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[357] passing the Vicksburg batteries, and thus prevented the safe navigation of the Mississippi. The route was re-opened by the capture of the Indianola and Queen of the West, but almost immediately reclosed by a movement of the enemy's fleet. Commodore Farragut attacked our batteries at Port Hudson; two of his vessels, the Hartford and Monongahela, succeeded in passing; the frigate Mississippi was burned; the Richmond disabled and forced to put back. Farragut immediately proceeded to blockade the mouth of Red river, as also that of Big Black. Thus ended all hopes of drawing supplies from the Trans-Mississippi Department. Some few boats subsequently succeeded in running the blockade, but such mode of supply was precarious in the extreme, and was finally destroyed by the passage of the enemy's fleet by Vicksburg.

As a source of supply, the country on Sunflower River, Deer Creek, etc., was not neglected. These streams were not navigable until later in the winter season, and operations could not be commenced so soon. Light draft boats from those above the Raft at Haines' Bluff, were fitted up and sent after corn; but the great difficulty was to obtain the corn on the banks of the river. The planters generally expressed their inability to haul to such points, being without any means of transportation. Hence very little of the grain in those fertile sections was available to the army. Any one acquainted with the Mississippi bottom lands can vouch for the difficulty—almost impracticability—of transportation during the winter season. But even these operations were frustrated by the passage of the enemy through Yazoo Pass, their descent upon Fort Pemberton, Tallahatchie river, and their naval raids through the numerous bayous which ramify this portion of Mississippi. Previous to this interruption, the grain intended for Vicksburg was unloaded at Haines' Bluff, eleven miles distant, this being rendered necessary by the raft at that point, which was intended to obstruct the passage of the enemy's fleet by our batteries. Furthermore, the mouth of the Yazoo river was closely blockaded by the enemy's fleet, and here again the difficulty of transportation over impracticable roads presented itself. The transportation of a single eight or ten-inch Columbiad from Vicksburg to Haines' Bluff—eleven miles—was a matter of two weeks. Nevertheless corn, and a considerable supply, was hauled over this road.

Lastly, as to drawing supplies from the interior of the State, every means was taken to accomplish this object. All exportation of supplies from the department was prohibited. Depots were established, and agents dispatched in all directions. Supplies were forwarded to

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