Manuscript of Civil War Lieutenant W. R. McComer

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Manuscript details battles and scenes of battles, which occurred mostly in Mississippi, written by a member of the 2nd Ohio, later of the 83rd Ohio. (Manuscript lacks p. 22.)

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15 1/2 and did de camp on the staff of the General commanding of the 13th Army Corps in which capacity the balance of my service in the Vicksburg campaign was performed.

Late in the spring the 13th Army Corps was moved to better camping ground at Milligans Bend, a short time afterward I received orders to accompany an expedition commanded by Col Tom Bennett. composed of the 69th Indiana a squadron of the 2d Ills, Cavalry Col, [illegible] a company of pioneers under Capt Patterson our instructions were to find a practical road accross the country for the passage of an army.

The first obstacle encoutered was Houndaway Bayou which was speedily bridged by our pioneers and we proceeded parallel with the bayou making it naviable for scorrs as we advanced by removing trees The scorrs or small flat boats were numerous and when found were pressed into service, We Borrowing the idea from the navy we improvised a gunboat by mounting a couple of Howitzers on one of them, of which the opposing force under Harrison gave a wide berth, until we reached James Plantation where they stubbornly seemed to gain courage resisted our advance, and worried us a good deal. but I think we worried them the most and finally at all events we reached the Mississippi at New Carthage 25 miles below Vicksburg, [illegible] Bayou and the road we had partly discovered but mainly

Last edit about 2 years ago by Bernie
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16 constructed were used by the entire army in getting below Vicksburg.

The navy was also very active on several occasions, during the time we were working inland dummy gun boats were improvised, constructed and towed into the current. They created consternation to the enemy and a realization of the pride, pomp and circumstances of glorious war, nothing could be more [sublime??] than the scene during the passage of one of the [illegible]. The river was illuminated by bon fires along the shore and every gun in the works of the enemy was was blazing away at the inoffensive coal barge, simply because it was painted black and had a couple of suguar hogs heads projecting above the semblence of a quarter deck.

This trick was played often that when the critical time arrived we were fully with full knowledge informed as of the position and power of their water patterns, most of the transports had pased, before the enemy realized that it was not another of those [illegible] tricks, Several of the steamers and some of gun boats suffered more from the effects of struck by shot and shell, but more of them more sunk as was expected would be the result when volunteers were asked for to man them, all the artillery and stores aboard the boats reached New Carthage the following day, and army and navy were again united for the real

Last edit over 2 years ago by Jannyp
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16 1/2 ernest [???] commencement of the Vicksburg campaign, and promptly commenced began operations

The transports [??horseing??] under the protection of the Iron Clads impatiently waiting for an opportunety to land their human freight, on the first favourable occasion

Grand Gulf a fortified promontory at the mouth of Wolf river was the first [illegible] when all attempt was made, one of the outlying works intended for the protection of the Vicksburg, it was garrisoned by 10,000 of the cream of the enemys army under [??Borren].

The entire navy consisting of a dozen iron and tin clads participated in the attack. The vessels ran up under the guns of the water batteries and fired at close range receiving in return a fuselade that is terrifying to contemplate even at this remote late date to contemplate, The Tuscumbia was disabled by having her hog chains severed by a solid shot. The weight of her armament fore and aft, caused her stern and steam to drop in such a manner, that her engines refused to to work. While in this predicament and perilous position a shell entered one of her port holes and killed eleven of her crew. The Benton and Carondolet ran to her rescue, sustaining serious damage to themselves, but finally succeeded in towing her out of range

General Grant in a small tug was every where and

Last edit over 2 years ago by Jannyp
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17 the enemy doubtless realizing the importance of the tiny craft sent shot and shell recocheting after and over it. paid it special and particular

The gunboats were all more or less seriously damaged, without having accomplished the purpose of the attack, and a flank movement was at once ordered. We [illegible] South on the Louisiana shore, to a point opposite [Brownsburg?] 50 miles below Vicksburg. The transports were put into requisition as ferries and by the evening of the following day the 13 Army Corps was crossed, and pushed forward on a road intersecting the road from grand Gulf to Port Gibson 12 miles from the river [Bonner] retreated and was met by Bentons brigade at 2 oclock in the morning at the point mentioned and a battle ensued, Benton holding Port Gibson the enemy in check until the arrival of the balance of the corps at dawn. There every available man was engaged. The 15, 16 and 17th corps reached the battlefield during the day and the enemy was compelled to relinquish the struggle and retreated accross the Pearl river destroying the bridge after them. As soon as a crossing could be effected we were at their heels and fought again at Raymond, on the 15th of May the combined armies of Pemberton

Last edit about 2 years ago by Amoulis, LVA
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18 and Johnston were encountered at Champion Hills the real battle of the Vicksburg Campaign in which Hovey's division alone lost 5000 men and Johnston escaped to the rear by a flank movement. The battle of Black river [bridge] was fought the next day mainly by [illegible] brigade, which charged the enemy (who had set fire to the bridge over Black River) and captured a great number of prisoners

It was this battle that caused the mis understanding between Grant and [McClernand?] on account of the latters disregard of an order to hold the enemy while Sherman made a detour to prevent Pemberton from going into Vicksburg The successful issue of the battle made it an expedient for Grant to relieve him at that time, but it was done after an unsuccessful assault on the 19th of May, [McClernand?] claimed that he had possession of part of the works on the left of the Jackson railroad and if reenforced he could hold them. As a matter of fact Sergeant Griffith and eleven men of Stowe's Iowa regiment did get into the works, but could not remain. McArthurs division came as re enforcements at 4 oclock: Meantime the enemy had massed to defend the vulnerable [point]. McArthur moved forward and

Last edit 6 months ago by guest_user
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