“I will name 6 p. m. to-day as the hour when we will commence collecting any wounded or dead”

May 25 1863.  I received the following note from Gen. Pemberton, commander of the rebel forces in Vicksburg.

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF Mississippi AND EASTERN LOUISIANA,
Vicksburg, MISS., May 25, 1863.

COMMANDING GENERAL UNITED STATES FORCES,

In Front of Vicksburg:

SIR: Two days having elapsed since your dead and wounded have been lying in our front, and yet no disposition on your part of a desire to remove them being exhibited, in the name of humanity I have the honor to propose a cessation of hostilities for two hours and a half, that you may be enabled to remove your dead and dying men. If you cannot do this, on notification from you that hostilities will be suspended on your part for the time specified, I will endeavor to have the dead buried and the wounded cared for.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. C. PEMBERTON,

Lieutenant-General, Commanding.

I replied,

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE,
Near Vicksburg, MISS., May 25, 1863-3. 30 p. m.

Lieutenant General J. C. PEMBERTON,

Commanding Confederate Forces, Vicksburg, MISS.:

SIR: Your note of this date, proposing a cessation of hostilities for two hours and a half, for the purpose of giving me an opportunity of collecting the dead and wounded, is just received. As it will take some time to send word to all my forces to avail themselves of the opportunity afforded, and to return this to you, so that notice may be given to your troops of the cessation of hostilities, I will name 6 p. m. to-day as the hour when we will commence collecting any wounded or dead we may have still upon the field. From that hour for two hours and a half all hostilities shall cease on our side.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 8, p 266

O.R., I, xxiv, part 1, p 276-7

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