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[165] and the gunboats. It was resumed next morning, but ceased in half an hour. The contest was renewed on the 16th, and continued until night, when it ceased finally. The enemy was inactive until the 20th, probably repairing the damages their vessels had suffered. The flotilla then withdrew and returned to the Mississippi.

Until the end of the month Lieutenant-General Pemberton's dispatches represented that General Grant's troops were at work industriously digging a canal opposite to Vicksburg; his design being, evidently, to turn the Confederate batteries in that way, and reach a landing-place below the town, to attack it from the south. On the 3d of April, however, he reported that the Federal army was preparing for reembarkation; the object of which, he thought, might be to reenforce General Rosecrans in Middle Tennessee. In the reply to this dispatch, he was instructed to return Stevenson's division, or send an equal number of other troops to General Bragg, should he discover that his surmise was correct.

On the 11th General Pemberton expressed the opinion that “most of General Grant's forces were being withdrawn to Memphis;” and said that he was assembling troops at Jackson; and was then ready to send four thousand to Tennessee. This dispatch was received on the 13th, and on the same day he was desired to send forward the troops. In another telegram of that date, after announcing that he would send General Bragg eight thousand men, he added, “I am satisfied that Rosecrans will be reinforced from General Grant's army.”

On the 16th, however, General Pemberton expressed

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