destroyed a large quantity of public property there. Then the victorious army turned toward Vicksburg, and after defeating the Confederates under Pemberton at Champion Hills on the 16th of May, and at the passage of the Black River on the 7th, the National army swept on and closely invested Vicksburg, in the rear on the 19th, receiving their supplies from a base on the Yazoo, established by Porter. For a fortnight the army had drawn its subsistence from the country through which it had passed. It now rested for a brief space after a wonderful week's work. Then, after two unsuccessful and disastrous assaults on Vicksburg, Grant began a regular siege of the works there, with the co-operation of Porter's fleet.
Investment and Siege of Vicksburg - Galveston - Banks in Louisiana - Siege and Surrender of Port Hudson - The Two Armies in Virginia - Peck and Longstreet at Suffolk - Moseby at Fairfax Court-House - Cavalry Battlc - Cavalry Raids - Movements on Chancellorsville - Battle There - Death of "Stonewall Jackson " - Sedgwick's Escape - Retreat of the Army of the Potomac - Siege of Suffolk - The Confederate Army and Service - Power of the Confederates Abroad - Davis Recognized by the Pope - Napoleon, Mexico, and the Confederacy - Napoleon's Real Designs - Confederates Invade Maryland and Pennsylvania - Panic Operations in Pennsylvania - Battle at "Gettysburg-Seward" Circular.
After Grant's last assault on Vicksburg, his effective men did not exceed twenty thousand in number. He determined to make the capture of Vicksburg an event of the near future, and called in reinforcements. They came in such numbers, that by the middle of June the investment of Vicksburg was made absolute. Sherman's corps was on the extreme right, McPherson's next and extending to the railway, and Ord's (late McClernand's) on the left, the investment in that direction being made complete by the divisions of Herron and Lanman, the latter lying across Stout's Bayou, and touching the bluffs on the river. Parke's corps, and the divisions of Smith and Kimball, were sent to Haines's Bluff, where fortifications commanding the land side had been erected to confront any attempt that Johnston might make in that direction. Meanwhile Vice-Admiral Porter had made complete and ample arrangements for the most efficient co-operation on the river, and his skill and zeal were felt throughout the siege, which continued until the first week in July. Every day, shot and shell were hurled upon the city and the insurgent camps, from land and water. The inhabitants were compelled to seek shelter in caves dug out of the clay hills on which the city stands. In these, whole families, free and bond, lived for many weeks, while their houses without were perforated by the iron hail. Therein children were born, and persons died, and soldiers sought shelter from the tempest of war. Very soon famine afflicted the citizens. Fourteen ounces of food became a regular allowance for each person for forty-eight hours. The flesh of mules made savory dishes toward the end of the siege. Finally the besiegers undermined one of the principal forts of the enemy, in the line of the defences on the land side, and it was blown up with fearful effect. Other mines were made ready for the infernal work, when Pemberton, despairing of expected aid from Johnston, made a proposition to Grant to surrender the post and his army. The generals met under the shadow of a live-oak tree in the rear of the town on the 3d of July to arrange the terms of surrender, and on the 4th the stronghold of Vicksburg, with twenty-seven thousand men and a vast amount of ordnance, and other public property, were surrendered to the leader of the National forces.
From the time of the battle at Port Gibson to the fall of Vicksburg, General Grant had captured thirty thousand prisoners (among them fifteen general officers), with arms and ammunition for an army of sixty thousand men; also steamboats, locomotives, railroads, a vast amount of cotton, etc. He had lost, during that time, nine thousand eight hundred and thirty-three men, of whom one thousand two hundred and thirty-three had been killed. By the experience of those few weeks, he had ascertained the real weakness of the Confederacy in that region.
On the night of the 4th of July (1863), the powerful fleet of Vice-Admiral Porter was lying quietly at the levee at Vicksburg, and in commemoration of that National holiday our troops regaled the citizens with a fine display of fireworks more harmless than those which, for more than forty nights, had coursed the heavens above them like malignant meteors.
Galveston had been recaptured by the Confederates on the first of January, 1863; but that victory was rendered almost fruitless by a close blockade of the port by National vessels. From that time General Banks had been co-operating with General Grant, and making efforts to "repossess" Louisiana.