Thursday, October 11, 2012

Diary of Alexander G. Downing: Thursday, December 19, 1861

We reached Jefferson City this morning at sunup after an uncomfortable night's ride. The water in the river is very low and it seems that we were fastened on sandbars half the time. Then when the boat was under way, the boat hands, one on each side of the vessel, were constantly calling the soundings, “six feet,” “ten feet,” “no bottom,” etc., in that dreadful, drawling sound, keeping it up all night, and with the thought of that powder on board — it was not a good night for sleeping. But we landed, and marching out to the camp, pitched our tents where we were before. We got back all safe and sound, with one exception, for one of our company took the smallpox and was left at the pesthouse at Boonville, with only his bunk-mate to care for him. The weather is quite cool.

Source: Alexander G. Downing, Edited by Olynthus B., Clark, Downing’s Civil War Diary, p. 24-5

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