Arkansas Post
(January 5, 1863-January 14, 1863)


Center of Confederate defense line at Arkansas Post
Click on photo to visit's tour of the site
[Arkansas Post is often called "The Post of Arkansas" a translation of "Poste de Arkansea," its founder's 1686 label for a military strong point guarding access to the Arkansas River upstream from the cutoff that links it with the White River. Long the site of Spanish and French Forts, and the first European settlement in what is now Arkansas, it was also the first capital of Arkansas Territory. During the Civil War its strategic military location led to the construction of diamond shaped Fort Hindman in a horseshoe bend in the Arkansas River, guarding the route to the state capitol at Little Rock and other points in central and west Arkansas. In December of 1862 Brig. Gen. Thomas Churchill was placed in command of the 5000 troops, mostly dismounted cavalry, that garrisoned the fort. Gen. Churchill planned to use the newly completed fort as a staging area for strikes against the Union supply line on the Mississippi. Some of his troops stationed themselves at Cypress Bend, Ark. along the Mississippi and managed to capture the unarmed Union packet "Blue Wing" with a little help from the Blue Wing's captain. The packet was loaded with a cargo of mail and ammunition for the troops at Chickasaw Bayou and was towing two coal barges. This was likely the reason Virgil Moats thought he had not received a letter from his wife Eliza in his 1/3/63 letter and why Cyrus Hussey did not receive many letters from his wife at Chickasaw Bayou. The garrison of Fort Hindman was doubtless elated when the Blue Wing, laden with ammunition, was moored. But, before the month was out, this small victory would cost the Arkansas defenders and the Confederacy 5000 men killed, wounded and captured, seventeen guns, seven stands of colors, numerous livestock and tons of supplies. It would also result in the complete leveling of Fort Hindman. To their great disadvantage the Confederates at Arkansas Post had caught the attention of McClernand, Sherman, and Porter at exactly the time they had 33,000 idle troops nearby.

Click above for full map
Chart of the Mississippi River from
the Ohio River to Gulf of Mexico"
Virtue Yorston & Co., 1863.
Library of Congress
From the point of view of the garrison at Arkansas Post and the people of Arkansas Gen. Churchill could not have picked a worse time to make this move. Admiral Porter, charged with the security of the Upper Mississippi River, immediately ordered the gunboat "Baron De Kalb" on the trail of the captured packet. Union General W. A. Gorman at Helena, Ark was entertaining Gen. McClernand who was on his way down the River when McClernand discussed Arkansas Post's threat to the supply line of the army that soon would be his. Gen. Sherman, independently saw this as a threat to his supply line and to the flank of operations opposite Vicksburg and cast his eye toward Arkansas Post. But Sherman, stung by his defeat at Chickasaw Bayou, also had other reasons for looking toward Arkansas Post. It offered a chance to redeem his reputation and that of his army with a victory which would also raise the morale of his men, and, most importantly, it would hold off a crisis of command which had developed.

Just as he withdrew from Chickasaw Bayou Sherman was faced with the arrival of Gen. McClernand, a politician/general who had practiced law in Springfield, Illinois along side Abraham Lincoln and was also otherwise very well connected. Maj. Gen. McClernand out ranked Maj. Gen. Sherman by virtue of the date of his commission, and thus, Gen. McClernand was in command. McClernand believed, with good reason, that he had a mandate from the Secretary of War and the President to open the Mississippi with the Army that he had raised and which Sherman and Grant had previously commandeered. He now meant to get to it. He took charge of the right wing of Grant's Army of the Tennessee, rechristened it the "Army of the Mississippi" and started making plans to move south and open the river. Sherman was given command of one Corps of his army and Gen. Morgan, who Sherman blamed for much of the fiasco on the right at Chickasaw Bayou, was placed in command of the other. Gen. Sherman and Adm. Porter considered McClernand naive in military affairs and were aghast at his ideas for opening the river, but he had out maneuvered them politically in the civilian sector and he had control. However, the professional army and navy is not without political games, and Grant, Sherman and Porter knew the rules of play better than McClernand who would soon be out maneuvered in military politics and ultimately, after Vicksburg, be sent home in disgrace, despite a reasonably good record of military achievements.

Maj. Gen. Grant, who outranked Maj. Gen. McClernand, was still retreating toward Memphis and was out of touch because the telegraph lines had been cut by Forest and Van Dorn's cavalry raids near Holly Springs. General Sherman approached Admiral Porter about an attack on Fort Hindman at Arkansas Post after Gen. McClernand suggested such an attack to him. Sherman suggested that Arkansas Post was a danger to the flank of the movement on Vicksburg and should be removed as a threat. An additional advantage for the two was that McClernand could be occupied with this project until Grant was on the scene. They could, in this way, avoid foolish maneuvers down stream under McClernand's leadership. The two of them then convinced Gen. McClernand that the Army of the Mississippi should attack Arkansas Post. Gen. McClernand, as was made clear in conversations with Gen. W. A. Gorman at Helena, Arkansas, was already independently enthusiastic about the idea of attacking Arkansas post and he took little convincing, in fact, he thought it was his idea.


Library of Congress


Thus it was that a large flotilla of gunboats commanded by one of the Navy's most aggressive Admirals and an Army of 33,000 men, laced with veteran regiments sized for an attack on Vicksburg, moved on Arkansas Post, garrisoned by 5000 men. In order to achieve surprise they moved up the Mississippi past the mouth of the Arkansas River, thence up the White River and through a cutoff back to the Arkansas at a point about 4 miles below Arkansas Post.


Click above
for full image
View of Fort Hindman, Arkansas Post.
[January 11, 1863]
Library of Congress

By C. Fendall, Sub. Assistant U.S. Survey
acting under orders of Rear Admiral D. D. Porter
Jan. 11, 1863
Library of Congress


While the fleet pushed ahead and bombarded the fort, Sherman's Corps and Morgan's Corps (including the 48th OVI) disembarked and, at first, approached Fort Hindman from two sides. Sherman, however, finding his corps' approach blocked by a swampy Bayou, shifted them around to the right of Morgan's corps. That night they slept on their arms in the cold. The next morning heavy gunfire from the Gunboats, supplemented by light artillery, pulverized what remained of the 11 gun emplacements of Fort Hindman and lobed shells into the fort. At the same time the vastly superior Union force moved forward in good order at the double-quick under heavy fire. Taking cover at intervals, they drove the Confederate forces into their works and began to assault the fort. From the descriptions of Virgil Moats, it is clear that the confederates had failed to clear a field of fire around the fort which allowed the Union soldiers to take cover behind obstacles along the approaches.

