some occasional change of ideas, and having just received from the North Mr. Brook
's beautiful translation of Jean Paul
,” I used to retire to my bedroom for some ten minutes every afternoon, and read a chapter or two.
It was more refreshing than a nap, and will always be to me one of the most fascinating books in the world, with this added association.
After all, what concerned \me was not so much the fear of an attempt to drive us out and retake the city,--for that would be against the whole policy of the Rebels
in that region, as of an effort to fulfil their threats and burn it, by some nocturnal dash.
The most valuable buildings belonged to Union men, and the upper part of the town, built chiefly of resinous pine, was combustible to the last degree.
In case of fire, if the wind blew towards the river, we might lose steamers and all. I remember regulating my degree of disrobing by the direction of the wind; if it blew from the river, it was safe to make one's self quite comfortable; if otherwise, it was best to conform to Suwarrow
's idea of luxury, and take off one spur.
So passed our busy life for
ten days. There were no tidings of reinforcements, and I hardly knew whether I wished for them,--or rather, I desired them as a choice of evils; for our men were giving out from overwork, and the recruiting excursions, for which we had mainly come, were hardly possible.
At the utmost, I had asked for the addition of four companies and a light battery. Judge
of my surprise when two infantry regiments successively arrived!
I must resort to a scrap from the diary.
Perhaps diaries are apt to be thought tedious; but I would rather read a page of one, whatever the events described, than any more deliberate narrative,--it gives glimpses so much more real and vivid.