War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0453 Chapter XXXVI. THE STEELE'S BAYOU EXPEDITION, ETC.

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sacks, and five days' rations, with all necessary camp equipage, on board the steamer Silver Wave. At the appointed time, and by order, my regiment marched to the upper landing, when I was ordered to send all horses, including the 12 pounder howitzer battery, back to camp, which order I obeyed, and accordingly sent them back to camp, and my regiment embarked on the steamer Swallow.

We then proceeded up the Mississippi River to Eagle Bend, and on March 18, at 10 a. m., was ordered to construct a bridge across two impassable crevasses in Muddy Bayou, for the troops to cross. Having received tools, as also help, from the One hundred and SIXTEENTH Illinois Volunteer Infantry, we proceeded to execute the order and finish the bridge across the first deep water.

Early on the morning of the 19th, we commenced the bridge over the SECOND crevasse, and by noon of the same day had it finished, so that the troops could pass, and the First and SECOND Brigades crossed for embarkation up Steele's Bayou.

On the morning of the 20th, I received orders from Brigadier General Hugh Ewing to construct a wagon artillery road from Muddy Bayou to Steele's Bayou, and to call on the Thirtieth Ohio Volunteer Infantry and the pioneers, under command of Lieutenant [Samuel W.] Ashmead, for assistance, which was cheerfully complied with by both officers and men.

The work commenced with energy on the part of officers and men.

On the morning of the 21st, we were still working on the artillery road, assisted by the Thirtieth Ohio Volunteer Infantry and pioneers. On the same evening we received orders that the whole brigade would move at 5 a. m. the next day, and that I should remain to finish the road.

On the morning of the 22nd instant, I put the Forty-seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry to work on the road. They made fine progress, considering the inclemency of the weather. It rained very hard all day, and on the morning of the 23rd (still raining hard), having put my regiment to work to accomplish finishing the road, I received orders from Brigadier General Hugh Ewing, at 9. 30 a. m. the same day, to embark and proceed up Steele's Bayou and join the main body of the DIVISION, we having only 200 yards of the road to finish, which was accomplished about noon the same day, and arrived at our destination about dusk the same evening. The assistant surgeon was, by order, left at Eagle Bend to take care of the sick.

About noon of the 24th instant, I received orders to have all the cotton in the neighborhood thrown into the bayou, and on reaching the boats have it taken upon the steamer Silver Wave. I immediately set my regiment to work throwing bales of cotton in the bayou, and, on reaching the steamer Silver Wave, had them pull it up on deck, having detailed two companies for that purpose. On my arrival at this point, I was ordered to detail two companies of my regiment for the support of a section of a battery of Illinois artillery.

On the morning of the 25th, at 11 o'clock, I received orders to inspect arms and examine the ammunition also, and to order the companies which had been detailed back to the regiment, and to keep my men together for action. The four companies reported to me for duty during the afternoon of the 25th instant.

On the morning of the 26th, at 8. 30 a. m., I received orders to march my regiment to the lower landing and embark on a coal-barge and take the steamer Champion, which order was complied with. We arrived on the steamer at 2 p. m. same day. We moved down Steele's Bayou some 10 miles, where we anchored for the night.