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[126] were in the hospitals, and nearly as many more were crawling around in what were called convalescent camps. The fall of Port Hudson followed closely after that of Vicksburg, and the Trans-Mississippi department was isolated and the Confederacy split in twain.

When Vicksburg was first invested General Pemberton had requested the non-combatants, especially the women and children, to leave the city, and informed them that he would request General Grant to pass them through his lines, which he had no doubt he would do. But the request was generally, if not entirely, unheeded. The inhabitants preferred to remain and share the fate of their city and their friends. They had become accustomed to the turmoil and danger of the bombardment—for Porter's fleet had kept up an intermittent fire on them for months, and they had learned by experience how to protect themselves. They excavated holes in the hills—underground habitations, in fact, which frequently consisted of several rooms, comfortably furnished—into which they could retire when the danger was great Nor were they actuated by any morbid sense of curiosity in remaining. The women felt they had a duty to perform and they performed it. The defenders of the town were falling daily and hourly. The hospitals were. crowded with the sick and wounded. The accommodations for their comfort were of the rudest description. There was a dearth of nurses and of medicines. Then, like gleams of light and sunshine, the women came to their relief, without noise or ostentation or display. Simply dressed, patient, tireless and sympathetic, they hovered around the beds of the sick and wounded, not only during the day but through the long watches of the night, and nursed back to life and health and strength many a stricken hero. The noble devotion of the women of the South to the cause of suffering humanity makes the brightest page of the history of the war.

After the surrender President Davis telegraphed to

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