March 24

March Twenty-Fourth

Adams, Giddings, and other Congressmen issued a public address, in March, 1843, declaring that the annexation of Texas would be “so injurious to the interests of the Northern States as not only inevitably to result in a dissolution of the Union, but fully to justify it.”

Henry A. White



Weather fine; some snow on the ground yet. Messrs. Smith and Farra arrived this evening from St. Albans, Vt. The regiment remained in line nearly all day in anticipation of General Grant's visit to the Army of the Potomac. A special train which he was probably on passed about 2 p. m. But what was the use of keeping troops under arms in line all day? It looks like C. W. again, or schoolboy management of which there is too much; got a letter from home to-night.

Wednesday, March 24th.—Moved on at 11 p.m. and woke up at Chocques; a few smallish guns going. Loaded up there very early and at two other places, and are now nearly back to Boulogne, mostly wounded and a few Indians; some of them are badly damaged by bombs.

The men in the Neuve Chapelle touch were awfully disappointed that they weren't allowed to push on to Lille. The older men say wonderful things of K.'s boys: "The only fault we 'ave to find wi' 'em is that they expose theirselves too much. 'Keep your 'eads down!' we 'ave to say all the time. All they wants is to charge."

According to the men, we shall be busy again at the end of this week.

Midnight.—On way to coast near Havre where No.— G.H. is. Put all worst cases off at B., the rest mostly sleeping peacefully. Passed a place on coast not far S. of B., where six hundred British workmen are working from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. building hospital huts for 12,000 beds, a huge encampment, ready for future business.

Have seen cowslips and violets on wayside. Lovely moonlight night. Train running very smoothly.

March 24, 1864

Thursday. Still going up the Red River. We passed a fort, called Fort Derussey, which was until lately in possession of the enemy. General A. J. Smith, with portions of the 16th and 17th Army Corps, took it with everything in it. These troops were with Grant at Vicksburg, and are now ahead of us on the way to Alexandria. These with the 19th Corps under Banks make a big army. The Red River is mostly crooks. Now and then a straight place gives a look ahead and backward, and boats of all kinds cover the water. They are mostly transports loaded with troops and their equipments. It is easy to tell about moving an army, but the amount of stuff that must be moved with them is another thing. By water it is a question of boats enough, and by land a question of enough mules and wagons. Where all these things come from is what I often wonder at. Mules and wagons are constantly giving out, and yet there is never any lack. And I have never seen any repair shops for wagons or hospitals for mules. Once they give out their places must be taken by others. The wonders performed by the quartermaster's department are not mentioned in any reports I have seen, and yet it is what the life and success of the army most depends on.

A man hailed us from the bank and was taken on board. He proved to be one of those captured at Sabine Pass last fall when Franklin's expedition undertook to land there. He escaped, and has been living with the negroes most of the time since. From all I can learn we are on the way to Shreveport, where the Rebels are said to be waiting in force. Shreveport is said to be the gateway between this state and Texas.