Charles Affeld

The Western Campaign


    Charles Affeld was one of the 36,ooo men from Illinois who fought in the Vicksburg campaign. The young cannoneer had enlisted in Battery B, First Illinois Light Artillery on July 16, 1861.  Like most of the battery's personnel, Affeld called Chicago his home. After being mustered into federal service, he saw action at Fort Donelson, Shiloh and Chickasaw Bayou. He kept a journal and before retiring at the end of each day, he made his notes. During the siege of Vicksburg most of the seventy-eight Illinois units assigned to Major General Ulysses S. Grant's powerful Army of the Tennessee were posted along the investment line. While much has been written about the siege, historians have paid scant attention to the force Grant was compelled to organize to watch the formidable army General Joseph E. Johnston assembled east of the Big Black, with the mission of relieving Lieutenant General John C. Pemberton's beleaguered army. Even less has been written about the troops that were given the, fending off attack by the Trans-Mississippi Confederates. The crack Eagle Brigade to which Battery B was attached had twice marched to Mechanicsburg to see if Johnston's whereabouts could be determined. At the time of the second Mechanicsburg expedition (June 3-7), the trans-Mississippi Confederates had attacked Union bases at Milliken's Bend and Young's Point, Louisiana. To re­inforce the small force posted in the fortified camps on the Louisiana side of the Mississippi, General Grant ordered Brigadier General Joseph A. Mower to embark his Eagle Brigade and proceed to Young's Point. The men of Battery B; along with Mower's infantry regiments, marched from their Snyder's Bluff camp on the evening of June 9, 1863, and embarked on the transports that were to carry them down the Yazoo and into the Mississippi. 


Wednesday, June 10, 1863 

    We were awakened at about 2 A.M. and orders came to move our guns on shore immediately as the enemy was reported close at hand. We commenced unloading at the upper landing, the bank there is some 15 or 20 feet high and perpendicular. We had to pull our guns up this bank and had a detail of about a com­pany of the 47th Ill. As soon as the guns were on shore, the detail pulled them to the levee where we took our positions, places having been dug for them by the detail. Our section took position on the right, the center section has the left and the right section has the center, they are about 100 yds from each other. As we took our position the rain that had threatened for two days now poured down upon us.  It rained for about an hour heavily, during which time Walter] Simpson brought breakfast around.' We ate it in the drummer's tent of the 63d Ill. that was standing there at the time.' After it had stopped raining I got several crotches and a pole for a tent, then took a horse to get a tent but losing track of the man I was following, I returned with 8 loaves of bread, kept 4 and let the boys have the balance. Otto [Frank Affeld] and I worked at building our shelter tent in the rain.' Went on guard from that was standing there at the time.' After it had stopped raining I got several crotches and a pole for a tent, then took a horse to get a tent but losing track of the man I was following, I returned with 8 loaves of bread, kept 4 and let the boys have the balance. Otto [Frank Affeld] and I worked at building our shelter tent in the rain.' Went on guard from 1 P.M. to 2 P.M.,5 P.M. to 7 P.M., 11 P.M. to 1 A.M.  .Behind the left and center sections there is a camp of about 130 rebel prisoners. Saw a squad of about rebel deserters, who left Vicksburg last Sunday, take the oath of allegiance. A battalion of the 1oth Ill. Cavalry arrived toward night and encamped about 2oo yards ahead of about 6 P.M. a heavy storm arose in the west, it was magnificently grand and terrific in its dark appearance, but it blew over with little rain. We retired about 9 P.M.


Thursday, June 11, 1863

     At 5 A.M., went on guard and the morning was cloudy. After breakfast we noticed 3 or q. of the Marine Brigade's [boats] come down loaded with troops. They passed us and steamed down river then returned and went up the Yazoo. Other boats are com­ing by. At 10 A.M. boats have passed loaded with troops said to be [Major General Stephen A.] Hurlbut's command.  Got an order from Lieut. [Theodore P.] Roberts for 10lbs. of dried apples and 8lbs. of peaches.' I paid 75 cts for the former and 80cts for the latter, total $1.55. I got the articles from the Adriatic commissary boat. Let [Charles W.] Pierce' have 3 lbs. of the peaches. The boats that went up the Yazoo returned with the troops and went down the Mississippi further. There are some hundreds [sic] odd bushels of oats spilled on the river bank and our boys got all they wanted. I had 4 pieces of washing done to-day. We took off our shirts and were surprised to find them occupied by living tenants, we killed the living and  wounded the nats. Report says that Grant is to make another at­tack in a day or two. Otto wrote a letter to father to-day and mailed it before Edward Wilcox has gone to the Yazoo landing to see his cousins, Messers Newell." The river has been quite active to-day. We went swimming after supper, which consisted of corn-bread, coffee, and blackberries. Had roll call by sundown and giggers [now, more commonly, gig] this evening. After making my notes we retired about 10P.M. 


 Friday, June 12, 1863

    We were up at the usual hour a little before sunrise. After breakfast Otto got permission to go to our old camp near the canal to see how things looked, where he lost his money and pocket-book some months ago and if possible try and find it. He found it use­less looking. I went on detail in Abe Wilcox's" place to get wood for the baker, who will bake bread for us. Walter E. Hinman being acquainted with him. He treated to a glass of beer of his own making. We went about 2 or 3 miles and got a good load of dry wood and returned to partake of some pies more beer and cheese, after which we took the bread for the company and returned to camp well pleased with the detail. Some of the troops that went up the Yazoo came back and landed at or near the canal. In all, it is said that 24 boats loaded with soldiers came down from above and they are said to be [Maj.] Gen. [Francis J.] Herron's troops in part. Sergt. Wilcox returned from the Yazoo bringing a mail, but only a paper for us of the 3rd. His cousins Dave and Fred­erick Newell came down with him. They remained in camp most of the day and took dinner with the squad. I wrote a letter to father and Otto sent his Confederate Army Regulations home by the kindness of Mr. Newell. Not getting off, they stayed in camp all night. They contemplated going down op­posite the city, but Otto informing us that none would be allowed to cross the canal without a pass from headquarters, we aban­doned the idea. We got boards to-day to make a bunk but did not put it up on account of orders to move camp tomorrow morning. We also sent May Atlantic by Messrs. Newell. Weather has been very pleasant and not nearly so hot as before the rain and on the march up the Yazoo. We retired about 9:3o P.M. 


Saturday, June 13, 1863

    I was up at the usual hour. After breakfast we dug a place for our gun on the left of the right section and the center was to move between them and us. But after finishing a place for the gun, the idea seems to have been given up and we remained where we were. Busied myself this morning mending my shirt, etc. The Messers. Newell left to-day at about 11 A.M. We put up our bunk to-day. The general attack anticipated today by rumor did not take place. After supper we went in swimming in the Mississippi and when we returned found that we had received marching orders. Mower's brigade leaves with 5 days' rations to-morrow at 5A.M. We leave our knapsacks: The battery forge and baggage wagons have came down to-day as well as the detail that remained with them. Capt. [Samuel E.] Barrett, it is said, received his commission as Major of Artillery We packed our traps and I stewed a quantity of apples to take along. We retired at about apples to take along. We retired at about 11P.M. Weather quite agreeable considering what we have had. We re­ceived a letter this morning from father and Emelia, dated 5th and 4th respectively. The letter mentions the receipt of my note-book and our letter of the 23d of last month, also the arrival of Lieut. Web. Whittle and the welcome he received from the Express boys and others. 


