The occupation of Milliken Bend by the troops of Gen. Kirby Smith
has been followed by its legitimate consequences much sooner even, than we had apprehended.
It has forced Grant
threatened by the horrors of a famine in his camp into a desperate assault upon our lines, from which he has been repulsed with enormous loss.
It appears, even, to have compelled him to look to his rear for the means of escape from the trap in which he has been caught.
The wisdom of General Johnston
's plans begins to appear, and the long forecast and wide-reaching sagacity, with which he has been preparing the impending catastrophe, are every day more and more and object of admiration.
Compelled to form an army in the face of an enemy several times more numerous than himself, he has succeeded so far as to place himself almost on an equality with him. Knowing that procrastination was all important to him
, while it was fatal to his enemy, he has contrived to put off the day of conflict until at last he has little to apprehend from the encounter.
The rivers have fallen, the sickly reason has set in, transportation is already difficult for the enemy, and will soon become impossible.
He foresaw this state of things, and while outsiders, who know nothing of his condition, were imputing to him every petty mishap that occurred around Vicksburg
, he was steadily and calmly preparing the means of ultimate triumph.
We hope that in future our people will be more patient in exigencies of the present description, and console themselves with the reflection that our Generals
, who have been selected for their ability, and who are well acquainted with all the circumstances, are at least as able to conduct the affairs entrusted to them, as those who stay at home and criticise their operations.
If thus much be predicated of Gen. Johnston
, what shall be said of Gen. Pemberton
This brave officer has suffered more from traducers than any other in the Southern Confederacy.
He happened to have been born in a Northern State, and although he had married in Virginia
, had reared his children as Southern people, had resided many years among us, and had rejected the offer of a large fortune to cast in his lot with the North
, there were not wanting men ungenerous enough to impute his Northern birth to him as a crime, and to "foretell" that upon the first opportunity he would prove a traitor to the cause he had espoused at so great a cost.
strongly recommended him to Jefferson Davis
, Jefferson Davis
gave him high rank and important employment upon the recommendation of Gen. Lee
. Joseph E. Johnston
desired to have him for chief of his staff.
declared that there was not a truer man or a braver soldier in the Confederate
All would not do. He was still the object of unceasing censure, and when he was commanding at Charleston
the firmness of President Davis
alone prevented him from falling a sacrifice to the inveteracy of his malingers.
We could never understand what occasioned this storm of hatred, except his Northern birth, the strict discipline he kept up in his camp, and his having said, or been reported to say, that if the enemy attacked Charleston
in force, he should be compelled to evacuate it, as unquestionably he would have been in the then unprepared condition of the place, and as we learn Gen. Beauregard
himself says he would Next came the engagements on the Big Black, for the ill-success of which he received all the blame, although he was attacked by troops four times as numerous as his own, while a portion of the latter shamefully abandoned him, saying that he had sold them and Vicksburg
Through all these difficulties General Pemberton
has fought his way like a hero.
He has not allowed slander and detraction to make the slightest impression upon his mind.
He has never wavered for a moment, and never done any act by which his loyalty could be called in question.
He has made one of the stoutest and noblest defences of which there is any account in history.
He has made Vicksburg
as famous as Saragossa
, and he will go down to posterity with Paradox.
Those who were wide mouthed against him are already ashamed of themselves for having reviled a hero.
Those who were a little
less vehement have veered around, and begin to praise him. Those who were always convinced of his courage and loyalty, but were kept silent by his ill success, begin to hold up their heads, while those who always upheld him are ready to shout for joy. His case presents a solemn warning against giving way to a popular buttery.
Six weeks age he could not have received common justice from the body of his countrymen.
To-day, he is something very much like an idol.
Such are popular extremes.
We feel rather proud that we have been in neither of them; that is to say we have never either denounced or idolized Gen. Pemberton
We regard him as one of the truest men and best officers in the service, and so we have always regarded him. He has rendered a most important service certainly.
Through him, under the Supreme Power
, we believe that Vicksburg
has been saved, and the dreadful consequence of severing our empire averted.
He is certainly worthy of a high place among the before of the Confederacy