From a Letter:
Ship Island, Wednesday, March 5, 1862.
I suppose ere this you have received letters from me and I imagine father has told you all the news. However, word from me that " all is well" is everything to you. February 28th was monthly inspection and muster for pay, all the troops on the island were reviewed by the General and his Staff. The day was warm and many fell out of the ranks exhausted while passing in review. One day it is warm, another, cold. A gunboat, named the New London, went on an excursion to Biloxi and Colonel Butler went on her. They approached to within a mile of the town, then took a skiff, with a howitzer, and landed. They went to the Post Office, found the New Orleans and Mobile papers, four days old, took forty muskets and sundry other things. The people did not dare to interfere. One man said, "You have got my boy over there, haven't you?" Butler replied, "Yes, paying him thirty-five dollars per month in the Quartermaster's department." A number of boys were standing around in utter amazement. Their papers stated that the Yankees had whipped them in Tennessee and in Kentucky, had taken twenty-three regiments and captured Roanoke Island, with three thousand troops, and had burned Elizabethtown. I hope this is all true. The papers contained a minute account of the number of our troops here and our situation. I would walk the distance home if I could get hold of one of these fellows. I always regarded Van den Huysen, nephew of Jeff. Davis, as a knave. He slept in my stateroom a while, when we were coming on, until I told him to leave. He was Quartermaster's Sergeant of the cavalry. They are now in New Orleans.
I went aboard the gunboat South Carolina the other day, she is the last boat that left with the mail and she took her prize, the Magnolia) loaded with cotton, along with her. Captains Read and Durevauge, with Lieutenant Perkins and a crew, went over to Horn Island last Saturday on a scout. A storm arose and they were gone over their time, which they had set for their return. All felt anxious, as no one had ever been there. Tuesday night the New London started in search of them, and ran across them as they were coming back, at the head of Ship Island. They had landed on Horn Island, found two hundred head of cattle, killed ten, cut them up, filled the boat and returned, after an absence of four days. They found a contraband in a shanty eating a portion of a dead creature; he had gone out fishing from Patapsco and drifted away. He had been there four days and was lazy and numb. I got rid of my own negro and turned him off, and took an enlightened man from the North in his place. He made some capital flshballs for dinner. I wish Lizzie and Fran. could see some of these genuine contrabands, I think it would change their ideas somewhat. Chaplain Cleaveland is liked very much here. I fitted his tent for him. I received a letter by the Pensacola, she has sailed again. All are anxious to go on the main land.
2d Lieut. Elliot:
Had a tremendous shower last night. I do not believe it ever rained harder and blew so hard it seemed as though our tent would blow down over our heads. the weather this morn is cleared off and quite cool.
Captain Reed and his party have safely returned and in good order. bringing with them 9 carcases of beef they have killed and one negro not killed. it means they have been over to Horn Island and found this Beeves and killed them. today we had some Beef Steak for dinner and a fresh Beef soup for supper.
The Rhode Island arrived here this morning from the Galveston leaves here tomorrow morn at 8 or 9 O Clock. I have written a letter to Jane to send by her.
Lieut Lovrien on gaurd today in command of Company in company drills also Battalion had a very fine Battalion drill never have more pleased with the manner in which our men done there work.
New London took 2 deserters from the Rebel Army to day they took advantage of the storm, and stole a boat. and made there escape New London took them on board and carried them to the Rhode Island who carries them to Boston or N. York.
A large Ship accompanied by a gun Boat came in tonight I have not ascertained her name.
Corpl. B. B. Smith:
Wednesday, March 5, 1862.
A cold morn had a fire this morn
In the tent had a hard blow all
Night and some rain. Capt
Reed of the MRR and some
Other went to sail and have not
Been heard from since the Gun
Boat Rhode[?] Island arrived this PM
The Rangers have returned with a
Number of Beefs and Niggers that
They had got at horn[?] island where they
Had been gunning.