circumvallation. His fire of musketry and artillery was continuous during each day. Major Mathews, Ordnance Officer, was instructed to have the large number of unexploded Parrott shells scattered around the city sent to Paxton's foundry and re-capped. On the morning of the twenty-ninth, the enemy opened a terrific fire from the rear, and for four hours a storm of shot and shell was rained upon the city, seriously damaging many buildings, killing and wounding a large number of soldiers and citizens. During the day Ellett's marine brigade arrived and anchored at the bend above. Two couriers had arrived from General Johnston on the twenty-eighth and twenty-ninth,respectively. The former brought eighteen thousand caps, the latter twenty thousand, and the following dispatch, the first received since the eighteenth:
The two hundred thousand caps mentioned in the above dispatch were captured by the enemy. I dispatched the following in reply: “Your dispatch of twenty-fifth received this morning, with twenty thousand caps; Fontaine yesterday with eighteen thousand. No messenger from you since the eighteenth. I have eighteen thousand men to man the lines and river-front; no reserves. I do not think you should move with less than thirty or thirty-five thousand men, and then, if possible, towards Snyder's Mills, giving me notice of the time of your approach. The enemy encompasses my lines from right to left flank, occupying all roads. He has three corps: Sherman on my left; McPherson, centre; McClernand on my right; Hurlburt's division from Memphis, and Ellett's marine brigade (the last afloat). Enemy has made several assaults. My men are in good spirits, awaiting your arrival. Since investment we have lost about one thousand men, many officers. You may depend on my holding the place as long as possible. On the twenty-seventh we sunk one of their best iron-clad gunboats.” On the thirtieth, I again dispatched as follows: “Scouts report the enemy to have withdrawn most of his forces from our right yesterday, leaving Hall's Ferry road open I apprehend, for a movement against you. I expect this courier to return to me.” The meat ration having been reduced one-half, that of sugar, rice, and beans, was largely increased. It was important, above. all things, that every encouragement should be given to the troops. With this object inview,I ordered the impressment of chewing-tobacco, and its issue to the troops. This had a very beneficial influence. The enemy kept steadily at work, day and night, and, taking advantage of the cover of the hills, had run his parallels up to within seventy-five yards of our works. He was also mining at different points, and it required the active and constant attention of our engineers to repair at night the damage inflicted upon our works during the day, and to meet his different mines by countermining. Orders were issued to prepare thunder-barrels and petards for the defence of near points, and every precaution taken to check the enemy in his operations, and to delay them as far as possible. On the seventh of June, the following dispatch was sent to General Johnston: “I am still without information from you later than your dispatch of twenty-fifth. The enemy continues to intrench his position around Vicksburg. I have sent out couriers to you almost daily. The same men are constantly in the trenches, but are still in good spirits, expecting your approach. The enemy is so vigilant that it is impossible to obtain reliable information. When may I expect you to move, and in what direction? My subsistence may be put down for about twenty days.” On the tenth, I again dispatched as follows: “The enemy bombards day and night from seven mortars on opposite side of peninsula. He also keeps up constant fire on our lines with artillery and sharpshooters. We are losing many officers and men. I am waiting most anxiously to know your intentions. Have heard nothing of you or from you since twenty-fifth of May. I shall endeavor to hold out as long as we have anything to eat. Can you not send me a verbal message by a courier crossing the river above or below Vicksburg, and swimming across again opposite Vicksburg?” Again, on the twelfth, I dispatched as follows: “Courier Walker arrived this morning, with caps. No message from you. Very heavy firing yesterday from mortars and on lines.” About this time our provisions, particularly of meat, having become exhausted, General Stevenson was instructed to impress all the cattle in the city, and the Chief Commissary directed to sell only one ration per diem to any officer. He was also instructed to issue for bread equal portions of rice and flour--four ounces each. About the thirteenth, Captain Saunders arrived from Jackson, via Steele's Bayou, with two hundred thousand percussion-caps, and a day or two subsequently I received the following dispatch from General Johnston:May 25, 1863.My last note was returned by the bearer. Two hundred thousand caps have been sent. It will be continued as they arrive. Bragg is sending a division; when it comes I will move to you. Which do you think the best route? How and where is the enemy encamped? What is your force? (Signed)
On the fourteenth and fifteenth, I addressed General Johnston as follows: “Last night Captain ”May 20, 1863.I am too weak to save Vicksburg; can do no more than attempt to save you and your garrison. It will be impossible to extricate you unless you co-operate, and we make mutually supporting movements. Communicate your plans and suggestions, if possible.