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ARMY OPERATIONS. Near the close of the year 1862, the battles at Fredericksburg and Murfreesboro were fought. The latter was not ended until the 3d of January, 1803. The armies engaged in theso conflicts then ceased active operations. No other important military movement of the Federal or Confederate forces was in progress at that time except that under General Grant against Vicksburg, and the concentration of a force under Gen. Banks at Now < Means. The campaign against Vicksburg really commenced about the 28th of November. At that time, the forces of Gen. Grant were at Lagrange, three miles east of Grand Junction, on the Cairo and Now Orleans railroad, with garrisons at Columbus, Humboldt, Trenton, and Jackson, in Tennessee, and Bolivar and Corinth in Mississippi. These forces were designated as tho Army of West Tennessee. The Confederate forces were at Coldwater and Holly Springs, about twenty miles distant.

Tho plan of Gen. Grant was—that Gen. Sherman should take command of the forces at Memphis in Tennessee, and Helena in Arkansas, and descend tho river on transports with the gunboat fleet, and inako an attack on Vicksbunr by the 29th of December, and that Gen. McClernand should tike the forces at Cairo and move down to Vicksburg, thus roenforcing Gen. Sherman soon after his attack on the town. Meanwhile Gen. Grant was to advance rapidly upon the Confederate troops in Mississippi north and east of Vicksburg, which formed the main body of their army, and keep them fully employed, and, if they retreated to Vicksburg, arrive there with thorn, ready to cooperate with Gen. Sherman.

Largo roenforcemonts and supplies were received, and the advance of Gen. Hamilton's corps, on tho 28th of November, began to move in tho direction of Holly Springs, which was reached on tho 29th. By the 1st of December, Gen. Grant's forces had arrived, and wero chiefly encamped at Lumpkin's Mills, south of Holly Springs, and seven miles north of the Tallahatchie river. The Confederate force, now under tho command of Gen. Pemberton, retired to that river,-and finally fell back beyond Granada. Meanwhile Gen. Grant advanced to Oxford, and on the 20th of December an attack was suddenly made in his rear, by a Confederate force under Gen. Van Dorn, on tho garrison under Col. Murphy at Holly Springs, which surrendered. The prisoners were paroled, and the supplies collected thero for Gen. Grant's army were destroyed; also a large quantity of cotton which had been purchased of the people in tho vicinity.

This snrrendor of Holly Springs is thus noted in tho orders of Gen. Grant: .

IlnAIXHTARTEES TimnTENTII ARMV ConPS. DEPART- 1

Ment or Tiie Tennessee, Hoi.lt Spbinos, Miss., > December 28<£, 1862. J

It is with pain and modification that the General commanding reflects upon the disgraceful surrender of this place, with all the valuable stores it contained, on

the 20th hist., and that without any resistance, except by a few men, who form an honorable exception; aud this, too, after warning had been given of the advance of the enemy northward the evening previous. With all the cotton, public stores, and substantial buildings about the depot, it would have been perfectly practicable to have made in a few hours defences sufficient to resist, with a small garrison, all the cavalry force brought against them, until the reinforcements, which the commanding olliccr was notified were marching to his relief, could have reached him.

The conduct of officers aud men in accepting paroles, under tho circumstances, is highly reprehensible, and, to say the least, thoughtless. By the terms of the Dix Hill cartel, each party is bound to take care of their prisoners, and to send them to Vicksburg, Miss., or a point on James river, Va., for exchange or parole, unless some other point is mutually agreed upon by the generals commanding the opposing armies. By a refusal to be paroled, the enemy, from his inability to take care of the prisoners, would have been compelled either to have released them unconditionally, or to have abandoned all further aggressive movements for the time being, which would have made their recapture and the discomfiture of tho euemy almost certain.

It is gratifying to notice, in contrast with this, the conduct of a portion of the command, conspicuous among whom was the Second Illinois cavalry, who gallantly and successfully resisted being taken prisoners. Their loss was heavy, but the enenjy's was much greater. Such couduct as theirs will always insure success.

Had the commandant of the post exorcised the usual and ordinary precautious for defence, the garrison was sufficiently strong to have repulsed tho enemy, saved our stores from destruction and them selves from capture.

The General commanding is satisfied that a majority of the troops who accepted a parole did so thoughtlessly, and from want of knowledge of the cartel referred to. and that in future they will not be caught in the same wav.

By order of Major-General U. 8. GRANT.

J.vo. A. Rawlins, Assist. Adjutant-General.

The post was under the command of Col. Murphy, who was surprised and captured with all his force except a small body of cavalry. Tho enemy estimated the stores destroyed as follows: "1,809,000 fixed cartridges and other ordnance stores, valued at §1,500,000, including 5,000 rifles and 2,000 revolvers; 100,000 suits of clothing and other quartermaster's stores, valued at §500,000; 5,000 barrels of flour and other commissary stores, valued at $500,000; 11,000,000 worth of medical stores, for which invoices to that amount wero exhibited, and 1,000 baleR of cotton and $COO,O00 worth of sutlers' stores."

On the same day an attack was made at Davis's Mills, a little further north, which was bravely repulsed. Near Jackson, Tennessee, an attack was made by a body of cavalry under Col. Forrest on the 19th. Tho telegraph wire was cut and the railroad destroyed. On tho next day Humboldt was captured and an attack made on Trenton. Other stations on the railroad, as Dyer's, Rutherford, and Keaton, wero taken on tho same day. The purpose appeared to bo to destroy every railroad bridge from Columbus to Corinth, and thus cut off tho communications and supplies of Gen. Grant. The consequence of these movements was to make Gen. Grant fall back upon Holly Springs.

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rendezvous. On the next day ho was joined by Admiral Porter, in his flagship, with the gunboats Marmora, Capt. Getty, and Conestoga, Capt. Selfridge, to act as a convoy. Tho main body of tho naval force was at the mouth of Yazoo river. On the same evening the troops at Helena, making another division, embarked in transport?, and camo to Friar's Point.

Tho arrangements were completed by the military and naval commanders during tho next forenoon, tho 22d, and the ileet got under way, and moved down just below the mouth of White river, where it came to, at sunset. On the next day it descended to Gaines's Landing, and at two r. M. came to anchor, to await the arrival of those transports in tho rear, and also a division of troops from Memphis. Half of the town of Gaines's Landing was destroyed by tire while the army was there. Similar destruction had also been made at Friar's Point. These acts led to stringent measures on the part of Gen. Sherman.

On the night of the 24th and the morning of the 20th, the fleet arrived at the mouth of tho Yazoo river. Tho ileet consisted of more than sixty transports, with a number of ironclad and other gunboats, and several mortar boats. The Yazoo is a deep, narrow, and sluggish stream, formed by tho Tallahatchio and Yallobusha rivers, which unite in Carroll county, Mississippi. It runs through an alluvial plain of extreme fertility, about 2'J0 miles, and empties into the Mississippi river twelve miles above Vicksburg.

By this time Gen. Grant's communications in his rear had been cut oft', and he hr.d been compelled to fall back. Tho confederate forces in his rear retired toward Vicksburg, where they had already begun to concentrate, both from the cast and the w~est, although these facts were unknown to Gen. Sherman.

It was supposed by the Federal forces«that they would now receive tho cooperation of Gen. Ranks and Admiral Farragut. The former had left New York, near the close of the year, with a considerable military force, for New Orleans, whero the latter commanded the naval forces.

On tho 2Cth, the expedition, under convoy of the gunboats, moved up the Yazoo, and tho troops were landed at various points from tho junction of Old River with the Yazoo to Johnson's Farm, a distanco of about three miles, without opposition. Tho distanco from Vicksburg was about eight miles. A strong position, known as Haines's Bluff, some distance above on the river, was held by the Confederate forces, and in the mean while attacked by the gunboats Do Kalb, Cincinnati, Louisville, Benton, and Lexington. It was tho plan of Gen. Sherman to attack Vicksburg in the rear. For this purpose he was engaged, on tho 28ih, in getting his forces into position.

