Monday, March 4, 2013

March 4, 1863: The Diary of John B. Jones


John B. Jones sums up the news in Richmond, Virginia. He was worried about the Union's decision to implement a draft because the North had a much larger reservoir of manpower. At the same time, Jones expressed the hope that conscription would cause the Union to break up in another civil war.
March 4th.—The enemy bombarded Fort McAlister again yesterday, several gun-boats opening fire on it. It lasted all day; during which one of the iron-clads retired, perhaps injured. We had only two men wounded and one gun (8 in. columbiad) dismounted. The fort was but little injured.

Recent Northern papers assert that their gun-boats have all passed through the canal opposite Vicksburg. This is not true—yet.

Lincoln is now Dictator, his Congress having given him power to call out all the male population between the ages of twenty and thirty-five years, and authority to declare martial law whenever he pleases. The Herald shouts for Lincoln—of course. We must fight and pray, and hope for revolution and civil war in the North, which may occur any day.

Our cavalry, under Gen. Jones, has done some brilliant skirmishing recently in the vicinity of Winchester; and as soon as the March winds dry the earth a little, I suppose Hooker will recommence the “On to Richmond.” We shall be weaker the next campaign, but our men are brave.

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