Monday, July 21, 2014

July 21, 1864: "Digging, apparently at some depth, was heard . . .

Major General Bushrod Johnson, C.S. Army
On this day 150 years ago, Bushrod Johnson included a disturbing detail is his daily report from his division's section of the Confederate lines at Petersburg, Virginia. Johnson's men thought they could hear digging deep underground near their positions and Johnson asked for and engineer officer to be sent to investigate.
HEADQUARTERS JOHNSON'S DIVISION, July 21, 1864.

COLONEL: No change has been observed on the part of the enemy since last report; the sharpshooting slackened yesterday, but toward night became as brisk as usual. General Gracie requests that the engineer be sent to his line to sink a mine, as digging, apparently at some depth, was heard in his front yesterday.

The following casualties are respectfully submitted: Elliott's brigade, wounded, 2. Ransom's brigade, killed, 1. Wise's brigade, killed, 1 (carelessly); wounded, 1. Gracie's brigade, wounded, 5 (2 carelessly). Total, 2 killed and 8 wounded.

The following is a statement of the amount of shells and lead picked up on yesterday: Wise's brigade, 10 shells and 5,300 balls. Elliott's brigade, 10 fuses, 2,300 bullets, 14 solid shot, 100 fragments shells, 5 Wiard shells, 5 shrapnel, and 9 Parrott shells. Ransom's brigade, 15 Hotchkiss shells and some lead.

I am, colonel, respectfully, your obedient servant,
B. R. JOHNSON,

Major-General.

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