Notwithstanding General Sherman's pretended zeal to prevent information being given to the enemy, it is a well-known fact that scores of rabid secessionists accompanied the expedition, and generally in Government employment. For instance, many of the pilots, engineers, mates, and captains of the transports were openly avowed Southern sympathizers, and whenever the boats landed, these persons were allowed to go on shore, and communicate with any one they pleased. Especially was this the case at Milliken's Bend, only twenty-five miles from Vicksburgh, where the fleet lay for thirty hours. At this point, four large Parrott guns on the General Anderson, which was the ordnance-boat, were found to have balls rammed home without powder in them, and the supply-pipe to the boilers was cut in the hold. With great difficulty the balls were gotten out by putting powder in at the touch-hole, a few grains at a time. I did not learn that any investigation had been instituted as to who were the guilty parties, but as two engineers were found missing, it is safe to infer that they were the ones. On the evening of the seventh the fleet reached the mouth of White River, and for nearly two days lay at its rendezvous at Montgomery Point, just above it. It was understood that a portion of it would go up White River and the remainder up the Arkansas, for some purpose not stated On the morning of the ninth the steamer White Cloud left the fleet for St. Louis with the mail, and the City of Memphis with the sick and wounded; and on the former boat I took passage as bearer of my own despatches and a multitude of letters from the soldiers to the “loved ones at home.” to the transports. Female chambermaids to the boats, and nurses to the sick alone, will be allowed, unless the wives of captains and pilots actually belonging to the boats. No laundress, officer's, or soldier's wife must pass below Helena. II. No person whatever, citizen, officer, or suttler, will, on any consideration, buy, or deal in cotton or other produce of the country. Should any cotton be brought on board of any transport going or returning, the brigade quartermaster, of which the boat forms a part, will take possession of it, and invoice it to Captain A. R. Eddy, Chief Quartermaster at Memphis. III. Should any cotton, or other produce, be brought back to Memphis by any chartered boat, Capt. Eddy will take possession of the same, and sell it for the benefit of the United States. If accompanied by its actual producer, the planter or factor, the Quartermaster will furnish him with a receipt for the same, to be settled for, on proof of his loyalty, at the close of the war. IV. Boats ascending the river may take cotton from the shore, for bulkheads, to protect their engines or crew, but on arrival at Memphis, it will be turned over to the Quartermaster with a statement of the time, place, and name of its owner. The trade in cotton must await a more peaceful state of affairs. V. Should any citizen accompany the expedition below Helena, in violation of these orders, any colonel of a regiment or captain of a battery will conscript him into the service of the United States for the unexpired term of his command. If he show a refractory spirit, unfitting him for a soldier, the commanding officer present will turn him over to the captain of the boat as a deck-hand, and compel him to work in that capacity, without wages, until the boat returns to Memphis. VI. Any person whatever, whether in the service of the United States, or transports, found making reports for publication, which might reach the enemy, giving them information, aid, and comfort, will be arrested, and treated as spies.
Colonel Williamson's report.1
headquarters Fourth Iowa infantry, battle-field near Vicksburgh, Miss., December 30, 1862.Captain: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken in the battle before Vicksburgh, on the twenty-eighth and twenty-ninth inst. by the Fourth Iowa infantry. Early on the morning of the twenty-eighth, I took the position assigned me on the right of the brigade. In obedience to the orders of the General commanding the brigade, I detailed thirty men from my regiment, under command of First Lieutenant E. C. Miller, of company G, to act as pioneers and skirmishers. Of those thirty men, one was killed and five wounded during the day. The regiment remained in position on the right of the brigade all day, at intervals under fire of the enemy's artillery, without becoming generally engaged. Late in the evening the regiment fell back with the brigade to the transports, and reembarked during the night, and moved down the river two or three miles. At daylight on the twenty-ninth, the regiment again debarked, and took the advance of the brigade, marching about two miles to a point near where General Morgan's division was engaging the enemy. At this point, the regiment was commanded to halt, where it remained until about half-past 3 o'clock, when I received orders from the General commanding the brigade to charge the enemy in the intrenchments, about a half-mile distant, near the base of the hill. There is, near the base of the hill, a slough, or more properly, a swamp, which could only be crossed at one place, (a narrow causeway which had been constructed,) and at that only by the flank of the regiment. As the head of the column emerged from the crossing, it became exposed