by John Beauchamp Jones
MARCH 21ST—Although cloudy, there was ice this morning, and cold all day.
Yesterday another thousand prisoners were brought up by the flag of truce boat. A large company of both sexes welcomed them in the Capitol Square, whither some baskets of food were sent by those who had some patriotism with their abundance. The President made them a comforting speech, alluding to their toils, bravery, and sufferings in captivity; and promised them, after a brief respite, that they should be in the field again.
The following conversation took place yesterday between the P resident and some young ladies of his acquaintance, with whom he promenaded:
Miss.—Do you think they will like to return to the field?
President.—It may seem hard; but even those boys (pointing to some youths around the monument twelve or fourteen years old) will have their trial.
Miss.—But how shall the army be fed?
President.—I don’t see why rats, if fat, are not as good as squirrels. Our men did eat mule meat at Vicksburg; but it would be an expensive luxury now.
After this, the President fell into a grave mood, and some remark about recognition caused him to say twice—” We have no friends abroad!”