put in motion at the hours appointed, but upon examinat on of the ground between the landing and the foot-hills I determined to halt the last two brigades and proceed to the appointed place with the first two, and by daylight took the road, leaving word to send forward frequent reports of the effect of the storm and rain upon the streams between the landing and high ground. These reports overtook me frequently, reporting the water as rising at the rate of 6 inches per hour. This and the terrible condition of the roads induced me to order back one of the two batteries.
The head of the column was brought to a halt by the swollen creek without name 4 1/2 miles out. Colonel Hicks partially bridged it, but the water soon rose above the timbers, and as our cavalry has passed it quite early in the night and had gone on, I ordered the construction of another bridge. While at work on this a messenger returned from the cavalry, stating that they had found it impossible to proceed and were returning. I awaited their return, received the verbal report of my aide, Major Sanger, and was satisfied that no human energy could have overcome the difficulty. The streams were impassable, save by the slow process of bringing, which was inconsistent with the object of our expedition. The rain was still falling and the slough to our rear rising rapidly. I saw no other alternative but to return to our boats. On reaching the slough the water had risen so that the battery could not pass, and had to be taken to pieces and carried on boats down to the steamboat. The severity of the storm and amount of rain which fell in those few hours are shown by the fact that the Tennessee rose 15 feet from 7 p.m. of yesterday till 6 p.m. to-day. The landing, which was last evening ten feet above water, is now submerged from the bank back to the bluff.
Disappointed in this result, I determined to proceed farther up the river (Tennessee) to another landing, at the mouth of Indian Creek, almost in sight of the enemy's redoubt at Chickasaw, and Commander Gwin politely offered me the use of his gunboat. I found the landing utterly inaccessible-entirely under water. To keep the enemy in mind of our presence the gunboat was run up to the point within range of their rifled guns of the battery at Chickasaw, but we could see little or nothing of a force there, although Captain Gwin had on a former occasion drawn their fire from five guns, two of which are rifled and of heavy caliber. Finding the whole shore under water from Chickasaw down to Pittsburg, I had no alternative but to run down to the latter place and report to you.
The object of our expedition failed on account of the severe rain, but we obtained much information useful for future operations. Lieutenant Jenney, of Engineers, of your staff, who was on board the gunboat, has compiled a map, which embraces all the authentic data collected, which he will hand you.
I understand the enemy has fortified Chickasaw, and has there a force of some 3,000 or 4,000. Back of Chickasaw, at the Bear Creek Bridge, is also represented a large camp, but the main forces is quartered at Iuka and Corinth. They are shifted from one to the other and back again, but the accounts of the actual force vary so widely that I do not pretend to form an opinion, but knowing the importance to them of the safety of the Charleston and Memphis Railroad, no one can doubt that between those two points will be generally guarded,not with least care, at the point I aimed at near Burnsville, as no doubt the fact of our landing and marching into the interior has reached them. We should not