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III. June, 1861 Troops pour into Richmond. beginning of hostilities. Gen. Lee made a full general. Major Gen. Polk. a battle expected at Manassas. June 1 In the absence of the Secretary, I arranged the furniture as well as I could, and took possession of the five offices I had selected. But no business, of course, could be done before his arrival. Yet an immense mass of business was accumulatingletters by the hundreds were demanding attention. And I soon found, as the other Secretaries came in, that some dissatisfaction was likely to grow out of thee appropriation by the Secretary of War of the best offices. Mr. Toombs said the war office might do in any ordinary building; but that the Treasury should appropriately occupy the custom-house, which was fireproof. For his own department, he said he should be satisfied with a room or two anywhere. But my arrangement was not countermanded by the President, to whom I referred all objectors. His decision was to
-house, which was fireproof. For his own department, he said he should be satisfied with a room or two anywhere. But my arrangement was not countermanded by the President, to whom I referred all objectors. His decision was to be final-and he did not decide against it. I had given him excellent quarters; and I knew he was in the habit of having frequent interviews both with the Secretary of War and the Adjutant-General, and this would be inconvenient if they were in different buildings. June 2 My wife had a little gold among her straightened finances; and having occasion to purchase some article of dress, she obtained seven and a half per cent. premium. The goods began to go up in price, as paper money fell in value. At Montgomery I bought a pair of fine French boots for $10 in gold-but packed my old ones in the top of my trunk. I was under the necessity, likewise, of buying a linen coat, which cost only $3.50. What will be the price of such commodities a year hence if the b
egan to go up in price, as paper money fell in value. At Montgomery I bought a pair of fine French boots for $10 in gold-but packed my old ones in the top of my trunk. I was under the necessity, likewise, of buying a linen coat, which cost only $3.50. What will be the price of such commodities a year hence if the blockade continues? It is fearful to contemplate! And yet it ought to be considered. Boarding is rising rapidly, and so are the bloodthirsty insects at the Carleton House. June 3 The Secretary arrived to-day, sick; and was accompanied by Major Tyler, himself unwell. And troops are beginning to arrive in considerable numbers. The precincts of the city will soon be a series of encampments. The regiments are drilled here, and these mostly forwarded to Manassas, where a battle must soon occur, if the enemy, now in overwhelming numbers, should advance. The Northern papers say the Yankee army will celebrate the 4th of July in Richmond. Nous verrons. But no doubt ho
t hostilities have commenced. We have accounts of frightful massacres in Missouri, by German mercenaries. Hampton has been occupied by the enemy, a detachment having been sent from Fortress Monroe for that purpose. They also hold Newport News on the Peninsula! There are rumors of a fight at Philippi. One Col. Potterfield was surprised. If this be so, there is no excuse for him. I think the President will make short work of incompetent commanders. Now a blunder is worse than a crime. June 4 The Secretary is still sick. Having nothing better to do, and seeing that eight-tenths of the letters received are merely applications for commissions in the regular army — an organization without men-and none being granted from civil life, I employed myself writing certain articles for the press, hoping by this means to relieve the Secretary of the useless and painful labor of dictating negative replies to numberless communications. This had the sanction of both the President and the S
nd seeing that eight-tenths of the letters received are merely applications for commissions in the regular army — an organization without men-and none being granted from civil life, I employed myself writing certain articles for the press, hoping by this means to relieve the Secretary of the useless and painful labor of dictating negative replies to numberless communications. This had the sanction of both the President and the Secretary, and produced, in some measure, the desired relief. June 5 There are rumors of a fight down at Pig's Point to-day; and it is said our battery has torn the farthingale of the Harriet Lane pretty extensively. The cannon was heard by persons not many miles east of the city. These are the mutterings of the storm. It will burst some of these days. June 6 We have hard work at the War Department, and some confusion owing to the loss of a box of papers in transit from Montgomery. I am not a betting man, but I would wager a trifle that the conte
nd painful labor of dictating negative replies to numberless communications. This had the sanction of both the President and the Secretary, and produced, in some measure, the desired relief. June 5 There are rumors of a fight down at Pig's Point to-day; and it is said our battery has torn the farthingale of the Harriet Lane pretty extensively. The cannon was heard by persons not many miles east of the city. These are the mutterings of the storm. It will burst some of these days. June 6 We have hard work at the War Department, and some confusion owing to the loss of a box of papers in transit from Montgomery. I am not a betting man, but I would wager a trifle that the contents of the box are in the hands of some correspondent of the New York Herald or Tribune. Our careless people think that valor alone will win the day. The Yankees desire, above all things, information of our condition and movements, of which they will take advantage. We must learn by dear-bought expe
ard work at the War Department, and some confusion owing to the loss of a box of papers in transit from Montgomery. I am not a betting man, but I would wager a trifle that the contents of the box are in the hands of some correspondent of the New York Herald or Tribune. Our careless people think that valor alone will win the day. The Yankees desire, above all things, information of our condition and movements, of which they will take advantage. We must learn by dear-bought experience. June 7 We have a Chief of the Bureau of War, a special favorite, it is said, of Mr. Davis. I went into the Secretary's room (I now occupy one adjoining), and found a portly gentleman in a white vest sitting alone. The Secretary was out, and had not instructed the new officer what to do. He introduced himself to me, and admitted that the Secretary had not assigned him to duty. I saw at a glance how the land lay. It was Col. A. T. Bledsoe, lately of the University of Virginia; and he had been a
letters; but after sitting an hour, and groaning repeatedly when gazing at the mass of papers constantly accumulating before us, he said he believed he would take a number of them to his lodging and answer them there. I saw nothing more of him during the day. And once or twice, when the Secretary came in, he looked around for him, but said nothing. Finally I informed him what I had done; and, without signifying an assent, he merely remarked that there was no room in his office for him. June 8 This morning Col. Bledsoe came in with his letters, some fifty in number, looking haggard and worn. It was, indeed, a vast number. But with one of his humorous smiles, he said they were short. He asked me to look over them, and I found them mainly appropriate responses to the letters marked for answer, and pretty closely in accordance with the Secretary's dictation. In one or two instances, however, he had been unable to decipher the Secretary's most difficult chirography — for he had
over again; and the colonel, smiling, and groaning, and perspiring so extravagantly that he threw off his coat, and occupied himself several hours in preparing the answers in accordance with the Secretary's corrections. And when they were done, Mr. S. S. Scott, who was to copy them in the letter-book, complimented the colonel on their brevity. In response to this, the colonel said, unfortunately, he wished he, Scott, were the secretary. Scott abused every one who wrote a long letter. June 9 To-day the Secretary refused to sign the colonel's letters, telling him to sign them himself-by order of the Secretary of War. June 10 Yesterday the colonel did not take so many letters to answer; and to-day he looked about him for other duties more congenial to his nature. June 11 It is coming in earnest! The supposed thunder, heard down the river yesterday, turns out to have been artillery. A fight has occurred at Bethel, and blood.-Yankee blood-has flowed pretty freely.
June 10th (search for this): chapter 4
hours in preparing the answers in accordance with the Secretary's corrections. And when they were done, Mr. S. S. Scott, who was to copy them in the letter-book, complimented the colonel on their brevity. In response to this, the colonel said, unfortunately, he wished he, Scott, were the secretary. Scott abused every one who wrote a long letter. June 9 To-day the Secretary refused to sign the colonel's letters, telling him to sign them himself-by order of the Secretary of War. June 10 Yesterday the colonel did not take so many letters to answer; and to-day he looked about him for other duties more congenial to his nature. June 11 It is coming in earnest! The supposed thunder, heard down the river yesterday, turns out to have been artillery. A fight has occurred at Bethel, and blood.-Yankee blood-has flowed pretty freely. Magruder was assailed by some five thousand Yankees at Bethel, on the Peninsula. His force was about nine hundred; but he was behind intren
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