Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Diary of Sergeant George G. Smith: April 20, 1863

Arrived at Opalousas. This was the third capitol the rebels had made for this state since the rebellion. We expected to catch some of their honorable bodies, the members of the Legislature, but they were too wary. The saying, “A stag oft hunted grows wild,” was true in this case. The authorities surrendered without opposition. Opalousas ordinarily contains about 6,000 inhabitants, and is situated in one of the richest farming sections of the state. Watered by the Teche and Atchaffalaya Bayous which divide and subdivide forming a network of bayous which are navigable for steamboats a considerable portion of the year, which while they irrigate and fertilize the land, afford at once a cheap and easy means for the conveyance of the rich products to the sea and to the markets of the world. Cotton and sugar cane ordinarily are the staple products, but this year it was planted mostly with corn to feed the armies. Colonel Holcomb ordered me to turn my gun and equipments over to the quartermaster and act as lieutenant of Company E.

SOURCE: Abstracted from George G. Smith, Leaves from a Soldier's Diary, p. 48-9

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