August 29, 1863, Part II, “we are having some exciting times here now.”

Union artillery continued to shell Chattanooga and other points along the south bank on a regular basis, doing considerable damage. Quartermaster Sergeant Ed N. Brown of the 45th Alabama (S.A.M. Wood’s Brigade, Cleburne’s Division, Breckinridge’s Corps) recorded one such incident: 

Camp at Blue Spring, August 29th, 1863,

My darling Fannie,

We are having some exciting times here now. The Yankees are shelling some point in hearing every day. They came to our post on Thursday evening about 2 o’clock opened on us with a battery from a hill on the opposite side of the river. The first shot took us entirely by surprise. It hit a little to the right of the camp and exploded about forty yards in rear of my tent. I ran into the wagon yard and began to call “turn out the mules, turn out the mules,” & a second shot came whizzing right over my head & exploded [with]in a few steps of the Col’s ten; by this time we had turned loose the stock & they were running round perfectly frantic. The third shot struck in the wagon yard & exploded & tore off the right leg of one man & shattered the leg of another man so that it had to be amputated near the hip.

It also wounded two other men slightly, killed one horse instantly & tore three mules so that they are ruined. This shell exploded [with]in twenty steps of me & I thought I was about gone but fortune favored me & I did not get a scratch. The place got to hot for me about this time & I sought shelter behind a neighboring hill. They kept shelling us for some hour but did no other damage.

We had a battery here but our guns did not return a shot. It seems to be the policy not to shoot at them unless they attempt to cross. Bragg may want them to cross that we may fight them on this side of the river.

On September 1st, Brown would certify to the death of one mule by this shelling, and the permanent injury of another; the paperwork preserved as part of his army service record file. 

One Response to “August 29, 1863, Part II, “we are having some exciting times here now.””

  1. Closing In on Chickamauga in the Words of the Soldiers Themselves | Emerging Civil War Says:

    […] A few weeks ago, Dave Powell said he’d be honoring the Chickamauga campaign by offering a number of first-hand accounts leading up to the battle over at his personal site, the Chickamauga Blog. If you’ve been following along, you can attest to the word of one soldier who said, “We are having some exciting times here now.” […]

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