War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0012 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXVII.

Search Civil War Official Records

a most estimable lady, Mrs. Gamble, lost her life by the fragment of a shell striking her while leaving the city. This lady deserves more than a passing notice. Burning with patriotism, she inspired all around her with the noble spirit of resistance to oppression and confidence in the success of our cause. Ever present in the hospitals, ministering to the sick and wounded soldiers she was among the last of her sex to leave the devoted city, where she yielded up her life in attestation of her faith and devotion. Though but the type of a class of which our Southern land can boast, she is a martyr to the cause she loved, and without her name the history which Vicksburg has made for herself would be incomplete.

To the citizens of Vicksburg a nation's thanks are due for their noble example in surrendering their property and homes to almost certain destruction, and that so little damage was done does not detract from the merit of their act, but rather serves to call for gratitude to the Supreme Being, who has not only preserved from destruction the homes of a patriotic people, but in mercy granted a victory over their enemies.

In conclusion, I deem it proper to remark upon the manner in which the bombardment was conducted. In locating the batteries pains had been taken to place them without the limits of the town, advantageous positions even having been rejected with that view, so that in the approaching struggle the fight might, if the enemy so chose, be confined to the armed points, and the city itself, which could have no bearing upon the ultimate issue, be made to suffer as little as an enlightened and humane method of conducting war would lead us to expect, and which under the same circumstances I think most enemies would have pursued. Events did not justify our expectations. The bombardment opened upon both batteries and town. This was expected and could not be objected to, and no fault is found at its continuing so as long as the enemy had hopes of accomplishing their object; but when the attack on the batteries ceased, when the bombarding force began even to gradually leave, when it was notorious that they deemed their attack a failure, then to continue to throw shells into a beautiful town, as was done day after day, with the sole purpose of injuring it, of defacing it, of destroying private property, indicated a spirit of wanton destruction scarcely pardonable in the uncivilized Indian. This seemed to be the special mission of the upper fleet. Shame to the man who commanded it!

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding Defenses of Vicksburg.

Major M. M. KIMMEL,

Assistant Adjutant-General, District of Mississippi.



Vicksburg, Miss., May 18, 1862

S. P. LEE, U. S. N.,

Commanding Advance of Naval Division:

Your communication of this date, addressed "To the authorities of Vicksburg," + has been delivered to me. In reply I will state to you that, as far as the municipal authorities are concerned, we have erected no defenses, and none are within the corporative limits of the city.


*Embracing the correspondence in reference to surrender of Vicksburg not embraced in General Smith's report.

+See Smith's report, p. 6.