lesson of the danger and usual failure of a direct assault against well built and manned fortifications, so often taught to other commanders before, had now been learned by him. New batteries were erected, zigzags or approaches commenced, heavy guns, borrowed from the navy, mounted, mines planned, and everything gave the promise of a long and tedious siege.
Our saps and approaches were run towards the rebel works to within a very short distance, and a mine nearly completed and ready for its powder.
This was done under supervision of the Nineteenth Army Corps Staff of Engineers, who suffered severely at Port Hudson
, three being killed and one wounded, out of less than a dozen of us in all.
To lead the army in the third charge, that was finally to capture Port Hudson
, General Banks
called upon his army for a volunteer ‘forlorn hope’ of 1,000 men. These came bravely forward and enrolled in the heroic band, but before our mines were exploded, or the rebel works breached, there came to us the news of the surrender of Vicksburg
, which capitulated on July 4, 1863.
There was great cheering and rejoicing, and salvos of shotted artillery; and the news of Grant
's victory was thrown inside the rebel lines.
, the commander, asked to be assured of the truth of the report, and, being convinced of its accuracy, immediately asked for a cessation of hostilities.
Shortly after, after many preliminaries, on July 8, 1863, he unconditionally surrendered.
These two victories caused great rejoicing in our lines, and corresponding dejection in the Confederacy
The garrison captured amounted to 6,340 men, with fiftyone pieces of artillery, and the loss to the Union
army during the whole siege was 4,363 men.
We found the inside of the rebel works in a fearful condition.
Thus the fall of Port Hudson
was the final blow that severed the Confederacy
, and which, more than any other up to that time, gave full assurance of the final Union victory and the destruction and fall of the rebellion,