a transport loaded with troops, disabling the transport and doing considerable execution. I have also to mention that a party of State troops, under the command of Major Lidell, fired into them, and on several occasions our cavalry on this sides of the river annoyed them. In order to strike them in the future successfully, I would recommend that large canoes be ordered. They can be readily made along the river, and guns usually used by the Navy 6 or 12 pounders, breech-loading, be obtained for the purpose. I have no doubt that two regiments, scattered along the Tallahatchee, Coldwater, and Sunflower, under men of energy and courage, would break up any expedition the enemy might send here in future.
With respect, I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
W. W. LORING,
Major R. W. MEMMINGER,
Report of Major General Dabney H. Maury, C. S. Army, commanding DIVISION, &c., of operations April 1-10.
Vicksburg, April 11, 1863,
(Received April 15.)
MAJOR: In pursuance of the instructions of the lieutenant-general commanding, I joined Major-General Loring, at Fort Pemberton, on the morning of April 1. He was re-enforced the same day by the whole of Featherston's brigade and six guns of my DIVISION, making his whole force ample to hold the position.
I was assigned to the command of the forces at Cureton's, constituting our left wing.
On the evening of the 1st. the enemy commenced the construction of a very heavy battery about 1,000 yards from the fort. During the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, a constant fire of shells was kept up by us upon it, and sharpshooters were sent to annoy the workmen, so that they were compelled to cease work before the battery was completed. The enemy was very quiet during this whole time. He made no scouts, and only one reconnaissance, and made no reply to the fire of our guns or of our sharpshooters. Rumors came in that he was retreating.
On the 4th, I sent Colonel [O. S.] Holland, in command of a regiment and battalion of sharpshooters, with orders to discover the force and position of the enemy. He drove in his pickets, and discovered him still in force in his position on the Tallahatchee. As the enemy formed his line to receive Holland's attack, a heavy fire was opened upon him by the fort, which occasioned considerable annoyance and some loss. That night and next morning the enemy re-embarked his army and retreated. During the 6th, 7th, and 8th, my scouts reported him still retreating, and as having entered the Coldwater River.
The operations of the enemy were characterized by a great want of energy, but by the usual disregard of the claims of humanity and of the usages of manly warfare; women and unarmed, helpless men were insulted, private dwellings and plantations were destroyed and plundered, the stock stolen or wantonly killed, the fruit trees belted, and every other means taken to gratify the cowardly instincts of base natures.