Civil War Chronology

 

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Who was Heyward Emmell?The Book

Heyward Emmell’s Civil War is over, but the larger conflict rages on. I will continue to post excerpts from the Confederate Clerk and important events in chronological order, but only on Heyward Emmell’s Facebook page. Additionally, post Civil War related events will be posted on the day that they occurred in a “This Day in History” kind of format. The repercussions of this conflict stretched on for many years.
 

October 8, 1864

Emmell Journal: Saturday Oct 8th I go back to Trenton, and receive my discharge which was dated Oct 7th 1864.

Confederate Clerk: October 8th.-Cloudy, windy, and cold.
    From Gen. Hood we have a dispatch, saying Major-Gen. French attacked Altoona day before yesterday. He carried all the outworks, but failed at the inner one, and learning a body of the enemy were approaching his rear, Gen. F. withdrew to the main body of the army. He says nothing of the loss, etc. on either side. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

England: The Sea King, later to be renamed the CSS Shenandoah, sails from london.

CSS Shenandoah

 

 

October 7, 1864

At Sea: USS Wachusett, Commander N. Collins, captured CSS Florida, commanded by Captain C. M. Morris, at Bahia, Brazil. Thus, in the same year were the cruises of the dread raiders Alabama and Florida ended.

Confederate Raiders CSS Alabama and CSS Florida

Son of the South photo

October 6, 1864

Confederate Clerk: October 6th.-Bright, and very warm.
    A dispatch from Gen. Hood, near Lost Mountain (in Georgia, Sherman’s rear), dated yesterday, says Sherman is marching out of Atlanta to attack him. He says Gen. Stewart’s corps struck the railroad at Big Shanty, capturing 350 prisoner and destroying ten miles of the road. Gen. Forrest is marching against Altoona. We shall soon have stirring news. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

October 5, 1864

Confederate Clerk: October 5th.-Bright, and very warm.
    There is a report that Gen. Hood’s army is at Marietta, in Sherman’s rear, and it may be so. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Georgia: Battle of  Allatoona Pass.

People: Jefferson Davis gives a speech in Agusta, Georgia, assuring them that he has never been more confident that the South can drive the enemy from its territory.

Jefferson Davis, President

Confederate States of America
 

October 4, 1864

Emmell Journal: October 4th I  leave for Morristown on Tuesday morning where I get a warm enough welcome.

Confedertate Clerk: October 4th.-Foggy; then bright; then very warm.
    9½ a.m. Gen. Lee says Gen. Breckinridge repulsed the enemy’s attack on Saltville, on Sunday, 2d inst.; it was a “bloody” repulse, and Gen. B. is pursuing.
    The enemy threw up earthworks yesterday, toward the city, from Fort Harrison, one mile in length. He is now within five miles of the city, and if his progress is not checked, he will soon be throwing shells at us.
    But Lee is there, digging also. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

October 3, 1864

Emmell Journal: Monday October 3d  I stay at Trenton until night and then go to Newark.

Confederate Clerk: October 3d.-Misty and damp, but warm.
    In the North, the Presidential campaign is growing warm. McClellan’s friends have been denounced as “traitors” in Ohio, and one of their meetings broken up by the soldiers. This fire may spread, and relieve us. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

October 2, 1864

Emmell Journal: October 2d  We reached Baltimore at daylight then marched to another depot & took baggage cars to Philadelphia, where we went to the soldiers retreat and had a good dinner.  Then we crossed the Delaware to Camden and took the cars for Trenton which place we reached by 6 P.M and put up in barracks with no rations.  This is Sunday

Southwest Virginia:  Confederate Victory at Saltville. NB This was an important victory for the Confederacy on two levels. Saltville was an important railroad junction. In addition, Saltville was a major producer of salt, one of the natural materials that was scarce in the Confederacy. There were numerous Union raids on salt producting areas of the Confederacy during the war, an attempt to reduce the ability to preserve provisions.

October 1, 1864

Emmell Journal: October 1st  We arive in Washington at 1 o’clock (AM) & then go to the soldiers retreat and get coffee, bread & pork. I was then put on guard over the officers baggage at the depot. Between 9 & 10 oclock tonight we were packed in a box cars, the train did not start until 2 or 3 oclock & we almost suffocated in the tight box cars.

Confederate Clerk: October 1st.-Raining and cold. Horrible for the troops in the trenches!
    The battle, yesterday (on this side of the river), was an attempt of Gen. Lee to retake Fort Harrison, near Chaffin’s Bluff, which failed, after two essays. Gen. Lee deemed its recapture important, and exposed himself very much in the assault: so much so as to cause a thrill of alarm throughout the field. But it all would not do; the enterprise of the enemy had in a few hours rendered the place almost impregnable. Judge Lyons, who came in to-day (from a visit to the field), estimates our killed and wounded at from 700 to 1000. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

People: Fabled Confederate spy Rose Greenhow drowns.

Rose Greenhow, Confederate Spy

Library of Congress photo

 

September 30, 1864

Emmell Journal: September 30th  We go aboard the mail boat John Morgan this morning at 10 A.M and reach Fort Monroe at 5 P.M and cross the Chespeake and so on up the Potomac.

September 29, 1864

Emmell Journal: September 29th  We leave Fort Davis on the plank road at 4 P.M and march to Hancock Station and get on top the cars & ride to City Point where the regiment turn in their rifles.  We then camp on the dock for the night.

Seige of Petersburg: Battle of Chaffin’s Farm (New Market Heights), Virginia. Twelve U.S. Colored Infantry Regiments and one Cavalry Regiment charged into battle. Thirteen men serving with the United States Colored Infantry Regiments were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

September 28, 1864

Emmell Journal: September 28th  The rebels crawl upon the darkey troops on the left of us last night & was going to take the picket line.  They opened the 8 12 pounders from the fort & soon drove the rebels back.  The lead from the rebels rifles flew pretty thick in the fort for a few minutes.

September 27, 1864

Emmell Journal: September 27th  I go to the regiment this afternoon to be on hand for the homeward trip.

Confederate Clerk: September 27th.-Bright and pleasant.
    The funeral expenses of Gen. Morgan the other day amounted to $1500; the Quartermaster-General objects to paying it, and sends the bill to the Secretary for instructions.
    The following is a copy of Gen. Lee’s indorsement on Lieut.-Col. Moseby’s report of his operations from the 1st of March to the 11th of September, 1864:

                    Headquarters, Army Northern Virginia,
                    September 19th, 1864.

    Respectfully forwarded to the Adjutant and Inspector-General for the information of the department. Attention is invited to the activity and skill of Col. Moseby, and the intelligence and courage of the officers and men of his command, as displayed in this report.
    With the loss of little more than 20 men, he has killed, wounded, and captured, during the period embraced in this report, about 1200 of the enemy, and taken more than 1600 horses and mules, 230 beef cattle, and 85 wagons and ambulances, without counting many smaller operations. The services rendered by Col. Moseby and his command in watching and reporting the enemy’s movements have also been of great value. His operations have been highly creditable to himself and his command.
                    (Signed)     R. E. Lee, General. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Missouri: Union Victory at Fort Davidson
Confederate guerrillas led by ‘Bloody’ Bill Anderson ride into Centralia, Missouri looting and burning the town.

Confederate Raider William Anderson

Frank and Jesse James learned their outlaw craft while servering under Anderson.

September 26, 1864

Emmell Journal: September 26th  The 7th regiment will leave for home some time this week.  I received 2 months pay Saturday. There has been heavy cannonading on the James to day.  The 9th & 10th Corps are on the move.  I am now down at the ambulance park getting in order to go home.

September 24, 1864

Confederate Clerk: September 24th.-Raining alternate hours and warm. Had a chill this morning, and afterward several spells of blindness, from rushes of blood to the head. Came home and bathed my feet and recovered.
    Another disaster! but no great loss of men. Gen. Early was compelled to retreat again on Thursday, 22d inst., the enemy flanking him, and getting in his rear. He lost 12 more guns. This intensifies the chagrin and doubts prevalent in a certain class of the community. However, Lee commands in Virginia, and there may be better luck next time, which will cause everybody’s spirits to rise. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

September 23, 1864

Confederate Clerk: September 23d.-Raining.
    Our loss, killed, wounded, and taken in the battle near Winchester, is estimated by our people at 2500. The enemy say they got 2500 prisoners. The enemy’s loss in killed and wounded amounted probably to as much as ours. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

September 22, 1864

Confederate Clerk: September 22d.-Cloudy; rained much last night.
    The following is all we know yet of Early’s defeat:
                    Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia,
                    September 20th, 1864.
                    Hon. James A. Seddon.

        Gen. Early reports that, on the morning of the 19th, the enemy advanced on Winchester, near which place he met his attack, which was resisted from early in the day till near night, when he was compelled to retire. After night he fell back to Newtown, and this morning to Fisher’s Hill.
        Our loss reported to be severe.
        Major-Gen. Rhodes and Brig.-Gen. Godwin were killed, nobly doing their duty.
        Three pieces of artillery of King’s battalion were lost.
        The trains and supplies were brought off safely.

                    (Signed)     R. E. Lee. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Valley Campaign: Battle of Fisher's Hill (Virginia).

Missouri: The Battle of Pilot Knob

September 21, 1864

Emmell Journal: September 21st  Our regiment is in a fort a quarter of a mile from the picket line, the 5th 7th & 11th N. J. Vols & battery B 1st NJ Artillary 4 guns & the 6th Maine battery 4 guns stay in the fort & half the men go on picket at a time.  It is quite a large fort it has a deep ditch around it, & has spikes driven in front of the ditch.  It mounts the 8 brass field pieces belonging to the two batterries.  There has been very heavy cannonading on the right this morning.  They still keep up the picket firing in our front.  Three Jersey substitutes deserted last night.  The good news from valley makes it quite lively as they are firing salutes of 100 guns in honor of the victory.

Confederate Clerk: September 21st.-Cloudy and somber.
    We have authentic intelligence of the defeat of our forces under Gen. Early, near Winchester. Two generals, Rhodes and Godwin, were killed. We lost some guns, and heavily in killed and wounded. The enemy have Winchester, and Early has retreated, bringing off his trains, however. This has caused the croakers to raise a new howl against the President, for they know not what.
    I look for other and more disastrous defeats, unless the speculators are demolished, and the wealthy class put in the ranks. Many of the privates in our armies are fast becoming what is termed machine soldiers, and will ere long cease to fight well-having nothing to fight for. Alas, the chivalry have fallen! The lagging land proprietors and slaveowners (as the Yankees shrewdly predicted) want to be captains, etc. or speculators. The poor will not long fight for their oppressors, the money-changers, extortioners, etc., whose bribes keep them out of the service. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

September 19, 1864

Confederate Clerk: September 19th.-Clear and pleasant.
    The only news of interest is contained in the following official dispatch from Gen. Lee:
    
                    Headquarters Army Northern Virginia,
                    September 17th, 1864.

        Hon. J. A. Seddon, Secretary of War.

        At daylight yesterday the enemy’s skirmish line west of the Jerusalem Plank Road was driven back upon his intrenchments along their whole extent. Ninety prisoners were taken by us in the operation.
        At the same hour Gen. Hampton attacked the enemy’s position north of the Norfolk Railroad, near Sycamore Church, and captured about three hundred prisoners, some arms and wagons, a large number of horses, and twenty-five hundred cattle.
        Gen. Gregg attacked Gen. Hampton, on his return in the afternoon, at Belchess’ mill, on the Jerusalem Plank Road, but was repulsed and driven back. Everything was brought off safely.

        Our entire loss does not exceed fifty men.

                    R. E. Lee. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Third Battle of Winchester (Virginia).

The Lake Erie Conspiracy
 

September 18, 1864

Confederate Clerk: September 18th.-Cool and cloudy; symptoms of the equinoctial gale.
    We have intelligence of another brilliant feat of Gen. Wade Hampton. Day before yesterday he got in the rear of the enemy, and drove off 2500 beeves and 400 prisoners. This will furnish fresh meat rations for Lee’s army during a portion of the fall campaign. I shall get some shanks, perhaps; and the prisoners of war will have meat rations.
    Our people generally regard McClellan’s letter of acceptance as a war speech, and they are indifferent which succeeds, he or Lincoln, at the coming election; but they incline to the belief that McClellan will be beaten, because he did not announce himself in favor of peace, unconditionally, and our independence. My own opinion is that McClellan did what was best for him to do to secure his election, and that he will be elected. Then, if we maintain a strong front in the field, we shall have peace and independence. Yet his letter convinces me the peace party in the United States is not so strong as we supposed. If it shall appear that subjugation is not practicable, by future success on our part, the peace party will grow to commanding proportions.
    Our currency was, yesterday, selling $25 for $1 in gold; and all of us who live on salaries live very badly: for food and everything else is governed by the specie value. Our $8000 per annum really is no more than $320 in gold. The rent of our house is the only item of expense not proportionably enlarged. It is $500, or $20 in gold. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

September 17, 1864

Confederate Clerk: September 17th.-Bright and dry.
    Gen. Hood is a prophet. I saw a letter from him, to-day, to the President, opposing Gen. Morgan’s last raid into Kentucky: predicting that if he returned at all, it would be with a demoralized handful of men-which turned out to be the case. He said if Morgan had been with Gen. Jones in the Valley, we might not have been compelled to confess a defeat, and lament the loss of a fine officer. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

September 16, 1864

Emmell Journal: September 16th  We have had very dangerous work since I last wrote in getting off the wounded & we can hear nothing but one steady bang, bang, from the picket line.  We strecher bearers lay in a bomb proof & get out when we have to get wounded.  The ground is covered with lead minnies all around our bomb proof.  Two different nights the rebel pickets at dusk wanted us to stop firing while they relieved their pickets which we did but both nights they fired on our men when we relieved our pickets, so we give it to them every night to pay them off.  It is necessary to have picket firing here, for in some places the 2 lines are so near together that our men throw their canteens to the rebels who fill them with water, as they have it right by them, & throw the canteens back & we throw them coffee & they throw us tobacco in exchange & at the same time we dare not raise our heads above the rifle pits or we would get shot.

Confederate Clerk: September 16th.-Bright and pleasant-the weather.
    Gen. Hood telegraphs that his army is so much mortified at the feeble resistance it made to Sherman, that he is certain it will fight better the next time.
    Gen. Morgan’s funeral took place to-day. None were allowed to see him; for the coffin was not opened. On the way to Hollywood Cemetery, Gen. Ewell received a dispatch that our pickets were driven in at Chaffin’s Farm. This demonstration of the enemy compelled him to withdraw the military portion of the procession, and they were hurried off to the battle-field. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

September 15, 1864

Confederate Clerk: September 15th.-Bright and pleasant.
    Gen. Morgan’s remains are looked for this evening, and will have a great funeral. And yet I saw a communication to the President to-day, from a friend of his in high position, a Kentuckian, saying Morgan did not die too soon; and his reputation and character were saved by his timely death! The charges, of course, will be dropped. His command is reduced to 280 men; he was required to raise all his recruits in Kentucky. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

September 12, 1864

Confederate Clerk: September 12th.-Clear, and quite cold.
    Gen. Hood has agreed to a short armistice with Sherman, ten days, proposed by the latter. Our people don’t know what to think of this, and the government is acquiescent.
    But there is a mournful gloom upon the brows of many, since Gen. Grant holds the Weldon Road, and is daily receiving reinforcements, while we get but few under the Conscription system and the present organization of the bureau.
    Over 100,000 landed proprietors, and most of the slaveowners, are now out of the ranks, and soon, I fear, we shall have an army that will not fight, having nothing to fight for. And this is the result of the pernicious policy of partiality and exclusiveness, disintegrating society in such a crisis, and recognizing distinction of ranks,-the higher class staying home and making money, the lower class thrust into the trenches. And then the infamous schedule, to make the fortunes of the farmers of certain counties. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

September 11, 1864

Emmell Journal: September 11th  The 5th 6th & 8th NJ Vols have gone home.  We strecher bearers have some thing to do again.  As the picket line was advanced last night or rather very early this morning & it has started picket firing again.  Only yesterday the pickets were playing cards together & are now shooting at each other.  The reason the picket line was advanced was because the rebel pickets were to close to one of our forts.  Stephen Bruen is now Quarter Master of the 7th Regiment.  We took a number of prisoners when we advanced the picket line.

September 10, 1864

Confederate Clerk: September 10th.-Slight showers, and warm.
    Gen. J. H. Morgan was betrayed by a woman, a Mrs. Williamson, who was entertaining him. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

September 9, 1864

Confederate Clerk: September 9th.-Rained last night; clear to-day.
    We hear of great rejoicing in the United States over the fall of Atlanta, and this may be premature. President Lincoln has issued a proclamation for thanksgiving in the churches, etc.
    The “HMS Hope” has arrived at Wilmington with Sir Wm. Armstrong’s present of a fine 12-pounder, all its equipments, ammunition, etc. Also two 150-pounder rifled guns, with equipments, etc. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Sir William Armstrong

September 8, 1864

Confederate Clerk: September 8th.-Bright and cool; subsequently cloudy and warm.
    Dispatches from Gen. Hood (Sept. 7th) state-1st dispatch: that Sherman still holds his works one and a half miles from Jonesborough. 2d dispatch, same date: “Sherman continues his retreat!” He says, in a 3d dispatch, that Sherman visited the hospitals, and said he would rest awhile at Atlanta, and then march away to Andersonville, where we keep the Federal prisoners. Although Hood attaches no importance to declarations from such a source, yet he deems it a matter of first importance to remove the prisoners, which suggestion Gen. Bragg refers to the Secretary of War without remark. Gen. Hood also urges the reinforcing of his army from the trans-Mississippi Department. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

1864 Presidential Election: George McClellan accepts the Democratic nomination for President.
 

September 7, 1864

Confederate Clerk: September 7th.-Clear and cool; rained in the night.
    Gen. J. H. Morgan is dead,-surprised and killed in Tennessee,-and his staff captured.
    Gen. Hood telegraphs that the enemy is still retreating-toward Atlanta, I suppose.
    The cruiser Tallahassee having run into Wilmington, that port is now pretty effectually closed by an accumulation of blockaders. - Jones, John Beauchamp

September 6, 1864

Union gunships beging a nine day bombardment of Fort Sumter.

September 5, 1864

Emmell Journal: September 5th  Have not moved since I wrote last.  Last night we were awoke by a terrific artillary duel, which reached from General Butlers front to our division.  It was a splendid sight, as it was very dark and you could see the fuse on the shells as they would pass through the air.  This cannonade was followed by a musketry fire on our left towards the Weldon rail road.  I see by this morning rebel papers that Atlanta is ours. Our men trade papers jack knifes &c with the rebels & sell felt hats to them which the rebels pay us for in green backs.  Our boys & rebels play cards together.  And our officers drink with the rebel officers on the picket line.  They offered Vanorder of Co K to lend him a suit of clothes & to take him to Petersbourg and bring him back safely to our line, but Vanorder did wish to go.  Two of the 4th Excelsior regiment went to a ball at Petersbourg & passed as rebel soldiers.  One of them had a black eye when he come back.  The rebel deserters say that the war will soon be over.  A great many substitutes desert from our side every night, I am sorry to say they are mostly from the New Jersey regiments too.

Confederate Clerk: September 5th.-Clear and warm.

     The loss of Atlanta is a stunning blow.

     Gen. Lee has called for 2000 negroes (to be impressed) to work on the Petersburg fortifications. Gen. Lee has been here two days, giving his advice, which I hope may be taken. He addresses Gen. Bragg as “commanding armies C. S.” This ought to be an example for others to follow. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
 

September 4, 1864

Confederate Clerk: September 4th.-Showery.
    Atlanta has fallen, and our army has retreated some thirty miles; such is Hood’s dispatch, received last night.
    Some 40,000 landowners, and the owners of slaves, are at their comfortable homes, or in comfortable offices, while the poor and ignorant are relied upon to achieve independence! and these, very naturally, disappoint the President’s expectations on momentous occasions. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Confederate Raider John Hunt Morgan is killed in Greenville, Tennessee.

General John Hunt Morgan, CSA
 

September 3, 1864

Confederate Clerk: September 3d.-Slight rain in the morning.
    There is an ugly rumor on the streets to-day-disaster to Gen. Hood, and the fall of Atlanta. I cannot trace it to an authentic source; and, if true, the telegraph operatives must have divulged it. I incline to the belief that Hood has met with disaster at Atlanta. If so, every able-bodied man in that State will be hunted up for its defense, unless, indeed, the Union party should be revived there.
    There will be a new clamor against the President, for removing Johnston, and for not putting Beauregard in his place. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Valley Campaign: Battle at Berryville.

September 2, 1864

Confederate Clerk: September 2d.-Bright, and cool, and dry.
    It is reported that a battle has occurred at Atlanta; but I have seen no official confirmation of it. It is rumored that Gen. McClellan has been nominated by the Chicago Convention for President, and Fernando Wood for Vice-President. There is some interest felt by our people in the proceedings of this convention, and there is a hope that peace candidates may be nominated and elected.
    Senator Johnson (Missouri) told me to-day that he had seen Mrs. Vaughan (wife of our Gen. V.), just from the United States, where she had been two months; and she declares it as her belief that Gen. McClellan will be elected, if nominated, and that he is decidedly for peace. She says the peace party would take up arms to put an end to Lincoln’s sanguinary career, but that it is thought peace can be soonest restored by the ballot-box. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Atlanta Campaign: Atlanta occupied by Union troops. Sherman to Lincoln, “Atlanta is ours and fairly won”.

 

General William T Sherman, USA

 

September 1, 1864

Confederate Clerk: September 1st.-Clear, bright, and cool. The intelligence from the North indicates that Gen. McClellan will be nominated for the Presidency. Judge Campbell, Assistant Secretary of War, shakes his head, and says he is not the right man. Our people take a lively interest in the proceedings of the Chicago Convention, hoping for a speedy termination of the war.
    There is a project on the tapis of introducing lady clerks into this bureau-all of them otherwise able to subsist themselves-while the poor refugees, who have suffered most, are denied places. Even the President named one to-day, Mrs. Ford, who, of course, will be appointed. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Atlanta Campaign: Atlanta evacuated by General Hood

 

General John Bell Hood, CSA

Valley Campaign: Sheridan clashes with Jubel Early at Opequon Creek.

 

August 31, 1864

Confederate Clerk: August 31st.-Bright and pleasant.
    The only news to-day was a dispatch from Gen. Hood, stating that the enemy had left Holly Springs, Miss., for the Mississippi River, supposed to reinforce Sherman, whose communications are certainly cut. It seems to me that Sherman must be doomed. Forces are gathering from every quarter around him, and it is over 200 miles to Mobile, if he has any idea to force his way thitherward. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capita

Atlanta Campaign: Battle of Jonesborough begins.

The last railroad line into Atlanta is cut by the Union army.

1864 Election: General George McClellan is nominated by the Democratic party to run against Abraham Lincoln for President in November, 1864.

 

Photo: McClellan 1864 election campaign button.

 

August 30, 1864

Confederate Clerk: August 30th.-Bright and pleasant.
    Gen. Hood telegraphs Gen Bragg that the enemy has shifted his line somewhat, drawing back his left and extending his right wing. Also that dispatches from Wheeler (August 19th) informs him that Dalton was captured, as stated, with 200 prisoners, 200 mules, a large amount of stores; several train supplies destroyed, as well as twenty-five miles of railroad in Sherman’s rear. If that don’t disturb the equanimity of Sherman, he must be an extraordinary general indeed. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

August 26, 1864

Emmell Journal: August 26th  Lieut Bruen died at City Point yesterday.  Gen Warren still holds the Weldon Rail Road. The 1st & 2nd divisions of our corps had a sharp fight last night, the 2nd division lost very heavily.  The fight was near Reams Station - the 1st & 2nd divisions had been sent out to tear up the track & the rebels came on them, when they were reinforced by our division & a portion of the 9th Corps. I’ve been relieved from the line in front the 9th Corps since I wrote last and are now on duty along the Jurusalem plank road. We just got in from Reams Station march this morning at light.  The 5th 6th New Jersey will leave for home in a few days.

Merritt Bruen, 7th Regiment, NJV, died of pernicious fever in the hospital at City Point.

Confederate Clerk: August 26th.-Clear; but rained copiously last night.
    A dispatch from Mobile says Fort Morgan is in the possession of the enemy! Per contra, a dispatch from the same place says Memphis is in the possession of Forrest. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
 

August 25, 1864

Confederate Clerk: August 25th.-Clear and warm.
    No war news, except reports that Gen. Wheeler has destroyed much of the railroad in Sherman’s rear, and that Early has forced Sheridan back across the Potomac. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Mobile Bay: Port of Mobile closed to blockade runners with capture of Fort Morgan by Admiral Farragut.

Siege of Petersburg: Battle of Ream's Station

Valley Campaign: Battle at Smithfield Crossing

At Sea: CSS Talahassee makes port in Wilmington, North Carolina.

August 24, 1864

Confederate Clerk: August 24th.-Clear and pleasant. Operations now must be initiated by the enemy. Gen. Lee writes that he is too weak to attempt to dislodge the Yankees from the Weldon Railroad. He cannot afford the loss of men necessary to accomplish it. He says the enemy, however, was “worsted” in the two conflicts, that of Friday and Sunday. And if he were to drive him away, the road would still be subject to interruption. He thinks we can still get supplies, by wagons, round the enemy’s position, as well as by the Danville Road. He also suggests that corn be imported at Wilmington, and that every effort be made to accumulate supplies here; and he thinks we can hold out until corn matures some six weeks hence, so that the moral effect will be good, when it is apparent the efforts of the enemy to cut off our supplies are thwarted. He thinks the enemy has relinquished the idea of forcing our fortifications. But he says that Grant intended to force his way into Richmond last week. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

August 23, 1864

Confederate Clerk: August 23d.-Clear and pleasant.
    The enemy still occupy the Weldon Road, beyond Petersburg, in great force. Our loss in killed, wounded, and captured is estimated (in Sunday’s fight) at 1000; under the mark, perhaps. I hear of no raid yet against the Danville Road; but the flour speculators have put up the price again. Gen. Kemper told me this morning that he had 3000 of the reserves defending the Danville Road, the number Gen. Lee asked for. Gen. Hood is so strong at Atlanta, that he has promised to send, in an emergency, a brigade to Mobile. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

August 22, 1864

Confederate Clerk: August 22d.-Sunshine and clouds, cool and pleasant.
    There was heavy fighting on the Weldon Road yesterday evening, still held by the enemy; but no official account of the result-if it has yet reached a result-has been received. The city is full of extravagant rumors, and I incline to the belief that we gained no advantage yesterday. We took some 300 prisoners, certainly; but I fear Haygood’s Brigade of South Carolinians ventured too far, when they were enveloped by greatly superior numbers-and-we shall know all to-morrow. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

August 21, 1864

Bombproof rifle pit outside of Petersburg

Emmell Journal:  August 21th We left the North side the James river the night of the 18th and we marched to Petersbourg and relieved the negroe division in the 9th Corps.  The rebels have shelled us since we have been here very hard.  Every night at midnight they commence & keep at it until daylight.  While this is going on we have to lay low in our bomb proofs as things are so very warm outside; these bomb proofs are made by digging deep holes & covering the top of it with large
pine logs.  Gen Warren with the 5th Corps took 11000 rebels yesterday also a train; he is fighting on the Weldon road.  I can hear heavy cannonading in that direction to day.  I saw a long column of rebels which had been taken by Warren today.  It has rained for the past 5 or 6 days every day.

Siege of Petersburg: Weldon Railroad south of Richmond seized by General Grant after 5 days' battle.

Valley Campaign: Battle at Summit Point

Tennessee: Second Battle of Memphis, Tennessee

August 20, 1864

Atlanta Campaign: Battle of Lovejoy's Station, Georgia

August 19, 1864

Confederate Clerk: August 19th.-Damp and cloudy.
    There was no serious battle. The wind was in a quarter which brought the sounds to us, even from the skirmishers, ten miles distant. But our gun-boats shelled the enemy out of their position on Signal Hill, and there was heavy cannonading along the line on the south side of the river. And, as appears by the papers, there was severe fighting at different points of the line. We have now some further details of the battle of Tuesday. Our loss was 1000; the enemy’s, it is said, 5000 to 8000.
    It is believed another raid has crossed the Weldon Road, and is sweeping in the direction of the Lynchburg and Danville Road. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

August 18, 1864

Confederate Clerk: August 18th.-Cloudy and pleasant.
    Still we have no authentic account of the details of the fights on the north side of the James River. We know we lost two brigadier-generals, and that we captured some 600 prisoners. Of the number killed and wounded on either side is all conjecture, although a semi-official statement makes our loss but “light.”
    Nevertheless, I happen to know that the President rode out yesterday, and remained until late in the night: for Mr. Craddock, his special detective (and formerly his messenger), whom he sent for to accompany him, assures me while on the field there was a flag of truce to bury the dead, and that the slaughter had been large. Our cavalry had suffered; but he thinks the enemy’s infantry lost many more men than all our slain together. He says, moreover, that only one negro prisoner reached the city. The rest, thrust forward, being killed on the field in action, I suppose.
    At 2 p.m. a rumor began to be expanded that a terrific and probably a decisive battle was going on at Petersburg. One report says the enemy assaulted our lines, the operations on this side of the river having been more a feint to draw our forces away; another that Gen. Beauregard attacked the enemy, finding their troops in large force had crossed over to this side, and this in the absence of Gen. Lee, he taking the responsibility. Be this as it may, some stir was in the cabinet: and the Secretary of War was with the President from 11 a.m. till 3 p.m. This might be on “appointments and promotions,” and it might be on Beauregard.
    About 5 p.m. brisk artillery firing was heard in a southeast direction, which increased in rapidity, and apparently became nearer the city, until musketry could be distinctly heard from all parts of the city. My daughter Anne and her younger brother, Thomas, had walked out to Hollywood Cemetery, where they could not only hear the firing, but could see the lines of smoke below the city, on the left or north bank. Between 6 and 7 p.m. the sound seemed to recede, indicating that the assault had been repulsed; and finally all was silent again. It is probable the battle raged likewise on the south side of the river, and it may be hoped the assault on Petersburg was similarly repulsed. We shall know to-morrow. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Political: August 18 General Grant again refuses exchange of prisoners as prolonging the war.

Siege of Petersburg: Battle of Globe Tavern, Virginia
 

August 17, 1864

White House Landing

Emmell Journal: August 17th  On the 12th we left Petersbourg & marched to City Point and unloaded the sick of the 2d Corps.  The troops came to City Point too & then the ambulance train goes to Point of Rocks and cross the Appomattox & park this side the James.  We strecher bearers had to walk & cross at Point of Rocks & so on back to City Point and join our brigade, we were by this time pretty tired.  At City Point we embarked on transports & moved out in the stream opposite White House Point, we all thought we were going to Washington but at 8 or 9 oclock a little tug came along by the transports & give them orders to move for Deep Bottom at 10 o’clock.  We disembarked at daylight the whole corps were on transports to deceive the rebels & make the think we were off for Washington.  Well we advanced our lines & with the aid of the Monitors soon drove the rebels back from near the river.  Gen Birney with the 10th Corps & a portion of our corps are in the rebels rear also Sheridan’s cavalry.  There has been some hard fighting, the 8th New Jersey made a charge and lost several of their men.  I helped get some of the wounded off.  Some of the boddies were also brought in a dreadful condiction who had only been dead one day which shows how very warm it must be.  A sharp picket fire had been kept up except for a short time to while we had a flag of truce to take the remains of the rebel General Chambliss over to the rebels & get the dead boddies of our men which lay between the two lines.

Confederate Clerk: August 17th.-Cloudy, and slight showers. In the afternoon dark clouds going round.
    We have nothing from below but vague rumors, except that we repulsed the enemy yesterday, slaughtering the negro troops thrust in front.
    From Atlanta, it is said the enemy have measurably ceased artillery firing, and it is inferred that their ammunition is low, and perhaps their communications cut. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
 

August 16, 1864

Confederate Clerk: August 16th.-Warm and cloudy. There are movements of interest of the armies below, from the fact that we have as yet no authentic account of the fighting during the last few days. I fear we have not been so successful as usual.
    Col. Moseby has taken 200 of the enemy near Berryville, burning 75 wagons, and capturing 600 horses and mules. His loss trifling. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Colonel Moseby and some of his raiders.

Valley Campaign: Battle at Guard Hill, Virginia

At Sea: Confederate Raider Tallahasse takes 4 more Federal ships.

Siege of Petersburg: Confederate General John Chambliss is killed

August 15, 1864

Confederate Clerk: August 15th.-Cloudy, damp, and pleasant. A rain fell last night, wetting the earth to a considerable depth; and the wind being southeast, we look for copious showers-a fine season for turnips, etc.
    The following official dispatch was received on Saturday:

     Mobile, August 11th - Nothing later from Fort Morgan. The wires are broken. Gen. Forrest drove the enemy’s advance out of Oxford last night.
    All the particulars of the Fort Gaines surrender known, are that the commanding officer communicated with the enemy, and made terms, without authority. His fort was in good condition, the garrison having suffered little.
    He made no reply to repeated orders and signals from Gen. Page to hold his fort, and surrendered upon conditions not known here.
        D. H. Maury, Major-General.
    
    Gen. Taylor will cross the Mississippi with 4000 on the 18th of this month. Sherman must get Atlanta quickly, or not at all.
Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

At Sea: Confederate Raider Tallahasse takes 6 more Federal ships.

Atlanta Campaign: Second Battle of Dalton, Georgia

August 13, 1864

Confederate Clerk: August 13th.-Hot and dry. Large green worms have attacked my tomatoes, and from the leaves are proceeding to the fruit. But not many of them will escape! I am warring on them.
    No war news, except the continuation of the movement of troops northward. Hampton’s division of cavalry, at least three brigades, passed this morning.
    From Mobile and Atlanta we have nothing of interest. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Siege of Petersburg:  Second Battle of Deep Bottom, Virginia.

August 12, 1864

Confederate Clerk: August 12th.-Hot and dry. At 3 p.m. rained about three minutes. We are burning up.
    There is no war news. A rumor in the street says Atlanta has fallen. I don’t believe it. Yesterday Gen. Hood said no important change had occurred, etc. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

At Sea: Confederate Raider Tallahassee has taken 13 Union ships in the last week.
 

August 11, 1864

Confederate Clerk: August 11th.-Hot and dry. Dispatches from secret agents at Washington state that Grant and his staff have arrived, that half his army preceded him, and the remainder will soon follow. The campaign is considered a disastrous failure, and it is anticipated that henceforth the scene of operations is to be transferred from Richmond to Washington. They say President Lincoln’s face expresses “great terror,” and affairs there are in a critical condition. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

August 10, 1864

Confederate Clerk: August 10th.-Hot and dry until 4 p.m. Gust, and 15 minutes’ rain. Good for turnips.
    Forts Gaines and Powell are lost-the latter blown up. Gen. Maury telegraphs for infantry, has some 4000 men for the defense of Mobile, etc. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
 

August 9, 1864

Confederate Clerk: August 9th.-Very hot; very dry; very dusty.
    The President has directed the late Gen. (now Lieut.-Col.) Pemberton to organize a mortar and cavalry force to dislodge the enemy from Deep Bottom, on this side of the river, and to select three or four batteries to render the navigation of the James River difficult and dangerous. Col. P. says he must have some 1500 cavalry, etc.
    Letters from Mr. McRae, our agent abroad, show that our finances and credit are improving wonderfully, and that the government will soon have a great many fine steamers running the blockade. Mr. McR. has contracted for eight steel-clad, steamers with a single firm, Frazer, Trenholm & Co. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
 

August 8, 1864

Confederate Clerk: August 8th.-Hot and dry.
    There are rumors of battles near Winchester and in Georgia.
    In the assault on the fortifications near Petersburg last week, it is said Hancock’s (enemy’s) corps lost half its men. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

August 7, 1864

Emmell Journal: August 7th  Very warm.  We are on the reserve still.

Atlanta Campaign. Battle at Utoy Creek

Valley Campaign: Battle of Moorefield.

August 6, 1864

Confederate Clerk: August 6th.-Hot and dry.
    But we have been unfortunate in a naval engagement in the lower bay, at Mobile. We have lost Admiral Buchanan’s ram “Tennessee,” and several other steamers. One of the enemy’s monitors was sunk. They had five vessels to our one.
    Battles are momentarily expected at Atlanta and Winchester. We have nothing additional from the North. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Naval: CSS Tallahassee, Commander J. T. Wood, put to sea from Wilmington, launching a brief but highly successful cruise against Northern shipping.

August 5, 1864

Confederate Clerk: August 5th.-Hot and dry. I hope there will be a rain-cloud this evening.
    No war news, except a letter from Gen. Lee, indicating that Gen. Morgan is probably on a raid in Northwest Virginia and in Pennsylvania. Morgan proposed going into Georgia (rear of Sherman), but the Secretary indorsed that perhaps the matter had as well be left to Gen. Lee. The President quietly indorsed that he “concurred in the conclusion that all the movements of troops in Virginia had best be left to the discretion of Gen Lee.”
    Gen. Hood telegraphs that no important change has occurred in front of Atlanta. There was some skirmishing yesterday, and shell thrown into Atlanta. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Battle of Mobile Bay.

 

 

Not your average Christmas card illustration, a Currier and Ives depiction of the Battle of Mobile Bay.

 

August 4, 1864

Federal troops attack Fort Gaines on Dauphin Island which guards Mobile bay.

 

A gun at Ft. Gaines

 

August 2, 1864

Confederate Clerk: August 2d.-Bright and hot.
    The news from Georgia is more cheering. The enemy’s account of our loss in the battle before Atlanta is exaggerated greatly. Sherman’s army is doomed, I think. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

August 1, 1864

Emmell Journal:  August 1st  After dusk of the 29th we moved out & relieved the 18th Corps who were in rifle pits & had a hearty shelling from the rebel mortor batteries.  As soon as morning commenced to dawn the batteries where all opened, the mine in front of the 9th Corps was set off.  The negroe division of the 9th Corps charged and were at first successful but things were not planned well & it ended in a defeat. It was a splendid sight to see the shells flying & bursting around Petersbourg & after awhile a few of the houses were on fire.  It has been very dangerous here to day for if you would lift your head above the breast work whiz whiz would come a minnie at it. The reason we went accross the James to Malvern Hill was to draw the rebels attention towards Richmond so as to weaken their lines that when the mine was exploded we could break their lines.  We were relieved the night of the fight to go back to the old camp in the woods.  We are payed off today.

Confederate Clerk: August 1st.-Hot and clear; but it rained yesterday three-quarters of an hour in the afternoon.
    Our loss in the affair at Petersburg is about 800, the enemy’s 3500. We captured 2000 small arms.
    We have nothing yet from Atlanta, but no doubt there has been another battle. I hope no disaster has befallen us there. No doubt the wires have been cut by the raiders, and roads also. It is a critical time in Georgia. But if Virginia triumphs over the assaults of Grant, all will go well. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Northern Virginia: Battle at Folck's Mill

Shenandoah Valley Campaign: General Grant give General Philip Sheridan the mission of clearing the Shenandoah Valley of Confederate forces.

 

General Phillip Sheridan, USA.
 

July 31, 1864

Confederate Clerk: July 31st.-Clear, dry, and hot.
    A dispatch from Gen. Lee (I have not seen it yet) says, in the repulse of the enemy’s assault on the breach made by their mine, we captured over 800 prisoners-a general and his staff among them-some 12 stands of colors, and killed some 500. Our loss very light. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

July 30, 1864

Siege of Petersburg: Petersburg Mine exploded by Union sappers and battle of the Crater follows, Virginia.

The Crater, Siege of Petersburg.

 

July 29, 1864

Emmell Journal:     July 29th  On the 26th our Corps and Sheridans cavalry started from camp.  We left a 5 P.M & marched to Point of Rocks & crossed the Appomotox on pontoons we went 10 miles further when we reached the James river & we crossed it on pontoons.  Here we found several Monitors & gunboats & with the aid of them we drove the rebels back from near the river and captured 4 rifle cannon.  We crossed the James at Turkey Bend which is near Malvern Hill.  It took us all night to march this 20 miles. The 18th Corps is with us also.  We have had a great deal of picket firing since here, & the Sharp Shooters are at work on both sides picking off the unfortunate men who expose too much of their bodies.  It is fun to see the 200 lb shells from our Monitor on the James river drop in the rebel earthworks & see the rebels run.  Last night after dark we start for Petersbourg and reach here this morning & are now masked behind the 18th Army Corps for some thing that is to come off to night or tomorrow morning.

Point of Rocks viewed from the Appomattox River (Library of Congress Photo)

July 28, 1864

Atlanta Campaign: Second battle of Atlanta, or Battle of Ezra Church. General Hood again defeated.

July 27, 1864

Confederate Clerk: July 27th.-Cloudy and warm; light shower at 3 p.m.
    The following dispatch was received from Gen. Bragg:
    Atlanta, July 26th, 1864.
    Leave to-morrow to confer with Major-Gen. Maury at Montgomery, and urge matters beyond. Lieut.-Gen. Lee arrived. Tone of the army fine, and strength increasing daily, etc. All is quiet to-day.
    B. Bragg, General.
    Col. J. B. Sale, Mil. Sec. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
 

July 25, 1864

Confederate Clerk: July 25th.-It rained all night! Cloudy and windy to-day.
              Headquarters, Atlanta,
              July 23d, 1864.
    Hon. James A. Seddon, Secretary of War.
         The enemy shifted his position on Peach Tree Creek last night, and Gen. Stewart’s and Cheatham’s corps formed line of battle around the city.
         Gen. Hardee’s corps made a night march, and attacked the enemy’s extreme left to-day. About 1 o’clock he drove him from his works, capturing artillery and colors. Gen. Cheatham attacked the enemy, capturing six pieces of artillery.
         During the engagement we captured about 2000 prisoners.
         Gen. Wheeler’s Cavalry routed the enemy in the neighborhood of Decatur, to-day, capturing his camp.
         Our loss is not yet fully ascertained.
         Major-Gen. Walker was killed. Brig.-Gens. Smith, Gist, and Mercer were wounded.
         Prisoners report that Gen. McPherson was killed.
         Our troops fought with great gallantry.
              J. B. Hood, General.” - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
 

July 23, 1864

Emmell Journal: July 23d  The 2d Corps is still on the reserve & only do fatigue duty by working on the forts near here. There was very heavy musketry in front of the 5 Corps at dusk last night.  In front of the 9th Corps which has a negroe division they commence picket firing as soon as as the moon rises & keep it up all night.  While the men are working the rebels keep a continual artillary fire from their mortar batteries along the line.  In the 10th Corps our men and the rebels are very close so that they use hand grenades like used at Vicksbourg & our men have large logs & roll them towards the rebel & follow close behind the log & dig rifle pits without getting hit.

Political: Louisiana in convention adopts anti-slavery constitution. Ratified by popular vote.

July 22, 1864

Atlanta Campaign:  Battle of Atlanta, Georgia. Union General McPherson is killed.

Union General James McPherson.

Library of Congress photo
 

July 21, 1864

Confederate Clerk: July 21st.-Clear and warm. Bought fifty cabbage-plants and set them out before breakfast.
    Gen. Early met Gen. Hunter at Snicker’s Gap, and whipped him.
    Gen. Bragg left the city some days ago. The following is a verbatim dispatch received from him yesterday:
    Montgomery, Ala., July 19th, 1864.
    Col. J. B. Sale:-The enemy still hold West Point Railroad. Forces are moving forward to dislodge them. Gen. S. D. Lee informs me 5000 (13th Army Corps) passed Vicksburg on the 16th, supposed to be going to White River. Reported Memphis, 19th Army Corps, Franklin left New Orleans on the 4th for Fort Monroe, 13,000 strong. Ought not Taylor’s forces to cross the Mississippi?
    I hear nothing from Johnston.
    Telegraph me to Columbus, Ga.
    B. Bragg, General.” - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

General Braxton Bragg, CSA - Library of Congress photo
 

July 19, 1864

Emmell Journal:  July 19th  We have a shower to day which is the first one we have had in a good while.  Lieut Bruen is to be Quarter Master of the 7th Regt N. J. Vols.  Our corps is still on the reserve.

 

Photo Madison Historical Society

 

Atlanta Campaign: Battle of Peachtree Creek, Georgia.

July 18, 1864

Confederate Clerk: July 18th.-Clear and dry.
    The following is a copy of a letter received from Gen. Lee, his locality not indicated, but from the date, he must be near the city:
    Headquarters, Army Northern Virginia,
    17th July, 1864.
    Hon. Secretary of War, Richmond.
        Sir:-I have received a dispatch from Gen. Early, dated at Leesburg on the 15th inst. On the 8th he crossed South Mountain, leaving Sigel at Maryland Heights. On the 9th he reached Frederick, and in the afternoon attacked and routed the enemy, ten thousand strong, under Wallace, at Monocacy Junction. The next day he moved on Washington, and arrived in front of the fortifications around that city on the 11th. The defenses were found very strong, and were not attacked. After a reconnoissance on the night of the 12th, he withdrew, and crossed the Potomac at White’s Ford on the 14th, bringing off everything safely and in good order. He reports the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to have been cut in several places, and severely damaged. The bridges over Gunpowder River, Northern Central and Philadelphia Railroads were burned, and the connection between Washington and Baltimore cut by Johnson’s cavalry. The 6th corps (Federal) had arrived at Washington, and it was reported that other parts of Grant’s army had reached there, but of the latter he was not certain. Hunter had passed Williamsport, and was moving toward Frederick. Gen. Early states that his loss was light.
    I am, with great respect,
    Your obed’t servant.
    (Not signed.) - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

July 17, 1864

Confederate Clerk: July 17th.-Dry-the sky bright and brassy-the gardens almost ruined.
    Last evening definite news came in the Washington Chronicle of the 14th. Gen. Early was recrossing the Potomac with an immense amount of stores levied in the enemy’s country, including thousands of horses, etc. This, the Chronicle thinks, will be beneficial to the United States, as recruiting will be stimulated, to punish us for making prize of provisions, etc. in the enemy’s country, after the enemy had despoiled us of everything in their power! - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Atlanta Campaign: Around Atlanta, Confederate Jefferson Davis replaces General Joe Johnston with General John Bell Hood.

Diplomacy: Jaquess-Gilmore unofficial peace mission confers with President Davis, with no result. Confederate leaders declare the South must be independent.

Horace Greeley at Niagara Falls, with President Lincoln's approval, confers with alleged Confederate peace commissioners.
 

July 15, 1864

Confederate Clerk: July 15th.-Clear and cool; subsequently cloudy.
    Lieut-Col. G. W. Lay said, this morning, in my office, that Grant would not leave-that he held a most important position-that he would not fail in his campaign; that our operations beyond the Potomac were not of sufficient magnitude to produce important results; and, finally, that Germany and Ireland would replenish the armies of the United States, while our last reserves were now in the field. The colonel had come into my office more than a year ago and said Grant had outgeneraled Pemberton, and would capture Vicksburg. I reminded him of this to-day, and asked his opinion on the present aspect of affairs. He has been recently on Gen. Beauregard’s staff, and is irritated at the supposed hard treatment which that general receives from the President. He is a little bitter against the President, and is no special admirer of Lee, who, he thinks, committed a blunder in not fighting Grant at Hanover Junction. And he thinks, if Gen. Johnston forbears to fight Sherman, in pursuance of orders from Richmond, disaster will ensue. But neither he nor any one is capable of sounding the profound plans of Lee. Grant’s forces are now far away from Washington.
    2½ o’clock p.m. An officer just from Petersburg, arrived at the War Department with the intelligence that a Washington paper of the 13th inst. had been received at headquarters, announcing the capture of Baltimore by our troops! The inhabitants within, or a large proportion of them, co-operated with our army! Our people are in ecstasies! This is the realization of the grand conception of a great general, and Lee is immortalized-if it only be true. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
 

July 14, 1864

Emmell Journal:  July 14th  We left the breast works where I wrote last.  After tearing down the old breast works we marched a mile and a half where the whole 2d Corps were masked.  While laying there we received the Washington papers telling us the rebel raid into Maryland which said the rebels were near Baltimore.  We expected to go. The 6th Corps have had a battle, they left here some time ago.  We moved again at 10 o’clock towards the right and encamped in a thick piece of woods.  The men were sent out on fatigue duty building breast works.  We have had no rain to amount to anything since we left Cole Harbor,- the dust is now ankcle deep, and water is very scarce. In some places the boys have to dig 24 feet to get to water.

Atlanta Campaign: Battle of Tupelo, Mississippi.

July 12, 1864

Northern Virginia:  July 12 Confederate General Jubal Early abandons his assault on Washington, DC and withdraws south.

 

 

General Jubal Early, CSA. Library of Congress collection.

July 11, 1864

Confederate Clerk: July 11th.-Hot and dry, and the famine continues.
    A dispatch from Gen. Johnston, at Atlanta, says the enemy having flanked him with his cavalry, he has fallen back across the Chattahoochee. Dispatches from Gen. S. D. Lee, Tupelo, state that a column of the enemy, 20,000 strong, is about marching from New Orleans against Mobile, and he fears he cannot spare men to resist them. The reserve class is not ready. Also that 15,000 of the enemy are matching from Lagrange, and he will have to dismount some of Forrest’s cavalry. Gen. E. K. Smith will not cross the Mississippi to assist in repelling the foe without orders. Orders have been sent from the Secretary of War-I fear too late! - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Northern Virginia: Battle of Fort Stevens, Maryland. Lincoln, standing on the wall and under fire, is rumored to have been chastized (“Get down you fool.”) by Lt. Oliver Wendell Holmes.
 

July 10, 1864

Confederate Clerk: July 10th.-The drought continues; vegetation wilting and drying up. There is no war news, save some shelling by the enemy at Petersburg. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
 

July 9, 1864

Emmell Journal:  July 9th  We are still encamped along the breast works near the Jurusalem plank road.  The sutlers are now up with such things as tobacco, condensed milk, cheese &cc.  We have dug wells all around and have things a little more comfortable than we did.

Confederate Clerk: July 9th.-Dry and pleasant.
    We have British accounts of the sinking of the Alabama, near Cherbourg, by the United States steamer Kearsarge, but Semmes was not taken, and his treasure, etc. had been deposited in France. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Northern Virginia: Battle of Monocacy, Maryland. General Jubal A. Early's attempted raid upon Washington blocked at Monocacy River, Maryland, by General Lew Wallace who loses battle but wins time for approach of General Grant's troops, saving the Capital.

Statie of Admiral Semmes, CSA, Commander of the CSS Alabama. Library of Congress photo
 

July 8, 1864

Confederate Clerk: July 8th.-Clear; hot and dusty.
    The news of the falling back of Gen. Johnston on Atlanta, Ga., causes no uneasiness, for the destruction of Sherman’s army is deemed the more certain the farther he penetrates. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

General Joseph E. Johnston, CSA

 

July 5, 1864

Emmell Journal:  July 5th  Yesterday was the Fourth of July & we were awoke early by the bands playing the national airs.  Everything is quiet in front of us but on the right of us, they keep up a steady picket fire every night.  The rebels made a great time yesterday by displaying their flags & hurrahing on account of it being Fourth of July.  To day we draw each man a loaf of soft bread & one pickeled onion to each man & a cucumber to 4 men and a head of cabbage to 25 men.  I suppose it was from the Christian commission.

Christian Commission tent, Library of Congress photo

NB: Most of the deaths during the Civil War were due to disease, not combat. One of these diseases was scurvy caused primarily by lack of Vitamin C. Fresh vegetables such as onion and cabbage were given the men when possible to combat scurvy.

July 4, 1864

Confederate Clerk: July 4th.-Cloudy, but still hot and dry.
    The Federal Congress has authorized the drafting of 200,000 more men, after 60 days’ fruitless attempt to raise volunteers. So it will be September before the draft, and January before the men will be soldiers. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
 

July 2, 1864

Confederate Clerk:  Gen. Morgan has got back to Western Virginia with 1800 men, having lost but 200. He did not fight a battle with Gen. Burbridge at all; hence the Federal account of Morgan’s defeat was without foundation. Morgan will probably soon be in Maryland and Pennsylvania, attending to the enemy’s railroads, bridges, mills, etc. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Confederate Raider John Hunt Morgan

July 1, 1864

Emmell Journal:  July 1st  The weather continues very warm. We drew a loaf of bread to every man yesterday which was the first we have had since we left Brandy Station.

