As proof of this, on page 428, Vol. XXIV, part 3, War Records, is found the following letter:
Near Vicksburg, June 22, 1863.
General Parke: Sherman goes out from here with five brigades, and Osterhaus’ division subject to his order, besides. In addition to this, another division, 5,000 strong, is notified to be in readiness to move on notice. In addition to this I can spare still another division, 6,000 strong, if they should be required. We want to whip Johnston at least fifteen miles off, if possible.
U. S. Grant.
This shows how full-handed he was in men, for he had the entire besieging garrison at Vicksburg in addition to the great army which Sherman took out to meet Johnston. The letter above referred to bears date June 15, 1863, and says: "A portion of the Ninth army corps, about 8,000 strong, has now arrived, and will take position, etc." All this shows that it is no unreasonable assertion to say that Grant had 100,000 men in the siege at Vicksburg.
The parole lists indicated 29,491 men in the Vicksburg lines, of whom 23,233 were privates. Of these 3,084 were paroled in hospital. The men were marched out after being provisioned, and it was at once apparent by their painful and tedious progress that they could not have escaped from the siege. They were taken to Demopolis and there went into camp as paroled prisoners under charge of their own provost marshals.
Port Hudson, La., had been invested May 24th and surrendered July 8th, and now the whole course of the Mississippi was in the hands of the United States, except such occasional attacks as steamers might expect in passing through a hostile country.