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[50] giving but five points through which the enemy could reach the River road from the Yazoo, except by throwing a pontoon bridge across the lake. These points, commencing next to the city, are--first, at the race course, two miles from the city, by a road leading to Johnson's; next, at the Indian mound, four miles from the city, where the lake is dry for two hundred yards; next, at the Chickasaw bayou on Mrs. Lake's plantation (a good road running along the bayou from the Yazoo); next, at Colonel Blake's house, running back from the Yazoo almost to the road, one mile beyond Chickasaw bayou; and at Snyder's mills, thirteen miles from the city, where we have extensive fortifications. Commencing about two miles short of Snyder's mills is an impenetrable swamp. The abatis of fallen timber at the race course was an almost impassable barrier to the enemy. My arrangements were as follows: one regiment, the First Louisiana (Colonel Morrison), and two guns at the mound; four regiments and a battery at Chickasaw bayou, and a regiment between the mound and the bayou. Rifle pits were hurriedly thrown up at the mound and at the bayou, and timber felled across the lake for an abatis. The enemy's gunboats had possession of the Yazoo for about a week before the arrival of the transports on Christmas day. On the 26th they landed in force at Johnson's, and at a point two miles above (one mile below Chickasaw bayou), driving in our pickets. Colonel Withers, with the Seventeenth Louisiana, two companies of the Forty-sixth Mississippi and a section of Wofford's battery, was directed to hold them in check near Mrs. Lake's plantation. This he did in good style, driving them from the open field into the woods. Early on the morning of the 27th, the enemy appeared in force and attacked Colonel Withers with violence. The Colonel retired for a short distance up the bayou to a piece of woods and held his ground against a largely superior force. The enemy also appeared in force in the woods in front of the Indian mound, driving in our skirmishers across the lake. They also appeared on Blake's levee; at the same time attacking our batteries at Snyder's mills. They evidently had excellent guides, attacking us at every point where it was possible to reach the road. On the morning of the 28th the enemy again attacked the woods held the previous day by Colonel Withers, but now by the Twenty-eighth Louisiana volunteers (Colonel Allen Thomas), being at least a brigade and a battery of six guns. Colonel Thomas held his ground against this greatly superior force from about daylight till 12 M., when he retired in good order. The enemy

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