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[118] calm that a thick white smoke, belching from the guns, rested for a space motionless above them. After a short delay, the smoke, broadening, settled slowly and heavily upon river and land alike. Under cover of it the enemy, gallantly advancing along the whole line, came within ten yards of our works. The Southern troops were as awake as they, and opening upon them with our heavy guns, drove them back with severe loss. Some fell on the line of attack; others lay in the ditches, never to rise again; others reached the works only to be killed where they stood. The land assault was short, sharp and decisive. After two hours, repulsed everywhere, the troops scattered to their old lines of the night. The fleet, being of tougher material, continued to pound away through the darkness. Gardner was still saying to himself: ‘I shall evacuate only after Vicksburg has fallen. I am here to defend Port Hudson until then.’

Mortar boats with their deadly fire next came to rein. force the gunboats. All the month of June the gun and mortar boats were thundering. The siege lasted from May 27th to July 9th, inclusive. The garrison had by use grown callous to its hardships. In the river mortars by day and night, on the land skirmishing like the sting of mosquitoes, sharp, perplexing, drawing little blood. Gardner, still fiery and sternly defiant, began to be vexed. The ghostly mail from Vicksburg had ceased with Pemberton's fall. His men were as resolute as they had been on the night of Farragut's passage in front of the batteries. Three months had passed since that eventful trial. June had been in her first days when the garrison's rations became scanty; June was in her last days when the supply of meat was exhausted. No more meat! Gardner had not counted starvation among the possibilities of his command before surrender. He had heard with composure that the ammunition was giving out; and that the artillerists could not long load their guns. Given only time, these were mishaps likely to happen in any beleaguered fortress. But starvation! His heart was still strong

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