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

Post image for An Artilleryman’s Diary–Jenkin Lloyd Jones.

An Artilleryman’s Diary–Jenkin Lloyd Jones.

May 14, 2013

An Artilleryman's Diary–Jenkin Lloyd Jones, 6th Battery, Wisconsin Artillery.

Jackson, Miss., Thursday, May 14. Considerable rain during the night and indications of more. Moved on without much hindrance about four miles, when we came upon them in force, the rain falling in torrents. The infantry went forward and formed in line, a rebel battery throwing shells from the right at them. 1st and 2nd Brigades on the right, 3rd on the left. Batteries moved forward leaving the caissons behind. The 1st Missouri Battery took a position on the right and was hotly engaged with the enemy’s guns for half an hour.

Meanwhile we were waiting in the road in range of their shells, which were flying over us and dropping either side, but luckily none took effect. The enemy’s infantry in line in front doing sharp work, when the whole line of infantry prepared to make a charge,1st Section ordered out to support them. They unslung their knapsacks and went in with a shout, when the crash of musketry was terrific, volley after volley, the bullets flying thick around, all lying as close to the ground as practicable, when the cry “They run! They run!” was heard and after them they went in all directions. We were ordered forward and we did go at double quick across the charging ground. Dead rebels—and many of them lay there wounded and bleeding. The infantry followed them up the hill then fell back and we came into battery, when Captain Dillon said, “6th Wisconsin Battery, I am here—open fire on them”. And we did. The six pieces went off almost simultaneously, and we were enveloped in a cloud of powder smoke, then another, until nearly all the shells were gone, when we ceased firing, and they were gone. Cheer after cheer went up from the infantry as McPherson went galloping by. I never before could see how men could cheer on the battlefield, but I never felt more like it in my life. Such is victory.

At 2 o’clock we moved forward, the infantry in line and the artillery in column on the road. As we advanced, a man came from the right, where we could see that Sherman had sharp work to-day, reporting that he had entered Jackson and taken 5000 prisoners. It could hardly be credited, but at last we were convinced of it as we entered their ineffective earthworks with their pieces, caissons, etc. left uninjured; they had left everything, Sherman’s shells having scared them out of the capital of one of the strongest states of the Union. If there ever was a jubilant army, Grant’s army at Jackson was that night. The papers of the morning were found, which said that the Yankee vandals never would pollute Jackson. The force we met were direct from Charleston, S. C.—Eastern troops; but a wounded man told us they soon found out they were not fighting New York troops. Went into park in the suburbs of the town back of their breastworks. Lieutenant Simpson went down-town foraging. Ordered to cook three days’ rations.

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