Saturday, March 22, 2014

Diary of Alexander G. Downing: Saturday, May 23, 1863

We started this morning at daylight and marched five miles to General McPherson's headquarters at the center of the army. Here we lay until 4 o'clock in the afternoon, when we marched back to our old place on the extreme left. The rebels again commenced to shell us, but the shells went over our heads. The Eleventh Iowa went on picket. Our men are shelling the rebels from all sides, and they are falling back behind their fortifications. When passing the headquarters of the Seventeenth Army Corps today, I saw a most dreadful sight at the field hospital; there was a pile, all that a six-mule team could haul, of legs and arms thrown from the amputating tables in a shed nearby, where the wounded were being cared for.

Source: Alexander G. Downing, Edited by Olynthus B., Clark, Downing’s Civil War Diary, p. 117

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