Showing posts with label Siege Guns. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Siege Guns. Show all posts

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Diary of 5th Sergeant Osborn H. Oldroyd: Sunday, June 14, 1863

No bells to ring us to church. I wish we had one day in seven for rest and freedom from care; but there is no such thing now for the soldier. It is shoot, shoot, dodge, dodge, from morning to night, without cessation, except when we are asleep. When the time comes, we can lie down and sleep soundly all night, right under our cannon, firing over us all the time, without disturbing us in the least. But let the long roll be sounded—every man is up at the first tap-for that sound we know means business for us. 

Occasionally the rebs plant a mortar in some out of the way spot and drop a shell or two into our midst; but a few well directed shots from our big guns at the rear soon settle them. These rebels obey very well. 

We have several large siege guns, lately planted in the rear of our division, which it took ten yoke of oxen to haul, one at a time, to their places. I had been told that the balls from these guns could be seen on their journey, and could not believe it until I put myself in range of the monsters, just behind them, when I found I could see the balls distinctly, as they flew across the hills towards Vicksburg. These guns are nine-inch calibre and they are about twelve feet long. They are monsters, and their voices are very loud. 

Sunday is general inspection day, and the officers passed through our quarters at 10 A. M., finding our guns and accoutrements bright and clean. If any young lady at the North needs a good housekeeper, she can easily be accommodated by making a requisition on the 20th Ohio. In fact we can all do patchwork, sew on buttons, make beds and sweep; but I do not think many of us will follow the business after the war is done, for the “relief” always so anxiously looked for by the soldiers must then come. 

I heard one of our boys—a high private in the rear rank-lament that he was 

“Only a private, and who will care 
When I shall pass away?” 

Poor lad, he was in a sad way! But it was mere homesickness that ailed him. If dissatisfied with his position as a private, let him wait, for if he survives the war, he will, no doubt, have a chance to be captain of an infantry company. 

SOURCE: Osborn Hamiline Oldroyd, A Soldier's Story of the Siege of Vicksburg, p. 53-4

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Diary of 5th Sergeant Osborn H. Oldroyd: June 2, 1863

Receiving supplies at Chickasaw Bayou for the army around Vicksburg.

We stayed in camp again all day, and I improved the time strolling through the camps, forts and rifle pits, which had been deserted by the Confederates. They seem to have left their quarters rather unceremoniously, for they abandoned siege guns, with tents, wagons, clothing and ammunition scattered about in confusion. I thought, while camped here, they seemed to feel quite secure. They frequently looked towards the Yazoo, and defied our boats to come up. However, when the boats did come, with Sherman in the rear, they beat a hasty retreat to the inside of Vicksburg.

As our duties have been light to-day, the time has been occupied socially, by the boys reciting many little scenes of the past month. We conversed feelingly of those left behind on acount of sickness, or wounds, or death in battle. Only half our company is left now, and after two years more, what will have become of the rest? We shall fight on, perhaps, till the other half is gone. The friendship that now exists among our remnant is very firmly knit. Through our past two years of soldier life such ties of brotherhood have grown up as only companions in arms can know. And I trust before the end of another two years · the old flag will again float secure in every State in the Nation.

SOURCE: Osborn Hamiline Oldroyd, A Soldier's Story of the Siege of Vicksburg, p. 40-1

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Brigadier-General Don Carlos Buell to Major-General George B. McClellan, February 7, 1862—9 p.m.

LOUISVILLE, February 7, 18629 p.m.
Major-General MCCLELLAN:

I cannot, on reflection, think a change of my line would be advisable. I shall want eighteen rifled siege guns and four companies of experienced gunners to man them. I hope General Grant will not require further re-enforcements. I will go, if necessary.


SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 7 (Serial No. 7), p. 593

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Luman Harris Tenney: June 8, 1864

Got an order from Col. Hammond and procured a forge of the 5th N. Y., an old one, shoes and nails. 2nd O. V. C. went out on picket. Relieved 1st Conn. Firing still continues at intervals along the line. Grant is getting siege guns up to the front. Everything looks encouraging. Railroad in progress.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 119

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Diary of Lieutenant-Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes: Thursday, September 4, 1862

A cheerful bright morning and a sound sleep dispels the gloom resting on my views of the future. During the night a courier came to my tent saying that two thousand of our wounded are in the hands of the enemy and are starving! The enemy is in bad condition for food.

Siege guns were put in the fort on our right (Ramsay) during the night; the preparations are advancing which will enable us to hold this post and “save Washington.”

