|From the American Citizen (Canton, Miss.)
|August 1, 1862
|40th Reg. Miss. Vols.
|July 28th, 1862
| Having been detained here
since Friday morning last, with little prospect of getting "on to
Richmond" (whither I had started) for a day or two yet, I conclude to
"drop you a line."
| Of all the places I have ever
been compelled to remain at, this is certainly the most disagreeable.
I mean the city of Meridian. My quarters are much
more pleasant, however, than other unfortunate travelers have had
during our sojourn.
| On my arrival here I
ascertained that a large portion of the army at Tupelo
was being transported over the Mobile & Ohio Railroad, and that
Gen. Bragg had put an embargo upon all travel.
No "citizen" could be allowed to pass over the road
until his troops had passed down.
It was hard to submit to this order when one was expecting to
be in Richmond
by the time this blockade should be raised.
But my country's cause demands the sacrifice, and I make it
with as good grace as possible.
| The hotel accommodations here
are a disgrace to the name. The
meanest fare possible at the highest price seems to be the order.
There have been perhaps from three to five hundred persons
detained here since Tuesday last.
Many of these have sought and found repose upon the soft side
of a plank, subsisting upon rations wisely provided before leaving
home, and but for which their "bread-baskets" would have
suffered from emptiness. Many
poor men who had not taken this precaution, and being short of funds,
have suffered great inconvenience.
I have seen men, women and children lying around the depots for
days and nights together, waiting transportation.
Quite a number of soldiers belonging to the army in Va.
are here en route for Richmond, but Gen. Bragg's army takes precedence, and even these are not
allowed to go. Then there
are sick and wounded soldiers — old men trying to get through to
minister to their wounded sons at
, not one of whom can get along. Some
of the latter have despaired and turned back; others have resolved to
wait their turn. I would
have turned back myself, but concluded it was better to hold on.
Surely it won't be long till we can get through.
| I said my quarters were better
than some others. On my
arrival here I learned that the 40th Miss. Reg. was in camp
on the hill overlooking the town, and ascertained that My friends Col.
Colbert and Lt. Col. Campbell of Leake and Attala were in command, and
also that my Anglo-Spanish friend
G. D. Bustamente was in charge of the commissariat.
It occurred to me at once that it would be a good thing for me
to "go into camp." It
was not long before I met Capt. B.,
aforesaid, whose proverbial generosity was manifest, as ever, and I
received a cordial invitation to join his "mess." *****