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

by John Beauchamp Jones

            AUGUST 30TH.—The department companies and militia returned yesterday, through a heavy shower, from the wild-goose chase they were rushed into by Gen. Elzey’s order.

            Mr. Reagan, the Postmaster-General, informed me to-day (the government will not allow bad news to transpire) that at the second assault on Battery Wagner, MorrisIsland, the enemy captured and held the rifle-pits. This, perhaps, involves the loss of the battery itself—and indeed there is a report, generally believed, that it fell subsequently. I fear that the port of Charleston is closed finally—if indeed, as I hope, the city will be still held by Beauregard.

            Letters from Wilmington, dated 21st instant, urgently ask the Secretary of War to have one of the Great Blakely guns for the defense of that city—and protesting against both being sent to Charleston. From this, I infer that one or both have been ordered to Beauregard.

            Gen. Samuel Jones has had a small combat with the enemy in Western Virginia, achieving some success. His loss was about 200, that of the enemy much greater. This is a grain of victory to a pound of disaster.

            The owners of several fast blockade-running steamers, in anticipation of the closing of all the ports, are already applying for letters of marque to operate against the commerce of the United States as privateers, or in the “volunteer navy”—still with an eye to gain.

            Gen. Lee has returned to the Army of Northern Virginia—and we shall probably soon hear of interesting operations in the field. Governor Vance writes for a brigade of North Carolinians to collect deserters in the western counties of that State.

            There must be two armies in Virginia this fall—one for defense, and one (under Lee) for the aggressive—150,000 men in all—or else the losses of the past will not be retrieved during the ensuing terrible campaign.

            Some good may be anticipated from the furious and universal outcry in the Confederate States against the extortioners and speculators in food and fuel. Already some of the millers here are selling new flour at $27 to families the speculators paid $35 for large amounts, which they expected to get $50 for! But meat is still too high for families of limited means. My tomatoes are now maturing—and my butter-beans are filling rapidly, and have already given us a dinner. What we shall do for clothing, the Lord knows—but we trust in Him.

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