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[293] 25,000 to 30,000. Directly after assuming command, gen. McClernand moved up White river 15 miles, to the cur-off; thence across (8 miles) into the Arkansas,1 and up to Notrib's farm, three moles below the Fort; where his land forces were all debarked by noon of next day; by which time, our gunboats had shelled the enemy's sharp-shooters out of their rifle-pits along the levee, and were soon furiously bombarding the Fort. And now our soldiers, under Gens.Sherman, Morgan, Steele, D. Stuart, A. J. Smith, and Osterhaus, were pushed up to and nearly around the Fort, despite the obstacles presented by bayous and miry swamps; our men lying on their arms that night, without fires or tents, and being in position for a general assault at 10 1/2 next morning.2 At 1 P. M., the gunboats reopened; and, half an hour later, the brigades of Hovey, Thayer, Giles A. and T. R. Smith, had crossed at double-quick the narrow space of open ground directly in their front, gaining partial shelter in a belt of woods from the heavy Rebel fire which here brought them to a temporary halt; when, supported by Blair's brigade, they charged up to within musket-range of the enemy's defenses, where they again found partial shelter in some ravines, skirted by bushes and fallen timber. Meantime, Gen. Hovey had been wounded by a fragment of shell, and Gen. Thayer had had his horse shot under him; but our gunboats and Gen. Morgan's batteries had covered the advance by a rapid fire, silencing a part of the enemy's artillery; Lt. Webster's and Blount's Parrott guns, with Hoffman's, Wood's, and Barrett's batteries, rendering efficient service; while Gen. A. J. Smith deployed nine regiments of Burbridge's and Landrum's brigades, supported by three more in reserve, and pressed back the Rebel right behind a cluster of cabins near his intrenchments, whence it was dislodged and driven in by a charge of the 23d Wisconsin, Col. Guppy. Following up his advantage, Smith pushed on his division until it was within 200 yards of the Fort, whence he sent McClernand word that he could almost shake hands with the enemy. By this time, Col. Sheldon, of Osterhaus's division, had sent up Cooley's battery on another face to within 200 yards of the enemy's lines, supported by the 118th and 120th Ohio, with the 69th Indiana in reserve; soon clearing the rifle-pits before them; when the 120th Ohio attempted to scale and carry by assault the east face of the Fort, but were stopped short of the fosse by an impassable ravine.

At 3 1/4 P. M., the guns of the Fort having been silenced by the fire of our far superior artillery, and Sherman's right having been strengthened by three regiments from Smith's division, McClernand ordered a general assault: when our men dashed forward, and — further resistance being hopeless — a white flag was raised from the ramparts, just as the 120th Ohio, leading the 83d Ohio and 16th Indiana, under Gen. Burbridge, were swarming over the intrenchments on the east, barely in advance of Sherman's and Steele's leading regiments on the north and west.

Churchill had received from Lt.-Gen. T. H. Holmes [Little Rock],

1 Jan. 9.

2 Jan. 11.

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