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[46]

Confederates to seize the Landing and cut off Buell's army from crossing to Grant's assistance.

At the battle of Murfreesboro, or Stone's River, the artillery was especially well handled by the Federals, although they lost twenty-eight guns. On the second day, the Confederates made a determined assault to dislodge the Federals from the east bank of the river. The infantry assault was a success, but immediately the massed batteries on the west bank opened fire and drove Breckinridge's men back with great loss. Federal troops were then sent across the river to reenforce the position and the day was saved for the Union cause. The effective fire of the artillery had turned the tide of battle.

In assailing Vicksburg, Grant made four serious attempts to get on the flanks of the Confederate position before he evolved his final audacious plan of moving below the city and attacking from the southeast. In all the early trials his artillery, in isolated cases, was valuable, but the character of the operations in the closed country made it impossible to mass the guns for good effect. The naval assistance afforded most of the heavy gun-practice that was necessary or desirable against the Confederates.

On the last attempt, however, when the troops had left the river and were moving against Pemberton, Grant's guns assumed their full importance. His army consisted of the Thirteenth Army Corps, Major-General McClernand; the Fifteenth Army Corps, Major-General Sherman, and the Seventeenth Army Corps, Major-General McPherson, with an aggregate of sixty-one thousand men and one hundred and fifty-eight guns. The superb assistance rendered to the infantry by the ably handled guns made it possible for Grant to defeat his antagonist in a series of hard-fought battles, gradually move around him, and press him back into Vicksburg. Once there, the result could not be doubtful if the Federal army could hold off the Confederate reenforcements. This it was able to do. The progress of the siege we shall not here consider, except to

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