early on the morning of the 19th he occupied the abandoned heights. During the day there was constant and heavy skirmishing along the left of our center on the Graveyard road, accompanied with brisk artillery fire. In the afternoon the enemy made a charge on Smith's right and Forney's left, but was severely repulsed, losing two stand of colors. Later their sharpshooters and artillery opened heavily on the Jackson and Baldwin's Ferry road.
A courier was dispatched with the following telegram to the
We are occupying the trenches around Vicksburg. The enemy is investing it, and will probably attempt an assault. Our men have considerably recovered their morale, but unless a large force is sent at once to relieve it, Vicksburg before long must fall. I have used every effort to prevent all this, but in vain.
20th. -The enemy continued to move from our right with heavy cannonading toward the center and left; three guns temporarily disabled. At noon the mortar fleet of Admiral Porter took position on the WEST side of the peninsula, and commenced the bombardment of the city.
The following dispatch was forwarded by courier to General Johnston:
The enemy assaulted our intrenched lines yesterday at two points (center and left), and was repulsed with heavy loss. Our loss small. I cannot estimate the enemy's force now engaged around Vicksburg at less than 60,000; it is probably more. At this hour (8. 30 a. m.) he is briskly cannonading with long-range guns. That we may save ammunition, his fire is rarely returned. At present our main necessity is musketcaps. Can you send them to me by hands of couriers or citizens? An army will be necessary to relieve Vicksburg, and that quickly. Will it not be sent? Please let me hear from you, if possible.
21st. -The fire from the mortar fleet continued without intermission accompanied by heavy musketry and artillery fire from the rear, to which but slight response was given. Several guns were dismounted, and a number of officers and men killed and wounded. In the afternoon the enemy's gunboats steamed up and threw a large number of shells into the city, but without material damage. Anticipating an attack on the right, General Bowen was ordered to hold his command in readiness to assist the threatened point; and that the safety of the magazines might be secured from the possible danger of disloyal persons within the lines, General Stevenson was ordered to organize a guard for their protection from among the most reputable of the citizens, and to place the guard under the command of a commissioned officer. The prospect of a protracted siege, and the uncertainty as to how many assaults we might have to repel, and in view of the possibility of having to march out from our intrenchments to meet and co-operate with an assisting army expected under General Johnston, rendered it a matter of vital importance that every charge of ammunition on hand should be hoarded with the most jealous care. The amount of ammunition in Vicksburg, though large, would not have sufficed for an unlimited daily expenditure for a protracted period. The importance of the most rigid economy, therefore, in its use was apparent, and strict orders were consequently issued against all picket skirmishing and artillery duels where neither served any useful purpose. These orders were repeated as occasion required.
It being impracticable to continue feeding the large number of mules and horses then in Vicksburg, General Stevenson was directed to have them driven beyond the lines for pasturage, or, if practicable, to send them in charge of a detail to General Johnston. By this means we were relieved of a serious incumbrance, which would else have drawn heavily upon our limited supplies of forage.