Recollections of the Civil War: With the Leaders at Washington and in the Field in the Sixties

By Charles A. Dana | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV. .
IN CAMP AND BATTLE WITH GRANT AND HIS GENERALS

Marching into the enemy's country -- A night in a church with a Bible for pillow -- Our communications are cut -- Entering the capital of Mississippi -- The War Department gives Grant full authority -- Battle of Champion's Hill -- General Logan's peculiarity -- Battlefield incidents -- Vicksburg invested and the siege begun -- Personal traits of Sherman, McPherson, and McClernand.

IT was the second day of May, 1863, when I rode into Port Gibson, Miss., and inquired for Grant's headquarters. I found the general in a little house of the village, busily directing the advance of the army. He told me that in the battle of the day before the Confederates had been driven back on the roads to Grand Gulf and Vicksburg, and that our forces were now in full pursuit. By the next morning, May 3d, our troops had possession of the roads as far as the Big Black. As soon as he was sure of this, General Grant started with a brigade of infantry and some twenty cavalrymen for Grand Gulf. I accompanied him on the trip. When within about seven miles of Grand Gulf we found that the town had been deserted, and leaving the brigade we entered with the cavalry escort.

During this ride to Grand Gulf Grant made inquiries on every side about the food supplies of the country we were entering. He told me he had been gathering in-

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