I wrote a letter to the President, offering to show that I had given no passport to Mr. Dibble, the traitor, and also the evidences, in his own handwriting, that Mr. Benjamin granted it.
The enemy are shelling our camp at Yorktown.
I can hear the reports of the guns, of a damp evening.
We are sending back defiance with our guns.
The President has not taken any notice of my communication.
Mr. Benjamin is too powerful to be affected by such proofs of such small matte wisely agreed to the terms.
Gen. Lee is calm-but the work of preparation goes on night and day.
We have rumors of an important cabinet meeting, wherein it was resolved to advise or command Gen. Johnston to evacuate Yorktown and retire toward Richmond!
Also that Norfolk is to be given up!
I don't believe it; Lee's name is not mentioned.
Major Griswold is here, and so is a new batch of Marylanders.
Troops from the South are coming in a
I have everything you want!
cried Stewart, and when they entered he embraced them.
A sumptuous repast was soon on the table, but the soldiers refused to eat!
Surprised at this, Stewart demanded the reason; the troopers rose, and said they were Confederate soldiers, and it was their duty to arrest a traitor.
They brought him hither.
Will he, too, escape merited punishment?
I fear there is something in the rumor that Norfolk and Portsmouth and Yorktown and the Peninsula will be given up. The Secretaries of War and Navy are going down to Norfolk.
The Yankees on the Peninsula mean to fight.
Well, that is what our brave army pants for..
The prospect of battle produces a joyous smile on every soldier's face to-day.
We have not yet reached the lowest round of the ladder.
The Secretary is at Norfolk, and the place is to be evacuated.
I would resign first.
Norfolk and Portsmouth are evacuated!
g fresh from Bragg-nothing from Vicksburgand that is bad news.
I like Gen. Rains.
He comes in and sits with me every day. Col. Lay is the active business man of the bureau.
The general is engaged in some experiments to increase the efficiency of small arms.
He is very affable and communicative.
He says he never witnessed more sanguinary fighting than at the battle of the Seven Pines, where his brigade retrieved the fortunes of the day; for at one time it was lost.
He was also at Yorktown and Williamsburg; and he cannot yet cease condemning the giving up of the Peninsula, Norfolk, etc. Gen. Johnston did that, backed by Randolph and Mallory.
We have all been mistaken in the number of troops sent to the rescue of North Carolina; but four or five regiments, perhaps 3000 men, have gone thither from Virginia.
A letter from Gen. Lee, dated the 5th inst., says he has not half as many men as Burnside, and cannot spare any. He thinks North Carolina, herself, will be able to expe
e District of Columbia to report to him, and he will lead them against the enemy, and redeem them from the imputation of skulking or disloyalty cast upon poor refugees by the flint-hearted Shylocks of Richmond, who have extorted all their money from them.
Besides these inflammatory documents, the militia colonels have out notices for all men under forty-five years of age to meet in Broad Street to-morrow, Sunday.
I learn, however, that there are some 25,000 or 30,000 of the enemy at Yorktown; but if we can get together 12,000 fighting men, in the next twenty-four hours, to man the fortifications, there will not be much use for the militia and the clerks of the departments, more than as an internal police force.
But I am not quite sure we can get that number.
By order of Brig.-Gen. G. W. Custis Lee, the department companies were paraded to-day, armed and equipped.
These, with the militia in the streets (armed by the government today), amounted to several thousand
he war to see men in such condition move forward with such cheerfulness and alacrity, in the recent pursuit of the enemy.
He deprecates sending any of his regiments to West Virginia and East Tennessee, and thinks Gen. Sam Jones has not evinced sufficient energy and judgment in that quarter, He says it would be better to send reinforcements to Chattanooga, where it is practicable to conduct a winter campaign.
He could drive the enemy from the Peninsula, Gloucester Point, Williamsburg, and Yorktown, but to keep them away Lee would have to station an army there.
If North Carolina be menaced, he advises that the troops at Richmond and Petersburg be sent thither, and he will replace them with troops from his army.
He thinks it the best policy not to disperse troops in Virginia.
