General Grant and myself, on the afternoon of July 3, 1863, in front of the Confederate lines at Vicksburg. If you will refer to the first volume of Badeau's Life of U. S. Grant, you will find a marked discrepancy between that author's account of it and mine. I do not fear, however, to trust to the honest memory of any officer then present, to confirm the statement I shall make. Passing over all preceding events, I come at once to the circumstance that brought about the personal interview referred to. Feeling assured that it was useless to hope longer for any assistance from General Johnson, either to raise the seige of Vicksburg, or to rescue the garrison, I summoned division and brigade commanders, with one or two others, to meet in my quarters on the night of the 2d of July. All the correspondence that had taken place during the siege between General Johnson and myself was laid before these officers. After much consideration, it was advised that I address a note to General Grant, proposing the appointment of commissioners to arrange terms of capitulation. The following, having been read to the council, and approved, was sent to General Grant, under a flag of truce, by the hands of Major-General J. S. Bowen, on the morning of the 3d:
Vicksburg, July 3, 1863.General — I have the honor to propose to you an armistice of hours, with a view to arrange 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 a flag of truce, by Major-General John S. Bowen. I am, General, very respectfully, your obedient servant.
Major-General Grant, Commanding United States Forces near Vicksburg, Mississippi:John O. Pemberton, Lieutenant-General Commanding.