War of the Rebellion: Serial 025 Page 0850 Chapter XXIX. WEST TENN. AND NORTHERN MISS.

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planing for what it has not done. Yet it is none the less true that the Mississippi River and its tributaries, affording an inland navigation of 10,000 miles in extent, and floating an annual commence of the value of $ 150,000 in time of peace, is now locked against all agrees or ingress to our from the ocean by a small, indeed comparatively insignificant garrison at Vicksburg, or that the products of agriculture meantime have been accumulating in the hands os producers until have became well-night worthless.

Foreseeing that the continuance of this evil ultimate in individual bankruptcy and the enervation of the Government itself, by withholding from the people the means of supplying its wants, it is not surprising that large assemblages should be now earnestly calling upon the Government for relief-the relief which would be afforded by the reopening of the Mississippi River. Such relief would be hailed as a benefaction at home and abroad. Without it, must we not fear an ultimate reaction of feeling and opinion in the Mississippi Valley unfavorable to the success of our army and the cause which they are upholding?

In order, then, to liberate the navigation of the Mississippi, I would have a force of at least 60,000 men to descend the river in transports convoyed by gunboats to the month of the Yazoo River, and ascend it to the first eligible landing on its south bank, perhaps to Drumgould's Bluff.

Both geographers and river pilots bear testimony to the remarkable character of this river. It is said that it is hardly "surpassed in navigable waters by any river of its size in the works, as steamboats can ascend is from its mouth to its original in all stages of water and in all seasons of the year." I f any impediment exists, it is in the at the mount of the river, a passage thought which could be readily made by a dredging machine or even by a steam propeller directing the action of its screw against it. This obstacle, only existing in a low stage of water, having been overcome, gunboats might ascend and cover the debarkation of troops at the bluffs named.

The Gulf having thus disembarked, should, in whole of in part, march upon Vicksburg,and, aided by the gunboats, seize that place, and, after fortifying and garrisoning it, hasten to Jackson, the capital of the State of Mississippi, only 45 miles, distant, and having in like manner fortified and garrisoned Jackson and reopened the railroad to Vicksburg, n armed force might be detached to reopen the railroad from Jackson to New Orleans, if it should deemed expedition. In the accomplishment of the latter object, our forces at New Orleans might lend assistance, or, if the enemy should concentrate in any considerable force on that road, it would only remain to attack and defeat him there, instead of another place. It is believed, however, that he would not do so while Jackson, New Orleans, and the Mississippi River remained under our control, thus surrounding him on these sides, and leaving him no other chance of obtaining re-enforcements or escaping, except by a long march, obstructed by the numerous streams traversing the extensive district west of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad.

Securing Jackson, as already mentioned, the column should next push forward to the junction of the Southern Mississippi and the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, at the town of Meridan, 75 miles east of Jackson. Arrived at that place, the column would be within threatening distance both of Mobile and Montgomery, the capital of the State of Alabama, and would be guided in its movement, whether first to the one or the other of those places, by circumstances. If the enemy had concentrated