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[120] Without a dissenting voice the council decided that he could not hold out longer.

Vicksburg on the Mississippi surrendered on July 4, 1863. General Lee began his retreat from Gettysburg on the same day. The coincidence was strange. By many south of the Potomac it had been thought tragical. ‘Sometimes it happens,’ says Herodotus, speaking of the defeat of the Persians at the same time at Plataea and Mycale, ‘that two mortal blows strike the unhappy on the same day.’1 The surrender of Port Hudson to General Banks (with the fleet) on July 9th, followed, as has been seen, the surrender of Vicksburg to General Grant on July 4, 1863.2 ‘The surrender of Port Hudson by General Gardner included about 6,000 persons all told, 51 pieces of artillery, and a quantity of ordnance stores. Our loss in killed and wounded in the assaults was small compared with that of the enemy.’ It is not too much to say that when surrendered the garrison of Port Hudson, which had resisted a vastly superior force, attacking by both land and water, for more than six weeks, was as dauntless in spirit as on the first day of the defense.3

1 ‘Did Stonewall Jackson inspire victory?’—John Dimitry, Belford's magazine, September, 1863.

2 History of Confederate States, Jefferson Davis.

3 The parole rolls showed the following Louisiana commands at Port Hudson: Fourth Louisiana (detachment), Capt. James T. Whitman; Ninth infantry battalion, Capt. T. B. R. Chinn; Ninth battalion, partisan rangers, Lieut. Col. J. H. Wingfield, Maj. J. DeBaun: Twelfth heavy artillery battalion, Lieut-Col. P. F. DeGournay; Thirteenth regiment (detachment), Capt. T. K. Porter; Louisiana legion, Col. W. R. Miles; Boone's battery, Capt. S. M. Thomas; Watson's battery, Lieut. E. A. Toledano. Colonel DeGournay commanded the heavy batteries of the left wing. Lieut. L. A. Schirmer, of his command, on June 25th, seized the flag of Miles' legion, which had been shot down, ‘fixed it to a light pole, and jumping on the parapet, planted the flagstaff amid a shower of bullets. Again and again the flag was shot down, and each time the gallant lieutenant raised it, waved it defiantly, and planted it firmly regardless of the volleys of the enemy's sharpshooters. He escaped unhurt after repeating thrice this gallant feat, which called forth the enthusiastic cheers of the brave men who lined our works.’ Colonel Wingfield's rangers won the praise in general orders of the general commanding by a repulse of the enemy's cavalry on the Plain's Store road, May 23d.

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