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[466] that Pemberton, taken by surprise, would not have time to send reinforcements to its defenders. At the sound of Steele's cannon, the army, which had remained on the island, was, in its turn, to open fire all along the bayou. This cannonading should have been followed up either by a simple feint or a regular attack, according to the forces the enemy might have left along that portion of his line. But on the evening of the 31st there arose such a thick fog that the vessels on which Steele had embarked were unable to ascend the river. The next night the moon set too late to enable the Federals to effect a landing during the few hours of utter darkness which would have preceded sunrise. Sherman, therefore, gave up this plan, which offered, besides, very poor chances of success. The soldiers suffered cruelly from cold and dampness in the swamps, where they had been bivouacking for five days without fire; they sadly pointed out to each other the high-water marks, which had left a slimy circular line around the trunks of trees, from three to four metres above the ground. On the 2(1 of January, Sherman placed them again on board of the transports, and the fleet sailed for Milliken's Bend, where the troops were enabled to establish themselves comfortably while waiting for a favorable opportunity to begin a new campaign against the stronghold of Vicksburg, which was daily assuming larger proportions, and the importance of which was increased by every unsuccessful attack.

A steamer with General McClernand on board was met at the entrance of the Yazoo. This officer, in virtue of orders from the President, immediately assumed command of the whole expedition. The army, henceforth designated as the army of the Mississippi, was divided into two corps; the Fifteenth, commanded by Sherman, was composed of the divisions of Steele and Stuart; McClernand became titular commander of the Thirteenth, comprising the division of A. J. Smith and Morgan, the latter being temporarily placed in command. At the same period, the rest of the army of the Tennessee was also divided into two corps, the Sixteenth and Seventeenth, under the respective commands of Hurlbut and McPherson. Grant retained the supreme command of these four corps. The same organization having already been adopted in the East, the army corps became from that time

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