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

by John Beauchamp Jones

            AUGUST 29TH.—After all, it appears that only a few hundred of the enemy’s cavalry came up the Peninsula as far as Bottom’s Bridge, from whence they quickly fell back again. And this alarm caused Gen. Elzey, or the government, to put in movement nearly 20,000 men! But something else may be behind this demonstration; it may be the purpose of the enemy to strike in another direction, perhaps at Hanover Junction—where, fortunately, we have nearly a division awaiting them.

            The Hon. Mr. Dargan’s letter, received at the department a few days ago, saying that the reinstatement of Gen. Pemberton in command would be the ruin of the cause, was referred by the Secretary to the President, with some strong remarks, to the effect that popular opinion was almost universal against Pemberton. It came back to-day, with the following indorsement of the President: “The justice or injustice of the opinion will be tested by the investigation ordered.—J. D.” If the President desires it, of course Pemberton will be exonerated. But even if he be honorably and fairly acquitted, the President ought not to forget that he is not a ruler by Divine right to administer justice merely, but the servant of the people to aid in the achievement of their independence; and that their opinions and wishes, right or wrong, must be respected, or they can deprive him of honor, and select another leader.

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