Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/607

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

ground. The Federals were to have made a grand attack on the 16th, but a few well-placed cannon shots put the Chillicothe out of action. A day or two later, Colonel Wilson, the Federal engineer in charge, reported that "His Excellency Acting Rear-Admiral Commodore Smith left to-day for a more salubrious climate, very sick, giving it as his opinion that the present force of gunboats could not take the two rebel guns in front." But before the expedition had returned to the Mississippi it was reinforced by General Quinby with part of his division, and the entire force came back to renew the attack on Fort Pemberton, which was meanwhile reinforced by Gen. D. H. Maury with Featherston’s brigade and six guns. This second attempt resulted in nothing but a bombardment of the fort during three days, and on the night of April 4th the Federals again retreated. In meeting the first attack Col. D. R. Russell, Lieut.-Col. W. N. Brown, and Capt. H. Cantey of the Twentieth, were mentioned for skillful service. Col. A. E. Reynolds and Major Liddell did enterprising duty during the second attack.

About the middle of March Admiral Porter, supported by Sherman’s army corps, attempted to open up a passage by way of Steele’s bayou, Black’s bayou, Deer creek, Rolling Fork and Sunflower river, into the Yazoo. Col. S. W. Ferguson, with 250 sharpshooters, and a battery under Lieut. R. L. Wood, first met the expedition at the mouth of Rolling Fork, on Deer creek, and engaged the gunboats on the 20th. He was soon reinforced by General Featherston’s brigade, and Major Bridges took command of the sharpshooters. The fighting continued on the 21st with small loss to the Confederates, and then Porter withdrew and abandoned the expedition. At the same time Gen. S. D. Lee was active in the work of fortifying lower Deer creek, and prepared to strike the enemy in the rear if opportunity offered.

Thus the attempts to reach Vicksburg from the north