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Men who have shown so much endurance and courage as those now in Vicksburg will always challenge the respect of an adversary, and, I can assure you, will be treated with all the respect due them as prisoners of war. I do not favor the proposition of appointing commissioners to arrange terms of capitulation, because I have no other terms than those indicated above. "I am, General, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
“ U. S. GRANT, Major-General.”
GENERAL GRANT'S OFFER FOR THE SURRENDER.
"HEAD-QUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF TENNESSEE,
“NEAR VICKSBURG, July 3, 1863. “ Lieutenant-General J. C. PEMBERTON, commanding Confederate Forces, Vicksburg,
“GENERAL:—In conformity with the agreement of this afternoon, I will submit the following proposition for the surrender of the city of Vicksburg, public stores, &c. On your accepting the terms proposed, I will march in one division, as a guard, and take possession at eight o'clock to-morrow morning. As soon as paroles can be made out and signed by the officers and men, you will be allowed to march out of our lines, the officers taking with them their regimental clothing, and staff, field, and cavalry officers one horse each. The rank and file will be allowed all their clothing, but no other property.
“If these conditions are accepted, any amount of rations you may deem necessary can be taken from the stores you now have, and also the necessary cooking utensils for preparing them; thirty wagons also, counting two two-horse or mule teams as one. You will be allowed to transport such articles as cannot be carried along. The same conditions will be allowed to all sick and wounded officers and privates, as fast as they become able to travel. The paroles for these latter must be signed, however, whilst officers are present, authorized to sign the roll of prisoners. "I am, General, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
“U. S. GRANT, Major-General."
REPLY OF GENERAL PEMBERTON, ACCEPTING ALL THE TERMS
OFFERED BY GENERAL GRANT.
“HEAD-QUARTERS, VICKSBURG, July 3, 1863. “Major-General GRANT, commanding United States Forces:
"GENERAL,-I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of this date, proposing terms for the surrender of this garrison and post. In the main your terms are accepted; but in justice both to the honor and spirit of my troops, manifested in the defence of Vicksburg, I have the honor to submit the following amendments, which, if acceded to by you, will perfect the agreement between us; At ten o'clock to-morrow I propose to evacuate the works in and around Vicksburg, and to surrender the city and garrison under my command by marching out with my colors and arms, and stacking them in front of my present limits, after which you will take possession; officers to retain their side-arms and personal property, and the rights and property of citizens to be respected. “I am, General, yours very respectfully,
"J. C. PEMBERTON, Lieutenant-General.”
To this General Grant immediately replied as follows:
“HEAD-QUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF TENNESSEE, L
“BEFORE VICKSBURG, July 4, 1863. 3 “ Lieutenant-General PEMBERTON, commanding Forces in Vicksburg:
"GENERAL:--I have the honor to acknowledge your communication of the 3d of July. The amendments proposed by you cannot be acceded to in full. It will be necessary to furnish every officer and man with a parole signed by himself, which, with the completion of the rolls of prisoners, will necessarily take some time. Again, I can make no stipulation with regard to the treatment of citizens and their private property. While I do not propose to cause any of them any undue annoyance or loss, I cannot consent to leave myself under restraint by stipulations. The property which officers can be allowed to take with them will be as stated in the proposition of last eveningthat is, that officers will be allowed their private baggage and side-arms, and mounted officers one horse each. If you mean by your proposition for each brigade to march to the front of the lines now occupied by it, and stack their arms at ten o'clock A. X., and then return to the inside and remain as prisoners until properly paroled, I will make no objections to it. Should no modification be made of your acceptance of my terms by nine o'clock A. M., I shall regard them as having been rejected, and act accordingly. Should these terms be accepted, white flags will be displayed along your lines, to prevent such of my troops as may not have been notified from firing on your men. “I am, General, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
*U. S. GRANT, Major-General U. S. A."
To this the subjoined answer was received :
“HEAD-QUARTERS, VICKSBURG, July 4, 1863. “ Major-General U. S. GRANT, commanding United States Forces, &c. :
"GENERAL:- I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of this date, and, in reply, to say that the terms proposed by you are accepted. " Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
" J. C. PEMBERTON, Lieutenant-General."
