Saturday, January 21, 2017

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant George G. Smith: June 24, 1864

Whole force landed at Fort Adams this morning. Cavalry scouts went out ten miles towards Woodville. Captured no rebels. At Fort Adams there is a mountain about five hundred feet high towering up like a sugar loaf. Up about forty yards from the base two indentures resembling the remains of old rifle pits are what are known as Fort Adams and Fort Washington. The former looks up the river and the latter down about thirty rods apart. I could not learn when they were built or what they were built for. My greatest desire was to stand on the top of that mountain and so Captain Pearson and myself undertook the job. The view from the summit amply repaid us for our labor. As far as the eye could reach to the North and South was the broad Mississippi fringed with the deep verdure of the cottonwood, while to the East stretching far into the interior was a succession of wooded hills full of grandeur and sublimity. To the front lying peacefully upon the broad bosom of the river were our beautiful steamers and a little to the right, with their camp fires blazing, was the human hive. It seemed strange that amid all the beauty and lovliness of nature around us that our errand there was to hunt and kill like wild beasts, our fellow men. Our musings were cut short by the muttering of thunder out of a black cloud in the West and we must hasten down, and we were none too soon for we hardly reached the steamer before the rain drops began to patter around us, and as though wonders would never cease, as soon as the shower had passed a little, the sun came out and a rainbow appeared directly over the mountain completely enveloping it like an aureola, one end of the arc resting on Fort Adams, and the other on Fort Washington. The mountain looked like a picture framed by a rainbow. All the troops went aboard the transports, and at ten p. m. we landed in Morganza. Nothing of importance occurred while we were here. It was guard duty and review.

SOURCE: Abstracted from George G. Smith, Leaves from a Soldier's Diary, p. 123-5

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