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[310] Porter, who had returned to the Yazoo on the 16th, now reopened communication hence with Grant and Sherman, sending them much needed provisions, and preparing to attack the batteries on Haines's Bluff, which the enemy had begun1 to evacuate, and which, on the appearance of our gunboats, they ran away from, leaving guns, forts, munitions, tents, and equipage of all kinds, to fall into our hands. It would hardly be credited on other testimony than his own,2 that our Admiral proceeded to destroy this inestimable material of war, with full knowledge that Grant's triumphant army, more especially Sherman's corps, were at hand to defend and utilize it.

The fall of Haines's Bluff completely uncovered Yazoo City, in fact, the whole Yazoo Valley; and Porter at once dispatched Lt. Walker, with five gunboats, up the river. Walker reached Yazoo City at 1 P. M.;3 finding the Rebel Navy Yard and vessels in flames, and the city ready to surrender. Among the vessels on the stocks was the ram Republic, 310 feet long by 75 wide; the Mobile, ready for plating, &c., &c. In the Navy Yard, were five saw and planing mills, an extensive machine-shop, beside carpenter and blacksmith shops, &c., &c., All of these that the Rebels had not already fired were burned by Walker, who found 1,500 Rebel sick and wounded in hospital and paroled them. He was ambushed4 and fired on by 200 sharp-shooters at Liverpool Landing on his return, with a loss of 1 killed, 9 wounded; but encountered no other resistance.

An immediate assault on the landward defenses of Vicksburg was determined on by Grant, who apprehended an attack on his rear by Johnston, strongly reenforced from Bragg's army, and who counted much on the demoralization of Pemberton's forces by their succession of defeats and disasters. Accordingly, after some reciprocal cannonading and sharp-shooting, a general assault was ordered at 2 P. M.;5 which only resulted in an advance of the front of our several corps to a close proximity to the Rebel defenses. Blair's division of Sherman's corps alone planted its colors on their works; the 13th regulars, of Giles Smith's brigade, doing so at a cost of 77 out of 250 men; its leader, Capt. Washington, being among the mortally wounded. The 83d Indiana, Col. Spooner, and the 127th Illinois, Col. Eldridge, likewise carried the outer slope of the Rebel earthworks, and held their ground till night, firing at any head that appeared above the parapet, but were unable to enter; while the regiments on either side of these, though they gained positions close up to the works, were even less successful. Sherman, seeing that they were here exposed to hourly

1 On the 17th.

2 He says, in his dispatch of May 20th to the Secretary of the Navy:

The works at Haines's Bluff were very formidable. There are 14 of the heaviest kind of mounted 8-and 10-inch and 7 1/2-inch rifled guns, with ammunition enough to last a long siege. As the gun-carriages might again fall into the hands of the enemy, I had then burned, blow up the magazine. and de-troyed the works generally. I also burned up the encampments, which were permanently and remarkably well constructed, looking as though the Rebels intended to stay some time. Their works and encampments covered many acres of ground: and the fortifications and rifle-pits proper of Haines's Bluff extend about a mile and a quarter. Such a net-work of forts I never saw.

3 May 20.

4 May 23.

5 May 19.

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