long as we are here that's out of the question, and only becomes practicable when they have rammed our iron-clads, or carried them by boarding. It is said that they have a battalion of volunteers from the different Mississippi regiments, commanded by Todd, selected for their prowess, and to be used as boarders. We can receive such gentlemen with bloody hands.
What has become of Casey and my horse? remember me to Bowers and Osband. Say to the latter, if he moves his horses from Memphis, to please make arrangements concerning my mare.
I wrote you hastily a few evenings ago, and referred to my brother of the Eighteenth. I wish I could show you the testimonials and recommendations he has received, since his court-martial, from Haynie, Sullivan, Brayman, Lawler, and his lieutenant-colonel (who preferred the charges against him and has been at enmity with him), urging his promotion to the majority of the Eighteenth. He has twice received this promotion, and twice had it withdrawn in favor of political aspirants. He ought to have it now, and if you can do anything for him I wish you would.
Remember me kindly to the general, and say I will write again when the result of to-morrow's attack is known.
I believe I explained the difficulty of land operations here, arising from the high water. Nearly the whole county is under water. There is no way of our reaching the fort except by landing against it with our boats, after the guns are silent and the raft destroyed.
Write me about affairs below and the prospect. Your letter of the latest date was very interesting. Accept my grateful acknowledgments of the kind sentiments manifested toward me, and believe me, dear Rawlins, very truly, your friend,
J. H. WILSON.
HEADQUARTERS YAZOO EXPEDITION,
Curtiss' Plantation, 5 miles north of Greenwood, March 16, 1863.
GENERAL: I wrote to you hurriedly a few days ago, and to Colonel Rawlins quite fully last night.
I am sorry to say we are no nearer the accomplishment of our object to-night than we were yesterday. In accordance with the arrangement between General Ross and the commodore, we had placed an 8-inch shell gun in battery with our Parrott last night, and were ready at daylight to make the final effort. General Ross selected the three best regiments of his command, and embarked them on three of the lightclad gunboats, ready to throw them ashore at the battery, provided the heavy guns of the enemy should be silenced and the raft broken, so as to permit a landing.
About noon our battery opened and was vigorously replied to by some rifled field pieces from two little batteries, erected on the bank of the Yazoo, 300 or 400 yards below the fort last night. Our 8-inch gun was well handled, but having only the muzzle of their heavy gun to fire at, could not have effected much without great good fortune. Then, too, the rebels were supplied with plenty of cotton bales, which they used judiciously in covering their piece. In a few minutes after the land battery opened, the Chillicothe, followed by the De Kalb, moved out with the intention of "going in" upon the well-established principle of gunboat warfare,"close quarters and quick work," but the former had hardly reached her old position, 1,100 yards from the fort, before she was struck