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Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 26: siege of Vicksburg. (search)
only a dry ditch. General Grant being anxious to get transports past Vicksburg, determined to try the ditch again, and had dredges brought down to work on it. It was hoped that when the river rose it would cut its way through, but that wished for event did not come to pass until after the fall of Vicksburg. The enemy mounted heavy guns opposite the mouth of the canal, and prevented any work upon it. General Grant now hit upon a new expedient — which was to deepen Lake Providence. This Lake communicated with the Tensas River (a deep stream), and the Tensas emptied into the Washita, and this latter into the Red River — thus forming a beautiful system of inland navigation which if properly opened and intelligently directed would have been of great service to the country bordering on the rivers mentioned. But it was not to be, the engineers were not successful. Several transports were taken in, but there were miles of forest to work through and trees to be cut down. The swift cu