his large fleet of gunboats and transports was moving down the Mississippi River for the supposed purpose of attacking Vicksburg. Brigadier General [J. C.] Vaughn's brigade of East Tennesseeans was at once ordered to that point.
On the 24th definite and reliable information reached me that the enemy's gunboats had arrived at the mouth of the Yazoo River, 6 miles above Vicksburg, and that his transports were not far in their rear. Thereupon Brigadier General [John] Gregg with his brigade was immediately sent forward.
On the 25th [I] left Grenada and reached Vicksburg at 12 m. on the 26th. While on the route the Fortieth Alabama Regiment, Colonel [A. A.] Coleman, was ordered from Columbus to Vicksburg. On my arrival I found the enemy's gunboats were engaged in shelling the banks of the Yazoo River up to the vicinity of the first bluffs at Snyder's Mill, and under their cover he was disembarking his troops from his transports.
Snyder's Mill is situated 13 miles north of Vicksburg, on a bluff which overlooks the Yazoo River. At this point a strong battery had been planted nd the river blockaded by a raft. swamps, lakes, and bayous running parallel with the river intervene between the bank and the hills, and leave but four practicable approaches to the high ground from Snyder's Mill to the Mississippi River, but all outside of the fortifications erected for the defense of Vicksburg: one in Blake's field, running along his levee nearly at right angels with the river; the next about a mile below, along the Chickasaw Bayou; the third passing through a dry part of the lake opposite to an Indian mound,a nd the fourth by a road leading from Johnson's by the race track. Before my arrival major-General Smith had arranged his guns and disposed of his troops so as to guard these several approaches, under the immediate command of Brigadier General [S. D.] Lee.
On this day skirmish began soon after the disembarkation of he enemy's troops, which resulted in driving his advanced parties from Mrs. Lake's plantation into the swamps bordering the river.
On the 27th, at an early hour, demonstrations in force were made at the Indiana mound, Chickasaw Bayou, Blake's Levee, and Snyder's Mill, thus showing on the part of the enemy accurate knowledge of all the approaches.
About 2 o'clock three of the enemy's gunboats moved up to attack our battery at Snyder's Mill, and continued a heavy firing for three hours, when they returned down the river. Our guns were handled with spirit and precision, and the officers and men deserve the highest praise for their gallant conduct during the engagement.
About the time of the attack at Snyder's Mill another was made along the Chickasaw Bayou with great violence and in heavy force. This was gallantly and successfully met by the Seventeenth Louisiana Regiment, two companies of the Forty-sixth Mississippi Regiment, and a section of Captain [Jeff. L.] Wofford's battery, all under command of Colonel [W. T.] Withers, First Mississippi Artillery.
During the evening and night of this day Brigadier-Generals Vaughn and Gregg, with their brigades, arrived from Grenada, and also Brigadier General [Seth M.] Barton and his brigade, of Major General [Carter L.] Stevenson's division. Before daylight they were moved to the front and Brigadier-General Vaughn assigned to the command of the left, at the race course; Brigadier-General Barton to the center, fronting on the Indian mound, and Brigadier-General Lee to the right, reaching to Snyder's Mill. Brigadier-General Gregg at first was held in reserve