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[582] discussed by my General officers in council and my views concurred in. The assertion that the surrender of Vicksburg was compelled by the want of subsistence, or that the garrison was starved out, is one entirely destitute of truth. There was at no time any absolute suffering for want of food among the garrison. That the men were put upon greatly reduced rations is undeniably true, but in the opinion of many medical officers it is at least questionable whether, under all the circumstances, this was at all injurious to their health. It must be remembered that for forty-seven days and nights these heroic men had been exposed to burning suns, and that during all this period they never had — by day or night — the slightest relief. The extent of our works required every available man in the trenches, and even then they were in many places insufficiently manned. It was not in my power to relieve any portion of the line for a single hour. Confined to the narrow limits of a trench, with their limbs cramped and swollen, without exercise, constantly exposed to a murderous fire of shot and shell, while the enemy's unerring sharpshooters stood ready to pick off every one visible above the parapets, is it strange that the men grew weak and attenuated? They had made a most heroic defence; many had met death with a smile upon their lips; all had cheerfully encountered danger, and almost without a murmur had borne privation and hardships well calculated to test their manhood. They had held the place against an enemy five times their number, admirably clothed and fed, and abundantly supplied with all the appliances of war. Whenever the foe had attempted an assault, they drove him back discomfited, covering the ground with his killed and wounded, and already had they torn from his grasp five stands of colors as trophies of their prowess (none of which were allowed to fall again into their hands). Knowing the anxious desire of the government to relieve Vicksburg, I felt assured that, if within the compass of its power, the siege would be raised; but when forty-seven weary days and nights had passed, with the knowledge I then possessed that no adequate relief was to be expected, I felt that I ought not longer to place in jeopardy the brave men whose lives had been intrusted to my care. Hence, after the suggestion of the alternative of cutting my way out, I determined to make terms, not because my men were starved out, not because I could not hold out yet a little longer, but because they were over-powered by numbers, worn down with fatigue, and each day saw our defences crumbling beneath their feet. The question of subsistence, therefore, had nothing to do with the surrender of Vicksburg. With an unlimited supply of provisions, the garrison could not, for the reasons already given, have held out much longer. My previous dispatches from General Johnston had not made me very sanguine, and his dispatch of June twenty-second was not calculated to render me more hopeful. He said:

General Taylor is sent by General E. K. Smith, to co-operate with you from the west bank of the river, to throw in supplies, and to cross over if expedient and practicable. I will have the means of moving towards tile enemy in a day or two, and will try to make a diversion in your favor, and if possible communicate with you, though I fear my force is too small to effect the latter.

* * * * * “If I can do nothing to relieve you, rather than surrender the garrison endeavor to cross the river at the last moment, if you and General Taylor can communicate.”

I never received any communication from Major-General Taylor on the subject of co-operation, nor had I any knowledge of his whereabouts, or of his forces, and I heard no more from General Johnston until the tenth of July, when I received his dispatch of the third, in Vicksburg, from the bearer who had been several days confined and a prisoner to the Federal authorities. Had I received General Johnston s dispatch of the twenty-seventh of June, in which he encouraged the hope that both Vicksburg and the garrison might be saved, I would have lived upon an ounce a day and would have continued to meet the assaults of all Grant's army rather than have surrendered the city until General Johnston had realized or relinquished that hope; but I did not receive his dispatch until the twentieth of August, in Gainesville, Alabama, nor had I the most remote idea that such an opinion was entertained by General Johnston; he had for weeks ignored its possibility. I had notified him on the fifteenth of June that I had enough to subsist my army for yet twenty days, but he held out no hope of raising the siege. On the twenty-fifth of May, thirty-four days previous, he had informed me that on the arrival of an expected division from Bragg's army, he would “move to me.” I supposed then, with my co-operation, to raise the siege. No subsequent dispatch from him sustained my understanding of his communication; all, without exception, of later date, spoke only of the possibility of extricating the garrison. His dispatch of July third, received by me six days after the capitulation, held out no such hope; and I am fully and entirely satisfied that no efficient aid would have been given me even to effect an evacuation. I do not mean nor desire to be understood as implying that it might have been given me; I only express my conviction that had I been able to hold the enemy at bay for yet a month, I do not believe, as anxious as I was to co-operate, that I would have been relieved by any force from the outside.

In a dispatch of the sixteenth, I think, for I have not the copy, I suggested that, as General Johnston deemed it impracticable to do more than by possibility to relieve the garrison, a proposition from him for an evacuation of Vicksburg might be favorably entertained by General Grant. In his dispatch of the twenty-seventh, already alluded to, and previously copied, will

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