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Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 26: siege of Vicksburg. (search)
ant 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 current drove the steamers agains
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 30: (search)
k on the rams. If the Arkansas, which ran the gauntlet of Farragut and Davis' squadrons, was a specimen of the iron-clad that could be built at Yazoo City, the Federals had cause to congratulate themselves that the Yazoo was open by the evacuation of Haines' Bluff, and the last attempt of the Confederates to carry on naval operations in that quarter abandoned. At the same time that the expedition was sent up the Yazoo another was dispatched up the Red River, ascending the Black and Tensas Rivers. Lieutenant-Commander Selfridge penetrated to the head of navigation on the latter stream, at Tensas Lake and Bayou Macon, thirty miles above Vicksburg, and within five or six miles of the Mississippi River. Parties of the enemy's riflemen were in the habit of crossing this narrow strip of land and firing upon transports passing up and down the Mississippi, sometimes killing women and children who happened to be on board. Quite a large force of Confederates were assembled in that qua