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“ [479] were here last, and we thought we would come and see how your Confederacy flourished.” “We didn't want you to come,” she replied; “but if you are here, what do you burn all our houses for.” “Why,” we answered, “this is the third time we have had to come here, and the fact of the matter is, it wears out so much shoe-leather walking over these sandy roads, that we concluded to finish the job this time.” “Well, sir, you will have to kill the women too; for, after you have killed all our men, us women will fight you.” “If that be the case,” we answered, “I presume we might as well commence now as any time, but as I don't like to commence on as good a looking lady as you, I will go back to the regiment and send the ugliest man we have to undertake the job.” We started off accompanied by a flash from her eyes almost as vivid as the angry flames bursting from the, windows of the burning houses near by.

We stopped in a house near where we were encamped, and found a lady with four small children, from Selma, Alabama. She had got this far on her way to Vicksburgh, but could go no farther, as they would not take her from Jackson to Vicksburgh for less than five hundred dollars, a sum which she could by no means obtain; so here she was with her little children and nothing to eat, not even corn-meal. One of the boys came and ground some coffee on her coffee-mill and gave her a millful for the accommodation. She seemed very thankful, and said it was the first she had got since the war commenced; that in Selma coffee was ten dollars per pound. She told a sad tale of the state of affairs in Alabama. Some of her friends and nearest neighors had been hunted down by dogs, and one of them was literally torn to pieces; provisions were at starvation prices, and the whole country under a military despotism.

The State House is a very fine building. It, I believe, was the only good building that was not burned. The boys “captured” turkeys, geese, pigs, chickens, calves, etc., in sufficient quantities to give them at least one good meal; also, tobacco enough to do them through a month's campaign. Some of the citizens were very anxious that we should occupy and protect the city, for the question, “Where will we get any thing to live upon after you all leave?” was a very important one, vividly suggested to every reasoning mind: but as they made their bed, so must they lie.

In the evening we crossed Pearl River and encamped in a low, wet bottom, about a mile east of Jackson; the light from which, illuminated the heavens during the night.

The country around Jackson is quite good, and previous to rebellion was cultivated. There is still some farming going on, although work seemed to be suspended in honor of our arrival, (or perhaps more from fear of having their teams confiscated.) We noticed that considerable fence had been made recently, and some ground already ploughed for spring-planting. Many of the farmers stood at the gate with buckets and tubs of water to give the boys a drink as they passed along — very kind in them — but a dodge, which did not, as they intended, save the contents of their hen and smoke-houses from being “appropriated” to the use of the “inevitable soldier,” who seems to have an irrepressible longing for fat poultry and nicely-smoked hams. We found some rebel “hard tack” on the road, and we judge they too would require something oily to help it down; it is hard tack to all intents and purposes, made of unbolted flour and cornmeal.

On the morning of the seventh, we commenced march at eight o'clock The road having at one time been graded for a plank-road, was very fine, and we advanced rapidly, our brigade being in front. We arrived at Brandon, the county-seat of Rankin County, about noon, without seeing or hearing any thing of the enemy. Our regiment was stationed in town as provost-guards, which gave us an opportunity of looking around. We were quartered in a grove surrounding a large brick building, used as a church below and a seminary above.

Before I had dismounted, I was somewhat amused and a little sorry for a venerable-looking Southern gentleman, who came riding with great dignity into our camp, on a very fine horse. He had scarcely got into the yard when three cavalrymen rode up to him and demanded his horse; he refused at first, but finally succumbed, dismounted, and one of the soldiers got off an old, poor, jaded-looking animal, handed the venerable gentleman the reins, mounted the old fellow's blooded steed, and all three rode off in a hurry. Seeing the old gentleman looking rather distressed, I rode up and asked: “What's the matter, neighbor?” “Why, sir,” he answered, “I am the Mayor of the town; I came here in search of General McPherson, to make some arrangement by which we could be protected, and they have taken my horse from me!” “Bad enough!” we replied; “these Yankees are terrible fellows, and you had better watch very closely, or they will steal your town before morning.”

As he turned and rode away on his poor, old, worn-out cavalry-horse, looking like the personification of grief, seated on a very badly-carved monument of the equine race, we thought it about the best instance of stealing a horse and selling a mare (mayor) on record, and was worthy of being kept among the archives of the Southern Confederacy.

Brandon is a very pretty little town of some eight hundred inhabitants, and has some very pretty residences and a fine court-house, and before we came there it had some fine brick blocks, railroad depots, etc., which are now non est. Every thing, however, looks neglected. Remarking this to a citizen, he said they had been unable to get nails for two years past, and could repair nothing. There seems to have been considerable wealth and quite as much aristocracy here in former days, both of which are rapidly declining.

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