War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0437 Chapter XXXVI. THE STEELE'S BAYOU EXPEDITION, ETC.

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I shall look for these re-enforcements. I send you a dispatch from Captain Murphy. Please send on troops.

I think a large force will be used to block us up here. We must have every soldier to hold the country or they will do it. Our difficulties increase.

Truly yours, &c.,

DAVID D. PORTER,

Acting Rear-Admiral.

P. S. - I think 10,000 troops could be transported here rapidly from abreast of Island 93, below Bunch's Bend, Mississippi River. We will require that many here before we get through with this matter.

[Indorsement.].

MARCH 21-8 a. m.

Received midnight March 19-20, answered March 20, describing state of facts at the moment. All the country but Deer Creek and Mississippi levees under water. Sixth and Eight Missouri and One hundred and SIXTEENTH Illinois are up. Balance of Stuart's DIVISION at Muddy Bayou.

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General, Commanding.

Numbers 2.

Report of Brigadier General David Stuart, U. S. Army, commanding SECOND DIVISION.

HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION, Fifteenth ARMY CORPS,

Young's Point, La., March 29, 1863.

SIR: In pursuance of an order of General Grant, I embarked the troops of the SECOND DIVISION on transports at Young's Point, on the morning of the 17th instant, with the exception of the FIFTY-FIFTH Illinois, then absent on other duty, and the Eight Missouri, which had preceded us on the 16th, by order of General Sherman. My instructions were debark at Eagle Bend, on the river, and cross the plantation near Muddy Bayou, to Steele's Bayou; there to embark on transports and move up to Rolling Fork, reporting to Major-General Sherman.

Arriving about 1 p. m. at Eagle Bend, I reconnoitered the ground, and found it impassable for the troops without the construction of rafts and bridges. A suggestion from a citizen that the crossing might be effected some 20 miles above, near Tallulah, induced me to dispatch Colonel Giles A. Smith, commanding First Brigade, with his boat, to reconnoiter that point. Meanwhile I proceeded to construct a crossing at Eagle Bend, using for the purpose the negro huts and frame of the cotton-gin found on the plantation belonging, as I learned, in part to Senator [William M.] Gwin, of California.

At night I returned to Young's Point to acquaint Major-General Grant with the condition of things, and receive his instructions. The general informed me that he had ordered his boat, the Magnolia, to move up to our rendezvous at 1 o'clock that night, and that he would join us at daylight.

On my return to Eagle Bend, Colonel Giles A. Smith reported to me, as the result of his exploration, that the country back of Tallulah was submerged, and that it was impracticable fora the passage of troops. General Grant arriving, passed over the route, and ordering it pro-