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From the Hundred and Ninth.

IN CAMP ON BASS'S FARM.
NEAR LAKE PROVIDENCE, April 9, 1863.

To the Editor of the Jonesboro Gazette.

I have but little news to write you at this time. Our trip down on the steamer John Swon, was about as pleasant as such trips usually are, and I could not see that either our own men or those with us were in very high spirits, or very confident of a successful expedition. It was intended that we should join the forces attempting the passage of the Yazoo, but the miserable failure of that expedition, and its return to Helena, the sorriest and shabbiest combination of men, boats, horses and "hangers-on" ever presented to human vision, rendered quite necessary a change in the programme. The many high sounding promises made by the authorities when this expedition was fitted out and the multitude of important results it was to accomplish — the whole to end in the speedy reduction of Vicksburg, and the suppresssion of the rebellion in the West — have ended in a disgraceful and expensive disaster. It is however, no more than every sensible practical man expected. The idea of forcing an expedition over five hundred miles through the crookedest water course known to man; filled with sunken trees, and so narrow that the boats could not pass without knocking their chimneys and cabins off against the trees on shore, and with a certainty that their passage would be disputed at every suitable point, is about on a par with other brilliant plans and expeditions which have rendered this war, on the part of the North, a stupendous farce. — We have been attached to Ransom's brigade, the second of McArthur's division, McPherson's corps. What is to become of us no one pretends to know, though it is believed here that we, with the rest of the brigade, will be sent out about 35 miles into the interior of the State (Louisiana) to scatter a secesh force left out there by Price. Of course there is no certainty of our going out on any such an errand, but it is altogether probable we will. We have a beautiful camping place on one of the finest plantations in the South, but so anxious have been some of our soldiers to make the owner a devoted and undying Union man, to convince him that they are here to protect his rights under our laws, that they have almost entirely ruined the place. His buildings have been destroyed, degrees and stock taken off, fences burned, trees demolished, and all other improvements annihilated. He has the naked ground left. I am in daily expectation of seeing him come out an unconditional Greeley Unionist, though we have no evidence that he has ever been anything but a loyal man. Treatment such as he has received is well calculated to make southerners believe we are their friends, and only desirous for a reconstruction of the government. Whatever disposition may be made of us will be of little importance, save to ourselves, as we number but 148 effective men — less than two full companies. We left about 100 men in hospitals and convalescent camps at Memphis, so that the regiment will scarcely reach 250 men, or about one-quarter our muster on the 31st of October last.

Efforts have been making for the past two or three weeks to secure the consolidation of the regiment. One plan was to form those remaining into new companies, with the retention of a Lieutenant Colonel, an Adjutant, and about one-third the line officers. Another project was to join us to the 131st regiment, which is also very much reduced in numbers, one company only mustering three officers, an orderly sergeant and two men! What will finally be done, it is impossible to tell, though I think our formation into a battalion very likely.

A number of the army officers in this section will probably be disposed of under the provisions of a general order, received yesterday calling a Board for the examination of the officers in this department. — The army itself is alarmingly thinned by desertion, casualty and disease, while vacant official positions have generally been filled from the ranks. It furnishes a splendid opportunity for malcontents to get out of the army, and many will doubtless avail themselves of it. A number of our boys may be expected home after the concern finishes its labors.

A couple of gunboats passed up yesterday that had run afoul of some rebel batteries below. They were badly battered up, and considerable repairs will be necessary to render them fit for service again. They were in tow of a large steamer. Steamboats pass almost every day with their cabins or wheelhouses stove in, and other evidences of harsh treatment. River navigation is not quite so safe or pleasant as many have been led to believe.

The presence of the dispenser of "green backs" among the soldiers, keeps the men in better spirits than they would otherwise be. The entire army is to be paid off to March 1st. This will be $52 for each private, $68 for a sergeant, and from four to six hundred dollars for the officers. This is welcome tidings to most of us just now, for we are tired of looking at sutlers' well filled shelves, and having no "wherewith" to relieve our wants. And better still, the families of many can be supplied with articles of which they actually stand in need. It is a consolation which balances many hardships, for the poor soldier to know that at least those dependent upon him at home are not left to the charities of neighbors.
COPPERHEAD