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June 16th (search for this): chapter 4
same power appoints the secretaries, and can unmake them. Under these circumstances I find him permitted to sit for hours and days in the department with no one to inform him of the condition of the business or to facilitate him in the performance of his official duties. Not for any partiality in his behalf, or prejudice against the Secretary, I step forward and endeavor to discharge my own duty. I strive to serve the cause, whatsoever may be the consequences to my personal interests. June 16 To-day, receiving dispatches from General Floyd, in Western Virginia, that ten thousand Yankees were advancing through Fayette County, and might intercept railroad communication between Richmond and Chattanooga — the Secretary got me to send a telegraphic dispatch to his family to repair hither without delay, for military reasons. About this time the Secretary's health gave way again, and Major Tyler had another fit of indisposition totally disqualifying him for business. Hence I have
June 13th (search for this): chapter 4
eral in the Confederate army, and will be assigned to duty here. He is third on the list, Sydney Johnston being second. From all I can see and infer, we shall make no attempt this year to invade the enemy's country. Our policy is to be defensive, and it will be severely criticised, for a vast majority of our people are for carrying the war into Africa without a moment's delay. The sequel will show which is right, the government or the people. At all events, the government will rule. June 13 Only one of the Williamsburg volunteers came into the department proper; and he will make his way, for he is a flatterer. He told me he had read my Wild Western scenes twice, and never was so much entertained by any other book. He went to work with hearty good-will. June 14 Col. Bledsoe has given up writing almost entirely, but he groans as much as ever. He is like a fish out of water, and unfit for office. June 15 Another clerk has been appointed; a sedate one, by the n
June 14th (search for this): chapter 4
d, for a vast majority of our people are for carrying the war into Africa without a moment's delay. The sequel will show which is right, the government or the people. At all events, the government will rule. June 13 Only one of the Williamsburg volunteers came into the department proper; and he will make his way, for he is a flatterer. He told me he had read my Wild Western scenes twice, and never was so much entertained by any other book. He went to work with hearty good-will. June 14 Col. Bledsoe has given up writing almost entirely, but he groans as much as ever. He is like a fish out of water, and unfit for office. June 15 Another clerk has been appointed; a sedate one, by the name of Shepherd, and a former pupil of the colonel's. I received several hints that the Chief of the Bureau was not at all a favorite with the Secretary, who considered him utterly unfit for the position; and that it could hardly be good policy for me to be on terms of such inti
June 11th (search for this): chapter 4
ter-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 intrenchments. We lost but one man killed and five wounded. The enemy's loss is several hundred. That road to Richmond is a hard one to travel! But I learn t
June 12th (search for this): chapter 4
e Peninsula. His force was about nine hundred; but he was behind intrenchments. We lost but one man killed and five wounded. The enemy's loss is several hundred. That road to Richmond is a hard one to travel! But I learn there is a panic about Williamsburg. Several young men from that vicinity have shouldered their pens and are applying for clerkships in the departments. But most of the men of proper age in the literary institutions are volunteering in defense of their native land. June 12 Gen. Lee has been or is to be created a full general in the Confederate army, and will be assigned to duty here. He is third on the list, Sydney Johnston being second. From all I can see and infer, we shall make no attempt this year to invade the enemy's country. Our policy is to be defensive, and it will be severely criticised, for a vast majority of our people are for carrying the war into Africa without a moment's delay. The sequel will show which is right, the government or the p
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
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
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
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