Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/635

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

next, and Vaughn and Harris and the detachment from Loring next the river. The river defenses were under the command of Col. Edward Higgins. The upper batteries from Fort Hill to the upper bayou were manned by the First Tennessee artillery, Col. Andrew Jackson; the center batteries by the Eighth Louisiana battalion, Maj. F. N. Ogden, and the Vaiden light artillery, Capt. S. C. Bains; and the lower batteries by the First Louisiana artillery, Lieut.-Col. D. Beltzhoover. Bowen's division, about 2,400 strong, was held as a reserve, reducing the force in the trenches to a little over 16,000 men, according to General Pemberton’s report.

The line of defense on the land side consisted of a system of detached works, redans, lunettes and redoubts on the prominent and commanding points, with the usual profile of raised field works, connected in most cases with rifle-pits. The chief engineer in charge was Maj. Samuel H. Lockett. As the siege progressed the usual traverses were added, mines were dug and obstacles of various kinds were made in front, such as abatis, palisades, ditches and entanglements of pickets and telegraph wires.

Grant’s army had been increased to about 43,000 by the arrival of Blair’s division during the battle of Baker’s Creek, and he was anxious to establish a base of supplies. His first movement, therefore, after crossing the Big Black, was to send Sherman to the Yazoo, and that general had the satisfaction on the 18th of standing on the bluff where Lee had defeated him in the previous winter. Smith’s division, occupying some advanced works, had some brisk skirmishing with Sherman, but was withdrawn to a stronger line in the following night. On the 19th there was constant and heavy skirmishing on the Graveyard road, and the investment being completed. Grant ordered an assault, believing Pemberton’s men had not recovered from the recent disasters. But in this he was mistaken, and the Federals were hurled back by Forney’s left and Smith's right with considerable loss of