Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/642

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
156
CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

formed of the condition of the troops and their ability to make the marches and undergo the fatigue incident to such a movement. Each of the generals replied that the men were so worn out that only a part could escape, if marching alone was what they were called on to do. The spirit of the men was unbroken, but their strength was exhausted. Generals Smith and Bowen added to their replies a recommendation to capitulate at once, in the hope of getting favorable terms.

Stevenson's brigade commanders reported thus: Barton, that his command was suffering greatly from fever, half of those on duty being under treatment; Cumming, that about half his men were fit to take the field; Reynolds, that a third of his men might be able to march; Lee, that his brigade was in tolerable condition and he considered them equal to the task of evacuating.

To the proposed surrender there were at least two dissenting voices among the generals, that of Baldwin, who was in favor of holding the position, or attempting to do so as long as possible; and that of S. D. Lee, who declared that it was not yet time to surrender, and it was not practicable to cut a way out, but he still had hopes that Johnston would relieve the garrison.

On July 3d General Pemberton sent General Bowen with a note to Grant proposing an armistice for several hours with a view of arranging terms for capitulation, and he suggested the appointment of three commissioners on each side.

Grant replied that his only terms were unconditional surrender, and that commissioners were therefore unnecessary, adding: "Men who have shown so much endurance and courage as those in Vicksburg will always challenge the respect of an adversary, and I can assure you will be treated with all the respect due to prisoners of war." But there was a conference on the lines at 3 p.m. between General Pemberton, accompanied by General Bowen and Capt. L. M. Montgomery, and Grant and