Confederate Clerk:  July 1st.-Clear, hot, and dry; my snap beans, corn, etc. burning up.
    Headquarters Army Northern Virginia,
    June 29th, 1864-8.30 p.m.
    Hon. Secretary of War.
        Sir:-Gen. Hampton reports that he attacked the enemy’s cavalry yesterday afternoon, on their return from Staunton River bridge, this side of Sappony Church, and drove them beyond that point.
        The fight continued during the night, and at daylight this morning he turned their left and routed them.
        When they reached Ream’s Station, they were confronted by a portion of Mahone’s division, who attacked them in front, while their left flank was turned by Gen. Fitz Lee’s cavalry.
        The enemy was completely routed, and several pieces of artillery, with a number of prisoners, wagons, ambulances, etc., captured. The cavalry are in pursuit.
    R. E. Lee, General. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

June 30, 1864

Confederate Clerk:  June 30th.-Clear and cool-afterward warm and cloudy.
    Our people are made wild with joy to-day, upon hearing of the capture of a whole brigade of the raiders on the south side, the same that have been tearing up the Danville Road. The details, with Gen. Lee’s dispatch, will be in the paper to-morrow. It is said we have the general commanding the raid, etc. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

June 29, 1864

Confederate Clerk: June 29th.-Clear and cool-afterward hazy.
    Marietta, June 27th.
    General Braxton Bragg.
        The enemy advanced on our whole line to-day. They assaulted French, Cheatham, Cleburn, Stevenson, and Quarles, by whom they were repulsed.
        On the rest of the line the skirmishing was severe.
        Their loss is supposed to be great. Ours is known to be small.
    J. E. Johnston, General.” - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
 

June 28, 1864

Emmell Journal: June 28th There is nothing new.  We lay encamped behind breast works the pickets are out over a half mile & neither side fires.

Federal Congress: Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 repealed by act of Congress.

June 27, 1864

Emmell Journal: June 27th  Very still in our front as the pickets do not fire, but on the right they go it all the time.  We have a shower to day the first we have had in some time. It is awfuly hot; we have to go a mile for water through a broilling sun.  The woods catch fire every day & pretty near drive us away.

Atlanta Campaign: Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia.

June 26, 1864

Emmell Journal: June 26th  Go to the train which is encamped in the rear of the extreme left & wash my clothes.

June 25, 1864

Emmell Journal: June 25th  They had fight on the right off the line after dark to night.

Confederate Clerk: June 25th.-Hot and dry.
    The news of the cutting of the Danville Railroad still produces despondency with many. But the people are now harvesting a fair crop of wheat, and the authorities do not apprehend any serious consequences from the interruption of communication with the South-which is, indeed, deemed but temporary, as sufficient precaution is taken by the government to defend the roads and bridges, and there seems to be discussions between the generals as to authority and responsibility. There are too many authorities. Gen. Lee will remedy all this. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

June 24, 1864

Emmell Journal: June 24th  There has been fighting in different parts of the line this morning.  It is very hot and we can not get any water under nearly a mile from here.  Have been expecting to move all day but we have not.

June 23, 1864

Emmell Journal: June 23d  Skirmishing all this morning. Our line advances but fall back again without being attacked for some reason I do not know.

Confederate Clerk: June 23d.-Clear and warm.
    Mr. Harvey, president Danville Railroad, telegraphs to Gen. Bragg to send troops without delay, or the road will be ruined by the raiders. Bragg sends the paper to the Secretary of War, saying there are no troops but those in the army of Gen. Lee, and the reserves, the latter now being called out. Ten days ago, Mr. Secretary Seddon had fair warning about this road. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

June 22, 1864

Emmell Journal: June 22nd  Advance the line this morning a half mile & lay pretty still until noon, when we are flanked and our brigade gets between two fires.  The old breast works built last night all hands try to reach.  8 of the Co K get taken prisoners & 45 of the regiment as well as the colors & color guard.  The Corps lost 2 or 3 thousand men.  The rebels tried our right and then our left to break through but our men repulsed them from the line of works built last night, they tried to break our lines again to night but our grape & cannister was to much for them.  Lieut Allen of Co K & Lieut Cooper of Co F were taken prisoners the only officers from the 7th regiment.

June 21, 1864

Emmell Journal: June 21st  We march 4 or 5 miles to the left & throw up breastworks, in a thick pine woods, it is very still to night, only once and a while you can hear a picket shot fired.

Confederate Clerk:  June 21st.-Clear and warmer.
    Gen. Beauregard has not been removed from his command,-it would be too great a shock to popular sentiment. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

June 20, 1864

Emmell Journal: June 20th  Awfully hot.  Some of the wounded of June 18th are laying between the lines dying, and no one can get to them.  One of our ambulance men got struck trying to get out to them, some boys crawled out and got the watches of the dead men.  We are relieved to night by Burnside’s (9) Corps & we move to the left.  It was the negroe division that relieved us.

Confederate Clerk:  June 20th.-A fog; subsequently dry and dusty, but the sun in a haze, like Indian summer.
    As I feared; there is trouble with Beauregard. He drew off his troops from in front of Bermuda Hundred to reinforce the fewer regiments at Petersburg, and saved that city, and Gen. Lee had to drive the enemy off again from the abandoned line. It is said Beauregard acted contrary to orders, and has been suspended from command by order of the President. At all events, Lee is at Petersburg. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
 

June 19, 1864

Emmell Journal: June 19th  Our regiment are building breast works.  Lieut Col Cooper is wounded, it is very dangerous by the breastworks for the rebel sharp shooters keep picking the men off.  I was walking near the line to day & an officer in command the 5th Regiment was talking to the Adjutant General about 2 companies of his regiment that he had deployed out in the woods when a sharp shooter fired and mortally wounded him.  About the same time a soldier by me had a bullett strike the plate on his cartridge box.

At Sea: USS Kearsarge, Commander J. A. Winslow, sank CSS Alabama, Captain R. Semmes, off Cherbourg, France, ending the career of the South's most famous commerce raider.

Commander J. A. Winslow, captain of the USS Kearsarge, Library of Congress collection

 

 

June 18, 1864

Emmell Journal: June 18th  There was a charge made this morning and the rebels had to fall back as Burnside had flanked them below us, so our troops met with no opposition. This afternoon our brigade made a charge & got severley handled, one regiment the 1st Maine heavy artillary of our brigade went nearly to the rebels works & then run back & lost 500 and over killed and wounded & there are about 50 or 70 wounded laying between the two lines.  We cary out wounded until midnight & are pretty near played out.

Confederate Clerk: June 18th.-Clear and cool.
    To-day, heavy firing is heard on the south side of the river. It is believed a general engagement is in progress. It is the anniversary of the battle of Waterloo. If we gain the day, it will end the war. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

June 17, 1864

Emmell Journal: June 17th  Very heavy picket firing. Allen Peirson of Co K mortally wounded & also a recruit from Co K. We lay in a little hollow behind the picket line.

June 16, 1864

Emmell Journal: June 16th  Heavy canonading this morning.  We draw 1 day rations this noon. Our brigade charges to night, Captian Mullory is killed and Joseph Spencer the color corporal of K and Beers and Halsey mortaly wounded besides a number of recruits.  We have to cary off wounded all night.

Confederate Clerk: June 16th.-Clear and pleasant weather, but dusty.
    A dispatch came from Col. Withers, at Danville, stating it was reported 10,000 of the enemy were approaching the road, and only thirty-two miles distant. He called for reinforcements, but stated his belief that the number of the enemy was exaggerated. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

June 15, 1864

Emmell Journal: June 15th  Rations have been up. Since the 13th we march until 8 oclock to night having come 20 miles bring up between 2 & 3 miles to Petersbourg - so close as to see the steeples of the churches there.  5000 negroe troops made an assult to night & captured a line of works with the guns in them. My feet are very sore & I have a runing sore on one of them which made it rather hard marching for me to day.

Confederate Clerk: June 15th.-Clear and cool; warm late in the day.
    It is rumored now that the enemy got to Westtown yesterday, some ten miles below the point on this side occupied by Butler; and to-day he is leaving, either crossing to the south side (probably to cut the railroad), or embarking in his transports for no one knows whither. So, this attempt to take Richmond is as bad a failure as any. Grant has used up nearly a hundred thousand men-to what purpose? We are not injured, after withstanding this blow of the concentrated power of the enemy. It is true some bridges are burned, some railroads have been cut, and the crops in the line of the enemy’s march have been ruined; but our army is intact: Lee’s losses altogether, in killed and wounded, not exceeding a few thousand.
    The death of Gen. Polk, however, is lamented by a good many. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Battle of Petersburg: Petersburg, Virginia, siege begun by Union

Union: In Ohio, Copperhead Clement L. Vallandigham returns to aid Democratic election efforts.

The 13th Ammendment to the Constitution is defeated in the House of Representatives.

 

June 14, 1864

Emmell Journal: June 14th  March 20 miles to the James river and cross at Windmill Point on transports & halt a short distance on the other side.  The days are now very hot and the nights equally cold.

Confederate Clerk: June 14th.-Clear and cool.
    Gen. Grant has changed his base-disappearing from the front of Lee in the night. He is supposed to be endeavoring to get his army below the city, and in communication with Butler on the south side.
    A dispatch from Gen. Lee says Gen. Hampton has defeated Sheridan.
    Forrest has gained a victory in the West.
    Lincoln has been nominated-Andrew Johnson, of Tennessee, for Vice-President. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Atlanta Campaign: Battle of Pine Mountain, Georgia.

Confederate General and Episcopal Bishop Leonidas Polk is killed by a shot fired from a Parrott Gun (rifled cannon) on the summit of Pine Mountain.

Leonidas Polk in his Bishop's garb.

Photo from the Library of Congress.
 

June 13, 1864

Emmell Journal: June 13th  We start again and march to the Chicahominy cross it & march until dark passing Malvern Hill & stop at Charles City cross roads & throw up breastworks.  We have marched 25 mile to day.

June 12, 1864

Emmell Journal: June 12th  We move a few miles to night.  I halted until daylight.

Confederate Clerk: June 12th.-Cold and cloudy.
    It is rumored that Sheridan has cut the road between Gordonsville and Charlottesville, and between that place and Lynchburg. If this be true, he will probably strike south for the Danville Road. Then we shall have confusion here, and the famine intensified. There seems to be no concert among the military commanders, and no unity of purpose among civil functionaries. They mistrust one another, and the people begin to mistrust them all. Meantime the President remains inflexible. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

General Philip Sheridan.

Atlanta Campaign: The forces of Union General Burbridge defeat those of Confederate Raider John Hunt Morgan at Cynthiana, Kentucky. Morgan looses half his troops.
 

June 11, 1864

Confederate Clerk: June 11th.-Sunshine and cloudy-warmer.
    There is a calm in military matters, but a storm is gathering in the Valley of Virginia. Both sides are concentrating for a battle. If we should be defeated (not likely), then our communications may be cut, and Grant be under no necessity of fighting again to get possession of Richmond. Meantime it is possible Grant will retire, and come again on the south side of the James River.
    We have heard to-day that Lincoln was nominated for re-election at Baltimore on the 7th inst., and gold rose to $1 96. Fremont is now pledged to run also, thus dividing the Republican party, and giving an opportunity for the Democrats to elect a President. If we can only subsist till then, we may have peace, and must have independence at all events. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Nothern Virginia: Battle of Trevilian Station, Virginia.

At Sea: The CSS Alabama, the Confederacy’s most successful raider, sails into Cherbourg, France for a much needed refitting.

 

 

June 10, 1864

Emmell Journal: June 10th  Nothing has transpired worth mentioning since the 6th. We are now about 10 miles from Richmond and 15 from the White House our base of spplies.  Gen Birney now commands our division which is now the 3 Division 2 Corps.  We lay near the Mill still our pickets & the rebels do not fire on each other, but Colonel McCallister of the 11th NJ rode along the picket line with his orderly last night & rebels supposing him to be a General fired and killed the orderly.  The rebels in our front are the South Carolina Sharp Shooters our men get the Richmond papers off them every day.  The rebels shell us a little every day and every now and then some body gets hurt with a fragment of the shells.

Confederate Clerk: June 10th.-Clear and cool.
    All quiet round the city; but Petersburg was assaulted yesterday and successfully defended. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Atlanta Campaign: Battle of Brice's Crossroads, Mississippi.

Confederacy: The Confederate Congress authorizes military service for all ages from 17 to 50.
 

June 8, 1864

Atlanta Campaign: June 8 Confederate raider John Hunt Morgan’s men capture the Federal garrison at Mount Sterling, Kentucky, destroy trains, and help themselves to $18,000 from the local bank.

June 7, 1864

Confederate Clerk: June 7th.-Rained in the night, clear and cool in the morning.
    A man from New Kent County, coming through the lines, reports that Gen. Grant was quite drunk yesterday, and said he would try Lee once more, and if he failed to defeat him, “the Confederacy might go to hell.” It must have been some other general. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

June 6, 1864

Emmell Journal: June 6th  It is still except a little shelling once and awhile.  One man of the 11th Mass regiment was killed whoes time is up to day & another of the same regiment was wounded. Our pickets do not fire as they get water from the same spring that the rebels do.

Confederate Clerk: June 6th.-Clear and hot, but with a fine breeze-southwest.
    We have met with a defeat in the Valley, near Staunton, which place has probably fallen. A letter from Gen. Bragg, this morning, in reply to Mr. Secretary Seddon’s inquiries, says it is too true, and he indorses copies of dispatches from Gen. Vaughn and Col. Lee to Gen. R. E. Lee, who sent them to the President, and the President to Gen. B., who sends them now to the Secretary. Gen. V. calls loudly for reinforcements to save Staunton, and says Gen. W. E. Jones, who commanded, was killed. Col. Lee says, “We have been pretty badly whipped.” Gen. Bragg knows of no reinforcements that can be sent, and says Gen. R. E. Lee has command there as well as here, and was never interfered with. Gen. B. says he had tendered Gen. Lee his services, but they had not been accepted. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
 

June 5, 1864

Emmell Journal: June 5th  Move to the outer breastworks & receive an awful shelling & storm of minnies.  We move to the left by a mill (Barkers Mill) and throw up breastworks.

June 4, 1864

Emmell Journal: June 4th  The men are at work all day building breastworks.  We are relieved to night by the dismounted cavalry of the Burnsides (9) Corps.  And we march to the right where the attack was made on General Barlow last night.

Confederate Clerk: June 4th.-Showers and sunshine.
    It is believed Grant has lost 40,000 within the last week! To-day there has been more or less cannonading along the line; but it is not known if any infantry were engaged.
    It is suspected that Sherman will be ordered from Georgia to reinforce Grant! It seems Lincoln would give up his hopes of heaven, and plunge into hell, for the Presidency. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

 

June 3, 1864

Emmell Journal: June 3d  Our whole corps has been engaged this morning.  The 1st Division lost very heavy they having made a charge.  Our division moves to the right and throw up breastworks, the rebels throw sperical case at us and make it kind of uncomfortable.  I saw a piece of shell go through the tin cup of a drummer of the 8th Regiment Nate Nicus without hurting him the cup was buckled on his haversack.  The rebels make an attempt at dusk to break the line of our 1st Division and again at midnight but General Barlow had the men ready for them and drove them back each time, the musketry was awful and the canonading was one long deep report.

Confederate Clerk: June 3d.-Raining gently, and cool.
    As early as 4 a.m. there was an incessant roar of artillery, the vibrations of which could be felt in the houses. It could be heard distinctly in all parts of the city. And ever and anon could be distinguished great crashes of musketry, as if whole divisions of infantry were firing at the word of command. It continued until 11 o’clock a.m., when it ceased. A dispatch from Lee stated that his line (behind breastworks, center and left) had been repeatedly assaulted, and every time the enemy was repulsed. The attack, it was supposed, was made to check a flanking movement made yesterday afternoon, by Gen. Ewell, on the enemy’s left, to cut his communications with the White House, his base of supplies. No doubt the slaughter has been great!
    Cannonading was heard again in a northeast direction this evening from 6 till 8½ o’clock, when it ceased-perhaps the prelude to another scene of carnage to-morrow! - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Northern Virginia: Battle of Cold Harbor ends.  Of the charge at Cold Harbor, General Grant admits, “I regret this assault more than any one I have ever ordered.”
 

June 2, 1864

Emmell Journal: June 2d  We strecher bearers lay off from the troops about 20 yards & last night about midnight the troops moved and we did not hear them, we all being asleep.  One of the party Sergeant Devilin woke up at 3 A.M this morning and found that we were there alone, he saw a citizen who told us that the troops left about 1 o’clock we then started off to catch up to the column but after a while we came to where a road crossed & then we did not know which road to take but after striking a light we saw the road which seemed to be full of foot prints so we kept on that road until daylight when we caught up to the division which had halted for a few minutes rest.  We were afraid that the citizen would tell the rebel pickets & that they would catch up to us before we reached the division.  We marched on until noon when we reached Cole Harbor having marched 15 miles where we bivoucked until towards night when it commenced to rain very hard when our corps formed line of battle in a woods.  Our division forming I believe to 2 line of battle.  We got water from a brook near by build a fire, made coffee but the rebels made it disagreable by throwing shell where we were.  It rained in torrents all night.  I only carry a rubber blanket which I layed over me while I had a pile of of pine leaves under me for a bed, but I got pretty wet.  I had a fire by feet all night to help to keep dry.  General Butlars troops are here having landed at the White House & marched.