The Confederate commander, Gen. Thomas J. Churchill, had orders from Little Rock to "hold till help arrives or until all are dead." His superiors in Little Rock cannot possibly have understood the odds he faced. It is doubtful that there were 33,000 Confederate troops in Arkansas, even supposing they could be assembled in time. Gen. Churchill, who had been in command less than a month, never seemed to have achieved full control of his men. After the heavy shelling and nearly 4 hours of musketry from thesteadily advancing Union troops, white flags appeared along the works, apparently against the orders of Gen. Churchill. The Confederate crisis of command made things difficult even for the Union Forces at this point since the right half of the fort surrendered while the left half, unaware of this, fired as the Union soldiers stood up in response to the flags of truce. Eventually the garrison were at least able to coordinate on the process of surrender, and white flags went up all along the fort. This began a rush for "first honors" by the Union troops. The fort was leveled and large amounts of supplies were taken with the many captives. The Union troops reembarked their transports and headed south to Vicksburg.

The 140 killed and 923 wounded suffered by Gen. McClernand's Army of the Mississippi in this battle are sometimes referred to in accounts of the battle as "heavy losses". Just over three percent casualties with less than a half percent killed is not a heavy loss by Civil War standards. Both Cyrus Hussey and Virgil Moats state that the losses were light and the 48th's losses of 2 killed and 12 wounded were in the range for the army as a whole. The losses of the 5000 Confederates was 109 casualties (about 2%) may seem light by comparison to the Union casualties but 5000 killed, wounded and captured tells the real story-- a 100% loss of 5000 men. As at Ft. Donaldson before and Vicksburg afterward the fort was a trap which allowed the capture of the army holding it. That 33,000 of what would prove to be the North's best troops serving under the leadership of the likes of Porter, Sherman, A. J. Smith, could totally overwhelm 5000 trans-Mississippi garrison troops lead by an officer who did not yet have full control of his men is hardly a surprise. The garrison was out manned and out gunned and the best that could have been hoped for is for them to hold defeat off until dark, destroy the stores, spike the guns and attempt a breakout but with conflicting goals in their leadership not even this was achieved and the Union victory was complete. McClernand would take the credit for it but Sherman would write his wife and brother that the battle plans were his.

The 140 killed and 923 wounded were not the serious Union Casualties. After the conclusion of this battle we see, in the descriptions of the men who fought it, the greatest killer and disabler of troops in the American Civil War - disease. The men had drunk water from the Yazoo River contaminated by their own latrines, then they were exposed to cold rain and snow on picket duty, standing all night in wet mud. After this they were loaded on troop transports at about 4 to 5 times the boats' capacity while many of their number suffered from dysentery and fevers of many kinds. With the men crowding the boat, the mules and horses of the regiments and equipment and supplies was added as well. It is little wonder that disease killed and disabled more men than musket balls and artillery together. Even more of a wonder is that boiler explosions common on steam boats of that day did not wipe out more troops than they did. The City of Alton, to which the 48th OVI and the 108th Ill. were assigned, like many other troop transports, was a medical disaster, and it is fortunate that it did not become a maritime disaster as well. Reading statements by Bering, Hussey or Motes, we can plainly see the same story of sick men, disabled by disease. Then, after a second round of exposure to the elements, they were packed aboard the transports again and shipped off to another unhealthy campsite opposite Vicksburg. An analysis of the Honor Roll of the 48th OVI reveals that about 70% of the deaths with known causes were due to disease. In this, the 48th OVI was typical since, in both armies, disease killed two soldiers for every one killed in battle during the war.

While Arkansas Post may be a footnote in the history of the war, it was a major battle in the history of the 48th regiment. The 48th OVI played a significant role in the battle, moving forward gallantly under heavy fire as part of the assault on the Fort. Virgil Moats gives us a very clear picture of the action from the perspective of the Capt. of Co. F while Cyrus Hussey, who served as Col. Landram's Aid-de-camp during the battle, gives us cryptic notes written during the battle itself. Col. Landram states that Lieut. Cyrus Hussey gave him "most valuable assistance, conveying orders to all parts of the field, constantly exposed to the fire of the enemy." Lieut. Col. Parker is wounded and command passes to Co. K's Capt. Peterson for a time, but Parker returns before the men enter the Fort. Although no official report of the regiment's activities is made until Col. Sullivan's belated report, the performance of the 48th is mentioned favorably in reports of other senior officers. Col. Landram's brigade report and parts of A. J. Smith's report at Division level are included as are the appropriate parts of Col Sullivan's later regimental report. These are divided according to the dates they reference.

See Stanley P. Hirshson, The White Tecumseh, Wiley, 1997, p. 137-144 and Shelby Foote The Civil War: A Narrative, Fredricksburg to Meridian, Vintage 1986, pp.60-65. ]




The shelling of Ft. Hindman


NATIONAL TRIBUNE, August 28, 1890, p. 1, c. 1-4
Courtesy of Vicki Betts, University of Texas at Tyler

Arkansas Post.
Interesting Narrative of a Brilliant Operation.
A Blow at the Rebels.
How the Investment was Made by Land and Water.
A Cheerless Bivouac.
Conflicting Reports by Opposing Commanders.

by Capt. J.  B. Ridenour, Co. A, 55th Ill., Woodhull, Il.

                After Gen. Sherman's army was repulsed at Chickasaw  Bayou, on the last days of December, 1862, and Jan. 1, 1863, Gen. Sherman and  Admiral Porter, commanding the Mississippi  Squadron, entered into a plan to capture Arkansas Post, which plan, on the 4th of January, was approved by Gen. John A. McClernand, who arrived while the army lay at Milliken's Bend., La., and assumed command of what he then termed the First and Second Corps of the Army of the Mississippi, but which were really known and recognized at Washington as the Thirteenth and Fifteenth Corps, the entire force numbering about 35,000 of all arms.
[note:  numbers below very hard to read]

Fifteenth Corps.
Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman.
First Division.
Brig.-Gen. F. Steele.

                                First Brigade                                                                         Second Brigade.
Gen. Frank P. Blair                                                                                      Brig. Gen. C. E. Hovey,
13th Ill.                                                                                                            17th Mo.
29th Mo.                                                                                                          25th Iowa.
31st Mo.                                                                                                          3d Mo.
32d Mo.                                                                                                          76th Ohio.
58th Ohio.                                                                                                        31st Iowa.
30th Mo.                                                                                                           12th Mo.
Third Brigade                                                                             Artillery
Brig.-Gen. J. M. Thayer                                                                                1st Iowa Capt. Griffith
4th Iowa.                                                                                     4th Ohio; Capt. Hoffman
34th Iowa                                                                                         1st Mo. Horse Art. Cavalry
30th Iowa                                                                              3d Ill. and a company of the
26th Iowa                                                                                                          15th Ill.
9th Iowa

Second Division.
Brig.-Gen. David Stewart.

