Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/561

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ued to throw shells into the town "day after day, with the sole purpose of injuring it or defacing it, or destroying private property; indicating a spirit of wanton destruction scarcely pardonable in an uncivilized Indian. This seemed to be the special mission of the upper fleet. Shame to the man who commanded it!"

On May 26th, General Williams had landed some of his infantry at Grand Gulf, on account of a Confederate battery there firing upon the Federal vessels, and a skirmish ensued in which a few were wounded on each side.

On June 9th, the batteries at Grand Gulf were attacked by the U.S. steamers Wissahickon and Itasca, but repulsed the assault. The Federal infantry under General Williams reached this point June 22d, and made a flank movement by Bayou Pierre, but the Confederate force withdrew in safety. General Williams reported that he found one sentinel on picket at Grand Gulf, and that he burned the town.

After the abandonment of the attack on Vicksburg, Williams’ brigade went into camp at Baton Rouge, and on July 27th General Breckinridge started from Vicksburg, with something less than 4,000 men, to attack him. At Camp Moore, General Ruggles with his command joined the expedition, and the forces were divided off in two divisions, the first under General Charles Clark including the Fifteenth, Thirty-first, and Twenty-second Mississippi. Everything was ready for the attack on the morning of August 5th, when it was understood the ram Arkansas would be on hand to co-operate. The famous ram was not in condition to undertake such an adventure, and her commander was disabled by illness. But she was ordered out, to be at Baton Rouge at the appointed time, under the command of Lieutenant Stephens. In the effort to arrive on time one of the engines broke down, and the other drove the boat ashore within sight of her destination. In a little while the Essex was seen approaching, and to avoid surrender Stephens sent his