War of the Rebellion: Serial 037 Page 0379 Chapter XXXVI. THE SIEGE OF Vicksburg, MISS.

Search Civil War Official Records

ordnance stores were lost at Snyder's as will also appear by this communication. I will, however, state that I estimate that on average there were about 200 rounds of ammunition to each gun at Snyder's on the morning of May 17 before the movement for evacuation commenced. I quote as follows extracts from my report after the capitulation of Vicksburg, dated July 9:

On May 17 last, I was in command at Snyder's Mill. On the same day, at 11 a. m., I received orders to prepare to evacuate the place, and to send into Vicksburg the commissary stores, and to have driven in all the cattle, hogs, and sheep that could be caught a few mounted men, I, however, commenced carrying out my instructions as far as practicable. At 2,45 p. m. I received orders to send to Vicksburg all ordnance stores, and to prepare to spike and destroy the heavy guns. All remaining wagons were loaded with ordnance stores, and Colonel Isaac W. Patton put to work to prepare the guns for spiking or destruction. Colonel Patton was the commander of my heavy artillery. At 5. 30 p. m. I received the orders to march my command to Vicksburg, leaving two companies at Snyder's Mill, under an efficient officer, to keep up a show of occupation, and to spike or destroy the guns and destroy remaining stores when the enemy would be discovered approaching the position.

* * * * * *

Having made all arrangements possible under existing circumstances with reference to the post of Snyder's Mill, I moved with my command at 7. 30 p. m. by the Valley road to Vicksburg, where I reported myself at 2. 30 o'clock on the morning of May 18. I was immediately ordered to the trenches.

* * * * * * *

Early in the day Colonel Isaac W. Patton received orders directly from the lieutenant-general commanding to return to Snyder's Mill, for the purpose of disposing of the guns and stores left there. These orders relieved Lieutenant-Colonel [J. T.] Plattsmier of the duty I had assigned him, and I have, therefore, no report to make of what was really finally abandoned at Snyder's Mill.

Colonel Patton, having received his orders directly from the lieutenant-general commanding, made me no report on his return to Vicksburg on May 19. I am not aware that he has made any report to department headquarters.

On May 17, several wagon loads of ammunition were sent from Snyder's Mill to Vicksburg. The amount sent in was known by my chief of ordnance, but this officer was, unfortunately, killed before he had sent in his report. I would estimate that at least one half of the powder and cartridges, and perhaps one half of the fixed ammunition, were pounder Parrots, one 24-pounder smooth bore, the Whitworth gun, and the two 12-pounder howitzer given in the list, were brought into Vicksburg by Colonel Patton on May 18 or 19. I known of no ordnance or ordnance stores lost of my command during the siege of Vicksburg, and, therefore, have no statement to make for that period of time.

I remain, respectfully your obedient servant,

LOUIS HEBERT,

Brigadier-General.

R. R. HUTCHINSON,

Asst. Adjt. General, Dept. of Mississippi and East Louisiana.

P. S. -It may be proper to state that at the surrender, on July 4, I stacked on my line, or left in the trenches, about 2,075 serviceable small arms and five pieces of serviceable light artillery. One fourth of the enlisted men had two pieces smalls-arms-one musket and one rifle. All other artillery was at the time unserviceable.