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[317] Madison, company K, went out and got them, and although several hundred shots were fired at him, he was unharmed.

Gen. Sherman expressed himself as well satisfied with the behavior of all his troops, but said the Sixth Missouri deserved to be immortalized. General Stuart said he never read of more heroic conduct in the annals of warfare.

The heavy rains of last night and the consequent condition of the law, swampy ground, prevented the possibility of any military operations on this day, by land. General Sherman sent out parties with flags of truce, to bury the dead and bring away the wounded, and the whole day was consumed in the discharge of this melancholy duty. It was discovered that the enemy had carried off all the slightly wounded as prisoners of war, leaving only those who were unable to walk. All the dead had been robbed of their haversacks, and many of the bodies stripped of their outer clothing. During the day, many rebel soldiers came down to the flags of truce and manifested a disposition to be quite friendly, and in some instances, assisting in burying the dead. They also brought a few Vicksburgh papers of that morning, containing a glowing account of the battle, and jubilating over the repulse of the Yankees. They estimated the numbers engaged in the battle, at three thousand on the part of the rebels, and fifteen thousand on the part of the Federals. The weather had cleared off as suddenly in the morning as the rain had come up on the evening before, and the beauty of the day, with its soft and languid air, illy harmonized with the mournful work in which our army was engaged. By night, the last sad office of burying the dead was completed, and the wounded were borne from the field to the hospital-boats.

The condition of the ground was still such as to prevent any operations on the Yazoo swamps, and Gen. Steele proposed to Gen. Sherman that a division be sent up the Yazzo on the transports, as near to Haynes's Bluff as they could get without coming within range of the guns from the battery, and that the troops then land and assault the works in the rear while the gunboats engaged the batteries in front. After consultation with the other division commanders, General Sherman approved the plan, and detailed General Steele's division to carry it into execution. At an early hour in the afternoon, the troops designated were embarked on the transports, reenforced by the Sixth and Eighth Missouri regiments from General Morgan L. Smith's division. The expedition was ordered to sail at daylight on the following morning, but when daylight came it was accompanied by a dense fog which did not clear away until nearly noon. The expedition was then abandoned.

After the fog cleared away, the troops were again landed, and during the remainder of the day remained idly and listlessly in camp, in momentary expectation of receiving an order for a movement of some kind. Toward evening a horseman was seen riding along the shore distributing orders to the various boats, and soo the roll of the drums along the lines indicated the reading of an order. Groups of anxious listeners gathered around each regimental commander as he read the order, which proved to be an order for every regiment to embark on its original transport, and be ready to move by daylight in the morning. Soon all was hurry and bustle, loading on horses, teams, batteries, and stores, and mustering the men on board, and long before midnight every thing was on the transports except the hospital teams and ambulances, and a few pickets.

Up to this time the soldiers, although they knew they had been repulsed, had no idea they were defeated; and the construction they put on the movement was, that it was a ruse to induce the enemy to advance from their intrenchments into the bottom-land. But why, it was asked, if that is the case, put all the wagons and heavy batteries on board at the expense of so much labor and inconvenience? The answer was, that there were a great many secession sympathizers along with the expedition, and that it was necessary to deceive them also, lest they give information of the ruse to the enemy. Daylight came, and the expedition did not move, and noon came and the fleet was quietly moored to the shore. That it was a ruse was now no longer doubted, and the pickets brought in word that the enemy was advancing toward us by the left. An order was immediately given for the fleet to sail, while a small force was sent out to hold the enemy in check, assisted by the gunboats.

By three o'clock in the afternoon the last boat passed out at the mouth of the Yazoo, where just one week before it had sailed in so triumphantly. The expedition which was to have taken Vicksburgh so easily, ingloriously and igominiously fled, leaving the exulting foe in undisputed possession of the battle-ground.

At the mouth of the Yazoo the fleet was met by the steamer Tigress, having on board General McCkernand. General Sherman reported to him, and in a short time issued the following order:

headquarters right wing army of the Tennessee, Steamer Forest Queen, Milliken's Bend, January 4, 1863.
General order, No. 5.

Pursuant to the terms of General Order, No. 1, made this day by Gen. McClernand, the title of our army ceases to exist, and constitutes in the future the Army of the Mississippi, composed of two “army corps,” one to be commanded by General G. W. Morgan, and the other by myself. In relinquishing the command of the army of the Tennessee, and restricting my authority to my own “corps,” I desire to express to all commanders, to the soldiers and officers recently operating before Vicksburgh, my hearty thanks for the zeal, alacrity, and courage, manifested by them on all occasions. We failed in accomplishing one great purpose of our movement, the capturing of Vicksburgh, but we were part of a whole. Ours was but part of a combined movement, in which others were to assist. We were on time. Unforeseen contingencies must have delayed the others.



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