Today I was one of a detail of two thousand men sent down the river a few miles to repair the break in the levee on the west bank of the river. The break is two hundred feet wide and the water rushes through with terrible force. I was glad when the order came to return to camp, for I would rather risk my life in a battle than to work another day on that break. An increasing number of men still lying in the boats are getting sick from drinking the poor river water; the new recruits just arriving from the North are especially affected.
Source: Alexander G. Downing, Edited by Olynthus B., Clark, Downing’s Civil War Diary, p. 97