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[166] no doubt between Vicksburgh and Big Black River — the troops were scattered and dismayed--General Pemberton was both chagrined and provoked at the previous disaster, and declared that he would “sink Vicksburgh and his army together.” The people regarded the place as already at the mercy of the enemy, and for the first time since the siege did they lose their hope of holding the city. The army was placed in position on the lines, and placed in the ditches, with General Baldwin on the left and General Lee on the right. The centre was held by Generals Pemberton, Smith, and Forney. The morning of the day was quiet, and no indications of the enemy's approach were visible until three o'clock P. M., when guns were heard toward the left. The firing soon became more rapid, and extended further along the line as night approached. The Federal forces were engaged with their light artillery in shelling the ditches. Several charges were made and successfully repulsed, and the sharpshooters continued firing through the greater part of the night. In the mean time the confederate lines were strengthened, the army recruited, and confidence restored.

Tuesday, May nineteenth, every thing opened bright and cheerfully; full and universal confidence was now entertained by the whole army that the place could be held until succor arrived. Now all was hope and encouragement. Having held the enemy at bay on the day previous, no one feared the final issue. Early in the morning the enemy again advanced and made a desperate attempt to charge, but were repulsed with heavy loss. Again and again did the serried ranks approach the ditches which were spitting forth death and destruction in their midst. The struggle finally extended along the whole line, with but trivial loss to the men in the trenches. The loss of the enemy could not be ascertained. At the close of the day, the firing ceased along the lines, and quiet was restored. At one o'clock at night one of the gunboats below engaged the lower batteries, and continued firing until day-light. The battery sustaining no damage, remained silent until morning, when a few shots were exchanged, and the boat withdrew.

Wednesday morning, May twentieth, the Federal sharp-shooters again opened a promiscuous and random fire along the whole extent of the lines. There being no occasion for the confederates to waste ammunition without effecting any thing, they reserved their fire and kept silent. Several charges were made on the right, occupied by General Lee's division, but all resulted in a failure to storm the works. It had been suspected on the evening before, from the movements of the fleet, that preparations were making to attack the city in front, and the mortars brought into position during the night. A Parrott gun also devoted some time to shelling the city from the rear. In the morning the sharpshooters again opened the fight, and the light artillery soon joined in the boisterous demonstration; and the mortars which were placed in position during the night, and the Parrott gun in the rear opened on the city in opposite directions; thus the non-combatants were placed between two fires. This, however, did not interfere with the men in the ditches. The shelling in front also was harmless, and did not prevent the women and children from going about their usual avocations. About the hour of midnight the gunboat again attacked the lower batteries, and a heavy artillery duel was kept up till morning.

Thursday, May 21.--This morning the strife again opened pretty much in the same manner as the previous three days. But little artillery firing was heard until late in the afternoon, and the firing was more confined to the centre than before. The attacking party had changed the position of some of their guns — charges were also made. A vigorous storm of severe wind and rain came up in the afternoon, allaying the intolerable dust and cooling the atmosphere. This seemed only to increase the rapidity of the firing, and toward night the artillery practice was remarkably brisk. One gunboat also engaged the lower battery at long-range for some hours. About four o'clock P. M. the mortars on the opposite side of the city opened, and being located at a very eligible point, they were enabled to throw their shells to every quarter of the city, and the town became virtually untenable. The main target of the mortars seemed to be General Pemberton's headquarters. Further and further the deadly missiles reached over the devoted city, and the people began to look about for places of safety. Many had provided themselves with places of shelter by means of caves which had been dug under the hundred hills of the city. As night approached, the scene became more boisterous and furious. The lower gunboats also opened on the batteries, and, in conjunction with the mortars, kept up an incessant and tumultuous shelling, creating a noise and confusion worse confounded. In the mean time the battle raged in all its fury around the breastworks in the rear.

Friday, May 22.--The morning of this day opened in the same manner as the previous one had closed. There had been no lull in the shelling all night, and as daylight approached it grew more rapid and furious. Early in the morning, too, the battle began to rage in the rear. A terrible onslaught was made on the centre first, and then extended further to the left, where a terrific struggle took place, resulting in the repulse of the attacking party. Four gunboats also came. up to engage the batteries. At this time the scene presented an awfully sublime and terrific spectacle--three points being attacked at once, to wit, the rifle-pits by the army in the rear, the city by the mortars opposite, and the batteries by the gunboats. Such cannonading and shelling has perhaps scarcely ever been equalled, and the city was entirely untenable, though women and children were on the streets. It was not safe from behind or before, and every part of the city was alike within range of the Federal guns. The gunboats withdrew after a short engagement, but the mortars kept up the shelling, and the armies continued

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