Nonfiction > James Ford Rhodes > History of the Civil War, 1861–1865 > Page 252
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James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927).  History of the Civil War, 1861–1865  1917.
 
Page 252
 
 
and generous support. Gunboats and other craft were needed for service below Vicksburg, more rations were required than could be hauled over a “single, narrow and almost impassable road”; hence gunboats and transports must run the batteries from a point above the town. On the night of April 16, such a movement was successfully made, and again, on the night of the 22d, six steamers towing twelve barges loaded with hay, corn and provisions steamed and drifted past Vicksburg, bringing an abundance of supplies to the army south of it.  48
  Still remained the problem how to get on the high ground on the east bank of the river. McClernand’s and McPherson’s corps were set in motion for Hard Times, part of them in the steamers and barges, the others afoot. It was necessary to proceed farther south, but the fortifications of Grand Gulf blocked the way of the transports and an assault of the gunboats failed to silence their batteries. Grant disembarked the troops that were on the transports at Hard Times and all marched to a point below, whence they were ferried across to Bruinsburg, high ground on the east bank of the Mississippi [April 30]. This point was selected in accordance with information supplied by a negro who had told Grant that there was a good road thence to Port Gibson. When the landing was seen to be feasible, Grant telegraphed to Halleck, “I feel that the battle is now more than half won.” 1 Yet all nature’s obstacles had not been overcome. The country with its bayous, swamps and ravines, its timber, undergrowth, and almost impenetrable canebrakes and trailing shrubs rendered offensive operations difficult and hazardous. But the general exhorted and the soldiers pressed on. By two o’clock in the morning of May 1, while on the road to Port Gibson, they were in
 
Note 1. O. R., XXIV, Pt. I, 32. [back]
 

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