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

Diary of an Engineer During the
Rebellion

No. 18, 1863

8th Continued. During the day I borrowed a glass and had a view of surrounding objects which is excellent from this point. Here you can see Moultie, Castle Pinckney, Fort Ripley & Johnston and batteries Bee and Fort Beaugard and a host of others that I do not know the names of. We see the busy city with all its factories & foundrys in full operation. Vessels are lying at the wharf but not much life about them. With a good glass persons can be seen walking the streets. It looks pleasant to us who have been living in the sand so long. I often think how close we are and yet how far away, and then I think perhaps there are yet more months than miles between us and the City. Sumter is a curious spectacle from this point but so I have described it before I will not undertake the task again. No gun has been fired from the fort for weeks. 9th Up to Wagner again this morning. The enemys fire is as heavy as yesterday but less effectual up to 12M when we finished and returned to the city there was but one wounded. I cannot help but think if the men would be more careful there would be fewer killed and wounded. In every fatigue party there is one or more appointed to watch whose duty it is to watch and call cover when ever he sees the flash of a gun leaving the fort or battery at the same time. This gives ample time to seek cover (which is provided at the commencement of every work) before the shot or shell arrives. But men get careless after a few days on the works and neglect that which costs many a one his life or a limb. Yesterday I noticed that not withstanding the great danger, not more than one third covered. I hear an order has been issued making it punishable not to cover when cover is called, but if the fear of death will not do it, no fear of any lesser punishment will have the desired effect.

10, 11, 12th The last three days have been easy times with

-46-

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