We passed Baton Rouge and Port Hudson entering the mouth of Red river at about noon. On the way up two men hailed us from the shore in the woods. We took them in and found they were deserters from the gun boats at Fort De Russey. Poor fellows, they could get nothing to eat along that river but aligators: and I guess the hard tack and salt junk tasted good to them. They were turned over to the Essex when we arrived at the fort and what happened to them after that we never stopped to learn.
SOURCE: Abstracted from George G. Smith, Leaves from a Soldier's Diary, p. 91