Notwithstanding their fierce competition in serving the journals they represented, the correspondents with our army were generally on the most friendly terms with each other. Perhaps this was less the case in the East than in the West, where the rivalry was not so intense and continuous. In the armies in the Mississippi Valley, the representatives of competing journals frequently slept, ate, traveled, and smoked together, and not unfrequently drank from the same flask with equal relish. In the early days, “Room 45,” in the St. Charles Hotel at Cairo, was the resort of all the correspondents at that point. There they laid aside their professional jealousies, and passed their idle hours in efforts for mutual amusement. On some occasions the floor of the room would be covered, in the morning, with a confused mass of boots, hats, coats, and other articles of masculine wear, out of which the earliest riser would array himself in whatever suited his fancy, without the slightest regard to the owner. “Forty-five” was the neutral ground where the correspondents planned campaigns for all the armies of the Union, arranged the downfall of the Rebellion, expressed their views of military measures and military men, exulted over successes, mourned over defeats, and toasted in full glasses the flag that our soldiers upheld.
Since the close of the war, many of the correspondents have taken positions in the offices of the journals they represented in the field. Some have established papers of their own in the South, and a few have retired to other civil pursuits. Some are making professional tours of the Southern States and recording the status of the people lately in rebellion. The Herald has sent several of its attaches to the European capitals, and promises to chronicle in detail the next great war in the Old World.
THE PRESENT CONDITION OF THE SOUTH.
Scarcity of the Population,—Fertility of the Country.—Northern Men already in the South.—Kansas Emigrants Crossing Missouri.—Change of the Situation.—Present Disadvantages of Emigration.—Feeling of the People.—Property-Holders in Richmond.—The Sentiment in North Carolina.—South Carolina Chivalry.—The Effect of War.—Prospect of the Success of Free Labor.—Trade in the South.
The suppression of the Rebellion, and the restoration of peace throughout the entire South, have opened a large field for emigration. The white population of the Southern States, never as dense as that of the North, has been greatly diminished in consequence of the war. In many localities more than half the able-bodied male inhabitants have been swept away, and everywhere the loss of men is severely felt. The breaking up of the former system of labor in the cotton and sugar States will hinder the progress of agriculture for a considerable time, but there can be little doubt of its beneficial effect in the end. The desolation that was spread in the track of our armies will be apparent for many years. The South will ultimately recover from all her calamities, but she will need the energy and capital of the Northern States to assist her.