Siege of Vicksburg

 

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Civil War Harper's Weekly, June 27, 1863

Welcome to our online collection of Civil War Harper's Weekly newspapers. We hope you enjoy browsing this incredible collection. The wood cut illustrations provide an incredible view into this important aspect of American History.

 

(Scroll Down to See Entire Page, or Newspaper Thumbnails below will take you to the page of interest)

 

Before Vicksburg

Before Vicksburg

Lee Invades Pennsylvania

Lee Invades Pennsylvania

Lee's Northern Ivasion

Lee's Invasion of the North

Siege of Vicksburg

Siege of Vicksburg

Dueling

Dueling

Port Hudson

Siege of Port Hudson

Democratic Cartoon

Democratic Party Cartoon

 

Vicksburg

Approaches to Vicksburg

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Battle Map

Sedgwick Crossing Rappahonnock

General Sedgwick Crossing the Rappahannock

Rebel Dead

Rebel Dead

Rifle Pits

Rifle Pits

Attack on Port Hudson

Attack on Port Hudson

 

 

 

 

 

 

JUNE 27, 1863.]

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

405

COTTON BRIDGE OVER THE BLACK RIVER.—[SKETCHED BY MR. THEODORE R. DAVIS.]

THE SIEGE OF
VICKSBURG.

WE continue in this number our series of illustrations of General Grant's operations before Vicksburg, from sketches by Mr. Theodore R. Davis. The pictures will be found on pages 401, 404, and this page. Mr. Davis writes:

"THE APPROACHES AT
VICKSBURG.

"HEAD-QUARTERS OF MAJOR-GENERAL M'PHERSON, May 28, 1863.

"The sketch is of an incident coming under my observation while, a few days since, I was making my way, with due regard for personal safety, through the trenches and rifle-pits to a point from which a near view of the rebel works could be obtained.

"An officer of General McPherson's staff, a fine shot, had taken his rifle, and was, with the sharp-shooters, rendering it an impossibility to use a gun that had been used to annoy our men at work in the trenches. A sharp-shooter from the

rebel works was crawling, as he thought, unseen, to a point nearer our line. A hat placed invitingly was, in a few moments, shot through by the ball from his rifle.

"The moment was the rebel's last: he had exposed his head in shooting. And the sharp-shooting officer now wears an airy hat. I am told by a deserter that seventeen men have been shot from a spot called by them 'The Dead Hole.' Lieutenant-Colonel Strong, the sharp-shooter, is the officer whose gallant escape from the rebels, some time since, near Washington, was the subject of an illustration in this journal."

"THE CENTRE, UNDER COMMAND OF MAJOR- GENERAL M'PHERSON.

"HEAD-QUARTERS SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
May 28, 1863.

"The view at this point conveys perhaps a more comprehensive idea of the difficulties presented by the exceedingly broken formation of the country than that at either the right or left. Sketches of each position will follow this. Some of our troops have gained by approach a point distant from the main work of the enemy but fifty yards.

"The battery of the late gallant Captain De Solver was intrenched by him within one hundred yards of the enemy's fortification. Many and heavy guns are within three hundred yards of the same work.

"From our batteries and sharp-shooters an effective fire is kept up to cover the construction of works that will, without doubt, effect the ultimate fall of the strong-hold.

"A most gallant but unsuccessful attempt was made upon the 21st inst. to carry these works by assault. Since that time the sharp-shooters upon either side have been busy enough. The ping of a shot is sure to follow the exposure of any portion of one's person. My pony and sketch-book bear indubitable evidence that sketching in plain view of sharp-eyed rebels must be rapid enough.

"One can hardly realize the fact that our gallant men are, with the flag that the breeze ruffles, within a stone's-throw of a work of immense strength. To dislodge our men the rebels send, ever and anon, a shell, thrown by hand. Some of these grenades are seized by our men as they come rolling and fizzing into the trench, and hurled back to explode within the works of the senders.

"Confidence of the fall of Vicksburg is the one feeling of our army."

THE COTTON BRIDGE OVER THE BLACK RIVER. "HEAD-QUARTERS OF MAJOR-GENERAL McPHERSON,

SIEGE OF VICKSBURG, May 20, 1863.

"We had fought the battle of Champion's Hill and captured the extensive line of works at the railroad bridge over the Black River; but the bridge was destroyed, and a deep and narrow stream was between us and Vicksburg. Our engineers were soon, with their working parties, tearing down the 'gin-houses' upon the adjacent plantations. With the timbers so procured raft-bridges were soon in process of construction.

"One of the bridges built by General McPherson's corps was so entirely novel that I send, with my sketch, a detailed account of it. Two heavy beams thirty-five feet in length were joined together by smaller beams ten feet in length, spiked two feet apart. This frame now turned over, cotton bales were rolled into it in two rows, and secured by stanchions at the side of each bale, and a beam crossing the top. These rafts so fitted were now launched into the river, and, floated into place, were secured by guy-ropes from the shore; stringers then placed, 'breaking joints,' the entire length of the bridge, which was then 'decked over' with plank from the demolished 'gin-houses.' Over this bridge the troops, artillery, and baggage trains were safely passed.

"The ingenious constructor of this bridge, Major Hickenlooper, Chief Engineer of General McPherson's

corps, has, during this brief but brilliant campaign, earned for himself a most enviable reputation.

"This bridge is certainly the most easily constructed, as it is the most secure, of any impromptu bridge known. The buoyancy of a 500-pound bale of cotton is quite 400 pounds, and serviceable for eight days."

ARMY OF THE
POTOMAC.

WE illustrate on pages 408 and 409 a preliminary incident of the third passage of the Rappahannock by our troops—namely, SHELLING THE REBELS OUT OF THEIR RIFLE-PITS. Mr. Waud, the author of the sketches from which our pictures were taken, writes:

"The rifle-pits erected by the enemy entirely commanded the crossing; therefore it was necessary to either drive them out, or make it so dangerous to rise above the parapet that but few would attempt it. The artillery massed on the river-bank did this effectually.

Lieutenant Wollaston's battery of Napoleons (Battery D, Second Regulars) did magnificent practice; hardly a shot missed the earth-work; its defenders, the Second Florida, were kept enveloped in smoke and dust; and yet so great a protection is a little bank of earth, that not a man was killed, though some were severely wounded. With a loss of some forty killed and wounded engineers—including Captain Cross, a very fine officer, and a graduate of West Point—the boats were carried down to the water and launched; the Twenty-sixth New Jersey were ferried over, and carried the work at the point of the bayonet, capturing some eighty prisoners.

"Some of these endeavored to get away by running down the river, but a well-directed fire from Lieutenant Wollaston's battery brought them to a stand-still, and they threw down their arms.

"The First Massachusetts battery was there, and also did good execution. We now hold the southern bank of the river—Ayre's, Macartney's, and Wollaston's batteries in front, supported by the Vermont brigade, one of the very finest bodies of soldiers in the United States. I heard a pretty little anecdote of these men in connection with Wollaston's artillery. While that officer was lying on the ground upon a paulin, among his guns, a (Next Page)

THE ARRIVAL OF TWO THOUSAND VICKSBURG PRISONERS AT FORT DELAWARE.—[SKETCHED BY MR. D. AULD, FORTY-THIRD OHIO.]

Black River
Fort Delaware

 

 

 

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