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[534] south upon a cypress-brake which spread itself nearly to the bank of the river. In addition to the railroad-bridge, which I had caused to be floored for the passage even of artillery and wagons, the steamer Dot, from which the machinery had been taken, was converted into a bridge by placing her fore and aft across the river. Between the works and the bridge, about three-quarters of a mile, the country was open, being either clear or cultivated fields, affording no cover should the troops be driven from the trenches. East and south of the railroad the topographical features of the country, over which the enemy must necessarily pass, were similar to those above described; but north of the railroad, and about three hundred yards in front of the rifle-pits, a copse of wood extended from the road to the river. One line was manned on the right by the gallant Cockrell's Missouri brigade, the extreme left by Brigadier-General Green's Missouri and Arkansas men, both of Bowen's division, and the centre by Brigadier-General Vaughan's brigade of East-Tennesseeans, in all about four thousand men, as many as could be advantageously employed in defending the line, with about twenty pieces of field-artillery. So strong was the position, that my greatest-almost only --apprehension was a flank movement by Bridgeport or Baldwin's Ferry, which would have endangered my communications with Vicksburg. Yet this position was abandoned by our troops almost without a struggle, and with the loss of nearly all our artillery. I speak not now of the propriety or of the necessity of holding this position. I had, as heretofore noticed, my object in doing so. I considered that object sufficient, and I also deemed the force employed for the purpose ample.

Brigadier-General Vaughan's brigade had not been engaged at Baker's Creek; his men were fresh and, I believed, were not demoralized. I knew that the Missouri troops, under their gallant leaders, could be depended upon. By whose order the battery-horses were so far removed from their guns as not to be available, I do not know; it certainly was not by mine. General Bowen, with whom I had

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