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Old December 30, 2007, 01:09 PM   #246
4V50 Gary
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 19,383
Don't bring a handgrenade to a bomb fight

At Vicksburg, the Union soldiers hurled their handgrenades into the nearby Confederate trenches. The Confederates were dug in along the ridge line, which silhouetted them against the skyline and made them easy to pick off. The Federal trenches were downhill from the Confederates.

The hand-grenades were small shells about the size of a goose egg, filled with little bullets, probably larger than a buck-shot; they never exploded before hitting the ground, and only then when hitting a hard place, as they were fired by friction, and not by fuses. They wounded several of the regiment in the legs, generally slightly, but killed no one within my knowledge, always bursting too low to strike a vital park.

In return for the hand-grenades, our regiment, whose position was more elevated than the enemy's, threw shells, varying from six to ninety pounds, into his works, many of which did great execution; but we did not know it at the time, and this sort of shelling was not kept up: it was only after the siege that we learned, if it had been sustained, especially with the heavy shells, the works there would have been untenable.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
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