was when, after four days, the town of Brandon
, ten miles east of Jackson
, was reached.
It had been generally supposed by the men that their paroles gave them the right to go home as soon as they could get there, and without restrictions.
Many had already deserted to the Trans-Mississippi
, despite the aid of Federal guard-boats to check the stream.
But when, at Brandon
, it was learned that the cars would not receive them to take them home, and that they were to march to Enterprise, and there go into parole camp, their indignation burst all bounds.
Efforts were made, by moving the switch, to throw the trains, on which General Johnston
was removing supplies from Jackson
, from the track; and the officers had to draw and threaten to use their side-arms before the mob could be subdued.
One man got up in the plaza of Brandon
and offered to be one of fifty to go and hang Pemberton
, the traitor.
What further befell these mad patriots I cannot, as a spectator, narrate, for a sick leave enabled me to depart on the last train from Jackson
that went east-riding to Enterprise on the top of a freight car, at the end of a long train, and exposed to worse risk, I believe, for those forty miles than even in the Vicksburg court
I ought to remark that one pleasing feature of the march through Mississippi
was the habit which women and children had of coming out to the fences and inquiring what made us surrender Vicksburg
The demoralization of the garrison extended beyond the State
the guard of the provost marshal came down to the wharf to stop the prisoners who had gotten so far, and to put them in parole camp at that point.
The prisoners attacked them, broke through the line, and flung some of them into the gutter.
They soon yielded to reason, however, and surrendered their paroles to the provost marshal
And this was the last I saw of the ill-starved garrison until, at Enterprise
, Mr. Davis
told them that Bragg
would pave Rosecrans
' way in gold if he (Bragg
) could get the Federal
general to attack him on Lookout Mountain
— with more of the same sort; and where Johnston
, following, spoke more to the point, in saying: “Soldiers!
I hope to see you soon, with arms in your hands, in the presence of the enemy!”
Who was to blame?
The answer is, everybody-nobody.
There were great adverse odds to begin with.
, according to Badeau
, had 130,000 men at his disposal with which to effect the reduction of Vicksburg
; while the effectives of Johnston
combined-and they were never combined-never reached one-third that number.
was too sick when he arrived at Jackson
to take command in the field ( “Narrative,” page 187), an