War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0457 Chapter XXXVI. THE STEELE'S BAYOU EXPEDITION, ETC.

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SATURDAY, March 2, [1863].

The enemy are certainly re-enforcing heavily. Commodore Porter is here. Sherman is just below. They have nine boats here. Four thousand are on the march from below by land. I send you a dispatch captured last night. I submit these facts for your consideration.

W. S. FEATHERSTON,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Generals MAURY, STEVENSON, and HERBERT.

[Inclosure.]

FRIDAY EVENING.

Admiral DAVID D. PORTER:

DEAR ADMIRAL: I have about 1,000 men here now, and think, with good luck and hard word, I may have another 1,000 to-morrow in the night, and will push till I get of Stuart's DIVISION up. I sent you three Southern papers of very late dates, giving the names of the vessels which have passed Port Hudson on their way up, and which are referred to in Grant's letter to me as being below Warrenton. The gunboat Linden was sent back by Captain Woodworth for the coal-barge. Work on Black Bayou progressing well, but the crooks and turns are so short that boats cannot navigate it with speed. Please write me by bearer, and give a receipt for the paper, as I have promised to pay him $50 if he reaches you and returns safely. I have no doubt your channel will be obstructed, but no large force can assail you. Nothing from below to-day. Scouts and spies are feeling up their way from Haynes' Bluff, but I will watch them.

Yours,

SHERMAN.

DEER CREEK, March 22, 1863.

GENERAL: We have engaged the enemy here for two days, and driven them back about 5 or 6 miles. We have been fighting their boats. They have five here. We are now out of ammunition for the artillery, or nearly so. They were re-enforced yesterday; infantry marched up by land, how many we are not able to say. Admiral Porter is here on the fleet; Sherman is below on Black Bayou, where they have a strong force. This was their grand effort for securing the Yazoo. I sent you their dispatches yesterday, captured the night before. If they advance here again, this place cannot be held without a strong force. We need boats, we need ammunition, and will need more men if they advance. We cannot pursue them well without more troops; our forces are worn out. My guns are one 3-inch rifle and one 24-pounder howitzer. Have Deer Creek obstructed below, so that we cannot be cut off.

Your obedient servant,

W. S. FEATHERSTON,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Lieutenant-General PEMBERTON.

P. S. -We need intrenching tools and wheelbarrows. The object is to construct a levee across Deer Creek.

DEER CREEK, March 23, 1863.

GENERAL: The Sharp has arrived with the Thirty-first and some ammunition. We engaged the enemy all day yesterday; sharpshooters