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The Latest from Vicksburg.


January and February 1863

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, January 5, 1863.







Ten Guns and 700 Prisoners Captured.

Interesting River News.



500 Prisoners, 6 Pieces Artillery, Small Arms, &c., Captured.

Etc., Etc., Etc.

[Special Dispatch to the Missouri Democrat.]

CAIRO, Jan. 4.—The steamer Swallow has just arrived from Memphis, direct from Vicksburg, bringing important news.

General Sherman commenced the attack Wednesday, and up to Monday morning, at the time the Rattler left, had captured three lines of the enemy’s works, and the attack on the fourth and last line of defence, which was on the Jackson and Vicksburg Railroad and two miles from town, had ceased, and the indications were that the rebels had surrendered. After this last work there was nothing between Sherman and the city but the trestle work of the railroad.

There is no doubt here but Vicksburg is ours.

Nine thousand fresh troops arrived from Grant’s command, by way of the river, on Sunday night, and were received with deafening cheers.

Previous to the taking of the fortifications, Sherman sent a force to cut off communication with the city by the Shreveport Railroad, which was successfully accomplished.

When the Rattler left, we had captured 10 guns and 700 prisoners.

We cannot learn that there was any co-operation from below, nor did the gunboats seem to have taken any point.

Sunday night the Rattler made a reconnaissance down the river, which extended to a point opposite the upper batteries, expecting to see the gunboat Essex, as she was expected, but she had not arrived.

The gunboats Black Hawk, Benton, Baron de Kalb, and Louisville, with five lighter boats, had engaged a battery near Yazoo City, with what effect was not known.

Gen. Sherman’s forces, now about 50,000 strong, landed from 69 transports.

Six miles below Napoleon, the Rattler found one of our coal barges, taken from the Blue Wing, scuttled and sunk in three feet of water. The rebels were working away taking out coal as fast as possible, for the use of the Lizzie Simmons, which is expected out of the Arkansas as soon as it rises. The rebels used an underskirt for a flag of truce. The Rattler stopped and took on 300 tons of coal and some of the crew, and a State flag.

The Conestoga is acting police between the White and Arkansas rivers.

Near Millikensville the ammunition boat Judge Torrence on Monday was fired at twice. The Rattler, in retaliation, threw 76 rounds shell into the village, destroying the principal part of it by fire.

It is reported that Captain Gwinn is dead.

General McClernand, on board the Tigress, had reached Napoleon. The Tigress, convoyed by the rams Lancaster, Blue Wing, and Gladiator, was captured by field pieces, and not by a battery, as reported at Helena.

On Sunday night fifteen rebels dashed into town, and captured nineteen prisoners without firing a gun.

The rebel Forrest is paying for his recent fun. General Sullivan overtook him last Wednesday at Hunt’s Cross Roads, twelve miles east of Lexington, and attacked him with about 6,000 men. The battle continued nearly all day, resulting in great rebel skedaddling, not, however, without loss—report says over 1,000 killed and wounded. We have taken 500 prisoners, with arms, horses, &c., and eight pieces of artillery.

Col. Lawler at last accounts was pursuing the fugitives, and as the Tennessee is not fordable, the hope is that all will yet be taken.

The rebel Col. Napier, next in command to Forrest, is killed; Major Strong, Forrest’s Adjutant, is a prisoner.

The rebels burned a bridge on the railroad between Jackson and Corinth, Thursday night; also one between Jackson and Holly Springs the same night.

The road from Columbus to Jackson will not be repaired in less than three weeks.

Gen. Smith and staff returned from Columbus last night.




Their Position Carried by Storm.

[Special Dispatch to the Missouri Democrat.]

CAIRO, January 3.—The news of the attack of the Benton on the rebel battery at Dane’s Bluff, on Saturday last, is confirmed. She made the attack singly, because the channel is so narrow as to prevent the movement of two boats at once. The battery at latest accounts, was not taken.

Capt. Gwinn was on deck when wounded. It is thought he cannot recover. Some others on the Benton were either killed or wounded. She lay with her broadside to the battery and was struck upwards of twenty-five times.

The rebels have fortified the place with great care as it protects the Iberian salt works, and they had also hoped to prevent Sherman’s landing.

On Saturday, Sherman’s entire force debarked on the left bank of the Yazoo, ten miles from its mouth, and immediately formed in line of battle and commenced moving towards the rear of Vicksburg. When fairly beyond the range of the gunboats the rebels were met, and a terrible conflict of five hours’ duration ensued, in which the rebels were constantly driven back—first beyond the two bayous that encircle the town of Vicksburg, and then from the hill where the intrenchments are being thrown up.

This point was reached about dark on the 27th, the bayous being between the hostile armies.

During the night Sherman’s forces found it necessary to construct pontoons over the bayous, and the rebels understanding the object, filled the underbrush with sharpshooters, who attempted to pick off the bridge builders.

Shots were also fired at intervals by their artillery, but in spite of these annoyances the pontoons were built, and at daylight on Sunday morning an advance was made by Sherman’s entire army.

General Steele commanded the left; Generals Morgan and Blair the center; General M. L. Smith and A. D. Smith the right.

General Steele was separated from the center for a time, being swamped, but finally turned the rebel right, and opened communications with Morgan’s division.

By sunrise the engagement had became general, and there was a constant rattle of musketry and thunder of cannon from one end of the line to the other.

The rebels were strongly intrenched on a hill, and their fire had given us much annoyance. General M. L. Smith ordered the 8th Missouri to take it by a charge, which they did with a shout that was heard—as the Captain of the Rocket left with the dispatches from General Sherman.

Our forces had gained victory after victory, and no doubt is felt but Vicksburg has fallen.

As near as we can learn, the gunboats had not yet made the attack in front. Neither had anything been heard from the forces below. General Sherman and his army will have all the glory themselves.

On Saturday the steamer Blue Wing left Helena for the fleet, laden with ordnance stores. She had on board a very large mail, and had two coal barges in tow. She was without an escort below Napoleon, and was captured by a rebel battery, and taken up the Arkansas river. Her crew and passengers were all taken, including Special Agent Noel.