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Title: Camp-Fire and Cotton-Field - Southern Adventure in Time of War. Life with the Union Armies, and - Residence on a Louisiana Plantation
Author: Knox, Thomas Wallace, 1835-1896
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Camp-Fire and Cotton-Field - Southern Adventure in Time of War. Life with the Union Armies, and - Residence on a Louisiana Plantation" ***

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A preface usually takes the form of an apology. The author of this
volume has none to offer.

The book owes its appearance to its discovery of a publisher. It has
been prepared from materials gathered during the Campaigns herein
recorded, and from the writer's personal recollections.

Whatever of merit or demerit it possesses remains for the reader to
ascertain. His judgment will be unprejudiced if he finds no word of
promise on the prefatory page.

NEW YORK, _September 15th, 1865_.






At the Rocky Mountains.--Sentiment of the People.--Firing the
Southern Heart.--A Midwinter Journey across the Plains.--An Editor's
Opinion.--Election in Missouri.--The North springing to
Arms.--An amusing Arrest.--Off for the Field.--Final
Instructions.--Niagara.--Curiosities of Banking.--Arrival at the Seat
of War.



Apathy of the Border States.--The Missouri State Convention.--Sterling
Price a Union Man.--Plan to take the State out of the Union.--Capture
of Camp Jackson.--Energy of General Lyon.--Union Men organized.--An
Unfortunate Collision.--The Price-Harney Truce.--The Panic among the
Secessionists.--Their Hegira from St. Louis.--A Visit to the
State Capital.--Under the Rebel Flag.--Searching for Contraband
Articles.--An Introduction to Rebel Dignitaries.--Governor
Jackson.--Sterling Price.--Jeff. Thompson.--Activity at
Cairo.--Kentucky Neutrality.--The Rebels occupy Columbus.



General Harney Relieved.--Price's Proclamation.--End of the
Truce.--Conference between the Union and Rebel Leaders.--The First Act
of Hostility.--Destruction of Railway Bridges.--Promptness of
General Lyon.--Capture of the State Capital.--Moving on the Enemy's
Works.--The Night before Battle.--A Correspondent's Sensation.



Moving up the River.--A Landing Effected.--The Battle.--Precipitous
Retreat of the Rebels.--Spoiling a Captured Camp.--Rebel Flags
Emblazoned with the State Arms.--A Journalist's Outfit.--A Chaplain of
the Church Militant.--A Mistake that might have been Unfortunate.--The
People of Booneville.--Visiting an Official.--Banking-House
Loyalty.--Preparations for a Campaign.



Conduct of the St. Louis Secessionists.--Collisions between Soldiers
and Citizens.--Indignation of the Guests of a Hotel.--From St.
Louis to Rolla.--Opinions of a "Regular."--Railway-life in
Missouri.--Unprofitable Freight.--A Story of Orthography.--Mountains
and Mountain Streams.--Fastidiousness Checked.--Frontier
Courtesy.--Concentration of Troops at Springfield.--A Perplexing
Situation.--The March to Dug Spring.--Sufferings from Heat and Thirst.



The Return from Dug Spring.--The Rebels follow in
Pursuit.--Preparations to Attack them.--The Plan of Battle.--Moving
to the Attack--A Bivouac--The Opening Shot.--"Is that
Official?"--Sensations of a Spectator in Battle.--Extension of
Distance and Time.--Characteristics of Projectiles.--Taking Notes
under Fire.--Strength and Losses of the Opposing Armies.--A Noble
Record.--The Wounded on the Field.--"One More Shot."--Granger in his
Element.--General Lyon's Death.



A Council of War.--The Journalists' Council.--Preparations for
Retreat.--Preceding the Advance-Guard.--Alarm and Anxiety of the
People.--Magnificent Distances.--A Novel Odometer.--The Unreliable
Countryman.--Neutrality.--A Night at Lebanon.--A Disagreeable
Lodging-place.--Active Secessionists.--The Man who Sought and
Found his Rights.--Approaching Civilization.--Rebel Couriers on the
Route.--Arrival at Rolla.



Quarrel between Price and McCulloch.--The Rebels Advance upon
Lexington.--A Novel Defense for Sharp-shooters.--Attempt to Re-enforce
the Garrison.--An Enterprising Journalist.--The Surrender.--Fremont's
Advance.--Causes of Delay.--How the Journalists Killed Time.--Late
News.--A Contractor "Sold."--Sigel in Front.--A Motley
Collection.--A Wearied Officer.--The Woman who had never seen a Black
Republican.--Love and Conversion.



Detention at Warsaw.--A Bridge over the Osage.--The
Body-Guard.--Manner of its Organization.--The Advance
to Springfield.--Charge of the Body-Guard.--A Corporal's
Ruse.--Occupation of Springfield.--The Situation.--Wilson Creek
Revisited.--Traces of the Battle.--Rumored Movements of the
Enemy.--Removal of General Fremont.--Danger of Attack.--A Night of
Excitement.--The Return to St. Louis.--Curiosities of the Scouting
Service.--An Arrest by Mistake.



A Promise Fulfilled.--Capture of a Rebel Camp and Train.--Rebel
Sympathizers in St. Louis.--General Halleck and his Policy.--Refugees
from Rebeldom.--Story of the Sufferings of a Union Family.--Chivalry
in the Nineteenth Century.--The Army of the Southwest in
Motion.--Gun-Boats and Transports.--Capture of Fort Henry.--The Effect
in St. Louis.--Our Flag Advancing.



From St. Louis to Rolla.--A Limited Outfit.--Missouri Roads in
Winter.--"Two Solitary Horsemen."--Restricted Accommodations in a
Slaveholder's House.--An Energetic Quartermaster.--General Sheridan
before he became Famous.--"Bagging Price."--A Defect in the
Bag.--Examining the Correspondence of a Rebel General.--What the
Rebels left at their Departure.



From Springfield to Pea Ridge.--Mark Tapley in Missouri.--"The
Arkansas Traveler."--Encountering the Rebel Army.--A Wonderful
Spring.--The Cantonment at Cross Hollows.--Game Chickens.--Magruder
_vs_. Breckinridge.--Rebel Generals in a Controversy.--Its Result.--An
Expedition to Huntsville.--Curiosities of Rebel Currency.--Important
Information.--A Long and Weary March.--Disposition of Forces before
the Battle.--Changing Front.--What the Rebels lost by Ignorance.



The Rebels make their Attack.--Albert Pike and his Indians.--Scalping
Wounded Men.--Death of General McCulloch.--The Fighting at Elkhorn
Tavern.--Close of a Gloomy Day.--An Unpleasant Night.--Vocal Sounds
from a Mule's Throat.--Sleeping under Disadvantages.--A Favorable
Morning.--The Opposing Lines of Battle.--A Severe Cannonade.--The
Forest on Fire.--Wounded Men in the Flames.--The Rebels in
Retreat.--Movements of our Army.--A Journey to St. Louis.



At St. Louis.--Progress of our Arms in the Great Valley.--Cairo.--Its
Peculiarities and Attractions.--Its Commercial, Geographical, and
Sanitary Advantages.--Up the Tennessee.--Movements Preliminary to
the Great Battle.--The Rebels and their Plans.--Postponement of
the Attack.--Disadvantages of our Position.--The Beginning of the
Battle.--Results of the First Day.--Re-enforcements.--Disputes between
Officers of our two Armies.--Beauregard's Watering-place.



The Error of the Rebels.--Story of a Surgeon.--Experience of a
Rebel Regiment.--Injury to the Rebel Army.--The Effect in our own
Lines.--Daring of a Color-Bearer.--A Brave Soldier.--A Drummer-Boy's
Experience.--Gallantry of an Artillery Surgeon.--A Regiment Commanded
by a Lieutenant.--Friend Meeting Friend and Brother Meeting Brother
in the Opposing Lines.--The Scene of the Battle.--Fearful Traces
of Musketry-Fire.--The Wounded.--The Labor of the Sanitary
Commission.--Humanity a Yankee Trick.--Besieging Corinth.--A
Cold-Water Battery.--Halleck and the Journalists.--Occupation of



The Siege of Fort Pillow.--General Pope.--His Reputation for
Veracity.--Capture of the "Ten Thousand."--Naval Battle above Fort
Pillow.--The _John H. Dickey_.--Occupation of the Fort.--General
Forrest.--Strength of the Fortifications.--Their Location.--Randolph,
Tennessee.--Memphis and her Last Ditch.--Opening of the Naval
Combat.--Gallant Action of Colonel Ellet.--Fate of the Rebel
Fleet.--The People Viewing the Battle.--Their Conduct.



Jeff. Thompson and his Predictions.--A Cry of Indignation.--Memphis
Humiliated.--The Journalists in the Battle.--The Surrender.--A Fine
Point of Law and Honor.--Going on Shore.--An Enraged Secessionist.--A
Dangerous Enterprise.--Memphis and her Antecedents.--Her Loyalty.--An
Amusing Incident.--How the Natives learned of the Capture of Fort
Donelson.--The Last Ditch.--A Farmer-Abolitionist.--Disloyalty among
the Women.--"Blessings in Disguise."--An American Mark Tapley.



The Press of Memphis.--Flight of _The Appeal_.--A False
Prediction.--_The Argus_ becomes Loyal.--Order from General
Wallace.--Installed in Office.--Lecturing the Rebels.--"Trade follows
the Flag."--Abuses of Traffic.--Supplying the Rebels.--A Perilous
Adventure.--Passing the Rebel Lines.--Eluding Watchful Eyes.



From Memphis to Vicksburg.--Running the Batteries.--Our Inability
to take Vicksburg by Assault.--Digging a Canal.--A Conversation with
Resident Secessionists.--Their Arguments _pro_ and _con_, and the
Answers they Received.--A Curiosity of Legislation.--An Expedition up
the Yazoo.--Destruction of the Rebel Fleet.--The _Arkansas_ Running
the Gauntlet.--A Spirited Encounter.--A Gallant Attempt.--Raising the
Siege.--Fate of the _Arkansas_.



General Curtis's Army reaching Helena.--Its Wanderings.--The
Arkansas Navy.--Troops and their Supplies "miss
Connection."--Rebel Reports.--Memphis in Midsummer.--"A Journey due
North."--Chicago.--Bragg's Advance into Kentucky.--Kirby Smith in
Front of Cincinnati.--The City under Martial Law.--The Squirrel
Hunters.--War Correspondents in Comfortable Quarters.--Improvising an
Army.--Raising the Siege.--Bragg's Retreat.



New Plans of the Rebels.--Their Design to Capture Corinth.--Advancing
to the Attack.--Strong Defenses.--A Magnificent Charge.--Valor _vs_.
Breast-Works.--The Repulse.--Retreat and Pursuit.--The National Arms



Changes of Commanders.--Preparations for the Aggressive.--Marching
from Corinth.--Talking with the People.--"You-uns and
We-uns."--Conservatism of a "Regular."--Loyalty and
Disloyalty.--Condition of the Rebel Army.--Foraging.--German Theology
for American Soldiers.--A Modest Landlord.--A Boy without a Name.--The
Freedmen's Bureau.--Employing Negroes.--Holly Springs and its
People.--An Argument for Secession.



The Slavery Question.--A Generous Offer.--A Journalist's
Modesty.--Hopes of the Mississippians at the Beginning of the
War.--Visiting an Editress.--Literature under Difficulties.--Jacob
Thompson and his Correspondence.--Plans for the Capture of
Vicksburg.--Movements of General Sherman.--The Raid upon Holly
Springs.--Forewarned, but not Forearmed.--A Gallant Fight.



Leaving Memphis.--Down the Great River.--Landing in the
Yazoo.--Description of the Ground.--A Night in Bivouac.--Plan
of Attack.--Moving toward the Hills.--Assaulting the Bluff.--Our
Repulse.--New Plans.--Withdrawal from the Yazoo.



Capture of Arkansas Post.--The Army returns to Milliken's
Bend.--General Sherman and the Journalists.--Arrest of the
Author.--His Trial before a Military Court.--Letter from President
Lincoln.--Capture of Three Journalists.



A Visit to Kansas.--Recollections of Border Feuds.--Peculiarities
of Kansas Soldiers.--Foraging as a Fine Art.--Kansas and
Missouri.--Settling Old Scores.--Depopulating the Border
Counties.--Two Examples of Grand Strategy.--Capture of the
"Little-More-Grape" Battery.--A Woman in Sorrow.--Frontier
Justice.--Trial before a "Lynch" Court.--General Blunt's
Order.--Execution of Horse-Thieves.--Auction Sale of Confiscated
Property.--Banished to Dixie.



A Hasty Departure.--At Harrisburg.--_En route_ for the Army of
the Potomac.--The Battle-Field at Gettysburg.--Appearance of
the Cemetery.--Importance of the Position.--The Configuration
of Ground.--Traces of Battle.--Round Hill.--General Meade's
Head-Quarters.--Appearance of the Dead.--Through the Forests along the
Line.--Retreat and Pursuit of Lee.



From Chicago to Minnesota.--Curiosities of Low-Water Navigation.--St.
Paul and its Sufferings in Earlier Days.--The Indian War.--A Brief
History of our Troubles in that Region.--General Pope's Expeditions to
Chastise the Red Man.--Honesty in the Indian Department.--The End of
the Warfare.--The Pacific Railway.--A Bold Undertaking.--Penetrating
British Territory.--The Hudson Bay Company.--Peculiarities of a
Trapper's Life.



Plans for Arming the Negroes along the Mississippi.--Opposition to the
Movement.--Plantations Deserted by their Owners.--Gathering Abandoned
Cotton.--Rules and Regulations.--Speculation.--Widows and Orphans
in Demand.--Arrival of Adjutant-General Thomas.--Designs of the



Leasing the Plantations.--Interference of the
Rebels.--Raids.--Treatment of Prisoners.--The Attack upon Milliken's
Bend.--A Novel Breast-Work.--Murder of our Officers.--Profits of
Cotton-Planting.--Dishonesty of Lessees.--Negroes Planting on their
own Account.



Reasons for Trying an Experiment.--Activity among Lessees.--Opinions
of the Residents.--Rebel Hopes in 1863.--Removal of Negroes to West
Louisiana.--Visiting Natchez.--The City and its Business.--"The
Rejected Addresses".



Passing the Pickets.--Cold Weather in the South.--Effect of Climate
upon the Constitution.--Surrounded and Captured.--Prevarication
and Explanation.--Among the Natives.--The Game for the
Confederacy.--Courtesy of the Planters.--Condition of the
Plantations.--The Return.



Military Protection.--Promises.--Another Widow.--Securing
a Plantation.--Its Locality and Appearance.--Gardening in
Louisiana.--How Cotton is Picked.--"The Tell-Tale."--A Southerner's
Opinion of the Negro Character.--Causes and Consequences.



The Plantation Record.--Its Uses.--Interesting Memoranda.--Dogs,
Jail, and Stocks.--Instructions to the Overseer.--His Duties and
Responsibilities.--The Order of General Banks.--Management of
Plantations in the Department of the Gulf.--The two Documents.
Contrasted.--One of the Effects of "an Abolition War".



The Negroes at Work.--Difficulties in the Way.--A Public Meeting.--A
Speech.--A Negro's Idea of Freedom.--A Difficult Question to
Determine.--Influence of Northern and Southern Men Contrasted.--An
Increase of Numbers.--"Ginning" Cotton.--In the Lint-Room.--Mills and
Machinery of a Plantation.--A Profitable Enterprise.



Official Favors.--Division of Labor.--Moral Suasion.--Corn-gathering
in the South.--An Alarm.--A Frightened Irishman.--The Rebels
Approaching.--An Attack on Waterproof.--Falstaff Redivivus.--His Feats
of Arms.--Departure for New Orleans.



New Orleans and its Peculiarities.--Its Loss by the Rebellion.--Cotton
Factors in New Orleans.--Old Things passed away.--The Northern
Barbarians a Race of Shopkeepers.--Pulsations of the Cotton Market.--A
Quarrel with a Lady.--Contending for a Principle.--Inharmony of the
"Regulations."--An Account of Sales.



Mysteries of Mule-trading.--"What's in a Name?"--Process of Stocking
a Plantation.--An Enterprising White Man.--Stratagem of a
Yankee.--Distributing Goods to the Negroes.--The Tastes of the
African.--Ethiopian Eloquence.--A Colored Overseer.--Guerrillas
Approaching.--Whisky _vs_. Guerrillas.--A Hint to Military Men.



News of the Raid.--Returning to the Plantation.--Examples of Negro
Cunning.--A Sudden Departure and a Fortunate Escape.--A Second
Visit.--"Going Through," in Guerrilla Parlance.--How it is
Accomplished.--Courtesy to Guests.--A Holiday Costume.--Lessees
Abandoning their Plantations.--Official Promises.



Resuming Operation.--Difficulties in the Way.--A New Method of Healing
the Sick.--A Thief Discovered by his Ignorance of Arithmetic.--How
Cotton is Planted.--The Uses of Cotton-Seed.--A Novel
Sleeping-Room.--Constructing a Tunnel.--Vigilance of a Negro Sentinel.



The Soldiers at Waterproof.--The Black Man in Blue.--Mutiny and
Desertion.--Their Cause and Cure.--Tendering a Resignation.--No Desire
for a Barber.--Seeking Protection.--Falsehood and Truth.--Proneness to
Exaggeration.--Amusing Estimates.



The Nature of our "Protection."--Trade Following the Flag.--A
Fortunate Journey.--Our Last Visit.--Inhumanity of the
Guerrillas.--Driving Negroes into Captivity.--Killing an
Overseer.--Our Final Departure.--Plantations Elsewhere.



Length of the Great River, and the Area it Drains.--How Itasca Lake
obtained its Name.--The Bends of the Mississippi.--Curious Effect upon
Titles to Real Estate.--A Story of Napoleon.--A Steamboat Thirty-five
Years under Water.--The Current and its Variations.--Navigating Cotton
and Corn Fields.--Reminiscences of the Islands.



Attempts to Obstruct the Great River.--Chains, Booms, and
Batteries.--A Novelty in Piloting.--Travel in the Days Before the
Rebellion.--Trials of Speed.--The Great Race.--Travel During the
War.--Running a Rebel Battery on the Lower Mississippi.--Incidents of
the Occasion.--Comments on the Situation.



The Beginning and the End.--The Lake Erie Piracy.--A Rochester
Story.--The First War Correspondent.--Napoleon's Policy.--Waterloo
and the Rothschilds.--Journalistic Enterprise in the Mexican War.--The
Crimea and the East Indian Rebellion.--Experiences at the Beginning
of Hostilities.--The Tender Mercies of the Insurgents.--In the
Field.--Adventures in Missouri and Kentucky.--Correspondents
in Captivity.--How Battle-Accounts were Written.--Professional



Scarcity of the Population.--Fertility of the Country.--Northern Men
already in the South.--Kansas Emigrants Crossing Missouri.--Change of
the Situation.--Present Disadvantages of Emigration.--Feeling of
the People.--Property-Holders in Richmond.--The Sentiment in North
Carolina.--South Carolina Chivalry.--The Effect of War.--Prospect of
the Success of Free Labor.--Trade in the South.



Conciliating the People of the South.--Railway Travel and its
Improvement.--Rebuilding Steamboats.--Replacing Working
Stock.--The Condition of the Plantations.--Suggestions about Hasty
Departures.--Obtaining Information.--The Attractions of Missouri.



How the People have Lived.--An Agricultural Community.--Mineral
and other Wealth of Virginia.--Slave-Breeding in Former
Times.--The Auriferous Region of North Carolina.--Agricultural
Advantages.--Varieties of Soil in South Carolina.--Sea-Island
Cotton.--Georgia and her Railways.--Probable Decline of the Rice
Culture.--The Everglade State.--The Lower Mississippi Valley.--The Red
River.--Arkansas and its Advantages.--A Hint for Tragedians.--Mining
in Tennessee.--The Blue-Grass Region of Kentucky.--Texas and its
Attractions.--Difference between Southern and Western Emigration.--The



At the Rocky Mountains.--Sentiment of the People.--Firing the
Southern Heart.--A Midwinter Journey across the Plains.--An Editor's
Opinion.--Election in Missouri.--The North springing to
Arms.--An amusing Arrest.--Off for the Field.--Final
Instructions.--Niagara.--Curiosities of Banking.--Arrival at the Seat
of War.

I passed the summer and autumn of 1860 in the Rocky Mountain Gold
Region. At that time the population of the young Territory was
composed of emigrants from Northern and Southern States, those from
the colder regions being in the majority. When the Presidential
election took place, there was much angry discussion of the great
questions of the day, and there were threats of violence on the part
of the friends of the "institution." The residents of the Gold Region
were unable to cast their votes for the men of their choice, but their
anxiety to know the result was very great.

When it was announced that the Republican candidate had triumphed,
there were speedy signs of discontent. Some of the more impulsive
Southerners departed at once for their native States, predicting a
separation of Dixie from the North before the end of the year. Some
went to New Mexico, and others to Texas, while many remained to press
their favorite theories upon their neighbors. The friends of the Union
were slow to believe that any serious difficulty would take place.
Long after the secession of South Carolina they were confident our
differences could be healed without an appeal to arms.

My visit to the Rocky Mountains was a professional one. During my stay
in that region I supplied several Eastern journals with letters from
Colorado and New Mexico. One after another, the editors of these
journals informed me that letters from the Territories had lost their
interest, owing to the troubles growing out of the election. Wishing
to take part in the drama about to be enacted, I essayed a midwinter
journey across the plains, and, early in February, stood in the
editorial room of _The Herald_.

I announced my readiness to proceed to any point between the Poles,
wherever _The Herald_ desired a correspondent. The editor-in-chief was
busy over a long letter from some point in the South, but his response
was promptly given. Half reading, half pausing over the letter, he
briefly said:--

"A long and bloody war is upon us, in which the whole country will be
engaged. We shall desire you to take the field; probably in the West.
It may be several weeks before we need you, but the war cannot be long

At that time few persons in the North looked upon the situation with
any fears of trouble. There were some who thought a hostile collision
was among the possibilities, but these persons were generally in the
minority. Many believed the secession movement was only the hasty work
of political leaders, that would be soon undone when the people of the
South came to their senses.

That the South would deliberately plunge the country into civil war
was difficult to comprehend, even after the first steps had been
taken. The majority of the Northern people were hoping and believing,
day by day, that something might transpire to quell the excitement and
adjust the difficulties threatening to disturb the country.

Before leaving the Rocky Mountains I did not believe that war was
certain to ensue, though I considered it quite probable. As I passed
through Missouri, the only slave State that lay in my route, I found
every thing comparatively quiet. In St. Joseph, on the day of my
arrival, the election for delegates to the State Convention was being
held. There was no disorder, more than is usual on election days in
small cities. Little knots of people were engaged in discussion, but
the discussions partook of no extraordinary bitterness. The vote of
the city was decidedly in favor of keeping the State in the Union.

Between the 7th of December and the 12th of April, the Northern blood
warmed slowly. The first gun at Sumter quickened its pulsations. When
the President issued his call for seventy-five thousand men for three
months, to put down insurrection, the North woke to action. Everywhere
the response was prompt, earnest, patriotic. In the Northern
cities the recruiting offices were densely thronged. New York and
Massachusetts were first to send their favorite regiments to the
front, but they were not long in the advance. Had the call been for
four times seventy-five thousand, and for a service of three years,
there is little doubt the people would have responded without

For a short time after my arrival at the East, I remained in a small
town in Southern New Hampshire. A few days after the first call was
issued, a friend invited me to a seat in his carriage for a ride to
Portsmouth, the sea-port of the State. On reaching the city we found
the war spirit fully aroused. Two companies of infantry were drilling
in the public square, and the citizens were in a state of great
excitement. In the course of the afternoon my friend and myself were
arrested, by a committee of respectable citizens, who suspected us of
being Southern emissaries. It was with great difficulty we convinced
them they had made a slight mistake. We referred them to the only
acquaintances we had in the city. They refused to consider the truth
established in the mouths of two witnesses, and were not induced to
give us our liberty until all convenient proof of our identity had
been adduced.

To be arrested within twenty miles of home, on suspicion of being
delegated from Charleston or Montgomery, was one of my most amusing
experiences of the war. The gentleman who accompanied me was a very
earnest believer in coercion. His business in Portsmouth on that
occasion was to offer his services in a regiment then being formed.
A few months later he received a commission in the army, but did not
obtain it through any of our temporary acquaintances at Portsmouth.

Our captors were the solid men of the city, any one of whom could
have sat for the portrait of Mr. Turveydrop without the slightest
alteration. On taking us into custody, they stated the grounds on
which they arrested us. Our dark complexions and long beards had
aroused suspicions concerning the places of our nativity. Suspicion
was reduced to a certainty when one of them heard me mention my
presence in Missouri on the day of choosing candidates for the
Convention. Our purpose was divined when I asked if there was any
activity at the Navy Yard. We were Rebel emissaries, who designed to
lay their Navy Yard in ashes!

On our release and departure we were followed to our homes, that the
correctness of our representations might be ascertained. This little
occurrence, in the center of New England, where the people claim to
be thoroughly quiet and law-abiding, indicated that the war spirit in
that part of the North was more than momentary.

The West was not behind the Eastern States in the determination
to subdue the Rebellion. Volunteers were gathering at Cairo, and
threatening to occupy points further down the Mississippi. At
St. Louis the struggle was active between the Unionists and the

A collision was a mere question of time, and of short time at the

As I visited _The Herald_ office for final instructions, I found that
the managing editor had determined upon a vigorous campaign. Every
point of interest was to be covered, so that the operations of our
armies would be fully recorded from day to day. The war correspondents
had gone to their posts, or were just taking their departure. One
correspondent was already on the way to Cairo. I was instructed to
watch the military movements in Missouri, and hastened to St. Louis as
fast as steam could bear me.

Detained twelve hours at Niagara, by reason of missing a railway
train, I found that the opening war gave promise of affecting that
locality. The hotel-keepers were gloomy at the prospect of losing
their Southern patronage, and half feared they would be obliged to
close their establishments. There were but few visitors, and even
these were not of the class which scatters its money profusely. The
village around the Falls displayed positive signs of dullness, and
the inhabitants had personal as well as patriotic interest in wishing
there was no war. The Great Cataract was unchanged in its beauty
and grandeur. The flood from the Lakes was not diminished, and the
precipice over which the water plunged was none the less steep. The
opening war had no effect upon this wonder of the New World.

In Chicago, business was prostrated on account of the outbreak of
hostilities. Most of the banks in Illinois had been holding State
bonds as securities for the redemption of their circulation. As these
bonds were nearly all of Southern origin, the beginning of the war
had materially affected their value. The banks found their securities
rapidly becoming insecure, and hence there was a depreciation in the
currency. This was not uniform, but varied from five to sixty per
cent., according to the value of the bonds the respective banks were
holding. Each morning and evening bulletins were issued stating the
value of the notes of the various banking-houses. Such a currency was
very inconvenient to handle, as the payment of any considerable sum
required a calculation to establish the worth of each note.

Many rumors were in circulation concerning the insecurity of a
Northern visitor in St. Louis, but none of the stories were very
alarming. Of one thing all were certain--the star of the Union was
in the ascendant. On arriving in St. Louis I found the city far from
quiet, though there was nothing to lead a stranger to consider his
personal safety in danger. I had ample material for entering at
once upon my professional duties, in chronicling the disordered and
threatening state of affairs.

On the day of my arrival, I met a gentleman I had known in the Rocky
Mountains, six months before. I knew his courage was beyond question,
having seen him in several disturbances incident to the Gold Regions;
but I was not aware which side of the great cause he had espoused.
After our first greetings, I ventured to ask how he stood.

"I am a Union man," was his emphatic response.

"What kind of a Union man are you?"

"I am this kind of a Union man," and he threw open his coat, and
showed me a huge revolver, strapped to his waist.

There were many loyal men in St. Louis, whose sympathies were evinced
in a similar manner. Revolvers were at a premium.

Some of the Secessionists ordered a quantity of revolvers from New
York, to be forwarded by express. To prevent interference by the Union
authorities, they caused the case to be directed to "Colonel Francis
P. Blair, Jr., care of ----." They thought Colonel Blair's name
would secure the property from seizure. The person in whose care the
revolvers were sent was a noted Secessionist, who dealt extensively in

Colonel Blair learned of the shipment, and met the box at the station.
Fifty revolvers of the finest quality, bought and paid for by the
Secessionists, were distributed among the friends of Colonel Blair,
and were highly prized by the recipients.



Apathy of the Border States.--The Missouri State Convention.--Sterling
Price a Union Man.--Plan to take the State out of the Union.--Capture
of Camp Jackson.--Energy of General Lyon.--Union Men organized.--An
Unfortunate Collision.--The Price-Harney Truce.--The Panic among the
Secessionists.--Their Hegira from St. Louis.--A Visit to the
State Capital.--Under the Rebel Flag.--Searching for Contraband
Articles.--An Introduction to Rebel Dignitaries.--Governor
Jackson.--Sterling Price.--Jeff. Thompson.--Activity at
Cairo.--Kentucky Neutrality.--The Rebels occupy Columbus.

The Border States were not prompt to follow the example of the States
on the Gulf and South Atlantic coast. Missouri and Kentucky were
loyal, if the voice of the majority is to be considered the voice of
the population. Many of the wealthier inhabitants were, at the
outset, as they have always been, in favor of the establishment of
an independent Southern Government. Few of them desired an appeal to
arms, as they well knew the Border States would form the front of the
Confederacy, and thus become the battle-field of the Rebellion. The
greater part of the population of those States was radically opposed
to the secession movement, but became powerless under the noisy,
political leaders who assumed the control. Many of these men, who were
Unionists in the beginning, were drawn into the Rebel ranks on
the plea that it would be treason to refuse to do what their State
Government had decided upon.

The delegates to the Missouri State Convention were elected in
February, 1861, and assembled at St. Louis in the following April.
Sterling Price, afterward a Rebel general, was president of this
Convention, and spoke in favor of keeping the State in the Union. The
Convention thought it injudicious for Missouri to secede, at least at
that time, and therefore she was not taken out. This discomfited the
prime movers of the secession schemes, as they had counted upon the
Convention doing the desired work. In the language of one of their
own number, "they had called a Convention to take the State out of the
Union, and she must be taken out at all hazards." Therefore a new line
of policy was adopted.

The Governor of Missouri was one of the most active and unscrupulous
Secessionists. After the failure of the Convention to unite Missouri
with the Confederacy, Governor Jackson overhauled the militia laws,
and, under their sanction, issued a call for a muster of militia near
St. Louis. This militia assembled at Lindell Grove, in the suburbs
of St. Louis, and a military camp was established, under the name of
"Camp Jackson." Though ostensibly an innocent affair, this camp was
intended to be the nucleus of the army to hoist the Rebel flag in the
State. The officers in command were known Secessionists, and every
thing about the place was indicative of its character.

The Governor of Louisiana sent, from the arsenal at Baton Rouge, a
quantity of guns and munitions of war, to be used by the insurgent
forces in Missouri. These reached St. Louis without hinderance, and
were promptly conveyed to the embryonic Rebel camp. Captain Lyon, in
command of the St. Louis Arsenal, was informed that he must confine
his men to the limits of the United States property, under penalty of
the arrest of all who stepped outside. Governor Jackson several times
visited the grounds overlooking the arsenal, and selected spots
for planting his guns. Every thing was in preparation for active

The Union people were by no means idle. Captain Lyon had foreseen the
danger menacing the public property in the arsenal, and besought the
Government for permission to remove it. Twenty thousand stand of arms
were, in a single night, loaded upon a steamer and sent to Alton,
Illinois. They were conveyed thence by rail to the Illinois State
Arsenal at Springfield. Authority was obtained for the formation of
volunteer regiments, and they were rapidly mustered into the service.

While Camp Jackson was being formed, the Union men of St. Louis were
arming and drilling with such secrecy that the Secessionists were
not generally aware of their movements. Before the close of the day
Captain Lyon received permission for mustering volunteers; he placed
more than six hundred men into the service. Regiments were organized
under the name of "Home Guards," and by the 9th of May there were six
thousand armed Union men in St. Louis, who were sworn to uphold the
national honor.

Colonel Francis P. Blair, Jr., commanded the First Regiment of
Missouri Volunteers, and stood faithfully by Captain Lyon in all
those early and dangerous days. The larger portion of the forces then
available in St. Louis was made up of the German element, which was
always thoroughly loyal. This fact caused the Missouri Secessionists
to feel great indignation toward the Germans. They always declared
they would have seized St. Louis and held possession of the larger
portion of the State, had it not been for the earnest loyalty of "the

In the interior of Missouri the Secessionists were generally in the
ascendant. It was the misfortune of the time that the Unionists were
usually passive, while their enemies were active. In certain counties
where the Unionists were four times the number of the Secessionists,
it was often the case that the latter were the ruling party. The
Union people were quiet and law-abiding; the Secessionists active
and unscrupulous. "Peaceably if we can, forcibly if we must," was the
motto of the enemies of the Republic.

In some localities the Union men asserted themselves, but they did not
generally do so until after the first blows were struck at St. Louis.
When they did come out in earnest, the loyal element in Missouri
became fully apparent.

To assure the friends of the Union, and save Missouri from the
domination of the insurgents, it was necessary for Captain Lyon to
assume the offensive. This was done on the 10th of May, resulting in
the famous capture of "Camp Jackson."

On the night of the 9th, loyal parties in St. Louis supplied a
sufficient number of horses to move the light artillery necessary to
accomplish the desired object. On the morning of the 10th, Captain
Lyon's command moved from various points, so as to surround the Rebel
camp at three o'clock in the afternoon. At that hour General
Frost, the Rebel commander, was surprised at the appearance of an
overpowering force on the hills surrounding his position. A demand for
surrender gave half an hour for deliberation. At the end of that time
General Frost concluded to capitulate. The prisoners, less than a
thousand in number, were marched to the arsenal and safely secured.

This achievement destroyed Camp Jackson, and established the United
States authority in full force over St. Louis. An unfortunate
collision occurred between the soldiers and the crowd outside.
Provoked by insults terminating in an assault with fire-arms, a
portion of the German troops fired upon the multitude. Upward
of thirty persons were killed or wounded in the affair. With the
exception of this unhappy collision, the capture was bloodless.

General Harney arrived at St. Louis soon after this event, and assumed
command in Missouri. The agreement known as "the Price-Harney truce"
was immediately made. Under an assurance from Governor Jackson that
the State troops should be disbanded, General Harney promised that no
hostilities should be undertaken, and attempted to cause the dispersal
of the Union volunteers. The status of the latter had been so fixed
that General Harney was not empowered to disarm them, and he so
informed, the State authorities. His message announcing this read
nearly as follows:--

  "I have ascertained that I have no control over the Home Guards.
                     "W. S. HARNEY, _Brig.-Gen_."

This message was received at the Police Head-Quarters in St. Louis, on
the morning of Sunday, May 15th. It was misunderstood by the parties
who read it. They inferred, from the tenor of the dispatch, that
General Harney was unable to restrain the Union volunteers.

The most frightful stories had been circulated concerning the
blood-thirsty character of these soldiers, particularly the German
portion. Visions of murder, pillage, house-burning, and all the
accompanying outrages committed by an unrestrained army, flitted
through the minds of the Secessionists. The story spread, and gained
intensity with each repetition. "The Dutch are rising; we shall all
be slain in cold blood!" was the cry, echoed from house to house. Not
less than five thousand people fled from the city on that day, and as
many more within the succeeding twenty-four hours. Carriages,
wagons, drays, every thing that could transport persons or valuables,
commanded exorbitant prices. Steamboats were chartered as ferries to
the Illinois shore or to go to points of safety, either up or down the
river. Many persons abandoned their houses, taking with them only a
few articles of value or necessity, while others carried away nothing,
in their haste to escape.

In a few days the excitement subsided and nearly all the refugees
returned, but there are some who have never been in St. Louis since
their remarkable hegira. In their determination to obtain their
"rights," they entered the Rebel army and followed its checkered
fortunes. Less than half of these persons are now alive.

For a time after the appearance of General Harney's proclamation,
there were no hostile demonstrations on either side. Governor Jackson
had promised to disband the small force of militia at Jefferson City,
but he failed to do so. The Rebel flag was flying in Jefferson
City, from a staff in front of the Governor's mansion, and over the
head-quarters of the Missouri State Guard. Missouri, through her State
officers, was in favor of an armed neutrality, which really meant
nothing less than armed secession.

The Secessionists were quietly but earnestly at work to effect their
object. They did not heed their promise to remain inactive. The Union
authorities observed theirs to the letter. The Camp Jackson prisoners
were paroled and restored to liberty. A portion of them observed the
parole, but many did not. General Frost remained on his farm and
took no part in the Rebellion until relieved from his parole, several
months later. It is proper to add, that he was of very little account
to the Rebels when he finally entered the field.

While watching the progress of affairs in St. Louis, I determined upon
a visit to Jefferson City. Though the Rebel flag was flying over the
State Capitol, and the nucleus of the Missouri State Guard (Rebel) had
its camp in the suburbs, the communication by railroad had not been
interrupted. Taking the morning train from St. Louis, on the 27th
of May, I found myself, at three o'clock of the afternoon, under the
secession banner. The searching of the train for articles contraband
of war was then a new feature.

In the early days only the outside of a package was examined. If the
"marks" indicated nothing suspicious, the goods were allowed to pass.
Under this regulation, a large number of boxes marked "soap" were
shipped on a steamboat for Lexington. So much soap going into Missouri
was decidedly suspicious, as the people of the interior do not make
extensive use of the article. An examination disclosed canisters of
powder instead of bars of soap. The discovery was followed by the
promulgation of an order requiring a rigid examination of all
packages that might be of doubtful character. This order, with various
modifications, was kept in force for a long time.

In starting from St. Louis, I left a company of Union volunteers at
the railway station. At Jefferson City I found the depot filled with
the Rebel soldiers, or "neutrals," as Governor Jackson persisted in
calling them. The particular duty they were performing I was unable
to ascertain, but they bore unmistakable signs of being something more
than a "neutral" body of men. Their camp was just in rear of the city.
The Rebel flag, which floated above the camp, was recognized as the
emblem of their neutrality.

The proprietor of the hotel where I stopped held the reputation of
an earnest friend of the Union, ready to Suffer any thing rather than
sink his principles. He introduced me to several citizens, most
of them, like himself, thoroughly loyal. We discussed freely the
condition of affairs in Missouri.

It was evident the State authorities intended war, as soon as the
necessary preparations could be made. They were not quite ready to
strike their first blow, but when they should be prepared, they would
not hesitate a moment. Governor Jackson was exerting himself to the
utmost to accumulate arms and military stores at various points in
the State, where they would be of most value. In defiance of the
truce between Generals Price and Harney, companies were being formed
throughout the State, and were drilling for service in the field. Time
was of great importance to the Rebels, and this they had secured by
means of the truce.

During my stay at Jefferson City, I met the three, men most prominent
in bringing war upon Missouri. These were Governor Jackson, General
Sterling Price, and Jeff. Thompson. Governor Jackson was elected in
the previous December, before it was thought any serious trouble would
grow out of Mr. Lincoln's election. He was not looked upon as a man
of great ability, but no one doubted his desire to promote the best
interests of the State. Those who knew him said his strength lay more
in a public than in a private direction. He had few, if any, personal
friends, and was considered dangerous when his passions were roused.
Some said he was cold and treacherous, giving all around him a feeling
of aversion. Even among the Secessionists, and those who should have
been his ardent supporters, he was never mentioned with enthusiasm.

Within two weeks from the day I saw him, Governor Jackson, by his own
act, was a fugitive from the State capital. He never returned. After
wandering in Arkansas and Louisiana, during the early part of the war,
he died at Little Rock, in 1863, in a condition of extreme poverty.

Of General Price, I heard many praises, even from those who opposed
his course. He was said to be a man of warm friendship, of fair
abilities, and quite popular among the masses of the inhabitants. He
possessed much personal pride, and his ambition for public honor was
very great. At the outset he deprecated secession, and prophesied a
devastating war as the result. He was inclined to be loyal, but his
ambition was greater than his patriotism. The offer of a high position
in the Rebel service touched his weakest point, and carried him with
the insurgents.

In the Rebel service he never obtained much distinction. His principal
successes were in saving his army after defeat. He displayed a
capacity for annoying the Union armies without doing great damage.
Though his oft-repeated promise of victory was never fulfilled, it
served to keep many Missourians in the Rebel ranks. He was constantly
expected to capture St. Louis. Some of the Rebel residents fully
believed he would do so, and kept their wine-cellars ready for the
event. Until the official announcement of the surrender of all forces
west of the Mississippi, they did not abandon hope. General Price had
given his promise, and, as they argued, was sure to keep it.

Of Jeff. Thompson little can be said. Previous to that time he had
been known as the mayor of St. Joseph, and a politician of some little
importance in Northwest Missouri. He was famous for much gasconading,
and a fondness for whisky and other material things. I could never
learn that he commanded much respect. During the war the Rebels
never trusted him with any command of importance. He made a very fair
guerrilla, and, in 1861, gave our forces at Cairo and Bird's Point
considerable annoyance. History is not likely to give him a very
prominent place in the roll of distinguished military heroes.

At this time Cairo was the most southerly point on the Mississippi in
possession of the National forces. We could have occupied Columbus
or Hickman, Kentucky, had not the sacredness of the soil prevented.
Kentucky was neutral, and declared that neither party must set foot
within her limits. Her declaration of neutrality was much like that
issued by the Governor of Missouri. The United States forces were
under great restrictions, while the Rebels could do pretty much
as they pleased. General Prentiss sent a small expedition down the
Mississippi, some sixty miles below Cairo. The Kentuckians were
greatly enraged because our forces landed at Hickman and tore down a
Rebel flag which the citizens had hoisted. It was an invasion of their
soil, for which they demanded apology. A few weeks later the Rebels
occupied both Hickman and Columbus, without any objection on the part
of the neutrals.

Columbus was made very strong by the Rebel engineers, and supplied
with many heavy guns for its protection. At the same time, General
Prentiss pushed forward the defenses of Cairo, in readiness for any
attack by the Rebel gun-boats. For more than half a year Columbus
was the northern limit of the Rebel domination of the Great River. On
assuming command there, General Polk announced that Columbus was the
throat of the Mississippi, and must be held at all hazards. The Rebels
repeatedly urged the capture of Cairo, but it was never attempted.




General Harney Relieved.--Price's Proclamation.--End of the
Truce.--Conference between the Union and Rebel Leaders.--The First Act
of Hostility.--Destruction of Railway Bridges.--Promptness of
General Lyon.--Capture of the State Capital.--Moving on the Enemy's
Works.--The Night before Battle.--A Correspondent's Sensation.

On the first of June an order was received from Washington, relieving
General Harney from command in Missouri. Captain Lyon had been
promoted to the rank of a brigadier-general of volunteers, and was
assigned to duty in General Harney's stead. On the 5th of June,
General Price issued a proclamation, calling for the State Guard to be
in readiness to defend Missouri against all enemies. The appearance
of this proclamation was not altogether unexpected. It was far more
satisfactory to the friends of the Union than to the Secessionists, as
it showed the hostile position of Governor Jackson and his abettors,
and gave an opportunity for proceeding actively against them. It
demonstrated very clearly that the Secessionists were determined to
make their actions correspond to their words.

It was ascertained that, a few days before the publication of Price's
proclamation, Governor Jackson was in consultation with an agent of
the Rebel Government, who promised twenty-five thousand men, and arms
and ammunition for fifty thousand more, if the State were fairly and
unequivocally out of the Union. He had also conferred with an agent
from the Indian Nation, with a view to putting several thousand
Indians into the field on the side of the Rebels. General Lyon wanted
an "overt act" on the part of the Rebels, before commencing actual
hostilities. Price's proclamation was the thing desired.

The troops in and around St. Louis were drilled as thoroughly as
possible. Every day added to their effectiveness. Recruiting was
pushed, trade with the interior was suspended, and boats passing down
the river were made subject to stoppage and search at the arsenal.
Every thing was assuming a warlike appearance. The Government was
very tardy in supplying General Lyon's wants. In many cases it did not
authorize him to do what was needed. Much of the money for outfitting
the troops for the field was voluntarily contributed in the Eastern
cities, or by patriotic men in St. Louis. In several things,
General Lyon acted upon his own responsibility, under the advice and
co-operation of Colonel Blair.

On the 9th of June, Governor Jackson and General Price asked General
Lyon to give them a safeguard to visit St. Louis. They wished to
confer with General Lyon and Colonel Blair, upon the best means of
bringing peace to the State and making an end of hostilities. The
safeguard was granted, and, on the 11th of June, Jackson and Price
reached St. Louis, and signified their readiness for the proposed
conference. The meeting took place at the Planters' House, Governor
Jackson declining to trust himself inside the walls of the arsenal,
where General Lyon had invited him to be his guest. The interview
began with many professions of goodwill on the part of Governor
Jackson, and the assurance of his earnest desire for peace. He
promised to disband the State troops, if General Lyon would first
remove all United States troops from the limits of Missouri, and
agree not to bring them back under any consideration. Of course, this
proposition could not be entertained. A conversation then took place
between General Lyon and General Price, but all to no purpose. Price
and Jackson would do nothing, unless the United States troops were
first sent out of Missouri. Lyon and Blair would not consent to any
thing of the kind, and so the conference ended.

Jackson and Price left St. Louis on a special train for Jefferson
City, on the afternoon of the 11th. On the way up the road, they set
fire to the bridges over the Gasconade and Osage Rivers, the former
thirty-five miles from Jefferson City, and ninety from St. Louis,
and the latter within nine miles of Jefferson City. If the conduct of
these men had been neutral up to that time, this act made an end of
their neutrality.

General Lyon left the conference fully satisfied there was no longer
any reason for hesitation. The course he should pursue was plain
before him.

Early in the forenoon of the 12th, he learned of the destruction
of the bridges over the Gasconade and Osage Rivers. He immediately
ordered a force to proceed up the road, and protect as much of it as
possible from further damage. Within four hours of the reception of
the order to move, the troops were on their way. On the next day,
three steamers, with about two thousand men, left St. Louis for
Jefferson City. General Lyon knew the importance of time, and was
determined to give Governor Jackson very little opportunity for

My first experience of a military campaign was on the expedition up
the Missouri. I had seen something of Indian troubles on the Plains,
in which white men were concerned, but I had never witnessed civilized
warfare where white men fought against white men. A residence of
several weeks in St. Louis had somewhat familiarized me with the
appearance of troops at the arsenal and at the various camps in the
city, but the preparations to take the field were full of novelty.

I was on the boat which carried the First Missouri Infantry, and which
General Lyon had selected for his head-quarters. The young officers
were full of enthusiasm, and eagerly anticipating their first
encounter with the Rebel battalions. Colonel Blair was less
demonstrative than the officers of his regiment, but was evidently
much elated at the prospect of doing something aggressive. General
Lyon was in the cabin, quiet, reserved, and thoughtful. With Colonel
Blair he conversed long and freely. Few others approached him. Outside
the cabin the soldiers were ardently discussing the coming campaign,
and wishing an early opportunity for winning glory in battle.

To one who travels for the first time by steamboat from St. Louis in a
northerly direction, a curious picture is presented. The water in
the Mississippi above the mouth of the Missouri is quite clear and
transparent. That from the Missouri is of a dirty yellow color,
derived from the large quantity of earthy matter which it holds in
solution. For several miles below the junction of the streams, the
two currents remain separated, the line between them being plainly
perceptible. The pilots usually endeavor to keep on the dividing line,
so that one can look from the opposite sides of a boat and imagine
himself sailing upon two rivers of different character at the same

Sometimes this distinctive line continues for fifteen or twenty miles,
but usually less than ten. A soldier wittily remarked, that the water
from the Upper Mississippi derived its transparency from the free
States, from whence it came, while the Missouri, emerging from a slave
State, was, consequently, of a repulsive hue. As Missouri is now a
free State, the soldier's remark is not applicable.

Steaming up the Missouri toward the State capital, we found the
sentiment along the banks of the river strongly in favor of the Union.
Home Guard organizations had been hastily formed, and were doing their
best for the protection of the railway. Most of the villages along
the Lower Missouri contained a strong German element, which needs no
question of its loyalty. The railway bridges were thoroughly guarded,
and each town had a small garrison to suppress any rising of the
Secessionists. The conduct of the people in these villages was quite
different from the course of those residing above Jefferson City.
Where the inhabitants possessed no slaves, there was outspoken
loyalty. In the most populous slave districts it was the reverse.
Slaveholders declared that their interest lay in secession. There were
a few exceptions, but they were very far in a minority.

Our triumphal entry into Jefferson City was not marked by any
noteworthy event. The Capitol was deserted. The Governor and most of
the State officials had departed the previous day, in the direction of
Booneville. We marched through the principal streets, and found many
of the people delighted at our coming. We occupied the State House,
and, of course, unfurled our flag from its cupola. A steamboat, seized
at the landing, was pressed into our service for use further up the
stream. An encounter with the Rebels was eagerly desired.

We left a full regiment, a large force in those days, to retain
possession of the place, and then pushed on in pursuit. The Rebels
had disabled the railway, taking off nearly all the rolling stock and
destroying a large bridge four miles west of the city. As the point
where they had fled lay upon the river, we pursued them by water. At
noon, on the 16th, General Lyon left Jefferson City for Booneville.
Within twenty-four hours he fought his first battle in Missouri.

It is slow work to proceed with a steamboat where one's way must be
felt. Though we had only fifty miles to move, we advanced less than
thirty before nightfall. Touching at a landing on the left bank of the
river, fifteen miles below Booneville, a scout from the enemy's camp
came easily into our hands. From being a scout of the enemy he became
our scout, as he revealed in his fright all we wished to know. The
enemy, confident of an easy victory, was waiting our approach, and
expressed the most lively intention of destroying us all in the
twinkling of an eye.

Experience had not then demonstrated that there is little difference
in the bravery of Americans, when well officered. Each side cherished
the delusion that it had a monopoly of courage and endurance. One
Southern man was thought equal to five Northern men in a fair contest,
and if the former were given the advantage of a defensive position,
any odds of numbers would be taken. There was nearly, though not
quite, as much boasting on the part of our own press and people.
The first severe battles made an end of the greater part of this

It is said the most trying moment on shipboard is when the deck,
previous to an engagement, is sprinkled with saw-dust to receive the
blood yet unshed. No man can know whose blood will be first to moisten
that dust, or whose life will be passed away before the action is
over. So on the eve of that first battle in Missouri, as I reclined
in the cabin of our flag-boat, and saw the surgeons busy with their
preparations for the coming day; as I saw them bring to light all the
dreadful implements of their trade, and arrange them in readiness
for sudden use--a coldness crept over me, and I fully realized we
had earnest work before us. Since that time I have witnessed many a
battle, many a scene of preparation and of bloody work with knife and
saw and bandage, but I have never experienced a chill like that I felt
on that early day of the Rebellion.

The war has made us familiar with horrors. That which once touched us
to the heart is now passed over with scarce a moment's thought. Our
nerves have been hardened, our sensibilities blunted, our hearts
steeled against suffering, in the terrible school through which we
have passed.




Moving up the River.--A Landing Effected.--The Battle.--Precipitous
Retreat of the Rebels.--Spoiling a Captured Camp.--Rebel Flags
Emblazoned with the State Arms.--A Journalist's Outfit.--A Chaplain of
the Church Militant.--A Mistake that might have been Unfortunate.--The
People of Booneville.--Visiting an Official.--Banking-House
Loyalty.--Preparations for a Campaign.

Daybreak on the 17th found us slowly moving up the river toward
Booneville. General Lyon sat forward of the steamer's cabin, closely
scanning both banks of the stream. Four miles below the town his glass
sought out two pieces of artillery, partially concealed in a clump of
trees, and trained upon the channel by which we were to pass. At once
our engines were reversed, and the boats moved back to a landing about
eight miles below Booneville. A little before seven o'clock we were
on shore, and our column of fifteen hundred men began its advance upon
the Rebel camp.

It was the story that has found its repetition in many a battle since
that time. The enemy's pickets were driven in. The enemy, in line of
battle, was discovered on a long ridge, and our own line was formed
on a ridge parallel to it. Then we opened fire with our artillery (one
battery was all we possessed), and received no response, save by a
desultory discharge of small-arms. Next our infantry added its tenor
notes to the bass of the field-guns; the Rebel forces melted steadily
away, and the field was in our possession, twenty minutes after the
opening shot had been fired.

Once in retreat, the Rebels did not halt until out of harm's reach.
Their camp lay in the line of retreat, but they made no stop in
passing it. Following in the rear of our column, I entered the camp,
and found many signs of a hasty departure. I found the fires burning,
and dozens of coffee-pots and frying-pans filled with the materials
for breakfast. Here was a pan full of meat fried to a crisp, from the
neglect of the cook to remove it before his sudden exodus. A few feet
distant lay a ham, with a knife sticking in a half-severed slice. A
rude camp-table was spread with plates and their accessories, and a
portion of the articles of food were carefully arranged. The seats for
the breakfast party were in position, two of them being overturned.
I could not help fancying the haste with which that table had been
abandoned, only a few moments before. The tents were standing, and in
some the blankets were lying on the ground, as if they had been
very suddenly vacated. In one tent was a side-saddle, a neat pair of
gaiters, and a hoop-skirt. The proper connection of those articles
with the battle-field I was unable to ascertain.

In that camp was a fine lot of provisions, arms, equipments, and
ammunition. Saddles were numerous, but there were no horses. It was
evident that, the hasty evacuation left no time for the simple process
of saddling.

Early in the day I had come into possession of a horse with a very
poor outfit. Once in camp, I was not slow to avail myself of the
privilege of supply. I went into battle on foot, carrying only a
knapsack containing a note-book and two pieces of bread. When the
fight was over, I was the possessor of a horse and all the equipments
for a campaign. I had an overcoat, a roll of fine blankets, and a pair
of saddle-bags. The latter were well filled from the trunk of some
one I had not the pleasure of knowing, but who was evidently "just
my size." Mr. Barnes, of the Missouri _Democrat_, was my companion
on that occasion. He was equally careful to provide himself from the
enemy's stores, but wasted, time in becoming sentimental over two
love-letters and a photograph of a young woman.

The flags captured in this affair were excellent illustrations of the
policy of the leading Secessionists. There was one Rebel flag with
the arms of the State of Missouri filling the field. There was a State
flag, with only fifteen stars surrounding the coat of arms. There was
a. Rebel flag, with the State arms in the center, and there was one
Rebel flag of the regular pattern. The rallying-cry at that time was
in behalf of the State, and the people were told they must act for
Missouri, without regard to any thing else. In no part of the country
was the "State Rights" theory more freely used. All the changes were
rung upon the sovereignty of States, the right of Missouri to exclude
United States soldiers from her soil, the illegality of the formation
of Union regiments, and the tyranny of the General Government.

The flags under which Missouri soldiers were gathered clearly blended
the interests of the State with secession.

Our troops entered Booneville amid demonstrations of delight from one
portion of the inhabitants, and the frowns and muttered indignation
of the other. The Rebels had fled, a part of them by land, and the
balance on a steamboat, toward Lexington. Quiet possession obtained,
there was time to examine into the details of the fight. We had lost
twelve men, the enemy probably twice as many. The action, three years
later, would have been considered only a roadside skirmish, but it
was then an affair of importance. Every man with General Lyon felt far
more elation over the result than has since been felt over battles
of much greater moment. We had won a signal victory; the enemy had
suffered an equally signal defeat.

During the battle, a chaplain, provided with four men to look after
the wounded, came suddenly upon a group of twenty-four Rebels. An
imperative demand for their surrender was promptly complied with, and
the chaplain, with his force of four, brought twenty-four prisoners
into town. He was so delighted at his success that he subsequently
took a commission in the line. In time he was honored with the stars
of a brigadier-general.

General Lyon was my personal friend, but he very nearly did me great
injustice. Seeing myself and a fellow-journalist on a distant part
of the field, he mistook us for scouts of the enemy, and ordered
his sharp-shooters to pick us off. His chief-of-staff looked in our
direction, and fortunately recognized us in time to countermand the
order. I was afterward on the point of being shot at by an infantry
captain, through a similar mistake. A civilian's dress on the
battle-field (a gray coat formed a part of mine) subjects the wearer
to many dangers from his friends, as most war correspondents can

While approaching the town, I stopped to slake my thirst at a well. A
group of our soldiers joined me while I was drinking. I had drank
very freely from the bucket, and transferred it to a soldier, when
the resident of a neighboring house appeared, and informed us that
the well had been poisoned by the Rebels, and the water was certain to
produce death. The soldiers desisted, and looked at me with much pity.
For a moment, I confess, the situation did not appear cheerful, but
I concluded the injury, if any, was already done, and I must make the
best of it. The soldiers watched me as I mounted my horse, evidently
expecting me to fall within a hundred yards. When I met one of them
the following day, he opened his eyes in astonishment at seeing me
alive. From that day, I entertained a great contempt for poisoned

In Booneville the incidents were not of a startling character. I found
the strongest secession sympathy was entertained by the wealthier
inhabitants, while the poor were generally loyal. Some cases of
determined loyalty I found among the wealthy; but they were the
exception rather than the rule. Accompanied by a small squad of
soldiers, myself and companion visited the house of a gentleman
holding office under the United States Government. We obtained from
that house several Rebel cockades and small flags, which had been
fabricated by the ladies.

With the same squad we visited the principal bank of Booneville, and
persuaded the cashier to give us a Rebel flag which had been floating
for several days from a staff in front of the building. This flag was
ten yards in length, and the materials of which it was made were of
the finest quality. The interview between the cashier and ourselves
was an amusing one. He protested he knew nothing of the flag or its
origin, and at first declared it was not about the building. According
to his own representation, he was too good a Union man to harbor
any thing of the sort. Just as he was in the midst of a very earnest
profession of loyalty the flag was discovered.

"Somebody must have put that there to ruin me," was his exclamation.
"Gentlemen, I hope you won't harm me; and, if you want me to do so, I
will take the oath of allegiance this minute."

Soon after the occupation of Booneville, General Lyon sent a small
expedition to Syracuse, twenty-five miles in the interior. This force
returned in a few days, and then preparations were begun for a march
to Springfield. Colonel Blair left Booneville for St. Louis and
Washington, while General Lyon attended to the preliminaries for his
contemplated movement. The First Iowa Infantry joined him, and formed
a part of his expeditionary force. The Rebels gathered at Lexington,
and thence moved southward to reach the Arkansas line, to form a
junction with the then famous Ben McCulloch.

The prospect was good that Central Missouri would soon be clear of
Rebels. Our general success in the State depended upon occupying
and holding the Southwest. General Lyon was to move thither from
Booneville. General Sweeney had already gone there by way of Rolla,
while another force, under Major Sturgis, was moving from Leavenworth
in a southeasterly direction. All were to unite at Springfield and
form an army of occupation.

Preparations went on slowly, as the transportation was to be gathered
from the surrounding country. Foreseeing that the expedition would
be slow to reach Springfield, I returned to St. Louis. There I made
preparations to join the army, when its march should be completed, by
a more expeditious route than the one General Lyon would follow.

At Booneville, General Lyon established a temporary blockade of the
Missouri River, by stopping all boats moving in either direction. In
most cases a single shot across the bow of a boat sufficed to bring it
to land. One day the _White Cloud_, on her way from Kansas City to St.
Louis, refused to halt until three shots had been fired, the last one
grazing the top of the pilot-house. When brought before General Lyon,
the captain of the _White Cloud_ apologized for neglecting to obey the
first signal, and said his neglect was due to his utter ignorance of
military usage.

The apology was deemed sufficient. The captain was dismissed, with a
gentle admonition not to make a similar mistake in future.

At that time the public was slow to understand the power and extent of
military law and military rule. When martial law was declared in St.
Louis, in August, 1861, a citizen waited upon the provost-marshal, in
order to ascertain the precise state of affairs.

After some desultory conversation, he threw out the question:--

"What does martial law do?"

"Well," said Major McKinstry, the provost-marshal, "I can explain
the whole thing in a second. Martial law does pretty much as it d--n

Before the year was ended the inhabitants of St. Louis learned that
the major's assertion was not far from the truth.



Conduct of the St. Louis Secessionists.--Collisions between Soldiers
and Citizens.--Indignation of the Guests of a Hotel.--From St.
Louis to Rolla.--Opinions of a "Regular."--Railway-life in
Missouri.--Unprofitable Freight.--A Story of Orthography.--Mountains
and Mountain Streams.--Fastidiousness Checked.--Frontier
Courtesy.--Concentration of Troops at Springfield.--A Perplexing
Situation.--The March to Dug Spring.--Sufferings from Heat and Thirst.

The success of the Union arms at Booneville did not silence the
Secessionists in St. Louis. They continued to hold meetings, and
arrange plans for assisting their friends in the field. At many
places, one could hear expressions of indignation at the restrictions
which the proper authorities sought to put upon the secession
movement. Union flags were torn from the front of private
buildings--generally in the night or early morning. Twice, when
Union troops were marching along the streets, they were fired upon by
citizens. A collision of this kind had occurred at the corner of Fifth
and Walnut streets, on the day after the capture of Camp Jackson. The
soldiers returned the fire, and killed several persons; but this did
not deter the Secessionists from repeating the experiment. In the
affairs that took place after the battle of Booneville, the result was
the same. Unfortunately, in each collision, a portion of those killed
were innocent on-lookers. After a few occurrences of this kind,
soldiers were allowed to march through the streets without

About the first of July, there were rumors that an insurrection would
be attempted on the National holiday. Ample provision was made to give
the insurgents a warm reception. Consequently, they made no trouble.
The printer of the bills of fare at a prominent hotel noticed the
Fourth of July by ornamenting his work with a National flag, in
colors. This roused the indignation of a half-dozen guests, whose
sympathies lay with the Rebellion. They threatened to leave, but
were so far in arrears that they could not settle their accounts.
The hotel-keeper endeavored to soothe them by promising to give his
printing, for the future, to another house. Several loyal guests were
roused at this offer, and threatened to secede at once if it were
carried out. The affair resulted in nothing but words.

On the morning of the 11th of July I left St. Louis, to join General
Lyon in the Southwest. It was a day's ride by rail to Rolla, the
terminus of the Southwest Branch of the Pacific road. I well recollect
the strange and motley group that filled the cars on that journey.
There were a few officers and soldiers _en route_ to join their
comrades in the field. Nearly all of them were fresh from civil life.
They wore their uniforms uneasily, as a farmer's boy wears his Sunday
suit. Those who carried sabers experienced much inconvenience when
walking, on account of the propensity of those weapons to get between
their legs. In citizen's dress, at my side, sat an officer of the old
army, who looked upon these newly-made warriors with much contempt,
mingled with an admiration of their earnestness. After an outburst
of mild invective, he pronounced a well-merited tribute to their

"After all," said he, "they are as good as the material the Rebels
have for their army. In some respects, they are better. The Northern
blood is cold; the Southern is full of life and passion. In the first
onset, our enemies will prove more impetuous than we, and will often
overpower us. In the beginning of the struggle, they will prove our
superiors, and may be able to boast of the first victories. But their
physical energy will soon be exhausted, while ours will steadily
increase. Patience, coolness, and determination will be sure to bring
us the triumph in the end. These raw recruits, that are at present
worthless before trained soldiers, distrusting themselves as we
distrust them, will yet become veterans, worthy to rank with the best
soldiers of the Old World."

The civilian passengers on a railway in Missouri are essentially
different from the same class in the East. There are very few women,
and the most of these are not as carefully dressed as their Oriental
sisters. Their features lack the fineness that one observes in New
York and New England. The "hog and hominy," the general diet of the
Southwest, is plainly perceptible in the physique of the women. The
male travelers, who are not indigenous to the soil, are more roughly
clothed and more careless in manner than the same order of passengers
between New York and Boston. Of those who enter and leave at
way-stations, the men are clad in that yellow, homespun material known
as "butternut." The casual observer inclines to the opinion that
there are no good bathing-places where these men reside. They are
inquisitive, ignorant, unkempt, but generally civil. The women are
the reverse of attractive, and are usually uncivil and ignorant.
The majority are addicted to smoking, and generally make use of a
cob-pipe. Unless objection is made by some passenger, the conductors
ordinarily allow the women to indulge in this pastime.

The region traversed by the railway is sparsely settled, the ground
being generally unfavorable to agriculture. For some time after
this portion of the road was opened, the natives refused to give it
patronage, many of them declaring that the old mode of travel, by
horseback, was the best of all. During the first week after opening
the Southwest Branch, the company ran a daily freight train each way.
All the freight offered in that time was a bear and a keg of honey.
Both were placed in the same car. The bear ate the honey, and the
company was compelled to pay for the damage.

I have heard a story concerning the origin of the name of Rolla, which
is interesting, though I cannot vouch for its truth. In selecting a
name for the county seat of Phelps County, a North Carolinian residing
there, suggested that it should do honor to the capital of his native
State. The person who reduced the request to writing, used the best
orthography that occurred to him, so that what should have been
"Raleigh," became "Rolla." The request thus written was sent to the
Legislature, and the name of the town became fixed. The inhabitants
generally pronounce it as if the intended spelling had been adopted.

The journey from Rolla to Springfield was accomplished by stage,
and required two days of travel. For fifty miles the road led over
mountains, to the banks of the Gasconade, one of the prettiest rivers
I have ever seen. The mountain streams of Southwest Missouri, having
their springs in the limestone rock, possess a peculiarity unknown
in the Eastern States. In a depth of two feet or less, the water
is apparently as clear as that of the purest mountain brook in New
England. But when the depth reaches, or exceeds, three feet, the water
assumes a deep-blue tinge, like that of the sky in a clear day.
Viewed from an elevation, the picture is one that cannot be speedily
forgotten. The blue water makes a marked contrast with surrounding
objects, as the streams wind through the forests and fields on their
banks. Though meandering through mountains, these rivers have few
sharp falls or roaring rapids. Their current is usually gentle, broken
here and there into a ripple over a slightly descending shallow, but
observing uniformity in all its windings.

My first night from Rolla was passed on the banks of the Gasconade.
Another day's ride, extended far into the second night, found me at
Springfield. When I reached my room at the hotel, and examined
the bed, I found but one sheet where we usually look for two.
Expostulations were of no avail. The porter curtly informed me,
"People here use only one sheet. Down in St. Louis you folks want two
sheets, but in this part of the country we ain't so nice."

I appreciated my fastidiousness when I afterward saw, at a Tennessee
hotel, the following notice:--

"Gentlemen who wish towels in their rooms must deposit fifty cents at
the office, as security for their return."

Travel in the Border and Southern States will acquaint a Northerner
with strange customs. To find an entire household occupying a single
large room is not an unfrequent occurrence. The rules of politeness
require that, when bedtime has arrived, the men shall go out of doors
to contemplate the stars, while the ladies disrobe and retire. The men
then return and proceed to bed. Sometimes the ladies amuse themselves
by studying the fire while the men find their way to their couches,
where they gallantly turn their faces to the wall, and permit the
ladies to don their _robes de nuit_.

Notwithstanding the scarcity of accommodations, the traveler seeking
a meal or resting-place will rarely meet a refusal. In New York or New
England, one can journey many a mile and find a cold denial at every
door. In the West and Southwest "the latch-string hangs out," and
the stranger is always welcome. Especially is this the case among the
poorer classes.

Springfield is the largest town in Southwest Missouri, and has a fine
situation. Before the war it was a place of considerable importance,
as it controlled the trade of a large region around it. East of it the
country is quite broken, but on the south and west there are stretches
of rolling prairie, bounded by rough wood-land. Considered in a
military light, Springfield was the key to that portion of the State.
A large number of public roads center at that point. Their direction
is such that the possession of the town by either army would control
any near position of an adversary of equal or inferior strength.
General Lyon was prompt in seeing its value, and determined to make an
early movement for its occupation. When he started from St. Louis
for Booneville, he ordered General Sweeney to march from Rolla to
Springfield as speedily as possible.

General Sweeney moved with three regiments of infantry and a battery
of artillery, and reached Springfield in five days from the time
of starting; the distance being a hundred and twenty miles. He then
divided his forces, sending Colonel Sigel to Carthage, nearly fifty
miles further toward the west, in the hope of cutting off the Rebel
retreat in that direction. Major Sturgis was moving from Leavenworth
toward Springfield, and expected to arrive there in advance of General

Major Sturgis was delayed in crossing a river, so that the Rebels
arrived at Carthage before Colonel Sigel had been reinforced. The
latter, with about eleven hundred men, encountered the Rebel column,
twice as large as his own. The battle raged for several hours, neither
side losing very heavily. It resulted in Sigel's retreat to avoid
being surrounded by the enemy. Wonderful stories were told at that
time of the terrific slaughter in the Rebel ranks, but these stories
could never be traced to a reliable source. It is proper to say that
the Rebels made equally large estimates of our own loss.

On General Lyon's arrival all the troops were concentrated in the
vicinity of Springfield. It was known that the Rebels were encamped
near the Arkansas border, awaiting the re-enforcements which had been
promised from the older States of the Confederacy. General Fremont had
been assigned to the command of the Western Department, and was daily
expected at St. Louis to assume the direction of affairs. Our scouts
were kept constantly employed in bringing us news from the Rebel camp,
and it is quite probable the Rebels were equally well informed of
our own condition. We were able to learn that their number was on the
increase, and that they would soon be largely re-enforced. After three
weeks of occupation our strength promised to be diminished. Half of
General Lyon's command consisted of "three-months men," whose period
of enlistment was drawing to a close. A portion of these men went
to St. Louis, some volunteered to remain as long as the emergency
required their presence, and others were kept against their
will. Meantime, General Lyon made the most urgent requests for
re-enforcements, and declared he would be compelled to abandon the
Southwest if not speedily strengthened. General Fremont promised to
send troops to his assistance. After he made the promise, Cairo was
threatened by General Pillow, and the re-enforcing column turned in
that direction. General Lyon was left to take care of himself.

By the latter part of July, our situation had become critical. Price's
army had been re-enforced by a column of Arkansas and Louisiana
troops, under General McCulloch. This gave the Rebels upward of twelve
thousand men, while we could muster less than six thousand. General
Price assumed the offensive, moving slowly toward Springfield, as if
sure of his ability to overpower the National forces. General Lyon
determined to fall upon the enemy before he could reach Springfield,
and moved on the 1st of August with that object in view.

On the second day of our march a strong scouting party of Rebels was
encountered, and a sharp skirmish ensued, in which they were repulsed.
This encounter is known in the Southwest as "the fight at Dug Spring."
The next day another skirmish occurred, and, on the third morning,
twenty-five miles from Springfield, General Lyon called a council
of war. "Councils of war do not fight" has grown into a proverb. The
council on this occasion decided that we should return to Springfield
without attacking the enemy. The decision was immediately carried out.

The beginning of August, in Southwest Missouri, is in the midst of the
warm season. The day of the march to Dug Spring was one I shall never
forget. In Kansas, before the war, I once had a walk of several miles
under a burning sun, in a region where not a drop of water could be
found. When I finally reached it, the only water to be found was in
a small, stagnant pool, covered with a green scum nearly an inch in
thickness. Warm, brackish, and fever-laden as that water was, I had
never before tasted any thing half so sweet. Again, while crossing the
Great Plains in 1860, I underwent a severe and prolonged thirst, only
quenching it with the bitter alkali-water of the desert. On neither of
these occasions were my sufferings half as great as in the advance to
Dug Spring.

A long ride in that hot atmosphere gave me a thirst of the most
terrible character. Making a detour to the left of the road in a vain
search for water, I fell behind the column as it marched slowly along.
As I moved again to the front, I passed scores of men who had fallen
from utter exhaustion. Many were delirious, and begged piteously for
water in ever so small a quantity. Several died from excessive heat,
and others were for a long time unfit for duty. Reaching the spring
which gave its name to the locality, I was fortunate in finding only
the advance of the command. With considerable effort I succeeded
in obtaining a pint cupful of water, and thus allayed my immediate

According to the custom in that region, the spring was covered with a
frame building, about eight feet square. There are very few cellars
in that part of the country, and the spring-house, as it is called,
is used for preserving milk and other articles that require a low
temperature. As the main portion of the column came up, the crowd
around the spring-house became so dense that those once inside could
not get out. The building was lifted and thrown away from the spring,
but this only served to increase the confusion. Officers found it
impossible to maintain discipline. When the men caught sight of the
crowd at the spring, the lines were instantly broken. At the spring,
officers and men were mingled without regard to rank, all struggling
for the same object. A few of the former, who had been fortunate in
commencing the day with full canteens, attempted to bring order out
of chaos, but found the effort useless. No command was heeded. The
officers of the two regiments of "regulars" had justly boasted of the
superior discipline of their men. On this occasion the superiority was
not apparent. Volunteers and regulars were equally subject to thirst,
and made equal endeavor to quench it.

Twenty yards below the spring was a shallow pool, where cattle and
hogs were allowed to run. Directly above it was a trough containing
a few gallons of warm water, which had evidently been there several
days. This was speedily taken by the men. Then the hot, scum-covered
pool was resorted to. In a very few minutes the trampling of the
soldiers' feet had stirred this pool till its substance was more like
earth than water. Even from this the men would fill their cups and
canteens, and drink with the utmost eagerness. I saw a private
soldier emerge from the crowd with a canteen full of this worse than
ditch-water. An officer tendered a five-dollar gold piece for the
contents of the canteen, and found his offer indignantly refused. To
such a frenzy were men driven by thirst that they tore up handfuls
of moist earth, and swallowed the few drops of water that could be
pressed out.

In subsequent campaigns I witnessed many scenes of hunger and thirst,
but none to equal those of that day at Dug Spring.



The Return from Dug Spring.--The Rebels follow in
Pursuit.--Preparations to Attack them.--The Plan of Battle.--Moving
to the Attack--A Bivouac.--The Opening Shot.--"Is that
Official?"--Sensations of a Spectator in Battle.--Extension of
Distance and Time.--Characteristics of Projectiles.--Taking Notes
under Fire.--Strength and Losses of the Opposing Armies.--A Noble
Record.--The Wounded on the Field.--"One More Shot."--Granger in his
Element.--General Lyon's Death.

The return of General Lyon from Dug Spring emboldened the enemy to
move nearer to Springfield. On the 7th of August the Rebels reached
Wilson Creek, ten miles from Springfield, and formed their camp
on both sides of that stream. General Ben. McCulloch was their
commander-in-chief. On the night of the 8th, General Lyon proposed to
move from Springfield for the purpose of attacking their position.
The design was not carried out, on account of the impossibility of
securing proper disposition of our forces in season to reach the
enemy's camp at daylight.

During the 8th and the forenoon of the 9th, preparations were made for
resisting an attack in Springfield, in case the enemy should come upon
us. In the afternoon of the 9th, General Lyon decided to assault the
Rebel camp at daylight of the following morning. A council of war
had determined that a defeat would be less injurious than a retreat
without a battle, provided the defeat were not too serious. "To
abandon the Southwest without a struggle," said General Lyon, "would
be a sad blow to our cause, and would greatly encourage the Rebels. We
will fight, and hope for the best."

In arranging a plan of battle, Colonel Sigel suggested that the forces
should be divided, so that a simultaneous attack would be made upon
either extremity of the enemy's camp. The two columns were to move
from Springfield at sunset, bivouac within four miles of the proposed
battle-field, and begin their march early enough to fall upon the
enemy's camp a little past daylight. We left Springfield about sunset
on the 9th, General Lyon taking about three thousand men, while
Colonel Sigel took less than two thousand. Exceptions have frequently
been made to this mode of attack. Had it been successful, I presume no
one would have found it faulty. It is an easy matter to criticise the
plans of others, after their result is known.

The columns moved by different roads to obtain the desired positions.
The march was as silent as possible. The only sounds were the rumbling
of wheels and the occasional clank of arms. No one was heavily
encumbered, as we expected to return to Springfield before the
following night. Midnight found us in a hay-field, four miles from the
Rebel camp. There we rested till morning.

On the previous night I had been almost without sleep, and therefore
took speedy advantage of the halt. Two journeys over the Plains,
a little trip into New Mexico, and some excursions among the Rocky
Mountains, had taught me certain rules of campaign life. I rarely
moved without my blankets and rubber "poncho," and with a haversack
more or less well filled. On this occasion I was prepared for sleeping
in the open air.

