the good effect upon our own men, is the capture of two hundred horses and mules, forty wagons loaded with provisions, one thousand contrabands, and the demoralization of the blacks in three or four counties--two of which have never been penetrated before by our troops — and undeceiving the inhabitants as to the real character of the Union soldiers. To all appearances the residents of the counties passed through are better supplied with the necessaries of life than in any other portion of the State yet visited; economy in the consumption of food, however, is everywhere exercised, to enable each land proprietor to supply the army agents with large quantities of food. To this end, by a special order from Jeff Davis, the negro's ration has been reduced one third, so that a field-hand barely receives enough to sustain him. Regular rations, in fact, are no longer furnished the slaves. Twice a day a small piece of corn bread and meat is dealt out to them, and at night a piece of corn bread alone. That a force not exceeding nine hundred men could have passed from Gloucester Point across two rivers not fordable, in the presence, in fact, of much superior force, without having a man killed, is one of the remarkable events of this war.
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