Confederate Clerk: June 2d.-Very warm and cloudy.
    There was no general engagement yesterday, but heavy skirmishing, and several assaults at different points; and a dispatch from Gen. Lee says they resulted favorably to our arms.
    A dispatch from Gen. Johnston says his men are in good plight, after combats enough to make a battle, in all of which the enemy suffered most. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Northern Virginia: Battle of Cold Harbor, day 2. General Grant’s assult on General Lee’s Confederate line was put off until the next day due to weather, fatigue, and supply problems. Union soldiers could clearly the consequences of such a charge. Horace Porter discovers an awesome sight: “I noticed that many of the soldiers had taken off their coats and seemed to be engaged in sewing up rents in them. On closer examination it was found that the men were calmly writing their names and addresses on slips of paper and pinning them on the backs of their coats so that their dead bodies might be reocgnized and their fate made known to their families at home.”
 

June 1, 1864

Emmell Journal: June 1st  Fall back to the position occupied by us on the 30th or day before yesterday.

Confederate Clerk: June 1st.-Bright and warm. At 7½ a.m. cannon and musketry heard northeast of the city, which either ceased or receded out of hearing at 12 m.; or else the hum of the city drowned the sounds of battle. Up to 3 p.m. we have no particulars. Beauregard is on the right of our line; Lee’s headquarters was at Yellow Tavern. He is sufficiently recovered to direct the battle. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Northern Virginia: Battle of Cold Harbor begins.

Atlanta Campaign: Confederate raider John Hunt Morgan attack Sherman’s supply line near Pound Gap, Kentucky.

May 31, 1864

Emmell Journal: May 31st  The 8th New Jersey supported by the rest of the Jersey brigade took a line of breast works across a creek to day.  Capt Blavault & Orderly Evans of the 8th regiment both known in Morristown were killed in the charge.  Some of the 7th Regiment lay out in the advance some of Berdans Sharp Shooters are with them & the rebels have two cannon by a house from which the sharp shooters pick off every man that undertakes to load the guns so they are no use to the rebels.

1864 Election: A group of Radical Republicans hostile to Lincoln nominate General John Charles Fremont as their party’s presidential candidate.

 

 

General Fremont.

 

May 30, 1864

Emmell Journal: May 30th  We go out with strechers to the front, the line advanced a mile.  We are near Cole Harbor.

Confederate Clerk: May 30th.-Fair and cool; hot at noon.
    Gen. Lee has been a little ill from fatigue, exposure, and change of water; but was better yesterday, and is confident. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Northern Virginia: Battle of Bethesda Church, Virginia.

THE PENNSYLVANIA RESERVES OF COLONEL MARTIN D. HARDIN'S BRIGADE BORE THE BRUNT OF EARLY'S ASSAULT ON MAY 30. DUE TO BE MUSTERED OUT THE FOLLOWING DAY, THIS WAS THEIR LAST ENGAGEMENT. (NPS)

Atlanta Campaign: Confederate raider John Hunt Morgan begins attacking Sherman’s supply line in Kentucky.

 

Confederate General John Hunt Morgan.
 

May 29, 1864

Emmell Journal: May 29th  We lay still until dark when we move a couple miles to the left with orders to be ready to move at day break.  We passed near New Castle yesterday.

Confederate Clerk: May 29th.-Bright and quite cold.
    There was skirmishing yesterday evening on the Chickahominy.
    The armies are confronting each other, but Grant is moving gradually to the right of us, as if with an intention to reach the James River; but probably it is with the view of enveloping us with his superior numbers, and the Great Battle may occur at any hour. The train of cars, laden, in Broad Street, destined a few days ago to transport provisions, etc. to Gen. Lee’s army, are visited hourly by wagons from the army, now in the immediate vicinity. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
 

May 28, 1864

Emmell Journal: May 28th  We cross the Pamunky & halt a few miles on the South Side having marched 9 miles to day.

Confederate Clerk: May 28th.-Showers and sunshine.
    Grant has crossed the Pamunky, and Lee is at the Yellow Tavern-not more than six miles from the city. The hostile armies are only a few miles apart, and the Great Battle may occur at any time, at any hour; and we shall hear both the artillery and musketry from my dwelling. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

May 27, 1864

Emmell Journal: May 27th  The weather continues very warm.  We start at 4 AM & march until within 4 miles of the Pamunky.

Confederate Clerk: May 27th.-Clouds and sunshine; cooler.
    Nothing additional from the West. Several thousand Georgia mounted troops have arrived during the last 24 hours, in readiness to march to Lee. One Georgia regiment has 1200, and a South Carolina regiment that went up this morning 1000 men.
    Lee’s army is at Ashland-17 miles distant. The enemy are marching down the Pamunky, north side. They will doubtless cross it, and march through New Kent and Charles City Counties to the James River, opposite Butler’s army. Grant probably intends crossing his army to the south side, which, if effected, might lose us Richmond, for the city cannot subsist a week with its southern communications cut. We should starve. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Atlanta Campaign: Battle of Pickett's Mill, Georgia.

May 26, 1864

Emmell Journal: May 26th  We muffle the bridge and recross the North Anna to night and halt 3 miles on the other side.

May 25, 1864

Emmell Journal: May 25th  Skirmishing all day.  We are one mile from Hanover Junction. We destroy the rail road.  It rains very hard to night.

Confederate Clerk: May 25th.-Sunshine and showers.
    To-day it is thought a battle commenced between Lee and Grant. It will be, perhaps, a decisive engagement, whenever it does take place. And yet there is no trepidation in the community; no apparent fear of defeat. Still, there is some degree of feverish anxiety, as Lee retires nearer to the capital followed by the enemy. A little delay would make us stronger, as reinforcements, especially of cavalry, are daily arriving. The trains run from the city to Lee’s headquarters in one hour and a half. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Atlanta Campaign: Battle of New Hope Church, Georgia begins.

May 24, 1864

Emmell Journal: May 24th  Very warm.  Our division charge and take 2 lines of breastworks across the river.  The enemmy shelled the bridge when we crossed & one of K was wounded.  The 9 Corps cross after us.  It rains very hard to night.

May 23, 1864

Emmell Journal: May 23d  March 9 miles to the North Anna river & find the enemy in force. Have an awfully hot fight to night. The cannons seem to go off in volleys like musketry.

Confederate Clerk: May 23d.-Fair and warm, with pleasant breezes.
    Gen. Johnston, without a defeat, has fallen back to Calhoun, Ga.
    Gen. Lee, without a defeat, has fallen back to Hanover Junction, his headquarters at Ashland. Grant is said to be worming his way eastward to the Peninsula, the field occupied by McClellan in 1862. Why, he might have attained that position without the loss of a man at the outset! - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Northern Virginia:  Battle of the North Anna, Virginia. General Lee, delirious with a fever, misses an opportunit to deal a serious blow to the Army of the Potomac.

 

 

 

May 22, 1864

Emmell Journal: May 22d  Very warm.  The men are busy throwing up breastworks.

May 21, 1864

Emmell Journal: May 21th  At midnight we start & march to Gerinnie Station, soon to Bowling Green where I got some water to drink & took a rest in one of the great chairs in the Court House there; we marched on to Milford, captured some provisions, took possesion of the Rail Road Depot & caught some rebels.  It is 20 miles that we have marched to day & are encamped on the other side the creek which runs through Milford.  Our men are throwing up breastworks.  Had a skirmish to night & have a few wounded.

Confederate Clerk: May 21st.-Sun all day, but a little hazy; perhaps a battle.
    There was quite a battle yesterday on the south side. The accounts in the morning’s paper fall short of the whole of our success. The enemy, it is said to-day, did not regain the works from which they were driven, but are now cooped up at Bermuda Hundred. Nothing is feared from Butler. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
 

May 20, 1864

Emmell Journal: May 20th  Lay here all day.  Rations are scarse.  When I went out after the wounded last night, we came to an old house on our picket line which was filled with Union & rebel wounded.  We had no light to see & some the boys went in the cellar of the house & found the folks who lived in the house had got in the cellar for safety. Some the wounded in this house were so badly wounded that they screamed awfully when we would try & get them in the ambulances.

May 19, 1864

Emmell Journal: May 19th  Halt at 6 A.M & lay in park until 4 or 5 P.M when we change camps & commence to build fires to cook supper when Ewells corps attacks our trains. A division of heavy artillary regiments who are now armed with rifles were put in the woods to drive the rebels back & lost severly because they did not understand bushwacking.  We had an all night job to get the wounded off, the rebels were soon driven back with the aid of our division.  We carried wounded until after midnight when we disappeared in the bushes & build a fire, had a good warming before daylight.

Confederate Clerk: May 19th.-Sunshine and showers, the former predominating.
    Gen. Lee sends a dispatch saying the enemy’s attack yesterday was repulsed easily-our loss very light.
    It is said, however, that the enemy have Guinea’s Station, 12 miles this side of Fredericksburg. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Bed in an outbuilding on the Fairfield Plantation, Guinea's Station, Virginia, where General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson died on May 10, 1863.

May 18, 1864

Emmell Journal: May 18th  Our corps has been engaged again.  We move all night towards the left.

Confederate Clerk: May 18th.-Showers and sunshine, the first preponderating.
    Our killed and wounded in Beauregard’s battle amount to some 1500. The enemy lost 1000 prisoners, and perhaps 1500 killed and wounded.
    Railroad men report heavy firing this morning near Fredericksburg, and it is believed another battle is in progress.
    From the West we have a report, derived from the enemy at Natchez, that Gen. Banks has surrendered to Lieut-Gen. Smith. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

May 17, 1864

Emmell Journal: May 17th  Stormy.  We move a half mile to the right to night.

Confederate Clerk: May 17th.-Sunshine and showers.
    The battle yesterday decided nothing, that I am aware of. We captured 1000 prisoners, stormed some of their intrenchments; losing altogether probably as many as the enemy. But we drove them back to Bermuda Hundred, behind their fortifications, and near their ships.
    Gen. Johnston was attacked at Dalton by 80,000 men last week; accounts, some five days old, say he repulsed the assaults of the enemy. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

May 16, 1864

Emmell Journal: May 16th  Go to the front, our division have a few killed & wounded to day.

Confederate Clerk: May 16th.-Warm-sunshine and light showers.
    Memorable day-not yet decided at 2 p.m. Early this morning Gen. Beauregard attacked the enemy on the south side of the river, and by 9 a.m. he had sent over to the city Gen. Heckman and 840 prisoners, the entire 27th Massachusetts Regiment. Subsequently it is said 400 were sent over. By 12 m. the firing had receded out of hearing from the city, and messengers report that the enemy were being driven back rapidly. Hon. Geo. Davis, Attorney-General (from North Carolina), told me that Gen. Whiting was coming up from Petersburg, in the enemy’s rear, with 13,000 men. So, at this hour, the prospects are glorious. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Northern Virginia: Battle of Drewry's Bluff, Virginia.

May 15, 1864

Emmell Journal: May 15th  The troops charge front & our ambulance corps comes near being captured it was in the rear of the troops & the rebels follow us right up and the roads got blockaded & we had a great time to get out, it was woods of thick undergrowth on both sides of the road & you could hardly get along on foot. Gen Sedgwick of the 6 corps is killed.  My ambulance goes to night to Fredricksbourg with wounded.  I can not get rations until it comes back as they have given us several days rations & I put mine in the ambulance to get carried.  I forgot to say that Major McKierman of the 7th Regt was wounded in two places on the charge on the 12th of May.  They kept us pretty busy yesterday & day before getting the rebel wounded off who would likely live & put them under shelter.

Atlanta Campaign: General Sherman defeats General Johnston at Resaca, Georgia

Valley Campaign: Battle of New Market, Virginia. Ten cadets from the Virginia Military Institute are killed.

May 14, 1864

May 14th.-Warm, with alternate sunshine and showers.
    Gen. Lee is prosecuting the defensive policy effectively. Couriers to the press, considered quite reliable, give some details of a most terrific battle in Spottsylvania County day before yesterday, 12th inst. Our men (with extra muskets) fought behind their breastworks. The host of assailants came on, stimulated by whisky rations, ten deep, and fearful was the slaughter. Their loss is estimated at 20,000; ours, 2000. The enemy were still in front. Grant says he will not recross the Rappahannock as long as he has a man left. Lee seems determined to kill his last man. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

May 13, 1864

Emmell Journal: May 13th  No very heavy fight done by our corps, but we strecther bearers have been to work pretty steady getting off the wounded.  We have carried a great many rebel wounded, whose wounds commence to smell very bad which makes it very disagreeable to have to carry them.

Battle of Resaca, Georgia begins.

The last of Rear Admiral Porter's squadron, after being trapped by low water, dashed through the hurriedly constructed Red River dams to safety below the Alexandria rapids.

Horace Greely writes in the New York Tribune, “... it is advisable for the Union Party to nominate for President some other among its able and true men than Mr. Lincoln.”

In Charlston Harbor, another major bombardment of Fort Sumter begins.

May 12, 1864

Emmell Journal: May 12th  Our corps charge this morning & take a line of breastworks & 3000 prisoners 20 cannon & a number of battle flags, took General Johnson and General Stuart prisoners the morning was foggy & so the rebels could not see our men until they were right on them.  Among the killed this morning were Captian Ayres, Gen Mott, A.A.G, & Captian Evans of our regiment, the dead rebels lay very thick.  The fighting has continued all day.

May 12th.-Thunder, lightning, and rain all day.
    The report of Gen. Lee’s victory was premature, and Butler has not gone, nor the raiders vanished. On the contrary, the latter were engaged in battle with Stuart’s division late in the afternoon, and recommenced it this morning at 3 o’clock, the enemy remaining on the ground, and still remain, some five miles from where I write. Major-Gen. J. E. B. Stuart was wounded last evening, through the kidney, and now lies in the city, in a dying condition! Our best generals thus fall around us. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House continues. One Union solder says, “This has been the most terrible day I have ever lived.”

May 11, 1864

Emmell Journal: May 11th  This is called Spotselvania Court House.  Have had skirmishing all day and would have made a charge this afternoon if it had not have rained so hard.

May 11th.-Bright and pleasant-breezy. This has been a day of excitement.
    2 p.m. Respectable men just from the vicinity report a great victory for Lee, yesterday, though we have nothing from him. The Secretary believes these concurring reports, which state that the battle, beginning near Spottsylvania Court House, ended at Fredericksburg, indicating a Waterloo.
    And a dispatch from Gen. Ransom from the south side of the river, states that Butler’s army is retreating to the transports. This is regarded as confirmation of Lee’s victory.
    Several dispatches from Gen. Stuart state that the raiders have been severely beaten in several combats this morning, and are flying toward Dover Mills. They may come back, for they have not heard of Grant’s defeat. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

General Grant unable to defeat General Lee, sends word to General Halleck, "I propose to fight it out along this line if it takes all summer."

Battle of Yellow Tavern, Virginia. Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart is mortally wounded.
 

May 10, 1864

Emmell Journal: May 10th  Our division make’s a charge to night & get badly cut up.  There was a good deal skrimishing this morning. Adjuntant Dougerty & Captian Hart of the 7th New Jersey were wounded in this charge.

May 10th.-Bright, but windy and dusty.
    There is an excitement at last; but it is sullen rather than despairing. No one seems to doubt our final success, although the enemy have now some 200,000 in Virginia, and we but little over half that number.
    We have nothing from Lee to-day, but it is believed he is busy in battle.
    A portion of Grant’s right wing, cut off at Spottsylvania Court House, endeavored to march across the country to the Peninsula. They cut the railroad at Beaver Dam, and destroyed some of our commissary stores. But it is likely they will be captured.
    The enemy beat us yesterday at Dublin Depot, wounding Gen. Jenkins.
    On the other hand, Gen. McNeal (C. S.) has cut the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, destroying millions of property. Thus the work goes on! - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

General Phillip SheridanUnion General Sheridan’s men complete their destruction of two locomotives, 100 railroad cars, 10 miles of track, medical stores, and a large quantity of rations at Beaver Dam Station, Virginia. Sheridan’s subordinate, General George Custer recaptures 378 Union prisoners taken captive in the Battle of the Wilderness.

General Phillip Sheridan

 

May 9, 1864

Emmell Journal: May 9th  We got up at light & started to find our division & traveled all the morning around about way before finding it.

    May 9th.-Bright and sultry.
    A dispatch from Gen. Lee says the enemy is moving down toward Fredericksburg, and yesterday the advance of our army encountered his right wing at Spottsylvania Court House, and repulsed it “with great slaughter.” Strong language for Lee. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Battles of Snake Creek Gap and Dalton, Georgia.

Red River Campaign - The Union gunboat Lexington passes through a gap in a Union-built dam above Alexandria, Louisiana, the first ship of the flotilla to make it through the rapids.

 

 

 

May 8, 1864

Emmell Journal: May 8th  We recrossed the Rapidan at daylight for it would not be safe to go to Rappahanock Station.  So the train comes to Chancelorsville where we find the army passing through.  The trains then push through for Fredricksbourg.  We strecher bearers get lost from our division & we lay down along the plank road by an old house for the night.

    May 8th.-Bright and hot.
    The Secretary of War received a dispatch to-day from Gen. Lee, stating that there was no fighting yesterday, only slight skirmishing. Grant remained where he had been driven, in the “Wilderness,” behind his breastworks, completely checked in his “On to Richmond.” He may be badly hurt, and perhaps his men object to being led to the slaughter again. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Battle of Spotsylvania, Virginia begins.

May 7, 1864

Emmell Journal: May 7th  We have had very heavy skirmishing up to 4 P.M when I was sent to the ambulance train with orders to go with it to Rappahanock Station.  In the ambulance I am attached to, we have one man with his leg off and one with his arm off & one wounded in the side.  We start at dusk for the Rapidan & cross it at 11 to night, but halt on the other side for Stuarts Cavalry is in our rear.

    May 7th.-Bright and warm.
    The following is Gen. Lee’s dispatch, received yesterday:

            May 5th, 1864.
    Hon. Secretary of War.