One bivouac is much like another. When one is weary, a blanket on the
ground is just as comfortable as a bed of down under a slated roof. If
accustomed to lie under lace curtains, a tree or a bush will make an
excellent substitute. "Tired nature's sweet restorer" comes quickly to
an exhausted frame. Realities of the past, expectations of the future,
hopes, sorrows, wishes, regrets--all are banished as we sink into
sweet repose.

At dawn we were in motion. At daylight the smoke hanging over the
enemy's camp was fully before us. Sunrise was near at hand when
the hostile position was brought to our view. It lay, as we had
anticipated, stretched along the banks of Wilson Creek.

Until our advance drove in the pickets, a thousand yards from their
camp, the Rebels had no intimation of our approach. Many of them were
reluctant to believe we were advancing to attack them, and thought the
firing upon the pickets was the work of a scouting party. The opening
of our artillery soon undeceived them, a shell being dropped in the
middle of their camp.

A Rebel officer afterward told me about our first shell. When the
pickets gave the alarm of our approach, the Rebel commander ordered
his forces to "turn out." An Arkansas colonel was in bed when the
order reached him, and lazily asked, "Is that official?" Before the
bearer of the order could answer, our shell tore through the colonel's
tent, and exploded a few yards beyond it. The officer waited for no
explanation, but ejaculated, "That's official, anyhow," as he sprang
out of his blankets, and arrayed himself in fighting costume.

Before the Rebels could respond to our morning salutation, we heard
the booming of Sigel's cannon on the left. Colonel Sigel reached the
spot assigned him some minutes before we were able to open fire from
our position. It had been stipulated that he should wait for the sound
of our guns before making his attack. His officers said they waited
nearly fifteen minutes for our opening shot. They could look into the
Rebel camp in the valley of the stream, a few hundred yards distant.
The cooks were beginning their preparations for breakfast, and gave
our men a fine opportunity to learn the process of making Confederate
corn-bread and coffee. Some of the Rebels saw our men, and supposed
they were their own forces, who had taken up a new position. Several
walked into our lines, and found themselves prisoners of war.

Previous to that day I had witnessed several skirmishes, but this was
my first battle of importance. Distances seemed much greater than they
really were. I stood by the side of Captain Totten's battery as it
opened the conflict.

"How far are you firing?" I asked.

"About eight hundred yards; not over that," was the captain's

I should have called it sixteen hundred, had I been called on for an

Down the valley rose the smoke of Sigel's guns, about a mile distant,
though, apparently, two or three miles away.

Opposite Sigel's position was the camp of the Arkansas Division:
though it was fully in my sight, and the tents and wagons were plainly
visible, I could not get over the impression that they were far off.

The explosions of our shells, and the flashes of the enemy's guns, a
short distance up the slope on the opposite side of the creek, seemed
to be at a considerable distance.

To what I shall ascribe these illusions, I do not know. On subsequent
battle-fields I have never known their recurrence. Greater battles,
larger streams, higher hills, broader fields, wider valleys, more
extended camps, have come under my observation, but in none of them
has the romance exceeded the reality.

The hours did not crowd into minutes, but the minutes almost
extended into hours. I frequently found, on consulting my watch, that
occurrences, apparently of an hour's duration, were really less than a
half or a quarter of that time.

As the sun rose, it passed into a cloud. When it emerged, I fully
expected it would be some distance toward the zenith, and was
surprised to find it had advanced only a few degrees.

There was a light shower, that lasted less than ten minutes: I judged
it had been twenty.

The evolutions of the troops on the field appeared slow and awkward.
They were really effected with great promptness.

General Lyon was killed before nine o'clock, as I very well knew.
It was some days before I could rid myself of an impression that his
death occurred not far from noon.

The apparent extension of the hours was the experience of several
persons on that field. I think it has been known by many, on the
occasion of their first battle. At Pea Ridge, an officer told me,
there seemed to be about thirty hours between sunrise and sunset.
Another thought it was four P.M. when the sun was at the meridian.
It was only at Wilson Creek that I experienced this sensation. On
subsequent battle-fields I had no reason to complain of my estimate of

The first shell from the enemy's guns passed high over my head. I well
remember the screech of that missile as it cut through the air and
lost itself in the distance. "Too high, Captain Bledsoe," exclaimed
our artillery officer, as he planted a shell among the Rebel gunners.
In firing a half-dozen rounds the Rebels obtained our range, and then
used their guns with some effect. The noise of each of those shells
I can distinctly recall, though I have since listened to hundreds of
similar sounds, of which I have no vivid recollection. The sound made
by a shell, in its passage through the air, cannot be described, and,
when once heard, can never be forgotten.

I was very soon familiar with the whistling of musket-balls. Before
the end of the action, I thought I could distinguish the noise of
a Minié bullet from that of a common rifle-ball, or a ball from a
smooth-bored musket. Once, while conversing with the officer in charge
of the skirmish line, I found myself the center of a very hot fire.
It seemed, at that instant, as if a swarm of the largest and most
spiteful bees had suddenly appeared around me. The bullets flew too
rapidly to be counted, but I fancied I could perceive a variation in
their sound.

After I found a position beyond the range of musketry, the artillery
would insist upon searching me out. While I was seated under a small
oak-tree, with my left arm through my horse's bridle, and my pencil
busy on my note-book, the tree above my head was cut by a shell.
Moving from that spot, I had just resumed my writing, when a shot tore
up the ground under my arm, and covered me with dirt. Even a remove
to another quarter did not answer my purpose, and I finished my notes
after reaching the rear.

It is not my intention to give the details of the battle--the
movements of each regiment, battalion, or battery, as it performed
its part in the work. The official record will be sought by those who
desire the purely military history. It is to be regretted that the
official report of the engagement at Wilson Creek displays the
great hostility of its author toward a fellow-soldier. In the early
campaigns in Missouri, many officers of the regular army vied with the
Rebels in their hatred of "the Dutch." This feeling was not confined
to Missouri alone, but was apparent in the East as well as in the
West. As the war progressed the hostility diminished, but it was never
entirely laid aside.

The duration of the battle was about four and a half hours. The
whole force under the National flag was five thousand men. The Rebels
acknowledged having twelve thousand, of all arms. It is probable that
this estimate was a low one. The Rebels were generally armed with
shot-guns, common rifles, and muskets of the old pattern. About a
thousand had no arms whatever. Their artillery ammunition was of
poorer quality than our own. These circumstances served to make the
disparity less great than the actual strength of the hostile forces
would imply. Even with these considerations, the odds against General
Lyon were quite large.

Our loss was a little less than one-fifth our whole strength. Up to
that time, a battle in which one-tenth of those engaged was placed
_hors de combat_, was considered a very sanguinary affair. During the
war there were many engagements where the defeated party suffered a
loss of less than one-twentieth. Wilson Creek can take rank as one
of the best-fought battles, when the number engaged is brought into

The First Missouri Infantry went into action with seven hundred and
twenty-six men. Its casualty list was as follows:--

   Killed................................   77
   Dangerously wounded...................   93
   Otherwise wounded.....................  126
   Captured..............................    2
   Missing...............................   15
          Total..........................  313

The First Kansas Infantry, out of seven hundred and eighty-five men,
lost two hundred and ninety-six. The loss in other regiments was quite
severe, though not proportionately as heavy as the above. These two
regiments did not break during the battle, and when they left the
ground they marched off as coolly as from a parade.

At the time our retreat was ordered our ammunition was nearly
exhausted and the ranks fearfully thinned. The Rebels had made a
furious attack, in which they were repulsed. General Sweeney insisted
that it was their last effort, and if we remained on the ground we
would not be molested again. Major Sturgis, upon whom the command
devolved after General Lyon's death, reasoned otherwise, and
considered it best to fall back to Springfield. The Rebels afterward
admitted that General McCulloch had actually given the order for
retreat a few moments before they learned of our withdrawal. Of course
he countermanded his order at once. There were several battles in the
late Rebellion in which the circumstances were similar. In repeated
instances the victorious party thought itself defeated, and was much
astonished at finding its antagonist had abandoned the struggle.

In our retreat we brought away many of our wounded, but left many
others on the field. When the Rebels took possession they cared for
their own men as well as the circumstances would permit, but gave no
assistance to ours. There were reports, well authenticated, that some
who lay helpless were shot or bayoneted. Two days after the battle a
surgeon who remained at Springfield was allowed to send out wagons for
the wounded. Some were not found until after four days' exposure. They
crawled about as best they could, and, by searching the haversacks of
dead men, saved themselves from starvation. One party of four built a
shelter of branches of trees as a protection against the sun. Another
party crawled to the bank of the creek, and lay day and night at the
water's edge. Several men sought shelter in the fence corners, or by
the side of fallen trees.

Two days before the battle, ten dollars were paid to each man of the
First Kansas Infantry. The money was in twenty-dollar pieces, and
the payment was made by drawing up the regiment in the customary two
ranks, and giving a twenty-dollar piece to each man in the front rank.
Three-fourths of those killed or wounded in that regiment were of the
front rank. The Rebels learned of this payment, and made rigid search
of all whom they found on the field. Nearly a year after the battle a
visitor to the ground picked up one of these gold coins.

During the battle several soldiers from St. Louis and its vicinity
recognized acquaintances on the opposite side. These recognitions were
generally the occasion of many derisive and abusive epithets. In the
Border States each party had a feeling of bitter hostility toward the
other. Probably the animosity was greater in Missouri than elsewhere.

A lieutenant of the First Missouri Infantry reported that he saw one
of the men of his regiment sitting under a tree during the battle,
busily engaged in whittling a bullet.

"What are you doing there?" said the officer.

"My ammunition is gone, and I'm cutting down this bullet to fit my
gun." (The soldier's musket was a "54-caliber," and the bullet was a

"Look around among the wounded men," was the order, "and get some
54-cartridges. Don't stop to cut down that bullet."

"I would look around, lieutenant," the soldier responded, "but I can't
move. My leg is shot through. I won't be long cutting this down, and
then I want a chance to hit some of them."

Captain Gordon Granger was serving on the staff of General Lyon. When
not actively engaged in his professional duties, he visited all parts
of the field where the fight was hottest. Though himself somewhat
excited, he was constantly urging the raw soldiers to keep cool and
not throw away a shot. Wherever there was a weak place in our line,
he was among the first to discover it and devise a plan for making
it good. On one occasion, he found a gap between two regiments,
and noticed that the Rebels were preparing to take advantage of it.
Without a moment's delay, he transferred three companies of infantry
to the spot, managing to keep them concealed behind a small ridge.

"Now, lie still; don't raise your heads out of the grass," said
Granger; "I'll tell you when to fire."

The Rebels advanced toward the supposed gap. Granger stood where he
could see and not be seen. He was a strange compound of coolness and
excitement. While his judgment was of the best, and his resources were
ready for all emergencies, a by-stander would have thought him heated
almost to frenzy. The warmth of his blood gave him a wonderful energy
and rendered him ubiquitous; his skill and decision made his services
of the highest importance.

"There they come; steady, now; let them get near enough; fire low;
give them h--l."

The Rebels rushed forward, thinking to find an easy passage. When
within less than fifty yards, Granger ordered his men to fire. The
complete repulse of the Rebels was the result.

"There, boys; you've done well. D--n the scoundrels; they won't come
here again." With this, the captain hastened to some other quarter.

The death of General Lyon occurred near the middle of the battle. So
many accounts of this occurrence have been given, that I am not fully
satisfied which is the correct one. I know at least half a dozen
individuals in whose arms General Lyon expired, and think there are
as many more who claim that sad honor. There is a similar mystery
concerning his last words, a dozen versions having been given by
persons who claim to have heard them. It is my belief that General
Lyon was killed while reconnoitering the enemy's line and directing
the advance of a regiment of infantry. I believe he was on foot at
the instant, and was caught, as he fell, in the arms of "Lehman," his
orderly. His last utterance was, doubtless, the order for the infantry
to advance, and was given a moment before he received the fatal
bullet. From the nature of the wound, his death, if not instantaneous,
was very speedy. A large musket-ball entered his left side, in the
region of the heart, passing nearly through to the right. A reported
wound in the breast was made with a bayonet in the hands of a Rebel
soldier, several hours afterward. The body was brought to Springfield
on the night after the battle.

It was my fortune to be acquainted with General Lyon. During the
progress of the war I met no one who impressed me more than he, in his
devotion to the interests of the country. If he possessed ambition
for personal glory, I was unable to discover it. He declared that
reputation was a bubble, which no good soldier should follow. Wealth
was a shadow, which no man in the country's service should heed. His
pay as an officer was sufficient for all his wants, and he desired
nothing more. He gave to the Nation, as the friend he loved the
dearest, a fortune which he had inherited. If his death could aid in
the success of the cause for which he was fighting, he stood ready to
die. The gloom that spread throughout the North when the news of his
loss was received, showed a just appreciation of his character.

  "How sleep the brave who sink to rest
   By all their country's wishes blest!"

At that battle there was the usual complement of officers for five
thousand men. Two years later there were seven major-generals and
thirteen brigadier-generals who had risen from the Wilson Creek Army.
There were colonels, lieutenant-colonels, and majors, by the score,
who fought in the line or in the ranks on that memorable 10th of
August. In 1863, thirty-two commissioned officers were in the service
from one company of the First Iowa Infantry. Out of one company of the
First Missouri Infantry, twenty-eight men received commissions. To the
majority of the officers from that army promotion was rapid, though
a few cases occurred in which the services they rendered were tardily




A Council of War.--The Journalists' Council.--Preparations for
Retreat.--Preceding the Advance-Guard.--Alarm and Anxiety of the
People.--Magnificent Distances.--A Novel Odometer.--The Unreliable
Countryman.--Neutrality.--A Night at Lebanon.--A Disagreeable
Lodging-place.--Active Secessionists.--The Man who Sought and
Found his Rights.--Approaching Civilization.--Rebel Couriers on the
Route.--Arrival at Rolla.

On the night after the battle, the army was quartered at Springfield.
The Rebels had returned to the battle-ground, and were holding it in
possession. The court-house and a large hotel were taken for hospitals,
and received such of our wounded as were brought in. At a council of
war, it was decided to fall back to Rolla, a hundred and twenty miles
distant, and orders were given to move at daylight.

The journalists held a council of war, and decided to commence their
retreat at half-past two o'clock in the morning, in order to be in
advance of the army. The probabilities were in favor of the enemy's
cavalry being at the junction of certain roads, five miles east of
the town. We, therefore, divested ourselves of every thing of a
compromising character. In my own saddle-bags I took only such toilet
articles as I had long carried, and which were not of a warlike
nature. We destroyed papers that might give information to the enemy,
and kept only our note-books, from which all reference to the strength
of our army was carefully stricken out. We determined, in case
of capture, to announce ourselves as journalists, and display our

One of our party was a telegraph operator as well as a journalist. He
did not wish to appear in the former character, as the Missouri
Rebels were then declaring they would show no quarter to telegraphers.
Accordingly, he took special care to divest himself of all that
pertained to the transmission of intelligence over the wires. A
pocket "instrument," which he had hitherto carried, he concealed in
Springfield, after carefully disabling the office, and leaving the
establishment unfit for immediate use.

We passed the dangerous point five miles from town, just as day was
breaking. No Rebel cavalry confronted us in the highway, nor shouted
an unwelcome "halt!" from a roadside thicket. All was still, though we
fancied we could hear a sound of troops in motion far in the distance
toward Wilson Creek. The Rebels were doubtless astir, though they did
not choose to interfere with the retreat of our army.

As day broke and the sun rose, we found the people of both
complexions thronging to the road, and seeking, anxiously, the latest
intelligence. At first we bore their questions patiently, and briefly
told them what had occurred. Finding that we lost much time, we began,
early in the day, to give the shortest answers possible. As fast as
we proceeded the people became more earnest, and would insist upon
delaying us. Soon after mid-day we commenced denying we had been at the
battle, or even in Springfield. This was our only course if we would
avoid detention. Several residents of Springfield, and with them a
runaway captain from a Kansas regiment, had preceded us a few hours
and told much more than the truth. Some of them had advised the people
to abandon their homes and go to Rolla or St. Louis, assuring them
they would all be murdered if they remained at home.

In pursuance of this advice many were loading a portion of their
household goods upon wagons and preparing to precede or follow the
army in its retreat. We quieted their alarm as much as possible,
advising them to stay at home and trust to fortune. We could not
imagine that the Rebels would deal severely with the inhabitants,
except in cases where they had been conspicuous in the Union cause.
Some of the people took our advice, unloaded their wagons, and waited
for further developments. Others persisted in their determination to
leave. They knew the Rebels better than we, and hesitated to trust
their tender mercies. A year later we learned more of "the barbarism
of Slavery."

Southwest Missouri is a region of magnificent distances. A mile in
that locality is like two miles in the New England or Middle States.
The people have an easy way of computing distance by the survey lines.
Thus, if it is the width of a township from one point to another,
they call the distance six miles, even though the road may follow
the tortuosities of a creek or of the crest of a ridge, and be ten or
twelve miles by actual measurement.

From Springfield to Lebanon it is called fifty miles, as indicated by
the survey lines. A large part of the way the route is quite direct,
but there are places where it winds considerably among the hills, and
adds several miles to the length of the road. No account is taken of
this, but all is thrown into the general reckoning.

There is a popular saying on the frontier, that they measure the roads
with a fox-skin, and make no allowance for the tail. Frequently I have
been told it was five miles to a certain point, and, after an hour's
riding, on inquiry, found that the place I sought was still five, and
sometimes six, miles distant. Once, when I essayed a "short cut" of
two miles, that was to save me twice that distance, I rode at a good
pace for an hour and a half to accomplish it, and traveled, as I
thought, at least eight miles.

On the route from Springfield to Lebanon we were much amused at the
estimates of distance. Once I asked a rough-looking farmer, "How far
is it to Sand Springs?"

"Five miles, stranger," was the reply. "May be you won't find it so

After riding three miles, and again inquiring, I was informed it was
"risin' six miles to Sand Springs." Who could believe in the existence
of a reliable countryman, after that?

Thirty miles from Springfield, we stopped at a farm-house for dinner.
While our meal was being prepared, we lay upon the grass in front
of the house, and were at once surrounded by a half-dozen anxious
natives. We answered their questions to the best of our abilities,
but nearly all of us fell asleep five minutes after lying down. When
aroused for dinner, I was told I had paused in the middle of a word
of two syllables, leaving my hearers to exercise their imaginations on
what I was about to say.

Dinner was the usual "hog and hominy" of the Southwest, varied with
the smallest possible loaf of wheaten bread. Outside the house, before
dinner, the men were inquisitive. Inside the house, when we were
seated for dinner, the women were unceasing in their inquiries. Who
can resist the questions of a woman, even though she be an uneducated
and unkempt Missourian? The dinner and the questions kept us awake,
and we attended faithfully to both.

The people of this household were not enthusiastic friends of the
Union. Like many other persons, they were anxious to preserve the
good opinion of both sides, by doing nothing in behalf of either. Thus
neutral, they feared they would be less kindly treated by the Rebels
than by the National forces. Though they had no particular love for
our army, I think they were sorry to see it departing. A few of the
Secessionists were not slow to express the fear that their own army
would not be able to pay in full for all it wanted, as our army had

Horses and riders refreshed, our journey was resumed. The scenes of
the afternoon were like those of the morning: the same alarm among
the people, the same exaggerated reports, and the same advice from
ourselves, when we chose to give it. The road stretched out in the
same way it had hitherto done, and the information derived from the
inhabitants was as unreliable as ever. It was late in the evening, in
the midst of a heavy shower, that we reached Lebanon, where we halted
for the night.

I have somewhere read of a Persian king who beheaded his subjects for
the most trivial or imaginary offenses. The officers of his cabinet,
when awaking in the morning, were accustomed to place their hands
to their necks, to ascertain if their heads still remained. The
individuals comprising our party had every reason to make a similar
examination on the morning after our stay in this town, and to express
many thanks at the gratifying result.

On reaching the only hotel at Lebanon, long after dark, we found the
public room occupied by a miscellaneous assemblage. It was easy to see
that they were more happy than otherwise at the defeat which our arms
had sustained. While our supper was being prepared we made ready for
it, all the time keeping our eyes on the company. We were watched
as we went to supper, and, on reaching the table, found two persons
sitting so near our allotted places that we could not converse freely.

After supper several individuals wished to talk with us concerning
the recent events. We made the battle appear much better than it had
really been, and assured them that a company of cavalry was following
close behind us, and would speedily arrive. This information was
unwelcome, as the countenances of the listeners plainly indicated.

One of our party was called aside by a Union citizen, and informed
of a plan to rob, and probably kill, us before morning. This was not
pleasing. It did not add to the comfort of the situation to know that
a collision between the Home Guards and a company of Secessionists was
momentarily expected. At either end of the town the opposing parties
were reported preparing for a fight. As the hotel was about half-way
between the two points, our position became interesting.

Next came a report from an unreliable contraband that our horses had
been stolen. We went to the stable, as a man looks in a wallet he
knows to be empty, and happily found our animals still there. We
found, however, that the stable had been invaded and robbed of two
horses in stalls adjacent to those of our own. The old story of the
theft of a saw-mill, followed by that of the dam, was brought to our
minds, with the exception, that the return of the thief was not likely
to secure his capture. The stable-keeper offered to lock the door and
resign the key to our care. His offer was probably well intended, but
we could see little advantage in accepting it, as there were several
irregular openings in the side of the building, each of them ample for
the egress of a horse.

In assigning us quarters for the night, the landlord suggested that
two should occupy a room at one end of the house, while the rest were
located elsewhere. We objected to this, and sustained our objection.
With a little delay, a room sufficient for all of us was obtained. We
made arrangements for the best possible defense in case of attack, and
then lay down to sleep. Our Union friend called upon us before we were
fairly settled to rest, bringing us intelligence that the room, where
the guns of the Home Guard were temporarily stored, had been invaded
while the sentinels were at supper. The locks had been removed
from some of the muskets, but there were arms enough to make some
resistance if necessary. Telling him we would come out when the firing
began, and requesting the landlord to send the cavalry commander to
our room as soon as he arrived, we fell asleep.

No one of our party carried his fears beyond the waking hours. In
five minutes after dismissing our friend, all were enjoying a sleep
as refreshing and undisturbed as if we had been in the most secure
and luxurious dwelling of New York or Chicago. During several years
of travel under circumstances of greater or less danger, I have never
found my sleep disturbed, in the slightest degree, by the nature of my
surroundings. Apprehensions of danger may be felt while one is awake,
but they generally vanish when slumber begins.

In the morning we found ourselves safe, and were gratified to discover
that our horses had been let alone. The landlord declared every thing
was perfectly quiet, and had been so through the night, with the
exception of a little fight at one end of the town. The Home Guards
were in possession, and the Secessionists had dispersed. The latter
deliberated upon the policy of attacking us, and decided that their
town might be destroyed by our retreating army in case we were
disturbed. They left us our horses, that we might get away from the
place as speedily as possible. So we bade adieu to Lebanon with much
delight. That we came unmolested out of that nest of disloyalty, was a
matter of much surprise. Subsequent events, there and elsewhere, have
greatly increased that surprise.

After a ride of thirteen miles we reached the Gasconade River, which
we found considerably swollen by recent rains. The proprietor of the
hotel where we breakfasted was a country doctor, who passed in that
region as a man of great wisdom. He was intensely disloyal, and did
not relish the prospect of having, as he called it, "an Abolition
army" moving anywhere in his vicinity. He was preparing to leave for
the South, with his entire household, as soon as his affairs could
be satisfactorily arranged. He had taken the oath of allegiance,
to protect himself from harm at the hands of our soldiers, but his
negroes informed us that he belonged to a company of "Independent
Guards," which had been organized with the design of joining the Rebel

This gentleman was searching for his rights. I passed his place six
months afterward. The doctor's negroes had run away to the North, and
the doctor had vanished with his family in the opposite direction. His
house had been burned, his stables stripped of every thing of value,
and the whole surroundings formed a picture of desolation. The doctor
had found a reward for his vigilant search. There was no doubt he had
obtained his rights.

Having ended our breakfast, we decided to remain at that place until
late in the afternoon, for the purpose of writing up our accounts.
With a small table, and other accommodations of the worst character,
we busied ourselves for several hours. To the persona of the household
we were a curiosity. They had never before seen men who could write
with a journalist's ordinary rapidity, and were greatly surprised
at the large number of pages we succeeded in passing over. We were
repeatedly interrupted, until forced to make a request to be let
alone. The negroes took every opportunity to look at us, and, when
none but ourselves could see them, they favored us with choice bits of
local information. When we departed, late in the afternoon, four stout
negroes ferried us across the river.

A hotel known as the California House was our stopping-place, ten
miles from the Gasconade. As an evidence of our approaching return to
civilization, we found each bed at this house supplied with two clean
sheets, a luxury that Springfield was unable to furnish. I regretted
to find, several months later, that the California House had been
burned by the Rebels. At the time of our retreat, the landlord was
unable to determine on which side of the question he belonged, and
settled the matter, in conversation with me, by saying he was a
hotel-keeper, and could not interfere in the great issue of the day. I
inclined to the belief that he was a Union man, but feared to declare
himself on account of the dubious character of his surroundings.

The rapidity with which the Secessionists carried and received news
was a matter of astonishment to our people. While on that ride
through the Southwest, I had an opportunity of learning their _modus
operandi_. Several times we saw horsemen ride to houses or stables,
and, after a few moments' parley, exchange their wearied horses for
fresh ones. The parties with whom they effected their exchanges would
be found pretty well informed concerning the latest news. By this
irregular system of couriers, the Secessionists maintained a complete
communication with each other. All along the route, I found they knew
pretty well what had transpired, though their news was generally mixed
up with much falsehood.

Even in those early days, there was a magnificence in the Rebel
capacity for lying. Before the war, the Northern States produced by
far the greatest number of inventions, as the records of the Patent
Office will show. During the late Rebellion, the brains of the
Southern States were wonderfully fertile in the manufacture of
falsehood. The inhabitants of Dixie invent neither cotton-gins,
caloric engines, nor sewing-machines, but when they apply their
faculties to downright lying, the mudsill head is forced to bow in

In the last day of this ride, we passed over a plateau twelve miles
across, also over a mountain of considerable height. Near the summit
of this mountain, we struck a small brook, whose growth was an
interesting study. At first, barely perceptible as it issued from a
spring by the roadside, it grew, mile by mile, until, at the foot
of the mountain, it formed a respectable stream. The road crossed it
every few hundred yards, and at each crossing we watched its increase.
At the base of the mountain it united with another and larger stream,
which we followed on our way to Rolla.

Late in the afternoon we reached the end of our journey. Weary, dusty,
hungry, and sore, we alighted from our tired horses, and sought the
office of the commandant of the post. All were eager to gather the
latest intelligence, and we were called upon to answer a thousand

With our story ended, ourselves refreshed from the fatigue of our long
ride, a hope for the safety of our gallant but outnumbered army,
we bade adieu to Rolla, and were soon whirling over the rail to St.



Quarrel between Price and McCulloch.--The Rebels Advance upon
Lexington.--A Novel Defense for Sharp-shooters.--Attempt to Re-enforce
the Garrison.--An Enterprising Journalist.--The Surrender.--Fremont's
Advance.--Causes of Delay.--How the Journalists Killed Time.--Late
News.--A Contractor "Sold."--Sigel in Front.--A Motley
Collection.--A Wearied Officer.--The Woman who had never seen a Black
Republican.--Love and Conversion.

After the battle of Wilson Creek and the occupation of Springfield,
a quarrel arose between the Rebel Generals, Price and McCulloch. It
resulted in the latter being ordered to Arkansas, leaving General
Price in command of the army in Missouri. The latter had repeatedly
promised to deliver Missouri from the hands of the United States
forces, and made his preparations for an advance into the interior.
His intention, openly declared, was to take possession of Jefferson
City, and reinstate Governor Jackson in control of the State. The
Rebels wisely considered that a perambulating Governor was not
entitled to great respect, and were particularly anxious to see the
proclamations of His Excellency issued from the established capital.

Accordingly, General Price, with an army twenty thousand strong,
marched from Springfield in the direction of Lexington. This point
was garrisoned by Colonel Mulligan with about twenty-five hundred men.
After a siege of four days, during the last two of which the garrison
was without water, the fort was surrendered. Price's army was
sufficiently large to make a complete investment of the fortifications
occupied by Colonel Mulligan, and thus cut off all access to the
river. The hemp warehouses in Lexington were drawn upon to construct
movable breast-works for the besieging force. Rolling the bales of
hemp before them, the Rebel sharp-shooters could get very near the fort
without placing themselves in great danger.

The defense was gallant, but as no garrisons can exist without water,
Colonel Mulligan was forced to capitulate. It afterward became
known that Price's army had almost exhausted its stock of
percussion-caps--it having less than two thousand when the surrender
was made. General Fremont was highly censured by the Press and people
for not re-enforcing the garrison, when it was known that Price was
moving upon Lexington. One journal in St. Louis, that took occasion to
comment adversely upon his conduct, was suddenly suppressed. After a
stoppage of a few days, it was allowed to resume publication.

During the siege a small column of infantry approached the north bank
of the river, opposite Lexington, with the design of joining Colonel
Mulligan. The attempt was considered too hazardous, and no junction
was effected. Mr. Wilkie, of the New York _Times_, accompanied
this column, and was much disappointed when the project of reaching
Lexington was given up.

Determined to see the battle, he crossed the river and surrendered
himself to General Price, with a request to be put on parole until
the battle was ended. The Rebel commander gave him quarters in
the guardhouse till the surrender took place. Mr. Wilkie was then
liberated, and reached St. Louis with an exclusive account of the

While General Price was holding Lexington, General Fremont commenced
assembling an army at Jefferson City, with the avowed intention of
cutting off the retreat of the Rebels through Southwest Missouri. From
Jefferson City our forces moved to Tipton and Syracuse, and there left
the line of railway for a march to Springfield. Our movements were not
conducted with celerity, and before we left Jefferson City the Rebels
had evacuated Lexington and moved toward Springfield.

The delay in our advance was chiefly owing to a lack of transportation
and a deficiency of arms for the men. General Fremont's friends
charged that he was not properly sustained by the Administration, in
his efforts to outfit and organize his army. There was, doubtless,
some ground for this charge, as the authorities, at that particular
time, were unable to see any danger, except at Washington. They often
diverted to that point _matériel_ that had been originally designed
for St. Louis.

As the army lay at Jefferson City, preparing for the field, some
twelve or fifteen journalists, representing the prominent papers
of the country, assembled there to chronicle its achievements. They
waited nearly two weeks for the movement to begin. Some became sick,
others left in disgust, but the most of them remained firm. The
devices of the journalists to kill time were of an amusing nature.
The town had no attractions whatever, and the gentlemen of the press
devoted themselves to fast riding on the best horses they could
obtain. Their horseback excursions usually terminated in lively races,
in which both riders and steeds were sufferers. The representatives
of two widely-circulated dailies narrowly escaped being sent home with
broken necks.

Evenings at the hotels were passed in reviving the "sky-larking"
of school-boy days. These scenes were amusing to participants and
spectators. Sober, dignified men, the majority of them heads of
families, occupied themselves in devising plans for the general

One mode of enjoyment was to assemble in a certain large room, and
throw at each other every portable article at hand, until exhaustion
ensued. Every thing that could be thrown or tossed was made use of.
Pillows, overcoats, blankets, valises, saddle-bags, bridles, satchels,
towels, books, stove-wood, bed-clothing, chairs, window-curtains,
and, ultimately, the fragments of the bedsteads, were transformed into
missiles. I doubt if that house ever before, or since, knew so much
noise in the same time. Everybody enjoyed it except those who occupied
adjoining rooms, and possessed a desire for sleep. Some of these
persons were inclined to excuse our hilarity, on the ground that the
boys ought to enjoy themselves. "The boys!" Most of them were on the
shady side of twenty-five, and some had seen forty years.

About nine o'clock in the forenoon of the day following Price's
evacuation of Lexington, we obtained news of the movement. The mail at
noon, and the telegraph before that time, carried all we had to say of
the affair, and in a few hours we ceased to talk of it. On the evening
of that day, a good-natured "contractor" visited our room, and,
after indulging in our varied amusements until past eleven, bade us
good-night and departed.

Many army contractors had grown fat in the country's service, but this
man had a large accumulation of adipose matter before the war broke
out. A rapid ascent of a long flight of stairs was, therefore, a
serious matter with him. Five minutes after leaving us, he dashed
rapidly up the stairs and entered our room. As soon as he could speak,
he asked, breathing between, the words--

"Have you heard the news?"

"No," we responded; "what is it?"

"Why" (with more efforts to recover his breath), "Price has evacuated

"Is it possible?"

"Yes," he gasped, and then sank exhausted into a large (very large)

We gave him a glass of water and a fan, and urged him to proceed with
the story. He told all he had just heard in the bar-room below, and we
listened with the greatest apparent interest.

When he had ended, we told him _our_ story. The quality and quantity
of the wine which he immediately ordered, was only excelled by his
hearty appreciation of the joke he had played upon himself.

Every army correspondent has often been furnished with "important
intelligence" already in his possession, and sometimes in print before
his well-meaning informant obtains it.

A portion of General Fremont's army marched from Jefferson City
to Tipton and Syracuse, while the balance, with most of the
transportation, was sent by rail. General Sigel was the first to
receive orders to march his division from Tipton to Warsaw, and he was
very prompt to obey. While other division commanders were waiting
for their transportation to arrive from St. Louis, Sigel scoured the
country and gathered up every thing with wheels. His train was the
most motley collection of vehicles it has ever been my lot to witness.
There were old wagons that made the journey from Tennessee to Missouri
thirty years before, farm wagons and carts of every description,
family carriages, spring wagons, stage-coaches, drays, and hay-carts.
In fact, every thing that could carry a load was taken along. Even
pack-saddles were not neglected. Horses, mules, jacks, oxen, and
sometimes cows, formed the motive power. To stand by the roadside and
witness the passage of General Sigel's train, was equal to a visit to
Barnum's Museum, and proved an unfailing source of mirth.


Falstaff's train (if he had one) could not have been more picturesque.
Even the Missourians, accustomed as they were to sorry sights, laughed
heartily at the spectacle presented by Sigel's transportation. The
Secessionists made several wrong deductions from the sad appearance
of that train. Some of them predicted that the division with _such_ a
train would prove to be of little value in battle. Never were men
more completely deceived. The division marched rapidly, and, on a
subsequent campaign, evinced its ability to fight.

One after another, the divisions of Fremont's army moved in chase of
the Rebels; a pursuit in which the pursued had a start of seventy-five
miles, and a clear road before them. Fremont and his staff left
Tipton, when three divisions had gone, and overtook the main column at
Warsaw. A few days later, Mr. Richardson, of the _Tribune_, and myself
started from Syracuse at one o'clock, one pleasant afternoon, and,
with a single halt of an hour's duration, reached Warsaw, forty-seven
miles distant, at ten o'clock at night. In the morning we found the
general's staff comfortably quartered in the village. On the staff
there were several gentlemen from New York and other Eastern cities,
who were totally unaccustomed to horseback exercise. One of these
recounted the story of their "dreadful" journey of fifty miles from

"Only think of it!" said he; "we came through all that distance in
less than three days. One day the general made us come _twenty-four_

"That was very severe, indeed. I wonder how you endured it."

"It _was_ severe, and nearly broke some of us down. By-the-way, Mr.
K----, how did you come over?"

"Oh," said I, carelessly, "Richardson and I left Syracuse at noon
yesterday, and arrived here at ten last night."

Before that campaign was ended, General Fremont's staff acquired some
knowledge of horsemanship.

At Warsaw the party of journalists passed several waiting days,
and domiciled themselves in the house of a widow who had one pretty
daughter. Our natural bashfulness was our great hinderance, so that it
was a day or two before we made the acquaintance of the younger of the
women. One evening she invited a young lady friend to visit her, and
obliged us with introductions. The ladies persistently turned the
conversation upon the Rebellion, and gave us the benefit of their
views. Our young hostess, desiring to say something complimentary,
declared she did not dislike the Yankees, but despised the Dutch and
the Black Republicans."

"Do you dislike the Black Republicans very much?" said the _Tribune_

"Oh! yes; I _hate_ them. I wish they were all dead."

"Well," was the quiet response, "we are Black Republicans. I am the
blackest of them all."

The fair Secessionist was much confused, and for fully a minute
remained silent. Then she said--

"I must confess I did not fully understand what Black Republicans
were. I never saw any before."

During the evening she was quite courteous, though persistent in
declaring her sentiments. Her companion launched the most bitter
invective at every thing identified with the Union cause, and
made some horrid wishes about General Fremont and his army. A more
vituperative female Rebel I have never seen. She was as pretty as she
was disloyal, and was, evidently, fully aware of it.

A few months later, I learned that both these young ladies had become
the wives of United States officers, and were complimenting, in high
terms, the bravery and patriotism of the soldiers they had so recently

The majority of the inhabitants of Warsaw were disloyal, and had
little hesitation in declaring their sentiments. Most of the young men
were in the Rebel army or preparing to go there. A careful search of
several warehouses revealed extensive stores of powder, salt, shoes,
and other military supplies. Some of these articles were found in a
cave a few miles from Warsaw, their locality being made known by a
negro who was present at their concealment.

Warsaw boasted a newspaper establishment, but the proprietor and
editor of the weekly sheet had joined his fortunes to those of General
Price. Two years before the time of our visit, this editor was a
member of the State Legislature, and made an earnest effort to secure
the expulsion of the reporter of _The Missouri_ _Democrat_, on account
of the radical tone of that paper. He was unsuccessful, but the
aggrieved individual did not forgive him.

When our army entered Warsaw this reporter held a position on the
staff of the general commanding. Not finding his old adversary, he
contented himself with taking possession of the printing-office, and
"confiscating" whatever was needed for the use of head-quarters.

About twenty miles from Warsaw, on the road to Booneville, there was a
German settlement, known as Cole Camp. When the troubles commenced in
Missouri, a company of Home Guards was formed at Cole Camp. A few
days after its formation a company of Secessionists from Warsaw made a
night-march and attacked the Home Guards at daylight.

Though inflicting severe injury upon the Home Guards, the
Secessionists mourned the loss of the most prominent citizens of
Warsaw. They were soon after humiliated by the presence of a Union



Detention at Warsaw.--A Bridge over the Osage.--The
Body-Guard.--Manner of its Organization.--The Advance
to Springfield.--Charge of the Body-Guard.--A Corporal's
Ruse.--Occupation of Springfield--The Situation.--Wilson Creek
Revisited.--Traces of the Battle.--Rumored Movements of the
Enemy.--Removal of General Fremont.--Danger of Attack.--A Night of
Excitement.--The Return to St. Louis.--Curiosities of the Scouting
Service.--An Arrest by Mistake.

The army was detained at Warsaw, to wait the construction of a
bridge over the Osage for the passage of the artillery and heavy
transportation. Sigel's Division was given the advance, and crossed
before the bridge was finished. The main column moved as soon as the
bridge permitted--the rear being brought up by McKinstry's Division. A
division from Kansas, under General Lane, was moving at the same time,
to form a junction with Fremont near Springfield, and a brigade from
Rolla was advancing with the same object in view. General Sturgis was
in motion from North Missouri, and there was a prospect that an army
nearly forty thousand strong would be assembled at Springfield.

While General Fremont was in St. Louis, before setting out on this
expedition, he organized the "Fremont Body-Guard," which afterward
became famous. This force consisted of four companies of cavalry,
and was intended to form a full regiment. It was composed of the
best class of the young men of St. Louis and Cincinnati. From the
completeness of its outfit, it was often spoken of as the "Kid-Gloved
Regiment." General Fremont designed it as a special body-guard for
himself, to move when he moved, and to form a part of his head-quarter
establishment. The manner of its organization was looked upon by many
as a needless outlay, at a time when the finances of the department
were in a disordered condition. The officers and the rank and file of
the Body-Guard felt their pride touched by the comments upon them, and
determined to take the first opportunity to vindicate their character
as soldiers.

When we were within fifty miles of Springfield, it was ascertained
that the main force of the Rebels had moved southward, leaving behind
them some two or three thousand men. General Fremont ordered a cavalry
force, including the Body-Guard, to advance upon the town. On reaching
Springfield the cavalry made a gallant charge upon the Rebel camp,
which was situated in a large field, bordered by a wood, within sight
of the court-house.

In this assault the loss of our forces, in proportion to the number
engaged, was quite severe, but the enemy was put to flight, and the
town occupied for a few hours. We gained nothing of a material nature,
as the Rebels would have quietly evacuated Springfield at the approach
of our main army. The courage of the Body-Guard, which no sensible
man had doubted, was fully evinced by this gallant but useless charge.
When the fight was over, the colonel in command ordered a retreat of
twenty miles, to meet the advance of the army.

A corporal with a dozen men became separated from the command while
in Springfield, and remained there until the following morning. He
received a flag of truce from the Rebels, asking permission to send
a party to bury the dead. He told the bearer to wait until he could
consult his "general," who was supposed to be lying down in the
back office. The "general" replied that his "division" was too much
exasperated to render it prudent for a delegation from the enemy to
enter town, and therefore declined to grant the request. At the same
time he promised to send out strong details to attend to the sad duty.
At sunrise he thought it best to follow the movements of his superior
officer, lest the Rebels might discover his ruse and effect his

Two days after the charge of the Body-Guard, the advance of the
infantry entered Springfield without the slightest opposition. The
army gradually came up, and the occupation of the key of Southwest
Missouri was completed. The Rebel army fell back toward the Arkansas
line, to meet a force supposed to be marching northward from
Fayetteville. There was little expectation that the Rebels would
seek to engage us. The only possible prospect of their assuming the
offensive was in the event of a junction between Price and McCulloch,
rendering them numerically superior to ourselves.

During our occupation of Springfield I paid a visit to the Wilson
Creek battle-ground. It was eleven weeks from the day I had left it.
Approaching the field, I was impressed by its stillness, so different
from the tumult on the 10th of the previous August. It was difficult
to realize that the spot, now so quiet, had been the scene of a
sanguinary contest. The rippling of the creek, and the occasional
chirp of a bird, were the only noises that came to our ears. There was
no motion of the air, not enough to disturb the leaves freshly fallen
from the numerous oak-trees on the battle-field. At each step I could
but contrast the cool, calm, Indian-summer day, with the hot, August
morning, when the battle took place.

All sounds of battle were gone, but the traces of the encounter had
not disappeared. As we followed the route leading to the field, I
turned from the beaten track and rode among the trees. Ascending a
slight acclivity, I found my horse half-stumbling over some object
between his feet. Looking down, I discovered a human skull, partly
covered by the luxuriant grass. At a little distance lay the
dismembered skeleton to which the skull evidently belonged. It was
doubtless that of some soldier who had crawled there while wounded,
and sunk exhausted at the foot of a tree. The bits of clothing
covering the ground showed that either birds or wild animals had been
busy with the remains. Not far off lay another skeleton, disturbed and
dismembered like the other.

Other traces of the conflict were visible, as I moved slowly over the
field. Here were scattered graves, each for a single person; there a
large grave, that had received a dozen bodies of the slain. Here were
fragments of clothing and equipments, pieces of broken weapons; the
shattered wheel of a caisson, and near it the exploded shell that
destroyed it. Skeletons of horses, graves of men, scarred trees,
trampled graves, the ruins of the burned wagons of the Rebels,
all formed their portion of the picture. It well illustrated the
desolation of war.

The spot where General Lyon fell was marked by a rude inscription upon
the nearest tree. The skeleton of the general's favorite horse lay
near this tree, and had been partially broken up by relic-seekers. The
long, glossy mane was cut off by the Rebel soldiers on the day after
the battle, and worn by them as a badge of honor. Subsequently the
teeth and bones were appropriated by both Rebels and Unionists. Even
the tree that designated the locality was partially stripped of its
limbs to furnish souvenirs of Wilson Creek.

During the first few days of our stay in Springfield, there were vague
rumors that the army was preparing for a long march into the enemy's
country. The Rebel army was reported at Cassville, fifty-five miles
distant, fortifying in a strong position. General Price and Governor
Jackson had convened the remnant of the Missouri Legislature, and
caused the State to be voted out of the Union. It was supposed we
would advance and expel the Rebels from the State.

While we were making ready to move, it was reported that the Rebel
army at Cassville had received large re-enforcements from Arkansas, and
was moving in our direction. Of course, all were anxious for a battle,
and hailed this intelligence with delight. At the same time there
were rumors of trouble from another direction--trouble to the
commander-in-chief. The vague reports of his coming decapitation were
followed by the arrival, on the 2d of November, of the unconditional
order removing General Fremont from command, and appointing General
Hunter in his stead.

Just before the reception of this order, "positive" news was received
that the enemy was advancing from Cassville toward Springfield, and
would either attack us in the town, or meet us on the ground south
of it. General Hunter had not arrived, and therefore General Fremont
formed his plan of battle, and determined on marching out to meet the

On the morning of the 3d, the scouts brought intelligence that the
entire Rebel army was in camp on the old Wilson Creek battle-ground,
and would fight us there. A council of war was called, and it was
decided to attack the enemy on the following morning, if General
Hunter did not arrive before that time. Some of the officers were
suspicious that the Rebels were not in force at Wilson Creek, but when
Fremont announced it officially there could be little room for doubt.

Every thing was put in readiness for battle. Generals of division were
ordered to be ready to move at a moment's notice. The pickets were
doubled, and the grand guards increased to an unusual extent. Four
pieces of artillery formed a portion of the picket force on the
Fayetteville road, the direct route to Wilson Creek. If an enemy had
approached on that night he would have met a warm reception.

About seven o'clock in the evening, a staff officer, who kept the
journalists informed of the progress of affairs, visited General
Fremont's head-quarters. He soon emerged with important intelligence.

"It is all settled. The army is ready to move at the instant. Orders
will be issued at two o'clock, and we will be under way before
daylight. Skirmishing will begin at nine, and the full battle will be
drawn on at twelve."

"Is the plan arranged?"

"Yes, it is all arranged; but I did not ask how."

"Battle sure to come off--is it?"

"Certainly, unless Hunter comes and countermands the order."

Alas, for human calculations! General Hunter arrived before midnight.
Two o'clock came, but no orders to break camp. Daylight, and no orders
to march. Breakfast-time, and not a hostile shot had been heard. Nine
o'clock, and no skirmish. Twelve o'clock, and no battle.

General Fremont and staff returned to St. Louis. General Hunter made
a reconnoissance to Wilson Creek, and ascertained that the only enemy
that had been in the vicinity was a scouting party of forty or fifty
men. At the time we were to march out, there was not a Rebel on the
ground. Their whole army was still at Cassville, fifty-five miles from

On the 9th of November the army evacuated Springfield and returned to
the line of the Pacific Railway.

General Fremont's scouts had deceived him. Some of these individuals
were exceedingly credulous, while others were liars of the highest
grade known to civilization. The former obtained their information
from the frightened inhabitants; the latter manufactured theirs with
the aid of vivid imaginations. I half suspect the fellows were like
the showman in the story, and, at length, religiously believed what
they first designed as a hoax. Between the two classes of scouts a
large army of Rebels was created.

The scouting service often develops characters of a peculiar mould.
Nearly every man engaged in it has some particular branch in which he
excels. There was one young man accompanying General Fremont's army,
whose equal, as a special forager, I have never seen elsewhere.
Whenever we entered camp, this individual, whom I will call the
captain, would take a half-dozen companions and start on a foraging
tour. After an absence of from four to six hours, he would return
well-laden with the spoils of war. On one occasion he brought to camp
three horses, two cows, a yoke of oxen, and a wagon. In the latter
he had a barrel of sorghum molasses, a firkin of butter, two sheep, a
pair of fox-hounds, a hoop-skirt, a corn-sheller, a baby's cradle, a
lot of crockery, half a dozen padlocks, two hoes, and a rocking-chair.
On the next night he returned with a family carriage drawn by a horse
and a mule. In the carriage he had, among other things, a parrot-cage
which contained a screaming parrot, several pairs of ladies' shoes,
a few yards of calico, the stock of an old musket, part of a
spinning-wheel, and a box of garden seeds. In what way these things
would contribute to the support of the army, it was difficult to

On one occasion the captain found a trunk full of clothing, concealed
with a lot of salt in a Rebel warehouse. He brought the trunk to camp,
and, as the quartermaster refused to receive it, took it to St. Louis
when the expedition returned. At the hotel where he was stopping, some
detectives were watching a suspected thief, and, by mistake, searched
the captain's room. They found a trunk containing thirteen coats
of all sizes, with no pants or vests. Naturally considering this a
strange wardrobe for a gentleman, they took the captain into custody.
He protested earnestly that he was not, and had never been, a thief,
but it was only on the testimony of the quartermaster that he was
released. I believe he subsequently acted as a scout under General
Halleck, during the siege of Corinth.

After the withdrawal of our army, General Price returned to
Springfield and went into winter-quarters. McCulloch's command formed
a cantonment at Cross Hollows, Arkansas, about ninety miles southwest
of Springfield. There was no prospect of further activity until the
ensuing spring. Every thing betokened rest.

From Springfield I returned to St. Louis by way of Rolla, designing
to follow the example of the army, and seek a good locality for
hibernating. On my way to Rolla I found many houses deserted, or
tenanted only by women and children. Frequently the crops were
standing, ungathered, in the field. Fences were prostrated, and there
was no effort to restore them. The desolation of that region was just



A Promise Fulfilled.--Capture of a Rebel Camp and Train.--Rebel
Sympathizers in St. Louis.--General Halleck and his Policy.--Refugees
from Rebeldom.--Story of the Sufferings of a Union Family.--Chivalry
in the Nineteenth Century.--The Army of the Southwest in
Motion.--Gun-Boats and Transports.--Capture of Fort Henry.--The Effect
in St. Louis.--Our Flag Advancing.

Early in the December following the events narrated in the last
chapter, General Pope captured a camp in the interior of the State,
where recruits were being collected for Price's army. After the return
of Fremont's army from Springfield, the Rebels boasted they would eat
their Christmas dinner in St. Louis. Many Secessionists were
making preparations to receive Price and his army, and some of them
prophesied the time of their arrival. It was known that a goodly
number of Rebel flags had been made ready to hang out when the
conquerors should come. Sympathizers with the Rebellion became bold,
and often displayed badges, rosettes, and small flags, indicative of
their feelings. Recruiting for the Rebel army went on, very quietly,
of course, within a hundred yards of the City Hall. At a fair for
the benefit of the Orphan Asylum, the ladies openly displayed Rebel
insignia, but carefully excluded the National emblems.

This was the state of affairs when eight hundred Rebels arrived in St.
Louis. They redeemed their promise to enjoy a Christmas dinner in St.
Louis, though they had counted upon more freedom than they were then
able to obtain. In order that they might carry out, in part, their
original intention, their kind-hearted jailers permitted the friends
of the prisoners to send a dinner to the latter on Christmas Day. The
prisoners partook of the repast with much relish.

The capture of those recruits was accompanied by the seizure of a
supply train on its way to Springfield. Our success served to diminish
the Rebel threats to capture St. Louis, or perform other great and
chivalric deeds. The inhabitants of that city continued to prophesy
its fall, but they were less defiant than before.

General Fremont commanded the Western Department for just a hundred
days. General Hunter, his successor, was dressed in brief authority
for fifteen days, and yielded to General Halleck. The latter officer
endeavored to make his rule as unlike that of General Fremont as could
well be done. He quietly made his head-quarters at the Government
Buildings, in the center of St. Louis, instead of occupying a
"palatial mansion" on Chouteau Avenue. The body-guard, or other
cumbersome escort, was abolished, and the new general moved unattended
about the city. Where General Fremont had scattered the Government
funds with a wasteful hand, General Halleck studied economy. Where
Fremont had declared freedom to the slaves of traitors, Halleck issued
his famous "Order No. 3," forbidding fugitive slaves to enter our
lines, and excluding all that were then in the military camps. Where
General Fremont had surrounded his head-quarters with so great a
retinue of guards that access was almost impossible, General Halleck
made it easy for all visitors to see him. He generally gave them such
a reception that few gentlemen felt inclined to make a second call.

The policy of scattering the military forces in the department was
abandoned, and a system of concentration adopted. The construction
of the gun-boat fleet, and accompanying mortar-rafts, was vigorously
pushed, and preparations for military work in the ensuing spring went
on in all directions. Our armies were really idle, and we were doing
very little on the Mississippi; but it was easy to see that we were
making ready for the most vigorous activity in the future.

In the latter part of December many refugees from the Southwest began
to arrive in St. Louis. In most cases they were of the poorer class of
the inhabitants of Missouri and Northern Arkansas, and had been driven
from their homes by their wealthier and disloyal neighbors. Their
stories varied little from each other. Known or suspected to be loyal,
they were summarily expelled, generally with the loss of every thing,
save a few articles of necessity. There were many women and children
among them, whose protectors had been driven into the Rebel ranks, or
murdered in cold blood. Many of them died soon after they reached our
lines, and there were large numbers who perished on their way.

Among those who arrived early in January, 1862, was a man from
Northern Arkansas. Born in Pennsylvania, he emigrated to the Southwest
in 1830, and, after a few years' wandering, settled near Fayetteville.
When the war broke out, he had a small farm and a comfortable house,
and his two sons were married and living near him.

In the autumn of '61, his elder son was impressed into the Rebel
service, where he soon died. The younger was ordered to report at
Fayetteville, for duty. Failing to do so on the day specified, he was
shot down in his own house on the following night. His body fell upon
one of his children standing near him, and his blood saturated its

The day following, the widow, with two small children, was notified
to leave the dwelling, as orders had been issued for its destruction.
Giving her no time to remove any thing, the Rebel soldiers, claiming
to act under military command, fired the house. In this party were two
persons who had been well acquainted with the murdered man. The widow
sought shelter with her husband's parents.

The widow of the elder son went to the same place of refuge. Thus
there were living, under one roof, the old man, his wife, a daughter
of seventeen, and the two widows, one with two, and the other with
three, children. A week afterward, all were commanded to leave the
country. No cause was assigned, beyond the fact that the man was
born in the North, and had been harboring the family of his son, who
refused to serve in the Rebel ranks. They were told they could have
two days for preparation, but within ten hours of the time the notice
was served, a gang of Rebels appeared at the door, and ordered an
instant departure.

They made a rigid search of the persons of the refugees, to be sure
they took away nothing of value. Only a single wagon was allowed, and
in this were placed a few articles of necessity. As they moved away,
the Rebels applied the torch to the house and its out-buildings. In
a few moments all were in flames. The house of the elder son's widow
shared the same fete.

They were followed to the Missouri line, and ordered to make no halt
under penalty of death. It was more than two hundred miles to our
lines, and winter was just beginning. One after another fell ill and
died, or was left with Union people along the way. Only four of the
party reached our army at Rolla. Two of these died a few days after
their arrival, leaving only a young child and its grandfather. At St.
Louis the survivors were kindly cared for, but the grief at leaving
home, the hardships of the winter journey, and their destitution among
strangers, had so worn upon them that they soon followed the other
members of their family.

There have been thousands of cases nearly parallel to the above. The
Rebels claimed to be fighting for political freedom, and charged the
National Government with the most unheard-of "tyranny." We can well
be excused for not countenancing a political freedom that kills men
at their firesides, and drives women and children to seek protection
under another flag. We have heard much, in the past twenty years, of
"Southern chivalry." If the deeds of which the Rebels were guilty
are characteristic of chivalry, who would wish to be a son of the
Cavaliers? The insignia worn in the Middle Ages are set aside, to
make room for the torch and the knife. The chivalry that deliberately
starves its prisoners, to render them unable to return to the field,
and sends blood-hounds on the track of those who attempt an escape
from their hands, is the chivalry of modern days. Winder is the
Coeur-de-Leon, and Quantrel the Bayard, of the nineteenth century;
knights "without fear and without reproach."

Early in January, the Army of the Southwest, under General Curtis,
was put in condition for moving. Orders were issued cutting down
the allowance of transportation, and throwing away every thing
superfluous. Colonel Carr, with a cavalry division, was sent to the
line of the Gasconade, to watch the movements of the enemy. It was the
preliminary to the march into Arkansas, which resulted in the
battle of Pea Ridge and the famous campaign of General Curtis from
Springfield to Helena.

As fast as possible, the gun-boat fleet was pushed to completion. One
after another, as the iron-clads were ready to move, they made their
rendezvous at Cairo. Advertisements of the quartermaster's department,
calling for a large number of transports, showed that offensive
movements were to take place. In February, Fort Henry fell, after an
hour's shelling from Admiral Foote's gun-boats. This opened the way up
the Tennessee River to a position on the flank of Columbus, Kentucky,
and was followed by the evacuation of that point.

I was in St. Louis on the day the news of the fall of Fort Henry was
received. The newspapers issued "extras," with astonishing head-lines.
It was the first gratifying intelligence after a long winter of
inactivity, following a year which, closed with general reverses to
our arms.

In walking the principal streets of St. Louis on that occasion, I
could easily distinguish the loyal men of my acquaintance from the
disloyal, at half a square's distance. The former were excited with
delight; the latter were downcast with sorrow. The Union men walked
rapidly, with, faces "wreathed in smiles;" the Secessionists moved
with alternate slow and quick steps, while their countenances
expressed all the sad emotions.

The newsboys with the tidings of our success were patronized by
the one and repelled by the other. I saw one of the venders of
intelligence enter the store of a noted Secessionist, where he shouted
the nature of the news at the highest note of his voice. A
moment later he emerged from the door, bringing the impress of a
Secessionist's boot.

The day and the night witnessed much hilarity in loyal circles, and a
corresponding gloom in quarters where treason ruled. I fear there
were many men in St. Louis whose conduct was no recommendation to the
membership of a temperance society.

All felt that a new era had dawned upon us. Soon after came the
tidings of a general advance of our armies. We moved in Virginia,
and made the beginning of the checkered campaign of '62. Along the
Atlantic coast we moved, and Newbern fell into our hands. Further
down the Atlantic, and at the mouth of the Mississippi, we kept up
the aggression. Grant, at Donelson, "moved immediately upon Buckner's
works;" and, in Kentucky, the Army of the Ohio occupied Bowling Green
and prepared to move upon Nashville. In Missouri, Curtis had
already occupied Lebanon, and was making ready to assault Price at
Springfield. Everywhere our flag was going forward.



From St. Louis to Rolla.--A Limited Outfit.--Missouri Roads in
Winter.--"Two Solitary Horsemen."--Restricted Accommodations in a
Slaveholder's House.--An Energetic Quartermaster.--General Sheridan
before he became Famous.--"Bagging Price."--A Defect in the
Bag.--Examining the Correspondence of a Rebel General.--What the
Rebels left at their Departure.

On the 9th of February I left St. Louis to join General Curtis's army.
Arriving at Rolla, I found the mud very deep, but was told the roads
were in better condition a few miles to the west. With an _attaché_
of the Missouri _Democrat_, I started, on the morning of the 10th, to
overtake the army, then reported at Lebanon, sixty-five miles distant.
All my outfit for a two or three months' campaign, was strapped behind
my saddle, or crowded into my saddle-bags. Traveling with a trunk
is one of the delights unknown to army correspondents, especially
to those in the Southwest. My companion carried an outfit similar to
mine, with the exception of the saddle-bags and contents. I returned
to Rolla eight weeks afterward, but he did not reach civilization till
the following July.

From Rolla to Lebanon the roads were bad--muddy in the valleys of
the streams, and on the higher ground frozen into inequalities like a
gigantic rasp.

Over this route our army of sixteen thousand men had slowly made its
way, accomplishing what was then thought next to impossible. I found
the country had changed much in appearance since I passed through on
my way to join General Lyon. Many houses had been burned and others
deserted. The few people that remained confessed themselves almost
destitute of food. Frequently we could not obtain entertainment
for ourselves and horses, particularly the latter. The natives
were suspicious of our character, as there was nothing in our
dress indicating to which side we belonged. At such times the
cross-questioning we underwent was exceedingly amusing, though coupled
with the knowledge that our lives were not entirely free from danger.

From Lebanon we pushed on to Springfield, through a keen, piercing
wind, that swept from the northwest with unremitting steadiness. The
night between those points was passed in a log-house with a single
room, where ourselves and the family of six persons were lodged. In
the bitter cold morning that followed, it was necessary to open the
door to give us sufficient light to take breakfast, as the house could
not boast of a window. The owner of the establishment said he had
lived there eighteen years, and found it very comfortable. He tilled a
small farm, and had earned sufficient money to purchase three slaves,
who dwelt in a similar cabin, close beside his own, but not joining
it. One of these slaves was cook and housemaid, and another found the
care of four children enough for her attention. The third was a man
upward of fifty years old, who acted as stable-keeper, and manager of
the out-door work of the establishment.

The situation of this landholder struck me as peculiar, though his
case was not a solitary one. A house of one room and with no window, a
similar house for his human property, and a stable rudely constructed
of small poles, with its sides offering as little protection against
the wind and storms as an ordinary fence, were the only buildings
he possessed. His furniture was in keeping with the buildings. Beds
without sheets, a table without a cloth, some of the plates of tin and
others of crockery--the former battered and the latter cracked--a less
number of knives and forks than there were persons to be supplied, tin
cups for drinking coffee, an old fruit-can for a sugar-bowl, and two
teaspoons for the use of a large family, formed the most noticeable
features. With such surroundings he had invested three thousand
dollars in negro property, and considered himself comfortably

Reaching Springfield, I found the army had passed on in pursuit of
Price, leaving only one brigade as a garrison. The quartermaster
of the Army of the Southwest had his office in one of the principal
buildings, and was busily engaged in superintending the forwarding
of supplies to the front. Every thing under his charge received his
personal attention, and there was no reason to suppose the army would
lack for subsistence, so long as he should remain to supply its wants.
Presenting him a letter of introduction, I received a most cordial
welcome. I found him a modest and agreeable gentleman, whose private
excellence was only equaled by his energy in the performance of his
official duties.

This quartermaster was Captain Philip H. Sheridan. The double bars
that marked his rank at that time, have since been exchanged for other
insignia. The reader is doubtless familiar with the important
part taken by this gallant officer, in the suppression of the late

General Curtis had attempted to surround and capture Price and his
army, before they could escape from Springfield. Captain Sheridan told
me that General Curtis surrounded the town on one side, leaving two
good roads at the other, by which the Rebels marched out. Our advance
from Lebanon was as rapid as the circumstances would permit, but it
was impossible to keep the Rebels in ignorance of it, or detain
them against their will. One of the many efforts to "bag" Price had
resulted like all the others. We closed with the utmost care every
part of the bag except the mouth; out of this he walked by the
simple use of his pedals. Operations like those of Island Number Ten,
Vicksburg, and Port Hudson, were not then in vogue.

Price was in full retreat toward Arkansas, and our army in hot
pursuit. General Sigel, with two full divisions, marched by a road
parallel to the line of Price's retreat, and attempted to get in his
front at a point forty miles from Springfield. His line of march was
ten miles longer than the route followed by the Rebels, and he did not
succeed in striking the main road until Price had passed.

I had the pleasure of going through General Price's head-quarters only
two days after that officer abandoned them. There was every evidence
of a hasty departure. I found, among other documents, the following
order for the evacuation of Springfield:--

SPRINGFIELD, _February_ 13, 1862.

The commanders of divisions will instanter, and without
the least delay, see that their entire commands are
ready for movement at a moment's notice.

By order of Major-General S. Price.
H.H. Brand, A.A.G.

There was much of General Price's private correspondence, together
with many official documents. Some of these I secured, but destroyed
them three weeks later, at a moment when I expected to fall into the
hands of the enemy. One letter, which revealed the treatment Union men
were receiving in Arkansas, I forwarded to _The Herald_. I reproduce
its material portions:--

DOVER, POPE CO., ARKANSAS, _December_ 7, 1861.


I wish to obtain a situation as surgeon in your army. * * * Our men
over the Boston Mountains are penning and hanging the mountain
boys who oppose Southern men. They have in camp thirty, and in the
Burrowville jail seventy-two, and have sent twenty-seven to Little
Rock. We will kill all we get, certain: every one is so many less. I
hope you will soon get help enough to clear out the last one in your
State. If you know them, they ought to be killed, as the older they
grow the more stubborn they get.

Your most obedient servant,

In his departure, General Price had taken most of his personal
property of any value. He left a very good array of desks and other
appurtenances of his adjutant-general's office, which fell into
General Curtis's hands. These articles were at once put into use by
our officers, and remained in Springfield as trophies of our success.
There was some war _matériel_ at the founderies and temporary arsenals
which the Rebels had established. One store full of supplies they left
undisturbed. It was soon appropriated by Captain Sheridan.

The winter-quarters for the soldiers were sufficiently commodious to
contain ten thousand men, and the condition in which we found them
showed how hastily they were evacuated. Very little had been removed
from the buildings, except those articles needed for the march. We
found cooking utensils containing the remains of the last meal, pans
with freshly-mixed dough, on which the impression of the maker's hand
was visible, and sheep and hogs newly killed and half dressed. In the
officers' quarters was a beggarly array of empty bottles, and a few
cases that had contained cigars. One of our soldiers was fortunate in
finding a gold watch in the straw of a bunk. There were cribs of corn,
stacks of forage, and a considerable quantity of army supplies. Every
thing evinced a hasty departure.



From Springfield to Pea Ridge.--Mark Tapley in Missouri.--"The
Arkansas Traveler."--Encountering the Rebel Army.--A "Wonderful
Spring."--The Cantonment at Cross Hollows.--Game Chickens.--Magruder
_vs_. Breckinridge.--Rebel Generals in a Controversy.--Its Result.--An
Expedition to Huntsville.--Curiosities of Rebel Currency.--Important
Information.--A Long and Weary March.--Disposition of Forces before
the Battle.--Changing Front.--What the Rebels lost by Ignorance.

When it became certain the army would continue its march into
Arkansas, myself and the _Democrat's_ correspondent pushed forward
to overtake it. Along the road we learned of the rapid retreat of the
Rebels, and the equally rapid pursuit by our own forces. About twenty
miles south of Springfield one of the natives came to his door to
greet us. Learning to which army we belonged, he was very voluble in
his efforts to explain the consternation of the Rebels. A half-dozen
of his neighbors were by his side, and joined in the hilarity of the
occasion. I saw that something more than usual was the cause of their
assembling, and inquired what it could be.

"My wife died this morning, and my friends have come here to see me,"
was the answer I received from the proprietor of the house.

Almost at the instant of completing the sentence, he burst into a
laugh, and said,

"It would have done you good to see how your folks captured a big
drove of Price's cattle. The Rebs were driving them along all right,
and your cavalry just came up and took them. It was rich, I tell you.
Ha! ha!"

Not knowing what condolence to offer a man who could be so gay after
the death of his wife, I bade him good-morning, and pushed on. He
had not, as far as I could perceive, the single excuse of being
intoxicated, and his display of vivacity appeared entirely genuine. In
all my travels I have never met his equal.

Up to the time of this campaign none of our armies had been into
Arkansas. When General Curtis approached the line, the head of the
column was halted, the regiments closed up, and the men brought their
muskets to the "right shoulder shift," instead of the customary "at
will" of the march. Two bands were sent to the front, where a small
post marked the boundary, and were stationed by the roadside, one in
either State. Close by them the National flag was unfurled. The bands
struck up "The Arkansas Traveler," the order to advance was given,
and, with many cheers in honor of the event, the column moved onward.
For several days "The Arkansas Traveler" was exceedingly popular with
the entire command. On the night after crossing the line the news of
the fall of Fort Donelson was received.

Soon after entering Arkansas on his retreat, General Price met General
McCulloch moving northward to join him. With their forces united, they
determined on making a stand against General Curtis, and, accordingly,
halted near Sugar Creek. A little skirmish ensued, in which the Rebels
gave way, the loss on either side being trifling. They did not stop
until they reached Fayetteville. Their halt at that point was very

At Cross Hollows, in Benton County, Arkansas, about two miles from
the main road, there is one of the finest springs in the Southwest. It
issues from the base of a rocky ledge, where the ravine is about three
hundred yards wide, and forms the head of a large brook. Two small
flouring mills are run during the entire year by the water from this
spring. The water is at all times clear, cold, and pure, and is said
never to vary in quantity.

Along the stream fed by this spring, the Rebels had established a
cantonment for the Army of Northern Arkansas, and erected houses
capable of containing ten or twelve thousand men. The cantonment
was laid out with the regularity of a Western city. The houses were
constructed of sawed lumber, and provided with substantial brick

Of course, this establishment was abandoned when the Rebel army
retreated. The buildings were set on fire, and all but a half-dozen of
them consumed. When our cavalry reached the place, the rear-guard of
the Rebels had been gone less than half an hour. There were about
two hundred chickens running loose among the burning buildings. Our
soldiers commenced killing them, and had slaughtered two-thirds of
the lot when one of the officers discovered that they were game-cocks.
This class of chickens not being considered edible, the killing was
stopped and the balance of the flock saved. Afterward, while we lay in
camp, they were made a source of much amusement. The cock-fights that
took place in General Curtis's army would have done honor to Havana or
Vera Cruz. Before we captured them the birds were the property of the
officers of a Louisiana regiment. We gave them the names of the Rebel
leaders. It was an every-day affair for Beauregard, Van Dorn, and
Price to be matched against Lee, Johnston, and Polk. I remember losing
a small wager on Magruder against Breckinridge. I should have won if
Breck had not torn the feathers from Mac's neck, and injured his right
wing by a foul blow. I never backed Magruder after that.

From Cross Hollows, General Curtis sent a division in pursuit of
Price's army, in its retreat through Fayetteville, twenty-two miles
distant. On reaching the town they found the Rebels had left in the
direction of Fort Smith. The pursuit terminated at this point. It had
been continued for a hundred and ten miles--a large portion of the
distance our advance being within a mile or two of the Rebel rear.

In retreating from Fayetteville, the Rebels were obliged to abandon
much of the supplies for their army. A serious quarrel is reported
to have taken place between Price and McCulloch, concerning the
disposition to be made of these supplies. The former was in favor
of leaving the large amount of stores, of which, bacon was the chief
article, that it might fall into our hands. He argued that we had
occupied the country, and would stay there until driven out. Our army
would be subsisted at all hazards. If we found this large quantity of
bacon, it would obviate the necessity of our foraging upon the country
and impoverishing the inhabitants.

General McCulloch opposed this policy, and accused Price of a desire
to play into the enemy's hands. The quarrel became warm, and resulted
in the discomfiture of the latter. All the Rebel warehouses were set
on fire. When our troops entered Fayetteville the conflagration was at
its height. It resulted as Price had predicted. The inhabitants were
compelled, in great measure, to support our army.

The Rebels retreated across the Boston Mountains to Fort Smith, and
commenced a reorganization of their army. Our army remained at Cross
Hollows as its central point, but threw out its wings so as to form
a front nearly five miles in extent. Small expeditions were sent in
various directions to break up Rebel camps and recruiting stations.
In this way two weeks passed with little activity beyond a careful
observation of the enemy's movements. There were several flouring
mills in the vicinity of our camp, which were kept in constant
activity for the benefit of the army.

I accompanied an expedition, commanded by Colonel Vandever, of the
Ninth Iowa, to the town of Huntsville, thirty-five miles distant. Our
march occupied two days, and resulted in the occupation of the town
and the dispersal of a small camp of Rebels. We had no fighting,
scarcely a shot being fired in anger. The inhabitants did not greet us
very cordially, though some of them professed Union sentiments.

In this town of Huntsville, the best friend of the Union was the
keeper of a whisky-shop. This man desired to look at some of our
money, but declined to take it. An officer procured a canteen of
whisky and tendered a Treasury note in payment. The note was refused,
with a request for either gold or Rebel paper.

The officer then exhibited a large sheet of "promises to pay," which
he had procured in Fayetteville a few days before, and asked how they
would answer.

"That is just what I want," said the whisky vender.

The officer called his attention to the fact that the notes had no

"That don't make any difference," was the reply; "nobody will know
whether they are signed or not, and they are just as good, anyhow."

I was a listener to the conversation, and at this juncture proffered a
pair of scissors to assist in dividing the notes. It took but a short
time to cut off enough "money" to pay for twenty canteens of the worst
whisky I ever saw.

At Huntsville we made a few prisoners, who said they were on their
way from Price's army to Forsyth, Missouri. They gave us the important
information that the Rebel army, thirty thousand strong, was on the
Boston Mountains the day previous; and on the very day of our arrival
at Huntsville, it was to begin its advance toward our front. These
men, and some others, had been sent away because they had no weapons
with which to enter the fight.

Immediately on learning this, Colonel Vandever dispatched a courier
to General Curtis, and prepared to set out on his return to the main
army. We marched six miles before nightfall, and at midnight, while
we were endeavoring to sleep, a courier joined us from the
commander-in-chief. He brought orders for us to make our way back with
all possible speed, as the Rebel army was advancing in full force.

At two o'clock we broke camp, and, with only one halt of an hour,
made a forced march of forty-one miles, joining the main column at ten
o'clock at night. I doubt if there were many occasions during the
war where better marching was done by infantry than on that day.
Of course, the soldiers were much fatigued, but were ready, on the
following day, to take active part in the battle.

On the 5th of March, as soon as General Curtis learned of the Rebel
advance, he ordered General Sigel, who was in camp at Bentonville, to
fall back to Pea Ridge, on the north bank of Sugar Creek. At the
same time he withdrew Colonel Jeff. C. Davis's Division to the same
locality. This placed the army in a strong, defensible position, with
the creek in its front. On the ridge above the stream our artillery
and infantry were posted.

The Rebel armies under Price and McCulloch had been united and
strongly re-enforced, the whole being under the command of General Van
Dorn. Their strength was upward of twenty thousand men, and they were
confident of their ability to overpower us. Knowing our strong front
line, General Van Dorn decided upon a bold movement, and threw himself
around our right flank to a position between us and our base at

In moving to our right and rear, the Rebels encountered General
Sigel's Division before it had left Bentonville, and kept up a running
fight during the afternoon of the 6th. Several times the Rebels, in
small force, secured positions in Sigel's front, but that officer
succeeded in cutting his way through and reaching the main force, with
a loss of less than a hundred men.

The position of the enemy at Bentonville showed us his intentions,
and we made our best preparations to oppose him. Our first step was
to obstruct the road from Bentonville to our rear, so as to retard
the enemy's movements. Colonel Dodge, of the Fourth Iowa (afterward
a major-general), rose from a sick-bed to perform this work. The
impediments which he placed in the way of the Rebels prevented their
reaching the road in our rear until nine o'clock on the morning of the

Our next movement was to reverse our position. We had been facing
south--it was now necessary to face to the north. The line that had
been our rear became our front. A change of front implied that our
artillery train should take the place of the supply train, and _vice
versâ_. "Elkhorn Tavern" had been the quartermaster's depot. We made
all haste to substitute artillery for baggage-wagons, and boxes of
ammunition for boxes of hard bread. This transfer was not accomplished
before the battle began, and as our troops were pressed steadily back
on our new front, Elkhorn Tavern fell into the hands of the Rebels.

The sugar, salt, and bread which they captured, happily not of large
quantity, were very acceptable, and speedily disappeared. Among the
quartermaster's stores was a wagon-load of desiccated vegetables, a
very valuable article for an army in the field. All expected it would
be made into soup and eaten by the Rebels. What was our astonishment
to find, two days later, that they had opened and examined a single
case, and, after scattering its contents on the ground, left the
balance undisturbed!

Elkhorn Tavern was designated by a pair of elk-horns, which occupied a
conspicuous position above the door. After the battle these horns were
removed by Colonel Carr, and sent to his home in Illinois, as trophies
of the victory.

A family occupied the building at the time of the battle, and remained
there during the whole contest. When the battle raged most fiercely
the cellar proved a place of refuge. Shells tore through the house,
sometimes from the National batteries, and sometimes from Rebel guns.
One shell exploded in a room where three women were sitting. Though
their clothes were torn by the flying fragments, they escaped without
personal injury. They announced their determination not to leave home
so long as the house remained standing.

Among other things captured at Elkhorn Tavern by the Rebels, was
a sutler's wagon, which, had just arrived from St. Louis. In the
division of the spoils, a large box, filled with wallets, fell to the
lot of McDonald's Battery. For several weeks the officers and privates
of this battery could boast of a dozen wallets each, while very few
had any money to carry. The Rebel soldiers complained that the visits
of the paymaster were like those of angels.



The Rebels make their Attack.--Albert Pike and his Indians.--Scalping
Wounded Men.--Death of General McCulloch.--The Fighting at Elkhorn
Tavern.--Close of a Gloomy Day.--An Unpleasant Night.--Vocal Sounds
from a Mule's Throat.--Sleeping under Disadvantages.--A Favorable
Morning.--The Opposing Lines of Battle.--A Severe Cannonade.--The
Forest on Fire.--Wounded Men in the Flames.--The Rebels in
Retreat.--Movements of our Army.--A Journey to St. Louis.

About nine o'clock on the morning of the 7th, the Rebels made a
simultaneous attack on our left and front, formerly our right and
rear. General Price commanded the force on our front, and General
McCulloch that on our left; the former having the old Army of
Missouri, re-enforced by several Arkansas regiments, and the latter
having a corps made up of Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana troops. They
brought into the fight upward of twenty thousand men, while we had not
over twelve thousand with which to oppose them.

The attack on our left was met by General Sigel and Colonel Davis.
That on our front was met by Colonel Carr's Division and the division
of General Asboth. On our left it was severe, though not long
maintained, the position we held being too strong for the enemy to

It was on this part of the line that the famous Albert Pike, the
lawyer-poet of Arkansas, brought his newly-formed brigades of
Indians into use. Pike was unfortunate with his Indians. While he
was arranging them in line, in a locality where the bushes were about
eight feet in height, the Indians made so much noise as to reveal
their exact position. One of our batteries was quietly placed within
point-blank range of the Indians, and suddenly opened upon them with
grape and canister. They gave a single yell, and scattered without
waiting for orders.

The Indians were not, as a body, again brought together during the
battle. In a charge which our cavalry made upon a Rebel brigade we
were repulsed, leaving several killed and wounded upon the ground.
Some of Pike's Indians, after their dispersal, came upon these, and
scalped the dead and living without distinction. A Rebel officer
subsequently informed me that the same Indians scalped several of
their own slain, and barbarously murdered some who had been only
slightly injured.

On this part of the field we were fortunate, early in the day, in
killing General McCulloch and his best lieutenant, General McIntosh.
To this misfortune the Rebels have since ascribed their easy defeat.
At the time of this reverse to the enemy, General Van Dorn was with.
Price in our front. After their repulse and the death of their leader,
the discomfited Rebels joined their comrades in the front, who had
been more successful. It was nightfall before the two forces were

In our front, Colonel Carr's Division fought steadily and earnestly
during the entire day, but was pressed back fully two-thirds of a
mile. General Curtis gave it what re-enforcements he could, but there
were very few to be spared. When it was fully ascertained that the
Rebels on our left had gone to our front, we prepared to unite against
them. Our left was drawn in to re-enforce Colonel Carr, but the
movement was not completed until long after dark.

Thus night came. The rebels were in full possession of our
communications. We had repulsed them on the left, but lost ground,
guns, and men on our front. The Rebels were holding Elkhorn Tavern,
which we had made great effort to defend. Colonel Carr had repeatedly
wished for either night or re-enforcements. He obtained both.

The commanding officers visited General Curtis's head-quarters,
and received their orders for the morrow. Our whole force was to be
concentrated on our front. If the enemy did not attack us at daylight,
we would attack him as soon thereafter as practicable.

Viewed in its best light, the situation was somewhat gloomy. Mr.
Fayel, of the _Democrat_, and myself were the only journalists
with the army, and the cessation of the day's fighting found us
deliberating on our best course in case of a disastrous result. We
destroyed all documents that could give information to the enemy,
retaining only our note-books, and such papers as pertained to our
profession. With patience and resignation we awaited the events of the

I do not know that any of our officers expected we should be
overpowered, but there were many who thought such an occurrence
probable. The enemy was nearly twice as strong as we, and lay directly
between us and our base. If he could hold out till our ammunition was
exhausted, we should be compelled to lay down our arms. There was no
retreat for us. We must be victorious or we must surrender.

In camp, on that night, every thing was confusion. The troops that had
been on the left during the day were being transferred to the front.
The quartermaster was endeavoring to get his train in the least
dangerous place. The opposing lines were so near each other that our
men could easily hear the conversation of the Rebels. The night was
not severely cold; but the men, who were on the front, after a day's
fighting, found it quite uncomfortable. Only in the rear was it
thought prudent to build fires.

The soldiers of German birth were musical. Throughout the night I
repeatedly heard their songs. The soldiers of American parentage
were generally profane, and the few words I heard them utter were the
reverse of musical. Those of Irish origin combined the peculiarities
of both Germans and Americans, with their tendencies in favor of the

I sought a quiet spot within the limits of the camp, but could not
find it. Lying down in the best place available, I had just fallen
asleep when a mounted orderly rode his horse directly over me. I made
a mild remonstrance, but the man was out of hearing before I spoke.
Soon after, some one lighted a pipe and threw a coal upon my hand.
This drew from me a gentle request for a discontinuance of that
experiment. I believe it was not repeated. During the night Mr.
Fayel's beard took fire, and I was roused to assist in staying the

The vocal music around me was not calculated to encourage drowsiness.
Close at hand was the quartermaster's train, with the mules ready
harnessed for moving in any direction. These mules had not been fed
for two whole days, and it was more than thirty-six hours since they
had taken water. These facts were made known in the best language the
creatures possessed. The bray of a mule is never melodious, even when
the animal's throat is well moistened. When it is parched and dusty
the sound becomes unusually hoarse. Each hour added to the noise as
the thirst of the musicians increased. Mr. Fayel provoked a discussion
concerning the doctrine of the transmigration of souls; and thought,
in the event of its truth, that the wretch was to be pitied who should
pass into a mule in time of war.

With the dawn of day every one was astir. At sunrise I found our
line was not quite ready, though it was nearly so. General Curtis
was confident all would result successfully, and completed the few
arrangements then requiring attention. We had expected the Rebels
would open the attack; but they waited for us to do so. They deserved
many thanks for their courtesy. The smoke of the previous day's fight
still hung over the camp, and the sun rose through it, as through a
cloud. A gentle wind soon dissipated this smoke, and showed us a clear
sky overhead. The direction of the wind was in our favor.

The ground selected for deciding the fate of that day was a huge
cornfield, somewhat exceeding two miles in length and about half a
mile in width. The western extremity of this field rested upon the
ridge which gave name to the battle-ground. The great road from
Springfield to Fayetteville crossed this field about midway from the
eastern to the western end.

It was on this road that the two armies took their positions.
The lines were in the edge of the woods on opposite sides of the
field--the wings of the armies extending to either end. On the
northern side were the Rebels, on the southern was the National army.
Thus each army, sheltered by the forest, had a cleared space in its
front, affording a full view of the enemy.


By half-past seven o'clock our line was formed and ready for action. A
little before eight o'clock the cannonade was opened. Our forces
were regularly drawn up in order of battle. Our batteries were placed
between the regiments as they stood in line. In the timber, behind
these regiments and batteries, were the brigades in reserve, ready
to be brought forward in case of need. At the ends of the line were
battalions of cavalry, stretching off to cover the wings, and give
notice of any attempt by the Rebels to move on our flanks. Every five
minutes the bugle of the extreme battalion would sound the signal
"All's well." The signal would be taken by the bugler of the next
battalion, and in this way carried down the line to the center. If
the Rebels had made any attempt to outflank us, we could hardly have
failed to discover it at once.

Our batteries opened; the Rebel batteries responded. Our gunners
proved the best, and our shot had the greatest effect. We had better
ammunition than that of our enemies, and thus reduced the disparity
caused by their excess of guns. Our cannonade was slow and careful;
theirs was rapid, and was made at random. At the end of two hours of
steady, earnest work, we could see that the Rebel line was growing
weaker, while our own was still unshaken. The work of the artillery
was winning us the victory.

In the center of the Rebel line was a rocky hill, eighty or a hundred
feet in height. The side which faced us was almost perpendicular, but
the slope to the rear was easy of ascent. On this hill the Rebels had
stationed two regiments of infantry and a battery of artillery. The
balance of their artillery lay at its base. General Curtis ordered
that the fire of all our batteries should be concentrated on this hill
at a given signal, and continued there for ten minutes. This was done.
At the same time our infantry went forward in a charge on the Rebel
infantry and batteries that stood in the edge of the forest. The
cleared field afforded fine opportunity for the movement.

The charge was successful. The Rebels fell back in disorder, leaving
three guns in our hands, and their dead and wounded scattered on the
ground. This was the end of the battle. We had won the victory at Pea

I followed our advancing forces, and ascended to the summit of the
elevation on which our last fire was concentrated. Wounded men were
gathered in little groups, and the dead were lying thick about them.
The range of our artillery had been excellent. Rocks, trees, and earth
attested the severity of our fire. This cannonade was the decisive
work of the day. It was the final effort of our batteries, and was
terrible while it lasted.

The shells, bursting among the dry leaves, had set the woods on fire,
and the flames were slowly traversing the ground where the battle had
raged. We made every effort to remove the wounded to places of safety,
before the fire should reach them. At that time we thought we had
succeeded. Late in the afternoon I found several wounded men lying in
secluded places, where they had been terribly burned, though they were
still alive. Very few of them survived.

Our loss in this battle was a tenth of our whole force. The enemy lost
more than we in numbers, though less in proportion to his strength.
His position, directly in our rear, would have been fatal to a
defeated army in many other localities. There were numerous small
roads, intersecting the great road at right angles. On these roads the
Rebels made their lines of retreat. Had we sent cavalry in pursuit,
the Rebels would have lost heavily in artillery and in their supply
train. As it was, they escaped without material loss, but they
suffered a defeat which ultimately resulted in our possession of all
Northern Arkansas.

The Rebels retreated across the Boston Mountains to Van Buren and Fort
Smith, and were soon ordered thence to join Beauregard at Corinth.
Our army moved to Keytsville, Missouri, several miles north of the
battle-ground, where the country was better adapted to foraging, and
more favorable to recuperating from the effects of the conflict.

From Keytsville it moved to Forsyth, a small town in Taney County,
Missouri, fifty miles from Springfield. Extending over a considerable
area, the army consumed whatever could be found in the vicinity. It
gave much annoyance to the Rebels by destroying the saltpeter works on
the upper portion of White River.

The saltpeter manufactories along the banks of this stream were of
great importance to the Rebels in the Southwest, and their destruction
seriously reduced the supplies of gunpowder in the armies of Arkansas
and Louisiana. Large quantities of the crude material were shipped
to Memphis and other points, in the early days of the war. At certain
seasons White River is navigable to Forsyth. The Rebels made every
possible use of their opportunities, as long as the stream remained in
their possession.

Half sick in consequence of the hardships of the campaign, and
satisfied there would be no more fighting of importance during the
summer, I determined to go back to civilization. I returned to
St. Louis by way of Springfield and Rolla. A wounded officer,
Lieutenant-Colonel Herron (who afterward wore the stars of a
major-general), was my traveling companion. Six days of weary toil
over rough and muddy roads brought us to the railway, within twelve
hours of St. Louis. It was my last campaign in that region. From that
date the war in the Southwest had its chief interest in the country
east of the Great River.



At St. Louis.--Progress of our Arms in the Great Valley.--Cairo.--Its
Peculiarities and Attractions.--Its Commercial, Geographical, and
Sanitary Advantages.--Up the Tennessee.--Movements Preliminary to
the Great Battle.--The Rebels and their Plans.--Postponement of
the Attack.--Disadvantages of our Position.--The Beginning of the
Battle.--Results of the First Day.--Re-enforcements.--Disputes between
Officers of our two Armies.--Beauregard's Watering-Place.

On reaching St. Louis, three weeks after the battle of Pea Ridge, I
found that public attention was centered upon the Tennessee River.
Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, Columbus, and Nashville had fallen, and
our armies were pushing forward toward the Gulf, by the line of the
Tennessee. General Pope was laying siege to Island Number Ten, having
already occupied New Madrid, and placed his gun-boats in front of
that point. General Grant's army was at Pittsburg Landing, and General
Buell's army was moving from Nashville toward Savannah, Tennessee.
The two armies were to be united at Pittsburg Landing, for a further
advance into the Southern States. General Beauregard was at Corinth,
where he had been joined by Price and Van Dorn from Arkansas, and by
Albert Sidney Johnston from Kentucky. There was a promise of active
hostilities in that quarter. I left St. Louis, after a few days' rest,
for the new scene of action.

Cairo lay in my route. I found it greatly changed from the Cairo of
the previous autumn. Six months before, it had been the rendezvous of
the forces watching the Lower Mississippi. The basin in which the town
stood, was a vast military encampment. Officers of all rank thronged
the hotels, and made themselves as comfortable as men could be in
Cairo. All the leading journals of the country were represented,
and the dispatches from Cairo were everywhere perused with interest,
though they were not always entirety accurate.

March and April witnessed a material change. Where there had been
twenty thousand soldiers in December, there were less than one
thousand in April. Where a fleet of gun-boats, mortar-rafts, and
transports had been tied to the levees during the winter months, the
opening spring showed but a half-dozen steamers of all classes. The
transports and the soldiers were up the Tennessee, the mortars were
bombarding Island Number Ten, and the gun-boats were on duty where
their services were most needed. The journalists had become war
correspondents in earnest, and were scattered to the points of
greatest interest.

Cairo had become a vast depot of supplies for the armies operating
on the Mississippi and its tributaries. The commander of the post was
more a forwarding agent than a military officer. The only steamers at
the levee were loading for the armies. Cairo was a map of busy, muddy

The opening year found Cairo exulting in its deep and all-pervading
mud. There was mud everywhere.

Levee, sidewalks, floors, windows, tables, bed-clothing, all were
covered with it. On the levee it varied from six to thirty inches
in depth. The luckless individual whose duties obliged him to make
frequent journeys from the steamboat landing to the principal hotel,
became intimately acquainted with its character.

Sad, unfortunate, derided Cairo! Your visitors depart with unpleasant
memories. Only your inhabitants, who hold titles to corner lots, speak
loudly in your praise. When it rains, and sometimes when it does not,
your levee is unpleasant to walk upon. Your sidewalks are dangerous,
and your streets are unclean. John Phenix declared you destitute of
honesty. Dickens asserted that your physical and moral foundations
were insecurely laid. Russell did not praise you, and Trollope uttered
much to your discredit. Your musquitos are large, numerous, and
hungry. Your atmosphere does not resemble the spicy breezes that blow
soft o'er Ceylon's isle. Your energy and enterprise are commendable,
and your geographical location is excellent, but you can never become
a rival to Saratoga or Newport.

Cairo is built in a basin formed by constructing a levee to inclose
the peninsula at the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.
Before the erection of the levee, this peninsula was overflowed by the
rise of either river. Sometimes, in unusual floods, the waters reach
the top of the embankment, and manage to fill the basin. At the
time of my visit, the Ohio was rising rapidly. The inhabitants were
alarmed, as the water was gradually gaining upon them. After a time it
took possession of the basin, enabling people to navigate the streets
and front yards in skiffs, and exchange salutations from house-tops
or upper windows. Many were driven from their houses by the flood, and
forced to seek shelter elsewhere. In due time the waters receded and
the city remained unharmed. It is not true that a steamer was lost in
consequence of running against a chimney of the St. Charles Hotel.

Cairo has prospered during the war, and is now making an effort
to fill her streets above the high-water level, and insure a dry
foundation at all seasons of the year. This once accomplished, Cairo
will become a city of no little importance.

Proceeding up the Tennessee, I reached Pittsburg Landing three days
after the great battle which has made that locality famous.

The history of that battle has been many times written. Official
reports have given the dry details,--the movements of division,
brigade, regiment, and battery, all being fully portrayed. A few
journalists who witnessed it gave the accounts which were circulated
everywhere by the Press. The earliest of these was published by _The
Herald._ The most complete and graphic was that of Mr. Reid, of _The
Cincinnati Gazette._ Officers, soldiers, civilians, all with greater
or less experience, wrote what they had heard and seen. So diverse
have been the statements, that a general officer who was prominent in
the battle, says he sometimes doubts if he was present.

In the official accounts there have been inharmonious deductions, and
many statements of a contradictory character. Some of the participants
have criticised unfavorably the conduct of others, and a bitterness
continuing through and after the war has been the result.

In February of 1862, the Rebels commenced assembling an army at
Corinth. General Beauregard was placed in command. Early in March,
Price and Van Dorn were ordered to take their commands to Corinth,
as their defeat at Pea Ridge had placed them on the defensive against
General Curtis. General A. S. Johnston had moved thither, after the
evacuation of Bowling Green, Kentucky, and from all quarters
the Rebels were assembling a vast army. General Johnston became
commander-in-chief on his arrival.

General Halleck, who then commanded the Western Department, ordered
General Grant, after the capture of Forts Henry and Donelson, to move
to Pittsburg Landing, and seize that point as a base against Corinth.
General Buell, with the Army of the Ohio, was ordered to join him from
Nashville, and with other re-enforcements we would be ready to take
the offensive.

Owing to the condition of the roads, General Buell moved very slowly,
so that General Grant was in position at Pittsburg Landing several
days before the former came up. This was the situation at the
beginning of April; Grant encamped on the bank of the Tennessee
nearest the enemy, and Buell slowly approaching the opposite bank. It
was evidently the enemy's opportunity to strike his blow before our
two armies should be united.

On the 4th of April, the Rebels prepared to move from Corinth to
attack General Grant's camp, but, on account of rain, they delayed
their advance till the morning of the 6th. At daylight of the 6th our
pickets were driven in, and were followed by the advance of the Rebel

The division whose camp was nearest to Corinth, and therefore the
first to receive the onset of the enemy, was composed of the newest
troops in the army. Some of the regiments had received their arms less
than two weeks before. The outposts were not sufficiently far from
camp to allow much time for getting under arms after the first
encounter. A portion of this division was attacked before it could
form, but its commander, General Prentiss, promptly rallied his men,
and made a vigorous fight. He succeeded, for a time, in staying the
progress of the enemy, but the odds against him were too great. When
his division was surrounded and fighting was no longer of use, he
surrendered his command. At the time of surrender he had little more
than a thousand men remaining out of a division six thousand strong.
Five thousand were killed, wounded, or had fled to the rear.

General Grant had taken no precautions against attack. The
vedettes were but a few hundred yards from our front, and we had no
breast-works of any kind behind which to fight. The newest and least
reliable soldiers were at the point where the enemy would make his
first appearance. The positions of the various brigades and divisions
were taken, more with reference to securing a good camping-ground,
than for purposes of strategy. General Grant showed himself a soldier
in the management of the army after the battle began, and he has since
achieved a reputation as the greatest warrior of the age. Like the
oculist who spoiled a hatful of eyes in learning to operate for the
cataract, he improved his military knowledge by his experience at
Shiloh. Never afterward did he place an army in the enemy's country
without making careful provision against assault.

One division, under General Wallace, was at Crump's Landing, six miles
below the battle-ground, and did not take part in the action till the
following day. The other divisions were in line to meet the enemy soon
after the fighting commenced on General Prentiss's front, and made a
stubborn resistance to the Rebel advance.

The Rebels well knew they would have no child's play in that battle.
They came prepared for hot, terrible work, in which thousands of men
were to fall. The field attests our determined resistance; it attests
their daring advance. A day's fighting pushed us slowly, but steadily,
toward the Tennessee. Our last line was formed less than a half mile
from its bank. Sixty pieces of artillery composed a grand battery,
against which the enemy rushed. General Grant's officers claim that
the enemy received a final check when he attacked that line. The
Rebels claim that another hour of daylight, had we received no
re-enforcements, would have seen our utter defeat. Darkness and a
fresh division came to our aid.

General Buell was to arrive at Savannah, ten miles below Pittsburg,
and on the opposite bank of the river, on the morning of the 6th. On
the evening of the 5th, General Grant proceeded to Savannah to meet
him, and was there when the battle began on the following morning.
His boat was immediately headed for Pittsburg, and by nine o'clock
the General was on the battle-field. From that time, the engagement
received his personal attention. When he started from Savannah, some
of General Buell's forces were within two miles of the town. They were
hurried forward as rapidly as possible, and arrived at Pittsburg, some
by land and others by water, in season to take position on our left,
just as the day was closing. Others came up in the night, and formed a
part of the line on the morning of the 7th.

General Nelson's Division was the first to cross the river and form
on the left of Grant's shattered army. As he landed, Nelson rode among
the stragglers by the bank and endeavored to rally them. Hailing a
captain of infantry, he told him to get his men together and fall into
line. The captain's face displayed the utmost terror. "My regiment
is cut to pieces," was the rejoinder; "every man of my company is

"Then why ain't you killed, too, you d----d coward?" thundered Nelson.
"Gather some of these stragglers and go back into the battle."

The man obeyed the order.


General Nelson reported to General Grant with his division, received
his orders, and then dashed about the field, wherever his presence was
needed. The division was only slightly engaged before night came on
and suspended the battle.

At dawn on the second day the enemy lay in the position it held When
darkness ended the fight. The gun-boats had shelled the woods during
the night, and prevented the Rebels from reaching the river on our
left. A creek and ravine prevented their reaching it on the right.
None of the Rebels stood on the bank of the Tennessee River on that
occasion, except as prisoners of war.

As they had commenced the attack on the 6th, it was our turn to begin
it on the 7th. A little past daylight we opened fire, and the fresh
troops on the left, under General Buell, were put in motion. The
Rebels had driven us on the 6th, so we drove them on the 7th. By noon
of that day we held the ground lost on the day previous.

The camps which the enemy occupied during the night were comparatively
uninjured, so confident were the Rebels that our defeat was assured.

It was the arrival of General Buell's army that saved us. The history
of that battle, as the Rebels have given it, shows that they expected
to overpower General Grant before General Buell could come up. They
would then cross the Tennessee, meet and defeat Buell, and recapture
Nashville. The defeat of these two armies would have placed the Valley
of the Ohio at the command of the Rebels. Louisville was to have been
the next point of attack.

The dispute between the officers of the Army of the Tennessee and
those of the Army of the Ohio is not likely to be terminated until
this generation has passed away. The former contend that the Rebels
were repulsed on the evening of the 6th of April, before the Army of
the Ohio took part in the battle. The latter are equally earnest in
declaring that the Army of the Tennessee would have been defeated had
not the other army arrived. Both parties sustain their arguments by
statements in proof, and by positive assertions. I believe it is the
general opinion of impartial observers, that the salvation of General
Grant's army is due to the arrival of the army of General Buell. With
the last attack on the evening of the 6th, in which our batteries
repulsed the Rebels, the enemy did not retreat. Night came as the
fighting ceased. Beauregard's army slept where it had fought, and
gave all possible indication of a readiness to renew the battle on the
following day. So near was it to the river that our gun-boats threw
shells during the night to prevent our left wing being flanked.

Beauregard is said to have sworn to water his horse in the Tennessee,
or in Hell, on that night. It is certain that the animal did not
quench his thirst in the terrestrial stream. If he drank from springs
beyond the Styx, I am not informed.



The Error of the Rebels.--Story of a Surgeon.--Experience of a
Rebel Regiment.--Injury to the Rebel Army.--The Effect in our own
Lines.--Daring of a Color-Bearer.--A Brave Soldier.--A Drummer-Boy's
Experience.--Gallantry of an Artillery Surgeon.--A Regiment Commanded
by a Lieutenant.--Friend Meeting Friend and Brother Meeting Brother
in the Opposing Lines.--The Scene of the Battle.--Fearful Traces
of Musketry-Fire.--The Wounded.--The Labor of the Sanitary
Commission.--Humanity a Yankee Trick.--Besieging Corinth.--A
Cold-Water Battery.--Halleck and the Journalists.--Occupation of

The fatal error of the Rebels, was their neglect to attack on the 4th,
as originally intended. They were informed by their scouts that Buell
could not reach Savannah before the 9th or 10th; and therefore a delay
of two days would not change the situation. Buell was nearer than they

The surgeon of the Sixth Iowa Infantry fell into the enemy's hands
early on the morning of the first day of the battle, and established a
hospital in our abandoned camp. His position was at a small log-house
close by the principal road. Soon after he took possession, the
enemy's columns began to file past him, as they pressed our army. The
surgeon says he noticed a Louisiana regiment that moved into battle
eight hundred strong, its banners flying and the men elated at the
prospect of success. About five o'clock in the afternoon this regiment
was withdrawn, and went into bivouac a short distance from the
surgeon's hospital. It was then less than four hundred strong, but the
spirit of the men was still the same. On the morning of the 7th,
it once more went into battle. About noon it came out, less than a
hundred strong, pressing in retreat toward Corinth. The men still
clung to their flag, and declared their determination to be avenged.

The story of this regiment was the story of many others. Shattered and
disorganized, their retreat to Corinth had but little order. Only the
splendid rear-guard, commanded by General Bragg, saved them from utter
confusion. The Rebels admitted that many of their regiments were
unable to produce a fifth of their original numbers, until a week
or more after the battle. The stragglers came in slowly from the
surrounding country, and at length enabled the Rebels to estimate
their loss. There were many who never returned to answer at roll-call.

In our army, the disorder was far from small. Large numbers of
soldiers wandered for days about the camps, before they could
ascertain their proper locations. It was fully a week, before all
were correctly assigned. We refused to allow burying parties from the
Rebels to come within our lines, preferring that they should not
see the condition of our camp. Time was required to enable us to
recuperate. I presume the enemy was as much in need of time as

A volume could be filled with the stories of personal valor during
that battle. General Lew Wallace says his division was, at a certain
time, forming on one side of a field, while the Rebels were on the
opposite side. The color-bearer of a Rebel regiment stepped in front
of his own line, and waved his flag as a challenge to the color-bearer
that faced him. Several of our soldiers wished to meet the challenge,
but their officers forbade it. Again the Rebel stepped forward, and
planted his flag-staff in the ground. There was no response, and again
and again he advanced, until he had passed more than half the distance
between the opposing lines. Our fire was reserved in admiration of the
man's daring, as he stood full in view, defiantly waving his banner.
At last, when the struggle between the divisions commenced, it was
impossible to save him, and he fell dead by the side of his colors.

On the morning of the second day's fighting, the officers of one of
our gun-boats saw a soldier on the river-bank on our extreme left,
assisting another soldier who was severely wounded. A yawl was sent to
bring away the wounded man and his companion. As it touched the side
of the gun-boat on its return, the uninjured soldier asked to be sent
back to land, that he might have further part in the battle. "I have,"
said he, "been taking care of this man, who is my neighbor at home. He
was wounded yesterday morning, and I have been by his side ever since.
Neither of us has eaten any thing for thirty hours, but, if you will
take good care of him, I will not stop now for myself. I want to get
into the battle again at once." The man's request was complied with. I
regret my inability to give his name.

A drummer-boy of the Fifteenth Iowa Infantry was wounded five times
during the first day's battle, but insisted upon going out on the
second day. He had hardly started before he fainted from loss of
blood, and was left to recover and crawl back to the camp.

Colonel Sweeney, of the Fifty-second Illinois Infantry, who lost an
arm in Mexico and was wounded in the leg at Wilson Creek, received a
wound in his arm on the first day of the battle. He kept his saddle,
though he was unable to use his arm, and went to the hospital after
the battle was over. When I saw him he was venting his indignation
at the Rebels, because they had not wounded him in the stump of
his amputated arm, instead of the locality which gave him so much
inconvenience. It was this officer's fortune to be wounded on nearly
every occasion when he went into battle.

During the battle, Dr. Cornyn, surgeon of Major Cavender's battalion
of Missouri Artillery, saw a section of a battery whose commander had
been killed. The doctor at once removed the surgeon's badge from his
hat and the sash from his waist, and took command of the guns. He
placed them in position, and for several hours managed them with good
effect. He was twice wounded, though not severely. "I was determined
they should not kill or capture me as a surgeon when I had charge
of that artillery," said the doctor afterward, "and so removed every
thing that marked my rank."

The Rebels made some very desperate charges against our artillery, and
lost heavily in each attack. Once they actually laid their hands on
the muzzles of two guns in Captain Stone's battery, but were unable to
capture them.

General Hurlbut stated that his division fought all day on Sunday with
heavy loss, but only one regiment broke. When he entered the battle
on Monday morning, the Third Iowa Infantry was commanded by a
first-lieutenant, all the field officers and captains having been
disabled or captured. Several regiments were commanded by captains.

Colonel McHenry, of the Seventeenth Kentucky, said his regiment fought
a Kentucky regiment which was raised in the county where his own was
organized. The fight was very fierce. The men frequently called out
from one to another, using taunting epithets. Two brothers recognized
each other at the same moment, and came to a tree midway between the
lines, where they conversed for several minutes.

The color-bearer of the Fifty-second Illinois was wounded early in the
battle. A man who was under arrest for misdemeanor asked the privilege
of carrying the colors. It was granted, and he behaved so admirably
that he was released from arrest as soon as the battle was ended.

General Halleck arrived a week after the battle, and commenced a
reorganization of the army. He found much confusion consequent upon
the battle. In a short time the army was ready to take the offensive.
We then commenced the advance upon Corinth, in which we were six
weeks moving twenty-five miles. When our army first took position
at Pittsburg Landing, and before the Rebels had effected their
concentration, General Grant asked permission to capture Corinth.
He felt confident of success, but was ordered not to bring on an
engagement under any circumstances. Had the desired permission been
given, there is little doubt he would have succeeded, and thus avoided
the necessity of the battle of Shiloh.

The day following my arrival at Pittsburg Landing I rode over the
battle-field. The ground was mostly wooded, the forest being one
in which artillery could be well employed, but where cavalry was
comparatively useless. The ascent from the river was up a steep bluff
that led to a broken table-ground, in which there were many ravines,
generally at right angles to the river. On this table-ground our camps
were located, and it was there the battle took place.

Everywhere the trees were scarred and shattered, telling, as plainly
as by words, of the shower of shot, shell, and bullets, that had
fallen upon them. Within rifle range of the river, stood a tree
marked by a cannon-shot, showing how much we were pressed back on
the afternoon of the 6th. From the moment the crest of the bluff was
gained, the traces of battle were apparent.

In front of the line where General Prentiss's Division fought, there
was a spot of level ground covered with a dense growth of small trees.
The tops of these trees were from twelve to fifteen feet high, and had
been almost mowed off by the shower of bullets which passed through
them. I saw no place where there was greater evidence of severe work.
There was everywhere full proof that the battle was a determined one.
Assailant and defendant had done their best.

It was a ride of five miles among scarred trees, over ground cut by
the wheels of guns and caissons, among shattered muskets, disabled
cannon, broken wagons, and all the heavier débris of battle.
Everywhere could be seen torn garments, haversacks, and other personal
equipments of soldiers. There were tents where the wounded had been
gathered, and where those who could not easily bear movement to the
transports were still remaining. In every direction I moved, there
were the graves of the slain, the National and the Rebel soldiers
being buried side by side. Few of the graves were marked, as the
hurry of interment had been great. I fear that many of those graves,
undesignated and unfenced, have long since been leveled. A single
year, with its rain and its rank vegetation, would leave but a small
trace of those mounds.

All through that forest the camps of our army were scattered. During
the first few days after the battle they showed much irregularity, but
gradually took a more systematic shape. When the wounded had been
sent to the transports, the regiments compacted, the camps cleared
of superfluous baggage and _matériel_, and the weather became more
propitious, the army assumed an attractive appearance.

When the news of the battle reached the principal cities of the West,
the Sanitary Commission prepared to send relief. Within twenty-four
hours, boats were dispatched from St. Louis and Cincinnati, and
hurried to Pittsburg Landing with the utmost rapidity. The battle had
not been altogether unexpected, but it found us without the proper
preparation. Whatever we had was pushed forward without delay, and the
sufferings of the wounded were alleviated as much as possible.

As fast as the boats arrived they were loaded with wounded, and sent
to St. Louis and other points along the Mississippi, or to Cincinnati
and places in its vicinity. Chicago, St. Louis, and Cincinnati were
the principal points represented in this work of humanity. Many
prominent ladies of those cities passed week after week in the
hospitals or on the transports, doing every thing in their power, and
giving their attention to friend and foe alike.

In all cases the Rebels were treated with the same kindness that our
own men received. Not only on the boats, but in the hospitals where
the wounded were distributed, and until they were fully recovered, our
suffering prisoners were faithfully nursed. The Rebel papers afterward
admitted this kind treatment, but declared it was a Yankee trick to
win the sympathies of our prisoners, and cause them to abandon the
insurgent cause. The men who systematically starved their prisoners,
and deprived them of shelter and clothing, could readily suspect the
humanity of others. They were careful never to attempt to kill by
kindness, those who were so unfortunate as to fall into their hands.

It was three weeks after the battle before all the wounded were sent
away, and the army was ready for offensive work. When we were once
more in fighting trim, our lines were slowly pushed forward. General
Pope had been called from the vicinity of Fort Pillow, after his
capture of Island Number Ten, and his army was placed in position
on the left of the line already formed. When our advance began, we
mustered a hundred and ten thousand men. Exclusive of those who do not
take part in a battle, we could have easily brought eighty thousand
men into action. We began the siege of Corinth with every confidence
in our ability to succeed.

In this advance, we first learned how an army should intrench
itself. Every time we took a new position, we proceeded to throw
up earth-works. Before the siege was ended, our men had perfected
themselves in the art of intrenching. The defenses we erected will
long remain as monuments of the war in Western Tennessee. Since
General Halleck, no other commander has shown such ability to fortify
in an open field against an enemy that was acting on the defensive.

It was generally proclaimed that we were to capture Corinth with all
its garrison of sixty or seventy thousand men. The civilian observers
could not understand how this was to be accomplished, as the Rebels
had two lines of railway open for a safe retreat. It was like the old
story of "bagging Price" in Missouri. Every part of the bag, except
the top and one side, was carefully closed and closely watched.
Unmilitary men were skeptical, but the military heads assured them it
was a piece of grand strategy, which the public must not be allowed to

During the siege, there was very little for a journalist to record.
One day was much like another. Occasionally there would be a collision
with the enemy's pickets, or a short struggle for a certain position,
usually ending in our possession of the disputed point. The battle of
Farmington, on the left of our line, was the only engagement worthy
the name, and this was of comparatively short duration. Twenty-four
hours after it transpired we ceased to talk about it, and made only
occasional reference to the event. There were four weeks of monotony.
An advance of a half mile daily was not calculated to excite the

The chaplains and the surgeons busied themselves in looking after
the general health of the army. One day, a chaplain, noted for his
advocacy of total abstinence, passed the camp of the First Michigan
Battery. This company was raised in Coldwater, Michigan, and the
camp-chests, caissons, and other property were marked "Loomis's
Coldwater Battery." The chaplain at once sought Captain Loomis, and
paid a high compliment to his moral courage in taking a firm and noble
stand in favor of temperance. After the termination of the interview,
the captain and several friends drank to the long life of the chaplain
and the success of the "Coldwater Battery."

Toward the end of the siege, General Halleck gave the journalists a
sensation, by expelling them from his lines. The representatives of
the Press held a meeting, and waited upon that officer, after the
appearance of the order requiring their departure. They offered a
protest, which was insolently rejected. We could not ascertain General
Halleck's purpose in excluding us just as the campaign was closing,
but concluded he desired we should not witness the end of the siege
in which so much had been promised and so little accomplished. A week
after our departure, General Beauregard evacuated Corinth, and our
army took possession. The fruits of the victory were an empty village,
a few hundred stragglers, and a small quantity of war _matériel_.

From Corinth the Rebels retreated to Tupelo, Mississippi, where
they threw up defensive works. The Rebel Government censured General
Beauregard for abandoning Corinth. The evacuation of that point
uncovered Memphis, and allowed it to fall into our hands.

Beauregard was removed from command. General Joseph E. Johnston was
assigned to duty in his stead. This officer proceeded to reorganize
his army, with a view to offensive operations against our lines.
He made no demonstrations of importance until the summer months had
passed away.

The capture of Corinth terminated the offensive portion of the
campaign. Our army occupied the line of the Memphis and Charleston
Railway from Corinth to Memphis, and made a visit to Holly Springs
without encountering the enemy. A few cavalry expeditions were made
into Mississippi, but they accomplished nothing of importance. The
Army of the Tennessee went into summer-quarters. The Army of the Ohio,
under General Buell, returned to its proper department, to confront
the Rebel armies then assembling in Eastern Tennessee. General Halleck
was summoned to Washington as commander-in-chief of the armies of the
United States.



The Siege of Fort Pillow.--General Pope.--His Reputation for Veracity.
--Capture of the "Ten Thousand."--Naval Battle above Fort Pillow.--The
John II. Dickey.--Occupation of the Fort.--General Forrest.--Strength
of the Fortifications.--Their Location.--Randolph, Tennessee.--Memphis
and her Last Ditch.--Opening of the Naval Combat.--Gallant Action
of Colonel Ellet.--Fate of the Rebel Fleet.--The People Viewing the
Battle.--Their Conduct.

While I was tarrying at Cairo, after the exodus of the journalists
from the army before Corinth, the situation on the Mississippi became
interesting. After the capture of Island Number Ten, General Pope was
ordered to Pittsburg Landing with his command. When called away, he
was preparing to lay siege to Fort Pillow, in order to open the river
to Memphis. His success at Island Number Ten had won him much credit,
and he was anxious to gain more of the same article. Had he taken Fort
Pillow, he would have held the honor of being the captor of Memphis,
as that city must have fallen with the strong fortifications which
served as its protection.

The capture of Island Number Ten was marked by the only instance of a
successful canal from one bend of the Mississippi to another. As soon
as the channel was completed, General Pope took his transports below
the island, ready for moving his men. Admiral Foote tried the first
experiment of running his gun-boats past the Rebel batteries, and was
completely successful. The Rebel transports could not escape, neither
could transports or gun-boats come up from Memphis to remove the Rebel
army. There was a lake in the rear of the Rebels which prevented their
retreat. The whole force, some twenty-eight hundred, was surrendered,
with all its arms and munitions of war. General Pope reported his
captures somewhat larger than they really were, and received much
applause for his success.

The reputation of this officer, on the score of veracity, has not been
of the highest character. After he assumed command in Virginia, his
"Order Number Five" drew upon him much ridicule. Probably the story
of the capture of ten thousand prisoners, after the occupation of
Corinth, has injured him more than all other exaggerations combined.
The paternity of that choice bit of romance belongs to General
Halleck, instead of General Pope. Colonel Elliott, who commanded
the cavalry expedition, which General Pope sent out when Corinth
was occupied, forwarded a dispatch to Pope, something like the

"I am still pursuing the enemy. The woods are full of stragglers. Some
of my officers estimate their number as high as ten thousand. Many
have already come into my lines."


Pope sent this dispatch, without alteration, to General Halleck. From
the latter it went to the country that "General Pope reported ten
thousand prisoners captured below Corinth." It served to cover up
the barrenness of the Corinth occupation, and put the public in
good-humor. General Halleck received credit for the success of his
plans. When it came out that no prisoners of consequence had been
taken, the real author of the story escaped unharmed.

At the time of his departure to re-enforce the army before Corinth,
General Pope left but a single brigade of infantry, to act in
conjunction with our naval forces in the siege of Fort Pillow. This
brigade was encamped on the Arkansas shore opposite Fort Pillow, and
did some very effective fighting against the musquitos, which that
country produces in the greatest profusion. An attack on the fort,
with such a small force, was out of the question, and the principal
aggressive work was done by the navy at long range.

On the 10th of May, the Rebel fleet made an attack upon our navy,
in which they sunk two of our gun-boats, the _Mound City_ and the
_Cincinnati_, and returned to the protection of Fort Pillow with one
of their own boats disabled, and two others somewhat damaged. Our
sunken gun-boats were fortunately in shoal water, where they were
speedily raised and repaired. Neither fleet had much to boast of as
the result of that engagement.

The journalists who were watching Fort Pillow, had their head-quarters
on board the steamer _John H. Dickey_, which was anchored in
midstream. At the time of the approach of the Rebel gun-boats, the
_Dickey_ was lying without sufficient steam to move her wheels, and
the prospect was good that she might be captured or destroyed. Her
commander, Captain Mussleman, declared he was _not_ in that place to
stop cannon-shot, and made every exertion to get his boat in condition
to move. His efforts were fully appreciated by the journalists,
particularly as they were successful. The _Dickey_, under the same
captain, afterward ran a battery near Randolph, Tennessee, and though
pierced in every part by cannon-shot and musket-balls, she escaped
without any loss of life.

As soon as the news of the evacuation of Corinth was received at
Cairo, we looked for the speedy capture of Fort Pillow. Accordingly,
on the 4th of June, I proceeded down the river, arriving off Fort
Pillow on the morning of the 5th. The Rebels had left, as we expected,
after spiking their guns and destroying most of their ammunition. The
first boat to reach the abandoned fort was the _Hetty Gilmore_, one of
the smallest transports in the fleet. She landed a little party, which
took possession, hoisted the flag, and declared the fort, and all it
contained, the property of the United States. The Rebels were, by this
time, several miles distant, in full retreat to a safer location.

It was at this same fort, two years later, that the Rebel General
Forrest ordered the massacre of a garrison that had surrendered after
a prolonged defense. His only plea for this cold-blooded slaughter,
was that some of his men had been fired upon after the white flag was
raised. The testimony in proof of this barbarity was fully conclusive,
and gave General Forrest and his men a reputation that no honorable
soldier could desire.

In walking through the fort after its capture, I was struck by its
strength and extent. It occupied the base of a bluff near the water's
edge. On the summit of the bluff there were breast-works running in a
zigzag course for five or six miles, and inclosing a large area.
The works along the river were very strong, and could easily hold a
powerful fleet at bay.

From Fort Pillow to Randolph, ten miles lower down, was less than an
hour's steaming. Randolph was a small, worthless village, partly at
the base of a bluff, and partly on its summit. Here the Rebels had
erected a powerful fort, which they abandoned when they abandoned
Fort Pillow. The inhabitants expressed much agreeable astonishment
on finding that we did not verify all the statements of the Rebels,
concerning the barbarity of the Yankees wherever they set foot on
Southern soil. The town was most bitterly disloyal. It was afterward
burned, in punishment for decoying a steamboat to the landing, and
then attempting her capture and destruction. A series of blackened
chimneys now marks the site of Randolph.

Our capture of these points occurred a short time after the Rebels
issued the famous "cotton-burning order," commanding all planters to
burn their cotton, rather than allow it to fall into our hands. The
people showed no particular desire to comply with the order, except
in a few instances. Detachments of Rebel cavalry were sent to enforce
obedience. They enforced it by setting fire to the cotton in presence
of its owners. On both banks of the river, as we moved from Randolph
to Memphis, we could see the smoke arising from plantations, or from
secluded spots in the forest where cotton had been concealed. In many
cases the bales were broken open and rolled into the river, dotting
the stream with floating cotton. Had it then possessed the value that
attached to it two years later, I fear there would have been many
attempts to save it for transfer to a Northern market.

On the day before the evacuation of Fort Pillow, Memphis determined
she would never surrender. In conjunction with other cities, she
fitted up several gun-boats, that were expected to annihilate the
Yankee fleet. In the event of the failure of this means of defense,
the inhabitants were pledged to do many dreadful things before
submitting to the invaders. Had we placed any confidence in the
resolutions passed by the Memphians, we should have expected all the
denizens of the Bluff City to commit _hari-kari_, after first setting
fire to their dwellings.

On the morning of the 6th of June, the Rebel gun-boats, eight in
number, took their position just above Memphis, and prepared for the
advance of our fleet. The Rebel boats were the _Van Dorn_ (flag-ship),
_General Price_, _General Bragg_, _General Lovell_, _Little Rebel_,
_Jeff. Thompson_, _Sumter_, and _General Beauregard_. The _General
Bragg_ was the New Orleans and Galveston steamer _Mexico_ in former
days, and had been strengthened, plated, and, in other ways made as
effective as possible for warlike purposes. The balance of the fleet
consisted of tow-boats from the Lower Mississippi, fitted up as rams
and gun-boats. They were supplied with very powerful engines, and
were able to choose their positions in the battle. The Rebel fleet was
commanded by Commodore Montgomery, who was well known to many persons
on our own boats.

The National boats were the iron-clads _Benton, Carondelet, St. Louis,
Louisville_, and _Cairo_. There was also the ram fleet, commanded by
Colonel Ellet. It comprised the _Monarch, Queen of the West, Lioness,
Switzerland, Mingo, Lancaster No. 3, Fulton, Horner_, and _Samson_.
The _Monarch_ and _Queen of the West_ were the only boats of the
ram fleet that took part in the action. Our forces were commanded by
Flag-officer Charles H. Davis, who succeeded Admiral Foote at the time
of the illness of the latter.

The land forces, acting in conjunction with our fleet, consisted of a
single brigade of infantry, that was still at Fort Pillow. It did not
arrive in the vicinity of Memphis until after the battle was over.

Early in the morning the battle began. It was opened by the gun-boats
on the Rebel side, and for some minutes consisted of a cannonade at
long range, in which very little was effected. Gradually the boats
drew nearer to each other, and made better use of their guns.

Before they arrived at close quarters the rams _Monarch_ and _Queen
of the West_ steamed forward and engaged in the fight. Their
participation was most effective. The _Queen of the West_ struck and
disabled one of the Rebel gun-boats, and was herself disabled by the
force of the blow. The _Monarch_ steered straight for the _General
Lovell_, and dealt her a tremendous blow, fairly in the side, just aft
the wheel. The sides of the _Lovell_ were crushed as if they had been
made of paper, and the boat sank in less than three minutes, in a spot
where the plummet shows a depth of ninety feet.

Grappling with the _Beauregard_, the _Monarch_ opened upon her with
a stream of hot water and a shower of rifle-balls, which effectually
prevented the latter from using a gun. In a few moments she cast off
and drifted a short distance down the river. Coming up on the other
side, the _Monarch_ dealt her antagonist a blow that left her in a
sinking condition. Herself comparatively uninjured, she paused to
allow the gun-boats to take a part. Those insignificant and unwieldy
rams had placed three of the enemy's gun-boats _hors de combat_ in
less than a quarter of an hour's time.

Our gun-boats ceased firing as the rams entered the fight; but they
now reopened. With shot and shell the guns were rapidly served. The
effect was soon apparent. One Rebel boat was disabled and abandoned,
after grounding opposite Memphis. A second was grounded and blown up,
and two others were disabled, abandoned, and captured.

It was a good morning's work. The first gun was fired at forty minutes
past five o'clock, and the last at forty-three minutes past six. The
Rebels boasted they would whip us before breakfast. We had taken no
breakfast when the fight began. After the battle was over we enjoyed
our morning meal with a relish that does not usually accompany defeat.

The following shows the condition of the two fleets after the

  _General Beauregard_, sunk.
  _General Lovell_, sunk.
  _General Price_, injured and captured.
  _Little Rebel_,     "     "      "
  _Sumter_,           "     "      "
  _General Bragg_,    "     "      "
  _Jeff. Thompson_, burned.
  _General Van Dorn_, escaped.


  _Benton_, unhurt.
  _Carondelet_, "
  _St. Louis_,  "
  _Louisville_, "
  _Cairo_,      "
  _Monarch_ (ram), unhurt.
  _Queen of the West_ (ram), disabled.

The captured vessels were refitted, and, without alteration of names,
attached to the National fleet. The _Sumter_ was lost a few months
later, in consequence of running aground near the Rebel batteries in
the vicinity of Bayou Sara. The _Bragg_ was one of the best boats
in the service in point of speed, and proved of much value as a
dispatch-steamer on the lower portion of the river.

The people of Memphis rose at an early hour to witness the naval
combat. It had been generally known during the previous night that the
battle would begin about sunrise. The first gun brought a large crowd
to the bluff overlooking the river, whence a full view of the fight
was obtained. Some of the spectators were loyal, and wished success to
the National fleet, but the great majority were animated by a strong
hope and expectation of our defeat.

A gentleman, who was of the lookers-on, subsequently told me of the
conduct of the populace. As a matter of course, the disloyalists had
all the conversation their own way. While they expressed their wishes
in the loudest tones, no one uttered a word in opposition. Many
offered wagers on the success of their fleet, and expressed a
readiness to give large odds. No one dared accept these offers, as
their acceptance would have been an evidence of sympathy for the
Yankees. Americans generally, but particularly in the South, make
their wagers as they hope or wish. In the present instance no man was
allowed to "copper" on the Rebel flotilla.



Jeff. Thompson and his Predictions.--A Cry of Indignation.--Memphis
Humiliated.--The Journalists in the Battle.--The Surrender.--A Fine
Point of Law and Honor.--Going on Shore.--An Enraged Secessionist.--A
Dangerous Enterprise.--Memphis and her Antecedents.--Her Loyalty.--An
Amusing Incident.--How the Natives learned of the Capture of Fort
Donelson.--The Last Ditch.--A Farmer-Abolitionist.--Disloyalty among
the Women.--"Blessings in Disguise."--An American Mark Tapley.

The somewhat widely (though not favorably) known Rebel chieftain,
Jeff. Thompson, was in Memphis on the day of the battle, and boasted
of the easy victory the Rebels would have over the National fleet.

"We will chaw them up in just an hour," said Jeff., as the battle

"Are you sure of that?" asked a friend.

"Certainly I am; there is no doubt of it." Turning to a servant, he
sent for his horse, in order, as he said, to be able to move about
rapidly to the best points for witnessing the engagement.

In an hour and three minutes the battle was over. Jeff, turned in his
saddle, and bade his friend farewell, saying he had a note falling due
that day at Holly Springs, and was going out to pay it. The "chawing
up" of our fleet was not referred to again.

As the _Monarch_ struck the _Lovell_, sinking the latter in deep
water, the crowd stood breathless. As the crew of the sunken boat were
floating helplessly in the strong current, and our own skiffs were
putting off to aid them, there was hardly a word uttered through all
that multitude. As the Rebel boats, one after another, were sunk or
captured, the sympathies of the spectators found vent in words. When,
at length, the last of the Rebel fleet disappeared, and the Union
flotilla spread its flags in triumph, there went up an almost
universal yell of indignation from that vast crowd. Women tore their
bonnets from their heads, and trampled them on the ground; men stamped
and swore as only infuriated Rebels can, and called for all known
misfortunes to settle upon the heads of their invaders. The profanity
was not entirely monopolized by the men.

This scene of confusion lasted for some time, and ended in anxiety to
know what we would do next. Some of the spectators turned away, and
went, in sullen silence, to their homes. Others remained, out of
curiosity, to witness the end of the day's work. A few were secretly
rejoicing at the result, but the time had not come when they could
display their sympathies. The crowd eagerly watched our fleet, and
noted every motion of the various boats.

The press correspondents occupied various positions during the
engagement. Mr. Coffin, of the Boston _Journal_, was on the tug
belonging to the flag-ship, and had a fine view of the whole affair.
One of _The Herald_ correspondents was in the pilot-house of the
gun-boat _Cairo_, while Mr. Colburn, of _The World_, was on the
captured steamer _Sovereign_. "Junius," of _The Tribune_, and Mr.
Vizitelly, of the London _Illustrated News_, with several others, were
on the transport _Dickey_, the general rendezvous of the journalists.
The representative of the St. Louis _Republican_ and myself were
on the _Platte Valley_, in rear of the line of battle. The _Platte
Valley_ was the first private boat that touched the Memphis landing
after the capture of the city.

The battle being over, we were anxious to get on shore and look at the
people and city of Memphis. Shortly after the fighting ceased, Colonel
Ellet sent the ram _Lioness_, under a flag-of-truce, to demand the
surrender of the city. To this demand no response was given. A little
later, Flag-Officer Davis sent the following note to the Mayor, at the
hands of one of the officers of the gun-boat _Benton_:--

OFF MEMPHIS, _June_ 6, 1862.

SIR:--I have respectfully to request that you will surrender the city
of Memphis to the authority of the United States, which I have the
honor to represent. I am, Mr. Mayor, with high respect, your most
obedient servant, C. H. DAVIS, _Flag-Officer Commanding_.

To his Honor, the Mayor of Memphis.

To this note the following reply was received:--

MAYOR'S OFFICE, MEMPHIS, _June_ 6, 1862.

C. H. Davis, _Flag-Officer Commanding_:

SIR:--Your note of this date is received and contents noted. In reply
I have only to say that, as the civil authorities have no means of
defense, by the force of circumstances the city is in your hands.
Respectfully, John Park, _Mayor of Memphis_.

At the meeting, four days before, the citizens of Memphis had solemnly
pledged themselves never to surrender. There was a vague understanding
that somebody was to do a large amount of fighting, whenever Memphis
was attacked. If this fighting proved useless, the city was to
be fired in every house, and only abandoned after its complete
destruction. It will be seen that the note of the mayor, in response
to a demand for surrender, vindicates the honor of Memphis. It merely
informs the United States officer that the city has fallen "by the
force of circumstances." Since that day I have frequently heard its
citizens boast that the place was not surrendered. "You came in," say
they, "and took possession, but we did not give up to you. We declared
we would never surrender, and we kept our word."

About eleven o'clock in the forenoon, the transports arrived with our
infantry, and attempted to make a landing. As their mooring-lines were
thrown on shore they were seized by dozens of persons in the crowd,
and the crews were saved the trouble of making fast. This was an
evidence that the laboring class, the men with blue shirts and shabby
hats, were not disloyal. We had abundant evidence of this when our
occupation became a fixed fact. It was generally the wealthy who
adhered to the Rebel cause.

As a file of soldiers moved into the city, the people stood at a
respectful distance, occasionally giving forth wordy expression of
their anger. When I reached the office of _The Avalanche_, one of
the leading journals of Memphis, and, of course, strongly disloyal,
I found the soldiers removing a Rebel flag from the roof of the
building. The owner of the banner made a very vehement objection to
the proceeding. His indignation was so great that his friends were
obliged to hold him, to prevent his throwing himself on the bayonet of
the nearest soldier. I saw him several days later, when his anger had
somewhat cooled. He found relief from his troubles, before the end of
June, by joining the Rebel army at Holly Springs.

On the bluff above the levee was a tall flag-staff. The Rebels had
endeavored to make sure of their courage by nailing a flag to the
top of this staff. A sailor from one of the gun-boats volunteered to
ascend the staff and bring down the banner. When he had ascended about
twenty feet, he saw two rifles bearing upon him from the window of
a neighboring building. The sailor concluded it was best to go
no further, and descended at once. The staff was cut down and the
obnoxious flag secured.

With the city in our possession, we had leisure to look about us.
Memphis had been in the West what Charleston was in the East: an
active worker in the secession cause. Her newspapers had teemed with
abuse of every thing which opposed their heresy, and advocated the
most summary measures. Lynching had been frequent and never rebuked,
impressments were of daily and nightly occurrence, every foundery and
manufactory had been constantly employed by the Rebel authorities, and
every citizen had, in some manner, contributed to the insurrection. It
was gratifying in the extreme to see the Memphis, of which we at
Cairo and St. Louis had heard so much, brought under our control. The
picture of five United States gun-boats lying in line before the city,
their ports open and their guns shotted, was pleasing in the eyes of
loyal men.

Outside of the poorer classes there were some loyal persons, but
their number was not large. There were many professing loyalty,
who possessed very little of the article, and whose record had been
exceedingly doubtful. Prominent among these were the politicians, than
whom none had been more self-sacrificing, if their own words could be

There were many men of this class ready, no doubt, to swear allegiance
to the victorious side, who joined our standard because they
considered the Rebel cause a losing one. They may have become
loyal since that time, but it has been only through the force of
circumstances. In many cases our Government accepted their words as
proof of loyalty, and granted these persons many exclusive privileges.
It was a matter of comment that a newly converted loyalist could
obtain favors at the hands of Government officials, that would be
refused to men from the North. The acceptance of office under the
Rebels, and the earnest advocacy he had shown for secession, were
generally alleged to have taken place under compulsion, or in the
interest of the really loyal men.

A Memphis gentleman gave me an amusing account of the reception of the
news of the fall of Fort Donelson. Many boasts had been made of the
terrible punishment that was in store for our army, if it ventured an
attack upon Fort Donelson. No one would be allowed to escape to tell
the tale. All were to be slaughtered, or lodged in Rebel prisons.
Memphis was consequently waiting for the best tidings from the
Cumberland, and did not think it possible a reverse could come to the
Rebel cause.

One Sunday morning, the telegraph, without any previous announcement,
flashed the intelligence that Fort Donelson, with twelve thousand men,
had surrendered, and a portion of General Grant's army was moving on
Nashville, with every prospect of capturing that city. Memphis was in
consternation. No one could tell how long the Yankee army would stop
at Nashville before moving elsewhere, and it was certain that Memphis
was uncovered by the fall of Fort Donelson.

My informant first learned the important tidings in the rotunda of the
Gayoso House. Seeing a group of his acquaintances with faces depicting
the utmost gloom, he asked what was the matter.

"Bad enough," said one. "Fort Donelson has surrendered with nearly all
its garrison."

"That is terrible," said my friend, assuming a look of agony, though
he was inwardly elated.

"Yes, and the enemy are moving on Nashville."

"Horrible news," was the response; "but let us not be too despondent.
Our men are good for them, one against three, and they will never get
out of Nashville alive, if they should happen to take it."

With another expression of deep sorrow at the misfortune which had
befallen the Rebel army, this gentleman hastened to convey the glad
news to his friends. "I reached home," said he, "locked my front door,
called my wife and sister into the parlor, and instantly jumped over
the center-table. They both cried for joy when I told them the old
flag floated over Donelson."

The Secessionists in Memphis, like their brethren elsewhere, insisted
that all the points we had captured were given up because they had no
further use for them. The evacuation of Columbus, Fort Pillow, Fort
Henry, and Bowling Green, with the surrender of Donelson, were parts
of the grand strategy of the Rebel leaders, and served to lure us on
to our destruction. They would never admit a defeat, but contended we
had invariably suffered.

An uneducated farmer, on the route followed by one of our armies in
Tennessee, told our officers that a Rebel general and his staff had
taken dinner with him during the retreat from Nashville. The farmer
was anxious to learn something about the military situation, and asked
a Rebel major how the Confederate cause was progressing.

"Splendidly," answered the major. "We have whipped the Yankees in
every battle, and our independence will soon be recognized."

The farmer was thoughtful for a minute or two, and then deliberately

"I don't know much about war, but if we are always whipping the
Yankees, how is it they keep coming down into our country after every

The major grew red in the face, and told the farmer that any man
who asked such an absurd question was an Abolitionist, and deserved
hanging to the nearest tree. The farmer was silenced, but not

I had a fine illustration of the infatuation of the Rebel
sympathizers, a few days after Memphis was captured. One evening,
while making a visit at the house of an acquaintance, the hostess
introduced me to a young lady of the strongest secession proclivities.
Of course, I endeavored to avoid the topics on which we were certain
to differ, but my new acquaintance was determined to provoke a
discussion. With a few preliminaries, she throw out the question:

"Now, don't you think the Southern soldiers have shown themselves
the bravest people that ever lived, while the Yankees have proved the
greatest cowards?"

"I can hardly agree with you," I replied. "Your people have certainly
established a reputation on the score of bravery, but we can claim
quite as much."

"But we have whipped you in every battle. We whipped you at Manassas
and Ball's Bluff, and we whipped General Grant at Belmont."

"That is very true; but how was it at Shiloh?"

"At Shiloh we whipped you; we drove you to your gun-boats, which was
all we wanted to do."

"Ah, I beg your pardon; but what is your impression of Fort Donelson?"

"Fort Donelson!"--and my lady's cheek flushed with either pride or
indignation--"Fort Donelson was an unquestioned victory for the South.
We stopped your army--all we wanted to; and then General Forrest,
General Floyd, and all the troops we wished to bring off, came
away. We only left General Buckner and three thousand men for you to

"It seems, then, we labored under a delusion at the North. We thought
we had something to rejoice over when Fort Donelson fell. But, pray,
what do you consider the capture of Island Number Ten and the naval
battle here?"

"At Island Ten we defeated you" (how this was done she did not say),
"and we were victorious here. You wanted to capture all our boats; but
you only got four of them, and those were damaged."

"In your view of the case," I replied, "I admit the South to have been
always victorious. Without wishing to be considered disloyal to the
Nation, I can heartily wish you many similar victories."

In the tour which Dickens records, Mark Tapley did not visit the
Southern country, but the salient points of his character are
possessed by the sons of the cavaliers. "Jolly" under the greatest
misfortunes, and extracting comfort and happiness from all calamities,
your true Rebel could never know adversity. The fire which consumes
his dwelling is a personal boon, as he can readily explain. So is
a devastating flood, or a widespread pestilence. The events which
narrow-minded mudsills are apt to look upon as calamitous, are only
"blessings in disguise" to every supporter and friend of the late



The Press of Memphis.--Flight of _The Appeal_.--A False
Prediction.--_The Argus_ becomes Loyal.--Order from General
Wallace.--Installed in Office.--Lecturing the Rebels.--"Trade follows
the Flag."--Abuses of Traffic.--Supplying the Rebels.--A Perilous
Adventure.--Passing the Rebel Lines.--Eluding Watchful Eyes.

On the morning of the 6th of June, the newspaper publishers, like most
other gentlemen of Memphis, were greatly alarmed. _The Avalanche_ and
_The Argus_ announced that it was impossible for the Yankee fleet to
cope successfully with the Rebels, and that victory was certain to
perch upon the banners of the latter. The sheets were not dry before
the Rebel fleet was a thing of the past. _The Appeal_ had not been
as hopeful as its contemporaries, and thought it the wisest course to
abandon the city. It moved to Grenada, Mississippi, a hundred miles
distant, and resumed publication. It became a migratory sheet, and was
at last captured by General Wilson at Columbus, Georgia. In ability it
ranked among the best of the Rebel journals.

_The Avalanche_ and _The Argus_ continued publication, with a strong
leaning to the Rebel side. The former was interfered with by our
authorities; and, under the name of _The Bulletin_, with new editorial
management, was allowed to reappear. _The Argus_ maintained its Rebel
ground, though with moderation, until the military hand fell upon it.
Memphis, in the early days of our occupation, changed its commander
nearly every week. One of these changes brought Major-General Wallace
into the city. This officer thought it proper to issue the following


EDITORS DAILY ARGUS:--As the closing of your office might be injurious
to you pecuniarily, I send two gentlemen--Messrs. A.D. Richardson and
Thos. W. Knox, both of ample experience--to take charge of the
editorial department of your paper. The business management of your
office will be left to you.

Very respectfully,
_General Third Division, Reserved Corps._

The publishers of _The Argus_ printed this order at the head of their
columns. Below it they announced that they were not responsible for
any thing which should appear editorially, as long as the order was in
force. The business management and the general miscellaneous and news
matter were not interfered with.

Mr. Richardson and myself entered upon our new duties immediately. We
had crossed the Plains together, had published a paper in the Rocky
Mountains, had been through many adventures and perils side by side;
but we had never before managed a newspaper in an insurrectionary
district. The publishers of _The Argus_ greeted us cordially, and our
whole intercourse with them was harmonious. They did not relish the
intrusion of Northern men into their office, to compel the insertion
of Union editorials, but they bore the inconvenience with an excellent
grace. The foreman of the establishment displayed more mortification
at the change, than any other person whom we met.

The editorials we published were of a positive character. We plainly
announced the determination of the Government to assert itself and put
down and punish treason. We told the Memphis people that the scheme
of partisan warfare, which was then in its inception, would work
more harm than good to the districts where guerrilla companies were
organized. We insisted that the Union armies had entered Memphis and
other parts of the South, to stay there, and that resistance to
their power was useless. We credited the Rebels with much bravery and
devotion to their cause, but asserted always that we had the right and
the strong arm in our favor.

It is possible we did not make many conversions among the disloyal
readers of _The Argus_, but we had the satisfaction of saying what
we thought it necessary they should hear. The publishers said their
subscribers were rapidly falling off, on account of the change of
editorial tone. Like newspaper readers everywhere, they disliked to
peruse what their consciences did not approve. We received letters,
generally from women, denying our right to control the columns of the
paper for our "base purposes." Some of these letters were not written
after the style of Chesterfield, but the majority of them were

There were many jests in Memphis, and throughout the country
generally, concerning the appointment of representatives of _The
Herald_ and _The Tribune_ to a position where they must work together.
_The Herald_ and _The Tribune_ have not been famous, in the past
twenty years, for an excess of good-nature toward each other. Mr.
Bennett and Mr. Greeley are not supposed to partake habitually of the
same dinners and wine, or to join in frequent games of billiards
and poker. The compliments which the two great dailies occasionally
exchange, are not calculated to promote an intimate friendship between
the venerable gentlemen whose names are so well known to the public.
No one expects these veteran editors to emulate the example of Damon
and Pythias.

At the time Mr. Richardson and myself took charge of _The Argus, The
Tribune_ and _The Herald_ were indulging in one of their well-known
disputes. It was much like the Hibernian's debate, "with sticks," and
attracted some attention, though it was generally voted a nuisance.
Many, who did not know us, imagined that the new editors of _The
Argus_ would follow the tendencies of the offices from which they bore
credentials. Several Northern journals came to hand, in which this
belief was expressed. A Chicago paper published two articles supposed
to be in the same issue of _The Argus_, differing totally in every
line of argument or statement of fact. One editor argued that the
harmonious occupancy of contiguous desks by the representatives
of _The Herald_ and _The Tribune_, betokened the approach of the

When he issued the order placing us in charge of _The Argus_, General
Wallace assured its proprietors that he should remove the editorial
supervision as soon as a Union paper was established in Memphis. This
event occurred in a short time, and _The Argus_ was restored to its
original management, according to promise.

As soon as the capture of Memphis was known at the North, there was an
eager scramble to secure the trade of the long-blockaded port. Several
boat-loads of goods were shipped from St. Louis and Cincinnati, and
Memphis was so rapidly filled that the supply was far greater than the

Army and Treasury regulations were soon established, and many
restrictions placed upon traffic. The restrictions did not materially
diminish the quantity of goods, but they served to throw the trade
into a few hands, and thus open the way for much favoritism. Those who
obtained permits, thought the system an excellent one. Those who were
kept "out in the cold," viewed the matter in a different light. A
thousand stories of dishonesty, official and unofficial, were in
constant circulation, and I fear that many of them came very near the

In our occupation of cities along the Mississippi, the Rebels found
a ready supply from our markets. This was especially the case at
Memphis. Boots and shoes passed through the lines in great numbers,
either by stealth or by open permit, and were taken at once to the
Rebel army. Cloth, clothing, percussion-caps, and similar articles
went in the same direction. General Grant and other prominent officers
made a strong opposition to our policy, and advised the suppression of
the Rebellion prior to the opening of trade, but their protestations
were of no avail. We chastised the Rebels with one hand, while we fed
and clothed them with the other.

After the capture of Memphis, Colonel Charles R. Ellet, with two boats
of the ram fleet, proceeded to explore the river between Memphis
and Vicksburg. It was not known what defenses the Rebels might have
constructed along this distance of four hundred miles. Colonel Ellet
found no hinderance to his progress, except a small field battery near
Napoleon, Arkansas. When a few miles above Vicksburg, he ascertained
that a portion of Admiral Farragut's fleet was below that point,
preparing to attack the city. He at once determined to open
communication with the lower fleet.

Opposite Vicksburg there is a long and narrow peninsula, around which
the Mississippi makes a bend. It is a mile and a quarter across the
neck of this peninsula, while it is sixteen miles around by the course
of the river. It was impossible to pass around by the Mississippi,
on account of the batteries at Vicksburg. The Rebels were holding the
peninsula with a small force of infantry and cavalry, to prevent our
effecting a landing. By careful management it was possible to elude
the sentinels, and cross from one side of the peninsula to the other.

Colonel Ellet armed himself to make the attempt. He took only a
few documents to prove his identity as soon as he reached Admiral
Farragut. A little before daylight, one morning, he started on his
perilous journey. He waded through swamps, toiled among the thick
undergrowth in a portion of the forest, was fired upon by a Rebel
picket, and narrowly escaped drowning in crossing a bayou. He was
compelled to make a wide detour, to avoid capture, and thus extended
his journey to nearly a half-dozen miles.

On reaching the bank opposite one of our gun-boats, he found a yawl
near the shore, by which he was promptly taken on board. The officers
of this gun-boat suspected him of being a spy, and placed him under
guard. It was not until the arrival of Admiral Farragut that his true
character became known.

After a long interview with that officer he prepared to return. He
concealed dispatches for the Navy Department and for Flag-Officer
Davis in the lining of his boots and in the wristbands of his shirt. A
file of marines escorted him as far as they could safely venture, and
then bade him farewell. Near the place where he had left his own boat,
Colonel Ellet found a small party of Rebels, carefully watching from
a spot where they could not be easily discovered. It was a matter of
some difficulty to elude these men, but he did it successfully, and
reached his boat in safety. He proceeded at once to Memphis with his
dispatches. Flag-Officer Davis immediately decided to co-operate with
Admiral Farragut, in the attempt to capture Vicksburg.

Shortly after the capture of New Orleans, Admiral Farragut ascended
the Mississippi as far as Vicksburg. At that time the defensive force
was very small, and there were but few batteries erected. The Admiral
felt confident of his ability to silence the Rebel guns, but he was
unaccompanied by a land force to occupy the city after its capture.
He was reluctantly compelled to return to New Orleans, and wait until
troops could be spared from General Butler's command. The Rebels
improved their opportunities, and concentrated a large force to put
Vicksburg in condition for defense. Heavy guns were brought from
various points, earth-works were thrown up on all sides, and the town
became a vast fortification. When the fleet returned at the end of
June, the Rebels were ready to receive it. Their strongest works were
on the banks of the Mississippi. They had no dread of an attack from
the direction of Jackson, until long afterward.

Vicksburg was the key to the possession of the Mississippi. The Rebel
authorities at Richmond ordered it defended as long as defense was



From Memphis to Vicksburg.--Running the Batteries.--Our Inability
to take Vicksburg by Assault.--Digging a Canal.--A Conversation with
Resident Secessionists.--Their Arguments _pro_ and _con_, and the
Answers they Received.--A Curiosity of Legislation.--An Expedition up
the Yazoo.--Destruction of the Rebel Fleet.--The _Arkansas_ Running
the Gauntlet.--A Spirited Encounter.--A Gallant Attempt.--Raising the
Siege.--Fate of the _Arkansas_.

On the 1st of July, I left Memphis with the Mississippi flotilla, and
arrived above Vicksburg late on the following day. Admiral Farragut's
fleet attempted the passage of the batteries on the 28th of June. A
portion of the fleet succeeded in the attempt, under a heavy fire,
and gained a position above the peninsula. Among the first to effect
a passage was the flag-ship _Hartford_, with the "gallant old
salamander" on board. The _Richmond, Iroquois_, and _Oneida_ were
the sloops-of-war that accompanied the _Hartford_. The _Brooklyn_ and
other heavy vessels remained below.

The history of that first siege of Vicksburg can be briefly told.
Twenty-five hundred infantry, under General Williams, accompanied the
fleet from New Orleans, with the design of occupying Vicksburg after
the batteries had been silenced by our artillery. Most of the Rebel
guns were located at such a height that it was found impossible to
elevate our own guns so as to reach them. Thus the occupation by
infantry was found impracticable. The passage of the batteries was
followed by the bombardment, from the mortar-schooners of Admiral
Farragut's fleet and the mortar-rafts which Flag-Officer Davis had
brought down. This continued steadily for several days, but Vicksburg
did not fall.

A canal across the peninsula was proposed and commenced. The water
fell as fast as the digging progressed, and the plan of leaving
Vicksburg inland was abandoned for that time. Even had there been
a flood in the river, the entrance to the canal was so located that
success was impossible. The old steamboat-men laughed at the efforts
of the Massachusetts engineer, to create a current in his canal by
commencing it in an eddy.

Just as the canal project was agreed upon, I was present at a
conversation between General Williams and several residents of the
vicinity. The latter, fearing the channel of the river would be
changed, visited the general to protest against the carrying out of
his plan.

The citizens were six in number. They had selected no one to act as
their leader. Each joined in the conversation as he saw fit. After a
little preliminary talk, one of them said:

"Are you aware, general, there is no law of the State allowing you to
make a cut-off, here?"

"I am sorry to say," replied General Williams, "I am not familiar
with the laws of Louisiana. Even if I were, I should not heed them.
I believe Louisiana passed an act of secession. According to your own
showing you have no claims on the Government now."

This disposed of that objection. There was some hesitation, evidently
embarrassing to the delegation, but not to General Williams. Citizen
number one was silenced. Number two advanced an idea.

"You may remember, General, that you will subject the parish of
Madison to an expenditure of ninety thousand dollars for new levees."

This argument disturbed General Williams no more than the first one.
He promptly replied:

"The parish of Madison gave a large majority in favor of secession;
did it not?"

"I believe it did," was the faltering response.

"Then you can learn that treason costs something. It will cost you far
more before the war is over."

Citizen number two said nothing more. It was the opportunity for
number three to speak.

"If this cut-off is made, it will ruin the trade of Vicksburg. It has
been a fine city for business, but this will spoil it. Boats will not
be able to reach the town, but will find all the current through the
short route."

"That is just what we want," said the General. "We are digging the
canal for the very purpose of navigating the river without passing
near Vicksburg."

Number three went to the rear. Number four came forward.

"If you make this cut-off, all these plantations will be carried away.
You will ruin the property of many loyal men."

He was answered that loyal men would be paid for all property taken or
destroyed, as soon as their loyalty was proved.

The fifth and last point in the protest was next advanced. It came
from an individual who professed to practice law in De Soto township,
and was as follows:

"The charter of the Vicksburg and Shreveport Railroad is perpetual,
and so declared by act of the Louisiana Legislature. No one has any
right to cut through the embankment."

"That is true," was the quiet answer. "The Constitution of the United
States is also a perpetual charter, which it was treason to violate.
When you and your leaders have no hesitation at breaking national
faith, it is absurd to claim rights under the laws of a State which
you deny to be in the Union."

This was the end of the delegation. Its members retired without having
gained a single point in their case. They were, doubtless, easier in
mind when they ascertained, two weeks later, that the canal enterprise
was a failure.

The last argument put forth on that occasion, to prevent the carrying
out of our plans, is one of the curiosities of legislation. For a long
time there were many parties in Louisiana who wished the channel
of the Mississippi turned across the neck of the peninsula opposite
Vicksburg, thus shortening the river fifteen miles, at least, and
rendering the plantations above, less liable to overflow. As Vicksburg
lay in another State, her interests were not regarded. She spent much
money in the corrupt Legislature of Louisiana to defeat the scheme.
As a last resort, it was proposed to build a railway, with a perpetual
charter, from the end of the peninsula opposite Vicksburg, to some
point in the interior. Much money was required. The capitalists of
Vicksburg contributed the funds for lobbying the bill and commencing
the road. Up to the time when the Rebellion began, it was rendered
certain that no hand of man could legally turn the Mississippi across
that peninsula.

The first siege of Vicksburg lasted but twenty days. Our fleet was
unable to silence the batteries, and our land force was not sufficient
for the work. During the progress of the siege, Colonel Ellet, with
his ram fleet, ascended the Yazoo River, and compelled the Rebels to
destroy three of their gun-boats, the _Livingston, Polk_, and _Van
Dorn_, to prevent their falling into our hands. The _Van Dorn_ was
the only boat that escaped, out of the fleet of eight Rebel gun-boats
which met ours at Memphis on the 6th of June.

At the time of making this expedition, Colonel Ellet learned that
the famous ram gun-boat _Arkansas_ was completed, and nearly ready
to descend the river. He notified Admiral Farragut and Flag-Officer
Davis, but they paid little attention to his warnings.

This Rebel gun-boat, which was expected to do so much toward the
destruction of our naval forces on the Mississippi, was constructed
at Memphis, and hurried from there in a partially finished condition,
just before the capture of the city. She was towed to Yazoo City and
there completed. The _Arkansas_ was a powerful iron-clad steamer,
mounting ten guns, and carrying an iron beak, designed for penetrating
the hulls of our gun-boats. Her engines were powerful, though they
could not be worked with facility at the time of her appearance. Her
model, construction, armament, and propelling force, made her equal to
any boat of our upper flotilla, and her officers claimed to have full
confidence in her abilities.