                                First Brigade                                                                         Second Brigade
Col. Giles A. Smith                                                                                         Col. T. Kilby Smith
8th Mo.                                                                                                       55th Ill.
6th Mo.                                                                                                       127th Ill.
113th Ill.                                                                                                      54th Ohio.
110th Ill.                                                                                                      83d Ind.
13th U.S.                                                                                                    57th Ohio.
Artillery.                                                                           Cavalry.
Co's A and B, 1st Ill. L.A.                                                                             Two companies of
8th [9th?] Ohio battery.                                                                                 Thielemann's Illinois
Co.  C, 10th Mo.

Thirteenth Corps.
Brig.-Gen. George W. Morgan.
First Division.
Brig.-Gen. A. J. Smith.

                                First Brigade.                                                                  Second Brigade.
Brig.-Gen. S. G.  Burbridge.                                                                 Col.  W. J. Landram
60th Ind.                                                                                            19th Ky.
16th Ind.                                                                                             77th Ill.
23d Wis.                                                                                             48th Ohio.
83d Ohio                                                                                            97th Ill.
67th Ind.                                                                                             108th Ill.
96th Ohio                                                                                            131st Ill.
89th Ind.
Artillery.                                                                                      Cavalry.
17th Ohio Battery, Capt. Bloust                                                  A company of the 4th
Ill. Mercantile Battery, Capt. Cooley                                                 Ind.

Second Division.
Brig.-Gen. P. J. Osterhous.

                                First Brigade.                                                                     Second Brigade.
Col. L. A. Sheldon                                                                                        Col. D. W. Lindsey
{?} Ind.                                                                                             3d Ky.
118th Ill.                                                                                            49th Ind.
120th Ohio                                                                                       114th [111th?] Ohio

                                Third Brigade                                                                                        Artillery.
Col. J. T. DeCout[?]                                                                             1st Wis., Capt. Foster.
16th Ohio                                                                             7th Mich., Capt. Lunphere[?]
22d Ky.
[?] Ohio.
[?] Ind.

                This force, on the 4th of January, 1864, began moving up the river, landing at intervals to supply the transports with wood cut from the forest, or already cut and found upon the bank, or rails from the fences.  The army arrived at the mouth of White River on the 8th, and ascended to Notrib's farm, three miles from the fort, by way of White River, through the cut-off or canal, into the Arkansas River.  Landing on the left bank of the river at Notrib's at 5 p.m. on the 9th, the work of disembarking was busily continued until noon the next day, when it was completed.
Post Arkansas, a small village, the Capital of Arkansas County, is situated on the first elevated ground, passing up the river, and above the reach of floods, on the left bank of the river, is about 50 miles above the mouth of the river, 117 miles below Little Rock, and is surrounded by a fruitful country, abounding in cattle, corn and cotton.  It was settled by the French in 1685, and so named by them, and used as a trading-post.
The fort was called Hindman, in honor of a rebel General of that name, and had been laboriously and skillfully enlarged and strengthened since the commencement of the rebellion and formed the key to Little Rock, the Capital of the State of Arkansas, and from which hostile detachments were constantly sent to obstruct the navigation of the Mississippi River and interrupt our communications.
A Government transport, the Blue Wing, laden with valuable military stores, only a few days before, fell prey to one of these detachments and ammunition taken from her was used against us in the engagement of which I am writing.  Fort Hindman, a square, full-bastioned fort, was erected within the village upon the bank of the river, at the head of a bend resembling a horseshoe.  The exterior sides of the fort between the salient angles were each 300 feet in length; the faces of the bastions two-sevenths of the exterior side, and the perpendiculars one-eighth.  The parapet was [?]8 feet wide on the top; the ditch 20 feet wide on the ground level, and eight feet deep, with a slope of four feet at the base.  A banquette for infantry was constructed around the interior slope of the parapet; also three platforms for artillery in each bastion and one in the curtain facing north.  On the south of the northeastern bastion was a casemate 18 by 15 feet wide and seven and a half feet high in the clear; the walls of which were constructed of three thicknesses of oak timber 16 inches square, and roofed with an additional revetment of iron bars.  One of the sides of the casemate was inserted in the parapet, and was pierced by an embrasure three feet eight inches on the inside and four feet six inches on the outside, the entrance being in the opposite wall.  This casement contained


A similar casement was constructed in the curtain facing the river, and contained an eight-inch Columbiad.  Still another nine-inch Columbiad was mounted on the salient [map of Arkansas Post] angle of the southeastern bastion on a center pintle barbet carriage.  All of these guns commanded the river below the fort.  Beside these there were four three-inch Parrott guns and four six-pounder iron smoothbore guns mounted on field carriages on the platforms in the fort, which also contained a well-stored magazine, several frame buildings, and a well.  The entrance to the fort, secured by a traverse, was on its northwestern side, and from the salient angle of the northwestern bastion extended a line of rifle-pits westerly for 720 yards toward the bayou, intersected by wooden traverses.  Along the line of rifle-pits six pieces were mounted, of which three were rifled.  During the night of the 10th the enemy removed a large number of their cabins, used as quarters, and strengthened their line of rifle-pits.  The entire works were so calculated or constructed that a very small force might hold the place against great odds.
Although the neighboring bridge across the bayou had been partially destroyed, yet the latter was passable at several points.  Below the fort were the rifle-pits and levee.  The levee presented a convex line to our advance, was pierced for 10 guns, and lined on the inside by rifle-pits.  The second line of rifle-pits, with intervals left for six guns, extended across the high land from the river to the swamps, its near approach being obstructed by an abatis of fallen timber; and still nearer the fort was a deep ravine entering the river at right angles and extending inland in different arms in front of the left of our line, and in front of the center of the line was an open field.  This strip of high land afforded the only available approach from our landing to the enemy's defenses.  Above the second line of rifle-pits expanded into a dry plateau extending to the swamp on the east and northeast and to the bayou and river on the west and south.  This plateau was crossed by the Brownsville and Little Rock road, and embraced the enemy's camp, his principal defenses; and the field of action on the 11th covered a space of about 1,000 yards square.
By consulting the accompanying map the position of both forces and their relative positions will be made quite clear and comprehensive.


