Wednesday, October 9, 2013

October 9, 1863: "This is not exactly according to law and order . . ."


In Richmond, John B. Jones dwelt upon the difficulties of obtaining necessary groceries and supplies in the city. Jones owned up to engaging in some black market trading to get food for his family.
October 9th.—From the West we have only unreliable reports of movements, etc.; but something definite and decisive must occur shortly.

Gen. Lee’s army crossed the Rapidan yesterday, and a battle may be looked for in that direction any day. It is said Meade has only 40,000 or 50,000 men; and, if this be so, Lee is strong enough to assume the offensive.

To-morrow the departments will be closed for a review of the clerks, etc., a piece of nonsense, as civil officers are under no obligation to march except to fight, when the city is menaced.

The mechanics and non-producers have made a unanimous call (in placards) for a mass meeting at the City Hall to-morrow evening. The ostensible object is to instruct Mr. Randolph and other members of the Legislature (now in session) to vote for the bill, fixing maximum prices of commodities essential to life, or else to resign. Mr. Randolph has said he would not vote for it, unless so instructed to do. It is apprehended that these men, or the authors of the movement, have ulterior objects in view; and as some ten or twelve hundred of them belong to the militia, and have muskets in their possession, mischief may grow out of it. Mr. Secretary Seddon ought to act at once on the plan suggested for the sale of the perishable tithes, since the government is blamed very much, and perhaps very justly, for preventing transportation of meat and bread to the city, or for impressing it in transitu.

Capt. Warner, who feeds the prisoners of war, and who is my good "friend in need," sent me yesterday 20 odd pounds of bacon sides at the government price. This is not exactly according to law and order, but the government loses nothing, and my family have a substitute for butter.

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