previous next

[163] in the place, was shattered by several shells. A turreted white house at the lower end of the city, belonging to a St. Louis lawyer, but recently occupied by General Pemberton's headquarters, was also an object of interest, as the gardengrounds were ploughed up by shells of all sizes. Some of the inhabitants had amused themselves by piling up in front of the house the fragments of iron and whole shells. We estimate that some of them had a ton of iron, which had fallen within the grounds. All of the horses and most of the mules are wretchedly poor. Scarcely a single horse could be found in serviceable condition.

Vicksburgh has been called the City of a Hundred Hills. We fancy that is the number included within the limits of the fortifications. Never was place better calculated for field fortifications. It abounds in good sites for batteries, and the earth has just that degree of cohesiveness which makes it work easily. The place is full of steep ravines; two little streams enter the river at either end of the town, but the inhabitants use cistern water.

The works describe a crescent shape around the city, with one point curved inward. The circuit is eight miles. There are along the line a hundred cannon, stationed behind small elevations, of all sizes, from six to twenty-four-pounders, and further to the rear are a few guns of heavy calibre. The terrible havoc of our storm of shells is visible in the torn and gashed parapets, the little craters formed in the banks, and the fragments of shell lying in profusion.

Perhaps the greatest curiosities, as they are novelties in warfare, were half a dozen little wooden mortars, turned out of a wooden block, and resembling somewhat a wagon-hub. These had been invented as a safe and easy method of tossing over the twelve-pounder shells into our saps and mines, where we had supposed them to be thrown by hand. They were charged with about an ounce of powder, the lanyard pulled from a rat-hole, and all danger from a premature explosion avoided. The charge of the powder was so graduated as just to throw the shell outside the work.

The trenches and pits, though originally very elaborately designed, were neither so large nor so well constructed as our own. In fact, they seem to have been engaged, for the most part, in constructing nooks and caves in which to avoid our shots and the explosion of our shells, which at times covered them with earth and dust.

Among the prisoners are one lieutenant.general, four major-generals, fifteen brigadiers, and eighty staff-officers. The names of the former are as follows:

Lieutenant-General John C. Pemberton, Pa.; Major-General Stevenson, Ala.; Major-General Martin Luther Smith, La.; Major-General Forney, Ala.; Major-General Bowen, Mo.; Brigadier-General Lee,----; Brigadier-General Moore, La.; Brigadier-General Hebert, La.; Brigadier-General Abraham Buford, Ky.; Brigadier-General Schoepff; Brigadier-General Baldwin; Brigadier-General Harris, Tenn.; Brigadier-General Vaughan, Mo. ; Brigadier-General Taylor; Brigadier-General Cummings; Brigadier-General Gardner; Brigadier-General Barton; Brigadier-General Withers, La.

Pemberton, as is well known, is a Philadelphian by birth, who early in life married a Southern lady, and has since cast his lot with that section. He has been a trusted friend of Jeff Davis, and was by him intrusted with the special defence of Vicksburgh. He denies having made the speech attributed to him about “the last dog,” etc. It must have been invented probably by Johnston, and published to raise the hopes of his army.

General Forney is an Alabamian, but has failed to distinguish himself very favorably. Stevenson is the next officer in rank to Pemberton, and Smith next to Stevenson. General Bowen was formerly an architect in St. Louis, and was a captured officer at Camp Jackson. Brigadier-General Tracy, of the rebel army, was wounded at Port Gibson, and has since died. Brigadier-General Martin Green, of Mo., was killed on the twenty-fifth ult. Brigadier-General Baldwin is wounded in hospital. Colonel Jacob Thompson, of Mississippi, acting as aid-de-camp on the staff of General Pemberton, and who has been one of his chief counsellors, is missing, and is supposed to have made his escape during the siege or since the surrender. A very strict watch has been thrown around the prisoners now, however.

The officers and men will be paroled at once, and allowed to march out with their side-arms and three days provisions, on the Jackson road. Their destination is said to be a parole-camp at Talladega, Alabama.

The following is the form of parole administered to the prisoners:

Vicksburgh, Mississippi, July--, 1863.
To All Whom it May Concern, Know Ye That:
I, A-----B-----, of company--, regiment-----volunteers, C. S. A., being a prisoner of war in the hands of the United States forces, in virtue of the capitulation of the city of Vicksburgh and its garrison, by Lieutenant-General John C. Pemberton, C. S. A., commanding, on the fourth day of July, 1863, do, in pursuance of the terms of said capitulation, give this my solemn parole under oath:

That I will not take up arms again against the United States, nor serve in any military, police, or constabulary force in any fort, garrison, or field-work held by the confederate States of America, against the United States of America; nor as guard of prisons, depots, or stores, nor discharge any duty usually performed by soldiers against the United States of America, until duly exchanged by the proper authorities.

Sworn to and subscribed before me, at Vicksburgh, on the — day of July, 1863.

------------------and Paroling Officer.

In the thirty-one thousand inhabitants, there were three thousand citizens and a thousand negroes. Their status is not defined, it would ap. pear from the correspondence, but it is understood


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, 1863 AD (1)
July, 1863 AD (1)
1863 AD (1)
July (1)
25th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: