Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 14.djvu/333

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Fortification and Siege of Port Hudson. 327

Headquarters United States Forces,

Before Port Hudson, June 13th, 1863.

Sir, — Respect for the usages of war, and a desire to avoid unne- cessary sacrifice of life, impose on me the necessity of formally demanding the surrender of the garrison of Port Hudson.

I am not unconscious, in making this demand, that the garrison is capable of continuing a vigorous and gallant defence. The events that have transpired during the pending investment exhibit in the com- mander and the garrison a spirit of constancy and courage that, in a different cause, would be universally regarded as heroism, but I know the extremities to which they are reduced. I have many prisoners of war and deserters. I have captured the couriers of the garrison, and have in my possession the secret dispatches of its commander. I have at my command a train of artillery seldom equalled in extent and efficiency, which no ordinary fortress can successfully resist, and an infantry force of greatly superior numbers and most determined purpose, that cannot fail to place Port Hudson in my possession at my will. To push the contest to extremities, however, may place the protection of life beyond the control of the commanders of the respective forces. I desire to avoid unnecessary slaughter, and I, therefore, demand the immediate surrender of the garrison, subject to such conditions only as are imposed by the usages of civilized warfare. I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, Your obedient servant,

[Signed] N. P. Banks, Major- General Co^nmanding.

Major-General Frank Gardner, Confederate States Army, com- manding at Port Hudson.

\_Reply.'] Headquarters Port Hudson, yz^w^ ij, i86j.

Sir, — Your note of this date has just been handed to me, and in reply have to state that my dutv requires me to defend this position, and, therefore, I decline to surrender. I have the honor to be, sir,

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

[Signed] Frank Gardner,

Major- General commanding Confederate States Forces.

Major- Geyieral N. P. Banks, commanding United States Forces, near Port Hudson.