without stint or measure.
Sacks of Lincoln
coffee were given to the boys—a peace measure—for it was a piece of pure good luck to get a quanity of the Arabian bean.
As he had 22,000 pounds of Confederate bacon to draw on, he also gave us bacon to butter our flour bread with.
So, for this and other reasons, Grant
was praised among the Confederates
in a quiet way. It took about a week to fix up our parole papers, when we bid farewell to Vicksburg
, with Jackson
as our objective point.
Just beyond Pearl river
, General Pemberton
informed me that he had just got complete returns of the killed and wounded.
Six hundred killed sunk into my mind but the number wounded I don't remember.
How many died in the hospital under Yankee care he never knew.
They had better have died on a field of victory, like Wolf
on the plains of Abraham, with the ecstatic feeling, ‘They run,’ sounding to their dying senses.
It would be ill grace if, before finishing the story of Vicksburg
's seige, warm praise was not given to the heroic brave men who endured the hardships of the fifty-eight day and night fight; the desperate assaults made by the Federals
on the slight entrenchments behind which they couched, half starved, yet full of the fire of battle.
This hurling of iron balls from the throats of 200 cannon, and filling the air with minnie balls aimed with deadly effect against these men who occupied the sand rifle pits and lunettes of Vicksburg
, attested both the power of the paternal government attacking and the solid bravery of the defensive force.
The thunder of cannon, the sharp shriek of the rifle's leaden messenger, the threats of death that the thirteen-inch bombs continually kept up as they coursed in curves through the air, the spattering of shrapnell, the quick explosion of shells tearing and crushing through the houses, the sudden death of a companion, the pale, hunger-pinched faces around them, had no effect on the nerves of the men who talked openly, ‘No surrender.’
Hunger weakened them, sleepless nights and watchful days were their portion, rats, peameal, mulesteak, and old horse their food, yet they ever responded to the call of duty, either to fight or for fatigue service.
It was amusing to hear the trades proposed by the outside to the inside, or by the rebs to their fat brethren who were so jealously keeping them from going astray.
The leading articles of barter were coffee for tobacco, newspaper for newspaper, but there was a great deal more talk than trade, and the chaffing generally ended in assertions on one hand that they were coming over soon, and an invitation on the other hand to come to