until seeing and conversing with him, that there might still be some mistake in the Federal reports on that subject, but unfortunately they turn out to be true. The reason that he assigns for the surrender was want of provisions. The army, he states, had for some weeks been on quarter rations, and the day prior to the capitulation mule meat was issued to the men. This, with the inability of General Johnston to relieve them, was stated to the men as the reason for the surrender. On the 3rd, General Pemberton sent a flag of truce to General Grant proposing terms, which was replied to by General G. on the 4th, when the Federals came in and took possession; a sad Fourth of July to us this has proved. From what I can learn, the terms of surrender were about these: Officers and men all to be paroled on the spot, and to be marched out in a body, the officers retaining their side arms and the men their personal effects. Everything else the Federals took possession of. He knows very little about individuals but says that a great many of our men were sick; he thinks that there were not more than 10,000 men fit for duty, and as they were kept daily on duty on quarter rations, they were very much exhausted. He thinks that on the evening of the 4th, a large part of Grant's army started toward Jackson, in pursuit of General Johnston, and he heard it reported in Helena yesterday that they had cut Johnston up very badly and taken a large number of prisoners. This same report I heard from Federal surgeons, who were out a day or two since. This, however, may all be Yankee gasconade.
The men brought out no papers from Helena, and I am, therefore, unable to give you any definite information from General Lee's army. They say, however, that the Yankees still claim a victory over him in Pennsylvania but that our friends in Helena do not credit it. One man who read the papers states that the telegrams were so confused and contradictory that he could make nothing out of them. You may have received more recent and reliable news on all these points than I have; still I give you such information as I have received. Citizens here are not allowed to go into Helena, nor to receive papers therefrom, so that we are very much cut off from all sources of news, and have to depend on papers occasionally smuggled out and on chance passers-by. Our pickets (some 50 or 60) went by this yesterday, within a mile or so of town. The Federals (I mean their cavalry) have not been out for several days, but may do so at any time. I have made inquiry, but cannot ascertain that any gunboats have gone up White River. I have no heart to write on any other subject. Our wounded are getting on very well. I would be glad to learn your whereabouts, and to know whether I will have to join you in Texas or elsewhere.
I have the honor to be, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. M. McPHEETERS.
CAMP NEAR VILLAGE CREEK,
July 14, 1863
Major THOMAS L. SNEAD,
I am now within a day's march of Jacksonport with two regiments; one is at Jacksonport sent ahead by General Fagan. I would like to know to whose division I belong. I was put under command and sent up this way by General Holmes. This way of doing is just the way to get everything into a snarl. I have been fighting mud and working along so laboriously that it has just been out of my power to get up my