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[294] commanding in Arkansas, a telegraphic order to “hold on till help arrived, or till all are dead” --A piece of silly gasconade, which had no warrant in the proximity of a relieving force; but which he says he would have obeyed to the letter, had not “several white flags” been raised, “to my great surprise,” by the 24th Texas (dismounted) cavalry. He had no right to be surprised, nor even vexed, if it had really been his intention to subject his men to useless butchery. They had fought with signal gallantry and resolution, so long as hope remained; he admits that the “Fort had now been silenced about an hour, most of the fieldpieces being disabled;” and that his men had “nothing to rely upon now save their muskets and bayonets,” against an enemy whose ample artillery was still efficient, who had mastered their defenses, and whose numbers were several times their own. Yet he says he had still a “great hope” to keep our whole army “in check till night; and then, if reenforcements did not reach me, to cut my way out;” and trusts “that the traitor who raised the white flag” --(he had already stated that there were “several” such)--“will yet be discovered, brought to justice, and suffer the full penalty of the law.” Such swagger had for years diffused an impression that the South-rons were less brave than they were proved by the stern ordeal of battle.

Churchill reports his loss at not exceeding 60 killed. and 75 to 80 wounded, and thinks ours was from 1,500 to 2,000. McClernand reports his spoils at “5,0001 prisoners, 17 guns, 3,000 small arms, beside large quantities of munitions and commissary stores.” He makes his losses — killed, 129; wounded, 831; missing, 17: total, 977. Having dismantled the Fort, destroyed whatever was combustible that he could not take away, and forwarded his prisoners to St. Louis, he reembarked,2 pursuant to orders from General Grant, and returned to Milliken's Bend; having meantime sent an expedition, under Gen. Gorman and Lt.-Com. Walker, up the White river, which captured Des Are and Duval's Bluff, without resistance.

Gen. Grant having reorganized and refitted at Memphis his more immediate command, personally dropped down the Mississippi on a swift steamer and met3 McClernand, Sherman, and Porter, near the mouth of White river, on their return from their triumphant incursion into Arkansas, accompanying them to Napoleon, where consultations were held, and a plan of action agreed on. MeClernand's force moved down the Mississippi next day; somewhat impeded by a violent storm; but reached, on the 21st, Young's Point, nine miles above Vicksburg, on the opposite bank, facing the mouth of the Yazoo. Here was the head of the canal projected and partly opened, months before, by Gen. Williams,4 intended to secure a passage up and down the Mississippi for oar vessels,

1 The Missouri Republican has a letter from an eye-witness, dated Arkansas Post, January 12, who makes them 4,500--all of them, but 1,000, from Texas--and adds:

Of the entire force garrisoning the Fort, 1,000--mostly Texas cavalry — escaped, taking with them a great portion of the baggage. These effected an exit on the night our forces were surrounding the place, and before it could be fully accomplished.

2 Jan 17.

3 Jan. 18.

4 See page 101.

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