Incidents at Natchez
.--Sitting at General Ransom
's headquarters the other day, I saw a gray-haired man, bent with age, coming feebly up to the porch.
He asked if he might come in.
“Certainly, sir, if you have any business here.”
He came tottering in, and stated his business to an aid. He wished to enlist in the United States army!
“But you are too old.”
“I am only sixty.”
“But you are too feeble.”
“I think I could drive a team or cook.
I have come thirty-three miles on a straight line to see you, and I wish to live and die with you. These Secession devils out yonder have just worried my life out of me — bothered me, cursed me, stole me poor, tried to force me into the rebel service; swear they will force me in yet. That's a pretty flag over the porch.
I haven't seen that flag in many a weary day. I saw it in Jackson
's time in the war of 1812.”
The old man was assured of protection without enlistment, and went on his way.
Our troops here are under very strict orders in regard to marauding, and I have as yet heard of no great injury being done to private property.
Now and then a peach-tree suffers, or a watermelon “perishes everlastingly,” but on the whole the discipline of the soldiers in this respect is good.
Those who complain that an army is not perfectly virtuous, must remember that ten thousand men represent the male adult population of a city of fifty thousand souls, and in what city of that size do you find complete freedom from crime?
And so far as quiet stealing goes, the soldier gets alarmingly skilful.
“Strategy, my boy,” becomes an element of his larcenies.
It is a fact, I believe, that a party of the Fifth Kansas once stole a grave
you ask. In this way: Some members of the Second Wisconsin had to bury a comrade, and dug a grave for the solemn purpose.
Some members of the Fifth Kansas, having the same melancholy office to perform for one of their deceased companions, watched a chance, and while the detail of the Second Wisconsin had gone for the Wisconsin
corpse, took possession of the grave, and buried their own inanimate jayhawker therein.
I call that the gravest offence, in its way, on record.
, who had a lumber-yard in Natchez
, and a beautiful residence under the hill, was a good deal astonished the other day by the rigors of war. The Federal Quartermaster sent down a detail with wagons to draw away some of this lumber.
fancied they came as purchasers.
“Some of this, Captain
, is worth thirty dollars a thousand, some fifty dollars.”
“Well,” said the officer, “I guess I'll take some of the fifty-dollar sort.
Load on, boys.”
“But,” said Brown
, “it should be measured first.”
And at this instant it dawned upon the mind of the man of boards that perhaps Uncle Sam, the offended one, was seizing the lumber!