on the 10th, the Second Division (Stewart's) of the Fifteenth  Corps pushed up the river.  The 13th U.S. were deployed as skirmishers, and followed in close support by the 55th Ill., the contest opening in the usual desultory way.  Occasionally an enormous shell whipped through the timber, seeking out the blue line.  The enemy's pickets, commanded by Col. Garland, of Texas, were slowly pressed back toward their main line by the gallant 13th, and occasionally a squalid dead Confederate was passed who had met a swift messenger of reconstruction.
During the movement Co's A, F, and C of the 55th Ill., joined on the right by a part of the 8th Mo., and on the left by the 83d Ind., relieved the 13th U.S.  As night approached the Confederates were forced back out of the timber into the cleared space in front of their works.  As the sun was setting the Union line in close pursuit came in sight of the entrenchments and the log buildings used as barracks.  Darkness came early on those short Winter days, and found the Federal line of environment incomplete.  The heads of various columns, like Stewart's, had reached the vicinity of the works, and skirmishers in their positions above named were pushed out among the stumps and brush of the open space, and after dark were ordered to open fire, which drew upon them apparently the contents of all the guns in the enemy's works—shell, grape and canister.  In trying to establish a connection with the pickets on the right, the writer, who had been sent on that duty, narrowly escaped with his life.
Presently a flash like that of lightning illuminated the west, and a great shell from the pivot gun in the fort came shrieking toward us.  It went just above the 55th Ill., but passed to the rear before exploding.  The rest of the division was massed in column by regiments close at hand.  Every man dropped prone upon the ground instantly, and as close to the bosom of mother earth as the somewhat rigid limits of human anatomy would allow.  All eyes turned to fort in expectation of another 10-inch shell from the same sources.  It soon came screaming along, leaving sparks of fire behind.  This time it passed not over six feet high and exploded with a terrific noise a few feet in the rear.  One man of the 55th Ill. was mortally wounded and


Among other regiments several were hit.  The loss from the single explosion was three killed and 14 wounded.  The brave Capt. Yeoman, of the 54th Ohio, lost his left arm.  He was refused promotion to the Majority of his regiment for this disability, but subsequently raised a colored regiment and came out of the last Richmond campaign a Brigadier-General.  A third shell followed from the same gun, which went farther to the rear before exploding.  Just then the gun was struck by a shot from the gunboats and its voice silenced forever.
Blankets and overcoats had been left on the transports, in expectation of immediate engagement, and the night set in freezing cold and threatening snow.  Of course no fires were allowed to be built, under the circumstances, and the suffering in consequence during the night was extreme.
Finally the long, dreary night passed, and the bright rising sun was hailed with joy.  All nature shone in the prospect of a beautiful, bright Sabbath day, but it was not to be a day of rest.   Hundreds saw that sun rise for the last time; others to be maimed and followed with disease, aches and pains all their lives.
The slow movement of investing the Confederates was completed.  On the night of the 9th Col. Lindsay's Brigade had disembarked nine miles below Notrib's farm, at Fletcher's Landing, on the right bank of the river, and marching across a hight [sic] of the river; had taken positions with two 20-pounder Parrotts of the 1st Wis. battery, Capt. Foster commanding, and two guns of the Illinois Mercantile Battery, under Lieut.  Wilson, on the bank above the fort, cutting off the escape or reinforcement of the enemy by water.  The cavalry were disposed in the rear of the main army, under orders to force stragglers to return to their ranks.
By 10:30 a.m. the two corps were in position and ready to commence the attack.  Gen. Steele's  Division formed the extreme right of the line of battle, reaching near the bayou.  Gen. Stewart's and A. J. Smith's Divisions were formed on the left, while one brigade of Gen. Osterhaus's Division, Col. Sheldon commanding, formed the extreme left of the line, resting upon the river,


Another brigade of the same division, Col. De Courcey commanding, was held in reserve near the transports, while the remaining brigade, Col. Lindsay, was, as above stated, on the opposite side of the river.  Co. A, 1st Ill. L. A., Capt. Wood commanding, was posted to the left of Gen. Stewart's Division, on the road leading into the Post and Co. B of the same regiment, Capt. Bassett commanding, was posted in the center of the same division; the 4th Ohio battery, Capt. Hoffman commanding in the interval between Gens. Stewart's and Steele's Divisions and the 1st Iowa battery, Capt. Griffith commanding, between Thayer's and Hovey's Brigades, of Steele's Division.  The 1st Mo. Horse Art., Capt. Landgueber commanding, was in reserve, with Gen. Blair's Brigade, and the 8th Ohio battery, Capt. Blount commanding, were advanced to an entrenched position in front of Col. Landram's Brigade, of Gen. Smith's Division, and were supported by the 96th Ohio.  A section of 20-pounder Parrott guns, Lieut. Webster commanding, was posted by Gen. Osterhaus near the river bank, within 800 yards of the fort, and concealed by fallen trees from the view of the enemy, while two sections of the Illinois Mercantile Battery were masked and held by the same commander in reserve.  The 7th Mich. battery, Capt. Lamphere commanding, remained with Col. DeCourcey.
At 1 p.m. the gunboats opened fire, immediately followed by the artillery in line on land.  By 1:30 o'clock the infantry, in their order, began to move forward by charging some distance and lying down during the severest and hottest fire from the enemy thus steadily advancing upon the enemy's works until the advance line was within 150 yards of the works, the rear line being about 100 yards in rear of the advance line.  A fierce contest lasted until after 4 p.m., when the rear line was ordered to charge over the advance line but fortunately just as the line was ready to push forward the white flag was seen on one of the buildings and a number along the works.  The enemy had surrendered.  Some portions of the line had reached a point nearer the works than others.  It would require too much space to mention the movement of each regiment in detail.  All performed the duty assigned them.  Cooley's battery had reached a point within 200 yards of the enemy's works.
Col. Lindsey, as soon as a gunboat had passed above the fort, hastened with his brigade down to the position indicated on the map and opened an oblique fire from Foster's two 20 and Lieut. Wilson's two 10 pounder Parrotts into the enemy's lines of rifle pits, carrying away his battle-flag and killing a number of his men.  Eager to do still more, he embarked the 3d Ky. on board one of the gunboats to cross the river to the fort; but before it got over the enemy had surrendered.
Seven stands of colors were captured, including the garrison flag, which was captured by Capt. Ennis, one of Gen. Smith's Aids-de-Camp.  Gen. Burbridge planted the American flag upon the fort.
Gen. McClernand in his report says:  "Besides those 5,000 prisoners, 17 pieces of cannon, large and small, 10 gun-carriages and 11 limbers, 3,000 stands of small arms exclusive of many lost and destroyed, 130 swords, 50 Colt's pistols, 40 cans of powder, 1,650 rounds of shot, shell and canister for 10 and 20-pounder Parrott guns, 375 shells, grape stands and canister, 46,000 rounds of ammunition for small arms, 563 animals and 170 wagons were captured.  Our loss in killed was 129, in wounded 831, missing 17, in all, killed, wounded and missing, 977, while that of the enemy, notwithstanding the protection afforded by his defenses, proportionately to his numbers, was much larger.  The prisoners of war I forwarded to the Commissioner for Exchange of Prisoners at St. Louis, and utterly destroying all of the enemy's defenses, together with all buildings used by him for military purposes."
Rebel Brig.-Gen. Churchill, in his report, says his whole force numbered 3,000 effective men, and the enemy's force was full 50,000.  "My loss will not exceed 60 killed and 75 or 80 wounded; the loss of the enemy was from 1,500 to 2,000 killed and wounded."
Quite a difference of opinion prevailed, and the rebel authorities severely censured the officers for surrendering the post, while the officers in command charged their men with cowardice for putting up the white flag.  It is true our force was probably fully 35,000.  The lost of the Post was a severe blow to the Confederacy, and removed a great annoyance from the Union forces, as well as cheering the drooping spirits of the Union soldiers, after the repulse at Chickasaw Bayou, and prepared them for trials during the Winter on Young's Point and the Copperhead demonstrations at home in the State of New York, who were preparing for a great riot.
The Democrats had control of both Houses of the Legislature in Illinois, and adopted the following resolution:
Resolved, That we believe the further prosecution of the present war cannot result in the restoration of the Union and the preservation of the Constitution as our fathers made it, unless the President's emancipation proclamation is withdrawn.
There were also strong demonstrations in Kentucky and Tennessee. 

