In due time the following reply was handed to me:
I, at once, expressed to General Bowen my determination not to surrender unconditionally. He then stated that General Grant would like to have an interview with me, if I was so disposed, and would meet me at a designated point between the two lines, at 3 P. M., that day. I was not aware that the suggestion had originated with General Bowen, but acceded to the proposed meeting, at the joint request of my four division commanders. On reaching the place appointed, accompanied by Major-General Bowen and Colonel Montgomery, then temporarily serving on my personal staff, I found General Grant, and a number of his Generals, and other officers, already arrived and dismounted. To the General himself — with whom my acquaintance dated as far back as the Mexican war — as well as to several of the group who surrounded him, I was formally introduced by General Bowen. After a few remarks and inquiries on either side, a pause ensued which was prolonged on my part in expectation that General Grant would introduce the subject, the discussion of which I supposed to be the object of our meeting. Finding that he did not do so I said to him that I understood he had expressed a wish to have a personal interview with me. He replied that he had not. I was much surprised, and turning to General Bowen, remarked: “Then there is a misunderstanding. I certainly understood differently.” The matter,Headquarters Department of the Tennessee, Near Vicksburg, July 3, 1863.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, etc. 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 shown 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.
Lieutenant-General John C. Pemberton, Commanding Confederate Forces, etc.:U. S. Grant, Major General.