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[352] through it. An insane woman was slightly wounded by a splinter, but otherwise no injury was inflicted upon the inmates.

Colonel Wood, of Thayer's division, Steele's army corps, with a brigade of infantry, left for Canton last evening. They will destroy the railroad in that neighborhood, and also the large railroad machine-shops at that place. It has been determined upon to destroy all the railroads within our reach, inflicting damages of such a permanent character that they will never be rebuilt, except after a return of peace. Work will be commenced upon the roads here to-morrow, and the hurried injuries of the previous occupation will become permanent. With Johnston's army withdrawn to the eastern limits of the State, and all the railroads torn up, the rebels will never resume control of the Mississippi. There are said to be ninety locomotives belonging to the Mississippi Central and other roads north of Jackson. If this report is true, they will probably be destroyed, unless some means presents itself of getting them to Corinth or Memphis.

Johnston had removed his hospitals some two miles east of the Pearl River, where a very few of his own sick, and our wounded in the affair of the twelfth, are said to have been left.

From the first investment of the place, General Sherman was short of ammunition. Only a limited number of guns were at first placed in position, and all pieces were limited to one shot every five minutes. The ammunition train was expected on the sixteenth, and on the night of the fifteenth our lines were moved about a half a mile nearer the front, and almost double the number of guns were placed in position. In anticipation of the arrival of the train, a vigorous bombardment was to have commenced on last evening. The train did not arrive, however, until near midnight, when orders were issued for each piece to fire two hundred rounds as rapidly as possible this morning. Johnston was of course aware of our being short of ammunition, or he would not have remained so long. His cavalry scouts must also have notified him of the progress of our ammunition train, and thus enabled him to leave just in time to avoid the severe fire which would have followed its arrival.

There are many reports in circulation to the effect that some of our men have been poisoned by drinking liquor left by the rebels. The reasonable conclusion would be this: A drugstore, being endangered by the fire last night, the stock was removed into the street, and this morning scattered in all directions, and trampled in the dust by our soldiers. Several kegs of liquor were found among the stock of this drugstore, and it is not at all improbable that the soldiers, ignorant of its nature, partook of antimonial wine.

The operations of the siege, aside from the terrible blunder of General Lauman on the twelfth instant, were conducted with the loss of but few lives, as was also the skirmishing in advancing from Vicksburgh.

This morning I rode over the ground upon which General Lauman operated his division in the affair of the twelfth instant, concerning which I wrote you from Black River bridge on Tuesday last. A view of the ground enables one to form a correct idea of the manner in which the blundering movement was made, which terminated so disastrously.

General Lauman's division was attached to General Ord's army corps, being the extreme right. On the morning of the twelfth, General Hovey, whose division was next to the left, advanced his line about half a mile, and General Lauman was ordered to advance his line until his left rested upon General Hovey's right. Lauman's right did not extend to Pearl River, as was reported, but simply extended the length of one brigade on the east side of the railroad.

The line of the enemy's works, after reaching far enough south to protect the approaches to the west of the city, make a curve around to the east and cover the approaches to the south. This last line, when it reaches the railroad south of the city, is running almost north-west and south-east. When it crosses the railroad it bears from north-east to south-west for some distance, and then again changes from north-west to southeast, running to the river.

Colonel Isaac L. Pugh, of the Forty-first Illinois, commanded the brigade upon the extreme right of General Lauman's division. The brigade consisted of the Forty-first, Fifty-third, land Twentyeighth Illinois, Third Iowa and Fifth Ohio battery. The left of the brigade rested on the rail. road, it being upon the east side of it. Although he could not see the rebel lines on the east side of the railroad, General Lauman could see enough to know that they did not run parallel with those on the west side of the railroad, and, presuming that, after crossing the railroad, their course was about east to the river, he swung the right of General Pugh's brigade around until the line was formed almost due east and west. The brigade on the left of Pugh's had been dropped from the line. leaving a gap. In this position the division advanced. Presently Colonel Pugh came to a cornfield, where the corn had all been carefully removed except in one place, and the timber upon his left all cut down. His skirmishers, about the same time, were driven in by sharp-shooters. Colonel Pugh determined not to advance any further, and sent for General Lauman, to whom he communicated that his skirmishers had been driven in, and he feared that the enemy were in force in front of him. General Lauman gave the order to the brigade to move on, and left it. After crossing the corn-field it came into a piece of open woods, from which the undergrowth had been removed. Here it was opened upon by a galling fire from the enemy's artillery, sharp-shooters, and twelve cannon with grape and canister, at one hundred and fifty yards, those upon the right enfilading the line. It was the most murderous

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