July 1st, 1863.—Some months ago, thinking it might be useful, I obtained from the consul of my birthplace, by sending to another town, a passport for foreign parts. H. said if we went out to the lines we might be permitted to get through on that. So we packed the trunk, got a carriage, and on the 30th drove out there. General V. offered us seats in his tent. The rifle-bullets were whizzing so zip, zip from the sharp-shooters on the Federal lines that involuntarily I moved on my chair. He said, “Don’t be alarmed; you are out of range. They are firing at our mules yonder.” His horse, tied by the tent door, was quivering all over, the most intense exhibition of fear I’d ever seen in an animal. General V. sent out a flag of truce to the Federal headquarters, and while we waited wrote on a piece of silk paper a few words. Then he said, “My wife is in Tennessee. If you get through the lines, give her this. They will search you, so I will put it in this toothpick.” He crammed the silk paper into a quill toothpick, and handed it to H. It was completely concealed. The flag-of-truce officer came back flushed and angry. “General Grant says that no human being shall pass out of Vicksburg; but the lady may feel sure danger will soon be over. Vicksburg will surrender on the 4th.”
“Is that so, general?” inquired H. “Are arrangements for surrender made?”
“We know nothing of the kind. Vicksburg will not surrender.”
“Those were General Grant’s exact words, sir,” said the flag-officer. “Of course it is nothing but their brag.”
We went back sadly enough, but to-day H. says he will cross the river to General Porter’s lines and try there; I shall not be disappointed.
______Note: To protect Mrs. Miller’s job as a teacher in New Orleans, the diary was published anonymously, edited by G. W. Cable, names were changed and initials were often used instead of full names — and even the initials differed from the real person’s initials.