By the end of June, General Pemberton realized his situation was desperate. The hope of relief by General Johnston's army had quickly disappeared. Over 10,000 soldiers in Pemberton's Army of Vicksburg were incapacitated due to illness, wounds, and malnutrition. His supplies and munitions were at critically low levels. He learned that Grant was preparing for another massive assault on the Confederate works in early July.
After a meeting with his division commanders, Pemberton concluded that surrender was inevitable. On the morning of July 3, 1863, he gave orders to display a white flag of truce, and sent representatives to deliver a message to General Grant proposing a meeting to discuss surrender terms. Grant agreed and at 3:00 p.m., Generals Grant and Pemberton met under the shade of an oak tree midway between the opposing lines.
The commanders could not reach an agreement, but discussions among subordinate officers, and an exchange of notes between Grant and Pemberton late in the day, brought about agreement for final terms of surrender.
Last updated: February 23, 2018