“Sic transit Gloria!” Got orders for good old Donaldsonville, La. As usual, I got my share of the dirty work. The regiment had been paid off, and many soldiers were in the city on passes when the order came, so the Colonel ordered me to take a posse of soldiers and go down to the city and get those out on passes on board “The Metropolitan,” lying at the wharf; so I had a good time of it. Most every saloon had more or less drunken soldiers in it. I hailed a passing market wagon on the street, and told the driver I wanted him to take a load of soldiers down to the boat. “I can't do it: I have not got the time.” “Yes,” I said, “but you must.” He looked at the shoulder straps I had on, and at the posse with me, and decided to go. We soon filled it, put a guard in, and sent them on, and I hailed another. I hailed three in all. When the roll was called they were all there; so, at 5 p. m., the prow of the “Metropolitan” was headed down stream. Lieut. Jones and the negro boys looked after my luggage. We had to coal up two miles below. Got stuck in the mud once, besides having much foggy weather.
General Gilmore came aboard at Helena, Ark., and got off at White River Landing.
SOURCE: Abstracted from George G. Smith, Leaves from a Soldier's Diary, p. 141-2