A Vicksburgh letter, describing the meeting of General Grants
, on the day before our occupation of the rebel stronghold, says:
Thousands of soldiers looked upon the strange scene.
Two men who had been lieutenants in the same regiments in Mexico now met as foes, with all the world looking upon them — the one his country's glory, the other his country's shame.
When they had approached within a few feet there was a halt and silence.
Colonel Montgomery spoke: ‘ General Grant, General Pemberton.’
They shook hands politely, but Pemberton was evidently mortified.
He said: ‘I was at Monterey and Buena Vista.
We had terms and conditions there.’
General Grant here took him aside, and they sat down on the grass and talked more than an hour.
Grant smoked all the time; Pemberton played with the grass and pulled leaves.
It was finally agreed to parole them, allowing the officers each his horse.
It was a politic thing.
The dread of going North and fear of harsh treatment had deterred them from capitulating sooner.
Our men treated the rebels with kindness, giving them coffee, which some had not tasted for a year.
The city is much dilapidated, and many houses are injured.
The Vicksburgh paper of July second admits the eating of mule meat and the pilfering of soldiers.
In private houses there seems to be much suffering from sickness and our missiles.
The river batteries at Vicksburgh are composed of thirty-six guns of the Blakely, Whitworth, and Brooks pattern.
All these fell into our hands.