Sunday, June 14,1863

     We left our knapsacks in a tent in camp and also other camp equipage was left. We had breakfast very early and moved out on the levee soon after sunrise. Capt. Barrett had not returned from his trip to [Major] Gen. [William T.] Sher­man's headquarters and Lieut. [Israel P.] Rumsey had command. While waiting to start about steamers came down river with troops, a portion of [Major General Ambrose E.] Burnside's corps. It seemed odd to hear of such from a  Mass. regiment, Penn. and New York regiments. All the boats passed on down perhaps to the lower landing. Our brigade consisting of the 5th Minn.11th and the 63rd Ill. and our battery constitutes Mower's brigade and some of the 120th Ill. [and some] of the 10th Ill. Cavalry. We moved out at about 6 or 6:30A.M. taking the levee to Duck Port, where the canal has been dug. It is now nearly dry, only a few inches of water in it. Above the river we passed the dredge Hercules high and dry in a little ditch, and going 2 miles further on near Mason's plantation we met the dredge Louisville. She had worked quite a place for herself before the water lowered. We watered at Mason's plantation and moved on stopping for dinner at 12 noon about 5 or 6 miles from Young's Point. We had dinner of ham, applesauce, coffee, and soft bread. The 47th Ill. has the lead. We marched slowly and steadily making but few halts and reached Mrs. Amis' plantation, having made about 10 miles. The house is on the other side of the bayou (Walnut Bayou) a large brown stone mansion. The bridge has been cut.  At this place Willow Bayou comes in with a clear stream and from there on it is called Brushy Bayou. I was among the first to cross the bayou. The place had been entirely deserted by all except a few negroes, and that quite recently and hastily. I obtained from the store house some 30lbs. of sugar, a bottle of pepper sauce, and tomato catsup, etc., also got a carpet rug and gave it to [Merwin B.] Oliver and I got a set of china ware. Mrs. Amis had a beautifully furnished house, a fine library, etc. It was the best furnished house that I have seen deserted and unburned. Otto got a copy of  Irving's Life of Washington 4 vols., some interesting books and Shakespeare's Complete Works. We were about making ourselves comfortable for the night when we heard that we had to leave at 5 P.M., which we did, returning by the road we came. Every house is unoccupied and [the] cotton-gin has been destroyed up to Zeigler's plantation, where we camped at about 7 P.M.  We built a shebang and had a good supper and unharnessed before retiring. Weather cloudy all day, but a splendid day to march in and had a shower during the fight, also one about sunset.  Retired about 11 P.M. Must not forget to mention that I bought an artillery jacket, it is but little worn, from [Ernst R.] Williamson for $1.oo. We lost but few wounded and killed. The enemy left one dead near the fort and several wounded in the town. One of the wounded report that the enemy's forces consists of 2 brigades,7 regiments, and 4 pieces of artillery. Evidently about 2,ooo or so men at the least. Our forces consisted of Mower's command about 1,5oo and Ellet's  from 8oo to 1,ooo, yet they made no stand. 


Monday, June 15, 1863 

     We moved at 5 A. M .after a good breakfast. I took care of the extra horse to-day. About a mile from camp we turned into the Milliken's Bend road, the one we came on our first trip to Richmond. I rode ahead of the column, rode into Milliken's Bend passed the negro pickets and went to where the negro brigade is en­camped. Found that [Theodore] D'Loss belonged to the 11th La. regiment, but was in Chicago on a furlough. I took the river for Young's Point, it being about 6 miles from the lower end of the bend. There are no other troops except the Marine Brigade but negros at the Bend nor are there any stores of any kind. I arrived in camp at about 5 A.M. Capt. [Barrett] arrived 1/4 hour afterwards and was surprised to find me here and gave me 5 days' extra duty, but after second thought generously excused me from it. I got poles and crotches for a shebang. The battery did not arrived until 1 P.M. We put up our shelters and had supper at about 3.30 P.M. The firing at Vicksburg is as it was yesterday very heavy, yesterday we heard it distinctly at Richmond and today we plainly hear the musketry. From what I can learn it is mostly on [Major General John A.] McClernand's line. I went on guard from 7 to 9 P.M. Capt. [Barrett] started for Gen. Sherman's headquarters before or rather in the rear of Vicksburg. I let [Charles J.] Sauter have 3 lbs. of dried apples and [Samuel F.] Wentworth one. About one regiment of 1,000 negroes came up from the lower landing at about 8 P.M. and encamped near the river levee.  We went in swimming about 6 P.M. Weather quite agreeable all day and had a small shower.  Retired at about 9 P.M.

Wednesday, June 17, 1863 

Morning cool and cloudy, did not get up until after roll call, having been on guard.  After breakfast went on guard from 7 to 9 A.M. After guard I busied myself cutting off the collar, putting in a pocket, etc. in my artillery jacket, bought from Williamson. Bought Tribune of the 1lth and received Journal of the 4th by mail from Wm. Creighton which speaks of the reception of Lieut. Whittle and his remarks, etc,. Read Tribune of the 12th which speaks of Whittle's returning next Sunday. Report by one of the gunboat men is that a battery was cap­tured yesterday and that it would today be used on Whistling Joe battery on which an attack is to be made today. At about 8 P.M. a large fire is visible in the direction of Vicksburg. Capt. [Barrett] returned from up the Yazoo . Musketry besides heavy artillery fire continued during the evening. There are two new batteries on a steamer, that just came down, of Napoleon guns. Report says Battery A Illinois Light Artillery will have one.  Capt. is trying hard for the other. The Meteor passed with the 36th Mass. this A.M. We are, expecting to move momentarily back to our old corps. Weather very comfortable, cloudy all day. Retired at about 11P.M.  Spent most of the evening reading the May Atlantic. 


