We landed at the little town of Providence, Missouri, about sunup and experienced our first day's march after the “secesh.” It was a delightful day. The few belated grasshoppers and crickets which escaped the cold spells were singing their farewell songs. We were all awake and keyed to the highest pitch, felt prepared to meet ten thousand “secesh” at any moment. A detail of cavalry was leading the way, and when at times our marching was delayed, each man anxiously wanting to know the cause, would peer forward over the shoulder of his file leader; but there was nothing to see.
At noon we stacked arms and ate our first lunch upon a march, and in the ‘secesh’s” country at that. Here we rested about two hours, until the cavalry returned. They reported that there was not a “secesh” to be seen in that part of the country, and I guess all heaved a sigh of relief in the thought that there would be no fighting today. We were ten miles out from our landing. Hastening our return march, we reached our boat at sundown, and boarding it, proceeded up the river.
Source: Alexander G. Downing, Edited by Olynthus B., Clark, Downing’s Civil War Diary, p. 23-4