138                                HISTORY OF THE SEVENTY-EIGHTH REGIMENT O.V.V.I.

grenades; this caused both sides to fall back from the gap. Both the Colonel and Major of the Forty-Fifth Illinois were killed; also about one hundred men were killed or wounded.

           July 1st. — General Leggett completed another mine or sap into the fort, and placed one ton of powder under the wall. When the match was applied the explosion was terrible, blowing out about about fifty feet in length, and burying rebels by the score, and throwing many high in the air. Eight of these were blown upon our side of the fort, three of whom were colored, and all were killed but two. One of the negroes was but little injured, and insists that he was blown three miles in the air. General Logan had his wounds dressed and well cared for.

           General Joe Johnston had at this time taken possession of Jackson, Miss., and was marching toward Vicksburg to make an attack upon our rear, in order to relieve Pemberton and his starved garrison, which were now reduced to the most scanty rations, consisting of mule meat and bean bread. General Sherman was ordered with part of the army in which was the Second Brigade, to march against Johnston.

           The evening of the 3d of July, every preparation was made to give the rebel army and city a grand celebration on the 4th. Consequently every piece of artillery was supplied with one hundred and fifty rounds of ammunition for that purpose.


           July 1. — Affairs became desperate with the rebels, and one more effort was made to cut through our lines by concentrating upon the left, but they were repulsed with heavy loss, and driven back to their places of shelter.

           On the evening of the 3d a flag of truce came into our lines, brought by two Confederate officers. The messengers were blindfolded, and remained waiting the return of General Smith, who bore dispatches from Pemberton to General Grant. Their eyes were unbandaged, and they talked freely with the Union officers. One said that iron enough had been thrown into Vicksburg to stock a foundry, and build monuments for all the citizens and soldiers that had fallen. When General Smith returned, the officers were again blindfolded and conducted to a safe point, from which they could enter their own lines.

           The character of the dispatches was as follows: "That the unnecessary effusion of blood might be prevented by the cessation of hostilities, during which commissioners might be appointed to agree on terms for the surrender of the city; also intimating that he could hold out for an indefinite period."            General Grant replied briefly, saying that General Pemberton had it in his power to stop the effusion of blood, and the appointment of commissioners was unnecessary, as the only stipulation he could accept was an unconditional surrender; that the rebel garrison should be treated with the courtesy due prisoners of war.

           The messenger had not long been gone till he returned with a dispatch from Pemberton, asking a personal interview with Grant, which was promptly granted. At 3 P.M. the interview took place, about midway between the contending forces. General Grant came slowly and deliberately to the place of rendezvous, smoking his cigar, and apparently the only unexcited person in the vast assemblage of Federal soldiers, who dared for the first time to appear outside of their rifle-pits. Pemberton first remarked that he

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