Illustration of the War in AmericaThe Illustrated London News, vol.41, no.1152, p.24.
July 5, 1862
Our Special Artist and Correspondent, in his last letter from the Mississippi Flotilla, writes as follows respecting the subject of the accompanying Engraving:—"I take it that the opening the Mississippi is not the least important among the many movements of the Federal forces; indeed, it appears to me that Peace and Commerce, hand in hand, will float down its broad bosom in the wake of the flotilla, restoring confidence on their way by recalling the suffering disaffected to their former avocations. Already numbers of refugees from the Confederate strongholds below us have penetrated through the submerged forests in 'dug outs,' and have requested to be allowed to take the oath of allegiance to the old Government. Their description of the condition of the Southern cities would scarcely indicate that the population is over sanguine as to the result of the struggle progressing or that its confidence is great in the ultimate success of Confederacy. They say that the more quiet and law-abiding portion of the people are crushed and held in subjection by the military authorities, and that hundreds would welcome the appearance of the Federal fleet and the restoration of their former condition of order and prosperity. No doubt the destruction of property will be great on the approach of the flotilla, but this will be simply because the citizens are powerless to prevent it; and I am strengthened in this opinion from a conversation I have had with a Memphis merchant who is on the same boat as myself. Possibly, however, these fugitives may wish to represent matters to the Federal commander in a couleur de rose tint, and therefore their statements should perhaps be accepted with considerable reservation; yet I cannot conceive they would fly from their homes and seek the protection of Uncle Sam had not their convictions undergone a change, and their confidence in Jeff Davis and his power to sustain his Government been greatly diminished."