Monday, January 21, 2013

1863 January 7 Staunton, Va.

[from the diary of Joseph Addison Waddell, former newspaper publisher and civilian employee of the Quartermaster Dept.]

Wednesday night, January 7, 1863.
Arrived is the last dispatch from Gen. Bragg. Another report says the enemy are retreating also! This is hardly probable — that both sides should retreat, although it is said to have occurred after the battle of Perrysville, in Kentucky. Gen. Bragg has a way of "falling back" after a victory. The Yankee papers claim to have got the best of us at Murfreesboro; although they admit great losses. The expedition down the Valley has come to nothing. A skirmish took place at Moorfield, in Hardy county, and then our men "fell back." I blame neither officers nor men — not wishing to sit by the fire and censure the operations of soldiers enduring the hardships of the field — but after the bright hopes entertained a few days ago there is a feeling of disappointment. Rumors from the North of French interference again, to settle our troubles. I see no prospect of our ever getting out of them until Europe does interfere. Lincoln's Proclamation, liberating the slaves, which has recently approved, creates no sensation. He chooses to consider all Southern territory in possession of his armies as "loyal," and proclaims freedom to the regions only in the regions where he has  power no control!
AHH Stuart spoke to me to-day on the subject of my becoming administrator of the late Mr. Sowers. He is trustee for two of the heirs. Said he would go my security — the bond will be $50,000 to $60,000.

[clipping pasted in]
"Tullahoma, Jan. 5 — Unable to dislodge the enemy from his entrenchments, and hearing of reinforcements to him, I withdrew from his front night before last. He has not followed. My cavalry are close on his front. [Signed,]


Alexander H. H. Stuart, 1807-1891, a leading Virginia politician, and alumnus of both William and Mary and the University of Virginia, had been Secretary of the Interior under Millard Filmore. He was a Virginia State Senator, a delegate to the Virginia Secession Convention, and a member of the Commission that traveled to Washington D.C. to speak with Abraham Lincoln in a last effort to avoid war. After the war he was elected to Congress but not admitted, helped return Virginia to the Union in 1870 and again served in the General Assembly. In addition he was Rector of the University of Virgina from 1874-1882.

[transcript by the Valley of the Shadow project]

MSS 38-258

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