On January 24th, 1862, a fleet bearing the united forces of Generals Grant
, of, the river, and descending the Mississippi
, appeared before the “terraced city of the hills” --the name given Vicksburg
, according to local tradition, by Daniel Webster.
The disastrous experiment made in the previous December by General Sherman
--of approaching the town on the Yazoo
line — was not repeated.
The troops were disembarked on the west bank of the river, and began to dig a canal across the isthmus which the great bend of the river opposite Vicksburg
makes; the original idea of which scheme of isolation had occurred to General Williams
the year before.
Demonstrations in other directions were not neglected, meanwhile.
Nine gunboats, carrying 4,000 men, in March made a move down the Tallahatchie
, but were repulsed by General Loring
at Fort Pemberton
. General Pemberton
, in command of the Department of Mississippi, was induced for a while to think, that the city was in no immediate danger, and that a large part of General Grant
's army had been sent to join Rosecrans
He soon had occasion to alter his mind in this connection, and the troops which he had dispatched to General Bragg
, at Chattanooga
, were promptly withdrawn.
Early in April, a new plan of campaign was adopted by General Grant
He struck work on the canal.
His new scheme was to march his troops down on the west bank of the river to some suitable point below Vicksburg
, and throw them over in transports that were to pass the batteries under veil of night.
Already, in March, the