's proposition, however, that the men should march out, was met with the blunt qualification, “not except as prisoners of war.”
After the conference between the generals, Grant
's ultimatum was sent by General Logan
and Lieutenant Colonel Wilson
's proposed amendments were that the men should stack arms and march out, and that the rights of the citizens should be guaranteed.
rejected the amendments, contending that every officer and man should be paroled over his own signature, and he would not be restricted with respect to the citizens.
He allowed each soldier, however, to carry his private kit, the officers their side-arms, and the field officers their horses.
These terms were accepted, and the white flag remained on the works.
The suspension of the firing had prepared the minds of the men and citizens for the event which many had long perceived to be written in the book of Fate.
Yet was there great reaction and great sorrow when the iron crown of the Mississippi
, a fortress maiden as Namur
and defiant as Ghazi Schumla, became the enemy's prize.
During the night many officers went wandering sadly around the town, taking a last look at its honorably scarred homes and ploughed streets, and making farewell to the heroic citizens whom they knew.
A load was no doubt lifted from the hearts of the surrendered; but a new load, that seemed even heavier, was deposited in its place.
What feeling the people had, made no public demonstration; for they prudently returned to their homes, and made the best shift that the time allowed, reserving their sorrow for their own home-circles.
When the poor wasted garrison rose out of the long imprisonment of the trenches to stack the weapons they had used so well, many reeled and staggered like drunken men from emaciation and from emotion, and wept like children that all their long sacrifice was unavailing.
's Division was assigned the duty of taking possession of the captured town.
The boys in blue entered by the north end of Cherry street, and made a grand procession as they stepped by in extended line, their flags waving, their officers glittering in full uniform, and the air torn with the glad shouts that went up from victorious throats.
himself stood on the east portico of the court-house and looked with swelling pride and profound gratification on the scene so picturesque and historic.
He dropped some emphatic exclamations as to the joy it gave him to hear the boys cheer.
By-the-by, the fact has never been published, but is no less true, that a company of Illinois
soldiers, on the Southern side
, once constituted part of the Vicksburg
garrison, though it went to pieces