Xxxix. June, 1864
- Beauregard's plan. -- the battle. -- defeat near Staunton. -- fight at Petersburg. -- decision about Marylanders -- Beauregard in disgrace. -- dispatch from Gen. J. E. Johnston.
June 1Bright and warm. At 71 A. M. cannon and musketry heard northeast of the city, which either ceased or receded out of hearing at 12 M.; or else the hum of the city drowned the sounds of battle. Up to 3 P. M. we have no particulars. Beauregard is on the right of our line; Lee's headquarters was at Yellow Tavern. He is sufficiently recovered to direct the battle. Butler has mostly if not entirely evacuated Bermuda Hundred; doubtless gone to Grant. The President rode out this morning toward the battle-field. Every one is confident of success, since Beauregard and Lee command. The Secretary of War granted a passport to Mr. Pollard, who wrote a castigating history of the first years of the war, to visit Europe. Pollard, however, was taken, and is now in the hands of the enemy, at New York. Another row with the Bureau of Conscription. Brig.-Gen. Chilton, Inspector-General, has been investigating operations in Mississippi, at the instance of Gen. Polk; and Col. Preston, Superintendent of the Bureau, disdains to answer their communications. My landlord, Mr. King, has not raised my rent!
June 2Very warm and cloudy.  There was no general engagement yesterday, but heavy skirmishing, and several assaults at different points; and a dispatch from Gen. Lee says they resulted favorably to our arms. A dispatch from Gen. Johnston says his men are in good plight, after combats enough to make a battle, in all of which the enemy suffered most. The local troops (Custis's battalion, etc.) were ordered out today. I have not understood to what point they were ordered; but it indicates the imminency of a battle. Lee has not less than 80,000 men — veterans. I saw, to day, Gen. Beauregard's plan, dated May 14th. It was addressed to Gen. Bragg, “Commanding Confederate States armies.” He suggested the falling back on the defenses of Richmond, and detaching 15,000 to the south side to crush or drive away Butler. He would then not only return the 15,000 to the north side, but bring over 25,000 additional to crush Grant. This scheme was rejected by Bragg on the 19th, after consultation with the President and the Secretary: the latter indorsing his concurrence in the rejection, the President not committing himself in writing. But Beauregard was ordered to attack Butler without delay, which was done, and successfully; but he was not crushed, and still threatens our railroads with a portion of his army, while the rest has been sent to reinforce Grant. Nevertheless, Beauregard is here with some 20,000, and Lee did fall back to the defenses of Richmond. Congress has passed a bill increasing the compensation of themselves 100 per cent. Perhaps they will not adjourn now, but remain and await events. Senator Hunter and the Secretary of War promenaded the Square yesterday afternoon in a long “confabulation,” supposed by some to relate to political matters. 5 O'Clock P. M.-lHeavy and quick cannonading heard some eight or ten miles east of the city. It continued until night, when it was raining and cold; and Custis had no blanket, not anticipating such a change.
June 3Raining gently, and cool. As early as 4 A. M. there was an incessant roar of artillery, the vibrations of which could be felt in the houses. It could be heard distinctly in all parts of the city. And ever and anon could be  distinguished great crashes of musketry, as if whole divisions of infantry were firing at the word of command. It continued until 11 o'clock A. M., when it ceased. A dispatch from Lee stated that his line (behind breastworks, center and left) had been repeatedly assaulted, and every time the enemy was repulsed. The attack, it was supposed, was made to check a flanking movement made yesterday afternoon, by Gen. Ewell, on the enemy's left, to cut his communications with the White House, his base of supplies. No doubt the slaughter has been great! The dispatch from Beauregard indicates that he may be still on the other side of the river. It may be a ruse de guerre, or it may be that the general's enemies here (in the government) are risking everything to keep him from participation in the great battles. Mr. Hunter, being short and fat, rolls about like a pumpkin. He is everywhere, seeking tidings from the field. It is said the enemy, at last, has visited his great estates in Essex County; but he'll escape loss “by hook or by crook.” He has made enormously by his crops and his mills: nevertheless, he would sacrifice all for the Presidency-and independence. The President, yesterday, forbade details from the Department Battalion to remain in the city. The Southern Express Company has bribed the quartermasters, and is at its work again, using fine horses and stout details that should be in the army. Its wagon was at the department to-day with a box of bacon for Judge Campbell. About 800 prisoners were marched into the city this afternoon, and it is believed many more are on the way. Cannonading was heard again in a northeast direction this evening from 6 till 81 o'clock, when it ceased-perhaps the prelude to another scene of carnage to-morrow!
June 4Showers and sunshine. It is believed Grant has lost 40,000 within the last week! To-day there has been more or less cannonading along the line; but it is not known if any infantry were engaged. The battalion to which Custis (my son) belongs is at Bottom's Bridge, some sixteen miles distant on the Chickahominy; and I learn that the enemy shelled it yesterday and last night, without injury, shells falling short. It is suspected that Sherman will be ordered from Georgia to  reinforce Grant It seems Lincoln would give up his hopes of heaven, and plunge into hell, for the Presidency. The Commissary General says Lee must beat Grant before the latter is reinforced, “or we are gone;” for their destruction of the railroads, north and northwest, will ruin us — the southern roads being insufficient to transport stores for the army. My nephew, Col. R. H. Musser, trans-Mississippi, I am told by Senator Clark, was complimented on the field of victory by Gen. Taylor. His brigadier-general having fallen, Col. M. commanded the brigade. Last evening, about 6 P. M., a cloud nearly overhead assumed the shape of a section of our fortifications, the segment of a circle, with the triangle penetrating through from the north. These shapes were distinctly defined. Could the operations beneath have produced this phenomenon? was it accidental? or a portent of the future? God knows!
June 5Raining. The sudden booming of artillery, shelling our department boys, intrenching at Bottom's Bridge, was heard until bedtime. I have heard no results of yesterday's operations. All is quiet to-day, up to 9 A. M. Received a letter from Custis. I have not heard whether he received the food and blanket sent him yesterday; the latter, he says, was wanted badly the night before. He charges Fanny, as usual, to be regular in feeding and watering Polly, his parrot; and never to leave the door of his cage open, for fear he may fly away.
June 6Clear and hot, but with a fine breeze-southwest. All is quiet around the city. Saturday night the enemy again penetrated Gen. Breckinridge's line, and again were repulsed by the Floridians. Some of his regiments (as Mr. Mallory, Secretary of the Navy, who stopped in front of my house yesterday, told me) did not behave well. Yesterday, I learn, both sides buried the dead, with the exception of some Federals piled up in front of Lee's breastworks. A deserter says Grant intends to stink Lee out of his position, if nothing else will suffice. What a war, and for what? The Presidency (United States), perhaps! I learn that the Departmental Battalion, near Bottom's Bridge,  has been moved back a mile, out of range of the enemy's shells and sharpshooters. We have met with a defeat. in the Valley, near Staunton, which place has probably fallen. A letter from Gen. Bragg, this morning, in reply to Mr. Secretary Seddon's inquiries, says it is too true, and he indorses copies of dispatches from Gen. Vaughn and Col. Lee to Gen. R. E. Lee, who sent them to the President, and the President to Gen. B., who sends them now to the Secretary. Gen. V. calls loudly for reinforcements to save Staunton, and says Gen. W. E. Jones, who commanded, was killed. Col. Lee says, “We have been pretty badly whipped.” Gen. Bragg knows of no reinforcements that can be sent, and says Gen. R. E. Lee has command there as well as here, and was never interfered with. Gen. B. says he had tendered Gen. Lee his services, but they had not been accepted. Small heads of early York cabbage sold in market to-day at $3, or $5 for two. At that rate, I got about $10 worth out of my garden. Mine are excellent, and so far abundant, as well as the lettuce, which we have every day. My snap beans and beets will soon come on. The little garden is a little treasure.
