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[499] Vicksburg, and across by the Plank road to Bedford, there were a few pickets and some small bands of negroes. Harrison had cleared everything below Bedford.

All these facts were completely established during the night of the 5th, and early on the 6th, before Walker's division arrived at 10 A. M., as the enemy knew nothing of the presence of so large a force, believing Richmond to be occupied by Harrison's command alone, I determined to act at once. Accordingly General Walker was directed to cook two days rations and be ready to move at 6 P. M. The distances from Richmond to Young's and Milliken's respectively are twenty and ten miles, and the road is common for five miles from Richmond. The intense heat of the weather rendered a night march desirable, and an attack at early dawn lessened the risk of annoyance from gunboats. I instructed General Walker to send one brigade to Young's, one to Milliken's and hold the third in reserve at a point six miles from Richmond. Twenty men from Harrison's command, acquainted with the country, were selected to accompany each of the attacking columns. My signal officer, Lieutenant Routh, with a party of his men, was ordered to accompany the column from Young's and make every effort to communicate with Vicksburg, and the great importance of so doing was impressed on all. The two columns, after clearing the points aimed at, were to march up and down the river respectively to Duckport, nearly equi-distant from Young's and Milliken's, where a road struck off from the river and fell into the Richmond road near the point of divergence mentioned above.

Arms, ordnance stores, medicines, etc., were ordered to be saved, and all other property, for which transportation could not be provided, was to be burned. Major-General Walker and his brigade commanders appeared to enter heartily into this plan, and as no troops were to be engaged except their division, I deemed it proper to leave the execution of it to them. McCullough's brigade was selected for Milliken's; Hawes' for Young's, and Randall's was to be in reserve at the intersection of the roads. General Walker decided to accompany this last. Despite my efforts the troops did not move until an hour after the appointed time. McCullough reached Milliken's about dawn, drove in the enemy's pickets and in obedience to orders attacked with the bayonet. The enemy, after a sharp struggle, was driven from his first position, a large levee covered by a hedge, with very heavy loss in killed. He retreated behind a second levee and under the bank of the river, near a small gunboat and two or three transports. Strict orders had been given to drive the enemy into the river, so as to permit no time for escape or reinforcements. On mounting the second levee in pursuit, our men came in sight of the gunboat and transports (mistaken by them for gunboats), and at once fell back and could not be induced to cross the levee. Confusion ensued, and the gunboat, which at the beginning had no steam up, brought her one gun to bear in the direction of our troops. McCullough dispatched to General Walker, four and a half miles distant, for assistance. Walker moved up

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