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Reminiscences of the siege of Vicksburg.

By Major J. T. Hogane of the Engineer Corps.

Paper no. 1.

Let us revive from the forces of memory the particulars of a scene, remarkable for being an example and expression of weakness.

On the west bank of the Big Black river, in the State of Mississippi, on a day of May, 1863, might have been seen General J. C. Pemberton and a group of disheartened staff and line officers. The surroundings and foil to this weary, discouraged group were the defeated troops just escaped from the field of combat at Champion Hills and Big Black river; the sluggish river; the blazing timber; the smoke of battle.

General Pemberton, with head hung down and despair written over the lineaments of his face, gave utterance to the honest sentiment of his heart when he remarked to Colonel Lockett, the Chief Engineer of the army, that ‘thirty years ago, to-day, I commenced my career as a soldier, and to-day ends it.’

What a confession of failure these pathetic words conveyed to his listeners.

In a house at Oxford, Miss., the night of the retreat from the splendidly fortified position of the Tallahatchie river, near Abbeyville, might have been seen General Pemberton and General ‘Pap’ Price. General Price told the Commander-in-Chief that a Federal force was marching south by way of Hernando, and offered, with a confidence, that his outspoken, brave, cheerful tones showed he believed in, to capture or defeat them if a sufficient force was given him to do so.

General Pemberton refused to detach the troops asked for, though he knew that General Grant could not make any serious demonstration on his front, owing to Grant's communication with his base of supplies being destroyed by the writer of this burning a mile of railroad trestle-work.

General Price respectfully suggested a certain movement, asking only his Missourians to carry it out. The General again refused to strike a blow, preferring the easier generalship of retreating; stating as his reason, however, that ‘he did not know where the enemy was.’

The first time I ever saw Vicksburg was in April before the siege. As the engineer officer in charge of the fortification at Snyder's and

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