As Ulysses S. Grant’s Federal army marched inland from its victory at Port Gibson in May 1863, Charles A. Willison of the 76th Ohio marveled at the most unusual roadkill he had ever seen. As a Buckeye, he wasn’t used to the southern swamps. “Aside from the extreme fatigue and hardship of this tramp,” he wrote “I retain no distinct recollection except a novel scene in passing around a bayou shortly before reaching Grand Gulf. . . .
This bayou was fairly teeming with alligators. Our road skirted the bayou and these ugly creatures were crawling everywhere, many of them on the roadway, and were run over by the artillery and baggage wagons. There were all sizes from a foot or so long to quite formidable dimensions, but did not appear to be at all dangerous or vicious, and created no disturbance.
Willison’s account appears on page 52 of his memoir Reminiscences of a boy’s service with the 76th Ohio, in the Fifteenth Army Corps. You can read it free online at Archive.org.