sion of his retread; the road was literally strewn with the debris of the dissolved army.
The Thirteenth Army Corps left at Mount Alban the main Jackson and Vicksburg road, turning south, and, marching over several plantation roads, reached the road leading from Hall's Ferry to Vicksburg. On this avenue we approached the city, and at nightfall we came with insight of its extensive fortifications. Numerous flags floating over the works proved that persisting leaders of the enemy would try a last attempt to rally their men to dight again, and to save, if possible, the stronghold of rebeldom on the Mississippi River. We bivouacked on a very narrow little creek, about 2 miles from the line of fortifications.
Orders received on May 19 placed the Thirteenth Army Corps on the left wing of the army, which prepared to invest the city. My DIVISION was to form the extreme left, and General SMITH's the right of our first line, while General Carr, deploying his DIVISION in the center of us, took the SECOND line. Such were our instructions.
Notwithstanding I was hardly able to move about on horseback, I considered the circumstances imperative for me to take command of the DIVISION again. Assigning to General Lee, who had reported to me for permanent duty, the command of the First Brigade, lately under General Garrard, which officer was ordered to a command at Helena, Ark., I at once proceeded to make, as far as possible, a reconnaissance of the grounds which were to be the field of operations for the NINTH DIVISION.
At the little creek we had bivouacked on, the ground on the left of the road rises gradually, and, forming a plateau sloping from WEST to east, is converted into fields planted with corn. At the WEST end of the plateau it abruptly sink into a deep valley again. At the margin of this valley the plateau reaches its highest elevation, and runs almost parallel and on the same lead with that ridge in front(WEST) which thred with his fortifications. The distance between the plateau and the fortifications does not exceed 1,500 yards, but the interval is very broken indeed, the main figures of this intermediate ground are two ridges running almost parallel with the fortified line and with the WEST side of the plateau, but hardly on any point high enough to mask these from each other. The ridges are very steep, starting three narrow valleys, in each one of which is a small running stream. These hills and valleys are be no means regular, but on the contrary, variously intersected by cross valleys and gorges, making a passage over them very difficult. To go straight forward over them with artillery is out the question, except by pulling them up and down by hand; though on the south end of that section of terrain where the described three valleys converge, the slopes appeared to offer some practicability for military movements, and I was informed that I could find there a plantation road which connected the Hall's Ferry and the Warrenton and Vicksburg roads.
The main Baldwin's Ferry road, on which the Thirteenth Army Corps was approaching, turns on the highest ridge of the plateau to the right, and, following the undulations of the ground, enters the line of the enemy's fortifications in front of the position assigned to General SMITH's DIVISION preparatory to further movements, I ordered my DIVISION to advance in the following order:
The First Brigade, under General Lee, deployed into line of battle to the ridge of the valley(WEST end of the plateau), with one section of 20-pounder Parrotts(Captain Foster's battery)on the right, and two sections of the same on the left. The SECOND Brigade, under Colonel D. W.
2 R R-VOL XXXIV, PT. II