their work. Lieut. Hurlbut, of Co. A, a most resolute and de-
serving soldier, is among the number wounded by these hand
grenades. Although unseen by each other, conversation is car-
ried on between the besiegers and besieged. The latter beg for
tobacco, the former ask some memento in return ; and the coveted
articles are tossed back and forth over the parapets.
" On the seventh day of July we were fairly under the fortifica-
tions in different places, â€” had 'mined' them and prepared secure
places for our magazines of power with which to blow them into
l88 HISTORY OF JHE 52D REGIMENT
the air, and open a passage for our troops. Three or four days
more, and we should have been ready to fire the train and to fol-
low up the explosions with victorious assault ; but on the eve of
that ever-to-be-remembered day we received the 'glad tidings of
great joy' announcing the fall of Vicksburg.
"The official despatch from Gen. Grant to Gen. Banks, an-
nouncing the surrender, was made the occasion of great rejoicing
within the Union lines as soon as the contents thereof became
generally known. Salutes were fired, bonfires lighted, and cheers
went up all along our front. Col. Kimball caused a copy of the
official despatch to be tossed over the parapet to anxious Confed-
erates, who desired to know what so much rejoicing signified.
" Upon receiving this information about midnight of the 7th,
Gen. Gardner sent a flag of truce to Gen. Banks, requesting a
cessation of hostilities, with a view to a consideration of terms of
surrender. Gen. Banks replied early on the morning of the 8th
by sending Gen. Gardner a copy of the official notice from Gen.
Grant of the fall of Vicksburg, and saying, ' Under present circum-
stances I cannot consistently with my duty consent to a cessation
of hostilities for the purpose you indicate.' Whereupon a few
hours later Gen. Gardner sent another note to Gen. Banks, from
which I quote as follows : ' Having defended this position as long
as I think my duty requires, I am willing to surrender to you, and
will appoint a commission of three officers to meet a similar com-
mission appointed by yourself at nine o'clock this morning, for the
purpose of agreeing upon and drawing up the terms of sur-
render, and for the purpose of asking for a cessation of hostilities.
Will you please designate a place outside the breast-works where
the meeting shall be held for this purpose } '
"In closing his answer to this note, Gen. Banks said : ' I have
the honor to state that I have designated Brig.-Gen. Charles P.
Stone, Col. Henry W. Birge, and Lieut. -Col. Richard B. Irwin as
the officers to meet the commission appointed by you. They will
meet your officers at the hour designated, at a point where the
flag of truce was received this morning. I will direct that active
hostilities shall entirely cease, on my part, until further notice, for
the purpose stated.'
" The commission thus appointed met at the time and place des-
ignated by the two opposing major-generals commanding, and
mutually agreed upon and adopted the following articles of capitu-
lation : â€”
THE SURRENDER OF PORT HUDSON 189
"Article i. Major-Gen. Frank Gardner surrenders to the
United States forces under Major-Gen. Banks the place of Port
Hudson and its dependences, with its garrison, armaments, muni-
tions, public funds, materials of war, in condition, as nearly as may
be, in which they were at the time of cessation of hostilities;
namely, six o'clock a.m., July 8, 1863.
"Article 2. The surrender stipulated in Article i is qualified
by no condition, save that the officers and enlisted men compris-
ing the garrison shall receive the treatment due to prisoners of
war, according to the usages of civilized warfare.
" Article 3. The private property of the officers and enlisted
men shall be respected, and left to the respective owners.
" Article 4. The position of Port Hudson shall be occupied
to-morrow at seven o'clock a.m. by the forces of the United States,
and the garrison received as prisoners of war by such general offi-
cers of the United States service as shall be designated by Major-
Gen. Banks, with the ordinary formalities of rendition. The Con-
federate troops will be drawn up in line, officers in their positions,
the right of the line resting on the prairie south of the railroad
depot, the left extending in the direction of the village of Port
Hudson. The arms and colors will be piled conveniently, and
will be received by the officers of the United States.
"Article 5. The sick and wounded of the garrison will be
cared for by the authorities of the United States, assisted, if de-
sired by either party, by the medical officers of the garrison.
"Charles P. Stone, Brigadier-General.
" W. N. Miles, Colonel commanding the right
wing of the army.
