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[294] place where things and men looked cool, that was where the men lay behind the works systematically shooting through the crevices of the timbers, so I lay for a spare interval, and went down on my knees with the rest of the boys. Blood being up I borrowed my neighbor's gun and covered the coat of blue in the ravine below me, but was suddenly thrown out of employment by the owner of the gun claiming his property. Poor fellow, it was the last sound of his voice that ever vibrated the air, for when he again took aim a crimson spot in the centre of his forehead gave exit to, and set the imprisoned spirit free to enter upon the work of peace instead of the work of hate and war.

General Grant had missed his chance. If he had pushed pellmell into Vicksburg with Pemberton's rear guard, the contractors might have suffered, but his reputation or his men would not.

There were many funny incidents that occurred in spite of the increasing stringency and restrictive orders about food and work on the fortifications. On that part of the line in charge of BrigadierGen-eral Baldwin, a Mississippi militia company was on duty, commanded by no less than a General officer. This company, either from zeal or inexperience, kept on night after night, adding depth to the rifle pits it defended, until, in the gloom of night if you wanted an officer you had to telegraph, by voice, to the far deep. After a few nights' work, I instructed the General to employ the energy of his men in filling up the caverns, hinting that, in the far bowels of the earth he might find it as hot as on the surface. After they took a rest there was less complaint about the disappearance of tools. The field of observation of any one man on a battle-ground is necessarily limited, and however violent and momentous the action may be as a whole, he can only act as the historian of what he individually sees or hears.

In a siege, prolonged over considerable time, the mental impressions of the acts seen, are of those salient transactions distinctly important, or that have the elements of tragedy or of fun in them. One part of the fun was to stand by a member of the signal corps and let him tell you what ‘they,’ the feds, were telegraphing by their flag signals. On Fort Hill we had a signal corps operator who was very skilled in reading the signal messages of Commodore Porter's fleet to General Grant's headquarters and vice versa; in fact, there seemed to be no difficulty in interpreting the intentions of the Federals at any of the signal stations. He reported that it was a part of Grant's plan to make a charge up the river road that ran between Fort Hill and the water batteries. So to make our outside

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