The success of this attempt greatly reduced the value of the two posts, Vicksburg
and Port Hudson
, by which we had been hoping to retain the command of the part of the river between them.
I soon found myself too feeble to command an army, and in a few days became seriously sick; so that, when the state of General Bragg
's domestic affairs permitted him to return to military duty, I was unfit for it. He, therefore, resumed the position of commander of the Army of Tennessee.
In the latter part of the winter Lieutenant-General Pemberton
had reason to apprehend that the enemy would attempt to approach Vicksburg
through the Yazoo
, Tallahatchie, and Yazoo
, and directed Major-General Loring
, with an adequate body of troops, to select and intrench a position to frustrate such an attempt.
That officer constructed Fort Pemberton
in consequence of these orders, very judiciously located near the junction of the Yallobusha
with the Tallahatchie
with the usual accessory, a raft to obstruct the channel of the latter.
On the 11th the Federal
flotilla appeared, descending the Tallahatchie
.-nine gunboats, two of which, the Chillicothe
and De Kalb
, were iron-clads, and twenty transports bearing four thousand five hundred infantry and artillery.
The gunboats opened their fire upon the Confederate
works very soon and continued it for several hours.
The 12th was devoted by the enemy to the construction of a battery on land, and on the 13th a spirited cannonade was maintained against Fort Pemberton
by this battery