War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0459 Chapter XXXVI. THE STEELE'S BAYOU EXPEDITION, ETC.

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the artillery on the more elevated position inn the center. The enemy's boats (five in number) commanded by Admiral Porter, were lying a few hundred yards below the junction of Rolling Fork and Deer Creek, surrounded by an open field from one-half to a mile wide, and near a large, elevated mound, upon which he had planted a land battery of not more than two guns. The infantry were ordered to throw out companies of skirmishers in advance, with instructions to fire at every man who made his appearance on the boats. This disposition of the troops having been made, a brisk fire was opened by our artillery and continued until dark. This fire was responded to by the enemy's gunboats as well as their land battery until night. there was no hope of boarding the boats at this time by the infantry, as they were in the middle of the stream, and could not be reached without passing through water from 10 to 20 feet deep.

The troops remained in position during the night with instructions that if the boats landed on the east side of Deer Creek to board when-ever an opportunity offered. During the night their land battery moved from the Mound to the boats, and the boats commenced moving down stream.

Next morning the attack was renewed. Skirmishers were thrown forward to the nearest points of woods on both sides of the creek, and a constant fire kept up during the day. The artillery was not used on the SECOND day, for the reason that the supply of ammunition was nearly exhausted by the firing on Friday. The country from the head of Rolling Fork down Deer Creek to Black Bayou is nearly a continuous chain of plantations, cleared on both sides, and but few points of woods running to the bank of the stream to serve as a covert and protection for sharpshooters. Owing to the high stage of water in Deer Creek, their guns could be sufficiently depressed on the boats to use grape and canister.

On Saturday evening, the Fortieth Alabama, Lieutenant Colonel John H. Higley commanding, arrived, and was placed, with the Twenty-SECOND and Thirty-THIRD Mississippi Regiments, under the command of Colonel D. W. Hurst, Thirty-THIRD Mississippi Regiment, who had prior to that time had the immediate command of the Twenty-SECOND and Thirty-THIRD Mississippi Regiments, Colonel Ferguson retaining during the whole time the immediate command of his own forces. The enemy continued to retire down the creek.

On Sunday morning the attack was continued at Moore's plantation, some 6 or 7 miles below the head of Rolling Fork. Two regiments were thrown below in advance of the boats (Twenty-SECOND and Thirty-THIRD Mississippi), in a point of woods running up to the creek, where it was thought they could be successfully assailed. The Fortieth Alabama and artillery ordered to open a brisk fire on them until it had exhausted its supply of ammunition. This order was promptly obeyed, and fire of our guns most cordially responded to by the guns of the enemy's boats. The two regiments thrown below were met by Sherman's DIVISION coming up, when a sharp skirmish ensued. While this skirmish was going on between the two regiments below and Sherman's DIVISION, two regiments of the enemy advanced from the boats immediately to the front, evidently with a view of cutting off the Twenty-SECOND and Thirty-THIRD Mississippi, then in advance. These two regiments were ordered back to a strong position then held by the Fortieth Alabama and artillery. This was done in good order through the skirt of woods on the enemy's left. The enemy advancing some half a mile through the field, and finding our forces united, fell back to the boats. I am satisfied, from reliable information received from citizens as well as a