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

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

June 17, 2013

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

A Soldier’s Story of the Siege of Vicksburg 31JUNE 17TH—I was detailed to the charge of a squad of men to guard rebel prisoners in the corral at Logan‘s headquarters. They were not hard to guard, for they think themselves in pretty good hands, and surely they seem to get better grub here than in their own lines. Some of them are deserters, and upon such I look with contempt. I am ready to share my rations with an honest prisoner, but have no use for a man who enlists in a cause, and then deserts his comrades when they get into a tight place.

If what they say is true, the garrison over there is already familiar with mule meat and scanty meal rations. If they have had to eat mules such as we have killed in the trenches, I pity them, for they are on a tough job. Several cows which I suppose had served families there with milk, we had to kill for browsing too close to our lines.

I am pretty well convinced Pemberton would not hold out much longer but for the help he expects from Johnston. If that, however, is all the hope they have, they might as well surrender at once, for if Johnston should come, he can not do them any good.

A ball struck a little drummer boy a while ago, and he limped off, whimpering: “I wouldn’t care a darn, but my other leg has been shot already.” Some of the boys went to his assistance, and then they had to hurry towards the hospital, for the rebels got range of them and began firing quite briskly.

I was quite amused to see one of the prisoners brought in today, eating his supper. We gave him all he could eat, and that was no small amount. But he was certainly a very hungry man, and if he is a fair sample of those remaining in Vicksburg, Uncle Sam’s commissary will have to endure quite a burden, for after the surrender, no doubt, Grant will have to feed them all.


* Shenkle’s Projectile – This projectile, as shown in No. 1, is composed of a cast-iron body.  The expanding portion is a paper-mache wad, which being forced on to the cone, is expanded into the rifling of the bore.  On issuing from the bore, the wad is blown to pieces, leaving the projectile entirely unencumbered in it’s flight through the air (No.2.)

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