On the morning of the 15th of July, the _Arkansas_ emerged from the
Yazoo River, fifteen miles above Vicksburg. A short distance up that
stream she encountered two of our gun-boats, the _Carondelet_ and
_Tyler_, and fought them until she reached our fleet at anchor above
Vicksburg. The _Carondelet_ was one of our mail-clad gun-boats, built
at St. Louis in 1861. The _Tyler_ was a wooden gun-boat, altered from
an old transport, and was totally unfit for entering into battle. Both
were perforated by the Rebel shell, the _Tyler_ receiving the larger
number. The gallantry displayed by Captain Gwin, her commander, was
worthy of special praise.

Our fleet was at anchor four or five miles above Vicksburg--some of
the vessels lying in midstream, while others were fastened to the
banks. The _Arkansas_ fired to the right and left as she passed
through the fleet. Her shot disabled two of our boats, and slightly
injured two or three others. She did not herself escape without
damage. Many of our projectiles struck her sides, but glanced into the
river. Two shells perforated her plating, and another entered a
port, exploding over one of the guns. Ten men were killed and as many

The _Arkansas_ was not actually disabled, but her commander declined
to enter into another action until she had undergone repairs. She
reached a safe anchorage under protection of the Vicksburg batteries.

A few days later, a plan was arranged for her destruction. Colonel
Ellet, with the ram _Queen of the West_, was to run down and strike
the _Arkansas_ at her moorings. The gun-boat _Essex_ was to join in
this effort, while the upper flotilla, assisted by the vessels of
Admiral Farragut's fleet, would shell the Rebel batteries.

The _Essex_ started first, but ran directly past the _Arkansas_,
instead of stopping to engage her, as was expected. The _Essex_ fired
three guns at the _Arkansas_ while in range, from one of which a
shell crashed through the armor of the Rebel boat, disabling an entire

The _Queen of the West_ attempted to perform her part of the work,
but the current was so strong where the _Arkansas_ lay that it was
impossible to deal an effective blow. The upper flotilla did not open
fire to engage the attention of the enemy, and thus the unfortunate
_Queen of the West_ was obliged to receive all the fire from the Rebel
batteries. She was repeatedly perforated, but fortunately escaped
without damage to her machinery. The _Arkansas_ was not seriously
injured in the encounter, though the completion of her repairs was
somewhat delayed.

On the 25th of July the first siege of Vicksburg was raised. The
upper flotilla of gun-boats, mortar-rafts, and transports, returned
to Memphis and Helena. Admiral Farragut took his fleet to New Orleans.
General Williams went, with his land forces, to Baton Rouge. That city
was soon after attacked by General Breckinridge, with six thousand
men. The Rebels were repulsed with heavy loss. In our own ranks the
killed and wounded were not less than those of the enemy. General
Williams was among the slain, and at one period our chances, of making
a successful defense were very doubtful.

The _Arkansas_ had been ordered to proceed from Vicksburg to take part
in this attack, the Rebels being confident she could overpower
our three gun-boats at Baton Rouge. On the way down the river her
machinery became deranged, and she was tied up to the bank for
repairs. Seeing our gun-boats approaching, and knowing he was helpless
against them; her commander ordered the _Arkansas_ to be abandoned
and blown up. The order was obeyed, and this much-praised and really
formidable gun-boat closed her brief but brilliant career.

The Rebels were greatly chagrined at her loss, as they had expected
she would accomplish much toward driving the National fleet from the
Mississippi. The joy with which they hailed her appearance was far
less than the sorrow her destruction evoked.



General Curtis's Army reaching Helena.--Its Wanderings.--The
Arkansas Navy.--Troops and their Supplies "miss
Connection."--Rebel Reports.--Memphis in Midsummer.--"A Journey due
North."--Chicago.--Bragg's Advance into Kentucky.--Kirby Smith in
Front of Cincinnati.--The City under Martial Law.--The Squirrel
Hunters.--War Correspondents in Comfortable Quarters.--Improvising an
Army.--Raising the Siege.--Bragg's Retreat.

About the middle of July, General Curtis's army arrived at Helena,
Arkansas, ninety miles below Memphis. After the battle of Pea Ridge,
this army commenced its wanderings, moving first to Batesville, on
the White River, where it lay for several weeks. Then it went to
Jacksonport, further down that stream, and remained a short time.
The guerrillas were in such strong force on General Curtis's line of
communications that they greatly restricted the receipt of supplies,
and placed the army on very short rations. For nearly a month the
public had no positive information concerning Curtis's whereabouts.
The Rebels were continually circulating stories that he had
surrendered, or was terribly defeated.

The only reasons for doubting the truth of these stories were, first,
that the Rebels had no force of any importance in Arkansas; and
second, that our army, to use the expression of one of its officers,
"wasn't going round surrendering." We expected it would turn up in
some locality where the Rebels did not desire it, and had no fears of
its surrender.

General Curtis constructed several boats at Batesville, which were
usually spoken of as "the Arkansas navy." These boats carried some six
or eight hundred men, and were used to patrol the White River, as
the army moved down its banks. In this way the column advanced from
Batesville to Jacksonport, and afterward to St. Charles.

Supplies had been sent up the White River to meet the army. The
transports and their convoy remained several days at St. Charles, but
could get no tidings of General Curtis. The river was falling, and
they finally returned. Twelve hours after their departure, the advance
of the lost army arrived at St. Charles.

From St. Charles to Helena was a march of sixty miles, across a
country destitute of every thing but water, and not even possessing
a good supply of that article. The army reached Helena, weary and
hungry, but it was speedily supplied with every thing needed, and
put in condition to take the offensive. It was soon named in general
orders "the Army of Arkansas," and ultimately accomplished the
occupation of the entire State.

During July and August there was little activity around Memphis. In
the latter month, I found the climate exceedingly uncomfortable. Day
after day the atmosphere was hot, still, stifling, and impregnated
with the dust that rose in clouds from the parched earth. The
inhabitants endured it easily, and made continual prophesy that
the _hot_ weather "would come in September." Those of us who were
strangers wondered what the temperature must be, to constitute "hot"
weather in the estimation of a native. The thermometer then stood at
eighty-five degrees at midnight, and ninety-eight or one hundred at
noon. Few people walked the streets in the day, and those who
were obliged to do so generally moved at a snail's pace. Cases
of _coup-de-soleil_ were frequent. The temperature affected me
personally, by changing my complexion to a deep yellow, and reducing
my strength about sixty per cent.

I decided upon "A Journey due North." Forty-eight hours after
sweltering in Memphis, I was shivering on the shores of Lake Michigan.
I exchanged the hot, fever-laden atmosphere of that city, for the cool
and healthful air of Chicago. The activity, energy, and enterprise
of Chicago, made a pleasing contrast to the idleness and gloom that
pervaded Memphis. This was no place for me to exist in as an invalid.
I found the saffron tint of my complexion rapidly disappearing, and my
strength restored, under the influence of pure breezes and busy life.
Ten days in that city prepared me for new scenes of war.

At that time the Rebel army, under General Bragg, was making its
advance into Kentucky. General Buell was moving at the same time
toward the Ohio River. The two armies were marching in nearly parallel
lines, so that it became a race between them for Nashville and
Louisville. Bragg divided his forces, threatening Louisville and
Cincinnati at the same time. Defenses were thrown up around the former
city, to assist in holding it in case of attack, but they were never
brought into use. By rapid marching, General Buell reached Louisville
in advance of Bragg, and rendered it useless for the latter to fling
his army against the city.

Meantime, General Kirby Smith moved, under Bragg's orders, to the
siege of Cincinnati. His advance was slow, and gave some opportunity
for preparation. The chief reliance for defense was upon the raw
militia and such irregular forces as could be gathered for the
occasion. The hills of Covington and Newport, opposite Cincinnati,
were crowned with fortifications and seamed with rifle-pits, which
were filled with these raw soldiers. The valor of these men was beyond
question, but they were almost entirely without discipline. In front
of the veteran regiments of the Rebel army our forces would have been
at great disadvantage.

When I reached Cincinnati the Rebel army was within a few miles of the
defenses. On the train which took me to the city, there were many of
the country people going to offer their services to aid in repelling
the enemy. They entered the cars at the various stations, bringing
their rifles, which they well knew how to use. They were the famous
"squirrel-hunters" of Ohio, who were afterward the subject of some
derision on the part of the Rebels. Nearly twenty thousand of them
volunteered for the occasion, and would have handled their rifles to
advantage had the Rebels given them the opportunity.

At the time of my arrival at Cincinnati, Major-General Wallace was in
command. The Queen City of the West was obliged to undergo some of
the inconveniences of martial law. Business of nearly every kind was
suspended. A provost-marshal's pass was necessary to enable one to
walk the streets in security. The same document was required of any
person who wished to hire a carriage, or take a pleasant drive to
the Kentucky side of the Ohio. Most of the able-bodied citizens
voluntarily offered their services, and took their places in the
rifle-pits, but there were some who refused to go. These were hunted
out and taken to the front, much against their will. Some were found
in or under beds; others were clad in women's garments, and working at
wash-tubs. Some tied up their hands as if disabled, and others plead
baldness or indigestion to excuse a lack of patriotism. All was of no
avail. The provost-marshal had no charity for human weakness.

This severity was not pleasant to the citizens, but it served an
admirable purpose. When Kirby Smith arrived in front of the defenses,
he found forty thousand men confronting him. Of these, not over six
or eight thousand had borne arms more than a week or ten days. The
volunteer militia of Cincinnati, and the squirrel-hunters from the
interior of Ohio and Indiana, formed the balance of our forces.
Our line of defenses encircled the cities of Covington and Newport,
touching the Ohio above and below their extreme limits. Nearly every
hill was crowned with a fortification. These fortifications were
connected by rifle-pits, which were kept constantly filled with men.
On the river we had a fleet of gun-boats, improvised from ordinary
steamers by surrounding their vulnerable parts with bales of hay. The
river was low, so that it was necessary to watch several places where
fording was possible. A pontoon bridge was thrown across the Ohio, and
continued there until the siege was ended.

It had been a matter of jest among the journalists at Memphis and
other points in the Southwest, that the vicissitudes of war might some
day enable us to witness military operations from the principal hotels
in the Northern cities. "When we can write war letters from the Burnet
or the Sherman House," was the occasional remark, "there will be some
personal comfort in being an army correspondent." What we had said
in jest was now proving true. We could take a carriage at the Burnet
House, and in half an hour stand on our front lines and witness the
operations of the skirmishers. Later in the war I was enabled to write
letters upon interesting topics from Detroit and St. Paul.

The way in which our large defensive force was fed, was nearly as
great a novelty as the celerity of its organization. It was very
difficult to sever the red tape of the army regulations, and enable
the commissary department to issue rations to men that belonged to no
regiments or companies. The people of Cincinnati were very prompt to
send contributions of cooked food to the Fifth Street Market-House,
which was made a temporary restaurant for the defenders of the city.
Wagons were sent daily through nearly all the streets to gather these
contributed supplies, and the street-cars were free to all women and
children going to or from the Market-House. Hundreds walked to the
front, to carry the provisions they had prepared with their own hands.
All the ordinary edibles of civilized life were brought forward in
abundance. Had our men fought at all, they would have fought on full

The arrival of General Buell's army at Louisville rendered it
impossible for Bragg to take that city. The defenders of Cincinnati
were re-enforced by a division from General Grant's army, which was
then in West Tennessee. This arrival was followed by that of other
trained regiments and brigades from various localities, so that we
began to contemplate taking the offensive. The Rebels disappeared from
our front, and a reconnoissance showed that they were falling back
toward Lexington. They burned the turnpike and railway bridges as they
retreated, showing conclusively that they had abandoned the siege.

As soon as the retirement of the Rebels was positively ascertained,
a portion of our forces was ordered from Cincinnati to Louisville.
General Buell's army took the offensive, and pursued Bragg as he
retreated toward the Tennessee River. General Wallace was relieved,
and his command transferred to General Wright.

A change in the whole military situation soon transpired. From holding
the defensive, our armies became the pursuers of the Rebels, the
latter showing little inclination to risk an encounter. The battle of
Perryville was the great battle of this Kentucky campaign. Its result
gave neither army much opportunity for exultation.

In their retreat through Kentucky and Tennessee, the Rebels gathered
all the supplies they could find, and carried them to their commissary
depot at Knoxville. It was said that their trains included more than
thirty thousand wagons, all of them heavily laden. Large droves of
cattle and horses became the property of the Confederacy.



New Plans of the Rebels.--Their Design to Capture Corinth,--Advancing
to the Attack.--Strong Defenses.--A Magnificent Charge.--Valor _vs._
Breast-Works.--The Repulse.--Retreat and Pursuit.--The National Arms

The Bragg campaign into Kentucky being barren of important results,
the Rebel authorities ordered that an attempt should be made to
drive us from West Tennessee. The Rebel army in Northern Mississippi
commenced the aggressive late in September, while the retreat of Bragg
was still in progress. The battle of Iuka resulted favorably to the
Rebels, giving them possession of that point, and allowing a large
quantity of supplies to fall into their hands. On the 4th of October
was the famous battle of Corinth, the Rebels under General Van Dorn
attacking General Rosecrans, who was commanding at Corinth.

The Rebels advanced from Holly Springs, striking Corinth on the
western side of our lines. The movement was well executed, and
challenged our admiration for its audacity and the valor the Rebel
soldiery displayed. It was highly important for the success of the
Rebel plans in the Southwest that we should be expelled from Corinth.
Accordingly, they made a most determined effort, but met a signal

Some of the best fighting of the war occurred at this battle of
Corinth. The Rebel line of battle was on the western and northern
side of the town, cutting off our communications with General Grant
at Jackson. The Rebels penetrated our line, and actually obtained
possession of a portion of Corinth, but were driven out by hard,
earnest work. It was a struggle for a great prize, in which neither
party was inclined to yield as long as it had any strength remaining
to strike a blow.

The key to our position was on the western side, where two earth-works
had been thrown up to command the approaches in that direction. These
works were known as "Battery Williams" and "Battery Robbinette," so
named in honor of the officers who superintended their erection and
commanded their garrisons at the time of the assault. These works were
on the summits of two small hills, where the ascent from the main road
that skirted their base was very gentle. The timber on these slopes
had been cut away to afford full sweep to our guns. An advancing
force would be completely under our fire during the whole time of its
ascent. Whether succeeding or failing, it must lose heavily.


General Van Dorn gave Price's Division the honor of assaulting these
works. The division was composed of Missouri, Arkansas, and Texas
regiments, and estimated at eight thousand strong. Price directed the
movement in person, and briefly told his men that the position must be
taken at all hazards. The line was formed on the wooded ground at
the base of the hills on which our batteries stood. The advance was
commenced simultaneously along the line.

As the Rebels emerged from the forest, our guns were opened. Officers
who were in Battery Williams at the time of the assault, say the
Rebels moved in splendid order. Grape and shell made frequent and wide
gaps through their ranks, but the line did not break nor waver. The
men moved directly forward, over the fallen timber that covered the
ground, and at length came within range of our infantry, which had
been placed in the forts to support the gunners. Our artillery had
made fearful havoc among the Rebels from the moment they left the
protection of the forest. Our infantry was waiting with impatience to
play its part.

When the Rebels were fairly within range of our small-arms, the order
was given for a simultaneous volley along our whole line. As the
shower of bullets struck the Rebel front, hundreds of men went down.
Many flags fell as the color-bearers were killed, but they were
instantly seized and defiantly waved. With a wild cheer the Rebels
dashed forward up to the very front of the forts, receiving without
recoil a most deadly fire. They leaped the ditch and gained the
parapet. They entered a bastion of Battery Williams, and for a minute
held possession of one of our guns.

Of the dozen or more that gained the interior of the bastion, very few
escaped. Nearly all were shot down while fighting for possession
of the gun, or surrendered when the parapet was cleared of those
ascending it. The retreat of the Rebels was hasty, but it was orderly.
Even in a repulse their coolness did not forsake them. They left their
dead scattered thickly in our front. In one group of seventeen, they
lay so closely together that their bodies touched each other. An
officer told me he could have walked along the entire front of Battery
Williams, touching a dead or wounded Rebel at nearly every step. Two
Rebel colonels were killed side by side, one of them falling with his
hand over the edge of the ditch. They were buried where they died.
In the attack in which the Rebels entered the edge of the town, the
struggle was nearly as great. It required desperate fighting for them
to gain possession of the spot, and equally desperate fighting on our
part to retake it. All our officers who participated in this battle
spoke in admiration of the courage displayed by the Rebels. Praise
from an enemy is the greatest praise. The Rebels were not defeated
on account of any lack of bravery or of recklessness. They were fully
justified in retreating after the efforts they made. Our army was
just as determined to hold Corinth as the Rebels were to capture it.
Advantages of position turned the scale in our favor, and enabled us
to repulse a force superior to our own.

Just before the battle, General Grant sent a division under General
McPherson to re-enforce Corinth. The Rebels had cut the railway
between the two points, so that the re-enforcement did not reach
Corinth until the battle was over.

On the morning following the battle, our forces moved out in pursuit
of the retreating Rebels. At the same time a column marched from
Bolivar, so as to fall in their front. The Rebels were taken between
the two columns, and brought to an engagement with each of them;
but, by finding roads to the south, managed to escape without
disorganization. Our forces returned to Corinth and Bolivar, thinking
it useless to make further pursuit.

Thus terminated the campaign of the enemy against Corinth. There
was no expectation that the Rebels would trouble us any more in that
quarter for the present, unless we sought them out. Their defeat
was sufficiently serious to compel them to relinquish all hope of
expelling us from Corinth.

During the time of his occupation of West Tennessee, General Grant was
much annoyed by the wandering sons of Israel, who thronged his lines
in great numbers. They were engaged in all kinds of speculation in
which money could be made. Many of them passed the lines into the
enemy's country, and purchased cotton, which they managed to bring to
Memphis and other points on the river. Many were engaged in smuggling
supplies to the Rebel armies, and several were caught while acting as

On our side of the lines the Jews were Union men, and generally
announced their desire for a prompt suppression of the Rebellion.
When under the folds of the Rebel flag they were the most ardent
Secessionists, and breathed undying hostility to the Yankees. Very few
of them had any real sympathy with either side, and were ready, like
Mr. Pickwick, to shout with the largest mob on all occasions, provided
there was money to be made by the operation. Their number was very
great. In the latter half of '62, a traveler would have thought the
lost tribes of Israel were holding a reunion at Memphis.

General Grant became indignant, and issued an order banishing the Jews
from his lines. The order created much excitement among the Americans
of Hebraic descent. The matter was placed before the President, and
the obnoxious restriction promptly revoked. During the time it was in
force a large number of the proscribed individuals were obliged to go

Sometimes the Rebels did not treat the Jews with the utmost courtesy.
On one occasion a scouting party captured two Jews who were buying
cotton. The Israelites were robbed of ten thousand dollars in gold
and United States currency, and then forced to enter the ranks of the
Rebel army. They did not escape until six months later.

In Chicago, in the first year of the war, a company of Jews was armed
and equipped at the expense of their wealthier brethren. The men
composing the company served their full time, and were highly praised
for their gallantry.

The above case deserves mention, as it is an exception to the general
conduct of the Jews.



Changes of Commanders.--Preparations for the Aggressive.--Marching
from Corinth.--Talking with the People.--"You-uns and
We-uns."--Conservatism of a "Regular."--Loyalty and
Disloyalty.--Condition of the Rebel Army.--Foraging.--German Theology
for American Soldiers.--A Modest Landlord.--A Boy without a Name.--The
Freedmen's Bureau.--Employing Negroes.--Holly Springs and its
People.--An Argument for Secession.

Two weeks after the battle of Corinth, General Rosecrans was summoned
to the Army of the Cumberland, to assume command in place of General
Buell. General Grant was placed at the head of the Thirteenth Army
Corps, including all the forces in West Tennessee. Preparations for an
aggressive movement into the enemy's country had been in progress for
some time. Corinth, Bolivar, and Jackson were strongly fortified,
so that a small force could defend them. The base of supply was at
Columbus, Kentucky, eighty-five miles due north of Jackson, thus
giving us a long line of railway to protect.

On the first of November the movement began, by the advance of a
column from Corinth and another from Bolivar. These columns met at
Grand Junction, twenty-five miles north of Holly Springs, and, after
lying there for two weeks, advanced to the occupation of the latter
point. The Rebels evacuated the place on our approach, and after a day
or two at Holly Springs we went forward toward the south. Abbeville
and Oxford were taken, and the Rebels established themselves at
Grenada, a hundred miles south of Memphis.

From Corinth I accompanied the division commanded by General Stanley.
I had known this officer in Missouri, in the first year of the war,
when he claimed to be very "conservative" in his views. During the
campaign with General Lyon he expressed himself opposed to a warfare
that should produce a change in the social status at the South. When I
met him at Corinth he was very "radical" in sentiment, and in favor of
a thorough destruction of the "peculiar institution." He declared that
he had liberated his own slaves, and was determined to set free all
the slaves of any other person that might come in his way. He rejoiced
that the war had not ended during the six months following the fall
of Fort Sumter, as we should then have allowed slavery to exist,
which would have rendered us liable to another rebellion whenever
the Southern leaders chose to make it. We could only be taught by
the logic of events, and it would take two or three years of war to
educate the country to a proper understanding of our position.

It required a war of greater magnitude than was generally expected at
the outset. In 1861 there were few people who would have consented to
interfere with "slavery in the States." The number of these persons
was greater in 1862, but it was not until 1864 that the anti-slavery
sentiment took firm hold of the public mind. In 1861 the voice of
Missouri would have favored the retention of the old system. In 1864
that State became almost as radical as Massachusetts. The change in
public sentiment elsewhere was nearly as great.

During the march from Corinth to Grand Junction, I had frequent
opportunity for conversing with the people along the route. There were
few able-bodied men at home. It was the invariable answer, when we
asked the whereabouts of any citizen, "He's away." Inquiry would
bring a reluctant confession that he had gone to the Rebel army.
Occasionally a woman would boast that she had sent her husband to
fight for his rights and the rights of his State. The violation of
State rights and the infringement upon personal prerogative were
charged upon the National Government as the causes of the war. Some
of the women displayed considerable skill in arguing the question of
secession, but their arguments were generally mingled with invective.
The majority were unable to make any discussion whatever.

"What's you-uns come down here to fight we-uns for?" said one of the
women whose husband was in the Rebel army. "We-uns never did you-uns
no hurt." (This addition of a syllable to the personal pronouns of the
second and third persons is common in some parts of the South, while
in others it will not be heard.)

"Well," said General Stanley, "we came down here because we were
obliged to come. Your people commenced a war, and we are trying to
help you end it."

"We-uns didn't want to fight, no-how. You-uns went and made the war so
as to steal our niggers."

The woman acknowledged that neither her husband nor herself ever
owned negroes, or ever expected to do so. She knew nothing about Fort
Sumter, and only knew that the North elected one President and
the South another, on the same occasion. The South only wanted its
president to rule its own region, but the North wanted to extend its
control over the whole country, so as to steal the negroes. Hence
arose the war.

Some of the poorer whites manifested a loyal feeling, which sprang
from a belief that the establishment of the Confederacy would
not better their condition. This number was not large, but it has
doubtless increased with the termination of the war. The wealthier
portion of the people were invariably in sympathy with the Rebel

After we reached Grand Junction, and made our camp a short distance
south of that point, we were joined by the column from Bolivar. In the
two columns General Grant had more than forty thousand men, exclusive
of a force under General Sherman, about to move from Memphis. The
Rebel army was at Holly Springs and Abbeville, and was estimated at
fifty thousand strong. Every day found a few deserters coming in
from the Rebels, but their number was not large. The few that came
represented their army to be well supplied with shoes, clothing, and
ammunition, and also well fed. They were nearly recovered from the
effects of their repulse at Corinth, a month before.

Our soldiers foraged at will on the plantations near our camp. The
quantities of supplies that were brought in did not argue that the
country had been previously visited by an army. Mules, horses, cattle,
hogs, sheep, chickens, and other things used by an army, were found in

The soldiers did not always confine their foraging to articles of
necessity. A clergyman's library was invaded and plundered. I saw one
soldier bending under the (avoirdupois) weight of three heavy volumes
on theology, printed in the German language. Another soldier, a mere
boy, was carrying away in triumph a copy of Scott's Greek Lexicon. In
every instance when it came to their knowledge, the officers compelled
the soldiers to return the books they had stolen. German theology and
Greek Lexicons were not thought advantageous to an army in the field.

One wing of our army was encamped at Lagrange, Tennessee, and honored
with the presence of General Grant. Lagrange presented a fair example
of the effects of secession upon the interior villages of the South.
Before the war it was the center of a flourishing business. Its
private residences were constructed with considerable magnificence,
and evinced the wealth of their owners. There was a male and a
female college; there was a bank, and there were several stores and
commission houses.

When the war broke out, the young men at the male college enlisted in
the Rebel army. The young women in the female college went to their
homes. The bank was closed for want of funds, the hotels had no
guests, the stores had few customers, and these had no money, the
commission houses could find no cotton to sell and no goods to buy.
Every thing was completely stagnated. All the men who could carry
muskets went to the field. When we occupied the town, there were not
three men remaining who were of the arms-bearing age.

I found in Lagrange a man who _could_ keep a hotel. He was ignorant,
lazy, and his establishment only resembled the Fifth Avenue or the
Continental in the prices charged to the guests. I staid several days
with this Boniface, and enjoyed the usual fare of the interior South.
Calling for my bill at my departure, I found the charges were only
three dollars and fifty cents per day.

My horse had been kept in a vacant and dilapidated stable belonging to
the hotel, but the landlord refused to take any responsibility for
the animal. He had no corn or hay, and his hostler had "gone to the
Yankees!" During my stay I employed a man to purchase corn and give
the desired attention to the horse. The landlord made a charge of one
dollar per day for "hoss-keeping," and was indignant when I entered a
protest. Outside of Newport and Saratoga, I think there are very few
hotel-keepers in the North who would make out and present a bill on so
small a basis as this.

This taverner's wife and daughter professed an utter contempt for all
white persons who degraded themselves to any kind of toil. Of
course, their hostility to the North was very great. Beyond a slight
supervision, they left every thing to the care of the negroes. A
gentleman who was with me sought to make himself acquainted with the
family, and succeeded admirably until, on one evening, he constructed
a small toy to amuse the children. This was too much. He was skillful
with his hands, and must therefore be a "mudsill." His acquaintance
with the ladies of that household came to an end. His manual dexterity
was his ruin.

There was another hotel in Lagrange, a rival establishment, that bore
the reputation of being much the worse in point of comfort. It was
owned by a widow, and this widow had a son--a lank, overgrown youth of
eighteen. His poverty, on one point, was the greatest I ever knew.
He could have been appropriately selected as the hero of a certain
popular novel by Wilkie Collins. No name had ever been given him by
his parents. In his infancy they spoke of him as "the boy." When he
grew large enough to appear on the street with other boys, some one
gave him the _sobriquet_ of "Rough and Ready." From that time forward,
his only praenomen was "Rough." I made several inquiries among his
neighbors, but could not ascertain that he bore any other Christian

The first comprehensive order providing for the care of the negroes
in the Southwest, was issued by General Grant while his army lay at
Lagrange and Grand Junction. Previous to that time, the negroes had
been disposed of as each division and post commander thought best,
under his general instructions not to treat them unkindly. Four months
earlier, our authorities at Memphis had enrolled several hundred
able-bodied negroes into an organization for service in the
Quartermaster's Department, in accordance with the provisions of
an order from District Head-Quarters. They threw up fortifications,
loaded and unloaded steamboats, and performed such other labor as was
required. In General Grant's army there was a pioneer corps of three
hundred negroes, under the immediate charge of an overseer, controlled
by an officer of engineers. No steps were then taken to use them as

The number of negroes at our posts and in our camps was rapidly
increasing. Under the previous orders, they were registered and
employed only on Government work. None but the able-bodied males were
thus available. The new arrangements contemplated the employment of
all who were capable of performing any kind of field labor. It was
expected to bring some revenue to the Government, that would partially
cover the expense of providing for the negroes.

The following is the order which General Grant issued:--

LAGRANGE, TENNESSEE, _November_ 14, 1862.


I. Chaplain J. Eaton, Jr., of the Twenty-seventh Ohio Volunteers, is
hereby appointed to take charge of all fugitive slaves that are
now, or may from time to time come, within the military lines of
the advancing army in this vicinity, not employed and registered in
accordance with General Orders, No. 72, from head-quarters District of
West Tennessee, and will open a camp for them at Grand Junction, where
they will be suitably cared for, and organized into companies, and set
to work, picking, ginning, and baling all cotton now outstanding in

II. Commanding officers of all troops will send all fugitives that
come within the lines, together with such teams, cooking utensils, and
other baggage as they may bring with them, to Chaplain J. Eaton, Jr.,
at Grand Junction.

III. One regiment of infantry from Brigadier-General McArthur's
Division will be temporarily detailed as guard in charge of such
contrabands, and the surgeon of said regiment will be charged with the
care of the sick.

IV. Commissaries of subsistence will issue, on the requisitions of
Chaplain Eaton, omitting the coffee ration, and substituting rye. By
order of Major-General U.S. Grant. JNO. A. RAWLINS, A.A.G.

Chaplain Eaton entered immediately upon the discharge of his duties.
Many division and brigade commanders threw obstacles in his way,
and were very slow to comply with General Grant's order. Some of the
officers of the Commissary Department made every possible delay in
filling Chaplain Eaton's requisitions. The people of the vicinity
laughed at the experiment, and prophesied speedy and complete failure.
They endeavored to insure a failure by stealing the horses and mules,
and disabling the machinery which Chaplain Eaton was using. Failing in
this, they organized guerrilla parties, and attempted to frighten
the negroes from working in the field. They only desisted from this
enterprise when some of their number were killed.

All the negroes that came into the army lines were gathered at Grand
Junction and organized, in compliance with the order. There were many
fields of cotton fully ripened, that required immediate attention.
Cotton-picking commenced, and was extensively prosecuted.

The experiment proved a success. The cotton, in the immediate vicinity
of Grand Junction and Lagrange was gathered, baled, and made ready
for market. For once, the labors of the negro in the Southwest were
bringing an actual return to the Government.

The following year saw the system enlarged, as our armies took
possession of new districts. In 1863, large quantities of cotton were
gathered from fields in the vicinity of Lake Providence and Milliken's
Bend, and the cultivation of plantations was commenced. In 1864, this
last enterprise was still further prosecuted. Chaplain Eaton became
Colonel Eaton, and the humble beginning at Grand Junction grew into a
great scheme for demonstrating the practicability of free labor, and
benefiting the negroes who-had been left without support by reason of
the flight of their owners.

As the army lay in camp near Lagrange for nearly four weeks, and
the enemy was twenty-five miles distant, there was very little war
correspondence to be written. There was an occasional skirmish near
the front, but no important movement whatever. The monotony of
this kind of life, and the tables of the Lagrange hotels, were not
calculated to awaken much enthusiasm. Learning from a staff officer
the probable date when the army would advance, I essayed a visit to
St. Louis, and returned in season to take part in the movement into

At the time General Grant advanced from Lagrange, he ordered General
Sherman to move from Memphis, so that the two columns would unite in
the vicinity of Oxford, Mississippi. General Sherman pushed his column
as rapidly as possible, and, by the combined movement, the Rebels were
forced out of their defenses beyond Oxford, and compelled to select a
new line in the direction of Grenada. Our flag was steadily advancing
toward the Gulf.

Satisfied there would be no battle until our army had passed Oxford,
I tarried several days at Holly Springs, waiting for the railway to
be opened. I found the town a very pleasant one, finely situated, and
bearing evidence of the wealth and taste of its inhabitants. When
the war broke out, there were only two places in the State that could
boast a larger population than Holly Springs.

At the time of my arrival, the hotels of Holly Springs were not open,
and I was obliged to take a room at a private house with one of the
inhabitants. My host was an earnest advocate of the Rebel cause, and
had the fullest confidence in the ultimate independence of the South.

"We intend," said he, "to establish a strong Government, in which
there will be no danger of interference by any abolitionists. If you
had allowed us to have our own way, there would never have been any
trouble. We didn't want you to have slavery in the North, but we
wanted to go into the Territories, where we had a perfect right, and
do as we pleased about taking our slaves there. The control of the
Government belongs to us. The most of the Presidents have been
from the South, as they ought to be. It was only when you elected
a sectional President, who was sworn to break up slavery, that we
objected. You began the war when you refused us the privilege of
having a national President."

This gentleman argued, further, that the half of all public property
belonged to the South, and it was only just that the State authorities
should take possession of forts and arsenals, as they did at the
inception of the war. It was the especial right of the South to
control the nation. Slavery was instituted from Heaven, for the
especial good of both white and black. Whoever displayed any sympathy
for the negro, and wished to make him free, was doing a great
injustice to the slave and his master, particularly to the latter.

Once he said the destruction of slavery would be unworthy a people who
possessed any gallantry. "You will," he declared, "do a cruel wrong
to many fine ladies. They know nothing about working with their hands,
and consider such knowledge disgraceful. If their slaves are taken
from them, these ladies will be helpless."

This gentleman was the possessor of several negroes, though he lived
in a house that he did not own. Of course, it was a great injustice to
deprive him of his only property, especially as the laws of his State
sanctioned such ownership. He declared he would not submit to any
theft of that character. I do not think I ever saw a person manifest
more passion than was exhibited by this individual on hearings one
afternoon, that one of his slaves had taken refuge in our camp, with
the avowed intention of going North.

"I don't care for the loss," said he, "but what I do care for is, to
be robbed by a nigger. I can endure an injury from a white man; to
have a nigger defy me is too much."

Unfortunate and unhappy man! I presume he is not entirely satisfied
with the present status of the "Peculiar Institution."

The cotton speculators at Holly Springs were guilty of some sharp
transactions. One day a gentleman residing in the vicinity came to
town in order to effect a sale of fifty bales. The cotton was in a
warehouse a half-dozen miles away.

Remaining over night in Holly Springs, and walking to the railway
station in the morning, he found his cotton piled by the track and
ready for shipment. Two men were engaged effacing the marks upon
the bales. By some means they had obtained a sufficient number of
Government wagons to remove the entire lot during the night. It was a
case of downright theft. The offenders were banished beyond the lines
of the army.

In a public office at Holly Springs our soldiers found a great number
of bills on the Northern Bank of Mississippi. They were in sheets,
just as they had come from the press. None of them bore dates or

The soldiers supplied all needed chirography, and the bills obtained
a wide circulation. Chickens, pigs, and other small articles were
purchased of the whites and negroes, and paid for with the most
astonishing liberality.

Counterfeits of the Rebel currency were freely distributed, and could
only be distinguished from the genuine by their superior execution.

Among the women in Holly Springs and its vicinity snuff was in great
demand. The article is used by them in much the same way that men chew
tobacco. The practice is known as "dipping," and is disgusting in the
extreme. A stick the size of a common pencil is chewed or beaten at
one end until the fibers are separated. In this condition it forms a

This brush is moistened with saliva, and plunged into the snuff. The
fine powder which adheres is then rubbed on the gums and among the
teeth. A species of partial intoxication is the result.

The effect of continued "dipping" becomes apparent. The gums are
inflamed, the teeth are discolored, the lips are shriveled, and the
complexion is sallow. The throat is dry and irritated, and there is a
constant desire to expectorate.

I trust the habit will never become a Northern one.



The Slavery Question.--A Generous Offer.--A Journalist's
Modesty.--Hopes of the Mississippians at the Beginning of the
War.--Visiting an Editress.--Literature under Difficulties.--Jacob
Thompson and his Correspondence.--Plans for the Capture of
Vicksburg.--Movements of General Sherman.--The Raid upon Holly
Springs.--Forewarned, but not Forearmed.--A Gallant Fight.

The people of Holly Springs were much excited over the slavery
question. It was then early in December. The President's proclamation
was to have its effect on all States, or portions of States, not
represented in Congress on the first of January following. The
slaveholders desired to have the northern district of Mississippi
represented in Congress before the first of January.

Three or four days after my arrival at Holly Springs I was with a
small party of citizens to whom I had received introduction. The
great question was being discussed. All were agreed that Northern
Mississippi should be represented in Congress at whatever cost.

"Grant has now been in Mississippi nearly two weeks," said the
principal speaker; "we are clearly entitled to representation."

"Certainly we are," responded another; "but who will represent us?"

"Hold an election to-morrow, and choose our man."

"Who will we send? None of us would be received. There isn't a man in
the district who could swear he has taken no part in the Rebellion."

"I have it," said the individual who first proposed an election.
Turning to me, he made a somewhat novel proposition:

"You can represent us in Congress. We've all been so d----d disloyal
that we can't go; but that is no reason why we should not send a loyal
men. Say yes, and we'll meet to-morrow, a dozen of us, and elect you."

Here was an opportunity for glory. Only four days in a State from
which I could go to Congress! I was offered all necessary credentials
to insure my reception. My loyalty could be clearly and easily
proved. My only duties would be to assist in fastening slavery upon
my congressional district. Much as I felt honored at the offer of
distinction, I was obliged to decline it. A similar proposition was
made to another journalist. He, like myself, was governed by modesty,
and begged to be excused from serving.

The desire of this people to be represented in Congress, was a partial
proof that they expected the national authority restored throughout
the country. They professed to believe that our occupation would be
temporary, but their actions did not agree with their words.

They were greatly mortified at the inability of their army to oppose
our advance, and frequently abused the Rebel Government without stint.
They had anticipated an easy victory from the outset, and were greatly
disappointed at the result, up to that time.

"Just see how it is," said a Mississippian one day; "we expected to
whip you without the slightest trouble. We threw the war into the
Border States to keep it off our soil. Mississippi was very earnest
for the Rebellion when Kentucky was the battle-ground. We no more
expected you would come here, than that we should get to the moon.
It is the fortune of war that you have driven us back, but it is very
severe upon the cotton States."

I ventured to ask about the possibilities of repudiation of the Rebel
debt, in case the Confederacy was fairly established.

"Of course we shall repudiate," was the response. "It would be far
better for the Confederacy to do so than to attempt to pay the debt,
or even its interest. Suppose we have a debt of a thousand millions,
at eight per cent. This debt is due to our own people, and they have
to pay the interest upon it. In twelve years and a half they would
have paid another thousand millions, and still be as deeply in debt as
ever. Now, if they repudiate the whole, the country will be a thousand
millions richer at the end of twelve years and a half, than it
otherwise would."

In Mississippi, as well as in other Southern States, I frequently
heard this argument. It is not surprising that the confidence of the
people in their currency was shaken at a very early period.

In its days of prosperity, Holly Springs boasted of two rival papers,
each of them published weekly. One of these died just as the war broke
out. The proprietor of the other, who was at the same time its editor,
went, with his two sons, into the Rebel army, leaving the paper in
charge of his wife. The lady wielded the pen for nearly a year, but
the scarcity of printing-paper compelled her to close her office, a
few months before our arrival.

One afternoon, I accompanied Mr. Colburn, of _The World_, on a visit
to the ex-editress. The lady received our cards and greeted us very
cordially. She spoke, with evident pride, of her struggles to sustain
her paper in war-time and under war prices, and hoped she could soon
resume its publication. She referred to the absence of her husband
and sons in the Rebel service, and was gratified that they had always
borne a good record. She believed in the South and in the justness of
its cause, but was prompt to declare that all the wrong was not on one
side. She neither gave the South extravagant praise, nor visited the
North with denunciation.

She regretted the existence of the war, and charged its beginning upon
the extremists of both sides. Slavery was clearly its cause, and
she should look for its complete destruction in the event of the
restoration of national authority. Through justice to itself, the
North could demand nothing less, and the South must be willing to
abide by the fortune of war.

This woman respected and admired the North, because it was a region
where labor was not degrading.

She had always opposed the Southern sentiment concerning labor, and
educated her children after her own belief. While other boys were
idling in the streets, she had taught her sons all the mysteries of
the printing-office, and made them able to care for themselves. She
was confident they would vindicate the correctness of her theory, by
winning good positions in life. She believed slavery had assisted the
development of the South, but was equally positive that its effect
upon the white race was ruinous in the extreme.

She had no word of abuse for the Union, but spoke of it in terms of
praise. At the same time she expressed an earnest hope for the
success of the Rebellion. She saw the evil of slavery, but wished the
Confederacy established. How she could reconcile all her views I was
unable to ascertain. I do not believe she will take seriously to heart
the defeat of the scheme to found a slaveholders' government. In the
suppression of the Rebellion she will doubtless discover a brilliant
future for "the land of the cypress and myrtle," and bless the day
that witnessed the destruction of slavery.

At Oxford, our forces found the residence of the ex-Hon. Jacob
Thompson, who has since figured prominently as the Rebel agent in
Canada. In his office a letter-book and much correspondence were
secured--the letters showing that the design of a rebellion dated
much further back than the first election of Mr. Lincoln. Some of this
correspondence was given to the public at the time, and proved quite
interesting. The balance was sent to the War Department, where it was
expected to be of service. The books in Mr. Thompson's library found
their way to various parts of the Union, and became scattered where it
will be difficult for their owner to gather them, should he desire to
restore his collection. If "misery loves company," it was doubtless
gratifying to Mr. Thompson to know of the capture of the library and
correspondence of Jefferson Davis, several months later.

Our advance into Mississippi was being successfully pushed, early in
December, 1862. There was a prospect that it would not accomplish
the desired object, the capture of Vicksburg, without some
counter-movement. A force was sent from Helena, Arkansas, to cut the
railway in rear of the Rebel army. Though accomplishing its immediate
object, it did not make a material change in the military situation.
The Rebels continued to hold Grenada, which they had strongly
fortified. They could only be forced from this position by a movement
that should render Grenada of no practical value.

General Grant detached the right wing of his army, with orders to make
a rapid march to Memphis, and thence to descend the Mississippi by
steamboats to Vicksburg. This expedition was commanded by General
Sherman. While the movement was in progress, General Grant was to
push forward, on the line he had been following, and attempt to join
General Sherman at the nearest practicable point on the Yazoo River
above Vicksburg. The fall of Vicksburg was thus thought to be assured,
especially as General Sherman's attack was to be made upon the
defenses in its rear.

General Sherman moved, to Memphis with due celerity. The garrison of
that city was reduced as much as possible to re-enforce his column.
The Army of Arkansas, then at Helena, was temporarily added to his
command. This gave a force exceeding twenty-eight thousand strong
to move upon Vicksburg. It was considered sufficiently large to
accomplish the desired object--the garrison of Vicksburg having been
weakened to strengthen the army in General Grant's front.

I was in Holly Springs when General Sherman began to move toward
Memphis. Thinking there would be active work at Vicksburg, I prepared
to go to Columbus by rail, and take a steamboat thence to Memphis. By
this route it was nearly four hundred miles; but it was safer and
more expeditious to travel in that way than to attempt the "overland"
journey of fifty miles in a direct line.

There were rumors that the Rebels contemplated a raid upon Holly
Springs, for the purpose of cutting General Grant's communications and
destroying the supplies known to be accumulated there. From the most
vague and obscurely-worded hints, given by a Secessionist, I inferred
that such a movement was expected. The Rebels were arranging a cavalry
force to strike a blow somewhere upon our line of railway, and
there was no point more attractive than Holly Springs. I attached no
importance to the story, as I had invariably known the friends of the
Rebels to predict wonderful movements that never occurred.

Meeting the post-commandant shortly afterward, I told him what I had
heard. He assured me there was nothing to fear, and that every thing
was arranged to insure a successful defense. On this point I did not
agree with him. I knew very well that the garrison was not properly
distributed to oppose a dash of the enemy. There were but few men
on picket, and no precautions had been taken against surprise. Our
accumulation of stores was sufficiently large to be worth a strong
effort to destroy them. As I was about ready to leave, I concluded to
take the first train to Columbus.

Less than forty-eight hours after my departure, General Van Dorn, at
the head of five thousand men, entered Holly Springs with very slight
opposition. He found every thing nearly as he could have arranged it
had he planned the defense himself. The commandant, Colonel Murphy,
was afterward dismissed the service for his negligence in preparing to
defend the place after being notified by General Grant that the enemy
was moving to attack him.

The accumulation of supplies at the railway depot, and all the railway
buildings, with their surroundings, were burned. Two trains of cars
were standing ready to move, and these shared a similar fate. In the
center of the town, a building we were using as a magazine was blown
up. The most of the business portion of Holly Springs was destroyed by
fire, communicated from this magazine.

During the first year of the war, Holly Springs was selected as the
site of a "Confederate States Arsenal," and a series of extensive
buildings erected at great expense.

We had converted these buildings into hospitals, and were fitting
them up with suitable accommodations for a large number of sick and

After ordering our surgeons to remove their patients, the Rebels set
fire to the hospitals while the yellow flag was floating over them.
General Grant subsequently denounced this act as contrary to the
usages of war.

The Rebels remained in Holly Springs until five o'clock in the
afternoon of the day of their arrival. At their departure they moved
in a northerly direction, evidently designing to visit Grand Junction.
At Davis's Mill, about half-way between Holly Springs and Grand
Junction, they found a small stockade, garrisoned by two companies
of infantry, protecting the railway bridge. They sent forward a
flag-of-truce, and demanded the instant surrender of the stockade.

Their demand was not complied with. That garrison, of less than two
hundred men, fought Van Dorn's entire command four hours, repulsed
three successive charges, and finally compelled the Rebels to retreat.
Van Dorn's northward movement was checked, and our stores at Grand
Junction and Lagrange were saved, by the gallantry of this little
force. General Grant subsequently gave special compliment to the
bravery of these soldiers and their officers, in an order which was
read to every regiment in the Army of the Tennessee.

Our plans were completely deranged by this movement of the enemy. The
supplies and ammunition we had relied upon were destroyed, and
our communications severed. It was impossible to push further into
Mississippi, and preparations were made for immediate retreat.
The railway was repaired and the heavy baggage sent to the rear as
speedily as possible. When this was accomplished the army began to
fall back. Oxford, Abbeville, and Holly Springs were abandoned, and
returned to the protection of the Rebel flag. Northern Mississippi
again became the field for guerrilla warfare, and a source of supply
to the Rebels in the field. The campaign for the capture of Vicksburg
took a new shape from the day our lines were severed.

A few days before the surrender of Vicksburg, General Grant,
in conversation with some friends, referred to his position in
Mississippi, six months before. Had he pressed forward beyond Grenada,
he would have been caught in midwinter in a sea of mud, where the
safety of his army might have been endangered. Van Dorn's raid
compelled him to retreat, saved him from a possible heavier reverse,
and prepared the way for the campaign in which Vicksburg finally
capitulated. A present disaster, it proved the beginning of ultimate



Leaving Memphis.--Down the Great River.--Landing in the Yazoo.--
Description of the Ground..--A Night in Bivouac.--Plan of Attack.--
Moving toward the Hills.--Assaulting the Bluff.--Our Repulse.--New
Plans.--Withdrawal from the Yazoo.

On arriving at Memphis, I found General Sherman's expedition was ready
to move toward Vicksburg. A few of the soldiers who escaped from the
raid on Holly Springs had reached Memphis with intelligence of that
disaster. The news caused much excitement, as the strength of the
Rebels was greatly exaggerated. A few of these soldiers thought Van
Dorn's entire division of fifteen or twenty thousand men had
been mounted and was present at the raid. There were rumors of a
contemplated attack upon Memphis, after General Sherman's departure.

Unmilitary men thought the event might delay the movement upon
Vicksburg, but it did not have that effect. General Sherman said he
had no official knowledge that Holly Springs had been captured, and
could do no less than carry out his orders. The expedition sailed, its
various divisions making a rendezvous at Friar's Point, twelve miles
below Helena, on the night of the 22d of December. From this place
to the mouth of the Yazoo, we moved leisurely down the Mississippi,
halting a day near Milliken's Bend, almost in sight of Vicksburg. We
passed a portion of Christmas-Day near the mouth of the Yazoo.

On the morning of the 26th of December, the fleet of sixty transports,
convoyed by several gun-boats, commenced the ascent of the Yazoo. This
stream debouches into the Mississippi, fifteen miles above Vicksburg,
by the course of the current, though the distance in an airline is not
more than six miles. Ten or twelve miles above its mouth, the Yazoo
sweeps the base of the range of hills on which Vicksburg stands, at a
point nearly behind the city. It was therefore considered a feasible
route to the rear of Vicksburg.

In a letter which I wrote on that occasion, I gave the following
description of the country adjoining the river, and the incidents of
a night bivouac before the battle:--"The bottom-land of the Yazoo
is covered with a heavy growth of tall cypress-trees, whose limbs
are everywhere interlaced. In many places the forest has a dense
undergrowth, and in others it is quite clear, and affords easy passage
to mounted men. These huge trees are heavily draped in the 'hanging
moss,' so common in the Southern States, which gives them a most
gloomy appearance. The moss, everywhere pendent from the limbs of the
trees, covers them like a shroud, and in some localities shuts out
the sunlight. In these forests there are numerous bayous that form a
net-work converting the land into a series of islands. When separated
from your companions, you can easily imagine yourself in a wilderness.
In the wild woods of the Oregon there is no greater solitude."

       *       *       *       *       *

"On the afternoon of the 27th, I started from the transports, and
accompanied our left wing, which was advancing on the east side of
Chickasaw Bayou. The road lay along the crest of the levee which had
been thrown up on the bank of the bayou, to protect the fields on
that side against inundation. This road was only wide enough for the
passage of a single wagon. Our progress was very slow, on account of
the necessity for removing heavy logs across the levee. When night
overtook us, we made our bivouac in the forest, about three miles from
the river.

"I had taken with me but a single blanket, and a haversack containing
my note-book and a few crackers. That night in bivouac acquainted me
with some of the discomforts of war-making on the Yazoo. The ground
was moist from recent rains, so that dry places were difficult to
find. A fellow-journalist proposed that we unite our blankets, and
form a double bed for mutual advantage. To this I assented. When
my friend came forward, to rest in our combined couch, I found his
'blanket' was purely imaginary, having been left on the steamer at
his departure. For a while we 'doubled,' but I was soon deserted, on
account of the barrenness of my accommodations.

"No fires were allowed, as they might reveal our position to the
watchful enemy. The night was cold. Ice formed at the edge of the
bayou, and there was a thick frost on the little patches of open
ground. A negro who had lived in that region said the swamp usually
abounded in moccasins, copperheads, and cane-snakes, in large numbers.
An occasional rustling of the leaves at my side led me to imagine
these snakes were endeavoring to make my acquaintance.

"Laying aside my snake fancies, it was too cold to sleep. As fast as
I would fall into a doze, the chill of the atmosphere would steal
through my blanket, and remind me of my location. Half-sleeping and
half-waking, I dreamed of every thing disagreeable. I had visions
of Greenland's icy mountains, of rambles in Siberia, of my long-past
midwinter nights in the snow-drifted gorges of Colorado, of shipwreck,
and of burning dwellings, and of all moving accidents by flood and
field! These dreams followed each other with a rapidity that far
outstripped the workings of the electric telegraph.

"Cold and dampness and snakes and fitful dreams were not the only
bodily discomforts. A dozen horses were loose in camp, and trotting
gayly about. Several times they passed at a careless pace within a
yard of my head. Once the foremost of the _caballada_ jumped
directly over me, and was followed by the rest. My comments on these
eccentricities of that noble animal, the horse, provoked the derision
rather than the sympathy of those who heard them.

"A teamster, who mistook me for a log, led his mules over me. A negro,
under the same delusion, attempted to convert me into a chair, and
another wanted to break me up for fuel, to be used in making a
fire after daylight. Each of these little blunders evoked a gentle
remonstrance, that effectually prevented a repetition by the same

"A little past daylight a shell from the Rebel batteries exploded
within twenty yards of my position, and warned me that it was time to
rise. To make my toilet, I pulled the sticks and leaves from my
hair and beard, and brushed my overcoat with a handful of moss. I
breakfasted on a cracker and a spoonful of whisky. I gave my horse a
handful of corn and a large quantity of leaves. The former he ate, but
the latter he refused to touch. The column began to move, and I was
ready to attend upon its fortunes."

General Sherman's plan was to effect a landing on the Yazoo, and,
by taking possession of the bluffs, sever the communication between
Vicksburg and the interior. It was thought the garrison of Vicksburg
had been greatly weakened to re-enforce the army in General Grant's
front, so that our success would be certain when we once gained the

A portion of our forces effected a landing on the 26th, but the whole
command was not on shore till the 27th. Fighting commenced on the
27th, and became more earnest on the 28th, as we crowded toward the

In moving from the steamboat landing to the base of the bluffs on the
28th, our army encountered the enemy at several points, but forced him
back without serious loss on either side. It appeared to be the Rebel
design not to make any resistance of magnitude until we had crossed
the lower ground and were near the base of the line of hills
protecting Vicksburg.

Not far from the foot of the bluffs there was a bayou, which formed an
excellent front for the first line of the Rebel defenses. On our right
we attempted to cross this bayou with a portion of Morgan L. Smith's
Division, but the Rebel fire was so severe that we were repulsed. On
our extreme right a similar attempt obtained the same result.

On our left the bayou was crossed by General Morgan's and General
Steele's Divisions at two or three points, and our forces gained a
position close up to the edge of the bluff.

At eleven A. M. on the 29th, an assault was made by three brigades
of infantry upon the works of the enemy on this portion of the line.
General Blair and General Thayer from Steele's Division, pushed
forward through an abatis which skirted the edge of the bayou, and
captured the first line of Rebel rifle-pits. From this line the
brigades pressed two hundred yards farther up the hillside, and
temporarily occupied a portion of the second line. Fifty yards beyond
was a small clump of trees, which was gained by one regiment, the
Thirteenth Illinois, of General Blair's Brigade.


The Rebels massed heavily against these two brigades. Our assaulting
force had not been followed by a supporting column, and was unable to
hold the works it captured. It fell back to the bayou and re-formed
its line. One of General Morgan's brigades occupied a portion of the
rifle-pits at the time the hill was assaulted by the brigades from
General Steele's Division.

During the afternoon of the 29th, preparations were made for another
assault, but the plan was not carried out. It was found the Rebels had
been re-enforced at that point, so that we had great odds against us.
The two contending armies rested within view of each other, throwing a
few shells each hour, to give notice of their presence.

After the assault, the ground between the contending lines was covered
with dead and wounded men of our army. A flag-of-truce was sent out
on the afternoon of the 29th, to arrange for burying the dead and
bringing away the wounded, but the Rebels would not receive it.
Sunrise on the 30th, noon, sunset, and sunrise again, and they lay
there still. On the 31st, a truce of five hours was arranged, and the
work of humanity accomplished. A heavy rain had fallen, rendering the
ground unfit for the rapid moving of infantry and artillery, in front
of the Rebel position.

On the evening of the 31st, orders were issued for a new plan of
attack at another part of the enemy's lines. A division was to be
embarked on the transports, and landed as near as possible to the
Rebel fortifications on Haines's Bluff, several miles up the Yazoo.
The gun-boats were to take the advance, engage the attention of the
forts, and cover the landing. Admiral Porter ordered Colonel Ellet
to go in advance, with a boat of his ram fleet, to remove the
obstructions the Rebels had placed in the river, under the guns of the
fort. A raft was attached to the bow of the ram, and on the end of the
raft was a torpedo containing a half ton of powder.

Admiral Porter contended that the explosion of the torpedo would
remove the obstructions, so that the fleet could proceed. Colonel
Ellet expressed his readiness to obey orders, but gave his opinion
that the explosion, while effecting its object, would destroy his boat
and all on board. Some officers and civilians, who knew the admiral's
antipathy to Colonel Ellet, suggested that the former was of the same
opinion, and therefore desirous that the experiment should be made.

Every thing was in readiness on the morning of the 1st of January, but
a dense fog prevented the execution of our new plan. On the following
day we withdrew from the Yazoo, and ended the second attack upon
Vicksburg. Our loss was not far from two thousand men, in all

General Sherman claimed to have carried out with exactness, the
instructions from his superior officers respecting the time and manner
of the attack. Van Dorn's raid upon General Grant's lines, previous to
Sherman's departure from Memphis, had radically changed the military
situation. Grant's advance being stopped, his co-operation by way
of Yazoo City could not be given. At the same time, the Rebels were
enabled to strengthen their forces at Vicksburg. The assault was a
part of the great plan for the conquest of the Mississippi, and was
made in obedience to positive orders. Before the orders were carried
out, a single circumstance had deranged the whole plan. After the
fighting was ended and the army had re-embarked, preparatory to
leaving the Yazoo, General Sherman was relieved from command by
General McClernand. The latter officer carried out the order for
withdrawal. The fleet steamed up the Mississippi to Milliken's Bend,
where it remained for a day or two. General McClernand directed that
an expedition be made against Arkansas Post, a Rebel fortification on
the Arkansas River, fifty miles above its mouth.

After the first attack upon Vicksburg, in June, 1862, the Rebels
strengthened the approaches in the rear of the city. They threw up
defensive works on the line of bluffs facing the Yazoo, and erected a
strong fortification to prevent our boats ascending that stream. Just
before General Sherman commenced his assault, the gun-boat _Benton_,
aided by another iron-clad, attempted to silence the batteries at
Haines's Bluff, but was unsuccessful. Her sides were perforated by
the Rebel projectiles, and she withdrew from the attack in a disabled
condition. Captain Gwin, her commander, was mortally wounded early in
the fight.

Captain Gwin was married but a few weeks before this occurrence. His
young wife was on her way from the East to visit him, and was met at
Cairo with the news of his death.

About two months before the time of our attack, an expedition
descended the Mississippi from Helena, and suddenly appeared near the
mouth of the Yazoo. It reached Milliken's Bend at night, surprising
and capturing the steamer _Fairplay_, which was loaded with arms and
ammunition for the Rebels in Arkansas. So quietly was the capture
made, that the officers of the _Fairplay_ were not aware of the change
in their situation until awakened by their captors.



Capture of Arkansas Post.--The Army returns to Milliken's
Bend.--General Sherman and the Journalists.--Arrest of the
Author.--His Trial before a Military Court.--Letter from President
Lincoln.--Capture of Three Journalists.

The army moved against Arkansas Post, which was captured, with its
entire garrison of five thousand men. The fort was dismantled and the
earth-works leveled to the ground. After this was accomplished, the
army returned to Milliken's Bend. General Grant arrived a few days
later, and commenced the operations which culminated in the fall of

Before leaving Memphis on the Yazoo expedition, General Sherman issued
an order excluding all civilians, except such as were connected with
the transports, and threatening to treat as a spy any person who
should write accounts for publication which might give information
to the enemy. No journalists were to be allowed to take part in the
affair. One who applied for permission to go in his professional
capacity received a very positive refusal. General Sherman had a
strong antipathy to journalists, amounting almost to a mania, and he
was determined to discourage their presence in his movements against

Five or six correspondents accompanied the expedition, some of them
on passes from General Grant, which were believed superior to General
Sherman's order, and others with passes or invitations from officers
in the expedition. I carried a pass from General Grant, and had a
personal invitation from an officer who held a prominent command in
the Army of Arkansas. I had passed Memphis, almost without stopping,
and was not aware of the existence of the prohibitory order until I
reached the Yazoo.

I wrote for _The Herald_ an account of the battle, which I directed to
a friend at Cairo, and placed in the mail on board the head-quarters'
boat. The day after mailing my letter, I learned it was being read at
General Sherman's head-quarters. The General afterward told me that
his mail-agent, Colonel Markland, took my letter, among others, from
the mail, with his full assent, though without his order.

I proceeded to rewrite my account, determined not to trust again to
the head-quarters' mail. When I was about ready to depart, I received
the letter which had been stolen, bearing evident marks of repeated
perusal. Two maps which it originally contained were not returned. I
proceeded to Cairo as the bearer of my own dispatches.

On my return to Milliken's Bend, two weeks later, I experienced a new
sensation. After two interviews with the indignant general, I received
a tender of hospitalities from the provost-marshal of the Army of the
Tennessee. The tender was made in such form as left no opportunity
for declining it. A few days after my arrest, I was honored by a
trial before a military court, consisting of a brigadier-general,
four colonels, and two majors. General Sherman had made the following
charges against me:--

First.--"_Giving information to the enemy._"

Second.--"_Being a spy._"

Third.--"_Disobedience of orders._"

The first and second charges were based on my published letter.
The third declared that I accompanied the expedition without proper
authority, and published a letter without official sanction. These
were my alleged offenses.

My court had a protracted session. It decided there was nothing in
my letter which violated the provisions of the order regulating war
correspondence for the Press. It declared me innocent of the first
and second charges. It could see nothing criminal in the manner of my
accompanying the expedition.

But I was guilty of something. There was a "General Order, Number 67,"
issued in 1861, of whose existence neither myself nor, as far as I
could ascertain, any other journalist, was aware. It provided that no
person should write, print, or cause to be printed "any information
respecting military movements, without the authority and sanction of
the general in command."

Here was the rock on which I split. I had written a letter respecting
military movements, and caused it to be printed, "without the sanction
of the general in command." Correspondents everywhere had done the
same thing, and continued to do it till the end of the war. "Order
Number 67" was as obsolete as the laws of the Medes and Persians, save
on that single occasion. Dispatches by telegraph passed under the eye
of a Government censor, but I never heard of an instance wherein a
letter transmitted by mail received any official sanction.

My court was composed of officers from General Sherman's command,
and was carefully watched by that distinguished military chieftain,
throughout its whole sitting. It wavered in deciding upon the proper
"punishment" for my offense. Should it banish me from that spot, or
should I receive an official censure? It concluded to send me outside
the limits of the Army of the Tennessee.

During the days I passed in the care of the provost-marshal, I perused
all the novels that the region afforded. When these were ended, I
studied a copy of a well-known work on theology, and turned, for light
reading, to the "Pirate's Own Book." A sympathizing friend sent me a
bundle of tracts and a copy of the "Adventures of John A. Murrell."
A volume of lectures upon temperance and a dozen bottles of Allsop's
pale ale, were among the most welcome contributions that I received.
The ale disappeared before the lectures had been thoroughly digested.

The chambermaid of the steamboat displayed the greatest sympathy in my
behalf. She declined to receive payment of a washing-bill, and burst
into tears when I assured her the money was of no use to me.

Her fears for my welfare were caused by a frightful story that had
been told her by a cabin-boy. He maliciously represented that I was
to be executed for attempting to purchase cotton from a Rebel
quartermaster. The verdant woman believed the story for several days.

It may interest some readers to know that the proceedings of a
court-martial are made in writing. The judge-advocate (who holds the
same position as the prosecuting attorney in a civil case) writes his
questions, and then reads them aloud. The answers, as they are given,
are reduced to writing. The questions or objections of the prisoner's
counsel must be made in writing and given to the judge-advocate, to be
read to the court. In trials where a large number of witnesses must be
examined, it is now the custom to make use of "short-hand" writers. In
this way the length of a trial is greatly reduced.

The members of a court-martial sit in full uniform, including sash and
sword, and preserve a most severe and becoming dignity. Whenever the
court wishes to deliberate upon any point of law or evidence, the
room is cleared, neither the prisoner nor his counsel being allowed to
remain. It frequently occurs that the court is thus closed during the
greater part of its sessions. With the necessity for recording all
its proceedings, and frequent stoppages for deliberation, a trial by a
military court is ordinarily very slow.

In obedience to the order of the court, I left the vicinity of the
Army of the Tennessee, and proceeded North.

In departing from Young's Point, I could not obey a certain Scriptural
injunction, as the mud of Louisiana adheres like glue, and defies all
efforts to shake it off. Mr. Albert D. Richardson, of The Tribune,
on behalf of many of my professional friends, called the attention
of President Lincoln to the little affair between General Sherman and

In his recently published book of experiences during the war, Mr.
Richardson has given a full and graphic account of his interview with
the President. Mr. Lincoln unbent himself from his official cares,
told two of his best stories, conversed for an hour or more upon
the military situation, gave his reasons for the removal of General
McClellan, and expressed his hope in our ultimate success. Declaring
it his inflexible determination not to interfere with the conduct of
any military department, he wrote the following document:--

WASHINGTON, _March_ 20, 1863.


Whereas it appears to my satisfaction that Thomas W. Knox, a
correspondent of _The New York Herald_, has been, by the sentence of a
court-martial, excluded from the Military Department under command of
Major-General Grant, and also that General Thayer, president of
the court-martial, which rendered the sentence, and Major-General
McClernand, in command of a corps of that department, and many other
respectable persons, are of opinion that Mr. Knox's offense was
technical, rather than willfully wrong, and that the sentence should
be revoked: Now, therefore, said sentence is hereby so far revoked
as to allow Mr. Knox to return to General Grant's head-quarters, to
remain if General Grant shall give his express assent; and to again
leave the department, if General Grant shall refuse such assent.


With this letter I returned to the army. General Grant referred the
question to General Sherman. In consideration of our quarrel, and
knowing the unamiable character of the latter officer, I should have
been greatly surprised had he given any thing else than a refusal. I
had fully expected to return immediately when I left St. Louis, but,
like most persons in a controversy, wished to carry my point.

General Sherman long since retrieved his failure at Chickasaw Bayou.
Throughout the war he was honored with the confidence and friendship
of General Grant. The career of these officers was not marked by the
jealousies that are too frequent in military life. The hero of the
campaign from Chattanooga to Raleigh is destined to be known in
history. In those successful marches, and in the victories won by his
tireless and never vanquished army, he has gained a reputation that
may well be enduring.

Soon after my return from Young's Point, General Grant crossed the
Mississippi at Grand Gulf, and made his daring and successful movement
to attain the rear of Vicksburg. Starting with a force less than
the one his opponent could bring against him, he cut loose from his
communications and succeeded in severing the enemy's line of supplies.
From Grand Gulf to Jackson, and from Jackson to the rear of Vicksburg,
was a series of brilliant marches and brilliant victories. Once seated
where he had his antagonist's army inclosed, General Grant opened his
lines to the Yazoo, supplied himself with every thing desired, and
pressed the siege at his leisure. With the fall of Vicksburg, and the
fall, a few days later, of Port Hudson, "the Father of Waters went
unvexed to the Sea."

While the army was crossing the Mississippi at Grand Gulf, three
well-known journalists, Albert D. Richardson and Junius H. Browne, of
_The Tribune_, and Richard T. Colburn, of _The World_, attempted to
run past the Rebel batteries at Vicksburg, on board a tug at midnight.
The tug was blown up and destroyed; the journalists were captured and
taken to the Rebel prison at Vicksburg. Thence they were removed to
Richmond, occupying, while _en route_, the prisons of a half-dozen
Rebel cities. Mr. Colburn was soon released, but the companions of his
adventure were destined to pass nearly two years in the prisons of
the Confederacy. By a fortunate escape and a midwinter march of nearly
four hundred miles, they reached our lines in safety. In books and in
lecture-rooms, they have since told the story of their captivity and

I have sometimes thought my little quarrel with General Sherman proved
"a blessing in disguise," in saving me from a similar experience of
twenty months in Rebel prisons.



A Visit to Kansas.--Recollections of Border Feuds.--Peculiarities
of Kansas Soldiers.--Foraging as a Fine Art.--Kansas and
Missouri.--Settling Old Scores.--Depopulating the Border
Counties.--Two Examples of Grand Strategy.--Capture of the
"Little-More-Grape" Battery.--A Woman in Sorrow.--Frontier
Justice.--Trial before a "Lynch" Court.--General Blunt's
Order.--Execution of Horse-Thieves.--Auction Sale of Confiscated
Property.--Banished to Dixie.

In May, 1863, I made a hasty visit to Western Missouri and Kansas, to
observe the effect of the war in that quarter. Seven years earlier the
border warfare attracted much attention. The great Rebellion caused
Kansas and its troubles to sink into insignificance. Since the first
election of Mr. Lincoln to the Presidency, Kansas has been rarely

I passed through this young State in the summer of 1860. I was
repeatedly told: "We have old grudges that we wish to settle; if the
troubles ever break out again in any part of the United States, we
hope to cross out our account." When the war opened, the people
of Kansas saw their opportunity for "making square work," as they
expressed it, with Missouri and the other slave States. They placed
two regiments of volunteers in the field with as much celerity as
was displayed in many of the older and more populous States. These
regiments were followed by others until fully half the able-bodied
population of Kansas was in the service. In some localities the
proportion was even greater than this.

The dash and daring of these Kansas soldiers became proverbial. At
Wilson Creek, two regiments from Kansas had their first experience of
battle, and bore themselves most nobly. The conduct of other Kansas
soldiers, on other battle-fields, was equally commendable. Their
bravery and endurance was only equaled by their ability in foraging.

Horses, mules, cattle, and provisions have, in all times, been
considered the legitimate spoils of war. The Kansas soldiers did not
confine themselves to the above, but appropriated every thing portable
and valuable, whether useful or useless. Their example was contagious,
and the entire army soon learned to follow it.

During General Grant's campaign in Mississippi in '62, the Seventh
Kansas Cavalry obtained a reputation for ubiquity and lawlessness.
Every man who engaged in plundering on his own account, no matter to
what regiment he belonged, invariably announced himself a member
of the Seventh Kansas. Every countryman who was robbed declared the
robbery was committed by the Seventh Kansas "Jayhawkers." Uniting all
the stories of robbery, one would conclude that the Seventh Kansas
was about twenty thousand strong, and constantly in motion by fifty
different roads, leading to all points of the compass.

One day a soldier of the Second Illinois Cavalry gave me an account of
his experience in horse-stealing.

"Jim and I went to an old farmer's house, and told him we wanted his
horses. He said he wanted to use them himself, and couldn't spare

"'That don't make no sort of difference,' said I; 'we want your horses
more than you do.'

"'What regiment do you belong to?'

"'Seventh Kansas Jayhawkers. The whole regiment talks of coming round
here. I reckon I'll bring them.'

"When I told him that," said the soldier, "he said I might take the
horses, if I would only go away. He offered me a pint of whisky if I
would promise not to bring the regiment there. Jim and me drank the
whisky, and told him we would use our influence for him."

Before the war was ended, the entire armies of the Southwest were able
to equal the "Jayhawkers" in foraging. The march of Sherman's column
through Mississippi, and afterward through Georgia and South Carolina,
fully proved this. Particularly in the latter State, which originated
the Rebellion, were the accomplishments of the foragers most
conspicuously displayed. Our army left very little for another army to

The desolation which was spread through the Southern States was among
the most effective blows at the Rebellion. The Rebels were taught in
the most practical manner, that insurrection was not to be indulged
in with impunity. Those who suffered most were generally among the
earliest to sue for peace. Sherman's terse answer to the mayor of
Atlanta, when the latter protested against the banishment of the
inhabitants, was appreciated by the Rebels after our final campaigns.
"War is cruelty--you cannot refine it," speaks a volume in a few

When hostilities commenced, the Kansas regiments were clamorous to be
led into Missouri. During the border war of '55 and '56, Missourians
invaded Kansas to control the elections by force of arms, and killed,
often in cold blood, many of the quiet citizens of the Territory. The
tier of counties in Missouri adjoining Kansas were most anxious
to make the latter a slave State, and used every possible means to
accomplish their object.

The Kansas soldiers had their wish. They marched through Missouri.
Those who had taken part in the outrages upon Kansas, five years
earlier, were made to feel the hand of retribution. If they had burned
the buildings of free-State settlers in '56, they found their own
houses destroyed in '62. In the old troubles they contended for their
right to make whatever warfare they chose, but were astounded and
horrified in the latter days, when the tables were turned against them
by those they had wronged.

Along the frontier of Missouri the old system of warfare was revived.
Guerrilla bands were formed, of which Quantrel and similar men
were the leaders. Various incursions were made into Kansas by these
marauders, and the depredations were worse than ever.

They culminated in the burning of Lawrence and the massacre of its

To break up these guerrilla bands, it became necessary to depopulate
the western tier of counties in Missouri, from the Missouri River down
to the thirty-eighth parallel of latitude. The most wealthy of these
was Jackson County. Before the war it had a slave population of not
far from four thousand, and its fields were highly productive. Two
years after the war broke out it contained less than three hundred
slaves, and its wealth had diminished in almost as great proportion.
This was before any freedom had been officially declared to the
slaves in the Border States. The order of depopulation had the desired
effect. It brought peace to the border, though at a terrible cost.
Missouri suffered greatly, and so did Kansas.

The most prominent officer that Kansas furnished during the Rebellion,
was Brigadier-General Blunt. At the beginning of the war he enlisted
as a private soldier, but did not remain long in the ranks. His
reputation in the field was that of a brave and reckless officer,
who had little regard to military forms. His successes were due to
audacity and daring, rather than to skill in handling troops, or a
knowledge of scientific warfare.

The battle of Cane Hill is said to have commenced by General Blunt and
his orderlies attacking a Rebel picket. The general was surveying the
country with his orderlies and a company of cavalry, not suspecting
the enemy was as near as he proved to be.

At the moment Blunt came upon the picket, the cavalry was looking in
another direction. Firing began, and the picket was driven in and fell
back to a piece of artillery, which had an infantry support. Blunt was
joined by his cavalry, and the gun was taken by a vigorous charge and
turned upon the Rebels. The latter were kept at bay until the main
force was brought up and joined in the conflict. The Rebels believed
we had a much larger number than we really possessed, else our first
assault might have proved a sudden repulse. The same daring was kept
up throughout the battle, and gave us the victory.

At this battle we captured four guns, two of which bore a history of
more than ordinary interest. They were of the old "Bragg's Battery"
that turned the scale at Buena Vista, in obedience to General Taylor's
mandate, "Give them a little more grape, captain." After the Mexican
war they were sent to the United States Arsenal at Baton Rouge, whence
they were stolen when the insurrection commenced. They were used
against us at Wilson Creek and Pea Ridge.

At another battle, whose name I have forgotten, our entire force of
about two thousand men was deployed into a skirmish line that extended
far beyond the enemy's flanks. The Rebels were nearly six thousand
strong, and at first manifested a disposition to stand their ground.
By the audacity of our stratagem they were completely deceived. So
large a skirmish line was an indication of a proportionately strong
force to support it. When they found us closing in upon their flanks,
they concluded we were far superior in numbers, and certain to
overwhelm them. With but slight resistance they fled the field,
leaving much of their transportation and equipments to fall into
our hands. We called in our skirmishers and pressed them in vigorous
pursuit, capturing wagons and stragglers as we moved.

A year after this occurrence the Rebels played the same trick upon our
own forces near Fort Smith, Arkansas, and were successful in driving
us before them. With about five hundred cavalry they formed a skirmish
line that outflanked our force of two thousand. We fell back several
miles to the protection of the fort, where we awaited attack. It is
needless to say that no assault was made.

Van Buren, Arkansas, was captured by eighteen men ten miles in advance
of any support. This little force moved upon the town in a deployed
line and entered at one side, while a Rebel regiment moved out at the
other. Our men thought it judicious not to pursue, but established
head-quarters, and sent a messenger to hurry up the column before
the Rebels should discover the true state of affairs. The head of the
column was five hours in making its appearance.

When the circumstance became known the next day, one of our officers
found a lady crying very bitterly, and asked what calamity had
befallen her.

As soon as she could speak she said, through her sobs:

"I am not crying because you have captured the place. We expected
that." Then came a fresh outburst of grief.

"What _are_ you crying for, then?" asked the officer.

"I am crying because you took it with only eighteen men, when we had a
thousand that ran away from you!"

The officer thought the reason for her sorrow was amply sufficient,
and allowed her to proceed with her weeping.

On the day of my arrival at Atchison there was more than ordinary
excitement. For several months there had been much disregard of
law outside of the most densely populated portions of the State.
Robberies, and murders for the sake of robbery, were of frequent
occurrence. In one week a dozen persons met violent deaths. A citizen
remarked to me that he did not consider the times a great improvement
over '55 and '56.

Ten days before my arrival, a party of ruffians visited the house of a
citizen about twelve miles from Atchison, for the purpose of
robbery. The man was supposed to have several hundred dollars in his
possession--the proceeds of a sale of stock. He had placed his funds
in a bank at Leavenworth; but his visitors refused to believe his
statement to that effect. They maltreated the farmer and his wife,
and ended by hanging the farmer's son to a rafter and leaving him for
dead. In departing, they took away all the horses and mules they could

Five of these men were arrested on the following day, and taken
to Atchison. The judge before whom they were brought ordered them
committed for trial. On the way from the court-house to the jail the
men were taken from the sheriff by a crowd of citizens. Instead of
going to jail, they were carried to a grove near the town and placed
on trial before a "Lynch" court. The trial was conducted with all
solemnity, and with every display of impartiality to the accused. The
jury decided that two of the prisoners, who had been most prominent
in the outrage, should be hanged on that day, while the others
were remanded to jail for a regular trial. One of the condemned was
executed. The other, after having a rope around his neck, was respited
and taken to jail.

