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[309] We felt confident of the result, and our arrival imparted renewed confidence to Lee's little army.

When daylight came it revealed to us Sherman's lines formed as if for defence, in the timber beyond the bayou. All day long they held their places in rifle-pits they had dug during the night. All day long, and for the next two days, our forces were increasing, until the whole of Maury's division was up, immediately followed by Stevenson's, and by the 30th we were prepared to assume the offensive, when, on that day, about midday, a flag of truce came from Sherman's lines requesting a truce to bury their dead. Three days before, on the 27th, Lee had sent out burial parties to bury Sherman's dead, but they were fired on and driven in by the enemy's pickets, and his dead had, therefore, remained on the field in view of both armies, swelling and festering in the rains and the sun until the evening of the 30th. The letter requesting truce was signed by General Morgan. It contained a vague apology for the delay which had occurred in attending to this requirement of civilized war. It was brought to General Maury, commanding on that part of the line, and General Lee was instructed to reply to it and to grant a truce of four hours. Ninety-six dead bodies were removed and buried during the truce, which lasted until near dark. Next morning Sherman had disappeared from our front, and the smoke of many steamers on the Yazoo told us he was making his escape from the scene of his disaster and disgrace. Lee, with the Second Texas and five or six other regiments, got some flying shots at his rear-guard, and as we afterwards ascertained, inflicted a heavy loss on some of the steamers which were late in getting off.

Thus terminated Sherman's first independent expedition. From Vicksburg he went up to Arkansas Post, and took part in the capture of that place by Porter's fleet. And here it was that Grant came down to meet him and turned him back, saying: ‘Vicksburg must be taken if it requires my whole army.’

The conduct of Sherman during this, his first independent expedition, is open to criticism. The grandeur of his intentions and preparations is in strong contrast with the impotent conclusion. His delay and hesitation in making his attack, the feebleness of that attack, and his unjustifiable readiness to abandon the whole enterprise, evinced incapacity for command. His attempt to evade admitting that the battlefield was Lee's in not applying at once for a truce to bury his dead, and his petty assumption of dignity in causing a subordinate officer to sign the letter which he finally sent requesting

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