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

by John Beauchamp Jones

            NOVEMBER 9TH.—The President returned Saturday evening, looking pretty well. Yesterday, Sunday, he was under the necestity of reading a dispatch from Gen. Lee, announcing the surprise and capture of two brigades on the Rappahannock!

            This is a dark and gloomy day, spitting snow; while not a few are despondent from the recent disasters to our arms. It is supposed that we lost 3000 or 4000 men on Saturday. A day or two before, Gen. Echols had his brigade cut up at Lewisburg! Per contra, Brig.-Gen. W. E. Jones captured, on Saturday, at Rogerville, 850 prisoners, 4 pieces of artillery, 2 stands of colors, 60 wagons, and 1000 animals. Our loss, 2 killed and 8 wounded. So reads a dispatch from “R. Ransom, Major-Gen.”

            There is some excitement in the city now, perhaps more than at any former period. The disaster to the “Old Guard” has put in the mouths of the croakers the famous words of Napoleon at Waterloo: “Sauce qui peat.” We have out our last reserves, and the enemy still advances. They are advancing on North Carolina, and there was some danger of the President being intercepted at Weldon. Thousands believe that Gen. Bragg is about to retire from before Grant’s army at Chattanooga. And to-day bread is selling at 50 cents per loaf—small loaf!

            And now the Assistant Secretary of War, Judge Campbell, is “allowing” men to pass to Maryland, through our lines. First, is a Rev. Mr. A. S. Sloat, a chaplain in the army. He was degraded for some offense by his own church, and his wife and children having preceded him (all being Northern born), as stated in his letter on file, he is allowed a passport to follow them. Recommended by Mr. S. R. Tucker. Second, Mr. J. L. White and Mr. Forrester are “allowed” passports to go to Maryland for ordnance stores. Recommended by Col. Gorgas. Third and lastly, “Tom Wash. Smith” is “allowed,” by the Assistant Secretary, to take fifteen boxes of tobacco to Maryland, and promises to bring back “medical stores.” Recommended by B. G. Williams, one of Gen. Winder’s detectives, and by Capt. Winder, one of the general’s sons. They bring in stores, when they return, in saddle-bags, while whole cargoes are landed at Wilmington!

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