"Wm. D wight, Brigadier-General.
" G. W. Steadman, Colonel commanding the left
wing of the army.
"Marshall S. Smith, Lieutenatit Colonel, Chief
" Henry W. Birge, Colonel commanding jth
Brigade, Grant's Divisio?i.
N. P. Banks, Major-General.
Frank Gardner, Major-General.
" The formal surrender of Port Hudson was accordingly made on
the 9th of July, 1863. Gen. Gardner, on that occasion, offered to
surrender his sword with his command, but was requested to retain
[From the official report made by Gen. Stone to Gen. Banks,
we learn that the number of enlisted men paroled at Port Hudson
was 5,935; officers not paroled, 405. Aggregate of prisoners
igo HISTORY OF THE 52D REGIMENT
Capt. Jackson, of the Confederate army, reporting to Gen. J. E.
Johnson July 9, 1863, says: "Port Hudson surrendered yester-
day. Our provisions were exhausted; and it was impossible to cut
our way out, on account of the proximity of the enemy's work.
We have lost two hundred killed, and between three and four hun-
dred wounded, and two hundred have died from sickness. At the
time of the surrender there were only about twenty-five hundred
men fit for duty."]
" I well remember that bright, pleasant morning in July when,
with banners flying and bands playing, we proudly marched into
Port Hudson. I then thought it the happiest day of my life.
"The term of service for which the 5 2d Regiment enlisted
expired while we were in the hottest part of the siege, but we had
had the satisfaction and honor of serving until grand results had
been achieved. We now enjoyed the distinguished honor of hav-
ing aided in compelling the surrender of one of the strongest and
most stubbornly defended military positions ever successfully
besieged in this or any other country, thus aiding to remove that
last remaining obstruction to commerce on the Mississippi River.
" We could now return to our dear old New England homes,
rejoicing in this exultant thought, in the proud consciousness that
our military duties in the Union cause had been faithfully per-
" We were to be the first regiment to ascend the Mississippi
River after it had been opened to navigation, but must delay our
departure a week or two for want of the necessary transportation.
While our army had been laying siege to Gen. Gardner on the
east bank of the river. Gen. Taylor, whom we persuaded to vacate
Fort Bisland and then pursued up the Teche to Opelousas, thence
to Alexandria, as previously described, had been making things
somewhat lively for Banks's remaining force west of the Missis-
sippi, at Brashear City, and at Donaldsonville and vicinity.
"About the 20th of June Taylor, having returned with his
reconstructed command down the Teche, surprised and captured
the federal garrison at Brashear City, numbering, all told (includ-
ing convalescents), about fifteen hundred men, together with a
large amount of supplies : thence, moving through La Fourche
country, he struck the Mississippi near Donaldsonville, and from
that point interrupted our communications with New Orleans.
Thereupon, as soon as Port Hudson fell. Gen. Banks again paid
his compliments to Gen. Taylor. An expedition requiring all the
THE SURRENDER OF PORT HUDSON igi
available river transportation was immediately fitted out and sent
down the river to dislodge Taylpr at Donaldsonville, redeem La
Fourche country, and recapture Brashear City. In the mean
time our convalescents from New Orleans and Baton Rouge were
brought up by Surgeon Richardson, members of the regiment on
detached service called in, and other necessary preparations made
to embark on the first transport that could be spared us. I im-
proved this delay to ascertain the facts with regard to the conduct
of the negro troops on the 27th of May previous, as it had been
my purpose to do from the time the first reports of their wonderful
exploits reached me. I went in person to Gen. Grover, â€” a model
soldier, affable, competent, and brave, â€” in whose division the said
Nelson's colored brigade served on the occasion referred to, called
his attention to what had been said and written with respect to the
conduct of that brigade on the 27th of May (and he had heard
and seen reported substantially the same accounts of the affair
that had reached me), and asked him to do me the favor to give
me the facts in the case as officially reported to him, adding that
I not only desired the actual facts for my own satisfaction, but
that, as I was about to return North with my command, for truth's
sake and the country's sake, I should take pleasure in stating the
official facts to whomever they might concern in the North, when-
ever I should have occasion. Gen, Grover smiled in his quiet,
pleasant way, and replied : ' Well, colonel, the story is a short one,
and soon told. Most of the unofficial reports of the affair which
you inquire about that have come to me, as they have to you, are
greatly exaggerated. Nelson's brigade numbered about fourteen
hundred men : they participated in the assault on the 27th of May,
but they made no such wonderful charges as has been reported.
They did not leap the parapets and bayonet the gunners, nor in-
deed did they get very near the parapets : they did not even carry
the rifle-pits thrown out in front. Their entire loss for the day
was one hundred and fifty-seven killed, wounded, and missing, the
greater part of which loss was the " missing." '
*' Having kindly given me in person this interesting informa-
tion. Gen. Grover referred me to his assistant adjutant-general
Capt. Hibbert for further details of the affair. I forthwith
called upon the assistant adjutant-general, used the general's
name, made known my business, and from him received sub-
stantially the above statement, derived from official reports then
in his possession."
ig2 HISTORY OF THE 52D REGIMENT
From a lecture upon the Army Chaplain : â€”
The last and hardest chapter in our experience was the siege of
Port Hudson. Lucky for us, it was the last; for not many of our
number could have survived another like it. It was the hardest
service the regiment saw. We were close up under the rebel
works, and remained there day and night, sheltered only by some
rude earth-works we had thrown up for our protection. The dis-
comforts of our position were not due to any one condition. It
was not that the days were intensely hot and the nights uncom-
fortably cold, and there was no escape from the one or the other ;
it was not that water was scarce, and the little we could obtain was
so filthy as to provoke disgust, the rations poor and insufficient,
the meat fat bacon, and the hard-tack wormy ; it was not that the
men were ragged and dirty, and had to live in the dirt, which,
after a shower became tenacious mud; it was not that they had
to occupy lowly and constrained positions (an upright posture was
sure to be a fatal one) ; it was not that a perfect storm of cannon-
ading and musketry was going on around and over them by day
and night ; it was not that they believed that their term of service
had expired, and that they were unjustly retained and the task be-
fore them seemed hopeless, â€” it was not one of these conditions,
but all combined, that made the month of June as full of hardship
and discomfort as possible. A great deal of sickness prevailed.
Just out of range of rebel muskets the sick men were stretched
upon the ground, lying upon their blankets, exposed to the hot
sun by day and the cold air by night, with such care as the assist-
ant surgeon and the chaplain could render. Three hundred
muskets were all our regiment could show ; and yet there was no
insubordination. Our men went steadily, if not cheerfully, to their
work, determined to see the end. All the harder this, and all the
more honorable, that in several of the nine months' regiments there
was open revolt.
COL. GREENLEAF'S ACCOUNT OF A FORAGING EXPEDI-
TION TO JACKSON CROSS-ROADS.
But to break the monotony of the siege for the 52d Regiment,
an order comes to me from Col. Kimball, late in the evening of
the 19th of June, to report with my command for duty at Gen.
Banks's headquarters, three or four miles to the rear, at sunrise
in the morning.
We were no little puzzled to receive such an order, at such a
time, under such circumstances, but had no alternatii^e but to obey.
It required most of the remainder of the night to get the men out
of the trenches in front to the reserve camps in the rear; but they
were all fairly out by daylight, and ready to march as directed. We
then mustered about five hundred guns altogether. We could
muster no more, for the reason that many men had been made
sick from hard marching and exposure, and many others had been
put upon detached service. Arriving at the general's camp a little
after sunrise, we there met for the first time Gen. Charles P. Stone,
then (or soon to become) Banks's accomplished chief of stafif.
He had been released from what many believed to have been un-
just, arbitrary military arrest in Washington, a few weeks previ-
ously, and ordered to report for duty to Gen. Banks in the Depart-
ment of the Gulf. He had been under arrest about a year, yet up
to this time did not even know the cause of the arrest, although he
had repeatedly asked the proper authorities for specific charges.