June 7Rained in the night, clear and cool in the morning. Gen. Breckinridge's division started toward the Valley early this morning. All is quiet near the city; but firing has been heard in the direction of Bottom's Bridge. A man from New Kent County, coming through the lines, reports that Gen. Grant was quite drunk yesterday, and said he would try Lee once more, and if he failed to defeat him, “the Confederacy might go to hell.” It must have been some other general.
June 8Clouds and sunshine-cool. No war news except what appears in the papers. There was a rumor yesterday that several of the companies of the Departmental Battalion were captured on Monday, but it was not confirmed by later accounts. Our battery of 49 guns was unmasked, and opened on the enemy, who had been firing over the heads of our young men (clerks). This was replied to by as many guns from the enemy. Thus both fires were over the heads of the infantry in the low  ground between, and none were hurt, although the shell sometimes burst just over them. A pontoon train passed down the river to-day, on this side, one captured from the United States, and brought from Gordonsville. If Grant crosses, Lee will cross, still holding the “inside track.” Received a, letter from Custis. He is at Gen. Custis Lee's headquarters on ordnance duty. A pretty position, if a shell were to explode among the ammunition! He says he has plenty of bread and meat, and so we need not send any more. But he considers it a horrible life, and would rather be without his rations than his daily reading, etc. So I sent him reading enough for a week-all the newspapers I had; a pamphlet on the Bible Society in the South; Report of the Judiciary Committee on the Suspension of the habeas corpus; and, finally, the last number of the Surgical Magazine, in which he will find every variety of gunshot wounds, operations, etc. etc. I had nothing else to send him.
June 9Sunshine and clouds-warm. No fighting yesterday. It is reported that the enemy's cavalry and a corps of infantry recrossed the Pamunky this morning, either after Breckinridge, or to guard communications with the Rappahannock. There is a pause also in Georgia. Yesterday the President vetoed a bill exempting the publishers of periodicals, etc. He said the time had arrived when “every man capable of bearing arms should be found in the ranks.” But this does not affect the young and stalwart Chefs du Bureaux, or acting assistant generals, quartermasters, commissaries, etc. etc., who have safe and soft places. My little garden now serves me well, furnishing daily in cabbage, lettuce, beets, etc. what would cost $10.
June 10Clear and cool. All quiet round the city; but Petersburg was assaulted yesterday and successfully defended. The battalion of clerks still remains at Bottom's Bridge, on the Chickahominy. The pickets hold familiar conversation every day with the pickets of the enemy, the stream being narrow, and crossed by a log. For tobacco and the city papers our boys get sugar, coffee, etc. This intercourse is wrong. Some of the clerks  were compelled to volunteer to retain their offices, and may desert, giving important information to the enemy. I had snap beans to-day from my garden. I have seen none in market.
June 11Sunshine and cloudy-warmer. There is a calm in military matters, but a storm is gathering in the Valley of Virginia. Both sides are concentrating for a battle. If we should be defeated (not likely), then our communications may be cut, and Grant be under no necessity of fighting again to get possession of Richmond. Meantime it is possible Grant will retire, and come again on the south side of the James River. Congress is debating a measure increasing the President's compensation-he cannot subsist on his present salary. Nor can any of us. Mr. Seddon has a large private income, and could well afford to set the patriotic example of working “.for nothing.” We have heard to-day that Lincoln was nominated for reelec-tion at Baltimore on the 7th inst., and gold rose to $196. Fremont is now pledged to run also, thus dividing the Republican party, and giving an opportunity for the Democrats to elect a President. If we can only subsist till then, we may have peace, and must have independence at all events. But there is discontent, in the Army of the West, with Gen. Johnston, and in the East with Bragg, and among the croakers with the President. New potatoes sold to-day for $5 per quart, $160 per bushel! Mr. Rhodes, Commissioner of Patents, told me to-day that Gen. Forrest, at last accounts, was at Tupelo, Miss., doing nothing,--Gen. Wheeler, his junior in years, superior in rank, to whom he is again subordinated by the potency of Gen. Cooper's red tape, having most of his men. Robert Tyler has been with the Departmental Battalion at Bottom's Bridge, doing service as a private, though the head of a bureau. This evening at 7 o'clock we heard artillery in the direction of Lee's army.
