The artillery assault of June 20 -- McPherson springs a mine -- Grant
decides to storm the city -- Pemberton asks for an interview and
terms -- The "unconditional surrender" note -- At the meeting of
Grant and Pemberton between the lines -- The ride into Vicksburg
and the Fourth of July celebration there.
Two days after McClernand's removal General Grant attempted to settle the question whether he should make a further attempt to storm Vicksburg or leave its reduction to the regular progress of siege operations. To test what an assault would do, he began, at four o'clock on the morning of June 20th, an artillery attack, in which about two hundred cannon were engaged. During the attack no Confederates were visible, nor was any reply made to our artillery. Their musketry fire also amounted to nothing. Of course, some damage was done to the buildings of the town by our concentrated cannonade, but we could not tell whether their mills, foundry, or storehouses were destroyed. Their rifle-pits and defenses were little injured. At ten o'clock the cannonade ceased. It was evident that the probabilities of immediate success by assault would not compensate for the sacrifices.
After the artillery attack on the 20th, the next exciting incident of the siege was the springing of a