Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Stevenson's Reply to General Pemberton's inquiry - Can we break out of Vicksburg?

Vicksburg, July 2, 1863.


Your note (confidential) of yesterday, requesting me to inform you as to the condition of my troops and their ability to make the marches and undergo the fatigue necessary to accomplish a successful evacuation of this city, was duly received, and I have the honor to reply thereto as follows: My men are very cheerful, but from long confinement (more than forty-five days) in the trenches on short rations, are necessarily much enfeebled, and a considerable number would be unable to make the marches and undergo the fatigues which would probably be necessary to a successful evacuation of this city. If pressed by the enemy, and it should be necessary to place the Big Black in our rear in one march, the chances are that a large number of them now in the trenches could not succeed. I believe, however, that most of them, rather than be captured, would exert themselves to the utmost to accomplish it. I respectfully transmit herewith the opinions of my brigade commanders on these points.

I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

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