A MESSAGE in a bottle delivered to a Confederate general during the American Civil War has been deciphered, 147 years after it was written. In the encrypted message, a commander tells Gen John Pemberton that no reinforcements are available to help him defend Vicksburg, Mississippi. You can expect no help from this side of the river, says the message, which was deciphered by codebreakers. The text is dated 4 July 1863 - the day Vicksburg fell to Union forces. The small bottle was given to the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia, by a former Confederate soldier in 1896. BBC