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[445] covered with forests, interspersed with cotton plantations; its soil, rich and moist, is irrigated by numerous water-courses. But on approaching the Mississippi the ground becomes more level, sometimes gradually, and sometimes suddenly. In the northern section, the district comprised between the Yazoo and the great river is flat, marshy and intersected by bayous, which flow slowly from the rounded bed (dos daane) of the latter river; frequently flooded, and covered with cypress thickets, the soil, wherever it has been reclaimed, is of an exceptional fertility. Farther south the undulating ground ends in a series of abrupt slopes, which border the left bank of the Yazoo, and sink at last in the waters of the Mississippi on the shores of Vicksburg.

On the 2d of November, Grant had put five divisions in motion, which swelled the number of his active forces to more than thirty thousand men. Three of these divisions started from Bolivar, the other two came from Corinth, and all proceeded toward Grand Junction. On the 4th the Federal army occupied this point, as well as Lagrange, while the cavalry was advancing toward the south. But the reinforcements, which had long been expected, arrived slowly, and the political influences, which had embarrassed military operations in Virginia, were beginning to be felt in the remote regions where the modest and reticent Grant was in command. His position was envied by many persons, who, in order to prove their capacity, were busying themselves in Washington in projecting expeditions more or less chimerical. Honest Mr. Lincoln was always anxious to accommodate by his tact both the jealousies of ambition and the most divergent plans of campaign; this led to frequent conflicts of authority, especially at that period, when no officer had as yet acquired a sufficiently great reputation to be entrusted by the responsible chief magistrate of the republic with the supreme control of military affairs, with which he was himself invested by the Constitution. Politicians, collected at Washington, were too prone to believe that they could divide the enemy's territory and arrange the plan of conquering it, just as in former days they would have divided the civil offices at their disposal among themselves. It was in this way that Mr. Lincoln had almost promised an independent command to General McClernand, his personal friend. Being unable to obtain

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