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 Atchafalaya and Grand Lake. They had about twelve miles to go, and were expected to reach the northeast end of the island, a mile from Berwick's before daylight, where they were to remain until they heard the guns of our force on the west side of the bay. At dawn on June 23d our guns opened on the gunboat and speedily drove it away. Fire was then directed on the earth-works, and the enemy attempted to reply, when a shout was heard in the rear, and Hunter with his party came rushing on. Resistance ceased at once. The spoils of Berwick's were of vast importance. Twelve thirty-two-and twenty-four-pounder guns, many small arms and accouterments, great quantities of quartermaster's and commissary's, ordnance, and medical stores, and seventeen hundred prisoners were taken. Then, as promptly as circumstances would permit, Taylor, with three thousand men of all arms, proceeded, with the guns and munitions he had acquired, to the execution of the object of his campaign—to raise the siege of Port Hudson, by cutting Banks's communication with New Orleans and making a demonstration which would arouse that city. ‘Its population of two hundred thousand was bitterly hostile to Federal rule, and the appearance of a Confederate force on the opposite bank of the river would raise such a storm as to bring Banks from Port Hudson, the garrison of which could then unite with General Joseph Johnston in the rear of General Grant.’ In the first week in July, twelve guns were placed on the river below Donaldsonville. Fire was opened, destroying one transport and turning back several. Gunboats attempted to dislodge our batteries, but were driven away by dismounted men, protected by the levee. For three days the river was closed to transports, and mounted scouts were pushed down to a point opposite Kenner, sixteen miles above New Orleans. A few hours more, and there would have been great excitement in the city. But, by the surrender of Port Hudson on July 9th, the enemy were in sufficient force not only to arrest Taylor's movements, but to require a withdrawal from the exposed position which this little command had assumed for the great object of relieving that place, and thus giving of its garrison, perhaps about five thousand men, as a reenforcement to break the investment of Vicksburg. Port Hudson, which thus capitulated, was situated on a bend of the Mississippi, about twenty-two miles above Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and one hundred forty-seven above New Orleans. The defenses in front, or on the water side, consisted of three series of batteries situated on a bluff and extending along the river above the place. Farther up was an impassable marsh forming a natural defense, and in the
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