Recollections of the surrender of Vicksburg.A correspondent of the Atlanta Appeal, who was in Vicksburg at the time of its surrender, writes to that paper an interesting account of his recollections, from which we make some extracts: ‘ On one occasion the Yankees were driving a flock of sheep, which they had stolen from some of the farmers. The sheep stampeded and ran into our lines, furnishing our troops with fresh mutton on Yankee account. There was a large number of horses turned out of the lines for want of something to eat. No forage could be had in town, and trees were cut down for them to browse upon the leaves. Every day I saw from one to half a dozen perish by starvation; and it was distressing to witness the sufferings of poor dumb brutes, entailed upon them by man's inhumanity. Some few of the most singular incidents will do to narrate, as they belong to that class of miraculous escapes which no one can account for. A lady had just arisen from her recking when a large shell came through the front, falling upon the chair and going into the cellar, bursted, and shivered the house into fragments, the lady being in the midst of the ruin, and was never touched. A soldier on the lines was engaged in washing his clothes which were boiling in the camp kettle, when fell into the kettle, carrying is, clothes and all, to an unknown depth in the ground. No remains of it could ever be discovered. Several cases occurred where shells went into houses and fell upon beds where people were sleeping, and never injured any one.--One shelf fell among a large crowd of troops and happened to light just upon the spot in the middle that was unoccupied. The slightest obstruction would change the course of a shell, and one went into a house and passed through four rooms at as many different angles. One dropped between two horsemen and, bursting, raised both horses and riders several feet into the air, without touching either man or beast number of accidents occurred in the hospitals, and many of our poor soldiers were killed by the shells. This was regarded as a refinement of cruelty, but was in perfect keeping with the character of the enemy. One young man, while working in the garden, saw a shell fall about six feet in front of him, and fearing it would burst, threw himself upon the ground, the shell in the meanwhile passing underneath exploded directly under him, sending him sprawling into the air like a big toad, and never injured him in the least. A great many incidents of this kind occurred, some of which will probably never find their way into public print. One lady was cooking her dinner when a shell went into the pot, smashing the stove into splinters and tearing up the house, without injury to any one in it. The following persons were killed: Mr. Groome, Mr. Conner, Miss Holley, Mrs. Cisco, Mrs. Miller, and a little daughter of Mr. Jones among the ladies wounded were Mrs. Hazzard, Mrs. Dr. C. W. Peters, Mrs. H. H. Clements, Mrs. Major T. B. Read, Miss Lucy Rawlings, Miss Maggie Cook, and Miss Hassley. Among the curiosities of the siege is the following circular, which Commodore Porter got up and attempted to transmit in bombshells. Three hundred copies of these were placed in a shell, with the hope that out of this number perhaps one might be saved and picked up, but none ever arrived safely in town, and after the surrender an officer of Porter's fleet handed me this copy and told me the story: ’
To our friends in Vicksburg!June 28th, 1863 --Cave in, boys, and save your lives, which are considered of no value by your officers. There is no hope for relief for you. Sherman with sixty thousand men is chasing Joe Johnston. Grant with ninety thousand men envirous Vicksburg. You can't escape in these boats, that game is blocked on you. The twelve thousand men under McCulinch, on whom you depend to help you out, are retreating back to Harrisburg, well whipped; even Col. H., who hopes to escape in his fast six () oared whale boat, can't come it — Not one soldier of you will be heard of, as connected with the siege of Vicksburg, while your officers will all be spoken of as heroes. Your present form of Government crushes out the hopes of every poor man, distinction is kept for the aristocracy of the South. You have better friends on this side than on that — the friends of freedom.
As the siege progressed the distinguishing feature of the attack was changed from light to heavy artillery. The enemy had placed eight and ten-inch columbians on the lines, which were brought to bear upon our works, and their sharpshooters also came down the bank of the river opposite and fired across, so that it became dangerous to be near the river. It was evidently their determination to destroy the town, as incendiary shells were now used with more frequency. These shells contained a small tin tube about two and a half inches in length, and of the thickness of a man's finger. This was filled with some kind of burning fluid, and the outside wrapt with several layers of paper. Upon the bursting of the shell this tube would drop to the ground and burn with an intense heat for some ten or fifteen minutes, igniting the grass or any other object with which it came in contact. Red hot shot were also fired, but they passed through houses, in such baste that they had no time to set anything on fire. When it had become known, on the morning of the 4th of July, that the place was surrendered, one of those humiliating and improvident scenes which have already brought disgrace upon the Confederacy took place, to wit: the sacking of the Quartermaster's stores Strange as it may seem, there was a large supply of soldiers' clothing stored away, and the army was told that there was none on hand.--Often, during the siege, did our ragged troops apply for clothes, but were invariably told that there was none on hand; and yet when the enemy came into town thousands of dollars' worth were found and thrown out of doors to be appropriated by everybody, whether entitled to them or not. It is such mismanagement and imposition that disgusts and dissatisfies our troops, who see very plainly that there is mismanagement among those to whom they must look for supplies. When the Yankees first arrived in town, they came in as stragglers, making no demonstration at all except raising their flag on the cupola of the court house. In a few hours the city was filled with them, and they immediately searched and sacked every quarter of the town. Every store was broken open and sacked, and nothing of value to them being found, they manifested their vandalism by destroying, everything that came in their way. After the town had been sacked, the people robbed and plundered of everything, General Grant issued an order prohibiting interference with private property; but this did not prevent a cavalry company from encamping in one of the handsomest gardens, where the fruit and vegetables were just beginning to mature. One of their first acts was to rob the Catholic Church, breaking in and carrying off the miter and chalice. Instead of regarding this as theft and vandalism, they seemed to exult over it as a great achievement, and paraded the streets in sacrilegious bravado, carrying the emblems upon their heads in mockery of the holy church. I noticed a great many Irishmen in the Federal army, and presuming that they are Catholics, it is a mystery to me how they can reconcile such conduct with their faith.