Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/551

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fiantly said: "Mississippians don’t know and refuse to learn how to surrender to an enemy. If Commodore Farragut or Brigadier-General Butler can teach them, let them come and try;" and the third, an enclosure in Autry’s note, from General Smith, commanding the forces at or near Vicksburg, who stated that "having been ordered here to hold these defenses, my intention is to do so as long as it is in my power."

In the report of General Smith of this first attack on Vicksburg, from which we now liberally quote, he says: "The citizens of the town had with great unanimity made up their minds that its possession ought to be maintained at all hazards, even though total demolition should be the result. This determination was enthusiastically concurred in by persons of all ages and both sexes, and borne to my ears from every quarter. Thus cheered on and upheld, the defense became an affair of more than public interest, and the approving sentiments of those so deeply interested unquestionably had its influence on the ultimate result. Our cause probably needed an example of this kind, and assuredly a brighter one has never been given. The inhabitants had been advised to leave the city when the smoke of the ascending gunboats was first seen, under the impression that the enemy would open fire immediately upon arrival, hence the demands for surrender found the city sparsely populated and somewhat prepared for an attack, although when it really commenced there were numbers still to depart, besides many who had determined to remain and take the chances of escaping unharmed, a few of whom absolutely endured to the end."

In the fall of 1861, the construction had been begun at Memphis of two ironclad rams, the Tennessee and Arkansas, to be completed December 24th; but as they were unfinished at the fall of Island No. 10, the Tennessee was burned and the Arkansas was brought down the Mississippi and taken up the Yazoo river to Greenwood for com-