January 5, 1863

Monday 5th
Started up river at 7.00 A.M. Moored often for wood. [Wood was the fuel for steamers ] Wrote letter to Rebecca & sent it with map of Vicksburg.
Cyrus Hussey

January 6, 1863

Tuesday 6th
Chased & overtook the Fanny Ogden. [The "Fanny Ogden" was a steamer transporting some of Gen. Steele's regiments.] Wooding nearly all day. ["Wooding" describes the process of pulling over to the bank of the river to cut it or to load wood that had already been cut and stacked at landings.] Wrote letter to Isaac. Mail came in - Nothing for me. Josh [Hussey, Co. D] recd a letter from Isaac dated Dec. 16, 1862. Lying about 40 miles below Napoleon.
Cyrus Hussey

January 7, 1863

Wednesday 7th
Moved up short distance & lay to, to wood. Ran up White River after night. All the fleet moved opposite the mouth of White River. Wrote & mailed letter to Rebecca.
Cyrus Hussey

January 8, 1863

Thursday 8th
Raining before day. McClernand's order No.1. assuming Command January 4, 11.00 a.m. came in. Our forces considered the Army of the Mississippi. G. W. Morgan, Brig. Gen. Commands 1st Army Corps & Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman the 2nd Army Corps, Army of the Miss. Orders to go up the White River. Wrote a letter to Miss P. J. Thornburg an old pupil.
Cyrus Hussey

January 9, 1863

We remained until the 9th, then started up White river. Upon reaching the cut-off, we crossed to the Arkansas,…
John A. Bering & Thomas Montgomery, 1880

Friday 9th
Started up White River about 10.00 A.M. Ran across into Arkansas River. Capt. Robbins [Co. A] sent in his resignation. Parker would not forward. Moored a little down after dark. Orders for operations against Post Ark. [The Post of Arkansas]
Cyrus Hussey

Virgil Moats to wife Eliza
When I wrote you last we were at the mouth of the White River & on Thursday Friday started & followed that stream a few miles until we came to where it is a connection between that and this river [Arkansas River], & crossed through it, & followed it to near this place same day about (30) miles, both rivers are narrow, crooked & deep, but few places enough for our large boats to turn.
Virgil Moats 1/12/63

January 10, 1863

…and passed up that river to within three miles of Arkansas Post, and tied up on the right bank at 10 o'clock A. M., Jan. 10th. The troops disembarked, with two days rations, and at 3 P. M. we started up the river. After marching an hour, we halted in a corn-field, and after partaking of a hasty supper, we resumed our march. In the meantime the gun-boats had opened a heavy fire on the rebel batteries, in the fort, which was continued for several hours without intermission. After passing the gun-boats, that lay in the bend of the river, just below, and in range of the rebel batteries, we entered a dense swamp. Night overtook us and then our march became difficult. Passing over logs, through mud and water, we halted at 9 P. M., in the rear of the rebel fort, and slept on our arms. The weather was cold, and being without blankets, and allowed no fires, we spent a very disagreeable night.
John A. Bering & Thomas Montgomery, 1880

Saturday 10th
Very fine morning. Made some preparation to disembark. Disembarked at 1.00 P.M. Moved up toward the Rebel Fort [Fort Hindman]. Moving after Night - roads bad. Lay on our arms - very cold.
Cyrus Hussey

Virgil Moats to wife Eliza
Saturday morning landed some troops on opposite side to this place & then moved up within two miles, disembarked afternoon, & after night came up within half a mile of the fort.
Virgil Motes 1/12/63

Report of Col. Peter J. Sullivan (not present at event)
…From the Yazoo River we were conveyed in transports to White River, thence into the Arkansas, and on January 10 were landed at Arkansas Post (Fort Hindman), which was by our forces immediately closely invested by land and water.

Peter J. Sullivan (OR 8/4/63)

Report of Col. William J. Landram, Commander 2nd Brigade

The Brigade consisting of the Nineteenth Kentucky, Forty-eighth Ohio, Seventy-seventh, One hundred and Eighth, and One hundred thirty first Illinois Volunteers, disembarked on the morning of the 10th instant, the men resting on their arms in line…
Col. William J. Landram 1/12/63

Report of Gen. Andrew J. Smith, Commander First Division

In obedience to orders the division disembarked on the left bank of the river on the 10th instant at 1 p. m., and proceeded up the river, following the rear of Major-General Sherman's command, until we reached the Northb farm where we met the First Division of that corps returning, having found the route they had taken impracticable.
My division then moved up the river until we passed the first line of rifle-pits, and then diverging to the right soon came upon the rear of General Stuart's division, the advance of which we found posted on the left of the road, having strong pickets well advanced in the sight of the enemy's fort.
After some delay the Sixteenth Indiana, the leading regiment of the First Brigade was ordered forward to the right of the line to be established, and the remaining regiments coming up were ordered into line of battle to left and front, to relieve those of General Stuart's division that were to move farther to the right. Heavy cannonading soon commenced between gunboats and the fort, and many shot and shell were thrown from the latter in the direction of the position occupied by our troops, but with little damage.

