men and two stand of colors.
During the 20th and 21st, the Federals
kept up an artillery and sharp-shooting fire, and strengthened their position; but otherwise were quiet, waiting for the opening of their commissary line, which was completed on the night of the 21st.
Another feature of the siege inaugurated at noon on the 20th, was the bombardment of the city by Porter
's fleet of mortars.
To all of this the Confederates
made but slight response, already husbanding their ammunition.
On the forenoon of May 22d a tremendous and incessant fire was opened by the Federal artillery and gunboats, and this was followed by an assault by the whole Federal line, Sherman
The divisions of Smith
repelled these determined assaults from 11 a. m. until evening, though the Federals
succeeded in getting a few men into the exterior ditches at various points of attack.
Gen. S. D. Lee
's line was assailed with vigor.
The enemy was allowed to approach within good musket range, when every available gun was opened upon him with grape and canister, and the men rising from their trenches poured volley after volley into the foe with so deadly an effect that he fell back, leaving the ground covered with dead and dying.
In one angle of the works about sixty of the enemy effected a lodgment and planted two colors on the parapet, but were driven out and the flags captured by two companies of Waul
In this assault the Federals
lost the major part of their killed and wounded while before Vicksburg
, the grand total of which was 4,233.
This assault satisfied the Federal
blamed the loss of life to McClernand
, and soon afterward sent that officer home.
On the 24th the besieging army commenced their regular approaches and soon had possession of a line of hills on the main roads, not exceeding 350 yards distant from our salient points.
On the same day the first Federal mine was begun on the Jackson