From this letter it is easy to perceive that the Secretary of War, in the absence of the President, has been making suggestions to Gen. Lee, none of which does he deem it good policy to adopt, the Secretary
s (16th instant) that he must suspend active operations for the want of shoes and clothing.
The Quartermaster-General says he sent him 3500 blankets a few days since.
There are fifty-one quartermasters and assistant quartermasters stationed in this city!
Pound cakes, size of a small Dutch oven, sell at $100. Turkeys, from $10 to $40.
Nothing further from the West.
But we have reliable information of the burning (accidentally, I suppose) of the enemy's magazine at Yorktown, destroying all the houses, etc.
I learn to-day that the Secretary of War revoked the order confiscating blockade goods brought from the enemy's country.
Another interposition of Providence in behalf of my family.
The bookseller who purchased the edition of the first volume of my Wild Western scenes-new series, since Mr. Malsby's departure from the country, paid me $300 to-day, copyright, and promises more very soon.
I immediately bought a load of coal, $31.50, and a
perhaps, a decisive influence in our struggle for independence.
Gen. Sherman, with 30,000 or 40,000 men, is still advancing deeper into Mississippi, and the Governor of Alabama has ordered the non-combatants to leave Mobile, announcing that it is to be attacked.
If Sherman should go on, and succeed, it would be the most brilliant operation of the war. If he goes on and fails, it will be the most disastrous-and his surrender would be, probably, like the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown.
He ought certainly to be annihilated.
I have advised Senator Johnson to let my nephew's purpose to bring Gen. Holmes before a court-martial lie over, and I have the papers in my drawer.
The President will probably promote Col. Clark to a brigadiership, and then my nephew will succeed to the colonelcy; which will be a sufficient rebuke to Gen. H., and a cataplasm for my nephew's wounded honor.
The Examiner has whipped Congress into a modification of the clause putting assistant ed
ation, for all the armies are in the same lamentable predicament — to the great triumph of Col. N., whose prescience is triumphantly vindicated!
Wise, when I mentioned these things to him, said we would starve in the midst of plenty, meaning that Col. N was incompetent to hold the position of Commissary-General.
At 2 P. M. a dispatch (which I likewise placed in the hands of the Secretary) came from Gen. Pickett, with information that thirteen of the enemy's transports passed Yorktown yesterday with troops from Norfolk, the Eastern Shore of Virginia, Washington City, etc.-such was the report of the signal corps.
They also reported that Gen. Meade would order a general advance, to check Gen. Lee. What all this means I know not, unless it be meant to aid Gen. Kilpatrick to get back the way he came with his raiding cavalry-or else Gen. Lee's army is in motion, even while he is here.
It must do something, or starve.
L. P. Walker, the first Secretary of War, is here, ap
s leave early in the morning for South Carolina.
The President still says that many of the government officers and employees must be sent away, if transportation cannot be had to feed them here as well as the armies.
Another truly fine spring day.
The ominous silence on the Rapidan and Rappahannock continues still.
The two armies seem to be measuring each other's strength before the awful conflict begins.
It is said the enemy are landing large bodies of troops at Yorktown.
Major-Gen. Ransom has been assigned to the command of this department; and Gen. Winder's expectations of promotion are blasted.
Will he resign?
I think not.
The enemy's accounts of the battle on the Red River do not agree with the reports we have.
Neither do the Federal accounts of the storming of Fort Pillow agree with ours.
Another bright and beautiful day; and vegetation is springing with great rapidity.
But nearly all my potatoes, corn, egg-plants, and tom
bill to amend the pension laws, increasing the fee of pension agents from ten to twenty-five dollars.
In October a number of French and German officers arrived, as the guests of the United States, to witness the dedication of the monument at Yorktown on the one hundredth anniversary of the victory which those nations had helped us to win. About forty officers were received at the State Department by Secretary Blaine.
The procession formed and marched to the Capitol, which was still draped he German minister performed the same service for his countrymen.
Later they were received by the Senate, and at night a great display of fireworks was made.
The President and cabinet, with many senators, representatives, and visitors, went to Yorktown on a fleet of steamboats, where the governors of the original thirteen States, each with a militia escort and with a military and naval force of regulars, joined in the celebration.
Secretary and Mrs. Blaine entertained the guests at Wormley