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Baton Rouge As It Was And Is

Baton Rouge As It Was And Is image
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I find myself this third day of Sepember, writiúg underthe same live oak ree beneath whose ehade I took ray ast dinner in Baton Rougo, after tbe bloody little battle of the 5th of August, 1862. Time has brought its usual ehanges. Comrades have been stricken in battle, and buried in their gory shrouds, or sent home maimed and disfigured for life. Others have sickened anddied. Each succeedingsummer deepens the bronze upon our faces, or nagnifiesthostreaksol sil ver in thehair. Every campaign intensifies the reekessness of bnman life, and indifference to Fate - and still tbe din of this 'cruel war' rages around us. Nowhere is the spirit of change more visible than in the little city of Baton Rouge. Whon we first knew it its characteristics were marked and peculiarly Southern. lts neat freshly painted dwellings, with thick rows cf cool live oaks shading the streets - its innumerable specimens of the female African, gaudily dressed in glaring red and green and blue contrasts, wheeling little palé faced children in elegant baby carts up and down the trottoire in the cool of the evening - its white pantalooned and gingham-coated citizen population drinking claret, playing billiards, and concealing their rapid secession tnadness beneath an affection of excessive urbanity ot manner; its market-house, with nothing to eat$ its beautiful suburban groves of magnolas; its well-kept gardens, and teeming fig orchards; all were eminently Southern. But the hand of the vandal has been laid heavily upon her, and 'red stick' mourns lor her habits and customs; whieh are not. During the period of our absence the city was, for a brief period, under rebel rule, since which time it has been occupied by hordes of Eastern nine months men, i who have effectually obliterated the ancient land-marks Baton Rouge has degenerated, and is now noiüing inore man a lausee vinage. The greater part of the male population have gone into the rebel ranks, and the females have either departed frorn the heart of Dixie, or else take their snuif in the seclusion of back parlors, where the Yankee entereth not. Yankee cavalry kick up tho dust, Yankee idiom is the medium for the interchange of ideas on the street; the roll of Yankee drums has superseded the tinkle of the ubiquitous piano, and the 'Bonnie B'ue Flag, which bears but one single star, lias given place to 'John Brown'sBody.' In walkingihe streets. you can almost fancy that you hear the sound of the hammersofthe shoemakers of Lynn, and the other d:iy in the course of a prospecting tour, to see if there was anythihg left I had seen before, I was electrified by coming euddenly upon a sign of 'Fresh donghnuts for salel' Shades of the cavalier and Huguenotl Fresh doughnuts!J The charred walle of the State House htands upon the river banks, a mournlul commentary upon the vandalism of war. The Iii9ane Asylum is occupied as a hospital and its beautiful grasey plats and flowering shrubs trodden under the feet of men. A wide, open square of ranks weeds marks the site of the burnt district around the Arsenal. Many of the shade trees in the streets have been cut down, and other marka of devastation afford ampie evidence that Baton Rouge along with her sister ciities of Louisiana has paid the


Old News
Michigan Argus