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[157] to be kept up to occupy the attention of the enemy in our front. Under these circumstances, Ransom's and Giles Smith's brigades charged up against the parapet, but also met a staggering fire, before which they recoiled under cover of the hillside. At the same time, while McPherson's whole corps was engaged, and having heard General McClernand's report to General Grant, that he had taken three of the enemy's forts, and that his flags floated on the stronghold of Vicksburgh, I ordered General Tuttle to send directly to the assault one of his brigades. He detailed General Mower's, and whilst General Steele was hotly engaged on the right, and I could hear heavy firing all down the line to my left, I ordered their charge, covered in like manner by Blair's division deployed on the hillside, and the artillery posted behind parapets within point-blank range.

General Mower carried his brigade up bravely and well, but again arose a fire more severe, if possible, than that of the first assault, with a similar result. The colors of the leading regiment, the Eleventh Missouri, were planted by the side of that of Blair's storming party, and remained there till withdrawn after nightfall by my orders.

McClernand's report of success must have been premature, for I subsequently learned that both his and McPherson's assaults had failed to break through the enemy's line of intrenchments, and were equally unsuccessful as my own. At the time we were so hotly engaged along the road, General Steele, with his division, made his assault at a point about midway from the bastion and Mississippi River--the ground over which he passed was more open and exposed to the flank fire of the enemy's batteries in position, and was deeply cut up by gullies and washes. Still his column passed steadily through this fire and reached the parapet, which was also found to be well manned and defended by the enemy. He could not carry the works, but held possession of the hill-side till night, when he withdrew his command to his present position. These several assaults, made simultaneously, demonstrated the strength of the natural and artificial defences of Vicksburgh, that they are garrisoned by a strong force, and that we must resort to regular approaches. Our loss during the day was severe, and the proportion of dead to wounded exceeds the usual ratio. The loss in my corps for the attack of May twenty-second will not fall much short of six hundred killed and wounded. Our skirmishers still remain close up to the enemy's works, while the troops are retired a short distance in the ravines which afford good cover. Strong working parties are kept employed in opening roads to the rear, and preparing covered roads to the front. By taking advantage of the shape of the ground I think we can advance our works to within a hundred yards of the redoubt which commands the road, after which the regular “sap” must be resorted to. Captain Jenney, engineer on my staff, has organized the parties and will set to work immediately at two distinct poins, one in Blair's, and the other in Steele's front. Our position is now high, healthy, and good. We are in direct and easy commmunication with our supplies, and the troops continue to manifest the same cheerful spirit which has characterized them throughout this whole movement. I have as yet received no detailed reports of my division commanders; indeed our means of transportation have been so limited, and our time so constantly employed, that but little writing has been done; but as soon as possible I will supply you with accurate reports of all the details of events herein sketched with names of killed and wounded, and the names of such officers and men as deserve mention for special acts of zeal and gallantry.

I have sent in about five hundred prisoners, with lists of their names, rank, regiment, etc., and now inclose the papers relating to those paroled at Jackson, Mississippi.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

W. T. Sherman, Major-General Commanding. Lieutenant-Colonel John A. Rawlins, Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of the Tennessee.

General McPherson's congratulatory address.

General orders, no. 20.

headquarters Seventeenth army corps, Department of the Tennessee, Vicksburgh, Miss., July 4, 1863.
soldiers of the Seventeenth army corps: Again I rejoice with you over your brilliant achievements and your unparalleled successes.

Hardly had your flag floated to the breeze on the capitol of Mississippi, when, springing to the call of our noble commander, you rushed upon the defiant columns of the enemy at Champion Hills and drove him in confusion and dismay across the Big Black to his defences within the stronghold of Vicksburgh.

Your assaulting columns, which moved promptly upon his works on the twenty-second of May, and which stood for hours undaunted under a withering fire, were unsuccessful only because no men could take the position by storm.

With tireless energy, with sleepless vigilance, by night and by day, with battery and with riflepit, with trench and mine, you made your sure approaches, until, overcome by fatigue and driven to despair in the attempt to oppose your irresistible progress, the whole garrison of over thirty thousand men, with all their arms and munitions of war, have, on this, the anniversary of our national independence, surrendered to the invincible troops of the army of the Tennessee.

The achievements of this hour will give a new meaning to this memorable day, and “Vicksburgh” will brighten the glow in the patriot's heart which kindles at the mention of “Bunker Hill” and “Yorktown.”

This is indeed an auspicious day for you. The God of battles is with you; the dawn of a conquered peace is breaking upon you; the plaudits of an admiring world will hail you wherever you may go, and it will be an ennobling heritage surpassing

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