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Pemberton had just 40,000. They were scattered. Many of them were chasing Greirson. The force you mention consisted of about 20,000 men supported by gunboats. Any real concentration of troops against this force was next to impossible. However, give credit to Grant for knowing this and for also risking being cut off from his supply line for a period of time with this move. It was a bold move.
Greirson's raid, along with Sherman’s diversion at Chickasaw bluffs, was what I meant when I wrote that the Confederates were deceived. Grant feinted and they bit. Had they not the landing could have been opposed.