War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0627 Chapter XXIX. VICKSBURG.

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Numbers 4.

Report of Brigadier Andrew J. Smith U. S. Army, commanding First and Second Divisions.


Before Vicksburg, Miss., January 1,, 1863.

I have the honor to make the following report of the action of the First Division, right wing, Army of the Tennessee:

On the evening of the 20th ultimo I embarked with a portion of the division at Memphis, Tenn., under orders for Vicksburg, but owing to want of sufficient transportation did not leave Memphis until 12 m. on the 21st, when we proceeded down the river and overtook the fleet about 10 miles below Helena.

On the morning of the 22nd ultimo we continued down the river and arrived at Milliken's Bend on the night of the 24th and this point I received orders to detach one brigade of my division to cut the Vicksburg and Shreveport Railroad. Brigadier General S. G. Burbridge, commanding the First Brigade of the First Division, was ordered to accomplish this work, and with wax regiment of infantry, two companies of cavalry, and one piece of artillery, on the morning of the 25th proceeded to the railroad at or near Dallas, La., burned three bridges, about 500 yards of trestle-work, tearing up also the rails and ties, and effectually destroying 1 mile of the road; returned to the boats about 12 o'clock on the night of the 26th, bringing in a large number of mules that were put on board during the night. He also burned over 1,000 bales of cotton, marked C. S. A., and a storehouse containing about 2,000 bushels of corn belonging to the Confederate Government. The result of this expedition is very creditable to the officer in charge, where report has been heretofore forwarded to you.

Owing to the long and fatiguing march many of the-men did not reach the river until after daylight. I left one steamer, having on board the One hundred and thirty-first Illinois Volunteers, under the protection of a gunboat, to receive parties later coming in, and proceeded with the remainder of my division to join the fleet in, and proceeded with the accomplished about 1 p. m. on the 27th ultimo.

I immediately commanded disembarking my division, which was accomplished by sunset, and ordered the First Brigade and one battery (Seventeenth Ohio Volunteers Artillery) forward to overtake the army, then in advance. The One hundred and thirty-first Illinois Volunteer Infantry arrived that night was detailed to remain at the landing as a guard for our boats and stores.

Proceeding with the remainder of the Second Brigade (five regiments), Cooley's Mercantile Battery, and one company of the Fourth Indiana Cavalry, early on the morning of the 28th I overtook the army in advance, about 8 a. m., on the Chickasaw Bayou, where I received orders to make the following disposition of my division: The First Brigade, commanded by Brigadier General S. G. Burbridge, with the Seventeenth Ohio Battery, was assigned a position on the right of the Second Division (close in on the bayou), and instructed to force a passage and proceed in an easterly direction to the crest of the hill toward Vicksburg; the Second Brigade, command by Colonel W. j. Landram, of the Nineteenth Kentucky, with Cooley's mercantile Battery, was, in obedience to orders, posted at the junction of the roads leading to Vicksburg,