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164

THE AMMY LEAVUS ITS BASE.

chieftain's famous Italian campaign, when, with fifty thousand men, he attacked in detail and beat an army of a hundred and fifty thousand, and killed and wounded, and took as prisoners, a number equal to his whole force. He knew that rapid marching and constant victories were indispensable to success in this daring movement, and the army was stripped like an athlete for the race before it. Delay was defeat; a single severe repulse, and the campaign was ended; but he did not falter a moment in his sublime determination. He set the example of self-sacrifice himself, by taking peither an orderly, camp chest, overcoat or blanket with him.

Thus cleared of every encumbrance, he ordered the advance, and his banners moved boldly inland. McPherson struck off to the north-east, while Sherman (who had arrived) and McClernand kept along the Black River—the three corps in supporting distance of each other. Grant, all the while, made demonstrations as if about to cross the Black River, and move directly to the rear of Vicksburg, which so confused Pemberton that he dared not march out to join the forces at Jackson.

McPherson, moving straight on the latter place, came, on the 12th, upon the enemy, strongly posted, near Raymond. No time could be spared, and the troops were pushed steadily forward, sweeping everything before them. Our loss here was four hundred and forty-two. The enemy fell back towards Jackson, losing heavily in prisoners. Grant now ordered Sherman and McClernand to bear off to the right, towards McPherson. On the night of the 13th, the rain fell in torrents, and continued the next day till noon, rendering the roads muddy and slippery; yet the troops, in close order, and with cheerful spirits, mored off through the deluge, making a wearisome march of fourteen miles, and at noon came up ^ the ener"), about to miles from the city.

RAPID MARCHING---CHAMPION'S HILL.

165

Pressed in by McPherson, and threatened on the flank, the latter gave way, and left the Capital to its fate.

That evening, Grant learned that Johnston, who had been sent by Davis to take chief command of the rebel forces in this Department, had ordered Pemberton to march out from Vicksburg and attack his rear. He immediately faced about, and, leaving Sherman to destroy railroads, bridges, workshops, &c., in Jackson, moved the rest of his troops, by converging routes, west, towards Edwards’ Station. The next morning at daylight, two men, who had been in the employ of the rebels, were brought to Grant, charged with important information. They had just passed through Pemberton's army, and gave the Union Commander the position of the rebel forces, and stated that they were twenty-five thousand strong. Grant immediately sent back a courier to Sherman, to leave Jackson at once, and hasten forward. Within an hour, after this prompt chieftain received the message, his troops were swiftly moving forward towards the point of rendezvous. Grant concentrated his wonderful rapidity. Trains, quarter-masters' stores, and everything, had to tumble out of the roads in hot haste, to give room for the marching columns. Soon, the enemy was encountered, strongly posted on a precipitous, narrow, wooded ridge, his left resting on a height, while below were open fields, in crossing which our troops would be exposed to the destructive fire of ten batteries of artillery. Hovey's division, and McPherson's Corps—all but Ransom's division, which did not arrive till the battle was over-were at once disposed in and to the right of the road leading to Vicksburg. But Grant delayed the order to attack, till he could hear from McClernand, with his four divisions, which, when they arrived, would complete his line of battle. But the skirmishing in front of Hovey's division, by eleven o'clock, swelled into a battle. In the meantime, Logan had worked

army with

166

A GALLANT CHARGE.

around upon the left and rear of the rebels, and pressed them so vigorously that their superior numbers could no longer force Hovey back, and the latter, seeing his advantage, ordered a charge. The rebel line gave way before it, and disappeared in disorder over the ridge. A thousand prisoners, and two batteries, fell into our hands in this brilliant engagement, but the victory cost us nearly twenty-five hundred men. Grant was losing fast, and no reinforcements could be had. At daylight the next morning, the 17th, the pursuit was renewed McClernand in the advance, who soon came upon the enemy strongly posted on both sides of the Black River. On the west, or further side, the shore rises abruptly into high bluífs, which were lined with heavy batteries. On the east side, a bayou, twenty feet wide and three feet deep, leaves the river, and sweeping in a semicircie, a mile in length, again enters the stream, inclosing a level space, on which the rebels had also planted heavy batteries, protected by a strong force of infantry. This bayou, or ditch, served as a natural rifle pit, behind which the enemy felt safe, while their guns swept the plains beyond, over which our troops would be compelled to pass. A railroad and turnpike bridge crossed both the bayou and river at this point, side by side, commanded by the hostile batteries beyond. McClernand opened a heavy artillery fire upon the position, to which the enemy vigorously responded. At almost the first fire, Osterhaus was wounded, and General A. L. Lee took his place. While the cannonade was going on, Lawler, of Carr's division, which held the right, under the protection of the river bank, succeeded in approaching near the rebel works in that direction, when the order to charge was given. Casting their blankets and knapsacks on the ground, the gallant fellows sprung forward, and, dashing across the open field on the double-quick, plunged into the muddy bayou, and, though shot and shell struck and burst

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SIEGE OF VICKSBURG. Fight in the Crater made by explosion of a mine under a portion of the rebel works.

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