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Xvii. August, 1862

August 1

Vicksburg has triumphantly withstood the shelling of the enemy's fleet of gun-boats. This proves that New Orleans might have been successfully defended, and could have been held to this day by Gen. Lovell. So, West Point is not always the best criterion of one's fitness to command.

August 2

The Adjutant General, “by order” (I suppose of the President),is annulling, one after another, all Gen. Winder's despotic orders.

August 3

There is a rumor that McClellan is “stealing away” from his new base and Burnside has gone up the Rappahannock to co-operate with Pope in his “march to Richmond.”

August 4

Lee is making herculean efforts for an “on to Washington,” while the enemy think he merely designs a defense [148] of Richmond. Troops are on the move, all the way from Florida to Gordonsville.

August 5

The enemy have postponed drafting, that compulsory mode of getting men being unpopular, until after the October elections. I hope Lee will make the most of his time, and annihilate their drilled and seasoned troops. He can put more fighting men in Virginia than the enemy, during the next two months. “Now's the day, and now's the hour!”

August 6

Jackson is making preparations to fight. I know the symptoms. He has made Pope believe he's afraid of him.

August 7

Much incomprehensible manceuvring is going on in Orange County.

August 8

We hear of skirmishing in Orange County, and the enemy seem as familiar with the paths and fords as our own people; hence some surprises, attempted by our cavalry, have failed.

August 9

Jackson and Ewell are waiting and watching. Pope will expose himself soon.

August 10

Jackson struck Pope yesterday It was a terrible blow, for the numbers engaged. Several thousand of the enemy were killed, wounded, and taken prisoners. Among the latter is Gen. Prince, who arrived in this city this morning. He affected to be ignorant of Pope's brutal orders, and of the President's retaliatory order concerning the commissioned officers of Pope's army taken in battle. When Prince was informed that he and the fifty or sixty others taken with him were not to be treated as prisoners of war, but as felons, he vented his execrations upon Pope. They were sent into close confinement.

August 11

Our killed, wounded, and captured did not amount to more than 600. We might have captured a whole brigade at one time during the battle, but did not. They charged our batteries, not perceiving a brigade of our own lying concealed just in the rear of the guns: so, when they advanced, shouting, to within thirty yards of our troops, they rose and “let them have it.” Nine-tenths of the enemy fell, and the rest were soon dispatched, before they could get away. One of their dying officers said they would have surrendered to us, if we had demanded it. He was reminded of Pope's beastly orders, and died with a horrible groan.


August 12

Pope claims a victory! So did McClellan. But truth will rise, in spite of everything. I will not quote Bryant literally, because he is an enemy in this war, and falsifies his own precepts.

August 13

McClellan is gone, bag and baggage, abandoning his “base;” to attain which, he said he had instituted his magnificent strategic movements, resulting in an unmolested retreat from the Peninsula and flight to Washington, for the defense of his own capital. So the truth they crushed to earth on the Chickahominy has risen again, and the Yankees, like the Cretans, are to be known henceforth as a nation of liars.

August 14

Lee has gone up the country to command in person. Now let Lincoln beware, for there is danger. A mighty army, such as Napoleon himself would have been proud to command, is approaching his capital. This is the triumph Lee has been providing for, while the nations of the earth are hesitating whether or not to recognize our independence.

August 15

Moved my office to an upper story of the Bank of Virginia, where the army intelligence office is located — an office that keeps a list of the sick and wounded.

August 16

We have intelligence from the West of a simultaneous advance of several of our columns. This is the work of Lee. May God grant that our blows be speedy and effectual in hurling back the invader from our soil!

August 17

We have also news from Missouri of indications of an uprising which will certainly clear the State of the few Federal troops remaining there. The draft will accelerate the movement. And then if we get Kentucky, as I think we must, we shall add a hundred thousand to our army!

August 18

From Texas, West Louisiana, and Arkansas, we shall soon have tidings. The clans are gathering, and 20,000 more, half mounted on hardy horses, will soon be marching for the prairie country of the enemy. Glorious Lee! and glorious Jackson! They are destined to roll the dark clouds away from the horizon.

August 19

Day and night our troops are marching; they are now beyond the right wing of Pope, and will soon be accumulated there in such numbers as to defy the combined forces of Pope, Burnside, and McClellan!


August 20

We have now a solution of the secret of Pope's familiarity with the country. His guide and pilot is the identical Robt. Stewart who was sent here to the Provost Marshal-a prisoner. How did he get out? They say money did it.

August 21

Some apprehensions are felt by a few for the safety of this city, as it is supposed that all the troops have been withdrawn. This is not so, however. From ten to fifteen thousand men could be concentrated here in twenty-four hours. Richmond is not in half the danger that Washington is.

August 22

Saw Vice-President Stephens to day, as cordial and enthusiastic as ever.

August 23

Members of Congress are coming to my office every day, getting passports for their constituents. Those I have seen (Senator Brown, of Mississippi, among the rest) express a purpose not to renew the act, to expire on the 18th September, authorizing martial law.

August 24

In both Houses of Congress they are thundering away at Gen. Winder's Provost Marshal and his Plug Ugly alien policemen. Senator Brown has been very bitter against them.

August 25

Mr. Russell has reported a bill which would give us martial law in such a modified form as to extract its venom.

August 26

Mr. Russell's bill will not pass. The machinery of legislation works too slowly.

Fredericksburg has been evacuated by the enemy! It is said the Jews rushed in and bought boots for $7.00, which they now demand $25.00 for, and so with various other articles of merchandise. They are now investing money in real estate for the first time, which is evidence that they have no faith in the ultimate redemption of Confederate money.

August 27

Huzza for Gen. Stuart! He has made another circumvention of the enemy, getting completely in Pope's rear, and destroying many millions worth of stores, etc.

August 28

Pope's coat was captured, and all his papers. The braggart is near his end.

August 29

Bloody fighting is going on at Manassas. All the news is good for us. It appears that Pope, in his consummate egotism, refused to believe that he had been outwitted, and “pitched [151] into” our corps and divisions, believing them to be merely brigades and regiments. He has been terribly cut up.

August 30

Banks, by the order of Pope, has burnt 400 Yankee cars loaded with quartermaster's and commissary stores. But our soldiers have fared sumptuously on the enemy's provisions, and captured clothing enough for half the army.

August 31

Fighting every day at Manassas.

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