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BANKS INVESTS PORT HUDSON.
guns; while he had seized 2 and de- be in position either to defend New stroyed 8 Rebel steamers, beside three Orleans below, or to rëenforce, in an gunboats. An intercepted letter emergency, or be rëenforced by, showed that Taylor had purposed to Grant above. And Grant, on hearattack Brashear City the day prior ing all the facts as set forth by Gen. to our advance to and attack on Fort Dwight, heartily concurred in this Bisland.
decision; offering to send Banks 5,000 Gen. Banks had been notified by men so soon as he could spare them. Admiral Farragut, while at Brashear Gen. Banks, directly after Dwight's City, that Gen. Grant—then at his return to Alexandria, put 26 his army wits' end before Vicksburg-Would in motion; sending all he had transspare him 20,000 men for a move- portation for by water; the residue ment on Port Hudson--a proffer marching by land to Simmsport, which was soon afterward, and most where they were with difficulty fortunately, retracted. Grant's plan ferried across the Atchafalaya, and was to join teams and help Banks moved down the right bank of the reduce Port Hudson, when the latter Mississippi till opposite Bayou Sara, should help him reduce Vicksburg: where they crossed,and, marching an arrangement to which Gen. B. 15 miles next day, proceeded forthvery gladly assented. Grant's corps with to invest Port Hudson from the designed to cooperate against Port north; while Gen. O. C. Augur, Hudson was to be at Bayou Sara with 3,500 men from Baton Rouge, May 25th ; but on the 12th Banks in like manner invested it on the was advised by letter 25 from Grant south. that he had crossed the Mississippi Gen. Gardner, commanding at in force, and had entered on his cam- Port Hudson, sent Col. Miles to resist paign which proved so successful. their junction behind his fastness by Of course, he had now no corps to striking Augur on his march; but he spare, but 'proposed instead that was repulsed with a loss of 150 men; Banks should join him in his move- while our right wing above, under ment against Vicksburg. This the Gens. Weitzel, Grover, and Dwight, latter was obliged to decline, lacking drove the garrison, after a sharp the required transportation, and not fight, within their outer line of indaring to leave New Orleans and all trenchments. The next day, 28 they we held in Louisiana at the mercy joined hands with Augur behind the of the strong Rebel garrison of Port Rebel works, and the investment of Hudson, of whose batteries Farragut the Port, save on the side of the river, had recently had so sore an experi- was complete. ence; to say nothing of Dick Tay- Reports being current that the lor's return, strongly rëenforced, from enemy had withdrawn--that there, the side of Texas. So Banks, send- was only a handful of them left being Gen. Wm. Dwight to Grant to hind their works, &c.-Banks, after explain his position, wisely decided thorough reconnoissance and giving to move with all his available force time for preparation, gave the order against Port Hudson, where he could for a general assault. That assault
25 Dated the 10th. 28 May 14-15. 37 Night of May 23. 28 May 25.
was gallantly made ; 29 but with the 10 A. M., while Gen. Augur, in our usual ill success of attempts to carry center, and Gen. T. W. Sherman, on elaborate, extensive, skillfully plan- our left, did not attack in earnest till ned works, enfilading and supporting 2 P. M. Meantime, the Hartford each other, by merely hurling masses and Albatross above, and the Moof men against them. Intended, of nongahela, Richmond, Genesee, and course, to be simultaneous in every Essex below the Rebel river battequarter, it failed to be so. Our bat- ries, under the direction of Admiral teries opened early in the morning ; Farragut, rained shot and shell upon and, after a vigorous bombardment, the besieged, who had already been Gens. Weitzel, Grover, and Paine, compelled by our fleet to abandon on our right, assaulted with vigor at their southernmost battery; spiking
28 May 27.
BANKS'S ASSAULT ON PORT HUDSON.
its guns. In this day's fight, the fleet Gen. Banks was justified in accordprobably did the greater execution ing especial commendation to these; on the Rebels, whose attention was saying, “No troops could be more mainly absorbed by the land attack: determined or more daring.” The its fire dismounting several of their conflict closed about sunset. . heavy guns, and taking in reverse We lost in this desperate struggle their landward defenses.
