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

Post image for A Soldier’s Story of the Siege of Vicksburg–Osborn H. Oldroyd.

A Soldier’s Story of the Siege of Vicksburg–Osborn H. Oldroyd.

May 17, 2013

A Soldier’s Story of the Siege of Vicksburg–Osborn H. Oldroyd

MAY 17TH.—On the road to Vicksburg, resolved to capture the city or get badly whipped. We have not known defeat since we left Fort Donelson, and we propose to keep our good record up. We have seen hard times on some hotly contested fields, but mean to have nothing but victory, if possible, on our banner.

The advance of our army has made a grand sweep, pell-mell, over the rebel works at Big Black River, routing the foe and capturing twenty-five hundred prisoners with twenty-nine cannon. Their rifle pits were quite numerous, but they were all on low ground, so that when the word was given the Yankees rushed over them with the greatest ease. The rebs may be drawing us into a trap, but as yet we have not a moments’ fear of the result, for when Grant tells us to go over a thing we go, and feel safe in going. Even in time of peace we would not wish the great curtain that hides the future to be rolled away, nor do soldiers now ask to know what lies before them. But every day brings new scenes fraught with dangers, hair-breadth escapes or death, after which the ranks close and move on undaunted. And our love of country still grows as we go.

We camped within a few miles of Black River, perfectly satisfied, though we have had no hand in the slaughter to-day. We rather expected to be halted a few days at the river, where the enemy would surely be strongly fortified, and where, as they could certainly spare the greater part of their forces from Vicksburg, if they would but bring them out, they could make a desperate stand. We are now fighting hard for our grub, since we have nothing left but flour, and slapjacks lie too heavy on a soldier’s stomach. But there is great consolation in reflecting that behind us Uncle Sam keeps piled a bountiful supply all ready to be issued as soon as we can find a proper halting place.

Too many Slapjacks cause a soldier to dream of a feast at home.

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