March 23

Weather fine but very chilly. About eight inches of snow fell last night. Major C. G. Chandler is division officer of the day. A review of the army is expected in the course of two or three days. The army is anxiously waiting to see General U. S. Grant; sent in another application to go before General Silas Casey's board this evening; the pickets returned to-night.

March Twenty-Third

Come, Texas! send forth your brave Rangers,
The heroes of battles untold—
Accustomed to trials and dangers,
Come stand by your rights as of old;
The deeds of your chivalrous daring
Are writ on the Alamo's wall,
A record which ruin is sparing—
Come forth to your country's loud call!
V. E. W. Vernon


Texas ratifies the Confederate Constitution, 1861



March 23, 1864

Wednesday. Left Port Hudson at 4 a. m., and at 6 were at Baton Rouge. I hustled off for a call on the 128th. Found them breaking camp to go with us, and at noon we were all together on board the Laurel Hill. At 1 p. m. we started up-stream again. I had to go all over the story of my going home, for it was very interesting to all of Company B. But they had little to tell me, for they had been in the one place ever since I left them. Dr. Andrus had also been home. He is the same good soul he has been all along. No wonder the boys all love him well enough to die for him if it were necessary. Any man that can first get, and then keep the profound respect of the 128th New York's officers and men alike, is truly a wonderful man, and one perfectly safe to pattern after. If I die in the army I hope it will be with Dr. Andrus near me, for it would be so much easier. He has spoken for another game of checkers as soon as we can find a place and a board to play on.

We kept on past Port Hudson, going first one way and then another, on account of the many crooks in the river, and by night entered the mouth of the Red River. I have found out why it is called red. The banks are a reddish clay, and enough is all the time washing away to color the water so it shows plainly after it joins the Mississippi.

Tuesday, March 23rd, 9 p.m.—Waiting all day at G.H.Q.; things are unusually quiet; one train has been through with only ninety, and another with a hundred. We went for a walk along the canal this morning with the wee puppy, and this afternoon saw over the famous jute factory Convalescent Home, where they have a thousand beds under one roof: it is like a town divided into long wards,—dining-rooms, recreation rooms, dressing station, chiropodist, tailor's shop, &c.—by shoulder-high canvas or sailcloth screens; they have outside a kitchen, a boiler, a disinfector for clothes, and any amount of baths. They have a concert every Saturday night. The men looked so absolutely happy and contented with cooked instead of trench food, and baths and games and piano, and books and writing, &c. They stay usually ten days, and are by the tenth day supposed to be fit enough for the trenches again; it often saves them a permanent breakdown from general causes, and is a more economical way of treating small disablements than sending them to the Base Hospitals. Last week they had five hundred wounded to treat, and two of the M.O.'s had to take a supply-train of seven hundred slightly wounded down to Rouen with only two orderlies. They had a bad journey. I had a French class after tea. We are now expecting to-day's London papers, which are due here about 9 p.m.

Have got some Hindustani to learn for my next lesson (from Sister B.), so will stop this.