June 12Cold and cloudy. Some firing again this morning, supposed to be merely an artillery duel. Heard from Oustis, in pencil mark on the back of envelope;  and he has applied for and obtained a transfer from ordnance duty in the rear, back to his company in the front. It is rumored that Sheridan has cut the road between Gordonsville and Charlottesville, and between that place and Lynchburg. If this be true, he will probably strike south for the Danville Road. Then we shall have confusion here, and the famine intensified. There seems to be no concert among the military commanders, and no unity of purpose among civil functionaries. They mistrust one another, and the people begin to mistrust them all. Meantime the President remains inflexible. All has been quiet to-day. I suppose the enemy is fortifying, with an intention to move half his army to the south side of the river-distracting us by menacing the city and threatening our communications at the same time. It is believed here by the croakers that Gen. Lee has lost much of his influence, from the moment Mr. Foote named him as Dictator in the event of one being declared. Now, it would seem, if the plan of Beauregard, rejected by Bragg, had been adopted, our condition would have been better. It is the curse of Republics to be torn by the dissensions of rival chieftains in moments of public danger!
June 13Clear and cool. Gen. Bragg sent to the Secretary of War to-day a copy of a letter from him to the President, yesterday, proposing to send 6000 more troops to Western Virginia, as Breckinridge has only 9000 and the enemy 18,000. Lieut.-Gen Holmes sends from Raleigh, N. C., a letter from Hon. T. Bragg, revealing the existence of a secret organization in communication with the enemy, styled the “H. O. A.;” and asking authority to arrest certain men supposed to be implicated. A letter was received from G. W. Lay, his son-in-law, by the Assistant Secretary of War, Judge Campbell, dated near Petersburg, stating that the Southern Express Company would bring articles from Charleston for him. That company seems to be more potential than ever. Cannonading was heard far down the Chickahominy this morning. And yet Lieut.-Gen. Ewell marched his corps to-day out the Brooke Road, just in the opposite direction! It is rumored  that he is marching away for Washington! If he had transportation, and could march in that direction, no doubt it would be the speediest way of relieving Richmond. Gen. Lee, however, knows best. At the conclave of dignitaries, Hunter, Wigfall, and Secretary Seddon, yesterday, it is reported that when Mr. Seddon explained Grant's zigzag fortifications, Senator Hunter exclaimed he was afraid we could never beat him; when Senator Wigfall said nothing was easier — the President would put the old folks and children to praying at 6 o'clock A. M. Now if any one were to tell these things to the President, he would not believe him.
June 14Clear and cool. Gen. Grant has changed his base-disappearing from the front of Lee in the night. He is supposed to be endeavoring to get his army below the city, and in communication with Butler on the south side. A. dispatch from Gen. Lee says Gen. Hampton has defeated Sheridan. Forrest has gained a victory in the West. Lincoln has been nominated-Andrew Johnson, of Tennessee, for Vice-President. Gen. Whiting writes that supplies from abroad are coming in abundantly at Wilmington, N. C. If we can only preserve our communications with the South, I regard the campaign, if not the war, pretty nearly at an end, and Richmond safe! Grant has failed, after doing his utmost to take Richmond. He has shattered a great army to no purpose; while Lee's army is as strong as ever. This is true generalship in Lee. But Grant can get more men.
