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

by John Beauchamp Jones

            OCTOBER 10TH. —The enemy is undoubtedly falling back on the Rappahannock, and our army is pursuing. We have about 40,000 in Lee’s army, and it is reported that Meade has 50,000, of whom many are conscripts, altogether unreliable. We may look for stirring news soon.

            About 2500 of the “local” troops were reviewed to-day. The companies were not more than half filled; so, in an emergency, we could raise 5000 fighting men, at a moment’s warning, for the defense of the capital. In the absence of Custis Lee, Col. Brown, the English aid of the President, commanded the brigade, much to the disgust of many of the men, and the whole were reviewed by Gen. Elzey, still more to the chagrin of the ultra Southern men.

            The Secretary seems unable to avert the storm brewing against the extortioners; but permits impressments of provisions coming to the city.

            It is said the President and cabinet have a large special fund in Europe. If they should fall into the hands of Lincoln, they might suffer death; so in the event of subjugation, it is surmised they have provided for their subsistence in foreign lands. But there is no necessity for such provision, provided they perform their duty here. I cut the following from the papers:

            “The Vicomte de St. Romain has been sent by the French Government to ours to negotiate for the exportation of the tobacco bought for France by French agents.

            “The Confederate States Government has at last consented to allow the tobacco to leave the country, provided the French Government will send its own vessels for it.

            “The latter will send French ships, accompanied by armed convoys.

            “To this the United States Government objects in toto.

            “Vicomte de St. Romain is now making his way to New York to send the result of his mission, through the French Consul, to the Emperor.

            “The French frigates in New York are there on this errand.”

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