Reports of Maj. Gen. Francis J. Herron, U.S. Army, Commanding Division.
MAY 19-JULY 4, 1863.--The Siege of Vicksburg, Miss.
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXIV/2 [S# 37]

JUNE 22, 1863.

General GRANT,

Have pushed my left farther up, and occupy a position within 200 yards of their left works. Have taken two rifle-pits and 10 prisoners alive and 1 wounded. No loss on our side.

HERRON,
Major-general.


HERRON'S, June 23, 1863--2 a.m.

Major-General GRANT.

Have just taken another rifle-pit and 13 prisoners in moving up my right line of skirmishers. Will be ready for your final orders to move. I believe I can go into the enemy's works from this position to-morrow night.

HERRON,
Major-general.


HERRON'S HEADQUARTERS, June 24, 1863.

Major-General GRANT.

Nothing of special importance has occurred on my front since yesterday. I am still working up my sharpshooters, having them within 150 yards on the left. This morning my right was advanced to within 400 yards of the heavy works. We are constructing deep rifle pits at every advance, to make the positions perfectly safe. To-night I will finish a heavy battery within 400 yards of the works.

F. J. HERRON.
HERRON'S HEADQUARTERS, June 24, 1863.


Major-General GRANT.

We had a sharp little skirmish this evening while moving farther, but succeeded in gaining the desired position, and captured a lieutenant and 9 men. Our loss, 1 killed and 1 wounded. Several of the enemy were killed and wounded, in addition to those captured The enemy used light artillery and musketry from their first line of works.

F. J. HERRON,
Major-General.


HERRON'S, July 1, 1863.

        Nothing especially new on my front to-day. I opened this morning with my advanced battery of 42-pounder rifle guns, and used the enemy's works badly. The enemy's mortar was fatally brought to bear on the battery and exploded one shell between the two guns, killing 2 and badly wounding 4 men, but not interfering with the further work of battery.

F. J. HERRON.


HERRON'S, July 1, 1863.

General Grant

        Colonel Logan, commanding at Warrenton, informs me by messenger that Major Wilson, commanding cavalry pickets on Big Black River, has just come in, and reports that he was attacked by 60 of the enemy's cavalry, and fought them some time, when a force of about 200 infantry attempted to flank him, and he fell back. The rebel cavalry crossed at Hankinson's Ferry, and negroes report a force of 2,000 men with artillery crossing at same place. Major Wilson also states that the cavalry sent to examine the crossings between Hankinson's Ferry and Grand Gulf have arrived, and report no signs of enemy below. Colonel Logan desired to have this forwarded to General Ord, and I also send copy to you.

F. J. HERRON.


HEADQUARTERS HERRON'S DIVISION,
Vicksburg, Miss., July 6, 1863.

Lieut. Col. JOHN A. RAWLINS. A. A. G.,
Dept. of the Tennessee.

        COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my command since coming into this department:
        On the 2d of June last, I received orders from Major-General Schofield, commanding Department of the Missouri, to prepare the infantry and artillery of the Second and Third Divisions of the Army of the Frontier, then under my command, for immediate transportation to Vicksburg. The Third Division was encamped some 10 miles from the railroad, at Rolla, Mo., and the Second Division at Pilot Knob. The latter was directed to cross the country to Saint Genevieve and embark, while the troops of the Third Division, after marching to Rolla, went to Saint Louis by rail.
        During the night of the 4th of June, all the troops were embarked on transports, and at once started down the river. At New Madrid I was joined by the Thirty-eighth Iowa Infantry. My command then consisted of the First Brigade (Twenty-sixth Indiana, Thirty-seventh Illinois, Twentieth, Thirty-fourth, and Thirty-eighth Iowa Infantry, with Batteries E and F, First Missouri Light Artillery), commanded by Brigadier-General Vandever, and the Second Brigade (Twentieth Wisconsin, Nineteenth Iowa, and Ninety-fourth Illinois Infantry, with BatteryB, First Missouri Light Artillery), commanded by Brig. Gen. W. W. Orme.
        On the 13th of June, we arrived at Young's Point, where I received orders to cross the river below Vicksburg and take up position on the extreme left of the investing line.
        Owing to a want of transportation, this was attended with a little delay, but on the morning of the 15th the troops crossed, and, after reconnoitering the enemy's works and driving in their pickets, my lines were established within 1,200 yards of the enemy's main line of defense. The first parallel was opened the following night and preparations made for conducting the siege in proper form. Considerable difficulty was experienced in collecting engineer tools, and also in obtaining a supply of ammunition for my light batteries. It is only just to say, however, that this arose from the caliber of the guns being unsuited to the ammunition in the ordnance depot, and not from any negligence on the part of the officers of the ordnance department.
        The ground in my front, as you are aware, was unfavorable for siege operations, being a level plateau interspersed with ravines, which afforded little shelter for troops, on account of being commanded in many places by the guns of the enemy's works. The trenches, however, were pushed forward as rapidly as possible, and by the 25th were within 600 yards of the enemy's line of forts. In front of my left center I had established a battery of 42-pounder rifle guns, which were loaned from the Navy. This battery, under the command of Acting Master [J. Frank] Reed, of the Benton, did excellent service, and I cannot speak too highly of the bravery and energy of this young officer. Indeed, during the whole of my operations, I received valuable assistance and a hearty co-operation from the Navy. During the siege several of the enemy's rifle-pits in my front were carried by assault, and quite a number of prisoners taken. These have been forwarded, as directed, to department headquarters.
        On the evening of the 3d instant, I received notice that terms of capitulation were being considered, with orders from the major-general commanding to cease firing, but to be extremely guarded against a sortie, or attempt of the enemy to cut his way out. My troops were under arms during the night, but nothing unusual occurred, and at 9 o'clock of the morning of the 4th, my division being one of the three selected to occupy the city, and the signal agreed upon having been displayed along the enemy's lint, I marched in and took possession of the works in my immediate front. Several of these were well built, and from their strength could not have been carried by assault without heavy loss. Considering the unavoidable delays before mentioned, and the length of my line (something more than 3 miles), I have reason to be proud of the progress made by my troops during the short time they were engaged in the siege. Their conduct has been admirable in all respects.
        I am under special obligations to Brigadier-Generals Vandever and Orme, commanding brigades, to Captains Comstock and Hoeppner, engineers in charge of the works, and to the several officers of my staff. I inclose herewith a list of casualties which have occurred during the siege.

I remain, colonel, your obedient servant,
F. J. HERRON,
Major-General, Commanding.

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