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[74] Porter's headquarters with an order to relieve Grant, if it were necessary. Porter told Thomas that he would be tarred and feathered if his mission became known.

Perhaps Grant dug his canals and cut his trees to give his soldiers less time to think of their hardships, and to make an appearance of activity until the high water should subside and permit real activity. His mind was digging, too, deep into the national situation. In silence and independence it reached its own convictions, and then, attentively listening to contrary opinions, disregarded these and pursued its way. And in everything that Grant did, the admirable navy supported him brilliantly. On April 16 it ran the Vicksburg batteries in an hour and forty minutes. In six days the transports followed; and Vicksburg beheld the army that had been sitting in the mud for so many weeks depart, to return presently on its own side the river with a vengeance.

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