June 15Clear and cool; warm late in the day. It is rumored now that the enemy got to Westtown yesterday, some ten miles below the point on this side occupied by Butler; and to-day he is leaving, either crossing to the south side (probably to cut the railroad), or embarking in his transports for no one knows whither. So, this attempt to take Richmond is as bad a failure as any. Grant has used up nearly a.hundred thousand men — to what purpose? We are not injured, after withstanding this blow of the concentrated power of the enemy. It is true some bridges are burned, some railroads have been cut, and the crops  in the line of the enemy's march have been ruined; but our army is intact: Lee's losses altogether, in killed and wounded, not exceeding a few thousand. A report of an officer states that the James River is not fordable anywhere above for forty miles. There is a rumor on the street that the head of Ewell's corps (commanded by Gen. Early) crossed the Rappahannock, yesterday, at United States Ford. If this be so, there must be consternation in Washington; and the government there will issue embarrassing orders to Grant. The spirits of the people here are buoyant with the Western news, as well as with the result of Lee's campaign. The death of Gen. Polk, however, is lamented by a good many. The operations of Forrest and Morgan are inspiring.
June 16Clear and pleasant weather, but dusty. The Departmental Battalion marched away, last night, from the Chickahominy (guarding a ford when no enemy was on the other side!) for Chaffin's Farm, or the James River. They were halted after marching an hour or so, and permitted to rest (sleep) while the rest of the brigade passed on. When Custis awoke he was alone, the battalion having left him; and he was ill, and knew not the road. So he set out for the city, with the intention of going down the river road this morning. But he grew worse after reaching home. Still, he resolved to go; and at 8 A. M., having marched all night nearly, he set out again, and met his sergeant — who had likewise diverged as far as the city — who said if he was really too ill to march, he would deliver the captain a surgeon's certificate to that effect, which would be a sufficient explanation of his absence. So, Surgeon C. Bell Gibson, upon an examination, pronounced him sick, and certified to the captain that he could not be fit for service for a week or ten days. At 3 P. M. he is in bed with a raging fever. There was a fight at Malvern Hill yesterday, the enemy being repulsed. There was also another assault on Petersburg, repulsed three times; but the fourth time our forces, two regiments, were forced back by overwhelming numbers from the outer line of defenses. To-day it is reported that they are fighting again at Petersburg, and great masses of troops are in motion. The war will be determined,  perhaps, by the operations of a day or two; and much anxiety is felt by all. A letter from Hon. G. A. Henry, on the Danville Railroad, saying only 1000 men were there to defend it, with but two cannon without appropiate ammunition! Soon after a dispatch came from Col. Withers, at Danville, stating it was reported 10,000 of the enemy were approaching the road, and only thirty-two miles distant. He called for reinforcements, but stated his belief that the number of the enemy was exaggerated. I delivered these to the Secretary myself, finding him engaged writing a long letter to Gen. Kirby Smith, beyond the Mississippi! In this moment of doubt and apprehension, I saw Mr. Randolph, formerly Secretary of War, and Mr. G. A. Myers, his law colleague, at the telegraph office eagerly in quest of news. To-day the President decided that Marylanders here are “residents,” or “alien enemies ;” if the former, they must fight — if the latter, be expelled. A righteous judgment. Last night, as Custis staggered (with debility) upon the pickets at the fortifications of the city, not having a passport, he was refused permission to proceed. He then lay down to rest, when one of the pickets remarked to him that he was not “smart, or he would flank them.” Custis sprang up and thanked him for the hint, and proceeded to put it in practice. The Examiner to-day says that Col. Dahlgren, a month before his death, was in Richmond, under an assumed name, with a passport signed by Gen. Winder, to go whithersoever he would. I think this probable. At 3 P. M. the wires cease to work between here and Petersburg, and there are many rumors. But from the direction of the wind, we cannot hear any firing.
