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[733] Vicksburg, and the constant expectation that some part of his force would attack us in the rear, made it necessary that every consideration should be disregarded which involved the loss of time in our operations, and the general systematic attacks upon the works of the enemy were executed at the earliest possible moment after the necessary preparations had been made.

The siege lasted forty-five days, of which twenty-one days was incessant and constant fighting. It was conducted constantly with a view to the capture of the garrison, as well as the reduction of the post.

When the proposition of General Gardiner to suspend hostilities with a view to consider terms of surrender was received, there were six thousand four hundred and eight officers and men on duty within the lines, two thousand five hundred in the rear of the besieging forces, and on the west bank of the river opposite Port Hudson, and twelve thousand men under Generals Greene and Taylor, between Port Hudson and Donaldsonville, who had, by establishing their batteries on the west bank of the river, effectually cut off our communication with New Orleans; making twenty-one thousand men actively engaged in raising the siege at the time of its surrender.

The besieging force was reduced to less than ten thousand men, of which more than half were enlisted for nine months service, and a few regiments of colored troops, organized, since the campaign opened, from the material gathered from the country. The position assailed was, from the natural defences of the country, as well as from the character of the works constructed, believed by the enemy to be impregnable. The besieging army, to reach the position, had marched more than five hundred miles, through a country where a single line of supplies could be maintained, against a force fully equal in numbers, fighting only in intrenchments, and gathering material for reenforcing its regiments, in the country through which it passed. There are but few sieges, in the history of war, in which the disparity of forces has been more marked, the difficulties to be encountered more numerous, the victory more decided, or the results more important. Every officer and man who discharged his duty in that campaign, whether living or dead, will leave an honored name to his descendants, and receive hereafter, if not now, the grateful and well-merited applause of his country.

The results of the surrender of Vicksburg and Port Hudson were the permanent separation of the rebel states, east and west, and the free navigation of the Mississippi, thus opening communication between the northern and southern states occupied by our forces, and an outlet for the products of the upper Mississippi valley to the markets of the world.

The two armies that had fought each other with such resolute determination fraternized on the day of the surrender, without manifestations of hostility or hatred. A common valor had given birth to a feeling of mutual respect.

Brigadier-General T. W. Sherman was seriously wounded in the assault of the twenty-seventh of May, and Brigadier-General Paine on the fourteenth of June. Among those killed during the siege were Colonel Bean, of the Fourth Wisconsin; Colonel Holcomb, of the First Louisiana; Colonel D. S. Cowles, of the One Hundred and Twenty-eighth New York; Lieutenant-Colonel Rodman, of the Thirty-eighth Massachusetts; Lieutenant-Colonel Lowell, of the Eighth New Hampshire; Colonel Smith, of the One Hundred and sixtieth New York Zouaves; Colonel Chapin, of the----Massachusetts; Major Hafkill and Captain Luce, of the engineers; Lieutenant Wrotnowski, and many other gallant officers, whose names, in the absence of official records, it is not in my power to give, who gave their lives to the cause of liberty and their country.

In this campaign we captured ten thousand five hundred and eighty-four prisoners, as follows: Paroled men at Port Hudson, exclusive of the sick and wounded, five thousand nine hundred and fifty-three; officers, four hundred and fifty-five; captured by Grierson at Jackson, one hundred and fifty; First and Fifteenth Arkansas, captured May twenty-seventh, one hundred and one; on board steamers in Thompson's Creek, twenty-five; deserters, two hundred and fifty; sick and wounded, one thousand; captured at Donaldsonville, the twenty-eighth of June, one hundred and fifty; captured west of the Mississippi, two thousand five hundred;--in all, a number fully equal to the force to which the garrison surrendered. We also captured seventy-three guns, four thousand five hundred pounds of powder, one hundred and fifty thousand rounds of ammunition, six thousand small arms, and four steamers; twenty thousand head of horses, cattle, and mules; ten thousand bales of cotton; and destroyed the enemy's salt works at New Iberia, three gunboats, and eight steam transports. The cattle, horses, mules, cotton, and other products of the country, were sent to New Orleans, turned over to the Quartermaster, and except such as could be used by the army in kind, were applied to the support of the government.

The fifth of August a despatch was received and published, from the General-in-Chief of the army, congratulating the troops on the crowning success of the campaign, for whom was reserved the honor of striking the last blow for the freedom of the Mississippi River, and announcing that the country, and especially the great west, would ever remember with gratitude their services.

I remain, sir,

Your obedient servant,

N. P. Banks, M. G. V.

Campaign in Texas.

To the Secretary of War:
After the surrender of Port Hudson, I joined with General Grant in recommending an immediate movement against the city of Mobile. My views upon the question were expressed in several despatches in July and August. With such aid as General Grant had offered, and subsequently

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