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Federal guns and a Confederate camera: the first batteries sent against Vicksburg The Second, Fourth, and Sixth Massachusetts Light Artillery at Baton Rouge, in May, 1862, photographed by Lytle, of the Confederate Secret Service. When Farragut's fleet, after the capture of New Orleans, moved up the Mississippi on May 2d, General Williams, with fourteen hundred men, including two sections of Everett's (Sixth) battery, accompanied it. The ambitious plan was the opening of the Mississippi and the establishment of communication with the Federal forces to the north. Occupying Baton Rouge, the expedition pushed on to Vicksburg. Here Farragut's guns could not be sufficiently elevated to silence the batteries on the bluff, in the face of which Williams could not land. After three weeks on the crowded transports, the men were returned to Baton Rouge and went into camp. On the 20th of June, General Williams again set out for Vicksburg with four regiments and Nims's (Second) and Everett's (Sixth) Massachusetts batteries. At Ellis's Bluff, and again at Grand Gulf, the troops drove off the Confederate field-batteries that opened on the gunboats. But at Vicksburg no effective land attack could be made and the troops, whose numbers had been reduced by overwork, malaria, and scurvy from thirty-two hundred to but eight hundred fit for duty, returned to Baton Rouge.

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Thomas Williams (6)
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