After 47 days under siege, the battle could only end in surrender—or a dramatic rescue. Inside Vicksburg, General Pemberton faced harsh realities—one third of his troops were too sick to fight, their drinking water was contaminated, they were short of food and ammunition. Union troops and cannon completely surrounded him. Then came a final message from General Johnston saying his army in central Mississippi was too weak to relieve Vicksburg.
Pemberton asked Grant for surrender terms. Grant did not want to have to feed 30,000 prisoners of war, or transport so many men north to prison camps. He offered to let Vicksburg's defenders go home, if they promised they would not fight against the United States again until exchanged. Pemberton accepted the terms. On July 4th, the Confederates handed over their guns. Union troops marched victoriously into the city.
On 3rd July 1863 at about ten o'clock a.m., white flags appeared on a portion of the Rebel works. It was a glorious sight to officers and soldiers on the line...
Ulysses S. Grant
(lower left) Grant and Pemberton meet to discuss the Confederate surrender of Vicksburg.
(lower right) At the Visitor center you can see a 10-foot-tall marble column that first marked the Surrender Interview Site near here in 1864. Souvenir hunters later damaged the monument. To keep this monument safe, the National Park Service put the column inside the museum.