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The First Division, Brigadier-General J. W. Denver; the Third Division, Brigadier General John A. Logan; the Fourth Division, Brigadier-General J. G. Lauman; the First Brigade of Cavalry, Colonel B. H. Grierson, and Brigadier-General G. M. Dodge's forces in district of Corinth, to constitute the Seventeenth Army Corps under Major-General J. B. McPherson.

Having made this new arrangement of his forces, General Grant went to Memphis to prepare for the work before him, and to communicate with Sherman, who, as we have seen, was down at the mouth of the Yazoo. Let us see how he was faring. The heights or bluffs of Vicksburg extend back from the city in all directions a considerable distance.

These were generally fortified for miles. At the Yazoo river the bluffs break off, and the valley of the river is flat, marshy and intersected by bayous. Landing from the river was difficult. The timber on the slopes had been felled into dense abattis. The fortifications on the summits were hard to reach and well nigh impregnable. Sherman disembarked his forces at Chickasaw Bayou, and began skirmishing on December 27th. On the 28th he selected a point of attack over difficult ground. Pemberton had reinforced the Vicksburg garrison with some six or eight brigades of his army, for he had not followed up Grant when he fell back from in front of Grenada. On the 29th, Morgan's division of Sherman's force, strengthened by the brigades of Blair and Thayer, moved, under cover of a furious canonnade to within four hundred yards of the enemy's strong entrenchments, when they met a deadly infantry fire. Still they pushed on till within one hundred and fifty yards, when the fire became so terrible that they broke, but were quickly rallied only to be repulsed again and again, with heavy loss in killed, wounded and prisoners. The attack by the forces under Morgan Smith on the right was equally unsuccessful. Sherman saw that further attempt to force those strong lines by direct attack

would be suicidal. He had already lost two thousand men, while the Confederate losses did not exceed two hundred and ten. He therefore gave up the impossible task, but immediately prepared a movement by which ten thousand men were to go in transports further up the Yazoo, and under cover of the guns

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of the navy effect a landing further in the rear of the enemy's fortifications. This move was set down for the night of December 31st, but a dense fog prevented it. He therefore dropped all his boats and forces down the Yazoo to the Mississippi, where he met McClernand who had in the meantime, and by virtue of his influence at Washington, gotten authority to command the expedition against Vicksburg by way of the

Mississippi river. McClernand ordered all the forces under his command to Milliken's Bend, a great elbow in the Mississippi, twelve miles above Vicksburg, where Sherman took control of his own corps, the Fifteenth, and General Morgan of the Thirteenth.

Not until Sherman reached the Mississippi after the failure of the attempt on Vicksburg by way of the Yazoo, did he learn of Grant's compulsory retreat from in front of Grenada. And now Grant for the first time learned of the ill fortune that had overtaken Sherman. The whole scheme against Vicksburg had failed, and the baffled commander must bring his genius to bear on some new device for its capture.

The first move was to assume command of active operations in person. This became necessary for the reason that he mistrusted McClernand's ability, and preferred that Sherman, in whom he had great confidence, should have a chance to redeem the Yazoo failure. But he saw no way of obviating all difficulties and lessening all risks except by taking direct control himself.

On January 17th, having visited the fleet lying off the mouth of the Arkansas river with a great number of troops on board, and in expectation of co-operation from General Banks, who was operating below against Port Hudson and the Red River country, he wrote to Halleck that “our troops must get below the city (Vicksburg) to be used effectually.” On January 20th, he returned to Memphis and gave it out that “the Mississippi River enterprise must take precedence of all others, and any side move must simply be to protect our flanks and rear.” On the 22d, he wrote to McClernand to reopen the canal across the isthmus in front of Vicksburg, in order to change the course of the Mississippi and make a straight, navigable channel out of reach of the enemy's guns. He never lost sight of the uses that might be made of the Yazoo river and its passes in securing a foothold in the rear

of the city. Said he : “ The work of reducing Vicksburg, will take time and men, but can be accomplished.” He had evidently been pondering the matter deeply, and the above was a conclusion as much as an expression of faith.

And now came the work of putting his department in order. All unimportant points in Tennessee were abandoned. The heavy guns at Columbus, Memphis and Island No. 10 were removed so as to leave no inducement for attack by the enemy on the East side of the river. Young's Point opposite the mouth of the Yazoo, and near to Milliken's Bend, was to be the forming and operating point of the expedition. Halleck at Washington was urged to prepare all the support he could control. A part of the department of Arkansas was added to Grant's command, so that he might control both sides of the Mississippi. Forts Henry and Donelson were transferred to the Cumberland Department. On January 29th, General Grant arrived in person at Young's Point, and on the 30th assumed immediate command of the expedition against Vicksburg

During February and March, 1863, General Grant tested five different expeditions, three of which were designed to enable him to pass freely up and down the Mississippi past Vicksburg, and two to overcome the obstacles to the navigation of the Yazoo presented by the batteries at Hayne's Bluff. The first of these was the canal across the isthmus opposite Vicksburg It looked as though this would be successful, but on March 8th, the high water in the Mississippi broke the dams at the head of the canal, and flooded the entire peninsula. The canal project was abandoned.

The second expedient was to open the bayous from Milliken's Bend through Tensas river and into the Mississippi near New Carthage below Vicksburg. But low water by April and impassable roads rendered continuation of this work unnecessary. The third expedient was a passage for boats by

way of Lake Providence on the Louisiana side. This never found real favor and was soon abandoned. The fourth was to open a route to the rear of Haynes' Bluff on the Yazoo. It was thought this could be done by threading some of the narrow, tortuous passes which run from the Mississippi into the Yazoo. Two of these were tried by resolute commands supported by Porter's gunboats, but without avail. The enemy blockaded the passes by felling trees into them faster than they could be removed, and by erecting batteries at the

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available bends in the sluggish streams. All these expedients were therefore failures in one sense. Yet by means of them the mind of Grant had become clear as to what would have to be done in order to insure success. At the very moment when one of less heroic mould or without his commanding genius would have been heart sick amid failures, he was

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