    The enemy crossed the Rapidan at Ely’s and Germania fords. Two corps of this army moved to oppose him-Ewell by the old turnpike, and Hill by the plank-road.

    They arrived this morning in close proximity to the enemy’s line of march. “A strong attack was made upon Ewell, who repulsed it, capturing many prisoners and four pieces of artillery.

    The enemy subsequently concentrated upon Gen. Hill, who, with Heth’s and Wilcox’s divisions, successfully resisted repeated and desperate assaults. “A large force of cavalry and artillery on our right was driven back by Rosser’s brigade.

    By the blessing of God, we maintained our position against every effort until night, when the contest closed.

    We have to mourn the loss of many brave officers and men. The gallant Brig.-Gen. J. M. Jones was killed, and Brig.-Gen. Stafford, I fear, mortally wounded, while leading his command with conspicuous valor.

            (Signed)
            R. E. Lee.
A dispatch from Gen. Lee this morning says Hill’s corps was thrown into confusion yesterday by an attack of the enemy when some of the divisions were being relieved. But afterward we recovered the ground, strewn with the dead and wounded of the enemy. Then we attacked their whole line, driving them behind their breastworks. He concludes by thanks for our ability still to withstand all assaults. No doubt Grant has overwhelming numbers, and Lee is under the necessity of sparing his men as much as possible, while his adversary leads into action a succession of fresh troops. Gen. Longstreet is wounded. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Atlanta Campaign begins from Chattanooga, Tennessee.

May 6, 1864

Emmell Journal: May 6th  Our division gets flanked to day and falls back to some breastworks which which have 2 batteries behind them, one of these batteries being the 6th Maine; which has 4 Napoleon guns was the means of driving the rebels back with canister, they piled them on top of each other.  Our boys left the breastworks because the logs caught fire, the logs were dry, being cut down so long that they were nearly rotten.  The 5th Corps Gen Warren is on our left & the 6 Corps Gen Sedgwick on our right, the right of our Corps the 2d under Gen Hancock rest on the Chancelorsville plank road where it joins the 6 corps.  We have carried wounded all day & have not got them off yet.  I saw some awful scene, in a swamp dead men laying covered in mud rebel and union side by side.  I saw some with papers pined on their breast with their names on, done by them as they have been dying. I could see some dying, some coaxing to be helped off having layed there since the day before.  The woods have been on fire which has made it still worse for the wounded.

May 6th.-Bright, warm, beautiful.
    We have a sensation to-day, but really no excitement. A dispatch from Gen. Lee (dated last night) says the enemy opened the battle yesterday, and the conflict continued until night put an end to the carnage. He says we have many prisoners, captured four guns, etc., losing two generals killed, one, Gen. J. M. Jones. But our position was maintained, and the enemy repulsed. Doubtless the battle was renewed this morning.
    Some fifty-nine transports and several iron-clad gun-boats, monitors, etc., came up the James River yesterday and last night. A heavy force was landed at Bermuda Hundred, within a few miles of the railroad between Richmond and Petersburg. And the enemy likewise came up the Peninsula, and there was fighting this morning on the Chickahominy. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Battle of Port Walthall Junction, Virginia.

General Sherman sets forth from Chattanooga with 100,000 troops to march through Georgia.

Confederate torpedo destroyed USS Commodore Jones in the James River, Virginia, one of several losses the Union suffered from torpedoes during the year.

May 5, 1864

Emmell Journal: May 5th  We march 8 miles to the Wilderness. I saw on the march to day old clothes & men’s sculls laying around; you can see a great many old shells &c laying around.  A good many of the doctors have mens sculls fastend on their saddles which they have picked up.  I saw some sculls burning on a fire where the boys had been cooking coffee.  Well we found the enemy at the Wilderness, - the men were all set to work building breast works but before they were finished the fight commenced.  We stretcher bearers were sent up with stretchers, but did not reach the troops before the minnies cut the trees & branches all side’s of us.  We soon got to work & kept carrying off the wounded until after 9 o’clock.  There was a continous roar of musketry from the time we we went there until 8 P.M; it became very dark & we had hard work to tell the dead from the wounded men.  I remember one dead Lieut Colonel we came across several times.  After 9 P.M we went to the ambulance & got some thing to eat & then layed down for the night.

May 5th.-We have many rumors to-day, and nothing authentic, except that some of the enemy’s transports are in the James River, and landing some troops, a puerile demonstration, perhaps. The number landed at West Point, it seems, was insignificant. It may be the armies of the United States are demoralized, and if so, if Grant be beaten, I shall look for a speedy end of the invasion. It is said some of the advanced forces of Grant were at Spottsylvania C. H. last night, and the great battle may occur any hour. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Battle of the Wilderness, near Chancellorsville, Virginia, begins.

USS Sassacus, Wyalusing, and Mattabesett engaged CSS Albemarle off the mouth of the Roanoke River as the Union sought in vain to regain control near Plymouth.

May 4, 1864

Emmell Journal: May 4th  The column moves between 12 & 1 oclock this morning, we march to Ely’s Ford and cross the Rapidan by 12 A.M & march to our old battle field of Chancelorsville by 8½ P.M having marched 15 miles to day.  We eat our supper & have a good wash & lay down for the night.

May 4th.-The following dispatch from Gen. Lee was received by Gen. Bragg to-day and sent to the Secretary.
        Orange C. H., May 4th, 1864.
    Reports from our lookouts seem to indicate that the enemy is in motion. The present direction of his column is to our right.
    Gen. Imboden reports the enemy advancing from Winchester, up the Valley, with wagons, beef cattle, etc.
        R. E. Lee.

    There is a rumor of fighting at Chancellorville, and this is the anniversary, I believe, of the battle there. May we be as successful this time! But the report is not authentic. Firing is heard now in the direction of York River. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

The Army of the Potomac has crossed the Rapidan towards Lee who is moving towards the Wilderness.
 

May 3, 1864

Emmell Journal: May 3d  To day is the anniversary of the battle of Chancelorville.  Last Sunday our ambulance train was inspected by General Hancock, all the train belonging to the corps were out.  Some of the 3 year enlistments commence to run out, one regiment, the 1st Excelsior has been in service 3 years but were not mustered in U. S service until June 1861 & the goverment will not let them go & so they have refused to do duty, but will be punished if they do not. Twenty two of old Co K have reinlisted.  We received orders to move at dark about 4 P.M.  Our division train move at dark as far as division headquarters & stop there until midnight.

May 3d.-A cold, windy day, with sunshine and clouds. It is rumored that Grant’s army is in motion, and the great battle is eagerly looked for. The collision of mighty armies, upon the issue of which the fate of empire depends, is now imminent. -  Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Generals Grant and Meade, with the Army of the Potomac, start across Rapidan River in their advance into the Wilderness.
 

May 2, 1864

May 2d.-A cool day, sunshine and showers.
    To-day Congress assembled, and the President’s message was delivered, although he buried his youngest son yesterday, who lost his life by an accidental fall from the porch on Saturday.
    We have abundance of good news to-day.
    First, the Florida has captured one, and destroyed another of the enemy’s vessels of war in the West Indies.
    Second, we have authentic intelligence of the evacuation of Washington, N. C. by the enemy, pursued by our forces toward Newbern.
    Third, four steamers have arrived at Wilmington laden with quartermaster and ordnance stores. Col. Gorgas, Chief of Ordnance, says we now have arms and ammunition enough. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
 

May 1, 1864

Skirmishing breaks our between Sherman’s and Johnston’s troops at Stone Church, Georgia.

April 30, 1864

April 30th.-Federal papers now admit that Gen. Banks has been disastrously beaten in Louisiana. They also admit their calamity at Plymouth, N. C. Thus in Louisiana, Florida, West Tennessee, and North Carolina the enemy have sustained severe defeats: their losses amounting to some 20,000 men, 100 guns, half a dozen war steamers, etc. etc. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Battle of Jenkins' Ferry, Arkansas.
 

April 29, 1864

April 29th.-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. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
 

April 28, 1864

Emmell Journal: April 28th  We are having very pleasant weather the past week & are all looking for orders to cross the Rapidan.  Monday I saw a man hung belonging to the 15 Mass regiment and in the afternoon saw a man drummed out of camp belonging to the 115th Penselvania regiment.  Gen Grant is reviewing the whole army.

April 25, 1864

April 25th.-A bright and beautiful day; southern breezes.
    No reliable war news; but there are rumors that our victory at Shreveport was a great one. Nothing additional from North Carolina, though something further must soon occur there. It is said the enemy’s killed and wounded at Plymouth amounted to only 100: ours 300; but we got 2500 prisoners.
    Lieut.-Gen. Polk telegraphs that our forces have captured and burnt one of the enemy’s gun-boats at Yazoo City-first taking out her guns, eight rifled 24-pounders. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Battle of Marks' Mills, Arkansas.
 

April 23, 1864

Battle of Monett's Ferry, Louisiana.
 

April 22, 1864

Emmell Journal: April 22d  Just came of picket from Kellys Ford our ambulance went Wednesday and came back this afternoon, the ambulance has to be there so if any body is sick or gets wounded to send them to the hospital.  General Grant reviewed the corps this morning before we got home from picket.

Congress directs the treasury to include he words “In God We Trust” on U.S. coins.

April 20, 1864

April 20th.-A clear morning, but a cold, cloudy day.
    The following dispatch from Gen. Forrest shows that the bloody work has commenced in earnest:
                                 Demopolis, Ala., April 19th.
    To Gen. S. Cooper.
    The following dispatch has just been received from Gen. Forrest, dated Jackson, Tenn., April 15th.
                                 L. Polk, Lieut.-General.
    I attacked Fort Pillow on the morning of the 12th inst., with a part of Bell’s and McCulloch’s brigades, numbering --, under Brig.-Gen. J. R. Chalmers. After a short fight we drove the enemy, seven hundred strong, into the fort, under cover of their gun-boats, and demanded a surrender, which was declined by Major L. W. Booth, commanding United States forces. I stormed the fort, and after a contest of thirty minutes captured the entire garrison, killing 500 and taking 100 prisoners, and a large amount of quartermaster stores. The officers in the fort were killed, including Major Booth. I sustained a loss of 20 killed and 60 wounded. The Confederate flag now floats over the fort.
    (Signed)
    N. B. Forrest, Major-General. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Battle of Plymouth, North Carolina. Having gained control of the waterways in the area, the Confederates were able to capture Plymouth.
 

April 19, 1864

Battle of Plymouth, North Carolina. Day 3. CSS Albemarle, Commander J. W. Cooke, sank USS Southfield and forced the remainder of the Union squadron at Plymouth, North Carolina, to withdraw.

April 18, 1864

Emmell Journal: April 18th  Expect to move soon, the sutlers were ordered on the 16th to return to Washington.  They are making the ambulance train smaller & my tent mate has to return to his regiment. Orders come to be ready to go on picket tomorrow.

April 18th.-Cleared away in the night-frost. To-day it clouded up again! We have an account from the West, to the effect that Forrest stormed Fort Pillow, putting all the garrison, but one hundred, to the sword; there being 700 in the fort-400 negroes. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Battle of Poison Spring, Arkansas.

April 17, 1864

Battle of Plymouth, North Carolina, begins.

Union General-in-Chief U. S. Grant stops all prisoner exchanges.

April 16, 1864

April 16th.-Rained all night, and in fitful showers all day. We have more accounts (unofficial) of a victory near Shreveport, La. One of the enemy’s gun-boats has been blown up and sunk in Florida. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
 

April 14, 1864

Emmell Journal: April 14th  We were reviewed by General Hancock our corps commander this morning. In the log building where we had the ball they have a concert by the negro minstrells every night now.

April 13, 1864

April 13th.-A clear, but cool day. Again planted corn, the other having rotted.
    There is an unofficial report that one of our torpedo boats struck the Federal war steamer Minnesota yesterday, near Newport News, and damaged her badly. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Battle of Blair's Landing, Louisiana. Day 2
 

April 12, 1864

April 12th.-Cloudy-rained in the afternoon. This is the anniversary of the first gun of the war, fired at Fort Sumter.
    It is still said and believed that Gen. Lee will take the initiative, and attack Grant. The following shows that we have had another success:
                            Mobile, April 11th, 1864.
                  To Gen. S. Cooper, A. & I. General.
    The following report was received at Baton Rouge, on the 3d inst., from the Surgeon-General of Banks’s army: We met the enemy near Shreveport. Union force repulsed with great loss. How many can you accommodate in hospitals at Baton Rouge? Steamer Essex, or Benton, destroyed by torpedoes in Red River, and a transport captured by Confederates.
    Farragut reported preparing to attack Mobile. Six monitors coming to him. The garrisons of New Orleans and Baton Rouge were very much reduced for the purpose of increasing Banks’s forces.
                            D. H. Maury, Major-General
                                         Commanding. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

 Massacre of Union Soldiers, Black enlisted and White officers, at Fort Pillow, Tennessee.

Battle of Blair's Landing, Louisiana, begins.
 

April 11, 1864

April 11th.-Rained all night, but clear most of the day. There are rumors of Burnside landing troops on the Peninsula; also of preparations for movements on the Rappahannock-by which side is uncertain. It is said troops are coming from Mississippi, Lieut.-Gen. (Bishop) Polk’s command. - Jones, John Beauchamp (2011-03-24). A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
 

April 10, 1864

Emmell Journal: April 10th  Go to church.  Go to Capt Hillyers & receive 2 month’s pay which he drew for me yesterday.  We receive orders to continue to wear our old corps badge.

April 9, 1864

Emmell Journal: April 9th  Our brigade ambulance boys had a masquerade ball last Wednesday in a large hall near the 1st brigade built of logs. The hall was trimed up with flags of different regiments, music was furnished by the 11th Mass brass band & a string band; we had refreshments. Had a guard of 12 men to keep order, the ball was kept up until morning.  The ladies were boy’s selected from 2 or 3 regiments & were dressed in ladies clothes, some of them could not be told from female’s.

Battle of Pleasant Hill, Louisiana.

Skirmish at Prairie D'Ane, Arkansas, begins.

April 8, 1864

Battle of Mansfield, Louisiana.

Thirteenth Amendment passes the U.S. Senate by a vote of 38-6. Note that the ammendment didn't pass the House of Representatives until January 31, 1864, more than nine months and one election later.
 

April 5, 1864

April 5th.-Cold rain all night and all day; wind northwest.
    The Quartermaster-General now recommends that no furloughs be given, so as to devote the railroads to the transportation of grain to Virginia. The Commissary-General again informs the Secretary of War, to-day, that unless the passenger trains were discontinued, the army could not be subsisted, and Richmond and all Virginia might have to be abandoned, and the country might be pillaged by our own soldiers. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
 

April 4, 1864

Emmell Journal: April 4th  It has rained nearly a week.  This morning the sun came out, but it soon clouded up again.  The roads are in a very bad condition.  General Grant has sent all the troops from around Washington to the Army of the Potomac.  We are all expecting to have our annual ball the first of May night.

April 4th.-A cold rain all day; wind from northwest. Mr. Ould and Capt. Hatch, agents of exchange (of prisoners), have returned from a conference with Gen. Butler, at Fortress Monroe, and it is announced that arrangements have been made for an immediate resumption of the exchange of prisoners on the old footing. Thus has the government abandoned the ground so proudly assumed-of non-intercourse with Butler, and the press is firing away at it for negotiating with the “Beast” and outlaw. But our men in captivity are in favor of a speedy exchange, no matter with whom the agreement is made. Forrest has destroyed Paducah, Ky. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Battle of Elkin's Ferry, Arkansas. Day 2

April 3, 1864

Battle of Elkin's Ferry, Arkansas. Day 1

March 30, 1864

Emmell Journal: March 30th  We were visited yesterday by a very hard storm & the water in my tent was 6 inches deep.  In some of the tents the boy’s had to get up in the night & drain the water from their tents.  There is a small stream between here & the picket line and it has swollen so that the pickets could not be relieved yesterday.

March 30th.-It rained all night, the wind blowing a gale from the east. This morning the wind was from the west, blowing moderately; and although cloudy, no rain.
    The enemy’s gun-boats down the river shelled the shore where it was suspected we had troops in ambush; and when some of their barges approached the shore, it was ascertained they were not mistaken, for a volley from our men (signal corps) killed and wounded half the crew. The remainder put back to the gun-boats. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

March 25, 1864

Emmell Journal: March 25th  It has rained very hard this after noon.  The roads are in a very bad condition caused by a snow storm Tuesday night & Wednesday when the snow fell the depth of 8 inches & melted making the roads in a horrible state.  The sick of the corps were all sent away yesterday.  General Grant has isued orders, to put the old 3d Corps in the 2d Corps under General Hancock so we are now 4 division 2 corps General Carr commanding the division.  The 1st Division 3 Corps that is Kearneys old Division is now 3d Div 2nd Corps commanded by General D. B. Birney.  And the 3 division which are new troops are put in the 6th Corps under General Sedgwick.

Confederate cavalry under General Nathan Bedford Forrest attacks, but does not capture, Paducah, Kentucky.

March 24, 1864

Confederate cavalry under General Nathan Bedford Forrest capture Union City, Tennessee.

March 21, 1864

Emmell Journal: March 21st  It is quite cold to day.  Last Friday about dusk orders came to pack up everything & be ready to move at a moments notice, the brigades are formed & the train hooked up, when the orders are countermanded.  The alarm was caused by our signal officers at Pony Mountian who thought they discovered a column of rebels moving towards Germania Ford, a fording place on the Rapidan but afterwards found they were moving in another direction.

