of making the trip without great risk of their loss. Saint Louise not in good condition. Some of the others, such as the Lavinia Logan and Old Lebanon, might fail at any moment under a stress of work. Emma broken down and exchanged for Key WEST Number 2.
J. H. WILSON.
IN FRONT OF GREENWOOD, MISS., March 13, 1863.
GENERAL: My fleet of transports are now lying in the Tallahatchee, about 5 miles from Greenwood on a direct line, and about 12 by the Tallahatchee and Yazoo Rivers.
We arrived here on the morning of the 11th instant, and have been prevented from advancing any farther by a strong fortification, extending from the Tallahatchee to the Yazoo River, across a neck of land some 2 1/2 miles below.
On the morning of the 11th, I went on board of the gunboat Chillicothe, in company with Commander Smith and Lieutenant-Colonel Wilson, for the purpose of making a reconnaissance, in which we exchanged several shots, two 64-pounder shot of the enemy striking the Chillicothe, but doing her no damage.
I sent Colonel Slack, of the Forty-seventh, and Colonel Bringhurst, of the Forty-sixth Indiana Volunteers, out on reconnaissance by land. We soon me the outposts of the enemy, when a brisk skirmish followed, in which 2 of our men were wounded. The loss of the enemy not known. We drove them back in to their fortifications, which you will observe, by inclosed plats, are very difficult of access, being entirely surrounded by water.
In the afternoon the Chillicothe again made an advance on the works of the enemy, and after remaining in action about thirty minutes, received a shot in one of her port-holes, which killed 4 and wounded 12 of her crew.
On the 12th, we were engaged in repairing the damage to the Chillicothe and making preparations for the erection of a land battery.
This morning we had in position on land two 30-pounder Parrott guns and one 12-pounder howitzer, with which we opened on the enemy at 11 a. m. At 11. 20 the gunboats Chillicothe and De Kalb and the mortar-boat also opened fire. All were hotly engaged until about 1 p. m., when the Chillicothe withdrew for the purpose of filling shell and cutting fuses.
Up to that time she had been struck about twenty times without inflicting any serious damage. Firing was continued by the others until sundown with but little effect. There has been an immense amount of fighting done during the day, and but 3 or 4 slightly wounded on our side. We have no means of knowing the extent of the enemy's damage. If no greater than our own, I may truly say nobody is hurt by to-day's operations.
We got at them again in the morning, and shall continue fighting at them until we get possession. When the work is completed, will forward detailed report. I inclose, for information, plat of fortifications and surrounding country* by Lieutenant-Colonel Wilson.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
L. F. ROSS,
Brigadier-General, Commanding DIVISION.
Brigadier General B. M. PRENTISS, Comdg. Dist. of Eastern Arkansas.
*See p. 389.