The bluffs on which Vicksburg is built tako their riso a little below the city, and extend in a direction north of northeast to tho Yazoo

ARMY OPERATIONS. Near tho closo of the year 1802, the battles at Fredericksburg and Murfreesboro were fought. The latter was not ended until the 8d of January, 1803. The armies engaged in these conflicts then ceased active operations. No other important military movement of tho Federal or Confederate forces v.is in progress at that time except that under General Grant against Vicksburg, and the concentration of a force under Gen. Banks at New Orleans. The campaign against Yicksburg really commenced about the 28th of November. At that time, the forces of Gen. Grant were at Lagrange, three miles east of Grand Junction, on tho Cairo and Now Orleans railroad, with g.irrisons at Columbus, Humboldt, Trenton, and Jackson, in Tennessee, and Bolivar and Corinth in Mississippi. These forces wcro designated as the Army of West Tennessee. Tho Confederate forces were at Coldwater and Holly Springs, about twenty miles distant.

Tho plan of Gen. Grant was—that Gen. Sherman should take command of the forces at Memphis in Tennessee, and Helena in Arkansas, and descend tho river on transports with the gunboat fleet, and make an attack on Vicksburrr by the 29th of December, and that Gen. McClernand should take tho forces at Cairo and movo down to Vicksburg, thus reenforcing Gen. Sherman soon after his attack on the town. Meanwhile Gen. Grant was to advance rapidly upon tho Confederate troops in Mississippi north and east of Vicksburg, which formed the main body of their army, and keep them fully employed, and, if they retreated to Vicksburg, arrive there with thorn, ready to cooperate with Gen. Sherman.

Largo reinforcements and supplies wore received, and tho advance of Gen. Hamilton's' corps, on the 28th of November, began to move in tho direction of Holly Springs, which was reached on tho 2'Jth. By tho 1st of December, Gen. Grant's forces hud arrived, and were chiefly encamped at Lumpkin's Mills, south of Holly Springs, and seven miles north of tho Tallahatchie, river. Tho Confederate force, now under the command of Gen. Pernberton, retired to that river,-and finally fell back beyond Granada. Meanwhile Gen. Grant advanced to Oxford, and on the 20th of December an attack was suddenly made in his rear, by a Confederate force under Gen. Van Dorn, on tho garrison under Col. Murphy at Holly Springs, which surrendered. Tho prisoners v.-ero paroled, and the supplies collected there for Gen. Grant's army were destroyed; also a largo quantity of cotton which had been purchased of the peoplo in the vicinity.

This surrender of Holly Springs is thus noted in tho orders of Gen. Grant: .

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the 20th iust., and that without any resistance, except by a few men, who form an honorable exception; and this, too, alter warning had been given of the advance of the enemy northward the evening previous. With all the cotton, public stores, and substantial buildings about the depot, it would have been perfectly practicable to have made in a few hours defences suflicicut to resist, with a small garrison, nil tho cavalry force brought against them, uutil the reinforcements, which the commandingotlicer was notitied were marching to his relief, could have reached him.

The conduct of officers and men in accepting paroles, under the circumstances, is highly reprehensible, and, to say the least, thoughtless, liy the terms of the Dix Ilill cartel, each party is hound to take care of their prisoners, and to send thcin to Vicksburg, Miss., or a point on James river, Va., for exchange or parole, unless some other point is mutually agreed upon by the generals commanding the opposing armies, lir a refusal to be paroled, the enemy, from his inability to take care of the prisoners, would have been compelled either to have released them unconditionally, or to have ubaudoned all further aggressivo movements for the time being, which would have made their recapture aud the discomfiture of the enemy almost certain.

It is gratifying to notice, in contrast with this, the conduct of a portion of the command, conspicuous among whom was the Second Illinois cavalry, who gallantly and successfully resisted being taken prisoners. Their loss was heavy, hut the enemy's was much greater. Such conduct as theirs will always iusure success.

Had the commandant of the post exercised the usual and ordinary precautions for defence, the garrison was sufficiently strong to have repulsed tho enemy, saved our stores from destruction and them selves from capture.

The General commanding is satisfied that a majority of the troops who accepted a parole did so thoughtlessly, and from want of knowledge of the cartel referred to. and that iu future they will not be caught in the same wav.

By order of Mnjor-Gcneral IT. R. G R A NT.

Jxo. A. Rawlins, Assist. Adjutant-General.

The post was under tho command of Col. Murphy, who was surprised and captured with all his force except a small body of cavalry. Tho enemy estimated the stores destroyed as follows: "1,809,000 fixed cartridges and other ordnance stores, valued at $1,500,000, including 5,000 rifles and 2,000 revolvers; 100,000 sujts of clothing and other quartermaster's stores, valued at $500,000; 5,000 barrels of flour and other commissary stores, valued at $500,000; $1,000,000 worth of medical stores, for which invoices to that amount were exhibited, and 1,000 bales of cotton and $000,000 worth of sutlers' stores."

On tho same day an attack was made at Davis's Mills, a little further north, which was bravely repulsed. Near Jackson, Tennessee, an attack was made by a body of cavalry under Col. Forrest on the 19th. The telegraph wire was cut and the railroad destroyed. On tho next day Humboldt was captured and an attack made on Trenton. Other stations on tho railroad, as Dyer's, Rutherford, and Keaton, were taken on the same day. The purpose appeared to be to destroy every railroad bridge from Columbus to Corinth, and thus cut off tho communications and supplies of Gen. Grant. The consequence of these movements was to make Ge:i. Grant fallback upon Holly Springs.

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rendezvous. On the next day ho was joined by Admiral Porter, in his flagship, with the gunboats Marmora, Capt. Getty, and Conestoga, Capt. Selfridgc, to act as a convoy. The main body of the naval force was at the mouth of Yazoo river. On the same evening the troops at Helena, making another division, embarked in transports, and camo to Friar's Point.

The arrangements were completed by the military and naval commanders during the next forenoon, the 22d, and the fleet got under way, and moved down just below the mouth of White river, where it came to, at sunset. On the next day it descended to Gaines's Landing, and at two P.m. camo to anchor, to await the arrival of those transports in the rear, and also a division of troops from Memphis. Half of the town of Gaines's Landing was destroyed by fire while the army wras there. Similar destruction had also been made at Friar's Point. These acts led to stringent measures on the part of Gen. Sherman.

On the night of the 24th and the morning of the 25th, the fleet arrived at the mouth of iho Yazoo river. The fleet consisted of more than sixty transports, wilh a number of ironclad and other gunboats, and several mortar boats. The Yazoo is a deep, narrow, and sluggish stream, formed by the Tallahatchio and Yallobusha rivers, which unite in Carroll county, Mississippi. It runs through an alluvial plain of extreme fertility, about 200 miles, and empties into the Mississippi river twelve miles above Vicksburg.

By this time Gen. Grant's communications in his rear had been cut off, and he had been compelled to fall back. The confederate forces in his rear retired toward Vicksburg, whero they had already begun to concentrate, both from the east and the west, although these facts were unknown to Gen. Sherman.

It was supposed by the Federal forces»that they would now receive the cooperation of Gen. Ranks and Admiral Farragut. The former had left New York, near the close of the year, with a considerable military force, for New Orleans, where the latter commanded the naval forces.

On the 2Gth, the expedition, under convoy of the gunboats, moved up the Yazoo, and the troops were landed at various points from the junction of Old River with the Yazoo to Johnson's Farm, a distance of about three miles, without opposition. The distance from Vicksburg was about eight miles. A strong position, know7n as Haines's Bluff, some distance above on the river, was held by the Confederate forces, and in the mean while attacked by the gunboats De Kalb, Cincinnati, Louisville, Bentun, and Lexington. It was the plan of Gen. Sherman to attack Vicksburg in the rear. For this purpose he was engaged, on tho 28th, in getting his forces into position.

Tho bluffs on which Vicksburg is built tako their rise a lit;lc below the city, and extend in a direction north of northeast to tho Yazoo river, terminating in Haines's Bluff, a distance of twelve or fifteen miles. They were fortified throughout their entire length. These bluffs front the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers. The ascent is abrupt and precipitous, and the only approach to the city by land from up the river is by climbing their face. In the rear the ground is high and broken, and somewhat rolling. It falls off gradually to the Big Black river.

The line of tho Yazoo here is nearly northeast. It is six miles distant from tho bluffs at Old river, and passes along their faco until, at Haines's Bluff, the river and the bluff's come together. This junction is nine miles from Vicksburg by tho road along the foot uf the bluffs, and twenty-three miles from the Mississippi by tho course of tho Yazoo river. On the triangular-shaped bottom land between the bluffs and the Yazoo down to the Old river, the troops were disembarked for the purpose of getting in tho rear of Vicksburg and capturing it.

