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[226] near Vicksburg. While it was thus detached, General Lee was able not only to hold the Federal army in check at Fredericksburg, but to gain the victory of Chancellorsville. Until the expedition into Pennsylvania was decided upon, it was engaged in some operations not above secondary. It was well worth delaying an invasion of the Northern States, to preserve the great valley of the Mississippi; and, by sending Longstreet with his corps to that department, we might have been able to repel Grant's invasion, without exposing our armies in Virginia and Tennessee.

During the remainder of the year the operations of the forces of the United States in Mississippi were limited to predatory expeditions, generally by mounted troops. They seemed to have no other object than the infliction of suffering upon the inhabitants of the districts invaded, and the destruction of the few villages and hamlets reached. Our military objects were to defeat such raids, to guard against the destruction, by the enemy, of the railroads and their machinery, and to be in readiness to reenforce the garrison of Mobile.

Most of the predatory warfare was waged by Federal troops stationed on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, and near it in Mississippi. On the eastern part of that frontier Brigadier-General Ruggles commanded Ferguson's brigade of Confederate cavalry, and ten or twelve field-pieces; and the western was defended by Brigadier-General Chalmers, with his brigade of cavalry and a field-battery; Colonel Logan, with another mounted brigade, operated near Natchez and Port Hudson; and Colonel Power

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