July 8.—The drama of Port Hudson I imagine to be pretty much played out. Yesterday our company had come out from the advance to rest. Suddenly an orderly passed through a group of us sitting near the colonel’s quarters, hurrying with despatches to the different commanders of the brigade. McGill rushed out, and read the despatch as he carried it in his hand. It was, “Vicksburg surrendered on the Fourth! ” Every pale, haggard face lit up with a wonderfully jolly light. Presently the brigadier hurried into the trenches; and a soldier, on duty at the mine, by his command, threw the news over among the rebels. At noon, we had a great firing of salutes. This morning, before light, we heard that a conference of the generals was to be held to agree upon the terms of surrender, and that a truce was to begin at once. The major went off through the dark to order the sharpshooters to stop firing; while we rubbed our eyes, wondering if the day had really come, — if our cause had really gained this great success, and we could go home with credit.
The Color Guard, A Corporal’s Notes, James Kendall Hosmer.
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