From the Charleston Mercury, 7/26/1862
WAR GOSSIP IN RICHMOND.
(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.)
After a monthís holiday, I find
myself again in the Confederate capital. One feels the dread of infection as he
gets nearer and nearer this war-scarred city. Soldiers crowd the cars - dirty
convalescents from the country hospitals - sick trains pass him on the way; he
catches the odor of suppurating wounds in Manchester, and this odor increases to
a stench as he crosses the James river, where the tainted breezes from the vast
wards on Chimborazo Heights have free play. Night has just fallen, but there is
a strange stillness about the streets. Few people pass him. The doors of the
great dry goods and clothing houses are open and guarded by sentinels. Looking
in, he beholds multitudes of beds and ministering angels passing to and fro.
Well he knows what forms lie stretched on those narrow beds. They are the heroes
who have suffered in the great cause. How horrible is war!
Our late victories have given us a
respite, which the Administration has rather the wish than the nerve to improve.
It complains of a want of men, and it must be confessed that there is a great
deal of straggling. But this straggling the Government seeks to cure by moral
suasion and the force of public opinion, as if the deserters, lost to all sense
of shame, cared for opinions. It is said there are 100,000 men absent without
leave from our various armies - gone nobody knows where. If this be true, the
time has passed for milk
and water measures.
There is literally in the camp ___
Objection is made to Gen. Johnstonís resuming his command. He is entitled to it,
or else a wound becomes a badge of disgrace; but Lee is thought the safer man,
and all things must yield to the countryís safety. A. P. Hill is under arrest by
order of Longstreet, and there is a quarrel between D. H. Hill and Toombs.
'Reliable' says Hill called Toombs a coward on the field, and after the battle
Toombs challenged him. The challenge was declined on religious grounds; but the
epithet was re-applied. Magruder has been recalled from the command of the
Trans-Mississippi Department, on account of the charge of incompetency preferred
by Col. Chilton, formerly of the Adjutant Generalís Office, now on Leeís staff.
These troubles should alarm
nobody. War is a quarrelsome business, especially in a free country, where every
man is as good as any other man, and better, too. We hate the Yankees none the
less on account of these quarrels. After we have whipped them, we can fight each
other in comfort.
News from the lines is just no
news at all. Indeed there seems to be a general stagnation except in Jack Morgan
vicinage. Reported that Jackson has broke loose again, with as many as 60,000
rampant rebels at his heels. There is no telling where he will strike. He
appears to be as eccentric as a comet - one of which, by the way, I think I saw
in the northwest last night.
Copies of the New York Herald were
for sale this morning by the newsboys, for the moderate price of two dollars.
The Herald of the 15th contains the proceedings of the big Union
meeting held the day before, in which Dr. Francis Lieber figured, while his
noble son, Oscar, was dying, a martyr to his fatherís folly, in this city.