General Sherman, the order for which I inclosed you previous to my departure from Memphis.
I left Memphis on the steamer Forest Queen with the general and staff at 11.30 a. m., December 20, and arrived at Helena 6.30 p. m. On the following afternoon we took our took departure for the Yazoo River, appointing intermediate rendezvous.
December 26, a. m., lander without opposition at Johnson's plantation, Yazoo River, some 7 1\2 miles from, its mouth. On the following morning the army was put in mention and I was ordered to accompany General Morgan, who commanded the left.
Our line of march lay along Chickasaw Bayou, on the right bank going up. We met with no opposition until near its junction with other bayous, where the enemy opened fire from the opposite side, which soon ceased, and we bivouacked on the ground that the division then occupied. The next day I brought on from the landing the bridge material, consisting of plank and spikes, distributed in several wagons, so as to be delieved as required by the different divisions.
On the afternoon of the 29th, by the general's order, built a brigade 35 feet across one of the branches of Chickasaw Bayou and a crossing at a dry place of another immediately to the rear of our left, which branches were only crossed before on a narrow levee along Chickasaw Bayou, admitting but one wagon at a time. Heavy rain all night.
December 30, our main road and the branches leading to the different divisions being in very bad condition, General Sherman order two regiment to report to me, and that I should corduroy them, commencing at the worst places. This work I continued up to the evening of our departure.
January 1, in the afternoon, went to the extreme front of Second Division with the chief of artillery to examine the ground preparatory to erecting a battery during the night for four 20-pounder Parrotts and a line of rifle-pits to connect it with a small work up the night before. It seeming now probable that we should remain in our present position or near it for some time, I had intended to apply in the morning for a large detail to make a supply of gabions, excellent material being in abundance and at hand.
At dark General Sherman, who had just returned from a consultation with the admiral, informed me of his intention to re-embark immediately, and ordered me to take the artillery ammunition that was on the field-some 200 boxes-to the landing in my brigade-material wagons, and if necessary to leave the plank and some of the boats behind, the boats being in a damaged condition, having been used once and being lightly constructed were much strained and leaky, two of them also being injured by enemy's shot. I therefore abandoned a portion of the plank and four of the boats and by that means took in all the ammunition, which was of far greater value under the circumstances; and it was 4 in the morning before I had succeeded in loading all the ammunition in the ordnance boat. On the following afternoon we reached Milliken's Bend.
I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. LE B. JENNEY,
Captain, Aide-de-Camp, on Engineer Duty.
Captain FREDERICK E. PRIME,
Chief Engineer, Department of the Tennessee.