June 17Clear and pleasant. A dispatch from Beauregard states that two assaults of the enemy yesterday, at Petersburg, were repulsed with loss; and it is reported that he recovered all lost ground to-day. Yet Beauregard has an enemy in his rear as well as in his front. When the battles were fought on the south side of the river in May, it appears that one of Gen. B.'s brigadiers (Colston) stopped  some battalions on the way to Richmond, in an emergency, and this has certainly given umbrage to the President, as the following indorsement, which I found on a paper to-day, will show:
No officer has a right to stop troops moving under the orders of superior authority. If he assumes such power, he does it at his hazard, and must be justified by subsequent events rather than by good intentions. Gen. Beauregard has, in this case, by approving and continuing the order (Gen. Colston's) assumed the responsibility of the act. --J. D. June 16th, 1864.
June 18Clear and cool. To-day, heavy firing is heard on the south side of the river. It is believed a general engagement is in progress. It is the anniversary of the battle of Waterloo. If we gain the day, it will end the war. It is now said Gen. Early (with Ewell's corps) has reached Lynchburg, where a battle must occur. Gen. Ewell has been assigned to the command of this department, Gen. Ransom going West. We have advices (4 P. M.) of a terrific battle at Petersburg last evening, Which raged until 11 o'clock at night. The slaughter of the enemy is reported as unprecedented. Our troops repulsed the assailants at all points but one, and that, which was carried by the enemy, was soon recovered. At 11 P. M. Lee's reinforcements came up, and it is supposed, from the sounds of cannon, that the battle was recommenced at dawn to-day, and continued all day. The result has not transpired. This tremendous conflict must be followed by decisive results. If Lee and Beauregard gain the day, peace must follow speedily, I think. If they are beaten, Richmond's fall can hardly be averted. Our shattered army could hardly get back across the Appomattox, with Butler's army interposed between — if he still has his army at Bermuda Hundred.
Sunday, June 19Hazy and cool. We have no details this morning of the fighting yesterday, and some doubt if a battle was fought. I presume assaults were made on our intrenchments in diverse places, and repulsed. Beauregard's battle, Friday night, is still in smoke, but it is rumored the enemy lost 9000 killed and wounded.  Firing is heard to-day. There may be good policy in keeping back accounts from the field, until it is all over and something decisive accomplished. We have not met with serious disaster at all events, else there would be consternation in the city, for bad news flies fast, and cannot be kept back. There was fighting yesterday at Lynchburg,--no result known yet. Every Sunday I see how shabby my clothes have become, as every one else, almost, has a good suit in reserve. During the week all are shabby, and hence it is not noticeable. The wonder is that we are not naked, after wearing the same garments three or four years. But we have been in houses, engaged in light employments. The rascals who make money by the war fare sumptuously, and “have their good things in this world.” The weather is dry and dusty; the hazy atmosphere produced perhaps by the smoke of battle and the movements of mighty armies. Eight P. M. The city is still in utter ignorance of the details and result of the battle yesterday — if there was one. If the government is in possession of information, it is, for some purpose, studiously kept from the public, and why, I cannot imagine, unless there has been a disaster, or Beauregard has done something not approved. I do not think the people here appreciate the importance of the contest on the south side of the river. If Lee's army were broken, I doubt whether it would even attempt to regain the fortifications of Richmond, for then it might share the fate of Pemberton's army at Vicksburg. And the fall of Richmond would involve the fall of the State, and Virginia would immediately become a free State.
June 20A fog; subsequently dry and dusty, but the sun in a haze, like Indian summer. As I feared; there is trouble with Beauregard. He drew off his troops from in front of Bermuda Hundred to reinforce the fewer regiments at Petersburg, and saved that city, and Gen. Lee had to drive the enemy off again from the abandoned line. It is said Beauregard acted contrary to orders, and has been suspended from command by order of the President. At all events, Lee is at Petersburg. Sheridan's raiders are near the city again, followed and preceded  by Wade Hampton and Fitz Lee. Their cannon has been heard all the morning. Mr. Secretary Memminger has resigned.
June 21Clear and warmer. Gen. Beauregard has not been removed from his command,--.it would be too great a shock to popular sentiment. The iron-clads went out this morning and proceeded down the river, supported by Custis Lee's brigade of local troops, including the Departmental Battalion, marching a dozen miles in the sun and dust. More will be on the sick list.
