Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant — Volume 1 eBook

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Fourteenth.—­Brigadier-General J. C. Sullivan is appointed to the command of all the forces detailed for the protection of the line from here to New Carthage.  His particular attention is called to General Orders, No. 69, from Adjutant-General’s Office, Washington, of date March 20, 1863.


McClernand was already below on the Mississippi.  Two of McPherson’s divisions were put upon the march immediately.  The third had not yet arrived from Lake Providence; it was on its way to Milliken’s Bend and was to follow on arrival.

Sherman was to follow McPherson.  Two of his divisions were at Duckport and Young’s Point, and the third under Steele was under orders to return from Greenville, Mississippi, where it had been sent to expel a rebel battery that had been annoying our transports.

It had now become evident that the army could not be rationed by a wagon train over the single narrow and almost impassable road between Milliken’s Bend and Perkins’ plantation.  Accordingly six more steamers were protected as before, to run the batteries, and were loaded with supplies.  They took twelve barges in tow, loaded also with rations.  On the night of the 22d of April they ran the batteries, five getting through more or less disabled while one was sunk.  About half the barges got through with their needed freight.

When it was first proposed to run the blockade at Vicksburg with river steamers there were but two captains or masters who were willing to accompany their vessels, and but one crew.  Volunteers were called for from the army, men who had had experience in any capacity in navigating the western rivers.  Captains, pilots, mates, engineers and deck-hands enough presented themselves to take five times the number of vessels we were moving through this dangerous ordeal.  Most of them were from Logan’s division, composed generally of men from the southern part of Illinois and from Missouri.  All but two of the steamers were commanded by volunteers from the army, and all but one so manned.  In this instance, as in all others during the war, I found that volunteers could be found in the ranks and among the commissioned officers to meet every call for aid whether mechanical or professional.  Colonel W. S. Oliver was master of transportation on this occasion by special detail.



On the 24th my headquarters were with the advance at Perkins’ plantation.  Reconnoissances were made in boats to ascertain whether there was high land on the east shore of the river where we might land above Grand Gulf.  There was none practicable.  Accordingly the troops were set in motion for Hard Times, twenty-two miles farther down the river and nearly opposite Grand Gulf.  The loss of two steamers and six barges reduced our transportation so that

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