in resenting such temerity on the part of the enemy.
In this arm of the service, as in the artillery, the Union
army was greatly superior to the enemy.
These evening fusillades rarely did any damage.
So harmless were they considered that President Lincoln
and other officials frequently came down to the trenches to be a witness of them.
But, harmless as they usually were to our side, they yet often enlisted our warm personal interest.
The guns of my own company were several times a mark for their particular attentions by daylight.
At such times we would watch the shells closely as they mounted the sky. If they veered to the right or left from a vertical in their ascent, we cared nothing for them as we then knew they would go one side of us. If they rose perpendicularly, and at the same time increased in size, our interest intensified.
If they soon began to descend we lost interest, for that told us they would fall short; but if they continued climbing until much nearer the zenith, and we could hear the creaking whistle of the fuse as the shell slowly revolved through the air, business of a very pressing nature suddenly called us into the bomb-proofs
; and it was not transacted until an explosion was heard, or a heavy jar told us that the bomb had expended its violence in the ground.
These mortar-bombs could be seen very distinctly at times, but only when they were fired directly toward or from us. They can be seen immediately after they leave the gun if they come against the sky. Coming towards one they appear first as a black speck, increasing in size as stated.
Besides mortar-shells I have seen the shot and shell from twelve-pounders in transit, but never from rifled pieces, as their flight is much more rapid.