on to be an inferior one, and it was therefore useless; but the natural crossing remained, and I ordered him to cross over with his division and carry the line of works to the summit of the hill ba a determined assault.
During the early part of the day of 28th a heavy for enveloped the whole country, but General Morgan advanced De Courcy's brigade and engaged the enemy; heavy firing of artillery and infantry were sustained, and his column moved on until he encountered the real bay; this again checked his progress, and was not passed until the next day.
At the point where Morgan L. Smith's division reached the bayou was a narrow sand-spit, with abatis thrown down by the enemy on our side with the same deep, doggy bayou, with its levee parapet and system of cross-batteries and rifle-pits on the other side. To pass in his front by the flank would have been utter destruction, for the head of the column would have been swept away as fast as it presented itself above the steep bank. General Smith, while reconnoitering it early on the morning of the 28th, was, during the heavy fog, shot in the hip by a chance rifle-bullet, which disable him lost to me of my best and most daring leaders, and to the United States the service of practical soldier and enthusiastic patriot. I cannot exaggerate the loss to me personally and officially of General Morgan L. Smith at that critical moment. His wound in the hip disabled him and he was sent to the boat. General D. Stuart succeeded to his place and to the execution of his orders. General Stuart studied the nature of the ground in the front and saw all its difficulties, but made the best possible disposition to pass over his division (the Second) whenever he heard General Morgan engaged on his left.
To his right General A. J. Smith had placed Burbridge's brigade of his division next to Stuart, with orders to make rafts and cross over a portion of his men; to dispose his artillery as so to fire at the enemy across the bayou and produce the effect of a diversion. His other brigade (Landram's) occupied a key position on the main road, with pickets and supports pushed well forward into the tangled abatis within three fourths of a mile of the enemy's forts and in plain view of the city of Vicksburg.
Our boats still lay at our place of debarkation, converted by the gunboats and by regiment of infantry-one of each division. Such was the division of our forces during the night of the 27th [28th].
The enemy's right was a series of batteries or forts 7 miles above us on the Yazoo, at the first bluff, near Snyder' house, called Drumgould's Bluff; his left, the fortified city of Vicksburg, and his line connecting these was near 14 miles in extent, and a natural fortification strengthened by a year's labor of thousands of negroes, directs by educated and skilled officers.
My plan was by a prompt and concentrated movement to break the center near Chickasaw Creek, at the head of a bayou of the same name, and once in position to turn to the right (Vicksburg) or left (Drumgould's Bluff). According to information then obtained I supposed their organized forces to amount to about 15,000, which could be re-enforced at the rate of about 4,000 a day, provided General Grant did not occupy all the attention of Pemberton's forces at Grenada, or Rosecrans those of Bragg in Tennessee.
Not one word could I hear from General Grant, who was supposed to be pushing south, or of General Banks, supposed to be ascending the Mississippi. Time being everything to us, I determined to assault the hills in front of Morgan on the morning of the 29th-Morgan's division