(CIVIL WAR--CONFEDERATE.) Montgomery, Louis M. Letter on the day of the surrender of Vicksburg regarding the paroled Confederates. Letter Signed as a Confederate Lieutenant Colonel to Major General James B. McPherson of the Union Army. One page, 9 1/2 x 7 3/4 inches; folds, minor foxing, mount remnants on verso. Laid into archival mat with an illustration of the surrender. Vicksburg, MS, 4 July 1863
The negotiations to end the horrific Siege of Vicksburg began on 3 July 1863. The opposing commanders Grant and Pemberton met under an oak tree between the lines. Grant initially insisted on an unconditional surrender, and the generals each left two top aides to arrange the logistics. Among them were Louis Morton Montgomery (circa 1833-1916) for the Confederates and James Birdseye McPherson for the Union. The next morning, the Union Army marched through the gates of Vicksburg and took possession of the city at 8 a.m. The nearly 30,000 starving and disease-ridden Confederate troops were too numerous for Grant to imprison and send north; his main priority was to continue eastward toward Atlanta. Thus the Confederates were to be sent east to be formally paroled. Each was required to swear never to bear arms against the United States again. This letter was apparently written shortly afterward on the morning of the surrender, with Montgomery sent to gather supplies for his desperate fellow parolees prior to their march to the parole camps: "I have the honor to inform you that Major Genl. Grant has given permission to Lt. Genl. Pemberton, Confederate Army, to pass an officer en route to Jackson with a view of arranging supplies for his (Genl. Pemberton's) forces during their march. I also have the honor to say that I am the officer designated by Genl. Pemberton for that purpose. Will you, therefore, be good enough to furnish me with the necessary passes and protections through your lines in my route." An important letter regarding the logistics of the surrender, written on the day of the momentous event.
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