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

by John Beauchamp Jones

            NOVEMBER 14TH.—Some skirmishing between Chattanooga and Knoxville. From prisoners we learn that the enemy at both those places are on half rations, and that Grant intends to attack Bragg soon at LookoutMountain. Either Grant or Bragg must retire, as the present relative positions cannot long be held.

            Mr. A. Moseley, formerly editor of the Whig, writes, in response to a letter from the Secretary of War, that he deems our affairs in a rather critical condition. He is perfectly willing to resume his labor, but can see no good to be effected by him. He thinks, however, that the best solution for the financial question would be to cancel the indebtedness of the government to all except foreigners, and call it ($800,000,000) a contribution to the wars—and the sacrifices would be pretty equally distributed. He suggests the formation of an army, quietly, this winter, to invade Pennsylvania next spring, leaving Lee still with his army on this side of the Potomac. Nevertheless, he advises that no time should be lost in securing foreign aid, while we are still able to offer some equivalents, and before the enemy gets us more in his power. Rather submit to terms with France and England, or with either, than submission to the United States. Such are the opinions of a sagacious and experienced editor.

            Another letter from Brig.-Gen. Meredith, Fortress Monroe, was received to-day, with a report of an agent on the condition of the prisoners at Fort Delaware. By this report it appears our men get meat three times a day—coffee, tea, molasses, chicken soup, fried mush, etc. But it is not stated how much they get. The agent says they confess themselves satisfied. Clothing, it would appear, is also issued them, and they have comfortable sleeping beds, etc. He says several of our surgeons propose taking the oath of allegiance, first resigning, provided they are permitted to visit their families. Gen. M. asks for a similar report of the rations, etc. served the Federal prisoners here, with an avowed purpose of retaliation, provided the accounts of their condition be true. I know not what response will be made; but our surgeon-general recommends an inspection and report. They are getting sweet potatoes now, and generally they get bread and beef daily, when our Commissary-General Northrop has them. But sometimes they have little or no meat for a day or so at a time—and occasionally they have bread only once a day. It is difficult to feed them, and I hope they will be exchanged soon. But Northrop says our own soldiers must soon learn to do without meat; and but few of us have little prospect of getting enough to eat this winter. My family had a fine dinner to-day—the only one for months. As for clothes, we are as shabby as Italian lazzaronis—with no prospect whatever of replenished wardrobe, unless some European power will come and take us, as the French have done Mexico.

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