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things, since I had left the country in the spring of 1861. Plantations were ravaged, slaves were scattered, and the country was suffering terribly for the want of the most common necessaries of life. Whole districts of country had been literally laid waste by the barbarians who had invaded us. The magnificent valley of the Red River, down which, as the reader has seen, I had recently travelled, had been burned and pillaged for the distance of a hundred and fifty miles. Neither Alaric, nor Attila ever left such a scene of havoc and desolation in his rear. Demoniac Yankee hate had been added to the thirst for plunder. Sugar-mills, saw-mills, salt-works, and even the gristmills which ground the daily bread for families, had been laid in ashes—their naked chimneys adding ghastliness to the picture. Reeling, drunken soldiers passed in and out of dwellings, plundering and insulting their inmates; and if disappointed in the amount of their plunder, or resisted, applied the torch in reve