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

            NOVEMBER 6TH.—The President was to have returned to-day, but did not.

            Various conjectures are made as to the object of his month’s tour of speech-making. Some deem the cause very desperate, others that the President’s condition is desperate. If the first, they say his purpose was to reanimate the people by his presence, and to cultivate a renewal of lost friendships, and hence he lingered longest at Charleston, in social intercourse with Gens. Beauregard and Wise, who had become estranged. The latter is the oldest brigadier-general in the service, and still they have failed to promote him. The President’s power is felt in the army, and his patronage being almost unlimited, it was natural, they say, that he should be received with cheers. From a lieutenant up to a general, all are dependent on his favor for promotion. At all events, his austerity and inflexibility have been relaxed, and he has made popular speeches wherever he has gone. I hope good fruits will ensue. But he returns to find the people here almost in a state of starvation in the midst of plenty, brought on by the knavery or incompetency of government agents.

            What is remarkable is the estimate of $50,000,000 by the Commissary-General for the purchase of sugar, exclusively for the sick and wounded in hospitals, the soldiers in the field being refused any more. One-fourth of the whole estimates ($210,000,000) for sugar, and not an ounce to go to the army! And this, too, when it is understood nearly all the sugar in the Confederacy has been impressed by his agents at from 50 cts. to $1 per pound. It is worth $2.50 now, and it is apprehended that a large proportion of the fifty millions asked for will go into the pockets of commissaries. No account whatever is taken of the tithe in the Commissary-General’s estimates.

            Flour sold at $125 per barrel to-day. There must be an explosion of some sort soon. Certainly Confederate notes have fallen very low indeed.

            Another solution of the President’s tour, by the uncharitable or suspicious, is a preparatory or a preliminary move to assuming all power in his own hands. They say the people are reduced by distress to such an extremity that, if he will only order rations to be served them, they will not quarrel with him if he assumes dictatorial powers. Legislation has failed to furnish remedies for the evils afflicting the community; and, really, if the evils themselves were not imputed to the government, and the President were ambitious—and is he not?—he might now, perhaps, play a successful Cromwellian rôle. But can he control the State governments? The government of this State seems like potter’s clay in his hands, the Legislature being as subservient as the Congresses have hitherto been. It is observed—independence first—then let Cromwells or Washingtons come.

            My wife, to-day, presented me with an excellent under-shirt, made of one of her dilapidated petticoats. A new shirt would cost $30. Common brown cotton (and in a cotton country!) sells for $3 per yard. I saw common cotton shirts sell at auction to-day for $40 per pair. Beef is $1.50 per pound, and pork $2. But these prices are paid in Confederate Treasury notes, and they mark the rapid depreciation of paper money.

            The enemy, however, in spreading over the Southern territory, are not completing the work of subjugation. It would require a million of bayonets to keep this people in subjection, and the indications are that the United States will have difficulty in keeping their great armies up. It is a question of endurance.

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