Feb. 13, 1863
They have likewise lost the Mississippi, with every island and river fortification, save that at Vicksburgh, by which it was defended. This river, which drains the entire valley of the West and cuts in two the Slave States from Cairo to the Gulf, and on which could float the navies of the world, which can neither be forded nor bridged, must forever separate the four Slave States and their contiguous territories on its West side from those on the East. The loss of the river was more injurious to the cause of the insurrectionists than the loss of many battles. Conscious that this would be so, it was fortified, your Excellency will remember, not only at its mouth, and below and at New-Orleans, but at every available point upward; yet, with its many fortifications, Vicksburgh alone excepted, it has within the year been lost to the South.