About one third of the distance down the Yazoo from Haines's Bluff, a bp.you puts off from tho river at nearly right angles, until it approaches the bluffs, when it turns and follows their baso until it empties into the Mississippi. It is called the Chickasaw bayou. Between this bayou and the bluffs is a plain, upon which the timber had been felled to form an abatis. Tho banks of the bayou are quite steep, and about two hundred feet apart. At the base of the bluffs, through their whole length, rifle pits had been dug, in the rear of which, upon the face of the bluffs, single-gun batteries had been planted at short intervals from Vicksburg almost to Haines's Bluff. At various commanding points along the range, both on its face and upon the summit, field works were thrown up for the reception and protection of light artillery whenever it might be needed.

Parallel with, and about half a mile north of the£!hickasaw bayou, is a deep slough, having no connection with the river. As it approaches the base of the bluffs, it makes a sharp turn and enters Chickasaw bayou near the point where tho latter makes its angle as it strikes the bluffs. In the latter part of its extent it contains but little water; its bottom, however, is a quicksand, which does not afford good footing. The bottom land of the Yazoo is covered with a dense growth cf cypress trees: much of it is quite clear and free from undergrowth, while in other parts it is quite thick.

The first troops landed, on the 26th, were a brigade, under Gen. Blair, of Gen. Steele's division, and a brigade from each of the divisions under Gens. M. L. Smith and Morgan. They were ordered to advanco two miles into the country, and make a thorough reconnoissance in the direction of the bluffs. The brigade from Gen. Morgan's division found the rebels in force about two miles inland. The other brigades met with no opposition. No conflict took place.

Tho force of Gen. Sherman was organized in four divisions as follows: First division, three

brigades, under Brig.-Gen. George W. Morgan; second division, three brigades, under Brig.Gen. Morgan L. Smith; third division, three brigades, under Brig.-Gen. A. J. Smith; fourth division, four brigades, under Brig.-Gen. Frederick Steele. Tho brigade commanders of this fourth division were Gens. Frank P. Blair, jr., John M. Thayer, C. E. Hovey, and Col. Hassendurbcl.

Under the plan of attack, Gen. Steele was to hold the extreme left, Gen. Morgan the left centre, Gen. M. L. Smith the right centre, and Gen. A. J. Smith tho extreme right. Tho division under Gen. Smith, however, not having arrived, Gen. Blair was placed on the right centre. All the divisions were to converge toward the point of attack on the bluffs. The remainder of the division of Gen. Steele was landed on the 27th above the Chickasaw bayou, to operate on that part of the line. The entire day was spent in getting the troops ashore. The bank of the river was overgrown with brush, and the ground was so soft that it was necessary to build roads for moving the wagons and artillery. At night the command had advanced only two miles from the shore.

On the same day, the 27th, tho divisions on the centre, including Gen. Blair's brigade, advanced slowly toward the bluffs, in order to give time to Gen. Steele to come into position on the left. A battery of the enemy was found near the point designated for junction with Gen. Steele, not. far from the angle of the bayou, and silenced. The night ensuing was cold and frosty, and the troops bivouacked without fires.

On the next day, the 28th, the enemy was driven across the Chickasaw, and night closed with the troops of Gen. Sherman in full possession south of tho bayou, with one bridge thrown across, and with two bridges partly constructed. While reconnoitring the ground and directing the movement of some infantry, Gen. M. L. Smith was severely wounded in the hip, and the command of his division devolved upon Gen. David Stuart. Meanwhile, Gen. Steele had pushed forward his command. The slough on his right was deep and impassable, and on the left the ground had become swampy and full of small pools, so as to be also impassable. The only lino of approach to tho bluffs was along a narrow levee or causeway, which was exposed throughout to the enemy's artillery. Threo attempts were made to approach the causeway, but the destruction of the troops was so manifest that they were withdrawn. Gen. Sherman, under this state of affairs, ordered Gen. Steele to return to the river, re'embark and land on the lower side of the Chickasaw, thus holding still the extreme left, and advanco upon its bank until he. met Gen. Morgan. It was too late in tho evening of tho 28th when the troops were fairly on shore below the bayous to move farther. At this time the division of Gen. A. J. Smith came up and took its position on the right of the line. It had remained at Milliken's Bend as a support to o

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