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[144] for running the batteries. These latter, namely, Tigress, Anglo-Saxon, Cheeseman, Empire City, Horizonia, and Moderator, left Milliken's Bend on the night of the twenty-second of April, and five of them got by, but in a somewhat damaged condition. The Tigress received a shot in her hull below the water-line, and sunk on the Louisiana shore soon after passing the last of the batteries. The crews of these steamers, with the exception of that of the Forest Queen, Captain D. Conway, and the Silver Wave, Captain McMillan,were composed of volunteers from the army. Upon the call for volunteers for this dangerous enterprise, officers and men presented themselves by hundreds, anxious to undertake the trip. The names of those whose services were accepted will be given in a separate report.

It is a striking feature, so far as my observation goes, of the present volunteer army of the United States, that there is nothing which men are called upon to do, mechanical or professional, that accomplished adepts cannot be found for the duty required in almost every regiment.

The transports injured in running the blockade were repaired by order of Admiral Porter, who was supplied with the material for such repairs as they required, and who was and is ever ready to afford all the assistance in his power for the furtherance of the success of our arms. In a very short time five of the transports were in running order, and the remainder were in a condition to be used as barges in the movement of troops. Twelve barges loaded with forage and rations were sent in tow of the last six boats that run the blockade; one half of them got through in a condition to be used.

Owing to the limited number of transports below Vicksburgh, it was found necessary to extend our line of land travel to Hard Times, La., which, by the circuitous route it was necessary to take, increased the distance to about seventy miles from Milliken's Bend, our starting-point.

The Thirteenth army corps being all through to the Mississippi, and the Seventeenth army corps well on the way, so much of the Thirteenth as could be got on board the transports and barges were put aboard and moved to the front of Grand Gulf on the twenty-ninth of April. The plan here was that the navy should silence the guns of the enemy, and the troops land under cover of the gunboats, and carry the place by storm.

At eight o'clock A. M. the navy made the attack, and kept it up for more than five hours in the most gallant manner. From a tug out in the stream I witnessed the whole engagement. Many times it seemed to me the gunboats were within pistol-shot of the enemy's batteries. It soon became evident that the guns of the enemy were too elevated and their fortifications too strong to be taken from the water-side. The whole range of hills on that side were known to be lined with rifle-pits; besides,the field-artillery could be moved to any position where it could be made useful in case of an attempt at landing. This determined me to again run the enemy's batteries, turn his position by effecting a landing at Rodney, or at Bruinsburgh, between Grand Gulf and Rodney. Accordingly, orders were immediately given for the troops to debark at Hard Times, La., and march across to the plain immediately below Grand Gulf. At dark the gunboats again engaged the batteries, and all the transports ran by, receiving but two or three shots in the passage, and these without injury. I had some time previously ordered a reconnoissance to a point opposite Bruinsburgh, to ascertain, if possible, from persons in the neighborhood, the character of the road leading to the highlands back of Bruinsburgh. During the night I learned from a negro man that there was a good road from Bruinsburgh to Port Gibson, which determined me to land there.

The work of ferrying the troops to Bruinsburgh was commenced at daylight in the morning, the gunboats as well as transports being used for the purpose.

As soon as the Thirteenth army corps was landed, and could draw three days rations to put in haversacks, (no wagons were allowed to cross until the troops were all over,) they were started on the road to Port Gibson. I deemed it a matter of vast importance that the highlands should be reached without resistance.

The Seventeenth corps followed as rapidly as it could be put across the river.

About two o'clock on the first of May, the advance of the enemy was met eight miles from Bruinsburgh, on the road to Port Gibson. He was forced to fall back, but as it was dark, he was not pursued far until daylight. Early on the morning of the first I went out, accompanied by members of my staff, and found McClernand with his corps engaging the enemy about four miles from Port Gibson. At this point the roads branched in exactly opposite directions, both, however, leading to Port Gibson. The enemy had taken position on both branches, thus dividing, as he fell back, the pursuing forces. The nature of the ground in that part of the country is such that a very small force could retard the progress of a much larger one for many hours. The roads usually run on narrow, elevated ridges, with deep and impenetrable ravines on either side. On the right were the divisions of Hovey, Carr, and Smith, and on the left, the division of Osterhaus, of McClernand's corps. The three former succeeded in driving the enemy from position to position back toward Port Gibson steadily all day.

Osterhaus did not, however, move the enemy from the position occupied by him on our left until Logan's division of McPherson's corps arrived.

McClernand, who was with the right in person, sent repeated messages to me before the arrival of Logan to send Logan and Quimby's divisions of McPherson's corps to him.

I had been on that as well as all other parts of the field, and could not see how they could be used there to advantage. However, as soon as the advance of McPherson's corps (Logan's division)

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