Vicksburg June 28 1863
It is the Sabbath, a very pleasant day, though rather warm, weather fine. Notwithstanding the great amount of cannonading, there has been very little rain for the last 6 weeks. I am afraid to wish for that or anything else, for I don't know how it will affect our enemies. I am almost sorry to hear of Lee's progress Northward; for it looks as if the importance of Vicksburg were not understood. What is Phalada [Philadelphia?] to us if the Miss. be lost. Our existence, almost, as a nation, depends on holding this place. Why not then remain on the defensive & send troops hither, instead of employing them on useless expeditions, which are only raids on a grand scale, having no decisive results. Our rulers seem to have gone clean daft. Even if we are finally relieved, I shall not excuse them, for it is only owing to the total inefficiency of the enemy that we are not already captured, & no good general ever counts on such mistakes. I trust it is to the prayers of Christians we owe our continued safety, & that those prayers will continue to ascend till God sends us relief.
Our cook is improving; two kittens were killed by the same explosion, & our soup tureen & other dishes broken. This morning a man walking in town had his arm shot off . . . & two ladies, day before yesterday, were struck by balls from a shrapnel shell & so severely wounded as not expected to live. Gen Green was killed yesterday on the lines. The Yankees have placed sharpshooters on the opposite bank of the river to annoy our men as they go to fill their casks with water.
Flour is selling at $600 a barrel, biscuits $8 doz., pies $4 a piece. Our cornmeal has given out; the men now get ?4 lb. bacon, ?/4 lb. flour or rice flour, sugar 1/8 lb., Peas 1/12 qt., 1/50 gal. molasses. - It is said three couriers came in last night, but their news has not transpired.