June 13, 1863

16Saturday.  Had baked beans for breakfast which were much relished by us all.  One of Co. “A” came in this morning, & reports that the nine other missing men of their Co. are all alive & near the enemy’s breastworks, but have had nothing to eat since yesterday morning.  He is going to try to get back to them with some provisions.  A small mail came in just after breakfast, containing three letters from home (from Father, mother, & Pamelia, all dated May 25th).  I thank our heavenly Father that he has preserved the lives & health of all the loved ones at home, & give them all things needful for their comfort & happiness.  May he grant that we may all meet again on the shores of time.  All but one of Co. “A”’s men have just got in safely.  Came out this morning in command of the picket guard.  Sharp musketry firing all the forenoon.   About need the cannon & mortars began to work, & the sounds indicate that the batteries are busy on a considerable portion of the line.  Whether the general bombardment has begun, I cannot yet determine (1 o’clock).  The works appears to have opened in earnest all along the line–the mortar boats on the river sending their huge shells over the enemy’s works, & the guns on this part of the line are firing every five minutes.  Lord, prosper the enterprise, and permit us speedily to rejoice at the capture of this stronghold of rebellion, for thy name’s sake.  After the bombardment had lasted about 1 ½ hours, a cessation was ordered (to await the result of a flag of truce sent over to the enemy, it is said) & there has been but little artillery firing since, though the musketry firing has been almost incessant for the last two hours.  (Now sunset) I have taken a nap here on my post this afternoon as I do not expect to sleep at all tonight.  I think it quite likely that we may be ordered to move against the enemy in the morning if not during the night.  The Lord have us in his most holy keeping.  I watched till about midnight, when the pickets were relieved by Capt. Putnam, & three companies went back to camp & took our places, in line, & moved off toward the left.  Got breakfast near the Cook houses & reached the road leading to Port Hudson about daylight.  Soon after heard the sound of the fight, musketry & artillery.  Our Brigade halted in the wood & lay down & waited till perhaps 7 o’clock.

Diary of Isaac Winslow Case [Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection]

One thought on “June 13, 1863

  1. These are all so fascinating as we move toward the major events of July 4, 1863. Also on this date, McClernand finally made a big slip-up — so he will soon be out of the picture on the western waters — to everyone’s advantage (except Pemberton’s).


    And, at the same time, Grant is sending Chaplain John Eaton to Washington to discuss his plans for the African Americans — an initiative which (after some evolution) will ultimately be taken over by Oliver Otis Howard.


    Lots happening, and lots going to happen!