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

by John Beauchamp Jones

NOVEMBER 23D—Nothing of moment from the armies, although great events are anticipated soon.

On Saturday, Gen. Winder’s or Major Griswold’s head of the passport office, Lieut. Kirk, was arrested on the charge of selling passports at $100 per man to a Mr. Wolf and a Mr. Head, who transported passengers to the Potomac. W. and H. were in prison, and made the charge or confession. This passport business has been our bane ever since Gen. Winder got control of it under Mr. Benjamin. Lieut. K. is from Louisiana, but originally from New York.

Mr. Benjamin sent over to-day extracts from dispatches from Mr. Slidell and a Mr. Hotze, agent, showing how the government is swindled in Europe by the purchasing agents of the bureaus here. One, named Chiles, in the purchase of $650,000, Mr. Slidell says, was to realize $300,000 profit! And Mr. Hotze (who is he?) says the character and credit of the government are ruined abroad by its own agents! Mr. Secretary Seddon will soon see into this matter.

Capt. Warner says the Federal prisoners here have had no meat for three days, Commissary-General Northrop having none, probably, to issue. One hundred tons rations, however, came up for them yesterday on the flag boat.

Exchange on London sells at $1 for $18.50, and gold brings about the same. Our paper money, I fear, has sunk beyond redemption. We have lost five steamers lately; and it is likely the port of Wilmington (our last one) will be hermetically sealed. Then we shall soon be destitute of ammunition, unless we retake the mineral country from the enemy.

Mr. Memminger has sent a press to the trans-Mississippi country, to issue paper money there.

Mr. Slidell writes that all our shipments to and from Matamoras ought to be under the French flag. There may be something in this.

The President was expected back to-day; and perhaps came in the evening. He is about to write his message to Congress, which assembles early in December, and perhaps he desired to consult Gen. Lee.

Everywhere the people are clamorous against the sweeping impressments of crops, horses, etc. And at the same time we have accounts of corn, and hay, and potatoes rotting at various depots! Such is the management of the bureaus.

The clerks are in great excitement, having learned that a proposition will be brought forward to put all men under forty-five years of age in the army. It will be hard to carry it; for the heads of departments generally have nephews, cousins, and pets in office, young and rich, who care not so much for the salaries (though they get the best) as for exemption from service in the field. And the editors will oppose it, as they are mostly of conscript age. And the youthful members of Congress could not escape odium if they exempted themselves, unless disabled by wounds.

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