10 A. M. — The rumor is that the enemy is directing his course up the Potomac, intending to cross into Maryland. We now hear cannon at a great distance, in a northern direction.

About 4:30 P. M. the enemy began to fire at our cavalry picket, about three miles out. Waggoners rolled in, horsemen ditto, in great haste. The regiments of General Cox's Division were soon ready, not one-fourth or one-third absent, or hiding, or falling to the rear as seems to be the habit in this Potomac army, but all, all fell in at once; the Eleventh, Twelfth, Twenty-third, Twenty-eighth, Thirtieth, and Thirty-sixth Ohio can be counted on. After skedaddling the regiment of cavalry, who marched out so grandly a few hours before, the firing of the enemy ceased. A quiet night followed.

Cincinnati is now threatened by an army which defeated our raw troops at Richmond, Kentucky. Everywhere the enemy is crowding us. Everywhere they are to be met by our raw troops, the veterans being in the enemy's country too distant to be helpful. A queer turning the tables on us! And yet if they fail of getting any permanent and substantial advantatge of us, I think the recoil will be fatal to them. I think in delaying this movement until our new levies are almost ready for the field, they have let the golden opportunity slip; that they will be able to annoy and harass but not to injure us; and that the reaction will push them further back than ever. We shall see! A rumor of a repulse of the enemy at Harpers Ferry by Wool. Hope it is true!

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 342-3

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant John S. Morgan: Wednesday, April 12, 1865

Were waked up at daylight & most of the men had made coffee when the Regt. was ordered on board the Gulf Steamer. Genl Banks, Genl Granger & suit embark on the same boat, as we are about the last Regt to embark the fleet set sail immediately, the fleet consisted of 6 musketo gunboats & about as many transports, two men of war, these boats carried the 13th A. C. the gunboat Cincinatti took the lead across the Bay arond with a torpedo rake. I was surprised that the Land batteries in the Bay did not open on us as we were in good range of it, crossed over to cat fish landing. A man of war run up close & lifted a shell over which called no reply but caused a display of white rags at every house along the landing. A boat was sent ashore which brought back word that there was no enemy in Mobile & the Mayor would surrender the city at the approach of our army. Genl Grangers orders were to beach the boats & men to wade on shore, but these orders were not carried out where it was certain there was no enemy, the boats run up to an old pier hardly stout enough to hold itself up. & the men disembarked. slowly, our boat was not light enough draft to move up to the pier & we were transferred to another boat and landed at 11. o clock. Admiral Thatcher was on board our boat before we disembarked. I hear the navy feel very soar about the little work they have done to reduce Mobile. When the sand forts were fond to be evacuated Genl Granger determined to run the Genl Banks to the city although the Admiral was afraid to run his musketo boat with a torpedo rake to the city. Col. Mackey wanted to have the regt remain on the boat & go in with the Genl but he would not allow it saying “I dont want to loose the men but if they blow me up with a torpedo they may blow & be D—d” his boat went in without running on any torpedo although the pilot was unacquainted with the channel & run by guess we lay arond on the banks after disembarking until 1. P. M. when we started for Mobile but from some cause we moved slow moving about 200 yds & then rest an hour so it took until dusk to get us in camp between the 1st & 2d lines of fortification about the city & about 1 mile from the city, I take a look at some of the forts an the line of forts which are the best earth works I ever saw & cannot understand how Genl Maury got the consent of his mind to leave such works without firing a gun. The forts mounted large Siege guns of heavy calibre many of them marked “Selma Mob 1865.” the guns were all well spiked & carriages mostly destroyed most of the magazines were open & much of the ammunition destroyed although there was a great amont left, the citizens close by tell me that not much of the cotton was burned for Genl Canby sent in word if the cotton was burned he would burn the city. The big fire we noticed last night was the burning of the navy yard. Say when the Rebs left the commissaries with 6 months rations for the men were thrown open & citizens helped themselves, in the rush several citizens were hurt. a Co of Reb cavalry did not leave until our army was disembarkng & a small squad remained in town until the straglers who run ahead of the command were entering the city they snatched up one of these straglers & made off with him. The 1st Brig marched into town & 8th Ill was put on provost duty.

SOURCE: “Diary of John S. Morgan, Company G, 33rd Iowa Infantry,” Annals of Iowa, 3rd Series, Vol. 13, No. 8, April 1923, p. 589-90

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Lemuel A. Abbott: Monday, June 20, 1864

Have just returned from the heights. The City of Petersburg looks lovely at a distance, but our guns command it and can at any time lay it in ruins. The enemy occupy the heights on the other side of the Appomattox river. Siege guns are shelling back and forth, but it's no such fighting as we have seen since we broke winter quarters. We have remained in the woods all day, it's been so warm. Orry Blanchard called to-night; am detailed for fatigue — probably to work a detail on fortifications.

SOURCE: Lemuel Abijah Abbott, Personal Recollections and Civil War Diary, 1864, p. 85

Friday, November 25, 2016

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Lemuel A. Abbott: Tuesday, June 7, 1864

It has been very quiet along the lines all day; both sides seem to be tired of sharpshooting. Another flag of truce was sent out to-day, I think to get permission to bury our dead between the lines of which there are many plainly to be seen and they are commencing to smell bad; am told Major Crandall of the Sixth Vermont, just to the right of us, was shot to-day by a sharpshooter. He was a popular student once at Barre Academy, Vermont. Captain Edwin Dillingham reported for duty to-day; has been prisoner of war at Richmond since the battle of Locust Grove, Va. last fall; never saw him looking better; is a handsome man, anyway, and a gentleman. Our army seems to be lying idle now, except the heavy artillery which is building forts in our rear; occasionally hear the report of siege guns to our left —  or we suppose them to be siege guns.

SOURCE: Lemuel Abijah Abbott, Personal Recollections and Civil War Diary, 1864, p. 77-8

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Diary of 4th Sergeant John S. Morgan: Friday, March 27, 1863

Most of reg. on picket. Rebels fired on scouting parties from their batteries over on yellow bushy. Two heavy Siege guns come down today.

SOURCE: “Diary of John S. Morgan, Company G, 33rd Iowa Infantry,” Annals of Iowa, 3rd Series, Vol. 13, No. 7, January 1923, p. 486

Diary of 4th Sergeant John S. Morgan: Saturday, March 28, 1863

Rained very hard lust night. The siege guns were maned from the 33d Mo. dark and cloudy all day with occasional showers. Dress Parade at 5. P. M. Wind rising high at bed time

SOURCE: “Diary of John S. Morgan, Company G, 33rd Iowa Infantry,” Annals of Iowa, 3rd Series, Vol. 13, No. 7, January 1923, p. 486

Sunday, February 28, 2016

A Woman's Diary Of The Siege Of Vicksburg: May 17, 1863

Hardly was our scanty breakfast over this morning when a hurried ring drew us both to the door. Mr. J––, one of H––'s assistants, stood there in high excitement.

“Well, Mr. L––, they are upon us; the Yankees will be here by this evening.”

“What do you mean?”

“That Pemberton has been whipped at Baker's Creek and Big Black, and his army are running back here as fast as they can come and the Yanks after them, in such numbers nothing can stop them. Hasn't Pemberton acted like a fool?”

“He may not be the only one to blame,” replied H––.

“They're coming along the Big B. road, and my folks went down there to be safe, you know; now they're right in it. I hear you can't see the armies for the dust; never was anything else known like it. But I must go and try to bring my folks back here.”

What struck us both was the absence of that concern to be expected, and a sort of relief or suppressed pleasure. After twelve some worn-out-looking men sat down under the window.

“What is the news?” I inquired.

“Ritreat, ritreat!” they said, in broken English — they were Louisiana Acadians.

About three o'clock the rush began. I shall never forget that woful sight of a beaten, demoralized army that came rushing back, — humanity in the last throes of endurance. Wan, hollow-eyed, ragged, footsore, bloody, the men limped along unarmed, but followed by siege-guns, ambulances, gun-carriages, and wagons in aimless confusion. At twilight two or three bands on the court-house hill and other points began playing Dixie, Bonnie Blue Flag, and so on, and drums began to beat all about; I suppose they were rallying the scattered army.

SOURCE: George W. Cable, “A Woman's Diary Of The Siege Of Vicksburg”, The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, Vol. XXX, No. 5, September 1885, p. 770-1

Friday, September 5, 2014

Diary of Private Alexander G. Downing: Friday, November 6, 1863

I was on fatigue again, but on account of rain last night the detail did not go to work until 1 o'clock this afternoon. Some of the heaviest siege guns obtainable are being mounted on raised platforms in the forts.

Source: Alexander G. Downing, Edited by Olynthus B., Clark, Downing’s Civil War Diary, p. 151