March 21st.-Although cloudy, there was ice this morning, and cold all day.
    Yesterday another thousand prisoners were brought up by the flag of truce boat. A large company of both sexes welcomed them in the Capitol Square, whither some baskets of food were sent by those who had some patriotism with their abundance. The President made them a comforting speech, alluding to their toils, bravery, and sufferings in captivity; and promised them, after a brief respite, that they should be in the field again. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Federal General J. A. Mower surprises Confederate General Richard Taylor near Henderson’s Hill, Louisiana capturing 250 men, 200 horses, and 4 guns.

March 20, 1864

March 20th.-Bright and beautiful weather. There are fires occurring now every night; and several buildings have been burned in the immediate vicinity of the War Department. These are attributed to incendiary Yankees, and the guard at the public offices has been doubled. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
 

March 18, 1864

March 18th.-Bright and warmer, but windy. Letters received at the department to-day, from Georgia, show than only one-eighth of the capacity of the railroads have been used for the subsistence of the army. The rogues among the multitude of quartermasters have made fortunes themselves, and almost ruined the country. It appears that there is abundance of grain and meat in the country, if it were only equally distributed among the consumers. It is to be hoped the rogues will now be excluded from the railroads. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

A convention in Arkansas ratifies a pro-Union constitution and abolishes slavery.
 

March 16, 1864

Nine Union gunboats arrive in Alexandria, Louisiana. Federal troops occupy the town.

March 15, 1864

Emmell Journal: March 15th  Lieut Bruen left on a ten day furlough yesterday.  I have been in the woods to day getting fuel to cook our rations with.

March 15th.-A clear, cool morning; but rained in the evening.
    We are buoyed again with rumors of an intention on the part of France to recognize us. So mote it be! We are preparing, however, to strike hard blows single-banded and unaided, if it must be. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

March 14, 1864

March 14th.-Bright, pleasant day. The city is full of generals-Lee and his son (the one just returned from captivity), Longstreet, Whiting, Wise, Hoke, Morgan (he was ordered by Gen. Cooper to desist from his enterprise in the West), Evans, and many others. Some fourteen attended St. Paul’s (Episcopal) Church yesterday, where the President worships. Doubtless they are in consultation on the pressing needs of the country. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

President Lincoln calls for another draft of 200,000 for 3 years.

Battle of Fort DeRussy, Red River Campaign.

March 12, 1864

Red River Campaign begins (Louisiana). General Nathaniel Prentiss Banks and his Union Army start up Red River in Louisiana with Admiral Porter's gunboats on their flank.

March 10, 1864

Emmell Journal: March 10th  Rainy.  We have had a review to day & did not get back to camp until 4 P.M.

March 10th.-Raining fast all day.
    The following, from the Dispatch regarding the account of the disposal of Col. Dahlgren’s body:
    “Col. Dahlgren’s Body.-On Sunday afternoon last, the body of Col. Ulric Dahlgren, one of the leaders of the late Yankee raid on this city, and on whose body the paper revealing their designs, if successful, were found, was brought to this city on the York River Railroad train, and remained in the car (baggage) in which it was till yesterday afternoon, when it was transferred to some retired burial place. The object in bringing Dahlgren’s body here was for identification, and was visited, among others, by Captain Dement and Mr. Mountcastle, of this city, who were recently captured and taken around by the raiders. These gentlemen readily recognized it as that of the leader of the band sent to assassinate the President and burn the city. The appearance of the corpse yesterday was decidedly more genteel than could be expected, considering the length of time he has been dead. He was laid in a plain white pine coffin, with flat top, and was dressed in a clean, coarse white cotton shirt, dark blue pants, and enveloped in a dark military blanket. In stature he was about five feet ten inches high, with a long, cadaverous face, light hair, slight beard, closely shaven, and had a small goatee, very light in color. In age we suppose he was about thirty years, and the expression of his countenance indicated that of pain.” - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Ulysses S. Grant commissioned Lieutenant-General and assigned to command of all Union armies.

March 9, 1864

March 9th.-A frosty morning, with dense fog; subsequently a pretty day. This is the famine month. Prices of every commodity in the market-up, up, up. Bacon, $10 to $15 per pound; meal, $50 per bushel. But the market-houses are deserted, the meat stalls all closed, only here and there a cart, offering turnips, cabbages, parsnips, carrots, etc., at outrageous prices. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
 

March 5, 1864

 The Confederate government requires that half the space on blocade runners to be allocated to government shipments.

March 4, 1864

Emmell Journal: March 4th 1864  We are all busy washing clothes.  I was on guard last night over the horses, which are often stolen if no guards are on.  Four Morristown boys came to Co K a few days ago.  General Kilpatrick with a large cavalry force has started to cooporate with General Butler to free our prisoners in Richmond.  General Custer made a feint so that the rebel cavalry would be after him so as to give Kilpatrick a clear track.  General Custer has come back.  I saw the prisoners captured by him.  The next news we hear from Kilpatrick will come by the way of Ft Monroe.  General Kilpatrick loaded his trains with turpentine to burn bridges before starting.

March 4th.-Bright and frosty in the morning; warm and cloudy in the afternoon. The enemy have disappeared. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
 

March 3, 1864

March 3d.-Bright and frosty. Confused accounts of the raid in the morning papers.
    During the day it was reported that Col. Johnson’s forces had been cut up this morning by superior numbers, and that Butler was advancing up the Peninsula with 15,000 men. The tocsin was sounded in the afternoon, and the militia called out; every available man being summoned to the field for the defense of the city. The opinion prevails that the plan to liberate the prisoners and capture Richmond is not fully developed yet, nor abandoned. My only apprehension is that while our troops may be engaged in one direction, a detachment of the enemy may rush in from the opposite quarter. But the attempt must fail. There is much excitement, but no alarm. It is rather eagerness to meet the foe, and a desire that he may come. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
 

March 2, 1864

March 2d.-The last dispatch from Gen. Lee informs us that Meade, who had advanced, had fallen back again. But communications are cut between us and Lee; and we have no intelligence since Monday. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Senate confirms Ulysses Grant as Lieutenant General and General-in-Chief of the Union Army.
 

March 1, 1864

March 1st.-Dark and raining.
    As the morning progressed, the city was a little startled by the sound of artillery in a northern direction, and not very distant. Couriers and horsemen from the country announced the approach of the enemy within the outer fortifications; a column of 5000 cavalry. Then Hon. James Lyons came in, reporting that the enemy were shelling his house, one and a half miles from the city. And Gen. Elzey (in command) said, at the department, that a fight was in progress; and that Brig.-Gen. Custis Lee was directing it in person. But an hour or so after the report of artillery ceased, and the excitement died away. Yet the local troops and militia are marching out as I write; and a caisson that came in an hour ago has just passed our door, returning to the field. Of course the city is full of rumors, and no one yet knows what has occurred. I presume it was only distant shelling, as no wounded men have been brought in. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

February 29, 1864

February 29 - 1864 is a leap year.

On February 29, 1864, President Abraham Lincoln sent this message to the U.S. Senate: "I nominate Ulysses S. Grant, now a Major General in the Military service, to be Lieutenant General in the Army of the United States."
 

February 28, 1864

Emmell Journal: February 28th  Quite mild.  I have been to church.  I was down to the 1st brigade 1 Div the 6 Corps to see some of the Morristown boys in the 15th New Jersey regiment a few days ago.  We are under marching orders to day.  The 1 & 6 corps & the cavalry have gone on a reconnoisance.

Union begin attempt to free prisoners from Richmond.

February 26, 1864

Union prisoners begin to arrive at the unfinished prisoner of war compound in Andersonville, Georgia.

February 25, 1864

February 25th.-The President has certainly conferred on Bragg the position once (1862) occupied by Lee, as the following official announcement, in all the papers to-day, demonstrates:
     War Department,
     Adjutant and Inspector General’s Office,
     Richmond, February 24th, 1864.
     General Orders No. 23.

     Gen. Braxton Bragg is assigned to duty at the seat of government, and, under direction of the President, is charged with the conduct of military operations in the armies of the Confederacy.
     By order of the Secretary of War.
     S. Cooper,
     Adjutant and Inspector General.

     The retreat of Sherman seems to be confirmed. Gen. Beauregard sends the following dispatch:
     Charleston, February 23d-2 15 p.m.
     To Gen. S. Cooper.

     The latest reports from Gen. Finnegan give no particulars of the victory at Occum Pond, except that he has taken all of the enemy’s artillery, some 500 or 600 stand of small arms already collected, and that the roads for three miles are strewn with the enemy’s dead and wounded.
     (Signed)
     G. T. Beauregard. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
 

February 24, 1864

Emmell Journal: Febuary 24th  I have been to the Government Shop to day where all the wagons and am bulances of the Army of the Potomac are repaired.  I passed General Kilpatrick on my way.

February 24th.-Bright and pleasant. Intelligence from the West is of an interesting character. The column of Federal cavalry from Memphis, destined to co-operate with Gen. Sherman, has been intercepted and a junction prevented. And both Sherman and the cavalry are now in full retreat-running out of the country faster than they advanced into it. The desert they made as they traversed the interior of Mississippi they have now to repass, if they can, in the weary retreat, with no supplies but those they brought with them. Many will never get back. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Congress revives the rank of Lieutenant General.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis appoints General Braxton Bragg Chief of Staff of the Confederate Army.

February 23, 1864

Emmell Journal: Febuary 23d  The officers of the 2d Army Corps had a ball last night.

February 23d.-A letter from Gen. Maury indicates now that Mobile is surely to be attacked. He says they may force a passage at Grant’s Pass, which is thirty miles distant; and the fleet may pass the forts and reach the lower bay. Gen. M. has 10,000 effective men, and subsistence for 20,000 for six months. He asks 6000 or 7000 more men. He has also food for 4000 horses for six months. But he has only 200 rounds for his cannon, and 250 for his siege guns, and 200 for each musket. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
 

February 22, 1864

Battle at at Okolona, Mississippi.

First Battle of Dalton, Georgia begins.

February 21, 1864

February 21st.-The Secretary of War has nothing new from Gen. Polk; and Sherman is supposed to be still at Meridian. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

February 20, 1864

February 20th.-Late papers from the United States show that they have a money panic, and that gold is rising in price. In Lowell not a spindle is turning, and 30,000 operatives are thrown out of employment! - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Battle of Okolona, Mississippi.

Battle of Olustee, Florida. Heavy losses suffered by the Union forces that included the 54th Massachusetts Volunteers, the 8th and 35th United States Colored Infantry Regiments.
 

February 19, 1864

February 19th.-Cold and clear. Congress adjourned yesterday, having passed the bill suspending the writ of habeas corpus for six months at least. Now the President is clothed with dictatorial powers, to all intents and purposes, so far as the war is concerned.
     Dispatches from Gen. Polk state that Sherman has paused at Meridian. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
 

February 18, 1864

Emmell Journal: Febuary 18th  We are now having very cold weather & very windy.  Both my tent mates are of on the picket line & I am all alone to night & my shanty is all but blown down.  I have props all around to try & hold it up until the wind subsides.  Everything in our shanty is frozen even to the soft bread.  Our division was reviewed last Monday, but not the ambulances.

February 17, 1864

February 17th.-Gen. Sherman, with 30,000 or 40,000 men, is still advancing deeper into Mississippi, and the Governor of Alabama has ordered the non-combatants to leave Mobile, announcing that it is to be attacked. If Sherman should go on, and succeed, it would be the most brilliant operation of the war. If he goes on and fails, it will be the most disastrous-and his surrender would be, probably, like the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown. He ought certainly to be annihilated. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

 Confederate submarine H. L. Hunley sank Union blockader Housatonic off Charleston -- the first submarine to sink a ship in combat.
 

February 16, 1864

February 16th.-The Federal General Sherman, with 30,000 men, was, at the last dates, still marching southeast of Jackson, Miss. It is predicted that he is rushing on his destruction. Gen. Polk is retreating before him, while our cavalry is in his rear. He cannot keep open his communications. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Union troops begin a campaign against Indians from Fort Walla Walla in the Washington Territory.

Confederate blocade runners Pet and Spunky are captured near Wilmington, North Carolina.
 

February 15, 1864

February 15th.-The President is unfortunate with his servants, as the following from the Dispatch would seem:
     Another of President Davis’s Negroes run away.
     On Saturday night last the police were informed of the fact that Cornelius, a negro man in the employ of President Davis, had run away. Having received some clew of his whereabouts, they succeeded in finding him in a few hours after receiving the information of his escape, and lodged him in the upper station house. When caught, there was found on his person snack enough, consisting of cold chicken, ham, preserves, bread, etc., to last him for a long journey, and a large sum of money he had stolen from his master. Some time after being locked up, he called to the keeper of the prison to give him some water, and as that gentleman incautiously opened the door of his cell to wait on him, Cornelius knocked him down and again made his escape. Mr. Peter Everett, the only watchman present, put off after him; but before running many steps stumbled and fell, injuring himself severely. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
 

February 14, 1864

Emmell Journal: Febuary 14th  Have Sunday inspection of the ambulance train, after which I went to church.  It is said that John Recanio of Co K who was taken prisoner at Gettysbourg died at Bell Island.

February 14th.-Clear and windy. There is nothing new that I have heard of; but great apprehensions are felt for the fate of Mississippi-said to be penetrated to its center by an overwhelming force of the enemy. It is defended, however, or it is to be, by Gen. (Bishop) Polk. I hear of more of the escaped Federal officers being brought in to-day. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

President Lincoln calls for 500,000 men to serve 3 years or for duration.

Troops under Union General Sherman enter   Meridian, Mississippi.

February 13, 1864

February 13th.-INTERESTING FROM FLORIDA:
     Charleston, February 11th, 1864.
     To Gen. S. Cooper.
     Gen Finnegan has repulsed the enemy’s force at Lake City-details not known.
     (Signed)
     G. T. Beauregard.

     second dispatch
     Charlestson, February 11th-11 a.m.
     To Gen. S. Cooper.
     Gen. Finnegan’s success yesterday was very creditable-the enemy’s force being much superior to his own. His reinforcements had not reached here, owing to delays on the road. Losses not yet reported.
     (Signed)
     G. T. Beauregard.

     REPULSE OF THE ENEMY NEAR CHARLESTON. official dispatch.       
     Charleston, February 12th, 1864.
     Gen. Wise gallantly repulsed the enemy last evening on John’s Island. He is, to-day, in pursuit. Our loss very trifling. The force of the enemy is about 2000; ours about one-half.
     (Signed)
     G. T. Beauregard. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

February 13 Battle at Middle Boggy Depot
 

February 12, 1864

February 12th.-It is warm to-day, and cloudy; but there was ice early in the morning. We have recaptured twenty-odd of the escaped prisoners. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

February 11, 1864

February 11th.-Night before last 109 Federal prisoners, all commissioned officers, made their escape from prison-and only three or four have been retaken! - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

February 10, 1864

Febuary 10th  Last Saturday morning before daylight we received orders to be ready to move at 7 o’clock, but we received no further orders until 5 o’clock in the after noon. when the bugle at brigade headquarters sounded “pack up, we started 8 P.M & marched 6 miles from camp to within one mile of the Rapidan, the mud has been very deep & the horses could hardly draw the empty ambulances.  It rained hard all night.  The 2d Corps are ahead, part of it crossed the river and found the rebels thick as hornets & recrossed again.  At 5 P.M we start of camp reach there at 8 P.M tired out and covered with mud.  All we went for was to ascertain the force of the enemny, & to see if they had sent any force West.

February 10th.-Gen. Lee wrote to the Secretary of War, on the 22d of January, that his army was not fed well enough to fit them for the exertions of the spring campaign; and recommended the discontinuance of the rule of the Commissary-General allowing officers at Richmond, Petersburg, and many other towns, to purchase government meat, etc. etc. for the subsistence of their families, at schedule prices. He says the salaries of these officers ought to be sufficient compensation for their services; that such allowances deprived the officers and soldiers in the field of necessary subsistence, and encouraged able-bodied men to seek such easy positions; it offended the people who paid tithes, to see them consumed by these non-combating colonels, majors, etc., instead of going to feed the army; and it demoralized the officers and soldiers in the field.
     This letter was referred to the Commissary-General, who, after the usual delay, returned it with a long argument to show that Gen. Lee was in “error,” and that the practice was necessary, etc.
     To this the Secretary responded by a peremptory order, restricting the city officers in the item of meat.
     Again the Commissary-General sends it back, recommending the suspension of the order until it be seen what Congress will do! Here are twenty days gone, and the Commissary-General has his own way still. He don’t hesitate to bully the Secretary and the highest generals in the field. Meantime the Commissary-General’s pet officers and clerks are living sumptuously while the soldiers are on hard fare. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

February 9, 1864

February 9th.-Our people are becoming more hopeful since we have achieved some successes. The enemy cannot get men again except by dragging them out, unless they should go to war with France-a not improbable event. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

President Lincoln sits for a photograph which will one day be used on the five dollar bill.

Union officers escape from Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia.
 

February 8, 1864

February 8th.-Gen. Maury writes from Mobile that he cannot be able to obtain any information leading to the belief of an intention on the part of the enemy to attack Mobile. He says it would require 40,000 men, after three months’ preparation, to take it. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

February 7, 1864

February 7th.-We have good news from the Rappahannock. It is said Gen. Rosser yesterday captured several hundred prisoners, 1200 beeves, 350 mules, wagons of stores, etc. etc. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Battle at Morton's Ford Day 2
 

February 6, 1864

February 6th.-Gen. Pickett, finding Newbern impregnable, has fallen back, getting off his prisoners, etc. But more troops are going to North Carolina. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Battle at Morton's Ford Day 1.

