Started at 6 a.m. & after marching a mile were ordered to put two men with each wagon, & having thus “deployed” our Company, Lt. J., Capt. Wood, & myself got on a baggage wagon, & “took it easy.”
The plantation where we camped is the largest we have seen, having immense fields of corn & cane growing, all of which is growing well, the negroes having remained till now on the place; but this morning, they are joining in the “Exodous,” leaving home for they know not where. There are said to be more than 200 teams loaded with negroes in our train, & nearly 100 Army wagons. Many of the negroes, male & female, are on foot, & there are constant acquisitions, making to the train.
Stopped at noon in a beautiful oak grove on the border of the Teche, & cooked dinner. Here for the first time a party was detailed to drive in cattle to be slaughtered for rations, a thing that ought to have been done all along. The Col. being unable to ride on horseback on account of a fall yesterday, gave up his horse to me for the afternoon, Lt. J. starting with his little mare. The Quartermaster states that there are now 400 wagons in the train, which must be near 4 miles long. The ride across the prairie this afternoon was a delightful one, & I was even better pleased with the Country than with that on the march up. Halted about 5 o’clock, & the fresh meat—beef & mutton—coming in early, the men had ample time to cook a good supper. Slept finely on the ground. Heard heavy guns in the night in what we supposed to be the direction of Port Hudson.