One of the newspapermen has been traveling the territory between the Big Black and Jackson. He reports:
I have conversed with hundreds of families between here and Jackson, and have not found one citizen who could properly be termed a Union man. Many profess a conservatism which in the opinion of the administration at Washington, is treason. Very many more attempt no reserve or concealment, but openly proclaim their attachment to their own government, while drawing rations and supplies from ours. All are intensely pro-slavery in feeling, and curse the Yankees for “stealing their slaves”.
The crowds that continually swarm hitherward from the Black river come to claim rations, protection, and other rights of citizenship; but are wonderfully reluctant to acknowledge or discharge the duties thereof. None join our army; none contribute in word or deed to the Federal Cause; all look upon us as enemies, even when asking for, and accepting, subsistence at our hands. Their manners are often insufferably insolent and insulting. 1 must reiterate that after long, close, and (I believe) impartial investigation, I can find none whom 1 believe to be truly Union men or women, in this entire region. If here, it has never been my fortune to meet them.