Thursday, June 18, 1863. 

Morning clear and pleasant did not awaken until breakfast time, not having heard the reveille or assembly, we both missed roll call. After breakfast I commenced Mill on the floss, but had to return it as at about 9 A.M., the harness call blew and we re­ceived orders to strike our tents, and hitch up. We remained in position until after 12 M [eridian: noon]. We had dinner before that time consisting of corn beef and potatoes, apple sauce with soft bread which we have had since returning to this point. After dinner, the battery moved to where the J. H. Dickey was lying and commenced loading." We had all of the horses on board and were waiting for the infantry to get all their tents in the hold before we could run the battery on, when the orders came to go back into camp. [Brigadier General Elias S.] Dennis commander of this place, I believe gave the order to stay. We immediately put up our tents and made ourselves as com­fortable as before. The whole brigade evidently received the same orders. I stewed a quantity of peaches during the afternoon. After supper went in swimming. Otto is writing home.  I am reading the Autocrat at [sic] the Breakfast Table. Retired at about 1O P.M. 


Friday, June 19, 1863

 Was up at reveille, morning clear and as warm as usual. We got a fly to spread over our shelter tent and it makes it considerably cooler. At about 9 A.M. a detail of two men from each squad were called to get ammunition at Chickasaw Bayou. Otto and [John E.] Kingsbury went from our squad. As soon as I heard this, I took the books we had Vol. of Shakespeare Complete, 4,Vols. of Irving's Life of Washington, Child's History of England (Dickens) Vols. Rolla at Play and Vols. of Youth's Stories, and sewed them up to be sent by express. But meanwhile heard that Mr. Kimball was on the Luminary which had just arrived and was coaling. I found that Mr. Kimball was going to Chicago so I carried the package to him, he promising to deliver it. The detail left about 11 A.M. on the Fanny Bullitt. We had baked beans, corn beef, apple sauce, mustard, etc., for dinner. Read nearly all of the time I did not sleep. After supper the detail all returned but Otto who for some cause or other was left. The news is that Gen. McClernand has been superseded by [Maj.] Gen. [Edward O. C.] Ord and that there will be an attack made on Vicksburg tomorrow, further that Bat. A and Waterhouse's [Battery E., 1st Illinois Light Artillery] batteries received the two new batteries that came down a day or two ago. Weather quite pleasant and agreeable when we have nothing to do. Retired about 10 P.M. After supper we were delighted by various airs played by a calliope on the Silver Moon which came down the Yazoo before sundown. 


 Saturday, June 20,1863. 

Was up at reveille, morning same as usual. The cannonading had been very heavy and continuous most all night and is at present (sunrise) exceedingly heavy." To-day is the day that the reported attack was to be made.  Otto returned from his detail up to Chickasaw Bayou at about 9 A.M. Played a game of Whist to-day, the first game of cards I have played since leaving Memphis. Five or six of our boys have gone down to the point De Soto opposite Vicksburg. After dinner Otto and I got some timber and made a bunk and table under our she­bang.  Capt. [Barrett] returned from Sherman's headquarters today. At roll call he announced to us the reasons we did not get one of the new batteries. Bat. A got one because Capt. [Peter P.] Wood was the ranking officer and, [Captain Allen C.] Waterhouse got the other because [Brigadier General James M.] Tuttle has but 8 pieces and he had repeatedly applied for more, and that it would not be fair to give both batteries to one division, etc. Capt. Barrett formally announced that he had resigned the com­mand to Lieut. Rumsey, he having received the commission as Major. It is understood that Orderly [Timothy M.] Blaisdell and Sergt. [William W.] Lowrie have been recommended by Barrett for Lieutenancies in the battery and [he] left Rumsey to recommend the 4th or 2d Jr. Lieut. Rumsey is taking the sense of the Bat. between Sergt. [Benjamin F.] McCarty, [William J.] McCoy, and [George L.] Purinton. The choice is between the two latter and McCoy will doubtless get it. We went in swimming and retired about,11P.M. Otto while absent on detail wrote a letter to the girls and mailed it on the 19th. 


