War of the Rebellion: Serial 038 Page 0426 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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of any troops to show "no quarter," or to punish with death prisoners taken in battle, I will accept the issue. It may be you propose a different line of policy toward black troops and officers commanding them, to that practiced toward white troops. If so, I can assure you that these colored troops are regularly mustered into the service of the United States. The Government and all officers serving under the Government are bound to give the same protection to these troops that they do to any other troops.

Colonel Kilby Smith, of the United States volunteer service, and Colonel John Riggin, assistant aide-de-camp, U. S. Army, go as bearers of this, and will return any reply you may with to make.

Hoping there may be some mistake in the evidence furnished me, or that the act of hanging had no official sanction, and that the parties guilty of it will be duly punished, I remain, your obedient servant,


NEAR Vicksburg, MISS., June 22, 1863.

Brigadier General E. S. DENNIS,

Commanding District of Northeastern Louisiana:

Information received from Vicksburg night before last would seem to indicate the method by which Pemberton may in the last extremity attempt to extricate his army, or a portion of it, from that place. One of our pickets and one of the enemy, by mutual consent, laid down their arms, met half way, and had a long conversation. The rebel said that our cannonading killed and wounded a great many in the rifle-pits; otherwise did not great damage. They fully counted upon an assault as being intended, and were prepared for it. Finding that no assault was made, the feelings of the troops were canvassed to see if they could be got out to attack the Yankees. They not only declined this, but those on the right (our left) almost mutinied because their officers would not surrender. They were only reassured and persuaded to continue on duty by being told that they had provisions enough on hand to last seven days. In that time they would have two thousand boats finished, and they could make their escape by the river. The rebel said they were tearing down houses to get the material out of which you build boats. It may be that should any such movement be contemplated by Pemberton, the enemy WEST of you will attempt assistance by attacking Young's Point simultaneously therewith. General Mower's brigade and all other troops you have at Young's Point you will place at once in the best possible position for the defense of that place against attack from the west, and at the same time prevent any part of the Vicksburg forces from escaping by the way of the Peninsula, and trust the guarding of the Peninsula especially to Mower's brigade, with directions to Mower to keep a strong picket at night on the river in front of Vicksburg, and to place his battery behind the levee or hold it in some good position to be used if any attempt should be made by the enemy at Vicksburg to get out in that direction, and, if possible, to get materials together to light up the river, should any considerable number of boats attempt to cross. Also direct General Mower to call on Admiral Porter and consult with him as to the best disposition of his forces in conjunction with the gunboats to most certainly defeat any attempt of the enemy to escape by way of the Peninsula. Watch well the movements of the enemy WEST of you, and report any information you may obtain to these headquarters.