Tuesday, December 10, 2013

December 10, 1863: The diary of John B. Jones


In Richmond 150 years ago today, Confederate war clerk John B. Jones recorded the rising price of food.
December 10th.—No news from any of the armies, except that Longstreet has reached Bristol, Va.

Yesterday, in Congress, Mr. Foote denounced the President as the author of all the calamities; and he arraigned Col. Northrop, the Commissary-General, as a monster, incompetent, etc.—and cited * * * *

I saw Gen. Bragg’s dispatch to-day, dated 29th ult., asking to be relieved, and acknowledging his defeat. He says he must still fall back, if the enemy presses vigorously. It is well the enemy did not know it, for at that moment Grant was falling back on Chattanooga! Mr. Memminger has sent to Congress an impracticable plan of remedying the currency difficulty.

To-day I saw copies of orders given a year ago by Gen. Pemberton to Col. Mariquy and others, to barter cotton with the enemy for certain army and other stores.

It is the opinion of many that the currency must go the way of the old Continental paper, the French assignats, etc., and that speedily.

Passports are again being issued in profusion to persons going to the United States. Judge Campbell, who has been absent some weeks, returned yesterday.

The following prices are quoted in to-day’s papers:

“The specie market has still an upward tendency. The brokers are now paying $18 for gold and selling it at $21; silver is bought at $14 and sold at $18.

“Grain.—Wheat may be quoted at $15 to $18 per bushel, according to quality. Corn is bringing from $14 to $15 per bushel.

“Flour.—Superfine, $100 to $105; Extra, $105 to $110.

“Corn-meal.—From $15 to $16 per bushel.

“Country Produce and Vegetables.—Bacon, hoground, $3[Pg 114] to $3.25 per pound; lard, $3.25 to $3.50; beef, 80 cents to $1; venison, $2 to $2.25; poultry, $1.25 to $1.50; butter, $4 to $4.50; apples, $65, to $80 per barrel; onions, $30 to $35 per bushel; Irish potatoes, $8 to $10 per bushel; sweet potatoes, $12 to $15, and scarce; turnips, $5 to $6 per bushel. These are the wholesale rates.

“Groceries.—Brown sugars firm at $3 to $3.25; clarified, $4.50; English crushed, $4.60 to $5; sorghum molasses, $13 to $14 per gallon; rice, 30 to 32 cents per pound; salt, 35 to 40 cents; black pepper, $8 to $10.

“Liquors.—Whisky, $55 to $75 per gallon; apple brandy, $45 to $50; rum, proof, $55; gin, $60; French brandy, $80 to $125; old Hennessy, $180; Scotch whisky, $90; champagne (extra), $350 per dozen; claret (quarts), $90 to $100; gin, $150 per case; Alsop’s ale (quarts), $110; pints, $60.”

No comments: