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[224] of Confederate cavalry would have been less inconvenient to him than that by which his opponent fancies that he would have been defeated.

Lieutenant-General Pemberton comments thus on my order to him to evacuate Vicksburg: “The evacuation of Vicksburg! It meant the loss of the valuable stores and munitions of war collected for its defense, the fall of Port Hudson, the surrender of the Mississippi River, and the severance of the Confederacy.” 1 Before the 18th of May, when General Pemberton received the order referred to-indeed, before General Grant's army landed in Mississippi--the river had been captured by the Federal fleets, and the “severance of the Confederacy” accomplished. Before the end of April the portion of the river between Vicksburg and Port Hudson was more strongly held by the Federal vessels-of-war than any other. The discovery by the United States naval commanders of the ineffectiveness of our batteries at Vicksburg and Port Hudson, destroyed the illusion that those places were valuable. They were occupied and intrenched to prevent the United States vessels-of-war from passing them. It had been demonstrated that they could not do so. They were valuable on the 18th of May, therefore, only for the munitions of war they contained.

But, without reference to the military value of the place, the army should not have been exposed to investment in it; for the capture of the place was the certain result of a siege. After investment, surrender was a mere question of time; there could be

1 See General Pemberton's report, p. 48.

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