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The enemy in force reached our front on the 12th. A posi. tion had been previously selected to cover the Potomac from Williamsport to Falling Waters, and an attack was awaited during that and the succeeding day. This did not take place, though the two armies were in close proximity, the enemy being occupied in fortifying his own lines. Our preparations being completed, and the river, thongh still deep, being pronounced fordable, the army commenced to withdraw to the south side on the night of the 13th. The enemy offered no serious interruption, and the movement was attended with no loss of material, except a few disabled wagons and two pieces of artillery, which the horses were unable to move through the deep mud.

The following day the army marched to Bunker Hill, in the vicinity of which it encamped for several days. It subsequently crossed the Blue Ridge, and took position south of the Rappalannock.

Any comment on Gettysburg must necessarily be a tantalizing one for the South. The Pennsylvania campaign had been a series of mishaps. General Lee was disappointed of half of his plan, in the first instance, on account of the inability or unwillingness of the Richinond authorities to assemble an army at Culpepper Court-house under General Beauregard, so as to distract the enemy and divide lis force by a demonstration upon Washington. Johnston was calling for reinforcemenis in Mississippi ; Bragg was threatened with attack; Beauregard's whole force was reported to be necessary to cover his line on the sea-coast; and the force in Richmond and in North Carolina was very small.

Yet with what force Lee had, his campaign proposed great things-the destruction of his adversary, which would have uncovered the Middle and Eastern States of the North; for, behind Me, le's array, there was nothing but militia mobs and home-guards incapable of making any resistance to an army of veterans. It was in anticipation of this great stake that Richmond was on the tiptoe of expectation. For once in the Confederate capital gold found no purchasers, prices declined, speculation was at its wits' end, and men consulted their interests as if on the eve

lehind under the circumstances I have described. The number of stragglers thus lost, I am nnable to state with accuracy, but it is greatly exaggerated in the despatch referred to.

I am, with great respect,
Your obedient servant,

R. E. LES, General.

of peace.

The recoil at Gettysburg was fatal, perhaps, not necessarily, but by the course of events, to General Lee's campaign; and the return of his army to its defensive lines in Virginia was justly regarded in the South as a reverse in the general for tunes of the contest. Yet the immediate results of the battle of Gettysburg must be declared to have been to a great extent negative. The Confederates did not gain a victory, neither did the enemy. The general story of the contest is simple. Lee had been unable to prevent the enemy from taking the higlilands, many of them with very steep declivities, and nearly a mile in slope. The battle was an effort of the Confederates to take those heights. The right flank, the left flank, the centre, were successively the aim of determined and concentrated assaults. The Yankee lines were broken and driven repeatedly. But inexhaustible reserves and a preponderant artillery, advantageously placed, saved him from rout.

The first news received in Richmond of General Lee's retreat was from Yankee sources, which represented his army as a disorganized mass of fugitives, unable to cross the Poto

on account of recent floods, and at the mercy of an enemy immensely superior in numbers and flushed with victory. A day served to dash the hope of an early peace, and to overcloud the horizon of the war.

A few days brought news from our lines, which exploded the falsehoods of the Yankees, and assured the people of the South that the engagements of Gettysburg had resulted in worsting the enemy, in killing and wounding a number exceeding our own, and in capturing a large number of prisoners ; and that the falling back of our army, at least as far as Hagerstown, was a movement dictated by general considerations of strategy and prudence.

And here it must be confessed that the retreat from Hagerstown across the Potomac was an inconsequence and a mystery to the intelligent public. Lee's position there was strong; his force was certainly adequate for another battle; preparations


were apparently, made for aggressive movements ; and in the midst of all came a sudden renouncement of the campaign and the retreat into Virginia. The public had its secondary wish for the safety of the army. But this did not exclude mortitication on the part of those who believed that General Lee had abandoned the enemy's territory, not as a consequence of defeat, but from the undne timidity or arrogant disposition of the authorities who controlled him.

But news of an overshadowing calamity, undoubtedly the greatest that had yet befallen the South, accompanied that of Lee's retreat, and dated a second period of disaster more frightful than that of Donelson and New Orleans. The saine day that Lee's repulse was known in Richmond, came the astounding intelligence of the fall of Vicksburg. In twenty-four hours two calamities changed all the aspects of the war, and brought the South from an unequalled exaltation of hope to the very brink of despair.


Vicksburg, “the Heroic City.”—Its Value to the Confederacy.-An Opportunity Lost by Butler. - Lieutenant-general Pemberton.-A Favorite of President Da. vis.—The President's Obstinacy.-Blindness of Peinberton to the Enemy's Designs.His Telegram to Johnston.—Plan of U. S. Grant.--Its Daring.–The Battle OF Port Gibson.-Exposure of General Bowen hy Pemberton.— The First Mistake.Pemberton's Disregard of Johnston's Orders.-Grant's advance against Jackson.Johnston's Evacuation of Jackson.-His Appreciation of the Situation.- Urgent Orders to Pemberton.-A Brilliant Opportunity.-Pemberton's Contomacy and Stupidity.-Ilis Irretrievable Error.-Yankce Outrages in Jackson.-Tue Battle Of Baker's CREEK, &c.-Stevenson's Heroic Fight. - Alleged Dereliction of General Loring.-His Division Cut Off in the Retreat.-Demoralization of Pemberton's Troops.- The Enemy's Assault on the Big Black.--Shameful Behavior of the Confederates.-A Georgia Hero.-Pemberton and the Fugitives.--His Return to Vicksburg.--Recriminations as to the Disaster of the Big Black.--How Pemberton Was in the Wrong.-Johnston Orders the Evacuation of Vicksburg.--Pemberton's Determination to Hold It.

VICKSBURG had already become famous in the history of the war, from the cupidity of the enemy and the gallantry of its resistance. The habitual phrase in the Yankee newspapers was—“the three strongholds of the rebellion, Richmond, Vicksburg, and Charleston.” The possession of Richmond would have given an important éclat to the enemy, and some strategic advantages. That of Charleston would have given him a strip of sea-coast and an additional barrier to the blockade. Vicksburg was a prize almost as important as Richmond, and much more so than Charleston. It was the key of tho navigation of the Mississippi, and the point of union between the positions of the Confederacy on the different sides of this river.

At the time of the fall of New Orleans, the defence of Vicksburg was not even contemplated by the authorities at Richmond; and the city was given up for lost by President Davis, as appears by an intercepted letter from one of his family. It was a characteristic want of appreciation of the situation by the Confederate Administration. It is not improbable, that it Butler had had the enterprise and genius to direct a land attack against Vicksburg, it might have readily fallen, on ac


count of the feeble nature of its defences and the insufficiency of its garrison. But the tyrant of New Orleans was a man utterly destitute of military ability, whose ferocions genius was expended in a war upon non-combatants. He let slip thie golden opportunity which the pre-occupation of Beauregard with Halleck gave him to operate upon Vicksburg, and at once complete the Yankee victory, which had been gained at the mouth of the Mississippi.

The time the enemy gave for strengthening the defences of Vicksburg was improved; and we have seen in another volume how it passed comparatively unscathed through one bombardment; how it resisted Sherman's expedition of 1862; and how it defied the gigantic enterprises of the enemy to encompass it with the waters of the Mississippi turned from their channel. But, unfortunately, the battle of Corinth had placed its destinies in the hands of a commander who had not the confidence of the army; who encountered a positive hostility among the people within the limits of his command; and whose haughty manner and military affectation were ill-calculated to win the regard of the soldier or reconcile the dislike of the civilian.

But a short time after the battle referred to, Major-general Earl Van Dorn was removed from command, and Major-general Pemberton was placed in command of the Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana, and, in consequence of his being outranked by both General Van Dorn and General Lovell, was soon after appointed a Lieutenant-general. He was raised by a single stroke of President Davis's patronage from the obscurity of a major to the position of a lieutenant-general. He had never been on a battle-field in the war, and his reputation as a commander was simply nothing. He was entirely the creature of the private and personal prejudices of President Davis. Never was an appointment of this president inore selt: willed in its temper and more unfortunate in its consequences It might have been supposed that the fact that Pemberton did not command the confidence of his troops or of any considerable portion of the public would, of itself, have suggested to the President the prudence of a change of commanders, and dis. suaded him from his obstinate preference of a favorite. But it had none of this effect. The Legislature of Mississippi solicited the removal of Pemberton. Private delegatios froid

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