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[333] its guns. In this day's fight, the fleet probably did the greater execution on the Rebels, whose attention was mainly absorbed by the land attack: its fire dismounting several of their heavy guns, and taking in reverse their landward defenses.

Never was fighting more heroic than that of our army, assailing nearly equal numbers behind strong defenses, approached only through almost impassable abatis, swept by Rebel shell and grape. If valor could have triumphed over such odds, they would have carried the works; but only abject cowardice or pitiable imbecility could have lost such a position to so small an army; and the Rebels also fought well. We gained ground on both flanks; holding it thereafter on the north, where two negro regiments (1st and 3d Louisiana) vied with the bravest: making three desperate charges on Rebel batteries, losing heavily, but maintaining their position in the hottest forefront to the close. The 1st Louisiana (colored) Engineers were also on trial that day, and justified the most sanguine expectations by their good conduct. Not that they fought better than our White veterans: they did not, and could not: but there had been so much incredulity avowed as to negro courage, so much wit lavished on the idea of negroes fighting to any purpose, that Gen. Banks was justified in according especial commendation to these; saying, “No troops could be more determined or more daring.” The conflict closed about sunset.

We lost in this desperate struggle 293 killed, including Cols. Clarke, 6th Michigan, D. S. Cowles, 128th New York (transfixed by a bayonet), Payne, 2d Louisiana, and Chapin, 30th Mass., with 1,549 wounded, among whom were Gen. T. W. Sherman, severely, and Gen. Neal Dow, slightly. The Rebel loss was of course much less — probably not 300 in all.1

There was a truce next day to enable us to bury our dead; after which, our soldiers addressed themselves in sober earnest to the arduous labor of digging and battering their way into the works which had proved impervious to their more impetuous endeavor. This was no holiday task, under the torrid sun of a Southern June, with Rebel sharp-shooters close at hand, ever on the keen watch for chances to obey the Donnybrook injunction, “ Wherever you see a head, hit it;” but our boys worked with a will; and soon the pick and spade were pushing zig-zag trenches up to the Rebel works; while the heavy guns of our batteries, alternating their thunders with those of the fleet, gave fresh illustrations of the truth that “there is no peace for the wicked.” 2

1 Gen. Banks reported that the 15th Arkansas, out of a total of 292, lost during the siege 132; of whom 76 fell this day.

2 The following extracts from the diary of a Rebel soldier (John A. Kennedy, 1st Alabama), who was captured while endeavoring to make his way out through our lines with a letter in cipher from Gardner to Jo. Johnston, gives the most vivid inside view of the siege:

May 29.--The fight continued until long after night yesterday evening. Tile fight has opened — it opened at daybreak. The fight has been very warm to-day. I received a shot in the foot, but it is slight. The Yanks attempted to charge tile works, but was repulsed. It has clouded up and is raining. We have a muddy time — a very wet time for sleeping.

May 30.--The fight opened at daylight. Our company has three wounded in the hospital. The Yanks have been sharp-shooting all day. We lave lost but one man belonging to company B. The Yanks are building rifle-pits — they fire very close. I have been sharp-shooting some to-day. The boys arc very lively.

May 31.--We had a very lot time last night. We have quit living like men and are living like hogs. The Yanks have built rifle-pits with portholes. Our battery was silenced this morning; 5 of company A was wounded. Our regiment has lost 26 killed and 40 or 50 wounded. We have been relieved from our position by Miles's Legion. We will return to our position, I guess, to-morrow. The Yanks are shelling from the lower fleet. Ten of us are going at a time to camps to get clean clothes.

June 1.--I was on guard last night. The Yanks shelled us last night, but did no damage. Sam Hagin and Bob Bailey was killed by a rifle cannon-shot this morning. The Yanks are still sharp-shooting, also using their artillery. They have dismounted all our grins. They are the best artillerists I ever saw. The lower fleet has pitched us a few shots from Long Tom.

June 2.--The lower fleet shelled us last night. I am a little unwell this morning. There has not been much lighting to-day. The artillery is booming occasionally, and the sharp-shooters are still popping away. The Yanks threw a few balls at one of our batteries near us to-day. It is reported that we have reenforcements between Clinton and Osica.

June 3.--The Yanks has been shooting all around us to-day. The Hessions seem to be rather afraid to attempt to storm our works again; but seem rather inclined to starve us out. I hope we will receive reenforcements in time to prevent it. Heaven help us!

June 4.--I am very unwell this morning. The lower fleet shelled us last night. The shells made the boys. hunt a place of safety; such as ditches, rat-holes, trees, etc. We are going to our old position. I am sick at camp.

June 5.--We are still besieged by the Yanks. Another day has passed and no reenforcements. Sim Herring was wounded in the head to-day. The Yanks are still sharp-shooting, also using their artillery with but little effect. We hear a great many different reports.

June 6.--The river is falling very fast. It is very, very hot weather. Several shots from “Whistling Dick” came over our camp to-day. Sewell is shelling the Yanks. I expect to go to the breastworks in the morning. Several of the boys are at camp, sick.

June 7.--Another day has dawned and no reenforcements. I shall go to the breastworks this morning. The Yanks are still popping away from their rifle-pits. One of company B was killed to-day while looking over the breastwork. It is very, very hot, and we have lain in the ditch all day.

June 8.--The Yanks began to sharp-shoot at daybreak. We had two men killed yesterday. I am afraid some of our company will get shot next. Another day has dawned and no reenforcements, but I hope we will receive them soon. The Yanks have been shelling our breastworks, but no damage done. It is very disagreeable sitting in these dirty ditches — but this the Confederate solder expects and bears cheerfully; but another long hot day has passed, and who knows what may be our situation at this time to-morrow evening?

June 9.--The Yanks attempted a charge last evening but was repulsed. Whistling Dick is at work to-day; it has played a full hand, too. Whistling Dick is tearing our camps all to pieces. Charley Dixon and Berry Hagin was wounded by fragments of our cook shelter, which was shot down. Our sick has been removed to the ravine. It is difficult to get something to eat. The Yankee artillery is playing upon us all around. The Heshians burned our commissary with a shell to-day.

June 10.--Another day and night has passed, and this poor, worn-out garrison has received no assistance. We have lain in the ditches twenty days, and still there is no prospect of succor — but I truly hope we will soon receive reenforcements. The men is getting sick very fast. The Yankee artillery is keeping a dreadful noise. I and Mormon have been detailed for some extra duty. The Hessions gave us a few rounds as we were crossing the field. I received dispatches from the General in person.

June 11.--The Yanks used their artillery at a tremendous rate last night. I went to or attempted to visit Col. Steedman's headquarters. I had a gay time trying to find them: falling in ravines, etc. I was in a hot place, shure. We captured a Yankee Captain and Lieutenant last night. The Yanks seemed disposed to make a general assault last night.

At this point, the journal suddenly stops; the author having been taken prisoner.

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