War of the Rebellion: Serial 037 Page 0533 Chapter XXXVI. THE Jackson CHAMPAIGN.

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works, and the saps and parallels for infantry were up to the very ditch of the enemy, and a party of sappers and miners were engaged in undermining the chief work to our front. General Tuttle's DIVISION(THIRD) was divided. One brigade(Mover's) was detached on duty at Young's Point, the other two were pushing an approach against Vicksburg between Steele and Blair. Thus matters stood on the 22nd day June, when I was summoned to General Grant's headquarters, and received orders to take two brigades of the Fifteenth Army Corps and three brigades of the SEVENTEENTH Army Corps, proceed To Bear Creek an affluent On Big Black, and oppose the crossing of General Joe Johnston, then believed to be with an army of adequate size about to cross Big Black River and make and attempt to raise the siege of Vicksburg. I immediately put in motion the two brigades of General Tuttle, and made orders for the march of the three brigades of the SEVENTEENTH Army Corps, commanded by General McArthur. The former halted the first night near Tempelton's and the latter at Marshal's, one Ridge road. At the same time General Parke was ordered to move from Hayne's Bluff toward the same destination with a part of the troops stationed there. That night I met him Tempelton's, and directed him to move out on the Ridge road to the Oak Ridge Post-office, leaving a reserve at Neiyl's, whilst I should proceed with the rest of the command toward Birdsong Ferry, the point where it was supposed Johnston design to cross the Big Black. On the very day that the moved out from Vicksburg, one battalion of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry, employed in obstructing this road, encountered the enemy's cavalry coming from the direction of Mechanicsburg, the result of which has been already fully reported in the letter of Major Parkell, under date of June 23. This cavalry had not crossed Big Black River, but had returned north toward Mechanicsburg, and a reconnaissance of the river bank demonstrated the fact that no enemy had crossed over in any force, or had made any preparations in the way of bridges, fords, or boats. Nevertheless, from scouts and citizens, I became satisfied that the enemy was one the east side of Big Black River in considerable force and that his policy would be to conceal the fact of crossing, more especially the points of crossing, till the very last moment. I made all the necessary dispositions to oppose his crossing, but gave preference a line of defense to the peculiar spurs and ridges which characterize the peninsula between Big Black and Yazoo, and directed obstructions and rifle-pits, at Oak Ridge, Neal's, at McCall's, Trible's, at Hayne's Bluff to Big Black Bridge that would have cost the enemy dear had he attempted to force it. To construct this line I had ordered General Parke to bring up the balance of the NINTH Army Corps which had been left at Milldale, and all the cavalry was united under Colonel Bussey and posted on Bear Creek. Thus matters stood when, on the 3rd of July, I received, by the telegraph, notice from General grant that commissioners had called on him from Vicksburg proposing a capitulation, and giving me notice to be ready to cross Big Black River and drive Johnston away,&c. I then indicated the troops I should need for the purpose, viz, in addition to General Parke's corps(the NINTH), the balance of my own corps(the Fifteenth)and General Oed's(the Thirteenth). Vicksburg capitulated July 4, and the same night the troops were ordered to march, but it was not until the night of the 5th that they all reached Big Black. Bridges were constructed at once at Messinger's