Diary Entry from Allen, Charles Richard
|Soldier: Allen, Charles Richard
|Unit/Service Branch: 2nd Cavalry
|Home State: Illinois
|Date Written: Saturday, July 4th, 1863
|Correspondence Type: Diary Entry
|Subjects: Battlefield, Combat Description, Commanders, Comrades, Prisoner, Western Theater
June 9th 1863 Ė Tuesday
A 94lb gun was put in position close to our head quarter tents this eve. I took nearly a regít of men to haul it on trucks after they had unhitched the horses from the truck. I think they had about 40 head of horses on the string when they came from the river with it. It will soon begin to make music for the Confederates. We can see the court house and most of the city from out camp.
June 12th 1863 Ė Friday
Rebels opened a mortar on us this morning. Geníl John D.S. wanted to visit his brigade today. Wanted me to lead the way I had been taking dispatches to the Regít. I told him that Rebs would open up on us when we went over the ridge. He made light of it. Said he was not afraid to go where I had been going. I said all right, follow me and I will take you over the shortest route the way I have been carrying the orders. So him and his staff followed me and as we passed over the ridge between our big siege guns I guess the Confederates thought we were agoing to make a Cav. charge on their fort so they opened a heavy musketry fire all along the line in front of us and would undoubtedly have opened with artillery if the Geníl and his staff had not made a run down the steep hill to the Regít who were shouting all manners of things at the Geníl such as grab a root, jump off and so on. It was a pretty close call for some of us. Donít see how they could miss hitting some of us. Several of the staff lost their hats off from their heads I stopped and dismounted and picked up their hats which tickled the Johnnies more than anything else. They cheered me and stopped firing at me. The Geníl was very much provoked at the style of his entry to his brigade and his old regít. The 6th Mo like nothing better than to get a joke on him. they yelled at him and laughed. I donít know but what they would have done the same if he had been killed right there. They were the hardest set of uniforms we had in the army unless it was some of the drafted men from NY. The Geníl wanted to lay the blame on me but the other officers of his staff said I was not to blame as I had warned him to look out. He told me not to go over the hill any more but to go around.
June 14th 1863 Ė Sunday
Was taken very sick last night with cramp colic. Came pretty near dying.
June 15th 1863 Ė Monday
Boys came after me and took me to camp so that they could take care of me. I was sick nearly 2 weeks. Came near having the old fever that I had in the hospital.
June 25th 1863
Our men blowed up the Rebs largest fort that they had undermined and when the explosion took place it was a signal for a general attack all along the line. Our brigade charged into the open that was made but the Confeds had made preparations for just such a move and had another line of breast works back of the one blown up and enfilading fire on our boys in the crater. Our troops were repulsed with a great loss. I donít think that Grant will try that again. He had better take more time and starve them out. I watched the dead and wounded as they were brought off. I was very anxious to hear from my brother. His regít was in the fight. It was a fearful sight to stand by one of the tables and see the wounded come in and see the surgeons cut off their limbs. They kept two men busy carrying off basket fulls of amputated limbs.
June 26th 1863 Ė Friday
I went down to Henrys camp. I found him sick in the regít hospital. He had carried off from the battlefield (after the regít had withdrawn from the field) one of his wounded men who would weigh about 175 lbs and he had got wet through as it had rained an cold chilly rain and the boys were in the shirt sleeves. Henry had taken a severe chill. He was very sick. I was setting on his bunk talking to him I heard some of boys outside yell look out. I raised the tent and looked and saw a solid cannon ball came bounding down the hill. Rolled into the tent. I put my foot down to stop it. I thought it had lost all itís force but found it was pretty lively yet for it hurt my foot.
June 30th 1863 Ė Tuesday
Henry is no better. He is in the division hospital. I am afraid he is worse than the Dr imagine. Wish he were home. I went out a gathered him some black berries. He relished them very much. We were mustered in for pay. We recíd $50.00
July 1st 1863 Ė Wednesday
I went out with the com. to escort a paymaster out to the troops in the rear. We rode about 30 miles. While we were going down a long hill my horse fell down with me and rolled on to my left leg. The boys said they heard my leg crack. They were sure that it was broke. There I was 30 miles from our camp. Guerillas said to be thick all around. Well there was no other way but ride back to our camp so the boys took turns holding me on the horse. I suffered awfully all the way back to camp. When I got back there I could not stand up alone.
July 2nd 1863
Bro Henry was sent to the river to the hospital boat Crescent City to be sent home. I lent him $10. I hope he will get home all right for he is a very sick boy. I am miserable lame can hardly walk. Would have gone back to Stevensonís head quarters if I had not got this hurt.
July 3rd 1863
Flag of truce came over the lines today. Wonder if they are thinking about surrendering. I heard Geníl Grant say that we would have a big 4th of July celebration if they did wo[unintelligible] the breast works were soon covered with both the blue and the Rebs. The Rebs wanted tobacco and anything they could. I think from their looks they are pretty hungry. My impression is that there are agoing to surrender. Well almost about 5 oíclock in the eve some of the guns from both sides began to talk again. You ought to see how we all crawl off. The [unintelligible] every body hunt their holes.
July 4th 1863
Everything still. Orders to clean up and put a days ration in haversacks. No firing on the line. This morning about 8 oíclock we get the news that Vicksburg has surrendered. Geníl Loganís division is to take possession. We look off to the city. We see the Stars and Stripes go up on the court and then hear the salute from the fleet. Geníl Grant and McPherson and staff and body guard, Logan and his division and then Com. A. the Confederates march out and stack their arms. Then we all go in. What a 4th. We are put on Provo Guard as soon as we came into the city. We have to hustle some of the Confederates out to their cam as they had commenced to pillage the houses. We gave away about all of our provision when we came into the city to the half starved sick. We had orders to take possession of the big livery and stable but found it was stinking of dead bodies that ought to have been buried 5 or 6 days ago so we camp in the streets. Our teams with camp stuff has not come in. will not get in before tomorrow and Iíve nothing to eat, ourselves or horses.
July 5th 1863
We are on Provo patrolling the city. Our teams came in this morning. We are camped in a nice lawn to a buck house which we are using for a hospital.
July 5th 1863 Ė Vicksburg
Confederates are to be paroled as fast as their officers can make out the papers. Confederate officers are on the drunk most of the time. We had to talk pretty loud to some of them.