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[83] those volunteers must have been, it was undoubtedly a great relief to them to be spared the murderous duty. These two successes have placed thirty-three thousand prisoners in our hands, and released Grant's army just when it is most needed.

I can't help here recording what it seems to me he ought to do, in order to be able hereafter to compare my dictum with what he does do. After leaving a sufficient garrison in Vicksburgh, he should send fifteen thousand men to reenforce General Banks's worn-out army, by which means Banks could capture or annihilate Taylor and Sibley, and render his authority secure through the whole department.

Second. He should advance with the remainder of his army to attack Bragg in his rear, acting in cooperation with Rosecrans. Together they should be able to finish up Bragg, and then, while Grant was left to protect the Tennessee frontier and finish up the States of Mississippi and Alabama, Rosecrans should advance through West-Tennessee with all the troops that could be spared into Virginia, and, in cooperation with Dix and Hooker, put an end to the war there. Meanwhile, Grant, advancing through Alabama, could communicate by a cavalry raid with Hunter, and together they could overcome Georgia and South-Carolina, and take Savannah and Charleston. This would be the final stroke. Isn't that a fine plan? I only hope some part of it may be accomplished. Our rebel friends are telling us strange stories about the annihilation of Hooker, the capture of Philadelphia, etc., and although we don't believe them, of course, still we feel uneasy and anxious.

If Lee has penetrated into the Keystone State, I have faith enough in the militia of New-York, New-Jersey, and Pennsylvania, to trust that he will have to pay the piper dearly before he gets out again; and then it may be to find Richmond occupied by Dix and Foster, and Virginia no longer a secession State.

One of our negro girls has just come in, and informed me, in a cautious whisper, that the Yankees have far as “Bayou Boeuf,” only eight miles below here.

The crisis is coming, and something has got to burst.

July 22.--Yesterday the rebels completed their evacuation, and left us alone in our glory. The last able-bodied darkey was grabbed, the last straggling cattle swam over, the last crew of “ragged riders” embarked. As fast as they arrived on the west side of the bay they were sent off in long trains toward New-Iberia, and by two P. M. both shores were deserted, the last tent was struck, the last gun on the march, and the steamboats, having finished their work, were steaming up toward their former place of safety.

The cars that had been captured were burnt, and the locomotive sent under full head of steam into the burning train. The concussion was tremendous, and the ruin complete.

They left for our hospital five days rations, a large portion of which were stolen, and sold by the cooks before the evacuation was over. They took all our negro nurses and cooks, as well as the cooking-stove, and even the wash-basins. As the doctor was sick, there was but one well man left in the building to do every thing, so he had rather a hard time of it. (I had been hours du combat myself for ten or twelve days.) Almost every atom of medicine, and even the bandages and lint, were cabbaged by the confederate doetors, so that our sick were left quite destitute. Fortunately, by this morning, we had obtained a reenforcement of darkeys, who had hid themselves in the swamps to escape being carried off, so that the work of the establishment can again be carried on. I could not help laughing at our situation, cast adrift, as it were, between the two armies, unable to help ourselves, and anxiously awaiting whatever fortune the surging tide of war might cast upon us. For a few hours the placid waters and deserted shores of the bay remained undisturbed by any thing warlike, when suddenly from behind the point, far down the bay, a puff of smoke was seen, and “boom!” a shell fell in the water a quarter of a mile below us, and then another, at a higher elevation, screeched over our heads and exploded in the woods behind us. “The gunboat!” was the general exclamation, and the gunboat it proved to be. A white flag was quickly run up on the tower of the depot, to show that there was no opposition in the place, and shortly afterward a boat landed, and Lieutenant----, of the gunboat Sachem, took possession of the town in the name of Uncle Sam. Four hours after the “lone star” had been hauled down, the Stars and Stripes waved triumphantly over the town. The rebel occupation had just lasted four weeks. The gunboat had been trying for two or three days to cross the bar, but for want of a pilot, had only just succeeded.

The most cheering news we had heard for a long time was that Washington and Philadelphia, which the rebels had assured us were taken, were still safe, and that Lee had been defeated instead of being overwhelmingly victorious. Hurrah for Meade! General Weitzel, with the advance of Banks's army, is expected here this afternoon.

A word before I close this epistle about the Texans, whose prisoners we had been for a month. I have called them half savages, and it is about true, but they have some of the noblest qualities of savages. They are brave to rashness, and will endure with patience any amount of exposure and suffering to accomplish their end. They are generous, good-natured, and treat their prisoners with much kindness. They are splendid horse-men, fine marksmen, and can go for days with but a morsel of uncooked food to eat. They are cheap troops to support, because they don't care for tents, will wear any kind of clothing, and will live on bacon and hoecake, or forage for them-selves and their horses.

But though brave, they are perfectly undisciplined and regardless of orders, and will fight every man on his own hook, breaking ranks as

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