and he would renew the assault in half an hour; but the assault was not again attempted. I urged General A. J. Smith to push his attack, though it had to be made across a narrow sand bar, and up a narrow path in the nature of a ‘breach,’ as a diversion in favor of Morgan, or real attack, according to its success. During Morgan's progress he passed over the Sixth Missouri under circumstances that called for all the individual courage for which that admirable regiment is justly famous. Its crossing was covered by the United States regulars deployed as skirmishers up to the near bank of the bayou, covered as well as possible by fallen trees, and firing at any of the enemy's sharp-shooters that showed a mark above the levee. Before this crossing all the ground opposite was completely swept by our artillery, under the immediate supervision of Major Taylor, Chief of Artillery. The Sixth Missouri crossed over rapidly by companies, and lay under the bank of the bayou, with the enemy's sharp-shooters over their heads within a few feet, so near that these sharp-shooters held out their muskets and fired down vertically upon our men. The orders were to undermine this bank and make a road up it, but it was impossible; and after the repulse of Morgan's assault I ordered General A. J. Smith to retire this regiment under cover of darkness, which was successfully done. Their loss was heavy, but I leave to the brigade and division commanders to give names and exact figures. Whilst this was going on Burbridge was skirmishing across the bayou at his front, and Landrum pushed his advance through the close abattis or entanglement of fallen timber close up to Vicksburg. When the night of the 29th closed in we stood upon our original ground, and had suffered a repulse. The effort was necessary to a successful accomplishment of my orders, and the combinations were the best possible under the circumstances. I assume all the responsibility and attach fault to no one, and am generally satisfied with the high spirit manifested by all * * * * * The naval squadron, Admiral Porter, now holds command of the Mississippi to Vicksburg and the Yazoo up to Drumgould's Bluff, both of which points must in time be reduced to our possession, but it is for other minds than mine to devise the way. The officers and men comprising my command are in good spirits, disappointed of course at our want of success, but by no means discouraged. We reembarked our whole command in the sight of the enemy's batteries and army unopposed, remaining in full view a whole day, and then deliberately moved to Milliken's Bend. I attribute our failure to the strength of the enemy's position, both natural and artificial, and not to his superior fighting; but, as we must all in the future have ample opportunities to test this quality, it is foolish to discuss it. I will transmit with this detailed reports of division and brigade
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