means, and to devote the labor of working parties to widening the covered ways and carrying them as near the rebel lines as practicable, in order to afford cover for storming columns.
The reports of deserters generally agree that the town is to be surrendered on the 4th instant. They also say that mule meat is issued to the garrison, though some report that flour and bacon are both plenty. If enemy do not give up Vicksburg before 6th instant, it will be stormed on that day. From Milliken's Bend, E. S. Dennis reports that the rebel force, about 7,000 strong, which recently appeared at Lake Providence, have come down as far as Goodrich's, 15 miles above Milliken's Bend, destroying plantations, burning all the buildings, and carrying off some negroes. The weather is hot; thermometer at noon above 100 degrees.
C. A. DANA.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
NEAR Vicksburg, MISS, July 4, 1863.
Vicksburg has capitulated. Yesterday General Grant received the following letter:
HEADQUARTERS, Vicksburg, July 3, 1863.
Major General U. S. GRANT,
Commanding United States Forces:
GENERAL: I have the honor to propose to you an armistice for-hours, with a view to arranging terms for the capitulation of Vicksburg. To this end, if agreeable to you, I will appoint three commissioners to meet a like number, to be named by yourself, at such place and hour to-day as you may find convenient.
I make this proposition to save the further effusion of blood, which must otherwise be shed to a frightful extent, feeling myself fully able to maintain my position for a yet indefinite period.
This communication will be handed you under flag of truce by Major General J. S. Bowen.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. C. PEMBERTON,
To this Grant replied as follows:
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE
In the Field, near Vicksburg, July 3, 1863. K
Lieutenant General J. C. PEMBERTON,
Commanding Confederate Forces,
GENERAL: Your note of this date is just received, proposing an armistice for several hours, for the purpose of arranging terms of capitulation through commissioners to be appointed.
The useless effusion of blood you propose stopping by this course can be ended at any time you may choose, by an unconditional surrender of the city and garrison. Men who have shown 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 to prisoners of war.
I do not favor the proposition of appointing commissioners to arrange terms of capitulation, because I have no terms other than those indicated above.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
U. S. GRANT,
Bowen, the bearer of Pemberton's letter, was received by General A. J. Smith. He expressed a strong desire to converse with General Grant, and accordingly Grant, while declining this, requested General Smith to say that if General Pemberton desired to see him, an interview would be granted between the line in McPherson's front at any hour in the afternoon which Pemberton might appoint. A message was soon sent back to Smith, appointing 3 o'clock as the hour. Grant was there with his staff and with General Ord, McPherson. Logan, and A. J. Smith. Pemberton came late, attended by General Bowen and Colonel [L. M.]