previous next
[113] fleet up Red river. As early as April he had been consulting with Grant, commanding at the farther gates of Vicksburg. Would Grant help him with Port Hudson? Could he, or could he not, give Grant a quid pro quo with Vicksburg?

On April 10th Grant sent the following message to Banks: ‘Am concentrating my forces at Grand Gulf. Will send an army corps to Bayou Sara by the 25th to cooperate with you.’ In this Grant was not wholly unselfish. Friends were gathering in force around Pemberton—the more need he should meet them with his friends. If he granted Banks a favor, he had equally a favor to ask of Banks. ‘Can you aid me, and send me troops after the reduction of Port Hudson to assist me at Vicksburg?’ Grant did not seem at this time to have conjectured that Vicksburg was to surrender to him before, not after Port Hudson was to surrender to Banks.

Gen. Jos. E. Johnston, writing from ‘Camp near Vernon, Miss.,’ on May 19, 1863, informed Gardner at Port Hudson that Lieutenant-General Pemberton had been unfortunate. Suffering severely near Edwards depot on the 16th of May; on the 17th, abandoning Haynes' Bluff, he was compelled to fall back to Vicksburg. It is not as a historian, jealous for truth, that Johnston thus addresses Gardner. While displaying certain attributes rather suggestive of Bildad the Shumite, he is frankly peremptory with the commander at Port Hudson. Under the circumstances of Pemberton's abandoning his outposts, he adds: ‘Your position is no longer valuable. It is important also that all the troops in the department shall be concentrated as soon as possible. Evacuate Port Hudson forthwith and move with your troops toward Jackson to join other troops which I am uniting.’

With the news from Pemberton thus icily given it was impossible for Gardner to doubt the perilous import of his instructions. The defenses of Port Hudson had been confided to him by the adjutant-general at Richmond,

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
U. S. Grant (6)
Pemberton (4)
Nathaniel P. Banks (4)
Frank Gardner (3)
Joseph E. Johnston (2)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
May 19th, 1863 AD (1)
May 16th (1)
April 10th (1)
April (1)
17th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: