Thursday, June 20, 2013

June 20, 1863

June 20, 1863

---Siege of Vicksburg, Day 29

---Siege of Port Hudson, Day 24

---Jenkin Lloyd Jones, a Wisconsin artilleryman in the trenches before Vicksburg, writes in his journal of the artillery duel there on this date:

Before Vicksburg, Saturday, June 20. Awakened this morning by lively reveille from the muzzle of the 9-inch columbiads which opened at 9 A. M., followed by the 30-pound Parrott, then light battery, and a continued crash from all points for six hours, when, at 10 A. M. firing ceased. Whether the stronghold was weakened or not by the process is not known. Our piece alone threw two hundred rounds. The two regiments of infantry were posted in the rear during the fighting. Logan’s men on the enemy’s works digging. Three horses wounded and one negro in the evening from sharp-shooters.

---Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles, writes in his journal of Sen. Charles Sumner of Massachusetts haranguing against Gen. Joseph Hooker, and why the Army ought to be rid of him:

Sumner’s opinion and estimate of men does not agree with Chase’s. Sumner expresses an absolute want of confidence in Hooker; says he knows him to be a blasphemous wretch; that after crossing the Rappahannock and reaching Centerville, Hooker exultingly exclaimed, “The enemy is in my power, and God Almighty cannot deprive me of them.” I have heard before of this, but not so direct and positive. The sudden paralysis that followed, when the army in the midst of a successful career was suddenly checked and commenced its retreat, has never been explained. Whiskey is said by Sumner to have done the work. The President said if Hooker had been killed by the shot which knocked over the pillar that stunned him, we should have been successful.

---Stephen Minot Weld, a young officer in the XI Corps of the Army of the Potomac, writes home while he is on the march in northern Virginia, as the Federal army begins to pursue Gen. Lee:

I am perfectly well, and was never better in my life. In regard to the position of our Army, I shall say but little, as this letter might be captured. The corps are mostly round about this country, however.

I have not heard from home for some eight or nine days. We have not been able to get our mails, on account of our frequent marches.
A correspondent of the New York Tribune has been arrested this morning for publishing the movements of the different corps. . . .

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