On this day 150 years ago, Confederate war clerk John B. Jones wrote in his diary about the opinion of the Confederacy's Vice President Alexander Stephens: "we ought to make peace."
September 15th.—Bright and pleasant.
The firing was from our gun-boats and two batteries, on Gen. Butler’s canal to turn the channel of the river.
Our fondly-cherished visions of peace have vanished like a mirage of the desert; and there is general despondency among the croakers.
Mr. Burt, of South Carolina (late member of Congress), writes from Abbeville that Vice-President A. H Stephens crossed the Savannah River, when Sherman’s raiders were galloping through the country, in great alarm. To the people near him he spoke freely on public affairs, and criticised the President’s policy severely, and the conduct of the war generally. He said the enemy might now go where he pleased, our strength and resources were exhausted, and that we ought to make peace. That we could elect any one we might choose President of the United States, and intimated that this would enable us to secure terms, etc., which was understood to mean reconstruction of the Union.
A dispatch from Gen. Hood, dated yesterday, says Wheeler has been forced, by superior numbers, south of the Tennessee River; and he now proposes that he (W.) shall retreat south along the railroad, which he is to destroy. This is the very route and the very work I and others have been hoping would engage Wheeler’s attention, for weeks. For one, I am rejoiced that the enemy “forced” him there, else, it seems, Sherman’s communications never would have been seriously interrupted. And he proposes sending Forrest to operate with Wheeler. Forrest is in Mobile!
Gen. Morgan’s remains are looked for this evening, and will have a great funeral. And yet I saw a communication to the President to-day, from a friend of his in high position, a Kentuckian, saying Morgan did not die too soon; and his reputation and character were saved by his timely death! The charges, of course, will be dropped. His command is reduced to 280 men; he was required to raise all his recruits in Kentucky.