Page:Notes of the Mexican war 1846-47-48.djvu/38

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The steamboats and sailing crafts are all separate from one another, which gives them better chances to unload and reload without any confusion.

There are not many white people working on the levees, they are mostly all slaves; yet they don't seem to work harder than our poor whites in the North.

The poor old darkies, or those who have miserly owners, are a fair specimen of our old poor in the North. Their clothing is mostly tattered and torn, and is so patched that the original cloth is lost in the variety of colors used in keeping their garments together. Their jaws are fringed with an iron gray fuzz, and all over their black faces years have traced hard lines of struggle; hats on their heads are mostly without a crown and one-half of the brim, in the corner of their mouth rest the clay pipes; yet they seemed to be the happiest people I ever met with. They are good singers and dancers, and at dinner hour they gather around a ring, talk, tell stories, laugh, and sing until the bell rings, when everyone jumps upon his feet and goes direct to his place of work.

New Orleans is the great slave market of the South, where men, women and children are bought and sold to the highest bidder. Thousands of black men and women are smuggled into this city from Cuba and Africa, and sold by an auctioneer the same as they sell horses and cows in the North. After we had seen all we desired to see, we left New Orleans at 4 o'clock p.m. for our camp-ground, at which Paradise we arrived about 6 o'clock p.m., all safe except a little tired, but of course we were able to eat a hearty supper, after which we soon retired under our tent.

Sunday, January 3, 1847.—This morning after breakfast we were called out and formed into line, after which our muskets were inspected, and for the first time I was detailed to go on guard. I had a good post, it being the Quartermaster's department. I had no occasion to go to our quarters to get something to eat, there was plenty of good things