Today in History:

32 Series I Volume XXIV-I Serial 36 - Vicksburg Part I

Page 32 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

NEAR GRAND GULF, MISS., April 29, 1863,

VIA MEMPHIS, TENN., May 4-9 p. m.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,


The gunboats engaged Grand Gulf batteries from 8 a. m. until 1 p. m., and from dusk until 10 p. m. The army and transports are now below Grand Gulf. A landing will be effected on the east bank of the river to-morrow. I feel that the battle is now more than half won.



Grand Gulf, MISS., May 3, 1863.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: On April 29, Admiral Porter attacked the fortifications at this place with seven iron-clads, commencing at 8 a. m., and continued until 1. 30 p. m., engaging them at very close quarters, many times not being more than 100 yards from the enemy's guns. During this time I had about 10,000 troops on board transports and in barges alongside, ready to land them and carry the place by storm the moment the batteries bearing on the river were silenced, so as to make the landing practicable. From the great elevation the enemy's batteries had, it proved entirely impracticable to silence them from the river, and when the gunboats were drawn off, I immediately decided upon landing my forces on the Louisiana shore and march them across the point to below the Gulf. At night the gunboats made another vigorous attack, and in the din the transports safely ran the blockade.

On the following day the whole of the force with me was transferred to Bruinsburg, the first point of land below Grand Gulf from which the interior can be reached, and the march immediately commenced for Port Gibson. General McClernand was in the advance, with the Thirteenth Army Corps.

At about 2 a. m., May 1, when some 4 miles from Port Gibson, he met the enemy, and some little skirmishing took place before daylight, but not to any great extent.

The Thirteenth Army Corps was followed by Logan's DIVISION, of McPherson's corps, which reached the scene of action as soon as the last of the Thirteenth was out of the road. The fighting continued all day, and until after dark, over the most broken country I ever saw. The whole country is a series of irregular ridges, divided by deep and impassable ravines, grown up with heavy timber, undergrowth, and cane. It was impossible to engage any considerable portion of our forces at any one time. The enemy were driven, however, from point to point, toward Port Gibson, until night closed in, under which, it was evident to me, they intended to retreat. The pursuit was continued after dark until the enemy was again met by Logan's DIVISION about 2 miles from Port Gibson. The nature of the country is such that further pursuit in the dark was not deemed prudent or advisable.

On the 2nd, our troops moved into the town without finding any enemy except their wounded. The bridge across Bayou Pierre, about 2 miles from Port Gibson, on the Grand Gulf road, had been destroyed, and also the bridge immediately at Port Gibson, on the Vicksburg road.

Page 32 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.