Reports of Brig. Gen. Stephen D. Lee, C. S. Army, Commanding Second Brigade.
MAY 19-JULY 4, 1863.--The Siege of Vicksburg, Miss.
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXIV/2 [S# 37]

HDQRS. SECOND BRIGADE, STEVENSON'S DIVISION,
May 22, 1863--11.45.

Major-General STEVENSON.

        SIR: The enemy have been repulsed along my front; they have made a lodgment in the ditch of left work, and they have a stand of colors in the work. The work is full of our men. I can't reach them in the ditch. They made a gallant assault, and have lost a great many men.

STEPHEN D. LEE,
Brigadier-General.


HEADQUARTERS LEE'S BRIGADE,
May 22, 1863.

General STEVENSON.

        GENERAL: The angle is carried and the enemy's colors taken. It was a gallant affair. They are still in the ditch and on the ridge.

Your obedient servant,
STEPHEN D. LEE,
Brigadier-General.


HEADQUARTERS LEE'S BRIGADE,
May 22, 1863.

General STEVENSON.

        GENERAL: I send you the flag taken by Texans, under the lead of our gallant Lieutenant-Colonel [E. W.] Pettus, Twentieth Alabama Regiment. It was as gallant an act as 1 have ever seen during the war. I have pledged myself to give it to its captors. I beg that you and General Pemberton will bear me out.
        I send this by the gallant Lieutenant Martin, who has been wounded.

Your obedient servant,
STEPHEN D. LEE,
Brigadier- Genera1.

[Indorsement. ]

        Respectfully forwarded, with the request that you will permit the colors to be retained by the captors.

C. L. STEVENSON,
Major-General, Commanding.


HDQRS. SECOND BRIGADE, STEVENSON'S DIVISION,
Demopolis, Ala., July 25, 1863.

Maj. J. J. REEVE,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Stevenson's Division.

        SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken in our operations during the siege of Vicksburg by the troops under my command, consisting of the Twentieth Alabama Regiment, Col. L W. Garrott; Twenty-third Alabama, Col. F. K. Beck; Thirtieth Alabama, Col. C. M. Shelley; Thirty-first Alabama Regiment, Lieut. Col. T. M. Arrington; Forty-sixth Alabama Regiment, Capt. George E. Brewer; Waul's Texas Legion, Col. T. N. Waul; Waddell's battery, Capt. J. F. Waddell; Drew's battery, Lieut. W. J. Duncan; the Hudson Battery, Lieutenant [Milton H.] Trantham; Captain Haynes' company (E), First Louisiana Artillery, and a section of the Vaiden Artillery, Lieutenant [Elbert M.] Collins:
        On the morning of May 17, our works at Big Black Bridge having been carried by the enemy, our army was ordered to retire to our intrenchments around Vicksburg. My brigade was ordered to cover the retreat across the river after the works were carried, and was accordingly posted along the banks for that purpose, where it remained until relieved by Baldwin's brigade, Smith's division, which brought up the rear.
        By an error in the transmission of an order, the Twenty-third Alabama Regiment, Col. F. K. Beck, remained at the bridge after Baldwin's brigade had been withdrawn, and gallantly engaged the enemy during the entire day, leaving the position about midnight and joining the brigade at Vicksburg.
        The city of Vicksburg was invested on May 18, the enemy having regularly surrounded it and commenced their parallel approaches. The position occupied by my brigade was immediately to the right of the railroad, with its left resting on that road. All the knolls in front of my line were at once seized by the enemy and batteries erected thereon for their artillery, their sharpshooters in the mean time keeping up a continuous and annoying fire.
        On May 19, 20, and 21, the enemy's forces were massed, under cover of their artillery and sharpshooters' fire, in the ravine a few hundred yards in front of our lines.
        At about 10 a.m. on the 22d, a gallant assault was made upon our works from the right of my position to the extreme left of our line on the river. The assault upon my front was a determined one, but was handsomely repulsed, with a considerable loss to the enemy. They succeeded, however, in carrying an angle of the work immediately to the right of the railroad, and in planting two colors upon the parapet, which remained there for several hours. The angle was finally assaulted and carried by a gallant band of Waul's Texas Legion, under the command of the intrepid Lieut. Col. E. W. Pettus, Twentieth Alabama Regiment. This brave officer, assisted by Major [O.] Steele and Captain [L. D.] Bradley, of the Legion, and the heroic Texans, captured the colors of the enemy and about 50 prisoners, including a lieutenant-colonel. A more daring feat has not been performed during the war, and too much praise cannot be awarded to every one engaged in it.
        All the troops under my command behaved well during the assault, and inflicted severe loss upon the enemy. Waul's Texas Legion particularly distinguished itself, under its brave colonel, by its coolness and gallantry, as did also a portion of Colonel [T. P.] Dockery's Arkansas regiment. The Twentieth, Twenty-third, and Thirty-first Alabama Regiments attracted my attention by their good conduct during the day. The above-mentioned commands are those which particularly came under my personal observation during the assault.
        From May 22, the enemy seemed to have abandoned the idea of carrying our works by assault, and from that time commenced pushing their works gradually, but industriously, toward ours, up to July 4, when the city was surrendered, at which time their trenches at several points on my line were within 30 feet of our works. As each of their ditches was completed, it was filled with sharpshooters, who kept up a continuous fire upon our lines. The enemy had also from fifteen to thirty pieces of artillery in front of my line, which kept up a heavy fire during both night and day. The fire from their small-arms commenced generally about half an hour before daylight, and continued until about dark in the evening. There was no relief whatever to our men, who were confined for forty-seven days in their narrow trenches without any opportunity of moving about, as there was during the day a perfect rain of Minie balls, which prevented any one from showing the least portion of his body, while at night, in consequence of the proximity of the enemy, it was impossible for the men to leave their positions for any length of time. After about the tenth day of the siege the men lived on about one-half rations, and on even less than that toward its close.
        During the whole time the troops under my command exhibited cheerfulness and good spirit, feeling confident that they would finally be released. Physically they were much weakened by their arduous duties and poor rations, and at the time of the surrender I did not consider more than one-half of my men able to undergo the fatigues of the field.
        The officers who particularly attracted my attention were: Colonel [Isham W.] Garrott, Twentieth Alabama, the pure patriot and gallant soldier, who was killed on June 17 while in the fearless discharge of his duties. Respected and loved by all who knew him, a more attentive and vigilant officer was not in our service. Col. T. N. Waul, commanding Texas Legion, by his dashing gallantry and coolness, inspired every one around him with confidence, and handled his Legion with skill. Colonels Beck and Shelley were particularly brave and vigilant. Colonel [E. W.] Pettus, Twentieth Alabama, won the admiration of every one by his daring on May 22, and by his uniform good conduct during the remainder of the siege. Lieutenant-Colonels [J. B.] Smith, Thirtieth Alabama; Arrington, Thirty-first Alabama; [B.] Timmons and ------, of Waul's Legion; Major [George W.] Mathieson, Thirty-first Alabama; Captains [John C.] Francis, Thirtieth Alabama, and Brewer, Forty-sixth Alabama, and Captains Waddell and [L. B.] Haynes, and Lieutenants Duncan and Collins, commanding batteries and sections of artillery, were gallant and vigilant.
        Maj. John J. Reeve, assistant adjutant-general of the division, was with me on the lines upon several occasions, and particularly attracted my attention by his daring and coolness during the assault on the 22d.
        Captain [J. J.] Conway, the engineer in charge of the works on my line, was active and energetic in the discharge of his duties, and was unceasing in his efforts during night and day to check the approach of the enemy.
        Of my personal staff I would mention the uniform cool and gallant conduct of Capt. William Elliott, assistant adjutant-general, who was always at the post of danger, inspiring confidence by his example. Capt. W. H. Johnson and Lieut. H. N. Martin, acting aides-de-camp, and Capt. J. R. Curell and Lieutenant [S. M.] Underhill, volunteer aides, behaved with gallantry during the siege.
        I would also mention Mr. West, who was serving on my staff; my orderly (L. B. Murphy, Forty-sixth Alabama Regiment), and my couriers (Hill and J. M. Simpson), who were always gallant and at their posts.
        A correct list of the casualties in the different regiments and companies cannot yet be furnished, as the reports have not been received from their commands.

Very respectfully,
STEPHEN D. LEE,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.

ADDENDA.

VICKSBURG, July 3, 1863.

        I do not think it is time to surrender this garrison and post yet. Nor do I think it practicable to cut our way out. When it is time to surrender, the terms proposed by Grant are as good as we can expect.
        I still have hopes of Johnston relieving the garrison.

STEPHEN D. LEE,
Brigadier-General

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