previous next

[158] all riches to have been of the Seventeenth army corps on the fourth of July, 1863.

Jas. B. Mcpherson, Major-General. W. T. T. Clark, Assistant Adjutant-General.

A National account.

Late headquarters of Lieutenant-General Pemberton, in the City of Vicksburgh, Anniversary Day, July 4.

I. A splendid victory.

Vicksburgh has fallen! After forty-seven days of steady siege, the stronghold has succumbed I We are now in peaceable possession of the place; the enemy, as prisoners of war, are being paroled. His colors, his guns, his stores, are left in our hands. As an earnest of the good things to follow, fifty steamers lie quietly at the landing, and a few days will doubtless see fleet after fleet floating grandly on their peaceful missions from Cairo to New-Orleans.

So great, so proud an event comes opportunely on the glorious anniversary of our national independence. The rush of bombs is exchanged for the rush of rockets; the flare of heavy guns for the flash of Roman. candles, and the crackle of musketry turned to the sputter of Chinese crackers and pyrotechnic novelties.

They who were yesterday taking deadly sight at each other, are now fraternizing over common comforts, and the din and war of battle is lost in the loud laugh of merriment, and the hum of anxious congratulation.

It is, indeed, a “glorious victory” --not without the attendant woes of war. Six thousand sick lie huddled and crowded in the narrow limits. Nearly every house is a hospital. Soldier and civilian are glad to be relieved from the terrible ordeal that has so long hovered over them. Exhausted, weary, gaunt,; and soiled, the garrison rests at last in security and shade, while the victors, flushed with no more than brightening enthusiasm, greet their vanquished foe, as becomes brave men to a brave but fallen enemy. We, too, are glad to cease the labor, the danger, the watch and ward over the place, happy in the fact that the reward of all our endeavors and hopes is rich and commensurate with the toil.

The Fourth of July.

The day is celebrated with all the internal warmth at least, that marks it as one of the most illustrious in all history. Our brave army of the South-West has this day consummated a victory more glorious and more pregnant than any which has thus far blessed our arms. The names of General Grant and his coadjutors are again in all mouths. The praises of the soldiers and sailors are being spoken in unstinted terms. The fatigues, hardships, perils, and trials of the campaign paign are at an end. Twenty-seven thousand prisoners, among which are nineteen general officers; a hundred and twenty cannon, and stand-anln innumerable, are among the substantial trophies of victory.

Ii. The siege of Vicksburgh.

It was on the eighteenth day of May, 1862, that our fleet, under Admiral Farragut, after his capture of New-Orleans, first made his appearance before Vicksburgh. The confederates had foreseen the danger to their western territory from the loss of New-Orleans, and made haste to fortify some point higher up. Vicksburgh, being accessible by railway, offered the best facilities, besides being situated on a point naturally strong. At that time we held Baton Rouge, on the one end, and menaced Fort Pillow, at the other end of the river. At that time there were five heavy guns mounted. Farragut made a demand for the city, when the Mayor made his famous reply that--“Mississippians do not know how to surrender.” The sailor had no force that he could land from his three vessels, and time had not developed then the relative merits of war-vessels and land batteries.

The failure last summer.

That the citadel could have been taken by a slight effort at that time, is admitted by the enemy; but after the return of the ships every nerve was strained to strengthen it. On the fourth of March, Columbus had fallen; on the fourth of June, Pillow was abandoned, leading to the possession of Memphis. Meanwhile, Farragut had returned, and was witness to the labors of the engineers. The first force to approach it from above was the fleet of Colonel Ellet, on the fourteenth of June, and on the twentieth he was followed by Commodore Davis. General Butler had, in the mean while, despatched General Williams with a brigade of troops to cooperate with the navy. After several ineffectual efforts to land, their energies were turned to digging a canal across the peninsula which lies opposite the city, which would have sent the river, if successful, away from the city.

The river fell twenty feet, and the engineers had laid out their canal so unskilfully, that it soon became hopeless. The heat of summer, together with the miasma of the low grounds, wrought sad sickness among both soldiers and sailors, and the close of July saw both fleets depart as they had come; not without considerable excitement from the daring trip of the Arkansas to this landing, and the equally brave feat of Farragut in running by the batteries with his fleet.

In the next two months but little was done on our side, more than to make a reconnaissance to the point above. The rebels, however, were busy, still strengthening their works. Their five guns had been increased to forty-five, pits and trenches were being dug all round. Haines's Bluff was fortified, commanding the Yazoo River, and the powerful steamers above were being converted into war-steamers and rams.

The next attempt was made in the winter. General Grant having reached the Yallabusha on his way through Central Mississippi, sent General Sherman, with a large corps of the army to cooperate with him, by seizing Vicksburgh while

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)
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.
July 4th (2)
July 4th, 1863 AD (1)
May 18th, 1862 AD (1)
July (1)
June 14th (1)
June 4th (1)
March 4th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: