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[43] come to me for permission, just as they used to go to the master; and I rather encourage these little confidences, because it is so entertaining to hear them. “Now, Cunnel,” said a faltering swain the other day, “I want for get me one good lady,” which I approved, especially the limitation as to number. Afterwards I asked one of the bridegroom's friends whether he thought it a good match. “O yes, Cunnel,” said he, in all the cordiality of friendship, “John's gwine for marry Venus.” I trust the goddess will prove herself a better lady than she appeared during her previous career upon this planet. But this naturally suggests the isles of Greece again.


January 7, 1863.
On first arriving, I found a good deal of anxiety among the officers as to the increase of desertions, that being the rock on which the “Hunter regiment” split. Now this evil is very nearly stopped, and we are every day recovering the older absentees. One of the very best things that have happened to us was the half-accidental shooting of a man who had escaped from the guard-house, and was wounded by a squad sent in pursuit. He has since died; and this very evening another man, who escaped with him, came and opened the door of my tent, after being five days in the woods, almost without food. I-is clothes were in rags, and he was nearly starved, poor foolish fellow, so that we can almost dispense with further punishment. Severe penalties would be wasted on these people, accustomed as they have been to the most violent passions on the part of white men; but a mild inexorableness tells on them, just as it does on any other children. It is something utterly new to them, and it is thus far perfectly efficacious. They have a great deal of pride

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