Diary of a Yankee Engineer: The Civil War Story of John H. Westervelt, Engineer, 1st New York Volunteer Engineer Corps

By John H. Westervelt; Anita Palladino | Go to book overview

(Numbers 11 and 12 are illegible. Much of No. 13 is illegible;
meaningless fragments are excluded.)

No. 13

… today a trial was made of a [machine], it is called a sap roller,1 and is … 1 inch in diameter in a hoop. The poles are of the toughest kind and it is designed for the … to roll in front of the [men] where they are … which send shot through it …

Another sergeant then went in his place and we got a … The affair will blow over in a day or two [and] be forgotten by the Co…. the rebels had left. It is reported to day as a fact that the C….

9th A new invention in the shape of a light is about to be tested … or calcium so placed in batteries as to blind the enemy. 10th An order was issued to day prohibiting soldiers from writing to their families as to our intended movements, strength of the number of guns &c.

11th Last night the light was tried but as near as I can tell … the deception is affected. Take 150 guns for 24 hours each having a shot every five minutes and it will equal the cost of … Let me know the result. 4th more heavy guns [going] off today 12th The monitors that have been … 13th … I had a new dish to day. It consisted of shark steak. One of our company while fishing to day caught [one] about 5 ft long. Most of the men here … Hotchkiss, myself and a few others took what we could use and then [gave] it away. The meat looks beautiful but is coarse and has not that fine flavor of the … in New York but to men who seldom see fresh fish and are hungry for it was eaten with a keen relish. I have eaten what is called dog fish here that we [catch] when fishing [that is] equal to the best fish I [ever had] … thousands of them around N. Y. They are about 2 feet long and … much. I have been quite unwell for the last three days with cold in my bowels, my appetite having left me, but the shark steak wet

1. Sap rollers were large wicker baskets filled with stones rolled in front of “sappers” to protect them from enemy fire. (Civil War Encyclopedia, p. 658.)

-26-

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