Tuesday, April 29, 2014

April 29, 1864: The Diary of John B. Jones

On this day 150 years ago, Confederate war clerk John B. Jones celebrated the recent Confederate victories on the Red River and at Plymouth, North Carolina, but always looming ahead is the coming campaign season of 1864. The roads in Virginia and northern Georgia were nearly dry enough for the big Union armies to move. Food remained short in Richmond and with the Army of Northern Virginia.
April 29th.—A letter from Major-Gen. Hoke, dated Plymouth, April 25th, and asking the appointment of Lieut.-Col. Dearing to a brigadiership, says his promotion is desired to lead a brigade in the expedition against Newbern. The President directs the Secretary to appoint him temporarily “for the expedition.” Soon we shall know the result.

By flag of truce boat, it is understood Northern papers admit a Federal defeat on the Red River, the storming of Plymouth, etc., and charge the Federal authorities at Washington with having published falsehoods to deceive the people. Gold was $1.83.

Troops are passing through Richmond now, day and night, concentrating under Lee. The great battle cannot be much longer postponed.

Last night was clear and cold, and we have fire to-day.

The President has decided not to call into service the reserve class unless on extraordinary occasions, but to let them remain at home and cultivate the soil.

It is now probable the Piedmont Railroad will be completed by the 1st June, as extreme necessity drives the government to some degree of energy. If it had taken up, or allowed to be taken up, the rails on the Aquia Creek Road a year ago, the Piedmont connection would have been made ere this; and then this famine would not have been upon us, and there would have been abundance of grain in the army depots of Virginia.

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