We arrived [at Simsport]. This place is simply a point where the Red River road crosses the Atchaffalaya Bayou. There are two or three houses in sight. On the way heavy cannonading was heard in the direction of Port Hudson, and an orderly came back and reported that Vicksburg had fallen and Port Hudson was on fire and about ready to surrender. So the army halted in the road under a broiling sun, and the band played “The Star Spangled Banner,” and the army cheered to the echo. Many negroes had collected here from the surrounding plantations. At 8 p. m. the First Louisiana embarked on the St. Maurice bound for Bayou Sara. Stayed up until we passed into Red River, thence into the Mississippi, when I retired.
SOURCE: Abstracted from George G. Smith, Leaves from a Soldier's Diary, p. 55-6