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

by John Beauchamp Jones

            DECEMBER 6TH.—It is clear and cold again. Custis came home last evening, after a week’s sojourn at Chaffin’s Bluff, where, however, there were tents. Some 1500 local troops, or “National Guards,” had been sent there to relieve Pickett’s division, recalled by Lee; but when Meade recrossed the Rapidan, there was no longer any necessity for the “Guards” to remain on duty. A brigade of regulars goes down to-day. Custis says it was the third day before ammunition was issued! Yesterday he heard shelling down the river, by the enemy’s gun-boats.

            I had a conversation with Col. Northrop, Commissary-General, to-day. He anticipates a collision between the Confederate and State authorities on the impressment question. He says the law was intended to secure subsistence for both the people and the army; but there is not sufficient grain in the States. Therefore the army must have what there is, and the people must go without. I differed with him, and maintained if a proper distribution were made there would be enough for all.

            To-morrow Congress assembles. It is to be apprehended that a conflict with the Executive will ensue—instead of unanimity against the common enemy—and no one living can foretell the issue, because no one knows the extent of capacity and courage on either side.

            The President has made his cabinet a unit.

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