February 5, 1864

Emmell Journal: February 5th  Major General Birney gave a ball at his head quarters last Tuesday eveing.  I took a ride to his headquarters in an ambulance which carried the wife of the Colonel of the 11th Massachusetts and the Majors wife of the 16th Massachusetts. It rained very hard & was pitch dark & could not hardly see to get along, our ambulance stuck twice in the mud.

February 5th.-Bright frosty morning, but warmer and hazy later in the day. From dispatches from North Carolina, it would seem that our generals are taking advantage of the fine roads, and improving the opportunity, while the enemy are considering the plan of the next campaign at Washington. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

February 4, 1864

February 4th.-Clear and pretty cold. We have news of another brilliant affair at Kinston, N. C., where Gen. Pickett has beaten the enemy, killing and wounding and taking some 500 men, besides capturing another gun-boat! Thus the campaign of 1864 opens auspiciously. And Gen. Early has beaten the foe in Hardy County, Northwest Virginia, capturing, it is said, some 800. It is supposed that Gen. Pickett will push on to Newbern, and probably capture the town. At all events we shall get large supplies from the tide-water counties of North Carolina. General Lee planned the enterprise, sending some 15,000 men on the expedition. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
 

February 3, 1864

February 3d.-The following dispatch indicates the prestige of success for the year 1864, and it is probable it will be followed by a succession of successes, for the administration at Washington will find, this year, constant antagonisms everywhere, in the North as well as in the South, and in the army there will be opposing parties-Republicans and Democrats. On the part of the South, we have experienced the great agony of 1863, and have become so familiar with horrors that we shall fight with a fearful desperation. But the dispatch: “Glorious news! The whole Yankee force, about 150, are our prisoners, and their gun-boat ‘Smith Briggs,’ destroyed. “No one hurt on our side. Four Yankees killed and two or three wounded. “The prisoners are now at Broad Water. Send down a train for them to-morrow.” We learn that this Yankee force was commissioned to destroy a large factory at Smithfield, in Isle of Wight County. We do not know the size or composition of our command which achieved the results noticed above, but understand that it contained two companies of the Thirty-first North Carolina Regiment. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Meridian Campaign begins in Mississippi.
 

February 2, 1864

February 2nd.-Mr. Benjamin, Secretary of State, asked the Secretary of War to-day to make such arrangements as would supply the State Department with regular files of Northern papers. They sometimes have in them important diplomatic correspondence, and the perusal of this is about all the Secretary of State has to do. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Confederate boat expedition led by Commander J. T. Wood captured and destroyed USS Underwriter in the Neuse River, North Carolina.

February 1, 1864

Emmell Journal:  February 1st 1864  I received a box of nice things from home Saturday night.  Our ambulance train were all vaccinated this morning.  We have one case of small pox in the train.

February 1st.-Hazy, misty weather. Gen. Lovell (who lost New Orleans) has applied for a command in the West, and Gen. Johnston approves it strongly. He designs dividing his army into three corps, giving one (3d division) to Gen. Hardee; one (2d division) to Gen. Hindman; and one (1st division) to Lovell. But the Secretary of War (wide awake) indorses a disapproval, saying, in his opinion, it would be injudicious to place a corps under the command of Gen. Lovell, and it would not give confidence to the army. This being sent to the President, came back indorsed, “opinion concurred in.-J. D.” - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
 

January 31, 1864

January 31st.-It rained moderately last night, and is cooler this morning. But the worst portion of the winter is over. The pigeons of my neighbor are busy hunting straws in my yard for their nests. They do no injury to the garden, as they never scratch. The shower causes my turnips to present a fresher appearance, for they were suffering for moisture. The buds of the cherry trees have perceptibly swollen during the warm weather. A letter from Gen. Cobb (Georgia) indicates that the Secretary of War has refused to allow men having employed substitutes to form new organizations, and he combats the decision. He says they will now appeal to the courts, contending that the law putting them in the service is unconstitutional, and some will escape from the country, or otherwise evade the law. They cannot go into old companies and be sneered at by the veterans, and commanded by their inferiors in fortune, standing, etc. He says the decision will lose the service 2000 men in Georgia. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
 

January 30, 1864

January 30th.-The Senate has passed a new Conscription Act, putting all residents between the ages of eighteen and fifty-five in the military service for the war. Those over forty-five to be detailed by the President as commissary quartermasters, Nitre Bureau agents, provost guards, clerks, etc. This would make up the enormous number of 1,500,000 men! The express companies are to have no detail of men fit for the field, but the President may exempt a certain class for agricultural purposes, which, of course, can be revoked whenever a farmer refuses to sell at schedule prices, or engages in speculation or extortion. Thus the President becomes almost absolute, and the Confederacy a military nation. The House will pass it with some modifications. Already the Examiner denounces it, for it allows only one owner or editor to a paper, and just sufficient printers,-no assistant editors, no reporters, no clerks, etc. This will save us, and hasten a peace. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

January 28, 1864

Emmell Journal:  January 28th  For over a week now we have had very warm weather.  They are to hang a spy in the 3 Division this after noon.

January 28th.-Gen. Whiting writes for an order for two locomotive boilers, at Montgomery, Ala., for his torpedo-boats, now nearly completed. He says he intends to attack the blockading squadron off Wilmington. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

January 27, 1864

Emmell Journal:  January 27th  We are having very warm weather.

January 27th.- Gen. Lee has published the following to his army:
     Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia,
     January 22d, 1864.
     General Orders No 7.

     The Commanding General considers it due to the army to state that the temporary reduction of rations has been caused by circumstances beyond the control of those charged with its support. Its welfare and comfort are the objects of his constant and earnest solicitude; and no effort has been spared to provide for its wants. It is hoped that the exertions now being made will render the necessity but of short duration: but the history of the army has shown that the country can require no sacrifice too great for its patriotic devotion.
     Soldiers! you tread, with no unequal steps, the road by which your fathers marched through suffering, privation, and blood to independence!
     Continue to emulate in the future, as you have in the past, their valor in arms, their patient endurance of hardships, their high resolve to be free, which no trial could shake, no bribe seduce, no danger appal: and be assured that the just God, who crowned their efforts with success, will, in His own good time, send down His blessings upon yours.
    (Signed)
    R. E. Lee, General. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Battle at Fair Garden, Tennessee.

January 26, 1864

January 26th.-Gen. Lee recommends the formation of several more brigades of cavalry, mostly from regiments and companies in South Carolina, and to this he anticipates objections on the part of the generals and governors along the Southern seaboard; but he deems it necessary, as the enemy facing him has a vastly superior cavalry force. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Battle at Athens, Alabama.

January 25, 1864

January 25th.-I noticed, to-day, eight slaughtered deer in one shop; and they are seen hanging at the doors in every street. The price is $3 per pound. Wild turkies, geese, ducks, partridges, etc. are also exposed for sale, at enormous prices, and may mitigate the famine now upon us. The war has caused an enormous increase of wild game. But ammunition is difficult to be obtained. I see some perch, chubb, and other fish, but all are selling at famine prices. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

January 24, 1864

Emmell Journal: January 24th  Sunday.  It is pleasant today.  There is to be a big time among the shoulder straps of the 3d Corps tomorrow night, as the officers of the 3d Corps have a grand ball at General Carr’s headquarters 3 Divs 3 Corps, they are to have a $2000. supper & a special train to bring the ladies from Washington.  Our brigade church was dedicated this morning.  Gen Prince & staff & Gen Mott & staff were present.  Captian Hart & his wife & several ladies were present.

January 24th.-It is said the tax bill under consideration in Congress will produce $500,000,000 revenue! If this be so, and compulsory funding be adopted, there will soon be no redundancy of paper money, and a magical change of values will take place. We who live on salaries may have better times than even the extortioners-who cannot inherit the kingdom of Heaven. And relief cannot come too soon: for we who have families are shabby enough in our raiment, and lean and lank in our persons. Nevertheless, we have health and never-failing appetites. Roasted potatoes and salt are eaten with a keen relish. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

January 23, 1864

January 23d.-The Secretary of War has authorized Mr. Boute, President of the Chatham Railroad, to exchange tobacco through the enemy’s lines for bacon. And in the West he has given authority to exchange cotton with the enemy for meat. It is supposed certain men in high position in Washington, as well as the military authorities, wink at this traffic, and share its profits. I hope we may get bacon, without strychnine. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

January 22, 1864

January 22d.-Troops, a few regiments, have been passing down from Lee’s army, and going toward North Carolina. A dispatch, in cipher, from Petersburg, was received to-day at 3 p.m. It is probable the enemy threaten the Weldon and Wilmington Railroad. We shall hear soon.
     It is thought the negroes that attempted to burn the President’s house (they had heaped combustibles under it) were instigated by Yankees who have been released upon taking the oath of allegiance. But I think it quite as probable his enemies here (citizens) instigated it. They have one of the servants of the War Department under arrest, as participating in it. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

January 21, 1864

Emmell Journal: January 21st  This is a very pleasant day. We have a fine view from our camp of the 2d Army Corps which is encamped on a mountian right accross from us.  The tents of each regiment are all in line & to see the smoke curling up from the chimnies makes a very handsome sight. When they first encamped there you could not see the camps for the trees, but the woods have all been cut down for fuel.

January 21st.-Last night an attempt was made (by his servants, it is supposed) to burn the President’s mansion. It was discovered that fire had been kindled in the wood-pile in the basement. The smoke led to the discovery, else the family might have been consumed with the house. One or two of the servants have absconded. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

January 20, 1864

January 20th.-Major-Gen. Gilmer, Chief of the Engineer Bureau, writes that the time has arrived when no more iron should be used by the Navy Department; that no iron-clads have effected any good, or are likely to effect any; and that all the iron should be used to repair the [rail]roads, else we shall soon be fatally deficient in the means of transportation. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

January 19, 1864

January 19th.-A furious storm of wind and rain occurred last night, and it is rapidly turning cold to-day.
     The prisoners here have had no meat during the last four days, and fears are felt that they will break out of confinement.
     A letter from Mrs. Polk, widow of President Polk, dated at Nashville, expresses regret that a portion of her cotton in Mississippi was burnt by the military authorities (according to law), and demanding remuneration. She also asks permission to have the remainder sent to Memphis, now held by the enemy. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Arkansas in convention adopts anti-slavery constitution.

Protests in North Carolina over the conscription law.

January 18, 1864

January 18th.-The enemy made a brief raid in Westmoreland and Richmond counties a few days ago, and destroyed 60,000 pounds of meat in one of the Commissary-General’s depots! A gentleman writing from that section, says it is a pity the President’s heart is not in his head; for then he would not ruin the country by retaining his friend, Col. Northrop, the Commissary-General, in office. - Jones, John Beauchamp (2011-03-24). A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

January 17, 1864

January 17.th-Custis has succeeded in getting ten pupils for his night-school, and this will add $100 per month to our income-if they pay him. But with flour at $200 per barrel; meal, $20 per bushel, and meat from $2 to $5 per pound, what income would suffice? Captain Warner (I suppose in return for some writing which Custis did for him) sent us yesterday two bushels of potatoes, and, afterwards, a turkey! This is the first turkey we have had during our housekeeping in Richmond. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Battle at Dandridge, Tennessee.
 

January 16, 1864

Emmell Journal: January 16th  Been busy since I last wrote building our log house which was knocked down by a tree falling on it, & I have been busy when not working on that, washing my clothes.  Nine more of Co K who have reinlisted will leave in a few days for home.

January 16th.-General good spirits prevail since Northern arrivals show that the House of Representatives at Washington has passed a resolution that 1,000,000 men, including members of Congress under 50, volunteer to deliver the prisoners of war out of our hands. This produces a general smile, as indicative of the exhaustion of the available military force of the United States-and all believe it to be the merest bravado and unmitigated humbug. Every preparation will be made by the Confederate States Government for the most stupendous campaign of the war. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

January 15, 1864

January 15th.-We have no news. But there is a feverish anxiety in the city on the question of subsistence, and there is fear of an outbreak. Congress is in secret session on the subject of the currency, and the new Conscription bill. The press generally is opposed to calling out all men of fighting age, which they say would interfere with the freedom of the press, and would be unconstitutional. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

January 13, 1864

January 13th.-Yesterday the Senate passed a bill allowing increased pay to civil officers in the departments; but Senator Brown, of Miss., proposed a proviso, which was adopted, allowing the increased compensation only to those who are not liable to perform military duty, and unable to bear arms. - Jones, John Beauchamp:  A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

January 12, 1864

January 12th.-Yesterday the President vetoed a bill appropriating a million dollars to clothe the Kentucky troops. The vote in the Senate, in an effort to pass it nevertheless, was 12 to 10, not two-thirds. The President is unyielding. If the new Conscription act before the House should become a law, the President will have nearly all power in his hands. The act suspending the writ of habeas corpus, before the Senate, if passed, will sufficiently complete the Dictatorship. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
 

January 11, 1864

Emmell Journal: January 11th  Nothing has transpired since the 4th.  Lieut Bruen has returned to camp again.  The fields opposite our camp are filled with turkey buzzards & crows.  We try to shoot them but you can hardly get within musket shot of them.

January 11th.-Gen. E. S. Jones has captured several hundred of the enemy in Southwest Virginia, and Moseby’s men are picking them up by scores in Northern Virginia. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Joint resolution proposed in Senate by John B. Henderson of Missouri to abolish slavery throughout U.S. by amendment to Constitution. Passed in Senate April 8; rejected in House June 15.
 

January 10, 1864

January 10th.-Letters from Governor Vance received to-day show that he has been making extensive arrangements to clothe and subsist North Carolina troops. His agents have purchased abroad some 40,000 blankets, as many shoes, bacon, etc., most of which is now at Bermuda and Nassau. He has also purchased an interest in several steamers; but, it appears, a recent regulation of the Confederate States Government forbids the import and export of goods except, almost exclusively, for the government itself. The governor desires to know if his State is to be put on the same footing with private speculators. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

January 8, 1864

January 8th.-Dispatches from both Beauregard and Whiting indicate a belief of an intention on the part of the enemy to attempt the capture of Charleston and Wilmington this winter. The President directs the Secretary to keep another brigade near Petersburg, that it may be available in an emergency.
    It snowed again last night, but cleared off to-day, and is bitter cold.
    Gen. Morgan received the congratulations of a vast multitude to-day. One woman kissed his hand. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
 

January 7, 1864

 January 7th.-We have a light snow, the first time the earth has been white this winter.
    I am reminded daily of the privations I used to read of in the Revolutionary War. Then thorns were used, now we use pins, for buttons. My waistbands of pantaloons and drawers are pinned instead of buttoned. Gen. Jno. H. Morgan arrived this evening, and enjoyed a fine reception, as a multitude of admirers were at the depot. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
 

January 6, 1864

January 6th.- On the 2d inst. Gen. Lee wrote the President that he had just heard of two droves of cattle from the West, destined for his army, being ordered to Richmond. [He does not say by whom, or for what purpose. He knew not.] He says he has but one day’s meat rations, and he fears he will not be able to retain the army in the field. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Confederate artillary disables the steamer Delta on the Mississippi River near Gaines’ Landing.

January 5, 1864

January 5th.-Bright, pleasant day. I saw a letter from Gen. Elzey to-day, stating that his command will probably soon be called out from the city on important service. What can this mean? And our iron-clads are to go below the obstructions if they can get out. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
 

January 4, 1864

Emmell Journal: January 4th  Very cold, the snow drifts through the cracks in our log house. It sounds very cold to hear the rumbling of the army wagons bringing supplies from the station.

January 4th.-On Saturday, resolutions were unanimously adopted by the Senate complimenting Gen. Lee. This is his opportunity, if he be ambitious,-and who can see his heart? What man ever neglected such an opportunity? - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

January 3, 1864

Emmell Journal: January 3d 1864  Sunday.  Camp near Brandy Station Va.  The weather remains cold.  Tim Bourroughs & 7 or 8 others from Co K left on veteran furlough a few days ago.  I heard our new Chaplin preach for the first to day; his name is Hamilton.

January 3d-The speculators and extortioners who hired substitutes are in consternation-some flying the country since the passage of the bill putting them in the army, and the army is delighted with the measure. The petition from so many generals in the field intimidated Congress, and it was believed that the Western army would have melted away in thirty days, if no response had been accorded to its demands by government. Herculean preparations will now be made for the next campaign, which is, as usual, looked forward to as the final one. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capita

January 2, 1864

Emmell Journal: January 2d.-The Secretary of the Navy has requested the Secretary of War to open the obstructions at Drewry’s Bluff, so that the iron-clads, Richmond and Fredericksburg, may pass out. This he deems necessary for the defense of Richmond, as our iron-clads may prevent the enemy from coming up the river and landing near the city. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
 

January 1, 1864

Emmell Journal: January 1st, 1864.-I did not go to any of the receptions to-day; but remained at home, transplanting lettuce-plants, which have so far withstood the frost, and a couple of fig-bushes I bought yesterday. I am also breaking up some warm beds, for early vegetables, and spreading manure over my little garden: preparing for the siege and famine looked for in May and June, when the enemy encompasses the city. - Jones, John Beauchamp: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital

Harper's Weekly illustration contrasting New Years Day in the Union and the Confederacy.

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Private Heyward Emmell kept a journal during his 3-year enlistment. This chronology has his entries (beginning October 1 1861, time-shifted by 150 years) detailing his experiences in northern Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Notable events from the entire Civil War are also included for content and to emphasize that the war spanned a large geographic area and the high seas.  More information about Heyward Emmell is here.

The entries from Emmell's journal in this chronology are transcripts. They represent EXACTLY what he wrote. Spelling, punctuation, capitalization, cross-outs, and lack of paragraph breaks are as he wrote them.

Occasionally in the text there will be a hot link to a further explanation of a word, name, place, or event. Click on the link to get more information.