War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0456 Chapter XXXVI. Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC.

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Numbers 17.

Report of Major General Dabney H. Maury, C. S. Army, commanding DIVISION.

HEADQUARTERS MAURY'S DIVISION,

Vicksburg, March 27, 1863.

MAJOR: I have the honor to report that the expedition under General Sherman and Admiral Porter, which endeavored to penetrate, by way of Steele's Bayou, Black Bayou, Deer Creek, Rolling Fork and Sunflower River, into Yazoo River, has been defeated and driven back. Colonel Ferguson now occupies Black Bayou, and has established communication with General Lee at Lower Deer Creek.

So soon as I was informed of this movement of the enemy, I ordered General Featherston to proceed with a portion of his brigade to re- enforce Colonel Ferguson, and to assume command of his forces. I also gladly availed myself of General Lee's offer to conduct a force from Haynes' Bluff up Lower Deer Creek, and ordered him to attack, if possible, the enemy on Black Bayou. These measures have resulted in the complete defeat of the enemy.

I cannot too highly commend Colonel Ferguson's energy and daring. To his prompt soldier ship we are indebted for the arrest of the progress of the expedition until such re-enforcements came to him as have enabled us to defeat it. He has been in the advance all the time, continually pressing the enemy back. His only fear has been lest the enemy should escape.

It is again my pleasure to call to your favorable notice Brigadier General S. D. Lee, who volunteered to conduct a force by Lower Deer Creek to Black Bayou, and has been most energetically overcoming the difficulties of that route. The enemy retreated before General Lee could reach him.

Not having yet received General Featherston's complete report of his operations, I have nothing more to add at this time.

Very respectfully, major, your obedient servant,

DABNEY H. MAURY,

Major-General.

Major [J. J.] REEVE, Assistant Adjutant-General.

Numbers 18.

Report of Brigadier General Winfield S. Featherston, C. S. Army, commanding Brigade.

DEER CREEK, March 20, 1863.

SIR: We arrived here to-day. The enemy are said to have one DIVISION here and five gunboats. We see the boats. We attacked them this evening, and drove them back 1 1/2 miles. The enemy are at the junction of Deer Creek and Rolling Fork. We intent to take the boats to-night or early in the morning. Porter is here. You had better send me all the balance of my brigade. We want Deer Creek blocked or obstructed, so as to prevent them from getting in our rear. We fear nothing but an attack from the rear. We will hold them in check and drive them back, but do not like the idea of their getting in our rear.

Very respectfully,

W. S. FEATHERSTON.

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Major-General MAURY.