Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.


December 23.—A bill, prohibiting dealing in the currency of the United States, was passed in the rebel Congress: “Any person violating the provisions of the act was subject to indictment and prosecution in the confederate court holden for the district within which the offence was committed, and should, upon conviction, forfeit the amount so bought, sold, circulated, or used, or a sum equal thereto, and be moreover subject to a fine of not more than twenty thousand dollars, nor less than five hundred, and be imprisoned not less than three months, nor more than three years, at the discretion of the court; and it was declared the duty of the judges of the several confederate courts to give the act specially in charge to the grand-jury : Provided, that the purchase of postage-stamps should not be considered a violation of the act”

—The rebel forces, under General Longstreet, still remained in the neighborhood of Rutledge and Morristown, Tenn. “General Longstreet was unable to follow up his advantage in consequence of the large number of bare-footed men in his command. The weather was extremely cold, and the mountains covered with snow.”

—A party belonging to the rebel Colonel Harrison’s guerrilla band, headed by James Cavalier, entered Omega, La., and after capturing twelve or fourteen negroes, proceeded to murder them in cold blood, after which they hurried away upon mules captured in the town.—In discussing the conscription proposed by the rebel Congress, the Raleigh Progress says: “There is not another man to spare from the farms or other industrial pursuits of the country, and a further draft on this class will be fraught with the most disastrous consequences. If more men are wanted in the line, let the thousands of able-bodied men already in the pay of the government be placed there, and the drones and non-producers who insult honest toil by their constant swagger, and who have been shielded by the corruptions of office-holders since the war commenced, be gathered up and compelled to fight for that liberty for which they ever profess to be so ready to pour out their precious blood.

“Congress, we fear, is disposed to run into extremes, especially those members whose States are largely or entirely in the hands of the enemy. If this war is to be fought out to the last man and the last dollar, if we are really battling for independence, we must husband our resources. We must have men to fight, and we must have something to feed them on. Beware of destroying the seed-corn.”

—The Yankees made a raid on Luray, Va., and burned P. B. Borst’s large tannery, the old Baptist Church, and Mr. Booton’s workshop; broke open all the stores, and robbed them of all their goods, and what they could not take off, they distributed among the negroes. They also broke open the meat-houses, and stole, carried away, and destroyed nearly all the pork and bacon in the place, besides killing nearly all the chickens they could find. They also burnt the tannery of William R. Barbee, about six miles east of Luray.—Richmond Despatch.

—Lieutenant-general Leonidas Polk, assuming command of the rebel army in Mississipppi, issued an order at Meridian, in which he recognizes the defeats and discouragements the confederate cause has sustained of late, but seeks to stimulate his troops to fresh efforts, by assuring them that there is still, in the South, ample material for a continued and successful prosecution of the war. “The vigorous employment of our own resources,” he closed by saying, “with unity, harmony, and an unflinching determination to be true cannot, under God, but crown our efforts with triumphant success.”

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