War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0027 Chapter XXVII. VICKSBURG, MISS., AND BATON ROUGE, LA.

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the abandonment. Limber, benches, tables, a broken whiffletree, some ears of newly gathered green corn from a neighboring field, and the well trodden earth marked the place of the camp near the battery, which was spacious, shaded, afforded a clear view of the river up and down, and perfectly protected by its height above the river from the fire of the gunboats. The rebel method of using their guns from the cliffs is to run the gun forward till it projects beyond the cliff, depress it, fire, and run to gun back out of sight, lad and repeat.

Negroes afterward told us that the battery consisting of two guns and 90 mounted men, left some five hours before our landing, but he fellows, had greatly loitered on the way for Colonel Dudley reported he was within an hour of intercepting them.

The 23rd of June Rodney was passed without molestation, but, having learned from various sources that resistance to the farther advance of the transports would certainly be made by guns in position on the heights of Grand Gulf, we entered Bayou Pierre about 3 o'clock in the morning of the 24th, and attempted to reach its point of intersection with the Port Gibson and Grand Gulf Railroad, in order to move from thence on the rear of the town and heights of Grand Gulf.

After passing up the bayou some 9 miles, and still 8 miles from Port Gibson, a raft across the bayou stopped us. We then backed down (for the bayou was too narrow to turn in) to one Colonel Barry's plantation, 4 miles only from Grand Gulf, and by a good wagon road. Here, at about 11 o'clock in the morning, the troops were landed, the Fourth Wisconsin, Ninth Connecticut and four guns, after marching 2 miles, taking a branch road by Hamilton's plantation, which led to the rear of the reported rebel camp, some said 500, some 900 strong pitched between the Port Gibson Railroad and the road from Grand Gulf to Willow Spring, and which branch road produced, as shown by dotted line on the sketch,* cut the only two roads, viz, the railroad and Willow Spring road, leading from Grand Gulf to the interior, and two regiments with six guns taking the direct road, which cuts the railroad about 1 miles in rear of Grand Gulf, one of the regiments-the Seventh Vermont-to co-operate with the Fourth Wisconsin or Ninth Connecticut in the contemplated attack on the camp, and the other (Colonel Dudley's) to be held in reserve at the fork of the two roads.

As in our first landing (Ellis' Cliffs) so in this, the rebels, apprised of our coming, had decamped, leaving some three sick, a few old tents, numerous booths of bushes, some articles of household furniture, and a secession flag. (See herewith Colonel Paine's report.) The town of Grand Gulf, which our troops before leaving burned to the ground, was abandoned of all save a single sentinel on picket, who, left behind, was captured by Colonel Dudley's flankers.

The 25th we arrived here off Vicksburg, and commenced running and leveling the line of the cut-off canal, and on the morning of the 27th broke ground. Between 1,100 and 1,200 negroes, gathered from the neighboring plantations by armed parties, are now engaged in the work of excavating cutting down trees, and grubbing up the roots. Two sketches (Nos. 1 and 2) herewith represent the present state of the work. The labor of making this cut is far greater than estimated by anybody. The soil is hard clay as far as yet excavated (6 1/2 to 7 feet), and must be gone through with, say, some 4 feet or more before the water can be let in; for all concur in this, that we must come to sand before the cut can be pronounced a success. The current of the river, however great, will not wash the clay. Yesterday the river fall was only 2 inches. Drift-wood was


*The sketch found does not answer the description and is omitted.