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RICHMOND (AP) —
A glass vial stopped with a cork during the Civil War has been opened, revealing a coded message to the desperate Confederate commander in Vicksburg on the day the Mississippi city fell to Union forces 147 years ago. The dispatch offered no hope to doomed Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton: Reinforcements are not on the way.
The encrypted six-line message was dated July 4, 1863, the date of Pemberton's surrender to Union forces led by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, ending the Siege of Vicksburg, in what historians say was a turning point midway through the Civil War. The message is from a Confederate commander on the west side of the Mississippi River across from Pemberton.
"He's saying: 'I can't help you. I have no troops; I have no supplies; I have no way to get over there,'" Catherine M. Wright, collections manager of the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, said of the author of the dispiriting message. "It was just another punctuation mark to just how desperate and dire everything was..."
The message was dispatched during an especially terrible time in Vicksburg. Grant was unsuccessful in defeating Pemberton's troops on two occasions, so the Union commander instead decided to encircle the city and block the flow of supplies or support.
Many in the city resorted to eating cats, dogs and leather. Soup was made from wallpaper paste.
reply to post by Areveli
Here is the section that made me cringe... The message was dispatched during an especially terrible time in Vicksburg. Grant was unsuccessful in defeating Pemberton's troops on two occasions, so the Union commander instead decided to encircle the city and block the flow of supplies or support. Many in the city resorted to eating cats, dogs and leather. Soup was made from wallpaper paste. ... People forget how devastating the War truly was.
Battle of Wytheville – A series of five Civil War Trails interpretive signs describes the action on July 18, 1863, as a Federal raiding party marched to the Wytheville area intending to destroy the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad tracks and bridges. In addition, the force planned to destroy telegraph lines and the salt and lead mines nearby. After some skirmishing and confusion on the advance, Union Col. John Toland ordered his men into Wytheville. Hastily organized Confederate resistance succeeded in killing Toland in the street and limiting the damage to the railroad track and stock. The raid did not succeed in its mission as the track was quickly repaired. Landmarks of the battle and its aftermath are noted in the Trails tour. The tour begins near the intersection of I-77 and I-81 on State Route 52 at Route 680.