From the Charleston Mercury, 12/13/1862
LETTER FROM RICHMOND.
(CORRESPONDENCE OF THE MERCURY.)
RICHMOND, Wednesday, December 10.
It is too beautiful a day for one to do anything but avail oneself of General WINDER'S new order issued this morning, which permits a hundred and fifty barrels of whisky to be brought here each month. One may now hope to get comfortably mellow without seriously impairing one's exchequer or one's character, these fine cold days.
From the Rappahannock, nothing. Reported that part of our army has fallen back to Hanover Junction. An old resident of Port Royal tells me that if Burnside crosses there, he will be in the worst sort of a pickle. The place is a little Gibraltar - between two creeks, with a river in front and high hills in the rear.
The Examiner holds that Napoleon, knowing what reception his despatch to Russell and Gortschakoff would meet, has adroitly managed to secure for himself the glory of being the representative of all Europe as a peace maker. A gentleman, just from abroad, says that all Europe, England and Russia excepted, had already acceded to Napoleon's proposals and views. This gentleman has the same old story of splendid opportunities lost or rejected by the Confederate authorities. The Examiner thinks that, if Burnside's army is condemned to winter in the barren wastes of Stafford county, where it now is, it will cease to exist before spring.
The Whig, speaking of the prospective reduction of one per cent. in the rate at which Treasury Notes may be funded, asks, 'How would it do to follow up that move by a continued reduction of one per cent. for each month after the first reduction - applicable only to notes issued prior to the 1st of January, 1863.' A writer in the same paper suggests that each family of four spare one blanket for the soldiers.
The Enquirer calls upon the Government to all around these enormous extortioners, and adds: "In addition to laws aimed at extortion, let the taxes come down upon income rather than property." The same paper announces the arrival, by way of Winchester and Staunton, of three French gentlemen, understood to be bearers of despatches from the French to the Confederate Government.
It is noticeable that General Bragg, in his dispatch reciting Morgan's brilliant affair at Hartsville, styles him 'Acting Brigadier.' So, this man, who has done as much or more than any cavalry officer in the service, Stuart not excepted, and who has shown the best capacity for his peculiar work, is still a Colonel, while men who hardly ever smelt gunpowder, and certainly never commanded in action, are Major and Lieutenant Generals.
Extensive additions are being made to the hospitals, already large, at Howard's Grove, and I notice that Dr. McCaw, Chief Surgeon of the hospital town on Chimborazo Heights, advertises for 250 negro nurses. Thus timely preparation is being made for the sickness of spring.
Salt is falling rapidly. HERMES.