ePub 版


[ocr errors]






[ocr errors]

out of the range of the Vicksburg and at once poured in a flood which batteries, and perhaps change the filled the embryo internal improvemain channel of the mighty river so ment in a few minutes, burying as to leave Vicksburg on a bayou myriads of implernents, and contwo or three iniles back from that straining the diggers to run for their channel. llere our men were de- lives. Several regiments, quartered barked," and work on the canal re in exposed positions, were obliged to commenced; while Grant's corps was move their tents and furniture with brought down on transports to their remarkable celerity; while some aid, and Porter's fleet strengthened companies were isolated from our by several additional iron-clads and main body, and had to be ferried gunboats. Gen. Grant arrived and across the new lagoon to rejoin it. assumed chief command Feb. 2d. The embankment of the Vicksburg

Williams's engineers had located and Shreveport Railroad arrested the their embryo canal unwisely. At progress of the inundation nortlıits head, a strong eddy set the cur- ward; and our soldiers stationed rent away from the bank, rendering below were required to move their difficult the coaxing of a large body tents to the ground above that emof water into it if it were completed; bankment. And now, after some while its lower terminus was com- days' -consideration and hesitating manded by the batteries of Vicks- effort, it was decided that the canal burg—a serious drawback upon its was an abortion—the Father of prospective usefulness. Still, it was Waters having paralyzed it by his judged expedient to complete this, veto; while the batteries of Vicksburg rather than commence a new one; frowned grimly, defiantly as ever. and the river was rising so fast, Ere this, Gen. Grant-having more under the stimulus of incessant rains hands than work—had had a channel (which by no means increased the cut from the Mississippi, some 40 to attractiveness to our soldiers of dig- 50 miles above, into Lake Proviging up the mire and tough clay), I dence; whence there was a continuthat it was confidently expected soon ous water-way, through bayous Baxto obliterate all traces of our engin- ter and Macon, into the Tensas, and eering blunders. As there was daily thus into the Mississippi far below increasing peril that it would drown Vicksburg, as also into the Washita out our camps, compelling our men and Red rivers; while another sideto rëembark, the excavated earth was cut, leaving the great river near all thrown up on the west side, form- Milliken's Bend, communicated, ing an embankment in front of our through a net-work of bayous and camps, between them and Vicks- connecting streams, with the eastern burg. Thus the work was proceed- (shorter) branch of the Tensas, and ing vigorously and hopefully, when” thence, through a similar net-work, the swelling flood of the Mississippi regained the lower Mississippi near —now eight feet above the bottom New Carthage. This one had acof the canal-broke over the precau- tually been made so far available, by tionary dam erected across its head, the help of dredge-boats, that a small 23 Jan. 22.

20 March 3.

was confide and tough .gn 50 mi

steamer and several barges had pass- 1 Proceedingo down the Coldwater, ed through it; when the rapid fall the obstacles to be overcome were of the river closed it for the season. changed rather than diminished.

A third and more determined The channel was a little wider, bus effort to flank the defenses of Vicks- hardly less crooked, while its curburg was made on the east side of the rent was sluggish; the impulse Mississippi, by way of the “ Yazoo gained from the Mississippi having Pass ;' which, leaving the great river been lost by a diffusion of the water a little below Helena, flows through over the swamps and bottoms on Moon Lake into the Coldwater, and either side. Two mortar-boats here down this stream into the Tallahat- overtook the flotilla; and the mouth chie, which, uniting with the Yallo- of the Coldwater was at length busha, forms the Yazoo.

| reached: our vessels having expeBrig.-Gen. L. F. Ross, with a divi- rienced some damage to rudders, sion of Gen. McClernand's corps from wheels, and other works, but having Helena, and the 12th and 17th Mis- encountered no serious resistance souri, of Sherman's corps, headed from the enemy; and with no vessel this expedition, some 5,000 strong, sunk or disabled. which included the large gunboats Moving down the Tallahatchie, to Chilicothe and De Kalb, five smaller a sharp easterly bend ten miles above ones, and eighteen transports, under its junction with the Yallobusha, the the command of Lt. Watson Smith. expedition was brought“ to a stand, The passage through the levee of the just above the little village of GreenMississippi having been considerably wood. enlarged, our vessels in succession Maj.-Gen. W. W. Loring had been boldly entered on the narrow, tortu- dispatched * from Jackson to the ous, but now headlong current, which Yazoo to bar any access by our bore them under a gigantic, over- forces to the valley of that river; arching forest, into Moon Lake, and and, having hastily studied its conthus onward to the Coldwater. So figuration and that of its chief tributaconstant and formidable were the ries, had chosen this as the point obstacles encountered, in the shape most favorable for resistance. The of abrupt turns, fallen trees, inade- meeting streams approach within a quate depth, and sturdy limbs that mile, two or three miles above their swept away smoke-stacks and other junction ; receding directly afterstanding fixtures, that three days ward. Loring, with his engineer, were required for this transit, though Maj. Meriwether, had obstructed the the distance was barely twelve miles. Tallahatchie by a raft, " with an Of course, the Rebels, who were fully old steamboat sunk behind it, and and constantly posted, did not dimin- thrown a line of defenses, composed ish these impediments, but were of cotton-bales and earth, across the prone to aggravate them.

