ceeded with as rapidly as possible, I pushed it with the force I could employ upon it.
I passed the troops over it on the 19th, and embarked 950 men on the Silver Wave, the only boat reporting for the service. I met General Sherman on a tug, at the mouth of Muddy Bayou, while embarking for the first trip. We landed at the first piece of dry land on Black Bayou, about 1 1/2 miles below Hill's plantation. General Sherman remaining with the troops, I returned on the Silver Wave, to push forward the remainder of the troops. Another load by the Wave I landed at the mouth of Black Bayou, and transferred them on a flat-boat to the landing above mentioned. A THIRD trip by the Wave, and two each by the Diligent and Eagle, transported the entire command.
Arriving at Hill's plantation on the morning of the 23rd instant with General Ewing's brigade, I soon received an order from General Sherman, advising me that the gunboats and troops were on their return march, and instructing me to send out a regiment to meet them some 4 miles out. I dispatched at once the Fourth WEST Virginia, established a strong picket on the WEST side of Deer Creek, with a regiment thrown out some 4 miles in that direction, and awaited the return of the troops.
On the 24th, General Sherman, with the troops and gunboats, came back. We remained at Hill's plantation until the 26th, awaiting some threatening demonstrations of the enemy; but finding they had no intention of coming near us, but seemed a mere hovering party, General Sherman ordered the re-embarkation of the troops, and about 3 o'clock in the afternoon we descended the Black Bayou and arrived at Young's Point on the evening of the 27th.
The few casualties are referred to in the reports of my brigade commanders, to which I beg leave respectfully to refer.
I take leave to compliment Major Vance, Fourth WEST Virginia, who was detailed as a field officer in command of the detail ordered from each regiment to accompany and guard the stores on the Silver Wave. He was of very great service and assistance to me in every way, in embarking and disembarking, distributing and regulating the distribution of the rations, ammunition, &c. He is a very faithful, assiduous, and intelligent officer.
Colonel Parry, with his Forty-seven Ohio Regiment, built the road, rafts, and bridges across the plantation at Muddy Bayou. I never knew a regiment do so much and so good a work in so short a time. They are the best set of men I have had to do with in the army, and Colonel Parry himself one of the most energetic of officers.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain L. M. DAYTON, Acting. Assistant Adjutant-General.
Report of Colonel Giles A. Smith, Eight Missouri Infantry, commanding First Brigade.
HDQRS. FIRST Brigadier, SECOND DIV., Fifteenth A. C.,
Young's Point, La., March 28, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report the movements of the First Brigade in the expedition up Steele's Bayou, Black Bayou, and Deer