Gen. Andrew J. Smith 1/16/63

January 11, 1863

Sunday morning, Jan. 11th, our brigade was ordered to a position on the extreme left, within sight of the fort, and a few hundred yards from the river. Here we remained until 11 o'clock A.M., when, with two other regiments of the brigade, we were ordered back to the center of the Division, in reserve.
At half-past twelve, the batteries being in position, opened, with the gunboats, a terrific cannonading, which continued half an hour before the infantry became engaged. We were then ordered to the right to support Gen. Burbridge's brigade. Here we left our haversacks and blankets, and advanced in the direction of the fort. Upon reaching the edge of the woods, we were halted.
We were now within reach of the enemy's fire, and now and then a shell would come crashing through the timber. Before us was a large, open field; on the opposite side, the rebel fort; to our right, their entrenchments. Half-way across the field was the first line of our infantry, fiercely engaged. We had halted but a few minutes, when Gen. A. J. Smith ordered us to the right. We had proceeded but a short distance, when some of the troops in front were thrown into confusion. At that moment Maj. Hammond, of Gen. Sherman's staff, came riding up and gave the command, "48th Ohio, by the left flank, double-quick, march!'' This put us in line of battle, facing the enemy. With a wild cheer, we started across the field, halting within twenty yards of the first line of battle, occupied at that point by the 23d Wisconsin. - We were halted and ordered to lie down, when we were informed that Col. Parker had been wounded in the arm, and that Capt. Peterson, of Co. K, was in command of the Regiment.
We remained here about fifteen minutes, when we moved forward and relieved the 23d Wisconsin, who were out of ammunition. This brought us within one hundred yards of the fort, and a field battery, just outside. This battery, and also one of steel guns, on the inside of the fort, were soon silenced by our unerring fire. Our batteries, which had been brought up, soon exploded the enemy's magazines and caissons, which sent the fragments flying to every part of their works. The gun-boats, having disabled the two large siege guns, that commanded their approach, passed the fort, and poured broadside after broadside into the enemy's rear.
The long lines of our infantry that stretched away to the right, had advanced under a heavy fire from the enemy, to within a short distance of their entrenchments, and were preparing for a charge, when the rebels, at 20 minutes past 4 P. M., raised the white flag. With a loud cheer, we started on double-quick to the fort. Our Regiment was among the first to enter, and our flag was the second planted on the rebel fortifications. Three of our
companies were commanded by First Sergeants. The Regiment lost two killed and thirteen wounded.
The army captured about 5,000 rebel prisoners and all their military supplies. That night, we bivouacked on the battle-ground, and …
John A. Bering & Thomas Montgomery, 1880

Sunday 11th
Getting position till 10.00 A.M. Fort in full view. Enemy planting battery at 1.00 P.M. I suppose we will try the works by assault. Moved forward at Double quick at 1.30 P.M. Hard fight - Our Brigade on front lines & acted Nobly. The Rebs surrendered at 4.30 or 5.00 P.M. 60th Indiana, 83rd Ohio broke at times but rallied again. We took 7000 prisoners [really about just under 5000], 8000 Stand of Arms & 20 pieces of Cannon: Also a large Amt of Ammunition & Stores. Our loss was light. Lt. Col. Parker was wounded in the Left fore arm - not seriously. The Forty-eighth - as usual - acted nobly. The Rebs were badly used up. 77th Ill. in Fort.
Cyrus Hussey

Virgil Moats to wife Eliza

Sunday morning preparations made for attacking. Everything ready by 12 o'c noon. Gun boats moved up and opened their heavy guns at the same time our artillery opening all along their line which was near one mile in length. By half past one all their guns ten in number were silenced & musketry fighting commenced, & by half past three their works were in our possession. At about half past two our regt. opened fire having been some earlier ordered forward to support as reserve some other regts. Finally getting orders to advance broke across an open field to within three hundred yards of their entrenchment's, fell down for a short time in a hollow, & here our Lt. Col. Parker got a severe shot in the left arm injuring the elbow. Command devolved on Capt. Peterson and myself. We ordered it forward. The boys up & yelling their best run about 100 yards, running entirely over the 16th Ind. Then being inside of 200 yards of the works, again fell down allowing their balls to pass over us. We then opened fire loading while laying on the ground behind bushes, logs, fences etc. In this position we worked until they surrendered nearly one hour. It was here that George was killed, having got clear ahead of all,-- with one or two exceptions-- & on his knees loading. They raised their white flags in token of surrender to our right. We then raised up & those Rebs in front not seeing the white flags fired on us without effect causing us to lie down again but soon the truce flag appeared in front, & again to our feet, & then commenced one of the greatest runs you ever heard of for the fort & owing to some trouble getting into line we were beaten by one other regt. Our success was all that could be desired, & in part atoned for our ill success at Vicksburg. Our prisoners amount to about 6000 - none escaping -- & the loss on our side about 500 in killed & wounded. Their loss in killed and wounded small being well protected by their works. The loss in our regt. Is surprisingly small considering our exposed position only two killed 12 wounded none very seriously.
Our boys behaved admirably & Company F can't be beaten, cowards are scarce in it. I feel proud of them & had we suffered no loss, no feelings of regret need mar our comfort as soldiers.

Virgil Moats 1/12/63

Report of Col. Peter J. Sullivan (not present at event)
January 11, 1863.- The forenoon was occupied in making dispositions of the United States Troops preparatory to an attack on the enemy. This regiment was placed in reserve, and we were informed by the Brigade commander [Col. Landram] that he did not much expect to need it. Half an hour after the commencement of the action it became evident that the whole force would be required. .
The Forty-eighth Ohio was then ordered to the right of this brigade, to support Brigadier-General Burbridge's line, which it did with prompness and in good order. On reaching the point designated, Brig. Gen. A.J. Smith, our division commander, in bold and commanding language, ordered us forward, saying "Forty-eighth Ohio, go right in!" The regiment then marched forward under a galling fire, through tangled brush and fallen tree-tops, to the top of a ridge; thence over a fence to an open field; thence by right flank about 200 yards; thence by left flank in line of battle, until we came within 150 yards of the main fort and directly in front of it. Here we were ordered to halt and lie down, and immediately afterward to rise up and "forward," which we did until we came within a very short distance of the fort, keeping up all the time a most severe and destructive fire on the enemy until about 5 p.m., when he hauled down his colors and hoisted the white flag in token of surrender. We then rushed in, took possession of the fort, and ours was the second flag planted on the main fort.
Colonel Landram, our brigade commander, who fought gallantly by our side, complimented us on the spot, saying the Forty-eighth Ohio was the best old regiment out. Lieut. Col. J. H. Hammond, chief of Maj. Gen. Sherman's staff, also complimented the regiment for its unusual dashing bravery.
Our loss in this engagement was but 2 killed and 14 wounded; there were no casualties among the commissioned officers, except a slight flesh-wound which Lieut. Col. Job R. Parker, of said regiment, received at long range in his left forearm, just before the regiment was marching up to its position and before it was engaged in the action. He immediately retired from the field and Capt. Peterson of Company K, then took command and led the regiment into the action…
Peter J. Sullivan (OR 8/4/63)

