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[17] the effect that his troops in camp were not needed and should be sent to their homes. Fortunately another telegram soon followed, demanding that the troops be turned over to the Confederate States at once, as an unexpected emergency had arisen.

The first service of the Mississippi troops was at Vicksburg, which is distinguished as being the place where the first shot was fired on the Mississippi as well as the last where a decisive struggle was made for the control of the river.

At this time, January, 1861, it was proposed that the Mississippi river should remain a free and unobstructed channel of commerce for the North as well as the South. The Louisiana convention so declared, and Governor Pettus also recommended that ‘the most prompt and efficient measures be adopted to make known to the people of the Northwestern States that peaceful commerce on the Mississippi river will neither be interrupted nor annoyed by the people of Mississippi.’ But the great likelihood of some cause of irritation arising from the joint use by the two nations of the great river made itself at once apparent. The United States still maintained forts and arsenals in the territory of Louisiana, and might reinforce these by way of the river. Such an act would be an act of war, and for the protection of the South it was necessary to prevent it as the victualing of Fort Sumter was prevented. Consequently, when Governor Pettus was advised by Governor Moore of Louisiana, early in January, that he had reason to believe that an expedition would be sent down the Mississippi to reinforce the military strength of the United States in Louisiana, he was compelled to act, though without the intention of disturbing peaceful commerce. What was done is related by Governor Pettus in his message to the extra session of the legislature in the summer of 1861. He ‘sent Capt. J. F. Kerr, with 16 men of the Jackson artillery company, and ordered Capt. H. H. Miller

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