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Civil War Letter 1863,
Surrender of VicksburgA vivid account of the surrender of Vicksburg during the Civil War is contained in an old letter written by the late Dr. John P. SLUSSER, a practicing physician of Rosedale, to the late Thomas WEDDING, a pioneer resident of Jersey county.
The letter was recently sent to the Jersey County Democrat-News by Mrs. Ermina Wedding LEGATE of Rosedale, daughter of the late Thomas Wedding. the interesting document was found among papers of Benjamin Wedding, Sr., of Jerseyville and given to Mrs. Legate by his grand daughters, Mrs. Charles RUSSELL, and Matilda MALTIMORE of Evansville, Indiana. Benjamin Wedding is the youngest brother of the late Thomas Wedding.
Thomas Wedding was born July 18, 1808 and came to Illinois in 1835. In 1834 James H. and Nancy MASTERS Wedding moved to Illinois from Scioto county, Ohio, and located on the farm now owned by Herbert DABBS. Jas. H. Wedding died in August, 1837, and his wife in August, 1841. They were parents of Thomas and Benjamin Wedding and are buried in the Rosedale cemetery, first named “Union” and established in 1833. The first burials there were those of Jesse C. ENNIS and his wife and Mr. and Mrs. Wedding were next.
Dr. Slusser returned to Rosedale following the war and practiced medicine there until his death. He was the father of Mrs. Anna Slusser SMITH who resided on the old Slusser home.
The letter was as follows:
Camp at Vicksburg, July 8th, ’63
Mr. T. Wedding Sir
I have not received an answer to my last but nevertheless I must wright to give you the glorious news that Vicksburg was surrendered to us on the 4th inst. It was the most glorious 4th to us we ever experienced for there is no doubt but there would have been a bloody battle that day if they had not surrendered for there was every preparation made for it. We had them under seige 48 days and I never knew firing to cease one half hour in that time, day or night. The REbels run short of provision and see no hope of getting reinforced and the last few days many of the privates had to live on mule and dog meat which made them desperate so they tried twice on the 2nd inst. to breat through our lines but were repulsed with heavy loss. In the mean time our forces blew up one of their strongest forts, killing quite a number. They then seemed discouraged and sent a flag of truce over on the 3rd and on the 4th made a final surrender and part of our forces marched in and took quite possession of all they had and are paroling the soldiers so that they can go home for hte great majority of them will never take up arms again against the Federal government for they say that they have found out that they were humbugged by their leaders while General Grant was taking possession of Vicksburg. We took as near as I can learn thirty-two thousand prisoners but you will get a statement of all this in the newspapaers more correct than I have an opportunity of giving it to you. A. J. HEWITT was wounded and died in a few days after. We all lamented his death for he was a good soldier. Theodore SAUNDERS, Mose THOMPSON and Amsher WHITEN are all well and send their best wishes to you. Write soon and give me all of the news of the neighborhood and don’t forget to let me know how my horse is getting along. See that he is well cared for and I will satisfy expenses rather than have him worked too hard so that he will not be fit for my use when I get home. I have not heard from the 97th Illinois for three or four weeks. They were to our left about two miles. Captain B. Slaten CONER and all that you are acquainted with was well when I last heard from them. Dr. John P. Slusser. Co. E 6th Co. Infantry, 15th Army Corps, near Vicksburg.
[Clipping is undated, text indicates it was published in the Jersey County Democrat-News]