War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0411 Chapter XXXVI. THE YAZOO PASS EXPEDITION, ETC.

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By command of Issac N. Brown, I take (specifying quantity, &c.) cotton for the steamer Saint Mary's, to protect her from enemy's shot.

F. E. SHEPHERD,

Lieutenant, C. S. Navy.

As he has a few bales left, he will have another receipt to-morrow from a grade above that in the U. S.

This river is high and the current strong.

Respectfully, yours,

W. SMITH,

Lieutenant-Commander.

Actg. Rear-Admiral DAVID D. PORTER,

Commanding Mississippi Squadron.

[Inclosure Number 2.]

U. S. S. RATTLER,

Tallahatchee River, March 7, 1863.

SIR: I am obliged to leave the Petrel about 12 miles from the Coldwater, in the Tallahatchee. Her wheel is about destroyed by accidents and bad management. We will coal to-night, and go on to Greenwood with the gunboats and transports, leaving the Marmora at the junction of the Yalabusha and Tallahatchee, to guard the coal (two barges) and the steamer Bayard and an army transport with troops. The Romeo follows with the mortar. The little provision that the army has is spoiling. They have five day's on hand, and have sent for only six day's in addition. I can maintain my party (those now drawing rations) for one month. If all entitled drew rations, would have rations for twenty-two days.

We have these disadvantages - that we must fight down-stream, and that all are stern-wheelers but one, and the rams cannot reach a vessel with wide guards in a tender place without bringing up against their own works in front of the boilers. I have cut away their bitts, and made the most of those vessels.

The Lioness has eighty-five bales os cotton for defense, two deep before boilers; the Fulton cannot carry any on the sides forward. The army have, I believe, sent for more provisions, but they will be scant when those are received. This delay has spoiled our chances. There will be more of it, as they must forage for provisions and fuel, and every transport, I am told, has an empty hold. I anticipate a rough time. Have made the best preparations that our time and means would admit and go to work trustingly.

Two cases (contrabands) of small-pox were reported by the Forest Rose to-day. I will have them sent to Helena, and thence to Cairo, if possible. Several of the light-draughts are cottoned forward and on the sides abreast of boilers; a good defense of bales, too on cabin decks forward and around bows inboard of hammock-nettings, the trees having nearly brushed the netting away. The light-draughts with hurricane cut roofs have had all the after parts of decks swept away.

Respectfully, yours,

W. SMITH,

Lieutenant-Commander, Comdg. Gunboats, Yazoo Expedition.

Actg. Rear-Admiral DAVID D. PORTER,

Commanding Mississippi Squadron.