Page images
PDF
EPUB

Following up these advantages, compelled to abandon his first line of Banks, on the 8th of May, had ad- works. Two days later, a general asvanced to and occupied Alexandria on sault was made, which was kept up the Red River, immediately after its during the day. The rebels were driven capture by the naval force of Porter in into their works, and our troops moved one of his excursions from before Vicks up to the fortifications, holding the opburg. The co-operation of the two ar- posite sides of the parapet, with the mies below and above Port Hudson enemy on the right. “Our limited acwas thus secured by an interior line of quaintance with the ground,” according communication, while, what was of the to Banks's statement, " and the characutmost consequence, the rebel supplies ter of the works, which were almost from the west of the Mississippi were hidden from our observation until the effectually cut off. In view of these moment of approach, alone prevented various operations, under such men as the capture of the post."* Farragut, Porter, Grant, and Banks, The great strength of the rebel posithe fall of the rebel stronghold at Vicks. tion at Port Hudson rendered a regular burg and Port Hudson was looked for investment necessary.

The garrison confidently at an early day.

was completely cut off from supplies, Immediately after his occupation of and would be ultimately starved out, if Alexandria, Banks moved down the not compelled to surrender by assault. Red River, making Semmesport on the Banks, on the 14th of June, made a Atchafalaya his rendezvous, where, proposal to the rebel commander to crossing the Mississippi, he landed with submit to necessity and spare useless a portion of his army, on the 21st May, slaughter; but he refused. Several unat Bayou Sara, a few miles above Port successful assaults were made by our Hudson. On the 23d, a junction was troops, which did not, however, prevent effected with the advance of Gens. the pushing forward the siege. A Augur and T. W. Sherman, who had storming party was called for and rapbrought up their forces from Baton idly filled up; but, happily, their serRouge. The Union line now occupied vices were not required. The rebel the Bayou Sara road at a distance of general Gardner, having learned that five miles from Port Hudson. Augur Vicksburg had fallen, on the 4th of had an engagement with a portion of July, felt that he too could and ought the enemy at Port Hudson Plains, on to follow such an example. Accord- . the Bayou Sara road, in the direction ingly, on the 8th of July, Port Hudson of Baton Rouge, which resulted in re- was unconditionally surrendered into pulsing the rebels with heavy loss.* the hands of Gen. Banks. The next On the 25th of May, the enemy was day formal possession was taken of the

* Brigadier-General Thos. W. Sherman was severely *Gen. Banks took occasion to praise, in high terms, wounded in the right leg with a solid shot, while lead- the conduct of the negro troops urder his command. ing the attack. He was removed to New Orleans, “They require only good officers, commands of limited amputation was performed, and Gen. Sherman was numbers, and careful discipline, to make them excel. relieved by the war department from active service. lent soldiers."

Ch. XXVIII.]

ATTACK ON ARKANSAS POST.

303

works. The surrender included 6,233 content and much murmuring through. prisoners, 51 pieces of artillery, 2 steam- out the “ Confederacy.” On the other ers, 4,400 pounds of cannon powder, hand, the heart of the nation rejoiced, 5,000 small arms, and 150,000 rounds and loyal men everywhere resolved to of ammunition.

make every effort for the speedy putIt was a severe and heavy blow to ting an end to the rebellion, and for rethe rebel cause, and, added to the dis- storing to our afflicted country the aster at Vicksburg, caused great dis- blessings of peace, unity, and concord.

CHAPTER XXVIII.

1863.

OPERATIONS IN MISSISSIPPI; GRANT AND PORTER: SIEGE AND FALL OF VICKSBURG.

Attack on Arkansas Post — Fort Hindman taken —'Complete success — Grant's movements — Plan as to Vicko

