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SECTION OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER.

SHOWLNQ TBI DISTANCES FKOM NEW ORLEANS, AND THE ISLANDS BT THEIR NUMBERS.

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SECTION OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER,

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showING THE DISTANCES FROM NEw on LEANs, AND THE ISLANDs by THEIR NUMBERs.

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SHOWING THE DISTANCES FROM NEW ORLEANs, AND THE IsLANDs BY THEIR NUMBERs.

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SECTION OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER.

SHOWING THE DISTANCES FROM NEW ORLEANS, AND THE ISLANDS BY THEIR NUMBERS.

the upper end of the town, mounting, seven pieces of heavy artillery, together with lines of intrenchments between them. Six gunboats carrying from four to eight heavy guns each, were anchored along the shore, between the upper and lower redoubts.

The country is perfectly level for miles around the place, and the river was so high just then, that the gunboats looked directly over the banks; and the approaches to the town for seven miles were commanded by direct and cross fire from at least sixty guns of heavy calibre.

The column under General Pope left Commerce, Mo., on the 27th of February, and, after six days of hard marches through and over the interminable jungles of the great Mingo or Nigger Wool swamp, sat down before the town. They had scarcely been in camp a day before the river batteries opened upon them, forcing the right wing back a few hundred yards further from the river.

Trials and dangers now beset the Federal army, which would have discouraged less brave men. It would not have been difficult to carry the intrenchments, but it must have been attended with heavy loss, and they could not have been held half an hour exposed to the destructive fire of the gunboats. It therefore became necessary to bring down a few heavy guns by land to operate against those of the enemy. They were accordingly sent for; and meantime, forced reconnoissances were pushed over the whole ground, and into several parts of the town. Some brisk skirmishes resulted, in which the enemy invariably retreated precipitately. It was found impossible to induce them to trust any considerable force of their infantry outside of their intrenchments. While awaiting the arrival of the heavy guns, Colonel Plummer, of the Eleventh Missouri, was dispatched to Point Pleasant, eight miles below, with three regiments of infantry, three companies of cavalry, and a field battery of 10-pound Parrott and rifled guns, with orders to make a lodgment on the river bank; to line the bank with rifle-pits for a thousand men, and to establish his artillery in sunk batteries of single pieces between the rifle-pits. This arrangement was made in order to present the smallest possible marks to the shells of the gunboats, and to render futile the use of round shot from their heavy guns. Colonel Plummer, after some cannonading from the gunboats which he found there, succeeded in making a lodgment, constructing his batteries and rifle-pits, and occupying them in sufficient force to maintain them against any open assault. ^

After repeated and persistent cannonading from the gunboats, the enemy found it impossible to dislodge him. He maintained his position, and effectually blockaded the river to transports, during the whole siege. Meantime, the enemy continued every day to reinforce New Madrid, until, on the 12th, they had nine thousand infantry, besides a

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