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[54]

Corporal Alston's discourse.

Swift shooting down that Southern river's bends,
Like logs in freshet, swept our steamers on;
Their midships lumbered up with useless bales,
Old household stuffs and huddled clothes in rags,
And sombre groups of sleeping negroes,--waifs
Just taken on board from dug-outs, timbers, rafts,
Or off the rice-fields that spread either side,
One vast green chequer-work of dyke and pool.
Here the swart mothers and their babies dozed 'Mid all their earthly goods; and here and there
A silent sentinel watched a silent form
Wrapped in a blanket, nerveless, pulseless, cold,
Nigh to a dull red smear upon the plank,
Or splintered shot-hole in our ship's stout side.

But I, going past them to the forward deck,
Saw only squads of dusky soldiers, couched

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