131 HISTORY OF THE SEVENTY-EIGHTH REGIMENT O.V.V.I.
THE SIEGE OF VICKSBURG.
THE SEVENTY-EIGHTH OHIO ENGAGED – CONDITION OF THE WOUNDED – INTERESTING SCENES AND INCIDENTS DURING THE SIEGE.
IN REAR OF VICKSBURG,
June 1, 1863. }
The regiment at present has gone with others on a scout after General Joe Johnston, who is reported to be gathering a force in our rear, but up to Saturday they had seen nothing of him. He was not at the point reported to our men. Our forces, we understand, were pushing on toward Yazoo City, to capture a small force of rebels reported there, and also to take their fleet of transports and stores at that place. We look for the return of the regiment in a day or two. They are very anxious to meet Johnston's force.
None of those wounded of Company E have died, but are getting along well, far beyond the Surgeon's expectations. Beisaker, Weller, Rassell and Russell, are still back in the hospital at Champion Hills; they will be brought to the hospital here in a few days. Nearly all the wounded and sick at Raymond and Champion Hills have been paroled by the rebel guerillas. They paroled some who died the same day. They paroled our nurses waiting upon the secesh wounded, and took some of them to Jackson as prisoners; and when our forces had left in pursuit of the enemy, the guerrillas captured the few ambulances detailed to carry the rebel wounded to the hospital, and drove them off, leaving their own wounded lying upon the field of battle. I wonder if the generous sympathizers in the North will approve this act of humane generosity.
I spent part of the day yesterday in our Division hospital. About three hundred wounded are there, all doing well under the skillful management of Surgeon Reeves, and others. Several of the Seventy-Eighth Ohio boys are there. A visit to one of these hospitals impresses us deeply with the sad effects of war, and the dread results of an engagement in battle. Every description of wounds are seen. The loss of limbs, to me, seems the greatest, and the most to be regretted. It is surprising to see how cheerful the wounded are. How patient, submissive and grateful. The scene impresses a bystander with the deepest feelings of sadness.
The Adjutant of the Seventy-Eighth – H. Abbott, of Zanesville – I presume is dead. The last word from him was, he would not live many days. He was shot through the neck, also breaking his skull. Our men have had a hard campaign; for more than two weeks they made every day a full day's march, and fought a successful battle almost every day. They started with five days' rations, and lived upon it seventeen; of course the country had to suffer, especially the cellars, smoke-houses and poultry yards. They also destroyed a sufficient quantity of provisions to supply our army for months.
Matters about Vicksburg are in statu quo. The rebel army is still in holes, and dare not come out. The two armies can converse with each other. All our artillery is planted within two hundred yards of their forts. It is reported by deserters that the citizens of Vicksburg presented General Pemberton a petition to surrender; but he
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