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n. During the war, the entire country was divided by the United States authorities, into military departments, whose boundaries and organization were repeatedly changed. The state of Illinois, and the states and territories west of the Mississippi river, and east of the Rocky mountains, constituted at this time the Western Department, of which Major-General Fremont was in command. On the 8th of August, Fremont transferred Grant to Ironton, Missouri, and a fortnight afterwards to Jeffersonst bank, was a small post, fortified only by a rude sort of abatis, and lying directly under the guns of Columbus. The rebels were constantly crossing troops between these points, and in time made Columbus one of the strongest works on the Mississippi river, and one of their great depots of men and sup. plies. It of course completely barred the navigation of the stream, and was a constant menace to every point in Grant's command. On the 1st of November, Fremont ordered Grant to make demon
averse the South, and connect the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi with the eastern part of the region then in rebellion, was a position of the first strategic importance, sure to be obstinately defended by the rebels, and the objective point of any operations of the national commanders. It was the key to the whole railroad system of communication between the great states of Tennessee and Mississippi, and, consequently, to the possession of Tennessee itself, covering Memphis and the Mississippi river from the national armies. Pittsburg Landing is nineteen miles from Corinth. The Tennessee, at this time, flooded all its shores, except the two or three bluffs where landings had been established (Savanna, Hamburg, Crump's, and Pittsburg), so that no foothold could be obtained at any point on the river near Corinth, except at these localities. The obvious advantage which the west bank of the river presented was, that a rapid movement could at any time be made from this base, witho
dered back to Corinth, having marched out about thirty miles. During all these operations, Grant had been left in camp. The ineffectual pursuit was terminated by the 10th of June, and Buell was then sent towards Chattanooga, the great strategic point in East Tennessee. Grant retained command of the District of West Tennessee, and made his headquarters at Memphis, which had fallen into the hands of the national forces, on the 6th of June, as the result of a fierce naval fight on the Mississippi river. At about the same time, Beauregard was relieved by Bragg, who soon afterwards started with a large force for Chattanooga, to intercept Buell. And thus the great and tangible success, which was thrown so directly in General Halleck's path that it seemed impossible for any one even to avoid a victory, was allowed, nay, compelled, in his unskilful grasp, to dissolve away, like a shadow in the hands of him who stretches out to embrace what is not. Even after the rebels had eluded him
5: Military importance of the Mississippi river Grant proposes movement into interior, d. The transcendent importance of the Mississippi river had been manifest from the beginning of e entirely lost, when the control of the Mississippi river was gone; and no consideration had greation, whose object was the opening of the Mississippi river and the capture of Vicksburg. He made hl Curtis's forces at present east of the Mississippi river, and organize them into brigades and divainst Vicksburg, rather than that of the Mississippi river. First of all, was a desire to fight Pempaign with all his forces, by way of the Mississippi river. Delays and difficulties with him had odered to cooperate in the opening of the Mississippi river, and especially in the capture of Vicksbent word to one of his subordinates: The Mississippi river enterprise must take precedence of all osive task of opening and controlling the Mississippi river. On the 29th of January, General Gran[1 more...]
