We are on guard every other day now. I am on picket post again on the main road out east from our camp. There are thirty of us with a captain in command. I stood on vedette for eight hours. Our reserve post is close by a farm house owned by a man named Patrick. He has a great many slaves who are out in the fields picking cotton, and they have a colored foreman, a slave at that, over them. But Patrick himself is the “driver,” though he seems to be kind to his slaves, who are mostly women and children. Patrick had been forced into the army of the Confederacy, but he escaped, and returning to his plantation, he hopes now to remain within the Union lines.
Source: Alexander G. Downing, Edited by Olynthus B., Clark, Downing’s Civil War Diary, p. 65