We turn now from Port Hudson
to its partner in stress.
Mighty was the spell which the peril of Vicksburg
had cast on the people of the States bordering upon the great river and, far beyond its delta, upon those which looked toward Richmond
, beleaguered by armies farther off than Vicksburg
, with that admiration which the brave can best show, had felt for the deadly danger into which the Confederacy
's devoted guard of the West
In the latter part of December, 1862, Sherman
with 30,000 men had landed north of Vicksburg
Behind Chickasaw bayou
, with the fortified bluffs at his back, was Stephen D. Lee
with his provisional division, a large part of which was the Seventeenth, Twenty-second, Twenty-sixth, Twenty-eighth and Thirty-first Louisiana regiments.
He had to defend a line thirteen miles in length north of the city, the north flank of which, Snyder's mill
, was gallantly and successfully held by the Twenty-second Louisiana on the 27th.
At the same time Colonel Thomas
' Twenty-eighth defeated the attempt of the enemy to bridge the bayou with pontoons.
The Seventeenth and Twenty-sixth Louisiana met the enemy beyond the bayou and held their ground during the 26th and 27th against a large force, and on the next day the Twenty-eighth took that position and fought throughout the day against Blair
's entire brigade.
This command being drawn across the bayou to the bluff Sherman
ordered an assault next day, which was repulsed with great slaughter.
As the enemy broke in confusion, the Twenty-sixth and part of the Seventeenth were marched on the field, and under their cover 332 prisoners and four stand of colors were taken.
The services of Colonel Higgins
, Colonel Thomas
and Colonel Hall
, Twenty-sixth Louisiana, were especially commended.
The Thirty-first, Col. C. H. Morrison
, was also actively engaged in the works.
It was not in length of days that that of Vicksburg
, May to July, 1863, stands pre-eminent among the sieges of this land.
In her own story, in 1862, she had already