Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/560

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79
CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

terms. "The lamented Colonel Statham's brigade, under his own lead, showed a bravery in guarding the front of attack assigned him that could not be surpassed. On one occasion, having forced his way through a swamp deemed impassable, he made a rush upon the mortar-boats moored to the shore, driving the force guarding on board, and, had the positions of the boats been accurately known, would have taken possession of and destroyed several."

But the Mississippians alone did not gain this splendid result. As General Van Dorn, himself one of the State’s most famous sons, well said: "The power which baffled the enemy resided in the breasts of the soldiers of seven States, marshaled behind the ramparts at Vicksburg. Mississippians were there, but there were also the men of Kentucky, of Tennessee, of Alabama, of Arkansas, of Louisiana and of Missouri, as ready to defend the emporium of Mississippi as to strike down the foe at their own hearthstones."

According to the report of General Smith, "the report of the struggle at Vicksburg would be incomplete without the following merited tribute: During the engagement of the 28th, an estimable lady, Mrs. Gamble, lost her life by a fragment of shell striking her as she left the city. This lady deserves more than a passing notice. Burning with patriotism, she inspired all around her with the noble spirit of resistance to oppression and confidence in the success of our cause. Ever present in the hospitals, ministering to the sick and wounded soldiers, she was among the last of her sex to leave the devoted city, where she yielded up her life in attestation to her faith and devotion. Though but the type of a class of which our Southern land can boast, she is a martyr to the cause she loved, and without her name the history which Vicksburg has made for herself would be incomplete."

General Smith called attention to another fact, that after the Federal fleet had given up their attempt to reduce the batteries and had in fact partly retired, they contin-