particular business to take that particular town.
So, we said, as we lay in the rifle-pits: “Let us make ourselves comfortable; for here we stay till the last enemy in our front has become our prisoner.”
was not the only commander at Vicksburg
with cool pluck, brave heart, and fixed determination.
, the fearless; the accomplished McPherson
, the Bayard of the West
, were there; and Sherman
, the brilliancy of whose deeds were soon to eclipse even those of his great commander.
What restless energy was there-what pluck among both officers and men. How-many the incidents of daring — of risk, sacrifice, and of camp humor, even on the “ragged edge” of danger.
Sometimes a flag-of-truce came out-often on business intent, to collect the wounded, or bury the dead; but an occasional one as a “feeler,” to learn incidentally, or perhaps directly, if there was still hope.
It was told of Sherman
how one of these flag-of-truce officers one day asked the grim general, in a haughty tone, “How long he calculated it would take the Yankees
to reduce the heroic city?”
The prompt reply was: “You don't know me, perhaps.
My name is Sherman
My enemies in the North
sometimes call me ‘Crazy Sherman
;’ but, in my sane moments, I have said this war may last seventeen years yet; and I know of no place where I should so soon spend seven of them as right here, before Vicksburg
The rebel said “Good day,” and returned to the forts, where it was soon whispered round that, with such a man besieging them, the city was doomed.
Our army occupied the anomalous position of being besiegers and besieged at the same time.
's army was in front of us in the works, while the army of his confederate, Johnston
, almost surrounded us from behind, and was vigilant in seeking either an opportunity to break through and join the forces in Vicksburg
or lend them a helping hand in getting out. Many were the adventures, grim sports and escapes we had as we lay for weeks between these two lines of the enemy.
The noise of the bombardment was constant, the click of the rifles on the line of pickets never ceased day or night, and many were the deceptions practiced by the pickets of both armies as they stood within speaking distance of each other to induce a show of “heads” above the long lines of rude rifle-pits.
I remember how, one day, I and two of my companions fired for an hour at a rebel who kept for ever hopping up and down behind the sand bags and calling constantly, “Try again, will you, Mr. Yankee
Finally the figure mounted up in full view, when we discovered we were cheaply sold, as the daring rebel was a stuffed suit of old clothes on a pole, while the mockery came from the real rebel, safe behind