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[483] the enemy's country. Such a strong influence has General Sherman over his brave men that but very little straggling was observable, although the expedition marched over four hundred miles in twenty-four days.

Ten thousand slaves were liberated from cruel bondage, and a full brigade of athletic colored troops will immediately be organized. The slaves form a most mournful curiosity, with their lacerated rated backs, branded faces, and ragged garments. Such a heterogeneous collection of humanity was perhaps never before gathered together. They embrace both sexes, of every shade of complexion, and vary in age from one month to one hundred years. The simple tales of horror which these injured people narrate are sufficient to chill the blood of the most stoical. Coosa River is the present rebel line of defence, and it is reported that they are strongly intrenched on the east bank of the river. The Seventeenth army corps lost about eight men killed, and thirty-two wounded.

The Second account.

Vicksburgh, Miss., March 4, 1864.
The late expedition of General Sherman from this point, having so largely filled the public mind North, and, so far as the journals which have reached here indicate, been so utterly and totally misconceived, it may be judicious, perhaps, to state clearly what was the object of the undertaking, and how large a measure of success attended it.

It appears to suit the purposes of the military authorities here, and the telegraph has doubtless advised you there, that the expedition has met with the most satisfactory, and complete attainment of its purposes — has, in fact, accomplished all, and more than all, which it proposed to do upon setting out.

While granting the immense importance of its results, in some respects beyond what could have reasonably been expected of it, I am, nevertheless, compelled to deny that it has achieved that complete success which General Sherman and those associated with him are disposed to claim for it. I am certainly correct in stating that the ultimate destination was Selma, Alabama, where the rebels have a very important, if not their principal ordnance depot, manufactory of ammunition nition and army clothing, beside a large accumulation lation of commissary stores, etc. They have also, as I learn from a perfectly trustworthy source, four iron-clad gunboats building at this point. It was expected that the cavalry force under Smith, which left Memphis about the same time that Sherman's troops left Vicksburgh, would form a junction with the latter at Meridian. This they failed to do, and hence that part of the plan which embraced the taking of Selma was abandoned. For the correctness of my statement in this matter, I venture to predict that you will have corroborative evidence as soon as Smith's cavalry return to Memphis, in their admitted failure to unite with Sherman, as they expected.

While, therefore, denying to the General that completeness in his late achievement which he claims, I am not by any means disposed to dispute with him, nor belittle the magnificent results which he has actually effected. These results, moreover, I am inclined to believe will become come more appreciated when other movements shall have rendered their value, in a military sense, more thoroughly understood. Presuming that your other correspondents have given you already the details of the advance of the army to Meridian, and its return, I shall not undertake to narrate in a consecutive form the incidents of the expedition, but rather seek to supply such as in my opinion will more clearly picture to your readers the results which have been attained.

But little fighting took place during the entire march, the most important being some tolerably heavy skirmishing which occurred in the vicinity of Clinton, this side of Jackson, as the expedition was starting out, the small squads of the enemy, wherever seen, prudently withdrawing upon our artillery being brought into position. Large quantities of cotton were found and destroyed while on our way out, some baled and some not yet ginned. Both cotton and gins were placed beyond the reach of affording temptation to cotton speculators of questionable loyalty. On our return, little, however, was molested. As a general thing, in the region of country passed over, the large planters had abandoned the growth of that former sovereign staple under the prohibitory enactment of the rebel Congress two years ago. Corn, however, was in abundance, and such corn as would make the heart of a man glad. The cribs of this entire section were bursting with fatness, though our army left those in its immediate wake about as effectually depleted as Howell Cobb did the national treasury when he retired from its management, at the close of Mr. Buchanan's administration.

At Decatur a large tan-yard and a very considerable lot of cotton were destroyed, the town itself sharing the same fate. Our boys were guided ed to a quantity of cotton hidden in an obscure locality, near this place, by some negroes acquainted with the fact, and indeed everywhere the blacks testified unmixed delight at our approach, frequently meeting us with their wives and children “toting” their little all alone with them, and apparently fully satisfied of the advent of the “day of jubilo.” Repeatedly were our men advised of the hiding-places of hoards of bacon, pork, ham, stock, carriages, etc., the movements of the rebel military and the whereabouts of citizens fighting in the rebel army. It is in vain that the people have sought to inspire them with aversion and terror of our Northern, especially Yankee soldiers. They know better, and in spite of the habit of years, to obey and believe their masters, they will not credit what they say, but preferring to cut loose for ever from the associations of youth and all of home they know, throw themselves selves upon the uncertain issue of their new condition with a faith that is sublime.

From five thousand to seven thousand of these people accompanied the triumphal return of Sherman's expedition, and I defy any human being

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