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ch they fought here, and at Port Hudson a few days before, satisfied the loyal public, and the Confederates, that the negro henceforth would be a power in military operations.
The writer met Colonel Lieb at Vicksburg in April, 1866, who informed him that his experience at Milliken's Bend at the time we are considering, and ever afterward, with negro troops, satisfied him that there is no better material for soldiers than they.
Colonel Lieb had held distinguished rank in military service in Europe, and had much experience in the discipline of troops. Combatants were found after the struggle close together, mutually transfixed, the white and the black face — the master and the slave-close together and equal in death.
The Confederates drove the Nationals from their works to the levee, where a sharp contest was kept up until noon. Fortunately for the Nationals, Porter had received word the night before of the investment of Milliken's Bend, and had ordered the gun-boats Choctaw and Lexin
he railroad (nearer Johnston's communications); and he then informed him that General Taylor (whom Banks, as we have seen,
See page 600. had, driven from the heart of Louisiana, and who was gathering forces there again) would endeavor, with eight thousand men from Richmond, in that State, to open communication with him from the west side of the river.
Already that commander had sent between two and three thousand troops, under General Henry McCulloch (brother of Ben., who was killed at Pea Ridge), to strike — a blow.
It was leveled at a little force, chiefly of colored troops, called the African brigade, stationed at Milliken's Bend, under General Elias S. Dennis, composed of about fourteen hundred
These were the Twenty-third Iowa, white; and Ninth and Eleventh Louisiana and First Mississippi, colored. effective men, of whom all but one hundred and sixty (the Twenty-third Iowa) were negroes.
McCulloch's blow fell first, though lightly, on the Ninth Louisiana (colored), comm