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[443]

Book V:—Tennessee.


Chapter 1:

Chickasaw Bayou.

WE have just seen, west of the Mississippi, the Federals remaining at the end of the year masters of the State of Missouri and a portion of Arkansas. Their efforts to extend their power farther south, on the very borders of the Mississippi, and especially on the east bank, in the State which bears that name, had not been so successful. These efforts, however, showed the way they were determined to follow with the utmost perseverance.

Since the victory of Corinth, Grant's only thought was to open communications with New Orleans by the river. He was well aware of what importance the undisputed possession of the Mississippi would be, but in the month of October, as we have before said, he did not have the necessary forces to resume the offensive against the troops of Van Dorn and Price, which had just been united into a single army under the command of Lieutenantgeneral Pemberton.

The abandonment of Kentucky by the Confederates at the end of October, and the new call for troops during the summer, placed the means for reinforcing Grant at the disposal of the Federal government. That general at once proposed a land expedition against Vicksburg. His project was to follow the line of railway from Memphis to Grenada, and from Grenada to Jackson, taking Memphis, on the Mississippi, as a base of operations. This city would have been connected with the North by the railroad which passes at Humboldt, striking again the great river at Columbus. In order to defend this long railway track, all the secondary lines would have been abandoned, as well as the stations

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