Sunday, December 2, 2012

December 2, 1862: The diary of John B. Jones

In Richmond, "rebel war clerk" John B. Jones wrote about his frustration with Jefferson Davis' leadership.
DECEMBER 2D.—There was skirmishing this morning on the line of the Rappahannock. The Chief of Ordnance is ordering arms and ammunition to Gen. Pemberton, in Mississippi. This indicates a battle in the Southwest.

A writer in the London Times, who is from Nashville, Tenn., says the South is willing to go into Convention with the North, and be bound by its decisions. I doubt that.

But the Enquirer to-day contains a communication from T. E. Chambliss, not the Virginia member of Congress, proposing the election of Commissioners from North and South, to put an end to the war. What can this mean but reconstruction on the old Democratic basis? It will not meet with favor, unless we meet great reverses this winter. Still, but few have faith in foreign intervention, to terminate the war; and there is a growing party both in the North and the South opposed to its indefinite prolongation. If we beat Burnside, I think it will be the last battle of magnitude. If he beats us, no one can see the end of the struggle. But from every State complaints are made against the military agents of the Confederate Government, for their high-handed oppressions. We may split up into separate States, and then continue the war—but it will be a sad day for us! The President ought to change his cabinet immediately, and then change his policy. He should cultivate the friendship and support of the people, and be strong in their affections, if he would rule with a strong hand. If he offends and exasperates them, they will break his power to pieces. And he should not attempt to destroy, nor permit others to destroy, the popular leaders. That way lies his own destruction.

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