number remained throughout the siege.
Although, when the enemy withdrew, hardly a house remained which had not been struck.
There were very few casualties, as even thus early the people had dug caves in the sides of the hills; and, when the regular morning and afternoon shelling begun, they gathered their little ones in and remained in safety until there was a cessation.
Often, on returning to their homes, they would find a ruthless enemy had been there.
Perhaps it was the mother's room which the unfriendly shell, two feet long and a foot in diameter, had entered and destroyed, leaving nothing fit for further use, except the woodwork, which might do for kindling.
I know of an instance, during one of the night bombardments, in which a large solid shot entered a room in which two children were sleeping, and, after passing through the bureau, struck the bed, tore out the foot-posts and passed out of the house.
The bed was dropped to the floor, but the children, though much frightened, were unharmed.
On one occasion, soon after the investment, a regiment which had been on picket duty along the river front, on being withdrawn, was marched along the road on the bluff down to the centre of the city and out the Jackson
road to its camp.
The movement was in full view of the enemy, and provoked a terrific fire.
At first the range was bad, but before the regiment had got out of their reach the shells burst above and around it in a manner very unpleasant.
Two men were struck by pieces of shell, one being killed.
No more regiments were moved by daylight along that bluff.
The spectacle during the night bombardments was grand.
Such displays of pyrotechnics have rarely been seen.
The graceful ascent of the bomb making its curve just before it reached the city, that it might explode over it; shells bursting here, there, everywhere; the lurid light of the mortar as the bomb was shot upward; the hisses and shrieks most unearthly of the “buggy wheels,” as the men called the long, conical shells, the noise of the batteries, the earth trembling, made impressions never to be effaced from the memory of those who were at Vicksburg
during the summer of 1862.
When at last the enemy, apparently tired out, would cease firing, the silence would seem strange.
The Yazoo river
empties itself into the Mississippi
at a point about twelve miles, I think, above Vicksburg
Up the Yazoo
, on the approach of the fleet, had been run several steamboats and other crafts, which were protected by a ram called the Arkansas General Van Dorn
, the Commanding-General
, believed this ironclad to be formidable enough to successfully attack the