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[208] amount of mortality and casualties from all this terrible and continuous cannonading fell amazingly short of what I should have imagined. The rebels assert that it did not exceed seven hundred and eighty.

Many opportunities were naturally afforded for feeling the pulse of the rebels after two such over-whelming discomfitures. They seemed to bear it with great composure, whether real or feigned, I know not, but I think they were quite as glad to see us enter as we were to come in. Our men were to be seen everywhere mingling and exchanging notes freely with them. They were certainly a much finer looking set of fellows than I expected to meet in starving men; for it is no longer denied that they were getting to the last extremity for food. Indeed a friend of mine had the curiosity to lunch off a piece of their mule's tongue, and he said the only difference he found was that it was a little poor, compared with oxtongue.

While standing on a cliff, calmly and pleasantly contemplating the fleet of busy steamers already sending up their well-accustomed noise and smoke under our newly conquered territory, and admiring the beauty of the Union flag as its graceful form waved sharp and clear against the blue sky, a rebel captain, gaily dressed--(the officers were all arrayed as if for some grand parade)--came up to me and said, thoughtfully:

It is a long time, sir, since we have seen so many vessels lying there.

“Yes, sir, and I am glad of it, for your sake as well as ours,” I replied.

“How so?” he asked in a somewhat surprised tone.

“Because,” said I, “it looks to me very much like the beginning of the end; and that is what we all wish to see.”

“The end is very far off yet,” he continued in a proud manner. “In the first place, I do not believe, even now, that Vicksburgh is lost to us; and you never yet knew a rebellion of such magnitude to fail in achieving its object.”

“Nor did you ever know a rebellion so causeless and unnatural to succeed,” was my reply. “If you were like Poles or Circassians, and we Russians, trying to crush out your existing nationality — if this were a war of religion or of races, I could imagine it lasting through many, many years. But it is not so. Instead of trying to crush out your nationality, we are merely fighing to prevent you from crushing out our mutual one; and every acre, every liberty we save from destruction is as much yours as ours. War for such a cause was never waged before, and therefore cannot last. When a few more decisive successes like the present shall have proved beyond all doubt to the Southern people that the cause of separation is utterly hopeless, I think we shall all be glad to meet again as citizens of a common country, greater for the very ordeal through which it has passed. The only difference will be that Slavery — the cause of all this trouble — will have died during the progress of the war.”

“We shall see,” said the captain, either unwilling or unable to maintain his position further. “I suppose you will allow we defended our position here well.”

“Too well,” I replied; “I think a great many good lives, on both sides, might have been saved by sooner surrendering a place which, it must have been evident, you could not possibly retain.”

“We should have done so,” he candidly avowed, “only we were all the while hoping for reinforcements.”

After a few more polite remarks, I left him for another part of the field. He was a young officer from Maryland, and said he had not seen his home for three years. Surely, never were more splendid zeal and courage exhibited in a worse cause.

General Gardner is a man of about forty-five, apparently, tall and erect, with well-developed dark-brown beard and moustache, and of quite a martial bearing.

When the ceremonies of a formal surrender were over, he came, in company with General Stone, to make a call on General Augur, on his way to the headquarters of General Banks. He and his staff seemed to be quite at home, and nobody, in looking at them, could feel that they were the people who had just been causing all this terrible outpouring of Northern blood.

I suppose it is all very chivalrous, brave, and according to the regular military code of etiquette; but while seeing the attentions paid to these worthies, I could not help wondering if they were as polite to us. I could not help corning to a negative conclusion when an officer, of some rank in our army — in looking at the gay cavalcade, as General Banks and staff, with a full escort, accompanied by General Gardner and some of his officers, came up to General Augur's headquarters — whispered in my ear the following grave contrast:

When I, an officer of the United States army, was confined in the Libby Prison, we were not even allowed to look out of a window under penalty of death. A brother officer--only a few feet from me — in innocently going to a window to hang something on a peg, was deliberately shot in the region of the heart by an infernal villain below, called a sentinel. At another time the sentinel, seeing a man looking out of a window in the second story of the same building, deliberately fired at him.

The ball missed the intended victim; but, passing through the second floor into the story above, killed a poor fellow who was at the further end of the room doing nothing! These things I know to be so, for I was there and saw them!

I am told that the rebels now treat our prisoners just as well as we treat theirs. The country will be glad to know that it is so, and that if they cannot afford champagne to their brave prisoners, they at least show them the same polite attentions and allow them the same latitude of visiting families in the neighborhood. It will

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