Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/620

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increased the Federal army to about 33,000 men. With this strength, hearing Banks could not reach Port Hudson immediately, Grant abandoned his plan of holding Grand Gulf as a base and operating southward first against Port Hudson, and determined to cut loose from his base of supplies and with his whole force, subsisting from the country, attack Vicksburg from the rear. This meant much to the planters in that part of Mississippi. Grant supplied his army with three days’ rations of hard-tack, coffee and salt, and as for the rest, in his own words, "Beef, mutton, poultry and forage were found in abundance. Quite a quantity of molasses and bacon was also secured from the country. Every plantation had a run of stone, propelled by mule power, to grind corn for the owners and their slaves. All these were kept running while we were stopping, day and night; and when we were marching, during the night, at all plantations covered by the troops."

Pemberton’s plan of campaign was to defend Vicksburg first and last, leaving Jackson to be defended by Adams, reinforced from Port Hudson and from the other departments. He expected to hold the Big Black river and fight Grant at Edwards on the Jackson railroad or at the river bridge, a few miles west, and at those points massed his main strength. He also, throughout the campaign, believed that Grant would attempt to maintain a line of communication with Grand Gulf, which could be broken, compelling Grant to retreat as in the previous year from Oxford. He posted forces on the Warrenton and Hall’s ferry roads, and on the Baldwin’s ferry road, and such cavalry as could be obtained, under Col. Wirt Adams, was ordered to harass the enemy and report his movements. Pemberton was confirmed in his expectation of a battle at Edwards by the apparent movements of his antagonist, who threatened Edwards with McClernand’s corps. But at the same time Grant sent Sherman's corps to Clinton, and Mc-