previous next
“ [127] that General Pemberton has been hanged by his own men!” 3,600 shells lodged in the town in one hour, said somebody else. One paper gave a detailed statement of the amputation of General Sherman's leg. Another said “the citizens demand the surrender of Vicksburg, and Pemberton refuses I” Another said Pemberton had answered with profane violence the charge of his men shooting poisoned balls. In the city the reports took shape mainly with reference to the supposed movements of Johnston and E. K. Smith. One day the forces had gone to Memphis, to cut Grant off from his supplies, a report that provoked a poem from a gallant, gay boy named Cannon (afterward killed), which had this refrain:

Damn Memphis and strategy-Vicksburg's the place,
And I am, dear Joseph, your Cannon, in haste.

Next time it was Milliken's Bend that had been captured (there was a fight there). And then Kirby Smith had crossed the river at Natchez, and had a division at Young's Point. And so on, over and over, like the dreams of fever. General Johnston appears, from his dispatches, to have really believed that assistance could be expected from the Trans-Mississippi Department; a strange delusion which might even appear, in the minds of the prejudiced, an attempt to transfer the responsibility of events. One of the rumors that somehow reached us in Vicksburg was that Virginia had elected a Union State ticket, and was making ready to desert the Confederate cause. The joke of this story consists in the circumstance that Governor William Smith, known as “Extra Billy,” bravest of soldiers and staunchest of rebels, headed the ticket described as “Union.”

In order that the circumstances under which the surrender was finally made, and the train of events which served to make it inevitable may be fairly judged, I condense the dispatches exchanged between Generals Johnston and Pemberton after the siege began. The first of the series has been given. On May 25th, General Johnston wrote that he was coming, and asked Pemberton what route he ought to take. On the 29th he wrote that he was too late to save Vicksburg, but would assist in saving the garrison. On June 3d, Pemberton wrote that he had heard nothing from Johnston since May 29th; that the man bringing musket-caps had been captured, and that he hopes General Johnston will move on the north of Jackson road. On the 7th, Johnston again wants to know how co-operation can be effected. On the same day Pemberton writes of the enemy's intrenching, the good spirits of the men, and that he had twenty days provisions. On the 10th, Pemberton says the enemy is

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Pemberton (8)
Joe Johnston (7)
William Smith (1)
Kirby Smith (1)
E. Kirby Smith (1)
Billy Sherman (1)
Grant Ulysses Grant (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
June 3rd (1)
May 29th (1)
May 25th (1)
29th (1)
10th (1)
7th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: