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Chapter 9:

Maj.-Gen. U. S. Grant assumed command of the military forces on the Mississippi in January, 1863, after McClernand, the successor of Sherman, had returned from an expedition to Arkansas Post, and he brought to the aid of the army which had met defeat at Chickasaw Bayou the forces he had withdrawn from northern Mississippi.

The Federal commander reported that the defenders of Vicksburg had thoroughly fortified the bluffs from Haynes' Bluff on the Yazoo down past Vicksburg to where the bluffs recede from the river. He landed his force mainly at Young's Point, and then set about experimenting in the hope of finding, amid the flood of water which filled the river bayous and swamps, some dry and practicable landing-place which might serve as a desirable base of operations. He was compelled to abandon a plan to land at Milliken's Bend and turn the Confederate fortifications at Haynes' Bluff, by the flooded condition of the intervening country.

Two ways of approach from the north to the Yazoo remained, one through Yazoo Pass, the Coldwater and the Tallahatchie, and one through Steele's bayou and Deer creek. An expedition of four gunboats under Commander

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