Still banging away. I took a horseback ride around the line to the left in the rear of McClernand's corps. Everywhere I went I was met with the familiar zip, zip, of rebel bullets flying promiscuously through the air. I read a northern rebel paper, received by a member of the 96th Ohio, filled with false statements about the soldiers around Vicksburg. It said a great many of Grant's soldiers were deserting. This is of course false, for I have heard of but two deserting their flag in time of need. Those two will never be able to look their old comrades in the face, for if they escape the penalty of death, disgrace and ignominy will not only follow them through life, but stamp their memories and lineage with infamy. The scorn of every loyal soldier will follow these cowards who have deserted in the face of the foe. No true-hearted mother or father can welcome the return of such recreants, who not only disgrace themselves but all their kindred. This paper also stated that the soldiers around Vicksburg are dying off like flies. This is another falsehood, for the army is in good health and spirits, and looking forward to victory with assurance.
SOURCE: Osborn Hamiline Oldroyd, A Soldier's Story of the Siege of Vicksburg, p. 45-6