The Army and the Contraband — what will the Yankees do with the "Elephant?"
A correspondent of the Boston Courier
writing from the West
, you know, is a military post.
From my hotel window I see gunboats steamboats under arrest, army supplies and ammunition, soldiers' barracks, and last, and most revolting of them all, the freedment's quarters.
If I did ever have a doubt about the policy of abolition of slavery, humanity shudders at the awful condition of the negroes here, and justice it outraged by the sending them away from their homes.
They are huddled together in very font places, suffering and dying from exposure and disease.
They are dying at the rate of about a dozen a day. Small pox is very prevalent.
They will not work.
They are freemen, and their idea of liberty is freedom from work.
I saw, this morning a captain loading grain for the army down the river.
He had a gang of fifty, and they would not work.
A half a score of Irishmen would perform more labor than all of them.
They all want to go home, and, if the Government
would allow it they would all go back.
We have taken upon ourselves a contract to fight for, feed, clothe, and vary four millions of negroes.
That is the plain statement of fact.
Our army about Vicksburg
is in a lamentable condition — more than a third are sick.
They are camped in the lowland.
The Mississippi is now rising, and if it continues to rise the camps will be submerged.
No boat comes from below without bringing more or less , and no train leaves here without the remains of more or less gallant soldiers.
The war is a dreadful reality hers.
The soldiers, God bless them, are resolute and hopeful, ready to fight for, and if need be, die for the old flag and the old Constitution, but not for the negro.