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[57] great military road across the peninsula from the Mississippi River above to the Mississippi River forty miles below Vicksburgh. The achievement is one of the most remarkable occurring in the annals of war, and justly ranks among the highest examples of military energy and perseverance.

On the twenty-second, receiving a communication from Admiral Porter, informing me that he would attack the enemy at Grand Gulf on the following morning, and requesting me to send an infantry force to occupy the place when he had silenced the enemy's guns, I directed Gen. Osterhaus immediately to embark his division on all available boats, and to cooperate with the gunboats in carrying into effect the purpose mentioned.

In prompt execution of my order, General Osterhaus embarked his division during the night of the twenty-second, but Admiral Porter informing me in the morning, that the enemy was in much stronger force than he first supposed, and that more extensive preparations on the part of our land and naval forces were required than could be immediately made, the comtemplated attack was postponed.

On the twenty-third, accompanied by General Osterhaus, I made a personal reconnoissance of the enemy's works and position at Grand Gulf, on board the gunboat General Price, which had been kindly placed at my disposal for that purpose by Admiral Porter, and found them very strong. On the twenty-fourth in obedience to my order, General Osterhaus sent a detachment of the Second Illinois cavalry, under Major Marsh, and the Forty-ninth Indiana, and the One Hundred and Fourteenth Ohio infantry, together with a section of artillery, all under command of Colonel Kaigwin, to reconnoitre the country between Perkins's and the month of Bayou Pierre, and to examine into the practicability of expediting the general movement by marching troops across the country to the mouth of that stream. The expedition was frequently interrupted by rebel cavalry, but not until reaching a point on the west side of Bruin's Lake did it meet any considerable resistance.

Here the cavalry of the enemy, six or seven hundred strong, with several pieces of masked cannon, drawn up in line of battle on the opposite side of Choctaw Bayou, made a resolute stand. A desultory fight, however, of four hours served to dislodge him and leave us master of the field. Thence the detachment continued its march to Hard Times, fifteen miles below Perkins's, and three miles above Grand Gulf. Thence the cavalry marched across Coffee Point to D'Schron's plantation, three miles below Grand Gulf, and on to a point opposite Bruinsburgh, the landing for Port Gibson, twelve miles below Grand Gulf, thus demonstrating the existence of a practicable land route from Perkins's to a point opposite Bruinsburgh. The whole or a portion of the Seventeenth army corps, afterward followed to D'Schron's, and so the Fifteenth, as far as Hard Times.

Having concentrated my whole corps at Perkins's, on the twenty-eighth, without wagons, baggage, tents, or officers' horses, which were left behind for want of transportation, the whole of it except the detachment at Hard Times and two regiments ordered to remain at Perkins's as a garrison, embarked on steamers and barges including the gunboat General Price, for Grand Gulf. Arriving at Hard Times that evening, they rested there during the night on boats and on shore.

On the morning of the twenty-ninth the gunboats steamed three miles down the river to Grand Gulf, and closely approaching, the enemy's batteries opened fire upon them. The Ninth, Tenth, and Twelfth divisions of my corps followed on transports, casting anchor in full view of the Gulf, and holding themselves in readiness to push forward and disembark the moment the enemy's water-batteries should be silenced and a footing for them thus secured. General Carr's division remained at Hard Times, waiting for the return of transports to bring them on too.

At the termination of a daring and persistent bombardment of five and a half hours, the principal batteries had not been silenced, several of the gunboats had been crippled, and all of them were drawn off.

Returning to Hard Times, the Ninth, Tenth, and Twelfth divisions disembarked, and together with the Fourteenth division, crossed over the point opposite Grand Gulf that evening and night to D'Schron's. The same night the gunboats, transports, and barges ran the blockade at Grand Gulf, and landed at D'Schron's.

If the attack upon Grand Gulf had succeeded, it would have secured either or both of two objects. First, a base for operations against the rear of Vicksburgh; second, safety in reinforcing General Banks at Port Hudson; but failing, it became important to gain a footing at some other favorable point. The reconnoissance made by my cavalry, in pursuance of Major-General Grant's order, indicated Bruinsburgh to be the point. Hence, embarking on the morning of the thirtieth my corps immediately proceeded to that place, and disembarked before noon.

Only halting long enough to draw and distribute three days rations, at four o'clock all my corps, except the cavalry on the opposite side of the river, took up the line of march agreeably to Major-General Grant's instructions, for the bluffs some three miles back. Reaching the bluffs some time before sunset, and deeming it important to surprise the enemy if he should be found in the neighborhood of Port Gibson, and if possible to prevent him destroying the bridges over Bayou Pierre, on the roads leading to Grand Gulf and to Jackson, I determined to push on, by a forced march, that night as far as practicable.

battle of Port Gibson.

About one o'clock, on the morning of the first of May, upon approaching Magnolia Church, thirteen miles from Bruinsburgh, and four miles from Port Gibson, General Carr's division leading the advance was accosted by a light fire of the enemy's infantry, and soon after by the fire of his

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