On the same day two additional arrests were made, of parties concerned
in the outrage. These men were tried by a "Lynch" court, as their
companions had been tried on the previous day. One of them was hanged,
and the other sent to jail.

For some time the civil power had been inadequate to the punishment of
crime. The laws of the State were so loosely framed that offenders had
excellent opportunities to escape their deserts by taking advantage of
technicalities. The people determined to take the law into their own
hands, and give it a thorough execution. For the good of society,
it was necessary to put a stop to the outrages that had been
so frequently committed. Their only course in such cases was to
administer justice without regard to the ordinary forms.

A delegation of the citizens of Atchison visited Leavenworth after the
arrests had been made, to confer with General Blunt, the commander of
the District, on the best means of securing order. They made a full
representation of the state of affairs, and requested that two of
the prisoners, then in jail, should be delivered to the citizens
for trial. They obtained an order to that effect, addressed to the
sheriff, who was holding the prisoners in charge.

On the morning of the day following the reception of the order, people
began to assemble in Atchison from all parts of the county to witness
the trial. As nearly all the outrages had been committed upon
the farmers who lived at distances from each other, the trial was
conducted by the men from the rural districts. The residents of the
city took little part in the affair. About ten o'clock in the forenoon
a meeting was called to order in front of the court-house, where the
following document was read:--

FORT LEAVENWORTH, _May_ 22, 1863.


SIR:--In view of the alarming increase of crime, the insecurity of
life and property within this military district, the inefficiency of
the civil law to punish offenders, and the small number of troops
under my command making it impossible to give such protection to
loyal and law-abiding citizens as I would otherwise desire; you will
therefore deliver the prisoners, Daniel Mooney and Alexander Brewer,
now in your possession, to the citizens of Atchison County, for trial
and punishment by a citizens' court. This course, which in ordinary
times and under different circumstances could not be tolerated, is
rendered necessary for the protection of the property and lives of
honest citizens against the lawless acts of thieves and assassins,
who, of late, have been perpetrating their crimes with fearful
impunity, and to prevent which nothing but the most severe and
summary punishment will suffice. In conducting these irregular
proceedings, it is to be hoped they will be controlled by men of
respectability, and that cool judgment and discretion will
characterize their actions, to the end that the innocent may be
protected and the guilty punished.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

After the reading of the above order, resolutions indorsing and
sustaining the action of General Blunt were passed unanimously. The
following resolutions were passed separately, their reading being
greeted with loud cheers. They are examples of strength rather than of

"_Resolved_, That we pledge ourselves not to stop hanging until the
thieves stop thieving.

"_Resolved_, That as this is a citizens' court, we have no use for
lawyers, either for the accused or for the people."

A judge and jury were selected from the assemblage, and embraced some
of the best known and most respected citizens of the county. Their
selection was voted upon, just as if they had been the officers of a
political gathering. As soon as elected, they proceeded to the trial
of the prisoners.

The evidence was direct and conclusive, and the prisoners were
sentenced to death by hanging. The verdict was read to the multitude,
and a vote taken upon its acceptance or rejection. Nineteen-twentieths
of those present voted that the sentence should be carried into

The prisoners were taken from the court-house to the grove where the
preceding executions had taken place. They were made to stand upon a
high wagon while ropes were placed about their necks and attached to
the limb of a large, spreading elm. When all was ready, the wagon was
suddenly drawn from beneath the prisoners, and their earthly career
was ended.

A half-hour later the crowd had dispersed. The following morning
showed few traces of the excitement of the previous day. The
executions were effectual in restoring quiet to the region which had
been so much disturbed.

The Rebel sympathizers in St. Louis took many occasions to complain
of the tyranny of the National Government. At the outset there was a
delusion that the Government had no rights that should be respected,
while every possible right belonged to the Rebels. General Lyon
removed the arms from the St. Louis arsenal to a place of safety at
Springfield, Illinois. "He had no constitutional right to do that,"
was the outcry of the Secessionists. He commenced the organization of
Union volunteers for the defense of the city. The Constitution made no
provision for this. He captured Camp Jackson, and took his prisoners
to the arsenal. This, they declared, was a most flagrant violation of
constitutional privileges. He moved upon the Rebels in the interior,
and the same defiance of law was alleged. He suppressed the secession
organ in St. Louis, thus trampling upon the liberties of the Rebel

General Fremont declared the slaves of Rebels were free, and thus
infringed upon the rights of property. Numbers of active, persistent
traitors were arrested and sent to military prisons: a manifest
tyranny on the part of the Government. In one way and another the
unfortunate and long-suffering Rebels were most sadly abused, if their
own stories are to be regarded.

It was forbidden to display Rebel emblems in public: a cruel
restriction of personal right. The wealthy Secessionists of St. Louis
were assessed the sum of ten thousand dollars, for the benefit of the
Union refugees from Arkansas and other points in the Southwest. This
was another outrage. These persons could not understand why they
should be called upon to contribute to the support of Union people who
had been rendered houseless and penniless by Rebels elsewhere. They
made a most earnest protest, but their remonstrances were of no
avail. In default of payment of the sums assessed, their superfluous
furniture was seized and sold at auction. This was a violation of the
laws that exempt household property from seizure.

The auction sale of these goods was largely attended. The bidding was
very spirited. Pianos, ottomans, mirrors, sofas, chairs, and all the
adornments of the homes of affluence, were sold for "cash in United
States Treasury notes." Some of the parties assessed declared they
would pay nothing on the assessment, but they reconsidered their
decisions, and bought their own property at the auction-rooms, without
regard to the prices they paid. In subsequent assessments they found
it better to pay without hesitation whatever sums were demanded of
them. They spoke and labored against the Union until they found such
efforts were of no use. They could never understand why they should
not enjoy the protection of the flag without being called upon to give
it material aid.

In May, 1863, another grievance was added to the list. It became
necessary, for the good of the city, to banish some of the more
prominent Rebel sympathizers.

It was a measure which the Rebels and their friends opposed in the
strongest terms. These persons were anxious to see the Confederacy
established, but could not consent to live in its limits. They
resorted to every device to evade the order, but were not allowed to
remain. Representations of personal and financial inconvenience were
of no avail; go they must.

The first exodus took place on the 13th of May. An immense crowd
thronged the levee as the boat which was to remove the exiles took
its departure. In all there were about thirty persons, half of them
ladies. The men were escorted to the boat on foot, but the ladies were
brought to the landing in carriages, and treated with every possible
courtesy. A strong guard was posted at the landing to preserve order
and allow no insult of any kind to the prisoners.

One of the young women ascended to the hurricane roof of the steamer
and cheered for the "Confederacy." As the boat swung into the stream,
this lady was joined by two others, and the trio united their sweet
voices in singing "Dixie" and the "Bonnie Blue Flag." There was no
cheering or other noisy demonstration at their departure, though there
was a little waving of handkerchiefs, and a few tokens of farewell
were given. This departure was soon followed by others, until St.
Louis was cleared of its most turbulent spirits.



A Hasty Departure.--At Harrisburg.--_En route_ for the Army of
the Potomac.--The Battle-Field at Gettysburg.--Appearance of
the Cemetery.--Importance of the Position.--The Configuration
of Ground.--Traces of Battle.--Round Hill.--General Meade's
Head-Quarters.--Appearance of the Dead.--Through the Forests along the
Line.--Retreat and Pursuit of Lee.

While in St. Louis, late in June, 1863, I received the following

"NEW YORK, _June_ 28.

"Report at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, at the earliest possible moment."

Two hours later, I was traveling eastward as fast as an express train
could carry me.

The Rebel army, under General Lee, had crossed the Potomac, and
was moving toward Harrisburg. The Army of the Potomac was in rapid
pursuit. A battle was imminent between Harrisburg and Baltimore.

Waiting a day at Harrisburg, I found the capital of the Keystone State
greatly excited. The people were slow to move in their own behalf.
Earth-works were being thrown up on the south bank of the Susquehanna,
principally by the soldiers from other parts of Pennsylvania and from
New York.

When it was first announced that the enemy was approaching, only
seventeen men volunteered to form a local defense. I saw no such
enthusiasm on the part of the inhabitants as I had witnessed at
Cincinnati during the previous autumn. Pennsylvania sent many
regiments to the field during the war, and her soldiers gained a
fine reputation; but the best friends of the State will doubtless
acknowledge that Harrisburg was slow to act when the Rebels made their
last great invasion.

I was ordered to join the Army of the Potomac wherever I could find
it. As I left Harrisburg, I learned that a battle was in progress.
Before I could reach the field the great combat had taken place. The
two contending armies had made Gettysburg historic.

I joined our army on the day after the battle. I could find no person
of my acquaintance, amid the confusion that followed the termination
of three days' fighting. The army moved in pursuit of Lee, whose
retreat was just commencing. As our long lines stretched away toward
the Potomac, I walked over the ground where the battle had raged,
and studied the picture that was presented. I reproduce, in part, my
letter of that occasion:--

"Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, _July_ 6,1863.

"To-day I have passed along the whole ground where the lines of battle
were drawn. The place bears evidence of a fierce struggle. The shocks
of those two great armies surging and resurging, the one against
the other, could hardly pass without leaving their traces in fearful
characters. At Waterloo, at Wagram, and at Jena the wheat grows more
luxuriantly, and the corn shoots its stalks further toward the sky
than before the great conflicts that rendered those fields famous. The
broad acres of Gettysburg and Antietam will in future years yield the
farmer a richer return than he has hithto received.

"Passing out of Gettysburg by the Baltimore turnpike, we come in a
few steps to the entrance of the cemetery. Little of the inclosure
remains, save the gateway, from which the gates have been torn. The
neat wooden fence, first thrown down to facilitate the movement of our
artillery, was used for fuel, as the soldiers made their camp on the
spot. A few scattered palings are all that remain. The cemetery was
such as we usually find near thrifty towns like Gettysburg. None of
the monuments and adornings were highly expensive, though all were
neat, and a few were elaborate. There was considerable taste displayed
in the care of the grounds, as we can see from the few traces
that remain. The eye is arrested by a notice, prominently posted,
forbidding the destruction or mutilation of any shrub, tree, or stone
about the place, under severe penalties. The defiance that war gives
to the civil law is forcibly apparent as one peruses those warning

"Monuments and head-stones lie everywhere overturned. Graves, which
loving hands once carefully adorned, have been trampled by horses'
feet until the vestiges of verdure have disappeared. The neat and
well-trained shrubbery has vanished, or is but a broken and withered
mass of tangled brushwood. On one grave lies the body of a horse, fast
decomposing under the July sun. On another lie the torn garments of
some wounded soldier, stained and saturated with blood. Across a small
head-stone, bearing the words, 'To the memory of our beloved child,
Mary,' lie the fragments of a musket shattered by a cannon-shot.

"In the center of a space inclosed by an iron fence, and containing a
half-dozen graves, a few rails are standing where they were erected by
our soldiers to form their shelter in bivouac. A family shaft has been
broken in fragments by a shell. Stone after stone felt the effects of
the _feu d'enfer_ that was poured upon the crest of the hill. Cannon
thundered, and foot and horse soldiers tramped over the resting-place
of the dead. Other dead were added to those who are resting here. Many
a wounded soldier lives to remember the contest above those silent

"The hill on which this cemetery is located was the center of our line
of battle and the key to our position. Had the Rebels been able to
carry this point, they would have forced us into retreat, and the
battle would have been lost. To pierce our line in this locality was
Lee's great endeavor, and he threw his best brigades against it. Wave
after wave of living valor rolled up that slope, only to roll back
again under the deadly fire of our artillery and infantry. It was on
this hill, a little to the right of the cemetery, where the 'Louisiana
Tigers' made their famous charge. It was their boast that they were
never yet foiled in an attempt to take a battery; but on this
occasion they suffered a defeat, and were nearly annihilated. Sad and
dispirited, they mourn their repulse and their terrible losses in the

"From the summit of this hill a large portion of the battle-ground
is spread out before the spectator. In front and at his feet lies the
town of Gettysburg, containing, in quiet times, a population of four
or five thousand souls. It is not more than a hundred yards to the
houses in the edge of the village, where the contest with the Rebel
sharp-shooters took place. To the left of the town stretches a long
valley, bounded on each side by a gently-sloping ridge. The crest of
each ridge is distant nearly a mile from the other. It was on these
ridges that the lines of battle on the second and third days were
formed, the Rebel line being on the ridge to the westward. The one
stretching directly from our left hand, and occupied by our own men,
has but little timber upon it, while that held by the rebels can
boast of several groves of greater or less extent. In one of these
the Pennsylvania College is embowered, while in another is seen the
Theological Seminary. Half-way between the ridges are the ruins of a
large brick building burned during the engagement. Dotted about, here
and there, are various brick and frame structures. Two miles at our
left rises a sharp-pointed elevation, known to the inhabitants of the
region as Round Hill. Its sides are wooded, and the forest stretches
from its base across the valley to the crest of the western ridge.

"It must not be supposed that the space between the ridges is an even
plain, shaven with, the scythe and leveled with the roller. It rises
and falls gently, and with little regularity, but in no place is
it steep of ascent. Were it not for its ununiformity and for the
occasional sprinkling of trees over its surface, it could be compared
to a patch of rolling prairie in miniature. To the southwest of the
further ridge is seen the mountain region of Western Maryland, behind
which the Rebels had their line of retreat. It is not a wild, rough
mass of mountains, but a region of hills of the larger and more
inaccessible sort. They are traversed by roads only in a few
localities, and their passage, except through, the gaps, is difficult
for a single team, and impossible for an army.

"The Theological Seminary was the scene of a fierce struggle. It was
beyond it where the First and Eleventh Corps contended with Ewell and
Longstreet on the first day of the engagement. Afterward, finding the
Rebels were too strong for them, they fell back to a new position,
this building being included in the line. The walls of the Seminary
were perforated by shot and shell, and the bricks are indented with
numerous bullet-marks. Its windows show the effects of the musketry,
and but little glass remains to shut out the cold and rain. The
building is now occupied as a hospital by the Rebels. The Pennsylvania
College is similarly occupied, and the instruction of its students is
neglected for the present.

"In passing from the cemetery along the crest of the ridge where our
line of battle stood, I first came upon the position occupied by
some of our batteries. This is shown by the many dead horses lying
unburied, and by the mounds which mark where others have been slightly
covered up. There are additional traces of an artillery fight. Here
is a broken wheel of a gun-carriage, an exploded caisson, a handspike,
and some of the accoutrements of the men. In the fork of a tree I
found a Testament, with the words, 'Charles Durrale, Corporal of
Company G,' written on the fly-leaf. The guns and the gunners, have
disappeared. Some of the latter are now with the column moving in
pursuit of the enemy, others are suffering in the hospitals, and still
others are resting where the bugle's reveille shall never wake them.

"Between the cemetery and the town and at the foot of the ridge where
I stand, runs the road leading to Emmetsburg. It is not a turnpike,
but a common dirt-road, and, as it leaves the main street leading into
town, it makes a diagonal ascent of the hill. On the eastern side,
this road is bordered by a stone wall for a short distance.
Elsewhere on both sides there is only a rail fence. A portion of our
sharp-shooters took position behind this wall, and erected traverses
to protect them from a flanking fire, should the enemy attempt to move
up the road from Gettysburg. These traverses are constructed at right
angles to the wall, by making a 'crib' of fence-rails, two feet high
and the same distance apart, and then filling the crib with dirt.
Further along I find the rails from the western side of the road,
piled against the fence on the east, so as to form a breast-work two
or three feet in height--a few spadesful of dirt serve to fill the
interstices. This defense was thrown up by the Rebels at the time they
were holding the line of the roads.

"Moving to the left, I find still more severe traces of artillery
fighting. Twenty-seven dead horses on a space of little more than one
acre is evidence of heavy work. Here are a few scattered trees, which
were evidently used as a screen for our batteries. These trees did not
escape the storm of shot and shell that was rained in that direction.
Some of them were perforated by cannon-shot, or have been completely
cut off in that peculiar splintering that marks the course of a
projectile through green wood. Near the scene of this fighting is a
large pile of muskets and cartridge-boxes collected from the field.
Considerable work has been done in thus gathering the débris of the
battle, but it is by no means complete. Muskets, bayonets, and sabers
are scattered everywhere.

"My next advance to the left carries me where the ground is thickly
studded with graves. In one group I count a dozen graves of soldiers
belonging to the Twentieth Massachusetts; near them are buried the
dead of the One Hundred and Thirty-seventh New York, and close at hand
an equal number from the Twelfth New Jersey. Care has been taken to
place a head-board at each grave, with a legible inscription thereon,
showing whose remains are resting beneath. On one board the comrades
of the dead soldier had nailed the back of his knapsack, which bore
his name. On another was a brass plate, bearing the soldier's name in
heavily stamped letters.

"Moving still to the left, I found an orchard in which the fighting
appears to have been desperate in the extreme. Artillery shot had
plowed the ground in every direction, and the trees did not escape the
fury of the storm. The long bolts of iron, said by our officers to be
a modification of the Whitworth projectile, were quite numerous. The
Rebels must have been well supplied with this species of ammunition,
and they evidently used it with no sparing hand. At one time I counted
twelve of these bolts lying on a space not fifty feet square. I am
told that many shot and shell passed over the heads of our soldiers
during the action.

"A mile from our central position at the cemetery, was a field of
wheat, and near it a large tract, on which corn had been growing.
The wheat was trampled by the hurrying feet of the dense masses of
infantry, as they changed their positions during the battle. In the
cornfield artillery had been stationed, and moved about as often as
the enemy obtained its range. Hardly a hill of corn is left in its
pristine luxuriance. The little that escaped the hoof or the wheel,
as the guns moved from place to place, was nibbled by hungry horses
during the bivouac subsequent to the battle. Not a stalk of wheat is
upright; not a blade of corn remains uninjured; all has fallen long
before the time of harvest. Another harvest, in which Death was the
reaper, has been gathered above it.

"On our extreme left the pointed summit of a hill, a thousand feet in
elevation, rises toward the sky. Beyond it, the country falls off into
the mountain region that extends to the Potomac and across it into
Virginia. This hill is quite difficult of ascent, and formed a strong
position, on which the left of our line rested. The enemy assaulted
this point with great fury, throwing his divisions, one after the
other, against it. Their efforts were of no avail. Our men defended
their ground against every attack. It was like the dash of the French
at Waterloo against the immovable columns of the English. Stubborn
resistance overcame the valor of the assailants. Again and again they
came to the assault, only to fall back as they had advanced. Our left
held its ground, though it lost heavily.

"On this portion of the line, about midway between the crests of the
ridges, is a neat farm-house. Around this dwelling the battle raged,
as around Hougoumont at Waterloo. At one time it was in the possession
of the Rebels, and was fiercely attacked by our men. The walls were
pierced by shot and shell, many of the latter exploding within,
and making a scene of devastation. The glass was shattered by rifle
bullets on every side, and the wood-work bears testimony to the
struggle. The sharp-shooters were in every room, and added to the
disorder caused by the explosion of shells. The soldiers destroyed
what the missiles spared. The Rebels were driven from the house, and
the position was taken by our own men. They, in turn, were dislodged,
but finally secured a permanent footing in the place.

"Retracing my steps from the extreme left, I return to the center of
our position on Cemetery Hill. I do not follow the path by which I
came, but take a route along the hollow, between the two ridges. It
was across this hollow that the Rebels made their assaults upon our
position. Much blood was poured out between these two swells of land.
Most of the dead were buried where they fell, or gathered in little
clusters beneath some spreading tree or beside clumps of bushes. Some
of the Rebel dead are still unburied. I find one of these as I descend
a low bank to the side of a small spring. The body is lying near the
spring, as if the man had crawled there to obtain a draught of water.
Its hands are outspread upon the earth, and clutching at the little
tufts of grass beneath them. The soldier's haversack and canteen are
still remaining, and his hat is lying not far away.

"A few paces distant is another corpse, with its hands thrown upward
in the position the soldier occupied when he received his fatal wound.
The clothing is not torn, no blood appears upon the garments, and the
face, though swollen, bears no expression of anguish. Twenty yards
away are the remains of a body cut in two by a shell. The grass is
drenched in blood, that the rain of yesterday has not washed away.
As I move forward I find the body of a Rebel soldier, evidently
slain while taking aim over a musket. The hands are raised, the left
extended beyond the right, and the fingers of the former partly bent,
as if they had just been grasping the stock of a gun. One foot is
advanced, and the body is lying on its right side. To appearances it
did not move a muscle after receiving its death-wound. Another body
attracts my attention by its delicate white hands, and its face black
as that of a negro.

"The farm-house on the Emmetsburg road, where General Meade held his
head-quarters during the cannonade, is most fearfully cut up. General
Lee masked his artillery, and opened with one hundred and thirty
pieces at the same moment. Two shells in every second of time fell
around those head-quarters. They tore through the little white
building, exploding and scattering their fragments in every direction.
Not a spot in its vicinity was safe. One shell through the door-step,
another in the chimney, a third shattering a rafter, a fourth carrying
away the legs of a chair in which an officer was seated; others
severing and splintering the posts in front of the house, howling
through the trees by which the dwelling was surrounded, and raising
deep furrows in the soft earth. One officer, and another, and another
were wounded. Strange to say, amid all this iron hail, no one of the
staff was killed.

"Once more at the cemetery, I crossed the Baltimore turnpike to the
hill that forms the extremity of the ridge, on which the main portion
of our line of battle was located. I followed this ridge to the point
held by our extreme right. About midway along the ridge was the scene
of the fiercest attack upon that portion of the field. Tree after
tree was scarred from base to limbs so thickly that it would have been
impossible to place one's hand upon the trunk without covering the
marks of a bullet. One tree was stripped of more than half its leaves;
many of its twigs were partially severed, and hanging wilted and
nearly ready to drop to the ground. The trunk of the tree, about ten
inches in diameter, was cut and scarred in every part. The fire
which struck these trees was that from our muskets upon the advancing
Rebels. Every tree and bush for the distance of half a mile along
these works was nearly as badly marked. The rocks, wherever they faced
our breast-works, were thickly stippled with dots like snow-flakes.
The missiles, flattened by contact with the rock, were lying among the
leaves, giving little indication of their former character.

"Our sharp-shooters occupied novel positions. One of them found half
a hollow log, standing upright, with a hole left by the removal of a
knot, which gave him an excellent embrasure. Some were in tree-tops,
others in nooks among the rocks, and others behind temporary
barricades of their own construction. Owing to the excellence of our
defenses, the Rebels lost heavily."

A few days after visiting this field, I joined the army in Western
Maryland. The Rebels were between us and the Potomac. We were steadily
pressing them, rather with a design of driving them across the Potomac
without further fighting, than of bringing on an engagement. Lee
effected his crossing in safety, only a few hundred men of his
rear-guard being captured on the left bank of the Potomac.

The Maryland campaign was ended when Lee was driven out. Our army
crossed the Potomac further down that stream, but made no vigorous
pursuit. I returned to New York, and once more proceeded to the West.

Our victory in Pennsylvania was accompanied by the fall of Vicksburg
and the surrender of Pemberton's army. A few days later, the capture
of Port Hudson was announced. The struggle for the possession of the
Mississippi was substantially ended when the Rebel fortifications
along its banks fell into our hands.



From Chicago to Minnesota.--Curiosities of Low-Water Navigation.--St.
Paul and its Sufferings in Earlier Days.--The Indian War.--A Brief
History of our Troubles in that Region.--General Pope's Expeditions to
Chastise the Red Man.--Honesty in the Indian Department.--The End of
the Warfare.--The Pacific Railway.--A Bold Undertaking.--Penetrating
British Territory.--The Hudson Bay Company.--Peculiarities of a
Trapper's Life.

Early in September, 1863, I found myself in Chicago, breathing the
cool, fresh air from Lake Michigan. From Chicago to Milwaukee I
skirted the shores of the lake, and from the latter city pushed
across Wisconsin to the Mississippi River. Here it was really the blue
Mississippi: its appearance was a pleasing contrast to the general
features of the river a thousand miles below. The banks, rough and
picturesque, rose abruptly from the water's edge, forming cliffs that
overtopped the table-land beyond. These cliffs appeared in endless
succession, as the boat on which I traveled steamed up the river
toward St. Paul. Where the stream widened into Lake Pepin, they seemed
more prominent and more precipitous than elsewhere, as the larger
expanse of water was spread at their base. The promontory known as
"Maiden's Rock" is the most conspicuous of all. The Indians relate
that some daughter of the forest, disappointed in love, once leaped
from its summit to the rough rocks, two hundred feet below. Her lover,
learning her fate, visited the spot, gazed from the fearful height,
and, after a prayer to the Great Spirit who watches over the Red
Man--returned to his friends and broke the heart of another Indian

Passing Lake Pepin and approaching St. Paul, the river became very
shallow. There had been little rain during the summer, and the
previous spring witnessed no freshet in that region. The effect was
apparent in the condition of the Mississippi. In the upper waters
boats moved with difficulty. The class that is said to steam wherever
there is a heavy dew, was brought into active use. From St. Paul to a
point forty miles below, only the lightest of the "stern-wheel" boats
could make any headway. The inhabitants declared they had never before
known such a low stage of water, and earnestly hoped it would not
occur again. It was paralyzing much of the business of the State.
Many flouring and lumber mills were lying idle. Transportation was
difficult, and the rates very high. A railway was being constructed
to connect with the roads from Chicago, but it was not sufficiently
advanced to be of any service.

Various stories were in circulation concerning the difficulties of
navigation on the Upper Mississippi in a low stage of water. One pilot
declared the wheels of his boat actually raised a cloud of dust in
many places. Another said his boat could run easily in the moisture on
the outside of a pitcher of ice-water, but could not move to advantage
in the river between Lake Pepin and St. Paul. A person interested in
the railway proposed to secure a charter for laying the track in the
bed of the Mississippi, but feared the company would be unable to
supply the locomotives with water on many portions of the route. Many
other jests were indulged in, all of which were heartily appreciated
by the people of St. Paul.

The day after my arrival at St. Paul, I visited the famous Falls of
the Minnehaha. I am unable to give them a minute description, my visit
being very brief. Its brevity arose from the entire absence of water
in the stream which supplies the fall. That fluid is everywhere
admitted to be useful for purposes of navigation, and I think it
equally desirable in the formation of a cascade.

The inhabitants of St. Paul have reason to bless the founders of their
city for the excellent site of the future metropolis of the Northwest.
Overlooking and almost overhanging the river in one part, in another
it slopes gently down to the water's edge, to the levee where the
steamers congregate. Back from the river the limits of the city extend
for several miles, and admit of great expansion. With a hundred years
of prosperity there would still be ample room for growth.

Before the financial crash in '57, this levee was crowded with
merchandise from St. Louis and Chicago. Storage was not always to be
had, though the construction of buildings was rapidly pushed. Business
was active, speculation was carried to the furthest limit, everybody
had money in abundance, and scattered it with no niggard hand. In
many of the brokers' windows, placards were posted offering
alluring inducements to capitalists. "Fifty per cent. guaranteed on
investments," was set forth on these placards, the offers coming from
parties considered perfectly sound. Fabulous sums were paid for
wild land and for lots in apocryphal towns. All was prosperity and

By-and-by came the crash, and this well-founded town passed through
a period of mourning and fasting. St. Paul saw many of its best
and heaviest houses vanish into thin air; merchants, bankers,
land-speculators, lumbermen, all suffered alike. Some disappeared
forever; others survived the shock, but never recovered their former
footing. Large amounts of property went under the auctioneer's hammer,
"to be sold without limit." Lots of land which cost two or three
hundred dollars in '56, were sold at auction in '58 for five or six
dollars each. Thousands of people lost their all in these unfortunate
land-speculations. Others who survived the crash have clung to their
acres, hoping that prosperity may return to the Northwest. At present
their wealth consists mainly of Great Expectations.

Though suffering greatly, the capital and business center of Minnesota
was by no means ruined. The speculators departed, but the farmers and
other working classes remained. Business "touched bottom" and then
slowly revived. St. Paul existed through all the calamity, and its
people soon learned the actual necessities of Minnesota. While they
mourn the departure of the "good times," many of them express a belief
that those happy days were injurious to the permanent prosperity of
the State.

St. Paul is one of the few cities of the world whose foundation
furnishes the material for their construction. The limestone rock on
which it is built is in layers of about a foot in thickness, and very
easy to quarry. The blocks require little dressing to fit them for
use. Though very soft at first, the stone soon hardens by exposure to
the air, and forms a neat and durable wall. In digging a cellar one
will obtain more than sufficient stone for the walls of his house.

At the time of my visit the Indian expedition of 1863 had just
returned, and was camped near Fort Snelling. This expedition was sent
out by General Pope, for the purpose of chastising the Sioux Indians.
It was under command of General Sibley, and accomplished a march of
nearly six hundred miles. As it lay in camp at Fort Snelling, the men
and animals presented the finest appearance I had ever observed in an
army just returned from a long campaign.

The Sioux massacres of 1862, and the campaign of General Pope in the
autumn of that year, attracted much attention. Nearly all the settlers
in the valley of the Minnesota above Fort Snelling were killed or
driven off. Other localities suffered to a considerable extent. The
murders--like nearly all murders of whites by the Indians--were of
the most atrocious character. The history of those massacres is a
chronicle of horrors rarely equaled during the present century. Whole
counties were made desolate, and the young State, just recovering from
its financial misfortunes, received a severe blow to its prosperity.

Various causes were assigned for the outbreak of hostilities on the
part of the Sioux Indians. Very few residents of Minnesota, in view
of the atrocities committed by the Indians, could speak calmly of the
troubles. All were agreed that there could be no peace and security
until the white men were the undisputed possessors of the land.

Before the difficulties began, there was for some time a growing
discontent on the part of the Indians, on account of repeated
grievances. Just previous to the outbreak, these Indians were summoned
to one of the Government Agencies to receive their annuities. These
annuities had been promised them at a certain time, but were not
forthcoming. The agents, as I was informed, had the money (in coin) as
it was sent from Washington, but were arranging to pay the Indians in
Treasury notes and pocket the premium on the gold. The Indians were
kept waiting while the gold was being exchanged for greenbacks. There
was a delay in making this exchange, and the Indians were put off from
day to day with promises instead of money.

An Indian knows nothing about days of grace, protests, insolvency,
expansions, and the other technical terms with which Wall Street is
familiar. He can take no explanation of broken promises, especially
when those promises are made by individuals who claim to represent the
Great Father at Washington. In this case the Sioux lost all confidence
in the agents, who had broken their word from day to day. Added to the
mental annoyance, there was great physical suffering. The traders at
the post would sell nothing without cash payment, and, without money,
the Indians were unable to procure what the stores contained in

The annuities were not paid, and the traders refused to sell on
credit. Some of the Indians were actually starving, and one day they
forced their way into a store to obtain food. Taking possession, they
supplied themselves with what they desired. Among other things, they
found whisky, of the worst and most fiery quality. Once intoxicated,
all the bad passions of the savages were let loose. In their drunken
frenzy, the Indians killed one of the traders. The sight of blood made
them furious. Other white men at the Agency were killed, and thus the
contagion spread.

From the Agency the murderers spread through the valley of the St.
Peter's, proclaiming war against the whites. They made no distinction
of age or sex. The atrocities they committed are among the most
fiendish ever recorded.

The outbreak of these troubles was due to the conduct of the agents
who were dealing with the Indians. Knowing, as they should have known,
the character of the red man everywhere, and aware that the Sioux were
at that time discontented, it was the duty of those agents to treat
them with the utmost kindness and generosity. I do not believe the
Indians, when they plundered the store at the Agency, had any design
beyond satisfying their hunger. But with one murder committed, there
was no restraint upon their passions.

Many of our transactions with the Indians, in the past twenty years,
have not been characterized by the most scrupulous honesty. The
Department of the Interior has an interior history that would not bear
investigation. It is well known that the furnishing of supplies to the
Indians often enriches the agents and their political friends.
There is hardly a tribe along our whole frontier that has not been
defrauded. Dishonesty in our Indian Department was notorious during
Buchanan's Administration. The retirement of Buchanan and his cabinet
did not entirely bring this dishonesty to an end.

An officer of the Hudson Bay Company told me, in St. Paul, that it
was the strict order of the British Government, enforced in letter
and spirit by the Company, to keep full faith with the Indians.
Every stipulation is most scrupulously carried out. The slightest
infringement by a white man upon the rights of the Indians is punished
with great severity. They are furnished with the best qualities
of goods, and the quantity never falls below the stipulations.
Consequently the Indian has no cause of complaint, and is kept on the
most friendly terms. This officer said, "A white man can travel from
one end to the other of our territory, with no fear of molestation. It
is forty years since any trouble occurred between us and the Indians,
while on your side of the line you have frequent difficulties."

The autumn of '62 witnessed the campaign for the chastisement of
these Indians. Twenty-five thousand men were sent to Minnesota, under
General Pope, and employed against the Sioux. In a wild country, like
the interior of Minnesota, infantry cannot be used to advantage. On
this account, the punishment of the Indians was not as complete as our
authorities desired.

Some of the Indians were captured, some killed, and others
surrendered. Thirty-nine of the captives were hanged. A hundred others
were sent to prison at Davenport, Iowa, for confinement during life.
The coming of Winter caused a suspension of hostilities.

The spring of 1863 opened with the outfitting of two expeditions--one
to proceed through Minnesota, under General Sibley, and the other
up the Missouri River, under General Sully. These expeditions were
designed to unite somewhere on the Missouri River, and, by inclosing
the Indians between them, to bring them to battle. If the plan was
successful, the Indians would be severely chastised.

General Sibley moved across Minnesota, according to agreement, and
General Sully advanced up the Missouri. The march of the latter was
delayed on account of the unprecedented low water in the Missouri,
which retarded the boats laden with supplies. Although the two columns
failed to unite, they were partially successful in their primary
object. Each column engaged the Indians and routed them with
considerable loss.

After the return of General Sibley's expedition, a portion of the
troops composing it were sent to the Southwest, and attached to the
armies operating in Louisiana.

The Indian war in Minnesota dwindled to a fight on the part of
politicians respecting its merits in the past, and the best mode of
conducting it in the future. General Pope, General Sibley, and General
Sully were praised and abused to the satisfaction of every resident
of the State. Laudation and denunciation were poured out with equal
liberality. The contest was nearly as fierce as the struggle between
the whites and Indians. If epithets had been as fatal as bullets, the
loss of life would have been terrible. Happily, the wordy battle was
devoid of danger, and the State of Minnesota, her politicians, her
generals, and her men emerged from it without harm.

Various schemes have been devised for placing the Sioux Indians where
they will not be in our way. No spot of land can be found between
the Mississippi and the Pacific where their presence would not be an
annoyance to somebody. General Pope proposed to disarm these Indians,
allot no more reservations to them, and allow no traders among them.
He recommended that they be placed on Isle Royale, in Lake Superior,
and there furnished with barracks, rations, and clothing, just as the
same number of soldiers would be furnished. They should have no arms,
and no means of escaping to the main-land. They would thus be secluded
from all evil influence, and comfortably housed and cared for at
Government expense. If this plan should be adopted, it would be a
great relief to the people of our Northwestern frontier.

Minnesota has fixed its desires upon a railway to the Pacific. The
"St. Paul and Pacific Railway" is already in operation about forty
miles west of St. Paul, and its projectors hope, in time, to extend it
to the shores of the "peaceful sea." It has called British capital to
its aid, and is slowly but steadily progressing.

In the latter part of 1858 several enterprising citizens of St.
Paul took a small steamer in midwinter from the upper waters of the
Mississippi to the head of navigation, on the Red River of the North.
The distance was two hundred and fifty miles, and the route lay
through a wilderness. Forty yoke of oxen were required for moving the
boat. When navigation was open in the spring of 1859, the boat (the
_Anson Northrup_) steamed down to Fort Garry, the principal post of
the Hudson Bay Company, taking all the inhabitants by surprise. None
of them had any intimation of its coming, and were, consequently, as
much astonished as if the steamer had dropped from the clouds.

The agents of the Hudson Bay Company purchased the steamer, a few
hours after its arrival, for about four times its value. They hoped
to continue their seclusion by so doing; but were doomed to
disappointment. Another and larger boat was built in the following
year at Georgetown, Minnesota, the spot where the _Northrup_ was
launched. The isolation of the fur-traders was ended. The owners of
the second steamer (the _International_) were the proprietors of a
stage and express line to all parts of Minnesota. They extended their
line to Fort Garry, and soon established a profitable business.

From its organization in 1670, down to 1860, the Hudson Bay Company
sent its supplies, and received its furs in return, by way of the
Arctic Ocean and Hudson's Bay. There are only two months in the year
in which a ship can enter or leave Hudson's Bay. A ship sailing
from London in January, enters the Bay in August. When the cargo is
delivered at York Factory, at the mouth of Nelson's River, it is
too late in the season to send the goods to the great lakes of
Northwestern America, where the trading posts are located. In the
following May the goods are forwarded. They go by canoes where the
river is navigable, and are carried on the backs of men around the
frequent and sometimes long rapids. The journey requires three months.

The furs purchased with these goods cannot be sent to York Factory
until a year later, and another year passes away before they leave
Hudson's Bay. Thus, returns for a cargo were not received in London
until four years after its shipment from that port.

Since American enterprise took control of the carrying trade, goods
are sent from London to Fort Garry by way of New York and St. Paul,
and are only four months in transit. Four or five months will be
required to return a cargo of furs to London, making a saving of three
years over the old route. Stupid as our English cousin sometimes shows
himself, he cannot fail to perceive the advantages of the new route,
and has promptly embraced them. The people of Minnesota are becoming
well acquainted with the residents of the country on their northern
boundary. Many of the Northwestern politicians are studying the policy
of "annexation."

The settlement at Pembina, near Pembina Mountain, lies in Minnesota, a
few miles only from the international line. The settlers supposed they
were on British soil until the establishment of the boundary showed
them their mistake. Every year the settlement sends a train to
St. Paul, nearly seven hundred miles distant, to exchange its
buffalo-robes, furs, etc., for various articles of necessity that the
Pembina region does not produce. This annual train is made up of "Red
River carts"--vehicles that would be regarded with curiosity in New
York or Washington.

A Red River cart is about the size of a two-wheeled dray, and is
built entirely of wood--not a particle of iron entering into its
composition. It is propelled by a single ox or horse, generally the
former, driven by a half-breed native. Sometimes, though not usually,
the wheels are furnished with tires of rawhide, placed upon them when
green and shrunk closely in drying. Each cart carries about a thousand
pounds of freight, and the train will ordinarily make from fifteen to
twenty miles a day. It was estimated that five hundred of these carts
would visit St. Paul and St. Cloud in the autumn of 1863.

The settlements of which Fort Garry is the center are scattered for
several miles along the Red River of the North. They have schools,
churches, flouring and saw mills, and their houses are comfortably and
often luxuriously furnished. They have pianos imported from St. Paul,
and their principal church, has an organ. At St. Cloud I saw evidences
of extreme civilization on their way to Fort Garry. These were a
whisky-still, two sewing-machines, and a grain-reaper. No people can
remain in darkness after adopting these modern inventions.

The monopoly which the Hudson Bay Company formerly held, has ceased
to exist. Under its charter, granted by Charles II. in 1670, it had
exclusive control of all the country drained by Hudson's Bay. In
addition to its privilege of trade, it possessed the "right of eminent
domain" and the full political management of the country. Crime
in this territory was not punished by the officers of the British
Government, but by the courts and officers of the Company. All
settlements of farmers and artisans were discouraged, as it was
the desire of the Company to maintain the territory solely as a fur
preserve, from the Arctic Ocean to the United States boundary.

The profits of this fur-trade were enormous, as the Company had
it under full control. The furs were purchased of the Indians and
trappers at very low rates, and paid for in goods at enormous prices.
An industrious trapper could earn a comfortable support, and nothing

Having full control of the fur market in Europe, the directors could
regulate the selling prices as they chose. Frequently they issued
orders forbidding the killing of a certain class of animals for
several years. The fur from these animals would become scarce and
very high, and at the same time the animals would increase in numbers.
Suddenly, when the market was at its uppermost point, the order would
be countermanded and a large supply brought forward for sale. This
course was followed with all classes of fur in succession. The
Company's dividends in the prosperous days would shame the best oil
wells or Nevada silver mines of our time.

Though its charter was perpetual, the Hudson Bay Company was obliged
to obtain once in twenty-one years a renewal of its license for
exclusive trade. From 1670 to 1838 it had no difficulty in obtaining
the desired renewal. The last license expired in 1859. Though a
renewal was earnestly sought, it was not attained. The territory
is now open to all traders, and the power of the old Company is
practically extinguished.

The first explorations in Minnesota were made shortly after the
discovery of the Mississippi River by Marquette and Hennepin. St. Paul
was originally a French trading post, and the resort of the Indians
throughout the Northwest. Fort Snelling was established by the United
Suites Government in 1819, but no settlements were made until 1844.
After the current of emigration began, the territory was rapidly

While Minnesota was a wilderness, the American Fur Company established
posts on the upper waters of the Mississippi. The old trading-house
below the Falls of St. Anthony, the first frame building erected in
the territory, is yet standing, though it exhibits many symptoms of

At one time the emigration to Minnesota was very great, but it has
considerably fallen off during the last eight years. The State is too
far north to hold out great inducements to settlers. The winters
are long and severe, and the productions of the soil are limited in
character and quantity. In summer the climate is excellent, attracting
large numbers of pleasure-seekers. The Falls of St. Anthony and the
Minnehaha have a world-wide reputation.



Plans for Arming the Negroes along the Mississippi.--Opposition to the
Movement.--Plantations Deserted by their Owners.--Gathering Abandoned
Cotton.--Rules and Regulations.--Speculation.--Widows and Orphans
in Demand.--Arrival of Adjutant-General Thomas.--Designs of the

I have elsewhere alluded to the orders of General Grant at Lagrange,
Tennessee, in the autumn of 1862, relative to the care of the negroes
where his army was then operating.

The plan was successful in providing for the negroes in Tennessee
and Northern Mississippi, where the number, though large, was not
excessive. At that time, the policy of arming the blacks was being
discussed in various quarters. It found much opposition. Many persons
thought it would be an infringement upon the "rights" of the South,
both unconstitutional and unjust. Others cared nothing for the South,
or its likes and dislikes, but opposed the measure on the ground of
policy. They feared its adoption would breed discontent among the
white soldiers of the army, and cause so many desertions and so much
uneasiness that the importance of the new element would be more than
neutralized. Others, again, doubted the courage of the negroes,
and thought their first use under fire would result in disgrace and
disaster to our arms. They opposed the experiment on account of this

In South Carolina and in Kansas the negroes had been put under arms
and mustered into service as Union soldiers. In engagements of a minor
character they had shown coolness and courage worthy of veterans.
There was no valid reason why the negroes along the Mississippi would
not be just as valuable in the army, as the men of the same race
in other parts of the country. Our Government determined to try the
experiment, and make the _Corps d'Afrique_ a recognized and important
adjunct of our forces in the field.

When General Grant encamped his army at Milliken's Bend and Young's
Point, preparatory to commencing the siege of Vicksburg, many of the
cotton plantations were abandoned by their owners. Before our advent
nearly all the white males able to bear arms had, willingly or
unwillingly, gone to aid in filling the ranks of the insurgents. On
nearly every plantation there was a white man not liable to military
service, who remained to look after the interests of the property.
When our army appeared, the majority of these white men fled to the
interior of Louisiana, leaving the plantations and the negroes to the
tender mercy of the invaders. In some cases the fugitives took the
negroes with them, thus leaving the plantations entirely deserted.

When the negroes remained, and the plantations were not supplied with
provisions, it became necessary for the Commissary Department to issue
rations for the subsistence of the blacks. As nearly all the planters
cared nothing for the negroes they had abandoned, there was a very
large number that required the attention of the Government.

On many plantations the cotton crop of 1862 was still in the field,
somewhat damaged by the winter rains; but well worth gathering at the
prices which then ruled the market. General Grant gave authority for
the gathering of this cotton by any parties who were willing to take
the contract. The contractors were required to feed the negroes and
pay them for their labor. One-half the cotton went to the Government,
the balance to the contractor. There was no lack of men to undertake
the collection of abandoned cotton on these terms, as the enterprise
could not fail to be exceedingly remunerative.

This cotton, gathered by Government authority, was, with a few
exceptions, the only cotton which could be shipped to market. There
were large quantities of "old" cotton--gathered and baled in previous
years--which the owners were anxious to sell, and speculators ready to
buy. Numerous applications were made for shipping-permits, but nearly
all were rejected. A few cases were pressed upon General Grant's
attention, as deserving exception from the ordinary rule.

There was one case of two young girls, whose parents had recently
died, and who were destitute of all comforts on the plantation where
they lived. They had a quantity of cotton which they wished to take to
Memphis, for sale in that market. Thus provided with money, they would
proceed North, and remain there till the end of the war.

A speculator became interested in these girls, and plead with all his
eloquence for official favor in their behalf. General Grant softened
his heart and gave this man a written permit to ship whatever cotton
belonged to the orphans. It was understood, and so stated in the
application, that the amount was between two hundred and three
hundred bales. The exact number not being known, there was no quantity
specified in the permit.

The speculator soon discovered that the penniless orphans could claim
two thousand instead of two hundred bales, and thought it possible
they would find three thousand bales and upward. On the strength
of his permit without special limit, he had purchased, or otherwise
procured, all the cotton he could find in the immediate vicinity. He
was allowed to make shipment of a few hundred bales; the balance was

Immediately, as this transaction became known, every speculator was on
the _qui vive_ to discover a widow or an orphan. Each plantation
was visited, and the status of the owners, if any remained, became
speedily known. Orphans and widows, the former in particular, were at
a high premium. Never in the history of Louisiana did the children
of tender years, bereft of parents, receive such attention from
strangers. A spectator might have imagined the Millennium close at
hand, and the dealers in cotton about to be humbled at the feet of
babes and sucklings. Widows, neither young nor comely, received the
warmest attention from men of Northern birth. The family of John
Rodgers, had it then lived at Milliken's Bend, would have been hailed
as a "big thing." Everywhere in that region there were men seeking
"healthy orphans for adoption."

The majority of the speculators found the widows and orphans of whom
they were in search. Some were able to obtain permits, while others
were not. Several officers of the army became interested in these
speculations, and gave their aid to obtain shipping privileges. Some
who were innocent were accused of dealing in the forbidden fiber,
while others, guilty of the transaction, escaped without suspicion.
The temptation was great. Many refused to be concerned in the traffic;
but there were some who yielded.

The contractors who gathered the abandoned cotton were enabled to
accumulate small fortunes. Some of them acted honestly, but others
made use of their contracts to cover large shipments of purchased or
stolen cotton, baled two or three years before. The ordinary yield of
an acre of ground is from a bale to a bale and a half. The contractors
were sometimes able to show a yield of ten or twenty bales to the

About the first of April, Adjutant-General Thomas arrived at
Milliken's Bend, bringing, as he declared, authority to regulate every
thing as he saw fit. Under his auspices, arrangements were made
for putting the able-bodied male negroes into the army. In a speech
delivered at a review of the troops at Lake Providence, he announced
the determination of the Government to use every just measure to
suppress the Rebellion.

The Rebels indirectly made use of the negroes against the Government,
by employing them in the production of supplies for their armies in
the field. "In this way," he said, "they can bring to bear against us
all the power of their so-called Confederacy. At the same time we are
compelled to retain at home a portion of our fighting force to furnish
supplies for the men at the front. The Administration has determined
to take the negroes belonging to disloyal men, and make them a part
of the army. This is the policy that has been fixed and will be fully
carried out."

General Thomas announced that he brought authority to raise as many
regiments as possible, and to give commissions to all proper persons
who desired them. The speech was listened to with attention, and
loudly cheered at its close. The general officers declared themselves
favorable to the new movement, and gave it their co-operation. In a
few days a half-dozen regiments were in process of organization. This
was the beginning of the scheme for raising a large force of colored
soldiers along the Mississippi.

The disposition to be made of the negro women and children in our
lines, was a subject of great importance. Their numbers were very
large, and constantly increasing. Not a tenth of these persons could
find employment in gathering abandoned cotton. Those that found such
employment were only temporarily provided for. It would be a heavy
burden upon the Government to support them in idleness during the
entire summer. It would be manifestly wrong to send them to the
already overcrowded camps at Memphis and Helena. They were upon our
hands by the fortune of war, and must be cared for in some way.

The plantations which their owners had abandoned were supposed to
afford the means of providing homes for the negroes, where they could
be sheltered, fed, and clothed without expense to the Government. It
was proposed to lease these plantations for the term of one year, to
persons who would undertake the production of a crop of cotton. Those
negroes who were unfit for military service were to be distributed
on these plantations, where the lessees would furnish them all needed
supplies, and pay them for their labor at certain stipulated rates.

The farming tools and other necessary property on the plantations were
to be appraised at a fair valuation, and turned over to the lessees.
Where the plantations were destitute of the requisite number of
mules for working them, condemned horses and mules were loaned to
the lessees, who should return them whenever called for. There were
promises of protection against Rebel raids, and of all assistance that
the Government could consistently give. General Thomas announced that
the measure was fully decided upon at Washington, and should receive
every support.

The plantations were readily taken, the prospects being excellent
for enormous profits if the scheme proved successful. The cost of
producing cotton varies from three to eight cents a pound. The staple
would find ready sale at fifty cents, and might possibly command a
higher figure. The prospects of a large percentage on the investment
were alluring in the extreme. The plantations, the negroes, the
farming utensils, and the working stock were to require no outlay. All
that was demanded before returns would be received, were the necessary
expenditures for feeding and clothing the negroes until the crop
was made and gathered. From five to thirty thousand dollars was the
estimated yearly expense of a plantation of a thousand acres. If
successful, the products for a year might be set down at two hundred
thousand dollars; and should cotton appreciate, the return would be
still greater.



Leasing the Plantations.--Interference of the
Rebels.--Raids.--Treatment of Prisoners.--The Attack upon Milliken's
Bend.--A Novel Breast-Work.--Murder o four Officers.--Profits of
Cotton-Planting.--Dishonesty of Lessees.--Negroes Planting on their
own Account.

It was late in the season before the plantations were leased and the
work of planting commenced. The ground was hastily plowed and the seed
as hastily sown. The work was prosecuted with the design of obtaining
as much as possible in a single season. In their eagerness to
accumulate fortunes, the lessees frequently planted more ground than
they could care for, and allowed much of it to run to waste.

Of course, it could not be expected the Rebels would favor the
enterprise. They had prophesied the negro would not work when free,
and were determined to break up any effort to induce him to labor.
They were not even willing to give him a fair trial. Late in June they
visited the plantations at Milliken's Bend and vicinity.

They stripped many of the plantations of all the mules and horses that
could be found, frightened some of the negroes into seeking safety
at the nearest military posts, and carried away others. Some of the
lessees were captured; others, having timely warning, made good their
escape. Of those captured, some were released on a regular parole not
to take up arms against the "Confederacy." Others were liberated on a
promise to go North and remain there, after being allowed a reasonable
time for settling their business. Others were carried into captivity
and retained as prisoners of war until late in the summer. A Mr.
Walker was taken to Brownsville, Texas, and there released, with the
privilege of crossing to Matamoras, and sailing thence to New Orleans.
It was six months from the time of his capture before he reached New
Orleans on his return home.

The Rebels made a fierce attack upon the garrison at Milliken's Bend.
For a few moments during the fight the prospects of their success were
very good. The negroes composing the garrison had not been long under
arms, and their discipline was far from perfect. The Rebels obtained
possession of a part of our works, but were held at bay by the
garrison, until the arrival of a gun-boat turned the scale in our
favor. The odds were against us at the outset, but we succeeded in
putting the enemy to flight.

In this attack the Rebels made use of a movable breast-work,
consisting of a large drove of mules, which they kept in their front
as they advanced upon the fort. This breast-work served very well at
first, but grew unmanageable as our fire became severe. It finally
broke and fled to the rear, throwing the Rebel lines into confusion.
I believe it was the first instance on record where the defenses
ran away, leaving the defenders uncovered. It marked a new, but
unsuccessful, phase of war. An officer who was present at the defense
of Milliken's Bend vouches for the truth of the story.

The Rebels captured a portion of the garrison, including some of
the white officers holding commissions in negro regiments. The negro
prisoners were variously disposed of. Some were butchered on the
spot while pleading for quarter; others were taken a few miles on the
retreat, and then shot by the wayside. A few were driven away by their
masters, who formed a part of the raiding force, but they soon
escaped and returned to our lines. Of the officers who surrendered as
prisoners of war, some were shot or hanged within a short distance
of their place of capture. Two were taken to Shreveport and lodged in
jail with one of the captured lessees. One night these officers were
taken from the jail by order of General Kirby Smith, and delivered
into the hands of the provost-marshal, to be shot for the crime of
accepting commissions in negro regiments. Before morning they were

Similar raids were made at other points along the river, where
plantations were being cultivated under the new system. At all these
places the mules were stolen and the negroes either frightened or
driven away. Work was suspended until the plantations could be newly
stocked and equipped. This suspension occurred at the busiest time in
the season. The production of the cotton was, consequently, greatly
retarded. On some plantations the weeds grew faster than the cotton,
and refused to be put down. On others, the excellent progress the
weeds had made, during the period of idleness, rendered the yield
of the cotton-plant very small. Some of the plantations were not
restocked after the raid, and speedily ran to waste.

In 1863, no lessee made more than half an ordinary crop of _cotton_,
and very few secured even this return. Some obtained a quarter or an
eighth of a bale to the acre, and some gathered only one bale where
they should have gathered twelve or twenty. A few lost money in the
speculation. Some made a fair profit on their investment, and others
realized their expectations of an enormous reward. Several parties
united their interest on three or four plantations in different
localities, so that a failure in one quarter was offset by success in

The majority of the lessees were unprincipled men, who undertook the
enterprise solely as a speculation. They had as little regard for the
rights of the negro as the most brutal slaveholder had ever shown.
Very few of them paid the negroes for their labor, except in
furnishing them small quantities of goods, for which they charged five
times the value. One man, who realized a profit of eighty thousand
dollars, never paid his negroes a penny. Some of the lessees made open
boast of having swindled their negroes out of their summer's wages, by
taking advantage of their ignorance.

The experiment did not materially improve the condition of the negro,
save in the matter of physical treatment. As a slave the black man
received no compensation for his labor. As a free man, he received

He was well fed, and, generally, well clothed. He received no severe
punishment for non-performance of duty, as had been the case before
the war. The difference between working for nothing as a slave,
and working for the same wages under the Yankees, was not always
perceptible to the unsophisticated negro.

Several persons leased plantations that they might use them as points
for shipping purchased or stolen cotton. Some were quite successful
in this, while others were unable to find any cotton to bring out.
Various parties united with the plantation-owners, and agreed
to obtain all facilities from the Government officials, if their
associates would secure protection against Rebel raids. In some cases
this experiment was successful, and the plantations prospered, while
those around them were repeatedly plundered. In others, the Rebels
were enraged at the plantation-owners for making any arrangements with
"the Yankees," and treated them with merciless severity. There was no
course that promised absolute safety, and there was no man who could
devise a plan of operations that would cover all contingencies.

Every thing considered, the result of the free-labor enterprise was
favorable to the pockets of the avaricious lessees, though it was not
encouraging to the negro and to the friends of justice and humanity.
All who had been successful desired to renew their leases for another
season. Some who were losers were willing to try again and hope for
better fortune.

All the available plantations in the vicinity of Vicksburg, Milliken's
Bend, and other points along that portion of the Mississippi were
applied for before the beginning of the New Year. Application for
these places were generally made by the former lessees or their
friends. The prospects were good for a vigorous prosecution of the
free-labor enterprise during 1864.

In the latter part of 1863, I passed down the Mississippi, _en
route_ to New Orleans. At Vicksburg I met a gentleman who had been
investigating the treatment of the negroes under the new system, and
was about making a report to the proper authorities. He claimed to
have proof that the agents appointed by General Thomas had not been
honest in their administration of affairs.

One of these agents had taken five plantations under his control, and
was proposing to retain them for another year. It was charged that he
had not paid his negroes for their labor, except in scanty supplies
of clothing, for which exorbitant prices were charged. He had been
successful with his plantations, but delivered very little cotton to
the Government agents.

The investigations into the conduct of agents and lessees were
expected to make a change in the situation. Up to that time the War
Department had controlled the whole system of plantation management.
The Treasury Department was seeking the control, on the ground that
the plantations were a source of revenue to the Government, and should
be under its financial and commercial policy. If it could be proved
that the system pursued was an unfair and dishonest one, there was
probability of a change.

I pressed forward on my visit to New Orleans. On my return, two weeks
later, the agents of General Thomas were pushing their plans for the
coming year. There was no indication of an immediate change in the
management. The duties of these agents had been enlarged, and the
region which they controlled extended from Lake Providence, sixty
miles above Vicksburg, to the mouth of Red River, nearly two hundred
miles below. One of the agents had his office at Lake Providence, a
second was located at Vicksburg, while the third was at Natchez.

Nearly all the plantations near Lake Providence had been leased or
applied for. The same was the case with most of those near Vicksburg.
In some instances, there were several applicants for the same
plantation. The agents announced their determination to sell the
choice of plantations to the highest bidder. The competition for the
best places was expected to be very active.

There was one pleasing feature. Some of the applicants for plantations
were not like the sharp-eyed speculators who had hitherto controlled
the business. They seemed to be men of character, desirous of
experimenting with free labor for the sake of demonstrating its
feasibility when skillfully and honestly managed. They hoped and
believed it would be profitable, but they were not undertaking the
enterprise solely with a view to money-making. The number of these
men was not large, but their presence, although in small force, was
exceedingly encouraging.

I regret to say that these men were outstripped in the struggle for
good locations by their more unscrupulous competitors. Before the
season was ended, the majority of the honest men abandoned the field.

During 1863, many negroes cultivated small lots of ground on their own
account. Sometimes a whole family engaged in the enterprise, a single
individual having control of the matter. In other cases, two, three,
or a half-dozen negroes would unite their labor, and divide the
returns. One family of four persons sold twelve bales of cotton, at
two hundred dollars per bale, as the result of eight months' labor.
Six negroes who united their labor were able to sell twenty bales. The
average was about one and a half or two bales to each of those persons
who attempted the planting enterprise on their own account. A few
made as high as four bales each, while others did not make more than
a single bale. One negro, who was quite successful in planting on his
own account, proposed to take a small plantation in 1864, and employ
twenty or more colored laborers. How he succeeded I was not able to

The commissioners in charge of the freedmen gave the negroes every
encouragement to plant on their own account. In 1864 there were thirty
colored lessees near Milliken's Bend, and about the same number at
Helena. Ten of these persons at Helena realized $31,000 for their
year's labor. Two of them planted forty acres in cotton; their
expenses were about $1,200; they sold their crop for $8,000. Another
leased twenty-four acres. His expenses were less than $2,000, and he
sold his crop for $6,000. Another leased seventeen acres. He earned
by the season's work enough to purchase a good house, and leave him
a cash balance of $300. Another leased thirteen and a half acres,
expended about $600 in its cultivation, and sold his crop for $4,000.

At Milliken's Bend the negroes were not as successful as at
Helena--much of the cotton crop being destroyed by the "army worm." It
is possible that the return of peace may cause a discontinuance of the
policy of leasing land to negroes.

The planters are bitterly opposed to the policy of dividing
plantations into small parcels, and allowing them to be cultivated
by freedmen. They believe in extensive tracts of land under a single
management, and endeavor to make the production of cotton a business
for the few rather than the many. It has always been the rule to
discourage small planters. No aristocratic proprietor, if he could
avoid it, would sell any portion of his estate to a man of limited
means. In the hilly portions of the South, the rich men were unable to
carry out their policy. Consequently, there were many who cultivated
cotton on a small scale. On the lower Mississippi this was not the

When the Southern States are fairly "reconstructed," and the political
control is placed in the hands of the ruling race, every effort will
be made to maintain the old policy. Plantations of a thousand or of
three thousand acres will be kept intact, unless the hardest necessity
compels their division. If possible, the negroes will not be permitted
to possess or cultivate land on their own account. To allow them to
hold real estate will be partially admitting their claim to humanity.
No true scion of chivalry can permit such an innovation, so long as he
is able to make successful opposition.

I have heard Southern men declare that a statute law should, and
would, be made to prevent the negroes holding real estate. I have
no doubt of the disposition of the late Rebels in favor of such
enactment, and believe they would display the greatest energy in its
enforcement. It would be a labor of love on their part, as well as of
duty. Its success would be an obstacle in the way of the much-dreaded
"negro equality."



Reasons for Trying an Experiment.--Activity among Lessees.--Opinions
of the Residents.--Rebel Hopes in 1863.--Removal of Negroes to West
Louisiana.--Visiting Natchez.--The City and its Business.--"The
Rejected Addresses."

In my visit to Vicksburg I was accompanied by my fellow-journalist,
Mr. Colburn, of _The World_. Mr. Colburn and myself had taken more
than an ordinary interest in the free-labor enterprise. We had watched
its inception eight months before, with many hopes for its success,
and with as many fears for the result. The experiment of 1863, under
all its disadvantages, gave us convincing proof that the production of
cotton and sugar by free labor was both possible and profitable. The
negro had proved the incorrectness of the slaveholders' assertion that
no black man would labor on a plantation except as a slave. So much we
had seen accomplished. It was the result of a single year's trial. We
desired to see a further and more extensive test.

While studying the new system in the hands of others, we were urged to
bring it under our personal observation. Various inducements were held
out. We were convinced of the general feasibility of the enterprise,
wherever it received proper attention. As a philanthropic undertaking,
it was commendable. As a financial experiment, it promised success. We
looked at the matter in all its aspects, and finally decided to gain
an intimate knowledge of plantation life in war-time. Whether we
succeeded or failed, we would learn more about the freedmen than we
had hitherto known, and would assist, in some degree, to solve
the great problem before the country. Success would be personally
profitable, while failure could not be disastrous.

We determined to lease a plantation, but had selected none. In her
directions for cooking a hare, Mrs. Glass says: "First, catch your
hare." Our animal was to be caught, and the labor of securing it
proved greater than we anticipated.

All the eligible locations around Vicksburg had been taken by the
lessees of the previous season, or by newly-arrived persons who
preceded us. There were several residents of the neighboring region
who desired persons from the North to join them in tilling their
plantations. They were confident of obtaining Rebel protection, though
by no means certain of securing perfect immunity. In each case they
demanded a cash advance of a few thousands, for the purpose of hiring
the guerrillas to keep the peace. As it was evident that the purchase
of one marauding band would require the purchase of others, until
the entire "Confederacy" had been bought up, we declined all these

Some of these residents, who wished Northern men to join them, claimed
to have excellent plantations along the Yazoo, or near some of its
tributary bayous. These men were confident a fine cotton crop could be
made, "if there were some Northern man to manage the niggers." It was
the general complaint with the people who lived in that region that,
with few exceptions, no Southern man could induce the negroes to
continue at work. One of these plantation proprietors said his
location was such that no guerrilla could get near it without
endangering his life. An investigation showed that no other person
could reach the plantation without incurring a risk nearly as great.
Very few of these owners of remote plantations were able to induce
strangers to join them.

We procured a map of the Mississippi and the country bordering its
banks. Whenever we found a good location and made inquiry about it at
the office of the leasing agents, we were sure to ascertain that some
one had already filed an application. It was plain that Vicksburg was
not the proper field for our researches. We shook its dust from our
feet and went to Natchez, a hundred and twenty-five miles below, where
a better prospect was afforded.

In the spring of 1863, the Rebels felt confident of retaining
permanent possession of Vicksburg and Port Hudson, two hundred and
fifty miles apart. Whatever might be the result elsewhere, this
portion of the Mississippi should not be abandoned. In the belief that
the progress of the Yankees had been permanently stopped, the planters
in the locality mentioned endeavored to make as full crops as possible
of the great staple of the South. Accordingly, they plowed and
planted, and tended the growing cotton until midsummer came. On the
fourth of July, Vicksburg surrendered, and opened the river to Port
Hudson. General Herron's Division was sent to re-enforce General
Banks, who was besieging the latter place. In a few days, General
Gardner hauled down his flag and gave Port Hudson to the nation. "The
Father of Waters went unvexed to the Sea."

The rich region that the Rebels had thought to hold was, by the
fortune of war, in the possession of the National army. The planters
suspended their operations, through fear that the Yankees would
possess the land.

Some of them sent their negroes to the interior of Louisiana for
safety. Others removed to Texas, carrying all their human property
with them. On some plantations the cotton had been so well cared for
that it came to maturity in fine condition. On others it had been very
slightly cultivated, and was almost choked out of existence by weeds
and grass. Nearly every plantation could boast of more or less cotton
in the field--the quantity varying from twenty bales to five hundred.
On some plantations cotton had been neglected, and a large crop of
corn grown in its place. Everywhere the Rebel law had been obeyed
by the production of more corn than usual. There was enough for the
sustenance of our armies for many months.

Natchez was the center of this newly-opened region. Before the war it
was the home of wealthy slave-owners, who believed the formation of a
Southern Confederacy would be the formation of a terrestrial paradise.
On both banks of the Mississippi, above and below Natchez, were the
finest cotton plantations of the great valley. One family owned nine
plantations, from which eight thousand bales of cotton were annually
sent to market. Another family owned seven plantations, and others
were the owners of from three to six, respectively.

The plantations were in the care of overseers and agents, and rarely
visited by their owners. The profits were large, and money was poured
out in profusion. The books of one of the Natchez banks showed a daily
business, in the picking season, of two or three million dollars,
generally on the accounts of planters and their factors.

Prior to the Rebellion, cotton was usually shipped to New Orleans, and
sold in that market. There were some of the planters who sent their
cotton to Liverpool or Havre, without passing it through the hands of
New Orleans factors. A large balance of the proceeds of such shipments
remained to the credit of the shippers when the war broke out, and
saved them from financial ruin. The business of Natchez amounted,
according to the season, from a hundred thousand to three hundred
thousand bales. This included a great quantity that was sent to New
Orleans from plantations above and below the city, without touching at
all upon the levee at Natchez.

Natchez consists of Natchez-on-the-Hill and Natchez-under-the-Hill.
A bluff, nearly two hundred feet high, faces the Mississippi, where
there is an eastward bend of the stream. Toward the river this bluff
is almost perpendicular, and is climbed by three roads cut into its
face like inclined shelves. The French established a settlement at
this point a hundred and fifty years ago, and erected a fortification
for its defense. This work, known as Fort Rosalie, can still be traced
with distinctness, though it has fallen into extreme decay. It was
evidently a rectangular, bastioned work, and the location of the
bastions and magazine can be readily made out.

Natchez-under-the-Hill is a small, straggling village, having a few
commission houses and stores, and dwellings of a suspicious character.
It was once a resort of gamblers and other _chevaliers d'industrie_,
whose livelihood was derived from the travelers along the Mississippi.
At present it is somewhat shorn of its glory.

Natchez-on-the-Hill is a pleasant and well-built city, of about ten
thousand inhabitants. The buildings display wealth and good taste,
the streets are wide and finely shaded, and the abundance of churches
speaks in praise of the religious sentiment of the people. Near the
edge of the bluff there was formerly a fine park, commanding a view of
the river for several miles in either direction, and overlooking
the plantations and cypress forests on the opposite shore. This
pleasure-ground was reserved for the white people alone, no negro
being allowed to enter the inclosure under severe penalties. A
regiment of our soldiers encamped near this park, and used its fence
for fuel. The park is now free to persons of whatever color.

Natchez suffered less from the war than most other places of its size
along the Mississippi. The Rebels never erected fortifications in or
around Natchez, having relied upon Vicksburg and Port Hudson for their
protection. When Admiral Farragut ascended the river, in 1862, after
the fall of New Orleans, he promised that Natchez should not be
disturbed, so long as the people offered no molestation to our
gun-boats or army transports. This neutrality was carefully observed,
except on one occasion. A party which landed from the gun-boat _Essex_
was fired upon by a militia company that desired to distinguish
itself. Natchez was shelled for two hours, in retaliation for this
outrage. From that time until our troops occupied the city there was
no disturbance.

When we arrived at Natchez, we found several Northern men already
there, whose business was similar to our own. Some had secured
plantations, and were preparing to take possession. Others were
watching the situation and surveying the ground before making their
selections. We found that the best plantations in the vicinity had
been taken by the friends of Adjutant-General Thomas, and were gone
past our securing. At Vidalia, Louisiana, directly opposite Natchez,
were two fine plantations, "Arnuldia" and "Whitehall," which had been
thus appropriated. Others in their vicinity had been taken in one way
or another, and were out of our reach. Some of the lessees declared
they had been forced to promise a division with certain parties in
authority before obtaining possession, while others maintained a
discreet silence on the subject. Many plantations owned by widows and
semi-loyal persons, would not be placed in the market as "abandoned
property." There were many whose status had not been decided, so
that they were practically out of the market. In consequence of these
various drawbacks, the number of desirable locations that were open
for selection was not large.

One of the leasing agents gave us a letter to a young widow who
resided in the city, and owned a large plantation in Louisiana,
fifteen miles from Natchez. We lost no time in calling upon the lady.

Other parties had already seen her with a view to leasing her
plantation. Though she had promised the lease to one of these
visitors, she had no objections to treating with ourselves, provided
she could make a more advantageous contract.

In a few days we repeated our visit. Our rival had urged his reasons
for consideration, and was evidently in favor. He had claimed to be
a Secessionist, and assured her he could obtain a safeguard from the
Rebel authorities. The lady finally consented to close a contract with
him, and placed us in the position of discarded suitors. We thought of
issuing a new edition of "The Rejected Addresses."



Passing the Pickets.--Cold Weather in the South.--Effect of Climate
upon the Constitution.--Surrounded and Captured.--Prevarication
and Explanation.--Among the Natives.--The Game for the
Confederacy.--Courtesy of the Planters.--Condition of the
Plantations.--The Return.

Mr. Colburn went to St. Louis, on business in which both were
interested, and left me to look out a plantation. I determined to make
a tour of exploration in Louisiana, in the region above Vidalia. With
two or three gentlemen, who were bound on similar business, I passed
our pickets one morning, and struck out into the region which was
dominated by neither army. The weather was intensely cold, the ground
frozen solid, and a light snow falling.

Cold weather in the South has one peculiarity: it can seem more
intense than the same temperature at the North. It is the effect of
the Southern climate to unfit the system for any thing but a warm
atmosphere. The chill penetrates the whole body with a severity I have
never known north of the Ohio River. In a cold day, the "Sunny South"
possesses very few attractions in the eyes of a stranger.

In that day's ride, and in the night which followed, I suffered more
than ever before from cold. I once passed a night in the open air in
the Rocky Mountains, with the thermometer ten degrees below zero.
I think it was more endurable than Louisiana, with the mercury ten
degrees above zero. On my plantation hunt I was thickly clad, but the
cold _would_ penetrate, in spite of every thing. An hour by a fire
might bring some warmth, but the first step into the open air would
drive it away. Fluid extract of corn failed to have its ordinary
effect. The people of the vicinity said the weather was unusually
severe on that occasion. For the sake of those who reside there
hereafter, I hope their statement was true.

Our party stopped for the night at a plantation near Waterproof, a
small village on the bank of the river, twenty-two miles from Natchez.
Just as we were comfortably seated by the fire in the overseer's
house, one of the negroes announced that a person at the door wished
to see us.

I stepped to the door, and found a half-dozen mounted men in blue
uniforms. Each man had a carbine or revolver drawn on me. One of my
companions followed me outside, and found that the strange party had
weapons enough to cover both of us. It had been rumored that several
guerrillas, wearing United States uniforms, were lurking in the
vicinity. Our conclusions concerning the character of our captors were
speedily made.

Resistance was useless, but there were considerations that led us to
parley as long as possible. Three officers, and as many soldiers,
from Natchez, had overtaken us in the afternoon, and borne us company
during the latter part of our ride. When we stopped for the night,
they concluded to go forward two or three miles, and return in the
morning. Supposing ourselves fairly taken, we wished to give
our friends opportunity to escape. With this object in view, we
endeavored, by much talking, to consume time.

I believe it does not make a man eloquent to compel him to peer into
the muzzles of a half-dozen cocked revolvers, that may be discharged
at any instant on the will of the holders. Prevarication is a
difficult task, when time, place, and circumstances are favorable. It
is no easy matter to convince your hearers of the truth of a story
you know to be false, even when those hearers are inclined to be
credulous. Surrounded by strangers, and with your life in peril, the
difficulties are greatly increased. I am satisfied that I made a sad
failure on that particular occasion.

My friend and myself answered, indiscriminately, the questions that
were propounded. Our responses did not always agree. Possibly we might
have done better if only one of us had spoken.

"Come out of that house," was the first request that was made.

We came out.

"Tell those soldiers to come out."

"There are no soldiers here," I responded.

"That's a d--d lie."

"There are none here."

"Yes, there are," said the spokesman of the party. "Some Yankee
soldiers came here a little while ago."

"We have been here only a few minutes."

"Where did you come from?"

This was what the lawyers call a leading question. We did not desire
to acknowledge we were from Natchez, as that would reveal us at once.
We did not wish to say we were from Shreveport, as it would soon be
proved we were not telling the truth. I replied that we had come from
a plantation a few miles below. Simultaneously my companion said we
had just crossed the river.

Here was a lack of corroborative testimony which our captors commented
upon, somewhat to our discredit. So the conversation went on, our
answers becoming more confused each time we spoke. At last the leader
of the group dismounted, and prepared to search the house. He turned
us over to the care of his companions, saying, as he did so:

"If I find any soldiers here, you may shoot these d--d fellows for

During all the colloquy we had been carefully covered by the weapons
of the group. We knew no soldiers could be found about the premises,
and felt no fear concerning the result of the search.

Just as the leader finished his search, a lieutenant and twenty men
rode up.

"Well," said our captor, "you are saved from shooting. I will turn you
over to the lieutenant."

I recognized in that individual an officer to whom I had received
introduction a day or two before. The recognition was mutual.

We had fallen into the hands of a scouting party of our own forces.
Each mistook the other for Rebels. The contemplated shooting was
indefinitely postponed. The lieutenant in command concluded to encamp
near us, and we passed the evening in becoming acquainted with each

On the following day the scouting party returned to Natchez. With
my two companions I proceeded ten miles further up the river-bank,
calling, on the way, at several plantations. All the inhabitants
supposed we were Rebel officers, going to or from Kirby Smith's
department. At one house we found two old gentlemen indulging in a
game of chess. In response to a comment upon their mode of amusement,
one of them said:

"We play a very slow and cautious game, sir. Such a game as the
Confederacy ought to play at this time."

To this I assented.

"How did you cross the river, gentlemen?" was the first interrogatory.

"We crossed it at Natchez."

"At Natchez! We do not often see Confederates from Natchez. You must
have been very fortunate to get through."

Then we explained who and what we were. The explanation was followed
by a little period of silence on the part of our new acquaintances.
Very soon, however, the ice was broken, and our conversation became
free. We were assured that we might travel anywhere in that region
as officers of the Rebel army, without the slightest suspicion of our
real character. They treated us courteously, and prevailed upon us to
join them at dinner. Many apologies were given for the scantiness of
the repast. Corn-bread, bacon, and potatoes were the only articles
set before us. Our host said he was utterly unable to procure flour,
sugar, coffee, or any thing else not produced upon his plantation.
He thought the good times would return when the war ended, and was
particularly anxious for that moment to arrive. He pressed us to pass
the night at his house, but we were unable to do so. On the following
day we returned to Natchez.

Everywhere on the road from Vidalia to the farthest point of our
journey, we found the plantations running to waste. The negroes had
been sent to Texas or West Louisiana for safety, or were remaining
quietly in their quarters. Some had left their masters, and were
gone to the camps of the National army at Vicksburg and Natchez. The
planters had suspended work, partly because they deemed it useless
to do any thing in the prevailing uncertainty, and partly because the
negroes were unwilling to perform any labor. Squads of Rebel cavalry
had visited some of the plantations, and threatened punishment to
the negroes if they did any thing whatever toward the production of
cotton. Of course, the negroes would heed such advice if they heeded
no other.

