1863 January 10: Report from Vicksburg
This report from Vicksburg appeared in The Polk County Press of January 10, 1863.
Special Dispatch to The St. Paul Pioneer.
CAIRO, Jan. 4.—The Memphis “Bulletin,” just received here, states that the steamer Rattler bad arrived there direct from the fleet at Vicksburg, which place she left on Monday evening, the 29th December.
Fighting had been going on for five days, it having commenced on Monday, the 24th, and continuing up to Wednesday. When the Rattler left, Gen. Sherman [William T. Sherman] had captured three lines of the enemy’s works, and was firing on the fourth and last line of defense.
The firing on the Jackson and Vicksburg Railroad, where the enemy had entrenchments, had ceased, and the indications were that the rebels had surrendered. This position lies just two miles from Vicksburg. Between this position and the city, there is nothing but the trestle works of the railroad.
Before taking the fortifications, Sherman sent a brigade to cut off communication with the city by the Shreveport railroad. This work was successfully accomplished.
Sherman was reinforced Sunday night, the 29th, by nine thousand men from Grant’s [Ulysses S. Grant] army, which were sent to him by the river. The whole federal force now at Vicksburg is forty thousand.
According to the latest accounts, Sherman had captured ten guns, and seven hundred prisoners. Nothing had been heard from the forts below.
The steamer Judge Lawrence was fired into on passing Milletsburgh. In retaliation for the outrage, the Rattler burnt the town.
Gen. Sherman with a force of six thousand men, attacked Forest [sic: Nathan B. Forrest], on Thursday morning, the 26th, at Hunt’s Cross Roads, twelve miles from Lexington, Tennessee. A severe engagement followed, which lasted all day. The gunboats co-operated with the land force, by patrolling the river, which prevented the rebels crossing. They fought bravely, but were finally routed and scattered, with a loss of 1,400 in killed and wounded, and 400 prisoners. We also took 350 horses, nearly 1,000 stand of arms, and a battery of six guns. The federal loss was 800 killed and wounded. The statement of losses may be exaggerated, but it is certain that it was very heavy on both sides, as the contest was fierce and sanguinary.
LATER FROM VICKSBURG.
Dispatches from Gen. Sherman and naval command were received at Helena on the 21st.
The gunboats were engaging the enemy’s batteries. Gen. Sherman was inland three miles from Vicksburg hotly engaged.
From rebel sources it is stated that the Grenades Appeal says that the “Yankees” have got possession of Vicksburg. Signed: U. S. GRANT.