E 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
'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
, 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
That general at once proposed a land expedition against Vicksburg
His project was to follow the line of railway from Memphis
, and from Grenada
, 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