On all the plantations we found cotton and corn, principally the
latter, standing in the field. Sometimes there were single inclosures
of several hundred acres. The owners were desirous of making any
arrangement that would secure the tilling of their soil, while it
did not involve them in any trouble with their neighbors or the Rebel

They deplored the reverses which the Rebel cause had suffered, and
confessed that the times were out of joint. One of the men we visited
was a judge in the courts of Louisiana, and looked at the question
in a legal light. After lamenting the severity of the storm which was
passing over the South, and expressing his fear that the Rebellion
would be a failure, he referred to his own situation.

"I own a plantation," said he, "and have combined my planting interest
with the practice of law. The fortune of war has materially changed my
circumstances. My niggers used to do as I told them, but that time is
passed. Your Northern people have made soldiers of our servants, and
will, I presume, make voters of them. In five years, if I continue the
practice of law, I suppose I shall be addressing a dozen negroes as
gentlemen of the jury."

"If you had a negro on trial," said one of our party, "that would be
correct enough. Is it not acknowledged everywhere that a man shall be
tried by his peers?"

The lawyer admitted that he never thought of that point before.
He said he would insist upon having negroes admitted into court as
counsel for negroes that were to be tried by a jury of their race. He
did not believe they would ever be available as laborers in the field
if they were set free, and thought so many of them would engage in
theft that negro courts would be constantly busy.

Generally speaking, the planters that I saw were not violent
Secessionists, though none of them were unconditional Union men. All
said they had favored secession at the beginning of the movement,
because they thought it would strengthen and perpetuate slavery. Most
of them had lost faith in its ultimate success, but clung to it as
their only hope. The few Union men among them, or those who claimed
to be loyal, were friends of the nation with many conditions. They
desired slavery to be restored to its former status, the rights of the
States left intact, and a full pardon extended to all who had taken
part in the Rebellion. Under these conditions they would be willing to
see the Union restored. Otherwise, the war must go on.

We visited several plantations on our tour of observation, and
compared their respective merits. One plantation contained three
thousand acres of land, but was said to be very old and worn out. Near
it was one of twelve hundred acres, three-fourths covered with corn,
but with no standing cotton. One had six hundred acres of cotton
in the field. This place belonged to a Spaniard, who would not be
disturbed by Government, and who refused to allow any work done until
after the end of the war. Another had four hundred acres of standing
cotton, but the plantation had been secured by a lessee, who was about
commencing work.

All had merits, and all had demerits. On some there was a sufficient
force for the season's work, while on others there was scarcely an
able field-hand. On some the gin-houses had been burned, and on others
they were standing, but disabled. A few plantations were in good
order, but there was always some drawback against our securing
them. Some were liable to overflow during the expected flood of the
Mississippi; others were in the hands of their owners, and would not
be leased by the Government. Some that had been abandoned were
so thoroughly abandoned that we would hesitate to attempt their
cultivation. There were several plantations more desirable than
others, and I busied myself to ascertain the status of their owners,
and the probabilities concerning their disposal.

Some of the semi-loyal owners of plantations were able to make very
good speculations in leasing their property. There was an earnest
competition among the lessees to secure promising plantations. One
owner made a contract, by which he received five thousand dollars in
cash and half the product of the year's labor.

A week after the lessee took possession, he was frightened by the
near approach of a company of Rebel cavalry. He broke his contract and
departed for the North, forfeiting the five thousand dollars he had
advanced. Another lessee was ready to make a new contract with the
owner, paying five thousand dollars as his predecessor had done. Four
weeks later, this lessee abandoned the field, and the owner was at
liberty to begin anew.

To widows and orphans the agents of the Government displayed a
commendable liberality. Nearly all of these persons were allowed to
retain control of their plantations, leasing them as they saw fit, and
enjoying the income. Some were required to subscribe to the oath of
allegiance, and promise to show no more sympathy for the crumbling
Confederacy. In many cases no pledge of any kind was exacted.

I knew one widow whose disloyalty was of the most violent character.
On a visit to New Orleans she was required to take the oath of
allegiance before she could leave the steamboat at the levee. She
signed the printed oath under protest. A month later, she brought this
document forward to prove her loyalty and secure the control of her



Military Protection.--Promises.--Another Widow.--Securing
a Plantation.--Its Locality and Appearance.--Gardening in
Louisiana.--How Cotton is Picked.--"The Tell-Tale."--A Southerner's
Opinion of the Negro Character.--Causes and Consequences.

Parties who proposed to lease and cultivate abandoned plantations were
anxious to know what protection would be afforded them. General Thomas
and his agents assured them that proper military posts would soon be
established at points within easy distance of each other along the
river, so that all plantations in certain limits would be amply
protected. This would be done, not as a courtesy to the lessees, but
as a part of the policy of providing for the care of the negroes.
If the lessees would undertake to feed and clothe several thousand
negroes, besides paying them for their labor, they would relieve
the Government authorities of a great responsibility. They would
demonstrate the feasibility of employing the negroes as free laborers.
The cotton which they would throw into market would serve to reduce
the prices of that staple, and be a partial supply to the Northern
factories. All these things considered, the Government was anxious to
foster the enterprise, and would give it every proper assistance. The
agents were profuse in their promises of protection, and assured us it
would be speedily forthcoming.

There was a military post at Vidalia, opposite Natchez, which afforded
protection to the plantations in which General Thomas's family and
friends were interested. Another was promised at Waterproof, twenty
miles above, with a stockade midway between the two places. There was
to be a force of cavalry to make a daily journey over the road between
Vidalia and Waterproof. I selected two plantations about two miles
below Waterproof, and on the bank of the Mississippi. They were
separated by a strip of wood-land half a mile in width, and by a
small bayou reaching from the river to the head of Lake St. John. Both
plantations belonged to the same person, a widow, living near Natchez.

The authorities had not decided what they would do with these
plantations--whether they would hold them as Government property, or
allow the owner to control them. In consideration of her being a widow
of fifteen years' standing, they at length determined upon the latter
course. It would be necessary to take out a lease from the authorities
after obtaining one from the owner. I proceeded at once to make the
proper negotiations.

Another widow! My first experience in seeking to obtain a widow's
plantation was not encouraging. The first widow was young, the second
was old. Both were anxious to make a good bargain. In the first
instance I had a rival, who proved victorious. In the second affair I
had no rival at the outset, but was confronted with one when my suit
was fairly under way. Before he came I obtained a promise of the
widow's plantations. My rival made her a better offer than I had done.
At this she proposed to desert me. I caused the elder Weller's advice
to be whispered to him, hoping it might induce his withdrawal. He did
not retire, and we, therefore, continued our struggle. _He_ was making
proposals on his own behalf; I was proposing for myself and for Mr.
Colburn, who was then a thousand miles away.

My widow (I call her mine, for I won at last) desired us to give her
all the corn and cotton then on the plantations, and half of what
should be produced under our management. I offered her half the former
and one-fourth the latter. These were the terms on which nearly
all private plantations were being leased. She agreed to the offer
respecting the corn and cotton then standing in the field, and
demanded a third of the coming year's products. After some hesitation,
we decided upon "splitting the difference." Upon many minor points,
such as the sale of wood, stock, wool, etc., she had her own way.

A contract was drawn up, which gave Colburn and myself the lease of
the two plantations, "Aquasco" and "Monono," for the period of one
year. We were to gather the crops then standing in the field, both
cotton and corn, selling all the former and such portion of the latter
as was not needed for the use of the plantations. We were to cultivate
the plantations to the best of our abilities, subject to the fortunes
of flood, fire, and pestilence, and the operations of military and
marauding forces. We agreed to give up the plantations at the end of
the year in as good condition as we found them in respect to stock,
tools, etc., unless prevented by circumstances beyond our control. We
were to have full supervision of the plantations, and manage them
as we saw fit. We were to furnish such stock and tools as might be
needed, with the privilege of removing the same at the time of our

Our widow (whom I shall call Mrs. B.) was to have one-half the
proceeds of the corn and cotton then on the plantations, and seven
twenty-fourths of such as might be produced during the year. She
was to have the privilege of obtaining, once a week, the supplies of
butter, chickens, meal, vegetables, and similar articles she might
need for her family use. There were other provisions in the contract,
but the essential points were those I have mentioned. The two
plantations were to be under a single management. I shall have
occasion to speak of them jointly, as "the plantation."

With this contract duly signed, sealed, and stamped, I went to the
"Agent for Abandoned Plantations." After some delay, and a payment
of liberal fees, I obtained the Government lease. These preliminaries
concluded, I proceeded to the locality of our temporary home. Colburn
had not returned from the North, but was expected daily.

The bayou which I have mentioned, running through the strip of woods
which separated the plantations, formed the dividing line between the
parishes "Concordia" and "Tensas," in the State of Louisiana. Lake St.
John lay directly in rear of "Monono," our lower plantation. This lake
was five or six miles long by one in width, and was, doubtless, the
bed of the Mississippi many years ago.

On each plantation there were ten dwelling-houses for the negroes. On
one they were arranged in a double row, and on the other in a single
row. There was a larger house for the overseer, and there were
blacksmith shops, carpenter shops, stables, corn-cribs, meat-houses,
cattle-yards, and gin-houses.

On Aquasco there was a dwelling-house containing five large rooms, and
having a wide veranda along its entire front. This dwelling-house was
in a spacious inclosure, by the side of a fine garden. Inside this
inclosure, and not far from the dwelling, were the quarters for the
house-servants, the carriage-house and private stable, the smoke-house
and the kitchen, which lay detached from the main building, according
to the custom prevailing in the South.

Our garden could boast of fig and orange trees, and other tropical
productions. Pinks and roses we possessed in abundance. Of the latter
we had enough in their season to furnish all the flower-girls on
Broadway with a stock in trade. Our gardener "made his garden" in
February. By the middle of March, his potatoes, cabbages, beets, and
other vegetables under his care were making fine progress. Before
the jingle of sleigh-bells had ceased in the Eastern States, we were
feasting upon delicious strawberries from our own garden, ripened in
the open air. The region where plowing begins in January, and corn is
planted in February or early March, impresses a New Englander with its
contrast to his boyhood home.

When I took possession of our new property, the state of affairs was
not the most pleasing. Mrs. B. had sent the best of her negroes to
Texas shortly after the fall of Vicksburg. Those remaining on the
plantations were not sufficient for our work. There were four mules
where we needed fifty, and there was not a sufficient supply of
oxen and wagons. Farming tools, plows, etc., were abundant, but many
repairs must be made. There was enough of nearly every thing for a
commencement. The rest would be secured in due season.

Cotton and corn were in the field. The former was to receive immediate
attention. On the day after my arrival I mustered thirty-four laborers
of all ages and both sexes, and placed them at work, under the
superintendence of a foreman. During the afternoon I visited them in
the field, to observe the progress they were making. It was the first
time I had ever witnessed the operation, but I am confident I did not
betray my inexperience in the presence of my colored laborers. The
foreman asked my opinion upon various points of plantation management,
but I deferred making answer until a subsequent occasion. In every
case I told him to do for the present as they had been accustomed, and
I would make such changes as I saw fit from time to time.

Cotton-picking requires skill rather than strength. The young women
are usually the best pickers, on account of their superior dexterity.
The cotton-stalk, or bush, is from two to five or six feet high. It is
unlike any plant with which we are familiar in the North. It resembles
a large currant-bush more nearly than any thing else I can think of.
Where the branches are widest the plant is three or four feet from
side to side. The lowest branches are the longest, and the plant,
standing by itself, has a shape similar to that of the Northern
spruce. The stalk is sometimes an inch and a half in diameter where
it leaves the ground. Before the leaves have fallen, the rows in
a cotton-field bear a strong resemblance to a series of untrimmed

When fully opened, the cotton-bolls almost envelop the plant in their
snow-white fiber. At a distance a cotton-field ready for the pickers
forcibly reminds a Northerner of an expanse covered with snow. Our
Northern expression, "white as snow," is not in use in the Gulf
States. "White as cotton" is the form of comparison which takes its

The pickers walk between the rows, and gather the cotton from the
stalks on either side. Each one gathers half the cotton from the row
on his right, and half of that on his left. Sometimes, when the stalks
are low, one person takes an entire row to himself, and gathers from
both sides of it. A bag is suspended by a strap over the shoulder, the
end of the bag reaching the ground, so that its weight may not be
an inconvenience. The open boll is somewhat like a fully bloomed
water-lily. The skill in picking lies in thrusting the fingers
into the boll so as to remove all the cotton with a single motion.
Ordinary-pickers grasp the boll with one hand and pluck out the cotton
with the other. Skillful pickers work with both hands, never touching
the bolls, but removing the cotton by a single dextrous twist of the
fingers. They can thus operate with great rapidity.

As fast as the bags are filled, they are emptied into large baskets,
which are placed at a corner of the field or at the ends of the rows.
When the day's work is ended the cotton is weighed. The amount
brought forward by each person is noted on a slate, from which it is
subsequently recorded on the account-book of the plantation.

From one to four hundred pounds, according to the state of the plants,
is the proper allowance for each hand per day.

In the days of slavery the "stint" was fixed by the overseer, and was
required to be picked under severe penalties. It is needless to say
that this stint was sufficiently large to allow of no loitering during
the entire day. If the slave exceeded the quantity required of him,
the excess was sometimes placed to his credit and deducted from a
subsequent day. This was by no means the universal custom. Sometimes
he received a small present or was granted some especial favor. By
some masters the stint was increased by the addition of the excess.
The task was always regulated by the condition of the cotton in the
field. Where it would sometimes be three hundred pounds, at others it
would not exceed one hundred.

At the time I commenced my cotton-picking, the circumstances were not
favorable to a large return. The picking season begins in August or
September, and is supposed to end before Christmas. In my case it was
late in January, and the winter rain had washed much of the cotton
from the stalks. Under the circumstances I could not expect more than
fifty or seventy-five pounds per day for each person engaged.

During the first few days I did not weigh the cotton. I knew the
average was not more than fifty pounds to each person, but the
estimates which the negroes made fixed it at two hundred pounds. One
night I astonished them by taking the weighing apparatus to the field
and carefully weighing each basket. There was much disappointment
among all parties at the result. The next day's picking showed a
surprising improvement. After that time, each day's work was tested
and the result announced. The "tell-tale," as the scales were
sometimes called, was an overseer from whom there was no escape. I
think the negroes worked faithfully as soon as they found there was no
opportunity for deception.

I was visited by Mrs. B.'s agent a few days after I became a
cotton-planter. We took an inventory of the portable property that
belonged to the establishment, and arranged some plans for our mutual
advantage. This agent was a resident of Natchez. He was born in the
North, but had lived so long in the slave States that his sympathies
were wholly Southern. He assured me the negroes were the greatest
liars in the world, and required continual watching. They would take
every opportunity to neglect their work, and were always planning new
modes of deception. They would steal every thing of which they could
make any use, and many articles that they could not possibly dispose
of. Pretending illness was among the most frequent devices for
avoiding labor, and the overseer was constantly obliged to contend
against such deception. In short, as far as I could ascertain
from this gentleman, the negro was the embodiment of all earthly
wickedness. Theft, falsehood, idleness, deceit, and many other sins
which afflict mortals, were the especial heritance of the negro.

In looking about me, I found that many of these charges against
the negro were true. The black man was deceptive, and he was often
dishonest. There can be no effect without a cause, and the reasons
for this deception and dishonesty were apparent, without difficult
research. The system of slavery necessitated a constant struggle
between the slave and his overseer. It was the duty of the latter to
obtain the greatest amount of labor from the sinews of the slave. It
was the business of the slave to perform as little labor as possible.
It made no difference to him whether the plantation produced a hundred
or a thousand bales. He received nothing beyond his subsistence and
clothing. His labor had no compensation, and his balance-sheet at the
end of the month or year was the same, whether he had been idle or
industrious. It was plainly to his personal interest to do nothing he
could in any way avoid. The negro displayed his sagacity by deceiving
the overseer whenever he could do so. The best white man in the world
would have shunned all labor under such circumstances. The negro
evinced a pardonable weakness in pretending to be ill whenever he
could hope to make the pretense successful.

Receiving no compensation for his services, beyond his necessary
support, the negro occasionally sought to compensate himself. He was
fond of roasted pork, but that article did not appear on the list
of plantation rations. Consequently some of the negroes would make
clandestine seizure of the fattest pigs when the chance of detection
was not too great. It was hard to convince them that the use of one
piece of property for the benefit of another piece, belonging to the
same person, was a serious offense.

"You see, Mr. K----," said a negro to me, admitting that he had
sometimes stolen his master's hogs, "you see, master owns his
saddle-horse, and he owns lots of corn. Master would be very mad if I
didn't give the horse all the corn he wanted. Now, he owns me, and he
owns a great many hogs. I like hog, just as much as the horse likes
corn, but when master catches me killing the hogs he is very mad, and
he makes the overseer whip me."

Corn, chickens, flour, meal, in fact, every thing edible, became
legitimate plunder for the negroes when the rations furnished them
were scanty. I believe that in nine cases out of ten the petty thefts
which the negroes committed were designed to supply personal wants,
rather than for any other purpose. What the negro stole was usually an
article of food, and it was nearly always stolen from the plantation
where he belonged.

Sometimes there was a specially bad negro--one who had been caught in
some extraordinary dishonesty. One in my employ was reported to
have been shot at while stealing from a dwelling-house several years
before. Among two hundred negroes, he was the only noted rascal. I
did not attribute his dishonesty to his complexion alone. I have known
worse men than he, in whose veins there was not a drop of African
blood. The police records everywhere show that wickedness of heart
"dwells in white and black the same."

With his disadvantages of position, the absence of all moral training,
and the dishonesty which was the natural result of the old system
of labor, the negro could not be expected to observe all the rules
prescribed for his guidance, but which were never explained. Like
ignorant and degraded people everywhere, many of the negroes believed
that guilt lay mainly in detection. There was little wickedness in
stealing a pig or a chicken, if the theft were never discovered, and
there was no occasion for allowing twinges of conscience to disturb
the digestion.

I do not intend to intimate, by the above, that all were dishonest,
even in these small peculations. There were many whose sense of right
and wrong was very clear, and whose knowledge of their duties had been
derived from the instructions of the white preachers. These negroes
"obeyed their masters" in every thing, and considered it a religious
obligation to be always faithful. They never avoided their tasks, in
the field or elsewhere, and were never discovered doing any wrong.
Under the new system of labor at the South, this portion of the negro
population will prove of great advantage in teaching their kindred the
duties they owe to each other. When all are trained to think and
act for themselves, the negroes will, doubtless, prove as correct in
morals as the white people around them.

Early in the present year, the authorities at Davies' Bend, below
Vicksburg, established a negro court, in which all petty cases were
tried. The judge, jury, counsel, and officers were negroes, and no
white man was allowed to interfere during the progress of a trial.
After the decisions were made, the statement of the case and the
action thereon were referred to the superintendent of the Government
plantations at that point.

It was a noticeable feature that the punishments which the negroes
decreed for each other were of a severe character. Very frequently it
was necessary for the authorities to modify the sentences after the
colored judge had rendered them. The cases tried by the court related
to offenses of a minor character, such as theft, fraud, and various
delinquencies of the freed negroes.

The experiment of a negro court is said to have been very successful,
though it required careful watching. It was made in consequence of
a desire of the authorities to teach the freedmen how to govern
themselves. The planters in the vicinity were as bitterly opposed to
the movement as to any other effort that lifts the negro above his old

At the present time, several parties in Vicksburg have leased three
plantations, in as many localities, and are managing them on different
plans. On the first they furnish the negroes with food and clothing,
and divide the year's income with them. On the second they pay wages
at the rate of ten dollars per month, furnishing rations free, and
retaining half the money until the end of the year. On the third they
pay daily wages of one dollar, having the money ready at nightfall,
the negro buying his own rations at a neighboring store.

On the first plantation, the negroes are wasteful of their supplies,
as they are not liable for any part of their cost. They are inclined
to be idle, as their share in the division will not be materially
affected by the loss of a few days' labor. On the second they are less
wasteful and more industrious, but the distance of the day of payment
is not calculated to develop notions of strict economy. On the third
they generally display great frugality, and are far more inclined to
labor than on the other plantations.

The reason is apparent. On the first plantation their condition is
not greatly changed from that of slavery, except in the promise of
compensation and the absence of compulsory control. In the last case
they are made responsible both for their labor and expenses, and are
learning how to care for themselves as freemen.



The Plantation Record.--Its Uses.--Interesting Memoranda.--Dogs,
Jail, and Stocks.--Instructions to the Overseer.--His Duties and
Responsibilities.--The Order of General Banks.--Management of
Plantations in the Department of the Gulf.--The two Documents
Contrasted.--One of the Effects of "an Abolition War."

Nearly every planter in the South required the manager of his
plantation to keep a record of all events of importance. Books were
prepared by a publishing house in New Orleans, with special reference
to their use by overseers. These books had a blank for every day in
the year, in which the amount and kind of work performed were to be
recorded by the overseer. There were blanks for noting the progress
during the picking season, and the amount picked by each person daily.
There were blanks for monthly and yearly inventories of stock, tools,
etc., statements of supplies received and distributed, lists of births
and deaths (there were no blanks for marriages), time and amount
of shipments of cotton, and for all the ordinary business of a
plantation. In the directions for the use of this book, I found the

"On the pages marked I, the planter himself will make a careful record
of all the negroes upon the plantation, stating their ages as nearly
as possible, and their cash value, at the commencement of the year.
At the close, he will again enter their individual value at that time,
adding the year's increase, and omitting those that may have died. The
difference can then be transferred to the balance-sheet. The year's
crop is chargeable with any depreciation in the value of the negroes,
occasioned by overwork and improper management, in the effort,
perhaps, to make an extra crop independent of every other
consideration. On the other hand, should the number of children have
greatly increased during the year; the strength and usefulness of the
old been sustained by kind treatment and care; the youngsters taught
to be useful, and, perhaps, some of the men instructed in trades and
the women in home manufactures, the increased value of the entire
force will form a handsome addition to the side of _profits_."

On the pages where the daily incidents of the plantation were
recorded, I frequently discovered entries that illustrated the
"peculiar institution." Some of them read thus:--

_June 5th_.
Whipped Harry and Sarah to-day, because they didn't keep up their
rows. _July 7th_. Aleck ran away to the woods, because I threatened
to whip him.

_July 9th_.
Got Mr. Hall's dogs and hunted Aleck. Didn't find him. Think he is in
the swamp back of Brandon's.

_July 12th_.
Took Aleck out of Vidalia jail. Paid $4.50 for jail fees. Put him in
the stocks when we got home.

_July 30th_.
Moses died this morning. Charles and Henry buried him. His wife was
allowed to keep out of the field until noon.

_August 10th_.
Sent six mules and four negroes down to the lower plantation. They
will come back to-morrow.

_September 9th_.
John said he was sick this morning, but I made him go to the field.
They brought him in before noon. He has a bad fever. Am afraid he
won't be able to go out again soon.

_September 20th_.
Whipped Susan, because she didn't pick as much cotton as she did

_September 29th_.
Put William in the stocks and kept him till sunset, for telling
Charles he wanted to run away.

_October 8th_. William and Susan want to be married. Told them I
should not allow it, but they might live together if they wanted to.

(The above memorandum was explained to me by one of the negroes. The
owner of the plantation did not approve of marriages, because they
were inconvenient in case it was desired to sell a portion of the
working force.)

_October 1st_. Took an inventory of the negroes and stock. Their value
is about the same as when the last inventory was taken.

_December 3d_. Finished picking. Gave the negroes half a holiday.

Nearly every day's entry shows the character and amount of work
performed. Thus we have:--

_February 10th_. Fifteen plows running, five hands piling logs, four
hands ditching, six hands in trash-gang.

In the planting, hoeing, and picking seasons, the result of the labor
was recorded in the same manner. Whippings were more or less frequent,
according to the character of the overseer. Under one overseer I found
that whippings were rare. Under other overseers they were of common

The individual who prepared the "_Plantation Record_" for the
publishers, gave, in addition to directions for its use, instructions
for the overseer's general conduct.

I copy them below, preserving the author's language throughout.


It is here supposed that the overseer is not immediately under his
employer's eye, but is left for days or weeks, perhaps months, to the
exercise of his own judgment in the management of the plantation. To
him we would say--

Bear in mind, that you have engaged for a stated sum of money, to
devote your time and energies, for an entire year, _to one object_--to
carry out the orders of your employer, strictly, cheerfully, and
to the best of your ability; and, in all things, to study his
interests--requiring something more than your mere presence on the
plantation, and that at such times as suits your own pleasure and

On entering upon your duties, inform yourself thoroughly of the
condition of the plantation, negroes, stock, implements, etc. Learn
the views of your employer as to the general course of management he
wishes pursued, and make up your mind to carry out these views fully,
as far as in your power. If any objections occur to you, state them
distinctly, that they may either be yielded to or overcome.

Where full and particular directions are not given to you, but you are
left, in a great measure, to the exercise of your own judgment, you
will find the following hints of service. They are compiled from
excellent sources--from able articles in the agricultural journals
of the day, from Washington's Directions to his Overseers, and from
personal experience.

"I do, in explicit terms, enjoin it upon you to remain constantly at
home (unless called off by unavoidable business, or to attend Divine
worship), and to be constantly with your people when there. There is
no other sure way of getting work well done, and quietly, by negroes;
for when an overlooker's back is turned the most of them will slight
their work, or be idle altogether. In which case correction cannot
retrieve either, but often produces evils which are worse than the
disease. Nor is there any other mode than this to prevent thieving and
other disorders, the consequences of opportunities. You will recollect
that your time is paid for by me, and if I am deprived of it, it
is worse even than robbing my purse, because it is also a breach of
trust, which every honest man ought to hold most sacred. You have
found me, and you will continue to find me, faithful to my part of the
agreement which was made with you, whilst you are attentive to your
part; but it is to be remembered that a breach on one side releases
the obligation on the other."

Neither is it right that you should entertain a constant run of
company at your house, incurring unnecessary expense, taking up your
own time and that of the servants beyond what is needful for your own
comfort--a woman to cook and wash for you, milk, make butter, and so
on. More than this you have no claim to.

Endeavor to take the same interest in every thing upon the place,
as if it were your own; indeed, the responsibility in this case is
greater than if it were all your own--having been intrusted to you by
another. Unless you feel thus, it is impossible that you can do your
employer justice.

The health of the negroes under your charge is an important matter.
Much of the usual sickness among them is the result of carelessness
and mismanagement. Overwork or unnecessary exposure to rain,
insufficient clothing, improper or badly-cooked food, and night
rambles, are all fruitful causes of disease. A great majority of the
cases you should be yourself competent to manage, or you are unfit for
the place you hold; but whenever you find that the case is one you do
not understand, send for a physician, if such is the general order of
the owner. By exerting yourself to have their clothing ready in good
season; to arrange profitable in-door employment in wet weather;
to see that an abundant supply of wholesome, _well-cooked food_,
including plenty of vegetables, be supplied to them _at regular
hours_; that the sick be cheered and encouraged, and some extra
comforts allowed them, and the convalescent not exposed to the chances
of a relapse; that women, whilst nursing, be kept as near to the
nursery as possible, but at no time allowed to suckle their children
when overheated; that the infant be nursed three times during the day,
in addition to the morning and evening; that no whisky be allowed upon
the place at any time or under any circumstances; but that they have,
whilst heated and at work, plenty of pure, _cool_ water; that care be
taken to prevent the hands from carrying their baskets full of cotton
on their head--a most injurious practice; and, in short, that such
means be used for their comfort as every judicious, humane man will
readily think of, you will find the amount of sickness gradually

Next to the negroes, the stock on the place will require your constant
attention. You can, however, spare yourself much trouble by your
choice of a stock-minder, and by adopting and enforcing a strict
system in the care of the stock. It is a part of their duty in which
overseers are generally most careless.

The horse and mule stock are first in importance. Unless these are
kept in good condition, it is impossible that the work can go on
smoothly, or your crop be properly tended. Put your stable in good
order; and, if possible, inclose it so that it can be kept under
lock. Place a steady, careful old man there as hostler, making him
responsible for every thing, and that directly to yourself. The
foreman of the plow-gang, and the hands under his care, should be made
answerable to the hostler--whose business it is to have the feed cut
up, ground, and ready; the stalls well littered and cleaned out at
proper intervals; to attend to sick or maimed animals; to see that the
gears are always hung in their proper place, kept in good order, and
so on.

It is an easy matter to keep horses or mules fat, with a full and open
corn-crib and abundance of fodder. But that overseer shows his good
management who can keep his teams fat at the least expense of corn
and fodder. The waste of those articles in the South, through shameful
carelessness and neglect, is immense; as food for stock, they are most
expensive articles. Oats, millet, peas (vine and all), broadcast corn,
Bermuda and crab-grass hay, are all much cheaper and equally good.
Any one of these crops, fed whilst green--the oats and millet as they
begin to shoot, the peas to blossom, and the corn when tasseling--with
a feed of dry oats, corn, or corn-chop at noon, will keep a plow-team
in fine order all the season. In England, where they have the finest
teams in the world, this course _is invariably pursued_, for its
economy. From eight to nine hours per day is as long as the team
should be at actual work. They will perform more upon less feed, and
keep in better order for a _push_ when needful, worked briskly in that
way, than when kept dragging a plow all day long at a slow pace.
And the hands have leisure to rest, to cut up feed, clean and repair
gears, and so on.

Oxen. No more work oxen should be retained than can be kept at all
times in good order. An abundant supply of green feed during
spring and summer, cut and fed as recommended above, and in winter
well-boiled cotton-seed, with a couple of quarts of meal in it per
head; turnips, raw or cooked; corn-cobs soaked twenty-four hours
in salt and water; shucks, pea-vines, etc., passed through a
cutting-box--any thing of the kind, in short, is cheaper food for them
in winter, and will keep them in better order than dry corn and shucks
or fodder.

Indeed, the fewer cattle are kept on any place the better, unless the
range is remarkably good. When young stock of any kind are stinted of
their proper food, and their growth receives a check, they never can
wholly recover it. Let the calves have a fair share of milk, and also
as much of the cooked food prepared for the cows and oxen as they will
eat; with at times a little dry meal to lick. When cows or oxen show
symptoms of failing, from age or otherwise, fatten them off at
once; and if killed for the use of the place, _save the hide
carefully_--rubbing at least two quarts of salt upon it; then roll up
for a day or two, when it may be stretched and dried.

Hogs are generally sadly mismanaged. Too many are kept, and kept
badly. One good brood sow for every five hands on a place, is amply
sufficient--indeed, more pork will be cured from these than from a
greater number. Provide at least two good grazing lots for them, with
Bermuda, crab-grass, or clover, which does as well at Washington,
Miss., as anywhere in the world, with two bushels of ground plaster to
the acre, sowed over it. Give a steady, trusty hand no other work to
do but to feed and care for them. With a large set kettle or two, an
old mule and cart to haul his wood for fuel, cotton-seed, turnips,
etc., for feed, and leaves for bedding, he can do full justice to one
hundred head, old and young. They will increase and thrive finely,
with good grazing, and a full mess, twice a day, of swill prepared as
follows: Sound cotton-seed, with a gallon of corn-meal to the bushel,
a quart of oak or hickory ashes, a handful of salt, and a good
proportion of turnips or green food of any kind, even clover or peas;
the whole thoroughly--mind you, _thoroughly_ cooked--then thrown into
a large trough, and there allowed _to become sour before being fed_.

Sheep may be under the charge of the stock-minder; from ten to twenty
to the hand may be generally kept with advantage.

Sick animals require close and judicious attention. Too frequently
they are either left to get well or to die of themselves, or are bled
and dosed with nauseous mixtures indiscriminately. Study the subject
of the diseases of animals during your leisure evenings, which you
can do from some of the many excellent works on the subject. _Think_
before you _act_. When your animal has fever, nature would dictate
that all stimulating articles of diet or medicine should be avoided.
Bleeding may be necessary to reduce the force of the circulation;
purging, to remove irritating substances from the bowels; moist,
light, and easily-digested food, that his weakened digestion may not
be oppressed; cool drinks, to allay his thirst, and, to some extent,
compensate for diminished secretions; rest and quiet, to prevent undue
excitement in his system, and so on through the whole catalogue of
diseases--but do nothing without a reason. Carry out this principle,
and you will probably do much good--hardly great harm; go upon any
other, and your measures are more likely to be productive of injury
than benefit.

The implements and tools require a good deal of looking after. By
keeping a memorandum of the distribution of any set of tools, they
will be much more likely to be forthcoming at the end of the month.
Axes, hoes, and other small tools, of which every hand has his own,
should have his number marked upon it with a steel punch. The strict
enforcement of one single rule will keep every thing straight: "Have a
place for every thing, and see that every thing is in its place."

Few instances of good management will better please an employer than
that of having all of the winter clothing spun and woven on the place.
By having a room devoted to that purpose, under charge of some one
of the old women, where those who may be complaining a little, or
convalescent after sickness, may be employed in some light work, and
where all of the women may be sent in wet weather, more than enough of
both cotton and woolen yarn can be spun for the supply of the place.

Of the principal staple crop of the plantation, whether cotton, sugar,
or rice, we shall not here speak.

Of the others--the provision crops--there is most commonly enough made
upon most plantations for their own supply. Rarely, however, is it
saved without great and inexcusable waste, and fed out without still
greater. And this, to their lasting shame be it said, is too often the
case to a disgraceful extent, when an overseer feels satisfied that he
will not remain another year upon the place. His conduct should be the
very opposite of this--an honorable, right-thinking man will feel a
particular degree of pride in leaving every thing in thorough order,
and especially an abundant supply of all kinds of feed. He thus
establishes a character for himself which _must_ have its effect.

Few plantations are so rich in soil as not to be improved by manure.
Inform yourself of the best means, suited to the location and soil
of the place under, your charge, of improving it in this and in every
other way. When an opportunity offers, carry out these improvements.
Rely upon it there are few employers who will not see and reward such
efforts. Draining, ditching, circling, hedging, road-making, building,
etc., may all be effected to a greater or less extent every season.

During the long evenings of winter improve your own mind and the
knowledge of your profession by reading and study. The many excellent
agricultural periodicals and books now published afford good and cheap
opportunities for this.

It is indispensable that you exercise judgment and consideration in
the management of the negroes under your charge. Be _firm_, and, at
the same time, _gentle_ in your control. Never display yourself before
them in a passion; and even if inflicting the severest punishment, do
so in a mild, cool manner, and it will produce a tenfold effect. When
you find it necessary to use the whip--and desirable as it would be to
dispense with it entirely, it _is_ necessary at times--apply it slowly
and deliberately, and to the extent you had determined, in your own
mind, to be needful before you began. The indiscriminate, constant,
and excessive use of the whip is altogether unnecessary and
inexcusable. When it can be done without a too great loss of time,
the stocks offer a means of punishment greatly to be preferred. So
secured, in a lonely, quiet place, where no communication can be held
with any one, nothing but bread and water allowed, and the confinement
extending from Saturday, when they drop work, until Sabbath evening,
will prove much more effectual in preventing a repetition of the
offense, than any amount of whipping. Never threaten a negro, but if
you have occasion to punish, do it at once, or say nothing until
ready to do so. A violent and passionate threat will often scare the
best-disposed negro to the woods. Always keep your word with them, in
punishments as well as in rewards. If you have named the penalty for
any certain offense, inflict it without listening to a word of excuse.
Never forgive that in one that you would punish in another, but treat
all alike, showing no favoritism. By pursuing such a course, you
convince them that you act from principle and not from impulse, and
will certainly enforce your rules. Whenever an opportunity is
afforded you for rewarding continued good behavior, do not let it
pass--occasional rewards have a much better effect than frequent

Never be induced by a course of good behavior on the part of the
negroes to relax the strictness of your discipline; but, when you have
by judicious management brought them to that state, keep them so
by the same means. By taking frequent strolls about the premises,
including of course the quarter and stock yards, during the evening,
and at least twice a week during the night, you will put a more
effectual stop to any irregularities than by the most severe
punishments. The only way to keep a negro honest, is not to trust him.
This seems a harsh assertion; but it is, unfortunately, too true.

You will find that an hour devoted, every Sabbath morning, to their
moral and religious instruction, would prove a great aid to you in
bringing about a better state of things among the negroes. It has
been thoroughly tried, and with the most satisfactory results, in many
parts of the South. As a mere matter of interest it has proved to be
advisable--to say nothing of it as a point of duty. The effect upon
their general good behavior, their cleanliness, and good conduct on
the Sabbath, is such as alone to recommend it to both planter and

In conclusion:--Bear in mind that _a fine crop_ consists, first, in an
increase in the number, and a marked improvement in the condition and
value, of the negroes; second, an abundance of provision of all sorts
for man and beast, carefully saved and properly housed; third, both
summer and winter clothing made at home; also leather tanned, and
shoes and harness made, when practicable; fourth, an improvement in
the productive qualities of the land, and in the general condition of
the plantation; fifth, the team and stock generally, with the farming
implements and the buildings, in fine order at the close of the year;
and young hogs more than enough for next year's killing; _then_, as
heavy a crop of cotton, sugar, or rice as could possibly be made
under these circumstances, sent to market in good season, and of prime
quality. The time has passed when the overseer is valued solely upon
the number of bales of cotton, hogsheads of sugar, or tierces of rice
he has made, without reference to other qualifications.

In contrast with the instructions to overseers under the old
management, I present the proclamation of General Banks, regulating
the system of free labor in the Department of the Gulf. These
regulations were in force, in 1864, along the Mississippi, from Helena
to New Orleans. They were found admirably adapted to the necessities
of the case. With a few changes, they have been continued in operation
during the present year:--



The following general regulations are published for the information
and government of all interested in the subject of compensated
plantation labor, public or private, during the present year, and in
continuation of the system established January 30, 1863:--

I. The enlistment of soldiers from plantations under cultivation in
this department having been suspended by order of the Government, will
not be resumed except upon direction of the same high authority.

II. The Provost-Marshal-General is instructed to provide for the
division of parishes into police and school districts, and to organize
from invalid soldiers a competent police for the preservation of

III. Provision will be made for the establishment of a sufficient
number of schools, one at least for each of the police and school
districts, for the instruction of colored children under twelve years
of age, which, when established, will be placed under the direction of
the Superintendent of Public Education.

IV. Soldiers will not be allowed to visit plantations without the
written consent of the commanding officer of the regiment or post to
which they are attached, and never with arms, except when on duty,
accompanied by an officer.

V. Plantation hands will not be allowed to pass from one place to
another, except under such regulations as may be established by the
provost-marshal of the parish.

VI. Flogging and other cruel or unusual punishments are interdicted.

VII. Planters will be required, as early as practicable after the
publication of these regulations, to make a roll of persons employed
upon their estates, and to transmit the same to the provost marshal of
the parish. In the employment of hands, the unity of families will be
secured as far as possible.

VIII. All questions between the employer and the employed, until other
tribunals are established, will be decided by the provost-marshal of
the parish.

IX. Sick and disabled persons will be provided for upon the
plantations to which they belong, except such as may be received in
establishments provided for them by the Government, of which one will
be established at Algiers and one at Baton Rouge.

X. The unauthorized purchase of clothing, or other property, from
laborers, will be punished by fine and imprisonment. The sale of
whisky or other intoxicating drinks to them, or to other persons,
except under regulations established by the Provost-Marshal-General,
will be followed by the severest punishment.

XL The possession of arms, or concealed or dangerous weapons, without
authority, will be punished by fine and imprisonment.

XII. Laborers shall render to their employer, between daylight
and dark, _ten_ hours in summer, and _nine_ hours in winter, of
respectful, honest, faithful labor, and receive therefor, in addition
to just treatment, healthy rations, comfortable clothing, quarters,
fuel, medical attendance, and instruction for children, wages per
month as follows, payment of one-half of which, at least, shall be
reserved until the end of the year:--

For first-class hands..... $8.00 per month.
For second-class hands....  6.00 " "
For third-class hands.....  5.00 " "
For fourth-class hands....  3.00 " "

Engineers and foremen, when faithful in the discharge of their
duties, will be paid $2 per month extra. This schedule of wages may
be commuted, by consent of both parties, at the rate of one-fourteenth
part of the net proceeds of the crop, to be determined and paid at
the end of the year. Wages will be deducted in case of sickness,
and rations, also, when sickness is feigned. Indolence, insolence,
disobedience of orders, and crime will be suppressed by forfeiture of
pay, and such punishments as are provided for similar offenses by Army
Regulations. Sunday work will be avoided when practicable, but when
necessary will be considered as extra labor, and paid at the rates
specified herein.

XIII. Laborers will be permitted to choose their employers, but when
the agreement is made they will be held to their engagement for one
year, under the protection of the Government. In cases of attempted
imposition, by feigning sickness, or stubborn refusal of duty, they
will be turned over to the provost-marshal of the parish, for labor
upon the public works, without pay.

XIV. Laborers will be permitted to cultivate land on private account,
as herein specified, as follows:

First and second class hands, with families..... 1   acre each.
First and second class hands, without families.. 1/2  "    "
Second and third class hands, with families..... 1/2  "    "
Second and third class hands, without families.. 1/4  "    "

To be increased for good conduct at the discretion of the employer.
The encouragement of independent industry will strengthen all the
advantages which capital derives from labor, and enable the laborer
to take care of himself and prepare for the time when he can render so
much labor for so much money, which is the great end to be attained.
No exemption will be made in this apportionment, except upon
imperative reasons; and it is desirable that for good conduct the
quantity be increased until faithful hands can be allowed to cultivate
extensive tracts, returning to the owner an equivalent of product for
rent of soil.

XV. To protect the laborer from possible imposition, no commutation
of his supplies will be allowed, except in clothing, which may be
commuted at the rate of $3 per month for first-class hands, and in
similar proportion for other classes. The crops will stand pledged,
wherever found, for the wages of labor.

XVI. It is advised, as far as practicable, that employers provide for
the current wants of their hands, by perquisites for extra labor,
or by appropriation of land for share cultivation; to discourage
monthly-payments so far as it can be done without discontent, and to
reserve till the full harvest the yearly wages.

XVII. A FREE-LABOR BANK will be established for the safe deposit of
all accumulations of wages and other savings; and in order to avoid a
possible wrong to depositors, by official defalcation, authority will
be asked to connect the bank with the Treasury of the United States in
this department.

XVIII. The transportation of negro families to other countries
will not be approved. All propositions for this privilege have been
declined, and application has been made to other departments for
surplus negro families for service in this department.

XIX. The last year's experience shows that the planter and the negro
comprehend the revolution. The overseer, having little interest
in capital, and less sympathy with labor, dislikes the trouble of
thinking, and discredits the notion that any thing new has occurred.
He is a relic of the past, and adheres to its customs. His stubborn
refusal to comprehend the condition of things, occasioned most of
the embarrassments of the past year. Where such incomprehension is
chronic, reduced wages, diminished rations, and the mild punishments
imposed by the army and navy, will do good.

XX. These regulations are based upon the assumption that labor is a
public duty, and idleness and vagrancy a crime. No civil or military
officer of the Government is exempt from the operation of this
universal rule. Every enlightened community has enforced it upon
all classes of people by the severest penalties. It is especially
necessary in agricultural pursuits. That portion of the people
identified with the cultivation of the soil, however changed in
condition by the revolution through which we are passing, is not
relieved from the necessity of toil, which is the condition of
existence with all the children of God. The revolution has altered its
tenure, but not its law. This universal law of labor will be enforced,
upon just terms, by the Government under whose protection the laborer
rests secure in his rights. Indolence, disorder, and crime will be
suppressed. Having exercised the highest right in the choice and place
of employment, he must be held to the fulfillment of his
engagements, until released therefrom by the Government. The several
provost-marshals are hereby invested with plenary powers upon
all matters connected with labor, subject to the approval of the
Provost-Marshal-General and the commanding officer of the department.
The most faithful and discreet officers will be selected for this
duty, and the largest force consistent with the public service
detailed for their assistance.

XXI. Employers, and especially overseers, are notified, that undue
influence used to move the marshal from his just balance between
the parties representing labor and capital, will result in immediate
change of officers, and thus defeat that regular and stable system
upon which the interests of all parties depend.

XXII. Successful industry is especially necessary at the present time,
when large public debts and onerous taxes are imposed to maintain and
protect the liberties of the people and the integrity of the Union.
All officers, civil or military, and all classes of citizens who
assist in extending the profits of labor, and increasing the product
of the soil upon which, in the end, all national prosperity and power
depends, will render to the Government a service as great as that
derived from the terrible sacrifices of battle. It is upon such
consideration only that the planter is entitled to favor. The
Government has accorded to him, in a period of anarchy, a release from
the disorders resulting mainly from insensate and mad resistance to
sensible reforms, which can never be rejected without revolution,
and the criminal surrender of his interests and power to crazy
politicians, who thought by metaphysical abstractions to circumvent
the laws of God. It has restored to him in improved, rather than
impaired condition, his due privileges, at a moment when, by his own
acts, the very soil was washed from beneath his feet.

XXIII. A more majestic and wise clemency human history does not
exhibit. The liberal and just conditions that attend it cannot be
disregarded. It protects labor by enforcing the performance of its
duty, and it will assist capital by compelling just contributions to
the demands of the Government. Those who profess allegiance to other
Governments will be required, as the condition of residence in this
State, to acquiesce, without reservation, in the demands presented by
Government as a basis of permanent peace. The non-cultivation of the
soil, without just reason, will be followed by temporary forfeiture to
those who will secure its improvement. Those who have exercised or
are entitled to the rights of citizens of the United States, will
be required to participate in the measures necessary for the
re-establishment of civil government. War can never cease except as
civil governments crush out contest, and secure the supremacy of moral
over physical power. The yellow harvest must wave over the crimson
field of blood, and the representatives of the people displace the
agents of purely military power.

XXIV. The amnesty offered for the past is conditioned upon an
unreserved loyalty for the future, and this condition will be enforced
with an iron hand. Whoever is indifferent or hostile, must choose
between the liberty which foreign lands afford, the poverty of the
Rebel States, and the innumerable and inappreciable blessings which
our Government confers upon its people.

May God preserve the Union of the States!

By order of Major-General Banks.

_Assistant Adjutant-General_.

The two documents have little similarity. Both are appropriate to the
systems they are intended to regulate. It is interesting to compare
their merits at the present time. It will be doubly interesting to
make a similar comparison twenty years hence.

While I was in Natchez, a resident of that city called my attention to
one of the "sad results of this horrid, Yankee war."

"Do you see that young man crossing the street toward ----'s store?"

I looked in the direction indicated, and observed a person whom I
supposed to be twenty-five years of age, and whose face bore the
marks of dissipation. I signified, by a single word, that I saw the
individual in question.

"His is a sad case," my Southern friend remarked.

"Whisky, isn't it?"

"Oh, no, I don't mean that. He does drink some, I know, but what I
mean is this: His father died about five years ago. He left his son
nothing but fourteen or fifteen niggers. They were all smart, young
hands, and he has been able to hire them out, so as to bring a
yearly income of two thousand dollars. This has supported him very
comfortably. This income stopped a year ago. The niggers have all run
away, and that young man is now penniless, and without any means of
support. It is one of the results of your infernal Abolition war."

I assented that it was a very hard case, and ought to be brought
before Congress at the earliest moment. That a promising young man
should be deprived of the means of support in consequence of this
Abolition war, is unfortunate--for the man.



The Negroes at Work.--Difficulties in the Way.--A Public Meeting.--A
Speech.--A Negro's Idea of Freedom.--A Difficult Question to
Determine.--Influence of Northern and Southern Men Contrasted.--An
Increase of Numbers.--"Ginning" Cotton.--In the Lint-Room.--Mills and
Machinery of a Plantation.--A Profitable Enterprise.

On each of the plantations the negroes were at work in the
cotton-field. I rode from one to the other, as circumstances made it
necessary, and observed the progress that was made. I could easily
perceive they had been accustomed to performing their labor under
fear of the lash. Some of them took advantage of the opportunity for
carelessness and loitering under the new arrangement. I could not be
in the field at all times, to give them my personal supervision. Even
if I were constantly present, there was now no lash to be feared.
I saw that an explanation of the new state of affairs would be an
advantage to all concerned. On the first Sunday of my stay on the
plantation, I called all the negroes together, in order to give them
an understanding of their position.

I made a speech that I adapted as nearly as possible to the
comprehension of my hearers. My audience was attentive throughout.
I made no allusions to Homer, Dante, or Milton; I did not quote from
Gibbon or Macaulay, and I neglected to call their attention to the
spectacle they were presenting to the crowned heads of Europe. I
explained to them the change the war had made in their condition,
and the way in which it had been effected. I told them that all cruel
modes of punishment had been abolished. The negroes were free, but
they must understand that freedom did not imply idleness. I read to
them the regulations established by the commissioners, and explained
each point as clearly as I was able. After I had concluded, I offered
to answer any questions they might ask.

There were many who could not understand why, if they were free, they
should be restricted from going where they pleased at all times. I
explained that it was necessary, for the successful management of the
plantation, that I should always be able to rely upon them. I asked
them to imagine my predicament if they should lose half their time, or
go away altogether, in the busiest part of the season. They "saw
the point" at once, and readily acknowledged the necessity of

I found no one who imagined that his freedom conferred the right of
idleness and vagrancy. All expected to labor in their new condition,
but they expected compensation for their labor, and did not look for
punishment. They expected, further, that their families would not
be separated, and that they could be allowed to acquire property for
themselves. I know there were many negroes in the South who expected
they would neither toil nor spin after being set free, but the belief
was by no means universal. The story of the negro at Vicksburg, who
expected his race to assemble in New York after the war, "and have
white men for niggers," is doubtless true, but it would find little
credence with the great majority of the freedmen of the South.

The schedule of wages, as established by the commissioners, was read
and explained. The negroes were to be furnished with house-rent,
rations, fuel, and medical attendance, free of charge. Able-bodied
males were to receive eight dollars a month. Other classes of laborers
would be paid according to the proportionate value of their services.
We were required to keep on hand a supply of clothing, shoes, and
other needed articles, which would be issued as required and
charged on account. All balances would be paid as soon as the first
installment of the cotton crop was sent to market.

This was generally satisfactory, though some of the negroes desired
weekly or monthly payments. One of them thought it would be better if
they could be paid at the end of each day, and suggested that silver
would be preferable to greenbacks or Confederate money. Most of them
thought the wages good enough, but this belief was not universal. One
man, seventy years old, who acted as assistant to the "hog-minder,"
thought he deserved twenty-five dollars per month, in addition to
his clothing and rations. Another, of the same age, who carried the
breakfast and dinner to the field, was of similar opinion. These were
almost the only exceptions. Those whose services were really valuable
acquiesced in the arrangement.

On our plantation there was an old negress named "Rose," who attended
the women during confinement. She was somewhat celebrated in her
profession, and received occasional calls to visit white ladies in the
neighborhood. After I had dismissed the negroes and sent them to their
quarters, I was called upon by Rose, to ascertain the rate at which
she would be paid. As she was regularly employed as one of the
house-servants, I allowed her the same wages that the other women
received. This was satisfactory, so far, but it was not entirely so.
She wished to understand the matter of perquisites.

"When I used to go out to 'tend upon white ladies," said Rose, "they
gave me ten dollars. Mistress always took half and let me keep the
other half."

"Well, hereafter, you may keep the ten dollars yourself."

"Thank you."

After a pause, she spoke again:

"Didn't you say the black people are free?"


"White people are free, too, ain't they?"


"Then why shouldn't you pay me ten dollars every time I 'tend upon the
black folks on the plantation?"

The question was evidently designed as a "corner." I evaded it by
assuring Rose that though free, the negroes had not attained all the
privileges that pertained to the whites, and I should insist on her
professional services being free to all on the plantation.

The negroes were frequently desirous of imitating the customs of white
people in a manner that should evince their freedom. Especially did
they desire to have no distinction in the payment of money, on account
of the color of the recipient.

After this Sunday talk with the negroes, I found a material
improvement. Occasionally I overheard some of them explaining to
others their views upon various points. There were several who
manifested a natural indolence, and found it difficult to get over
their old habits. These received admonitions from their comrades, but
could not wholly forget the laziness which was their inheritance. With
these exceptions, there was no immediate cause for complaint.

During the earlier part of my stay in that region, I was surprised at
the readiness with which the negroes obeyed men from the North, and
believed they would fulfill their promises, while they looked with
distrust on all Southern white men. Many owners endeavored in vain to
induce their negroes to perform certain labor. The first request made
by a Northern man to the same effect would be instantly complied with.
The negroes explained that their masters had been in the habit of
making promises which they never kept, and cited numerous instances to
prove the truth of their assertion. It seemed to have been a custom in
that region to deceive the negroes in any practicable manner. To make
a promise to a negro, and fail to keep it, was no worse than to lure a
horse into a stable-yard, by offering him a choice feed of corn, which
would prove but a single mouthful. That the negroes had any human
rights was apparently rarely suspected by their owners and overseers.
The distrust which many of the negroes entertained for their former
masters enabled the lessees to gain, at once, the confidence of
their laborers. I regret to say that this confidence was abused in a
majority of cases.

I gave the negroes a larger ration of meat, meal, and potatoes than
had been previously issued. As soon as possible, I procured a quantity
of molasses, coffee, and tobacco. These articles had not been seen
on the plantation for many months, and were most gladly received. As
there was no market in that vicinity where surplus provisions could
be sold, I had no fear that the negroes would resort to stealing,
especially as their daily supply was amply sufficient for their
support. It was the complaint of many overseers and owners that
the negroes would steal provisions on frequent occasions. If they
committed any thefts during my time of management, they were made
so carefully that I never detected them. It is proper to say that I
followed the old custom of locking the store-houses at all times.

Very soon after commencing labor I found that our working force must
be increased. Accordingly, I employed some of the negroes who were
escaping from the interior of the State and making their way to
Natchez. As there were but few mules on the plantation, I was
particularly careful to employ those negroes who were riding, rather
than walking, from slavery. If I could not induce these mounted
travelers to stop with us, I generally persuaded them to sell their
saddle animals. Thus, hiring negroes and buying mules, I gradually put
the plantation in a presentable condition. While the cotton was being
picked the blacksmith was repairing the plows, the harness-maker
was fitting up the harnesses for the mules, and every thing was
progressing satisfactorily. The gin-house was cleaned and made ready
for the last work of preparing cotton for the market. Mr. Colburn
arrived from the North after I had been a planter of only ten days'
standing. He was enthusiastic at the prospect, and manifested an
energy that was the envy of his neighbors.

It required about three weeks to pick our cotton. Before it was all
gathered we commenced "ginning" the quantity on hand, in order to make
as little delay as possible in shipping our "crop" to market.

The process of ginning cotton is pretty to look upon, though not
agreeable to engage in. The seed-cotton (as the article is called
when it comes from the field) is fed in a sort of hopper, where it is
brought in contact with a series of small and very sharp saws. From
sixty to a hundred of these saws are set on a shaft, about half an
inch apart. The teeth of these saws tear the fiber from the seed, but
do not catch the seed itself. A brush which revolves against the saws
removes the fiber from them at every revolution. The position of the
gin is generally at the end of a large room, and into this room the
detached fiber is thrown from the revolving brush.

This apartment is technically known as the "lint-room," and presents
an interesting scene while the process of ginning is going on. The air
is full of the flying lint, and forcibly reminds a Northerner of a New
England snow-storm. The lint falls, like the snow-flakes, with most
wonderful lightness, but, unlike the snow-flakes, it does not melt.
When the cotton is picked late in the season, there is usually a dense
cloud of dust in the lint-room, which settles in and among the fiber.
The person who watches the lint-room has a position far from enviable.
His lungs become filled with dust, and, very often, the fine, floating
fiber is drawn into his nostrils. Two persons are generally permitted
to divide this labor. There were none of the men on our plantation who
craved it. Some of the mischievous boys would watch their opportunity
to steal into the lint-room, where they greatly enjoyed rolling upon
the soft cotton. Their amusement was only stopped by the use of a
small whip.

The machinery of a cotton-gin is driven by steam or horse power;
generally the former. There is no water-power in the State of
Louisiana, but I believe some of the lakes and bayous might be turned
to advantage in the same way that the tide is used on the sea-coast.

All the larger plantations are provided with steam-engines, the
chimneys of which are usually carried to a height sufficient to remove
all danger from sparks. There is always a corn-mill, and frequently a
saw-mill attached to the gin, and driven by the same power. On
every plantation, one day in the week is set apart for grinding a
seven-days' supply of corn. This regulation is never varied, except
under the most extraordinary circumstances. There is a universal rule
in Louisiana, forbidding any person, white or black, smoking in the
inclosure where the gin-house stands. I was told there was a legal
enactment to this effect, that affixed heavy penalties to its
infringement. For the truth of this latter statement I cannot vouch.

With its own corn-mill, saw-mill, and smithery, each plantation is
almost independent of the neighborhood around it. The chief dependence
upon the outside world is for farming tools and the necessary
paraphernalia for the various branches of field-work. I knew one
plantation, a short distance from ours, whose owner had striven
hard to make it self-sustaining. He raised all the corn and all the
vegetables needed. He kept an immense drove of hogs, and cured his
own pork. Of cattle he had a goodly quantity, and his sheep numbered
nearly three hundred. Wool and cotton supplied the raw material for
clothing. Spinning-wheels and looms produced cloth in excess of what
was needed. Even the thread for making the clothing for the negroes
was spun on the plantation. Hats were made of the palmetto, which grew
there in abundance. Shoes were the only articles of personal wear not
of home production. Plows, hoes, and similar implements were purchased
in the market, but the plantation was provided with a very complete
repair-shop, and the workmen were famous for their skill.

The plantation, thus managed, yielded a handsome profit to its owner.
The value of each year's cotton crop, when delivered on the bank of
the river, was not less than forty thousand dollars. Including wages
of the overseer, and all outlays for repairs and purchase of such
articles as were not produced at home, the expenses would not exceed
five or six thousand dollars. Cotton-planting was very profitable
under almost any management, and especially so under a prudent and
economical owner. Being thus profitable with slave labor, it was
natural for the planters to think it could prosper under no other
system. "You can't raise cotton without niggers, and you must own the
niggers to raise it," was the declaration in all parts of the South.



Official Favors.--Division of Labor.--Moral Suasion.--Corn-gathering
in the South.--An Alarm.--A Frightened Irishman.--The Rebels
Approaching.--An Attack on Waterproof.--Falstaff Redivivus.--His Feats
of Arms.--Departure for New Orleans.

Our cotton having been ginned and baled, we made preparations for
shipping it to market. These preparations included the procurement
of a permit from the Treasury agent at Natchez, a task of no small
magnitude. An application for the permit required, in addition to my
own signature, the names of two property-owning citizens, as security
for payment of the duties on the cotton. This application being placed
in the hands of the Treasury agent, I was requested to call in two
hours. I did so, and was then put off two hours longer. Thus I spent
two whole days in frequent visits to that official. His memory was
most defective, as I was obliged to introduce myself on each occasion,
and tell him the object of my call.

A gentleman who had free access to the agent at all times hinted that
he could secure early attention to my business on payment for
his trouble. Many persons asserted that they were obliged to pay
handsomely for official favors. I do not _know_ this to be true. I
never paid any thing to the Treasury agent at Natchez or elsewhere,
beyond the legitimate fees, and I never found any man who would give
me a written statement that he had done so. Nevertheless, I had much
circumstantial evidence to convince me that the Treasury officials
were guilty of dishonorable actions. The temptation was great, and,
with proper care, the chances of detection were small.

Armed with my permit, I returned to the plantation. Mr. Colburn, in
my absence, had organized our force, lately engaged in cotton-picking,
into suitable parties for gathering corn, of which we had some three
hundred acres standing in the field. In New England I fear that corn
which had remained ungathered until the middle of February, would be
of comparatively little value. In our case it was apparently as sound
as when first ripened.

Corn-gathering in the South differs materially from corn-gathering in
the North. The negroes go through the field breaking the ears from the
stalks without removing the husk. The ears are thrown into heaps at
convenient distances from each other, and in regular rows. A wagon is
driven between these rows, and the corn gathered for the crib. Still
unhusked, it is placed in the crib, to be removed when needed. It is
claimed that the husk thus remaining on the corn, protects it from
various insects, and from the effect of the weather.

Every body of laborers on a plantation is called a "gang." Thus we had
"the picking-gang," "the corn-gang," "the trash-gang," "the hoe-gang,"
"the planting-gang," "the plow-gang," and so on through the list. Each
gang goes to the field in charge of a head negro, known as the driver.
This driver is responsible for the work of his gang, and, under the
old _régime_, was empowered to enforce his orders with the whip, if
necessary. Under our new dispensation the whip was laid aside, and a
milder policy took its place. It was satisfactory with the adults; but
there were occasions when the smaller boys were materially benefited
by applications of hickory shrubs. Solomon's words about sparing the
rod are applicable to children of one race as well as to those of
another. We did not allow our drivers to make any bodily punishment in
the field, and I am happy to say they showed no desire to do so.

As I have before stated, our first organization was the picking-gang.
Then followed the gin-gang and the press-gang. Our gin-gang was
organized on principles of total abstinence, and, therefore, differed
materially from the gin-gangs of Northern cities. Our press-gang,
unlike the press-gangs of New York or Chicago, had nothing to do with
morning publications, and would have failed to comprehend us had we
ordered the preparation of a sensation leader, or a report of the last
great meeting at Union Square. Our press-gang devoted its time and
energies to putting our cotton into bales of the proper size and

The corn-gang, the trash-gang, and the plow-gang were successively
organized by Mr. Colburn. Of the first I have spoken. The duties of
the second were to gather the corn-stalks or cotton-stalks, as the
case might be, into proper heaps for burning. As all this débris came
under the generic name of "trash," the appellation of the gang is
readily understood. Our trash-gang did very well, except in a certain
instance, when it allowed the fire from the trash to run across a
field of dead grass, and destroy several hundred feet of fence. In
justice to the negroes, I should admit that the firing of the grass
was in obedience to our orders, and the destruction of the fence
partly due to a strong wind which suddenly sprang up. The trash-gang
is usually composed of the younger children and the older women.
The former gather and pile the stalks which the latter cut up. They
particularly enjoy firing the heaps of dry trash.

It was on Saturday, the 13th of February, that our press-gang
completed its labors. On the afternoon of that day, as we were hauling
our cotton to the landing, the garrison at Waterproof, two miles
distant, suddenly opened with its artillery upon a real or supposed
enemy. A gun-boat joined in the affair, and for half an hour the
cannonade was vigorous. We could see the flashes of the guns and the
dense smoke rising through the trees, but could discover nothing more.
When the firing ceased we were somewhat anxious to know the result.
Very soon a white man, an Irishman, who had been a short time in
the vicinity to purchase cotton, reached our place in a state of
exhaustion. He told a frightful story of the surprise and massacre
of the whole garrison, and was very certain no one but himself had
escaped. He had fortunately concealed himself under a very small
bridge while the fight was going on. He called attention to his
clothes, which were covered with mud, to prove the truth of his

For a short time the situation had an unpleasant appearance. While
we were deliberating upon the proper measures for safety, one of our
negroes, who was in Waterproof during the firing, came to us with
_his_ story. The fight had been on our side, some guerrillas having
chased one of our scouting parties to a point within range of our
guns. Our men shelled them with artillery, and this was the extent
of the battle. The story of the Irishman, in connection with the true
account of the affair, forcibly reminded me of the famous battle of
Piketon, Kentucky, in the first year of the war.

On the next day (Sunday) I rode to Waterproof, leaving Colburn on the
plantation. Just as I arrived within the lines, I ascertained that an
attack was expected. The most stringent orders had been issued against
allowing any person to pass out. Ten minutes later a scout arrived,
saying that a force of Rebels was advancing to attack the post. The
gun-boat commenced shelling the woods in the rear of Waterproof, and
the artillery on land joined in the work. The Rebels did not get near
enough to make any serious demonstration upon the town. The day passed
with a steady firing from the gun-boat, relieved by an occasional
interval of silence. Toward night the small garrison was re-enforced
by the arrival of a regiment from Natchez. On the following day a
portion of General Ellet's Marine Brigade reached Waterproof, and
removed all possibility of further attack.

In the garrison of Waterproof, at the commencement of this fight,
there was a certain officer who could have sat for the portrait
of Falstaff with very little stuffing, and without great change of
character. Early in the war he belonged to an Eastern regiment, but on
that occasion he had no commission, though this fact was not generally
known. Nearly as large as Hackett's Falstaff, he was as much a gascon
as the hero of the Merry Wives of Windsor. He differed from Falstaff
in possessing a goodly amount of bravery, but this bravery was
accompanied with an entire absence of judgment.

In the early part of the fight, and until he was too drunk to move,
this _preux chevalier_ dashed about Waterproof, mounted on a small
horse, which he urged to the top of his speed. In one hand he
flourished a cane, and in the other a revolver. He usually allowed the
reins to lie on his horse's neck, except when he wished to change his
direction. With his abdomen protruding over the pommel of the saddle,
his stirrups several inches too short, one boot-leg outside his
pantaloons and the other inside, a very large hat pressed nearly to
his eyes, and a face flushed with excitement and whisky, he was a
study John Leech would have prized. Frequent and copious draughts of
the cup which cheers and inebriates placed him _hors de combat_ before
the close of the day.

From the crest of the levee, he could at any time discover several
lines of battle approaching the town. Frequently he informed the
commandant that the Rebels were about to open upon us with a dozen
heavy batteries, which they were planting in position for a long
siege. If the enemy had been in the force that this man claimed, they
could not have numbered less than fifty thousand. When unhorsed for
the last time during the day, he insisted that I should listen to the
story of his exploits.

"I went," said he, "to the colonel, this morning, and told him, sir,
to give me ten men, and I would go out and feel the enemy's position.
He gave me the men, and I went. We found the enemy not less than a
thousand strong, sir, behind Mrs. Miller's gin-house. They were the
advance of the whole Rebel army, sir, and I saw they must be driven
back. We charged, and, after a desperate fight, drove them. They
opposed us, sir, every inch of the way for two miles; but we routed
them. We must have killed at least a hundred of them, sir, and wounded
as many more. They didn't hurt a man of us; but the bullets flew very
thick, sir--very. I myself killed twelve of them with my own hand,
sir. This is the way it was, sir. This revolver, you see, sir, has six
barrels. I emptied it once, sir; I reloaded; I emptied it again, sir.
Two times six are twelve, sir. I killed twelve of them with my own
hand. Let it be recorded.

"On my way back, sir, I set fire to the gin-house, so that it should
no more be a shelter for those infernal Rebels. You yourself, sir, saw
that building in flames, and can testify to the truth of my story."

In this strain the warrior gave the history of his moments of glory.
The portion I have written was true in some points. He found three
men (instead of a thousand), and pursued them a few hundred yards. He
discharged his revolver at very long range, but I could not learn
that his shots were returned. He fired the gin-house "to cover his
retreat," and gained the fortifications without loss. I do not know
his locality at the present time, but presume he remained, up to the
close of the war, where storms of shot and shell continually darkened
the air, and where lines of battle were seen on every side.

The siege being raised, I returned to the plantation. From Waterproof,
during the fight, I could see our buildings with perfect distinctness.
I had much fear that some Rebel scouting party might pay the
plantation a visit while the attack was going on. I found, on my
return, that Colburn had taken the matter very coolly, and prevented
the negroes becoming alarmed. He declared that he considered the
plantation as safe as Waterproof, and would not have exchanged places
with me during the fight. The negroes were perfectly quiet, and
making preparations for plowing. While the fight was in progress, my
associate was consulting with the drivers about the details of work
for the ensuing week, and giving his orders with the utmost _sang
froid_. In consideration of the uncertainty of battles in general, and
the possibility of a visit at any moment from a party of Rebel scouts,
my partner's conduct was worthy of the highest commendation.

Before leaving Waterproof I had arranged for a steamer to call for our
cotton, which was lying on the river bank. Waterproof lay at one side
of the neck of a peninsula, and our plantation was at the other side.
It was two miles across this peninsula, and sixteen miles around it,
so that I could start on horseback, and, by riding very leisurely,
reach the other side, long in advance of a steamboat. The steamer came
in due time. After putting our cotton on board, I bade Mr. Colburn
farewell, and left him to the cares and perplexities of a planter's
life. I was destined for New Orleans, to sell our cotton, and to
purchase many things needed for the prosecution of our enterprise.

On my way down the river, I found that steamboat traveling was not an
entirely safe amusement. The boat that preceded me was fired upon
near Morganzia, and narrowly escaped destruction. A shell indented her
steam-pipe, and passed among the machinery, without doing any damage.
Had the pipe been cut, the steam would have filled every part of the

I was not disturbed by artillery on the occasion of my journey, but
received a compliment from small-arms. On the morning after leaving
Natchez, I was awakened by a volley of musketry from the river-bank.
One of the bullets penetrated the thin walls of the cabin and entered
my state-room, within two inches of my head. I preserved the missile
as a souvenir of travel.

On the next day the Rebels brought a battery of artillery to the spot.
A steamer received its greeting, but escaped with a single passenger

A gentleman who was on this boat had a very narrow escape. He told me
that he was awakened by the first shot, which passed through the upper
works of the steamer. He was occupying the upper berth in a state-room
on the side next the locality of the Rebels. His first impulse was to
spring from his resting-place, and throw himself at full length upon
the floor. He had hardly done so, when a shell entered the state-room,
and traversed the berth in the exact position where my friend had been

Having narrowly escaped death, he concluded not to run a second risk.
He returned to St. Louis by way of New York. Wishing to visit New
Orleans some time later, he sailed from New York on the _Electric
Spark_, and enjoyed the luxury of a capture by the pirates of the
"Confederate" steamer _Florida_. After that occurrence, he concluded
there was little choice between the ocean and river routes.



New Orleans and its Peculiarities.--Its Loss by the Rebellion.--Cotton
Factors in New Orleans.--Old Things passed away.--The Northern
Barbarians a Race of Shopkeepers.--Pulsations of the Cotton Market.--A
Quarrel with a Lady.--Contending for a Principle.--Inharmony of the
"Regulations."--An Account of Sales.

The first impression that New Orleans gives a stranger is its
unlikeness to Northern cities. It is built on ground that slopes
downward from the Mississippi. As one leaves the river and walks
toward the center of the city, he finds himself descending. New
Orleans is a hundred miles from the mouth of the Mississippi and only
six miles from Lake Pontchartrain, which is an arm of the sea. The
river at the city is ten feet above Lake Pontchartrain, so that New
Orleans is washed by water from the Mississippi and drained into the
lake. The water in the gutters always runs from the river, no matter
what may be its height. The steamers at the foot of Canal Street
appear above the spectator, when he stands a mile or two from the

There is no earthy elevation of any kind, except of artificial
construction, in the vicinity of New Orleans. The level surface of
the streets renders the transportation of heavy bodies a work of the
utmost ease. The greatest amount of merchandise that can be loaded
upon four wheels rarely requires the efforts of more than two animals.
The street-cars, unlike those of Northern cities, are drawn by a
single mule to each car, and have no conductors. The cemeteries
are above ground, and resemble the pigeon-holes of a post-office,
magnified to a sufficient size for the reception of coffins. There is
not a cellar in the entire city of New Orleans.

Musquitos flourish during the entire winter. In the summer there are
two varieties of these insects. The night-musquito is similar to
the insect which disturbs our slumbers in Northern latitudes. The
day-musquito relieves his comrade at sunrise and remains on duty
till sunset. He has no song, but his bite is none the less severe. He
disappears at the approach of winter, but his tuneful brother remains.
Musquito nettings are a necessity all the year round.

The public walks of New Orleans are justly the pride of the
inhabitants. Canal Street is probably the prettiest street in America.
Along its center is a double row of shade-trees, a promenade, and the
tracks of the street railway. These shade-trees are inclosed so as to
form a series of small parks for the entire length of the street.
On each side of these parks is a carriage-way, as wide as the great
thoroughfare of New York. Canal Street is the fashionable promenade of
New Orleans. In the days of glory, before the Rebellion, it presented
a magnificent appearance.

Among the prettiest of the parks of New Orleans is Jackson Square,
containing a fine equestrian statue of General Jackson. The pedestal
of the statue is emblazoned with the words:


The French element in New Orleans is apparent on every side. The
auctioneers cry their wares in mingled French and English, and the
negroes and white laborers on the levee converse in a hybrid language.
In the French quarter, every thing is French. The signs on the shops
and the street corners, the conversation of the inhabitants and the
shouts of the boys who play on the sidewalks, are in the vernacular of
_La Belle France_. In Jackson Square, notices to warn visitors not to
disturb the shrubbery, are posted in two languages, the French
being first. On one poster I saw the sentence: "_Ne touche pas à les
fleurs_," followed by the literal translation into English: "Don't
touch to the flowers." I was happy to observe that the caution was
very generally heeded.

Before the war, New Orleans was a city of wonderful wealth. Situated
at the outlet of the great valley, its trade in cotton, sugar, and
other products of the West and South, was immense. Boats, which
had descended from all points along the navigable portion of the
Mississippi, discharged their cargoes upon its levee. Ships of all
nations were at the wharves, receiving the rich freight that the
steamers had brought down. The piles of merchandise that lay along
the levee were unequaled in any other city of the globe. Money was
abundant, and was lavishly scattered in all directions.

With the secession of the Gulf States, the opening of hostilities,
and the blockade of the Mississippi at its mouth and at Cairo, the
prosperity of New Orleans disappeared. The steamers ceased to bring
cotton and sugar to its wharves, and its levee presented a picture
of inactivity. Many of the wealthy found themselves in straitened
circumstances, and many of the poor suffered and died for want of
food. For a whole year, while the Rebel flag floated over the city,
the business of New Orleans was utterly suspended.

With the passage of the forts and the capture of New Orleans by
Admiral Farragut, the Rebel rule was ended. Very slowly the business
of the city revived, but in its revival it fell into the hands of
Northern men, who had accompanied our armies in their advance. The old
merchants found themselves crowded aside by the ubiquitous Yankees.
With the end of the war, the glory of the city will soon return, but
it will not return to its old channels. More than any other city of
the South, New Orleans will be controlled by men of Northern birth
and sentiments. The day of slave-auctions in the rotunda of the St.
Charles has passed away forever.

New Orleans has a class of men peculiar to the South, whose business
it is to sell cotton for the planters. These gentlemen are known
as "factors," and, in former times, were numerous and successful.
Whatever a planter needed, from a quire of paper to a steam-engine,
he ordered his factor to purchase and forward. The factor obeyed the
order and charged the amount to the planter, adding two and a half per
cent, for commission.

If the planter wanted money, he drew upon the factor, and that
individual honored the draft. At the end of the season, it often
occurred that the planter was largely in debt to the factor. But the
cotton crop, when gathered, being consigned to the factor, canceled
this indebtedness, and generally left a balance in the planter's

The factor charged a good commission for selling the cotton, and
sometimes required interest upon the money he advanced. In the happy
days before the war, the factor's business was highly lucrative. The
advances to the planters, before the maturity of the cotton crop,
often required a heavy capital, but the risk was not great. Nearly
every planter was considerably indebted to his factor before his
cotton went forward. In many cases the proceeds of the entire crop
would but little more than cover the advances which had been made.

In New Orleans nearly all cotton is sold "by sample." Certain men are
licensed to "sample" cotton, for which they charge a specified sum per
bale. A hole is cut in the covering of each bale, and from this hole
a handful of cotton is pulled. Every bale is thus "sampled," without
regard to the size of the lot. The samples are taken to the sales-room
of the commission house, where they are open to the inspection of
buyers. The quality of the cotton is carefully noted, the length of
the fiber or staple, the whiteness of the sample, and its freedom from
dust or fragments of cotton-stalks. Not one bale in twenty is ever
seen by the buyers until after its purchase. Frequently the buyers
transfer their cotton to other parties without once looking upon
it Sometimes cotton is sold at auction instead of being offered at
private sale, but the process of "sampling" is carried out in either

In '63 and '64, New Orleans could boast of more cotton factors than
cotton. The principal business was in the hands of merchants from
the North, who had established themselves in the city soon after its
occupation by the National forces. Nearly all cotton sent to market
was from plantations leased by Northern men, or from purchases made
of planters by Northern speculators. The patronage naturally fell
into the hands of the new possessors of the soil, and left the old
merchants to pine in solitude. The old cotton factors, most of them
Southern men, who could boast of ten or twenty years' experience, saw
their business pass into the hands of men whose arrival in New Orleans
was subsequent to that of General Butler. Nearly all the old factors
were Secessionists, who religiously believed no government could exist
unless founded on raw cotton and slavery. They continually asserted
that none but themselves could sell cotton to advantage, and wondered
why those who had that article to dispose of should employ men
unaccustomed to its sale. They were doomed to find themselves false
prophets. The new and enterprising merchants monopolized the cotton
traffic, and left the slavery-worshiping factors of the olden time to
mourn the loss of their occupation.

