War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0109 Chapter XXXVI. GENERAL REPORTS.

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taken from Haynes' Bluff. The forces under Sherman still remain on Clear Creek and Bear Creek. No orders to return have been sent to them.


Honorable E. M. STANTON, j

Secretary of War.

NEAR Vicksburg, MISS., June 26, 1863-10 a. m.,

VIA MEMPHIS, June 29-3 p. m.

(Received July 1-8. 40 p. m.)

McPherson, yesterday, just before 4 p. m., sprung his mine. It was charged with 1,200 pounds of powder, the explosion forming a crater about 35 feet in diameter, and carrying away a greater part of the bastion but not reaching the terre-plain of the fort. The working party of one regiment was at once hastened into the opening, and another regiment was thrown out as sharpshooters to cover them on the east flank of the work. Some of our men climbed the parapet with a view of taking aim over it at the enemy within, but were obliged to fall back and seek protection on the outer slope of the parapet. No attempt was made to enter the work through the breach; indeed, even after the explosion, the ascent remained so steep that an assault would have encountered serious difficulties from that cause alone. Our men remaining on the outer slope, as I have said, were obliged to fire very much at random, but the rebels had no better chance at them. The object of our working party was to prepare places for cannon, and also to dig rifle-pits behind the crest of the parapet.

The enemy very soon opened a galling fire from shells with short fuses, thrown over the ridge by hand-like grenades. To this we replied as actively as possible, and this conflict between parties invisible to each other, not only on account of the darkness, but also on account of the barrier between them, was kept up with fury during the night, and still continues up to this hour. We have made no progress in the work whatever, and have not been able either to plant a battery or open a rifle-pit, or even to ascertain what is the real practical value of the fort of which we have just got possession of one corner, and cannot tell whether the adjoining works are or are not enfiladed against fire from it. Our loss since the explosion to this hour is from 60 to 100 killed and wounded, including 2 lieutenant-colonels and 1 major.

Immediately on the springing of the mine a tremendous cannonade was opened along our whole line, accompanied by active firing form the rifle-pits. This fire was continued with little relaxation during the night, and is still maintained with vigor. The siege works in front of Sherman are the most advanced, but have been delayed for two or three days by the effort to find a mine which the enemy, starting from the counter-scarp and working from the ditch, has run under our lines.

General Grant this morning sent for Steele, who is in command there during Sherman's absence up Big Black, and directed him to push his approach with the utmost energy, and endeavor to crown the work today, if possible. F. Steele says it cannot by done before tomorrow. Similar orders have been sent to Ord, and every means will be taken to prevent the enemy from concentrating against McPherson. Steele's pickets, on the Mississippi, just above the wreck of the sunken gunboat Cincinnati, yesterday captured a rebel mail-carrier attempting to make his way through the Yazoo bottoms. Among his letters was one from