Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Haines Bluff, Miss., June 18th, 1863.

Once more on land, and glad are we of the change. We arrived at the mouth of the Yazoo at ten o’clock yesterday morning, six miles from Vicksburg, and, turning upstream, came to anchor at this place, fifteen miles from its mouth, at 12 m.

We had a perilous voyage down the river. It would seem, on looking back on the dangers through which we were safely carried, that a power higher than man’s had been exerted in our behalf. To say nothing of the guerillas, three times were we in imminent danger of being “blown up.” Once nothing but a miracle—men called it luck—saved us from capsizing; once we were driven on shore by a hurricane on the only spot, so said our pilot, where we could by any possibility have escaped being wrecked.

Part of our division, two days in advance of us, has reported at Vicksburg. Two divisions of the Ninth Corps are here, the other—the Third—is at Suffolk, Virginia. The place we now occupy was lately in possession of the Rebels. It is strong by nature, and has been made still stronger by man, but those terrible little gunboats made it too hot for secession, and they left in haste, leaving part of their baggage, a few horses and cattle, and even poultry, which our boys found skulking in the bushes. Of course, they arrested the cowardly creatures and brought them into camp.

The inhabitants have all left, driving their stock with them, and burning what furniture they could not carry.

The face of the country is rough and broken, quite as much so as Maryland and Virginia. Spite of Jeff. Davis’ prohibition, I find much cotton planted in this part of Mississippi, but it will not come to much unless Uncle Sam soon gives it in charge of his colored children, who literally throng our camp. I wish I could describe the beauty and grandeur of these forests, but to be appreciated they must be seen. That which gives them their greatest charm is the long, wavy, gray moss which hangs suspended from every limb, from the smallest sapling to the mighty, towering oak. Wild plums and blackberries, large and luscious, abound and are now in season. Figs will soon be ripe. Among other things, good and bad, fleas and woodticks are in evidence.

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