burg — Canal project a failure — Porter sends the Queen of the West to run the batteries - Success — Col. Ellet on the Red River — Projects of approach to Vicksburg, by Tensas River, Moon Lake, etc. — Unsuccessful — Porter's effort by Steele's and Black's bayou — Another gun boat gets past Vicksburg - Grant puts his forces in motion towards New Carthage — Porter resolves to take eight gun boats and three transports past the batteries — Success of the daring undertaking - Other transports follow — Attack on Grand Gulf – Grant marches on Port Gibson – Victory – Col. Grierson's great cavalry raid — Grant's determination to secure his rear – Advance of our troops — Defeat of the rebels at Raymond and Jackson - Pemberton's efforts — Grant's plan of action - Battle of Champion's Hill, or Baker's Creek — Pemberton at the Big Black – Rebel rout complete — The army crosses the river and invests Vicksburg — Co-operation of the fleet under Porter - Lieut. Walker at Yazoo city — Assault on the works at Vicksburg - Another, three days later Failure of both — Regular siege operations begun – Grant reinforced largely – Mortar batteries — Condi. tion of Vicksburg – Explosion of the first mine — Assault - Second mine sprung — Pemberton proposes to surrender on July 3d — Vicksburg given up and entered by Grant on the 4th of July— Grant reports the result — Porter's share — Sherman's march after Johnston — Greatness of our success.

It had been arranged between Gen., burg; and the works there, called Fort W. T. Sherman and Admiral Porter, Hindman, were sufficiently

1863. just before Gen. McClernand's arrival strong to encourage the rebels to take command (see p. 250) of the in various annoyances, which ought not Army of the Mississippi, that an attack to be permitted to exist. McClernand should be made upon Arkansas Post. approved of the plan, and steps were It was desirable to do this for several taken at once to move the troops up reasons; the blow would fall entirely the Mississippi to Montgomery Point, unexpected by the rebels; a victory opposite the mouth of the White River. would be of great service to rouse the On Friday, January 9th, three ironspirit of the army after the failure of clads under Porter's personal direction, operations heretofore against Vicks with all the light draft gun boats of ihe fleet, mored up the White River, about cannon, 8,000 stand of arms, and a large fifteen miles, when, turning to the left, quantity of ammunition and stores were they passed through a cut-off, eight taken; and the rebels were cut off miles long, into the Arkansas River. from further use of a position where Toward the close of the afternoon, pre. they could do mischief. The loss on parations were made to land about the part of McClernand was about 600, three miles below Arkansas Post, which of whom 120 were killed. Porter's loss is about fifty miles from the mouth of was slight, and the iron-clads and other the river. This was accomplished dur- vessels, though frequently struck, reing the evening and part of the next day, ceived no serious injury. and the troops advanced by divisions, On the 16th of January, an expediso as to invest the fort and be ready to tion in light draft steamers, under join the attack on the morning of the Gen. Gorman and Lieut. Walker, ascend11th January. Fort Hindman, against ed the White River to Duvall’s Bluff, which they were marching, was a rather about fifty miles from Little Rock, and formidable work, being a regular square found the enemy's posts deserted. In bastioned fort, the sides 300 feet in consequence of the country being flood. length, with casemates, and surrounded ed by heavy rains the roads were unfit by a wide and deep ditch; it mounted for cavalry and artillery movements, and twelve guns, including three Colum- hence an overland advance

upon

Little biads and four Parrotts, with outer de Rock was compelled to be given up. fences; and there were in it about 5,000 The expedition returned to Napoleon men. Situated at a sharp bend of the on the 19th of January. river, it effectually controlled the pass- Having effectually destroyed the age of the Arkansas, protected Little rebel works and their surroundings, Rock, the capital of the state, about 100 McClernand with his forces reached miles above, and sheltered the Post, Napoleon on the 18th of January, and where it was built, and the surrounding prepared to take his share in the attack fertile country

upon Vicksburg. The next day, the On the afternoon and during the transports moved down the river, and evening of January 10th, the gun boats being detained by a severe storm, did opened fire upon the fort, at the dis- not reach their destination, Young's tance of about 400 yards, and kept it Point, until the 21st of January. This up for some time. About noon, the point is on the western side of the Misnext day, a joint attack was begun by sissippi, about nine miles above Vicksthe naval and land forces, and was burg, and nearly opposite the mouth of pressed so vigorously that, in the course the Yazoo River. The gun boats also of three hours, the rebels gave up the dropped down to their stations, and by contest as hopeless; the white flag was the end of the month, Grant had gath hoisted, and our troops rushed into ered his forces from Cairo and up the the works. The victory was complete; river, and with an increase of the iron over 5,000 prisoners, twenty p'eces of clads under Porter, was prepared to

[ocr errors][merged small]
[graphic][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »