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 20, 2013

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

MAY 20TH.—When I awoke this morning I offered thanks to God that my life had been spared thus far. We slept on our arms—something unusual. This day has been busily spent in making cautious advances toward the works of the enemy, and, although our progress seems to have been very little, we are content to approach step by step, for the task is difficult and dangerous. Bullets are flying over our heads, and it is quite common to see the boys trying to dodge them. A few have succeeded in stopping these bullets, but they had to leave at once for the hospital. A blanket displayed by its owner was called a map of the confederacy, on account of the holes in it made by bullets at Raymond and Champion Hills. It is good enough yet for warmth, but will not do to hold water. We are ragged and dirty, for we have had no change of clothes for over a month. But we have the promise of new suits soon. If we were to enter Vicksburg to-morrow, some of our nice young fellows would feel ashamed to march before the young ladies there. We can see the court house in the city with a confederate flag floating over it. What fun it will be to take that down, and hoist in its stead the old stars and stripes. Then yonder is the Mississippi river again; we want to jump into that once more and have a good bath. The hills back of Vicksburg, and in fact all round the city seem quite steep and barren, and to run in parallels, affording our troops good shelter from batteries and secret approaches. It is upon these hills opposite the town that our tents are pitched. We must cut back into the hills to escape the shower of bullets, for we like to feel secure, when asleep or off duty. A great many of the balls that come over are what are called “spent,” that is, have not force enough left to do any harm. We do not feel quite as safe awake or asleep as we did before we got so near the city. However, we manage to sleep pretty much unconcerned as to danger. Our regiment is detailed to watch at the rifle pits in front to-night.

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