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

by John Beauchamp Jones

JANUARY 21ST.—Last night the rain fell in torrents, and to-day there is a violent storm of wind from the N.W. This may put an end, for a season, to campaigning on land, and the enemy’s fleet at sea may be dispersed. Providence may thus intervene in our behalf.

It is feared that we have met with a serious blow in Arkansas, but it is not generally believed that so many (5000 to 7000 men) surrendered, as is stated in the Northern papers. Gen. Holmes is responsible for the mishap.

Conscription drags its slow length along. It is not yet adding many to the army. The Assistant Secretary of War, and several others, “by order of the Secretary of War,” are granting a fearful number of exemptions daily. Congress, I hope, will modify the exemption bill immediately. It is believed enrolling officers, surgeons, and others are permitting thousands to remain at home “for a price.” Even clerks in the War Department, it is said, are driving a lucrative business in “getting men off,” who should be on duty, in this war of independence. Young men in the departments, except in particular cases, will not stand in good repute “when the hurly burly’s done, when the battle’s lost and won.”

Congress is at work projecting the organization of a Supreme Court.

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