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

Journal of an expedition against
Charleston.

No. 22.

Afternoon Sunday 29th Rained till near sunset so we did not get to Folly. Just as the sun was about to set the clouds lifted in the west and old sol gave us a parting smile as he retired below the horizon and leaving one of the most gorgeous displays of clouds painted in gold and purple it has been my good fortune to witness. As the sun went down the wind suddenly shifted northwest and began to get cooler. At 9 P.M. I go to bed to get warm. 30th This morning is clear and stinging cold. On the surface of the water in my wash tub is what may be called ice, but looks more like a mosquito net. 1st It is still colder this morning with ice 1 in thick. This is probably as cold as we will have it this winter. If it were not for the wind I should not mind the cold. It is that which together with our thin blood consequent upon the poor food we live upon makes us feel it more. The air instead of blowing against our uniforms seems to pass through us like a sieve. Still I cannot say that we suffer. I think of the poor soldiers in Virginia and other colder climates than this. How the poor fellows stand it in places no warmer than N.Y. State I can hardly tell. At 12 M a salute of 100 guns was fired in honor of the defeat of the forces under the rebel Genl Bragg.1 We have not particulars yet, but it seems enough is known to make it safe to say a great victory has been won by our arms in that vicinity. This was the occasion of raising the first flags on our batterys. The fleet in the harbor and all the transports, steamers and small craft were literally alive with flags. While the salute was being fired Moultrie got mad and pitched in adding to the general uproar but our boys only laughed at their puny efforts. One economical individual remarked that we ought to save our

1. General Braxton Bragg, feeling responsible for the defeat, wired his resignation to Richmond. It was accepted on November 30, 1863. Long, Civil War Day by Day, p. 441.

-65-

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