June 22Dry and pleasant. The city full of idle rumors — that the whole brigade of local troops were captured yesterday — that Gen. Fitz Lee has again been made prisoner, and that another raiding party is threatening the Danville Road, the canal, etc. There is no foundation for any of them, so far as I can learn.
June 23Clear and warm. The news of the capture of 1600 Federals, 4 guns, etc., yesterday at Petersburg, has put the people here in better humor, which has been bad enough, made so by reported rapes perpetrated by negro soldiers on young ladies in Westmoreland County. There has been talk of vengeance, and no doubt such atrocities cause many more to perish than otherwise would die. A Mr. Sale, in the West, sends on an extract from a letter from Col.--, proposing to the government to sell cotton on the Mississippi River for sterling exchange in London, and indicating that in this manner he has large sums to his own credit there, besides $100,000 worth of cotton in this country. Col.--is a commissary, against whom grave charges have been made frequently, of speculation, etc., but was defended by the Commissary-General. Mr. Harvey, president Danville Railroad, telegraphs to Gen. Bragg to send troops without delay, or the road will be ruined by the raiders. Bragg sends the paper to the Secretary of War, saying there are no troops but those in the army of Gen. Lee, and the reserves, the latter now being called out. Ten days ago, Mr. Secretary Seddon had fair warning about this road.
June 24Hot and hazy; dry. The news (in the papers) of the cutting of our railroad communications with the South creates fresh apprehension among the croakers.  But at 12 M. we had news of the recovery of the Weldon Road last evening, and the capture of 500 more prisoners. We have nothing from the south side raiders since their work of destruction at Burkesville, cutting the Danville Road. Mr. Hunter sheds tears over his losses in Essex, the burning of his mill, etc. But he had been a large gainer by the war. There is a rumor of fighting at Petersburg to-day.
June 25Hot and dry. Twelve hundred Federal prisoners passed our door to-day, taken at Petersburg — about half the number captured there during the last two days. The news of the cutting of the Danville Railroad still produces despondency with many. But the people are now harvesting a fair crop of wheat, and the authorities do not apprehend any serious consequences from the interruption of communication with the South--which is, indeed, deemed but temporary, as sufficient precaution is taken by the government to defend the roads and bridges, and there seems to be discussions between the generals as to authority and responsibility. There are too many authorities. Gen. Lee will remedy all this. The clerks are still kept out, on the north side of the James River, while the enemy is on the south side — the government, meantime, being almost in a state of paralysis. Such injustice, and such obtuseness, would seem to be inexcusable. The Secretary has sanctioned the organization of a force in the Northern Neck, to capture and slay without mercy such of the enemy as may be found lurking there, committing outrages, etc. The President still devotes much time to the merits of applicants for appointments on military courts, brigadier-generals, etc. It is reported that Grant has announced to his army that the fighting is over, and that the siege of Richmond now begins. A fallacy! Even if we were unable to repair the railroads, the fine crop of wheat just matured would suffice for the subsistence of the army — an army which has just withstood the military power of the North. It is believed that nearly 300,000 men have invaded Virginia this year, and yet, so far from striking down the army of Lee with superior numbers, we see, at this moment, the enemy intrenching himself at every new position occupied by him. This manifests an apprehension of sudden destruction himself!  But the country north and east and west of Richmond is now free of Yankees, and the railroads will be repaired in a few weeks at furthest. Gen. Hunter, we learn to-day, has escaped with loss out of the State to the Ohio River, blowing up his own ordnance train, and abandoning his cannon and stores. So we shall have ammunition and salt, even if the communication with Wilmington should be interrupted. No, the war must end, and is now near its end; and the Confederacy will achieve its independence. This of itself would suffice, but there may be a diversion in our favor in the North--a revolution there — a thing highly probable during the excitement of an embittered Presidential campaign. Besides, there may at any moment be foreign intervention. The United States can hardly escape a quarrel with France or England. It may occur with both.