Report of Col. William J. Landram, Commander 2nd Brigade
… noon of the 11th instant, the right [of the regimental line] occupying a small open space about three quarters of a mile from the river, the left resting near the road running parallel with the Arkansas River.
The One Hundred and thirty-first Illinois Volunteers…was detailed to repair the road to our rear, at the instance of the commandant of the division, which prevented the regiment from participating in the engagement….
The Nineteenth Kentucky and the Ninety-seventh Illinois Volunteers having been posted upon the left of the First Brigade, and the Seventy-seventh and One hundred eighth Illinois forming a line in the rear of the first line, and the forty eighth Ohio constituting a second reserve, it was ascertained that the first Brigade would, after moving a short distance to the front, occupy nearly the whole ground between the river and the troops to our right. In obedience to the orders of the general [A. J. Smith] commanding the division I deployed the brigade on the 19th Kentucky, in the rear of the first Brigade, so as to constitute a reserve for General Burbridge, who was ordered to advance.
In line the regiments stood thus: First and right, Forty-eighth Ohio, Lieut. Col. Parker commanding. Second, Seventy-seventh Illinois, Col. D. P. Greer; One hundred and eighth Illinois, Col. John Warner; 19th Kentucky, Lieut. Col. John Cowan commanding. Fifth and left, Ninety-seventh Illinois, Col. F. S. Rutherford.
I was then directed to conform my movements to those of general Burbridge, so as to support him if necessary, in an assault upon the enemy's works at Post Arkansas, with orders "not to suffer a repulse." Our troops were put in motion about 1.30 o'clock under a galling fire of infantry and artillery from the fort and rifle-pits.
About 2.30 o'clock I was informed that a portion of the First Brigade needed an immediate support, and ordered the Nineteenth Kentucky and Ninety-seventh Illinois to bear to the right and furnish such support as General Burbridge might require, which order was promptly obeyed.
At a later hour it became manifest that it was necessary to put the whole brigade into action, and accordingly I ordered my command to advance directly upon the enemy's works, which was done by every regiment with a cheer and at double-quick. The firing was heavy and continuous as the enemy's sharpshooters were driven from the front into the rifle-pits near the fort, from which his artillery was playing upon our lines.
The engagement lasted near two hours at this point, all the men having advanced to within 200 yards of their lines. After a gallant defense of four hours the enemy hoisted the white flag from their works in our front as a signal for a surrender; upon seeing which I ordered my men to cease firing, and the whole brigade entered the fort with the banners of our country floating in triumph.
It is gratifying to be able to bear testimony to the uniform good conduct of all the officers and men. They advanced steadily, behaved with great coolness under fire after getting under fire, and fired with good effect. I am satisfied that no regiment of the brigade lost any ground at any period of the engagement.

The Forty-eighth Ohio fully maintained the distinguished reputation it won at Shiloh. Lieutenant-Colonel Parker, while gallantly leading his men, was wounded in the arm, but after stopping and having his wound dressed he returned to his regiment and remained with it to the close of the fight. Capt. S. G. W. Peterson, of Company K, took charge of the regiment temporarily and acted with great bravery as well as skill in the management of the men.

To Lieut. Cyrus Hussey, of the Forty-eighth Ohio, aid-de-camp, and Charles Tracy, of the Seventy-seventh Illinois, temporarily acting assistant adjutant-general, I am indebted for the most valuable assistance conveying orders to all parts of the field, constantly exposed to the fire of the enemy…
The loss of the brigade was comparatively small, the killed and wounded reaching only 85. A list of casualties accompanies this report.
Very truly, yours, &c.
W. J. Landram
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Col. William J. Landram 1/12/63

Report of Gen. Andrew J. Smith, Commander First Division

Early on the morning of the 11th the troops of the First Division were placed in position for an assault upon the works of the enemy. The first Brigade moved well to the right and Join the left of Stuart's division; the Second Brigade moved two regiments forward into line, having three in reserve, with General Osterhaus' division on the left, between that and the river. The Seventeenth Ohio battery, Captain Blont commanding, was brought forward, and three pieces (10.pounder Parrotts) placed in position, under the cover of the earthwork thrown up during the night, in plain view of the fort, the remaining three pieces masked in reserve. In this position the Army waited the signal for the assault.
About 1.00 p. m. the gunboats opened on the fort, and the cannonading became general from the extreme right to the left, and continued about 30 minutes, when General Sherman opened on the right with musketry, which was the signal agreed upon to advance. My whole line with a heavy line of skirmishers in front, moved slowly forward, to the open field, across which my division had to pass under a heavy fire from the enemy's works. As we emerged from the timber the front line was hotly engaged for some minutes, driving the enemy before us, who first took shelter in a number of houses and cabins about midway between us and the fort, and from which they were doing great execution on our advanced lines, and checked for a moment our progress. The twenty third Wisconsin Volunteers, Colonel Guppy, commanding, was ordered to charge upon the houses and take position of them at all hazards, which was done in the most gallant manner, thus forcing the enemy to abandon their stronghold and flee under a hot fire from our troops to their entrenchments. Our line then continued a storming advance upon their works until within 200 yards of the main fort, from which point we kept up an incessant fire throughout the line for nearly half an hour. About this time all the guns from the fort had been silenced; but Captain Cooley's battery, that had been advanced by General Osterhaus, and one from General Sherman's corps, continued to play upon the enemy. Captain Blont's battery which had done such effective service, was compelled to cease in consequence of the advance of our troops. seeing a Confederate flag floating on a house in the rear of the fort I ordered up one of Capt. Blont's pieces to play upon it, and after a few shots heard the cry that the white flag was raised. General Burbridge was handed a flag with orders to be the first in the fort and plant it. I am happy to say this was accomplished. The Sixteenth Indiana, Lieut Col. John M. Orr commanding, was the first in the fort, followed by the 83rd Ohio, Lieutenant-Colonel Baldwin commanding, who were the first to plant their colors on the works of the enemy. They were followed immediately by the whole division, which entered the works of the enemy in the most perfect order.
I at once detailed the Seventy-seventh Illinois, Col. Greer commanding, to take charge of the fort and the Nineteenth Kentucky, Lieutenant-Colonel Cowen, to guard the outer works and prisoners. The fort and prisoners were surrendered to Brig. Gen. S. G. Burbridge in person.
During the action the following field officers were wounded while nobly leading their men forward: ..., Lieutenant-Colonel Parker, Forty-eighth Ohio, in the left arm, who after having his wound dressed joined his regiment and led it gloriously into the fort.
The total number of killed wounded and missing in my division is as follows: Killed, 47; wounded, 381; and missing 6. Total 343 [preliminary figures].
Each regiment of my division that participated in the action of the 11th instant performed its duty to my entire satisfaction, and I feel proud of making this announcement to my general commanding, as they were each and all under my own supervision. To Brigade commanders Brigadier-General Burbridge and Colonel W. J. Landram, I accord great praise. To the Colonels or commanding officers of my regiments, as well as to the field and staff belonging thereto, I accord that praise due brave and gallant leaders.
The flags taken were from the following parties: Grison flag, taken at Headquarters in the fort; McClluoch Avengers, taken on right breastwork; and Tenth Texas, A. Nelson's regiment, taken at hospital.
A. J. Smith
Brigadier-General Commanding
Gen. Andrew J. Smith 1/16/63

