War of the Rebellion: Serial 025 Page 0589 Chapter XXIX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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be made lower down, and there was no difference of opinion but that Johnson's plantation was the best if not only place to disembark the troops, even if Haine's Bluff were to be the point of real attack.

From the levee above Chickasaw Bayow Bayou where Steele landed all the way up to Snyder's is an impracticable swamp, passable, at only two points, one near Benson Blake's and the other which Steele attempted, and which he pronounced officially as more difficult than the Bridge of Lodi. There is one small bayou close up to Snyder's, another a short distance below, and about a mile below is the large creek called Skilet Goliah, and all along the foot of hills is a swamp and bayou similar to the one we had so much trouble with. At first the enemy expected us there, but when we landed at Johnson's they of course changed to the points accessible from Johnson's. They were familiar with every foot of ground, and we had to study it under extreme difficulties.

I think that the chances against Snyder's were better after we had drawn the enemy to the head of Chickasaw Bayou than before. More over in the interim; Admiral Porter had constructed a prow to one of the rams with which to take up or explode in advance the torpedoes that filled the Yazoo. The moment he was willing to attack the batteries at Snyder's I was ready to co-operate, and, as you say, we made prompt and secret preparations for the attack. General Steele was confident and so was I, and we did not abandon the attempt till the admiral declared it"too hazardous." But an essential feature in the proposed attack on the morning of January 1, 1863, at Snyder's was a simultaneous attack at Morgan's front and that of A. J. Smith. At great labor we had brought up four 30-pounder Parrott guns, and had all our field batteries placed according to our then more perfect knowledge of the ground and the enemy's position. I held all ready to begin the moment I heard you engaged at Snyder's and I contend we at Chickasaw Bayou could and would have held the infantry force there leaving the gunboats and Stele's forces to fight the batteries above at Snyder's. It is for this reason I say the military chances were better on the early morning of January 1 than if we had gone with our fleet direct up to Haines' Bluff on the morning of December 27. We do know the difficulties we encountered, and it may be, as is al ways the case, that we cannot do as well on the ground as we can figure on paper, but in my mind I know I studied night and day to acquire the most accurate information; that I acted in perfect harmony with the naval squadron, and that I communicated frankly and fully to all division commanders all facts that reached me. I do know that Morgan's advance was on the true line of attack; that his attack was the signal for all others; that he was full of confidence; that he knew early on the morning of December 29 of the road by which you returned from the assault; that his entire division was ordered to carry the road and up the hill to the first summit; that your brigade and Steele's whole division were ordered to support Morgan; that the pontoon bridge was designed only as auxiliary, so as to enable Morgan to cross a part of his troops by a route where the enemy had made no seeming preparations for resistance.

I know that the Second Division did commence when Morgan opened fire, and I know it occupied large masses of the enemy who otherwise would have encountered Morgan. I know the same of the First Division, and that the ground to its front was absolutely impassable to any army except skirmishers; but still Colonel Landram, commanding that brigade, did push his skirmishers through the tangled mass of timber, which I have examined personally, and he did occupy the atten-