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[359] not prevent the fall of Vicksburg. At the beginning of the siege, it was understood and confidently expected that a force from without would relieve the garrison; and this hope sustained the soldiery and the Commanding General during the protracted struggle. But this hope, continually deferred, and finally abandoned, resolved the matter into a question of time and honor. Honor was considered to have been sufficienty vindicated. The time it was considered had come. The soldiers who for forty-eight days and nights, vigilant and undaunted, had watched and fought in the trenches, were worn out. A general assault of the besieging army was confidently anticipated on the 4th of July, and it was improbable that the garrison, exhausted by fatigues, and diminished to fifteen thousand, would be able to withstand this overwhelming assault. The lines of the enemy at some points, were within a few yards of our own; their mines sapped our works at numerous points, and were supposed to be only awaiting springing. Attempts to countermine were made, but of course not always successfully, and in one of these endeavors, the enemy sprung a mine loaded with a ton of powder, blowing up eighty of our men, some of whom were then engaged in the work. Believing themselves to be undermined, the men were becoming restive in the trenches. Provisions also were at a low ebb; it would have been impossible under any circumstances to hold out much longer; and should the place be carried by assault, no terms could be expected, and all the horrors of a sacked city were to be anticipated. The only alternative was to cut through the enemy's lines, or to capitulate. There being no hope of relief, a council of war of the General officers was called, and this alternative presented. It was the opinion of the majority, that it was physically impossible for the men to cut through the enemy's lines and carry the works obstructing their exit—works known to be as formidable as our own. The minority (among whom was the Lieutenant General commanding,) were of a contrary opinion, and advocated an attempt to cut their way out. The opinion of the majority prevailed, the Commanding General yielding to their discretion; and preparations for the negotiation of terms were entered upon—with what success is before the public.

After the surrender, the Lieutenant-General commanding remained with his army, attending to their wants; and shared with them the hardships of the march to Enterprise, where the army of Vicksburg was dissolved on parole.

Such, in the humble opinion of the undersigned, is a brief synopsis of the events, preceeding and attending the fall of Vicksburg. The

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