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A NEW PLAN OF OPERATIONS.
retreat. He had lost one-third of his brigade, and De Courcy, by a flank charge by the Seventeenth and Twenty-sixth Louisiana, lost four flags, three hundred and thirty-two men made prisoners, and about five hundred small arms. So heavy and active was the force on the bluffs, that all attempts to
.' construct bridges were frustrated, and they were abandoned. General A. J. Smith's advance (Sixth Missouri) had crossed the bayou at a narrow sandbar on the extreme right, but could not advance because of the cloud of sharp-shooters that confronted them. So they lay below the bank until night, and then withdrew. Darkness closed the struggle, when Sherman had lost nearly two thousand men, and his foe only two hundred and seven. Thus ended THE BATTLE OF CHICKASAW Bayou.
General Sherman was loth to relinquish his effort against Vicksburg. He had ordered another attack on the left after Blair was repulsed, but
wisely countermanded it; but that night, while rain was falling copiously, he caused his men to rest on their arms without fire, preparatory to another struggle in the morning. During the night he visited Admiral Porter on board his flag-ship, and concerted a fresh plan of attack, but on the following day, after a careful estimate of his chances for success, and despairing of any co-operation on the part of Grant, he concluded to abandon the attempt to penetrate the Confederate lines, but to try and turn them. He proposed to go stealthily up the Yazoo
a Dec. 20,
i In this attack Lieutenant-Colonel Dister, of the Fifty-eighth Ohio, and Major Jaensen, of the Thirty-first Missouri, were killed. Colonel T. C. Fletcher, of the latter regiment, who is now (1867) Governor of Missouri. and his Lientenant-Colonel, Simpson, were wounded. Fletcher was made a prisoner.
? This was the appearance of the battle-ground of Chickasıw Bapon when the writer sketched it just at evening of a warm day in April, 1566. The view is taken from the road (see map on page 578), on the slope of
YAZOO EXPEDITION ABANDONED,
a Dec., 1862.
with the land and naval forces, and attack and carry IIaines's bluff, on their extreme right, while by some diversion on the bayou the Confederates should be prevented from sending re-enforcements there in time to oppose the National army in securing a firm footing. The latter was then to take the remaining Confederate fortifications in flank and reverse, and fight its way to Vicksburg Preparations were made for this flank movement to begin at midnight of
the 31st. A dense fog interposed. The enterprise became
known to Pemberton, and it was abandoned. Rumors of Grant's retreat to Grand Junction had reached Sherman, and he resolved to return to Milliken's Bend on the Mississippi. The troops were all re-embarked, and ready for departure from the Yazoo, when the arrival of General McCler
nand, Sherman's senior in rank, was announced.On the 4th of Jan. 2 January that officer assumed the chief command, and the army
and navy proceeded to Milliken's Bend. The title of Sherman's force was changed to that of the Army of the Mississippi, and was divided into two corps, one of which was placed under the command of General Morgan, and the other under General Sherman.
Before McClernand's arrival Sherman and Porter had agreed upon a plan for attacking Fort Hindman, or Arkansas Post, on the left bank, and at a sharp bend of the Arkansas River,' fifty miles from the Mississippi, while Grant was moving his army to Memphis, preparatory to a descent of the river, to join in the further prosecution of the siege of Vicksburg. McClernand approved of the plan, and the forces moved up the Mississippi to Montgomery Point, opposite the mouth of White River. On the 9th the combined force proceeded up that river fifteen miles, and, passing through a canal into the Arkansas, reached Notrib's farm, three miles below Fort Hindman, at four o'clock in the afternoon, when preparations were made for landing
the troops. This was accomplished by noon the next day, when Jan 10, about twenty-five thousand men, under McClernand, Sherman,
Morgan, Stewart, Steele, A. J. Smith, and Osterhaus, were ready, with a strong flotilla of armored and unarmored gun-boats, under the immediate command of Admiral Porter, to assail the fort, garrisoned by only five thousand men, under General T. J. Churchill, who had received orders from General T. H. Holmes at Little Rock, then commanding in Arkansas, to “hold on until help should arrive or all were dead." The gun-boats mored slowly on, shelling the Confederates out of their rifle-pits along the levee, and driving every soldier into the fort,' and in the mean time the land troops pressed forward over swamps and bayous, and bivouacked that night around Fort Ilindman, without tents or fires, prepared for an assault in the morning.
the bluff which Blair attempted to carry. The Chickasaw Bayou is seen winding through the plain in the fore. ground. The solitary stem of a tree in the middle marks the place where there was an encounter on the 27th, when some Confederate pickets were captured, and all were driven back. The belt of trees in the distanco marks the line of the Yazoo. The Indian mound is not far beyond the most distant point seen in the basou. on the extreme left.