In accordance with these stipulations the surrender took place at once, and three hours elapsed before the stacking of arms was completed. At one o'clock the Seventeenth Corps was designated to take possession of the city. The number of prisoners exceeded thirtyfour thousand, and the killed, wounded, and stragglers reached nearly twelve thousand. The Union loss was officially reported by General Grant as follows:
Killed. Wounded. Missing. Port Gibson.......
718 Fourteen Mile Creek (skirmish)
240 Champion's Hill.
1,842 Big Black Railroad Bridge.....
Of the wounded, many were but slightly injured, and continued on duty; many more required but a few days or weeks for their recorery. Not more than one-half of the wounded were permanently disabled.
There were captured in Vicksburg, and during the previous battles, three hundred and one cannon and forty-five thousand small-arms.
The causes which have led to this stupendous result may be briefly summed up as follows: The Vicksburg garrison was, in round numbers, forty thousand at the commencement of the siege. It was driven within the walls of the city after a hopeless attempt to protect the line of railroad communication with Jackson. Defeated, dispirited, and worn, the troops retired within their line of intrenchments, and at once set to work to repair their shattered organization and perfect their defences. In the two or three days which elapsed before Grant's arrival, they rallied. They had their provisions for thirty
days left. Unless they could drive off the besiegers within that time, they were inevitably doomed.
Johnston, who had arrived in Central Mississippi in time to gather together the fragments of a demoralized army, found before him a herculean task in restoring it to shape and spirit. He was short of artillery, transportation, and cavalry, and his supplies he had to draw from great distances.
The insuperable difficulty was the strength of our army, and the great advantage of our position. Once on the top of the Chickasaw ridge, and we were almost impregnable, with our flanks defended by gunboats. The prime cause of the rebel defeat lay with the War Department at Richmond, which had drained the South to sustain the Virginia army. The second cause was the mistake of venturing beyond the Big Black River to give battle. This was Pemberton's blunder. What Grant remarked after the battle of Champion Hills was true. Vicksburg was virtually won then, and the great battle, decisive of the fate of the Mississippi Valley, gained by the valor of our Western troops.
The stock of provisions soon grew short. Already the garrison were reduced to the offal and dregs of their commissaries. Mule meat, while not eaten as a necessity, had become preferable to their pickled beef. Pork was all gone, four used up. Corn unground, for the most part, was left in limited supply. But the worst difficulty was that of ammunition. Only ten percussion-caps to the man were found in their pouches. Originally short of this species of ammunition, they had received forty-two thousand through the lines since the investment. Of cartridges they had very few. Their medicines were scanty. Nearly six thousand men were in hospital, and continually exposed to the dangers of plunging shells; delicate women and children, crying for bread, and wailing for the loss of friends around them, were compelled to seek refuge from bursting shells and shot, in caves scooped out in the steep banks overhanging the Mississippi. It must have been a strong heart that could have held out longer. One cause for determining the time of surrender was undoubtedly the apprehension, that on the 4th General Grant would attack. The result would be the sack and pillage of the city and great slaughter. The capitulation avoided all, without loss of honor.
The following is a chronological record of the siege of Vicksburg, from its first inception :
May 12, 1862.–Flag-officer Farragut demands the surrender.
April 27,-Fire opened from peninsula batteries.
May 19.-General Steele carries the rifle-pits, and General Grant's right and left rests upon the river.
May 22.-An unsuccessful assault made by General Grant.
This short campaign of General Grant, so eminently successful, relieved the gloom in which the Union cause was at that moment enveloped. A succession of defeats had resulted in the invasion of Pennsylvania, and in all sections the tendency of affairs was adverse to the Federal arms. A certain degree of despondency was beginning to be apparent at the North, and dissatisfaction with the Administration was more decided. The defeat of Lee at Gettysburg was the first gleam of light, but the defeat would probably have been less decided had not the news of the fall of Vicksburg decided General Lee to retreat. Meantime strong efforts had been made to have General Grant removed. These, fortunately, had no influence on the President, who, in July, addressed the following letter to the conqueror of Vicksburg :
“ EXECUTIVE MANsion, WASHINGTON, July 13, 1863. “ Major-General GRANT:
"MY DEAR GENERAL:—I do not remember that you and I ever met personally. I write this now as a grateful acknowledgment for the almost inestimable service you have done the country. I wish to say a word further. When you first reached the vicinity of Vicksburg, I thought you should do what you finally did-march the troops across the neck, run the batteries with the transports, and thus go below; and I never had any faith except & general hope that you knew better than I, that the Yazoo Pass expedition and the like could succeed. When you got below, and took Port Gibson, Grand Gulf, and vicinity, I thought you should go down the river and join General Banks, and when you turned northward east of the Big Black, I feared it was a mistake I now wish to make the personal acknowledgment that you were right and I was wrong.
