Page 71-75

 
 

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We soon came across some tents filled with clothing. I got a gun, coat, and pair of blankets in lieu of mine, which I had left with the guns. We travelled on toward Vicksburg. We arrived in Vicksburg Sunday, May 17th, 1863, about 3 or 4 P.M. dispirited, weak, fatigued, and generally not in good humor. Our camp was near the graveyard. Our wagons were soon there, and we put up our tents and went to work getting supper. We rested that night, the 18th. Some of our boys went to Snyder's Bluff after cannon and ammunition. They returned late at night with a 32 lb. Parrott but no ammunition, after being fired upon by the pickets. They brought a great

 

 
 

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many coats and clothes of all kinds. I went into town and saw my own Mississippi River once more. I was not particularly taken with the town, although there are some pretty houses and many pretty yards. The China trees make a splendid shade and the flowers are out, the pomegranates with their beautiful scarlet flowers. I went to the top of the Court House, and could see above and below the city for many miles, but both above and below were infested by the enemy's fleet of gunboats and transports. Our camp was in a very pretty place, a graveyard with many nice shade trees and beautiful flowers and not a few black

 

 
 

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berry bushes on one side. On the other was a creek flowing through a valley hilled up on all sides by high hills, except on one, where this brook lazily crept to the river. Our defenses were about three miles in circuit from left to right. The defenses were not such as we had expected to find, in fact almost nothing. Our men had to go to work to complete what laziness and 2 years had failed to do. Our men worked all night and stood guard all day. Our force did not consist of more than 30,000 men and 12 days provisions, which by quartering were made to do for 48 days. We soon had work to do, for Tuesday, 19ty of May, made us sensible that the enemy was at hand.

 

 
 

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I will on this page give an account of our rations from first to last -for the first 4 weeks we had cornmeal, 1/5 of a pone for one meal and a small piece of beef with some cornfield peas, a cooked cupful a day. Stewed rice one meal in three days. Then we had several days peas and corn ground together made into bread which would made the heartiest sick. Then we had some nice flour, then flour enough to make two biscuits a day, a piece of fat pork one inch square, one cupful of beans composed our rations for the last two or three weeks of our stay. I took a piece of mule flesh fresh killed and cooked and ate it. It tasted very well, and all wished for more. There were a few green apples

 

 
 

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on some trees when we first entered, but they soon melted away before our never satisfied saucepans, and how good and refreshing a few spoons of applesauce tasted to us. Parsley was cooked by all to make a little more food. Crowds stood by the butcher waiting for liver, heart, lungs, head, tripe. The price for the above was $5.00. Sugar was sold for 60 cents and caked like maple sugar it tended to lessen the hunger. The boys got a plug of tobacco among 5 men to last 2 weeks every three days. Our food was good in quality but dreadfully lacking in amount. The boys in our mess got along remarkably well indeed. We divided

 

 
   
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