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[64] captured and destroyed; and as the army moved towards Vicksburg, the country was laid waste, and the railroad destroyed, so as to prevent or impede any rebel movement for the relief of Vicksburg.

It was one of the most successful and brilliant operations of modern warfare, and reflected the highest credit on Grant's military capacity. It was the conception of military genius, and was carried through by that confidence which is inspired by genius. Grant's army was now placed where he desired it — in front of the enemy, who was thus cut off from reinforcements and supplies. Another brilliant move and gallant contest, and communication was opened with the Mississippi above Vicksburg, and a base of supplies established. Grant was not disposed to commence the slow operations of a regular siege until he had attempted to carry the enemy's works by assault. He was especially induced to do this because of the danger of a movement upon his rear if he waited too long, believing the importance of Vicksburg to the rebels might lead them even to abandon other points, in order to concentrate a large army for its relief. But finding that the rebel works were too strong to be carried by assault, he commenced regular siege operations, guarding, by a strong force in his rear, against the advance of Johnston, who was collecting all the troops he could for the relief of the beleaguered city. The operations of this force in the rear, under the immediate command of Sherman, were brilliant and effectual. The country, for a great distance, was stripped of supplies, and every important point was guarded, so that Johnston was unable to make any successful movement. The siege operations, in the

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