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

by John Beauchamp Jones

            NOVEMBER 8TH.—At this late day the Secretary of War is informed by Col. Gorgas that, in consequence of the enemy’s possessing the coal mines in Tennessee, he shall not be able to supply orders for heavy shot, etc., for the defense of Charleston harbor, if the fleet of monitors were to pass the forts. Why, this has been daily looked for any time during the last three months! And information from the Western army indicates that only about one shell in twenty, furnished by Col. Gorgas, will explode. This reminds me of the doubts expressed by Gen. Cobb of the fitness of Col. G. for his position.

            This is a bleak November day, after some days of pleasant autumnal sunshine. I still gather a few tomatoes from the little garden; a bushel of green ones on the vines will never mature. The young turnips look well, and I hope there may be abundance of salad in the spring.

            Yesterday two tons of Northern anthracite coal in this city sold for $500 per ton, to a church! We hope for relief when Congress meets, a month hence; but what can Congress do? The money is hopelessly depreciated. Even victories and peace could not restore it to par.

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