within the limits of the Department of the Gulf.
No soldier ever misconstrued the significance of the order.
I can't believe that any rebel ever did. The order executed itself while General Butler
remained in the department.
It is my belief that General Butler
spoke advisedly when he said ‘there were more paroled rebel soldiers in New Orleans than there were Union troops within fifty miles of his headquarters,’ because he had caused a census to be taken, and was thus enabled to locate
every man and woman in the city.
The Thirteenth Maine was put to a cruel test by being placed, in our already weak physical condition, in the malarial swamps of Southern Louisiana
, in mid-summer, and kept there for more than a year.
too, too many heroic souls sleep beneath the soil that once echoed to the tread of millions of human slaves.
But we never forgot that we belonged to the ‘Lord
's Country’—never forgot who we were, and what.
Even when, one foggy night, Sentinel Swaney
shot the quartermaster's mule because it would not obey his challenge to halt, it was credited to his vigilance.
And when a soldier tumbled off the draw-bridge into the moat among the alligators, it furnished amusement for the entire garrison—his little dog barking in unison.
A few days later the pet dog was ‘gathered in’ by an alligator.
I apprehend that no troops scanned the orders of their department commander more critically or with more complete satisfaction than did we during all these months when the saintly sinners in New Orleans were devoutly praying for the advent of yellow fever, while we, from the head of the roster to the foot, were prayerfully working
to render its approach impossible.
In New Orleans General Butler
organized a brigade of ‘contrabands,’ prisoners, and the odds and ends of every nationality, armed with picks, shovels, hoes, brooms, and mule carts.
which, under competent officers, proceeded to remove inches, and in some localities feet
, of the accumulation of a century of fever-breeding material from almost the entire surface within the limits of the city.
I do not know that the natives had a vision of a new heaven, but I am sure that there dawned on their Astonished