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.

June 30, 2013

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

JUNE 3OTH.—Our dreams were broken this morning at daylight by the bug’e call, and in a very few minutes the whole command was up and ready to march—their beds around the owners’ necks. Our woolen blankets are rolled up as tight as possible, having a rubber one outside, which, when the two ends are tied, are swung around our necks. If there has been a rain to wet the blankets, and no time to dry them, they make a heavy load on the march; so no time is lost in drying blankets whenever the opportunity is offered. If it is raining when we retire, and brush can be cut to lay the blankets on, we get a number one spring bed, and when the weather is pleasant a good bed can be made by laying down two rails the width of the blanket apart, and filling the space with grass, or straw from any adjacent stack, on which the blankets may be spread. There is a sort of tall grass growing in this country which makes a soft bed, and is quite worth the puffing. Everything possible is done by the soldier to secure a good night’s sleep. I have seen straw stacks torn to pieces, sheds pulled down, and fences melt away in the twinkling of an eye, about camp time. A certain officer has ordered his men to take only the top rail, which order was obeyed to the letter, yet every rail disappeared—the bottom rail finally becoming the top one. I have seen half a regiment bearing rails, boards and straw toward camp before even the end of the day’s march was reached. They will have good beds and fires.

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