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[580] by making terms with the enemy. Under the most favorable circumstances, were we to cut our way out, we could not, in my opinion, save two-thirds of our present effective strength; no provision could be made for our wounded who fell in the attempt, or those we leave behind in the hospitals, and our army would reach General Johnston (if we should get through) a mere handful of broken-down stragglers. I would, therefore, recommend that an immediate proposition be made to capitulate. If accepted, we get everything we have a right to hope for; if rejected, we can still hold out stubbornly for some days, and our enemy may make the proposal to us. When our rations are exhausted, or nearly so, we may accept a surrender with the condition of a general parole, instead of imprisonment, for the command. If the offer is made at once, we have a better chance of making terms than when we have only one day's resistance in store, in case of a refusal. The proposition coming from us, if rejected, will make our men determined to fight to the last; theirs, on the contrary, will feel that after Vicksburg has been offered, their blood is shed to gratify a mere vindictive feeling against its garrison, whose only fault has been the noble defence they have made; and I believe that numbers of the enemy have still enough manhood to admire our courage and determination, and urge liberal terms of capitulation.

I am, General, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

Jno. S. Bowen, Major-General.

The opinions of General Stevenson's brigade commanders will be found in that officer's report, while those of General Forney's are presented in the appendix to this. So far as I know, not a solitary brigade or regimental commander favored the scheme of cutting out; and only two, whose views were presented to me, intimated the possibility of making more than one-half of their commands available for that purpose. With this unanimous opinion of my officers against the practicability of a successful evacuation, and no relief from General Johnston, a surrender, with or without terms, was the only alternative left me. I therefore addressed the following note to Major-General Grant:

Vicksburg, July 3, 1863.
Major-General U. S. Grant, commanding U. S. Forces, near Vicksburg, Miss:
General: I have the honor to propose to you an armistice for----hours, with a view to arranging terms for the capitulation of Vicksburg. To this end, if agreeable to you, I will appoint three commissioners to meet a like number to be named by yourself, at such place and hour to-day as you may find convenient. I make this proposition to save the further effusion of blood, which must otherwise be shed to a frightful extent, feeling myself fully able to maintain my position for a yet indefinite period. This communication will be handed you under flag of truce, by Major-General J. S. Bowen.

I am, General, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

J. C. Pemberton, Lieutenant-General, commanding.

In the course of two hours the annexed reply was received:

headquarters Department of the Tennessee, near Vicksburg, July 3, 1863.
Lieutenant-General J. C. Pemberton, commanding Confederate Forces, &c.:
General: Your note of this date is just received, proposing an armistice for several hours for the purpose of arranging terms of capitulation through commissioners to be appointed, &c. The useless effusion of blood you propose stopping by this course, can be ended at any time you may choose by an unconditional surrender of the city and garrison. Men who have shown so much endurance and courage as those now in Vicksburg, will always challenge the respect of an adversary, and I can assure you will be treated with all the respect due to prisoners of war. I do not favor the proposition of appointing commissioners to arrange the terms of capitulation, because I have no terms other than those indicated above.

I am, General, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

U. S. Grant, Major-General.

Upon the return of General Bowen with this letter, I understood that it was the desire of Major-General Grant to have a personal conference with me, and this being agreed to, at three o'clock P. M., accompanied by General Bowen and Captain Montgomery (then supposed to be a Lieutenant-Colonel), I proceeded to the lines, where I met General Grant, surrounded by a number of his officers. I soon learned that there was a mutual misunderstanding in regard to the desire for this interview, and therefore informed General Grant that if he had no terms to propose other than were contained in his letter, the conference could terminate, and hostilities be resumed immediately. After some further conversation, he proposed that General Bowen and Captain Montgomery, and two of his officers, Major-Generals McPherson and Smith, should retire for consultation, and suggest such terms as they might think proper for our consideration. After some conversation between these officers, we parted, with the understanding that General Grant would communicate with me by ten o'clock P. M., and about that hour the following letter was received:

headquarters Department of the Tennessee, near Vicksburg, July 3, 1863.
Lieutenant-General J. C. Pemberton, commanding Confederate Forces, Vicksburg, Miss.:
General: In conformity with agreement of this afternoon, I will submit the following proposition

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