ence batteries further marches of troops running of batteries at Grand Gulf crossing of Mississippi river by Grant's advance demonstration by Sherman against Haine's bluff Grant's confidence of draw at will, without danger of exhausting the supply. This post was now the key to the Mississippi river, and to the magnificent valley which it fertilizes. At Grand Gulf, where the bluffs againtained. Three means of obviating this difficulty suggested themselves: First, to turn the Mississippi river from its course, and, by cutting a canal across the peninsula in front of Vicksburg, creat added in his own behalf: I am confident that you will do every thing possible to open the Mississippi river. And, indeed, it is not surprising that the government should have urged him on. No substt men were attributing to him the conception of the campaign which resulted in opening the Mississippi river. Sherman, doubtless, was induced to take this step by his anxiety for the success of th
minary orders for the campaign passage of the Mississippi river movement to the high land battle-field of Po midnight of the 3d, he turned his back on the Mississippi river, and started for Hankinson's ferry. Directi the text is not too small. When I crossed the Mississippi river, said Grant, the means of ferriage were so limooperate in the great struggle for opening the Mississippi river. On the 11th of May, Grant finally wrote tolect his forces at once, or the control of the Mississippi river was forever gone. The battle of Raymond, anand, by dark, he had reached the bluffs on the Mississippi river. Early next morning, possession was obtained ide of Vicksburg; Grant's right resting on the Mississippi river, within full view of the national fleet at theinvested the principal rebel stronghold on the Mississippi river. Separating forces twice as numerous as his othe campaign itself, won Vicksburg, opened the Mississippi river, and dealt the rebellion a blow from which it
all along the line McClernand's dispatches Grant's replies renewal of the assault Second failure Grant's position during the assault renewed dispatches from McClernand Reenforcements sent to McClernand death of Boomer results of the assault comparison with assaults in European wars. The ground on which the city of Vicksburg stands is supposed by some to have been originally a plateau, four or five miles long and about two miles wide, and two or three hundred feet above the Mississippi river. The official report of engineer operations at the siege of Vicksburg, by Captains Prime and Comstock, U. S. Engineers, and the manuscript memoir, already referred to, of Lieutenant (now Brevet Major-General) Wilson, have furnished most of the details of engineer operations for this and the following chapter. This plateau has been gradually washed away by rains and streams, until it is transformed into a labyrinth of sharp ridges and deep irregular ravines. The soil is fine, and wh
adquarters garrison paroled and marched out of Vicksburg fall of Port Hudson opening of Mississippi river Sherman sent against Johnston Johnston retreats to Jackson Sherman besieges Jackson Jo the siege, and yet remain in possession of Haine's bluff, with undisputed control of the Mississippi river, they could still concentrate resources for a new effort, either against the city itself ohat time, two thousand boats would be built, and the besieged could escape by crossing the Mississippi river. The rebel finished by announcing that houses in Vicksburg were now being torn down to geh to A. M. Aiken's, below Dutch Gap, on the James river, Virginia, or to Vicksburg, on the Mississippi river, in the state of Mississippi, and there exchanged, or paroled until such exchange can be ee the boast of your children that their fathers were of the heroic army which reopened the Mississippi river. The grade of major-general in the regular army was immediately conferred on the succes
d, seemed anxious to fully reward all who had been conspicuous in the great campaigns which resulted in opening the Mississippi river. This approbation was not confined to corps commanders, nor to officers who were graduates of the Military Acadehere he had just obtained possession of Chattanooga, the most important strategic position between Richmond and the Mississippi river; while the rebels, under Bragg, were apparently attempting to move west of him through northern Alabama, and, by tu On the 15th, Halleck telegraphed again: All the troops that can possibly be spared in West Tennessee and on the Mississippi river should be sent, without delay, to assist General Rosecrans on the Tennessee river. . . . . Information just receiveand—the Military Division of the Mississippi; this was to include all the territory between the Alleghanies and the Mississippi river, excepting such as might be occupied by Banks: the three departments of the Tennessee, the Cumberland, and the Ohio
h to Grant: The Secretary of War directs that you will report in person to the War Department, as early as practicable, considering the condition of your command. If necessary, you will keep up telegraphic communication with your command, while en route to Washington. The next day Grant started for the capital. At the same time he sent instructions to Sherman, now on his return from Meridian. That commander was directed to use the negro troops, as far as practicable, to guard the Mississippi river; and, adding to this element what he deemed necessary for the protection of the river, to assemble the remainder of his command at Memphis. Have them in readiness to join your column on this front, in the spring campaign. This was with a view to the movement against Atlanta and Mobile, which, notwithstanding his promotion, Grant still intended to lead in person. This operation had now been frequently explained by him to his staff. It was his plan, at this time, to fight his way to
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