293 killed, including Cols. Clarke, Never was fighting more heroic | 6th Michigan, D. S. Cowles, 128th than that of our army, assailing New York (transfixed by a bayonet), nearly equal numbers behind strong. Payne, 2d Louisiana, and Chapin, defenses, approached only through 30th Mass., with 1,549 wounded, almost impassable abatis, swept by among whom were Gen. T. W. SherRebel shell and grape. If valor man, severely, and Gen. Neal Dow, could have triumphed over such odds, slightly. The Rebel loss was of course they would have carried the works; much less-probably not 300 in all." but only abject cowardice or pitiable There was a truce next day to enimbecility could have lost such a able us to bury our dead; after position to so small an army; and which, our soldiers addressed themthe Rebels also fought well. We selves in sober earnest to the arduous gained ground on both flanks; hold- labor of digging and battering their ing it thereafter on the north, where way into the works which had proved two negro regiments (1st and 3d impervious to their more impetuous Louisiana) vied with the bravest: endeavor. This was no holiday task, making three desperate charges on under the torrid sun of a Southern Rebel batteries, losing heavily, but June, with Rebel sharp-shooters close maintaining their position in the at hand, ever on the keen watch for hottest forefront to the close. The chances to obey the Donnybrook in1st Louisiana (colored) Engineers junction, 'Wherever you see a head, were also on trial that day, and justi- hit it; but our boys worked with a fied the most sanguine expectations will; and soon the pick and spade by their good conduct. Not that were pushing zig-zag trenches up to they fought better than our White the Rebel works; while the heavy veterans : they did not, and could guns of our batteries, alternating not: but there had been so much in their thunders with those of the credulity avowed as to negro courage, fleet, gave fresh illustrations of the so much wit lavished on the idea of truth that there is no peace for the negroes fighting to any purpose, that wicked." si
30 Gen. Banks reported that the 15th Arkan- | --it opened at daybreak. The fight has been sas, out of a total of 292, lost during the siege
| very warm to-day. I received a shot in the
| foot, but it is slight. The Yanks attempted to 132; of whom 76 fell this day.
charge the works, but was repulsed. It has 31. The following extracts from the diary of a clouded up and is raining. We have a muddy Rebel soldier (John A. Kennedy, 1st Alabama), time-a very wet time for sleeping. who was captured while endeavoring to make
“May 30.-The fight opened at daylight. his way out through our lines with a letter in
Our company has three wounded in the hospital. cipher from Gardner to Jo. Johnston, gives the
The Yanks have been sharp-shooting all day.
We have lost but one man belonging to commost vivid inside view of the siege:
pany B. The Yanks are building rifle-pits "May 29.--The fight continued until long after they fire very close. I have been sharp-shootnight yesterday evening. The fight has opened / ing some to-day. The boys are very lively.
Gen. Banks's position was far from chance (if shot) of going to heaven. enviable. His small army--now There were some 2,500 Rebel cavalry scarcely numbering 12,000 effective in close proximity to his rear, in admen—was isolated in a thinly settled, dition to the garrison of 6,000 or partially devastated, exhausted, and in- over in his front; his necessary contensely hostile region. It was largely centration for this siege had left composed of nine-months men, whose nearly all Louisiana open to Dick terms of service had expired or Taylor, who would inevitably rëtrace would soon expire, whose hearts his steps across the country out of yearned toward loved ones far away, which he had so lately been driven, and who decidedly preferred a sure capturing and conscripting by the prospect of going home to their way; and he might, very possibly,
"May 31.-We had a very hot time last night. / enforcements. I shall go to the breastworks We have quit living like men and are living like this morning. The Yanks are still popping hogs. The Yanks have built rifle-pits with port-away, from their rifle-pits. One of company B holes. Our battery was silenced this morning; was killed to-day while looking over the breast5 of company A was wounded. Our regiment work. It is very, very hot, and we have lain in has lost 26 killed and 40 or 50 wounded. We the ditch all day. have been relieved from our position by Miles's “ June 8.--The Yanks began to sharp-shoot at Legion. We will return to our position, I guess, daybreak. We had two men killed yesterday. to-morrow. The Yanks are shelling from the I am afraid some of our company will get shot lower fleet. Ten of us are going at a time to next. Another day has dawned and no rëencamps to get clean clothes.
forcements, but I hope we will. receive them “June 1.--I was on guard last night. The soon. The Yanks have been shelling our Yanks shelled us last night, but did no damage. / breastworks, but no damage done. It is very Sam Hagin and Bob Bailey was killed by a rifle disagreeable sitting in these dirty ditches-but cannon-shot this morning. The Yanks are still this the Confederate soldier expects and bears sharp-shooting, also using their artillery. They cheerfully; but another long hot day has passed, have dismounted all our guns. They are the and who knows what may be our situation at best artillerists I ever saw. The lower fleet has | this time to-morrow evening? pitched us a few shots from Long Tom.
“June 9.--The Yanks attempted a charge last " June 2.--The lower fleet shelled us last night. evening but was repulsed. Whistling Dick is at I am a little unwell this morning. There has work to-day; it has played a full hand, too. not been much fighting to-day. The artillery is Whistling Dick is tearing our camps all to pieces. booming occasionally, and the sharp-shooters are Charley Dixon and Berry Hagin was wounded still popping away. The Yanks threw a few by fragments of our cook shelter, which was balls at one of our batteries near us to-day. It shot down. Our sick has been removed to the is reported that we have rëenforcements be- :| ravine. It is difficult to get something to eat. tween Clinton and Osica.
