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[485] and again captured by our army. He expressed extreme despondency at the prospects, fearing the worst possible personal consequences on being recaptured after a violated parole, and being indignant in the extreme at the want of government faith, which had placed him in such a painful predicament.

Enterprise, all and singular with its improvements, public and private, its paroled camp and its conscript camp, with its associations, historic, poetic, and secesh, has been — according to camp parlance — wiped out.

The state of feeling and the condition of the people in the section travelled through are indiscribable. The bitterness which has marked this struggle on the part of the Southern people, can scarcely be said to be lessened. In many cases it is intensified, accompanied by an utter recklessness as to personal consequences, which is often fearful. Many having made immense sacrifices, and who now feel that all is lost, seem to delight in wreaking their fury upon some unfortunate negro soldier falling into their hands, or an occasional white straggler from our army, who is careless enough to be taken. On our return from this expedition, the corpse of an Indiana soldier, who had separated himself from his company, was found with sixteen bullet-holes through his body. As a general thing, however, the sentiment of the people seemed to be one of despondency at the idea of Southern independence, of weariness with the war, and a willingness to return to the Union rather than to continue a hopeless struggle. The rigidity of the conscription is so complete, however, that this feeling can make little impression, or rather produce little result under the present order of things, or, in fact, until the military rule is effectually broken up throughout the Confederacy. The engineer, to whom allusion has already been made in this epistle, informs me that a lieutenant and six men accompanied each train which passed over the railroad on which he run, and no man without a pass could travel a mile. No man could step off at a station without a guard examined his pass, nor could any one get on the train without the same ceremony. No one could pass from one town to another without his papers being in order, and even then they were scrutinized with the greatest carefulness and frequency. He himself was not permitted to cross the Pearl River, at Jackson, and after the news reached there of our movements, three soldiers were placed on the engine and tender to insure his faithfulness in running the train loaded with confederate soldiers, out of the reach of Yankee bullets.

During the entire march, occupying exactly a month, the army was mainly subsisted upon the country it passed through, and the trains had no difficulty in obtaining a sufficiency of forage, without drawing upon that with which they were provided upon leaving Vicksburgh.

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