114 HISTORY OF THE SEVENTY-EIGHTH REGIMENT O.V.V.I.
believe three rebel boats were destroyed, and several prisoners taken. I wonder what their opinion of the Yankees is by this time?
The guerrillas of late appear to be getting rather bold in their operations around here, and are very numerous. They often make their appearance right across the river, on the Arkansas side, and do a great deal of mischief. It was only day before yesterday that they fired into and burned a boat opposite here, on her way down the river from Pittsburg. She had a cargo of coal, and as it was very foggy, it is supposed she ran into the bank, where she was destroyed – the officers and crew presumed to be taken prisoners. It is said the rebels have a "flying battery," with which they go from point to point along the river and fire into unarmed vessels as they wind along. Such boldness as that ought to be looked after, and no doubt will be. They are also showing themselves at different points on the Memphis & Charleston Railroad, and it would not be surprising if, when we leave, they would make a dash into this place; but I am of the opinion they will meet with a pretty warm reception if they do.
The weather has been very changeable for the past week, but we have mud in abundance. It is enough to bring sickness on us all, yet we are all getting along first rate with the exception of slight colds. The sick boys are all doing well; all who were not able to go down the river with us were sent to the hospitals in town.
To-day Captain Stevenson received his resignation papers, they being accepted. He will start for home in a few days, but not, however until we start down the river, as he wants to see us off. He will take all letters the boys may send by him; and if we get paid off in time (and we hope we will) he will take our money home for us. By an unanimous vote of the company, Lieutenant McCarty was made Captain, (Lieutenant Roberts of course going up to First Lieutenant, although he is at present detached on the Signal Corps,) and Sergeant A. W. Stewart was elected Second Lieutenant.
FRIDAY, February 20, 1863. – We are all busy this morning tearing down tents and packing up, intending to leave to-day. We are expecting the Paymaster every moment to pay us off, when we will take our departure for the river and emigrate on the boats. A detail went out of the regiment this morning for the purpose of loading the boats. Our regiment and the Eighth Illinois will, it is said, go down the river together, on the steamer Louisiana, said to be a fine large boat. To-day the sun is shining forth, and indications are that we will have a pleasant trip. May it be so. Anything but a rainy time when on board a steamboat.
Be sure and send us the Herald regularly, for when we get to Vicksburg it will be prized by us highly. Remember the boys of Company E to your readers of old Morgan; and if we don't lose our "bean-dippers," before we get to our destination, you may expect to hear of us doing good work at the battle of Vicksburg. Send us letters often; we are always anxious to hear from those at home.
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