but little injury to the railroad, and burned a few buildings.

An indignant letter has been received from the Hon. W. Porcher Miles, who had applied for a sub-lieutenancy for Charles Porcher, who had served with merit in the 1st South Carolina Artillery, and was his relative. It seems that the President directed the Secretary to state that the appointment could not be given him because he was not 21 years of age. To this Mr. M. replies that [384] several minors in the same regiment have been appointed. I think not.

Governor Brown writes a long letter, protesting against the decision of the Confederate States Government, that the President shall appoint the colonel for the 51st Georgia Regiment, which the Governor says is contrary to the Confederate States Constitution. He will resist it.

A Mrs. Alien, a lady of wealth here, has been arrested for giving information to the enemy. Her letters were intercepted. She is confined at the asylum St. Francis de Sales. The surgeon who attends there reports to-day that her mental excitement will probably drive her to madness. Her great fear seems to be that she will be soon sent to a common prison. There is much indignation that she should be assigned to such comfortable quartersand I believe the Bishop (McGill) protests against having criminals imprisoned in his religious edifices. It is said she has long been sending treasonable letters to Baltimore — but the authorities do not have the names of her letter-carriers published. No doubt they had passports.

A letter from Lee's army says we lost 10,000 in the recent battle, killed, wounded, and prisoners. We took 11,000 prisoners and 11 guns.

Thank Heaven I we have fine weather after nearly a month's rain. It may be that we shall have better fortune in the field now.

Some of the bankers had an interview with the government today. Unless we can achieve some brilliant success, they cannot longer keep our government notes from depreciating, down to five cents on the dollar. They are selling for only ten cents now, in gold. In vain will be the sale of a million of government gold in the effort to keep it up.

Gen. Morgan, like a comet, has shot out of the beaten track of the army, and after dashing deeply into Indiana, the last heard of him he was in Ohio, near Cincinnati. He was playing havoc with steam-boats, and capturing fine horses. He has some 3000 men we cannot afford to lose-but I fear they will be lost.

July 21

We have intelligence to-day, derived from a New York paper of the 18th inst., that the “insurrection” in New York had subsided, under the menacing attitude of the military authority, and that Lincoln had ordered the conscription law to be enforced. This gives promise of a long war. [385]

Mr. Mallory sent a note to the Secretary of War to-day (which of course the Secretary did not see, and will never hear of) by a young man named Juan Boyle, asking permission for B. to pass into Maryland as an agent of the Navy Department. Judge Campbell indorsed on the back of it (to Brig.-Gen. Winder) that permission was “allowed” by “order.” But what is this “agent” to procure in the United States which could not be had by our steamers plying regularly between Wilmington and Europe?

July 22

Col. Northrop, Commissary-General, sends in a paper to-day saying that only a quarter of a pound of meat per day can be given the soldiers, except when marching, and then only half a pound. He says no more can be derived from the trans-Mississippi country, nor from the State of Mississippi, or Tennessee, and parts of Georgia and Alabama; and if more than the amount he receives be given the soldiers, the negroes will have to go without any. He adds, however, that the peasants of Europe rarely have any meat, and in Hindostan, never.

Col. Bradley T. Johnson, who commanded a brigade at Gettysburg, writes that on the first day we carried everything before us, capturing 8000 prisoners and losing but few men; the error was in not following up the attack with all our forces immediately, and in not having sufficient ammunition on the field.

The newspapers to-day contain pretty accurate accounts of the battle.

July 23

We have the following dispatch from Gen. Beauregard, which is really refreshing in this season of disasters:

Charleston, July 22d, 1863.
The enemy recommenced shelling again yesterday, with but few casualties on our part. We had, in the battle of the 18th inst., about 150 killed and wounded. The enemy's loss, including prisoners, was about 2000. Nearly 800 were buried under a flag of truce.

Col. Putnam, acting brigadier-general, and Col. Shaw, commanding the negro regiment, were killed.

(Signed) G. T. Beauregard, General.

It is said the raiders that dashed into Wytheville have been [386] taken; but not so with the raiders that have been playing havoc with the railroad in North Carolina.

Another letter from J. M. Botts, Culpepper County, complains of the pasturing of army horses in his fields before the Gettysburg campaign, and asks if his fields are to be again subject to the use of the commander of the army, now returning to his vicinity. If he knows that Gen. Lee is fallen back thither, it is more than any one here seems to know. We shall see how accurate Mr. B. is in his conjecture.

A letter from Mr. Goodman, president of Mobile and Charleston Railroad, says military orders have been issued to destroy, by fire, railroad equipments to the value of $5,000,000; and one-third of this amount of destruction would defeat the purpose of the enemy for a long time. The President orders efforts to be made to bring away the equipments by sending them down the road.

Col. Preston, commandant of conscripts for South Carolina, has been appointed Chief of the Bureau of Conscription; he has accepted the appointment, and will be here August 1st. The law will now be honestly executed — if he be not too indolent, sick, etc.

Archbishop Hughes has made a speech in New York to keep down the Irish.

July 24

Nothing from Lee, or Johnston, or Beauregard, or Bragg-but ill luck is fated for them all. Our ladies, at least, would not despair. But a day may change the aspect; a brilliant success would have a marvelous effect upon a people who have so long suffered and bled for freedom.

They are getting on more comfortably, I learn, on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Only about 25 of the enemy's troops are said to be there, merely to guard the wires. In the Revolutionary war, and in the war of 1812, that peninsula escaped the horrors of war, being deemed then, as now, too insignificant to attract the cupidity of the invaders.

The Secretary of the Treasury sent an agent a few weeks ago with some $12,000,000 for disbursement in the trans-Mississippi country, but he has returned to this city, being unable to get through. He will now go to Havana, and thence to Texas; and hereafter money (if money it can be called) will be manufactured at Houston, where a paper treasury will be established.

Gen. Jos. E. Johnston has recently drawn for $20,000 in gold. [387]

A letter from the Commissary-General to Gen. Lee states that we have but 1,800,000 pounds of bacon at Atlanta, and 500,000 pounds in this city, which is less than 30 days rations for Bragg's and Lee's armies. He says all attempts to get bacon from Europe have failed, and he fears they will fail, and hence, if the ration be not reduced to 1 pound we shall soon have no meat on hand. Gen. Lee says he cannot be responsible if the soldiers fail for want of food.

July 25

Gen. Beauregard telegraphs that preparations should be made to withstand a bombardment at Savannah, and authority is asked, at the instance of Gov. Brown, to impress a sufficient number of slaves for the purpose.

Gen. Jos. E. Johnston telegraphs the President that Grant has fallen back to Vicksburg, and, from information in his possession, will not stay there a day, but will proceed up the river. Gen. Johnston asks if this eccentric movement does not indicate a purpose to concentrate the enemy's forces for the reduction of Richmond.

Grant's men, no doubt, objected to longer service at this season in the Southwest; perhaps Lincoln thinks Grant is the only general who can take Richmond, or it may be necessary for the presence of the army in the North to enforce the draft, to overawe conspirators against the administration, etc. We shall soon know more about it.

Misfortunes come in clusters. We have a report to-day that Gen. Morgan's command has been mostly captured in Ohio. The recent rains made the river unfordable.

It appears that Gen. Pemberton had but 15 days rations to last 48 days, that the people offered him a year's supply for nothing if he would have it, and this he would not take, red tape requiring it to be delivered and paid for, so it fell into the hands of the enemy. He had a six months supply of ammunition when he surrendered, and often during the siege would not let his men reply to the enemy's guns.

Advertisers in the papers offer $4000 for substitutes. One offers a farm in Hanover County, on the Central Railroad, of 230 acres, for a substitute. There is something significant in this. It was so in France when Napoleon had greatly exhausted the male population.


July 26

Letters were received to-day from Gens. Beauregard, Mercer, Whitney, and S. Jones.

It appears that Beauregard has some 6000 men of all arms, and that the enemy's force is estimated to be, or to have been (before losing some 3000), about 10,000. It is true the enemy has the benefit of his floating batteries, but we have our stationary ones. I think Charleston safe.

Gen. Mercer squeaks for the fate of Savannah, unless the government impresses slaves to work on the fortifications. All our generals squeak when an attack is apprehended, for the purpose of alarming the government, and procuring more men and material, so as to make success doubly sure.

And Gen. Whiting is squeaking loudly for the impressment of a thousand slaves, to complete his preparations for defense; and if he does not get them, he thinks the fall of Wilmington a pretty sure thing.

And Gen. Jones squeaks from the West, asking that the 3000 infantry he was at last compelled to send to Gen. Lee, near Winchester, be returned to him to oppose the enemy's raids. But what were they sent to Lee for, unless he meant to give battle? Such may be his intention, and a victory now is demanded of him to place him rectus in curio.

Beauregard says Fort Wagner, which has made such a successful defense on Morris Island, was located by Gen. Pemberton, and this is evidence of some military skill. But all the waters of Lethe will not obliterate the conviction of the people that he gave his army in the West to the enemy. If he had not been Northern born, they would have deemed him merely incompetent. Hence the impolicy of the government elevating Northern over Southern generals. All generals are judged by the degree of success they achieve, for success alone is considered the proof of merit, and one disaster may obliterate the memory of a dozen victories. Even Lee's great name is dimmed somewhat in the estimation of fools. He must beat Meade before Grant comes up, or suffer in reputation.

Gov. Bonham has demanded the free negroes taken on Morris Island, to be punished (death) according to the State law.

July 27

Nothing but disasters to chronicle now. Natchez and Yazoo City, all gone the way of Vicksburg, involving a heavy [389] loss of boats, guns, and ordnance stores; besides, the enemy have got some twenty locomotives in Mississippi.

Lee has retreated as far as Culpepper Court House.

The President publishes another proclamation, fixing a day for the people to unite in prayer.

The weather is bad. With the exception of one or two bright days, it has been raining nearly a month. Superadded to the calamities crowding upon us, we have a rumor to-day that Gen. Lee has tendered his resignation. This is false. But it is said he is opposed to the retaliatory executions ordered by the President, which, if persisted in, must involve the life of his son, now in the hands of the enemy. Our officers executed by Burnside were certainly recruiting in Kentucky within the lines of the enemy, and Gen. Lee may differ with the President in the equity of executing officers taken by us in battle in retaliation.

July 28

The rumor that Gen. Lee had resigned was simply a fabrication. His headquarters, a few days ago, were at Culpepper C. H., and may be soon this side of the Rappahannock. A battle and a victory may take place there.

Col. J. Gorgas, I presume, is no friend of Pemberton; it is not often that Northern men in our service are exempt from jealousies and envyings. He sends to the Secretary of War to-day a remarkable statement of Eugene Hill, an ordnance messenger, for whom he vouches, in relation to the siege and surrender of Vicksburg. It appears that Hill had been sent here by Lieut.-Gen. Holmes for ammunition, and on his way back to the trans-Mississippi country, was caught at Vicksburg, where he was detained until after the capitulation. He declares that the enemy's mines did our works no more injury than our mines did theirs; that when the surrender took place, there were an abundance of caps, and of all kinds of ordnance stores; that there were 90,000 pounds of bacon or salt meat unconsumed, besides a number of cows, and 400 mules, grazing within the fortifications; and that but few of the men even thought of such a contingency as a surrender, and did not know it had taken place until the next day (5th of July), when they were ordered to march out and lay down their arms. He adds that Gen. Pemberton kept himself very close, and was rarely seen by the troops, and was never known to go out to the works until he went out to surrender. [390]

Major-Gen. D. Maury writes from Mobile, to the President, that he apprehends an attack from Banks, and asks instructions relative to the removal of 15,000 non-combatants from the city. He says Forts Gaines and Morgan are provisioned for six months, and that the land fortifications are numerous and formidable. He asks for 20,000 men to garrison them. The President instructs the Secretary, that when the purpose of the enemy is positively known, it will be time enough to remove the women, children, etc.; but that the defenses should be completed, and everything in readiness. But where the 20,000 men are to come from is not stated-perhaps from Johnston.

July 29

Still raining The great fear is that the crops will be ruined, and famine, which we have long been verging upon, will be complete. Is Providence frowning upon us for our sins, or upon our cause?

Another battle between Lee and Meade is looked for on the Upper Rappahannock.

Gov. Harris, in response to the President's call for 6000 men, says Western and Middle Tennessee are in the hands of the enemy, and that about half the people in East Tennessee sympathize with the North!

Some two or three hundred of Morgan's men have reached Lynchburg, and they believe Morgan himself will get off, with many more of his men.

The New York Herald's correspondent, writing from Washington on the 24th inst., says the United States ministers in England and France have informed the government of the intention of those powers to intervene immediately in our behalf; and that they will send iron-clad fleets to this country without delay. Whereupon the Herald says Mr. Seward is in favor of making peace with us, and reconstructing the Union-pardoning us-but keeping the slaves captured, etc. It is a cock-and-bull story, perhaps, without foundation.

July 30

Raining still! Lee's and Meade's armies are manoeuvring and facing each other still; but probably there will be no battle until the weather becomes fair, and the gushing waters in the vales of Culpepper subside.

From Charleston we learn that a furious bombardment is going on, the enemy not having yet abandoned the purpose of reducing [391] the forts and capturing the city. Mr. Miles calls loudly for reinforcements and heavy cannon, and says the enemy was reinforced a few days since.

An indignant letter was received from Gov. Vance to-day, in response to the refusal of the government and Gen. Lee to permit him to send with the army a newspaper correspondent to see that justice was done the North Carolina troops. He withdraws the application, and appeals to history for the justice which (he says) will never be done North Carolina troops in Virginia by their associates. He asserts also that Gen. Lee refused furloughs to the wounded North Carolinians at the battle of Chancellorville (onehalf the dead and wounded being from North Carolina), for fear they would not return to their colors when fit for duty!

Hon. Wm. L. Yancey is dead — of disease of the kidney. The Examiner, to-day, in praising him, made a bitter assault on the President, saying he was unfortunately and hastily inflicted on the Confederacy at Montgomery, and when fixed in position, banished from his presence the heart and brain of the South-denying all participation in the affairs of government to the great men who were the authors of secession, etc.

July 31

Hon. E. S. Dargan, member of Congress, writes from Mobile that Mississippi is nearly subdued, and Alabama is almost exhausted. He says our recent disasters, and Lee's failure in Pennsylvania, have nearly ruined us, and the destruction must be complete unless France and England can be induced to interfere in our behalf. He never believed they would intervene unless we agreed to abolish slavery; and he would embrace even that alternative to obtain their aid. He says the people are fast losing all hope of achieving their independence; and a slight change of policy on the part of Lincoln (pretermitting confiscation, I suppose) would put an end to the revolution and the Confederate States Government. Mr. D. has an unhappy disposition.

Mr. L. Q. Washington recommends Gen. Winder to permit Mr. Wm. Matthews, just from California, to leave the country. Gen. W. sends the letter to the Assistant Secretary of War, Judge Campbell, who “allows” it; and the passport is given, without the knowledge of the President or the Secretary of War.

The news from Mexico (by the Northern papers) is refreshing to our people. The “notables” of the new government, under the [392] auspices of the French General, Forey, have proclaimed the States an Empire, and offered the throne to Maximilian of Austria; and if he will not accept, they “implore” the Emperor of France to designate the one who shall be their Emperor. Our people, very many of them, just at this time, would not object to being included in the same Empire.

The President is still scrutinizing Beauregard. The paper read from the general a few days since giving a statement of his forces, and the number of the enemy, being sent to the President by the Secretary of War, was returned to-day with the indorsement, that he hoped “a clearer comprehension of the cause,” in the promised further report of the general, would be given “why the enemy approached Morris Island before being observed.” So, omitting all notice of the defense (so far) of the batteries, etc., the attention of the President seems fixed on what the general omitted to do; or what he might, could, or should have done.

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