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“ [210] know that you are, but I will bet you an even hundred that this is not so.”

“Done,” said Nelson; “I have not one hundred dollars with me, but here is my gold watch as a stake.” The watch and the one hundred dollars were put into the hands of another rebel officer and taken into Port Hudson; and this before there were any symptoms of Gardner's surrender Colonel Van Pettin, one of the storming party, happening to come up with a similar notice to Nelson's in his pocket, the rebel colonel seemed inclined to back out of his bet, but Colonel Nelson held him to it, and has, since the surrender of Port Hudson, received back his watch and the hundred dollars, in confederate notes — worth nothing to him, of course, but little pictorial mementoes of a curious event of the war. I have no doubt whatever that it was this little sporting transaction which first gave Gardner an inkling of his position, and led to the correspondence which terminated in a capitulation of the place.

One more point and I close my remarks about the capitulation of Port Hudson. I am sorry to say that rumors are afloat, borne out, unfortunately, too strongly by facts, that our colored soldiers who have fallen into the hands of the rebels have not received the treatment recognized by civilized nations. In other words, we could find no negro prisoners in Port Hudson, and there were none in the hospital. The simple question is, Where are they? I leave each one to draw his own conclusion, merely saying that I consider this a matter fully warranting the investigation of our authorities. 1


1 See “The siege of Port Hudson.”

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