Journal of the siege of Vicksburg.Extracts from Notes taken by a soldier during the siege of Vicksburg, up to Friday morning, June 26th, at which time he left there with Gen. Pemberton's pass to visit little Rock.
We fell back to Vicksburg Sunday evening May 17th --The Federal commenced firing on our line yesterday. Monday evening--This morning the firing is becoming more interesting, the sharpshooters are firing constantly; the cannon have been firing also all the morning above the town. 9; o'clock, A. M.--The firing; has just commenced below the town. 4 P. M.--The firing has increased, until now it is terrible at several points, the enemy is making a heavy charge on the left of our centre; heavy firing is heard on our right; the battle has become general along our entire front. Sunday, May 21st.--Seventh day of the siege.--We repulsed the enemy on Tuesday evening with great slaughter. They charged our lines again on Friday; the charge was made with great fury and during. They succeeded in getting up to our works on several occasions; some of them mounted the works in front of the 27th La; but, poor deluded fellows, that was their last charge. Four Yankees fell into our ditches dead at this point.--The firing was very heavy and lasted until night, a great many of our men having shot 120 rounds During the day we captured a few prisoners, one of whom jokingly said he "started to Vicksburg, and here I am." The dead Yankees were lying in heaps as far as the eye could reach. Those that are near our works are not yet buried. The stench is be coming very offensive. The Feds must have had eight or ten thousand killed during this fight. Our loss comparatively small. Up to this time we have had about 100 killed and 300 or 400 wounded. Our little army was badly whipped and demoralized when we came here, but they are in fine spirits now, and it will take a host to whip and drive them from our works. The firing has been kept up constantly by sharpshooters on both sides, and pretty constant firing from the Federal cannon. Our batteries reply occasionally. The Feds are shelling us constantly from their mortar boats, which are placed across the peninsula in front of town and their gunboats below town, but with little effect. Five o'clock P. M.--An armistices of five hours has been agreed on, to allow the Federal to bury their dead. Tuesday, May 26.--During the armistices our boys went out and had a social time with the Feds, and got some late Northern papers. They say that they are not going to charge our works any more, but starve us out. Sunday, May 31.--Another week has passed. We have not had much fighting with small arms, but the enemy's cannon has been firing pretty constantly; a put of the time the cannonade has been terrific. The Feds attempted, on last Tuesday evening, to go down with the gunboat Cincinnati, an iron clad of 16 guns. --As soon as it came in range of our batteries, they commented thing, and by the time it had rounded the point above town it was so badly crippled that it was in a sinking conditions; they then turned back, ran up the river about one mile, and sunk in shoal water on this side. It is reported that Gen. Grant told Commodore Porter that if he would silence our upper battery he would take Vicksburg in two hours, and that this was the object of this visit of the Cincinnati. It is reported that Commodore Porter was on board at the time — They fired only eight of her guns. The officers and crew made their escape in small boats and The large gun known as "Whistling Dick," the Yankees say, sunk their boat. The upper works being out of water, sixty of Col. Gates's Missourious went up last night and set fire to it. It is still burning. * * * * * * * Friday, June 5.--Sharpshooting and cannonading about as usual. The Federal are using the spade pretty extensively; they get a little nearer every day, but they try to keep out of night of our sharpshooters. June 6.--Some thief stole my boots last night; I hope they (the boots) will get shot to-day. Shetled as pretty heavy last night, but no body hurt. Monday, June 8.--We have had but little news from the outside. Heard cannonading up the river yesterday morning, this is the first certain proof that we have friends in striking distance. A man had his hold, one arm, and one leg blown off with a piece of a shell in our camp yesterday. The Yankees are killing quite a number of our mules and horses; they are hauled and thrown into the river every night. June 10.--Had a fine rain to-day. Gen. Pemberton has pressed all the tobacco in store and in the hands of wholesale dealers, and is issuing tobacco rations. Nothing unusual around the fires. The gunboats have not come in reach of our guns in several days. June 14.--We had preaching to-day in the grave yard near our camp. There was a very large attendance from our (Green's) brigade. It was indeed a solemn to witness the solemnity of this large concourse of people, assembled among the graves, and tombstones, and monuments, erected to the memory of the dead; listening to the solemn expounding of the word of God. Doubtless many a brave soldier asked himself the solemn question. Shall, I die unprepared to meet God and be buried among strangers — will my fond mother, doting wife, or loving sister, ever know my fate? They, perhaps, will look long and anxiously for my return; but, alas ! they; perhaps, will look in vain. Home, loved wife and children, O. Lord, when will I be permitted to see them again in a land of peace, and liberty, and speech, and action? June 16.--We got a Memphis paper of the 11th, from which we learn of the attack on Port Hudson. Our boys are greatly rejoined at the success of the brave defenders of Port Hudson. All in good spirits; firing about as usual. June 21.--Not much of interest the last few days. The firing yesterday morning, from 4 to 10 o'clock A. M., was the heaviest that we had during the siege. June 25.--I have Gen. Pemberton's pass, and shall leave the city to morrow morning.--Sharpshooting and cannonading have been going on about as usual for several days.-- Some of our boys have been doing some pretty gallant little deeds within the last two weeks. Small parties have charged outside of our works, killed and captured a few Yankees, and on one occasion a regiment of Georgians captured and hauled in a wagon, which proved to be loaded with spades and pikes. I would here state that some of the Georgians were accused of be having badly at the Baker's Creek fight, but they have acted nobly and gallantly since the investment here. The Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana troops have distinguished themselves for gallantry on several occasions. In a word, there is no reason to complain of any troops. They have the utmost confidence in themselves and in their ability to hold Vicksburg against any force that may be brought against it. They say that if Pemberton will manage the provisions they will hold the ditches. having become an accustomed to them, they feel safer in the ditches than anywhere else. In looking over my notes I find I have omitted several very interesting little incidents of the siege. One item: about dusk in the evening some of our boys will halloo over to the Federal, "How are you, boys!" Federal answer, "Bully," (a great word among the soldiers.) Southerners, "let us stop shooting and talk some a while." "Agreed," says Yankee. Then from both sides you will hear them say, "don't shoot," and they all stop shooting and get on top of the breastworks, and for about an hour they will talk and joke each other. Our boys will ask them where is Hunchback, (meaning Gen. Grant.) they then will inquire now they like Gen. Pemberton--how our boys will reply by asking how they like Fighting Joe Heeker? Our boys frequently ask them why they don't take Vicksburg. They frequently get off some pretty good jokes. After talking in this way for about an hour you will hear some fellow say, bed time boys, get to your holes, I'm going to shoot directly. Then sharpshooting commences, and the next night the same scene is enacted. During the first week of our investment, on one occasion the Yankees, in making a charge, a few hundred of them succeeded in getting up to our embankment; but, to their dismay, they dared not attempt to go further, and could not get back without exposing themselves to a raking fire of grape and Minnie balls. They supposed that they were comparatively safe while they were immediately under our embankment; but, to their horror, our soldiers provided shells with two second which they lit and rolled over by hand for the Yankees to play with. A great many of them were killed while at this amusement. They complained afterwards of the inhumanity of our boys. They may be thankful if they do not have to complain more than once of rough treatment before they capture Vicksburg. The Yankee version of this matter, as published in Northern papers was this; That they had succeeded in driving our men, and that they took possession of one of our strongest redoubts, and hold it several hours; but owing to some other regiment failing to come to their support they had to evacuate it. Five o'clock P. M.--The cannonade was very heavy for the last hour — now hear volleys of musketry down on our right — suppose a charge in being made, but don't know by which party. I must se as I shall leave camp in a few minutes. Have bid farewell to most of my friends, and have promised to write to other friends when I get to Little Rock, and will soon bad farewell to the sciences which have become of peculiar interest to me, and may the God of battles grant our boys a happy issue out of their present difficulties.