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‘ [37] fever and died. Bitter weather, and the men are bare-foot. The new guns from Richmond are two Napoleons and two Howitzers. A six-days march over rough mountains. The most wearisome march we have ever had. Four miles in sixteen hours, over Cumberland mountain. Fourteen horses hitched to each carriage. Caisson in second detachment broke, going down the mountain. Camp late at night. March continued. We have had as hard marching as ever was. Cold and hunger. Bare-foot and ragged men, toiling through wind and snow. Reached Manchester. . . Stevenson's division is ordered to Mississippi.’

Anderson's Battery arrived in Jackson three days after Christmas, 1862. Here its centre rested for a few days, but the right and left sections were at once ordered to Vicksburg with two Napoleons and two Howitzers. They reached Vicksburg at dark, in the midst of the battle of Chickasaw Bayou. Through deep mud and driving rain they were marched at once into position. Their horses were yet upon the road from Tennessee, and so the guns were hauled by mules. The enemy was about three hundred yards away. There was a continual zip, zip, of minies. The negro drivers became demoralized, and left before the guns were in position. The men had to dismount the ammunition chests under fire. It was very dark and cold, and the mud was up to the axletrees. Gunner No. 4, Adam H. Plecker, says: ‘My gun was the last to start from the city. Only one gun had arrived at the proper point. I think it was No. 1. As I came up Captain Anderson was sitting on the trail of that gun. He said, “Plecker, where is the balance of the battery?” From his tone I knew that he was much depressed and worn out, there in the drenching rain, and dark as pitch, and mud everywhere. It was the only time I ever saw him in that spirit.’

The remaining guns came up. Breast works were hastily raised. At 3 o'clock in the morning the enemy opened fire. All day Anderson's Battery lay still under a storm of shot and shell. On the night of the 30th it moved at dark to a safer and stronger redoubt—named by General Barton the Virginia Redoubt. So closed for Anderson's battery the second year of the war.

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Joseph Washington Anderson (4)
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