A western correspondent of the Columbia Guardian
sums up the results, thus far, of Grant
's movement against the rear of Vicksburg
Let us view stern facts and deduct our own conclusions as to the final termination of affairs about Vicksburg
First, then, it is a fact that Grant
's army, from thirty to fifty thousand strong, have repulsed us at Grand Gulf
, and forced their way through our lines, repulsing us still at every intermediate point at which we offered resistance, and reached and captured Jackson
Secondly, it is certain that our forces under Gens. Stevenson
being chief in command — with, I will say, 15,000 to 20,000 men, occupy a line between Jackson
and Grand Gulf
, extending from some distance this side of Big Black river
, 12 miles below Vicksburg
Thirdly, it is certain that General Johnston
, with the commands of Gens. Bowen
, retreated from Jackson
up the Canten road, expecting to be reinforced by troops arriving via Meridian
, and at the same time to communicate and co-operate with Gen. Pemberton
Fourthly, it is certain that Vicksburg
, strongly fortified and defended by thirty to fifty thousand troops, and having supplies for six months, is prepared to resist a most strong and protracted siege.
These are the facts; now let us cursorily consider them.
It is evident that the enemy designs the reduction of Vicksburg
, and expects to accomplish it by taking Jackson
, and thus cutting off our chief means of supplies and reinforcements.
is provided for a six months siege, while the enemy is not. Moreover, he is in the midst of a hostile country, and has left partly in his rear the forces now forming the line from Big Black to Warrenton
, which can be strengthened from Vicksburg
, and may intercept his supplies and reinforcements and cut off his retreat.
It, then, our line of interception can be maintained, it is patent that Grant
cannot make a protracted siege, but finding himself surrounded, must soon either advance to a conflict of arms or be forced by starvation to surrender.
A great issue, then, is pending--one fraught with momentous importance to our young Confederacy.
A desperate and bloody battle is at hand, Vicksburg
is the prize at stake, and upon its fall or triumph hangs the fate of Mississippi