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[336] the army could be very effective as an auxiliary force. I therefore wrote to Governor Pettus, a man worthy of all confidence as well for his patriotism as his manhood, requesting him to use all practicable means to get every man and boy capable of aiding their country in its need to turn out, mounted or on foot, with whatever weapons they had, to aid the soldiers in driving the invader from our soil. The facilities the enemy possessed in river transportation and the aid which their ironclad gunboats gave to all operations where land and naval forces could be combined were lost to Grant in this interior march which he was making. Success gives credit to military enterprises; had this failed, as I think it should, it surely would have been pronounced an egregious blunder. Other efforts made to repel the invader will be noticed in the course of the narrative.

After the retreat of Bowen which has been described, General Pemberton, anticipating an attack on Vicksburg from the rear, concentrated all the troops of his command for its defense. All previous demonstrations indicated the special purpose of the enemy to be its capture. Its strategic importance justified the belief that he would concentrate his efforts upon that object, and this opinion was enforced by the difficulty of supplying his army in the region into which he was marching, and the special advantages of Vicksburg as his base. The better mode of counteracting his views, whatever they might be, it would be more easy now to determine than it was when General Pemberton had to decide that question. The superior force of the enemy enabled him at the same time, while moving the main body of his troops through Louisiana to a point below Vicksburg, to send a corps to renew the demonstration against Haines's Bluff. Finding due preparation made to resist an attack there, this demonstration was merely a feint, but, had Pemberton withdrawn his troops, that feint could have been converted into a real attack, and the effort so often foiled to gain the heights above Vicksburg would have become a success. When that corps retired, and proceeded to join the rest of Grant's army which had gone toward Grand Gulf, Pemberton commenced energetically to prepare for what was now the manifest object of the enemy. From his headquarters at Jackson, Mississippi, he on April 23d directed Major General Stevenson, commanding at Vicksburg, ‘that communications, at least for infantry, should be made by the shortest practicable route to Grand Gulf. The indications now are that the attack will not be made on your front or right, and all troops not absolutely necessary to hold the works at Vicksburg should be held as a movable force for either Warrenton or Grand Gulf.’ On the 28th

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