While these events were taking place in the inmediate neighborhood of Vicksburg, a remarkable cavalry raid was executed by Colonel Grierson, of the Illinois Cavalry. On the 17th of April, his troops, consisting of the Sixth and Seventh Illinois, and First Iowa Cavalry, numbering one thousand seven hundred men, left Lagrange, Tennessee, for the enemy's country. They took a southerly course running parallel with the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, until they were in the latitude of Vicksburg, when they struck a southwesterly course, and reached Baton Rouge on the 2d of May, having travelled eight hundred miles. In their journey through the enemy's country they had nomerous en. counters, killing and wounding numbers of the enemy, and taking hundreds of prisoners, horses, and blacks-subsisted themselves—destroyed
much property in bridges and trestles, some two hundred cars, ammunition, stores, clothing-played havoc with the telegraphs and three principal railroads, by which the beleaguered troops on the Mississippi depenied for communication and aid from the interior, and which would take them many weeks to repair, even if they had the facilities
—and all this with the loss of only one killed and six wounded. This daring feat produced great satisfaction at the North generally, and was received as an offset to some of the cavalry inroads of the enemy.
Expedition of General Banks.-Investment of Port Hudson.—Unsuccessful Assaults.
-Brashear City.-Capitulation of Port Hudson.-Chronology of Events.
EARLY in December, 1862, an expedition, which had long been in preparation with the utmost secrecy, left New York under the command of Major-General Banks.* The public were not aware of the destination and objects of the expedition until, on the 15th of December, it arrived at New Orleans, and General Banks superseded General Butler, whose administration, able and severe, and admirably adapted to curb an insolent and turbulent populace, had not failed to raise against him hosts of enemies. There can be little doubt, however, that the course pursued by General Butler was the only one which circumstances permitted. He found the city full of the elements of disturbance, and he transferred it to Banks pacified, and, if not loyal, at least resigned to its condition.
Preparations were soon in progress for a movement up the river against Port Hudson, which barred the ascent of the river as Vicksburg did the descent. Port Hudson is the Gibraltar of the Lower Mississippi. It is in East Feliciana parish, Louisiana, on the left bank of the Mississippi, about a hundred and fifty-six miles by river above New Orleans, and twenty-five miles above Baton Rouge. Although a small village, it was noted for its extensive shipment of cotton and sugar, drawn chiefly from Mississippi by the Clinton Railroad. The fortifications were immensely strong, and the Confederates were confident of suc
* Nathaniel Prentiss Banks was born in Walt- I Stonewall Jackson to retreat across the Potomac. ham, Mass., in 1816, and commenced life as an He had an active part in the campaign under Pope operative in a cotton-mill in that town. Sub- in Virginia, and commanded at the battle of Cedar sequently he became a lecturer and political speak. Mountain. In the ensuing winter he took charge er, was admitted to the bar, and in 1849 elected to of the expedition destined to co-operate in openthe lower House of the Massachusetts Legislature. ing the Mississippi, and succeeded General Butler He officiated as speaker of that body in 1851 and in command at New Orleans. In the spring of 1852. In 1858 he presided over the Massachusetts | 1863 he conducted a successful expedition through Constitutional Convention, and also entered Con- | Southern Louisiana, and after several months' siege gress. He was re-elected to the latter body in | received the capitulation of Port Hudson in July. 1855, and became its speaker. From 1858 to 1861 In the spring of 1864 he commanded the disastrous he was Governor of Massachusetts. In May of Red River expedition, destined to open the region the latter year he was commissioned & major- of Western Louisiana to trade, and defeat or disgeneral of volunteers, and in the succeeding sum-perse the rebel forces there. He retained his demer took command on the Upper Potomac. In partment after this, but was not again actively the spring of 1862 he drove the rebels op the
8 up the employed in the field. In May, 1865, he resigned valley of the Shenandoah, but was compelled by his commission and returned to civil life.