Rather a sad commentary on what Shakespeare denominates
"even-handed justice" in Washington at that time. Gen. Stone
has been commander-in-chief of the Egyptian armies for several
years past. But I digress. We now receive the orders for which
we came. We are to escort a forage train, consisting of one hun-
dred and fifty-four mule covered wagons, to Jackson Cross-roads
eighteen miles to the rear and return, and are to have added to
our command for this service one hundred of the 2d Rhode Isl-
and Cavalry, Lieut. Col. Corliss commanding, and one section of
194 HISTORY OF THE 5 2D REGIMENT
Closson's field battery. This train is to be in charge of Banks's
quartermaster and wagon-master, and goes out to confiscate forage
required for the army. It is known, however, at these headquar-
ters that we are liable to encounter the same Confederate force
(estimated at twenty-five hundred men), under Gen. Mouton, that
Gen. Paine and his command sought to "gobble " at .Clinton, two
weeks before ; but we receive our orders, the infantry mount the
wagons as a guard, and we push ahead. A few miles out, where
two converging roads meet and join, we found Lieut. Col. Loomis
and Major Starr, of Grierson's famous command, who, with about
fifty w-agons and two hundred of their fine cavalry, are also on a
foraging expedition ; and it is soon agreed that we join our forces,
and push on to Jackson together. This gives me a command con-
sisting of five hundred infantry, three hundred cavalry, and one
section of an excellent field battery, which, together with the two
hundred wagons, make a train over two miles long.
The country proves to be quite an interesting one. The high
way is bounded by thick evergreen hedges in many places and
skirted by wood in others, â€” a splendid country for bush-whack-
ing, and correspondingly bad for a long forage train, where a
superior force of the enemy is on the lookout for it ! Some eight
or nine miles out we come to a deep gulch, or ravine, from one
hundred and fifty to two hundred yards wide, which we cross. We
are anxious and uncomfortable as we cross this ugly ravine : we
imagine an itinerating battalion of Mouton's force confronting us
on the opposite (western) bank as we return, and we are not
happy. But on we go until about one o'clock p.m., when we reach
Jackson Cross-roads. Here two roads cross each other nearly at
right angles, running nearly north and south, the other east and
west. A mile or two on the road to the north is the village of
Jackson, from which the crossing takes its name.
It is a fine, open, rolling country this. The ground is somewhat
higher at the crossing than for some distance to the south and
east, and we here command a view of quite an extended land-
scape. Beyond the open fields to the south-east, seven or eight
hundred yards away, is a dense wood. About half a mile to
the south, a short distance from the highway, are several plan-
tation out-houses, in which the wagon-master says forage is stored ;
and on the road running east (about north-east from the cross-
ing), about the same distance away, are still other buildings, in
which there is also said to be grain. But, as we have no time
A FORAGING EXPEDITION
to spare, we should load our wagons with all possible despatch,
and begin our return march in season to recross that dangerous
ravine before nightfall.
The colonel comprehended the situation at once, and promptly
gave what he deemed the requisite orders for securing the coveted
forage. One hundred wagons would proceed to the plantation on
the right and load up, preceded by Lieut. Col. Loomis with one
hundred cavalry, who would take position on the road beyond to
guard against attack ; while the other one hundred wagons would
make their way to the other plantation on the left, and load up,
with Major Starr and the remaining one hundred of Grierson's
cavalry posted on the road beyond.
A squad of the 2d Rhode Island Cavalry would be posted as a
picket guard on the Port Hudson road in our rear, another on the
Jackson road, and the remainder of that command, under Lieut.
Col. Corliss, would constitute a guard well to the front.
Our modest little battery was planted on elevated ground in the
south-east angle of the crossing, where it would have a fine wide
range, and the regiment (the guard having previously alighted from
the wagons) formed in line a few yards to the rear to support it.
The regiment stacked arms as soon as the line had been formed,
and the members thereof immediately set about making coffee and
overhauling haversacks for bread and meat for their lunch. These
several movements were made simultaneously : they were likewise
made quickly. We are now in the best position possible, under
the circumstances. But, just as the cooks had fairly got their fires
going, a cavalryman dashed up to me with a written message from
Lieut. Col. Corliss, in which he said he had that moment learned
from negroes and others on the plantation to the right that Gens.
Mouton and Hughes had camped on the premises with their com-
mand of twenty-five hundred men (many of them mounted) the
night previous ; that they had been notified of our coming, and
were now on the lookout for us ; that they were then in the wood
or concealed in the fields near by, and that I might expect to be
attacked by them in a few minutes.
