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[36] as he had actually to remain there. Later in the campaign he took full advantage of the experience thus gained.

The fleet under Admiral Porter co-operated with him, but all endeavours to capture Vicksburg from the north were unavailing. The Mississippi winds and winds through its rich alluvial valley; the country is intersected by bayous or water-courses filled from the river, with overhanging trees and with narrow and tortuous channels, where the bends could not be turned by a vessel of any length. To cross this country in the face of an enemy was impossible. The problem was to get in rear of the object of attack, and to secure a footing upon dry ground on the high or eastern side of the Mississippi — the side on which Vicksburg stands — for operating against the place. On the 30th of January, 1863, Grant having left Memphis, took the command at Young's Point in Louisiana, on the western bank of Mississippi, not far above Vicksburg, bent on solving the problem.

It was a wet country and a wet winter, with high water in the Mississippi and its tributaries. The troops encamped on the river bank had, in order to be out of the water, to occupy the levees, or dykes, along the river edge, and the

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