Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Diary of Sergeant George G. Smith: June 8, 1863

Guns all in position — one 10-inch mortar, three 8-inch mortars, one a 32 pound Parrot rifle, and two brass field pieces. These guns occupied about half a mile in the line. Other guns were interspersed along the line, but of these I know but little. The mortar firing was grand in the extreme, notably the 10-inch one. The gun is fixed permanently with an elevation of 45 degrees. The shell is seen as soon as it leaves the gun on account of the burning fuze. It mounts, and mounts, until it seems to be among the stars, it then ranges along like a meteor until it begins to describe the other half of the parabola. It then descends to the ground, burying itself many feet in the earth and explodes with a deep muffled roar, sending dirt and stones many feet in the air.

SOURCE: Abstracted from George G. Smith, Leaves from a Soldier's Diary, p. 68

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