June 26Hot and dry, but breezy. A dispatch from Gen. Lee, 9 P. M. last evening, says nothing of moment occurred along the lines yesterday. Our loss in the unsuccessful attempt of Gen. Haygood to storm a portion of the enemy's works, on Friday, was 97 killed and wounded, and 200 missing. Gen. Hampton dispatches Gen. Lee that he attacked the enemy's cavalry in Charles City County, Friday, and drove them out of their intrenchments, pursuing them eight miles, nearly to Charles City Court House. The enemy left their killed and wounded on the ground, and strewn along the route. Gen. Lee says Gen. H. deserves much credit. The enemy (a portion of Sheridan's force) are still prevented from forming a junction with Grant. Flour fell yesterday from $500 to $300 per barrel. An official report shows that we lost no arms or ordnance stores of consequence at Staunton. Communications will be restored in that direction soon. The Valley and Western Virginia, being clear of the enemy, the fine crop of wheat can be gathered. Beauregard is in disgrace, I am informed on pretty good authority; but while his humiliation is so qualified as not to be generally known, for fear of the resentment of his numerous friends, at the same time he is reticent, from patriotic motives, fearing to injure the cause. It is stigmatized as an act of perfidy, that the Federal Government have brought here and caused to be slaughtered, some 1600  out of 1900 volunteers from the District of Columbia, who were to serve only 30 days in defense of the Federal city. At the same time our government is keeping in the service, at hard labor on the fortifications, Custis Lee's brigade of clerks, who were assured, when volunteering, that they never would be called out except to defend the fortifications of the city, built by negroes!
June 27Bright and hot-afterward light showers. By the papers we learn that President Lincoln has been on a visit to Grant's army. If Grant does not accomplish some great wonder in a few days, his campaign will be noted a failure, even in the North. We learn to-day that gold is now at $2.15 in the North. The raiders are beginning to pay the penalty of their temerity; besides Hampton's fight with them, on this side the James River, we learn that W. H. F. Lee has struck them a blow on the south side.
June 28Bright and cool — a little rain last night. The Departmental Battalion is still kept out. They have built a line of fortifications four miles long — to Deep Bottom from near Chaffin's Farm. The Secretary of War intimates that these clerks are kept out by Gen. R. E. Lee. The superintendent of the Central Railroad informed the Secretary of War to-day that the road would be reopened to Staunton on Thursday (day after to-morrow), such is the slight damage done by the enemy. He asks that the bridge near Hanover Junction be defended, that being the only part of the road that can be much injured by a small raiding party. And he don't want the papers to say anything about the reopening of the road. The news from the North, that Congress has refused to repeal the $300 clause in their military bill-allowing drafted men to buy out at $300 each-and the rise of gold to $2.30 for $1-together with the apparent or real inertia of Grant, seem to inspire great confidence in our people to-day. They think the worst is really over, and so do I. My little garden, during the month of June, has saved me $150. A single cabbage head to-day in market was sold for $10. Although the joint salaries of Custis and myself amount now to $8000 per annum, we have the greatest difficulty to subsist. I hope we  shall speedily have better times, and I think, unless some terrible misfortune happens to our arms, the invader will surely be soon hurled from our soil. What President Lincoln came to Grant for is merely conjecture-unquestionably he could not suggest any military enterprise more to our detriment than would occur to his generals.
June 29Clear and cool-afterward hazy.
The dispatch from Gen. Johnston gives an encouraging account of the fight in Georgia. But a dispatch from the West states that reinforcements (20,000) for Sherman's army are marching from La Grange. It is reported and believed that Gen. Early, at the head of 25,000 men, marched out of Staunton on Monday toward the North. I hope it may not prove a recruiting measure for Lincoln! A good deal of firing (cannon) was heard down the river this morning. Judge Campbell is again “allowing” many persons to pass into the Upited States.