CORINTH INFORMATION DATABASE Version 1.3 © 1995 Milton Sandy, Jr.

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In Camp at Davis' Mill, Miss.,
                                  November 19th, 1862.

     Well! Here I am again. I expect that you will vote me a bore; but
what care I, as long as you publish this, and thereby let your readers
know that J.C.C. still exists, and is, as ever, ready to keep them
directly posted as to the movements of our army in this section of
Dixie's land. I presume that many of them have concluded that I had
"seceded" or committed some equally foolish act, such as succumbing to
a secesh bullet, running off with some fair representative of the
Confederacy, or worse still, was working for a Brigadier Generalship;
but these few paragraphs will soon disabuse their minds.

     The smoke of the late battles of Iuka and Corinth, wherein we
achieved such signal victories, has cleared away. The dead have been
buried. The wounded have been gathered to hospitals. Our late esteemed
commanders, Gen'ls Rosecrans and Stanley, have been removed from us to
more important commands. Our honored designation we have been deprived
of, and the "Army of the Mississippi" has passed into history. --
Enshrouded in the "Army of the West Tennessee," we have moved forward
from Corinth to this point, occupying on the route, Grand Junction and
La Grange, two important towns on the Memphis and Charleston R.R., and
our Cavalry division has undisputed possession of Holly Springs, which
is situated fifteen miles south-west of this place. So after marching
over two hundred miles since I last wrote you, the Ohio Brigade turns
up, encamped at this point, one of the most fertile and pleasant in
the State. We are seven miles equidistant from Grand Junction and La
Grange, and about 80 miles from Grenada, Miss.

     La Grange is a town of about six thousand inhabitants, but with
the retreat of the rebel army, full one third "skedaddled." It is one
of the finest towns for its size in Tennessee. The streets are laid
out with regularity, and the buildings demonstrate considerable
architectural skill and taste in their erection. There are five
churches, one college, a Masonic Hall; Orphan Asylum and several
hotels, besides business and private dwelling houses in the village.
It is, indeed, with the exception of Memphis, Nashville and
Clarksville, one of the most flourishing towns in the State. The
inhabitants of the place are also of a different class of people to
those whom we have hitherto met in our campaign through either
Tennessee or Mississippi. It is quite apparent that they are becoming
day by day more reconciled to our occupation of their country. Instead
of the sneer and frown with which they were wont to welcome (?)
federal uniforms, they can now pass us in the streets with an
occasional bow or smile. Their houses are nightly visited by our
officers, and an hour or two is very socially, and pleasantly passed
away in conversation. The ladies are also inclined to be more affable
and courteous, which renders a visit still more agreeable. It is true,
that there are a few families here wherein the gentle sex are apt to
remind the Federal visitors of their continued sympathies for the
rebellion, but still they do not render themselves as obnoxious as the
women in the neighborhood of Corinth, Ripley, Jacinto, or Rienzi. At
the latter places the snuff chewing, wizen-faced specimens of
petticoat government would not be content with an expression of their
sentiments, but must continually thrust into our ears all the hopes
and wishes they entertained in the destruction of the Union and
annihilation of our armies, until it became to unbearable that their
sex was their only protection from summary punishment.

     In La Grange, however, it is different; the casual chanting by
some fair rebeless of the "Bonnie Blue Flag," or "Maryland, my
Maryland," or the performance on the piano of "Jeff. Davis' Waltz,"
"Our Southern Freemen," or "Beauregard's March," during an evening's
entertainment, is about all that remind us that we are in the society
of women whose fathers, brothers or husbands are enlisted in the
Confederate ranks and whose sympathies are with the Southern cause. As
a general thing, the men either remain neutral or profess Unionism;
most of those residing in La Grange and the vicinity, have taken the
oath of allegiance and are allowed certain privileges, (such as
dealing with our sutlers, commissaries, &c.), which are more apt to
impress them favorable toward us than otherwise.

     Grand Junction is entirely depopulated; nothing remains to mark
the site of this once fine town but a heap of smoking ruins. The
little that the rebels left, was destroyed by the advance of Gen.
[E.O.C.] Ord's division, when they occupied the place on the 4th. The
country all around it is completely devastated, as on the march down
from Bolivar the troops of Ord's column were allowed to pillage
without any restraint. Their conduct was disgraceful in the extreme
and elicited considerable censure from Gen. Grant, who, to prevent
similar outrages in future, has issued an order whereby all future
depredations on private property are punishable by an assessment on
the Division, Brigade, Regiment or Company, to which the depredation
is traced, to the amount of damage done the property. This wholesale
plundering, or as it is termed in the army "Jayhawking," has increased
to such an alarming extent that it has become necessary to use some
decisive and vigorous measures to put it down, and it is to be hoped
that this last plan of Gen. Grant will succeed.

     The country hereabouts is in a high state of culture. For miles
around, immense plantations of cotton and tobacco loom up n every
direction; in fact, so thickly are these products cultivated around
here that it is difficult to obtain camping grounds, without locating
on an immense field of cotton, and you can readily believe that
ploughed ground does not make a very pleasant camp, especially in
inclement weather. Most of the cotton around here is yet unpicked.
Gen. Grant has, however, taken measures for the collection of all
contrabands in his department, who are to be organized and placed
under command of Chaplain J. Eaton, Jr., of the 27th Ohio, for the
purpose of collecting and baling the same.

     The weather down here is really fine. It is true many of us have
been disappointed in the "sunny" part of the southern climate, but not
sufficiently to materially inconvenience us. As a general thing the
weather is pleasant and clear; occasionally a strong north-west wind
will set in and two or three cold days will ensue. But then "variety
is the spice of life," and as it is a poor rule that won't work both
ways, I will close, so as to enable you to give your readers something
else besides this "milingtary" scrawl.

                              Au revoir,

Source: Bryan Boyle's Bronx Bulletin Board


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