Interesting letter from a lady in New Orleans.
The following letter from a lady of New Orleans, giving some account of proceedings in that place attendant upon the departure of Confederate prisoners for exchange, will be found very interesting:
Thinking you would like to hear from New Orleans, even if it be through one of the oppressed race who inhabit this wretched prison-house, with many a shudder and tremble, with many a peep at door and window, to see if negro or Yankee spy be near, I jot down a few reminiscences of the battle of the 20th.
Yes, we have been again defeated — a second time "has the city been rescued from a domestic foe."
About nine o'clock in the morning a crowd of the rebel women of New Orleans assembled on the levee, to bid farewell to the prisoners going back to swell the ranks of brave men, who will one day free us from the chains that now bind us, and, what is more galling still, the shame that the bitter and unjust have cast upon us. Oh, if people outside only knew how we suffer here they would uncover their heads in future years when they meet an old man, woman, or child, who dwelt here during Butler
's reign of terror, and call them not only patriots, but by a higher title — martyrs!
However, our brave soldiers are winning both titles for us in other fields.
But I have left the rebels drawn up in line of battle, certain the attack would come, but a little doubtful how it would be made.
They were certainly a goodly company, or rather multitude; for, from Canal Street Ferry almost to Carrolton
, the sunshine fail upon the many- colored robes, and eager, wishful faces, all turned one way, waiting to give the farewell wave, so make the air ring with a shout that, in each heart, was a "God bless you!" --then back to their homes, to take up the yoke, and be patient for a little while longer.
Suddenly, through the well-dressed, well-mannered crowd, ran a murmur. "What is it? --What is it?" we asked of a lady near. "Only that we are ordered to disperse and go home.
I, for one won't go. I came out here to see the boys off and if I die for it, I mean to see them go." "But, Madam
," said a man standing near, who had listened in horror to this rebel speech, "the officer said that if the crowd does not disperse within half an hour, it will be fired into!" Yet, not one sign of going home was seen on the face of any one.
A little uneasy, helpless, looking around for a place of refuge, when the cannons, ten in number, were brought up and arranged in battle line, unlimbered and loaded.
We only gathered closer together, and waited the attack.
A little man, in big Scots and gauntlet buckskin gloves, commanded the Yankees
.--Determination and Haired were our commanders; and up to 4 o'clock they had proved themselves good Generals
The little man blustered, puffed, and, in the name of the invincible commanding General
, ordered us to go home; but that name bore no magic spell to awaken fear an our ranks. --So, vanquished by the persistence and laughter of the crowd, Buckskin retired to await reinforcements.
Here they come; and there is some little uneasiness in the rebel- ranks — for, glittering in the sunshine, comes a long string of bayonets.
They form in line; Buckskin gives the order, "Fix bayonets — charge!" And they do charge — into the midst of the 'red
' bonnets, parasols, crying children, and stubborn women, the brave (?) Northerners win their gallant way. 'Our forces fall slowly back, with many well sent shots of satire and ridicule, that gail and harass the enemy.
As after defeat it is the fashion to change the base of operations, so, when driven from the vicinity of the boat, we rallied and formed into line again.
were everywhere, strengthening our somewhat breathless ranks.
Again was a charge made, our foe capturing some two dozen handkerchiefs, each with a Confederate flag embroidered in the corner.
We rallied, as again, with a sort of stupid despair, the enemy charged upon us. Our Generals
grew stronger at every charge, and when night closed upon the field, if the brave Yankees
held one part of the levee, the "red
, and red
" bonnets held the other.
Of course we disbanded, instructed by our Generals
to return bright and early next day.
If I had space I would tell you how we cooked and took down to the prisoners the best dinner we could find; how, during the three days the boat staid at the wharf, the levee was crowded; and, when they did go, how we were all there, and waved, and shouted until we were hoarse.
But to tell of all the events of those three days would tax both your time and patience; so, with one incident of the first day's fight I will close.
Standing near the boat, where Buckskin drew up his men, was a fare young girl, dressed in deep mourning.
Three months ago the sad news had come that the brother who, for two long years, had fought so bravely, had given up his life at last; and now, on that boat, went her only remaining one to take his place.
She did not heed the crowd or heed the man who ordered her to move, until the brute stuck his bayonet in her arm. Placing her hand over the wound, she turned and said: ‘"If my brother were on shore you should pay for this; I am not going home until that boat goes out;"’ and turned her back upon him. The wretch struck her with his bayonet.
Quick as lightning a stout Irish woman returned the blow.
The bully shrank back and said: "You go to h--." "No," was the retort, "Stonewall Jackson
has sent to many Yankees there that I could find no room." A shout went up that caused Yankee to get out of the way in a double quick.
In conclusion, let me say, it was no mob that had gathered to see this boat, going to "the land of our desires." The very elite
of the city were there.
That we resisted might entitle us to be called unladylike.
You must remember it is the first time the ladies of New Orleans have had a chance of showing their love for our soldiers and haired for our Yankee masters.
To an appeal from one of the Yankees
, "If you are a lady you will go home quietly." the answer was: "I am not a lady — only a mother, with a son on that boat, and the last thing he shall see on this levee is my face!. "