Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Post image for Downing’s Civil War Diary.–Alexander G. Downing.

Downing’s Civil War Diary.–Alexander G. Downing.

May 14, 2013

Diary of Alexander G. Downing; Company E, Eleventh Iowa Infantry

Thursday, 14th—News came today that Richmond was taken. I took a walk and reviewed the rebels’ works about here. They were strongly fortified with heavy ordnance on the high bluff, about two hundred feet above water, with the river for a distance of two miles running straight to the bluff. This made it a very dangerous place for our gunboats to approach. But after two days’ shelling, our gunboats with two or three transports succeeded in running the blockade and landing below the fort.[1] The river coming with such force is fast washing away the bank and we hope that we may soon move from this place. The Third Brigade of Blair’s Division arrived late last night.

[1] At the time of the capture the first troops marched down and crossed the river onto high ground some two miles below, while our main army came Into the rear of the enemy, who were compelled to surrender, leaving all their heavy guns.—A. G. D.

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