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Chapter 5:

  • Chickasaw Bayou
  • -- plunging an Army through deep swamps against impregnable bluffs.

The attack upon Vicksburg from the Yazoo River and Chickasaw Bayou in December, 1862, was under the sole direction of General Sherman.

The movement had been proposed by General Grant on the 4th of December, and the approval of the plan telegraphed by Halleck on the 5th. On the 8th Grant telegraphed that Sherman would be in command of the river expedition. To this Halleck replied:

War Department, Washington, December 9, 1862.
Major-General Grant, Oxford, Miss.
* * * * The President may insist upon designating a separate commander, if not, assign such officers as you may deem best. Sherman would be my choice as the chief, under you.

H. W. Halleck, General-in-Chief.

After General Sherman left Memphis and before his expedition failed, the President had acted as General Halleck surmised. The following telegram upon that point will also show from its date, that the subsequent removal of General Sherman had no connection with his failure:

War Department, Washington, December 18, 1862.
Major-General Grant, Oxford, Miss.
* * * * It is the wish of the President that General McClernand's corps shall constitute a part of the river expedition, and that he shall have the immediate command, under your direction.

H. W. Halleck, General-in-Chief.

This campaign was the first after Shiloh, where General Sherman was entrusted with great responsibilities. General

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