One hundred fifty years ago, on March 14, 1863, things were happening on the Mississippi off of the White River:
U. S. S. CONESTOGA,
Off White River, March 14, .
SIR: The steamer Niagara passed up two days ago with 233 bales of cotton from Lake Providence; one permit for 68 bales, belonging to the Rev. A. Hagaman, signed by Rawlins, adjutant-general, by order of General Grant; one for 105 bales, belonging to M. A. Dickens, signed by John A. Rawlins, adjutant-general, by order of General Grant; one for 60 bales, belonging to the Misses Boswell, signed by General Grant.
I was up through the cut-off on Wednesday; saw nothing but a few cavalry.
I have three men whose times have expired over a month. As their cases are precisely similar to that of Jeptha Parks (seaman), whom you have ordered to be discharged, I shall act upon the same authority in discharging them.
The officer and prize crew whom I sent up in the Evansville and Rose Hambleton some three weeks ago are still detained on those steamers at Cairo. We greatly need their services. I therefore respectfully request that you will give the necessary orders to return them to the Conestoga, as their services will not be required as witnesses.
The 84 bales of cotton sent up as freight on the Rose Hambleton, belonging to the Conestoga, is still on board of her. There are some 30 bales at this point now waiting shipment. I am only waiting for the required form to send you a list of all
I cut 50 feet of the levee at Bolivar on Friday. The water is pouring through very rapidly.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
THOS. O. SELFRIDGE,