The uses of adversity at Port Hudson.War brings out more strongly than anything else the truth of the trite old adage that necessity is the mother of invention. In the operations on the James River a locomotive mounted on a flat-boat was used as an extemporized stationary engine for working a pile-driver. The Confederates at Port Hudson put one to as strange a use. Lifted free from the rails and with a belt attached to the driving-wheels, it was used to operate a grist-mill that ground the corn into rough meal, which was their substitute for flour. It did the work in a very satisfactory manner. There were large quantities of grain and corn that had been brought into Port Hudson before it was invested, and the Red River country, as long as it was kept open and accessible, provided the garrison with supplies. But at the time of the investment the Confederate quartermaster was hard put to it to answer the demands made upon him to feed the overworked and hungry men that night and day toiled and slept at the guns. Powder and shell were also running short. Despite the privations suffered by the garrison, they, being used to the climate, suffered less from sickness than did the Federal troops, many detachments of which were encamped along the low-lying and swampy ground that lay at the bend of the River to the north.