Snyders Bluff, Miss
Saturday Evening, July 4th, 1863
Dear Brother & Sister Burnham,
Vicksburg is ours at last, thank God. The Rebs defended it bravely but we forced them to hoist the white flag at 9 o’clock this morning in order to save themselves from the storm of hellfire brimstone iron & lead that we were agoing to hurl at them today. I was within easy musket shot of one of them forts when it was run up. The feeling of our men was not easily described, I assure you. The prisoners were estimated at 20,000. We have not had time to acertain.
The 9th NH Regt. is camped about 10 miles in the rear. They marched at noon today toward the Black Water River. All of our troops are on the move tonight in that direction. They will give Jo Johnson hell unless he skedaddles. Samuel & Henry’s health is good and they seem in good spirits. We have visited several times in the course of the last fortnight. Samuel sent me a letter tonight signed (Neice?) Flora Bell, East Weare (NH). I presume it is one of my relations, but I must confess I’m ignorant of who it is. But never mind. She says that Aunt Mary’s health is better and the baby is fat as a pig. Well now, it looks as if you’ve been recuiting for the army, I hope. But never mind. I learn that the Rebel Adj General reported 25,000 Rebels for duty this morning and 8,000 sick and wounded in the hospital. If that statement is correct we have Glory enough for one Fourth of July. They say that they have lost 3,000 during the seige. The stench arising from the dead horses and mules killed in the forts was insufferable. I have no tent and the wind has nearly destroyed my candle, so I must close. I would be pleased to hear from you.
My kindest regards to all, J. B. Hoit
NH soldier – JB Hoit, probably John B Hoit who enlisted in Manchester, April 1862