January 12, 1863

…on the following day, after destroying the fortifications we camped in the woods, a short distance below the fort.
John A. Bering & Thomas Montgomery, 1880

Monday 12th
No Movement. Burying dead & getting wounded on boats. Recd a letter from My Wife, dated Dec. 25/62- the first since she went home.
Cyrus Hussey

Virgil Moats to wife Eliza
Arkansas Post
Arkansas River Jan. 12th 1862[sic. should be 1863]
Dear Eliza & family
I again write you a few lines to let you know of my whereabouts which you will learn from the caption of this letter. We have just been through another terrific battle, & thank God I and all the boys except Geo. Blair are safe & sound. Poor George was killed, the ball passing through or near his heart he spoke but a part of a sentence after he was struck. One of the boys by his side asked him where he was shot his reply was, "I don't know where" & immediately expired without a groan. We feel his loss as he was one of the very best boys, & and as brave as good he was clear in the advance when killed. We buried him as best we could, making a very nice box.

This is Monday night I am on the boat writing. The boys are in the fort 1/2 mile off. Some of our boys are yet on the boat & were not in the fight. [Sergt.] John E. Richardson has been having the Ague hard & was not out. Andrew Smith, Nagel [Noggle?], Kellog & Butler, not very well, were none of them out. [All from Co. F.]
I have not much further to write. I have given you the particulars of the fight & will say further that while it lasted Shiloh was nowhere.
No letters yet from you, don't blame you. Suppose you have written often enough but the rebs got out large mail of ours as I wrote you once before.
There was a mail gone out to the Regt. Maybe a letter for me, but I can't wait for it as the mail gos in the morning. Should I get one I will write you again.
I expect we will go back to the Miss. River as the water is too low for us to go to Little Rock at this time.
My own health is not very good. I caught a severe cold in my head which is rather troublesome for comfort. I will be alright in a day or two. [Moats was wrong about his health. He was very ill for about a week (see Jan 20, 1863 letter)]
Will write soon again
Direct your letters to 48th OV. Army Miss. Gen. Morgan's Corps. Army Miss.
Good Night
V. H. M.
Virgil Motes 1/12/63

January 13, 1863

Tuesday 13th
Leveling fortifications - Loading Ammunition on Transports. I stationed pickets for our Brigade in P.M. Preparations for leaving. Wounded & sick - bad - being put on boats to go North. Chaplain Spence to accompany. My knee hurting me at night. Prisoners quite sick. Wrote to Rebecca, sent by one of the Guards of the 108th Ill. who went on Hos. Boat "Satan". Heavy rain.
Cyrus Hussey

January 14, 1863

Jan. 14th, the Regiment was ordered on board the "City of Alton," and one company on picket. It rained all day, and continued until midnight, when it turned to snow. The pickets suffered more from exposure that night, than at any other time during their entire service... January 14th, Capt. John W. Frazee [Co. C] resigned...
John A. Bering & Thomas Montgomery, 1880

Wednesday 14th
Continues to rain in the morning. Hospital boats started to Memphis. My Right knee sore & partly stiff. Raining all day. Troops from our Brigade embarked at 4.00 P.M. Unwell - Diarrhea.
Cyrus Hussey

January 15, 1863

Our trips on steamboats were very unhealthy, especially when confined any length of time, with so large a number as we had on the "City of Alton." The 48th was put on with the 108th Illinois, that had over 1,000 men, besides Col. Landrum's [Landram's] brigade headquarters, and all the horses and mules belonging to the two regiments. In pleasant weather the men could sleep comfortably almost anywhere, but during a rain or snow-storm the suffering from exposure was intense.
The army was compelled to live principally on crackers, as there were no accommodations whatever for cooking. Before leaving Arkansas Post the weather turned very cold, which, with the unavoidable use of the Yazoo water at Vicksburg, the close confinement on the over-crowded steamboats, and poorly prepared food, disabled nearly half the troops in the whole expedition. The 108th Illinois, being a new regiment, suffered severely. Nearly three-fourths were rendered unable for duty, and death was thinning their ranks at a fearful rate, so that our steamer had the appearance of a hospital boat. Our Regiment escaped with scarcely any sickness, especially of a fatal character.

John A. Bering & Thomas Montgomery, 1880

Thursday 15th
Severe Head Ache. Snowed from 1 to 3 inches last night & continues. Pickets called in & preparations to move. Commenced letter to my Wife. Snowed slowly most of the day. Headache almost ceased at night.
Cyrus Hussey

January 16, 1863

Friday 16th
No movement up to 8.00 a.m. Cold but clearing off. Recd letter from Rebecca dated Jan. 1863.
No movement.
Cyrus Hussey

January 17, 1863

We left Arkansas Post on the morning of Jan. 17th, and arrived at Napoleon at noon.
John A. Bering & Thomas Montgomery, 1880

Saturday 17th
Moved down the River early in the morning. Finished letter to Rebecca. Moored at Napoleon about 2.00 P.M. Four Regiments from Kanawa Valley came down. [The Kanawa Valley is in West Virginia - these are likely to have been West Virginia regiments]. The town almost deserted. Recd a letter of Jan.1. from Wife.
Cyrus Hussey

Report of Col. Peter J. Sullivan (not present at event)
We remained at Arkansas post until January 17, when we again embarked on board our transports, and the expedition steamed down the Mississippi River,…
Peter J. Sullivan (OR 8/4/63)


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January 15, 1863 - April 15, 1863
Digging the Canal


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