Sunday, April 7, 2013

April 5, 1863

April 5, 1863

---As Gen. Quinby  and his troops re-board their transports and head back up north on the Yazoo, it seems that, at last, Fort Pemberton and the “back door” approach to Vicksburg is safe and that the Yankees have given up on that option.  But Grant is pursuing another option that looks more promising, and so he cancels Quinby’s moves.

---Corporal James Kendall Hosmer once again takes his pen to describe the luxuriant beauty of the Louisiana bayou country through which his regiment is passing, partly by rail:

The road was a level, broad-gauge track, over which the engine drew us rapidly. We had the best opportunity we have had of seeing a wild Louisiana morass. For a long distance, we went through a dense cypress-swamp, — such an one as we have not seen before,—a dense growth of cypresses, with a very heavy undergrowth between the tall trunks, and, beneath that, a thick mat of water-plants lying upon the surface of the fen. It was like a wall of vegetation, almost, on each side; through which, occasionally, we could see deep, dark bayous flowing, and black pools. Alligators several feet long lay on logs, or in the water, with their backs just rising above; and, on floating timbers and little islands of earth, snakes, single or in coils, lay basking in the sun. Later in the season, I suppose, we should have seen even larger numbers of this agreeable population. Huge vines, coiled into knots, bound the cypress-trunks and other growths into one mass of vegetation. We saw, too, numbers of palms; which here grow short, by stumps and pools, spreading abroad their wide-divided leaves, as if they were showing hands at cards.

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