effecting anything by direct attack, we were compelled to rely on the gunboats to silence the enemy's battery. Had this been done, our infantry forces could have soon cleared the river of obstructions, and a single gunboat once past the fort would have secured us not only the position but the entire garrison; but, failing in this, nothing could be effected.
I have deemed it unnecessary to encumber this communication with details. Having made full reports, with plats accompanying, from time to time during the progress of the expedition, it is but just to say that, while I am satisfied Lieutenant-Commander smith might, by more energy and rapidity of movement, have made the expedition successful, the error was one of the judgment only; that he was, although in very feeble health, after arriving in front of the fort, indefatigable in his labors, and exhibited during the engagement the utmost coolness and gallantry.
I have not alluded to the period during which Brigadier-General Quinby commanded the expedition, for, in my opinion, its fate was decided, and a withdrawal inevitable, as soon as it appeared that the gunboat could not silence the enemy's work.
The officers and soldiers of my command performed the many arduous duties required of them with a vigilance and alacrity deserving of the highest praise, and, although we were scouting and reconnoitering constantly, and made repeated captures of rebel soldiers singly and in squads, I did not have a man captured by them during the entire expedition.
Upon a full retrospect, with my present knowledge of the facts, I can discover nothing that the infantry force could have done, with the means at hand, more than they did to insure success.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
L. F. ROSS,
Lieutenant Colonel John A. RAWLINS,
Numbers 4. Report of Brigadier General Frederick Salomon, U. S. Army, commanding First Brigade. HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE, THIRTEENTH DIVISION,[Helena], April 10, 1863.
GENERAL: My brigade having formed a part of the Yazoo Pass expedition, under your command, I have the honor to submit the following report of the same:
In compliance with former instructions, my command, numbering in aggregate 1,803 effective men, was embarked on six transports, with FIFTEEN days' rations and tents for shelter, on the 24th of February. The inclosed tabular statement, marked A, * gives the different regiments with the expedition, and their respective strength.
On the 11th day of March, the forces arrived 2 miles north of rebel Fort Pemberton, after a tedious and perilous passage through the Yazoo Cut, Moon Lake, Yazoo Pass, Coldwater, and Tallahatchee Rivers, my
* Not found.