not been indifferent while these great actions sped.
That a crisis impended, every man and woman felt; and that the odds were greatly against us was equally evident.
Still the people would not harbor the thought of defeat, and they were equally unprepared for the siege.
The city had been bombarded once before; an ordeal invoked by the defiant reply of the mayor speaking for the citizens, when S. P. Lee
demanded their surrender after the fall of New Orleans.
When, therefore, the sudden unfolding of a ball of dense white smoke in the sky above them gave sign on the 18th that the enemy had arrived, the fact did not frighten the brave community, however much it may have surprised them.
At first the depressing shadow of exclusion, with constant peril of death and the corrosion of anxiety and of imminent famine, was relieved by the excitement of battle; for on the 19th and 20th sharp attacks were made on the lines, which were repulsed with great slaughter of the Federal
The novelty of the situation sustained the spirits of the people still longer, and their courage was never dimmed.
But the sickness of hope deferred was of gradual growth, while the sordid conditions of life, made necessary by the exigencies and exposure which were incident to the siege, had their own sad effects of steady and hard attrition.
Just how and by what distinct stages a “city full of stirs — a tumultuous city — a joyous city,” such as the Jerusalem of the prophet's vision, takes on itself the aspect of a camp or a trench, devoid of the attendants of home and ease, and marked by every feature of war's worst exactions and destructions, nothing short of a diary of contemporaneous experience could describe.
It answers the purpose of a picture to select any period when the siege was well advanced and distinctly charactered; when the life of the people had become adapted to it, and when the full consequences of such abnormal influences were developed.
I have spoken of the element of danger.
The Federals fought the garrison in part, but the city mainly.
Even the fire on the lines was not confined to them in its effects, for hardly any part of the city was outside the range of the enemy's artillery from any direction except the south.
Shot from opposite quarters might have collided above the city.
But the city was a target in itself, and was hit every time.
Just across the Mississippi
, a few days after the lines were closed, seven eleven-and thirteen-inch mortars were put in position and trained directly on the homes of the people; and if any one of them was silent from that time till the white flag was raised any longer than was necessary to cool and load it, I fail to recall the occasion.
Twenty-four hours of each day these preachers of the Union