War of the Rebellion: Serial 038 Page 0926 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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HDQRS. DEPT. MISS. AND E. La., Vicksburg, May 27, 1863.

Colonel EDWARD HIGGINS,

Comdg. River Batteries, in front of Vicksburg:

COLONEL: It affords me pleasure to offer to you, and through you to your gallant artillerists, my grateful acknowledgments of your signal services against the enemy this day on the Mississippi River. In the assurance of his power, the enemy threatened our city of Vicksburg with five of his monster iron-clad gunboats and seven of his powerful mortar batteries. You manfully worked your guns of the upper batteries against his force, and, by your skill, sank one of his vaunted champions of the river, the gunboat Cincinnati, carrying fourteen guns, turreted, causing the small surviving crew there of to ignominiously fly to the distant shore in discomfiture. You drove, too, from their selected point of attack, by your lower batteries, four other iron-clad vessels, and soon after you caused silence to reign around the shores of our beleaguered city. By your gallantry and heroism to-day you have added to the garland of Vicksburg victories another bright chaplet. May God speed you in your good work.

Your friend and commander,

J. C. PEMBERTON,

Lieutenant-General, Commanding.

HDQRS. ON THE RIGHT, near Vicksburg, May 27, 1863.

Major R. W. MEMMINGER, Assistant Adjutant-General.

MAJOR: Your letter of this morning, communicating the order of the lieutenant-general, directing that I dig the trenches along my front, as General Bowen writes that his command is obliged to do the work, I have just received. I am satisfied that the lieutenant-general cannot understand the true state of the case, and therefore, respectfully submit the facts: General Pemberton, in person, pointed out to the commanders the lines which their respective DIVISION were to occupy. To mine he assigned from the redoubt, on Warenton road, to the railroad, a distance of over 2 miles, leaving the river front open, because, as he said to me, he through the heavy batteries would protect it. I subsequently asked that he would place some troops there, and he ordered Waul's Legion for that service. About the same time the enemy massed on General Lee, Which made it necessary to send Colonel waul to his assistance; this fact was promptly made known to the river front, I required of my DIVISION, in addition to its labor on their front, to work on the line toward the city, and they have, by working night and day, completed about 1 mile. On yesterday, the commanding general sent one brigade of General Bowen's DIVISION to that front; they occupy part of the trenches already made, and will extend toward the city. I suggested to the colonel commanding, on yesterday, to make such trenches in his front as he through necessary to project it. I have required the troops to dig the trenches they are to occupy. I do not say my men have done more that their share of work, because it is now the duty of every man to do all that he can to further our cause here; but I respectfully ask the general if it would be just to require my DIVISION, under the circumstances, to dig the trenches, when the troops to occupy them are there in position. I was not assigned to the command of the river front, but seeing that there was no one in charge of it, and no