 June 21 1863 

 Was up at roll call at the usual hour, morning cloudy and cool with a brisk north wind blowing. After breakfast two men from each squad were detailed to go to Chickasaw Bayou for ammuni­tion, with two days' rations in their haversacks. I kept on the lookout for the boats, but we did not succeed in getting our team on either the Diligence or Ben. Franklin During the afternoon two steamers, the Sultana and the Champion, came they have newspapers of the 15th and 18th from Memphis. Our mail arrived to-day but no letter for us. News is that Lee is making for Penna. with apparently his whole force. It has at least crossed the Rappahannock. The President caIled  for 100,000, 6 months' men out of Penna., 50,000 from Ohio and 10,000  from both Va. and Md We signed the payroll this morning and were paid at about 3 P.M. in full to May 1,1863. The paymaster afforded the boys a great deal of amusement in miscalling the boys' names. Otto finished a long letter to the girls and mailed it today. I am writing one to father at present. Weather cloudy, windy and cool all day. Retired after 9 P.M.


 Monday, June 22, 1863

 We were up at the usual hour. After breakfast, Pierce and I with some out of the other squads went with McCarty on ammu­nition detail. We left at about 10 Among the Diligence, arriving at Chickasaw Bayou we were obliged to wait until 2 P.M. to find out whether we could get ammunition or not at the landing. We took dinner on board the Hastings which was inferior to our average dinner in camp. Bat. A's drivers came down with their old guns and went back about 2 P.M. with their new caissons. [Edwin] Bancroft and Co. went out with caissons to the front. We waited until after 3 P.M. for McCarty and the Diligence, neither coming we also went out to the front in one of the division wagons, thus avoiding the inquiries of several lines of pickets. We passed over the Chickasaw] bayou at the same place where the 6th Mo. made a crossing last Dec. We also saw the initials of 55. Our and Bat. A's batteries cut on the various trees where we were stationed at that time. We, Pierce, Sauter and I, got through all right. Pierce and myself went to Bat. A, where we stayed all night. They are well pleased with their new 12-pdr Napoleons of which they have 5, and one 10-pdr Parrott. The guns on an average are about 400lbs heavier than ours, weighing from 1237 to 1238 [lbs.]. They have but about 38 rounds of ammunition to a chest. Besides these, they man from 4 to 6 other guns, 3 of which are with­in 75 yds of the enemies big fort [Stockade Redan] in front of Bat. A on Sherman's front. They consist of 2 twelve pdr howitzers and one 30 pdr Parrott. There are covered ways or Saps from one earth-work to another. Our pickets are within a stone's throw of the enemy, in fact our troops can walk around in the ditch of the fort behind which the enemy dare not expose themselves so much as to fire down into the trench. The Sap is a perfect labyrinth of a lane or walk, in which we got lost several times on our way from one position of the battery to another. Our forts are lined and strengthened by gabions and bundles of cane. While we were at the most advanced line of battery, our troops conversed with the rebels with but little effort. The Sap extends from one end of the works to the other, so that we can transport troops without the least danger of being shot or even seen, to their very works and from one end of the line to the other. It is up and down hill but seldom exposed. It is a prodigious piece of work and will remain for generations as a curiosity and an evidence of the labor necessary to fortify and reduce the place. Bayou at the Indian Mound. Unable to drive the Confederates from their rifle-pits, the Missourians were pinned down. Under the cover of darkness, the regiment recrossed the bayou. After dark the boys sang some patriotic songs. News is that there has been fighting at the [Big] Black and that 30,000 men have left the line in the rear of Vicksburg for that place. Tuttle's division is among the number. We retired at about a 10 P.M. I slept with Sergt. Wilson and Pierce slept with his cousin. 


