Saturday, December 31, 2016

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant George G. Smith: May 3, 1864

On guard at pontoon bridge. An old lady and gentleman came up with a pass signed by Colonel Molineaux I examined it and passed it back to her. At the same time General Banks came up and said, “Lieutenant why are you passing so many people across here, they are letting the enemy know all we are doing and giving us a great deal of trouble.” I saluted him and said, “General, my instructions were to pass everybody with passes signed by yourself and Colonel Molineaux,” at the same time handing him the pass. “Well,” he said, “I will tell Col. Molineaux not to pass so many people across this bridge.” At that the old lady pointed to a nice looking young man standing: there dressed in a new United States uniform and said. “This is our son, he has just enlisted in the Union army and we are all on our way to New Orleans and want to cross the river to take a steamboat. We are afraid they will persecute us when you are gone, if we stay here.” “O! Ah, yes, I see” he said, “that is all right,” and passed on. It was not for me to reply, poor man, he had enough to make him petulant. I was at a loss to know, however, what I had to do with Colonel Molineaux's business. Worked on dam all night.

SOURCE: Abstracted from George G. Smith, Leaves from a Soldier's Diary, p. 109-10

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