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

Haines Bluff, Miss., June 26th.

We get no news from the outside world. Not even the New York Herald or Detroit Free Press, those blatant organs of secession, can penetrate these lines. But the air is filled with rumors—rumors that are true today and false tomorrow. It is said the Rebels have a battery now where they fired on us when we came down; that they have captured all our mail and destroyed the mail boat. Today they sank the boat in shallow water and one of our gunboats secured the mail. All we are sure of is we are here, felling trees and throwing up breastworks; that General Grant is still knocking for admittance at the “Gates of Jericho.” Were I to credit what I hear, and it comes from “reliable sources,” I would believe he has already made the seventh circuit of that doomed city with his terrible ram’s horn in full blast, and now, covered with sweat and dust, has paused on a “commanding eminence” to witness the final consummation of his plans. But the continuous thundering of his artillery and the occasional rattle of musketry convince me that, in these latter days, the tumbling down of formidable walls is not so easily accomplished as in the olden times when the Almighty seemed to take more interest in the affairs of men. But, although the long-wished-for event is delayed until hope is well-nigh dead, still, seeing and knowing what I do, I have entire confidence in Grant’s final success.

But hark! What cry is this? Oh, joyful sound. The mail! the mail has come! Thank God, there is one for me!

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