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[478] by his side lay his comrade, his head entirely gone — both killed, I afterward learned, by the explosion of a shell from a rebel field-piece. They were laid side by side preparatory to burial, and near them a leg which had been amputated on the field, a little further on the spot where the catastrophe occurred, was plainly shown; it was by the side of a large gate which opened into a field by the roadside; the boards were bespattered with brains and blood, and pools of blood and pieces of skull lay on the ground. It was indeed a sad, sickening sight. A little further on, several dead rebels lay in the woods; dead and wounded horses lay by the roadside. We do not know how many were killed and wounded here; all we could see were those near the road--five rebels and two Union soldiers. One of the rebels, when shot, had five fine hams of meat tied on his horse before him; being shot through the abdomen, our boys, after an examination, concluded they would not try the quality of the meat, not relishing the rebel blood with which it was covered.

Our portion of the army passed on as if nothing had occurred, arriving at Clinton about noon. Clinton is ut present a very dilapidated-looking place, being visited once before and partially destroyed by our army. There is a Female Seminary there, a very fine building, but we judge poorly patronized these times. The country around is hilly, the soil red clay mixed with sand. Our brigade did not halt in Clinton, but passed on perhaps one half-mile, and halted opposite a grave-yard, where we nooned. While lying here the fighting in front became more severe. A number of wounded were brought back to Clinton, and several dead buried in the graveyard where we lay. One poor boy of the Seventeenth Illinois was struck with a piece of shell on the neck, killing him instantly, though the skin was not broken. He stood but a short distance from us looking at the skirmishers in front. He was but a lad, a new recruit, and this his first and last campaign. Several balls and shells passed over us, one striking a soldier on the thigh, standing on the railroad track, a short distance on our left. About three o'clock P. M., we again started, the skirmishing in front still continuing, but the firing gradually getting farther off and less frequent, the rebels falling back. This continued until ten o'clock at night, when we went into camp (or rather bivouacked, as we had no tents) one mile west of Jackson.

The country we passed through that day was much better than heretofore, fine oak timber and well watered. After passing Clinton, the plantations were much larger and better (or rather had been) but they are now houseless and fenceless. We saw none of the killed and wounded of that day except those brought back to the graveyard, as the fighting was off the road; there was, however, quite a number on both sides. I understood from the Medical Director of our corps that we had forty-five wounded at Clinton. We came across the body of a rebel soldier near the graveyard, which they had commenced burying, but we pushed them so closely that they left, having only put a few shovelfuls of dirt on him.

The train was delayed from some cause during the day, and did not get up that night; consequently the officers had no blankets, it being quite cold. It was really amusing to see them shiver around their camp-fires the livelong night, some trying to go to sleep, others to keep awake, and all in not a very amiable mood toward any one, but especially quartermasters, wagonmasters, and teamsters.

On the sixth, we remained in camp until noon, waiting for other troops to pass. Near Jackson, we halted before a most beautiful mansion, surrounded in a delightful manner with landscape garden, evergreens and forest trees; quite a variety of flowers were in full bloom. The rebels made a stand near this the day before; our cavalry made a charge upon them, capturing a very fine field-piece, all complete, with ten rounds of shell and eight horses. Several were killed in the charge. At two o'clock we entered Jackson, the capital of Mississippi which in its day was a very pretty place, but before we left, it was almost a mass of smoking ruins. The Iowa brigade being sent in advance to guard the pioneer corps while constructing a pontoon across Pearl River, we entered the town with bands playing and colors floating in the breeze. It was truly a vivid picture of war to see the streets filled with armed men, squares of large brick buildings on fire, furniture of every description, from rocking-cradles to pianos, clothing, books, in fact almost every article of domestic utility and ornament, piled upon the sidewalks. Women and children running hither and thither, pictures of the most abject despair. There was no protection given the town, and but little mercy shown, as this was the third time our army had been compelled to come here, and we judge General Sherman rightly concluded that he would obviate all necessity of having to come again. We marched to the lower part of the town, and halted near the river, where the pioneers were at work. The rebels having repaired this road — N. O. I. and Grenada road — were busily engaged constructing means for getting their rolling stock over the river, and we came upon them so suddenly, that they left all their flatboats and lumber for our use, which we of course appropriated, and in a few hours were ready to cross. After halting and stacking arms, I do not think it was ten minutes before the boys had torn down several frame houses for fuel. Weatherboards make fine fuel, and I think a regiment or two of soldiers can appropriate the boards off a two-story house about as quick as up North they would gather a basket of chips. We had an opportunity of conversing with several citizens here, mostly ladies, and although they are driven to the greatest straits for the simple necessaries of life — flour two dollars per pound, sugar four dollars per pound, calico ten to twelve dollars per yard — they are rebels still. Walking along the street, a lady accosted us with: “What brought you all back here again?” “Well,” we replied, “it has been about a year since we ”


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