The progressing bombardment of Vicksburg.
Experience has demonstrated that gunboats and mortars are humbugs — that they can neither take nor destroy Vicksburg
, and so little fear is manifested at the shelling that the streets are full of people, including women and children, and every bruits is covered with ladies to witness the grand exhibition.
The correspondent of the Mobile Advertiser
gives us the latest news from the city.
Their firing averages one shell in about seven minutes, and their fuses are arranged to about eighteen seconds. They have calculated the distance very nicely, and fire with considerable accuracy, and with enormously heavy charges, shaking every building in the city.
There are three batteries created on the levee, and some of the gunboats are constantly cruising around between them and the fleet above.
No damage has yet been done to the city, though the rattling of fragments of shells on the roofs of the buildings in quite astonishing to ears unaccustomed to that kind of music.
One or two little wooden houses have been struck, but not seriously damaged.
At first the shells were directed to the lower part of the city, in the vicinity of the depot of the Southern railroad, and yesterday the same spot assumed to engage their attention until the middle of the afternoon when they ranged their mortars for the higher parts of the city, and have now got to throw their shells as far north as the Washington Hotel
Until about five o'clock in the afternoon our batteries endured the taunting efforts of the enemy, when a few of our guns let loose on them, and the very first shot is supposed to have dismounted their mortar.
Another and another shot from our guns, in rapid succession, and with amazing accuracy, soon silenced the bellowing batteries of the Yankees
, and not another shot was fired by them.
The splendid shooting of our men drew encomiums of the highest praise from all who witnessed it. It is now demonstrated that our guns will reach the Yankee
batteries, and that our gunners know exactly how to handle their piece.
During the afternoon one of our soldiers had an arm taken off by a piece of a shell on Washington street. This was the first shell that was sent in that direction, and crowds of people were on the street in that vicinity at the time.
This is the only accident that has yet occurred, though the town is full of citizens and soldiers, and none seem to have any wholesome fear of bombshells.
By this carelessness and indifference there may be some accidents which could easily be avoided by a little prudence and discretion.
Though it took thirty thousand shells last summer to kill two persons, it is nevertheless true that they will kill if one their way.