Friday, July 12, 2013

Diary of Alexander G. Downing: Friday, September 19, 1862

Each man was ordered to have sixty rounds of cartridges, and leaving our bivouac, we marched a short distance and formed a line of battle waiting for the sound of cannon from Rosecrans' men in and around Iuka, on the opposite side of the rebels. Not hearing anything we slowly moved forward about four miles through the woods, remaining all the while in line of battle. We drove the rebel pickets in. At noon the Eleventh Iowa was on a high piece of ground in open field awaiting orders. Some of the boys started fires to boil their coffee, and the rebels, seeing the smoke, opened with a few shots from a battery of four-pounders. Then our battery of heavy guns, lying in front of us, suddenly opened up on them and soon put them out of business. But the boys put out their campfires in short order. When the rebels first opened fire upon us, I was lying on the ground resting my head upon my knapsack and a ball passed just over me, striking the ground at my left. That was a closer call than I cared to have and I did not think of taking a nap again.

Source: Alexander G. Downing, Edited by Olynthus B., Clark, Downing’s Civil War Diary, p. 69-70

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