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[338] lives, as it would be impossible for his commanders to save the garrison from being put to the sword when the works should be carried by assault. His artillery, he said, was equal to any in extent and efficiency, and his men outnumbered ours five to one. He knew to what a condition they were reduced, as he had captured General Gardner's courier sent out with despatches to General Johnson. As these despatches were in cipher, it is probable that Banks exaggerated the amount of information he had derived from them.

General Gardner replied that his duty required him to defend the post, and he must refuse to entertain any such proposition.

On the morning of the fourteenth, just before day, the fleet and all the land batteries which the enemy had succeeded in erecting at one hundred to three hundred yards from our breastworks, opened fire at the same time. About daylight, under cover of the smoke, the enemy advanced along the whole line, and in many places approached within ten feet of our works. Our brave fellows were wide awake, and opening upon them with “buck and ball,” drove them back in confusion, a great number of them being left dead in the ditches. One entire division and a brigade were ordered to charge the position of the First Mississippi and the Forty-ninth Alabama, and by the mere physical pressure of numbers some of them got within the works, but all those were immediately killed. Every regiment did its duty nobly, but this was the main attack. After a sharp contest of two hours, the enemy were everywhere repulsed, and withdrew to their old line, but heavy skirmishing was kept up most of the day.

After this repulse, General Banks sent no flag of truce to bury his dead, which remained exposed between the lines for three days. At the end of that time General Gardner sent a flag to Banks, requesting that he would remove them. Banks replied that he had no dead there. General Gardner then directed General Beale to send a flag to General Augur, and request him to bury the dead of his division, which lay in front of the First and Forty-ninth. Augur replied that he did not think he had any dead there, but he would grant a cessation of hostilities to ascertain. Accordingly parties were detailed to pass the dead bodies over to the Yankees, and two hundred and sixty odd were removed from this portion of the works, and with them one wounded man, who had been lying there three days without water, and was fly-blown from head to foot. It was surmised that Banks was unwilling that his men should witness the carnage which had been committed; but if that were the case, he only made matters worse by this delay, for much exasperation was manifested at the sight of the wounded man, and a great many were heard to say that, if that was the way the wounded were to be treated, they wanted to be out of the army. A great many of the dead must have perished during the three days interval. In front of Johnson, Steadman, and elsewhere, none were buried, and the bodies of the slain could be seen from the breastworks on the day of the surren der, twenty-six days after the fight.

During the rest of the month there was heavy skirmishing daily, with constant firing night and day from the gun and mortar-boats, and the works were generally drawn close to our line, which, it may here be remarked, was about three miles in extent, and in the centre some three fourths of a mile from the river. Batteries of Parrott guns had been erected across the river, which were well served by the United States regulars, and maintained a continuous and very effective fire upon our river batteries, disabling many of the guns. On the land side a formidable battery of seventeen eight, nine, and teninch columbiads was established one hundred and fifty paces from our extreme right, one of seven guns in front of General Beale's centre; one of six guns in front of the First Mississippi, on the Jackson road; and seven guns and mortars were planted in front of Colonel Steadman, From these a fire was maintained day and night, doing but little damage to our men; but, as the siege continued, most of our artillery was disabled, only about fifteen pieces remaining uninjured at the time of the surrender.

During the siege of six weeks, from May twenty-seventh to July seventh, inclusive, the enemy must have fired from fifty to seventy-five thousand shot and shell, yet not more than twenty-five men were killed by these projectiles. They had worse dangers than these to contend against, but against them all they fought like heroes, and did their duty cheerfully. Several buildings were burned by the enemy's shells. among which was the mill, entailing a loss of two or three thousand bushels of corn.

About the twenty-ninth or thirtieth of June the garrison's supply of meat gave out, when General Gardner ordered the mules to be butchered, after ascertaining that the men were willing to eat them. Far from shrinking From this hardship, the men received their unusual rations cheerfully, and declared that they were proud to be able to say that they had been reduced to this extremity. Many of them, as if in mockery of famine, caught rats and ate them, declaring that they were better than squirrels.

At the same time the supply of ammunition was becoming exhausted, and at the time of the surrender there were only twenty rounds of cartridges left, with a small supply for artillery.

The hardships, privations, and dangers of the situation were diversified by many exciting incidents. One day our men were rolling ten-inch shells over the ramparts to explode against the enemy's works, which were not more than fifteen feet off, when a rush was made at our breastworks by about two hundred of the enemy. Two companies were hurried to the spot, and they were driven back. Of some sixteen who had gained the interior of our works every one was killed.

Mining was resorted to by the enemy; and after the surrender they said that they had a charge of three thousand pounds of powder already


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