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L. P. Walker (search for this): chapter 4
that the Secretary had a partiality for full letters, especially when addressing any of his friends; and that Major Tyler, who had returned, and was then sitting with the Secretary, rarely dismissed one from his pen under less than three pages. The colonel smiled, and said when there was nothing further to say, it was economy to say nothing. He then carried his letters into the Secretary's office, clearing his throat according to custom on passing a door. I trembled for him; for I knew Mr. Walker had an aversion to signing his name to letters of merely two or three lines. He returned again immediately, saying the Secretary was busy. He left the letters, however. Presently Major Tyler came out of the Secretary's room with several voluminous letters in his own handwriting, duly signed. The major greeted the colonel most cordially; and in truth his manners of a gentleman are so innate that I believe it would be utterly impossible for him to be clownish or rude in his address, i
William H. B. Custis (search for this): chapter 4
enith like the quick-shooting irradiations of the aurora borealis. And men ran in different directions, uttering cries of agony. These cries, I remember distinctly, came from men. As I gazed upon the fading and dissolving moon, I thought of the war brought upon us, and the end of the United States Government. My family were near, all of them, and none seemed alarmed or distressed. I experienced no perturbation; but I awoke. I felt curious to prolong the vision, but sleep had fled. I was gratified, however, to be conscious of the fact that in this illusory view of the end of all things sublunary, I endured no pangs of remorse or misgivings of the new existence it seemed we were about to enter upon. June 29 I cannot support my family here, on the salary I receive from the government; and so they leave me in a few days to accept the tendered hospitality of Dr. Custis, of Newbern, N. C., my wife's cousin. June 30 My family engaged packing trunks. They leave immediately.
G. T. Beauregard (search for this): chapter 4
mpany him to the lodgings of the President, in the same hotel, and show it to him. This I declined, alleging it might be too late for the press. He laughed at my diffidence, and disinclination on such occasions to approach the President. I told him my desire was to serve the cause, and not myself. I suppose he was incredulous. June 18 The city is content at the evacuation. The people have unbounded confidence in the wisdom of the administration, and the ability of our generals. Beauregard is the especial favorite. The soldiers, now arming daily, are eager for the fray; and it is understood a great battle must come off before many weeks; as it is the determination of the enemy to advance from the vicinity of Washington, where they are rapidly concentrating. But our people must curb their impatience. And yet we dare not make known the condition of the army,--the awful fact which may be stated here-and will not be known until after-years,--that we have not enough ammunition
G. B. Lamar (search for this): chapter 4
-years,--that we have not enough ammunition at Manassas to fight a battle. There are not percussion caps enough in our army for a serious skirmish. It will be obviated in a few weeks; and until then I pray there may be no battle. But if the enemy advance, our brave men will give them the cold steel. We must win the first battle at all hazards, and at any cost; and, after that,--how long after? --we must win the last! June 19 Yesterday I saw Colonel Bartow, still accompanied by young Lamar, his aid. I wish all our officers were inspired by the same zeal and determination that they are. And are they not? June 20 Gov. Wise has been appointed brigadier-general, of a subsequent date to General Floyd's commission. He goes to the West, where laurels grow; but I think it will be difficult to win them by any one acting in a subordinate capacity, and especially by generals appointed from civil life. They are the aversion of the West Pointers at the heads of bureaus. June 21
S. Cooper (search for this): chapter 4
e heads of bureaus. June 21 A large, well-proportioned gentleman with florid complexion and intellectual face, who has been whispering with Col. Bledsoe several times during the last week, attracted my attention to-day. And when he retired, Colonel B. informed me it was Bishop Polk, a classmate of his and the President's at West Point. He had just been appointed a major-general, and assigned to duty in the West, where he would rank Gen. Pillow, who was exceedingly unpopular in Adjutant-Gen. Cooper's office. I presume this arose solely from mistrust of his military abilities; for he had certainly manifested much enthusiasm in the cause, and was constantly urging the propriety of aggressive movements with his command. All his purposed advances were countermanded. The policy of the government is to be economical of the men. We have but a limited, the enemy an inexhaustible number. June 22 The Convention has appointed ten additional members to the Provisional Congress-Pre
O. Jennings Wise (search for this): chapter 4
skirmish. It will be obviated in a few weeks; and until then I pray there may be no battle. But if the enemy advance, our brave men will give them the cold steel. We must win the first battle at all hazards, and at any cost; and, after that,--how long after? --we must win the last! June 19 Yesterday I saw Colonel Bartow, still accompanied by young Lamar, his aid. I wish all our officers were inspired by the same zeal and determination that they are. And are they not? June 20 Gov. Wise has been appointed brigadier-general, of a subsequent date to General Floyd's commission. He goes to the West, where laurels grow; but I think it will be difficult to win them by any one acting in a subordinate capacity, and especially by generals appointed from civil life. They are the aversion of the West Pointers at the heads of bureaus. June 21 A large, well-proportioned gentleman with florid complexion and intellectual face, who has been whispering with Col. Bledsoe several ti
Robert Toombs (search for this): chapter 4
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 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
limited, the enemy an inexhaustible number. June 22 The Convention has appointed ten additional members to the Provisional Congress-President Tyler among them. It will be observed that my Diary goes on, including every day. Fighting for our homes and holy altars, there is no intermission on Sunday. It is true, Mr. Memminger came in the other day with a proposition to cease from labor on Sunday, but our Secretary made war on it. The President, however, goes to church very regularly-St. Paul's. On last Sunday the President surprised me. It was before church time, and I was working alone. No one else was in the large room, and the Secretary himself had gone home, quite ill. I thought I heard some one approaching lightly from behind, but wrote on without looking up; even when he had been standing some time at the back of my chair. At length I turned my head, and beheld the President not three feet from me. He smiled, and said he was looking for a certain letter referred by hi
They are the aversion of the West Pointers at the heads of bureaus. June 21 A large, well-proportioned gentleman with florid complexion and intellectual face, who has been whispering with Col. Bledsoe several times during the last week, attracted my attention to-day. And when he retired, Colonel B. informed me it was Bishop Polk, a classmate of his and the President's at West Point. He had just been appointed a major-general, and assigned to duty in the West, where he would rank Gen. Pillow, who was exceedingly unpopular in Adjutant-Gen. Cooper's office. I presume this arose solely from mistrust of his military abilities; for he had certainly manifested much enthusiasm in the cause, and was constantly urging the propriety of aggressive movements with his command. All his purposed advances were countermanded. The policy of the government is to be economical of the men. We have but a limited, the enemy an inexhaustible number. June 22 The Convention has appointed ten
Jefferson Davis (search for this): chapter 4
e 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 thor in the streets that Harper's Ferry had been evacuated by Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, and, for the first time, I heard murmurs against the government. So far, perhaps, no Executive had ever such cordial and unanimous support of the people as President Davis. I knew the motive of the evacuation, and prepared a short editorial for one of the papers, suggesting good reasons for the retrograde movement; and instancing the fact that when Napoleon's capital was surrounded and taken, he had nearly 20
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