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Returning to Jackson, Mr. Davis and General Johnston, December 26th, addressed the legislature and the large crowd of citizens in attendance. The President then visited Pemberton's army at Grenada, and subsequently returned to his post of duty at Richmond, having greatly cheered and inspired Mississippi by his presence in the hour of trial.

On Christmas day General Sherman had his forces, consisting of the divisions of A. J. Smith, Morgan L. Smith, George W. Morgan and Frederick Steele, embracing 30,000 men, at the mouth of the Yazoo. Before concentrating there, he had sent out detachments to destroy the railroad running west from Vicksburg in Louisiana. On the 26th Sherman's fleet moved up the Yazoo, preceded by the gunboats; and on the next day he landed his divisions both above and below Chickasaw Bayou. The Confederate line which confronted Sherman was about fourteen miles long, the right consisting of strong fortifications at Snyder's Mill and Drumgoole's Bluff on the Yazoo, the left the fortified city of Vicksburg. A line of bluffs, leaving the river at Vicksburg, runs directly to Snyder's, and in front of it is the course of an old river bed, the half toward Snyder's being impassable swamp and the half next Vicksburg a narrow lake opening into the Mississippi near the city and connecting on the north with Chickasaw Bayou, which runs thence due north to the Yazoo. Sherman landed Steele's division beyond the bayou, and the remainder of his army on the island of low land cut off by the lake and bayou from the Confederate position, and began a forward movement at once. For a week before, the gunboats had held the Yazoo river. He sent the two divisions of the Smiths toward the end of the lake next Vicksburg, where it could be crossed at the race-track and at the Indian mound or sand-bar. Morgan was to advance on the west side of the bayou and Steele on the east.

After driving in the Confederate pickets on the 27th,

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