was added to the victor's crown.
The siege, though not especially long, had been severe.
On the 22d of May, Grant
, under the impression that the enemy had been demoralized by their defeat at Champion hills, gave ear to the general cry of soldiers and officers to “storm the works.”
On the 19th, we had assaulted and failed.
For days the batteries had been receiving enormous additions of ammunition, and, all the morning of the day designated for the attack, Vicksburg
trembled under the most terrific cannonade from every gun on the line.
Men were detailed to spring before the advancing line, with ladders and planks to aid us in getting over ditches.
It was a forlorn hope-this little party of brave men, advancing with their ladders to certain death.
At the given signal, the storming lines uncovered, and, advancing, were met by the most terrible crashing of musketry.
The ditches were deep and wide, and the earthworks, bristling with red-mouthed cannon, were very high.
At places, too, the enemy were outside of the breastworks, hidden behind bags of sand, from which they, with safety to themselves, delivered a galling fire.
Others, again, during the night, had dug holes more than breast-deep, in which they stood, as the line advanced, and picked off, at ease, our men with ladders.
Still, in face of all this, and in the heat of a broiling sun, our troops advanced to the very ditches, only to be driven back by a fire that no body of soldiers could withstand.
It was of no use; we were attempting the impossible.
Many lives were being sacrificed, and nothing gained.
Some of the breastworks we could not have entered from the front, even had there not been an enemy within.
On the afternoon of the same day, we attempted the charge again, with the same result.
Afterward, when Vicksburg
was ours, I walked, time and again, over the very ground where we had so desperately fought, and looked at the forts which we had sought to storm, reflecting on the extreme madness of the undertaking.
The result of the attack, however mortifying it must have been to Grant
himself, did not lessen his cool and fixed determination to possess Vicksburg
before a step in any other direction should be taken.
Silently, this one feeling was communicated to every soldier of his army.
There were no loud proclamations, orders, or manifestos as to what would next come.
There were no promises of victory to the North
, no threats of humiliation to the South
; but every soldier knew that, as we had intrenched before Vicksburg
, we would stay there until the city had surrendered.
There was no doubt, no fears.
We knew that our commander was a man of business, with certain regular, fixed methods and determinations, and that, just then, it was his