Siege Of Vicksburg
Siege Of Vicksburg.--January 20-August 10, 1863.
Report of Mr. Charles A. Dana, special commissioner of the United States War Department.
BEHIND VICKSBURG, MISS., June 8, 1863---10 a.m.,
VIA MEMPHIS, June 10...5 p.m.
I have just returned from the vicinity of Mechanicsburg, whither I went with a party of cavalry from Haynes' Bluff yesterday. There were no signs of any considerable force of the enemy, though Kimball had retreated from there the day before in a semi-panic. No doubt Johnston has moved some of his troops this side of the Big Black, but his main force yet stays at Canton. The idea of operating in that direction, both for devastation and for more direct military objects, General Grant has by no means abandoned. His intention has been to put C. C. Washburn in command there, but I now think he will send Sherman with a force of from 15,000 to 20,000 troops, including 2,500 cavalry. The country is like the rest of this peninsula--broken, wooded, unpopulous, with few streams. It still has many cattle, but the corn is pretty thoroughly cleared out. Johnston cannot move through it without bringing all his supplies with him.
Advices from Port Hudson to the 4th instant were brought yesterday by Col. J. Riggin, of General Grant's staff. The siege has not reached a decisive point. General Banks thinks if he had 10,000 troops more he could reduce the place in a few days, but we have not facts enough to understand the grounds of this opinion. So far as it is possible to judge at this distance, a regular siege is as indispensable there as it is here. The reason General Banks gives for not cooperating with General Grant is that he could not spare more troops from his own army and still hold New Orleans safe against any possible attack; then he would, by giving up the siege, liberate the enemy to join Johnston.
Milliken's Bend and Young's Point were both attacked day before yesterday by a body of rebels reported at about 1,500. At Milliken's Bend the negro troops at first gave way, but hearing that those of their number who were captured were killed, they rallied with great fury and routed the enemy. The white troops at Young's Point also repulsed him decisively.
C. A. DANA.
Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
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