The letter-writer I.N.H. appears again in the pages of the Democratic Banner on April 29. He covers some of the same events as did Edwin Lybarger of the 43rd in his letter published April 15, so that pretty well eliminates Lybarger being I.N.H.
Since the Banner promotes I.N.H. as a “Special Correspondent of the Banner,” maybe the newspaper will eventually reveal who he is.
The 43rd’s part in the capture of Island No. 10 was insignificant, but the letter does contain an interesting description of what was found in a rebel camp they occupied.
“It is a fallacy to believe the rebel army is scantily fed; for in the camp they vacated at the island, there was the amplest quantity of the best of provisions, and our own men secured many things in this line, such as molasses, rice, etc., which were rarities to them! Many articles, of really trifling value, were picked up by our men, to be kept as souvenirs of the place. The rebel ammunition storehouse, which our soldiers dubbed ‘the navy yard,’ was really a curiosity in its way, from the enormous quantity of cannon balls, shells, etc., which it contained. I was not enabled to see much that was not near the quarters of the regiment, but it was said the stupendous batteries on the island were an interesting sight. Some of the log shanties on the camp ground had been used by the enemy as laboratories in which to prepare their cartridges, which shows that they do business on a small scale. For my mementos of the place I secured a pair of bullet-moulds, a sabre bayonet and some pens, the last of which I found in an officer’s tent, beside an unsealed letter in which the writer had been scoring the ‘Yankees’ unsparingly. They are stamped ‘Boston,’ ‘To what base used,’ etc. I will furnish them to an Ohio editor to write Union articles.”
The Banner’s editorial of April 29 provides some interesting comment:
“The principal item of war news received the past week was the bombardment and capture of Fort Pulaski, which is supposed to command the entrance to Savannah, Ga.
“The bombardment of Yorktown is progressing steadily. A general engagement has not yet commenced, but active preparations are being made on both sides. It is being reported that McClellan is sanguine of success. The rebels appear to be equally confident of victory. It will be a bloody and desperate battle.
“Preparations for another great battle at or near Corinth, Miss., are in active progress — The lines of the army are but two miles apart.
“It is reported that Gen. Pope’s column, recently at Island No. 10, are about to take or have taken Fort Pillow, farther down the river towards Memphis.
“Forts Jackson and Phillip, which command New Orleans, were attacked by the Federals on the 14th of April. Further advices from there will be looked for with great interest. — The capture of New Orleans would be a great achievement.”