1 This point is the first high land on the Arkansas, after leaving the Mississippi. There the French hal a trading post and a settlement as early as 1685, and gave it the name which it yet bears. The Confederates ha i strongly fortified it, and named the principal work Fort Hindian. in honor of the Arkansas general. It was a regular square, bastioned and casemated work, with a ditch twenty feet wide and eight deep, and was armed with twelve guns.
• The ressels engaged in this bombardment were the fron-clails Cincinnati, Do Kalb, and Loruisrille
CAPTURE OF ARKANSAS POST.
At about noon on the 11th, McClernand notified Porter that the army was ready to move upon the fort. The gun-boats opened fire at one o'clock, and soon afterward the brigades of
Hovey, Thayer, Giles A. Smith, and T. Kilby Smith, pushed forward at the doublequick, finding temporary shelter in woods and ravines with which the ground was diversified. In a belt of woods, three hundred yards from the Confederate rifle-pits, they were brought to a halt by a very severe fire of musketry and artillery, but they soon resumed their advance with the support of Blair's brigade, and pushed up to some ravines fringed with bushes and fallen timber, within musket range of the fort. Morgan's artillery and the gun-boats had covered this advance by a rapid fire, and, with the batteries of Hoffman, Wood, and Barrett, had nearly silenced the Confederate guns. Parrott guns (10 and 20-pounders), under Lieutenants Webster and Blount, had performed excellent service in dismounting cannon that most annoyed the gunboats. In this movement Hovey had been wounded by a fragment of a shell, and the horse of Thayer had been shot under him.
General A. J. Smith now deployed nine regiments of Burbridge's and Landrum's brigades, supported by three more regiments in reserve, and drove the Confederate advance on the right, back behind a cluster of cabins,
which shelter they were dislodged by a charge of the Twenty-third Wisconsin, Colonel Guppy. Smith, meanwhile, pushed on his division until it was not more than two hundred yards from the fort, while Colonel Sheldon, of Osterhaus’s division, had sent Cooley's battery, supported by the One Hundred and Eighteenth and One Hundred and Twentieth Ohio, and Sixtyninth Indiana, to within two hundred yards of another face of the fort. They cleared the rifle-pits before them, and the One Hundred and Twentieth Ohio attempted to scale and carry by assault the eastern side of the fort, but were prevented by a deep ravine in addition to the ditch.
At a little past three o'clock, the guns of the fort having been silenced, and Sherman's right strengthened by the Twenty-third Wisconsin, Nineteenth Kentucky, and Ninety-seventh Illinois, of Smith's division, McClernand ordered an assault, when the troops dashed forward under a dreadful fire, Burbridge's brigade, two regiments of Landrum's, and the One Hundred and Twentieth Ohio, bearing the brunt. The Confederates saw that all was lost, and raised a white flag just as the One Hundred and Twentieth Ohio, followed by the Eighty-third Ohio and Sixteenth Indiana, under Burbridge, were pouring over the intrenchments on the east, while the troops of Sherman and Steele, which had stormed the works farther to the north
POSTS ON RED RIVER CAPTURED.
and west, were also swarming over the works. General Burbridge had the honor of planting the standard of the Republic on the fort, which General Smith had placed in his hands in acknowledgment of his bravery. The garrison flag was captured by Captain Ennes, one of General Smith's aids. So ended THE BATTLE OF ARKANSAS Post, in which the army and navy won equal renown.'