Tuesday, June 23, 1863 

Was up at sunrise. After breakfast with [William] Pit Follansbe of Bat. A, we went back to the landing." Bat. A fired 10 rounds before breakfast out of each gun. We rode half of the way to the landing in an ambulance and the balance of the way in a baggage wagon. Arrived at the landing at about 9 A.M. The Jacob Strader has just come down and I had the good fortune to see Lieut. Web Whittle, who just arrived by the last mentioned boat." He left a letter for Otto at Young's Point. I got the June Atlantic. I helped him [Whittle] to unpack and get his boxes in the wagon from the Grossbeck.We were too late for the Diligence by about an hour. We heard that the battery had left with 2 days' rations. The Diligence took over about 22 boxes of spherical case, all that could be obtained. We got over after waiting until noon for the Ben Franklin. I got our mail on the Grossbeck. As we arrived at the point [Young's], we saw that all of the tents remained as also did the baggage. I brought a package for Whittle and boxes for some of the other boys. We did not time even to eat before the ammunition was in the wagon and we had to go with it to the battery, which we found near our old camp near the canal. The battery has been there since morning. After supper it commenced raining and drizzled all night. We moved ours, the left section, with a detail of infantry about an hour before dusk to within mile of the river bank, where we unhitched and the infantry detail helped us pull our guns to the levee near the bank of the river, directly opposite the Prentiss House or between the Depot and the Prentiss House. The infantry dug a platform for our guns in the little levee to the right of the [Vicksburg Shreveport Texas Railroad] tracks. There is a 20pdr Parrott and a brass Dahlgren about 50 or 6o yds to our left above us, and a 10 pdr rifled about3/4 of a mile back of the river behind the R.R. tracks. All except the last casemate are manned by the Marine brigade. It rained more or less all night, and we slept on a few boards with a rubber over us. We were placed here in case the enemy should attempt to cross in skiffs (which deserters report) they are building for the purpose. The number being built is said to be about 500 to 700. There is a barrel of tar here to illuminate the river should they attempt it. Retired at about 11PM. 


Wednesday, June 24, 1863

 We were up before sunrise and went to work digging a hole in the levee as a protection against shot. We had bread, coffee and ham for breakfast, dinner the same minus coffee, and supper same as breakfast. Our Parrott on the left commenced firing on the Mill [Payton's] a block below the Prentiss House, which is evidently in use continually. The enemy answered from 5 or 6 different guns. They fired 10 in. shell, ring, grape, canister, 32 pdr shot, etc. A great deal of the firing was directed to the guns above us, but in the afternoon we came in for our share of the attention. We have in the rear of our gun a pile of missiles thrown at us, such as 10 inch solid shot, same in shell, 7 or 8 rifled shell, 24-and 32-pdr solid shot and any amount of pieces of solid shot, grape, and canister. The city at first sight looks but little different from what it did in February last, but as you get accustomed to the city you notice the brick piles, burned homes, etc., which are not at first noticed. The firing from the rear has been quite heavy to-day. The mor­tars are busy throwing a ball about every 10 minutes We retired quite early. Weather cloudy all day. We at first spread our blankets in the pit we dug and sat in during the day, but could not sleep for the mosquitoes, and we did little better by sleeping on the open ground behind the gun. The 8th Wis. was relieved after dark by the 5th Minn. Oliver and Sam Hadlock came down from camp and brought us some soft bread. Our camp has changed to about 2oo yds above the convalescent hospital. We had a bath in the river before retiring. 


Thursday, June 25, 1863

Morning as usual pleasant, all quiet until after breakfast when the 20 pdr Parrott on our left opened, but we could not see any strike." All complained of mosquitoes and I must have heard every mortar that exploded during the night as they exploded all over and around us. About 9 A.M. Pierce, Otto and I went down or rather up to where the mortars were and went on board while they were fir­ing. The concussion is not so great as I anticipated but yet suffi­cient. The 100 pdr Parrott is about 1/2 mile further up on a scow formerly used for a mortar. The 100 pdr kept up a healthy excitement all day doing splendid execution mostly in the blocks behind the Prentiss House, from the river up. Every time we would hear it fire, we would run to the levee and watch where the shots strike. It has done more visible destruction than all the mortar firing for a week. We have not had anything but ham and coffee. An officer of General Bragg brought the news that the Arizona came up from New Orleans bringing the news of the taking of Port Hudson, which news was rumor at Natchez. She came up by way of the Red River I had a good view through the marine glass and I could dis­tinguish men on the guns, clothing, etc. There was some cannon­ading during the afternoon. After supper and dusk our boys answered and asked questions of the rebels, we can hear them very plainly with but little effort. We heard the Court House bell at 9 P.M. We were to be relieved and relief came at about 10 P.M. by the center section. Just before leaving, the rebels fired on us or in our direction very lively. We rode to camp in [William] King's wagon and arrived about midnight. The Dahlgren gun on the left of the Parrott manned by the Marine brigade received a shot bringing down the casement and covering all with dirt and rubbish. All left the gun, none were seriously hurt. We arrived at camp at about 11:30 P.M., we put our blankets in [Charles W.] Stickney's shebang and remained there until morning. 


