War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0088 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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on which this part stands from which they will still be able to dispute McPherson's entrance into the city, but its possession will certainly enable him to reach with his batteries almost every part of the place. The rebel infantry now lie securely on the slope in the rear of this fort, whence they are able to repel any effort of our infantry to get over its parapet. On Sherman's front we are at a greater distance from the enemy, the approach being naturally less advantageous to us. General Sherman told me last evening that he must advance for a considerable part of the way toward the principal fort in his front by a regular sap, and that it would be five days before he could blow up the salient he intends to undermine. It is though that one of the best points of attack is on Sherman's extreme right, where Steele's DIVISION abuts on the Mississippi. With the co-operation of gunboats, the enemy's upper water battery can be silenced, which will enable Steele decisively to turn his left flank, but Porter is extremely cautions about exposing vessels to the fire of that battery. He has for some days been playing upon the town with his mortars, and promised to have fourteen of them in position this morning, but they are placed at such a distance on the Louisiana shore, being behind the tongue of land which stretches in front of the town, that their fire can hardly be very effective. They are, however, to be removed to this side under the lowest of the bluffs which Steele holds, where they will be equally secure, and at least 1 1/2 miles nearer the enemy's works. The fortifications on the Warrenton road prove more formidable than was supposed, but probably the front of McClernand will be found to be more accessible than either that of Sherman of McPherson. From his engineer we have not yet received any report on this subject. Lauman has been ordered from Haynes' Bluff to the Warrenton road. He has eleven regiments, four of them having been brought with him down from Memphis. A body of cavalry will remain at Haynes' to observe the enemy in that direction. McArthur's DIVISION will take its proper position in McPherson's corps as soon as Lauman reaches his new post. One thousand cavalry have been sent north to dispose of bridges over Big Black on the Memphis and Jackson Railroad, and to burn corn and forage in the Yazoo region, so as to impede the possible approach of enemy. General Banks has decided to attack Port Hudson at once instead of moving hither. He had taken for the purpose the transports sent him by General Grant.


Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

BEHIND Vicksburg, May 26, 1863-1 p. m.,

VIA MEMPHIS, TENN., May 29-10 a. m. (Received May 30-10. 30 p. M.)

The situation has not essentially altered since my last dispatch. Sherman has pushed the siege works in front of his center with great energy and admirable skill, and might to-morrow plant his guns within 50 yards of the fortifications and clear them out for an assault, but he had not yet got near enough to commence mining. On his right, where Steele commands, the opportunity is still exceedingly favorable, but Porter has not yet consented to bring a gunboat near enough for effective co-operation. McPherson's mining operations have proved much more difficult than his engineers first calculated, and it must still be some time before the work he is digging at can be blown up. On McClernand's