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Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 2., Chapter 22: the siege of Vicksburg. (search)
ost half submerged by the superabundant waters of the Mississippi and its tributaries, and the great bayous. A single railway (New Orleans, Opelousas, and Great Western railroad) then penetrated that region, extending from New Orleans to Brashear City, on the Atchafalaya, a distance of eighty miles, at which point the waters of the great Bayou Teche meet those of the Atchafalaya, and others that flow through the region between there and the Red River. The latter gather in Chestimachee or Grand Lake, and find a common outlet into the Gulf of Mexico at Atchafalaya Bay. These waters formed a curious mixture of lake, bayou, canal, and river at Brashear City, and presented many difficulties for an invading army. These difficulties were enhanced by obstructions placed in the streams, and fortifications at important points. Near Pattersonville, on the Teche, was an earthwork called Fort Bisland, with revetments; and well up the Atchafalaya, at Butte à la Rose, was another. There was a