War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0431 Chapter XXXVI. THE STEELE'S BAYOU EXPEDITION, ETC.

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Number 7. - Colonel Hamilton N. Eldridge, One hundred and twenty-seventh Illinois Infantry.

Number 8. - Captain Benjamin H. Myers, Eighty-THIRD Indiana Infantry.

Number 9. - Lieutenant Colonel Cyrus W. Fisher, FIFTY-fourth Ohio Infantry.

Number 10. - Captain John McClure, FIFTY-seventh Ohio Infantry.

Numbers 11. - Brigadier General Hugh Ewing, U. S. Army, commanding THIRD Brigade.

Number 12. - Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Jones, Thirtieth Ohio Infantry.

Number 13. - Colonel Edward Siber, Thirty-seventh Ohio Infantry.

Number 14. - Colonel Augustus C. Parry, Forty-seventh Ohio Infantry.

Number 15. - Colonel Joseph A. J. Lightburn, Fourth WEST Virginia Infantry.

Number 16. - Major General Carter L. Stevenson, C. S. Army, commanding district.

Number 17. - Major General Dabney H. Maury, C. S. Army, commanding DIVISION.

Number 18. - Brigadier General Winfield S. Featherston, C. S. Army, commanding brigade.

Number 19. - Brigadier General Stephen D. Lee, C. S. Army, commanding brigade.

Number 20. - Colonel Samuel W. Ferguson, C. S. Army, commanding detachment.

Numbers 1.

Reports of Major General William T. Sherman U. S. Army, commanding Fifteenth Army Corps.

HEADQUARTERS, Deer Creek, March 16, 1863.

DEAR SIR: I came up Steele's Bayou and overtook the fleet of iron-clads just before they reached Deer Creek. Four of them have gone up Deer Creek to Rolling Fork Cut-off, thence into Sunflower, thence into Yazoo, just below Yazoo City. The Louisville remains here, but goes up the moment I can get a guard through to this point. Deer Creek is not as large nor has it as much current as I expected, but the water is deep and narrow. The iron-clads push their way along unharmed, but the trees and overhanging limbs tear the wooden boats all to pieces. I found the Diligent nearly up to the fleet, and they have been at work to-day, but most of the time were engaged in collecting rafts whereon to stand whilst cutting trees. I don't think any boat can as yet come through this Black Bayou, but I will push the work.

There is no high land here, nor is the route practicable for troops unless the admiral cleans out the Yazoo and secures the mouth of Deer Creek, when I might use Deer Creek as the route for a diverting force. The main attack on Hayne's Bluff must be in larger boats, directly up the main Yazoo. None but my small boats can navigate Deer Creek. I don't think we can make a lodgment on high land by this route, on account of the difficulty of navigation.

The admiral wants me to hold this place secure for him whilst he operates above, and I will undertake it. We are only 25 miles by land from Hayne's Bluff, but I don't apprehend they will do worse than send a party up to ascertain our strength and purposes. One brigade (Giles A. Smith's) is as much as should be sent here till the trees are cut away.

The plantation here is not more than 3 feet above water, and is the same kind of ground we have on the Mississippi.

I send the Diligent back, having landed the Eight Missouri here, and arranged for bringing it through the bayou in a coal-barge towed by a tug.

Colonel Ihrie will describe the topographical features of this locality.

Yours, truly,

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General, Commanding.

Major General U. S. GRANT.