War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0461 Chapter XXXVI. THE STEELE'S BAYOU EXPEDITION, ETC.

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officer, and Mr. E. M. McAfee, volunteer aides, who were efficient in their places. Major [E. H.] Cummins, engineer officer, Major-General Maury's staff, accompanied me on this expedition, and had charge of all defensive works, in which he displayed much judgment and efficiency.

Our loss in the slight combats of this expedition was small, not exceeding 2 killed and 6 or 8 wounded. The enemy's loss, as learned from released citizens, was not less than from 12 to 13 killed and from 40 to 45 wounded.

A shot from our artillery, whose firing was admirable, crippled the United States tug, and took of the leg of the engineer, whose grave we found marked, "Engineer United States tug Dahlia; died March 22, 1863. "The success of the expedition consists in turning and driving back the enemy, who in a very short time would have been through Rolling Fork into Sunflower River, and had the uncontested control of the Yazoo waters.

I have the honor to be, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.


Assistant Adjutant-General, General Maury's DIVISION.

Numbers 19.

Report of Brigadier General Stephen D. Lee, C. S. Army, commanding Brigade.

Vicksburg, MISS., March 30, 1863.

MAJOR: In the absence of Major-General Maury, from whom I received orders, I have the honor to submit the following report of my operations on Deer Creek during the last week:

The enemy, having passed up Steele's Bayou and through Big Black Bayou into Deer Creek, were endeavoring to reach the Sunflower by passing through the Rolling Fork. Brigadier-General Featherston and Lieutenant-Colonel Ferguson, having met the enemy at the Rolling Fork, checked his further progress.

Major-General Maury directed me to take charge of an expedition and proceed to Wilson's plantation, on Lower Deer Creek, to obstruct the creek, throw up works, and, if advisable, make a diversion in the enemy's rear, with a view to aid General Featherston, and, if the means of communication admitted, he would furnish me with troops for a heavy attack on the enemy.

I arrived at Wilson's, about 6 miles from the mouth of Deer Creek, on the 24th, with the THIRD Louisiana. The First Mississippi Battalion was already at that point, obstructing the creek by feeling trees.

On the 25th, the THIRD Louisiana commenced a log entrenchment, the low ground not admitting of digging to make proper works, the highest ground not being over 1 1/2 fleet above the creek overflow from the high water.

On the 26th, the log entrenchment was continued by the THIRD Louisiana and Twenty-sixth Louisiana, which had arrived on the evening of the 25th, the obstructions being continued by the First Mississippi Battalion.