Benjamin F. Boring Collection


Letter from Benjamin F. Boring
to William C. Jones

June 18, 1863

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                                            Rear of Vicksburg
                                                         June 18" 1863.

    Willie. C. Jones.
                           I received a letter from you
today-was glad as usual to hear from
you and am very thankful for those Stamps
you sent me they are a cash article here and
cannot be obtained for that.  I believe I have
written you once since I came here, dont Remember
exactly if I have or not.  I have just come in
from the Riflepits--the Regiment was out there
yesterday and last night Sharp Shooting.  We had
a gay old time. Shooting at the Rebs" all day
and talking with them all night.  Our pits are
some places in 40 yards of the Rebels and in other
places they are 80 and a 100 yards apart.  My pit is
about 60 yards from the Rebel fort.  My Enfield
will kill a Reb" 900 yards too dead to Skin so
you can imagine what it would do at 60 and a
100.  The Rebs" are scarce of ammunition and seldom
reply to our guns. they keep very close behind their
works and it is a rare chance that we get to see
even an old hat show its self from behind their works.



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Our cannon and mortars are working on them
all the time droping their balls and shells in their
Riflepits and along their lines of fortification.
Some go clear over and explode in the city.
Last night shortly after dark the Rebs" hollowed
over to us to cease firing they wanted to talk
with us.  Our company quit  Shooting and presently
the whole Regiment had ceased the boys commenced
asking questions on miscellaneous subjects.  One
of them (A Georgian) asked us if we had any

offee we told him we had plenty of it--we
told him if he would meet a couple of us
half way we would give him some coffee
and hard Bread. he agreed to come if we
would pledge our honor we would  not shoot
at him- of course we done so and Montgomery
and Alexander Anderson of our Company went
out to meet him. They met in the hollow about
half way and talked together some time. we
gave him some coffee and some Hard tacks and
a Newspaper.  The boys did not get much
out of him he was a pretty Sharp fellow and
did not give them much information. they acknow
-ledge our guns to be greatly superior to theirs-he
was astonished at us shooting away so much


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ammunition at them said they had plenty of
Provision such as it is. Rice-molasses-Sugar and
meal made of corn and beans.  They said they
could live in there as long as we can outside
but I believe as much of that as I please you
Know.  I think they will do well to live in
there a week longer.  They think  Old Johnson is
coming to attack us in the rear and compell us
to raise the Siege. But in that they are as badly
mistakened as the Boy was when he burned his
Shirt. for we have about 60,000 troops and are
well fortified back there. Our wings are
also well guarded so let them come from where
they please we can upon all occasions present to
them an unbroken front.  There are [8?] Rebel forts
here in front of our corps.  our Division is
working out the center one- we have 2.84 Pound
Guns and two 32 Pounders mounted in 600 yards
of the fort an a Batterry of 6 [Pdns"?] closer still.
the walls are all battered down by our cannon
and the fort looks like nothing but a heap of
ruins.  We are diging a ditch into it 5 feet deep
and 7 wide.  Our Co" and Co" C' was detailed to
dig in it day before yesterday.  we dug about 10
feet and quit at night 30 feet from the fort.



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who kept such a pecking away at them they could
not get their heads high enough above their works
to shoot at us--We throw the dirt out on each side of us
and are protected in the front by Bales of cotten that
we rolled along as we dug.  About noon the Rebs"
commenced throwing clod s of dirt and stones over into
our ditch the Boys threw back at them, that gave the
Rebs" range of us and they commenced throwing
hand granades (A small bombshell thrown by hand)
4 of them came close to the ditch 2 of them exploded and
2 did not.  several of them came to the top of the fort
and rolled back, inside.  none of them came into our
ditch-we all stood with our shouvels ready if
they did to toss them back again.  But we soon
soured  that on them like everything else we have
an abundant supply of hand grenades of Kinds and
sizes we brought a lot them in and lit them
and tossed them over, as we threw them we would
hollor [Antni?]over over it comes, we gave them
8 or 10 and went to work again and worked on until
night we was not molested any more and I have
not heared anything more about hand granades
since.  So you see we beat them at their own game.
I believe I will not tell you any more today--I
could write you a great deal more if I had the patience
and thought it was interesting for you to read--I wish
you was here Will you could see and [scense?] of this great
drama and I think if you was here in the army a
short time it would prove  a valuable lesson to you
you must write to me as often as convenient and
Remember me to my friends if you should happen to
stumble on any of them back in old Crawford.  If Helen
has given me the mitten I will wear it and not grumble
I would not give a Fig for a  Gale that could not wait

years-If she forsakes me I will lay my [?] warrent
some place else.  I received all the Papers you sent me
and will be glad to receive a copy of the new one.
Captain Meily. Frank Winter and D.E. Beers are Prisoners.
Meily is severly wounded.  I have not heard from
them for several weeks.  Lt" Pouk of Co" A" is [commanding?]
Co"D"  Yours as ever Ben. F. Boring



  *Note to researcher:  This letter has been transcribed by Archives staff verbatim
as the words appear on the original written page.  The spacing, punctuation, and
capitalization are identical.  Words that are unclear have been enclosed in brackets.