May 21

Very warm and sultry until about 5 o'clock p. m. when quite a hard thunder-storm come up and cooled off the air; remained in our breastworks until about 4 o'clock p. m. when the first line was abandoned for the second where we remained about an hour when all withdrew. Our Division was in rear and had not gone more than twenty-five rods from our works when the rebs charged on our picket line but without effect in our front, except to make us double quick back and reoccupy our intrenchments where we remained about two hours then quietly withdrew and marched all night. It's been a worrying day. Since the fourteenth we've done nothing but march and countermarch and change about.

May Twenty-First

The Dixie girls wear homespun cotton,
But their winning smiles I've not forgotten;
Look away, away, away down South in Dixie.
They've won my heart and naught surpasses
My love for the bright-eyed Dixie lasses;
Look away, away, away down South in Dixie.

Chorus:
I'll give my life for Dixie;
Away, away;
In Dixie's land I'll take my stand,
And live and die for Dixie.
Away, away,
Away down South in Dixie.
Marie Louise Eve

 

 

Friday, 21st May, 3 a.m.—Last night the rush began to abate; no one died, and only one came in—a general smash-up; he died to-night, and a very dear boy died to-day. I've lost count now of how many have died,—I think about twenty-four.

The Guards' Brigade here went by to-night from the trenches to rest, singing "Here we are again," and the song about "The girls declare I am a funny man!"

11 a.m.—The little Canadian Sister has just been recalled, I'm sorry to say, but probably we shall get another one. Five Canadian officers came in last night. The guns are making the dickens of a noise, very loud and sudden. Yesterday they shelled the town again, and two more soldats anglais  were wounded.

May 21, 1863

WE  left Camp Parapet about eight last night and marched to Carrolton, only a mile or two below camp, where we stopped in the street. Getting no further orders we, one after another, sat down and finally lay down on the cobblestone pavements and slept till morning. We then went on board a steamer, the United States, lying at the dock and found it crammed full of soldiers. We soon cut loose and started up-stream, and as we passed Camp Parapet, I wondered if it would ever be our home again. Lieutenant Pierce is in command, and says Captain B. has left us to become major for a negro regiment. Some are glad and some are sorry, but all are indignant at his way of going off. Never as much as said good-bye. Sneaked off in the night, it is said, and it looks like it. Maybe he feared we would remind him of his many voluntary promises that he would never leave Company B as long as a man was left in it.

At noon I asked one of the boat crew if it was possible to buy or beg a cup of coffee and he took me to the forecastle and gave me a full dinner. Up the river we went until night and then began to look for a spot big enough to lie down on.

May 21, 1864

Saturday. When daylight came we were passing the mouth of the Atchafalaya and were again on the banks of the Red River. About sunrise we halted. Lieutenant Moody and I sat down and began to figure up how long we had been awake, when we both tumbled over on the ground and were sound asleep. The next thing I knew Moody was shaking me and asking if I was hurt. His face was bloody and I supposed he had been shot. But we soon found that a horse had ran over us, his hoofs striking between our heads and scraping the skin off Moody's forehead as he picked them up. We soon after started again, and at 8 o'clock stopped for breakfast, after which we took a livelier gait than ever. The day was hot. The horses and mules showed the strain as well as the men. Soon the men began to give out, dropping like dead men, and it was impossible to rouse them from the deathlike sleep that had overtaken them. There was nothing to do but pull them out of the road and leave them, for every horse and vehicle was loaded with all it could carry. No stop was made for dinner. On we went, and by 6 o'clock men were lying all along by the roadsides. Teams gave out and were left panting, their sides showing how cruelly they had been whipped to get the very last effort out of them. My feet were blistered, I knew by the feeling, though I had no time to see or attend to them. The pain each step gave me was, I think, the only thing that kept me awake and going.

About sundown we passed a little village and turned from the road across the country, which was said to be the nearest way to the Mississippi. It was a beautiful country, much like the Teche country, which is sometimes called the "Garden of Louisiana." There were some cattle, and a drove of them was gathered and driven along for our supper. In passing round a body of water that came in our way, a huge snake lay floating on it and was shot by some of the passing throng. Several small snakes lay across the big one, and I suppose it was a mother and children taking a bath. Some thought the old one was twelve feet long, but it flopped about so it was hard to give a close guess. It was the nearest approach to my Port Hudson snake that I have seen.

At 9 p. m. we reached the Mississippi at Morgan's Bend, or Morganzia. The cattle had been shot down and were lying as they fell. It was everyone for himself. Chunks were cut out and were being eaten before the animal was done kicking. A pack of wolves never acted more ravenous and bloodthirsty. I managed to get my hand between the ribs of one and hold of the liver. I couldn't pull my hand out without straightening the fingers and so only got shreds, but I kept it up until I had taken the edge off my appetite and then lay over on my back and was sound asleep. I suppose a hundred men stepped over me and maybe on me, but nothing disturbed my slumbers. I slept like a dead man.