neck of the peninsula ; its best guns, $0 April 10 to 25. s1 March 2. says Lt. Smith's invincible lack of resolution 34 March 11.

$3 Feb. 17.

and energy, and manifest indifference, retarded, *Loring reports that this raft had not been by several days, the arrival of our vessels at this completed when our fleet arrived. The New point, and was the true cause of our uttarly York Tribune correspondent with the expedition i needless failure.





[ocr errors]



[ocr errors]











[ocr errors]



of course, trained upon the approach | An hour of this satisfied her, and she down the Tallahatchie, which a bend backed completely out of the fight; just here rendered as difficult and when the De Kalb came forward and perilous as could be.

fired away for two hours: then she, too, gave it up; leaving the Rebel works essentially intact.

The next day was devoted by Ross to erecting a land battery in front of the Rebel lines, under cover of woods ; Loring withholding his fire on it to economize his scanty ammunition. At 10 next morning," both gunboats renewed the bombardment, aided by our land battery. During the day, one of the Chilicothe's shells tore through the enemy's parapet, knucking out a cotton-bale, and igniting a tub of cartridges beside the Whitworth gun; whereby Lt. Waul, serving it, was wounded, and 15 of his men burned — some of them badly. Other damage was done ; but the Rebels worked throughout the ensuing night, repairing and strengthening their works. Our fire was renewed for a short time next day; and the day after was devoted on both sides to fortifying.

Next morning, the attack was renewed with spirit on our side; but

the Chilicothe was soon hulled by an „VICKSBURG

18-pound shot from the enemy's

rifled Whitworth gun, which entered on HOMILES 20_30_40

one of her port-holes, striking and YAZ00 REGION.

exploding a shell, whereby 14 men The Chilicothe, Lt. Foster, first were killed or severely wounded. attempted to pass; when the Rebel The Cbilicothe then drew out of battery opened, and a 32-pound shell the fight; and, though it was kept struck her turret, slackening her up till sunset by the De Kalb and speed ; and she soon backed around our land batteries, it was plainly of the bend until only her bow pro- no use : so Ross, next morning, contruded; when she renewed the can- cluded to give it up, and return by nonade with her heavy bow-guns, the way he came ; which he did unand received one or two more shots, molested. Brig.-Gen. J. F. Quinby, which did her no essential harm. of McPherson's corps, joined " him 13 March 13. 36 March 16.

37 March 21.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

and assumed command on his retreat. row water-courses ; so that they were Quinby now returned to the ground severally scraped clean of everything just abandoned before the defenses; above their decks when they had but had scarcely done so when lie been wearily driven and warped up received so an order from Grant to the bayou and across Little Black withdraw the expedition ; which he Fork into Deer creek, up that stream forthwith obeyed, returning to the to Rolling Fork, and across into the Mississippi unmolested.

