Shrapnel.—Containing 80 musket balls, fired at
Vicksburg.The conception of this missile is due to
Lieut. Gen’l Henry Shrapnel, of the English army.
Its velocity is about 1,000 feet per second.
The siege continues with increased fury, and the boom of cannon announces the sacrifice of more lives. Instead of any cessation the artillery plays upon the city almost every moment throughout the day. The variety of the projectiles becomes greater. The shrapnel, I think, must be most formidable to the enemy. It is a shell filled with eighty small balls, which, when the shell is exploded, scatter in every direction. It makes a fearful buzzing sound as it flies—a warning to seek cover, if such can be found. Besides this there are the parrot, cannister, grape and solid shot. The cannister and grape are also cases wherein are enclosed a number of small balls. But the least fragment from an exploded shell is sufficient to wound or kill.
I have a great curiosity to see the court house at Vicksburg. It stands on a hill, and seems to be the target for many cannon. There is a Confederate flag waving from it defiantly. A proud day it will be when we haul it down and raise in its stead the stars and stripes, never to be displaced again. The buildings in the city must, by this time, be pretty well riddled with shot and shell. The women, it seems, did not all leave the city before the bombardment began, and I suppose they have determined to brave it out. Their sacrifices and privations are worthy of a better cause, and were they but on our side how we would worship them.
t is rumored in camp that Grant is getting reinforcements from the eastern army. I have a great desire to see them, for while we have always thought them to be no less brave, they are said to be better clothed and equipped than the western boys. In fact, from the eastern army, during the last year, the standing report among western boys has been merely such catch phrases as “Bull Run,”