considerable number wound be unable to make the march and undergo the fatigues which would probably be necessary in a successful evacuation of this city. If pressed by the enemy, and it should be necessary to place the Big Black in our rear in one could not succeed. I believe, however, that most of them, rather than be captured, would exert themselves to the utmost to accomplish it.
I respectfully transmit herewith the opinions of my brigade commanders on these points.
I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. L. STEVENSON,
A council was then called on the 3rd instantly by the lieutenant-general, in which he stated that, from information received from General Johnson, all hope of raising the siege of Vicksburg must be abandoned, and that it was only possible to save the garrison. The opinions of those present were then asked as to the best manner of accomplishing it, and it was their unanimous opinion, that rather than surrender, the garrison would attempt to cut its way out under all circumstances, but that if an honorable capitulation could be effected it would be the best and wisest course, considering the condition of the men, as stated at that time by their commanders, and it was suggested that a communication should be addressed to Major-General Grant, commanding United States forces asking him it appoint commissioners to meet a like number of ours to agree upon terms. It was consented to by lieutenant-general reluctantly, I think, and a communication was addressed to General Grant, commanders has already been made public. A strong argument with me in favor of the capitulation was that we would march the army out intact; that they would be exchanged in a very short time, and again be armed and equipped for service. In conclusion, I desire to return my thanks to the officers and men of my command.
I have to thank my brigade commanders, brigadier-Generals Barton, Cumming, lee and Colonel Reynolds, as also Colonel Waul, of the Texas Legion, to whose efficient co-operation I am greatly indebted for the successful defense of my line at Vicksburg, for the untiring energy which they displayed in the management of their brigades, and for examples of devotion, intrepidity, and coolness under every danger by which they inspired their men. *
* * * * * * *
Major FG. L. Gillespie, chief of subsistence, is deserving of special commendation. To his energy zeal, and judicious exertions we were indebted, in my opnion, for the supplies which enabled us to make so protracted a defense of Vicksburg.
Captain J. W. Johnston, inspector-general of light artillery, and Captains Waddell and Grayson, commanding artillery on the left and right of the Hall's Ferry road, respectively they discharged their duties contributed very materially to the defense.
Captain Robinson, engineer officer in charge of my lines, performed his duties promptly and efficiently.
Major McElrath, acting quartermaster of my DIVISION during the siege, has placed me under many obligations by his ready anticipation of the wants of the command and his untiring energy in supplying them. Lieutenant G. D. Wise, ordnance officer of Cumming's brigade,. Has already
*For portion here omitted, see p. 98.