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[206] obituary and be done. Shortly after the events related in the last chapter the enemy embarked his troops on board transports and gave up the bombardment of Vicksburg for 1862. He had never attempted a siege, inasmuch as his force of infantry was inferior to ours, and he did not occupy the same side of the river as that on which Vicksburg stands, but merely under cover and by virtue of his superior naval force, was able to occupy a position near Vicksburg, from which he could throw shells into the town. The same thing occurred at Charleston and several other places. And I think that it would be no difficult matter to show that the navy of the United States had more to do with destroying the Confederate States than the army—or rather that the operations of the army of the United States could have been easily checked, and it overwhelmed and beaten back across the border, and kept there, but for the powerful cooperation of the navy. Therefore the great error in policy of those who guided the destinies of the South was in not putting afloat at an early day a navy superior to that of the United States. There are those, probably, who being but slightly acquainted with such matters, will urge that it was an impossibility so to do. They are greatly in error. I hazard little when I say that if the great Mississippi had been completed at New Orleans a month before she was burned, the Confederate States would now be one of the nations of the earth, instead of conquered provinces.

Shortly after the enemy left the shore opposite Vicksburg an expedition was planned against Baton Rouge, General John C. Breckinridge to command. After the army had arrived at Tangipahoa it was determined to ask for the assistance of the Arkansas. Captain Brown was sick at Grenada, and telegraphed Stevens not to go down, as the machinery was not reliable. Application was made by General Van Dorn to Commodore Lynch, who gave the order to proceed down the river as soon as possible. The vessel was hurriedly coaled and provisioned, and men and officers hastened to join her. Captain Brown left his bed to regain his ship, but arrived too late. He subsequently followed down by rail and assumed command of the crew shortly after the destruction of the vessel. The reader must not construe any remark here to reflect on Stevens. Such is not my intention. He was a conscientious, Christian gentleman, a zealous and efficient officer. In the performance of his duty he was thorough, consistent and patriotic. His courage was of the truest and highest type; in the face of the enemy he knew nothing but his duty, and always did it. Under this officer we left Vicksburg thirty

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