Saturday, October 10, 2020

Diary of 5th Sergeant Osborn H. Oldroyd: June 11, 1863

Stayed in camp to-day with the exception of about an hour. The rebs have succeeded in planting a mortar, which has sent a few big shells into our quarters. This sort of practice did not last long, for a hundred guns around our line soon roared the mortar to silence. But one shell dropped near my tent, buried itself in the earth, and exploded, scattering dirt for yards around and leaving a hole big enough to bury a horse. Another fell on top of the hill and rolled down, crashing through a tent, The occupants not being at home it failed to find a welcome.

These shells are visitors we do not care to see in camp, for their movements are so clumsy they are apt to break things as they go. However, they are rather rare, while the bullets are so frequent that we have almost ceased to notice them. Their flights remind us of the dropping of leaves and twigs from the trees around us. The balls of lead as they fall are found bent and flattened in every conceivable shape. A friend from the 96th Ohio, on a visit to me, as he walked over, met a rebel bullet which took a piece out of his arm.

SOURCE: Osborn Hamiline Oldroyd, A Soldier's Story of the Siege of Vicksburg, p. 49-50

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