Cutting Levees

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“Cutting the levees near the state line of Louisiana and Arkansas, twenty miles above Lake Providence, by order of General Grant. War calls upon men imperatively to do many things which seem most inhuman, and only justified on the ground of being a choice of evils. Our sketch represents one of those painful acts, the cutting of the levees, near the State line of Louisiana and Arkansas. The scene our artist has sketched is about twenty miles above Lake Providence, which is now connected with the Mississippi by a canal dug by the Federal troops, under General McPherson’s command, whose headquarters was on the shore of this beautiful lake. Mr. Lovie said, in his letter to us: ‘The soil is very tough, and will not wash away. The levees consequently have to be blown up with gunpowder. The soil is then loosened with spades. On the spot which I sketch, about half a mile has been removed and the water covers the ground to the depth of ten feet, and steamboats now run in to Bayou Macon.’"— Frank Leslie, 1896


Frank Leslie Famous Leaders and Battle Scenes of the Civil War (New York, NY: Mrs. Frank Leslie, 1896)


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