At the time I visited New Orleans, cotton was falling. It had been
ninety cents per pound. I could only obtain a small fraction above
seventy cents, and within a week the same quality sold for sixty.
Three months afterward, it readily brought a dollar and a quarter per
pound. The advices from New York were the springs by which the market
in New Orleans was controlled. A good demand in New York made a good
demand in New Orleans, and _vice versâ_. The New York market was
governed by the Liverpool market, and that in turn by the demand at
Manchester. Thus the Old World and the New had a common interest in
the production of cotton. While one watched the demand, the other
closely observed the supply.

Some of the factors in New Orleans were fearful lest the attention
paid to cotton-culture in other parts of the world would prove
injurious to the South after the war should be ended. They had
abandoned their early belief that their cotton was king, and dreaded
the crash that was to announce the overthrow of all their hopes.

In their theory that cotton-culture was unprofitable, unless
prosecuted by slave labor, these men could only see a gloomy picture
for years to come. Not so the new occupants of the land. Believing
that slavery was not necessary to the production of sugar and cotton;
believing that the country could show far more prosperity under the
new system of labor than was ever seen under the old; and believing
that commerce would find new and enlarged channels with the return of
peace, they combated the secession heresies of the old residents, and
displayed their faith by their works. New Orleans was throwing off
its old habits and adopting the ideas and manners of Northern

Mrs. B., the owner of our plantation, was in New Orleans at the time
of my arrival. As she was to receive half the proceeds of the cotton
we had gathered, I waited upon her to tell the result of our labors.
The sale being made, I exhibited the account of sales to her agent,
and paid him the stipulated amount. So far all was well; but we were
destined to have a difference of opinion upon a subject touching the
rights of the negro.

Early in 1863 the Rebel authorities ordered the destruction of all
cotton liable to fall into the hands of the National forces. The order
was very generally carried out. In its execution, some four hundred
bales belonging to Mrs. B. were burned. The officer who superintended
the destruction, permitted the negroes on the plantation to fill their
beds with cotton, but not to save any in bales. When we were making
our shipment, Mr. Colburn proposed that those negroes who wished to
do so, could sell us their cotton, and fill their beds with moss or
husks. As we paid them a liberal price, they accepted our offer, and
we made up three bales from our purchase. We never imagined that Mrs.
B. would lay any claim to this lot, and did not include it in the
quantity for which we paid her half the proceeds.

After I had made the payment to her factor, I received a note from
the lady in reference to the three bales above mentioned. She said the
cotton in question was entirely her property; but, in consideration
of our careful attention to the matter, she would consent to our
retaining half its value. She admitted that she would have never
thought to bring it to market; but since we had collected and baled
it, she demanded it as her own. I "respectfully declined" to comply
with her request. I believed the negroes had a claim to what was saved
from the burning, and given to them by the Rebel authorities. Mrs.
B. was of the opinion that a slave could own nothing, and therefore
insisted that the cotton belonged to herself.

Very soon after sending my reply, I was visited by the lady's factor.
A warm, though courteous, discussion transpired. The factor was a
Secessionist, and a firm believer in the human and divine right
of slavery. He was a man of polished exterior, and was, doubtless,
considered a specimen of the true Southern gentleman. In our talk on
the subject in dispute, I told him the Rebels had allowed the
negroes to fill their beds with cotton, and it was this cotton we had

"The negroes had no right to sell it to you," said the factor;
"neither had you any right to purchase it."

"If it was given to them," I asked, "was it not theirs to sell?"

"Certainly not. The negroes own nothing, and can own nothing. Every
thing they have, the clothes they wear and the dishes they use,
belongs to their owners. When we 'give' any thing to a negro, we
merely allow it to remain in his custody, nothing more."

"But in this case," said I, "the gift was not made by the owner. The
cotton was to be destroyed by order of your Confederate Government.
That order took it from Mrs. B.'s possession. When the officer came to
burn the cotton, and gave a portion to the negroes to fill their beds,
he made no gift to Mrs. B."

"Certainly he did. The cotton became hers, when it was given to her
negroes. If you give any thing to one of my negroes, that article
becomes my property as much as if given to me."

"But how is it when a negro, by working nights or Saturdays, manages
to make something for himself?"

"That is just the same. Whatever he makes in that way belongs to his
master. Out of policy we allow him to keep it, but we manage to have
him expend it for his own good. The negro is the property of his
master, and can own nothing for himself."

"But in this case," I replied, "I have promised to pay the negroes for
the cotton. It would be unjust to them to fail to do so."

"You must not pay them any thing for it. Whatever you have promised
makes no difference. It is Mrs. B.'s property, not theirs. If you pay
them, you will violate all our customs, and establish a precedent very
bad for us and for yourself."

I assured the gentleman I should feel under obligation to deal justly
with the negroes, even at the expense of violating Southern precedent.
"You may not be aware," I remarked, "of the magnitude of the change in
the condition of the Southern negro during the two years just closed.
The difference of opinion between your people and ourselves is, no
doubt, an honest one. We shall be quite as persistent in pushing our
views at the present time as you have been in enforcing yours in the
past. We must try our theory, and wait for the result."

We separated most amiably, each hoping the other would eventually see
things in their true light. From present indications, the weight of
public opinion is on my side, and constantly growing stronger.

My sales having been made, and a quantity of plantation supplies
purchased, I was ready to return. It was with much difficulty that I
was able to procure permits from the Treasury agent at New Orleans to
enable me to ship my purchases. Before leaving Natchez, I procured all
the documents required by law. Natchez and New Orleans were not in the
same "district," and consequently there was much discord. For example,
the agent at Natchez gave me a certain document that I should exhibit
at New Orleans, and take with me on my return to Natchez. The agent
at New Orleans took possession of this document, and, on my
expostulating, said the agent at Natchez "had no right" to give me
instructions to retain it. He kept the paper, and I was left without
any defense against seizure of the goods I had in transit. They were
seized by a Government officer, but subsequently released. On my
arrival at Natchez, I narrated the occurrence to the Treasury agent at
that point. I was informed that the agent at New Orleans "could not"
take my papers from me, and I should not have allowed him to do so.

I was forcibly reminded of the case of the individual who was once
placed in the public stocks. On learning his offense, a lawyer told
him, "Why, Sir, they can't put you in the stocks for _that_."

"But they have."

"I tell you they can't do it."

"But, don't you see, they have."

"I tell you again they can't do any such thing."

In my own case, each Treasury agent declared the other "could not" do
the things which had been done. In consequence of the inharmony of
the "regulations," the most careful shipper would frequently find his
goods under seizure, from which they could generally be released
on payment of liberal fees and fines. I do not know there was any
collusion between the officials, but I could not rid myself of the
impression there was something rotten in Denmark. The invariable
result of these little quarrels was the plundering of the shippers.
The officials never suffered. Like the opposite sides of a pair of
shears, though cutting against each other, they only injured whatever
was between them.

Not a hundredth part of the official dishonesty at New Orleans and
other points along the Mississippi will ever be known. Enough has
been made public to condemn the whole system of permits and Treasury
restrictions. The Government took a wise course when it abolished,
soon after the suppression of the Rebellion, a large number of the
Treasury Agencies in the South. As they were managed during the last
two years of the war, these agencies proved little else than schools
of dishonesty. There may have been some honest men in those offices,
but they contrived to conceal their honesty.

To show the variety of charges which attach to a shipment of cotton,
I append the sellers' account for the three bales about which Mrs. B.
and myself had our little dispute. These bales were not sold with the
balance of our shipment. The cotton of which they were composed was of
very inferior quality.

_Account Sales of Three Bales of Cotton for Knox & Colburn._
 Mark, |    3 bales.                           ||    |    ||      |
"K. C."|    Weight,    }  1,349 @..............|| $0 | 60 || $809 | 40
       | 533--406--410 }                       ||    |    ||      |
       | Auctioneers' commission, 1 pr. ct.....||  8 | 09 ||      |
       | Sampling .............................||    | 30 ||      |
       | Weighing .............................||    | 50 ||      |
       | Watching..............................||    | 50 ||      |
       | Tarpaulins ...........................||    | 50 ||      |
       | Freight, $10 pr. bale ................|| 30 | 00 ||      |
       | Insurance, $2.50 pr. bale ............||  7 | 50 ||      |
       | 4 c. pr. lb. (tax) on 1,349 lb .......|| 53 | 96 ||      |
       | 1/2 c.   "       "   "    " ..........||  6 | 74 ||      |
       | Permit and stamps ....................||    | 65 ||      |
       | Hospital fees, $5 pr. bale............|| 15 | 00 ||      |
       | Factors' commission, 1 pr. ct.........||  8 | 09 ||      |
       |                                       || -- | -- ||  131 | 83
       |                                       ||    |    || ---- | --
E.O.E. |     Net proceeds......................||    |    || $677 | 57
NEW ORLEANS, La., _February 22_, 1864.

It will be seen by the above that the charges form an important
portion of the proceeds of a sale. The heaviest items are for
Government and hospital taxes. The latter was levied before the war,
but the former is one of the fruits of the Rebellion. It is likely to
endure for a considerable time.

I knew several cases in which the sales of cotton did not cover the
charges, but left a small bill to be paid by the owner. Frequently,
cotton that had been innocently purchased and sent to market
was seized by Government officials, on account of some alleged
informality, and placed in the public warehouses. The owner could get
no hearing until he made liberal presents of a pecuniary character to
the proper authorities.

After much delay and many bribes, the cotton would be released. New
charges would appear, and before a sale could be effected the whole
value of the cotton would be gone.

A person of my acquaintance was unfortunate enough to fall into the
hands of the Philistines in the manner I have described above. At the
end of the transaction he found himself a loser to the extent of three
hundred dollars. He has since been endeavoring to ascertain the amount
of traffic on a similar scale that would be needed to make him a
millionaire. At last accounts he had not succeeded in solving the



Mysteries of Mule-trading.--"What's in a Name?"--Process of Stocking
a Plantation.--An Enterprising White Man.--Stratagem of a
Yankee.--Distributing Goods to the Negroes.--The Tastes of the
African.--Ethiopian Eloquence.--A Colored Overseer.--Guerrillas
Approaching.--Whisky _vs_. Guerrillas.--A Hint to Military Men.

On my return from New Orleans to the plantation, I found that Colburn
had been pushing our business with a rapidity and skill that secured
the admiration of everyone around us. He had increased our working
force, and purchased a goodly number of mules. We had seventeen plows
in operation, and two teams engaged in gathering corn, on the day
before my arrival. The "trash-gang" was busy, and other working
parties were occupied with their various duties. We were looking to a
brilliant future, and echoed the wish of Jefferson Davis, to be "let

The enterprise of a lessee at that time, and in that locality, was
illustrated by his ability to supply his plantation with mules. There
were many who failed in the effort, but my associate was not of the
number. There were but few mules in the Natchez market--not enough to
meet a tenth of the demand. Nearly every plantation had been stripped
of working animals by one army or the other. Before our arrival the
Rebels plundered all men suspected of lukewarmness in the cause. When
the National army obtained possession, it took nearly every thing
the Rebels had left. All property believed to belong to the Rebel
Government was passed into the hands of our quartermaster.

A planter, named Caleb Shields, had a large plantation near Natchez,
which had not been disturbed by the Rebels. His mules were branded
with the letters "C.S.," the initials of their owner. As these letters
happened to be the same that were used by the Confederate Government,
Mr. Shields found his mules promptly seized and "confiscated." Before
he could explain the matter and obtain an order for their return, his
animals were sent to Vicksburg and placed in the Government corral. If
the gentleman had possessed other initials, it is possible (though not
certain) he might have saved his stock.

Mules being very scarce, the lessees exercised their skill in
supplying themselves with those animals. On my first arrival at the
plantation, I took care to hire those negroes who were riding from the
interior, or, at all events, to purchase their animals. In one day I
obtained two horses and four mules. An order had been issued for the
confiscation of beasts of burden (or draught) brought inside the
lines by negroes. We obtained permission to purchase of these runaway
negroes whatever mules they would sell, provided we could make our
negotiations before they reached the military lines.

Immediately after my departure, Mr. Colburn stationed one of our men
on the road near our house, with orders to effect a trade with every
mounted negro on his way to Natchez. The plan was successful. From two
to a half-dozen mules were obtained daily. During the two weeks of my
absence nearly fifty mules were purchased, placing the plantation in
good order for active prosecution of our planting enterprise. At
the same time many lessees in our vicinity were unable to commence
operations, owing to their inability to obtain working stock.

The negroes discovered that the mule market was not well supplied, and
some of the more enterprising and dishonest sons of Ham endeavored
to profit by the situation. Frequently mules would be offered at
a suspiciously low price, with the explanation that the owner was
anxious to dispose of his property and return home. Some undertook
nocturnal expeditions, ten or twenty miles into the interior, where
they stole whatever mules they could find. A few of the lessees
suffered by the loss of stock, which was sold an hour after it was
stolen, and sometimes to the very party from whom it had been taken.
We took every care to avoid buying stolen property, but were sometimes

On one occasion I purchased a mule of a negro who lived at Waterproof.
The purchase was made an hour before sunset, and the animal was stolen
during the night. On the following morning, Colburn bought it again
of the same party with whom I had effected my trade. After this
occurrence, we adopted the plan of branding each mule as soon as it
came into our hands. All the lessees did the same thing, and partially
protected each other against fraud.

White men were the worst mule-thieves, and generally instructed the
negroes in their villainy. There were several men in Natchez who
reduced mule-stealing to a science, and were as thoroughly skilled
in it as Charley Bates or the Artful Dodger in the science of picking
pockets. One of them had four or five white men and a dozen negroes
employed in bringing stock to market. I think he retired to St. Louis,
before the end of May, with ten or twelve thousand dollars as the
result of three months' industry.

Some of the lessees resorted to questionable methods for supplying
their plantations with the means for plowing and planting. One of
them occupied a plantation owned by a man who refused to allow his own
stock to be used. He wished to be neutral until the war was ended.

This owner had more than sixty fine mules, that were running loose in
the field. One day the lessee told the owner that he had purchased
a lot of mules at Natchez, and would bring them out soon. On the
following night, while the owner slept, the lessee called some trusty
negroes to his aid, caught seventeen mules from the field, sheared and
branded them, and placed them in a yard by themselves. In the morning
he called the owner to look at the "purchase."

"You have bought an excellent lot," said the latter individual. "Where
were they from?"

"All from St. Louis." was the response. "They were brought down two
days ago. I don't know what to do about turning them out. Do you
think, if I put them with yours, there is any danger of their
straying, on account of being on a strange place?"

"None at all. I think there is no risk."

The lessee took the risk, and expressed much delight to find that the
new mules showed themselves at home on the plantation.

Several days later the owner of the plantation discovered the loss
of his mules, but never suspected what had become of them. Two weeks
afterward, the Rebels came and asked him to designate the property of
the lessee, that they might remove it. He complied by pointing out
the seventeen mules, which the Rebels drove away, leaving the balance

I landed at the plantation one Sunday evening, with the goods I had
purchased in New Orleans. I was met with the unwelcome information
that the small force at Waterproof, after committing many depredations
on the surrounding country, had been withdrawn, leaving us exposed
to the tender mercies of the indignant chivalry. We were liable to
be visited at any moment. We knew the Rebels would not handle us very
tenderly, in view of what they had suffered from our own men. A party
of guerrillas was reported seven miles distant on the day previous,
and there was nothing to hinder their coming as near as they chose.

Accordingly, we determined to distribute the goods among the negroes
as early as possible. On Monday morning we commenced. There was some
delay, but we succeeded in starting a very lively trade before seven

Shoes were in great demand, as the negroes had not been supplied with
these articles for nearly three years. A hundred pairs were speedily
issued, when the balance was laid aside for future consideration.
There were some of the negroes whose feet were too large for any
shoes we had purchased. It was a curious fact that these large-footed
negroes were not above the ordinary stature. I remember one in
particular who demanded "thirteens," but who did not stand more than
five feet and five inches in his invisible stockings.

After the shoes, came the material for clothing. For the men we had
purchased "gray denims" and "Kentucky jeans;" for the women, "blue
denims" and common calico. These articles were rapidly taken, and with
them the necessary quantity of thread, buttons, etc. A supply of huge
bandana kerchiefs for the head was eagerly called for. I had procured
as many of these articles as I thought necessary for the entire number
of negroes on the plantation; but found I had sadly miscalculated. The
kerchiefs were large and very gaudy, and the African taste was at once
captivated by them. Instead of being satisfied with one or two, every
negro desired from six to a dozen, and was much disappointed at the
refusal. The gaudy colors of most of the calicoes created a great
demand, while a few pieces of more subdued appearance were wholly
discarded. White cotton cloth, palm-leaf hats, knives and forks, tin
plates, pans and dishes, and other articles for use or wear, were
among the distributions of the day.

Under the slave-owner's rule, the negro was entitled to nothing
beyond his subsistence and coarse clothing. Out of a large-hearted
generosity the master gave him various articles, amounting, in the
course of a year, to a few dollars in value. These articles took
the name of "presents," and their reception was designed to inspire
feelings of gratitude in the breast of the slave.

Most of the negroes understood that the new arrangements made an end
of present-giving. They were to be paid for all their labor, and were
to pay for whatever they received. When the plan was first announced,
all were pleased with it; but when we came to the distribution of the
goods, many of the negroes changed their views. They urged that the
clothing, and every thing else we had purchased, should be issued as
"presents," and that they should be paid for their labor in addition.
Whatever little advantages the old system might have, they wished to
retain and ingraft upon their new life. To be compensated for labor
was a condition of freedom which they joyfully accepted. To receive
"presents" was an apparent advantage of slavery which they did not
wish to set aside.

The matter was fully explained, and I am confident all our auditors
understood it. Those that remained obstinate had an eye to their
personal interests. Those who had been sick, idle, absent, or
disabled, were desirous of liberal gifts, while the industrious were
generally in favor of the new system, or made no special opposition to

One negro, who had been in our employ two weeks, and whose whole labor
in that time was less than four days, thought he deserved a
hundred dollars' worth of presents, and compensation in money for
a fortnight's toil. All were inclined to value their services very
highly; but there were some whose moderation knew no bounds.

A difficulty arose on account of certain promises that had been
made to the negroes by the owner of the plantation, long before our
arrival. Mrs. B. had told them (according to their version) that the
proceeds of the cotton on the plantation should be distributed in the
form of presents, whenever a sale was effected. She did not inform us
of any such promise when we secured the lease of the plantation. If
she made any agreement to that effect, it was probably forgotten.
Those who claimed that this arrangement had been made desired liberal
presents in addition to payment for their labor. Our non-compliance
with this demand was acknowledged to be just, but it created
considerable disappointment.

One who had been her mistress's favorite argued the question with an
earnestness that attracted my attention. Though past sixty years of
age, she was straight as an arrow, and her walk resembled that of a
tragedy queen. In her whole features she was unlike those around her,
except in her complexion, which was black as ink. There was a clear,
silvery tone to her voice, such as I have rarely observed in persons
of her race. In pressing her claim, she grew wonderfully eloquent, and
would have elicited the admiration of an educated audience. Had there
been a school in that vicinity for the development of histrionic
talent in the negro race, I would have given that woman a
recommendation to its halls.

During my absence, Mr. Colburn employed an overseer on our smaller
plantation, and placed him in full charge of the work. This overseer
was a mulatto, who had been fifteen years the manager of a large
plantation about seven miles distant from ours. In voice and manner he
was a white man, but his complexion and hair were those of the subject
race. There was nothing about the plantation which he could not master
in every point. Without being severe, he was able to accomplish all
that had been done under the old system. He imitated the customs of
the white man as much as possible, and it was his particular ambition
to rank above those of his own color. As an overseer he was fully
competent to take charge of any plantation in that locality. During
all my stay in the South, I did not meet a white overseer whom I
considered the professional equal of this negro.

"Richmond" was the name to which our new assistant answered. His
master had prevented his learning to read, but allowed him to acquire
sufficient knowledge of figures to record the weight of cotton in the
field. Richmond could mark upon the slate all round numbers between
one hundred and four hundred; beyond this he was never able to go. He
could neither add nor subtract, nor could he write a single letter of
the alphabet. He was able, however, to write his own name very badly,
having copied it from a pass written by his master. He had possessed
himself of a book, and, with the help of one of our negroes who
knew the alphabet, he was learning to read. His house was a model
of neatness. I regret to say that he was somewhat tyrannical when
superintending the affairs of his domicile.

As the day of our distribution of goods was a stormy one, Richmond was
called from the plantation to assist us. Under his assistance we were
progressing fairly, interrupted occasionally by various causes of
delay. Less than half the valuable articles were distributed, when our
watches told us it was noon. Just as we were discussing the propriety
of an adjournment for dinner, an announcement was made that banished
all thoughts of the mid-day meal.

One of our boys had been permitted to visit Waterproof during the
forenoon. He returned, somewhat breathless, and his first words
dropped like a shell among the assembled negroes:

"_The Rebels are in Waterproof_."

"How do you know?"

"I saw them there, and asked a lady what they were. She said they were
Harrison's Rebels."

We told the negroes to go to their quarters. Richmond mounted his
horse and rode off toward the plantation of which he had charge. In
two minutes, there was not a negro in the yard, with the exception of
the house-servants. Our goods were lying exposed. We threw some of the
most valuable articles into an obscure closet.

At the first alarm we ordered our horses brought out. When the animals
appeared we desisted from our work.

"The Rebels are coming down the road," was the next bulletin from the

We sprang upon our horses and rode a hundred yards along the front of
our "quarter-lot," to a point where we could look up the road toward
Waterproof. There they were, sure enough, thirty or more mounted men,
advancing at a slow trot. They were about half a mile distant, and,
had we been well mounted, there was no doubt of our easy escape.

"Now comes the race," said Colburn. "Twenty miles to Natchez. A single
heat, with animals to go at will."

We turned our horses in the direction of Natchez.

"Stop," said I, as we reached the house again. "They did not see us,
and have not quickened their pace. Strategy, my boy, may assist us a

Throwing my bridle into Colburn's hand, I slid from my saddle and
bounded into the dwelling. It was the work of a moment to bring out
a jug and a glass tumbler, but I was delayed longer than I wished
in finding the key of our closet. The jug contained five gallons of
excellent whisky (so pronounced by my friends), and would have been a
valuable prize in any portion of the Confederacy.

Placing the jug and tumbler side by side on the veranda, in full view
from the road, I remounted, just as the Rebels reached the corner of
our quarter-lot.

"We have pressing engagements in Natchez," said Colburn.

"So we have," I replied; "I had nearly forgotten them. Let us lose no
time in meeting them."

As we rode off, some of the foremost Rebels espied us and quickened
their pace. When they reached the house they naturally looked toward
it to ascertain if any person was there. They saw the jug, and were at
once attracted. One man rode past the house, but the balance stopped.
The minority of one was prudent, and returned after pursuing us less
than fifty yards. The whisky which the jug contained was quickly
absorbed. With only one tumbler it required some minutes to drain the
jug. These minutes were valuable.

Whisky may have ruined many a man, but it saved us. Around that
seductive jug those thirty guerrillas became oblivious to our escape.
We have reason to be thankful that we disobeyed the rules of strict
teetotalers by "keeping liquor in the house."

I was well mounted, and could have easily kept out of the way of any
ordinary chase. Colburn was only fairly mounted, and must have been
run down had there been a vigorous and determined pursuit. As each
was resolved to stand by the other, the capture of one would have
doubtless been the capture of both.

[Illustration: "STRATEGY, MY BOY!"]



News of the Raid.--Returning to the Plantation.--Examples of Negro
Cunning.--A Sudden Departure and a Fortunate Escape.--A Second
Visit.--"Going Through," in Guerrilla Parlance.--How it is
Accomplished.--Courtesy to Guests.--A Holiday Costume.--Lessees
Abandoning their Plantations.--Official Promises.

As soon as satisfied we were not followed we took a leisurely pace,
and in due time reached Natchez. Four hours later we received the
first bulletin from the plantation. About thirty guerrillas had been
there, mainly for the purpose of despoiling the plantation next above
ours. This they had accomplished by driving off all the mules. They
had not stolen _our_ mules, simply because they found as much cloth
and other desirable property as they wished to take on that occasion.
Besides, our neighbor's mules made as large a drove as they could
manage. They promised to come again, and we believed they would keep
their word. We ascertained that my strategy with the whisky saved us
from pursuit.

On the next day a messenger arrived, saying all was quiet at the
plantation. On the second day, as every thing continued undisturbed,
I concluded to return. Colburn had gone to Vicksburg, and left me
to look after our affairs as I thought best. We had discussed the
propriety of hiring a white overseer to stay on the plantation during
our absence. The prospect of visits from guerrillas convinced us
that _we_ should not spend much of our time within their reach. We
preferred paying some one to risk his life rather than to risk our
own lives. The prospect of getting through the season without serious
interruption had become very poor, but we desired to cling to the
experiment a little longer. Once having undertaken it, we were
determined not to give it up hastily.

I engaged a white man as overseer, and took him with me to the
plantation. The negroes had been temporarily alarmed at the visit
of the guerrillas, but, as they were not personally disturbed, their
excitement was soon allayed. I found them anxiously waiting my return,
and ready to recommence labor on the following day.

The ravages of the guerrillas on that occasion were not extensive.
They carried off a few bolts of cloth and some smaller articles, after
drinking the whisky I had set out for their entertainment. The negroes
had carefully concealed the balance of the goods in places where a
white man would have much trouble in finding them. In the garden there
was a row of bee-hives, whose occupants manifested much dislike for
all white men, irrespective of their political sentiments. Two unused
hives were filled with the most valuable articles on our invoice, and
placed at the ends of this row. In a clump of weeds under the bench on
which the hives stood, the negroes secreted several rolls of cloth
and a quantity of shoes. More shoes and more cloth were concealed in
a hen-house, under a series of nests where several innocent hens were
"sitting." Crockery was placed among the rose-bushes and tomato-vines
in the garden; barrels of sugar were piled with empty barrels of
great age; and two barrels of molasses had been neatly buried in a
freshly-ploughed potato-field. Obscure corners in stables and sheds
were turned into hiding-places, and the cunning of the negro was well
evinced by the successful concealment of many bulky articles.

It was about two o'clock in the afternoon when I arrived at the
plantation. I immediately recommenced the issue of goods, which was
suspended so hastily three days before. From two o'clock until dark
the overseer and myself were busily engaged, and distributed about
two-thirds of our remaining stock. Night came. We suspended the
distribution and indulged in supper. After giving the overseer
directions for the morrow, I recollected an invitation to spend the
night at the house of a friend, three miles away, on the road to

I ordered my horse, and in a few moments the animal was ready, at the
door. I told the overseer where I was going, and bade him good-night.

"Where are you going, Mr. K----?" said the negro who had brought out
the horse, as he delivered the bridle into my hands.

"If any one calls to see me," said I, "you can say I have gone to

With that I touched a spur to my horse and darted off rapidly toward
my friend's house. A half-dozen negroes had gathered to assist in
saddling and holding the horse. As I sprang into the saddle I heard
one of them say:

"I don't see why Mr. K---- starts off to Natchez at this time of

Another negro explained the matter, but I did not hear the
explanation. If he gave a satisfactory reason, I think he did better
than I could have done.

Immediately after my departure the overseer went to bed. He had been
in bed about fifteen minutes when he heard a trampling of horses' feet
around the house. A moment later there was a loud call for the door to
be opened. Before the overseer could comply with the request, the door
was broken in. A dozen men crowded into the house, demanding that a
light be struck instantly. As the match gave its first flash of light,
one of the visitors said:

"Well, K----, we've got you this time."

"That," said another, "is no K----; that is Walter Owen, who used to
be overseer on Stewart's plantation."

"What are you doing here?" demanded another.

Mr. Owen, trembling in his night-clothes, replied that he had been
engaged to stay there as overseer.

"Where is K----, and where is Colburn?"

"Mr. Colburn hasn't been here since last Monday. Mr. K---- has gone to

"That's a ---- lie," said one of the guerrillas. "We know he came here
at two o'clock this afternoon, and was here at dark. He is somewhere
around this house."

In vain did Owen protest I was not there. Every room and every
closet in the house was searched. A pile of bagging in a garret was
overhauled, in the expectation that I was concealed within it. Even
the chimneys were not neglected, though I doubt if the smallest of
professional sweeps could pass through them. One of the guerrillas
opened a piano, to see if I had not taken refuge under its cover. They
looked into all possible and impossible nooks and corners, in the
hope of finding me somewhere. At last they gave up the search, and
contented themselves with promising to catch both Colburn and myself
before long.

"We want to go through those d--d Abolitionists, and we will do it,
too. They may dodge us for a while, but we will have them by-and-by."

Not being privileged to "go through" me as they had anticipated, the
gentlemanly guerrillas went through the overseer. They took his money,
his hat, his pantaloons, and his saddle. His horse was standing in
the stable, and they took that also. They found four of our mules, and
appropriated them to their own use. They frightened one of the negroes
into telling where certain articles were concealed, and were thus
enabled to carry off a goodly amount of plunder. They threatened Mr.
Owen with the severest punishment, if he remained any longer on the
plantation. They possessed themselves of a "protection" paper which
Mrs. B. had received from the commander at Natchez several months
before, and were half inclined to burn her buildings as a punishment
for having sought the favor of the Yankees. Their stay was of only an
hour's duration.

From our plantation the robbers went to the one next above, where they
were more fortunate in finding the lessees at home. They surrounded
the house in the same manner they had surrounded ours, and then burst
open the doors. The lessees were plundered of every thing in the shape
of money, watches, and knives, and were forced to exchange hats
and coats with their captors. One of the guerrillas observed an
ivory-headed pencil, which he appropriated to his own use, with the

"They don't make these things back here in the woods. When they do, I
will send this one back."

These lessees were entertaining some friends on that evening, and
begged the guerrillas to show them some distinction.

"D--n your friends," said the guerrilla leader; "I suppose they are

"Yes, they are; we should claim friendship with nobody else."

"Then we want to see what they have, and go through them if it is
worth the while."

The strangers were unceremoniously searched. Their united
contributions to the guerrilla treasury were two watches, two
revolvers, three hundred dollars in money, and their hats and
overcoats. Their horses and saddles were also taken. In consideration
of their being guests of the house, these gentlemen were allowed to
retain their coats. They were presented with five dollars each, to pay
their expenses to Natchez. No such courtesy was shown to the lessees
of the plantation.

On the following morning, I was awakened at an early hour by the
arrival of a negro from our plantation, with news of the raid. A
little later, Mr. Owen made his appearance, wearing pantaloons and hat
that belonged to one of the negroes. The pantaloons were too small and
the hat too large; both had long before seen their best days. He was
riding a mule, on which was tied an old saddle, whose cohesive powers
were very doubtful. I listened to the story of the raid, and was
convinced another visit would be made very soon. I gave directions
for the overseer to gather all the remaining mules and take them to
Natchez for safety.

I stopped with my friend until nearly noon, and then accompanied
him to Natchez. On the next morning, I learned that the guerrillas
returned to our plantation while I was at my friend's house. They
carried away what they were unable to take on the previous night They
needed a wagon for purposes of transportation, and took one of ours,
and with it all the mules they could find. Our house was stripped of
every thing of any value, and I hoped the guerrillas would have no
occasion to make subsequent visits. Several of our mules were saved by
running them into the woods adjoining the plantation. These were taken
to Natchez, and, for a time, all work on the prospective cotton crop
came to an end.

For nearly three weeks, the guerrillas had full and free range in the
vicinity of the leased plantations. One after another of the lessees
were driven to seek refuge at Natchez, and their work was entirely
suspended. The only plantations undisturbed were those within a
mile or two of Vidalia. As the son of Adjutant-General Thomas was
interested in one of these plantations, and intimate friends of that
official were concerned in others, it was proper that they should
be well protected. The troops at Vidalia were kept constantly on the
look-out to prevent raids on these favored localities.

Nearly every day I heard of a fresh raid in our neighborhood,
though, after the first half-dozen visits, I could not learn that the
guerrillas carried away any thing, for the simple reason there was
nothing left to steal. Some of the negroes remained at home, while
others fled to the military posts for protection. The robbers showed
no disposition to maltreat the negroes, and repeatedly assured
them they should not be disturbed as long as they remained on the
plantations and planted nothing but corn. It was declared that cotton
should not be cultivated under any circumstances, and the negroes were
threatened with the severest punishment if they assisted in planting
that article.



Resuming Operation.--Difficulties in the Way.--A New Method of Healing
the Sick.--A Thief Discovered by his Ignorance of Arithmetic.--How
Cotton is Planted.--The Uses of Cotton-Seed.--A Novel
Sleeping-Room.--Constructing a Tunnel.--Vigilance of a Negro Sentinel.

On the 24th of March a small post was established at Waterproof, and
on the following day we recommenced our enterprise at the plantation.
We were much crippled, as nearly all our mules were gone, and the work
of replacing them could not be done in a day. The market at Natchez
was not supplied with mules, and we were forced to depend upon the
region around us. Three days after the establishment of the post we
were able to start a half-dozen plows, and within two weeks we had
our original force in the field. The negroes that had left during the
raid, returned to us. Under the superintendence of our overseer
the work was rapidly pushed. Richmond was back again on our smaller
plantation, whence he had fled during the disturbances, and was
displaying an energy worthy of the highest admiration.

Our gangs were out in full force. There was the trash-gang clearing
the ground for the plows, and the plow-gang busy at its appropriate
work. The corn-gang, with two ox-teams, was gathering corn at the rate
of a hundred bushels daily, and the fence-gang was patting the fences
in order. The shelling-gang (composed of the oldest men and women)
was husking and shelling corn, and putting it in sacks for market.
The gardener, the stock-tenders, the dairy-maids, nurserymaids,
hog-minders, and stable-keepers were all in their places, and we began
to forget our recent troubles in the apparent prospect of success.

One difficulty of the new system presented itself. Several of the
negroes began to feign sickness, and cheat the overseer whenever it
could be done with impunity. It is a part of the overseer's duty to go
through the quarters every morning, examine such as claim to be sick,
determine whether their sickness be real or pretended, and make the
appropriate prescriptions. Under the old system the pretenders were
treated to a liberal application of the lash, which generally drove
away all fancied ills. Sometimes, one who was really unwell, was
most unmercifully flogged by the overseer, and death not unfrequently
ensued from this cause.

As there was now no fear of the lash, some of the lazily-inclined
negroes would feign sickness, and thus be excused from the field. The
trouble was not general, but sufficiently prevalent to be annoying. We
saw that some course must be devised to overcome this evil, and keep
in the field all who were really able to be there.

We procured some printed tickets, which the overseer was to issue
at the close of each day. There were three colors--red, yellow, and
white. The first were for a full day's work, the second for a half
day, and the last for a quarter day. On the face of each was the


These tickets were given each day to such as deserved them. They were
collected every Saturday, and proper credit given for the amount of
labor performed during the week. The effect was magical. The day
after the adoption of our ticket system our number of sick was reduced
one-half, and we had no further trouble with pretended patients.
Colburn and myself, in our new character of "doctors," found our
practice greatly diminished in consequence of our innovations.
Occasionally it would happen that one who was not really able to work,
would go to the field through a fear of diminished wages.

One Saturday night, a negro whom we had suspected of thievish
propensities, presented eight full-day tickets as the representative
of his week's work.

"Did you earn all these this week?" I asked.

"Yes, sir," was the reply; "Mr. Owen gave them to me. I worked every
day, straight along."

"Can you tell me on which days he gave you each ticket?"

"Oh, yes. I knows every one of them," said the negro, his countenance
expressing full belief in his ability to locate each ticket.

As I held the tickets in my hand, the negro picked them out. "Mr. Owen
gave me this one Monday, this one Tuesday," and so on, toward the end
of the week. As he reached Friday, and saw three tickets remaining,
when there was only another day to be accounted for, his face suddenly
fell. I pretended not to notice his embarrassment.

"Which one did he give you to-day?"

There was a stammer, a hesitation, a slight attempt to explain, and
then the truth came out. He had stolen the extra tickets from two
fellow-laborers only a few minutes before, and had not reflected
upon the difficulties of the situation. I gave him some good advice,
required him to restore the stolen tickets, and promise he would not
steal any more. I think he kept the promise during the remainder of
his stay on the plantation, but am by no means certain.

Every day, when the weather was favorable, our work was pushed. Every
mule that could be found was put at once into service, and by the
15th of April we had upward of five hundred acres plowed and ready for
planting. We had planted about eighty acres of corn during the first
week of April, and arranged to commence planting cotton on Monday,
the 18th of the month. On the Saturday previous, the overseer on each
plantation organized his planting-gangs, and placed every thing in
readiness for active work.

The ground, when plowed for cotton, is thrown into a series of ridges
by a process technically known as "four-furrowing." Two furrows are
turned in one direction and two in another, thus making a ridge
four or five feet wide. Along the top of this ridge a "planter," or
"bull-tongue," is drawn by a single mule, making a channel two or
three inches in depth. A person carrying a bag of cotton seed follows
the planter and scatters the seed into the channel. A small harrow
follows, covering the seed, and the work of planting is complete.

A planting-gang consists of drivers for the planters, drivers for the
harrows, persons who scatter the seed, and attendants to supply
them with seed. The seed is drawn from the gin-house to the field
in ox-wagons, and distributed in convenient piles of ten or twenty
bushels each.

Cotton-seed has never been considered of any appreciable value, and
consequently the negroes are very wasteful in using it. In sowing it
in the field, they scatter at least twenty times as much as necessary,
and all advice to use less is unheeded. It is estimated that there are
forty bushels of seed to every bale of cotton produced. A plantation
that sends a thousand bales of cotton to market will thus have forty
thousand bushels of seed, for which there was formerly no sale.

With the most lavish use of the article, there was generally a surplus
at the end of the year. Cattle and sheep will eat cotton-seed, though
not in large quantities. Boiled cotton-seed is fed to hogs on all
plantations, but it is far behind corn in nutritious and fattening
qualities. Cotton-seed is packed around the roots of small trees,
where it is necessary to give them warmth or furnish a rich soil for
their growth. To some extent it is used as fuel for steam-engines, on
places where the machinery is run by steam. When the war deprived the
Southern cities of a supply of coal for their gasworks, many of them
found cotton seed a very good substitute. Oil can be extracted from it
in large quantities. For several years, the Cotton-Seed Oil Works of
Memphis carried on an extensive business. Notwithstanding the many
uses to which cotton-seed can be applied, its great abundance makes it
of little value.

The planting-gang which we started on that Monday morning, consisted
of five planters and an equal number of harrows, sowers, etc. Each
planter passed over about six acres daily, so that every day gave us
thirty acres of our prospective cotton crop. At the end of the week
we estimated we had about a hundred and seventy acres planted. On the
following week we increased the number of planters, but soon reduced
them, as we found we should overtake the plows earlier than we
desired. By the evening of Monday, May 2d, we had planted upward of
four hundred acres. A portion of it was pushing out of the ground, and
giving promise of rapid growth.

During this period the business was under the direct superintendence
of our overseers, Mr. Owen being responsible for the larger
plantation, and Richmond for the smaller. Every day they were visited
by Colburn or myself--sometimes by both of us--and received directions
for the general management, which they carried out in detail. Knowing
the habits of the guerrillas, we did not think it prudent to sleep in
our house at the plantation. Those individuals were liable to announce
their presence at any hour of the night, by quietly surrounding the
house and requesting its inmates to make their appearance.

When I spent the night at the plantation, I generally slept on a pile
of cotton-seed, in an out-building to which I had secretly conveyed a
pair of blankets and a flour-bag. This bag, filled with seed, served
as my pillow, and though my bed lacked the elasticity of a spring
mattress, it was really quite comfortable. My sleeping-place was at
the foot of a huge pile of seed, containing many hundred bushels. One
night I amused myself by making a tunnel into this pile in much the
same way as a squirrel digs into a hillside. With a minute's warning
I could have "hunted my hole," taking my blankets with me. By filling
the entrance with seed, I could have escaped any ordinary search of
the building. I never had occasion to use my tunnel.

Generally, however, we staid in Waterproof, leaving there early in the
morning, taking breakfast at the upper plantation, inspecting the work
on both plantations, and, after dinner, returning to Waterproof. We
could obtain a better dinner at the plantation than Waterproof was
able to furnish us. Strawberries held out until late in the season,
and we had, at all times, chickens, eggs, and milk in abundance.
Whenever we desired roast lamb, our purveyor caused a good selection
to be made from our flock. Fresh pork was much too abundant for our
tastes, and we astonished the negroes and all other natives of that
region, by our seemingly Jewish propensities. Pork and corn-bread
are the great staples of life in that hot climate, where one would
naturally look for lighter articles of food.

Once I was detained on the plantation till after dark. As I rode
toward Waterproof, expecting the negro sentinel to challenge and halt
me, I was suddenly brought to a stand by the whistling of a bullet
close to my ear, followed by several others at wider range.

"Who comes there?"

"A friend, with the countersign."

"If that's so, come in. We thought you was the Rebels."

As I reached the picket, the corporal of the guard explained that they
were on duty for the first time, and did not well understand their
business. I agreed with him fully on the latter point. To fire upon a
solitary horseman, advancing at a walk, and challenge him afterward,
was something that will appear ridiculous in the eyes of all soldiers.
The corporal and all his men promised to do better next time, and
begged me not to report them at head-quarters. When I reached the
center of the town, I found the garrison had been alarmed at the
picket firing, and was turning out to repel the enemy. On my assurance
that I was the "enemy," the order to fall into line of battle was



The Soldiers at Waterproof.--The Black Man in Blue.--Mutiny and
Desertion.--Their Cause and Cure.--Tendering a Resignation.--No Desire
for a Barber.--Seeking Protection.--Falsehood and Truth.--Proneness to
Exaggeration.--Amusing Estimates.

The soldiers forming the garrison at Waterproof, at that time, were
from a regiment raised by Colonel Eaton, superintendent of contrabands
at Vicksburg. They were recruited in the vicinity of Vicksburg and
Milliken's Bend, especially for local defense. They made, as the
negro everywhere has made, excellent material for the army. Easily
subordinate, prompt, reliable, and keenly alert when on duty (as their
shooting at me will evince), they completely gave the lie to the Rebel
assertion that the negro would prove worthless under arms.

On one point only were they inclined to be mutinous. Their home ties
were very strong, and their affection for their wives and children
could not be overcome at once. It appeared that when this regiment
was organized it was expected to remain at Milliken's Bend, where the
families of nearly all the men were gathered. The order transferring
them to Waterproof was unlooked for, and the men made some complaint.
This was soon silenced, but after the regiment had been there three or
four weeks, a half-dozen of the men went out of the lines one night,
and started to walk to Milliken's Bend. They were brought back,
and, after several days in the guardhouse, returned to duty. Others
followed their example in attempting to go home, and for a while
the camp was in a disturbed condition. Desertions were of daily

It was difficult to make them understand they were doing wrong. The
army regulations and the intricacies of military law were unknown to
them. They had never studied any of General Halleck's translations
from the French, and, had they done so, I doubt if they would have
been much enlightened. None of them knew what "desertion" meant,
nor the duties of a soldier to adhere to his flag at all times. All
intended to return to the post after making a brief visit to their
families. Most of them would request their comrades to notify their
captains that they would only be absent a short time. Two, who
succeeded in eluding pursuit, made their appearance one morning as
if nothing had happened, and assured their officers that others
would shortly be back again. Gradually they came to understand
the wickedness of desertion, or absence without leave, but this
comprehension of their obligations was not easily acquired.

A captain, commanding a company at Waterproof, told me an amusing
story of a soldier "handing in his resignation." As the captain was
sitting in front of his quarters, one of his men approached him,
carrying his musket and all his accoutrements. Without a word the man
laid his entire outfit upon the ground, in front of the captain, and
then turned to walk away.

"Come back here," said the officer; "what do you mean by this?"

"I'se tired of staying here, and I'se going home," was the negro's
answer, and he again attempted to move off.

"Come back here and pick these things up," and the captain spoke in a
tone that convinced the negro he would do well to obey.

The negro told his story. He was weary of the war; he had been four
weeks a soldier; he wanted to see his family, and had concluded to
go home. If the captain desired it, he, would come back in a little
while, but he was going home then, "_any how_."

The officer possessed an amiable disposition, and explained to
the soldier the nature of military discipline. The latter was soon
convinced he had done wrong, and returned without a murmur to his
duty. Does any soldier, who reads this, imagine himself tendering his
resignation in the above manner with any prospect of its acceptance?

When the first regiment of colored volunteers was organized in Kansas,
it was mainly composed of negroes who had escaped from slavery in
Missouri. They were easily disciplined save upon a single point, and
on this they were very obstinate. Many of the negroes in Missouri, as
in other parts of the South, wear their hair, or wool, in little knots
or braids. They refused to submit to a close shearing, and threatened
to return to their masters rather than comply with the regulation.
Some actually left the camp and went home. The officers finally
carried their point by inducing some free negroes in Leavenworth,
whose heads were adorned with the "fighting cut," to visit the camp
and tell the obstinate ones that long locks were a badge of servitude.

The negroes on our plantation, as well as elsewhere, had a strong
desire to go to Waterproof to see the soldiers. Every Sunday they were
permitted to go there to attend church, the service being conducted by
one of their own color. They greatly regretted that the soldiers
did not parade on that day, as they missed their opportunities for
witnessing military drills. To the negroes from plantations in the
hands of disloyal owners, the military posts were a great attraction,
and they would suffer all privations rather than return home. Some
of them declared they would not go outside the lines under any
consideration. We needed more assistance on our plantation, but it
was next to impossible to induce negroes to go there after they found
shelter at the military posts. Dread of danger and fondness for their
new life were their reasons for remaining inside the lines. A portion
were entirely idle, but there were many who adopted various modes of
earning their subsistence.

At Natchez, Vicksburg, and other points, dealers in fruit, coffee,
lemonade, and similar articles, could be found in abundance. There
were dozens of places where washing was taken in, though it was not
always well done. Wood-sawing, house-cleaning, or any other kind of
work requiring strength, always found some one ready to perform it.
Many of those who found employment supported themselves, while
those who could not or would not find it, lived at the expense of
Government. The latter class was greatly in the majority.

I have elsewhere inserted the instructions which are printed in every
"Plantation Record," for the guidance of overseers in the olden time.
"Never trust a negro," is the maxim given by the writer of those
instructions. I was frequently cautioned not to believe any statements
made by negroes. They were charged with being habitual liars, and
entitled to no credence whatever. Mrs. B. constantly assured me the
negroes were great liars, and I must not believe them. This assurance
would be generally given when I cited them in support of any thing
she did not desire to approve. _Per contrâ_, she had no hesitation in
referring to the negroes to support any of her statements which their
testimony would strengthen. This was not altogether feminine weakness,
as I knew several instances in which white persons of the sterner sex
made reference to the testimony of slaves. The majority of Southern
men refuse to believe them on all occasions; but there are many who
refer to them if their statements are advantageous, yet declare them
utterly unworthy of credence when the case is reversed.

I have met many negroes who could tell falsehoods much easier than
they could tell the truth. I have met others who saw no material
difference between truth and its opposite; and I have met many whose
statements could be fully relied upon. During his whole life, from
the very nature of the circumstances which, surround him, the slave
is trained in deception. If he did not learn to lie it would be
exceedingly strange. It is my belief that the negroes are as truthful
as could be expected from their education. White persons, under
similar experience and training, would not be good examples for the
young to imitate. The negroes tell many lies, but all negroes are
not liars. Many white persons tell the truth, but I have met, in the
course of my life, several men, of the Caucasian race, who never told
the truth unless by accident.

I found in the plantation negroes a proneness to exaggeration, in
cases where their fears or desires were concerned. One day, a negro
from the back country came riding rapidly to our plantation, declaring
that the woods, a mile distant, were "full of Rebels," and asking
where the Yankee soldiers were. I questioned him for some time. When
his fears were quieted, I ascertained that he had seen three mounted
men, an hour before, but did not know what they were, or whether armed
or not.

When I took the plantations, Mrs. B. told me there were twenty bales
of cotton already picked; the negroes had told her so. When I surveyed
the place on the first day of my occupation, the negroes called my
attention to the picked cotton, of which they thought there were
twenty or twenty-five bales. With my little experience in cotton, I
felt certain there would be not more than seven bales of that lot.
When it was passed through the gin and pressed, there were but five

We wished to plant about fifty acres of corn on the larger plantation.
There was a triangular patch in one corner that we estimated to
contain thirty acres. The foreman of the plow-gang, who had lived
twenty years on the place, thought there were about sixty acres. He
was surprised when we found, by actual measurement, that the patch
contained twenty-eight acres. Another spot, which he thought contained
twenty acres, measured less than ten. Doubtless the man's judgment had
been rarely called for, and its exercise, to any extent, was decidedly
a new sensation.

Any thing to which the negroes were unaccustomed became the subject
of amusing calculations. The "hog-minder" could estimate with
considerable accuracy the weight of a hog, either live or dressed.
When I asked him how much he supposed his own weight to be, he was
entirely lost. On my demanding an answer, he thought it might be three
hundred pounds. A hundred and sixty would not have been far from the
real figure.

Incorrect judgment is just as prevalent among ignorant whites as
among negroes, though with the latter there is generally a tendency to
overestimate. Where negroes make wrong estimates, in three cases out
of four they will be found excessive. With whites the variation will
be diminutive as often as excessive. In judging of numbers of men, a
column of troops, for example, both races are liable to exaggerate,
the negro generally going beyond the pale-face. Fifty mounted men may
ride past a plantation. The white inhabitants will tell you a hundred
soldiers have gone by, while the negroes will think there were two or
three hundred.

I was often surprised at the ability of the negroes to tell the names
of the steamboats plying on the river. None of the negroes could
read, but many of them would designate the different boats with great
accuracy. They recognized the steamers as they would recognize the
various trees of the forest. When a new boat made its appearance they
inquired its name, and forgot it very rarely.

On one occasion a steamer came in sight, on her way up the river.
Before she was near enough for me to make out the name on her side,
one of the negroes declared it was the _Laurel Hill_. His statement
proved correct. It was worthy of note that the boat had not passed
that point for nearly a year previous to that day.



The Nature of our "Protection."--Trade Following the Flag.--A
Fortunate Journey.--Our Last Visit.--Inhumanity of the
Guerrillas.--Driving Negroes into Captivity.--Killing an
Overseer.--Our Final Departure.--Plantations Elsewhere.

We did not look upon the post at Waterproof as a sure protection.
There was no cavalry to make the promised patrol between Waterproof
and the post next below it, or to hunt down any guerrillas that might
come near. A few of the soldiers were mounted on mules and horses
taken from the vicinity, but they were not effective for rapid
movements. It was understood, and semi-officially announced, that the
post was established for the protection of Government plantations. The
commandant assured me he had no orders to that effect. He was placed
there to defend the post, and nothing else. We were welcome to any
protection his presence afforded, but he could not go outside the
limits of the town to make any effort in our behalf.

There was a store at Waterproof which was doing a business of two
thousand dollars daily. Every day the wives, brothers, or sisters of
men known to belong to the marauding bands in the vicinity, would come
to the town and make any purchases they pleased, frequently paying for
them in money which the guerrillas had stolen. A gentleman, who was an
intimate friend of General Thomas, was one of the proprietors of this
store, and a son of that officer was currently reported to hold an
interest in it. After a time the ownership was transferred to a single
cotton speculator, but the trading went on without hinderance. This
speculator told me the guerrilla leader had sent him a verbal promise
that the post should not be disturbed or menaced so long as the store
remained there. Similar scenes were enacted at nearly all the posts
established for the "protection" of leased plantations. Trading stores
were in full operation, and the amount of goods that reached the
Rebels and their friends was enormous.

I have little doubt that this course served to prolong the resistance
to our arms along the Mississippi River. If we had stopped all
commercial intercourse with the inhabitants, we should have removed
the inducement for Rebel troops to remain in our vicinity. As matters
were managed, they kept close to our lines at all the military posts
between Cairo and Baton Rouge, sometimes remaining respectfully quiet,
and at others making occasional raids within a thousand yards of our

The absence of cavalry, and there being no prospect that any would
arrive, led us to believe that we could not long remain unmolested. We
were "in for it," however, and continued to plow and plant, trusting
to good fortune in getting safely through. Our misfortune came at
last, and brought our free-labor enterprise to an untimely end.

As I stated in the previous chapter, Colburn and myself made daily
visits to the plantation, remaining there for dinner, and returning
to Waterproof in the afternoon. On Monday, May 2d, we made our usual
visit, and returned to the post. A steamer touched there, on its way
to Natchez, just after our return, and we accepted the invitation of
her captain to go to that place. Our journey to Natchez was purely
from impulse, and without any real or ostensible business to call us
away. It proved, personally, a very fortunate journey.

On Tuesday evening, a neighbor of ours reached Natchez, bringing news
that the guerrillas had visited our plantation on that day. I hastened
to Waterproof by the first boat, and found our worst fears were

Thirty guerrillas had surrounded our house at the hour we were
ordinarily at dinner. They called our names, and commanded us to come
out and be shot. The house was empty, and as there was no compliance
with the request, a half-dozen of the party, pistols in hand, searched
the building, swearing they would kill us on the spot. Had we been
there, I have no doubt the threat would have been carried out.

Failing to find us, they turned their attention to other matters. They
caught our overseer as he was attempting to escape toward Waterproof.
He was tied upon his horse, and guarded until the party was ready to
move. The teams were plowing in the field at the time the robbers
made their appearance. Some of the negroes unloosed the mules from the
plows, mounted them, and fled to Waterproof. Others, who were slow in
their movements, were captured with the animals. Such of the
negroes as were not captured at once, fled to the woods or concealed
themselves about the buildings.

Many of the negroes on the plantation were personally known to some of
the guerrillas. In most cases these negroes were not disturbed. Others
were gathered in front of the house, where they were drawn up in line
and securely tied. Some of them were compelled to mount the captured
mules and ride between their captors.

Several children were thrown upon the mules, or taken by the
guerrillas on their own horses, where they were firmly held. No
attention was paid to the cries of the children or the pleadings of
their mothers. Some of the latter followed their children, as the
guerrillas had, doubtless, expected. In others, the maternal instinct
was less than the dread of captivity. Among those taken was an infant,
little more than eight months old.

Delaying but a few moments, the captors and the captives moved away.
Nineteen of our negroes were carried off, of whom ten were children
under eleven years of age. Of the nineteen, five managed to make their
escape within a few miles, and returned home during the night. One
woman, sixty-five years old, who had not for a long time been able
to do any work, was among those driven off. She fell exhausted before
walking three miles, and was beaten by the guerrillas until she lay
senseless by the roadside. It was not for several hours that she
recovered sufficiently to return to the plantation and tell the story
of barbarity.

From a plantation adjoining ours, thirty negroes were carried away
at the same time. Of these, a half-dozen escaped and returned.
The balance, joined to the party from our own plantation, formed a
mournful procession. I heard of them at many points, from residents of
the vicinity. These persons would not admit that the guerrillas were
treating the negroes cruelly. Those who escaped had a frightful story
to tell. They had been beaten most barbarously with whips, sticks, and
frequently with the butts of pistols; two or three were left senseless
by the roadside, and one old man had been shot, because he was too
much exhausted to go further. I learned, a few days later, that
the captured negroes were taken to Winnsboro; a small town in the
interior, and there sold to a party of Texas traders.

From our plantation the guerrillas stole twenty-four mules at the time
of their visit, and an equal number from our neighbors. These were
sold to the same party of traders that purchased the negroes, and
there was evidently as little compunction at speculating in the one
"property" as in the other.

Our overseer, Mr. Owen, had been bound upon his horse and taken away.
This I learned from the negroes remaining on the plantation. I made
diligent inquiries of parties who arrived from the direction taken by
the guerrillas, to ascertain, if possible, where he had been carried.
One person assured me, positively, that he saw Mr. Owen, a prisoner,
twenty miles away. Mrs.

Owen and five children were living at Waterproof, and, of course, were
much alarmed on hearing of his capture.

It was on Thursday, two days after the raid, that I visited the
plantation. Our lower plantation had not been disturbed, but many of
the negroes were gone, and all work was suspended. It was of no use
to attempt to prosecute the planting enterprise, and we immediately
prepared to abandon the locality. The remaining negroes were set at
work to shell the corn already gathered. As fast as shelled, it
was taken to Waterproof for shipment to market. The plows were left
rusting in the furrows, where they were standing at the moment the
guerrillas appeared. The heaps of cotton-seed and the implements used
by the planting-gang remained in _statu quo_. The cotton we planted
was growing finely. To leave four hundred acres thus growing, and
giving promise of a fine harvest, was to throw away much labor, but
there was no alternative.

On Saturday, four days after the raid, the corporal of a scouting
party came to our plantation and said the body of a white man had been
found in the woods a short distance away. I rode with him to the spot
he designated. The mystery concerning the fate of our overseer was
cleared up. The man was murdered within a thousand yards of the house.

From the main road leading past our plantation, a path diverged into
the forest. This path was taken by some of the guerrillas in their
retreat. Following it two hundred yards, and then turning a short
distance to the left, I found a small cypress-tree, not more than
thirty feet high. One limb of this tree drooped as it left the trunk,
and then turned upward. The lowest part of the bend of this limb was
not much higher than a tall man's head.

It was just such a tree, and just such a limb, as a party bent on
murder would select for hanging their victim. I thought, and still
think, that the guerrillas turned aside with the design of using the
rope as the instrument of death. Under this tree lay the remains of
our overseer. The body was fast decomposing. A flock of buzzards was
gathered around, and was driven away with difficulty. They had already
begun their work, so that recognition under different circumstances
would not have been easy. The skull was detached from the body, and
lay with the face uppermost. A portion of the scalp adhered to it, on
which a gray lock was visible. A bit of gray beard was clinging to the

In the centre of the forehead there was a perforation, evidently made
by a pistol-bullet. Death must have been instantaneous, the pistol
doing the work which the murderers doubtless intended to accomplish by
other means. The body had been stripped of all clothing, save a single
under-garment. Within a dozen yards lay a pair of old shoes, and close
by their side a tattered and misshapen hat. The shoes and hat were not
those which our overseer had worn, but were evidently discarded by
the guerrillas when they appropriated the apparel of their victim. I
caused a grave to be dug, and the remains placed in a rude coffin and
buried. If a head-stone had been obtainable, I would have given the
locality a permanent designation. The particulars of the murder we
were never able to ascertain.

Three days later we abandoned the plantation. We paid the negroes
for the work they had done, and discharged them from further service.
Those that lived on the plantation previous to our going there,
generally remained, as the guerrillas had assured them they would
be unmolested if they cultivated no cotton. A few of them went to
Natchez, to live near their "missus." Those whom we had hired from
other localities scattered in various directions. Some went to the
Contraband Home at Davis's Bend, others to the negro quarters at
Natchez, others to plantations near Vidalia, and a few returned to
their former homes. Our "family" of a hundred and sixty persons was
thus broken up.

We removed the widow and children of our overseer to Natchez, and
purchased for them the stock and goodwill of a boarding-house keeper.
We sent a note to the leader of the guerrilla band that manifested
such a desire to "go through" us, and informed him that we could
be found in St. Louis or New York. Before the end of May we passed
Vicksburg on our Journey Due North.

Most of the plantations in the vicinity of Natchez, Vicksburg, and
Milliken's Bend were given up. Probably a dozen lessees were killed,
and the same number carried to Texas. Near Vicksburg, the chivalric
guerrillas captured two lessees, and tortured them most barbarously
before putting them to death. They cut off the ears of one man, and
broke his nose by a blow from a club. Thus mutilated, he was compelled
to walk three or four miles. When he fell, fainting from loss of
blood, he was tied to a tree, and the privilege of shooting him
was sold at auction. They required his companion to witness these
brutalities. Whenever he turned away his eyes, his captors pressed the
point of a saber into his cheek. Finally, they compelled him to take
a spade and dig his own grave. When it was finished, they stripped
him of his clothing, and shot him as he stood by the brink of the
newly-opened trench.

Blanchard and Robinson, two lessees near Natchez, both of them
residents of Boston, were murdered with nearly the same fiendishness
as exhibited in the preceding case. Their fate was for some time
unknown. It was at length ascertained from a negro who was captured at
the same time, but managed to escape. That "slavery makes barbarians"
would seem to be well established by the conduct of these residents of

In the vicinity of Baton Rouge and New Orleans there were but few
guerrillas, and the plantations generally escaped undisturbed. In all
localities the "army-worm" made its appearance in July and August, and
swept away almost the entire crop. Many plantations that were expected
to yield a thousand bales did not yield a hundred, and some of them
made less than ten. The appearance of this destructive worm was very
sudden. On some plantations, where the cotton was growing finely and
without a trace of blight, the fields, three days later, appeared as
if swept by fire. There was consequently but little cotton made during
the season.

The possibility of producing the great staples of the South by
free labor was fully established. Beyond this there was little

My four months of cotton-planting was an experience I shall
never regret, though I have no desire to renew it under similar
circumstances. Agriculture is generally considered a peaceful pursuit.
To the best of my recollection I found it quite the reverse.

For the benefit of those who desire to know the process of cotton
culture, from the planting season to the picking season, I give the
following extract from an article written by Colonel T. B. Thorpe,
of Louisiana, several years ago. After describing the process of
preparing the ground and planting the seed, Colonel Thorpe says:--

If the weather be favorable, the young plant is discovered making its
way through in six or ten days, and "the scraping" of the crop, as it
is termed, now begins. A light plow is again called into requisition,
which is run along the drill, throwing the _earth away from the
plant;_ then come the laborers with their hoes, who dexterously cut
away the superabundant shoots and the intruding weeds, and leave a
single cotton-plant in little hills, generally two feet apart.

Of all the labors of the field, the dexterity displayed by the negroes
in "scraping cotton" is most calculated to call forth the admiration
of the novice spectator. The hoe is a rude instrument, however well
made and handled; the young cotton-plant is as delicate as vegetation
can be, and springs up in lines of solid masses, composed of hundreds
of plants. The field-hand, however, will single one delicate shoot
from the surrounding multitude, and with his rude hoe he will trim
away the remainder with all the boldness of touch of a master, leaving
the incipient stalk unharmed and alone in its glory; and at nightfall
you can look along the extending rows, and find the plants correct in
line, and of the required distance of separation from each other.

The planter, who can look over his field in early spring, and find his
cotton "cleanly scraped" and his "stand" good, is fortunate; still,
the vicissitudes attending the cultivation of the crop have only
commenced. Many rows, from the operations of the "cut-worm," and from
multitudinous causes unknown, have to be replanted, and an unusually
late frost may destroy all his labors, and compel him to commence
again. But, if no untoward accident occurs, in two weeks after the
"scraping," another hoeing takes place, at which time the plow throws
the furrow _on to the roots_ of the now strengthening plant, and the
increasing heat of the sun also justifying the sinking of the roots
deeper in the earth. The pleasant month of May is now drawing to a
close, and vegetation of all kinds is struggling for precedence in
the fields. Grasses and weeds of every variety, with vines and wild
flowers, luxuriate in the newly-turned sod, and seem to be determined
to choke out of existence the useful and still delicately-grown

It is a season of unusual industry on the cotton plantations, and woe
to the planter who is outstripped in his labors, and finds himself
"overtaken by the grass." The plow tears up the surplus vegetation,
and the hoe tops it off in its luxuriance. The race is a hard one, but
industry conquers; and when the third working-over of the crop takes
place, the cotton-plant, so much cherished and favored, begins to
overtop its rivals in the fields--begins to cast _a chilling shade of
superiority_ over its now intimidated groundlings, and commences to
reign supreme.

Through the month of July, the crop is wrought over for the last time;
the plant, heretofore of slow growth, now makes rapid advances toward
perfection. The plow and hoe are still in requisition. The "water
furrows" between the cotton-rows are deepened, leaving the cotton
growing as it were upon à slight ridge; this accomplished, the crop is
prepared for the "rainy season," should it ensue, and so far advanced
that it is, under any circumstances, beyond the control of art. Nature
must now have its sway.

The "cotton bloom," under the matured sun of July, begins to make
its appearance. The announcement of the "first blossom" of the
neighborhood is a matter of general interest; it is the unfailing sign
of the approach of the busy season of fall; it is the evidence that
soon the labor of man will, under a kind Providence, receive its

It should perhaps here be remarked, that the color of cotton in its
perfection is precisely that of the blossom--a beautiful light,
but warm cream-color. In buying cotton cloth, the "bleached" and
"unbleached" are perceptibly different qualities to the most casual
observer; but the dark hues and harsh look of the "unbleached
domestic" comes from the handling of the artisan and the soot of
machinery. If cotton, pure as it looks in the field, could be wrought
into fabrics, they would have a brilliancy and beauty never yet
accorded to any other material in its natural or artificial state.
There cannot be a doubt but that, in the robes of the ancient royal
Mexicans and Peruvians, this brilliant and natural gloss of cotton was
preserved, and hence the surpassing value it possessed in the eyes of
cavaliers accustomed to the fabrics of the splendid court of Ferdinand
and Isabella.

The cotton-blossom is exceedingly delicate in its organization. It is,
if in perfection, as we have stated, of a beautiful cream-color.
It unfolds in the night, remains in its glory through the morn--at
meridian it has begun to decay. The day following its birth it has
changed to a deep red, and ere the sun goes down, its petals have
fallen to the earth, leaving inclosed in the capacious calyx a
scarcely perceptible germ. This germ, in its incipient and early
stages, is called "a form;" in its more perfected state, "a boll."

The cotton-plant, like the orange, has often on one stalk every
possible growth; and often, on the same limb, may sometimes be seen
the first-opened blossom, and the bolls, from their first development
as "forms," through every size, until they have burst open and
scattered their rich contents to the ripening winds.

The appearance of a well-cultivated cotton-field, if it has escaped
the ravages of insects and the destruction of the elements, is of
singular beauty. Although it may be a mile in extent, still it is as
carefully wrought as is the mold of the limited garden of the coldest
climate. The cotton-leaf is of a delicate green, large and luxuriant;
the stalk indicates rapid growth, yet it has a healthy and firm look.
Viewed from a distance, the perfecting plant has a warm and glowing
expression. The size of the cotton-plant depends upon the accident
of climate and soil. The cotton of Tennessee bears very little
resemblance to the luxuriant growth of Alabama and Georgia; but even
in those favored States the cotton-plant is not everywhere the same,
for in the rich bottom-lands it grows to a commanding size, while in
the more barren regions it is an humble shrub. In the rich alluvium of
the Mississippi the cotton will tower beyond the reach of the tallest
"picker," and a single plant will contain hundreds of perfect "bolls;"
in the neighboring "piney-woods" it lifts its humble head scarcely
above the knee, and is proportionably meager in its produce of fruit.

The growing cotton is particularly liable to accidents, and suffers
immensely in "wet seasons" from the "rust" and "rot." The first
named affects the leaves, giving them a brown and deadened tinge, and
frequently causes them to crumble away. The "rot" attacks the "boll."

It commences by a black spot on the rind, which, increasing, seems to
produce fermentation and decay. Worms find their way to the roots; the
caterpillar eats into the "boll" and destroys the staple. It would be
almost impossible to enumerate all the evils the cotton-plant is heir
to, all of which, however, sink into nothingness compared with the
scourge of the "army-worm."

The moth that indicates the advent of the army-worm has a Quaker-like
simplicity in its light, chocolate-colored body and wings, and, from
its harmless appearance, would never be taken for the destroyer of
vast fields of luxuriant and useful vegetation.

The little, and, at first, scarcely to be perceived caterpillars that
follow the appearance of these moths, can absolutely be seen to grow
and swell beneath your eyes as they crawl from leaf to leaf. Day by
day you can see the vegetation of vast fields becoming thinner and
thinner, while the worm, constantly increasing in size, assumes at
last an unctuous appearance most disgusting to behold. Arrived at
maturity, a few hours only are necessary for these modern locusts
to eat up all living vegetation that comes in their way. Leaving
the localities of their birth, they will move from place to place,
spreading a desolation as consuming as fire in their path.

All efforts to arrest their progress or annihilate them prove
unavailing. They seem to spring out of the ground, and fall from
the clouds; and the more they are tormented and destroyed, the more
perceptible, seemingly, is their power. We once witnessed the
invasion of the army-worm, as it attempted to pass from a desolated
cotton-field to one untouched. Between these fields was a wide ditch,
which had been deepened, to prove a barrier to the onward march of
the worm. Down the perpendicular sides of the trench the caterpillars
rolled in untold millions, until its bottom, for nearly a mile in
extent, was a foot or two deep in a living mass of animal life. To an
immense piece of unhewn timber was attached a yoke of oxen, and, as
this heavy log was drawn through the ditch, it seemed absolutely to
float on a crushed mass of vegetable corruption. The following
day, under the heat of a tropical sun, the stench arising from this
decaying mass was perceptible the country round, giving a strange and
incomprehensible notion of the power and abundance of this destroyer
of the cotton crop.

The change that has been effected by the result of the Rebellion, will
not be confined to the social system alone. With the end of slavery
there will be a destruction of many former applications of labor.
Innovations have already been made, and their number will increase
under the management of enterprising men.

In Louisiana several planters were using a "drill" for depositing the
cotton-seed in the ground. The labor of planting is reduced more than
one-half, and that of "scraping" is much diminished. The saving
of seed is very great--the drill using about a tenth of the amount
required under the old system.

One man is endeavoring to construct a machine that will pick cotton
from the stalks, and is confident he will succeed. Should he do so,
his patent will be of the greatest value. Owners of plantations
have recently offered a present of ten thousand dollars to the first
patentee of a successful machine of this character.



Length of the Great River, and the Area it Drains.--How Itasca Lake
obtained its Name.--The Bends of the Mississippi.--Curious Effect upon
Titles to Real Estate.--A Story of Napoleon.--A Steamboat Thirty-five
Years under Water.--The Current and its Variations.--Navigating Cotton
and Corn Fields.--Reminiscences of the Islands.

As railways are to the East, so are the rivers to the West. The
Mississippi, with its tributaries, drains an immense region, traversed
in all directions by steamboats. From the Gulf of Mexico one can
travel, by water to the Rocky Mountains, or to the Alleghanies, at
pleasure. It is estimated there are twenty thousand miles of navigable
streams which find an outlet past the city of New Orleans. The
Mississippi Valley contains nearly a million and a quarter square
miles, and is one of the most fertile regions on the globe.

To a person born and reared in the East, the Mississippi presents many
striking features. Above its junction with the Missouri, its water
is clear and its banks are broken and picturesque. After it joins the
Missouri the scene changes. The latter stream is of a chocolate hue,
and its current is very rapid. All its characteristics are imparted
to the combined stream. The Mississippi becomes a rapid, tortuous,
seething torrent. It loses its blue, transparent water, and takes the
complexion of the Missouri. Thus "it goes unvexed to the sea."

There is a story concerning the origin of the name given to the source
of the Mississippi, which I do not remember to have seen in print.
A certain lake, which had long been considered the head of the Great
River, was ascertained by an exploring party to have no claim to that
honor. A new and smaller lake was discovered, in which the Mississippi
took its rise. The explorers wished to give it an appropriate name. An
old _voyageur_ suggested that they make a name, by coining a word.

"Will some of you learned ones tell me," said he, "what is the Latin
word for _true_?"

"_Veritas_," was the response.

"Well, now, what is the Latin for _head_"

"_Caput_, of course."

"Now," suggested the _voyageur_, "write the two words together, by

A strip of birch bark was the tablet on which "_ver-i-tas-ca-put_" was

"Read it out," was his next request.

The five syllables were read.

"Now, drop the first and last syllables, and you have a name for this

In the Indian vernacular, "Mississippi" is said to signify "Great
Water." "Missouri," according to some authorities, is the Indian for
"Mud River," a most felicitous appellation. It should properly belong
to the entire river from St. Louis to the Gulf, as that stream carries
down many thousand tons of mud every year. During the many centuries
that the Mississippi has been sweeping on its course, it has formed
that long point of land known as the Delta, and shallowed the water in
the Gulf of Mexico for more than two hundred miles.

Flowing from north to south, the river passes through all the
varieties of climate. The furs from the Rocky Mountains and the
cereals of Wisconsin and Minnesota are carried on its bosom to the
great city which stands in the midst of orange groves and inhales
the fragrance of the magnolia. From January to June the floods of
its tributaries follow in regular succession, as the opening spring
loosens the snows that line their banks.

The events of the war have made the Mississippi historic, and
familiarized the public with some of its peculiarities. Its tortuosity
is well known. The great bend opposite Vicksburg will be long
remembered by thousands who have never seen it. This bend is eclipsed
by many others. At "Terrapin Neck" the river flows twenty-one
miles, and gains only three hundred yards. At "Raccourci Bend" was
a peninsula twenty-eight miles around and only half a mile across.
Several years ago a "cut-off" was made across this peninsula, for the
purpose of shortening the course of the river. A small ditch was cut,
and opened when the flood was highest.

An old steamboat-man once told me that he passed the upper end of this
ditch just as the water was let in. Four hours later, as he passed the
lower end, an immense torrent was rushing through the channel, and the
tall trees were falling like stalks of grain before a sickle.

Within a week the new channel became the regular route for steamboats.

Similar "cut-offs" have been made at various points along the river,
some of them by artificial aid, and others entirely by the action of
the water. The channel of the Mississippi is the dividing line of
the States between which it flows, and the action of the river often
changes the location of real estate. There is sometimes a material
difference in the laws of States that lie opposite each other.
The transfer of property on account of a change in the channel
occasionally makes serious work with titles.

I once heard of a case where the heirs to an estate lost their title,
in consequence of the property being transferred from Mississippi to
Louisiana, by reason of the course of the river being changed. In the
former State they were heirs beyond dispute. In the latter their claim
vanished into thin air.

Once, while passing up the Mississippi, above Cairo, a
fellow-passenger called my attention to a fine plantation, situated
on a peninsula in Missouri. The river, in its last flood, had broken
across the neck of the peninsula. It was certain the next freshet
would establish the channel in that locality, thus throwing the
plantation into Illinois. Unless the negroes should be removed before
this event they would become free.

"You see, sir," said my informant, "that this great river is an

The alluvial soil through which the Mississippi runs easily yields to
the action of the fierce current. The land worn away at one point
is often deposited, in the form of a bar or tongue of land, in the
concave of the next bend. The area thus added becomes the property
of whoever owns the river front. Many a man has seen his plantation
steadily falling into the Mississippi, year by year, while a
plantation, a dozen miles below, would annually find its area
increased. Real estate on the banks of the Mississippi, unless upon
the bluffs, has no absolute certainty of permanence. In several
places, the river now flows where there were fine plantations ten or
twenty years ago.

Some of the towns along the Lower Mississippi are now, or soon
will be, towns no more. At Waterproof, Louisiana, nearly the entire
town-site, as originally laid out, has been washed away. In the
four months I was in its vicinity, more than forty feet of its
front disappeared. Eighteen hundred and seventy will probably find
Waterproof at the bottom of the Mississippi. Napoleon, Arkansas, is
following in the wake of Waterproof. If the distance between them
were not so great, their sands might mingle. In view of the character
Napoleon has long enjoyed, the friends of morality will hardly regret
its loss.

The steamboat captains have a story that a quiet clergyman from New
England landed at Napoleon, one morning, and made his way to the
hotel. He found the proprietor superintending the efforts of a negro,
who was sweeping the bar-room floor. Noticing several objects of a
spherical form among the _débris_ of the bar-room, the stranger asked
their character.