As I finished reading this interesting despatch, another cavalry-
man rode up with a prisoner from the opposite direction, and I
proceeded at once to interrogate them. The prisoner appeared to
be honest and intelligent, freely answered my questions, and fully
confirmed what Lieut. Col. Corliss had despatched to me with re-
gard to the enemy and his whereabouts a few moments before.
196 HISTORY OF THE 52D REGIMENT
The cavalryman brought much the same story from the left. I
inquired of the prisoner about the roads, â€” whether there was
any road within a few miles of us north, connecting with the
one running east from Port Hudson, which led to and crossed
the ravine previously described. He answered that the road
running through Jackson Village did this ; and I forthwith
turned him over to the tender mercies of the cavalry picket-
guard in the rear.
I saw nothing to change in the dispositions at first resolved
upon and already made, from the fact that we were really in immi-
nent danger: we would await the threatened attack from whichever
direction and in whatever manner it might be made. Nor were we
long in suspense. Within five or ten minutes after Col. Corliss's
message had been received, just as our communicative prisoner
was marching to the rear, and before our coffee had been drunk or
any bread tasted, "the hathin butternuts" open the military ball
in good earnest. Crack ! crack ! crack ! crack ! go the rifles near
the edge of the wood : then comes the rattle of volley after volley
of musketry in rapid succession from the plantation on the right.
"Battalion!" The 52d boys are in line of battle in a moment,
and the artillery men are at their guns. We look. Behold ! the
Southern hosts are filing out of the woods and fields, and massing
within range of our battery. Our teamsters are evidently panic-
stricken ; the mules are frightened, and running at the top of their
speed, with their white-topped wagons, in every direction ; and the
2d Rhode Island Cavalry are falling back. Two companies of the
regiment deploy in skirmish line, and push to the front. Col. Cor-
liss dashes up, and himself confirms previous reports as to whose
commands and what numbers we have to encounter. Our two brass
guns command the field. Among the many covered wagons in the
train, and men and horses about our rendezvous, the Confederate
generals had failed to notice the battery. We have only to swing
around the muzzles of the guns to get the range, and open fire
with shot and shell ; and this is done promptly, skilfully, and most
effectively. The artillerymen do their whole duty, just in the nick
of time. Mouton and Hughes evidently were taken wholly by
surprise. We could see that their troops were about as badly de-
moralized from the effect of our fire as our teamsters and mules
had been from their attack. The artillery was in play but a few
moments; and the enemy was soon out of sight in the woods, just
in his rear. The fear then was that, as soon as he had sufficiently
A FORAGING EXPEDITION
recovered from the surprise and punishment inflicted, he would
re-form in the wood, which extended some distance to the north,
swoop down on our left, half a mile away, gobble up the one hun-
dred wagons and Major Starr's cavalry force there, and then return
to attack our right from a more favorable direction. We feared
he might first "gobble " our left, and then, by way of the Jackson
road, put his greatly superior force in our rear on the further bank
of the ravine heretofore described. At any rate, we were in no
position or condition to cope with a much superior force, while
thus spread out ; and, as it was clearly our first duty to save, if
possible, our train, we despatched orders right and left to abandon
further attempts at foraging, and for the teams to come in at once.
We would concentrate our small force, and then, if again attacked,
park our wagons, and fight it out to the bitter end ; or, if not
attacked, seek to make the further banks of the ravine in advance
of the Confederates.
Simultaneously with the orders despatched right and left was
still another order to the cavalry guard in the rear, as well as to
the wagon-master, to halt the first teams that should come in at
the post on the Port Hudson road, and hold them there until the
train could be closed up, and the further order given to move.
Soon the teams began to come in, â€” hurrah, boys ! pell-mell, helter-
skelter, â€” some without drivers, some with two mules, others with
three, now and then a mule with harness off or parts of it drag-
ging on the ground, with a wrecked wagon behind, drivers and
mules all under the greatest excitement. We expected every
moment to see the enemy's horse dash at the flank of our left line
and cut it in two as it came straggling in ; but we were happily
spared the pain of such a sight. We knew it was the best strat-
egy for him to strike our left while thus exposed, and were amazed
that he did not do it.
It was about one half-hour after the orders to concentrate had