The Yankee artillery is playing upon us all “ June 3.-The Yanks has been shooting all around. The Heshians burned our commissary around us to-day. The Hessions seem to be ra with a shell to-d ther afraid to attempt to storm our works again : “ June 10.--Another day and night has passed, but seem rather inclined to starve us out. I and this poor, worn-out garrison has received no hope we will receive rëenforcements in time to assistance. We have lain in the ditches twenty prevent it. Heaven help us!
days, and still there is no prospect of succor "June 4.-I am very unwell this morning. The but I truly hope we will soon receive rëenforcelower fleet shelled us last night. The shells ments. The men is getting sick very fast. The made the boys hunt a place of safety; such as Yankee artillery is keeping a dreadful noise. I ditches, rat-holes, trees, etc. We are going to and Mormon have been detailed for some extra our old position. I am sick at camp.
duty. The Hessions gave us a few rounds as we 6 June 5.-We are still besieged by the Yanks. were crossing the field. I received dispatches Another day has passed and no rëenforcements. | from the General in person. Sim Herring was wounded in the head to-day. “ June 11.-The Yanks used their artillery at The Yanks are still sharp-shooting, also using a tremendous rate last night. I went to or attheir artillery with but little effect. We hear a tempted to visit Col. Steedman's headquarters. great many different reports.
I had a gay time trying to find them; falling in "June 6.--The river is falling very fast. It ravines, etc. I was in a hot place, shure. We is very, very hot weather. Several shots from captured a Yankee Captain and Lieutenant last
Whistling Dick' came over our camp to-day. night. The Yanks seemed disposed to make a Sewell is shelling the Yanks. I expect to go to general assault last night." the breastworks in the morning. Several of the boys are at camp, sick.
At this point, the journal suddenly stops; the * June 7.-Another day has dawned and no re- author having been taken prisoner,
SECOND ASSAULT ON PORT HUDSON.
335 bring from Texas a force sufficient more palpable advance of Gens. Groto capture New Orleans itself. Jo..ver and Weitzel on our right. NeiJohnston, with an overwhelming ther attack fully succeeded; but our force, might swoop down from Jack- lines were permanently advanced, at son at any moment; Alabama and some cost, from an average distance Georgia might supply a fresh force of 300 yards, to one of 50 to 200 adequate to the raising of the siege yards from the enemy's works; and and the rout of the besiegers; add to here our men intrenched themselves which, Lee--so recently victorious at and commenced the erection of new Chancellorsville---might dispatch a batteries. On our left, an eminence corps of veterans by rail for the re- was carried and held which comlief of Gardner and his important manded a vital point of the defenses, post. The Rebel line of defense was known as the Citadel'; and which three or four miles long; ours, encir- enabled Dwight, some days later, to cling theirs, of course considerably seize and hold a point on the same longer; so that a stealthy concentra- ridge with the Citadel,' and only ten tion of the garrison on any point yards from the enemy's lines. Banks must render it immensely stronger professes to think the day's gains there, for a time, than all who could worth their price; but, as he had be rallied to resist it. With Vicks- few men to spare, he did not choose burg proudly defying Grant's most to pay at that rate for any more strenuous efforts, and Lee impelling ground, restricting his efforts thencehis triumphant legions across the forth to digging and battering; FarPotomac, the chances were decided- ragut still cooperating to make the ly against the undisturbed prosecu- slumbers of the besieged as uneasy as tion of this siege to a successful issue. might be.
After a fortnight's steady digging That garrison was not beaten: it and firing, a fresh attempt was made, 32 was worn out and starved out. A under a heavy fire of artillery, to es-shell fired its mill, burning it, with tablish our lines within attacking dis- over 2,000 bushels of corn. Its guns tance of the enemy's works, so as to were successively disabled by the reavoid the heavy losses incurred in markable accuracy of our fire, till but moving over the ground in their 15 remained effective on the landfront. Our men advanced at 3 A. M., ward defenses. Its ammunition for working their way through the diffi- small arms was gradually expended, cult abatis; but the movement was until but twenty rounds per man repromptly detected by the enemy, and mained; and but little more for the defeated, with the loss on our side of artillery. Its meat at length gave some scores as prisoners.
out; when its mules were killed and Four days later, a second general their flesh served out; the men eatassault was made: 8 Gen. Dwight, ing it without grumbling. Rats on our left, attempting to push up stood a poor chance in their peopled unobserved through a ravine and rush trenches : being caught, cooked, over the enemy's works while his at- eaten, and pronounced equal as food tention should be absorbed by the to squirrels. And thus the tedious 32 June 10.
33 June 14.