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at Bridgeport, some miles above, and took possession of Walnut Hills and the banks of the Yazoo, in the immediate rear of Vicksburg. McClernand moved to the left; McPherson took position between the twothe three corps forming an approximately complete investing line around the city. Porter promptly reopened communication with Grant's right by the Yazoo, and passed up to Yazoo City, which was soon surrendered the Confederate navy-yard, mills, and shops having been previously destroyed. Apprehending Johnston's approach, a general assault on the enemy's works was made on the 19th and again three days later, without success and with serious losses. The army now settled down to a regular siege, with the assistance of Porter's gunboats on the river side. Reinforcements were rapidly sent to Grant, who continued to be vigilantly mindful of the enemy in his rear. Johnston, however, made no resolute effort to raise the siege, which his numbers and means would have hardly justified; nor did the enemy try very desperately to cut his way out. Reduced to the last extremity, Pemberton surrendered on the 4th of July. Grant reported the whole number of prisoners taken, including all those captured after he crossed the river, as about thirty-seven thousand. Banks, who had completed his investment of Port Hudson on the 25th of May, assaulted the enemy's works two days later, but was repulsed at every point. Other assaults, with little profit, were made on the roth and 14th of June. Further resistance being useless after the fall of Vicksburg, the place and its garrison of over six thousand men were surrendered on the 8th of July.
The steamboat Imperial, leaving St. Louis on that
day, arrived unhindered at New Orleans on the 16th. The great river was at last repossessed.
In a letter to General Grant (July 13th) the President said:
I do not remember that you and I ever met personally. I write this now as a grateful acknowledgment of the almost inestimable service you have done the country. I write to say a word further. When you first reached the vicinity of Vicksburg, I thought you should do what you finally did.march the troops across the neck, run the batteries with the transports, and thus go below; and I never had any faith, except a general hope that you knew better than I, that the Yazoo Pass expedition and the like could succeed. When you got below, and took Port Gibson, Grand Gulf, and vicinity, I thought you should go down the river and join General Banks; and when you turned northward, east of the Big Black, I feared it was a mistake. I now wish to make the personal acknowledgment that you were right and I was wrong.
In less than a month after his victory at Chancellorsville, General Lee began moving northward, his advance getting near Culpeper Courthouse on the 2d of June. On the 5th, Hooker asked suggestions from Lincoln, who replied:
I have but one idea which I think worth suggesting to you, and that is, in case you find Lee coming to the north of the Rappahannock, I would by no means cross to the south of it. If he should leave a rear force at Fredericksburg, tempting you to fall upon it, it would fight in intrenchments and have you at disadvantage, and so man for man worst you at that point, while his main force would be getting the advantage of you northward. In one word, I would not take any risk of being entangled upon the river, like an ox jumped half over a fence and liable to be torn by dogs front and rear, without a fair chance to gore one way or kick the other. If Lee would come to my side of the river, I would keep on the same side and fight him, or act on the defensive, according as might be my estimate of his strength relatively to my own. But these are mere suggestions, which I desire to be controlled by the judgment of yourself and General Halleck.
Again, on the roth, Lincoln telegraphed to Hooker:
Your long dispatch of to-day is just received. If left to me, I would not go south of the Rappahannock upon Lee's
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moving north of it. If you had Richmond invested to-day, you would not be able to take it in twenty days; meanwhile your communications, and with them your army, would be ruined. I think Lee's army and not Richmond is your true objective point. If he comes toward the upper Potomac, follow on his flank, and on the inside track, shortening your lines while he lengthens his. Fight him, too, when opportunity offers. If he stays where he is, fret him and fret him.
And on the 14th:
So far as we can make out here, the enemy have Milroy surrounded at Winchester and Tyler at Martinsburg. If they could hold out a few days, could you help them? If the head of Lee's army is at Martinsburg and the tail of it on the plank road between Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, the animal must be very slim somewhere. not break him?
At this date Hooker was at Centreville, having moved from the Rappahannock on the 13th. Here, covering the capital, he was waiting to see what the enemy would do. Two days later, Lincoln replied to a suggestion of Hooker:
Your idea, to send your cavalry to this side of the river [Potomac), may be right, probably is; still it pains me a little that it looks like the defensive merely, and seems to abandon the fair chance now presented of breaking the enemy's lengthy and necessarily slow line, stretched now from the Rappahannock to Pennsylvania.
The President was evidently beginning to despair of any fruits from hints like these; and later, on the same day, he added:
To remove all misunderstanding, I now place you in the strict military relation to General Halleck of a commander of one of the armies to the General-in-chief of all the armies. I have not intended differently, but, as it seems to be differently understood, I shall direct him to give you orders and you to obey them.
Left to the tender mercies of Halleck and Stanton after all that had happened since the 1st of May - the General might well look with some anxiety for the next “ orders” from headquarters.
Lee got across the Potomac without attack from any quarter save on the cavalry guarding his rear at two of the Blue Ridge Gaps. Ewell, crossing the Potomac on the 16th, advanced into Pennsylvania, occupied Carlisle, and pushed forward as far as Kingston, thirteen miles from Harrisburg. Part of his cavalry raided Chambersburg and other places, and another detachment reached the Susquehanna, opposite Columbia. Horses and other property were everywhere taken at will, and large levies of money were extorted from towns. Longstreet and Hill were speedily in Maryland or across the Pennsylvania border, Lee having his headquarters for a time at Hagerstown. Panic was general, and many were the appeals to the President from Harrisburg and Philadelphia for help. Baltimore or Washington might be the first objective point of Lee; but were not Philadelphia and New York also in danger? With a crushing defeat of the great Union army there were unlimited possibilities.
Significant events of about this time were the draft riots in New York (July 13th to 17th), Boston and elsewhere; Morgan's raid through Southern Ohio (July 8th to 26th); the launching of the first Laird ram, built for the Confederates at Liverpool (July 4th); and Dick Taylor's capture of Brashear City, Louisiana, with two