War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0415 Chapter XXXVI. THE YAZOO PASS EXPEDITION, ETC.

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hatchee, abandoning the position of their land batteries. I have ordered pursuit upon their rear and both flanks.



Lieutenant General J. C. PEMBERTON.

FORT PEMBERTON, March 20, 1863-5 p. m.

I start a fully-clad cotton boat down to-night, keeping one here in case of accident. Enemy in full run, as fast as steam can carry him, and my men after him. This place capable of very strong defense;

should be made perfect, and I have given orders to have it so. The engineer officer ordered by you has not yet reported, as the enemy is steaming away from here as fast as he can. I will, if you wish it, go to the Sunflower and stop him.


Major-General, Commanding.

Lieutenant-General PEMBERTON.


Near Greenwood, MISS., March 22, 1863.

MAJOR: I beg leave to submit the following report of operations on the Yazoo and Tallahatchee Rivers:

In accordance with your instructions, I left Jackson, MISS., on the morning of February 17 last, with the view to finding some suitable place on the Yazoo or Tallahatchee whereat to erect works and place obstructions to the passage down of the enemy. An examination of the two rivers from Yazoo City to 100 miles above here satisfied me that this position was the only one offering the slightest advantage for defensive works, and having previously ordered Major [Minor] Meriwether, of the engineers, to this place, determined to avail myself of its strong points. Accordingly, a line of works composed of cotton bales and earth was thrown up, extending from the Yazoo to the Tallahatchee, and a raft constructed by the able and united labors of Major Thomas Weldon and Mr. John McFarland, and with great skill placed in the Tallahatchee on our right. These necessary arrangements were prosecuted with the utmost diligence day and night; and notwithstanding every exertion to perfect our defenses, the enemy made his descent of the river and found ut but poorly prepared to receive him.

On Wednesday (March 11), the enemy made his appearance before us with nine gunboats and twenty-four transports, a land force of 7,000 infantry and artillery. The raft in an unfinished state was hastily swung across the Tallahatchee, and the Confederate States steamer Star of the WEST sunk behind it. My inspector-general, Captain John D. Myrick, was placed in command of the batteries, and we awaited the assault.

At 10 a. m. the formidable iron-clad Chilicothe steamed around the bend of the river in our front, as though it was intended to rush upon the raft and destroy it. A well directed shell from our 32-pounder fell upon her turret, and she sensibly diminished her speed. This was followed by a solid shot from an 18-pounder rifle, which also struck, and the Chillicothe backed up stream until her hull was hidden around the bend, save her bow and that portion of her which contained the 11-inch