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[84] soon as they commence firing. So that, although they are excellent bushwhackers, they are often scattered and routed in the open field. They consider themselves the equals of their officers, and it is a risky matter to punish them for insubordination. When there is no fighting going on they soon tire of the restraints of camp-life, and often leave for home, coming back when it suits them. Then they will steal, even from their own officers; they will brag beyond all the bounds of truth, and they won't wash themselves or their shirts. They don't consort readily with the Louisianians, whom they call “lazy, cowardly Creoles,” and by whom they are cordially hated and termed “Camanches and thieves,” and both charges have, I expect, some foundation. To give you an example of the Texan way of doing things: Two or three days ago some of them broke into the stores of their post quartermaster, and came riding past our hospital decked out with their spoils — captured Federal clothing. One long, lank country boy had a hat and a cap on his head and another cap in his hand. One of our wounded men, looking over the balcony, called out: “I wish you would give me one of those caps; I haven't got any!” Not expecting, however, that his request would be granted. “All right,” cried Texas, and chucked the cap up; it fortunately proved a good fit.

On the whole, I don't know as we could have fallen into better hands, and our month of captivity passed pretty pleasantly, considering the circumstances of our position.

I am staying at present at Mrs.----'s, who, since her husband has left, was desirous of having some one in the house to protect it from the thieves and prowlers who always infest an evacuated town. She and Miss----, her niece, have been very kind to our sick and wounded, and if any property should be protected, hers should.

The arrangement is a very pleasant one for me, as I am not well, and a comfortable bed and well-cooked meals are a great “desideratum.”

July 27.--The first detachment of our troops has at length arrived, and their fagged out and tattered appearance was a sufficient excuse for their not coming earlier. That fearful struggle at Port Hudson has worn out Banks's forces, and unless he is speedily reinforced he will have to rest on his oars for a while. It was right pleasant, after such a long dose of “Dixie” and the “Bonnie Blue flag,” to hear the splendid band of the Twelfth Connecticut playing “John Brown.” We heard, too, some good news about our boys. They were, it seems, not taken prisoners at Lafourche, but retreated in good order, after repulsing the rebels twice, and they were the first regiment to reoccupy Thibodeaux after the rebel evacuation. Hurrah for the Ironsides! their honor is not lost, though their flags are.

I have the opportunity of sending this by the transport Crescent to New-Orleans, but it may be some days on the road.

Your son,

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