Friday, June 26, 1863

 We were up at about sunrise. After breakfast we put up our shelter tent. I got boards for [Timothy] Upton to sleep on, who is very sick, so is Jno. Hadlock, Sam Newton and Simpson of our squad, but not so bad.  Squad One has so many sick that they cannot send a man on detail, [Walter E.] Hinman of that squad is especially bad off,so is Tom Boyd of squad 5. Besides all that the detail has gone over to the rear of Vicksburg to get their pay when the regiment is paid off. I take a team for today. It keeps the well men pretty busy, when so many are sick. Lieut. Roberts has been sick on the Patton, I think, at Lake's Landing, Yazoo river ever since the 22d, so there is only one commissioned officer, Lieut. Rumsey to see to everything, assisted by the or­derly. For the dinner we had pickled cabbage, meat and stewed to­matoes which Web Whittle gave us. Pierce stewed them and we went halves. After supper we went in swimming and bought some bread on our way back. We retired at 9:3o P.M. Weather very warm all day though relieved occasionally by a breeze. 


 Saturday, June 27, 1863 

 We were up at about sunrise. Morning as usual clear and prom­ising a hot day. After breakfast Edward Kingsbury and I out of our squad with 4 others went to the river and got 22 sacks Of oats and 22 bales of hay, all of which we had to carry up the steep hill or bank making exceedingly hot work. We received a letter from Creighton to-day dated the 16th, nothing especially new in it except in reference to Mott. I helped put up posts for picket rope. After dinner the Luminary lay at the landing, she had been reported as sunk. We had supper early and left at or a little after relieve the center section opposite Vicksburg. There is news of the report of a capture of rebel dispatches and mail carrier by [Major General Frederick] Steele's command, with [Pemberton's] dispatches to Johnston stating that he can hold out but 10 days longer and wishes to know what to do.  Otto remained in camp having a team to take care of and Jim Dutch went in his place.  I went on guard from 9 to 11 P.M. but Jim Dutch going on from 10 to 1 served 1 hour of my time.  Dutch and I bunked together.


Sunday, June 28, 1863

We got up at about 7 A.M., were awakened for breakfast.  Had a good sleep after 2 A.M., the time the mosquitoes allowed us to sleep.  They kept up a regular fire 15 intervals most all night.  I noticed that J.M. Paxton's Mill or foundry [sic] does not run any more on account of shots received yesterday and day before from the 20 pdr Parrott [Groshon's] above us.  The enemy divided their attention between the gun above us and the regiment below us, firing pretty steadily. We could plainly see the men work the guns below the depot and count the friction primers they wasted which were from 5 to 15 at every shot. After supper Oliver and Otto came down bringing bread for our squad. Our detail has returned from Chickasaw landing and reports a fight yesterday in which our troops got possession of the stockade and breastworks of the enemy. There were two flags on the enemies [sic] works, but were ordered back, nothing else of importance. We remained up until after 11:3o, when we retired. Splendid moonlight evening that we are enjoying. 


Monday June 29,1863

We were up at the usual hour or rather later about 7 A.M. Weather cloudy during most of the day. The rebels fired quite briskly during the morning and at intervals of 15 to 20 minutes in the P.M. We have but little news as we sit and read or sleep most of the time. I read several articles in the May Atlantic. After supper Oliver came down with bread for all and some peaches that Otto sent down. He also informed us that Web Whittle was on a visit in our camp and would probably be out here tomorrow. I found a silver pen-holder with a gold pen back of our place of resort. Read Autocrat at [sic] the Breakfast Table until 11P.M. Went on guard from 9 to 11 after which we made our bed and retired.  Weather quite agreeable all day there being a brisk breeze blow­ing. The caissons were taken back at about 9 A.M. Oliver came down in Jim Whittle's place, and brought one day's rations so we are to stay here one day longer. 


 Tuesday, June 30,1863

Was up quite late, about 7 A.M. While eating breakfast Otto came down with Lieut. [Web] Whittle from camp to see the town, etc. He was well pleased with the prospect and he spoke of an attack to be made in a few days by McPherson, part of Ord's and Sherman's command which is to have for its result the taking and holding of the enemies [sic] present line of works We watched the several guns that pay us attention and could see when the men went to it and loaded it and when the primers failed, etc. As we saw the smoke we would all jump into our holes and waited until the shot had passed. During the morning a shot struck about 2 or 3 yds to the right of our gun entering and exploding in the levee, but doing no injury. Toward evening a mortar shell struck to the right of the Marine Hospital and we saw it scatter horses, mules, etc., in promiscuous confusion. We saw several others strike in the same vicinity but did not ex­plode. After sundown the rebels and our men began to talk over the river, asking and answering questions. Col. [Andrew J. Weber] of the 11th Mo. , who was wounded in the head by a grape shot from the enemy died the same day. We were relieved by the right section about 9 P.M. and arrived at camp at 11 after quite a pleasant ride by moonlight. Found Otto up and waiting. We retired soon after.


Wednesday, July 1, 1863

 We were up at 4. A.M., that is Pierce and I, we went to the river and had a bath. Sunrise bright and clear. After breakfast I com­menced a letter to Creighton. Squads 1 and 5 have built a shelter of leaves for their teams, the center section following suit and we went to work at a similar structure. I helped to dig post holes and put in crotches over which poles are laid and covered with brush. We got the frame work up by dark. Mailed letter to Creighton, read papers of the 25th. 


July 2, 1863

Morning as usual. Immediately after breakfast we went to the cottonwoods and cut 4 poles and 2 wagon loads of brush. I went on guard from 11 to 1 P.M. We had potatoes: stewed with fresh meat for dinner. Had fried potatoes for supper. Worked at covering the shelter tent for the horses and it broke down, we were obliged to finish it after supper. I have not felt very well to-day being troubled with a head­ache. I bought a dozen of lemons for $1., kept 1/2 dozen and let the boys have the other 6 at 1o cts apiece. To-day we have experienced the hottest day of the season so far, it is perfectly awful and unendurable. Toward dusk it light­ened considerably and we were in hopes that it would rain, but it will all pass over and without one drop of rain. Retired at 10, got up at 11 and stood guard until 1 A.M. 


 Friday July 3, 1863

 Was up at 5 and went on guard at 7 A.M. Got a bucket of spring water before breakfast. I got permission to go with [Andrew J.] Grant and look for his and [Miron C.] Ross's horses that have been lost several days. Oliver and Sam Hadlock went out on the Richmond road and Grant and I rode down to Warrenton or rather the landing opposite, about 5 miles from camp. We did not find the horses there or on the road. The Cheeseman arrived, but as she was not to leave until 6P.M. we concluded not to cross back, get our dinners and await Rum­sey's orders. After dinner we read the papers of the 24th which contains the reported removal of [Maj.] Gen. [Joseph] Hooker and the appointment of [Maj.] Gen. [George G.] Meade in his place. We hope it is not true. Chas. Otis who has been absent from the Bat. ever since the Shiloh fight, being detailed and a prisoner part of the time, arrived here to-day having been recently exchanged. Oliver and Sam Hadlock returned without the lost horses of course, but had a good dinner in the country. After supper went in swimming. We received orders to harness which was done. The center sec­tion relieved the right section at the Point tonight. It is generally expected that there will be a grand attack on the enemy by to­morrow and we are to be prepared should they attempt crossing in skiffs as it is rumored. Received a couple of papers from Creighton, Tribune of the 16th and Journal of the 22d, the latter has an Obituary notice of Newell's death. Tribune has a notice of the complimentary dinner given by the M. L. U. to Lieut. Whittle. Morning cloudy, cleared up at about 11 and remained so un­til 4 P.M. when it clouded up all around and all prepared for rain, which has not yet come. Retired after 9:30


Saturday, July 4, 1863

We were up at the usual hour, morning cloudy. After break­fast about 8A.M., Lieut. Clifford Stickney rode by from below, but stopped to inform us that Vicksburg had surrendered and would be in our possession by 10A.M. to-day." He informed us that at 4P.M. yesterday orders came to cease firing and that the rebels had asked for an armistice until 10A.M. at which time they would surrender on condition that the officers be allowed their side arms and the prisoners be paroled in Vicksburg. This piece of news was generally credited because Stickney being signal officer had the best means of information and also because the grand attack we expected to hear as day dawned did not occur though some of the boys heard firing during the night. One thing after another confirmed the fact of the surrender. The center section opposite the city saw wagon loads of ammuni­tion thrown into the river and the big shot rolled down the hill into the river, We celebrated the day with a good dinner. We had sweet cake and butter crakers (Sanitary stores) besides fried meat, beef soup, pickled cabbage and a good corn starch pudding with a splendid sauce. Fierce made the pudding, Whittle furnished the milk, and bought a dozen of eggs which with the starch made a splendid pudding, and what is best we had plenty of it.