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 VI.
THE SIEGE OF VICKSBURG.

Life behind Vicksburg -- Grant's efforts to procure reinforcements -- The fruitless appeal to General Banks -- Mr. Stanton responds to Mr. Dana's representations -- A steamboat trip with Grant -- Watching Joe Johnston -- Visits to Sherman and Admiral Porter -- The negro troops win glory -- Progress and incidents of the siege -- Vicksburg wakes up -- McClernand's removal.

WE had not been many days in the rear of Vicksburg before we settled into regular habits. The men were detailed in reliefs for work in the trenches, and being relieved at fixed hours everybody seemed to lead a systematic life.

My chief duty throughout the siege was a daily round through the trenches, generally with the corps commander or some one of his staff. As the lines of investment were six or seven miles long, it occupied the greater part of my day; sometimes I made a portion of my tour of inspection in the night. One night in riding through the trenches I must have passed twenty thousand men asleep on their guns. I still can see the grotesque positions into which they had curled themselves. The trenches were so protected that there was no danger in riding through them. It was not so safe to venture on the hills overlooking Vicksburg. I went on foot and alone one day to the top of a hill, and was

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