Lest We Forget - African American Military History by Researcher, 
					Author and Veteran Bennie McRae, Jr.

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.

REAR OF VICKSBURG, June 10, 1863--7 a.m.,
VIA MEMPHIS, June 16---10.30 a.m.
(Received June 23--1.30 a.m.)

 


 

 

General Grant has finally sent Washburn to Haynes' Bluff, and he will direct Operations there for the present. Joe Johnston, with his main force, still remains at Canton, and Breckinridge at Jackson. The fortifications at Haynes' Bluff are now completely laid out. No great work will be required to render it easy to defend the place effectually. Our intrenchments there are calculated for 30,000 to 50,000 troops. The siege here has not yet reached fortifications of the enemy. Sherman's approach, though conducted through the most difficult ground, is nearest of all. His sap was within 50 feet of the rebels' front at 9 p.m. yesterday. McPherson is at about 80 yards or more. Both Sherman and McPherson have abandoned the idea of mining, and intend to crown the enemy's parapet with their artillery. It is now certain that the enemy have constructed a new interior line of defense within the main works, which Sherman is attacking. A violent fire of musketry was heard within Vicksburg yesterday afternoon. No doubt it was mutiny, as we know that disaffection has long existed among their troops, and that on the day of our attack (May 22) both Tennessee and Georgia regiments refused to fight.
A portion of W. S. Smith's division has arrived at Haynes' Bluff. I have from Dennis the particulars of the fight of the 7th instant at Milliken's Bend. There was no fighting at Young's Point, Captain Townsend, commander of convalescents, having drawn up his men so cunningly that the rebels, who were within sight in line of battle, thought themselves greatly outnumbered and withdrew. At the Bend, the battle began soon after daybreak and lasted about three hours. The rebel force was a division of Texans, about 2,000 strong, who marched from Pine Bluff April 30, and arrived at Alexandria after General Banks had left there, and were then ordered this way. They were commanded by General J. G. Walker, with Generals H. E. McCulloch, J. M. Hawes, and Randal under him. They had no artillery. Our forces, who also had no artillery, consisted of Ninth [Eleventh] Louisiana (colored), Col. E. W. Chamberlain, and Twenty-third Iowa, Col. S. L. Glasgow, in all about 1,000 men. General Dennis describes the battle as the hardest he has ever seen. It was fought mainly hand to hand. After it was over, many men were found dead with bayonet stabs, and others with their skulls broken open by butts of muskets.
The Ninth Louisiana lost 62 killed and 130 wounded; the Eleventh, 30 killed and 120 wounded; the Twenty-third Iowa, 26 killed and 60 wounded; the Ninth has also a great number missing. Of the rebels, we buried 130. General McCulloch died on the field from the effects of a wound.
"It is impossible," says General Dennis, "for men to show greater gallantry than the negro troops in this fight." He does not know whether it is true that the rebels murdered their negro prisoners.
Col. H. Lieb, who was wounded, behaved admirably; Colonel Chamberlain badly.
General Grant has ordered Mower, with his brigade, to Milliken's Bend, and the enemy there will be cleared out beyond Tensas and in the neighborhood of Monroe.

C. A. DANA.
 
Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

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Category: Civil War | Subcategory: Reports | Tags: Tennessee , Georgia , Louisiana , Iowa
Related Topics / Keywords / Phrases: 1863, Alexandria, Civil War, Edwin M. Stanton, Georgia, Hood, Iowa, Jack, John, Louisiana, Memphis (Tennessee), Ohio, Tennessee, Ulysses S. Grant, Vicksburg (MIssissippi),