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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

April 18, 1863

Soldier Wrote of Vicksburg Encounter

A Georgia soldier writing to his wife from Mississippi related an account, albeit somewhat exaggerated, of the encounter between Union boats and Confederate gunners on April 16. In fact, only one boat was seriously damaged.

“…There was 17 boats come down the river Thursday night, and our folks opened fire on them and destroyed seven of them, sunk some and burnt some of them. The other seven is between Vicksburg and Warrenton. Dear Wife, I never heard such shooting before. It roll[ed] like thunder. The noise woke me up. I got up and went out of the tent and stood and looked and listen[ed], and I then went back into the tent and lay down. But I had not been lay down long before the drum beat for us to fall in line for battle, and it was about 1 o’clock in the night and we marched about two miles. But before we got there the firing sort of ceased. We then had to stay there about one or two hours before we was released. …” Source: Mills Lane (ed.), “Dear Mother: Don’t grieve about me. If I get killed, I’ll only be dead.”: Letters from Georgia Soldiers in the Civil War (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1990), p. 226.