Sunday, July 04, 2010

The Formal Surrender of the Confederate Fortress City of Vicksburg,

Mississippi, occurred on this day 147 years ago. Happy 4th of July.

General Ulysses S Grant, USA, to General John C Pemberton, CSA:
     …the useless effusion of blood you propose stopping…can be ended at any time you choose, by unconditional surrender of the city and garrison. Men who have show so much endurance and courage as those now in Vicksburg will always challenge the respect of an adversary, and I can assure you will be treated with all the respect due prisoners of war.

General Grant to General Henry W Halleck, USA:
     The enemy surrendered this morning. The only terms allowed is their parole as prisoners of war.

General William T Sherman, USA, to General Grant:
     I can hardly contain myself. Surely I will not punish any soldier for being “unco happy” this most glorious anniversary of the birth of a nation whose sire and father was a Washington…This is a day of jubilee, a day of rejoicing to the faithful.

General Grant to General Sherman:
     When we go in [to Vicksburg] I want you to drive [Confederate General Joseph E] Johnston from the Mississippi Central railroad; destroy bridges as far as Grenada with your cavalry; and do the enemy all the harm possible.

General Sherman to General Grant:
     Already my orders are out to give one big huzza and sling the knapsack for new fields…Sunday and July 4 are nothing to Americans until the river of our greatness is free as God made it.

Admiral David Porter, USN, to General Grant:
     I congratulate you on getting Vicksburg on any honorable terms.

General Grant to Colonel James B McPherson, USA:
     I want the Negroes to understand that they are free men.

President Abraham Lincoln to General Grant:
     My Dear General, I do not remember that you and I have ever met personally. I write this now as a grateful acknowledgement for the almost inestimable service you have done the country. I wish to say a word further. When you first reached the vicinity of Vicksburg, I thought you should do, what you finally did – march the troops across the neck, run the batteries with the transports, and thus go below; and I never had any faith, except a general hope that you knew better than I, that the…expedition…could succeed. When you got below, and took Port Gibson, Grand Gulf and vicinity, I thought you should go down the river and join Gen [eral Nathaniel P] Banks; and when you turned Northward East of the Big Black [River], I feared it was a mistake. I now wish to make the personal acknowledgement that you were right, and I was wrong. Yours very truly…

NOTE: Passages appear in Grant Moves South, Bruce Catton, 1960. Painting of the 4th Minnesota Regiment by Francis D Millet, in the collection of the Minnesota Historical Society.


Anonymous said...

actually throughout all my years i never read nor saw a better reminder of why 4th of july. did you know that the document was actually signed on the second of july.
happy 4th to you and all.

Richard Laurence Baron said...

Thank you, Sandra - such a pleasure to hear from you. Yes, I did know about July 2nd; but for some reason, the US Civil War is much more...present during this time of year. Best to everyone in Atlanta...