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 21, 2013

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

MAY 21ST.—We were relieved this morning before daylight, and slipped back to our camp as quietly as we could. The rifle pits where we watched were pretty close to the enemy, and we had to note every movement made by them. If they put their heads above their works we sent a hundred or more shots at them, and on the other hand, if any on our side made themselves too conspicuous, they fired in turn. So each army is watching the other like eagles. We must be relieved while it is yet dark, for if such a move were attempted by daylight, the enemy could get our range and drop many a man.

The weather is getting very hot, but we do our best to keep cool whether out of battle or in it. It is fortunate for us that our work at the rifle pits occurs at night, when the air is much more cool and pleasant, and the services less fraught with danger. Last night quite a number of new pits were opened and gabions placed on them. Firing from behind these was attended with leas danger. Gabions are a sort of wicker-work, resembling round baskets, filled with dirt. The rebel fort in our front was made by cutting away the back half of the hill, leaving the face towards us in a state of nature. This fort is supplied with large guns, but their owners can not use them, as our rifle pits occupy higher ground, from which we watch them too closely.

Previous post:

Next post: