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Title: Extracts From an Emigrant Letter From New Orleans
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationunknown
Sender Religionunknown
OriginNew Orleans, Louisiana, USA
DestinationBelfast, N.Ireland
Recipient Genderunknown
Relationshipre American Civil War
SourceThe Belfast News-Letter, Thursday, 3 April, 1862
ArchiveThe Central Library, Belfast
Doc. No.102323
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by LT, 19:02:01.
Word Count678

We have been favoured, by a lady in Belfast, with a
letter, received on Tuesday, from her nephew in New
Orleans. The letter was written at the close of
November last, but was delayed, owing to the difficulty
and uncertainty of transmission. the following extracts
are of interest:-
" A stray vessel now and then runs the blockade, but
her cargo is but a drop of water in a bucket. Gunpowder
has advanced from 50c. to 300c.; coffee, from 12c. to
100c.; woollen yarn from 40c. to 2d. 50c.; salt, from
1d. per sack to 10d.; and everything in proportion;
calicoes, from 12c. to 60c.; shoes, from 5d. to 7d.
Even envelopes have advanced from 4d. per 1,000 to 8d.
per 1,000; letter-paper the same way; soap, from 5c.
to 30c.; candles, from 30c. to 75c. Some articles have
advanced considerably over 1,000 per centum.... I am
a member of Co. [Company?] E Confederate Guards. Our
guns are the old-fashioned musket, with flint-locks,
altered to use percussion caps. At 120 yards, I put
two out of three balls in the inner target-ring. We
then had them rifled, and use the Minie ball - eight
to the pound. The guns now carry 250 yards. We
cannot do better. Our regiment did not cost the
Government one dollar. Every man paid for his own
uniform, arms, &c., &c., even to powder and balls.
We do not intend to be paid, so that will, altogether,
save the Government 25,000 or 30,000 dollars. Very
few of the volunteer companies cost the Government a
dollar for their outfit. If the men were unable to pay,
the citizens furnished the companies with money....
Thirteen months ago we were one people; to-day we are
bitter foes. Seven months ago the reconstruction of
the Union was not only possible, it was probable.
To-day, it is far beyond the bounds of possibility.
The mere idea of such a Union is so supremely
ridiculous that no sane Southern man entertains it.
As for subduing us, believe me, neither you nor I will
live to witness our subjection. They may ruin us, kill
us, lay waste our fields, and station an armed man in
every house; but sibdue us - never. As an evidence
of the feeling of our people, the planters in Beaufort
district, South Carolina, in which Port Royal is
situated, set fire to their cotton, and laid in ashes
their own fields, rather than run the risk in its
benefiting the enemys. Throughout the cotton States,
planters have their cotton stowed in lots of 50 to
100 bales on their plantations, which they will set
fire to, in case the federalists should land anywhere
in the vicinity of their plantations....We had a
review of our Home Guards on Saturday, and turned out
28,870 men - all citizens of New Orleans. We had
previously sent 12,00 to Virginia, Kentucky, and
Florida. The 28,870 and 12,000 are of the first
division, and comprise only the men between eighteen
and forty-five years of age, in the parishes of
Orleans and Jefferson. The other parishes sent 18,000
men to the seat of war, and have a reserve force of
35,000 men. The only trouble is want of arms. Out
of the 28,000 at the review on Saturday only about
12,000 were armed. We loaned the Confederate
Government 70,000 guns at the commencement of the war,
and they are to be returned to us; 7,000 arrived on
Monday week. We have now several companies armed with
pikes in place of guns. We are daily expecting a
renewal of the Kentucky battle, and have sent one
floating-battery, tug boats metamorphosed into gun-
boats, and an iron-ribbed floating machine called the
Ram, or the Turtle, or the Nondescript. I have not
room to describe it. Columbus, Kentucky, is about
1,000 miles above us. It takes five days to get there.
If the Federals defeat us there, they purpose [propose?]
taking Memphis, Tennessee, which is 800 miles above
us; then comes the attack on New Orleans, by the Lakes,
the river above and below."