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

June 14th.

We are still in the harbor at Memphis awaiting orders. Eight hundred and fifty wounded men were brought to this place yesterday from Vicksburg. Grant is still hammering away at that seemingly impregnable fortress. The weather is extremely hot, which renders our situation, huddled together as we are, very uncomfortable. Yesterday we steamed up the river about a mile to a fine grove, and all went on shore while the crew gave the old boat a thorough cleaning. This morning our surgeon ordered us all on shore as a “sanitary measure.” We marched off by companies, each company going where it chose, but to different points. We went to Court House Square and disbanded. It was like being transferred from a gloomy prison to “smiling fields and shady groves.” The square contains about five acres; is enclosed by an iron fence; is thickly set with trees of different varieties—the brave old oak, with its spreading branches and delicious shade; the gorgeous magnolia, the tree of paradise; the orange and lemon, with an almost endless variety of evergreens. Near the center of the square is a bust of General Jackson, cut in marble.

On one side of the pedestal is incribed those memorable words of that grand old patriot: “The Federal Union; it Must Be Preserved.” I noticed the word “Federal” was partly obliterated, and inquired the cause. A citizen told me it was done by a Rebel Colonel at the beginning of the war; that his men, still cherishing some regard for the hero of New Orleans, took him outside the city and shot him. At four o’clock we were marched on board our prison ship.

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