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

Post image for The Color Guard, A Corporal’s Notes, James Kendall Hosmer.

The Color Guard, A Corporal’s Notes, James Kendall Hosmer.

December 15, 2012

The Color Guard, A Corporal's Notes, James Kendall Hosmer

Dec. 15. — Morning comes after a night almost sultry. The air is dead; and, although the stateroom window has been wide open, we all awake in a perspiration. Daylight drags the wolf out of his cavern, — the city out to view. We find we are rather below it; opposite a pretentious building, which, I believe, is the Marine Hospital. In the course of the morning, we weigh anchor, and sail up a mile or so; the straight streets opening up as we go slowly by, looking quiet, and, with the wharves and buildings along the Levee, forsaken by business. We pass the Cathedral; a fine structure, so far as I can see, with a square in front, and two buildings of a mediæval appearance on each side, — convents, perhaps; then long sheds and markets. At length we are opposite the Custom House, — which has the revenue-flag flying, — an uncompleted building of Quincy granite, which, they say, was proving too heavy for the soil, sinking downward, until they were forced to stop building.

Here are the great peace-keepers of the city. After passing two French War-steamers, we come to frigate after frigate, grim, dangerous, silent, our flag at the stern; with formidable batteries, all in perfect trim, and trained straight against the city. Blue tars crowd the decks; watchmen, with spy-glasses, are in the tops. Should secession grow rife again, and, in city or suburb, the watch behold the dust arising from an émeute which the soldiery could not repress, New Orleans would be blown into shreds and splinters. We cast anchor again. As the day goes by, we buy oranges, ripe and sweet, from boats which come alongside; while the hope of being landed during the day, held out in the morning, fades and fades.

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