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[73] The navigation of the Mississippi from the mouth of Red river to Vicksburg was at once opened. Communication between the district of Mississippi and the Trans-Mississippi department was established. More than 200 miles of the river were thus closed to the Federal fleet.

Not for long, however, was this repose to last. After August, 1862, projected the mighty shadow of July, 1863, when, with Vicksburg fallen, Port Hudson after a gallant fight was also to fall, and the Mississippi was to run unvexed to the sea. In accordance with Van Dorn's plan Breckinridge, a few days after the battle of Baton Rouge, occupied Port Hudson with a part of his troops, under the command of Ruggles. The next day he received orders to move his entire force to the same point. Apparently, he himself was not yet wearied with Baton Rouge. He left General Bowen, who had just arrived with his command on the Comite river, to observe the city from that quarter. He remained long enough at Port Hudson to advise with General Ruggles as to the selection of eligible positions for heavy batteries. He had previously ordered Captain Nocquet, chief engineer, to report to him temporarily for this duty. Nocquet had acted with notable promptness. Some of the works were already waiting to receive the guns, which ought to command the river more completely than at Vicksburg. This was the opinion of Breckinridge, who now moved from Port Hudson to Jackson, Miss., leaving Ruggles in command.

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