After dismantling and blowing up Fort Hindman, burning a hundred wagons and other property that he could not take away, embarking his prisoners for St. Louis, and sending an expedition in light-draft steamers, under
General Gorman and Lieutenant Commanding J. G. Walker, up the White River to capture Des Arc and Duval's Bluff,' McCler
nand, by order of General Grant, withdrew with his troops and the fleet to Napoleon, on the Mississippi, at the mouth of the Arkansas River. Grant had come down the river from Memphis in a swift steamer, and at Napoleon he and the other military commanders, with Admiral Porter, made arrangements for the prosecution of the campaign against Vicksburg
a Jan. 13,
1 See Reports of General McClernand and his subordinates; Admiral Porter, and General Churchill. McClernand reported his loss at 977, of whom 129 were killed, 831 wounded, and 17 missing. The fleet lost three killed and twenty-six wounded. Churchill reported his loss at not exceeding 60 killed and 80 wounded, but McClernand saw evidences of a much greater number hurt. The spoils of victory were about 5,000 prisoners, 17 cannon, 3,000 small arms, and a large quantity of ordnance and commissary stores.
The expedition was successful. Both places were captured without much trouble. Des Are was quite a thriving commercial town on the White River, in Prairie County, Arkansas, about fifty miles northeast of Little Rock. Daval's Bluff was the station of a Confederate camp and an earth-work, on an elevated position, a little below Duval's Bluff. With some prisoners and a few guns, this expedition joined the main forces at Napoleon on the 19th. A post at the little village of St. Charles, just above Fort Hindman, was captured at about the same time,
GRANT'S ARMY REORGANIZED.
THE SIEGE OF VICKSBURG.
ICKSBURG MUST BE TAKEN," was the fiat of General Grant, in obedience to the will of the loyal people, and he made instant preparations for the great work on his return to Memphis from the conference at Napoleon. The Government was fully alive to the importance and difficulties of the undertaking, and had
sent him re-enforcements for the purpose. He had already adopted an important measure for the promotion of the efficiency of his army, by organizing it into four corps, known as the
• Dec. 22, Thirteenth, Fifteenth, Sixteenth, and Seventeenth Army Corps.' By this arrangement the Commander-in-chief was relieved of much official drudgery, and the generals under him commanding corps had a wider field in which to display their own powers.
General Grant was fully sensible of the importance of the acts of Congress, and the proclamation of the President authorizing the enlistment and use of colored troops; and being a soldier and not a politician, and a manly citizen, who loved justice more than popularity, heartily approved of those measures, and, in orders, said :“It is expected that all commanders will especially exert themselves in carrying out the policy of the administration, not only in organizing colored troops, and rendering them efficient, but also in removing prejudices against them.” “As the servant of a great Republic," says an accomplished writer on military affairs," he left to the Departments of the Government their specific duties, while he performed his own."
It was evident that a direct assault upon the defenses of Vicksburg by the army and navy would result in failure, and Grant determined to move upon them in reverse or rear. How to get a base for such operations was a
1 By a General Oriler issued on the 22d of December, 1962, in which the new organization was announced, the command of the Thirteenth Corps was assigned to Major-General John A. McClernand. It was composed of the Ninth Division, General G. W. Morgan; Tenth Division, General A. J. Smith, and "all other troops operating on the Mississippi River below Memphis, not included in the Fifteenth Army Corps." The command of the Fifteenth Corps was assigned to Major-General W. T. Sherman. It was composed of the Fifth Division, General Morgan L. Smith; the division from Helena, Arkansas, General F. Steele, and the forces in the “District of Memphis." The command of the Sixteenth Corps was assigned to Major-General S. A. Hurlbut. It was composed of the Sixth Division, General J. McArthur; the Seventh Division, General I. F. Quimby; Eighth Division, General L. F. Ross; Second Brigade of Cavalry, A. L. Lee; and the troops in the “ District of Columbus," commanded by General Davies, and those in the “ District of Jackson," under General Sullivan. The command of the Seventeenth Corps was assigned to Major-General J. B. McPherson. It was composed of the First Division, General J. W. Denver; Third Division, General John A. Logan; Fourth Division, General J. G. Lauman; First Brigade of Cavalry, Colonel B. H. Grierson; and the forces in the “ District of Corinth," commanded by Gencral G. M. Dodge.
Grant and his Campaigns, by Henry Coppée, page 152