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[130]

Six hundred miles in sixteen days Seventeen hundred men who marched 600 miles in sixteen days, from Vicksburg to Baton Rouge. On April 17, 1863, Grant despatched Grierson on a raid from LaGrange, Tennessee, southward as a means of diverting attention from his own movements against Vicksburg, and to disturb the Confederate line of supplies from the East. Grierson destroyed sixty miles of tracks and telegraph, numberless stores and munitions of war, and brought his command safely through to Baton Rouge. These two pictures by Lytle, the Confederate Secret Service agent at Baton Rouge, form one of the most remarkable feats of wet-plate photography. The action continued as he moved his camera a trifle to the right, and the result is a veritable “moving picture.” In the photograph on the left-hand page, only the first troop is dismounted and unsaddled. In the photograph on the right-hand page two troops are already on foot. Note the officers in front of their troops. The photograph was evidently a long time exposure, as is shown by the progress of the covered wagon which has driven into the picture on the left-hand page. It was at the conclusion of this remarkable raid that Grierson reported that “the Confederacy was a hollow shell.” All of its population able to carry arms was on the line of defense. Captain John A. Wyeth, the veteran Confederate cavalryman who contributes to other pages of this volume, wrote when he saw these photographs: “I knew General Grierson personally, and have always had the highest regard for his skill and courage as shown more particularly in this raid than in anything else that he did, although he was always doing well.”

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B. H. Grierson (4)
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