War of the Rebellion: Serial 037 Page 0387 Chapter XXXVI. THE SIEGE OF Vicksburg, MISS.

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ually it was deemed prudent to construct a strong line of rifle-pits across the gorge of the fort for the greater security of our rear, and to be used in case our lines should be breached or carried by assault. After all improvements, the interior of the fort was swept within 2 feet of the ground by the enemy's mines. This did not prevent the men form bivouacking at night, lying flat on the ground, but during the day safety compelled them to seek the protection of the ditches next the parapet and traverses.

In the night of May 17, 1863 (Sunday), as already stated, the Second Texas Infantry took its position on the lines. The 18th, houses were burned, tress ver cut down, and other obstructions were removed, and dispositions made to receive the enemy. In the evening the enemy's pickets were reported on the ferry road, 3 miles ; in our front. Early the 19, I sent forward Captain {William

Christian with his company to observe the enemy, and if need be, to deploy as skirmishers and hold him in check. Soon clouds of the enemy's skirmishers were deploying to the right and left. Captain Christian met them about a half mile in our front. The skirmishing was heavy. I re-enforced him with Captain R. Debord's company, and Major G. W. L. Fly was ordered to the command of the detachment. After several hours of skirmishing we lost two men, who were killed or captured.

All this day the 19th, 20th, and 21st, heavy black columns of the enemy, or clouds of dust marking their movements, were seen pouring through the timber over the hills, taking position where they were concealed by the irregularities of the ground. As these columns came up into position, they opened on us with cannon and rifled musketry, which increased hour by hour with their augmenting numbers, until the uprpad and rattle was almost incessant and ver gran. We returned the fire fiercely, but the irregularities of the ground appeared to protect the enemy as effectually as we were sheltered by or breastworks. On the 21st, our two guns had become disabled, several of the gunners were killed or wounded, two guns, with their detachments from another battery, under Lieutenant Howard Harrid, were brought into the fort to supply their place. The investment of the city, as afterward appeared was this day the 21st completed. At an early hor of the morning of Friday, May 22, the enemy opened a most furious cannonade and fire of musketry, which were continued designated in the enemy's orders as afterward appeared, for a general assault on our lines ; throughout their entire length. There was a sudden, sullen silence of ; the enemy's artillery. Hitherto the position of the enemy were known only by the flash of their guns and the clouds of smoke which developed their heads. instantaneously the enemy earth was black with their close columns, and ere Private Brooks could well exclaim. Here they come, they were surging on within a few paces ; of the foot of ours. THE ASSAULT ON THE FORT AND LINES OF THE RIGHT REGIMENT FRONT, and WITH STORMERS PROVIDED, with tools and implements . Dashing forward in good order, they were hurled against our works with the utmost fury and determination. The SECOND Texas we