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

by John Beauchamp Jones

            SEPTEMBER 12TH.—Lieut.-Col. Lay, “Inspector,” reports from North Carolina that some twenty counties in that State are “disaffected;” that the deserters and “recusants” are organized and brigaded; armed, and have raised the flag of the United States. This is bad enough to cause the President some loss of sleep, if any one would show it to him.

            Gen. Wise, it is said, is ordered away from the defense of Richmond with his brigade. I saw him to-day (looking remarkably well), and he said he did not know where he was going—waiting orders, I suppose.

            C. J. McRae, agent of the loan in Europe, writes July 24th, 1863, that the bad news of Lee’s failure in Pennsylvania and retreat across the Potomac, caused the loan to recede 3½ per cent., and unless better news soon reaches him, he can do nothing whatever with Confederate credits. He says Capt. Bullock has contracted for the building of two “iron-clads” in France, and that disbursements on account of the navy, hereafter, will be mostly in France. I fear the reports about a whole fleet of Confederate gun-boats having been built or bought in England are not well founded. Major Ferguson has also (several have done so before him) made charges against Major Huse, the agent of Col. Gorgas, Chief of Ordnance. Mr. McRae thinks the charges cannot be substantiated.

            We have tidings of the bursting of the Blakely gun at Charleston. I fear this involves the fall of Charleston. Still Beauregard is there.

            Gen. Pickett’s division (decimated at Gettysburg) is to remain in this vicinity—and Jenkins’s and Wise’s brigades will leave. The hour now seems a dark one. But we must conquer or die.

            It is said a deserter has already gone over from our lines and given information to the enemy of the large number of troops detached from the Army of Virginia. No doubt Gen. Meade will take advantage of their absence, and advance on Richmond again. Yet I am told the very name of Richmond is a terror to the foe.

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