Confederate artillery at Vicksburg.The natural fortifications around Vicksburg rendered it wellnigh impregnable, and it was made completely so by S. H. Lockett, chief engineer of the defenses under General Pemberton. Only starvation finally reduced the beleaguered force. In two unsuccessful assaults thousands of Federal soldiers were shot down. An instance of the spirit in which Americans fight is related by Lieutenant Roswell Henry Mason, who led his company of the Seventy-second Illinois Infantry into the city. The soldiers started in with three full days' rations in their haversacks. The gaunt and hungry Confederates lined the road on either side. “Hey, Yank, throw us a hardtack,” they called; or “Hey, Yank, chuck us a piece of bacon.” When Mason's company halted in the city not a haversack contained a morsel of food.