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[225] About the gray of day next morning I received a rude shaking up from Colonel Lockett—my chief in the engineer department-that dispelled the sweet repose induced by a complete non-responsibility. ‘Do you know that the gunboats are attacking Snyder's Bluff!’ ‘No.’ ‘Report at once to your headquarters; your place is there.’ ‘All right, I'll go.’

An hour's hard riding and I was climbing the hill upon which General Hebert and staff were standing or sitting intently observing the movements of thirteen Federal gunboats and the landing of about three thousand troops.

About half way from the bluff to the river, in an open field, a thin line of skirmishers represented the Southern side; on the road in the rear of the General, laid, perdue, the Southern boys, in line of battle.

The yankees landed and took their time to come into action. Squads of officers rode here and there, knotting and unknotting with the grace that staff officers so well know how to display. A puff of white smoke from the gun of a French Captain, of the New Orleans regular heavy artillery, a shell bursting in the midst of it, untied one of the knots double quick, and strange to say consultations were put an end to by spread-eagleism hunting the grass. Then the gunboats opened fire, concentrating on the Frenchman, until 180 shots, by count, had tried to silence the plucky eight-inch shell gun.

At last the barbette carriage of the shell gun was struck, and the gun dismounted, but soon mounted again and made ready for action. In the meantime, a general firing from battery and gunboat made the honors of noise about even, until a ten-inch Columbiad sent her solid shot into the iron-clad Chickasaw, killing and wounding, according to northern account, her captain and sixty of her men. Night, discretion and getting the worst of the fight induced the Commodore and Commander to run back the troops and leave for safe quarters at the mouth of the Yazoo.

I learned two things by this fight—that counter-sunk batteries located below the sky line are safe batteries for gunners, and that guns located on radiating lines from the attack center, fixing the distances according to calibre and kind of gun, do the maximum of efficient service.

This action; the running the batteries at Vicksburg; the attempt to take Vicksburg in the rear by the march of General Grant through Mississippi by the way of Holly Springs, Abbeyville and Grenada; the trying to force the Yazoo river—ought to have opened General


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