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[253] lookers-on. At one thousand yards distance, one man was killed in the lawn of the Asylum Hospital, and another wounded, by these fellows. Skirmishing was light to-day. We are beginning to wonder what the enemy intends to do. During the night they have erected works on our left, and moved skirmishers to the front.

Captain Poe is still indefatigable, and our position is regarded as a very strong one, and impregnable to any force likely to be in our front. Rumors of reenforcements from Grant, under Sherman, reach us to-day, and inspire us with the hope that we may not only escape the toils set for us, but be able in turn to entrap the besiegers whose impudence is sublime. The erection of works and extension of their lines evince an intention to stay with us, and, as usual in such cases, a man on a white horse is seen riding along their lines. This mysterious rider, on a phantom horse, appears to be a favorite dodge of the rebels, since all correspondents east and west always observed it on similar occasions.

Friday, November 20.--Colonel Pleasant, with a battalion of cavalry, scouted the road east to Boyd's Ferry and Conner's Ford, traversing the roads between, and reports no rebels for six miles up the river. Farmers have come in from Marysville, and our forage trains go back and forth unmolested for miles on the south of the river, and no enemy is known to be there.

Skirmishing was light all day again. We wonder what the rebels mean. Some think they are making a feint upon us and are getting out toward Virginia. A train of some hundreds of wagons passed in that direction this morning.

This evening, the Seventeenth Michigan made a charge upon a house whence their sharp-shooters had annoyed them all day, and the rebels fled en masse before them. Our boys removed some half-dozen wounded men from the house, and fired it. Upon returning to their old position, their comrades greeted them with shouts, and the band of the Forty-fourth struck up Yankee Doodle; whereupon the rebels, fancying our entire army was about to advance, opened a storm of shell upon us. Some thirty shell fell harmless into the town, but three or four exploded. Deserters, who have come in to-day, report Longstreet's intention to starve us out. We are believed now to be subsisting on corn and mule, at half-rations, and ten days is thought to be the time required for famine to accomplish its work. If they could see us baking flap-jacks and sipping Lincoln coffee, or take a perspective of our hogs and cattle-herds, they would be disabused of that idea presently. Pork is abundant, and already the more sensitive of us are growing ashamed to look one of these animals in the face.

Seven houses concealing rebels were burned to-day, and the amount of destitution and suffering consequent upon thus increasing the numbers of houseless wretches is appalling. Women and children wander about the city in absolute poverty and despair. The hotels are all in use for hospitals. Stores and vacant rooms are everywhere filled up with people or used by our army as storehouses for forage, etc. We are just beginning to realize the very small amount of humor to be gleaned from a siege when one happens to be on the wrong side of it.

To be sure we have enjoyed it but four days, but even in that short time it has grown tiresome. The suspense adds chiefly to the tedium, for could we only know what the rebels intend, and what they are likely to do with us in case the very worst that we permit ourselves to imagine should occur to us, it would be some relief. But whatever their power or intentions for mischief, they act just as if they intended to capture us by siege, assault, or starvation. We do not contemplate either event as very probable. They will scarcely be able to take us by assault, and their numbers must be first trebled before they can effectually blockade us.

In the mean time, all ears are anxiously turned toward Grant, expecting hourly to hear the sound of friendly cannon. Amid all our anxiety, we never lose our confidence in the ability and will of our Government to save us, and Tennessee with us. Old U. S. Grant, as its exponent in the field, has promised, and we propose to fight to the last man, or starve to the final mule, with our faith unmoved. We believe that the Government recognizes, as well as the rebels, the vast magnitude and importance of this, almost their last desperate stake, the loss of which will be fatal to them and of inestimable importance to us. In a military aspect, the loss of this army will, of course, not be irremediable; but still is by no means a military necessity, and we confidently trust will not be so regarded. We await the issue between Grant and Bragg quite confidently.

Saturday, November 21.--There is nothing to chronicle to-day. Instead of an attack, daylight dawned upon thousands of poor soldiers drenched in the trenches. A heavy rain commenced at two o'clock, and continued, without intermission, all day. The ditches were full, the streets and creeks were full, and the moats in front were overflowing with water. Some blundering booby of an officer, officiously anxious to do something, had observed the mill-race, left open by Captain Poe to waste the water when his ponds should overflow, and ordered it to be dammed up. The consequence was, the washing out of a part of the main dam, and some difficult muddy work for the soldiers to-day in repairing it. An occasional shot from the rebel sharpshooters, and random firing along the lines on the front and left, comprise the military achievements to-day. Rain and mud monopolized the entire interest, and all who from any cause were unable, supposing they knew enough to “come in out of the rain,” must have been very unhappy. If it were possible to add somewhat to the dreary misery and restless monotony of an army besieged within the confined limits of a wretched, unhealthy, unhandsome, uninteresting town, with a confident enemy lying in sight waiting for them to surrender, the fates and furies

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