of them into a multitude of columns, was my volunteered suggestion to General Grant the day before the assault, when he announced his purpose to make it. General Sherman's was that it was a question of how many men he was willing to lose. And concentration, doubtless, was the true policy, and with it directed against one or two points, aided by a feint against others, we might have been successful. Without it we failed, with the loss of many lives as an answer to General Sherman's question. My men having succeeded in breaking through the enemy's line, the contingency had arisen in which General Grant admits that more men might have been available, and yet he censures me for asking re-enforcements.
2. He affirms that "no troops succeeded in entering any of the enemy's works with the exception of Sergeant Griffith, of the Twenty-first [Twenty-SECOND] Regiment Iowa Volunteers, and some 11 privates of the same regiment. "
The meaning of the term "works" here becomes important. Has it a definite signification; and, if so, what is it? In military parlance, according to received lexicographers, it means walls, trenches, and the like, made for fortifications. In this sense, as a military man, doubtless, General Grant uses it, and in this sense he is mistaken, as the sequel will show that not only did Sergeant Griffith and the men with him enter the enemy's works, but that Lieutenant-Colonel [H.] Graham, of the Twenty-SECOND Iowa, with some 200 men, charged the enemy's intrenchments and drove him away, and held them until near nightfall. And I may add that men of Benton's and Burbridge's brigades, of Carr's and Smith's DIVISIONS, did about as much, driving the enemy from another part of his trenches.
3. General Grant affirms that he
received a SECOND dispatch from McClernand, stating positively and unequivocally that he was in possession of, and still held, two of the enemy's forts; that the American flag then waved over them, and asking to have Sherman and McPherson make a diversion in his favor.
General Sherman, in his report of the assault, in alluding to this same dispatch, says:
Having heard McClernand's report to General Grant read, that he had taken three of the enemy's forts, and that his flags floated on the stronghold of Vicksburg, I ordered General Tuttle to send directly to the assault one of his brigades.
Here are two versions of my dispatch, one General Grant's and the other General Sherman's. Why did not General Grant give the dispatch totidem verbis? In a question of veracity between us it was but fair and just that he should have done so. I never wrote or knowingly authorized such a dispatch to be sent. If he received such an one purporting to come from me, it was through the mistake of a copyist. The dispatch I did write and authorize to be sent to him was very different. In most material part it was nearly the opposite. It was that I had part possession; not that my possession was complete; not that it was undisputed; not that it was secure; but that it was disputed and insecure, and needed to be strengthened and perfected by re-enforcements or a diversion. On the contrary, I would not have asked for support without having first unsuccessfully tried to press my advantage. As to my saying that the American flag waved over two forts, and asking to have Sherman and McPherson make a diversion in my favor, I have only to add that while again my language is not given, the facts stated are substantially true, as will hereafter appear.
The original of the mooted dispatch and the authentication of its