War of the Rebellion: Serial 037 Page 0174 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

Search Civil War Official Records

When within 60 yards of the enemy's line, a parallel was made, from which the salient might have been stormed. On July, 4 this approach was within about 10 yards of the enemy's ditch.


This approach, directed on a redoubt, was not begun till late, although the ground gave cover here to within a short distance of the enemy's line. This was one distance among many where the lack of engineer officers was shown. With a proper number of officers, the ground in all its detail would have been thoroughly reconnoitered, ant the best positions for approaches were selected after the siege was half over. A. J. Smith's Carr's and Hovey's DIVISIONS were in McClernand's (afterward Ord's) corps, and their approaches were generally under charge of Lieutenant P. C. Hains, engineer, who took immediate and special charge of A. J. Smith's and Carr's work. He deserves his praise for his untiring energy and devotion to his work.


This approach, in front of LAUMAN'S DIVISION, was at first begun a ridge which runs out from the enemy's line 300 yards east of the Hall's Ferry road, and a good deal of work had been expended on it, when it was decided to abandon it for an approach along the Hall's Ferry road, ravines there giving cover within 300 yards of the enemy's line, the approach being directed on a work very salient, and, therefore, weak. The enemy, conscious of this, made repeated sorties, driving off working parties and taking a few prisoners. (See extracts from Captain Freeman's report, appendix E. *)In one case, June 22, they filed up 50 yards of our trench and began a counter-trench, from with they were driven the following night with some loss. Captain H. C. Freeman, aide-de-camp, was in immediate charge of the work performed in front of this DIVISION.


General Herron's DIVISION did not arrive till June 11, and the approach of his DIVISION along the Warrenton road was slow. Little was done besides driving in the enemy's pickets and erecting three batteries, till June 24, when a parallel, to cover supports, was begun at 200 yards distance from the enemy's line. The portion proposed was finished and an approach run forward to within 100 yards of a salient of the enemy's line, when the place fell. Captain [Arnold] Heoppner, aide-de-camp, was in charge of the work done in front of this DIVISION. The preceding list includes the approaches which might be used, if desired, in an assault. Work had been done on others, but it was to these mainly that attention was directed.


*See events of June 22 and 23, and July 3, of his report, pp. 195,196.