In walking the principal streets of St. Louis on that occasion, I could easily distinguish the loyal men of my acquaintance from the disloyal, at half a square’s distance. The former were excited with delight; the latter were downcast with sorrow. The Union men walked rapidly, with, faces “wreathed in smiles;” the Secessionists moved with alternate slow and quick steps, while their countenances expressed all the sad emotions.
The newsboys with the tidings of our success were patronized by the one and repelled by the other. I saw one of the venders of intelligence enter the store of a noted Secessionist, where he shouted the nature of the news at the highest note of his voice. A moment later he emerged from the door, bringing the impress of a Secessionist’s boot.
The day and the night witnessed much hilarity in loyal circles, and a corresponding gloom in quarters where treason ruled. I fear there were many men in St. Louis whose conduct was no recommendation to the membership of a temperance society.
All felt that a new era had dawned upon us. Soon after came the tidings of a general advance of our armies. We moved in Virginia, and made the beginning of the checkered campaign of ’62. Along the Atlantic coast we moved, and Newbern fell into our hands. Further down the Atlantic, and at the mouth of the Mississippi, we kept up the aggression. Grant, at Donelson, “moved immediately upon Buckner’s works;” and, in Kentucky, the Army of the Ohio occupied Bowling Green and prepared to move upon Nashville. In Missouri, Curtis had already occupied Lebanon, and was making ready to assault Price at Springfield. Everywhere our flag was going forward.
ANOTHER CAMPAIGN IN MISSOURI.
From St. Louis to Rolla.—A Limited Outfit.—Missouri Roads in Winter.—“Two Solitary Horsemen.”—Restricted Accommodations in a Slaveholder’s House.—An Energetic Quartermaster.—General Sheridan before he became Famous.—“Bagging Price.”—A Defect in the Bag.—Examining the Correspondence of a Rebel General.—What the Rebels left at their Departure.
On the 9th of February I left St. Louis to join General Curtis’s army. Arriving at Rolla, I found the mud very deep, but was told the roads were in better condition a few miles to the west. With an attache of the Missouri Democrat, I started, on the morning of the 10th, to overtake the army, then reported at Lebanon, sixty-five miles distant. All my outfit for a two or three months’ campaign, was strapped behind my saddle, or crowded into my saddle-bags. Traveling with a trunk is one of the delights unknown to army correspondents, especially to those in the Southwest. My companion carried an outfit similar to mine, with the exception of the saddle-bags and contents. I returned to Rolla eight weeks afterward, but he did not reach civilization till the following July.