War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0014 W.FLA., S.ALA., S.MISS., LA., TEX., N.MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

From the night of May 27 until June 14, we occupied this line. Another partially successful assault was then made. An incessant and harassing fire was kept up upon the enemy night and day, leaving him without rest or sleep.

On June 20, a heavy artillery fire was kept up, and at 3 o'clock on the morning of the 11th we endeavored to get within attacking distance of the works, in order to avoid the terrible losses incurred in moving over the ground in front of the works; but the enemy discovered the movement before daybreak. A portion of the troops worked their way through the abatis to the lines, but were repulsed with the loss of several prisoners.

On June 14, a second general assault was made at daylight. A column of a division was posted on the left, under General Dwight, with the intention of getting an entrance to the works by passing a ravine, while the main attack on the right was made by the commands of Grover and Weitzel. Neither column was successful in fully gaining its object, but our lines were advanced from a distance of 300 yards to distances of from 50 to 200 yards from the enemy's line of fortifications, where the troops intrenched themselves and commenced the construction of new batteries. On the left, an eminence was gained which commanded a strong point held by the enemy, called the citadel, and which, later, enabled us to get possession of a point of the same bluff upon which due citadel was constructed, within 10 yards of the enemy's lines. This day's work was of great importance; but it was now felt that our force was unequal to the task of carrying the works by assault, and the slower, but more certain, operations of the siege were commenced.

The fighting had been incessant night and day for a period of twenty-one days and nights, giving the enemy neither rest nor sleep. During these operations the nine-months' men, whose, terms had expired or were about to expire, were dissatisfied with their situation, and unwilling to enter upon duty involving danger. Great embarrassment and trouble was caused by the conduct of some of these troops, one regiment, the Fourth Massachusetts, being in open mutiny.

The siege operations were pursued with the greatest vigor. On the right, we had completed our saps up to the very line of the enemy's fortifications. On the left, a mine had been prepared for a charge of 30 barrels of powder, in such position as would have made the destruction of the citadel inevitable.

Communication had been regular with General Grant at Vicksburg during the progress of the siege, and on July 6 we received information of the surrender of that post. Major General Frank. Gardner, in command of the post, asked for an official statement of the report of the capture of Vicksburg, which had been circulated throughout his command, and I sent him a copy of that portion of the official dispatch of General Grant relating to the surrender of Vicksburg, and received on the night of July 6 a request that there might be a cessation of hostilities, with a view to an agreement of terms of a surrender. This was declined. He then made known officially his determination to surrender the post and garrison. A conference was appointed to agree upon the terms, which resulted in the unconditional surrender of the works and garrison, which was formally executed on July 8, and our troops entered and took possession of the work on the morning of the 9th.

General Gardner, in commending the gallantry of his men for their unwearied labors in the defense, which all our troops readily acknowledged, stated emphatically, as if he desired to be understood, that his surrender was not on account of the fall of Vicksburg or the want of