"Them round things? them's _eyes_. The boys amused themselves a little
last night. Reckon there's 'bout a pint-cup full of eyes this mornin'.
Sometimes we gets a quart or so, when business is good."

Curious people were those natives of Arkansas, ten or twenty years
ago. Schools were rare, and children grew up with little or no
education. If there was a "barbarous civilization" anywhere in the
United States, it was in Arkansas. In 1860, a man was hung at
Napoleon for reading _The Tribune_. It is an open question whether the
character of the paper or the man's ability to read was the reason for
inflicting the death penalty.

The current of the Mississippi causes islands to be destroyed in some
localities and formed in others. A large object settling at the
bottom of the stream creates an eddy, in which the floating sand is
deposited. Under favorable circumstances an island will form in such
an eddy, sometimes of considerable extent.

About the year 1820, a steamboat, laden with lead, was sunk in
mid-channel several miles below St. Louis. An island formed over this
steamer, and a growth of cotton-wood trees soon covered it. These
trees grew to a goodly size, and were cut for fuel. The island was
cleared, and for several successive years produced fine crops of corn.
About 1855, there was a change in the channel of the river, and the
island disappeared. After much search the location of the sunken
steamer was ascertained. By means of a diving-bell, its cargo of lead,
which had been lying thirty-five years under earth and under water,
was brought to light. The entire cargo was raised, together with a
portion of the engines. The lead was uninjured, but the engines were
utterly worthless after their long burial.

The numerous bends of the Mississippi are of service in rendering the
river navigable. If the channel were a straight line from Cairo to New
Orleans, the current would be so strong that no boat could stem it.
In several instances, where "cut-offs" have been made, the current
at their outlets is so greatly increased that the opposite banks are
washed away. New bends are thus formed that may, in time, be as large
as those overcome. Distances have been shortened by "cut-offs," but
the Mississippi displays a decided unwillingness to have its length

From St. Louis to the Red River the current of the Mississippi is
about three miles an hour. It does not flow in a steady, unbroken
volume. The surface is constantly ruffled by eddies and little
whirlpools, caused by the inequalities of the bottom of the river, and
the reflection of the current from the opposite banks. As one gazes
upon the stream, it half appears as if heated by concealed fires,
and ready to break into violent ebullition. The less the depth, the
greater the disturbance of the current. So general is this rule,
that the pilots judge of the amount of water by the appearance of the
surface. Exceptions occur where the bottom, below the deep water, is
particularly uneven.

From its source to the mouth of Red River, the Mississippi is fed
by tributaries. Below that point, it throws off several streams that
discharge no small portion of its waters into the Gulf of Mexico.
These streams, or "bayous," are narrow and tortuous, but generally
deep, and navigable for ordinary steamboats. The "Atchafalaya" is the
first, and enters the Gulf of Mexico at the bay of the same name. At
one time it was feared the Mississippi might leave its present bed,
and follow the course of this bayou. Steps were taken to prevent such
an occurrence. Bayou Plaquemine, Bayou Sara, Bayou La Fourche, Bayou
Goula, and Bayou Teche, are among the streams that drain the great

These bayous form a wonderful net-work of navigable waters, throughout
Western Louisiana. If we have reason to be thankful that "great
rivers run near large cities in all parts of the world," the people
of Louisiana should be especially grateful for the numerous natural
canals in that State. These streams are as frequent and run in nearly
as many directions as railways in Massachusetts.

During its lowest stages, the Mississippi is often forty feet "within
its banks;" in other words, the surface is forty feet below the level
of the land which borders the river. It rises with the freshets, and,
when "bank full," is level with the surrounding lowland.

It does not always stop at this point; sometimes it rises two, four,
six, or even ten feet above its banks. The levees, erected at immense
cost, are designed to prevent the overflowing of the country on such
occasions. When the levees become broken from any cause, immense areas
of country are covered with water. Plantations, swamps, forests, all
are submerged. During the present year (1865) thousands of square
miles have been flooded, hundreds of houses swept away, and large
amounts of property destroyed.

During the freshet of '63, General Grant opened the levee at
Providence, Louisiana, in the hope of reaching Bayou Mason, and thence
taking his boats to Red River. After the levee was cut an immense
volume of water rushed through the break. Anywhere else it would have
been a goodly-sized river, but it was of little moment by the side of
the Mississippi. A steamboat was sent to explore the flooded region. I
saw its captain soon after his return.

"I took my boat through the cut," said he, "without any trouble. We
drew nearly three feet, but there was plenty of water. We ran two
miles over a cotton-field, and could see the stalks as our wheels tore
them up. Then I struck the plank road, and found a good stage of water
for four miles, which took me to the bayou. I followed this several
miles, until I was stopped by fallen trees, when I turned about and
came back. Coming back, I tried a cornfield, but found it wasn't as
good to steam in as the cotton-field."

A farmer in the Eastern or Middle States would, doubtless, be much
astonished at seeing a steamboat paddling at will in his fields and
along his roads. A similar occurrence in Louisiana does not astonish
the natives. Steamers have repeatedly passed over regions where corn
or cotton had been growing six months before. At St. Louis, in 1844,
small boats found no difficulty in running from East St. Louis to
Caseyville, nine miles distant. In making these excursions they passed
over many excellent farms, and stopped at houses whose owners had been
driven to the upper rooms by the water.

Above Cairo, the islands in the Mississippi are designated by names
generally received from the early settlers. From Cairo to New Orleans
the islands are numbered, the one nearest the former point being
"One," and that nearest New Orleans "One Hundred and Thirty-one."
Island Number Ten is historic, being the first and the last island in
the great river that the Rebels attempted to fortify. Island Number
Twenty-eight was the scene of several attacks by guerrillas upon
unarmed transports. Other islands have an equally dishonorable
reputation. Fifty years ago several islands were noted as the resorts
of robbers, who conducted an extensive and systematic business. Island
Number Sixty-five (if I remember correctly) was the rendezvous of the
notorious John A. Murrell and his gang of desperadoes.



Attempts to Obstruct the Great River.--Chains, Booms, and
Batteries.--A Novelty in Piloting.--Travel in the Days Before the
Rebellion.--Trials of Speed.--The Great Race.--Travel During the
War.--Running a Rebel Battery on the Lower Mississippi.--Incidents of
the Occasion.--Comments on the Situation.

No engineer has been able to dam the Mississippi, except by the easy
process which John Phenix adopted on the Yuma River. General Pillow
stretched a chain from Columbus, Kentucky, to the opposite shore, in
order to prevent the passage of our gun-boats. The chain broke soon
after being placed in position.

Near Forts Jackson and Philip, below New Orleans, the Rebels
constructed a boom to oppose the progress of Farragut's fleet. A large
number of heavy anchors, with the strongest cables, were fixed in the
river. For a time the boom answered the desired purpose. But the river
rose, drift-wood accumulated, and the boom at length went the way of
all things Confederate. Farragut passed the forts, and appeared before
New Orleans; "Picayune Butler came to town," and the great city of the
South fell into the hands of the all-conquering Yankees.

Before steam power was applied to the propulsion of boats, the ascent
of the Mississippi was very difficult.

From New Orleans to St. Louis, a boat consumed from two to four
months' time. Sails, oars, poles, and ropes attached to trees,
were the various means of stemming the powerful current. Long after
steamboats were introduced, many flat-boats, loaded with products
of the Northern States, floated down the river to a market. At New
Orleans, boats and cargoes were sold, and the boatmen made their way
home on foot. Until twenty years ago, the boatmen of the Mississippi
were almost a distinct race. At present they are nearly extinct.

In the navigation of the Mississippi and its tributaries, the pilot
is the man of greatest importance. He is supposed to be thoroughly
familiar with the channel of the river in all its windings, and to
know the exact location of every snag or other obstruction. He
can generally judge of the depth of water by the appearance of the
surface, and he is acquainted with every headland, forest, house, or
tree-top, that marks the horizon and tells him how to keep his course
at night. Professional skill is only acquired by a long and careful

Shortly after the occupation of Little Rock by General Steele, a dozen
soldiers passed the lines, without authority, and captured a steamboat
eighteen miles below the city. Steam was raised, when the men
discovered they had no pilot. One of their number hit upon a plan as
novel as it was successful.

The Arkansas was very low, having only three feet of water in the
channel. Twenty-five able-bodied negroes were taken from a neighboring
plantation, stretched in a line across the river, and ordered to wade
against the current. By keeping their steamer, which drew only twenty
inches, directly behind the negro who sank the deepest, the soldiers
took their prize to Little Rock without difficulty.

For ten years previous to the outbreak of the Rebellion, steamboating
on the Mississippi was in the height of its glory. Where expense
of construction and management were of secondary consideration, the
steamboats on the great river could offer challenge to the world.
It was the boast of their officers that the tables of the great
passenger-boats were better supplied than those of the best hotels in
the South. On many steamers, claret, at dinner, was free to all. Fruit
and ices were distributed in the evening, as well as choice cups
of coffee and tea. On one line of boats, the cold meats on the
supper-table were from carefully selected pieces, cooked and cooled
expressly for the cenatory meal. Bands of music enlivened the hours
of day, and afforded opportunity for dancing in the evening. Spacious
cabins, unbroken by machinery; guards of great width, where cigars and
small-talk were enjoyed; well-furnished and well-lighted state-rooms,
and tables loaded with all luxuries of the place and season, rendered
these steamers attractive to the traveler. Passengers were social,
and partook of the gayety around them. Men talked, drank, smoked, and
sometimes gambled, according to their desires. The ladies practiced no
frigid reserve toward each other, but established cordial relations in
the first few hours of each journey.

Among the many fine and fast steamers on the Western waters, there
was necessarily much competition in speed. Every new boat of the first
class was obliged to give an example of her abilities soon after her
appearance. Every owner of a steamboat contends that _his_ boat is the
best afloat. I have rarely been on board a Mississippi steamer of
any pretensions whose captain has not assured me, "She is the fastest
thing afloat, sir. Nothing can pass her. We have beaten the--, and
the--, and the--, in a fair race, sir." To a stranger, seeking correct
information, the multiplicity of these statements is perplexing.

In 1853 there was a race from New Orleans to Louisville, between the
steamers _Eclipse_ and _A.L. Shotwell_, on which seventy thousand
dollars were staked by the owners of the boats. An equal amount was
invested in "private bets" among outside parties. The two boats were
literally "stripped for the race." They were loaded to the depth that
would give them the greatest speed, and their arrangements for taking
fuel were as complete as possible. Barges were filled with wood at
stated points along the river, and dropped out to midstream as the
steamers approached. They were taken alongside, and their loads of
wood transferred without any stoppage of the engines of the boats.

At the end of the first twenty-four hours the _Eclipse_ and _Shotwell_
were side by side, three hundred and sixty miles from New Orleans. The
race was understood to be won by the _Eclipse_, but was so close that
the stakes were never paid.

In the palmy days of steamboating, the charges for way-travel were
varied according to the locality. Below Memphis it was the rule to
take no single fare less than five dollars, even if the passenger were
going but a half-dozen miles. Along Red River the steamboat clerks
graduated the fare according to the parish where the passenger came
on board. The more fertile and wealthy the region, the higher was the
price of passage. Travelers from the cotton country paid more than
those from the tobacco country. Those from the sugar country paid
more than any other class. With few exceptions, there was no "ticket"
system. Passengers paid their fare at any hour of their journey that
best suited them. Every man was considered honest until he gave proof
to the contrary. There was an occasional Jeremy Diddler, but his
operations were very limited.

When the Rebellion began, the old customs on the Mississippi were
swept away. The most rigid "pay-on-entering" system was adopted, and
the man who could evade it must be very shrewd. The wealth along
the Great River melted into thin air. The _bonhommie_ of travel
disappeared, and was succeeded by the most thorough selfishness in
collective and individual bodies. Scrambles for the first choice of
state-rooms, the first seat at table, and the first drink at the bar,
became a part of the new _régime_. The ladies were little regarded
in the hurly-burly of steamboat life. Men would take possession of
ladies' chairs at table, and pay no heed to remonstrances.

I have seen an officer in blue uniform place his muddy boots on the
center-table in a cabin full of ladies, and proceed to light a cigar.
The captain of the boat suggested that the officer's conduct was in
violation of the rules of propriety, and received the answer:

"I have fought to help open the Mississippi, and, by ----, I am going
to enjoy it."

The careless display of the butt of a revolver, while he gave this
answer, left the pleasure-seeker master of the situation. I am sorry
to say that occurrences of a similar character were very frequent in
the past three years. With the end of the war it is to be hoped that
the character of Mississippi travel will be improved.

In May, 1861, the Rebels blockaded the Mississippi at Memphis. In the
same month the National forces established a blockade at Cairo. In
July, '63, the capture of Vicksburg and Port Hudson removed the last
Rebel obstruction. The _Imperial_ was the first passenger boat to
descend the river, after the reopening of navigation.

Up to within a few months of the close of the Rebellion, steamers
plying on the river were in constant, danger of destruction by Rebel
batteries. The Rebel Secretary of War ordered these batteries placed
along the Mississippi, in the hope of stopping all travel by that
route. His plan was unsuccessful. Equally so was the barbarous
practice of burning passenger steamboats while in motion between
landing-places. On transports fired upon by guerrillas (or Rebels),
about a hundred persons were killed and as many wounded. A due
proportion of these were women and children. On steamboats burned by
Rebel incendiaries, probably a hundred and fifty lives were lost. This
does not include the dead by the terrible disaster to the _Sultana_.
It is supposed that this boat was blown up by a Rebel torpedo in her

It was my fortune to be a passenger on the steamer _Von Phul_, which
left New Orleans for St. Louis on the evening of December 7th, 1863.
I had been for some time traveling up and down the Mississippi, and
running the gauntlet between Rebel batteries on either shore. There
was some risk attending my travels, but up to that time I escaped

On the afternoon of the 8th, when the boat was about eight miles above
Bayou Sara, I experienced a new sensation.

Seated at a table in the cabin, and busily engaged in writing, I heard
a heavy crash over my head, almost instantly followed by another. My
first thought was that the chimneys or some part of the pilot-house
had fallen, and I half looked to see the roof of the cabin tumbling
in. I saw the passengers running from the cabin, and heard some one

"The guerrillas are firing on us."

I collected my writing materials and sought my state-room, where I had
left Mr. Colburn, my traveling companion, soundly asleep a few minutes

He was sitting on the edge of his berth, and wondering what all the
row was about. The crash that startled me had awakened him. He thought
the occurrence was of little moment, and assented to my suggestion,
that we were just as safe there as anywhere else on the boat.

Gallantry prevented our remaining quiet. There were several ladies on
board, and it behooved us to extend them what protection we could. We
sought them, and "protected" them to the best of our united ability.
Their place of refuge was between the cabin and the wheel-house,
opposite the battery's position. A sheet of wet paper would afford as
much resistance to a paving-stone as the walls of a steamboat cabin
to a six-pound shot. As we stood among the ladies, two shells passed
through the side of the cabin, within a few inches of our heads.

The shots grew fewer in number, and some of them dropped in the river
behind us. Just as we thought all alarm was over, we saw smoke issuing
from the cabin gangway. Then, some one shouted, "_The boat is on

Dropping a lady who evinced a disposition to faint, I entered the
cabin. A half-dozen men were there before me, and seeking the locality
of the fire. I was first to discover it.

A shell, in passing through a state-room, entered a pillow, and
scattered the feathers through the cabin. A considerable quantity of
these feathers fell upon a hot stove, and the smoke and odor of their
burning caused the alarm.

The ladies concluded not to faint. Three minutes after the affair was
over, they were as calm as ever.

The Rebels opened fire when we were abreast of their position, and did
not cease until we were out of range. We were fifteen minutes within
reach of their guns.


Our wheels seemed to turn very slowly. No one can express in words the
anxiety with which we listened, after each shot, for the puffing of
the engines. So long as the machinery was uninjured, there was no
danger of our falling into Rebel hands. But with our engines disabled,
our chances for capture would be very good.

As the last shot fell astern of the boat and sent up a column of
spray, we looked about the cabin and saw that no one had been injured.
A moment later came the announcement from the pilot-house:

"Captain Gorman is killed!"

I ascended to the hurricane deck, and thence to the pilot-house. The
pilot, with his hat thrown aside and his hair streaming in the wind,
stood at his post, carefully guiding the boat on her course. The body
of the captain was lying at his feet. Another man lay dying, close by
the opening in which the wheel revolved. The floor was covered with
blood, splinters, glass, and the fragments of a shattered stove.
One side of the little room was broken in, and the other side was
perforated where the projectiles made their exit.

The first gun from the Rebels threw a shell which entered the side of
the pilot-house, and struck the captain, who was sitting just behind
the pilot. Death must have been instantaneous. A moment later, a
"spherical-case shot" followed the shell. It exploded as it struck
the wood-work, and a portion of the contents entered the side of the
bar-keeper of the boat. In falling to the floor he fell against the
wheel. The pilot, steering the boat with one hand, pulled the dying
man from the wheel with the other, and placed him by the side of the
dead captain.

Though, apparently, the pilot was as cool and undisturbed as ever, his
face was whiter than usual. He said the most trying moment of all was
soon after the first shots were fired. Wishing to "round the bend" as
speedily as possible, he rang the bell as a signal to the engineer to
check the speed of one of the wheels. The signal was not obeyed, the
engineers having fled to places of safety. He rang the bell once more.
He shouted down the speaking-tube, to enforce compliance with his

There was no answer. The engines were caring for themselves. The boat
must be controlled by the rudder alone. With a dead man and a
dying man at his feet, with the Rebel shot and shell every moment
perforating the boat or falling near it, and with no help from those
who should control the machinery, he felt that his position was a
painful one.

We were out of danger. An hour later we found the gun-boat _Neosho_,
at anchor, eight miles further up the stream. Thinking we might again
be attacked, the commander of the _Neosho_ offered to convoy us to
Red River. We accepted his offer. As soon as the _Neosho_ raised
sufficient steam to enable her to move, we proceeded on our course.

Order was restored on the _Von Phul_. Most of the passengers gathered
in little groups, and talked about the recent occurrence. I returned
to my writing, and Colburn gave his attention to a book. With the
gun-boat at our side, no one supposed there was danger of another

A half-hour after starting under convoy of the gun-boat, the Rebels
once more opened fire. They paid no attention to the _Neosho_, but
threw all their projectiles at the _Von Phul_. The first shell passed
through the cabin, wounding a person near me, and grazing a post
against which Colburn and myself were resting our chairs. This shell
was followed by others in quick succession, most of them passing
through the cabin. One exploded under the portion of the cabin
directly beneath my position. The explosion uplifted the boards with
such force as to overturn my table and disturb the steadiness of my

I dreaded splinters far more than I feared the pitiless iron. I left
the cabin, through which the shells were pouring, and descended to the
lower deck. It was no better there than above. We were increasing
the distance between ourselves and the Rebels, and the shot began to
strike lower down. Nearly every shot raked the lower deck.

A loose plank on which I stood was split for more than half its
length, by a shot which struck my foot when its force was nearly
spent. Though the skin was not abraded, and no bones were broken, I
felt the effect of the blow for several weeks.

I lay down upon the deck. A moment after I had taken my horizontal
position, two men who lay against me were mortally wounded by a shell.
The right leg of one was completely severed below the knee. This shell
was the last projectile that struck the forward portion of the boat.

With a handkerchief loosely tied and twisted with a stick, I
endeavored to stop the flow of blood from the leg of the wounded man.
I was partially successful, but the stoppage of blood could not save
the man's life. He died within the hour.

Forty-two shot and shell struck the boat. The escape-pipe was severed
where it passed between two state-rooms, and filled the cabin with
steam. The safe in the captain's office was perforated as if it had
been made of wood. A trunk was broken by a shell, and its contents
were scattered upon the floor. Splinters had fallen in the cabin,
and were spread thickly upon the carpet. Every person who escaped
uninjured had his own list of incidents to narrate.

Out of about fifty persons on board the _Von Phul_ at the time of this
occurrence, twelve were killed or wounded. One of the last projectiles
that struck the boat, injured a boiler sufficiently to allow the
escape of steam. In ten minutes our engines moved very feebly. We were
forced to "tie up" to the eastern bank of the river. We were by this
time out of range of the Rebel battery. The _Neosho_ had opened fire,
and by the time we made fast to the bank, the Rebels were in retreat.

The _Neosho_ ceased firing and moved to our relief. Before she reached
us, the steamer _Atlantic_ came in sight, descending the river.
We hailed her, and she came alongside. Immediately on learning our
condition, her captain offered to tow the _Von Phul_ to Red River,
twenty miles distant. There we could lie, under protection of the
gun-boats, and repair the damages to our machinery. We accepted his
offer at once.

I can hardly imagine a situation of greater helplessness, than a
place on board a Western passenger-steamer under the guns of a hostile
battery. A battle-field is no comparison. On solid earth the
principal danger is from projectiles. You can fight, or, under some
circumstances, can run away. On a Mississippi transport, you are
equally in danger of being shot. Added to this, you may be struck by
splinters, scalded by steam, burned by fire, or drowned in the water.
You cannot fight, you cannot run away, and you cannot find shelter.
With no power for resistance or escape, the sense of danger and
helplessness cannot be set aside.

A few weeks after the occurrence just narrated, the steamer _Brazil_,
on her way from Vicksburg to Natchez, was fired upon by a Rebel
battery near Rodney, Mississippi. The boat was struck a half-dozen
times by shot and shell. More than a hundred rifle-bullets were thrown
on board. Three persons were killed and as many wounded.

Among those killed on the _Brazil_, was a young woman who had engaged
to take charge of a school for negro children at Natchez. The Rebel
sympathizers at Natchez displayed much gratification at her death. On
several occasions I heard some of the more pious among them declare
that the hand of God directed the fatal missile. They prophesied
violent or sudden deaths to all who came to the South on a similar

The steamer _Black Hawk_ was fired upon by a Rebel battery at the
mouth of Red River. The boat ran aground in range of the enemy's guns.
A shell set her pilot-house on fire, and several persons were killed
in the cabin.

Strange to say, though aground and on fire under a Rebel battery, the
_Black Hawk_ was saved. By great exertions on the part of officers and
crew, the fire was extinguished after the pilot-house was burned away.
A temporary steering apparatus was rigged, and the boat moved from the
shoal where she had grounded. She was a full half hour within range of
the Rebel guns.



The Beginning and the End.--The Lake Erie Piracy.--A Rochester
Story.--The First War Correspondent,--Napoleon's Policy.--Waterloo
and the Rothschilds.--Journalistic Enterprise in the Mexican War.--The
Crimea and the East Indian Rebellion.--Experiences at the Beginning
of Hostilities.--The Tender Mercies of the Insurgents.--In the
Field.--Adventures in Missouri and Kentucky.--Correspondents
in Captivity.--How Battle-Accounts were Written.--Professional

Having lain aside my pen while engaged in planting cotton and
entertaining guerrillas, I resumed it on coming North, after that
experiment was finished. Setting aside my capture in New Hampshire,
narrated in the first chapter, my adventures in the field commenced in
Missouri in the earliest campaign. Singularly enough, they terminated
on our Northern border. In the earlier days of the Rebellion, it
was the jest of the correspondents, that they would, some time, find
occasion to write war-letters from the Northern cities. The jest
became a reality in the siege of Cincinnati. During that siege we
wondered whether it would be possible to extend our labors to Detroit
or Mackinaw.

In September, 1864, the famous "Lake Erie Piracy" occurred. I was
in Cleveland when the news of the seizure of the _Philo Parsons_ was
announced by telegraph, and at once proceeded to Detroit. The capture
of the _Parsons_ was a very absurd movement on the part of the Rebels,
who had taken refuge in Canada. The original design was, doubtless,
the capture of the gun-boat _Michigan_, and the release of the
prisoners on Johnson's Island. The captors of the _Parsons_ had
confederates in Sandusky, who endeavored to have the _Michigan_ in
a half-disabled condition when the _Parsons_ arrived. This was not
accomplished, and the scheme fell completely through. The two small
steamers, the _Parsons_ and _Island Queen_, were abandoned after being
in Rebel hands only a few hours.

The officers of the _Parsons_ told an interesting story of their
seizure. Mr. Ashley, the clerk, said the boat left Detroit for
Sandusky at her usual hour. She had a few passengers from Detroit, and
received others at various landings. The last party that came on board
brought an old trunk bound with ropes. The different parties did not
recognize each other, not even when drinking at the bar. When near
Kelly's Island in Lake Erie, the various officers of the steamer were
suddenly seized. The ropes on the trunk were cut, the lid flew open,
and a quantity of revolvers and hatchets was brought to light.

The pirates declared they were acting in the interest of the
"Confederacy." They relieved Mr. Ashley of his pocket-book and
contents, and appropriated the money they found in the safe. Those
of the passengers who were not "in the ring," were compelled to
contribute to the representatives of the Rebel Government. This little
affair was claimed to be "belligerent" throughout. At Kelly's Island
the passengers and crew were liberated on parole not to take up arms
against the Confederacy until properly exchanged.

After cruising in front of Sandusky, and failing to receive signals
which they expected, the pirates returned to Canada with their prize.
One of their "belligerent" acts was to throw overboard the cargo of
the _Parsons_, together with most of her furniture. At Sandwich, near
Detroit, they left the boat, after taking ashore a piano and other
articles. Her Majesty's officer of customs took possession of this
stolen property, on the ground that it was brought into Canada
without the proper permits from the custom-house. It was subsequently
recovered by its owners.

The St. Albans raid, which occurred a few months later, was a similar
act of belligerency. It created more excitement than the Lake Erie
piracy, but the questions involved were practically the same. That the
Rebels had a right of asylum in Canada no one could deny, but there
was a difference of opinion respecting the proper limits to those
rights. The Rebels hoped to involve us in a controversy with England,
that should result in the recognition of the Confederacy. This was
frequently avowed by some of the indiscreet refugees.

After the capture of the _Parsons_ and the raid upon St. Albans,
the Canadian authorities sent a strong force of militia to watch the
frontier. A battalion of British regulars was stationed at Windsor,
opposite Detroit, early in 1864, but was removed to the interior
before the raids occurred. The authorities assigned as a reason for
this removal, the desire to concentrate their forces at some central
point. The real reason was the rapid desertion of their men, allured
by the high pay and opportunity of active service in our army. In
two months the battalion at Windsor was reduced fifteen per cent, by
desertions alone.

Shortly after the St. Albans raid, a paper in Rochester announced a
visit to that city by a cricket-club from Toronto. The paragraph was
written somewhat obscurely, and jestingly spoke of the Toronto men as
"raiders." The paper reached New York, and so alarmed the authorities
that troops were at once ordered to Rochester and other points on the
frontier. The misapprehension was discovered in season to prevent the
actual moving of the troops.

       *       *       *       *       *

With the suppression of the Rebellion the mission of the war
correspondent was ended. Let us all hope that his services will not
again be required, in this country, at least, during the present
century. The publication of the reports of battles, written on the
field, and frequently during the heat of an engagement, was a marked
feature of the late war. "Our Special Correspondent" is not, however,
an invention belonging to this important era of our history.

His existence dates from the days of the Greeks and Romans. If Homer
had witnessed the battles which he described, he would, doubtless, be
recognized as the earliest war correspondent. Xenophon was the first
regular correspondent of which we have any record. He achieved an
enduring fame, which is a just tribute to the man and his profession.

During the Middle Ages, the Crusades afforded fine opportunities for
the war correspondents to display their abilities. The prevailing
ignorance of those times is shown in the absence of any reliable
accounts of the Holy Wars, written by journalists on the field. There
was no daily press, and the mail communications were very unreliable.
Down to the nineteenth century, Xenophon had no formidable competitors
for the honors which attached to his name.

The elder Napoleon always acted as his own "Special." His bulletins,
by rapid post to Paris, were generally the first tidings of his
brilliant marches and victories. His example was thought worthy of
imitation by several military officials during the late Rebellion.
Rear-Admiral Porter essayed to excel Napoleon in sending early
reports of battles for public perusal. "I have the honor to inform the
Department," is a formula with which most editors and printers became
intimately acquainted. The admiral's veracity was not as conspicuous
as his eagerness to push his reports in print.

At Waterloo there was no regular correspondent of the London press.
Several volunteer writers furnished accounts of the battle for
publication, whose accuracy has been called in question. Wellington's
official dispatches were outstripped by the enterprise of a London
banking-house. The Rothschilds knew the result of the battle eight
hours before Wellington's courier arrived.

Carrier pigeons were used to convey the intelligence. During the
Rebellion, Wall Street speculators endeavored to imitate the policy of
the Rothschilds, but were only partially successful.

In the war between Mexico and the United States, "Our Special" was
actively, though not extensively, employed. On one occasion, _The
Herald_ obtained its news in advance of the official dispatches to the
Government. The magnetic telegraph was then unknown. Horse-flesh and
steam were the only means of transmitting intelligence. If we except
the New Orleans _Picayune, The Herald_ was the only paper represented
in Mexico during the campaigns of Scott and Taylor.

During the conflict between France and England on the one hand, and
Russia on the other, the journals of London and Paris sent their
representatives to the Crimea. The London _Times,_ the foremost
paper of Europe, gave Russell a reputation he will long retain. The
"Thunderer's" letters from the camp before Sebastopol became known
throughout the civilized world. A few years later, the East Indian
rebellion once more called the London specials to the field. In
giving the history of the campaigns in India, _The Times_ and its
representative overshadowed all the rest.

Just before the commencement of hostilities in the late Rebellion, the
leading journals of New York were well represented in the South. Each
day these papers gave their readers full details of all important
events that transpired in the South. The correspondents that witnessed
the firing of the Southern heart had many adventures. Some of them
narrowly escaped with their lives.

At Richmond, a crowd visited the Spottswood House, with the avowed
intention of hanging a _Herald_ correspondent, who managed to escape
through a back door of the building. A representative of _The Tribune_
was summoned before the authorities at Charleston, on the charge of
being a Federal spy. He was cleared of the charge, but advised to
proceed North as early as possible. When he departed, Governor Pickens
requested him, as a particular favor, to ascertain the name of _The
Tribune_ correspondent, on arrival in New York, and inform him by
letter. He promised to do so. On reaching the North, he kindly told
Governor Pickens who _The Tribune_ correspondent was.

A _Times_ correspondent, passing through Harper's Ferry, found himself
in the hands of "the Chivalry," who proposed to hang him on the
general charge of being an Abolitionist. He was finally released
without injury, but at one time the chances of his escape were small.

The New Orleans correspondent of _The Tribune_ came North on the last
passenger-train from Richmond to Aquia Creek. One of _The Herald's_
representatives was thrown into prison by Jeff. Davis, but released
through the influence of Pope Walker, the Rebel Secretary of War.
Another remained in the South until all regular communication was cut
off. He reached the North in safety by the line of the "underground

When the Rebellion was fairly inaugurated, the various points of
interest were at once visited by the correspondents of the press.
Wherever our armies operated, the principal dailies of New York and
other cities were represented. Washington was the center of gravity
around which the Eastern correspondents revolved. As the army
advanced into Virginia, every movement was carefully chronicled. The
competition between the different journals was very great.

In the West the field was broader, and the competition, though active,
was less bitter than along the Potomac. In the early days, St.
Louis, Cairo, and Louisville were the principal Western points
where correspondents were stationed. As our armies extended their
operations, the journalists found their field of labor enlarged. St.
Louis lost its importance when the Rebels were driven from Missouri.
For a long time Cairo was the principal rendezvous of the journalists,
but it became less noted as our armies pressed forward along the

Every war-correspondent has his story of experiences in the field.
Gathering the details of a battle in the midst of its dangers; sharing
the privations of the camp and the fatigues of the march; riding with
scouts, and visiting the skirmishers on the extreme front; journeying
to the rear through regions infested by the enemy's cavalry, or
running the gauntlet of Rebel batteries, his life was far from
monotonous. Frequently the correspondents acted as volunteer aids
to generals during engagements, and rendered important service. They
often took the muskets of fallen soldiers and used them to advantage.
On the water, as on land, they sustained their reputation, and proved
that the hand which wielded the pen was able to wield the sword. They
contributed their proportion of killed, wounded, and captured to the
casualties of the war. Some of them accepted commissions in the army
and navy.

During the campaign of General Lyon in Missouri, the journalists who
accompanied that army were in the habit of riding outside the lines to
find comfortable quarters for the night. Frequently they went two or
three miles ahead of the entire column, in order to make sure of a
good dinner before the soldiers could overtake them. One night two
of them slept at a house three miles from the road which the army was
following. The inmates of the mansion were unaware of the vicinity
of armed "Yankees," and entertained the strangers without question.
Though a dozen Rebel scouts called at the house before daylight, the
correspondents were undisturbed. After that occasion they were more
cautious in their movements.

In Kentucky, during the advance of Kirby Smith upon Cincinnati, the
correspondents of _The Gazette_ and _The Commercial_ were captured by
the advance-guard of Rebel cavalry. Their baggage, money, and
watches became the property of their captors. The correspondents were
released, and obliged to walk about eighty miles in an August sun. A
short time later, Mr. Shanks and Mr. Westfall, correspondents of _The
Herald,_ were made acquainted with John Morgan, in one of the raids
of that famous guerrilla. The acquaintance resulted in a thorough
depletion of the wardrobes of the captured gentlemen.

In Virginia, Mr. Cadwallader and Mr. Fitzpatrick, of _The Herald_,
and Mr. Crounse, of _The Times_, were captured by Mosby, and liberated
after a brief detention and a complete relief of every thing
portable and valuable, down to their vests and pantaloons. Even their
dispatches were taken from them and forwarded to Richmond. A portion
of these reports found their way into the Richmond papers. Stonewall
Jackson and Stuart were also fortunate enough to capture some of
the representatives of the Press. At one time there were five
correspondents of _The Herald_ in the hands of the Rebels. One of
them, Mr. Anderson, was held more than a year. He was kept for ten
days in an iron dungeon, where no ray of light could penetrate.

I have elsewhere alluded to the capture of Messrs. Richardson and
Browne, of _The Tribune_, and Mr. Colburn, of _The World_, in front
of Vicksburg. The story of the captivity and perilous escape of these
representatives of _The Tribune_ reveals a patience, a fortitude, a
daring, and a fertility of resource not often excelled.

Some of the most graphic battle-accounts of the war were written very
hastily. During the three days' battle at Gettysburg, _The Herald_
published each morning the details of the fighting of the previous
day, down to the setting of the sun. This was accomplished by having a
correspondent with each corps, and one at head-quarters to forward the
accounts to the nearest telegraph office. At Antietam, _The Tribune_
correspondent viewed the battle by day, and then hurried from the
field, writing the most of his account on a railway train. From Fort
Donelson the correspondents of _The World_ and _The Tribune_ went to
Cairo, on a hospital boat crowded with wounded. Their accounts were
written amid dead and suffering men, but when published they bore
little evidence of their hasty preparation.

I once wrote a portion of a letter at the end of a medium-sized table.
At the other end of the table a party of gamblers, with twenty or
thirty spectators, were indulging in "Chuck-a-Luck." I have known
dispatches to be written on horseback, but they were very brief,
and utterly illegible to any except the writer. Much of the press
correspondence during the war was written in railway cars and on
steamboats, and much on camp-chests, stumps, or other substitutes for
tables. I have seen a half-dozen correspondents busily engaged with
their letters at the same moment, each of them resting his port-folio
on his knee, or standing upright, with no support whatever. On one
occasion a fellow-journalist assured me that the broad chest of a
slumbering _confrere_ made an excellent table, the undulations caused
by the sleeper's breathing being the only objectionable feature.

Sometimes a correspondent reached the end of a long ride so exhausted
as to be unable to hold a pen for ten consecutive minutes. In such
case a short-hand writer was employed, when accessible, to take down
from rapid dictation the story of our victory or defeat.

Under all the disadvantages of time, place, and circumstances,
of physical exhaustion and mental anxiety, it is greatly to the
correspondents' credit that they wrote so well. Battle-accounts were
frequently published that would be no mean comparison to the studied
pen-pictures of the famous writers of this or any other age. They
were extensively copied by the press of England and the Continent, and
received high praise for their vivid portrayal of the battle-field
and its scenes. Apart from the graphic accounts of great battles, they
furnished materials from which the historians will write the enduring
records of the war. With files of the New York dailies at his side, an
industrious writer could compile a history of the Rebellion, complete
in all its details.

It was a general complaint of the correspondents that their profession
was never officially recognized so as to give them an established
position in the army. They received passes from head-quarters, and
could generally go where they willed, but there were many officers who
chose to throw petty but annoying restrictions around them. As they
were generally situated throughout the army, they were, to some
extent, dependent upon official courtesies. Of course, this dependence
was injurious to free narration or criticism when any officer had
conducted improperly.

If there is ever another occasion for the services of the war
correspondent on our soil, it is to be hoped Congress will pass a law
establishing a position for the journalists, fixing their status
in the field, surrounding them with all necessary restrictions, and
authorizing them to purchase supplies and forage from the proper
departments. During the Crimean war, the correspondents of the French
and English papers had a recognized position, where they were subject
to the same rules, and entitled to the same privileges, as the
officers they accompanied. When Sir George Brown, at Eupatoria,
forbade any officer appearing in public with unshaven chin, he made no
distinction in favor of the members of the Press.

Notwithstanding their fierce competition in serving the journals they
represented, the correspondents with our army were generally on the
most friendly terms with each other. Perhaps this was less the case
in the East than in the West, where the rivalry was not so intense
and continuous. In the armies in the Mississippi Valley, the
representatives of competing journals frequently slept, ate, traveled,
and smoked together, and not unfrequently drank from the same flask
with equal relish. In the early days, "Room 45," in the St. Charles
Hotel at Cairo, was the resort of all the correspondents at that
point. There they laid aside their professional jealousies, and passed
their idle hours in efforts for mutual amusement. On some occasions
the floor of the room would be covered, in the morning, with a
confused mass of boots, hats, coats, and other articles of masculine
wear, out of which the earliest riser would array himself in
whatever suited his fancy, without the slightest regard to the owner.
"Forty-five" was the neutral ground where the correspondents planned
campaigns for all the armies of the Union, arranged the downfall of
the Rebellion, expressed their views of military measures and military
men, exulted over successes, mourned over defeats, and toasted in full
glasses the flag that our soldiers upheld.

Since the close of the war, many of the correspondents have taken
positions in the offices of the journals they represented in the
field. Some have established papers of their own in the South, and a
few have retired to other civil pursuits. Some are making professional
tours of the Southern States and recording the status of the people
lately in rebellion. _The Herald_ has sent several of its _attachés_
to the European capitals, and promises to chronicle in detail the next
great war in the Old World.



Scarcity of the Population,--Fertility of the Country.--Northern Men
already in the South.--Kansas Emigrants Crossing Missouri.--Change of
the Situation.--Present Disadvantages of Emigration.--Feeling of
the People.--Property-Holders in Richmond.--The Sentiment in North
Carolina.--South Carolina Chivalry.--The Effect of War.--Prospect of
the Success of Free Labor.--Trade in the South.

The suppression of the Rebellion, and the restoration of peace
throughout the entire South, have opened a large field for emigration.
The white population of the Southern States, never as dense as that of
the North, has been greatly diminished in consequence of the war. In
many localities more than half the able-bodied male inhabitants have
been swept away, and everywhere the loss of men is severely felt.
The breaking up of the former system of labor in the cotton and sugar
States will hinder the progress of agriculture for a considerable
time, but there can be little doubt of its beneficial effect in the
end. The desolation that was spread in the track of our armies will
be apparent for many years. The South will ultimately recover from
all her calamities, but she will need the energy and capital of the
Northern States to assist her.

During the progress of the war, as our armies penetrated the fertile
portions of the "Confederacy," many of our soldiers cast longing eyes
at the prospective wealth around them. "When the war is over we will
come here to live, and show these people something they never dreamed
of," was a frequent remark. Men born and reared in the extreme North,
were amazed at the luxuriance of Southern verdure, and wondered that
the richness of the soil had not been turned to greater advantage.
It is often said in New England that no man who has once visited the
fertile West ever returns to make his residence in the Eastern States.
Many who have explored the South, and obtained a knowledge of its
resources, will be equally reluctant to dwell in the regions where
their boyhood days were passed.

While the war was in progress many Northern men purchased plantations
on the islands along the Southern coast, and announced their
determination to remain there permanently. After the capture of New
Orleans, business in that city passed into the hands of Northerners,
much to the chagrin of the older inhabitants. When the disposition of
our army and the topography of the country made the lower portion
of Louisiana secure against Rebel raids, many plantations in that
locality were purchased outright by Northern speculators. I have
elsewhere shown how the cotton culture was extensively carried on by
"Yankees," and that failure was not due to their inability to conduct
the details of the enterprise.

Ten years ago, emigration to Kansas was highly popular. Aid Societies
were organized in various localities, and the Territory was rapidly
filled. Political influences had much to do with this emigration from
both North and South, and many implements carried by the emigrants
were not altogether agricultural in their character. The soil of
Kansas was known to be fertile, and its climate excellent. The
Territory presented attractions to settlers, apart from political
considerations. But in going thither the emigrants crossed a region
equally fertile, and possessing superior advantages in its
proximity to a market. No State in the Union could boast of greater
possibilities than Missouri, yet few travelers in search of a home
ventured to settle within her limits.

The reason was apparent. Missouri was a slave State, though bounded on
three sides by free soil. Few Northern emigrants desired to settle in
the midst of slavery. The distinction between the ruling and laboring
classes was not as great as in the cotton States, but there was a
distinction beyond dispute. Whatever his blood or complexion, the
man who labored with his hands was on a level, or nearly so, with the
slave. Thousands passed up the Missouri River, or crossed the northern
portion of the State, to settle in the new Territory of Kansas.
When political influences ceased, the result was still the same. The
Hannibal and St. Joseph Railway threw its valuable lands into the
market, but with little success.

With the suppression of the late Rebellion, and the abolition of
slavery in Missouri, the situation is materially changed. From
Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana, there is a large emigration to Missouri.
I was recently informed that forty families from a single county in
Ohio had sent a delegation to Missouri to look out suitable locations,
either of wild land or of farms under cultivation. There is every
prospect that the State will be rapidly filled with a population that
believes in freedom and in the dignity of labor. She has an advantage
over the other ex-slave States, in lying west of the populous regions
of the North. Hitherto, emigration has generally followed the great
isothermal lines, as can be readily seen when we study the population
of the Western States. Northern Ohio is more New Englandish than
Southern Ohio, and the parallel holds good in Northern and Southern
Illinois. There will undoubtedly be a large emigration to Missouri
in preference to the other Southern States, but our whole migratory
element will not find accommodation in her limits. The entire South
will be overrun by settlers from the North.

Long ago, _Punch_ gave advice to persons about to marry. It was all
comprised in the single word, "DON'T." Whoever is in haste to emigrate
to the South, would do well to consider, for a time, this brief, but
emphatic counsel. No one should think of leaving the Northern States,
until he has fairly considered the advantages and disadvantages of the
movement. If he departs with the expectation of finding every thing to
his liking, he will be greatly disappointed at the result.

There will be many difficulties to overcome. The people now residing
in the late rebellious States are generally impoverished. They have
little money, and, in many cases, their stock and valuables of all
kinds have been swept away. Their farms are often without fences, and
their farming-tools worn out, disabled, or destroyed. Their system of
labor is broken up. The negro is a slave no longer, and the transition
from bondage to freedom will affect, for a time, the producing
interests of the South.

Though the Rebellion is suppressed, the spirit of discontent
still remains in many localities, and will retard the process of
reconstruction. The teachings of slavery have made the men of the
South bitterly hostile to those of the North. This hostility was
carefully nurtured by the insurgent leaders during the Rebellion, and
much of it still exists. In many sections of the South, efforts will
be made to prevent immigration from the North, through a fear that the
old inhabitants will lose their political rights.

At the time I am writing, the owners of property in Richmond are
holding it at such high rates as to repel Northern purchasers. Letters
from that city say, the residents have determined to sell no property
to Northern men, when they can possibly avoid it. No encouragement
is likely to be given to Northern farmers and artisans to migrate
thither. A scheme for taking a large number of European emigrants
directly from foreign ports to Richmond, and thence to scatter them
throughout Virginia, is being considered by the Virginia politicians.
The wealthy men in the Old Dominion, who were Secessionists for the
sake of secession, and who gave every assistance to the Rebel cause,
are opposed to the admission of Northern settlers. They may be
unable to prevent it, but they will be none the less earnest in their

This feeling extends throughout a large portion of Virginia, and
exists in the other States of the South. Its intensity varies in
different localities, according to the extent of the slave population
in the days before the war, and the influence that the Radical men
of the South have exercised. While Virginia is unwilling to receive
strangers, North Carolina is manifesting a desire to fill her
territory with Northern capital and men. She is already endeavoring
to encourage emigration, and has offered large quantities of land
on liberal terms. In Newbern, Wilmington, and Raleigh, the Northern
element is large. Newbern is "Yankeeized" as much as New Orleans.
Wilmington bids fair to have intimate relations with New York and
Boston. An agency has been established at Raleigh, under the sanction
of the Governor of the State, to secure the immediate occupation of
farming and mining lands, mills, manufactories, and all other kinds of
real estate. Northern capital and sinew is already on its way to
that region. The great majority of the North Carolinians approve
the movement, but there are many persons in the State who equal the
Virginians in their hostility to innovations.

In South Carolina, few beside the negroes will welcome the Northerner
with open arms. The State that hatched the secession egg, and
proclaimed herself at all times first and foremost for the
perpetuation of slavery, will not exult at the change which
circumstances have wrought. Her Barnwells, her McGraths, her Rhetts,
and her Hamptons declared they would perish in the last ditch, rather
than submit. Some of them have perished, but many still remain. Having
been life-long opponents of Northern policy, Northern industry, and
Northern enterprise, they will hardly change their opinions until
taught by the logic of events.

Means of transportation are limited. On the railways the tracks are
nearly worn out, and must be newly laid before they can be used with
their old facility. Rolling stock is disabled or destroyed. Much of
it must be wholly replaced, and that which now remains must undergo
extensive repairs. Depots and machine-shops have been burned, and
many bridges are bridges no longer. On the smaller rivers but few
steamboats are running, and these are generally of a poor class.
Wagons are far from abundant, and mules and horses are very scarce.
The wants of the armies have been supplied with little regard to the
inconvenience of the people.

Corn-mills, saw-mills, gins, and factories have fed the flames.
Wherever our armies penetrated they spread devastation in their track.
Many portions of the South were not visited by a hostile force, but
they did not escape the effects of war. Southern Georgia and Florida
suffered little from the presence of the Northern armies, but the
scarcity of provisions and the destitution of the people are nearly as
great in that region as elsewhere.

Until the present indignation at their defeat is passed away, many of
the Southern people will not be inclined to give any countenance to
the employment of freed negroes. They believe slavery is the proper
condition for the negro, and declare that any system based on free
labor will prove a failure. This feeling will not be general among the
Southern people, and will doubtless be removed in time.

The transition from slavery to freedom will cause some irregularities
on the part of the colored race. I do not apprehend serious trouble
in controlling the negro, and believe his work will be fully available
throughout the South. It is natural that he should desire a little
holiday with his release from bondage. For a time many negroes will
be idle, and so will many white men who have returned from the Rebel
armies. According to present indications, the African race displays
far more industry than the Caucasian throughout the Southern States.
Letters from the South say the negroes are at work in some localities,
but the whites are everywhere idle.

Those who go to the South for purposes of traffic may or may not be
favored with large profits. All the products of the mechanic arts
are very scarce in the interior, while in the larger towns trade is
generally overdone. Large stocks of goods were taken to all places
accessible by water as soon as the ports were opened. The supply
exceeded the demand, and many dealers suffered heavy loss. From
Richmond and other points considerable quantities of goods have been
reshipped to New York, or sold for less than cost. Doubtless the trade
with the South will ultimately be very large, but it cannot spring up
in a day. Money is needed before speculation can be active. A year or
two, at the least, will be needed to fill the Southern pocket.

So much for the dark side of the picture. Emigrants are apt to listen
to favorable accounts of the region whither they are bound, while they
close their ears to all stories of an unfavorable character. To insure
a hearing of both sides of the question under discussion, I have given
the discouraging arguments in advance of all others. Already those
who desire to stimulate travel to the South, are relating wonderful
stories of its fertility and its great advantages to settlers. No
doubt they are telling much that is true, but they do not tell all the
truth. Every one has heard the statement, circulated in Ireland many
years since, that America abounded in roasted pigs that ran about the
streets, carrying knives and forks in their mouths, and making vocal
requests to be devoured. Notwithstanding the absurdity of the story,
it is reported to have received credit.

The history of every emigration scheme abounds in narratives of a
brilliant, though piscatorial, character. The interior portions of all
the Western States are of wonderful fertility, and no inhabitant of
that region has any hesitation in announcing the above fact. But not
one in a hundred will state frankly his distance from market, and the
value of wheat and corn at the points of their production. In too many
cases the bright side of the story is sufficient for the listener.

I once traveled in a railway car where there were a dozen emigrants
from the New England States, seeking a home in the West. An agent of
a county in Iowa was endeavoring to call their attention to the great
advantages which his region afforded. He told them of the fertility of
the soil, the amount of corn and wheat that could be produced to the
acre, the extent of labor needed for the production of a specified
quantity of cereals, the abundance of timber, and the propinquity of
fine streams, with many other brilliant and seductive stories. The
emigrants listened in admiration of the Promised Land, and were on the
point of consenting to follow the orator.

I ventured to ask the distance from those lands to a market where the
products could be sold, and the probable cost of transportation.

The answer was an evasive one, but was sufficient to awaken the
suspicions of the emigrants. My question destroyed the beautiful
picture which the voluble agent had drawn.

Those who desire to seek their homes in the South will do well to
remember that baked pigs are not likely to exist in abundance in the
regions traversed by the National armies.



Conciliating the People of the South.--Railway Travel and its
Improvement.--Rebuilding Steamboats.--Replacing Working
Stock.--The Condition of the Plantations.--Suggestions about Hasty
Departures.--Obtaining Information.--The Attractions of Missouri.

The hinderances I have mentioned in the way of Southern emigration are
of a temporary character. The opposition of the hostile portion of
the Southern people can be overcome in time. When they see there is no
possible hope for them to control the National policy, when they fully
realize that slavery is ended, and ended forever, when they discover
that the negro will work as a free man with advantage to his employer,
they will become more amiable in disposition. Much of their present
feeling arises from a hope of compelling a return to the old relation
of master and slave. When this hope is completely destroyed, we shall
have accomplished a great step toward reconstruction. A practical
knowledge of Northern industry and enterprise will convince the people
of the South, unless their hearts are thoroughly hardened, that some
good can come out of Nazareth. They may never establish relations of
great intimacy with their new neighbors, but their hostility will be
diminished to insignificance.

Some of the advocates of the "last ditch" theory, who have sworn
never to live in the United States, will, doubtless, depart to foreign
lands, or follow the example of the Virginia gentleman who committed
suicide on ascertaining the hopelessness of the Rebellion. Failing
to do either of these things, they must finally acquiesce in the
supremacy of National authority.

The Southern railways will be repaired, their rolling stock replaced,
and the routes of travel restored to the old status. All cannot be
done at once, as the destruction and damage have been very extensive,
and many of the companies are utterly impoverished. From two to five
years will elapse before passengers and freight can be transported
with the same facility, in all directions, as before the war.

Under a more liberal policy new lines will be opened, and the various
portions of the Southern States become accessible. During the war two
railways were constructed under the auspices of the Rebel Government,
that will prove of great advantage in coming years. These are
the lines from Meridian, Mississippi, to Selma, Alabama, and from
Danville, Virginia, to Greensborough, North Carolina. A glance at a
railway map of the Southern States will show their importance.

On many of the smaller rivers boats are being improvised by adding
wheels and motive power to ordinary scows. In a half-dozen years,
at the furthest, we will, doubtless, see the rivers of the Southern
States traversed by as many steamers as before the war. On the
Mississippi and its tributaries the destruction of steamboat property
was very great, but the loss is rapidly being made good. Since 1862
many fine boats have been constructed, some of them larger and more
costly than any that existed during the most prosperous days before
the Rebellion. On the Alabama and other rivers, efforts are being made
to restore the steamboat fleets to their former magnitude.

Horses, mules, machinery, and farming implements must and will be
supplied out of the abundance in the North. The want of mules will be
severely felt for some years. No Yankee has yet been able to invent a
machine that will create serviceable mules to order. We must wait for
their production by the ordinary means, and it will be a considerable
time before the supply is equal to the demand. Those who turn their
attention to stock-raising, during the next ten or twenty years, can
always be certain of finding a ready and remunerative market.

The Southern soil is as fertile as ever. Cotton, rice, corn, sugar,
wheat, and tobacco can be produced in their former abundance.
Along the Mississippi the levees must be restored, to protect
the plantations from floods. This will be a work of considerable
magnitude, and, without extraordinary effort, cannot be accomplished
for several years. Everywhere fences must be rebuilt, and many
buildings necessary in preparing products for market must be restored.
Time, capital, energy, and patience will be needed to develop anew
the resources of the South. Properly applied, they will be richly

No person should be hasty in his departure, nor rush blindly to the
promised land. Thousands went to California, in '49 and '50, with
the impression that the gold mines lay within an hour's walk of San
Francisco. In '59, many persons landed at Leavenworth, on their way to
Pike's Peak, under the belief that the auriferous mountain was only
a day's journey from their landing-place. Thousands have gone "West"
from New York and New England, believing that Chicago was very near
the frontier. Those who start with no well-defined ideas of their
destination are generally disappointed. The war has given the public
a pretty accurate knowledge of the geography of the South, so that
the old mistakes of emigrants to California and Colorado are in
slight danger of repetition, but there is a possibility of too little
deliberation in setting out.

Before starting, the emigrant should obtain all accessible information
about the region he intends to visit. Geographies, gazetteers, census
returns, and works of a similar character will be of great advantage.
Much can be obtained from persons who traveled in the rebellious
States during the progress of the war. The leading papers
throughout the country are now publishing letters from their special
correspondents, relative to the state of affairs in the South. These
letters are of great value, and deserve a careful study.

Information from interested parties should be received with caution.
Those who have traveled in the far West know how difficult it is to
obtain correct statements relative to the prosperity or advantages
of any specified locality. Every man assures you that the town or the
county where he resides, or where he is interested, is the best and
the richest within a hundred miles. To an impartial observer, lying
appears to be the only personal accomplishment in a new country. I
presume those who wish to encourage Southern migration will be ready
to set forth all the advantages (but none of the disadvantages) of
their own localities.

Having fully determined where to go and what to do, having selected
his route of travel, and ascertained, as near as possible, what
will be needed on the journey, the emigrant will next consider his
financial policy. No general rule can be given. In most cases it is
better not to take a large amount of money at starting. To many this
advice will be superfluous. Bills of exchange are much safer to carry
than ready cash, and nearly as convenient for commercial transactions.
Beyond an amount double the estimated expenses of his journey, the
traveler will usually carry very little cash.

For the present, few persons should take their wives and children to
the interior South, and none should do so on their first visit. Many
houses have been burned or stripped of their furniture, provisions are
scarce and costly, and the general facilities for domestic happiness
are far from abundant. The conveniences for locomotion in that region
are very poor, and will continue so for a considerable time. A man can
"rough it" anywhere, but he can hardly expect his family to travel on
flat cars, or on steamboats that have neither cabins nor decks, and
subsist on the scanty and badly-cooked provisions that the Sunny South
affords. By all means, I would counsel any young man on his way to the
South not to elope with his neighbor's wife. In view of the condition
of the country beyond Mason and Dixon's line, an elopement would prove
his mistake of a lifetime.

I have already referred to the resources of Missouri. The State
possesses greater mineral wealth than any other State of the Union,
east of the Rocky Mountains. Her lead mines are extensive, easily
worked, very productive, and practically inexhaustible. The same may
be said of her iron mines. Pilot Knob and Iron Mountain are nearly
solid masses of ore, the latter being a thousand feet in height.
Copper mines have been opened and worked, and tin has been found in
several localities. The soil of the Northern portion of Missouri
can boast of a fertility equal to that of Kansas or Illinois. In the
Southern portion the country is more broken, but it contains large
areas of rich lands. The productions of Missouri are similar to those
of the Northern States in the same latitude. More hemp is raised in
Missouri than in any other State except Kentucky. Much of this article
was used during the Rebellion, in efforts to break up the numerous
guerrilla bands that infested the State. Tobacco is an important
product, and its culture is highly remunerative. At Hermann,
Booneville, and other points, the manufacture of wine from the Catawba
grape is extensively carried on. In location and resources, Missouri
is without a rival among the States that formerly maintained the
system of slave labor.



How the People have Lived.--An Agricultural Community.--Mineral
and other Wealth of Virginia.--Slave-Breeding in Former
Times.--The Auriferous Region of North Carolina.--Agricultural
Advantages.--Varieties of Soil in South Carolina.--Sea-Island
Cotton.--Georgia and her Railways.--Probable Decline of the Rice
Culture.--The Everglade State.--The Lower Mississippi Valley.--The Red
River.--Arkansas and its Advantages.--A Hint for Tragedians.--Mining
in Tennessee.--The Blue-Grass Region of Kentucky.--Texas and
its Attractions.--Difference between Southern and Western
Emigration.--The End.

Compared with the North, the Southern States have been strictly an
agricultural region. Their few manufactures were conducted on a small
scale, and could not compete with those of the colder latitudes. They
gave some attention to stock-raising in a few localities, but did not
attach to it any great importance. Cotton was the product which fed,
clothed, sheltered, and regaled the people. Even with the immense
profits they received from its culture, they did not appear to
understand the art of enjoyment. They generally lived on large and
comfortless tracts of land, and had very few cities away from
the sea-coast. They thought less of personal comfort than of the
acquisition of more land, mules, and negroes.

In the greatest portion of the South, the people lived poorer than
many Northern mechanics have lived in the past twenty years. The
property in slaves, to the extent of four hundred millions of dollars,
was their heaviest item of wealth, but they seemed unable to turn this
wealth to the greatest advantage. With the climate and soil in their
favor, they paid little attention to the cheaper luxuries of rational
living, but surrounded themselves with much that was expensive, though
utterly useless. On plantations where the owners resided, a visiter
would find the women adorned with diamonds and laces that cost
many thousand dollars, and feast his eyes upon parlor furniture and
ornaments of the most elaborate character. But the dinner-table would
present a repast far below that of a New England farmer or mechanic
in ordinary circumstances, and the sleeping-rooms would give evidence
that genuine comfort was a secondary consideration. Outside of New
Orleans and Charleston, where they are conducted by foreigners, the
South has no such market gardens, or such abundance and variety of
wholesome fruits and vegetables, as the more sterile North can boast
of everywhere. So of a thousand other marks of advancing civilization.

Virginia, "the mother of Presidents," is rich in minerals of the more
useful sort, and some of the precious metals. Her list of mineral
treasures includes gold, copper, iron, lead, plumbago, coal, and salt.
The gold mines are not available except to capitalists, and it is not
yet fully settled whether the yield is sufficient to warrant large
investments. The gold is extracted from an auriferous region,
extending from the Rappahannock to the Coosa River, in Alabama.
The coal-beds in the State are easy of access, and said to be
inexhaustible. The Kanawha salt-works are well known, and the
petroleum regions of West Virginia are attracting much attention.

Virginia presents many varieties of soil, and, with a better system of
cultivation, her productions can be greatly increased. (The same
may be said of all the Southern States, from the Atlantic to the Rio
Grande.) Her soil is favorable to all the products of the Northern
States. The wheat and corn of Virginia have a high reputation. In the
culture of tobacco she has always surpassed every other State of
the Union, and was also the first State in which it was practiced
by civilized man to any extent. Washington pronounced the central
counties of Virginia the finest agricultural district in the United
States, as he knew them. Daniel Webster declared, in a public speech
in the Shenandoah Valley, that he had seen no finer farming land in
his European travel than in that valley.

Until 1860, the people of Virginia paid considerable attention to the
raising of negroes for the Southern market. For some reason this trade
has greatly declined within the past five years, the stock becoming
unsalable, and its production being interrupted. I would advise
no person to contemplate moving to Virginia with a view to raising
negroes for sale. The business was formerly conducted by the "First
Families," and if it should be revived, they will doubtless claim an
exclusive privilege.

North Carolina abounds in minerals, especially in gold, copper, iron,
and coal. The fields of the latter are very extensive. The gold
mines of North Carolina have been profitably worked for many years. A
correspondent of _The World_, in a recent letter from Charlotte, North
Carolina, says:

In these times of mining excitement it should he more widely known
that North Carolina is a competitor with California, Idaho, and
Nebraska. Gold is found in paying quantities in the State, and in the
northern parts of South Carolina and Georgia. For a hundred miles
west and southwest of Charlotte, all the streams contain more or less
gold-dust. Nuggets of a few ounces have been frequently found, and
there is one well-authenticated case of a solid nugget weighing
twenty-eight pounds, which was purchased from its ignorant owner for
three dollars, and afterward sold at the Mint. Report says a still
larger lump was found and cut up by the guard at one of the mines.
Both at Greensboro, Salisbury, and here, the most reliable residents
concur in pointing to certain farms where the owners procure large
sums of gold. One German is said to have taken more than a million
of dollars from his farm, and refuses to sell his land for any price.
Negroes are and have been accustomed to go out to the creeks and wash
on Saturdays, frequently bringing in two or three dollars' worth, and
not unfrequently negroes come to town with little nuggets of the pure
ore to trade.

The iron and copper mines were developed only to a limited extent
before the war. The necessities of the case led the Southern
authorities, however, after the outbreak, to turn their attention to
them, and considerable quantities of the ore were secured. This was
more especially true of iron.

North Carolina is adapted to all the agricultural products of both
North and South, with the exception of cane sugar. The marshes on the
coast make excellent rice plantations, and, when drained, are very
fertile in cotton. Much of the low, sandy section, extending sixty
miles from the coast, is covered with extensive forests of pitch-pine,
that furnish large quantities of lumber, tar, turpentine, and resin,
for export to Northern cities. When cleared and cultivated, this
region proves quite fertile, but Southern energy has thus far been
content to give it very little improvement. Much of the land in the
interior is very rich and productive. With the exception of Missouri,
North Carolina is foremost, since the close of the war, in
encouraging immigration. As soon as the first steps were taken
toward reconstruction, the "North Carolina Land Agency" was opened at
Raleigh, under the recommendation of the Governor of the State. This
agency is under the management of Messrs. Heck, Battle & Co., citizens
of Raleigh, and is now (August, 1865) establishing offices in the
Northern cities for the purpose of representing the advantages that
North Carolina possesses.

The auriferous region of North Carolina extends into South Carolina
and Georgia. In South Carolina the agricultural facilities are
extensive. According to Ruffin and Tuomey (the agricultural surveyors
of the State), there are six varieties of soil: 1. Tide swamp, devoted
to the culture of rice. 2. Inland swamp, devoted to rice, cotton,
corn, wheat, etc. 3. Salt marsh, devoted to long cotton. 4. Oak and
pine regions, devoted to long cotton, corn, and wheat. 5. Oak and
hickory regions, where cotton and corn flourish. 6. Pine barrens,
adapted to fruit and vegetables.

The famous "sea-island cotton" comes from the islands along the coast,
where large numbers of the freed negroes of South Carolina have been
recently located. South Carolina can produce, side by side, the corn,
wheat, and tobacco of the North, and the cotton, rice, and sugar-cane
of the South, though the latter article is not profitably cultivated.

Notwithstanding the prophecies of the South Carolinians to the
contrary, the free-labor scheme along the Atlantic coast has proved
successful. The following paragraph is from a letter written by a
prominent journalist at Savannah:--

The condition of the islands along this coast is now of the greatest
interest to the world at large, and to the people of the South in
particular. Upon careful inquiry, I find that there are over two
hundred thousand acres of land under cultivation by free labor. The
enterprises are mostly by Northern men, although there are natives
working their negroes under the new system, and negroes who are
working land on their own account. This is the third year of the
trial, and every year has been a success more and more complete. The
profits of some of the laborers amount to five hundred, and in some
cases five thousand dollars a year. The amount of money deposited in
bank by the negroes of these islands is a hundred and forty thousand
dollars. One joint, subscription to the seven-thirty loan amounted
to eighty thousand dollars. Notwithstanding the fact that the troops
which landed on the islands robbed, indiscriminately, the negroes of
their money, mules, and supplies, the negroes went back to work again.
General Saxton, who has chief charge of this enterprise, has his
head-quarters at Beaufort. If these facts, and the actual prosperity
of these islands could be generally known throughout the South, it
would do more to induce the whites to take hold of the freed-labor
system than all the general orders and arbitrary commands that General
Hatch has issued.

The resources of Georgia are similar to those of South Carolina, and
the climate differs but little from that of the latter State. The
rice-swamps are unhealthy, and the malaria which arises from them is
said to be fatal to whites. Many of the planters express a fear that
the abolition of slavery has ended the culture of rice. They argue
that the labor is so difficult and exhaustive, that the negroes will
never perform it excepting under the lash. Cruel modes of punishment
being forbidden, the planters look upon the rice-lands as valueless.
Time will show whether these fears are to be realized or not. If it
should really happen that the negroes refuse to labor where their
lives are of comparatively short duration, the country must consent to
restore slavery to its former status, or purchase its rice in foreign
countries. As rice is produced in India without slave labor, it is
possible that some plan may be invented for its cultivation here.

Georgia has a better system of railways than any other Southern State,
and she is fortunate in possessing several navigable rivers. The
people are not as hostile to Northerners as the inhabitants of South
Carolina, but they do not display the desire to encourage immigration
that is manifested in North Carolina. In the interior of Georgia,
at the time I am writing, there is much suffering on account of a
scarcity of food. Many cases of actual starvation are reported.

Florida has few attractions to settlers. It is said there is no spot
of land in the State three hundred feet above the sea-level. Men born
with fins and webbed feet might enjoy themselves in the lakes and
swamps, which form a considerable portion of Florida. Those whose
tastes are favorable to timber-cutting, can find a profitable
employment in preparing live-oak and other timbers for market. The
climate is very healthy, and has been found highly beneficial to
invalids. The vegetable productions of the State are of similar
character to those of Georgia, but their amount is not large.

In the Indian tongue, Alabama signifies "Here we rest." The traveler
who rests in the State of that name, finds an excellent agricultural
region. He finds that cotton is king with the Alabamians, and that the
State has fifteen hundred miles of navigable rivers and a good railway
system. He finds that Alabama suffered less by the visits of our
armies than either Georgia or South Carolina. The people extend him
the same welcome that he received in Georgia. They were too deeply
interested in the perpetuation of slavery to do otherwise than mourn
the failure to establish the Confederacy.

Elsewhere I have spoken of the region bordering the lower portion of
the Great River of the West, which includes Louisiana and Mississippi.
In the former State, sugar and cotton are the great products. In the
latter, cotton is the chief object of attention. It is quite probable
that the change from slavery to freedom may necessitate the division
of the large plantations into farms of suitable size for cultivation
by persons of moderate capital. If this should be done, there will
be a great demand for Northern immigrants, and the commerce of these
States will be largely increased.

Early in July, of the present year, after the dispersal of the
Rebel armies, a meeting was held at Shreveport, Louisiana, at which
resolutions were passed favoring the encouragement of Northern
migration to the Red River valley. The resolutions set forth, that the
pineries of that region would amply repay development, in view of
the large market for lumber along Red River and the Mississippi.
They further declared, that the cotton and sugar plantations of West
Louisiana offered great attractions, and were worthy the attention
of Northern men. The passage of these resolutions indicates a better
spirit than has been manifested by the inhabitants of other portions
of the Pelican State. Many of the people in the Red River region
profess to have been loyal to the United States throughout the days of
the Rebellion.

The Red River is most appropriately named. It flows through a region
where the soil has a reddish tinge, that is imparted to the water of
the river. The sugar produced there has the same peculiarity, and can
be readily distinguished from the sugar of other localities.

Arkansas is quite rich in minerals, though far less so than Missouri.
Gold abounds in some localities, and lead, iron, and zinc exist
in large quantities. The saltpeter caves along the White River can
furnish sufficient saltpeter for the entire Southwest. Along the
rivers the soil is fertile, but there are many sterile regions in the
interior. The agricultural products are similar to those of Missouri,
with the addition of cotton. With the exception of the wealthier
inhabitants, the people of Arkansas are desirous of stimulating
emigration. They suffered so greatly from the tyranny of the Rebel
leaders that they cheerfully accept the overthrow of slavery. Arkansas
possesses less advantages than most other Southern States, being far
behind her sisters in matters of education and internal improvement.
It is to be hoped that her people have discovered their mistake, and
will make earnest efforts to correct it at an early day.

A story is told of a party of strolling players that landed at a town
in Arkansas, and advertised a performance of "Hamlet." A delegation
waited upon the manager, and ordered him to "move on." The spokesman
of the delegation is reported to have said:

"That thar Shakspeare's play of yourn, stranger, may do for New York
or New Orleans, but we want you to understand that Shakspeare in
Arkansas is pretty ---- well played out."

Persons who wish to give attention to mining matters, will find
attractions in Tennessee, in the deposits of iron, copper, and
other ores. Coal is found in immense quantities among the Cumberland
Mountains, and lead exists in certain localities. Though Tennessee can
boast of considerable mineral wealth, her advantages are not equal to
those of Missouri or North Carolina. In agriculture she stands well,
though she has no soil of unusual fertility, except in the western
portion of the State. Cotton, corn, and tobacco are the great staples,
and considerable quantities of wheat are produced. Stock-raising has
received considerable attention. More mules were formerly raised in
Tennessee than in any other State of the Union. A large portion of the
State is admirably adapted to grazing.

Military operations in Tennessee, during the Rebellion, were very
extensive, and there was great destruction of property in consequence.
Large numbers of houses and other buildings were burned, and many
farms laid waste. It will require much time, capital, and energy to
obliterate the traces of war.

The inhabitants of Kentucky believe that their State cannot be
surpassed in fertility. They make the famous "Blue Grass Region,"
around Lexington, the subject of especial boast. The soil of this
section is very rich, and the grass has a peculiar bluish tinge, from
which its name is derived. One writer says the following of the Blue
Grass Region:--

View the country round from the heads of the Licking, the Ohio, the
Kentucky, Dick's, and down the Green River, and you have a hundred
miles square of the most extraordinary country on which the sun has
ever shone.

Farms in this region command the highest prices, and there are very
few owners who have any desire to sell their property. Nearly all the
soil of the State is adapted to cultivation. Its staple products are
the same as those of Missouri. It produces more flax and hemp than
any other State, and is second only to Virginia in the quality and
quantity of its tobacco. Its yield of corn is next to that of Ohio.
Like Tennessee, it has a large stock-raising interest, principally in
mules and hogs, for which there is always a ready market.

Kentucky suffered severely during the campaigns of the Rebel army in
that State, and from the various raids of John Morgan. A parody on
"My Maryland" was published in Louisville soon after one of Morgan's
visits, of which the first stanza was as follows:--

  John Morgan's foot is on thy shore,
     Kentucky! O Kentucky!
  His hand is on thy stable door,
     Kentucky! O Kentucky!
  He'll take thy horse he spared before,
  And ride him till his back is sore,
  And leave him at some stranger's door,
     Kentucky! O Kentucky!

Last, and greatest, of the lately rebellious States, is Texas. Every
variety of soil can be found there, from the richest alluvial deposits
along the river bottoms, down to the deserts in the northwestern part
of the State, where a wolf could not make an honest living. All the
grains of the Northern States can be produced. Cotton, tobacco,
and sugar-cane are raised in large quantities, and the agricultural
capabilities of Texas are very great. Being a new State, its system of
internal communications is not good. Texas has the reputation of being
the finest grazing region in the Southwest. Immense droves of horses,
cattle, and sheep cover its prairies, and form the wealth of many of
the inhabitants. Owing to the distance from market, these animals are
generally held at very low prices.

Shortly after its annexation to the United States, Texas became a
resort for outcasts from civilized society. In some parts of the
Union, the story goes that sheriffs, and their deputies dropped the
phrase "_non est inventus_" for one more expressive. Whenever they
discovered that parties for whom they held writs had decamped, they
returned the documents with the indorsement "G.T.T." (gone to Texas).
Some writer records that the State derived its name from the last
words of a couplet which runaway individuals were supposed to repeat
on their arrival:--

  When every other land rejects us,
  This is the land that freely takes us.

Since 1850, the character of the population of Texas has greatly
improved, though it does not yet bear favorable comparison to that
of Quaker villages, or of rural districts of Massachusetts or
Connecticut. There is a large German element in Texas, which displayed
devoted loyalty to the Union during the days of the Rebellion.

An unknown philosopher says the world is peopled by two great classes,
those who have money, and those who haven't--the latter being most
numerous. Migratory Americans are subject to the same distinction. Of
those who have emigrated to points further West during the last thirty
years, a very large majority were in a condition of impecuniosity.
Many persons emigrate on account of financial embarrassments, leaving
behind them debts of varied magnitude. In some cases, Territories and
States that desired to induce settlers to come within their limits,
have passed laws providing that no debt contracted elsewhere, previous
to emigration, could be collected by any legal process. To a man
laboring under difficulties of a pecuniary character, the new
Territories and States offer as safe a retreat as the Cities of Refuge
afforded to criminals in the days of the ancients.

Formerly, the West was the only field to which emigrants could direct
their steps. There was an abundance of land, and a great need of human
sinew to make it lucrative. When land could be occupied by a settler
and held under his pre-emption title, giving him opportunity to pay
for his possession from the products of his own industry and the
fertility of the soil, there was comparatively little need of capital.
The operations of speculators frequently tended to retard settlement
rather than to stimulate it, as they shut out large areas from
cultivation or occupation, in order to hold them for an advance. In
many of the Territories a dozen able-bodied men, accustomed to farm
labor and willing to toil, were considered a greater acquisition than
a speculator with twenty thousand dollars of hard cash. Labor was of
more importance than capital.

To a certain extent this is still the case. Laboring men are greatly
needed on the broad acres of the far-Western States. No one who has
not traveled in that region can appreciate the sacrifice made by
Minnesota, Iowa, and Kansas, when they sent their regiments of
stalwart men to the war. Every arm that carried a musket from those
States, was a certain integral portion of their wealth and prosperity.
The great cities of the seaboard could spare a thousand men with far
less loss than would accrue to any of the States I have mentioned, by
the subtraction of a hundred. There is now a great demand for men
to fill the vacancy caused by deaths in the field, and to occupy the
extensive areas that are still uncultivated. Emigrants without capital
will seek the West, where their stout arms will make them welcome and
secure them comfortable homes.

In the South the situation is different. For the present there is a
sufficiency of labor. Doubtless there will be a scarcity several years
hence, but there is no reason to fear it immediately. Capital
and direction are needed. The South is impoverished. Its money is
expended, and it has no present source of revenue. There is nothing
wherewith to purchase the necessary stock, supplies, and implements
for prosecuting agricultural enterprise. The planters are generally
helpless. Capital to supply the want must come from the rich North.

Direction is no less needed than capital. A majority of Southern men
declare the negroes will be worthless to them, now that slavery is
abolished. "We have," say they, "lived among these negroes all our
days. We know them in no other light than as slaves. We command them
to do what we wish, and we punish them as we see fit for disobedience.
We cannot manage them in any other way."

No doubt this is the declaration of their honest belief. A Northern
man can give them an answer appealing to their reason, if not to their
conviction. He can say, "You are accustomed to dealing with slaves,
and you doubtless tell the truth when declaring you cannot manage
the negroes under the new system. We are accustomed to dealing with
freemen, and do not know how to control slaves. The negroes being
free, our knowledge of freemen will enable us to manage them without

Every thing is favorable to the man of small or large capital,
who desires to emigrate to the South. In consideration of the
impoverishment of the people and their distrust of the freed negroes
as laborers, lands in the best districts can be purchased very
cheaply. Plantations can be bought, many of them with all the
buildings and fences still remaining, though somewhat out of repair,
at prices ranging from three to ten dollars an acre. A few hundred
dollars will do far more toward securing a home for the settler in
the South than in the West. Labor is abundant, and the laborers can be
easily controlled by Northern brains. The land is already broken, and
its capabilities are fully known. Capital, if judiciously invested and
under proper direction, whether in large or moderate amounts, will be
reasonably certain of an ample return.


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