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[196] forces and the small reinforcements being collected by General Johnson, distant about fifty miles, with Grant's army virtually between them. Grant's movements were more rapid and decisive than those of the Confederate generals.

Pemberton marched his army to Edwards Depot, with his total effective force of 17,000 men, after leaving two small divisions in the city for its protection against a force operating on the Yazoo river. Pemberton was embarrassed by having no cavalry to observe and report movements of Grant's army. During all this time the rest of Grant's army continued to cross the river and join him from the Louisiana side. He came upon Pemberton unexpectedly near Baker's Creek, on May 16th, where his army had started to attack a column of Grant's at Dillon's, and at once overwhelmed and defeated him, and drove him into Vicksburg, inflicting considerable loss of men and material, appearing before the entrenchments of the city May 18th. He attempted to take the city by assaulting the entrenchments on two occasions immediately after his arrival, the most formidable assault being on May 22d; Admiral Porter's fleet on the river and Grant's field batteries preceded the assault by a cannonade of several hours. He was signally repulsed on both occasions with a loss of 4,000 men.

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