Sunflower; down which they floated Admiral Porter, having reconnoi- almost to the Yazoo; where their tered the country directly eastward progress was finally arrested, and of the Mississippi from Steele's vessels and men obliged to retrace bayou, just above Milliken’s Bend, their toilsome, devious way to the and listened to the testimony of Mississippi. friendly negroes, informed " Gen. Col. C. R. Ellet, commanding the Grant that a devious route, practica- ram Queen of the West, having the ble at that stage of water for lighter gunboat De Soto and a coal-barge in iron-clads, might be found or opened company, ran" the Vicksburg batthence into the Sunflower, and so teries without injury, and thence into the Yazoo below Yazoo City, steamed down to the mouth of Red but above Haines's Bluff; where- river, thence raiding“ down the upon, Grant decided to attempt it. Atchafalaya to Simmsport; thence Ascending “ with Porter, in the ram returning to the Red, and going up Price, pioneered by several other that river to a point 15 miles above iron-clads, through Steele's bayou to the mouth of the Black, where he Black Fork or bayou, which makes captured the steamboat Era, with across from Steele's into Deer creek, 4,500 bushels of corn; thence asGrant, finding their way constantly cending the Black and Washita to impeded by overhanging trees, hur- Gordon's Landing, where his treachried back to Young's Point for a erous pilot, Garvey, ran the Queen pioneer corps ; but was soon advised ashore, just as she was opened on by Porter that there was more seri- from the bank by a Rebel battery, ous work ahead; when Sherman was which soon shot away her lever and sent with a division; most of which escape-pipe, then cut in two her was debarked at Eagle Bend, on the steam-pipe, filling her with scalding Mississippi, and thence marched steam, and compelling Ellet and his across to the bayou (Steele’s), here crew to abandon her—she being but a mile from the river—much of wholly disabled and impotent-esthe distance being now under water, caping on cotton-bales, and reaching and requiring to be bridged or cordu the De Soto, which was just below. royed before it could be passed. And Going down the river, the De Soto such was the height of the water in was run into the bank and lost her the bayous and streams that our rudder; when she and her barge boats could with difficulty be forced were scuttled and burnt; Ellet and through the branches of the trees his crew taking refuge on the Era, which thickly overlaced those nar- throwing overboard her corn. Con*March 23. March 14. 40 March 15.

“Feb. 12.

41 Feb. 10.


tinuing down the river, well aware and, when nearly opposite Grand that the Rebels would soon be after Gulf, encountered the Rebel ram them, the traitor Garvey was installed Webb, as also the captured Queen of as pilot, and soon contrived to run the West (which had somehow been the Era hard aground also, just after repaired so as to be serviceable), with reaching the Mississippi—she draw- two other less formidable gunboats, ing two feet water, and the shallow- in all mounting ten heavy guns, and est of these rivers being now good manned by several hundred men. for at least thirty. Ellet, by the time These attacked her with such energy she was with difficulty got off, ap- and skill, mainly by butting her with pears to have suspected that Rebels their rams, while they danced about were not the safest pilots for Na. her, dodging her shots, that she was tional war vessels; though he does not soon disabled; having been rammed seem to have shot the scoundrel, or for the seventh time by the Webb, done any thing else but intimate that and now directly in her stern, which his style of piloting was not approved. was completely stove in. Being in Four armed boats were sent down af- a sinking condition, she was surrenter him, but turned back by their lead- dered and immediately run ashore. er, ihe Webb, unexpectedly meeting Farragut being away on the Gulf our heavy iron-clad Indianola, which coast, the Rebels had now the masthey did not choose to encounter; so tery of the river between Vicksburg the Era made her way up to the sta- and New Orleans-- a mastery which tion just below Vicksburg; receiving, they soon lost by a Yankee trick. A by the way, salutes that meant mis- worthless coal flat-boat, fitted up, chief from Grand Gulf and Warren covered, and decorated by Porter,

with furnaces of mud and smokeThe Indianola, Lt.-Com'g. Brown, stacks of pork-barrels, to counterfeit was one of our finest iron-clads: 174 a terrible ram, was let loose "s by feet long by 50 broad, with five boil- him, unmanned, above Vicksburg; ers, seven engines, thoroughly shield- and floated down by the batteries, ed, and armed with two 11-inch and eliciting and surviving a tremendous two 9-inch guns. Leaving the mouth cannonade. The Rebels in Vicksof the Yazoo, she had drifted“ nearly burg hastened to give warning of this by Vicksburg undiscovered; and the fearful monster to the Queen, lying batteries finally opened on her had under their batteries at Warrenton, done her no harm whatever. Keep- eight miles below; whereupon, the ing on down, she was just in season, Queen fled down the river at her as we have seen, to shield Ellet and best speed. The Indianola was now the Era from probable capture; and undergoing repairs near the point she now swept proudly down the riv- where she was captured ; and word er, expecting to drive all before her. was sent from Vicksburg that she

After blockading for some days must be burned at once to save her the mouth of Red river, which she from the monster's clutches. A few did not enter for want of pilots, she hours later, when it had been discovwas returning up the Mississippi ; ered that they had been thrown into 43 Night of Feb. 13. * Feb. 24, 94 P. M.

46 About Feb. 24


« 上一頁繼續 »